Hayley S. (Alumni-U)'s Journal

I first was introduced to Microcampus when 2 eighth graders disappeared from the Choir concert. I wasn't sure what Microcampus was back then, but I knew it something to do with disappearing for a month to a place. I got to know Microcampus better when I met Debbie and Marco from the Tactical Group. They told me that it was an incredible chance that I have to sign up for. At the end of seventh grade, Mr.

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Today was the day I have been dreading for. December 14th, Day 27, was our last full day in Xizhou.

My morning started off with stargazing. These few days have been the start of the meteor shower of genesis. When I went to the terrace at 6:50, Chris, Michael, Saleem and Mr. Tafel was already there. In the middle of the sky was the genesis twins; and the shooting stars were all going away from the direction of the two stars. In total, I saw 3 shooting stars in the sky. Waking up early was definitely worth it. 

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When Saleem and Julia (our Service Learning group) brought Zhou Nai Nai to YangZhouRan, we gave her a tour of our home. Since Zhou Nai Nai's husband used to work here before retiring 7 years ago, she would tell us where the working area, kitchen and the rooms used to be compared to the design now. She told us that the design now is better compared back to the old days. After showing her around, or more like her telling us where places used to be, it was time for the Service Learning Video Sharing. 

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Today's afternoon was very busy for me and my group spent the whole afternoon working on Service Learning. We got our first check with Mr. Tafel but he sent us back to work because we haven't followed his instructions. At 1'oclock we went to have Ms. Ling, Mr. Chen, Ms. Braverman and Ms. Song, native Chinese speakers to check our Chinese subtitles. They gave us a bunch of suggestions and we had to change every single wrong detail. It was very frustrating us we had to be really careful and be precious with our editing and the timing of our subtitles.

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Today started off in a bad way. Half of the group, including me, got in trouble because we left our computers in our room. We were told at the beginning of the trip that we aren't allowed to keep computers in our room but we didn't follow the instruction and even lied to cover our mistake.

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Our last Sunday here in XIzhou was the day I finally finished my Inquiry Project Final Video. In my video, I talked about the 3 perspectives of people in Xizhou's hobbies. The three people I did were Mr. Zhao, Ms. Zhang, and Mr. Yang Yuan. When we finished our video, we had to show it to Mr. Tafel for our Pearls of Wisdom. 

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I can't even believe that we only have one more week of Microcampus! I was looking back at my earlier journals today and I saw one of my journal post title," First Week of MC!". I am telling myself right now to stay on task and make sure to finish all my work on time in order to make the most of the opportunity.

In the afternoon I worked on my Inquiry Project, and I was as tired as hell as it was the first day of making our final product. I managed to finish the script and the written introduction and wrote a plan for the following few days in order for me to finish it on time. 

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Our morning started off with breakfast, and then followed up by SAS essentials. I was especially happy today because, after today, we are done with all the school work we have to keep up to. For SAS essentials today, we did a list of IXLs and it was very frustrating because I was stuck one for 90 minutes. On the weekends, I have to make sure I finish my American Revolution Essay and book project since I am behind.

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These few days have been full of due dates. Yesterday, Phase 3 was due and today, Phase 4 is due. We had to finish Phase 4 in 2 hours and I was really stressed out. Phase 4 is basically a written plan and outline for our final product. I managed to finish Phase 4 in the required time plus 15 minutes since I wasn't completely focused. 

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December 5th, Day 18th of Microcampus started just like any other day. In the morning I had SAS essentials, pitching in and then lunch. During WIPPIS time today, Henin and I went to Bao Cheng Fu for badminton in their courtyard. While we were playing badminton, Mr. Linden suddenly came out from one of the room to our side and scared us. Since we were concentrating so hard playing badminton, we "freaked" out when someone suddenly came out of one of the rooms. I have been to Bao Cheng Fu many times to exercise and badminton but had never ever met anyone there. Mr.

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Today was our last to chill and relax before our last full week of Microcampus full of due dates. I love weekends at Microcampus because we get 1 hour of Down Time and half an hour of still time. Back in Shanghai, I never have the opportunity to stare at the blue skies, forget about my stress and wonder. The terrace here at our home, Yang Zhou Ran is beautiful and a perfect spot for stress relieve. 

 

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In the morning of Microcampus day 15, we undid our tents and prepared to leave our campsite clean. The campsite was full of ponds, flowers and ducks and chicken around us. I wished we could have stayed here for a few more days even though it was freezing at night. 

 

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Hiking, an activity that I sign up to do every year, is a challenge to me even though I love it. Since I was the slowest out of all of us, I volunteered to lead the “pack”. Being in the first one was hard since our guide Max (Mr. T in disguise) wouldn’t tell me which way to go but to follow my instincts. I was struggling with the way to the top and had trouble breathing. According to Henin, my face turned pale and Mr.

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Today was just a normal Microcampus day, with SAS essentials, pitching in and then finally WIPPIS time. Since I had to change my teacher support session due to other, I moved mine to Ms. Braverman, someone I had not been without in Xizhou yet. Ms. Braverman and I walked around Dali old street until we found Xizhou’s high school. The guard of the school was nice enough to let us on the campus with no reasons because we didn’t look like bad guys. The school’s campus was huge with designs that look like it could be a Chinese style residential area.

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Today was the first day I did laundry due to the past week’s illness. I fabric sorted my clothes and left them in the washing machine. Since the weather and air in Xizhou, Yunnan is very dry, the clothes dry very quickly. The dry weather cause my hands to crack and my skin to itch but it is all good because I have lotion.

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Today was the first day of double digits, and I can't believe it been more than 1/3 of Microcampus already. Alumni have told us to time flies by fast, and we have to cherish every opportunity given. During WIPPIS time today, Mr. Chen and I went to visit some young adults. This young staff at the Linden Center, Yang Ge, is an optimistic guy who loves the outdoors. Since the technology wasn't popular ten years ago, he spent most of his teenage years playing with animals and sports. I also met one of Mr. Chen's friends, A Ping, who works at a coffee shop on the way to the Linden Center.

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During yesterday night, the famous Phantom of Room Inspector came to each of our rooms to do inspections. while walking down the stairs with Sophie in his arms, the phantom's theatrical voice spreads through the whole house to warn us he is coming.

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In our first official Saturday of Microcampus, Mr. T gave us a 150 minute lesson about the history of China. People like to say China's history is 5000 years but it's actually 100 years repeated 50 times.  It was actually really interesting to me since I learned a lot about the CCP and KMT. This was important in order to learn more about our inquiry project and service learning.

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Time flies by when you're having fun, they say, and I can't believe it's been a week of Microcampus already. I miss my friends and family in Shanghai lots but I'm also loving it here in Xizhou. This past week has been amazing, meeting villagers, trying out the food, and understanding the Microcampus schedule. In the morning we start off with breakfast, followed by SAS essentials, daily meeting and then pitching in for the AM duties. During lunch, we either all stay in or all go out. The original plan was to have us go out 1 group at a time and have the rest stay in.

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During WiPPIS time yesterday, I felt sick and took a nap.I should have told the teachers earlier since my appetite was bad in the morning.   At the end of WIPPIS time, I decided to tell Mr. T that I wasn't feeling well and wanted to skip dinner. I took my temperature and it was at borderline fever temperature. Since I had a terrible headache and felt like puking, I had/got to rest in the treatment room. Sleeping from 6 PM to 6:35 AM made me feel much better but still sick. Throughout the day, I was not allowed to go outside of YZR because I had to rest.

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During my Inquiry work time, I signed up for teacher support with Mr. T to do an "interview/conversation" with the antique shop collector. At first, my plan was to talk to Mr. Lao Mao, but since I walked past the stop without paying attention and he happened to not be there, my second plan was to find Mr. Yang. Mr. Yang is also an antique collector and has a shop not far from Mr. Lao Mao's. Some challenges in the beginning of the "interview" were my questions. I struggled a bit since my questions were set for Mr. Yang but since Ms.

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During WIPPIS time today, I accomplished a lot of things. Nina, Michael, and I went for a CrossFit and jogging workout that ended up really tiring for me. While the others, jogged easily, I had to sprint to catch up since I was a lot slower than them. But we managed to run around Bao Cheng Fu and Rang Yi Xiang alley and not get lost; that was a big accomplishment for me. 

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Today we learned a lot of Microcampus essentials today. Laundry, Pitching in, meetings, etc. During lunch, my group and I went to get the famous "Tafel Fried Rice", it was delicious and the English menu was created by the students. After dinner, Mr.Tafel took us to the Linden Center for a tour. The Linden Center has rooms for foreigners to live in and most amazing of all, a balcony for still time and star-gazing. I sat there on a couch for around 30 minutes, doing nothing but everything at the same time.

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On the second day of Microcampus, my group got in some trouble that Mr. T told us several times and gave us reminders. In the morning, I woke up a little bit tired. I should have had 9 hours of sleep, but instead, I only had about 7-8 hours of sleep. Around noon, Mr. Tafel and his crew gave us a 2-hour tour of the Xizhou village.

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As me and my family wave goodbye at the Airport, I was nervous and excited at the same time. Microcampus, a 28-day journey has begun. After spending half of the day at the airport, stumbling through numerous gates, we finally arrived at Dali. Mr. Tafel gave us a rolling classroom on the car ride from the airport to the Yang Zhou Rang resident where we will be living. Carrying heavy suitcases and bags made all of us exhausted and were relieved when we arrived at our new home for the next month.

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Hey guys! My name is Hayley and I am now an alumni of the 21-st Ultimate Group. I enjoy playing volleyball, making Youtube Videos and cooking in my free time. My journey at Microcampus has been amazing and through the up's and down's, I learned so much about my inquiry project, the village, the citizens and most of all, myself. I will never forget my home away from home, Xizhou with its delicious food, blue skies, stars and kind locals. 喜州,我想你!