Madeline O. (Alumni-I)'s Journal

Today is our last day at Microcampus. This journal is a reflection on Microcampus' and the experiences that I experienced here. Before we arrived in Xizhou, we were told to make a video titled "Why I am Going to Microcampus." It explained the reasons we signed up for Microcampus and what we believed would happen in Xizhou. Now that Microcampus is finished, we reflect on our new understanding of the question "Why I Came to Microcampus" and the experiences that we went through in Xizhou. 

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Today is our last day in Xizhou. Leaving is very bittersweet, but I have learned a lot from my time here at Microcampus. Though I am sad to leave, I am very happy that I came to Xizhou. Today we packed up our bags, wrapped up all of our work and said our good-byes to all of the people that we have connected with here. The hardest people to say goodbye too are definitely our teachers here, Ms. Mai, Mr. T and Yeling, and the students from the Puxi campus.

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On Wednesday, October 8th, we had our Service Learning presentation. All Microcampus students and their Service Learning partners, chaperones and others interested in the Service Learning project. When we walked to Yang zhuo ran with Mr. Zhang, our Service Learning partner, we gave him a tour. The first thing that we asked him was if he had been to Yang zhuo ran before, which he had, but he was 9 years old. When he was walking around, he noticed the original and the new things, pointing them out to us.

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Today we began the real "final countdown" of the days until we return to Shanghai. Today our Service Learning project is due. Service Learning is where 4 students go out into the village to try to find a partner that would allow them to interview and film them. The restrictions are: they cannot already have been a Service Learning partner and they have to be above the age of 65. The Service Learning project is the hardest project we have in Microcampus, and will be one of the most challenging projects we have ever done.

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Inquiry Project

Today was the most busy day of the Microcampus trip; the Inquiry Project due date. The Inquiry Project is a study that every Microcampus participant partakes in. Before arrival in Xizhou, we were told to find a topic that interests us that was relevant in Xizhou and to yourself and conduct back ground research to be more prepared for arrival. The first 3 weeks in Xizhou were focused mostly on conducting interviews with local experts or people that knew and could give information about the topic.

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Today is our last Sunday in Xizhou, and while we have the rest of the week to say goodbye and prepare for leaving. Today we had our Week 3 Wellness Reflection. At the Lock-In, a day Pudong and Puxi students got together and reviewed guidelines for Microcampus and began intense preparation before leaving for Xizhou, we made a Wellness document. It displays concerns about projects, healthy habits, anything related to physical, emotional and social health.

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Today I went to go meet our Service Learning partner, Mr. Zhao, for the first time. Service Learning is where a group of 4 microcampus students go and interview someone over the age of 65 and learn their life story; struggles, relief, hardships, etc. Service Learning is a struggle for me, because I do not have a large grasp of the Chinese language.

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Though I know Daily Journals are supposed to be about what we did today, yesterday night was one of my most favorite moments here at Microcampus. Yesterday night, as I mentioned in my Day 18 journal I went to the Linden Centre to see a Yi performer. Though my Inquiry Project focuses on Bai dance, not Yi, it was very interesting. The dance instructor comes from Chengdu, where she teaches traditional minority dance. She studied in Beijing, at a minority college, so she is very experienced and professional.

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Bai Minority Performance

Today as part of my inquiry work, I got to go witness a "traditional" dance performance. It was held place in the Ancient Village, that was built two years ago and required paid tickets to get in. Once the performance started, spotlights of thousands of different colors began to flash and made a strobe light like affect. The music boomed over the speakers, thankfully I was warned by Yeling, our Yang zhuo ran chaperone, to sit in the back because of the noise level.

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This morning I woke up very sore and extremely tired. After coming back from such a long hike, my body was not prepared to get back into the norm at Yang zhuo ran, but I had to anyway. The only thing that is different today than any other day is that for wellness, while we usually go run to get time in zone, we have to do our wellness reflection, which means sitting down for an extra hour.

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Today I was the most tired I have ever been in my entire life. Going up the mountain you have a goal, something to reach, but going down, all you can think about is "when is this going to end?" Today, we walked close to the same path we took going up, but it felt much longer. Going down all you could think about was how long it was going to take to get down, how sore you were and imagining the bus, in all its glory.

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Camp Site

Today we reached our summit and I have never felt a greater sense of accomplishment in my entire life. Todays hike did not even compare to yesterdays, it only lasted about a hour and a half, and though all uphill, it was much easier than the trek we had yesterday. The hiking trail was much more difficult than the one yesterday. Today our hike completley consisted of mule trails, and at one point, no trail at all.

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Today was one of the most challenging and tiring days of my life, but I seem to have enjoyed it. Today we began our three day hike, todays schedule boasted a nine hour hike, six hours of altitude gain and 4 hours of traveling across 大花点吧(da hua dian ba). Though flat, the 4 hour hike across the meadow was more challenging, personally, than the increase. The walk was very tedious and there were many rocks, so it made it difficult to travel across.

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Rice Fields

Note: This is part of my science/SAS essentials work here at Microcampus

Science Journal: Biosphere

 

My choice sphere was the Biosphere, which is the plant and animal life in Xizhou. I decided to focus on the plant life instead of the animal life because there are not a lot of daily interactions with animals here.

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Today, our assignment for the journal post is to take a given quote and explain how it is prominent in daily life here in Microcampus. We were given 3 quotes, one of which we had heard many times before, and told to chose one. The quote I chose is, "discipline yourself and others will not need too." -John Wooden

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Here in Microcampus, we have things called committee's. The main goals of Microcampus is to get students "out of the bubble" and also to get students to be more independent and self disiplined. Everything that can be run by students is run by students, from ordering the food, to setting up laundry days and what times people should go to running the safe deposit box.

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Room inspections here in Microcampus have been and always will be very tough. The International Room Inspection Federation's Microcampus representative is very strict. For those of you who are going to Microcampus in the future, start getting organized now. Room inspection scores are graded on a 5 star scale, the highest ever room inspection score being a 4.5. So far, Ignite's highest room inspection score was a 2.9, rewarded to Room 9, my room.

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Water Pipes Under Construction

Note: This is part of my humanities SAS essentials

 

The water distribution process is very interesting in Xizhou. Something about it sticks out to me, whether it is the fact that the water pipes are easily seen or the fact that I have never seen any other form of water distribution. The water distribution process here in Xizhou has 3 main points that stick out to me, the safety aspect, how the water gets distributed and the water cleaning plants. 

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Today we began Service Learning, which is where we have to find an individual over 65 to tell us their life story on film. Finding someone that is willing enough to tell us their life story is hard enough, we have many challenges added on to that. Whether it is the fact that they are filmed, that we are children, that I am western, or specially today, it is pouring rain out and no one is outside. Most elder people have retired and would be in their houses when it is raining, which adds to the challenge of finding a good Service Learning partner.

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Note: This journal is part of my science work while I am at microcampus. 

 

All students have to look at 2 different spheres that occur in Xizhou, hydrosphere is mandatory, but we have a choice between the lithosphere, biosphere or atmosphere. I am going to chose the biosphere, which is the plant and animal life. 

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Today I started interviewing local contacts, which means I go to local experts and ask them for information about my topic. Today, I only had time for one interview, but it was the first time since I came to Xizhou that I felt like I belonged in the village. I went to Duan 阿姨, who has danced since she was a little girl. She now is part of the Dong Qing music band, which performs at the Linden Centre and other places in Xizhou and Dali.

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Today was by far the most calm day at microcampus. A couple days ago, a typhoon hit Vietnam and now Xizhou is getting the aftermath. It rained majority of the day and is still going to be raining tomorrow. We have to take extra precautions because of the rain, cars and motorcycles cant stop as easily on the wet roads, so it is much easier to get hit or have really close calls. But, the rain doesn't stop us. We still go and get 30 minutes time in zone and walk half a mile to do an interview. All that rain means is that we have to be more careful.

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Today was our first real schedule, daily meeting, SAS essentials, WIPPIS time, evening activity, the works. Though it wasn't the first time we had SAS essentials, WIPPIS time was a entirely new concept for us.

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Batik Falsely Depicting Bai Women

Today was a calm day at microcampus, but by far one of my favorites. It was set up how a normal day would be set, other than the fact we had down time instead of pitching in. During down time, I got to think a lot about everything I've experienced so far. We were working a lot on inquiry work and it reminded me of a lot of the little things that I saw yesterday.

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Today was one of the longest, yet most exciting, days of my life. Waking up and going to sleep for the first time in Xizhou is definitly exhilarating. Essentially, this is the first day of microcampus, so there was a lot to cover in not that much time; whether it was going over the drill for what do do in an earthquake or fire, having the first meeting, figuring out what the heck pitching in time was, attempting to learn how to work the laundry machine or doing hours upon hours of inquiry work.

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Today I experienced one of the longest car rides of my life, but it felt as if no time was passing at all because I was going to Xizhou. After a three hour plane ride and a six hour bus ride, we finally arrived at Xizhou. The journey getting here was something I'll never forget; the sky was so blue and there was so many things going on all at the same time. Though I was and am still nervous of what's to come, I know that my souroundings are something that not many people get to experience in their life time, and that I should and need to appreciate it.

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Hello world! My name is Madeline, but you can call me Maddie and I am 13 years old. I am so happy that I had the chance to go to Microcampus. I was born in Brazil, lived in the US, and now, China. Sadly, my time in Xizhou is done, but the memories I made there will last forever. Though I wish I was still in Xizhou, I know that I have spent every minute there to its greatest potential and am very glad that I went.