Marcus K. (Alumni-I)'s Journal

Today was our last full day here in Microcampus. We said our thanks and good byes to all who helped us on this amazing journey. When I first came to Microcampus, I would have never anticipated what I have just experienced. It is a bittersweet feeling saying goodbye. After a month of being in Xizhou, bonding, learning and connecting, it is sad to see it all go. Then again, as the saying goes don't cry because it's over but smile because it happened. Not that I was going to cry.

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I feel that I have learned more about many aspects of life here in Xizhou through my Service Learning Project. Mr. Yang has provided me with plenty of insight on the world we live in. I think that this was extremely helpful as it is important in life that we take advice and knowledge from elders since they have experienced a lot. Mr. Yang himself has been through many impactful events of Chinese history.

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After a long day of Inquiry Project work came a long day of Service Learning work. For three consecutive days, we worked productively. Today, we wrapped up most of our Service Learning Work. We edited footage, delete loud background noises, added overlays and old pictures and finally subtitles. All of this required a lot of work and unfortunately, it was almost as bad as the alumni said it was.

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Today we started concluding our inquiry project. Everyone was once again being productive and finishing last minute details. To a certain extent, we were all a little stressed as the last week is often the most filled with work. After a long day of work, we finally got most of our inquiry projects done.

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Today was one of the last days for inquiry project work. Everyone was hurrying around and getting stuff done. Everybody was being productive so that they would not get stressed out later on. For that one day, everyone seemed to be in some great big rush. Thankfully, in the end, nobody was super stressed out. Our inquiry projects are almost complete and ready to be shared with the great big world.

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When normal people here the words "guys night out", they think of huge out of control parties in Vegas. Microcampus guys, remember a night that when thought about too much, causes severe headaches. It started when the six people separated into three groups of two. One group went to buy antiques, the other souvenirs and the last group dried papaya.

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This will be the last Earth Journal I will be doing for science class here in Microcampus. This week, I will be observing the hydrosphere. I have made many observations about the hydrosphere here in Xizhou. When observing the hydrosphere, I noticed that Lake Erhai plays an immense part of people's lives. All the water in the area eventually lead to Erhai.

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Today, we finally began the next phase of our inquiry work. After a week of long field work and recording information, it was time to begin thinking about what our final product would be. In phase 4, we developed an outline considering who our audience is, what media we would use and many more. After two hours of thinking, I hope that I will have a smooth start with my final product.

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Today was the last full day of field work. It was a relatively relaxed day as I finished most of my interviews yesterday. I completed the last of my interview and concluded the recording of my information. I will soon be starting to think about how I will present the information I have accumulated, but for now, I am just glad I have a pile of I raw information. 

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Today was one of the last days for going out into the village and gathering information, and like many last days, this one was busy. There was a list of things that needed to be done before I could move on to my final phases and not a lot of time to do it. Well, maybe there was enough time, but since I'm like most people, more time is always nice.

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You know what the hardest part about a hike is? Having no more clean clothes for the next day because all your clothes are either full of crap from the hike, or just plain dirty from the days before that. What sucks even further is having you laundry day be so far away from when you desperately need it.

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After two long days on the mountains, it was finally time to come down. We started the day by watching the sun rise. This was pretty cool despite the fact that we had to wake up earlier. It would also have been better if Mr T woke us up 5 minutes later than he did. After that we had a huge breakfast of noodles (as usual) and broke camp. Coming down from the mountain was just dreadful.

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Today was the second day of our hike. On the previous day, we had made camp on a field with an abundance of yaks and yak poo. In the morning we broke camp and began heading further up. Our destination was a high point in the mountains known as 3232. This point is around 3232 metres above sea level hence the name, 3232. The hike today was not as hard as it was the day before.

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Today was the first day of a three day hike. From a distance, the mountains looked like fuzzy green lumps, but as we approached them, it became clear that they were far bigger and menacing than anticipated. The hike started of with positive spirits and energised bodies. It went that way around an hour before people started getting a little negative if not hysterical. When you think about it, your mindset is like a boat. It may float on negativity but it doesn't sink unless you let it in.

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Once again I will be writing something a little different for my journal that is in correspondence to my Science class back in Shanghai. Today I will be focusing on a specific sphere for observation. The sphere I chose to observe is the biosphere. To me there are 4 main types of areas here in Xizhou. The first one would be the villages. These villages contain the most people and civilisation. Then we have the fields.

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"Big things are accomplished through the perfection of minor details."

So why a quote today? Simply because this is an important message that is sometimes not followed. We have constantly been hearing messages about how we must first perfect easier concepts in order to move on to harder ones. We have been constantly hearing cliche metaphors on how you must first build lower floors before you can build the upper ones. Why is this? Simply because it is important, and today is just another day where we need to be reminded of it. That is why a quote today.

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Today was another regular day. We had breakfast, SAS Essentials, Pitching In and all that good stuff. I also did more field work on my topic by walking around the village and talking to locals. However what made today different from a regular day, was one small stupid choice. You see, humans are quite lazy creatures and are prone to make unwise choices when given an easier choice, and a harder choice.

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Today was our second Moday. Usually, I would consider Mondays as a premonition for yet another regular school week. It was different this time. Contrary to what I am used to, today was a harbinger for another exciting different week of Microcampus. I accumulated plenty of new information today from all sorts of sources, whether they were people taking a walk, people in straw hats of just plain walls. I have learned so much today and I am excited for the rest of the week to go just as well.

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Today was the start of our first weekend! It was most definitely the most relaxing day I have had at Microcampus so far. We took today as an opprotunity to make more connections in the village in preperation for our Service Learning project. Other than that, it was all clearing our heads and resting. It was good to finally have a day to just relax and not be bothered or stressed by any work.

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Today was our second relaxing weekend day. Once again, we enjoyed the day by relaxing and taking time to get ready for Monday. It was so good to have another day of pure relaxation. Sometimes I wish that everyday could be like this for everyone, but then a realise that the world would not be a productive place at all. Our second Monday is almost here and I hope it will be a good week.

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Today, instead of a regular journal, I will be writing a journal corresponding with my science curriculum for my SAS essentials. For science, I was required to view 5 final projects that had to do with system Earth, limited resources, and human activity. The two main projects that I looked at were Sujin’s project on water treatment and Nicole’s project on Green Energy. I noticed that Laker Erhai serves as a huge reservoir.

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Today was the day that I finally go around to talking to people for my inquiry work. I started with my 3-5s which are small three to five minute interviews. These interviews will help me find local contacts that I can then talk to for further information about my topic. I am excited to start communicating with people in the village about my inquiry work and I know I will have a great time.

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Today was our second completely normal day. We followed our normal routine and we are now getting used to regular life here in Xizhou. We also started making more local connections through talking asking questions. This will help us with our service learning and inquiry project later on. The microcampus experience is going pretty well so far, and I hope it continues to be just as good.

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Today was our first normal day! It started with reluctantly getting out of bed and saying our good mornings. After that we had breakfast and SAS essentials to catch up on our school work. Later we had a daily meeting and pitching in. After lunch, we finally had WIPPIS time. WIPPIS time consist of wellness, inquiry project, pitching in and still time. Life is becoming more productive and I'm looking forward to  the rest of the trip.

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Today was our closest day yet to a completely normal day. Firstly, we woke up and work on our SAS essentials for the first time. After that we had our first daily meeting. We talked about how our normal routine would be. Later, we had lunch and finally had our first WIPPIS time. WIPPIS time consist of wellness, inquiry project, pitching in and still time. After that we had dinner and wound down. Life is feeling so productive and I am really looking forward to the days to come.

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Today was my first full day here in Xizhou. Today, I got to get a better taste of how the next 27 days will be. I got to take a tour around the village which I will be staying in, and start getting to know the community around me. I saw numerous things that were new and interesting to me and I am absolutely certain that there will be more to discover. I was also introduced to how my new life would be like. I am looking forward to the next 27 days here in Xizhou and hope to discover many new things.

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After a 3 hour flight and a 6 hour bus ride, I have finally arrived at the Linden Centre in Xizhou. This will be my new home for the next 28 days. The environment here is much better than Shanghai’s and i’ll get to enjoy it for a whole month. I hope I have a great time here.

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After spending 18 hours together with the people that I will be attending microcampus with, I am certain that I know more about the program than I did before. One major thing that I learned during the lock in was the wellness plan. This told me that microcampus would not all be working but also making sure that we are healthy. I also became more aware on what exactly we would be doing on the trip by taking a close look at the schedule and itinerary. Among the activities that I discovered were taking long hikes, chilling and chatting and finally still-time.

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Hi, I'm Marcus and I am 13 years old. I was born in Malaysia and moved to Shanghai in 2007. Having experienced the Microcampus experience first hand, I now know what a wonderful place Xizhou is. I will miss everything from the blue skies and friendly people, to my home Yang Zhou Ran and fellow Microcampus students. I am grateful that I did indeed have a fantastic time here, and hope many others do as well.