To see my Service Learning project click here. Our groups service learning partner is Mr. Yang he is 60 years old , the casket maker here in Xizhou. Through our conversations and interviews with him I have learned many things about him, the village we live in and how life was like then. I learned that Mr. Yang has been making woodcrafts all his life and enjoys doing so. He was also thinks that life nowadays is much better than it was before. Since he has lived in Xizhou for a long time, he knows quite a lot about the area. He told our group that Xizhou has changed a lot due to it becoming more commercial. Mr. Yang has told us that before, many people in Xizhou had to go up to Hua Dian Ba, an area high in the mountains to work. He commented that times were tough then. He has also lived through many historical events. During the Cultural Revolution, Mr .Yang had a tough life. He was around our age when this happened and had to work very hard in order to make a living.
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. By telling me his story on how life was like then, I was able to gain a much better understanding of the Cultural Revolution and how life was like then.
Along with telling me plenty about history, Mr. Yang also told me about his life before and now. When he was younger, life was much tougher than it is now. He had to go up to the mountains frequently, wearing only cheap crass shoes. He told me that his feet would often be blistered and bruised after a days work. The life then was extremely harsh as everyone had to work hard in order to make a living. Nowadays Mr. Yang says his life is full of "sunshine". He makes a good living from being a casket maker and enjoys the life he lives today.
Finally Mr Yang gave me a little advice on how to live a long happy life. Firstly he stated that we have been given the keys to the kingdom. We have been provided a good education and can easily be successful. He says that we are very lucky and can do well in life. All we have to do is work hard and try our best. This way, we can live a healthy and pleasant life.
There are many recommendations that I have for future Microcampus students doing Service Learning. Firstly, it is important to keep in mind that Service Learning is our way of giving back to the community. We are trying to tell the stories of our Service Learning, and not just stating random facts about them and the village. Another important thing to keep in mind throughout the entire trip, is to make connections all the time. This will not only make Service Learning easier, but also your Inquiry Project and overall experience here so much better. You should also have be aware of the time you have here as it is a little stressful to hold of Service Learning and doing it all in the end as the end, is most definitely the hardest part of Microcampus. Finally, make the most of your time here. Do not just do your Service Learning project and be done with it. Actually take in what your elder says and learn from it. Do not just do it to get it done. It is important to realise this and take as much new knowledge and wisdom as you can away from this experience.