Eric Y. (Alumni-I)'s Journal

Throughout the 28 days at Microcampus, I have learned a lot, whether it's about myself or about my topic. The reason I came to Microcampus before leaving Shanghai was to get outside my comfort zone. I wanted to interact with the locals and learn to be independent.

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Today is our last day in Xizhou. We are excited and sad to go back to Shanghai. All of us wants to see our familiies and friends again, but we don't want to leave Xizhou. We might not be able to see the Pudong campus students again. For the most of the day, we spent our time packing and doing some final check-ups with our work. I spell-checked my work, send good bye to some of the locals, and did my wellness reflection.

ction.

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My group's Service Learning partner was Yang Ji Sheng. He is currently 83 years old. Mr. Yang told us a lot about his life during the time we were interviewing him. He lived up in a family that worked to make dough for noodles. He used to play basketball on the national team and he used to be a teacher. He was very athletic when he was little, he would play a lot of sports and would be good at it. From Mr. Yang, he told us that with the past few years, the older generation are becoming more introverted. A long time ago, all of the banners were taken down under government orders.
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My group's Service Learning partner was Yang Ji Sheng. He is currently 83 years old. Mr. Yang told us a lot about his life during the time we were interviewing him. He lived up in a family that worked to make dough for noodles. He used to play basketball on the national team and he used to be a teacher. He was very athletic when he was little, he would play a lot of sports and would be good at it. From Mr. Yang, he told us that with the past few years, the older generation are becoming more introverted. A long time ago, all of the banners were taken down under government orders.
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Today, all of our work time was used for service learning. We continued to edit our video and put the images together. Our service learning partner had an accent, therefore, it was hard to understand him during some parts of the video. That caused the translating to be harder and we spent more time than we expected on it. After finishing our first edit of the video, we asked Mr. Tafel for review. He gave us suggestions which we still have to fix, so we got back to work and we should be able to finish the movie completely by tomorrow.

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Today, I spent most of my work time on doing my inquiry project. I finally finished my iMovie which I had Mr. Tafel give me some suggestions on before exporting. After finishing my movie, I finished my reflection and submitted for teacher review. Finishing inquiry project relieved a lot of the stress that were built up this last week. Now, the only big project I still need to finish is service learning with my group. We have gotten a lot of footage and we should be able to put together the footage tomorrow

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Sunday, October 5, the last day of the last weekend here at Microcampus. I worked a lot on my inquiry project today and I am almost finished with my iMovie video. I put together my photos that I took over the past 22 days that are relevant with the stuff I am talking about. I added a voiceover to the images. Tomorrow, I will finish my iMovie and get it in to Mr. Tafel for my first review. Then, I will write my reflection and hopefully, I will be all done with my final project!

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Today was a Saturday, so we were able to sleep in a little later than usual. We got to work right away after lunch, I started out the day with wellness. After wellness, we decided to go talk to our service learning partner just to check-in with him. What we didn't expect was that Mr. Zhao, our partner got sick, therefore, he isn't able to answer our questions for our video. Right away, we went to our Plan B, but our Plan B didn't work. Luckily, we had a Plan C, but the person we wanted to find wasn't there today, we went had to go with our Plan D. Annie C.

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Today, I tried to get as much work done as possible. I finished phase 4 of my inquiry project and I have started on my final project for my inquiry project. I have continued to do my service learning with my group. We talked to Mr. Zhao today and asked him some questions. Also, today, I was finally able to ride my bike. Mr. Tafel gave us the Xizhou bike lesson and now we can ride our bike whenever we want to go somewhere. Since this week is October break, there has been a lot of tourists mainly at SFJ.

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Today, I will be talking about the hydrosphere in Xizhou. In Xizhou, the local people depends on Lake Erhai. Lake Erhai means "Ear Shaped Sea" and is known as the "Mother Lake." It is second largest fresh water source and is used mainly for growing rice in Xizhou. The problem is, the lake is starting to get dirty. With the amount of tourists growing, there will be more people littering their garbage into the water. When garbage is continously being littered, over the years, the lake is not going to be clean. It's going to be a lake that has water which is unusable.

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Today is October 1st which is the day the People Republic of China formed. At SFJ, there are a lot of people, mainly tourists. There was a traditional dance going on celebrating this day. Besides that, today followed the regular schedule. I talked to Mr. Tafel about Hangers and Hooks for my inquiry project. For evening activity today, the four people were able to go to Dali Old Town because they finished all of the things there were supposed to. The rest of us, we stayed behind to do rest of the work we haven't finished.

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Today, we had a talk about mistakes. Everyone is going to make mistakes, but some mistakes are worse than others. Many people today messed up today and didn't do what they were supposed to do. Some mistakes were small, but there were also mistakes that could have been prevented. In my opinion, there is nothing Mr. Tafel could have done differently, it's all problems on our part. What I did wrong today was that I didn't make sure people did their common area responsibilities.

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Today, I was finally found a service learning partner for our group. I was interviewing the casket maker and they were playing a card game. One of those people playing named Mr. Zhao was very friendly. I talked to him about my inquiry project and then the conversation led to his family. He told me that his dad was 94 years old, so I asked him where they lived and he told me that they live right next to Yang Zhou Ran. I was very surprised and found out he met all of the requirements for service learning.

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After waking up in the morning, we started cleaning after our campsite. We took down our tents and prepared for our hike down. The hike down was very challenging as we are all tired and sore from the last two days. The hike lasted for seven hours and for the last few hours, all of our feet were in pain. Our shoulders hurt from our back packs and we were all super determined to get down the mountain as fast as possible. We followed the Microcampus tradition where we hold hands for the last 200 meters down the mountain.

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The second day of hike was a lot less tiring. We only hiked for approximately one and a half hours. Once we got to our campsite, we hiked to 3232 meters, the highest point of the mountain. The view was amazing as we just sat up there as a group and just looked around us. I felt very accomplished that I was able to hike this far and was finally rewarded.

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Day 14 is the beginning of our hike up Chang Shan. It was the start of a physical challenge for all of us. The hike was estimated to be anywhere from 9-12 hours, but our group made it in 8. We set a good pace which allowed us to arrive early. Once we arrived, we faced some challenges with the tents. The place we set up our tents were filled with poop. It was either sheep poop, mule poop, or yak poop. The biggest problem of the day came at night time. We just finished dinner at a guest house and was walking back as a group. While walking, we were all talking and weren't paying attention.

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The lithosphere in Xizhou is very different. The dirt in Xizhou is red unlike the normal brownish color. It's red because the dirt here contains iron. The dirt here especially the place where the rice is grown is moist and is mushy. This let's the rice to grow, therefore in Xizhou, there are huge land of rice growing. The rice is grown in a large field and the farmer collect it once it is done.

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

During daily meeting today, Mr. Tafel said some quotes he found on Facebook. The one that had the most meaing to me was the one above. This quote is similar to what my dad tells me. His example was, how can you run if u can't walk. Both of these quotes are explaining you have to master the basics or minor details in order to do something important. Without it, you can't accomplish anything big or important. The basics are necessary in order to do anything. 

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Day 11 followed the regular schedule. We were finally able to create our own WIPPIS schedule. The only thing that happened that I was expecting was when we were going to wellness. My group consisted of Marcus, Evian, Kailee, and I. It was a twenty minute walk. Once we got there, a surprise was waiting for us, the court was filled with rice. Apparently, the farmers near the court dumps all of their rice on this court. We couldn't do anything about it, so the only thing we could do is find another court to play on.

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During the day today, we had our regular schedule starting with SAS Essentials and ending with WIPPIS. For evening activity, we had a trivia. Mr. Tafel had these trivia cards and we split into teams. My team was the Wizzidy Humps and our costume consisited of a hoodie, long socks, and a ponytail. As the game proceeded, our team slowly fell behind in points. We answered the important questions that had a lot points wrong which caused the other groups to lead the scoreboard. When we thought we were going to lose, there was a final jeopardy.

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Finally, our first Sunday is here. We woke up late and the only work we had to do was a wellness refleciton. Other then that, we had pitching in and a lot of free time. I was able to do my laundry and then spend some time resting. I was able to skype my friends back in Shanghai and catch up a bit on the things happening at school. Besides that, I really didn't do much beside resting.

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Today, we were introduced to service learning. Mr. Tafel taught us about the history of China, specifically the dynasties. We learned about the wars and how the People Republic of China formed. After learning about this learning, we started asking the old people who knew about this event in our working group. We met some old people that actually served in the army at that time. They told us about the development of the past. We had some really interesting conversations with the locals.

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Today, instead of normal journal, I am going to be doing my science journal. First, I am going to talk about the hydrosphere in Xizhou. For growing crops the local people depend on water from Lake Erhai. Lake Erhai is very important to the local people because it is the second largest river to have fresh water. Without it, the crops won't be able to grow and the local people would be short of food. Almost all of the water streams in Xizhou evetually leads to Lake Erhai. Lake Erhai is also called "mother lake" because it allows the village to survive.

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Today was very rainy. It rained the whole day, but it didn't stop us from carrying out our regular schedule. I signed up for teacher support today with Ms. Mai, so she brought to the Linden Centre and some of the locals. She introduced me to them and I was able to interview the people at the Linden Centre. The people were very kind, but most of the people at the Linden Centre were in early 20's. Their recreations and hobbies are the common Chinese activities. My next step is going to try interview the older locals, so that I can compare the age difference.

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Day 5, I finally started interviewing for my inquiry project. We started out the day doing regular stuff, the SAS essentials and pitching in. During the afternoon, we had WIPPIS time. During WIPPIS time, I interviewed Mr. Tafel, Ms. Mai, and Mr. He. Mr. He was the first local I interviewed. He was very open to me asking questions and I was able to get some information. He provided me of his hobbies and his type of exercise. Ms. Mai, Mr. Tafel, and Mr. He all recommended me people I can go see next and tomorrow I wil be interviewing more people.

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Today we have finally had a regular schedule. We started our the day with SAS essientials and pitching in. In the afternoon, we had our fist WIPPIS time. We worked in our work groups when doing WIPPIS. We had to do our wellness for the first time. During wellness, I was able to know the place better because we were running. We also started our 3-5 for inquiry projects and started interviewing. Overall, today was a very calm day that follows our regular schedule.

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Xizhou

Today, we were introduced to our committees. We were told what our responsibilities were and what our expectations are for my committee. Justin and I were in charge of the common area, so we spent some time organizing each room's role. In the afternoon, Mr. Tafel plan was for us to go biking. Unfortunately, not all of us were finished with our inquiry project, so the people that weren't had to stay behind and work. Because we should have had our work done, the fact that not all of was finished wasn't planned in the schedule.

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Our second day of Microcampus was pretty calm day. We started the day with tours around YZR. We visited some of the people that are considered friends with Mr. Tafel. We went to some of the important places that we will need to know the location of. The main problem of the day occured in the afternoon. We were working on inquiry projects and there was a meeting at 2 pm. We were told in the morning about the meeting, but none of us went to the meeting. It's not because we didn't want to, most of us didn't remember.

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This is the first day into my 28 days of adventure. We spent most of the day on the six hour bus ride after the three hour flight. We were lucky to not have any big delays in our trip to Xizhou. On the bus, we spent our time socializing, listening to wise words from Mr. Tafel, and watching movies. Again, as a group, we had to be reminded again of how important it is to listen to instructions. Today has been a tiring day and I am excited to start interacting with the locals.

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Before going to Microcampus, our group had a sleep-in at Pudong. We learned a lot about the requirements and expectations for us and what we should do. As a group, we had some problems with following instructions as we have our own ideas in our head telling us what to do. After Mr. Tafel pointed out to us what we were supposed to do and explaining why, I think we all understood the importance of listening to Mr. Tafel and following his instructions. One of the big topics we focused on was the wellness project, which is where we stay fit and healthy.

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Hello reader, I am Eric Y. from SASPX and I am 12 years old. I was born in Shanghai and I moved to Vancouver, Canada when I was five. I'm thrilled that I was given the opportunity of going to Xizhou for Microcampus to learn new cultures and more about this world. Throughout the experience, I was able to make some new friends and some meaningful memories.