Justin Y. (Alumni-I)'s Journal

Today is the second last day that we will be at Xizhou. Tomorrow morning, we will be on the bus to the airport that will depart to Shanghai. Today, we will be packing up all our things so that we would be ready for tomorrow, writing a review for the Linden Centre, among other things that are requirements on the list. Since tonight will be the last night we will every be at Xizhou, the evening activity folks have planned a suprise activity for us that will (hopefully) be fun. Today is also the day where we will be saying good-bye to the friends that we made in the village.

0 Comments

Service Learning Sharing went not that smoothly for our group, but rather pretty rough. Our Service Learning Partner loves to go to the market to play Chinese Chess with one of his very close friends. He seemed to have misunderstood our request for him at Yan Zhou Ran. He thought he needed to leave his house at 3:00 P.M. and arrive later after 3:00 P.M. The whole Service Learning process was slowed down because of our group. 

0 Comments

Service Learning, as Mr. T says, is the most difficult project in the Microcampus program. It requires all the group members to contribute in the process and also, we need to be able to speak good Chinese so that we can translate and interact with our Service Learning partner. For every ten contacts we make in the village, one of them might become our Service Learning Partner. Now I see why Mr. T made this statement and how it is true. Yesterday, we finished filming our Service Learning partner and today, we are editing, translating, adding subtitles, and cutting the video.

0 Comments

From this point on, there are 4 more days until Microcampus ends and we go back to Shanghai. Today, at 14:00, we cannot do anymore Service Learning filming and our final product has to be submitted for teacher review. There is a lot of work going on in Yan Zhou Ran, and most people are pretty up to date with their work and should be able to submit their final product for teacher review. On Wednesday is the whole groups trip to Dali Old Town, and everyone is extremely excited.

0 Comments

Needless to say, today was like yesterday. It was extremely busy and tiring. I had a little bit of time today to relax and chill out, but most of today consisted of recording, speaking, and typing. Tonight was girls night out for evening activities, so the boys stayed in and chilled out. Also, today we worked on our week 3 wellness reflection. Today is the second last day that we are able to work on our Inquiry Project and Service Learning work. Overall, today was an extremely busy day because of Inquiry work and Service Learning work. 

0 Comments

On the previous day, we were supposed to finish our Phase 4 in two hours, but I did not. Today, I had to spend some of my Inquiry time doing Phase 4, so I am a little bit behind on my Inquiry Project. Even though today is a weekend, it was still a pretty busy day. We had to do wellness, still time, pitching in, Inquiry work, and service learning project work. Our group was extremely behind on our service learning work because we still did not have a partner before today. Today, Adeena and I went out to find a Service Learning partner, and succeeded.

0 Comments

Instead of writing a journal, today I will be introducing the hydrosphere in Xizhou and reporting on the observations I made on local practices/daily usage. The second largest body of water in the whole of Kunming, Lake Erhai, is considered the "mother lake" in Xizhou. Due to the fact that Kunming has many ethnic groups and ancient sites, it is a huge tourist attraction. A lot of the waste that tourists and locals dump converges at Lake Erhai. On the three day hike, our first stop was next to the white house. I noticed that there was a man built stream that was running down the mountain.

0 Comments

Today, everything started out normally, except the fact that I was a bit late for breakfast. After breakfast, I had to do dish duty, and then we started working on our SAS Essentials. Today was the second last day that we are able to do our SAS Essentials work, so we worked extremely hard to do in the hope that we would be able to finish our work tomorrow. Besides these things, today would also be our one and only day to work on our Phase 4. We would start to work on Phase 4 at 13:00 and we have to be finished with Phase 4 by 15:00.

0 Comments

Today's morning started out normally with the normal routine. We had breakfast, SAS Essentials, the Daily Meeting (which, by the way, had me as its facilitator), pitching in, and there will be lunch after that. After WIPPIS Time, there will be a small group of Ignite students that will be going to Dali old town. Many people cannot go to Dali old town because we made huge mistakes the day before the trip so Mr. T does not trust us enough for us to go to Dali old town. Since Mr.

0 Comments

In the morning, everything started out normally. We had breakfast, SAS Essentials, the Daily Meeting (Which, by the way, had me as its minute person), Pitching In, and Lunch. During WIPPIS Time, I signed up for teacher support with Mr. Tafel and found out a lot about casket making and the selling/buying of it. I also went to interview Mr. Du (antique seller) about casket making and it turns out that he also knows a lot about casket making. Mr. Tafel and I also had a discussion about hangers and hooks.

0 Comments

As I woke up this morning, I felt that my back, my hips, and my feet were extremely sore because of the hike yesterday. Today was a pretty normal day, so I had to adjust from the physically demanding life on the mountain to the normal life at YZR. Everything was back on schedule and we continued on with our wellness, journals, inquiry work, and service learning work. The only difference today compared to other normal days at Microcampus was that we have to do our week 2 wellness reflection today.

1 Comments

"Most traffic accidents happen 2 km away from the driver's house, " comments Mr. T. He states that people get careless and relieved when they are almost back to their house after a long, tiring day of work. That last 2 km is when people stop being alert and that is when they cause an accident. Most people in the world do 85% of what they should be doing, and to finish strong, we had to do that extra 15% so that we could get home safe and sound. Sometimes, we have to do more then 100% so that we could help others finish strong.

0 Comments

On the second day of the hike, we went up to xiao hua dian ba (which was a hike that took 2-3 hours) and set up our tents there to enjoy the view. At xiao hua dian ba, we were able to go up to 3232 feet, which is the highest point of the mountains that we were on, and breath the fresh air. That day was an extremely relaxing day that contained almost no work and we basically had the whole day as free time. During free time, we skipped rocks, made the recording of our journals on the hike, and tried to recover so that we can be prepared for the hike tomorrow down the mountain.

0 Comments

Today, we departed for the hike up to 苍山. I anticipated that this hike would be extremely exhausting, but when I began the hike, it was way beyond my anticipation. 20 minutes into the hike, many places on my body were hurting and were extremely sore. Despite the fact that the first day's hike was physically demanding, the view was breath-taking. We could never have seen anything like that in Shanghai. Their were huge forests on the mountains with extremely fresh air that was cleansed of pollution.

0 Comments

The Lithosphere in Kunming is extremely different compared to the ground in other places (take, for example; Shanghai). The dirt in Kunming is red due to the exposure of iron. Unfortunately, red dirt has to be extremely carefully treated in order for plants to grow. However, some plants grow exceptionally well in red dirt. As I mentioned earlier, most plants do not grow well in red dirt, so the people of Xizhou have to adopt special agricultural methods to make their plants grow. 

1 Comments

"Every instruction we give is an attempt to solve a problem before it becomes one." - Mr. T. I can relate to this by refering to the laundry situation we had about a week ago. Mr. Tafel mentioned that fact that if it's your laundry day, you have to do your laundry on that day. This instruction was given because Mr. Tafel knew that if we did not do our laundry on our day, the laundry schedule would be pushed back by many days, which is exactly what happened to us.

0 Comments

By saying Field Work, it implies that I spent my whole day outside among acres of wheat and tall grass doing work. That is not actually what I meant. Today started out as a normal day for me, breakfast, SAS Essentials, Pitching In, but then during WIPPIS Time, I signed up for teacher support. During Teacher Support, I did 3 interviews and gathered information on all of those interviews. I interviewed the bakery shop just off of Sifang Jie, the antique shop owned by Mr. Yang/Ms. Ma, and I chatted for a while with the Casket Maker.

0 Comments

The day started out normally with the same schedule as every other day. Then, at around 7, we joined Mr. T's Trivia Night. There were three groups, the Anti-Socials, MC3, Bad Assets, and the Whizzity Humps. Each team had a uniform that made every group unique and hilarious. If not for the last Final Jeopardy, our team would have gotten last place, but thankfully, one team placed all their points at risk and lost all the points. However, we did not do that so we had one point remaining and got 3rd place.

0 Comments

Our first Sunday in our time at Microcampus has finally arrived. Everyone is relaxed and enjoying the environment in preparation for the next week's work. The only work that was required of us today was the Wellness Reflection. The rest of the time we had Pitching In and Freetime. Today was an awesome and relaxing day that allowed everyone to chill-out and enjoy the environment in Xizhou. 

0 Comments

Today was, indeed, an extremely relaxing day. Before the weekend, I thought the whole week would be all work time without weekends because of the fact that we are on Microcampus. Today, I realized that the weekend was still a relaxing day where we are supposed to chill-out. There is still time for us to work, for example: Today we learned about our service learning project and had a huge lesson about Chinese History by Mr. Tafel. At night, we learned how to build and take down our tents in preparation for next weeks' hike. Mr.

0 Comments

Today, instead of doing a regular journal entry, I have been assigned to do a journal related to the Earth's Systems in Xizhou. The given spheres that were given to us are the Hydrosphere, the Atmosphere, the Geosphere, the Biosphere, and the Lithosphere. To educate ourselves with these five spheres, I have to look at five previous Microcampus student final projects. 

0 Comments

Despite the fact that today was a wet and rainy day, everyone still carried on with their work. The rain and the wet floor was extremely inconvenient. When we went outside to interview people or even to eat lunch/dinner, we had to wear our rain gear and our shoes became wet. Puddles formed everywhere on the ground and the rain doesn't give the slightest sign that it is going to stop. During wellness, I had to run in the rain for a long time to meet the expectations and honestly, it was miserable.

0 Comments

Today was a pretty normal day. We followed our normal routine and continued to make connections to locals in Xizhou. I realized that we are getting used to life in Xizhou and we can more easily communicate with the locals without getting nervous. Today is the day that I am almost caught up with my phase 2 work and I hope to continue my progress on my Inquiry Project. 

0 Comments

As you can infer from the title, today was our first (and very normal) day at Microcampus. Having said that, our team of 16 Microcampus students finally started our first WIPPIS time. For those who do not know, WIPPIS stands for Welness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, and Still Time. Since we started WIPPIS, we also had our very first wellness time. I (along with three buddies) went on a run for an hour but did not achieve the "in-zone" expectation. Overall, today was a pretty normal day but with many new things introduced to us. 

0 Comments
Xizhou

Day 3 in Xizhou was a day of work and introductions to new things. Committes came together to talk to Mr. T and Mrs. Mai. Inquiry Project work had to be done by those who did not finish their work over the summer. The calender was reviewed so that we knew what was going on in the first week of Microcampus. Rooms were inspected and despite the fact that two rooms out of four were extremely embarassed because of their rooms' conditions, it was hilarious. Indeed, today was a very busy day for some people but it was also really fun.

0 Comments

As today's tour guide and teacher, I have to say Mr. T did a great job in explaining everything. He made his expectations crystal clear and gave us a great tour around Xizhou. Before the tour, I was clueless about where every landmark and place is. After the tour, he helped me understand a lot more about Xizhou and where everything is. I can say that I have achieved a small sense of direction and navigation in Xizhou. 

1 Comments

The plane ride from Shanghai to Xizhou was pretty smooth, devoid of turbulence and other accidents. The bus ride from the airport to the Linden Centre, however, was not smooth at all. The bus ride took around 6 - 7 hours, and made everyone miserable, but Mr. T used his bus ride talks in an attempt to cheer everyone up. To further complicate matters, once we arrived and the bus stopped, we had to carry all our luggage to the Linden Centre, which was extremely exhausting because of the horse poop and the bumpy roads.

1 Comments

At the end of the lock-in, I feel like I have learnt much more about Microcampus and the work that we are supposed to finish during the trip to Xizhou. Microcampus is a huge event, and before we go to Xizhou, we need to do a huge amount of preparation. That is exactly what we did at the lock-in, Mr. T explained what the service learning and journal entries are, but also reviewed the expectations and deadlines for the inquiry project. The lock-in was not the best experience or time of my life, but it did teach me a lot of things about Microcampus that I didn't know or I wasn't sure of.

0 Comments
Hi, I am Justin Y. from SASPX and I am 13 years old. I was born in America, but moved to Kunming when I was four. After one year, I moved to Shanghai and attended school at SASPX. I arrived at Xizhou and was extremely excited about the Service Learning project and the Inquiry Project. I have made many friends here and I hope I can continue this journey in other places. After all, the journey does not end after Microcampus ends.