Xander L. (Alumni-W)'s Journal

I am part of Microcampus as most of the people reading this know. To look at why I joined Microcampus you have to look back about two years to sixth grade where I first heard the term Microcampus. All I knew was that people went somewhere. Just knowing that and who I am I was intrigued. I have always loved adventure and travel.
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I have many feelings about leaving Xizhou. The most prominent one the feeling of excitement to meet my friends back in Shanghai. I feel like I have missed a lot and can not wait to get back. But there are other feelings of sadness that I wish I could stay here longer. I think that I have come to really enjoy Xizhou and wish I could stay longer. I think that there are many people but in the community, I think that I really like Mr. Yang and do not want to leave. From the linden centre, I think that I will miss the most, Mr. Yang and Mr. Linden.

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I created my service learning video with the help of Erin, Evan, and Emily. Mr. Tan owns a local shop that is a couple of doors down from Yang Zhuo Ran. He was born during a time when China was in chaos, and everyone was living in poverty. His old career was as a photographer. He opened up a photo booth even though it was illegal. Mr. Tan was forced to farm as a teenager and adult and not allowed to go to school. Mr. Tan did not continue his hobby of photography because he thought it was pointless.
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Today I woke up and I was ready for a hot shower and hot food. I went to turn on the light and heard what sounded like thunder but I just thought someone must have been moving a chair or table. The light did not turn on and I started to realized what had happened. The shower was cold, really cold. We walked into the dining hall and there was no food, and no kitchen staff. We waited and eventually, Mr. T got out the food. Then the sky fell down... April fools! Today was also April fools but no one played any pranks.

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Today there was a power outage. Of course, we knew it was coming. It was not scary or maddening but it was a nuisance. This morning the shower was so cold it gave me a brain freeze and I was doing everything in the dark from brushing my teeth to making my bed. Breakfast was cold pretty cold and somethings were not there ( the best things). My computer is old and really bad. After only two hours my computer was out of power. The linden centre had power from 11:00 to 2:00 so I went there with my Service Learning group to do work and charge our computers.

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Today I went out with Pepijn to play volleyball. We planned to go to the empty parking lot and play keep it up. After twenty minutes or so a kid came up to us but we couldn't understand him well enough. Pepjin asked him if he wanted to play with us. Laughingly the kid accepted. We proceeded to slowly play. After a while the kid picked it up and we went around the triangle multiple times. Suddenly without telling us he ran away. After ten minutes of us continuing to play he showed up and we conttinued. After a while he had to go to eat and we said goodbye.

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Today I finally wrapped up the last of my inquiry work. The only thing left to do is to have my pearls of wisdom check with Mr. T. I plan to have that conversation tomorrow. Finishing the work lifts a weight off of my shoulders and lets me enjoy my time here. But now Serice Learning is coming up and the weight is put back on. Even though I will be glad to be back in Shanghai I will miss Yang Zhuo Ran and the Xizhou community. This time in Xizhou has taught me many things and hopefully, all those things will stick with me back in Shanghai. 

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Today was the first day of the final projects. The hours building up to inquiry time were filled with fret and worry. We all had our worries, not finishing, to much work. But as the time came, the work went by like the wind by the end of inquiry time My script, introduction, recordings and part of my editing was done. Once again Mr. T was right that the work would be very attainable and by the end, we would all come out with a good product.

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Yesterday Phase three was due before five four five. Today was our first day to start and finish Phase four. We sat down in classroom at 1:15 and started to work on it. It took most people until 3:00 to finish. Phase four was about creating an outline for our final product. After completing the Phase in one day I felt really productive and for most people probably a weight was lifted of their shoulders. Just as we started the other parts of our day it started to rain, then pour.

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Today was a normal day up until I went to bed. But one difference was that at WIPPIS I realized all the other still times I had been outside sitting or in the courtyad staring at the sky. Today I went to the terrace. The terrace has a great view of the mountains and of the traditional houses around Yang Zhuo Ran. I realized that it was much more peacefull and nice being here than sorounded by other people having voices pop in your head. On the terrace I can think about me and what I want to. The only sounds are the chirps of birds the wind on the leaves.

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Today was the last day for math essentials. We have finally finished the last packet. Now all I have to do is work on finishing the last requirements for the other subjects. I have been really interested and enjoying science. I have been enjoying creating my product and figuring out the science and technology behind my product. I finally finished my script and presentation for the teusday when I get back and hopefully my idea is liked.

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Today we went to see Ms. Duan. She is one of our service learning to be partners. Today we had a ten minute conversation with her. She said that she was able to make the video showing and have multiple meetings to film and was okay with being in a video. Finally we made a meeting for tommorow and were on our way to making a service learing video. On Tursday we plan to go to our service learning partner to go film for the ifrst time.

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Today we woke up from a really cold sleep and rocky bed. We packed up camp and went to the resturaunt to eat breakfast. After breakfast we strted on our trek to meet the bus. At first the hike was a little bit boring but then the hike started to get really good. Then with 45 minutes left Mr. T said people who thought the pace was to slow could go ahead and go faster. Me and 6 other students went up ahead with Mr. Yang, Ms. Funky Fung, and Mr. K. The view was amazing and there was a part where we had to put our feet in footholds in the wall to walk down.

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Today we had a shortened SAS essentials to only one hour. We were called to the kitchen to make our sandwiches. The bus ride was long but felt short because me and Pepijn played lines and boxes with me for almost an hour. We arrived at the campsite almost two hours later. For the campsite we climbed in to an area fenced in. When we first got in there was a pile of tracha nd dead fish. That one moment set my first impression. But after some time I realized that it was pretty good and the clouds looked really nice and the stars were very bright.

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Today before lunch Alan told me that he had found a nice tree for stilll time just down the road from Yang Zhuo Ran. At WIPPIS time we hopped on our bikes and rode to the lake first. We tried the north route but when we got there we were a little dissapointed. There was no room and there were dead fish, birds and old fire ashes. We headed back with the wind blowing us back. When we finally turned down the street we could hear the music from the festival at the temple and smell the incense they were burning. We got up to the tree and for some reason I felt like I recogniized it.

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The first half of today was us walking around doing our thing with the clouds hanging above us. There were rain drops every few minutes and the ocasional breeze. The temperature was colder than yesterday and the wind bit at your skin. Then at lunch the rain started to pick up but the rain stayed at a constant little drizzle. After lunch back at Yang Zhuo Ran the rain started to pick up. The rain was the final ending to my plan to bike to the farms. Since the rain was pouring the road was slick. once again the rain had ruined my plans and almost everyone elses.

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Today I walked out of my room and saw that the ground was wet. I though they must have been watering th eplants because it never rains in Xizhou. As the day progressed around meditation time we started to feel rain drops but there were no clouds above us. Then the rain started to pick up but again there were no clouds above us we were in full sunlight. Then it stopped again and for a while. Finally as my teacher support (Mr. Yang) and I were in the middle of inquiry conversations the rain started to pour. We had to run back to Yang Zhuo Ran in the pouring rain.

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Today 8 students ate out for lunch and 8 ate in for lunch. It was four teachers with two students. I took Alan Ms. Emily, Dr. Mott, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Warren to the muslim resturaunt. We each had a sandwich and four of us had soup the other two Dr. Mott and Ms. Emillly had dry noodles with meat. I think everyone liked the resuraunt alot. After lunch we wen t to the icecream store and each of us got the unique flavored icecream. After the icecream the teachers left and said goodbye. Mr. Warren of course we will see tommorow.

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Today at 9:00 fifteen teachers from SAS came to observe our day.  Some I knew others I did not. Some are staying for two days others are staying for a week. Today was just like the others and I dont have much else to talk about so here is a qoute: Every house guest brings you happiness some when they arrive and some when they are leaving.

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Today I slept in to 7:40. Breakfast was the same as every day except there was bacon. The bacon was realy good and a great start to the day. After breakfast we had to do our wellness reflections for the week. Then later we decided that we were going to watch a movie for evening activity. After a long time we finally figured out how to work the projecter. Todays lunch I was supposed to eat in Yang Zhuo Ran but as everyone came down from lunch nobody was in the litchen and there was no food. It turns out that the kitchen staff thought that there was noone eating in today.

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Today was our first weekend day. Mr. T gave a speech on the history of China he taught us about the history of modern China and the people in power. He taught us the timelines of each leader and their personalities. It was a long 2 hour lecture but it was very interesting. Afterwards I felt like I knew China and its history like I didnt before. We learned the history from the Qing dynasty all the way to now. In the morning after breakfast Me and three other people went to the wet market. We wanted to see the chickens again but at a new angle.

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Today was our first "field trip" we had two choices, to either go to the tye dye shop or the wind farm. We rode a bus that fit the entire group. The road to the wind farm was very bumpy. The most suprising part about the journey was that right before the windmill we were on a really thin road. Then Mr. T said that everyone had to go to the left side of the bus. The road was so small thet to be sure we would not fall over everyone went to the right. Once we got to the windmill we stood there and took pictures of the amazing view and the windmills in the distance.

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Today started off with me walking out of my room and a chorus of Happy birthdays. At breakfast I got my card filled with nice notes from the people on the trip and the food was really good as always. At SAS essentials I checked my email to find almost fifteen emails filled with happy birthdays and confetti. Today was my day to eat lunch out. Me and a group of three other people walked to Shi Fang Jie to eat lunch. After walking around for a while we walked towards the muslim section of Shi Fang Jie. We stumbled across a noodle place and orderes beef raman.

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Today started off like every other day, getting up and eating breakfast. But unlike the other days, we went all the way through the day. At breakfast each day they have a new fruit at breakfast. Today that fruit was long yan. I had never tried that fruit before and I loved it. We did SAS essentials and all the WIPPIS time. Today was a work day. We did our Committee meetings and had our daily Microcampus meeting. We talked about the plans for things coming up. I finished up my 3 -5 conversation with Mr. T and found a lot of helpful resources for my inquiry project.

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Today started with waking up and going to breakfast. Today was my day for dishes so I went to breakfast a little bit early to eat first. After the dishes, we had our first session of SAS essentials. We had to finish our first packet of math work. After that, we had our first daily meeting. In the meeting, we talked about the schedule for today and tomorrow. The most exciting part of the day was biking around Xizhou and the farms around it. The bike ended at the lake and we took a ten minute still time to look at the lake and the mountains around it.

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Today was the day that we were exploring Xizhou and the people in it. First off we went on a tour around Xizhou and Yang Zhuo Ran. Then we went to lunch and came back to do some final prep stuff. On the tour of Xizhou, we passed the market. In the market, they were selling fruit, veggies and freshly killed chickens. As we walked past we could hear the squawk of chickens and ducks being plucked from their cages and killed. Blood covered the road and baskets were filled with the guts of chickens.

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Today started off with me and the 15 other Microcampus students getting on a plane for four hours. After getting off at the airport and packing our bags onto the bus and taking an hour-long bus ride to our final destination. Today was packed with lessons and rules that we needed for the 28 days in Xizhou. The plane ride felt longer than it should have and it was really nice stepping out of the plane. Packing the busses took long every time we thought we had packed the bags right the bus couldn't close.

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This blog post is to find what I know/ think I know about the place that we are going, Xizhou in the Yunnan province. What I know of Yunnan is mainly the geography which I learned from my background research. The Yunnan province is covered by mountains and plateaus. These mountains were created from the Indian tectonic plate pushing up into the Eurasian tectonic plate. The Xizhou area is in a valley near a lake called lake Erhai. The people of Xizhou I do not know much about. These things will be assumptions that I have of the residents that live there.

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I am 14 years old and really enjoyed Microcampus. I am Canadian although I was born in Shanghai, China and have lived there for almost my whole life. Other than the nine years I lived in China, I lived in Canada for four. I liked showing my learning of Xizhou into the final product. I had fun and learned a lot by creating the Service Learning video