Sejin O. (Alumni-W)'s Journal

Today was our last day in Xizhou, and Pepijn, Xander and I wanted to do something meaningful. We went out for a bike ride to the lake. It was our last day and the sky was blue as well as the water. We took pictures at the lake and it was very peaceful. I do not want to leave Xizhou, since I know it would be tough when I go back. I believe that this experience was something that changed every one of us. I am so thankful for everyone who came here and helped us. It is almost time for us to go back, and I really miss Xizhou and everyone I met during this journey.

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Today, the 4 groups shared their Service Learning video in front of Linden Center staffs, Linden Center guests, and the 4 of our Service Learning partners at the Linden Commons, Bao Cheng Fu.

We went to escort our Service Learning partners. Our partner is Zhang nainai and she is not from XIzhou.

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Today was day 25, and I had a bad mood. First of all, I couldn't go out for wellness. The work took more time than we thought nobody wanted to go out. Today was the last day of wellness, and I couldn't enjoy the perfect weather. Second, it was lonely. Since I had some conflicts with friends, I did not have anybody to talk with. It was really disappointing myself of how bad I was at maintaining a good relationship with my friends. The more the day passes, it seems like I get see the flaws and big problems of our group. I think negatively and cannot be enthusiastic about my work anymore.

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Today, electricity came back and we were able to use our WIFI and lights in our rooms again. It was scary how much we didn't know how much we relied on electricity, I had always thought I would be fine without electricity, but when there was no light and WIFI in real life, it was really difficult and sad. 

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Today, I was able to get the pearl of wisdom from Mr. T of my video that I created for my final product, sharing my learning. It was very stressful until today, I had done my best to make the video with the highest quality I can make since this was the first time for me to use iMovie and edit my own video. We had an electricity outage today, and we could not go on the internet and could not charge our laptops. It was difficult, but it was part of our challenges, and we must go through challenges and overcome them. 

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The Inquiry Project is reaching its end, and I am not sure whether I am ready to finish. I have too much that I want to share and talk about, but I must summarize my journey. However, it is still difficult and stressful to summarize my 28 days of experience in Xizhou into less than 7 minutes. All my other Microcampus friends have such a great video, and the context is so interesting. Some of the videos make me realize an important lesson, and some make me cry and moves my heart. However, I am not sure about my own video.

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Today and yesterday, I worked on my final product. My final product is a video about my personal growth and personal journey during the 28 days. I talked about the three biggest lessons I learned. I am trying to share what felt and learned, which is very stressful. I am doing my best, but the more I make progress, the more I feel, I can't do this, and I should do it all over again. 

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Today, I couldn't think of anything to write about for my journal. I know that not every day can be special, but I believe there is something to write about everyday. I am writing about how I don't have anything to write for my journal. 

We need to appreciate even a small thing. Even if the day is not special, there is something that happened that you can appreciate. For example breakfast, I ate, gratitude for a friend who helped me do the dishes, or the friends being nice and helping me. However, today, I couldn't find something to appreciate, and that is the problem. 

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Be humble enough to see your mistakes, courageous enough to admit them, and wise enough to learn from them. - Amine Ayad

This was the quote of the day. After thinking about this quote, I felt that this quote was something that was important here in Xizhou, and back in Shanghai. There are so many people, including me who aren't able to see our own mistakes, and brave enough to admit those mistakes.

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Today was my last day for my inquiry project. I had 9 days to talk with the people in the village and 18 days to become a part of the Xizhou community. During the 18 days, I think I have changed a lot. First, I have grown and second, I have changed. I have grown both mentally and physically. My height has grown, but more importantly, the way I think and my mind has grown a lot. The new experiences and enjoying life in Xizhou has made me grow. Also, even though my goal was to learn about other people's hobby and stress, I have learned about myself. I have also changed in many ways.

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It was in the middle of the night. I woke up hearing some people shouting. I listened carefully and listened. It seemed to be a song, and some boys were singing it. I thought it was time to wake up and I looked at the clock. It was still 2: 00 am. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was too difficult. My back was numb and my legs were hurting because of the walk yesterday and the place where we set our tents had rocks in on the ground. I had to move a lot to find the best place to fit my body. But still, I couldn't sleep. I looked at my clock and it was 3:30. Then I finally went to sleep.

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We arrived at our campsite, which was next to 10 villas the Linden Center was building. The sky was blue and there was wind blowing from the mountains. The water surface reflected the mountains and the sky, and we could see the grand clouds coming over. Soon, we started our walk to the Yee village that was in the mountains. From the bottom, it did not seem that steep and high. However, I soon regret my thoughts. The path was uphills full of rocks, and we got tired very quickly. Some of my friends were really good at the hike and didn't seem to be tired.

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Today I woke up at 7:20 in the morning, which was too late. Maybe yesterday was a hard day for me. Fortunately, it was very sunny and we were excited to go out for wellness. Tomorrow, we are going camping in the mountains. I am very excited because I have never gone camping. If someone talk of 'camping' I thought of making fire and fishing. Furthermore, I like physical activities, especially the ones that are challenging and hard. Even though I might give up, I'd like to try new activities. Yesterday, during our evening activity, we tried setting up our tents.

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Today was cloudy and rainy. The sky was dark as the rain kept on falling. It was sad how we couldn't go on a bike ride for our wellness. As I had still time in the music room terrace and saw the dark clouds coming over the mountains, I started to think of all the sad things I could imagine. My mind went dark and dark as the rain slipped down my raincoat. Soon, it got chilly and I went into the music room. After I came into the music room, I had a chance to think about what it really feels like to have still time and use the time wisely.

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It was a sunny day today. We were all surprised by the rain that started to rain on a sunny day. The sun was very strong and there were no clouds in the sky. However, the rain fell, and the dark clouds started to cover the sky. Then we heard thunder followed by the huge quantity of rain. Today was a sunny day. However, it rained. I have learned today that even on sunny days and when there are no clouds in the sky, it can rain. 

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"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." 
                                                                                                                                                 - Warren Buffett

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It was a sunny Sunday and Teachers from SAS PUXI and SAS PUDONG came to visit us. After some work during the morning pitching in time, I went to the music. I wanted to learn some piano. I have always thought that the sound of the piano was really beautiful. During the time in Xizhou, I wanted to learn to play the piano and maybe become be able to play some songs. So, I sat on the piano and turned on my computer. The first two songs that came to my mind was Love Scenario, and Way Back Home, both Korean songs. They were songs that some of my friends also knew.

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After our wellness outside, we went near the Si Fang Jie. We went through the other entrance and went to watch different shops to buy a tie-dye for my mother. There were many colorful stores that sold a lot of accessories that interested me. We were also able to have some conversations with the local people. As we walked through the streets we were able to buy some spicy tofus. Two of my friends payed, and I ate most of the food. I was really sorry that I ate too much, and promised I would buy them the next time we go to the street.

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In the morning, after the late breakfast, we started the 150 years in 150 minutes lecture from Mr. Tafel. We learned the 150 years of history of China. It was very interesting because it was a new concept of looking and understanding the history of China and. I learned Chinese history when I was in middle school in Korea. However, I had to come to China during my semester and I was not able to learn the modern parts. I was so glad I was able to learn how China, the country I am living in. Mr. Tafel was a great storyteller and a fun teacher.

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Today, for our WIPPIS time, after our Inquiry work, some of us went to the windmill and some of us went to the tie-dye factory. In my case, I went to the windmill, because I wanted to watch the view from the hill and the beautiful lines of the windmills. It was really sunny and all of us were steaming and sweating inside the bus. The road going up to watch the windmills was very bumpy and full of rocks. When we opened the window of the bus, the strong wind came in, and everybody silently enjoyed the coolness. 

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Already 5 days have past since 19(including Sophie) of us have arrived in Xizhou. Today is another sunny and warm day in Xizhou. I was able to feel that it was now spring. The sun is strong and my back was getting hot when I sat in the terrace in front of the music room. Bees were attracted by my yellow clothes and flew around me. I like Xizhou a lot. So today, I would like to write about what I like about Xizhou. 

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Today was a 'real' Microcampus day in Xizhou. The schedule was now the official schedule of Microcampus, which was quite tough. After lunch, we started the WIPPIS(Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, and Still Time). I started WIPPIS by doing my Inquiry Project. I had a quick conversation with Mr. Tafel and Ms. Mai for my 3-to-5s. They gave me so manny helpful resources, and I was able to finish my work in time. As I finished my inquiry work, I felt this delight and wildness coming out inside me.

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After lunch and meditation we were ready for our bike ride. We all went into class 1 for Mr. Tafel's lecture on SAFE which meant 'Spacing', 'Avoidance', 'Focus' and 'Effective Communication'. We learned that we had to call out a lot whenever we stopped or turned our direction. We were also told to call out whenever we were passing by our friends during the bike ride. It was so exciting to imagine riding bikes all together around the Lake. The first half of the 16 people, where I was in, were able to choose our bikes and go on first.

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It is the second day of my trip to Xizhou. Right now, I am writing this journal with 3 other friends in a canola flower field. The sun is now almost gone, and I can only feel strong wind hitting my face, while the white clouds are passing by. The mountains are dark and the clouds passing over the clouds is getting bigger and bigger.

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When I first stepped outside the Dali airport, I was able to feel the soft breeze of the air of Dali. The sky was light blue with the white cloud passing by. The smell of the air was fresh and clean compared to the air I had breathed in Shanghai and in Seoul, Korea before I came to China. It was the moment I was able to realize that there was a place in China where the air is so fresh that filtered my lungs and took out the thick, tough air inside. Mr. Tafel told us that today was really cloudy in Dali. I was so surprised and thrilled.

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For five years, I lived in Korea and had almost forgotten all of my experiences of other countries outside Korea. In my school in Korea, we students had stereotypes and negative opinions of China the country itself, and the Chinese people. My friends and I though the Chinese weren't intelligent like us, and were very outdated. We also thought China was very dirty and poor compared to Korea. However, I my grandfather and dad had studied and traveled China a lot when my father was in college. They told me China would become one of the strongest and dynamic country in the world.

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Click Click, 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a Friday, it was the sound of my mouse clicking to see the update for the Microcampus. Fortunately, I saw my name on the list, but i decided not to like it too much because there were other friends who could make it. Now, here I am gettting ready for the Microcampus adventure. I'm very excited about the new experience and skills i will get to learn in a traditional village, Xizhou. I"ve never heard of Xizhou and that was also one of the reasons why i had applied. I wanted to learn more about China, and this new school.

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I'm a 15 years old Korean Boy. I was in Xizhou during my first year in China as part of the W group, Wildifre. I really liked the blue sky as well as the strong sun. Lake Erhai and my 28 days with my 15 other friends is something I miss a lot. It was also an experience that changed my life. I hope the future Microcampus groups will also have a great time in Xizhou. Take a ot of pictures of your friends and the Xizhou community! Enjoy your journey and always help each other.