Alex, Brandon, and I are using Brandon's workspace
Part Four: Reflection (to be posted in each student's Service Learning workspace)
1) What did you learn about your elder as a result of this experience? (2-3 sentences)
2) What did you learn about Xizhou's history as a result of this experience? (2-3 sentences)
3) What did you learn about 20th Century Chinese history as a result of this experience? (2-3 sentences)
4) Describe the experience of sharing your final video with your Service Learning partner--please copy/paste this as your daily journal (2-3 paragraphs)
5) What recommendations do you have for future Microcampus students who will be involved in a Service Learning project? (minimum 3 recommendations)
Brandon, Alex, and my service learning partner is Mrs. Dou, the tofu vendor. During this experience, I learned all about her life. I learned about when she was young, I learned about when she got married, and I learned about her life as a tofu vendor now. I learned that Mrs. Dou is a hard-working women who wakes up every day at 4-5AM just to make tofu to support her family. I did not really learn a lot about Xizhou's history because she did not wish to speak about it. She did not grow up in Xizhou, but was married to here when she was 25. She was originally born and raised in the nearby village Zhou Cheng. She also did not wish to speak about China's history and her memories back then, but she was growing up during the Great Leap Forward, so she didn't get to go to school or have any form of education. She had to work when she was young to earn money for her food and shelter. I know that life was really hard back then, and she has gone through a lot.
I had a wonderful experience showing our video to Mrs. Dou. Mrs. Dou brought a friend with her, and when we got to Ran Yi Xiang, I took her cart because she seemed tired and it's hard to maneuver through the alley way to get to YZR. It was actually really fun pushing the cart, Alex and I worked together and slowly pushed the cart around the corners, trying not to bump the wheels on everything. The cart was 10 years old so we were just so afraid that it will break since it was wobbling and made funny noises. When we got to YZR, I felt so accomplished even though that is what Mrs. Dou does everyday. We brought her and her friend into the presenting room (dining room) and sat them down in the first row. We served them tea and bananas and oranges and apples. Then the viewing started. I was so nervous and afraid that Mrs. Dou wouldn't like our video. We were the second group to go, Mr. T made an intro and we started. I looked back at Mrs. Dou twice and both times she was smiling, what a relief! I was pretty proud of what we did, and it really made her happy, so that''s another really big plus. Some of the videos were very touching, what the people said. All of the videos were really good and interesting. After the viewing of all the service learning videos, we all went out and each group took pictures with their service learning partners.
Then Mrs. Dou started selling her tofu. Everybody bought one and she almost ran out. She looked so happy when people came to buy her tofu and when they enjoyed it, I also felt really happy for her. She looked really cute when she smiled so we took lots of pictures of her smiling. I had a sweet glutenous rice porridge and it was pretty good, I will try the tofu one next time. We thanked her fully and tried helping her to push the cart out, but she kept taking it from me so in the end, I gave up and let her push it out. Her friend helped her and they left. We didn't buy her presents today but we will bring her flowers after breakfast tomorrow, and say goodbye to her. I will miss her and her little cart of tofu, she was really nice and really open with sharing her story with us.
Some recommendations I will have for future Microcampus groups is to have a lot of backups just in case someone suddenly stops willing. Our group had to go through 5-6 partners before we finally found Mrs. Dou. Another advice would be to plan out your time wisely, so you would not have to rush at the end to make your movie. The last advice that I would give is to make sure that you elder is willing to take pictures the first time so there would not be emergency rush when you find out your elder doesn't want pictures or videos. It is a great experience and I'm sure that they would love it!