Christopher L. (Alumni-B)'s Journal

            Today is the final full day in XiZhou; I really will miss this place. I will mss the sky, so high above everyone, the stars each one individual, like little pinpoints in a vast array. I guess I just really don’t want to go back to Shanghai, back into the bustle of the city, with everyone speeding through everything. If you don’t keep up you’ll fall behind and not be happy, but if you keep up it’s still to fast to enjoy at all.

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            So today we went to Dali old town for the last time in Microcampus. Now when we went there we usually just go eat dinner and buy some souvenirs. I bought a pocket watch, which doesn’t work anymore, a little trinket and a coin. For dinner I went to certain restaurant and bought a burger, it took forever to make but it was the best burger I have had since I came to China. But before this we went to a certain café called the sweet tooth.

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            Today is a day spent in-house, nothing interesting happened today although if we finish all the work then we could go to Dali old town. So I am trying to finish all of my work today. This will be our last visit to Dali old town. I think that I am more or less on target with my inquiry project.

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            The reason I decided to come to Microcampus remains a mystery to me. I’m not sure why I wanted to come, it just seemed really appealing to me during the presentation. I don’t usually go on these trips but I guess that was one of the reasons. I guess I just wanted to experience something new. Perhaps it was to get away from the people and just immerse myself in the tranquility of the area.  I think only 2 of my friends signed up to go so I had little hope of being with my friends there but for some reason I still continued.

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When we first shared our service learning video with everyone that was there... Mr. Yang wasn't there. We had originally arranged for him to be there are around 2:45 but that day he had a lot of customers thus he wasn’t able to make the meeting in time. He said that he would be there at 3:30. That is when we planned the video, but when it was 3:30 and it was time to play his video he wasn’t there.

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            I expected, ever since we started working on our final project, that nothing too interesting would happen. But today I was proved wrong. First off the lindens, the people that own where we are living, visited. For dinner we planned to make dumplings. We started at around 5, needing the dough and making the skin for the dumplings. Eventually we finished all the dumplings and started boiling them but we made the skin too thick thus the dumplings tasted horrible.

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            Well, nobody woke up at 7:00 anyway. There wasn’t too much that happened today, and I didn’t have anything good to put into the title. Today we mostly worked on our service learning and our final project for Microcampus. I’ll probably meander a lot on this post because nothing exciting happened toady. My final project is recreating the ecology of Yunnan in a isolated area, although I’m not exactly sure why I choose to use that as my final project.

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I though today was going to be a boring day today, and it was, until about 6:30PM. Before that nothing much happened, I sat in house, stared at my computer, and wrote what was going to be my plan for my final product for Microcampus. After dinner we started hitting a badminton birdie around. But then there were many more people that there usually are playing at the same time. 5 people in fact. Then Mr.

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For all those that are wondering about the title, you’ll have to read on to understand what it means. Today is a somewhat special day; it is the final day that we have to work on the third phase of our inquiry project. The third phase of our inquiry project is when we gather information in. Today we played something that is called hacky sack. But we didn’t play with a hacky sack we played with a little birdie thing, which was multi-colored. You pretty much kick the think around to each other and didn’t let it touch the floor. So after we finished kicking the birdie around.

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I finally got back onto a bike today, for those of you who don't know why I said finally it is because about a week ago I injured my knee and couldn’t ride a bike. At the end of the week had a hike. After that I was tired so for the second week I didn’t go in bike rides for a while. After all of that I finally got onto the bike and rode. We rode for about 2 hours. At about halfway we had sprints on a road that cars didn’t come on a lot although there was an occasional electric motorcycle that’s about it. We were told to ride as fast as we could so we could get our heart rate up.

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Nothing too interesting today, today was mostly just a day to relax and get back into the swing of things. I got on Skype and a certain person from my summer camp talked to me, which was a little of a surprise but I don't get on Skype often so I don't know what to expect on Skype anyway. We were asked that day to develop something called a hanger, which is more or less an idea that we focus our idea on.

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            On this specific day, we had two shopping trips. We went to a place called XiaPing, which you may have heard of in my previous journals but that XiaPing was actually called ShaBa, which is close to Xia Ping. Anyway Mark, Yifei, and I went but Yifei was going to a certain antique dealer. Mark and I went around the market to see what plants grew there and I found some strange thing. It was white and acted a lot like jelly. The seller said it was called MaoYu and I’d never heard of it. But because it was in the plant section of the area I assumed it was a plant.

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Last night we froze our behinds off at the campsite. I woke up once in a dream and in the dream I looked at the time and it was 9:00AM but we were supposed to wake up a 7:30. So I panicked and packed everything up really quickly but I ended up packing my tent partner into the bag with the tent so I had to take him out. Anyway it was a really strange dream. Later when I actually had to wake up I really didn’t feel like waking up. When I finally dragged myself out of the tent there was frost on the tent. It forever to pack up the tent, by the time we finished it was almost 8:30.

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Some people think that it's the journy that matters and not the destination. But for me, that's only what the people who don't have the resolve to finish the journey say to justfy not finishing it. As what is the point of a journey without a destination? When I climb a mountian, it is not for the work done on the mountian. There are beautiful sences along the way, but none as beautiful as it is on the peak. When we were near the peak, almost there. I asked one of my fellow Microcampus students, can I go up there? He responded that Mr.

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Today is oficcally the halfway point of microcampus and the halfway trial. how did I spend that day you ask? Well I spent it hiking, in the mountians, for about 8 hours. The day started out beautiful, sun was shineing, sky was clear, and the road wasn't too bad. But as we reached the halfway point in the trail it started to drizzle, the it started to pour. Everyone hid under a bush to take shelter from the rain, about 10 minutes later the sky cleared and we continued. A while later it started to hail, but this time we had nowhere to hide so we had to just press on.

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Nothing too interesting today, just a standered day that we go out and work on our inqury project. Today I went to see Mr. Yang, a person that raises plants. Although if you ask for Mr. Yang in this village you'll find about half the population. This is the second time I went to his house, he had grown more plants that I could count. There were several plants that flowers were actually leaves, and there were a bunch of what we think were azelas and camelias. There were also a good amount of plants from XiShuangBanNa, the tropical area of yunnan about 400km south of XiZhou.

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           Hello everyone, today I was reminded that the world is a small place and that we all have to share it with everybody. So, get into this mindset, you have just started on your research on your inquiry project of the day. You sit down on a patio; get all confortable and one of your friend’s dad walks in in a suit looking all formal. You stare at him thinking: “where have I seen him before?” and then it hits you that he’s one of your bros back home’s father. That is exactly what happened today.

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            Nothing too exciting happened today, it was mostly a day in house to let my knee heal. I found out several interesting things. I identified two of the plants that I took samples of. But the most interesting thing I found was that there was a species of Hydrangea that grows here. The only reason that I find this interesting is because in a certain manga that I read, there was a potion made from hydrangea that could bring the dead back to life, which lead me to believe hydrangea wasn’t a real plant.

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            Today I experienced another hardship of Microcampus. This time it was a physical hardship, as most of the hardships in Microcampus are mental, this one was worth writing about. It happened when Mark, Jason, Peyton and I went out to bike. Right after we got to the lake Mark and Jason, sped forward, I tried to catch up with them but Jason made a sharp turn to pick up something that Mark dropped, blocking where I was going. I slammed on the brakes, but the ground was slippery from the rain so it didn’t stop. The bike slipped and fell over, and I scraped my knee.

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Pretty chill day today, first full day off of Microcampus. It was also first day that I had to do laundry. It didn’t work to well as there were four people doing laundry that day; however, I did finish all of my laundry. Other than that there wasn’t much that we had to do that day. I watched an episode of anime, which I hadn’t done over the entire week; it was nice to relax for a day. At night there was a movie planned, but it didn’t load so we switched to Sherlock Holmes and it didn’t peculiarly catch my interest, so I left and turned in for the day.

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Today was a day mostly filled with work, I had to catch up with what I hadn’t finished in the week so I didn’t go out too much. Nothing too exciting happened today so you, reader, might as well skip today’s post. It was mostly a day to sit and work. I can’t say that I liked today, but it was a necessary day to have.  In the afternoon I had some down time and played with a hack ball, I think that’s what it’s called, which you basically kicked around to each other and tried to keep it in the air.

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Today was a very relaxed day; we went to a tie-dye place and pre-school. Mr. T, Ashley, Yifei, Nike, and me rode bikes up to the tie-dye factory. My bike’s gearshift was buggy so we had to consistently stop to fix it. At the tie-dye place we made our own tie-dye, which was very cool. It was a very relaxing process, not really rushing to finish or hurrying to go anywhere. But it required a lot of concentration and the people teaching us how to make it kept taking the tie-dye away from us because we weren't doing it correctly. Right after we finished the tie-dye we went to a pre-school.

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Finally went into the mountains today, collected several samples from some interesting plants. Got a blue flower, and a fern among several other assorted plants. Each individual plant was interesting not to mention that I got in 12 minutes 36 seconds in the zone. Although I cannot identify each individual plant I find each of them interesting. This is the experience that I had signed up for, just freedom to learn whatever you want to learn and not just to be taught and have to learn what you are taught.

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Hello everybody and welcome to my Microcampus journal. Today was a beautiful day that we spent out in the mountains; I got some good information about the local and invasive species of Yunnan. I found out that a plant called ZiXinZhiLan is the most common invasive species. I got a sample of it and am currently pressing it to preserve it. The plant has triangle leaves and a purple stem and is, if I am not mistaken, related to Juhua tea. I also got samples of Yunnan pine and han dong gua which are two types of trees.

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Hello everyone! This is day 5 of Microcampus, and today I have an interesting story that happened to me. Possibly one of the low points of Microcampus but I felt it was exciting. So as I went out to jog about half way through it started to rain. At that time it was just a light pitter-patter of rain that didn’t surmount too much. But as we started to go back it picked up speed, pelting us with icy shards as we were at altitude and the water hadn’t completely melted yet. Then coming back we got a little lost so we were out for another 30 minutes after that.

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            Today we must go back in time to see how this journey all began. It all began by waking up at 4:30, eating a hurried breakfast consisting of pretty much only oatmeal. Then taking everything needed and going to the airport. There we would begin out 14-hour long trip to XiZhou. The flight there was annoying for me as I can never fit in the seats on airplanes. The bus ride was longer than the plane ride but there was more legroom. You watched as we went from the city into the countryside and the scenery changed from very cramped to very wide and open.

 

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            Just finished the day today, almost going to turn in to bed. Today was a pretty chill day; we had terrace time in the morning, which was relaxing. There was nothing too exciting today; my roommates and me went on a 20-minute jog. Through the jog I really felt the air up here was thinner and the terrain was much more rugged. Although the air here is much clearer so I felt much more refreshed after the jog than I usually would at Shanghai.The sky was clearer today, yesterday it was a little foggy and you couldn't see too far.

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            Hey everyone who’s reading this, I have finally arrived in XiZhou, isn’t exactly as I expected it to be like but it is a pretty nice place. There are more motorcycles than I had hoped but all in all it’s a good place. We live in Yang Zhou Yuan, which used to be the old town hall of the village. I haven’t started to do much of my inquiry work yet as we are still getting settled in but I think I will start working on it today. I hope that I will get to go out into the village and get some information form the people or go into the mountains to collect some samples.

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Hey everyone! So my name is Christopher but you probably saw that around three times before reading that so I assume you already know that. I am currently a student of the Microcampus trip and I am researching the plants and animals of the area. I wasn't born in a large city so none of this is too surprising to me but it's great to be back in a familiar surrounding as the one I was born in. The flora around here is amazing, with huge amounts of wildflowers and interesting plants. The people here are really accepting and willing to tell their story. Completely opposite of large cities like Shanghai where the attitude is usually buy something or leave. All in all I’m loving my experience at Microcampus.