Erin Z. (Alumni-C)'s Journal

Last night when we arrived back in Shanghai and went to pick up our luggages, I thought back to the time how 28 days ago, we gathered together and headed out. I thought about how 28 days ago everyone was an excited bunch and looked forward to arriving in Xizhou. 28 days ago, we were heading to the small friendly village. 

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This Microcampus experience has changed me in ways I will never forget. Why did I come? I could make a list of 100 reasons why I came here. Once I heard about this program, I wasn't sure if I should sign up or not. After attending a few more Microcampus info sessions, I became really interested. As Mr. T explained the reasons everyone should join Microcampus, I knew this program was for me.

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Today is a big day for our Service Learning project! We met with Mr. T at 11:00 to show him our videos and made our final changes. There was a plan for us to have a party for service learning at 3:00 in the afternoon and sadly only one service learning partner came. Some student from erzhong a school in Xizhou came to watch. Also, Mr. Yang from the antique shop came and also Mrs. Duan the old service learning partner from last group. 

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No, this can't be true. 3 days left already? It didn't feel like I have spent 3 weeks here in Xizhou. I remember how excited I was on the first day of Microcampus, and now it's almost time to leave. Is it even possible for time to past so fast? I'm going to see my friends back in Shanghai next Monday and will be actually going to school on Monday...too quick...everything is too quick D:

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Today wasn't any different from the other days and though we weren't supposed to have any SAS essential time, Mr. T gathered all the Alg 1 students together for a math session. Pretty helpful and we finally finished the 2nd to last math packet! We're planning to finish all the packets by tomorrow or the next day. That's basically the schedule for the morning. 

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Hey there, there's 7 days left D: Well if you think of it, there actually only 5 days left counting today and not counting the travel day...NOOOOOO!!!! DDDDD: 

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Before we set off ot Dali today everyone gathered in Classroom 1 to work on our Phase 4. We took exactly 1 hour to finish up and in the last few minutes everyone stood up and shared their thesis statement...can't wait to see everyone's final product!

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Yes, it's true. The clock has grown wings and the numbers on that clock go tick tock tick tock from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM in a minute. Day 19, times flies or should I say time is riding a jetpack. Today was a big day for everyone. Our Phase 3 was due at 5:00 PM today so everyone started to add the final touches to their phase. It was a big day especially for Natalie and I.

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Good news! We found our service learning partner (hopefully) today! Ms. Mai took us to a shoemakers house today when Vincent and I talked to her. She seemed really nice and hopefully she will be our service learning partner. Vincent and I are planning to go back tomorrow (with Aakshi) to visit her again and get to know her better. She makes shoes for toddlers (oldest age 2), but the thing is, there are 3 people who work with her. Everyone does a special step and she is responsible for sewing the ends together which is the last step of the shoemaking process.

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My alarm "Beautiful Freaks" woke me up at 3:30 in the morning. I was planning to see the meteor shower but in the end, I just went back to sleep again. Then at 6:50 "Nyan Cat" played and woke me up fthe 2nd time. Unusual thing was that no one was in the bathroom and I felt much more awake than usual. When we arrived at the dining room, it was only Jillian, Ivy, Miranda, Alisa, Colton and me. Probably because everyone was really tired from the hike.

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So today I woke up from the bright light coming from the sun. The tent was surprisingly freezing and bright and I was about to fall asleep when Mr. T called us out to see the sunrise.

After the sunrise,  we planned to light the fire up and after a few attemps, the firewoods started burning and created a pretty big fire. Everyone gathered around the fire pit and warmed our hands and feet (by the way, thanks  Ms. Mai and Mr. T for helping us start the fire). After some breakfast and gathering up all our stuff, we headed down the mountain.

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The morning sun shone into my tent and woke Ivy and me up. Luckily I wore my contacts last night so I could see clearly and I could take them off from help of Ivy. Thanks Ivy! We had breakfast first thing and then set off to continue our hike again.

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I seriously cannot believe that it's already day 11. I'm serious time passes way too quickly...how sad :( If you think about we're almost halfway through the trip D: It felt like yesterday was just day 1 and in a flash 10 days are already gone.

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It started off as usual with breakfast and SAS essentials. Then during Pitching Time I had my conference with Mr. T about my water treatment topic. I had a hard time narrowing down my topic especially since it is pretty broad. We discussed over a few things and then I set off to work. I continued to work on my inquiry project until lunch and a bit before Natalie and I set off to the water treatment plant at 2:00 pm. 

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So we came back from camping today and the packing was really hard. Before taking down the tent, everyone gathered to the lake and saw the sun rise. It was pretty amazing because int he beginning the sun is behind the mountains and then it's up in the sky. Taking down the tent for Jillian and I was really really hard. Once we actually took it down, we had to try 3 times until it would actually fit inside the bag. Plus we had to put the stake bags inside which took more time. When the tent finally went inside that tiny bag, Mr. T came over and gave us some peanut butter candy thing.

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Finally today was our day for laundry! Right after breakfast, Alisa, Jillian and me rode our bikes while carrying 2 huge baskets filled with clothes all the way to the top. Natalie also came to show us how to use the laundry machine. Once the machine started rolling she left and we were left. We decided to wait for the laundry to finish so we could hang them up. The machines stopped rollling 10 minutes before lunch so we got back to YZR on time.

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Today started off with some people going for a morning run (Natalie, Ying Yang, Ivy, Jorge, Lucas, Colton, Hannah and me). My heart rate monitor kept on exceeding the limit so Ivy and I split away from the group and explored the farming lands. At the same time, we saw the sun rise again and though it was not as pretty as last time, it was still a good view! When we came back I saw Jillian and Miranda in the kitchen making pancakes. During breakfast the pancakes were gone the minute everyone took a bite. Pretty scary O.O 

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We started the day as with the usual breakfast but I ate oatmeal! Yay, first time eating oatmeal in my whole life but I kind of destroyed it...hehe. After we had SAS essentials (as usual) and then the daily meeting. Pitching In was the last thing of the whole morning and I had a really good time playing volleyball and badminton with my fellow friends.

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It's already day 5 here and time flies tooooooo fast. We went bike riding today for 3 hours (an hour more than the our group) toward Lake Erhai which was a beautiful sight. Before biking we played some volleyball while trying to get heart rate. Every time someone dropped a ball, we had to all do 10 jumping jacks, pretty fun actually. When the first group came back we hopped onto our bikes and got ready for a bike trip with Mr. T.

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Today was probably a mixed up crazy day for me. It was the first time we had WIPPIT time and it was pretty exciting. Many people did things according to plan and I could tell everyone had a great time. In my own perspective, I really enjoyed it because I spent most of my day biking with Miranda and Mr. T. We went to many different places and met many different locals. It was a great experience.

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It's already our 3rd day here in Xizhou and today we spent most of our time in Yangzhou Ran (YZR).

In the morning we started with our usual group discussion then we had a large amount of time to catch up on our inquiry project. Many people exercised in many different ways like bike riding, running, walking, etc. The high point of today for everyone is probably playing badminton.

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Today, I got to experience what a real Microcampus day seems like. In the morning, we had breakfast and then a group meeting. While other people attended religous services, Miranda, Aakshi, Alisa, Ying Yang, Vincent, Aiden and I went to tour the village of Xizhou. I guess it was pretty cool and amazing because we got to meet a lot of different people. It was also really tiring. Whenever Aakshi and I saw a bench or chair we would sit down whever we had a chance to. In the end, we arrived at the Linden Center and got to have a tour around the Linden Center!

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After 10-12 hours of sitting on a plane and bus, we finally arrived at Xizhou!!!! The place we're staying which is called Yang Zhou Ran is not as bad as I thought. I'm currently rooming with Alisa, Miranda, Ivy and Jillian, and Jilian is my bunkmate (she sleeps on the top bunk). We all settled in pretty quickly and the bus and plane ride was all worth it. 

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The lock-in on March 1st was really crazy. Even though I left at 8:00, I still had a really good time. Our first task was to find a way to eat dinner witha 75¥ budget. After listing some different options we decided to order pizza. The hard part was deciding how many boxes and what size to order. After doing a bunch of math and calculations, we finally ordered. The process took a while but eventually the pizza successfully arrived. Meanwhile, Mr. Monteitha and Mrs. Chen talked about our physical, emotional, and socail wellness while we're at Xizhou. We discussed with Mrs.

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Hi! I'm Erin and I have been apart of the Microcampus experience and I am thankful for the chance I got. The experience changed the way I look at my life and I have no single regret about this trip. I thank everyone who made this Microcampus trip a memorable and fantastic experience to be apart of. Thank you guys, I love you all :)