Kristen L. (Alumni-J)'s Journal

When I was applying for Microcampus all that time ago, I had a few reasons why I wanted to go to Microcampus. I had wanted to be independent and interact with the locals. I also remember saying I wanted to see how privileged I was and appreciate what I have. These were some reasons why I wanted to Microcampus before hand.

1 Comments

Today is the last day in Xizhou. The last day of Microcampus.

Today is the last full day in Xizhou, as tomorrow we will be leaving right after breakfast. Tomorrow will be another travel day, but this time out destination will be Shanghai. I will miss Xizhou a lot, its people, food, memories.

Coming to Xizhou was a great experience, and I hope future 8th graders at SAS take advantage of this great opportunity. Tonight we will be having the Jammie Awards. This is the Grammies of Microcampus. I hope it will be fun, and top off the Microcampus memories. 

1 Comments

These past few days some of us have been drowning. And now we can come up for air.

Today we have been working on our Service Learning. Because the main people working on the project are those who cam speak Chinese, the workload falls mainly on a few people’s shoulders. In my group, Katie definitely did the most work, and she was really stressed out. After she had finished the main editing, we had a review with Mr. T who gave us a few things to tweak. Katie wanted to jump right into working again, but Mr. T told us to take a small break.

1 Comments

The Inquiry Project is like the three day hike. After the first few days of hard continuous “uphill” work, we get to relax at the top and enjoy the view.

Today is the last day for our Inquiry Project. We had to have Mr. T review our final product, so we had to actually have our product done. Yesterday was a productive day for me, and after some editing, I was ready. When I had my review with Mr. T, he gave me a few minor things to change.

1 Comments

We are almost done. We are almost there.

Today was the second day for working on our Inquiry Project. I got a lot done during this time, more than yesterday. The stress from our Inquiry work isn’t as strong as before, as most of our project should be done by now.

1 Comments

As the minutes go by, so to the days. The numbered days decrease and due dates approach.

We are now working on our final stage of our Inquiry work. We are in the process of creating our final product. We are also doing our Service Learning alongside the Inquiry Project. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little stressed about these projects. Even when you keep up with your work, things can still be a bit nerve racking.

1 Comments

When talking about the hydrosphere, many things affect it. Living things are a main factor in it. Different lifestyles will affect the amount of water that is used each day. Here in Xizhou, an act that affects their hydrosphere is farming. Crops need a lot of clean water to grow. This is why a portion of the hydrosphere is dedicated to crops. Water from Lake Erhai is taken and used for crops. If the need for crops weren’t there, not as much water would be taken from the hydrosphere.

1 Comments

The Xizhou night sky was clear and you could see the shining stars. Without adult supervision, only the stars looked after us.

Today for our evening activity, we rode the horse carts to the tongue of the lake. When the evening activity committee announced that this would be the plan, it sounded cool. Mr. T also had an announcement; he and Ms. Mai would not be accompanying us on our ride. When he told us that, I didn’t think it was a great idea. I was scared that something would happen, and someone would get hurt or do something stupid.  

1 Comments

We learned many stories here in Xizhou. And now we are working to share them with the world.

Today we started our Service Learning. Service Learning is where a group of four students pair up with a local elder and share their life story. This is a chance to give back to the village that will have harbored us for a month. Some people are shy, or just don’t want to talk to us, but there are others who are friendly and open.

1 Comments

The air in Xizhou is definitely cleaner than that of Shanghai. For one, you can actually see the blue sky here, instead of gray smog. When first coming to Xizhou, I could immediately tell that the atmosphere was very different from Shanghai’s atmosphere. Later, I observed why it may be so different.

1 Comments

Everyone likes a challenge once in a while. But going home was a comfort to us all.

Today we returned to Yangzhouran, I was delighted to be back. We arrived in the morning at about 9:15. Though I enjoyed the challenge, I really wanted to take a nice hot shower. I also couldn’t wait to stuff my face with pancakes and fill my belly. We had camped overnight at the temple (2,600 meters) and in the morning, we started to hike down at about 8:00 a.m. The hike back down wasn’t hard; it was all down hill and only took about 45 minutes.

1 Comments

During this hike, I was challenged. But when I looked out from on top of the mountain, I felt accomplished.

Today is the second day of hiking, and we climbed up the rest of the mountain. Today was not as bad as the first day. For one, we only needed to carry our day packs, and not our bulky hiking bags. In the morning, we packed up the tents and hiking backpacks and locked them up at the temple, as we were going to come back and camp there again.

1 Comments

As I left my Xizhou comfort zone, I wasn’t scared. I was nervous, but excited, for the new experiences ahead.

Today was the first day of the three day hike. We went hiked from 2,000 meters above sea level, to 2,600 meters above sea level. This took about 5 hours. The hike itself was very tiring. We climbed up the steep slope with the weight of our full and heavy hiking backpacks. The hike was all up hill, and it was exhausting. I was at the front of the pack, as I was one of the least fit. I had to set a pace I that could maintain. 

1 Comments

We left the Shanghai bubble when we came to Xizhou. And now, we are also leaving our Xizhou comfort zone.

Tomorrow, we will be leaving for our big three day hike. This hike is going to be way out of my comfort zone. Camping out on the tongue of the lake was though and different enough, and now I have a chance to challenge myself even more. Tonight, for the evening activity, we are packing for the hike. I am nervous, yet excited.

1 Comments

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit”

Microcampus mean getting out of the bubble that Shanghai incases us in. While in the bubble, we may have been able to put on an act that tricked people into thinking we were excellent. But here, we have realized that acting for 28 days is not possible. Here, we have to turn our acting into habit.

1 Comments

Fun begins with imagination. And imagination always brings fun.

Tonight, our evening activity will be Mr. T’s Allstar-Wizbang Trivia Night. All work teams (our groups for Service Learning) are required to have a team costume and super secret name. Today, many groups went out shopping for their costumes. Everyone is excited for the evening activity, and I can’t wait for the trivia to begin. Though no one knows what kinds of questions will be asked.

1 Comments

 

Being responsible is essential when earning trust. And we have been given even more responsibilities.

Today was the first day where we could choose our own schedule for WIPPIS time. We were responsible for coordinating our teacher support time with our chosen schedule. Here in Microcampus, we have to be very responsible and very independent. During the past few days, we have been given many opportunities to show how responsible we have been.

2 Comments

The biting cold was ever present without the shelter of Yangzhouran. Though the colors of sunrise warmed our hearts.

Last night, we camped out on the tongue of the lake. This morning, we woke up early so we could see the International Space Station fly across the starry sky. Though the sky was beautiful, it was freezing cold. We awoke before sunrise, and packed our tents and sleeping bags. While we where busy packing, the sun rose and we witnessed an amazing sunrise.

5 Comments

We have already gone out and began making connections to people around the village. As we meet new people, our world expands.

Today, I was out for lunch. I went to The Golden Flower for lunch and ate some yummy fried rice. I was eating lunch with two others, and while we waited for our food, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Yang. Mr. Yang is the owner of The Golden Flower, and he has owned the restaurant for 40 years.  

1 Comments

            I think that our lock in went very well. The lock in was when most of the microcampus students in the Jailbreak group spent the night at SAS. Though 3 students had to go to SHASMUN, and did not participate in the lock in with the rest of us. A good portion of the students who did sleep over had to leave early due to soccer games.

1 Comments

The time of holding the hands of our chaperones is over. It is time to let go and make the best of this amazing opportunity. 

Today was the first regular schedule day. We still needed a little help and reminders from Mr. T and Ms. Mai, but we were much more independent. We did SAS essentials again, and had our daily meeting. After that, the microcampus students were sent out on their own. Depending on what we had to do, we went and did it. There was no Mr. T or Ms. Mai to help us through everything. We had to be independent.

1 Comments

For science, we are required to do a reflection (instead of a regular journal) on the atmosphere, biosphere, or lithosphere of Xizhou. We are also all required to do hydrosphere. I have decided on doing atmosphere, as well as the required hydrosphere. 

1 Comments

This was the second morning waking up in a new home. I looked out the window and saw a beautiful sunrise.

Today was our second full day in Xizhou. We weren't quite on our regular schedule, but it was almost like one. We did SAS essentials in the morning, as we will be doing on regular days. Group Jailbreak also had their first daily meeting. We talked about our committee responsibilities, and the day's schedule. We will be having a daily meeting everyday for the next 28 days. 

2 Comments
My name is Kristen, and I am 13 years old. I am in 8th grade at SAS Pudong. Before moving to Shanghai last year, I had only ever lived in Glendale, California. Though I am a quarter Chinese, quarter Japanese, and half Korean, I sadly do not speak any language besides English. I have an older brother who also attends SAS, and is in 11th grade; we don't get along well. I also hate spiders and scary movies. Some of my hobbies include reading, drawing, and watching T.V. I am currently in Xizhou, and it already feels like a second home. I am very excited to experience more of Xizhou as the trip goes on.