Our Service Learning partner was Mr. Yang. He is 64 and owns an antique and jade store to the North of SiFangJie.
From this experience I learned that our elder was not very happy with how China used to be. I also learned that he thinks that China is a lot better and that children now have many more oppertunities. In addition, I learned that Mr. Yang is in general a very happy-go-lucky person. He also spends a lot of time with friends.
I learned that there was a period of time in which a lot of land was taken from people, and it was very hard to make even a little bit of money. I learned that Land Distribution affects Xizhou more than many other historical events. In addition, after the Cultural Revolution, it took people a very long time to get back on their feet.
I learned that the early years of "New China" were very difficult and living situations have improved significantly. I also learned that life was very difficult for many people in these years, and many were poor. Now, times are much better.
Today was the big day of our Service Learning presentations. We confirmed with Mr. Yang, our service learning partner, that we would pick him up from his shop at 2:40. At 2:30 Max and Noam left to go get him. After they got there he took awhile to get ready. While he was getting ready they talked to him and found out that his wife would not be attending due to the bad weather. We were dissapointed, but appreciated that Mr. Yang still wanted to come.
After Noam, Max and Mr. Yang all got to Yang Zhou Ran, we gave him some tea and fruits and started with the presentations. Two groups went before us, and both of their videos were very good and their partners seemed to thuroughly enjoy them. After the second video was finished, it was our turn to share. We sat in the chairs up front so that we could see the audiences reaction better. The video rolled and the beautiful rooftop introduction came on. Our movie began with a clip of Mr. Yang talking about life in general. I think that this is a very good start for our video because it gets watchers hooked. Then we moved on to an introduction of Mr. Yang. Mr. Yang was smiling a lot and seemed to be thuroughly enjoying the video. I was really excited that he seemed to like it so much, as we had all put a lot of time into it.
As the video was getting to the half way mark, Mr. Yang got a phone call and left the room to answer it. I was very dissapointed becuase I thought that he was going to miss some of the video, but thankfully Mr. T stopped the video so that he could watch it. We finished up the video with no issues.
When all of the videos had been shared, and the thanks had been said, it was time for the partners to go home and us to go to Dali Old Town. As we were walking Mr. Yang back to his shop, he told us that he thought that our video was the best of all of the videos. He was probably biased, but it still put a smile on my face.
I think it was a great experience to get to show Mr. Yang our work. I am so glad that he was happy with how it turned out.
Future Microcampus students should make sure that they make connections with many people in the first and second week. They should also talk to them very often, and bring up filming early. If you do not bring up filming early enough, then it might be too late once they decide that they do not want to be filmed. In addition, make sure that you have at least 5 people that intially agree to being filmed. Chances are that only one if them will work out. Often after the first filming session people become "busy" indeffinately. Sometimes, people cannot make it to the showcase and then you hvae to find a new partner at the last minute, which is never fun.