Hannah P. (Alumni-J)'s Journal

I thought I was coming to Microcampus for many reasons. To discover a new culture, and to step outside of the bubble etc. Microcampus was much more than that. I experienced so many things and I also learnt a lot about myself. I learnt some strengths and weaknesses that I have, and also what I am extremly bad at. I have made some small mistakes, and also some big ones. Thorugh that I have realized the extreme levels of procrastination that I have, and also sometimes I have an inability to follow rules.

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My service learning partner was Mr Yang the tailor. He is 63 years old and has lived in Xizhou his whole life. He enjoys life now, but as a child it was difficult, like during the cultural revolution, or during the great leap forward.

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Tonight was GNO. Girls night out. It was pretty good, we frollicked in the garlic fields for a whille, and we walked all along the paths. I was afraid that I would fall in to the water. Some parts were very narrow, and others were just very squishy and unstable. Sometimes I felt like I was going to fall, but I never did. 

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Although the title says that we were relaxing, that was only after all of the work was done. We stated with finishing our Inquiry Projects, and then we did service learning. We had to meet with Mr T and a native Chinese speaker. I did have some breaks, where I took several naps. I had a very productive day, I did all of my work, and I even got to relax a little bit. If you would like, you can visit my Final Product. You will see my work, and also my video!

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We woke up a little late, but we still got up and went to breakfast. After that, we set to work. I started early, and I just worked the whole time. You can see my Phase 4 and Final Product. I finished my video, and started my reflection. I did not have much time to do my Journal, but you can see everything I did. 

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I set an alarm for midnight, and I fell straight to sleep. At 11:45 I woke up, and I looked at my clock. I was early, but I decided to head out there anyway. I put on a thermal, a hoodie, sweats, and I brought my sleeping bag with me. I climbed up the stairs, barefoot, and I tip toed along the walkway. I got outside then I looked up at the stars. There was so many stars, a huge amount, only a couple inches away from eachother. (or so it seemed.) I sat down and I climbed into the sleeping bag.

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This final earth journal will be about the Hydrosphere, and water affects in Xizhou. About 80% of the water people use here come from the lake close to Xizhou, Lake Erhai. The other part comes from other places, like the mountains, or underground sources. Because of global warming, the ice and snow on top of the mountains has decreased in levels, and also the amount of water in general.

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Our evening activity tonight was a horse cart ride to the tounge of lake er-hai. We walked down to Sifang-Jie, while we waited for the drivers to get there. Some people stayed behind, but the rest of us went on the ride. It was 6:30 when they arrived, and we had already been seperated into groups. I was with Cynthia, Diego, and a few other peole. We climbed in, Diego and I in the back. The cart was tipped far back, it seemed like we could fall off at any moment. The others got in the front, we waited for some of the people who were late, then off we went.

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Today some people went to Dali old town, and a few others stayed behind, like Noam and I since we had injuries. As the other people left, we followed behind them to head to Sifang Jie. As we walked to the square, we talked about our Inquiry projects, and debated on what we were going to eat. I did not care, as I was extremely hungry, and I was in the mood for anything. We finally decided on getting some Won Tons. We ordered, then chose a table to sit at. We sat down got comfortable, and waited for our food. When the food was ready, the chef called us up to grab our food.

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At 11:00 I had a meeting. Not a regular meeting, but one with the principal of a local Kindergarten. Kelley, took me to the kinder, it was on the way to the Linden Centre. We exited Sifang Jie, then we stopped at the little exersise play ground. We went down an alley, right accross from it. We kept walking, following the noise of screaming children. We reached a big red door, and tried to enter.

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Today I will write my observations for the biosphere in Xizhou. While we were on the mountain, I discovered and abundance of things. There were many different plants but the one I saw the most on the mountains were pine trees. As we were climbing up the "remote" part of the mountain, we saw many of those pine trees, sticking out everywhere. Pine trees are very popular here because of the temperature. Also the fact that they do not need a lot of water.

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Today the rest of the kids from the hike came back early. I had breakfast about 8:30. Bryce made French toast, and there were pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast, fruit, and more. It was really delicious. Bryce, Noam, and I had some breakfast while we waited for the rest of the group to come back. At about 9:30, Ms Mai said they just got off the bus, so we went around back to wait for them. First we saw Kristen, followed by the rest of the group. We welcomed them back, and then went inside. Another breakfast, and then we had a daily meeting.

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I was walking down the steps, slowly, one step at a time. I was carrying a heavy hiking backpack, and a daypack full of water bottles. I was walking and then almost as I reached the bottom, a tripped on a loos step, I thought I had caught myself, so I took another step. I lot my balance, and my legs colapsed underneath me, and I fell. I felt as though it was happening in slow motion. I couldn't stop myself, no matter how hard I tried. My knee slammed into the side of a stone rubbish bin. A sharp pain shooting up my leg, I thought that my knee had shattered.

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Hiking, running. Not my thing. Eveyone has their "thing", hiking is just not mine. Today was hard. Really hard. We started walking up a hill, a very large hill, and I got tired after the first 45 minutes. We took a couple breaks then headed on up. We reached a tea plantation after about another 45 minutes, and then we walked off trail. We walked beside a irrigation system, and then after 30 minutes of walking along an edge, Mr T stopped us. 'Here it is!" He said. Pointing up an overgrown "trail" like thing. I was scared, I have to admit, but I went for it, and I regretted it. 

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Discipline yourself so others do not have to. 

This is one quote that is extremely true in many cases, especially on Microcampus. We must take control of what we need to do so people do not control us. During Microcampus, we need to manage ourselves and what we do. If we do not do this, some one elso has to clean up our mess, and that does not teach us to teach ourselves. For example, if you do something wrong, you have to tell someone about it, or fix it yourself. You cannot rely on others to pick up your messes, you must do it yourself.

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Today was interesting. We had a regular day... NOT! We had a regular day up until WIPPIS time. We got to either go to a wind energy farm, or a tie dye factory. I went to the tiedye factory with all the girls. And yes, Diego came too. We got to go there, take a bit of a tour, learn about tie dye, how it works, but also, we got to learn how to do it! We chose our patterns, and set to work. 

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My team. The greatest team of all. Complete costume of, Poo Pants, Snapbacks, Sunglasses, with a finishing touch of a draped hoodie and hiking boots. To say the least, we looked gourgeus. Isaac wore saggy pants, an ulgy hat,and sunglasses. We walked into the trivia room looking so swaggy.*whispers* So swaggy. We sat down, us in the upper left corner of the room. 'Sate your team name" Mr T said. "The Power Puffs." Isaac replied. 'Puffs Beat Nubs!" Katie Kristen and I chanted. We sat back down and pulled own pants up high. Mr T explains the rules.

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As many of you may know, I have tried out for the a in the school musical, Annie. I want to be Ms Hanigan, so thats where I got my tile from. Anyways, today was another day of interviews. I talked to Ma Ayi, the woman who runs a Muslim Resturaunt, and a young boy. He was about eight years old, but looked like he was three. He was small, and shy, but had some very honest opinions.

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The next morning we woke up while it was still pitch black. We did this because we wanted to see the hubble space telescope, and a piece of space junk. While we were waiting, I got to see my first shooting star, and that was an amazing moment. We stood there for a couple more minutes, while we waited for the piece of space junk to come flying by. When that passed over the north star, Mr T and Ms Mai, showed us how to put our tents back, and then we set to work.

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First off, if you do not get the reference to the title. We cannot be friends anymore. (Spongebob reference) Last night was our first night camping, I really like camping and last night was one of the best ones yet. Why you may ask? Because I was alone, without Mum and Dad, yes, I am talking about you two. We rode our bikes down to lake Er-Hai, specifically, the tounge of the lake. Through bumpy roads, and unfourtunently a few luch boxs were lost, but I rescued them and rode trough dirt roads single handedly.

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Today I had my first interview. I went to Old Town Snacks with Ms Mai, and we talked to the main shop owner. She has a seven year old son, and I wanted to talk to her on her education perspectives, her background, and also what she thinks of education now and then. I talked to her for about 45 minutes, and got some great information. She does not realy value the grades, but she values the education. The grades are the only way to know if her son is improving or not, as she is very busy, and does not have a lot of time to talk to her son about school, or have meetings with the teacher.

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I look up into the sky right as I was about to call Mum and Dad. I put my phone down and take in my surroundings. Wow. There is a star everywhere you look, filling up the sky like a thousand diamonds shimmering in the air. I am thinking about how lucky I am to be here. I can see so many constilations, the summer triangle, the square of pegases, and so many more. The way they shined in the sky, I thought about how peaceful they must feel. All they do is watch the world go by. They can see the whole world in 24 hours. Everynight you can se thousands of stars from one point in the sky.

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The Hydrosphere, and Water Sources

I will be studying the biosphere, and the hydrosphere. During this journal I will talk about the hydrosphere. This is all the water forms, such as, lakes, rivers, streams, seas, oceans, etc. It also includes water over the earths surface, like clouds. Studying the hydrosphere is very interesting, because there are lots of different body's of water here in Xizhou.

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The whole time I was running no matter what song was playing on my iPod the theme song from the Rocky Movies was playing in my head. I cannot run. That is one of my many horrible talents. I will stumble, I will fall, I will vomit, I will collapse, when I run. My mother, my father, my grandmother, and my grandfather, all cannot run. I guess you could say it runs in the family. Today was the first day of wellness. Lets just say, it did not go so well. I ran most of the way. 3 miles actually, that was exiting. But every time I ran 500 metres, I must walk for 50.

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This mornings sunrise was beautiful. I was a bit early getting ready, so I went outside and I saw some sunlight creeping over the walls. It hit me, the sun was rising. I rushed upstairs and found some other people already standing there, and I knew it was going to be gourgeus. I went to the edge of the terrace and then I saw it. First there was a layer of bright orange. It covered the sky with orange clouds then almost instanly a baby blue. Another layer was purpley bluish. And the final layer was a bright yellow sun, lighting up the whole sky.

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Day two, okay let me see... This may have been one of the most tiring days of my life. Mostly my ears are tired from listening all day, but my legs are pretty tired too. After a long shower, filled with the noise of my room-mates telling me to get out, we had a great breakfast, where I tried er-si. Er-si, was very good, I god spicy with meat, it was a dense rice noodle with soup and a little bit of yummy cabbage. There was also pancakes, bread, carrot cake, apples, and more.

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Day one was pretty eventful. A 45 minute car ride to the airport, after waking up an hour before that. Then a wonderful breakfast at the airport, consisting of a granola bar, and three of Kelly's wonderful fudge brownies. Now for the fun part, a quick 4 hour plane ride with the robotically abnormal (but still pretty great) Sean, while we watched Grownups 2 and laughed so loud Mr T complained... We landed shortly after the movie and a reading of the newspaper. Then it was over. Not.

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I am 13 years old and I am from Ballarat Australia, in Victoria. I have lived here in Shanghai for the past 10 years, and I am almost fluent in Chinese. My hobby is writing monologues and preforming them, I love to act, and hope to one day make a living out of Acting and Singing. I have arrived in Xizhou, and I am super exited. We are in the village and have been around, and it looks like it will be a place I will enjoy and remember forever. My Inquiry Project is about Education in Xizhou, where I will be studying perspectives on education, and also the Education System.