Our Service Learning partner is named YangGuoLiang, and he is currently 63 years old. His occupation is a being tailor.
Because of the Cultural Revolution, he was not able to recieve a highschool education. Nevertheless, after the Cultural Revolution, he continued in his studies by himself . Eventually, he applied for college and got in; however, he was not accepted due to the fact that he was 2 years over the age limit. Now, he still continues studying a range of topics in his free time. His biggest dreams are to travel the world and for his children to succeed in life.
In our interviews, we did not really talk about XiZhou's history in particular. However, we did talk about the Cultural Revolution and what some things XiZhou did to fit the criterias of this movement. For instance, the whole village of XiZhou and all the people in it had to share a communal area to eat. There was one big bowl of rice everyone would have to get their rice from. At the start, everyone got enough food. But as time progressed, eventually everyone was starving. We also talked about how the Cultural Revolution was a difficult time for everyone in China, and how everyone went hungry because of it. He also told me of the missed opportunities due to the Cultural Revolution. Another thing we talked about was how people had to work in the fields for long periods of time.
When our name was called, during the presentation for Service Learning, our group went up to sit at the front of the room. I was not feeling nervous then, but after the video started playing, I felt more nervous. As I sat facing the audience, I could see all of the audiences expressions and reactions to our final Service Learning video. The audience's faces were pretty stern at the beginning, and I felt even more nervous. But as their faces began to relax and smile, I began to relax too. I especially watched our Service Learning parter's expression to clue in what he felt about the video. His face remained pretty passive throughout, and I was kind of scared that he did not like it. Afterwards, when we asked if the Service Learning video was "fine", he replied with a "yes, it was pretty good". I let out huge sigh of relief.
The Service Learning project went pretty smoothly for our group overall; however, I know that some of the other groups had a lot of difficulty. Based on these difficulties, I have some advice for the Microcampus students in the future. Firstly, do not forget about your Service Learning duties during the entirety of the trip, from start to finish. It is better to get work done earlier, such as finding a Service Learning partner as soon as possible, rather than scrambling to find strangers off the streets that are willing to let you film them. Secondly, I would like to build on the thought of getting your work done and stress the importance of getting your filming done early. This way, you can also start editing and translating early, which will prove to be very useful on the day this project is due. It is to the utmost importance that you pace yourself and that you do not do all your work on the last day. This will be a very stressful experience; especially for the Chinese speakers in the group. I can say this from experience. And lastly, always make sure your cameras are charged and clear of memory before you film your footage. It would be a pity if your camera ran out of battery or memory. Also, bring several cameras to a filming trip just in case this happens.