Caleb K. (Alumni-J)'s Journal

At the end of 7th grade when we were given a presentation about microcampus I was not interested in coming at all. Then in 8th grade I was contemplating whether to come to microcampus. I finally decided to come because I realized what an oppurtunity it was that I did not want to miss. I knew most other schools probably do not have a program like microcampus. 

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Since, today is our last full day we are going to use the time to pack up, say our final goodbyes and do any last things that we wish too. Today I headed down with Noam to Mr. Yang, the cormorant fisher, to give a picture that we took when we were on Lake Erhai and say my final goodbye. I am grateful that we will be returning to Shanghai only to begin winter break. I will use that time to rest and catch up on any missing assignments from school. 

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At first when CynthiaKelly and I went to pick Mr. Yang up at his shop he did not want to go out due to the rain, jut like Mr.T expected. We did bring our own umbrella for him. He eventually agreed to come out and brought out his own giant umbrella. From there we trudged back to YangZhuoRan in the light drizzle.

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The evening activities committee decided to have a girls night out and a guys night in. As a result the guys unanimously voted to watch a movie and sleep in the TV room with our sleeping bags. For the most of the night we were on our computers while watching a movie. We finally went to sleep around 10:00 pm. I slept well although I was laying on the ground. Luckily, I had my sleeping mat, which was comforting. Generally, the night was a way to loosen up after working and finishing on our inquiry projects and service learning.

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Because our final products for our inquiry projects were due today we all were focused and completed our projects in time. You can see my final product here. After a review from Mr.T I had to tweak a few things here and there, but otherwise it was fine. It feels great to finally be finished with our projects and I am satisfied with my work. I know that I have worked hard and learned so much that I will not be able to learn anywhere else.

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In my previous journal, I talked about how our service learning partner was unable to participate in our video because he was in a hospital due to a sickness. After, hours of going around to our different options we finally hit home when we met Mr.Yang, a man who sells clothe in a small store along the way to the bank. He is very friendly and eager to participate in our video. We got our first filming in today. Our group is finally rejuvenated.

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The final week is drawing closer and closer. So far we have spent 22 days here in Xizhou preparing for our inquiry project and service learning project. We are currently in the process of making our final inquiry presentation, which will be due Monday at 2:00pm. Our service learning video will be due on Tuesday and we will present our videos to our service learning partners the next day at 3:00pm. As Mr.T said, service learning is the hardest thing this trip, which is true in our case.

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Lately, our evening activities have been within YangZhuoRan so the evening activities committee decided to switch it up a bit. They settled on a horse cart ride to the tongue of the lake. I was somewhat excited for this activity. So we then gathered at SiFangJie at 6:45 to begin the activity. 

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Basically, today will be the our last time to do field research about our topic before submitting it in our Phase 3. I am confident that I have enough information and possibly more information then I need. Still, I will be going to Mr.Yang, the cormorant fisher, to ask him to give me a detailed step by step process he uses to train the cormorants. After that I am all set to start my final product. In addition to my last interview, I still have finish summarizing my last interview. 

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Once more, Ms.Mai and I departed YangZhuoRa. This time we were going to investigate net fishing at Lake Erhai for my inquiry project. So far I have been to a cormorant fisher, net seller and a fish seller. This was the first time I would work with a fisher that uses nets. 

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Todays earth journal will be only on the biosphere.

From from Friday to Sunday we went on a three day hike. While up there we had to go through a lot of thick vegetation. Up on the mountains we saw thin bamboo, pine trees, fern, moss and a bunch of other plants that I cannot name. Throughout the hike there was piles and piles of pine needles and pine cones coating the ground making it more slippery. There was also occasional sap coming from the trees. To sum up, there were trees and plants everywhere.

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Although our bodies screamed for more rest we all woke up at 6:30 to begin our early morning hike back down to YangZhuoRan. The morning went by pretty quick but we unfortunately had to lug our burdensome bags down to the bus. The hike was not too long but enough to make our backs sore.

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Although our bodies screamed for more rest we all woke up at 6:30 to begin our early morning hike back down to YangZhuoRan. The morning went by pretty quick but we unfortunately had to lug our burdensome bags down to the bus. The hike was not too long but enough to make our backs sore.

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Although our bodies screamed for more rest we all woke up at 6:30 to begin our early morning hike back down to YangZhuoRan. The morning went by pretty quick but we unfortunately had to lug our burdensome bags down to the bus. The hike was not too long but enough to make our backs sore and aching.

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Day 2 of our hike began at 6:30 when Mr.T awakened us. Our breakfast of noodles,eggs and meat was served at roughly 7:00. We were looking at a six hour hike. Mr.T said that todays hike would be tougher due to the increase of elevation causing the air to get thinner. Luckily, our carry load was cut down to just our day packs which weighed about half of our hiking bag. The hike was mostly going up rather then flat and down. The trail also consisted of some areas where it was required to pull yourself up with your arms. Todays hike in terms of the path was much more grueling.

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With hiking bags packed till things were about to topple out we trudged to the bus where Mr.Yang would take us to our destination. Noam would not be joining us because of an unfortunate event but we all hoped for the best for him. The bus then quickly filled to the top with all of the students buried within the pile of bags. Thankfully the ride was not too long. After counting off and putting on our bags we commenced the hike. The first stretch was just a rocky slope flat enough that vehicles could zoom right past us.

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Tomorrow our group will be embarking on a formidable three day hike. I know I have been waiting for this hike ever since I heard of it and I am hyped up about it. I also know that it will not be easy and that it will require an excessive amount of physical and mental strength. Besides being physically and mentally ready we also have to have all the supplies we need. With that in mind Diego, Isaac and I headed for the super market to stock up on supplies.

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Today's journal will be based on the quote, "discipline yourself so others do not need to." I think Mr.T shared this with us because throughout our lifetime and throughout this trip we need to be disciplined in order to reach our ultimate goals. This is important to know because without discipline you would not get anywhere. And when you do not have self-discipline someone else has to bring the firm hand down although it is not their job to. All of the great inventor's, athlete's and leader's foundation is arguably self-discipline.

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Seeing pictures of cormorants is a lot different then see them in person. For my inquiry project Ms.Mai and I headed for Lake Erhai where we would meet Mr.Yang a cormorant fisher. As I walked onto the boat deck I saw three boats with 11 or 12 cormorants perched on the side of the boat. The cormorants came in various colors. Some cormorants had a orange area under their beak while others had a red area.

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Time has been ticking by exceptionally slow. After being in a slump because my first interview was unsuccessful I think I am finally bouncing back. Mr.T and Ms.Mai met a fisher (Mr.Yang) who owns a restaurant. Having discussed possible times on Sunday we have decided to meet today. During our meeting he will educate me with some fishing techniques and information.

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Today we returned from a one day camping trip from Lake Erhai. With burdensome equipment we biked for about 15 minutes to the tongue of Lake Erhai. Arriving at an increbile sight we all took 5 minutes for still time. Straight after we recieved a demonstration on how to properly assemble our tents. From there we built our tents accordingly. With Isaac and I having experience with tents we built our tents without any trouble. Next, we ate our dinner, which was noodles with meat and vegetables. With the sun setting and the stars gradually popping up we spent the rest of the time stargazing.

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After our first week of work we finally get a rest. The days have gone by so fast, but we still have two more weeks. So far this week we have settled in, completed our 3-to-5's, hopefully got one interview in and went on a two hour hike to prepare us for the three day hike. We also got a two hour history lesson of China. We started from the 1850's to present day. The reason for this is because of our Service Learning project. For this project we will be required to find a local, which you have a strong connection with and ask them questions about themselves.

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Today was our first luandry day. My roommates and I were anxious this morning due to all of the bad laundry incidents that occured with other groups. Having heard all of the negative encounters and advice our group took the time beforehand to plan out everything. Basically, we decided to go to the laundry area first thing during pitching in time. We brought all the stuff we would need for pitching in so we could load the first set of clothes and get it hung up. Then we would load the other clothes if time allows and leave for lunch.

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The people of Xizhou are all very hospitable. The staff at YangZhuoRan the cooks, security guards, Yeling and Bryce are very approachable. When walking around the village you can say hello to anyone and they will reply back regardless of age. The only reason why people would not answer is because they did not hear you or they did not know your message was directed towards them. Overall, there has been no negative connections and I hope it stays like that. So far, I have not had a real conversation with a local yet which I do hope to change.

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Today is what I considered our first "real day" because we used the schedule that we would be using for the rest of the trip although our WIPPIS time was already planned out by Mr.T. The weather is still great and the sun is always out. Noam, Sean, Isaac and I also got to run in the morning at 6:15. Other then that everything was basically the same with breakfast, SAS essentials, a meeting and pitch in time in the morning and then lunch, WIPPIS time, 5-4-5 meeting, dinner and the afternoon activity. As you can see the only things added was the WIPPIS time.

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Despite the cold mornings and nights the day is breathtaking.The sun has so far been always there radiating comforting heat that is not too hot and not too cold. With occasional clouds and a blue sky gazing over Xizhou from the terrace gives an astounding sight.

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I woke up at seven to a crowing rooster. To kick start my body I then took a soothing warm shower. The Jailbreak group then had dinner that included eggs, pancakes, muffins, toast and yogurt. Arriving at YangZhouRan after a long weary day we never really got the chance to look around YangZhouRan. Therefore, YeLing our caring helper gave a quick tour within the area. During that time we discovered the security guards, cooks, classrooms, library, TV area, Nala the dog, bikes and terrace. After taking a look within YangZhouRan Mr.

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The whole day began at 3:00 am and was a rather slow day. After waking up as early as I ever will my mom and I took a 45 min drive to the Pudong Airport knowing that we need to meet at the gate by five. After saying our goodbyes we went through the typical security checks and then finally our flight took off at eight. Having only three hours of sleep that night I slept for the majority of the three hour plane ride. Prior to our landing we then took off to the bathrooms for obvious reasons.

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The lock-in started at 3:00 pm in Mr. Fumi's room where Mrs. Regan came in and discussed the 3 aspects of wellness, which were physical, social and spiritual. We then brainstormed ideas of how we can apply these aspects in Xizhou. After this ended Nurse Chen came in to discuss the topic of medication and injuries. She informed us about the process they use to handle any injuries or sicknesses. Next, we ordered pizza with several difficulties but eventually got the order we wanted.

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I am currently 13 years old and my birthday is on June 6. I was born in Michigan and lived in 5 different places. This is my 3rd year living in Shanghai. I have 2 older sisters in 12th and 10th grade and 1 younger sister in 6th grade. I enjoy hiking/being outdoors and playing sports, especially basketball. I learned lots about Xizhou and myself. I miss the peace and sunny days there.