Sean Y. (Alumni-J)'s Journal

Microcampus is over, and with it, my experience in this village. One of the required questions in the Microcampus application went along the lines of: "Why do you want to go to Microcampus?" In response, I answered something along the lines of: "I would like to experience the village, and I believe it will make me a better person." After four weeks, I believe that the answer will vary significantly from that which I initially answered.

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Today was Service Learning Presentations. Several hours before, I realized that when the video exported, it had not added the edits that we had made. Alexis and I spent about an hour trying ot fix it through the edit mode in iMovie 10.0.5, but we ended up taking a screen capture of the video, cutting it up, and copy-pasting the audio files.

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Today, since Inquiry work was out of the way, the main focus was Service Learning. Thankfully, in our group, Alexis had already edited the majority of the video, and all that was left was subtitling. Unfortunately, our Service Learning Partner had a thick accent, and it took near forever to finish subtitling, and cutting the parts that we couldn't make out. FInally, we finished, and submitted our project for review at 2 PM. First, we reviewed the Chinese subtitles with Evy, a native Chinese speaker. Afterwards, we reviewed the video (with subtitles corrected) with Mr.

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Today, Inquiry work was due. At two, Mr. T started with the reviewing of the Sharing My Learning Portion of our Inquiry Projects. Up until then, most people were still recording voiceovers, writing reflections, or citing sources. After reviewing with Mr. T, I realized that there were many things that could be easily fixed within my video. For all of the changes to be made, it took about one and a half hours.

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Yesterday, Max and Isaac were playing hacky sack, when Max slapped the ball up onto the roof. Unfortunately, the ball got stuck in one of the trenches in the roof, and stayed there.

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Today marks the beginning of our last weekend in Xizhou. It seems as if, compared to the other weekends, this one will be more work-intensive, since many deadlines are coming up soon. These deadlines include Service Learning, Inquiry Projects, and more. As a result, most of the day is now devoted to these things, in addition to our mandatory Wellness and Pitching In.

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Today, WIPPIS Time was removed in favor of Phase Four work. Our Phase 3's were due yesterday, and as a result, field work stopped yesterday as well. From here on out, the majority of our Inquiry Project work will be very similar to a school presentation, wrapping things up and presenting them in a iMovie, Powerpoint, or some other communication medium. Phase Four was about taking the information we recieved from Phase Three and organizing it into a format that was presentable. We spent roughly two hours on it, then moved on to other WIPPIS related work.

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Today, while doing laundry, Isaac and I got locked in the laundry area, due to the mechanical failure of the lock in the door. We spent about twenty minutes trying to open the lock in various manners, before realizing that the case where the lock was held had an open bottom. I stuck my finger in, through the bottom of the lock box, and tried, unsuccessfully, to pick the lock with various fingers for the next five minutes. During this process, Isaac was making calls and looking for people to consult.

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Today, our first filming for our Service Learning Projects are due. The purpose of this project is to serve the village, and reward them for hosting us, by recording their history, in a series of filmings and/or videos. We do this through the recording of the life story of the elders in the village, anyone over the age of 60. The result of this is a permanent collection of stories that is stored on the Microcampus website, acting as a library of sorts.

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The lithosphere has an enourmous impact on Xizhou, its populace, and the surrounding area. The main effect the lithosphere has on the populace of the area is the rain shadow created by Cangshan. This affects the vegetation in the area, and as a result, the food consumed by the village. Opposing Cangshan is Erhai, a rift lake created through tectonic movement. On the other side of the lake (relative to the village or Cangshan) there are many foothills, presumably also caused through tectonic movement.

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Today, we woke up at 6:30, repacked bags, filled up on water, and began our hike down the mountain. This was relatively tough, since we had not yet had breakfast, but the hike only lasted for around 45 minutes, which I find pretty impressive for a 600 meter descent, especially when the ascent took six hours.

For the rest of the day, we worked on catching up on journal posts, Daily Video Shoutouts, and generally catching up on missing work from the Three Day Hike.

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Today, Max and I crawled out of our sleeping bags several feet below where we went to sleep, due to the slant of the spot we were sleeping in. We packed up and made our way down to breakfast, which was a bowl of noodles. After eating, we repacked extra layers and other necessities into a smaller day pack, which we would carry up the mountain instead of our burdensome hiking backpacks.

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Today, we got out of bed, knowing that we were about to embark on the Three-Day Hike. We ate breakfast, shouldered our backpacks, and carried them to the bus, along with several duffel bags containing the tents we would be using on the hike.

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Today, we packed for the Three-Day Hike, which we will be leaving for tomorrow morning. Most of everyone has been anticipating the hike, so there was a lot of hype about it.

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Today, Mr. Tafel shared with us four quotes: "Discipline yourself so that others will not need to", "Disciplined people are happy people", "Big things are accomplished only through the perfection of little things", and "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit". We are required to write a blog entry about one of them.

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For the evening activity tonight, Mr. Tafel hosted a game show called "Mr. T's Wizz Bang, All Star Trivia Night". I was put in a team with Alexis and Diego, collectively, the Underachieving Overachievers. We did fairly well in the first round, behind the tied first place teams by 1 point. Double Jeopardy was a nerve-wracking, with the stakes being doubled for a round.

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Today was the beginning of the second week of Microcampus. Mr. Tafel compared this week to the portion of Microcampus to immediately after takeoff on a plane. He analogized a lack of maintenance of work and responsibility to "letting go of the controls to the airplane once you've taken off".

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Today was the first day of Service Learning. This meant we had to collect the names of six elders in the village and establish meaningful connections with them while in our work groups. I went with Diego and Alexis to their contacts. Unfortunately, we were only able to visit two of our six contacts, as the other four were either gone or too busy.

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Today, we woke up late, as Noam left his alarm inside his backpack. Fortunately, we were able to change quickly (or not at all, in some cases) and were only five minutes late to breakfast. Fortunately, this resulted in little to no impact, other than our making sure that our alarm was audible, and as a result, preventing the same incident from happening in the future, with more pronounced effects.

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Today, I woke up at six in the morning, so that I could go on a run with Caleb, Noam, and Isaac. We were planning to run for 40 to 50 minutes, but unfortunately, none of us could run with a backpack due to the weight, and as a result, we couldn't run for more than about 25 minutes. We made it to the basketball court in an adjoining village, rested for several minutes, then turned back, and ran for ten more minutes. Outside, the air was crisp and cold, rapidly cooling our bodies off. This changed as soon as we started running, which quickly left sweat all over our bodies.

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Today, we adopted a rough outline of the standard Microcampus day, adding in SAS Essentials and our Daily Meeting. We began with SAS Essentials, struggling a bit with the strength of the wi-fi and our connection to YouTube. Fortunately, in spite of this, we were able to finish our videos, in addition to some review for our upcoming Geometry Assessment. Hopefully, we will continue to proceed at a steady pace with our work.

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Today, after waking, we went to tour the village. During this tour, we were introduced to some key places in the village, such as RanYiXiang and SiFangJie, the latter of which we ate at in our work groups. Xizhou is slightly larger than expected, taking about 2 to 3 hours to tour around. The locals were very friendly, being accepting of our presence, and answering questions directed towards them.

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Today, after waking up at 4 AM, I drove to Pudong International Airport so that I could begin my journey of 28 days into the village of Xizhou. I arrived at the airport at roughly five, and started to drag my luggage over to the group. After several minutes, everyone had congregated at the entrance to the airport. We checked in while sharing things about ourselves, revealing strengths and weakneses. Fortunately enough, everyone's luggage was under 20 kilograms, with several people squeezing by with only a few grams to spare. After Mr.

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Two days ago, (November 14, 2014) the Microcampus J group convened in Mr. Fumi's room at 3:00. I was slightly late, along with the two other Microcampus students in Jazz Band, due to a SHASMUN performance that we had rushed back from. As soon as we came back, we started on checking backpacks, and Mrs. Regan came in. She began discussing three aspects of health with us- spiritual, emotional, and social health. This section of the lock-in concluded with brainstorming ways to maintain these three types of health while away on Microcampus.

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Hello, my name is Sean, and I am currently attending eighth grade at SAS Pudong. I am 13 years old, having lived in Shanghai for only one year so far, after living in Illinois for ten. In terms of Chinese, I can hold my own in a conversation, but otherwise can't do much else. I have one sibling, a sister in fourth grade. My passions include reading, playing sports, science, playing the trumpet, and being outdoors.