Cameron W. (Alumni-L)'s Journal

     I came to Microcampus for many reasons. Prior to the trip my reasons were that I wanted to come in order to learn about culture, to learn about food, to experience the nature, and to get away from the industrial world. Back then, I thought Microcampus was all about the work we were going to do. I thought that we were going there to complete our Inquiry projects and service learning, and all the other things, the village, the nature, and all other things were background noise. Back then, I wanted to get my work done, enjoy the scenery and nature, and bask in the fresh air.

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     Mr. Zhang did not come to the presentation of the service learning videos, because he did not want to. However, we visited him on May 14th 2015, Day 27 of our trip, one day after the presentation. Just before lunch, we walked up to his shop, but he was cutting someone's hair, so we left. We went back to the shop at 12:40 or so and it was in the middle of the day so the heat was intense. He said to come in, finished cutting someone's hair, and sat down.

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Today, our journal entry is meant to be about sharing how our service learning partner felt after watching our service learning. However, our partner, Mr. Zhang, did not come today to the presentation event, so we will visit him tomorrow. After the service learning presentation, we went to Dali Old Town, a tourist town 30 minutes from Xizhou, for the second time. We went to eat dinner, and Mr. Tafel also gave chances for people to buy souvenirs for friends and relatives in Shanghai. We were broken into 3 groups of 3, and sent to get our own dinner.

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       Today I finished most of my service learning video. If you do not know what service learning is, it is basically when we are put into groups and tasked with creating an interesting video about a village elder's life. Today we started by getting a review from Mr. Tafel. Our video at the start, was boring, and was a compilation of facts about his life. Mr. Tafel really did not like this video, and gave us an enormous list of changes to make.

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After being ill for one more day and confined to my room, I have rarely anything to reflect on today. I just watched movies, slept, and played some games yesterday. Because of this, I will branch off into a more general topic. The foods I miss back in Shanghai that my mum makes.

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My inquiry project front page

Today I was ill and confined to my room for the entire day. It started at 3:00 am, when I just started vomiting, and the vomiting happened on three other occasions in the night. At 7:00 am the vomiting stopped, and I had a fever for the rest of the day. Also, at one point in the day, I also started having diarrhea. 

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    Today our Phase 4 was due, however, it is also the day we started it. We came into WIPPIST (wellness, inquiry project, pitching in, still time) time and we all started at 13:00 with inquiry project time. We all sat in the conference room, shared out thesis with Mr. T, and also completed all the required steps for Phase 4. We started by writing an introduction, including what we did in previous phases, and what we will be doing in this phase.

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      During SAS essentials today, I finished all my work. I started by entering the TV room, sitting down, and then picked up my Chinese journal. I thought for a moment, I could write it tomorrow because tonight we have the trip to Dali old town. However, I told myself I would write my journal today. I immediatly thought to write about my haircut, so that is what I did. I started by writing about walking there, sitting down, having Alex L. take my photo, and starting my haircut. After, I wrote about my thoughts on the haircut. Ten minutes later, I finished the journal.

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        Yesterday, late at night, (approximately 19:30), we were visited by a specter. The Phantom of the Room Inspection. He started by examining room 02, the girl's room. and gave them a 4.2 rating out of 5 for room cleanliness. He then looked over room 04, the other boy room, and gave them a 3.9. After this, the nights most suspenseful moment of the night occurred, when he graded room 03, our room. He went in, without turning on the lights, shined the flashlight in every corner of the room, looked under Alex W.'s bed, examined the bathroom, and then came out.

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      Today we, meaning William B., Anna G., and I used our afternoon pitching in time for service learning. Right after writing our wellness reflections, we sent Mr. T. a text saying where we were going and went over to our potential service learning partner's place. Mr. Dong's place. We knocked on the door a few times, and within a minute, Mr. Dong, an 80 year old man, opened it.

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     May holiday. May holiday is a great time of year, do not get me wrong, but in Xizhou, the tourists are swarming around like crazy. Si Fang Jie, the village square, was crowded with tourists, it is hard to walk without bumping into a few. Restaurants are so crowded even the owners have to do work. Today, I went with Alex W. to Old Town Snacks for lunch. We walked up to the restaurant, and all the tables were full. Ms.
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      We woke up at 7:00 in the morning, the sun was still cloaked behind the imposing veil of the mountains, and we sat on the ground, waiting for it to rise above those mountains and shed its first rays of warmth across our chilly selves. After this there was corn on the cob and noodles for breakfast. At this breakfast, I learned that most people could not care less about their orthodontist's reminders/orders, and were just eating corn on the cob and apples whole. After this breakfast, we got ready to go, (our tents and bags were backed just after watching the sunrise).

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      After an 11 hour and 55 minute sleep, George M., my tent mate, and I woke up, packed our bags and tent, and then waited for everybody else before heading down to the farmhouse mentioned in my previous post for breakfast. After eating warm bowls of soup and drinking ginger tea, we picked up our bags, and waited at the front gate for others before heading out hiking.

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       Today we began our three day hike. We started out with a bus ride to the foot of the mountain right after breakfast, and then Mr. T. gave a lecture on listening to instructions, and all facts about safety. After checking we had everything and had not forgot items on the bus or at the foot of the mountain, we started our hike. It started easily, we were all excited and ready to go out into the wild and explore, hike, and enjoy new experiences. As we kept moving up, our energy diminished, our shoulders became sore, and our pace slowed.

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      Today, I was playing pool at lunch with Jack, when I got a call from someone. I opened up the chest pocket on my jacket (it is where I keep all my valuables), and then picked up my phone. It was Mr. T. I turned on my phone, with my ringtone still going, wondering why I was being called by Mr. T., who rarely to never calls us during a cycle of a day. I said, "Hello?", and then he started talking.

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         Yesterday we camped out at Er Hai. Er Hai is a lake east of Xizhou, called Er Hai because of it's vague resemblance of a lake, hence the Er. We started by biking to the tongue of Er Hai, where we set up our tents as a first step. I shared a tent with George M.. After that, we ate dinner, and for dinner we had cold noodles with chicken and vegetables. We then got ready for bed and turned in early, 8:30 pm to be precise.

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          I have recently began playing Ma Jiang (麻将). Ma Jiang is a Chinese board game, where you find patterns and lose all your blocks in your hand to your win pile. Yesterday, I agreed to play a game of Ma Jiang, even though I did not know how to play. While playing, Alice C. and Alex W. taught me how to play. In the end, it turned out that I won that game. We played again today twice and I won one of the games again, but came second once.

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        Today, Jack Y., Alex L. and I went running during wellness. We started at the Linden Center, and then ran to Xizhou's most dangerous intersection. We took a left turn, and toook the long way around to Si Fang Jie. After this, we ran past the Muslim food district of Si Fang Jie and through the Tourist shopping district, after running down that road, we ran into Mr. T.

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        Today I had an excellent meal at lunch. After talking to Mr. Tafel during inquiry project time yesterday, I was recommended a couple different restaurants to visit. There was one dish in particular that Mr. Tafel recommended, Shao Guo Mi Xian. During lunch today, Alex W. and I went to Si Fang Jie, the village square, to eat. I knew that I wanted to know what Shao Guo Mi Xian was so I took Alex there. I walked up to the restaurant using Mr. Tafel's directions, however, I was not sure that it was the right place.

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        Today the real work of Microcampus began. We have had a full schedule of SAS essentials, Wellness, Inquiry project, Still time and pitching in. During SAS essentials we worked on humanities and had a science discussion, in wellness we exercised, during the Inquiry project time I finished my Phase 2 work, still time for me was spent on the terrace and during Pitching in I spent time doing a multitude of different things, which I will explain later in this post.

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Looking ahead, I see a lot of work leading up to microcampus. However, I am sure from the good things the alumni tell me, the work is going to pay off by going to Xi'zhou. Having already been there when I was in grade 6, I have a pretty good idea of what it will be like in xi'zhou, however, it would be phenmonal to see the change between then, and now. Now, I am really looking forward to microcampus. The major things I am looking forward to are: Learning, the culture, the food, and the scenery. I love to learn, and not just in certain topics, I like to learn everything.

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Now we have left Xizhou and are back in Shanghai. You can look through my inquiry project, service learning, and journals and see what work I did during my time in the wonderful village of Xizhou. While In Xizhou, I researched food and cuisine and ultimately made a cookbook. I was part of the Limitless group in May 2015, and was 13 years old on that trip. I enjoy martial arts and water sports.