Isaac X. (Alumni-J)'s Journal

Today is the last day. Instead of writing about what I did today I will be writing more about why I came on this Microcampus Trip. Before I came on this trip I wanted to come was because I wanted to experience the clean air. But also I wanted to be more independent and experience what life is like outside of the bubble. After coming on this trip I realized that all these reasons are true but I also came on this trip to learn about being aware of my surroundings and thinking twice before taking action. Not only that but I also learned about leading from behind.

0 Comments

Today was the last full day of our Microcampus group trip. We spent most of the time today packing up, saying goodbye, and getting ready to go.

Since today was the last day with a daily meeting I decided to volunteer and be the facilitator for the meeting.

After the daily meeting Max and I went to grab the laundry.

After that I got to work finishing up reflections and journal posts that I did not do.

Then Sean and I went to the Linden Centre to return our books and also return the DVDs that we borrowed.

0 Comments

Today we had our service learning presentations. At 2:40 my group escorted Mr. Yang from his house to Yangzhouran. When we arrived it turned out that he was friend with Mr. Zhao and two other service learning partners. I gave him the USB that he wanted and and orange. When our project started to play everything went silent. My group and I watched Mr. Yang watch our movie. I could not really tell if he like our clip or not. He did speak 2 or 3 times throughout the showing, however I did not understand what he said. At one point he looked kind of sad but it was extremely hard to tell.

0 Comments

Tonight was a night in which Mr. T told us to chill, rest and not do any work. So Max, Sean, and I decided to go to sifangjie and play catch. We asked Mr. Tafel if we were aloud to go and Mr. Tafel said okay. When we got there we formed a triangle and started passing the ball around. I went under the big arch and stood there while Max and Sean were standing in the square. At one point we tried to pass it around as fast as possible however we kept on dropping it.

0 Comments

Yesterday during dinner I decided to fulfill the promise that I made to myself and order Ma La Tang. In English Ma La Tang is Numb Spicy Soup. I decided to get the soup despite the warnings from the shop owners. I picked out the different meats and veggies that I wanted and put them into a bowl. I sat back down at my table and waited. After a while the owners told us our food was ready. The Ma La Tang looked delicious so I started to eat. After my first bite I could already start to feel the burn. After two bites my mouth felt on fire but I could still hold it.

0 Comments

Today was laundry day. So right after SAS essentials Sean and I went to the laundry center to do laundry. We put our laundry in, set the settings, and pushed the start button. After that we waited there to get some work done. After a while we realized that we needed to get back so we packed up and headed for the main entrance. When got there the steel door was closed and locked. Sean took out the key and tried to unlock the door but the lock was jammed or something and he could not open it.

1 Comments

Today I went out during pitching in for service learning. my group mate Kristen and I went out to get some footage of a potential service learning partner. When we got there he greeted us friendly and welcoming. Then when I asked him if we could film him he agreed without a second thought. But before we started filming he asked Kristen and I if we would be able to make a disk of the project so that he will be able to watch it and keep it. I told him that I could try and make a disk but I was not a hundred percent sure.

0 Comments

Today we woke up at 6:30 again. We packed up our tents then got ready to go down the mountain. Since I felt like I was stuck on my inquriy project and did not where to go from here I decided that I was going to have an walk and talk with Mr. Tafel. Mr. Tafel talked to me about narrowing down my inquiry topic which is farming in Xizhou. He gave me some good ideas about what to change my topic to. For example how garlic has changed the farming industry in Xizhou. Also how has the number of farmers lessoned and how the farming industry will be impacted by that. The walk and talk with Mr.

0 Comments

Today was supposed to be the most challenging part of the three day hike. We were going to hike from 2600 to 3200 meters above the sea level. Again this morning we woke up at 6:30 packed up our tent  and got ready to start hiking.

Since I broke my walking stick from the previous day I was on the hunt for a new one. Eventually I found one and although this stick was not exactly the most straightest stick but it was quite sturdy so I kept it and it held up throughout today's hike.

0 Comments

Today was the first day of the three day hike. We woke up at 6:30 then ate breakfast, packed our lunches, and got ready to go. We rode the bus to the foot of the mountain.

0 Comments

Today for wellness Noam, Caleb, Diego and I were down at the basketball courts for wellness. We decided two play a game of two on two, and to make things super serious we promised each other that we would take it seriously. So we started to play the game. I got the ball and passed it to Diego and he took the shot and made it.

1 Comments

Today during our morning meeting Mr.T talked about a quote that was either dedicated to him or said by Aristotle. " We are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit." What this quote basically means is that we cannot act or pretend to be perfect or excellence. We need to be or at least try to be perfect constantly. We cannot just pretend to doing what we need to do whenever there is a teacher around but we need to keep on doing our work and doing what we are supposed to do.

0 Comments

Today was a very interesting and fun day. Yesterday Ms. Mai helped me get a new contact and maybe even an opportunity to do some farming work. So today we biked to the contacts house, however when we arrived there was a note for us that said the contact had some emergency business and he could not be there. Although the contact was not there Mr. Zhao our security guard and our guide to the contact's home was. Mr. Zhao showed us around the gigantic fields and informed me about the different kinds of crops and their uses. At one point we saw a farmer harvesting the spinach that she grew.

1 Comments

Throughout my stay here in Xizhou I have noticed how warm and friendly the people that live here are. I was surprised when Mr. Tafel told me that it was okay to walk into someone else's courtyard and just look around. I was also surprised by how warm and welcoming the locals are.

The staff at Yangzhouran are all very nice and approachable. The guards are extremely nice and very easy to talk to. The kitchen staff cook great food and are also kind, and warm people.

2 Comments

We woke up at 6:30am today to star gaze. Before we left for Yangzhouran, Mr. T wanted to wake up and watch the International Space Station. At first there was nothing but then Mr. T told us to look up at the sky. There was a big bright light that was moving. It looked like a regular star but stars do not move which meant that this bright light was the International Space Station. I was amazed by the moving light. I thought about what it was like to live in a satellite in space.

0 Comments

Everything was pretty much normal for today. However after lunch we got ready to go camping at the tongue of the lake. We packed our own dinners and packed our hiking backpacks and got ready to go.   We started to bike to the tongue of the lake. When we got there Mr. T and Ms. Mai showed us how to set up our tents. After that Caleb and I started to set up our own tent. We finished second. Then we prepared the sleeping bags and started to eat dinner which was boxed noodles. At night Mr. T tried to show us a satellite but it did not showed up. Overall it was a great camping trip.

0 Comments

Yesterday I finished up my Phase 2. So today I will start interviewing the locals for more information about my topic. I have signed up for teacher support with Ms. Mai and are going to visit the farming shops. I will be asking the shop owners about my 10 questions and hopefully they can provide some information about those about those questions. I interveiwed Mr. Li and Ms. Yang. They are both shop owners that sell farming products. Mr. Li sold more pesticides and fertilizers and Ms. Yang tends to sell more tools.

1 Comments

Today my journal will be a little bit different, it will be about the science in Xizhou. More specifically the hydrosphere and biosphere. The hydrosphere is basically all the waters on earth's surface and sometimes including water over the earth's surface for example clouds. The biosphere is the basically the the surface of the earth, plantlife, and animal life in a certain area.

1 Comments

Today started off like any other day with Sean poking his head over the side of my top bunk and calling my name. Then we had breakfast, SAS essentials, Morning Meeting, and pitching in time. After all of that it was lunch. Today I was eating with Diego and Max. Because we all wanted dumplings, we went to the traditional  snack restaurant. There we ordered three bowls of dumplings. After a small wait, we got the bowls and put some seasoning in the soup. Because I thought I was so good at handling spiciness, I put an overcalculated amount of peppers into the already spicy soup.

3 Comments

So today started normal enough and was an average day until pitching in time. Today was the first day that I had to do laundry. Right after the morning meeting Sean and I walked to the laundry courtyard, and after a long lecture from Hannah on how to use it we put our clothes in the washing machine. Then we pushed a couple of buttons, set the settings on standard, and pushed the start button. Then Hannah told us that the water was going in to slow so Sean and I grabbed the bucket and started to fill it with water. Then we poured the water into the machine.

2 Comments

The temperature in Xizhou revamps quite frequently in 24 hours. The temperature is highly affected by the position of the sun and the mountains. During the night it becomes extremely chilly. Even though it is cold during the night my roomates decided that we will not be using the space heater due to the fact that we might set some of our clothes on fire. Only the frigidness of this morning changed our minds. During the morning when the sun is still rising from behind the mountains it is still chilly because the heat of the sun is blocked by the mountains.

1 Comments

I woke up to the news that today I was on dish duty. So after breakfast and washing 14 dirty dishes, cups, and utensils we went on a tour of Xizhou. We visited the market where we saw chicken guts, vegetables and fish. After that we went to the bank where we tried to exchange our money but couldn't because the bank didn't have change. Then we went to SiFangJie for lunch in where I ate a pizza-like bread. Then we came back and talked about wellness and after that we talked about our inquiry work. Since Caleb, Noam, and I finished our inquiry work we had 1 hour of downtime.

1 Comments

Today I woke up at 4:00 in the morning to ride a taxi to the Shanghai Pudong Airport. After we all gathered up we took some photos,  and said our goodbyes, we left the parents and started checking in our baggage. We made our way through security and eventually got onto the plain. The flight was delayed by 55 min. I sat in between Noam and Alexis. We watched a movie and played cards and eventually we landed in Kunming Airport. After that it was a take-away lunch from KFC and then a 6 hour long bus ride to Xizhou and where we were staying for 28 days.

1 Comments
Hello, ,my name is Isaac. I am currently 14 years old. I was born in Albany, New York where I lived for 1 year. After that I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where I lived for 9 years. After those 9 years I finally moved to Shanghai, China where I been living for 4 years and counting. I have one younger sibling whom is in 6th grade and also goes to SAS currently. Some of my hobbies include being outside, playing with friends, and sports especially basketball. Xizhou was a great experience. I had a lot of fun an at the same time learned a lot. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible for me.