Alex L. (Alumni-L)'s Journal

When I applied for Microcampus, last December, I had a few things in mind as why I wanted to go to Microcampus. There were a few main things I wanted to accomplish. Getting to know the people at the village, personal growth, and to experience something new. 

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Today was made for inquiry project catch up and packing our suitcases. I think the most depressing part of a trip is the packing at the end. From leaving Microcampus I am both sad and happy. I am happy to see my friends and family again, but sad to lose all the freedom of our days. Microcampus has allowed me to be more free, but made me so much more responsible. 

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Today was the showing of our service learning videos. We picked Mr. Zhao up at around 2:40 to take him to the Linden Centre. The walk back was at first sort of awkward but we started talking and it was no longer awkward. By the time we reached the centre we were all laughing and talking about how he had used to work here. We brought him up to the TV room, where the showing was, and offered him some cookies and tea. 

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Inquiry projects were due today and you can find mine here. I had a teacher review with Mr. T today, he said my video's structure and baseline was good I just had a few small changes. We also worked on our service learning project. It was quite difficult to translate because there was a lot of background noise and the bai dialect is quite hard to understand. 

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This Sunday we had a lot of work. We had to get a huge chunk of inquiry project and service learning done. The good thing about today was that we had a lot of work, but a lot of time to get everything done. Today I finished my inquiry project and am ready for Mr. T's review on it. We also got our final filmings for service learning done. Our partner is Mr. Zhao, a tailor. He is 61 years old. When he was little he was very good at school, but since the cultural revolution happened he stopped going to school in 5th grade. 

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Our inquiry projects are due on Monday; this weekend we had two hours to work on it today and two hours tommorow. In our Final Phase it is made into 3 portions. The introduction, sharing my learning, and the reflection part. The reflection part is about what we have learnt during this inquiry project experience. 

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Our inquiry projects are due on Monday; this weekend we had two hours to work on it today and two hours tommorow. In our Final Phase it is made into 3 portions. The introduction, sharing my learning, and the reflection part. The reflection part is about what we have learnt during this inquiry project experience. 

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Today we had our normal WIPPIS schedule where we all started to work on our final project. I started to write the final Phase's 'introduction' and 'sharing my learning' parts. I also started the keynote/movie I am using for my presentation portion of the project. 

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Last night we went to Dali Old Town for the Lunar 3rd Month Festival. In previous groups only around half of the people got to go to Dali Old Town, but in our group everyone got to go because Mr. T said, and I quote, 'because he trusts us.' Mr. T said that we were allowed to go have western food, so we got some brick oven pizza. We had a very spicy mexican pizza and an indian meat pizza. 

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Today was the last day to work on Phase 3, but since I had already finished it I got a head start on Phase 4. In that phase I am creating a plan to organize my facts and share the most memorable things of my journey. I looked at alumni work to find some inspiration. 

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By 'last day' I mean the last day in the field for my inquiry project. I met with Mr. Zhang for the last time today. Today, Cameron and Alex got their haircut. I watched as Mr. Zhang precisely cut and shaved people's heads. A haircut can make someone look extremely different. A man I met today came in with disheveled hair and left with a clean buzz cut, and a smile on his face. 

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Yesterday we had our second room inspection; and we were visited by a special guest. The phantom of the room inspection. His face was disfigured and he had to wear a mask on half his face. Now he inspects the rooms of Microcampus students. The girls got a 4.2, the other guys got a 4.1, and we got a 3.9 because someone, unnamed, did whatever a person does after eating a lot of food. Our room's smell was described as: "A cross between armpit and ginger crackers." 

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For my inquiry project I am learning about the story and life of Mr. Zhang, the local barber. But in order to really experience it, I needed to get in closer. So, I decided to get my hair cut. Why not? My hair was getting long anyways and a little shave couldn't hurt. Plus, I could also use it for my inquiry project since I am including a photography section of before and after shots of people. I started to regret this as soon as I heard him get the scissors out; but because of my wanting to really make this project unique, I just went with it.

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This post will be used as a humanities journal requirement.

There are many different customs and traditions of XiZhou. One that I have personally experienced is the funeral and wedding traditions.

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Everyone was awaken at exactly 6:57 the next morning to see the sunrise. We put on our warmest clothes and scrambled out of our tents. I watched as the sun slowly moved from behind the mountain into view. It was so beautiful and bright that I needed to cover up my eyes to see. With the rays hitting the ground and illuminating the pathways we heard sounds of sheep coming out from behind the mountain and also heard the rooster crowing. Mr. T explained the strong difference between looking and watching, and hearing and listening.

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We hiked for 4 hours the next day to reach our next campsite. It was 9 kids, 4 chaperones, 3 farmers, and a couple hundred sheep and yak. We set up tents at around 12 o'clock and we got the rest of the day to explore and do whatever we wanted. George, Alex, and I decided to climb Mt. Baldy. The highest point that Microcampus students were allowed to go to. 3232 meters. We got our long sleeve shirts, hoodies, and windbreakers on becuase Mr.

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"You don't conquer the mountain, you conquer yourself." - Edmund Hillary

A three day hike at Microcampus used to seem like something far on the horizon, but the 12th day came soon. The key to hiking, actually, is not your physical state, but your attitude. If you think that you can hike the mountain, you can. Same thing if you think you can't. The quote above is an accurate description of what we needed to do. We needed to conquer ourselves, not the mountain. A positive attitude is needed to start the climb, but once you are moving you need tenacity and hard work to continue. 

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The night worked liked this. We got into our service learning groups to create trivia teams. Our team was called "Flannel is the new black" and we dressed up in PJs, blue shirts, and headlamps. I think our costume, by far, was the best. The game started out with Mr. T's stellar impression of typical game show hosts; the high and wavering voice made us laugh, and made it even more believable. Next, he explained the game. "Teams will have their captains say a category (people and places, good times, science and tech, arts and culture, sports, and Tafel My Information) and point value.

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Today is monday, day 10, the start of a new week. Last week was a bit of settling in week; everyone was getting used to the idea of being away from home for a whole month. This week is a bit more of a normal week. Normal, as in, we understand the procedure and understand what we need to do. There are no moments where I am like : "what do I need to do?" because everything is crystal clear. Microcampus, so far, has been so education and fun. I really like how we get the ability to design our own schedules.

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Have you ever heard the term 'lazy Sunday?' It is not that sundays are lazy here, it's just that they are very relaxed and open. Our schedule has a lot of free time and easy to complete tasks. We got back from the camping trip at around 9:15, ate breakfast, and did our wellness reflections: 

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On Saturday we are allowed to sleep in for one extra hour, to compensate for some lost sleep during the week. Then in the morning we had time to do Pitching In, where Aavia and I worked on the schedule for evening activity, finding a balance between chill and fun. Lunch came around and after Mr. T gave us a presentation about Chinese history. He talked about the last dynasty to the great leap forward, cultural revolution, and modern day.

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This title is inheritly wrong. There is no "average" day at Microcampus, everyday is special and different. But today we had a typical Microcampus day. All these words are so arbitrary, but will have to do for now.

In the morning we had SAS essentials and worked on Humanities. I finished my peoms about XiZhou's culture. I will write another one about the 3 day hike.

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In the morning, we had SAS essentials, where we worked on math. Our meeting was led by George and we went over all the committee reports, teacher comments, and schedule. We then had pitching in where I worked on designing the evening activity. We watched Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire.

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WIPPIS stands for Wellness Plan, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, Still Time). Everyday at Microcampus, after lunch, we start WIPPIS. The first week Mr. T gives us schedule and then after we create our own. Today I had wellness from 1 to 2, pitching in from 2 to 3, still time from 3 to 3:30, and then inquiry project from 3:30 to 5:30.

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At Microcampus everyone is expected to complete 2 different jobs ranging from webiste janitors to the laundry crew. My jobs are Common Area Monitor with William and Evening Activity Coordinater with Aavia. I am supposed to organize the cleaning schedule in the public areas and come up with the evening activities to make sure it is in everyone's best interest.

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Everyday, the Microcampus schedule is posted on the whiteboard in the main courtyard. Our schedule consisted of a tour of the Linden centre and village, wellness plan touch ups, daily journal, and evening activity. Our breakfast was at 7:30 and was buffet style. We had our first meeting at 8:15 and used it for a bit of a checkup on how we were doing.

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Getting to XiZhou takes some time. Starting with a 4 hour plane ride, a, surprisingly not that tiring, 6 and a half hour bus ride followed. Mr. T managed to turn our bus into a "classroom on wheels." He started off with placing us in a set of different Microcampus scenarios. For example: 'your roomate throws up in the middle of the night, what do you do?' or 'a man in the village invites you to eat dinner with him. What do you do?' The pattern between the questions was that usually the answer was to call/ask Mr.

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On April 10th we had a Microcampus lock in to really experience our group. We have 9 people and we are all responsible and I fully believe we can all make the best of Microcampus. During the lock in we first started by talking about the Microcampus mission statement which talks about the four pillars (everything is explained more in the video). We then talked about some notes from the counsellor and the nurse. Then, Mr.

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My name is Alex L., and I am an 8th grader at SAS Pudong. At SAS I am in MUN, the musical, and CISSA. My time at Xizhou was truly transformational. My topic was small business economics case study. I studied Mr. Zhang, a local barber. My favorite thing about Microcampus was the freedom and opportunities we got. Microcampus showed me the real experience of China and opened my mind up to many different possibilities.