Annika W. (Alumni-K)'s Journal

In my service learning group, I am by far the weakest Chinese speaker and also pretty much useless. Because of this I took some responsibilities away from Jenny (who is our Language A level speaker and creating translations) such as exchanging money with the bank and previoiusly her daily video shoutout. 

Aside from this it has been a relatively relaxing day. I edited my iMovie and began writing my reflection for our final product. I cannot believe that the trip is almost over...

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As of today, four days before we leave Xizhou, I have completed my iquiry project! I am currently waiting for a check with Mr. T to make sure that my inquiry project is ready to be uploaded. I am also working on composing my reflection for my final product. I think that I have definitely faced a few challenges a long the process of completing my inquiry project. For instance, technical difficulties. Additionally I learned that you should ALWAYS take pictures. 

Note - iMovie is not actually that difficult to use. 

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Today was a day of downtime, as we did not have much to do. I participated in the daily video shoutout with Kevin C and Dylan, and we went to the Mosque to film. However it was locked so we did our shoutout outside of the Mosque. We also finished our week three wellness reflection and got a lot of inquiry project time. This basically meant that I learned how to transfer videos from an andriod phone to a macbook (thank you mom and dad for making me get WeChat). I was finally able to get some more editing done.

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Jenny, Kevin M, and I went out for service learning today. We interviewed Mr. Yang, who is around 73 years old and worked in Kunming as a driver during the cultural revolution. In order to find out more about him, watch our service learning video! We got around thirty minutes of filming done today, so we definitely have a lot of editing to do.

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Today was a relatively relaxed day. We got to do a bunch of fun activies, such as playing hacky sack, touch rugby, and American football. I thoroughly enjoyed playing these things, as it was a good opportunity to just be crazy (with a moderated volume). It was also a relatively normal day, as we are listening to Dylan playing his saxophone and writing our journals. I got a lot done for inquiry project today, as I went out with Livia and took a bunch of pictures for our inquiry projects, and Jenny and I found a service learning partner for our group.

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GIS. Oh GIS. Our final assignment for GIS was due today, and I had a lot of difficulties with completing it within the given time frame. I feel as if our GIS assignment was a second inquiry project, because it had to be related to Xizhou. As difficult as this process was, I think that I enjoyed it a lot more than I initially thought and I learned a lot about the village and the daily lives of children here in the village. Aside from this, we are beginning our Phase 4’s today! 

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Today was our last day in the field to do research. I went out today to conduct some final interviews. I met a lot of interesting people, such as Ms. Matusow who is a writer from Portland, Oregon. Aside from this, I also enjoy my interview with the gardener, Ms. Yan, who was very hospitable and very friendly to Evy and me. She invited us over to her house and then cut us fruit and offered us a lot of yummy treats! I guess getting to know some people better results in some very interesting experiences.

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While some people think that us kids overuse the internet, in general we use internet connection for school and education related purposes. This is especially the case for Microcampus, as our whole workspace is on the Microcampus website. Luckily enough for me, I had a backup copy on my computer so I was able to get some inquiry work done. The biggest “however” for today was certainly teacher support.

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And day sixteen marks the end of our very interesting hike. Today we began to descend from our campsite, in my opinion more difficult than going up. Although it did not take as long, I feel as if the roads were very steep, and we went longer without breaks. However, we made it down in six and a half hours, shorter than day one and we covered more vertical distance. 

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Compared to yesterday, today was definitely not that mentally demanding. Although we did encounter more steep trails (to get to the highest point, 3232) and enjoyed less conversations due to the thinner air (deeper breaths) it was worth it. Our pace was amazingly fast and we got to our destination after one hour and forty minutes! At 3200, all of us decided to climb up to the highest point of the hike and enjoy our special comfort food that we brought along.

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The first day of the hike came quicker than I ever thought it would. We left right after breakfast and began walking uphill. And uphill. And uphill. Admittidley we did have a rough and a slow start, but after a while the trail got easier and our moods got better. The hike stopped being a monotonous walk after a few friends and I began to pick up some walking sticks to assist us on the hike.

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Today is our last day at the Linden Centre and the day before the hike. I have to say, after hearing some things from the alumni and other people who have gone hiking before, it does not seem as bad as I initially anticipted, although that could just have been me. I think that, again, it is more about mentaility. Other than that I am going to miss the beautiful Linden Centre, but I think that the mountain is going to be more beautiful.

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Today didn't involve much of me doing anything except for beginning to interpret my information that I have gathered from my interviews. I realized that for Phase 3, while I did write down the information that I gathered I did not see if I could use this to answer my "Big Questions". I still have to schedule a time for my last two interviews that I would like to have done. However, these two people are working on finishing BaoChengFu for us Microcampus students to stay in. 

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Today was a good day to learn a bit more with how my volume affected others in the centre. During our morning Pitching In time, I was being loud enough to disturb some conversations downstairs (I was upstairs at the time), and when Mr. Tafel tried to remind me to be a bit more quiet via phone call, my phone was on vibrate… Lesson today, be more silent and also make sure that my phone is always audible. Also, always be on task so that I can get free time later on in the day. 

 

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Today was a normal day, with essentials and WIPPIS time. I got a lot done during WIPPIS and am currently on track with my inquiry work. Today was also interesting in the aspect that I ate dinner with some people that I normally do not talk to. This gave me a really good oppertunity to get to know some people better. Other than that, we had to adjust back to our normal schedule, which involved some people waking up late for breakfast... 

In terms of my inquiry project, I had a really successful interview today so I had a rather productive day. 

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Today I woke up to a beautiful sunrise that was ever-so difficult to enjoy. Victoria and I had a very rough night of sleep, involving a lot of wind. In fact, we actually woke up at the same time, looked at each other, said, "Woah," to the wind, and then fell asleep again... Weird. Later that morning, we had to put our sleeping bags back. I accidentally mixed up the bags and somehow Victoria and I managed to cram her extra large sleeping bag into a medium sized bag. It worked! But, it involved a whole lot of time. It made folding the tent look really, really, easy. 

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This morning, we were able to sleep in. And when I say "sleep in" I mean sleeping for eleven hours, not sleeping late and waking up late like in Shanghai. The weekends are a great oppertunity to relax! Our breakfast buffet had a start and end time, so we got to wake up a bit later than before. After a long day of relaxing and cleaning up, we went camping to Erhai lake and saw the sunset. We then learned how to set up our tents, and then we had a fun time zipping doors quickly so that no bugs came in. Overall, it was a fun experience, as it was my first time camping.

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We hiked today. And unfortunately, it wasn't even the real hike. Just a teaser, two hour maximum hike. The good thing that I found out while on the hike is that it is mainly about your mental strength in comparison to physical. Other than that I had a good dinner with Sam and Leonard, and then I embarked on a short visit to the Western Cafe with Haley to start with her case study. For our evening activity we are going to watch "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

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Jiyisi

Today was another average day. We did essentials and then it was our first Pitching In. I had a meeting with Mr. Tafel just as a quick check in during Pitching In. However, it took a bit longer than expected due to some interference. We finished our rather long "check in" during lunch, only to find out that someone ate at the wrong place. So I had to walk with Mr. Tafel to SiFangJie and find some other people that I could buddy up with. I ended up eating with Kevin C, Kevin M, and Dylan, and I also showed them the really good popsicle place.

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As of right now, I am sitting in the TV room with two amazing people, Victoria and Livia. And we are awkwardly waiting for some medication because of Victoria's visitor. Other than that, today has not been anything special. We got to work on some SAS Essentials for maths and also got acquainted with Harvey, Leonard's alter-ego/twin, and Lucas and Amir, Luca's alter-egos/siblings? The encounter was very interesting. Aside from those little silly moments, I finished my Phase 2 and am currently waiting for it to be completely checked. Unfortunately, Mr.

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Today we had the first morning jog of the Kryptonite group. We as in myself, Haley, Ashley, and Lauren. We woke up relatively early and then left while it was still dark. With the assistance of head lamps we managed to make our way to the main square of town and then bank, then back to the Linden Centre of course. We saw a bunch of vendors making their food, only to sadly realize that we did not bring money on the trip...

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Today, again, did not involve much doing of anything. We talked a lot about what our schedule is going to look like for further reference and we also got orientated with the area. We started our morning off with breakfast and a tour of the Linden Centre. I learned a lot of things about the centre, and I also got to look around for fun activities to do. We also went around the village and some of us had our first taste of Xizhou baba. Unfortunately, the person in front of us decided to order eighty baba, so we didn't get a chance to try any.

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As of this first journal entry, I may or may not have been procrastinating it and doing it a bit later than when I was supposed to complete it. But with that aside, I am still in Shanghai preparing for my trip to Xizhou and am currently working on my background research and preparing questions that I want to answer while in the village. I think that an interesting aspect of the trip is the fact that I get to know people that I might not hang out with during school. As of right now, I'm definitely better friends with some of the people also going to Xizhou in comparison to before.

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Hi, my name is Annika and I was born in Pennsylvania, America but I moved from London to Shanghai. I have been living in Shanghai for around nine months and in March 2015 I came to Xizhou with the Kryptonite group. My inquiry project was the Linden Centre’s impact on Xizhou. While in Xizhou I had an amazing time and experience which involved getting to be familiar with a different culture and lifestyle. Although four weeks seem like a long time, when you are in Xizhou it feels extremely short!