Jeffrey Z. (Alumni-D)'s Journal

Everyone knows that Grammies but how about the world famous Jammies? Tonight we hosted the Jammy award ceremony in one of the rooms of YZR. The Jammies award night was filled with laughter as people made jokes, gave speeches and just celebrated. A lot of comfort food was downed as the night progressed. The awards were of a wide vareity ranging from dirtiest rooms to the cleanest rooms, those who would always help etc. A lot of laughter was produced when people gave speeches to express their thanks. The orchestra was pretty quick to respond when people's speeches became too long.

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There are many reasons I had come to microcampus. Maybe it was that I wanted to try something new, maybe I just wanted to interact with local chinese more... Whatever the reason I had back when I first came to Microcampus I now find that there is one reason that really stands out to me. What I really wanted to do when I came out here was to take in something new. To understand a new culture, to see new scenery and to find a different kind of personality that was inside of me.

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Today was the day that we presented our final service learning projects. What was obvious was that there wasn't as much of a rush to get things done as our inquiry project had been so the day was a little bit easier. It was absolutely amazing to be able to see my service learning partner's reactions when he saw our movie. 

 

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Today's afternoon was a pretty stressful one for me. We had our final product due today and much of the time was spent in the afternoon working to finish it up. One major thing that was obvious here was that those of us who did not do a good job focusing usually during WIPPIT time had lots of work to catch up on and tempers were pretty short. Those that had been evening out the workload over a few days were much better off and were not as stressed. Overall I am pretty sure that all of us managed to finish our final product and turn it in for a final review.

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Today was mainly focused on our inquiry project and service learning. The two projects are due on Wednesday. In the morning because of the fact that I had finished most of my schoolwork earlier, I was able to spend a bit of time working on my inquiry project final product. My final product is going to be 3-d modeling but I felt as if my product a was a little lame like it needed a hint of salt. I asked Mr. Tafel and he provided me with a good idea for that last hint of salt.

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Today is the last sunday of our microcampus trip. The day was pretty normal for a weekend. Most of the time was spent catching up on things and recovering from any sleep that might have been missed during the week. Towards the end of the day though I personally wished that there was more of a celebration or commemoration for today and it came. Right before dinner we had a check-in. During that time Mr. Tafel announced that at 7:30 we should meet infront of the kitchen for a top secret classification rank 9 surprise. Actually it was only top secret but all of that just made it sound cool.

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Today was a very progressive day in terms of our service learning. After a restful morning, the afternoon was spent on our service learning projects. We went to our service learning partner Mr. Yang after a short meeting. He proved to be quite talkative and was more than happy to let us film him. Most of the questions we asked were mainly on the history of China and his memories of them. The chat took a long time and by the time we were finished we had 1 hour worth of footage. Tomorrow we will be visiting him again to ask a few more personal questions about him and his family.

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Tonight was bro's night out and girl's night in and obviously, that information is classified. So instead of writing about today, I am going to write about the horse cart ride we had yesterday AFTER I had finished my journal yesterday. We were supposed to take some quiet time at SiFangJie but the plan changed and before we knew it, we were on a horse cart ride. I, Graham, Mr. Linden, and Mr. Tafel had departed from YZR earlier to do a little bit of inquiry work. Graham went to a Antique shop that Mr.

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Today was an extremely productive day for our Inquiry Project progress. First of all we wrapped up our Phase 3 if we hadn't already and started on our phase 4. Our goal was to finish phase 4 by the end of today which I believe that I am very close to doing. Phase 4 wasn't very long in fact because what it was mainly about was what we planned to do for our final product. Our final product even though was supposed to report our findings is still really a report on how our learning experience was.

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I am pretty sure that in one of my earlier journal posts that I have mentioned about a visit to Dali Old Town. Today we went to the town again. At the town today I tasted food once again that really kind of reminded me of home, or at least what I often wish I could have everyday. First for dinner we ate at a cafe. I ordered macaroni noodles with bacon sauce, it was absolutely amazing.  The whole dish had a layer of melted cheese on top locking in the taste of the noodles and sauce underneath.

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Today we had some pretty interesting laundry experiences. In the morning after breakfast we had SAS essentials before moving onto our daily meeting. After the meeting was over we went to the laundry place to do our laundry. When we reached the place we were quite sad to discover that one, someone else was already using one of the washing machines, this meant that we only had one washing machine to use. The second fact was that we were absolutely out of washing detergent, with no other option we had to turn back and try again later today.

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Today is the day that we're preparing for our hike. I am quite nervous about the hike because Mr. Tafel has mentioned over and over again that the hike was more challenging than we expected so I have no clue what to expect. I am pretty sure that I have everything we need for the hike so I'm not too worried. Luckily for us, mules will be carrying quite a few supplies so we won't need to be carrying our tents, water and food. We will be needing to wake up very early tomorrow so this post won't be very long. Basically I hope that everything goes well on the hike, HuaDianba here I come!

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Today was the last day of our 3 day hiking trip. Overall the hiking trip was tiring but still quite interesting. We achieved quite a lot on this 3 day trip of ours. We achieved a height of 3232 meters above sea level through hiking, We built a campfire, and today we climbed all the way back down to about 5 kilometers away from where we started. We left our campsite from yesterday about 1 hour ahead of schedule at 10:00 AM. At first we made progress quite slowly climbing through creeks and streams. I do not think there was any one of us who did not get our feet wet.

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Today we achieved a height of 3232 meters which is a HIGHlight of our 3 day hiking trip. We set off in the morning after waking up from our campgrounds. Today's hike was much shorter and it wasn't too long before we reached our target. The view up at 3232 meters was absolutely amazing. We could see down into the valley in which we had arrived yesterday. Later on after our view of a eight of 3232 meters, we went down into the valley on the other side. We camped behind a small hill with Yaks swarming around us.

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Today after a very early breakfast we departed for our 3 day hike. The first leg of the trip especially in the very beginning was extremely tiring. The slope had a certain amount of steepness and we reached 2700 meters 200 meters away from our goal of 2900 pretty quickly. We were all pretty tired out by then starting froma height of 2100 meters. But after experiencing that 600 meters we thought that we had nearly everything under control. Little did we know about what was in store for us. The last 200 meters of our hike took even longer than the first 700 meters of our hike.

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Today after coming back from our camping trip where I made a few major careless moves, we rushed to get our schedule back on track. In the afternoon, we had our WIPPIT time and during that time I, Graham, and Mr. Tafel went on a short trip to Dali Old Town with a stop at WanQiao. When we arrived at WanQiao, I immeadietly knew that it was perfect for me to study. There was one house that had been nearly absolutely knocked down by the earthquake. The pieces that were left still standing was the main beams of the house, part of a wall, and that was about it.

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Right now it is the next day, but last night we had a camping trip to the tongue of the lake which is a small peninsula sticking out into the lake. We left our "home" YZR at around 6 PM last night. Biking to the camping spot was an adventure! The road started off pretty well, but later we turned onto a road that had potholes and puddles of water everywhere from the rain earlier that morning. Eventually we came to a part in the road where there was just this 10+ meter long of water filled road.

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Today in the afternoon after completing most of my WIPPIT time Mr. Tafel showed me to this amazing place for my studies. Just in case there are a few out there who do not know my field of study, I am studying the architecture of XiZhou especially how it is earthquake or non-earthquake resistant. The place that Mr. Tafel took me to was a half completed structure that was abandoned. There are two stories that go with how this became because no one really knows how or who sponsored the building of the structure.

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Today we went to do our laundry again. This time after collecting previous knowledge we realized that getting the washing machine outside running was more important than the inside one because it took a longer time to wash the clothes. When we got there though, the Linden Center staff were also washing bedsheets and laundry and so because their machine was larger it took up the main waterline. In order to fill our washing machine with water then, we had to dump it in with buckets.

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Finally it comes to the end of a long week. A seven day length of time in which I experienced many different things. The Saturday that we got here was full of travel with a wakeup time of 4:30 AM for me. Sunday was where we explored and got to know our surroundings and Monday was when we first had our SAS Essentials. Tuesday was the first time I got 30 minutes in the zone on Microcampus and Wednesday was when we had our bike trip around Lake Erhai. Thursday was the day when we had our Terrace Time at the Linden Center with Friday being the visit to Dali Old Town.

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Today we were SUPPOSED to sleep in, but i still woke up at around 7:00 AM. Breakfast was much more loose and we could eat it anytime between 8:30 and 9:30. Later on I went to go meet one of my local contacts. My local contact's name was a-biao. We met him at SiFangJie which is kind of like the main square of the village. I went off with him to see some of his construction sites as well as old houses. We first went to visit an old house that was made of pure wood. It was amazing just looking at a house that was 100 years old still in perfect living conditions.

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It's been exactly seven days since we left Shanghai now and I feel as if so many things have happened. It started with a 5:15 arrival at the airport followed by nearly a whole day of transportation. Later on we had some of our first experiences of things like WIPPIT, SAS essentials, daily meetings etc. Now, it has come down to seven days past. The day started up with rushing to get things down in order to visit the Dali Old Town. Lesson learned, keep up to date with things as much as possible otherwise you will regret it.

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Today in the afternoon, after coming back from SiFangJie for lunch we met this another Mr. Yang of the village (there are lots and lots of people with the surname Yang in the village). He was visiting our living space YZR. It was quite an interesting experience and he read palm for both me and Kate J. After a while he left and we went back to our own schedule. During pitching - in time I heard that he was outside and so I decided to go and visit him. I brought Graham out with me and sat down next to him, and we just talked.

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As usual we started off with the SAS essentials and daily meeting. Later on, after the daily meeting we (as in the 3 boys, Andre, Matthew, and me) had our own little laundry adventure! We arrived at the laundromat with our dirty clothes and seperated them into two piles, one which was dark/colored and another which was white.

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Today we experienced our first day of WIPPIT (Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching - In, Terrace time), it was pretty interesting in my standards. The day started off with the usual breakfast, SAS Essentials, Lunch, but when it came to 1:00 PM, WIPPIT started. WIPPIT is divided like this, 1 hour for Wellness, 2 hours for Inquiry Project, 1 hour for Pitching - In, and 30 minutes for Terrace time. These times are all determined by ourselves like for when and where we do it, who we do it with etc.

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Today started out with a small workout, a run in the DARK (tripped once or twice) at 6 AM in the morning. After coming back we met again for breakfast before spliting up to learn some of our SAS essentials. It was pretty interesting watching the Pudong students learn with their math teacher, but soon the Puxi students, we went into a seperate room to do our homework. I have to admit, the review test was a little difficult. In all that time, most of us only finished one to two pages.

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The day started off pretty well, a short tour of where we were living and after that we split into two groups, one to tour the village the other to work on our inquiry projects. I was the group to first work on our inquiry project. It wasn't too difficult, just a few finishing touches here and there, after that it was just chilling. I played the piano once or twice but mainly I took a short walk in the village with Matthew, and after that just talking with the other 7 students which were in this group. Lunch came and we went to eat.

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Airport Picture

I had to wake up at 4:30 AM to rush to the airport arriving at 5:15 AM, we boarded the plane and took off pretty soon around 8:00 AM. We arrived at the KunMing Airport at around 11:00 AM, we split up into two groups, one to collect baggage, and another to buy food. I split up with my Pudong friend Graham and while I went to collect the baggage he went to buy food. It wasn't too long before we had collected the baggage so we waited at the airport entrance for the other half of our group to arrive with the food. Surprise, Surprise...

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Following this short paragraph is a link in which you may view my thoughts on the microcampus trip we will be leaving for tomorrow. I'm pretty excited and also a little nervous right now so I aplogize in advance for the space fillers I have used (um, uh etc).

 

 

(FYI all of these buttons have the same link so don't hesitate over which one to click... I was just having some fun with linking URLs to words!!!)

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Last weekend (August 23-24 2013) the 16 microcampus students of Dynamite got together at the Pudong Campus library for the first time. Being one of the 16, I thought that the whole lock-in went pretty well overall. Leaving the Puxi campus at around 2:00-2:30 PM we arrived at the Pudong campus after about a 2 hour long drive. We (as in the 6 Puxi students) were greeted quite warmly by the Pudong students and within an hour every single one of us had at least one friend from the opposite campus. Soon the idea of dinner had filled our minds as time ticked past.

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Hey guys, my name is Jeffrey (spelled R-E-Y not E-R-Y) and I found microcampus extremely exciting! I have been interested in the Microcampus ever since Mr. Tafel introduced it to us in 6th grade science class and now I have officially been on the trip. I had lots of fun here even though I was one of the only four boys here and only boy from the Puxi campus. Every day presented me with its own set of challenges and it really makes microcampus an interesting experience. The 28 days I spent with everyone in my group was unforgettable and whenever by chance we meet each other it's like meeting a long lost brother or sister. Microcampus by far was the most memorable experience I had in Middle School. Now that I'm back in Shanghai, I'm really starting to miss XiZhou, but no regrets, thats the best way to live life. The whole experience is definitely something I won't be forgetting. Please excuse any of my tyops.