The focus of our service learning project is to record and document the life of one of the active elders in our host village (XiZhou). We have already chosen our service learning partner, he is Mr. Yang a former science teacher of chemistry.
Note: the links are all the same
A few characteristics that would make for a good service learning partner is one that is interested in our project. It would also be very useful is they are willing to expound on things without have to be questioned. Another useful characteristic would be if they have experienced many different things or has a very good story to tell about his or her life, this could be a major event in their life or their view on a movement in history.
Our service learning partner was Mr. Yang (杨学高), he is 80 years old and is a retired Chemistry teacher.
I learned quite a bit about Mr. Yang and the time period that he had lived through. I have learned that his wife has already passed away and he has 4 children, two girls and two boys who are in XiGuan right now. He used to teach students even during the cultural revolution although many students didn't pay attention because of the ideas that knowledge wasn't as important as hard work. I did not learn too much about the history of XiZhou. But one major fact that I did learn was that during World War 2, XiZhou wasn't really affected by Japan's occupation of China. The main reason for this is because of the fact that XiZhou is so far away from the front lines of the war that was ongoing around Shanghai and Nanjing. Another fact that I learned was that the Flying Tigers had a pretty positive impact on XiZhou during World War 2. I did learn a lot about the history of the 20th century. Mainly regarding World War 2 and the Cultural Revolution. One fact that I learned was that Mao wasn't the first in command of the revolution in the very beginning another person was.
I loved being able to share our final video with my service learning partner. When he saw his video he laughed at many parts of where he did some pretty interesting things. Another thing that I found was very interesting was that, during most other service learning videos, he didn't pay very careful attention. But when his own video came up, he was so absorbed that he didn't even bother to use his camera to take pictures of the audience. This showed that he was very interested in what we had done is what I took the sign as. Overall I thought that the video really made today a very memorable day for him.
After the video showing was over. Our service learning partner was in a much more happier mood than when he had started off. He also said that we had put too little of him in the movie. He said that 5 and a half minutes was not enough, we should have put everything he had said into the video which was about 1 and a half hours worth of footage. Later on as we were escorting him back to his house he said that we shouldn't have put so much about the cultural revolution into the video. I think that he was afraid that the governemtn would get mad if they saw it. He did say that if anyone else ever wants to come do this with him, he was much more than happy to help with them after seeing how interesting the product had turned out to be.
I would recommend that future microcampus students shouldn't take this project very lightly. Talking to elders and getting them to film is much harder than you might think. Do not take other microcampus student's recommendations lightly my group did this and we were pretty rushed in the end. Three, don't always depend on the strong chinese speakers in your group to translate. I was one of the chinese speakers in my group and I made quite a few mistakes in translating that was only found by the chaperones XiaoTang, Annaliese, and Fay.