Matthew P. (Alumni-D)'s Journal

Today we had the jammie's!!!!!! It is pretty much the grammies but in a pun. Anyways we had a bunch of awards, and I one a few. Those few were: Step Up award, dirty sock award, best mathmatician award and nt to brag: MR. MICROCAMPUS! I was happy and I had bragging rights for the whole night. Even though I did not get the most awards, I was still happy to win some. It was a short and fun night and can't wait to do something like it again!

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most people would think that people including me would go to microcampus for fun or for the expearience. Some people might think that i cam to microcampus for an adventure. But they are all wrong. I did not come to MicroCampus for any of the things. I came to Microcampus to learn and find out things about myself. At first I was not doing this. As our group hit around the 2 week mark, I started to see things that I never thought i could do. For example, I never thought that I would go out into any random field, and talk to a a farmer in CHINESE!

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YAYYYYYYY! We finished our inquiry project and we get to play black jack. Don't worry, we are not gambling with real money, but we are gambling with candy. I think it's going to be jelly beans and AL PIN LI BA. that was a type of candy just in case you were wondering. The only bad part about black jack tonight is that I think it is all going to turn into a big mess and no one will be playing by the rules. If all goes well, I will be happy. I also just finsihed up my inquiry project. I made my final project and reflection and sent it in for teacher review.

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I have nothing really to say because it was such a normal day. The normal day with SAS essentials, WIPPIT, and meetings. I guess I could say one thing though, and that thing is that I am going to finish up my inquiry project tommorow! It is a lot of work, and i can't wait to finish my work. it's been a long journey, and I think the important thing to remember is to never give up and a do a little at a time so you get your work finished!

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For the whole entire day, Anna has been saying that there was going to be a surprise at the end of the day. And of course, like childeren do, they try and fugure out what that surprise is going to be. We kept on guessing and guessing, but every time we guessed, she would say no. We eventually gave up that stratigy and try to see what she was doing in the kitchen. Of course, the blinds were folded so we could not see past into the kitchen. Finally at the end of the day she reviled her surprise. Turns out she was making a delicious chocolate cake, with the words made out of snickers.

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Today was the weekend so it was pretty chill. In the afternoon we got to go to see our service learning partner, which was nice because we got to learn a lot more about what was going on in the past. Another good part is that we got to take our first video/interview of her for our service learning project. At points in the interview, she started to sing old chinese songs, and then she asked Rory and Gayatri to sing a song that they were learning in choir, At first they were a bit nervous, but then they did it.

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Today we had a BNO and a girls night in. A BNO stands for Bros Night Out. The girls were supossed to do eachother's nails and hair and watch a chick flick. The bros were going camping, but the tide was too high by the time we got there, and we had to go back at 9:30 PM. The only thing is that the girls still got what they were supossed to do and we didn't. The good part of this is that we got to know Bryce Linden more. I think now we are better friends then we were from the start. 

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Today, all day, the evening programing commitie has been saying that we were going to go to SFJ to reflect on how our terrace time was going. Turns out that that was all a lie and we were going to go on a horse carrage ride for 1 hour around XiZhou. We started off by going into SFJ and then going out into the fields. Around 8:00, we had a little break and had a 5min terrace time. This was a good thing because t was probably the only chill time of my day. When this terrace time stopped, we went back home and relaxed there for the rest of the night.

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I think every week we will be going to Dali Old Town. The main highlight that happened in Dali Old Town was when we went to go have a massage. We walked into the same place that we went last time because this place gave really nice massages. We went for a 30 min foot massage, and could not wait for it to start. Our feet were sore from the hike and needed something to stop the pain. When we were in the room and having the massage, andre and I were making really funny jokes. He had told all of the guys that he did not want to go for a massage because his calfs were in a huge amount of pain.

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Today was a pretty normal day, besides the fact that we had to start our inquiry prjects again from 3 day hike. Today I had decided to go out into the fields with a chaperone and learn how to harvest rice. One of the first farmers that we went to was beating rice into a basket. This was an old fashion way to use a thresher, and we decided that this would not help me my project because I focusing on machines more then old fashion things. After this we went to a person with a machine thresher and they let me try it.

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We woke up once again cold to see the sunrise. The good part was that we had time to pack up and get ready to hike. Around 10:30 we started the hike up hill. Through out all of the Microcampus trip Mr. T has been saying that the 3 day of the hike was always the worst because he had old bones. He said that all of us would do fine going down hill, but we knew that even though we are young, our bones would still hurt. In the beggining of the hike we got lost in the middle of no where and then we found a path that would lead us to the right destination.

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We woke up to a cool morning and we did not want to get out of bed. We all knew that we had to get out of bed to stay on schedule, so we forced our selves out of bed. Mr. T said that this would be a 3 hour hike, but it would also be a harder hike. Right after we ate breakfast, we started our hike. The hike was not as hard as I thought it would be because I had a walking stick. We finally got to the top and all our breathing stopped. We were surounded by the most beuatiful scenery I have ever seen. On one side were mountains and on the other side was completely flat plains.

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Today was the first day of the hike. When I was on the bus, I was looking at the mountains and I reilized that the hike mught be a lot harder than I thought. At the end of this thought, I saw that the bus had stopped and I was behind everyone. We quickly un-packed everything and started our hike. Since most of the first day's hike was up hill, and there were first time hikers, we had to go slower than usuall. This did not matter to me because I knew as long as I got up there, I would be fine.

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In a couple days there will be a 3 day hiking trip! I cant wait because I love to hike. Ever since I was a kid, I loved to go outside, and play in the sun. As I am growing up, I am starting to know that I like to go hiking more and more often. The reason behind why I like to hike so much is because I like to breath in the fresh air, see cool animals, and find cool objects on the ground. For example, I found turtle eggs in the ground. Where our Microcampus group is going is in the mountains.

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Today was the first time back from the relaxing weekend. It got us al tired because we were not reay for the normal day schedual or the work load. The highlight of today was during WIPPIT time when I had to go out in to the fields to interview farmers. At first I was a bit nervous about the fact that I had to go up to a farmer introduce myself, and start asking her questions that will help me later in my inquiry project. My questions that I asked her were: Are there more guy farmers or female farmers in the field? If a natural disater happenes, what will the farmer do?

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We have had a tiring week with lots of cool experiences but we all were greatful when we had SIX HOURS of rest! Mr. T noticed that we needed some rest and so he gave a half day of it. through out that half day a rest I did various things like play games, chat with people, and even just sat there listning to everyone's words. This upcoming weekend will be diffrent because we will be having a three day hike across the mountains. So I can't wait for that. I guess there is nothing much really to say, but in all, today was one of the most relaxing days of my life.

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 Being a student here at Microcampus, I reilized that tourists have a huge impact on XiZhou. Through out the years, the population of XiZhou has increased making more things happen. As those things start to happen, more tourists come. Now XiZhou is a quiet, peaceful and green place, but once again the tourists are changing all of this. When the tourists throw their trash where ever they want like it does not matter. People in XiZhou have learned that in order to keep a healthy environment, they have to recycle and throw away their trash in the designate area.

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The highlight of today was when we went to Dali Old Town. It was a really cool expearience because we got to learn about about the history of it. We ate a wondeful dinner, and had an amazing desert! Almost immedeatly after this happened, we wnt to have a foot massage. When this finsihed we went home and now I am writing this journal to the world. Hope you enjoy! 

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When I woke up, the sky was grey and it looked like it was going to rain. while I was thinking this I also remembered that it was the Moon Festival! Ms. Mai said for the moon festival we get to split up into two different groups and meet different familys. Some focusing on farming, and Architect, and the other embroidery! I went to the family that has to fo with farming because that is my inquiry topic. Once we got their we sat and had dinner with the moon cakes. We stuffed are bellys so much that it was hard to even walk!

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When I woke up, the sky was grey and it looked like it was going to rain. while I was thinking this I also remembered that it was the Moon Festival! Ms. Mai said for the moon festival we get to split up into two different groups and meet different familys. Some focusing on farming, and Architect, and the other embroidery! I went to the family that has to fo with farming because that is my inquiry topic. Once we got their we sat and had dinner with the moon cakes. We stuffed are bellys so much that it was hard to even walk!

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Today was a beutiful day! The sun was shining, the trees are whistling, and everbody is happy! The day was amazing, but the highlight of my day was when we went for a 2hour bike ride. The Microcampus students split up into two groups depending on our work groups. I was in the second group that went. So when the first group went, our group got to work on our inquiry projects, and wellness. When it was our turn to go for a bike ride, Mr. T said that we would be going on a different path than the other group. We took a really muddy trail that got our bikes super dirty!

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Everyday is an excitement here! The biggest thing that happened today was Wellness time. In wellness time you have to get 30min in zone in order to finish your wellness time. Wellness time happens during WIPPIT, but I decided that I wanted to go do my wellness time at 5:30 in the morning! To get 30min in zone you have to put a heart rate monitor on that measures your heart beats/min. When your heart rate is over 140 beats/min you start to get in zone. When i went for a run I did not get my time in zone, making me do my wellness time during WIPPIT.

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Today was a great day. There were many cool things that happened, but the highlight of my day was my first terrace time! Terrace time is when you walk to a quiet spot and sit there thinking to your self for 30min. At first I thought this might be really boring, but then I realized that it was kind of fun. I got to watch the farmers work in the rice fields, see how the sun changed the colors on the mountain. Everything was great, but the best thing was the peace and quiet.

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Today was great! We got to have a tour around the village, and we also worked on our Inquiry project. Then all of a sudden it started to rain...HARD! At that time we went to see how the laundry machine works. We did not want to walk all the way back in the rain, so we took a car. From there it turned into me writing this. So hope you enjoy!

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Today was my birthday! Which is really funny because I only remembered it was my birthday when someone told me! Anyways, we had to leave to the airport at 4:20 and we arrived in Kunming at 11:00 AM. From there we took a 7 hour bus ride all the ay to XiZhou. it was all worth it because it is beutiful here. The sun is shining and we got to see a awesome sunset. Later that night we got to see stars! its a great change from Shanghai! :) We also got to see a bunch of shooting stars. Which is also a change from Shanghai! 

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Last friday the MicroCampus kids met for the first time at SAS Pudong. When they first got to the school, we did this bonding activity that asks us quetions that may/may not help us when we are on MicroCampus. A few hours later we are eating pizza from PaPa Johns, bond and having fun. Later on that evening we talk about some of the diffculties about MicroCampus. Some of the students said that it might just be hard to stay away from home for a whole MONTH! Right after we did this activity we made a wellness plan for our trip. Once we were finished that, it was time for us to go to bed.

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I am in XiZhou now! The sun is shining and the air is clean. It is so peaceful and quiet here and everybody is so friendly. I can't wait to get out into the fields and work with the farmers. I also cant wait to get out into the village and start asking questions about my topic! The final thing that I am excited about is the service learning project. I will be really cool to learn about the past in XiZhou!