Rebecca S. (Alumni-D)'s Journal

Tonight was the Jammies! The Jammies are like the Grammys but with Jammies!! We all gathered in Classroom 1 for the event. We wore our PJs, brought comfort food, and flashlights. Some examples of the awards were: Golden Flower, Golden Broom, Dirty Sock, Best Photo Bomb, Mr. Microcampus, Ms. Microcampus, and Best Dancer. Everyone won an award and made an acceptance speech. It was really fun! I am really sad that we are leaving tomorrow, but this trip was amazing.

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I came to Microcampus for many reasons. I wanted to go to a place where I could be stunned, challenged, and amazed all at once. I wanted to enhance my skills, while also developing new ones. I wanted to go for the experience, for the memories, for those moments that can never be repeated. I had never heard of Microcampus before that one lunch meeting back in 7th grade. I was a bit iffy about the fact of being gone for one month. I thought that it was too long. But now I realize how precious time is and how fast it went by. I did not expect Microcampus to be this amazing.

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Today we finished up our Service Learning Videos and presented them to a group of peopel that consisted of the elders, teachers, students, and other guests, mainly from the Linden Centre. It was a very nice gathering and I was happy to share my video with everyone. Everyone gathered together in Classroom 1. In the beginning, a video from last year was played because Mr. Yang was not able to make it. It was a really nice video. My group went first. We sat on the side and watched Ms. Chen see herself on the screen. She smiled a lot and seemed very happy with our work.

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Everybodys' Inquiry Project was due today. It was quite chaotic abecause everyone was still not finished with their Inquiry orject. Thorugh the ientire morning, everyone was working furiously to finish. I still had to work on my Powerpoint and spell-check my reflection. I worked hard after lunch and hurried to finish. I gave my best effort and feel like I did well. When I showed Mr. T my PPT, he said that I should voice-over everything. I voiced-over and had some difficulties turning it into a movie. In the end, I did a screen recording and finishe d before check-in.

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Tonight was quite exciting and loud due to the game, Apples to Apples. I played with Sarah, Christina, Gayatri, Bryce, and Shane. It was really fun and there were some interesting word selections. We played for about one hour and had lots of fun. It was the highlight of the day. Earlier in the day, I worked on finishing my Inquiry Project, since it was due the next day. I finished my introduction and my reflection, and part of my Powerpoint. Unfortunately, I lost some of my work due to technical difficulties. Luckily, I screen shoted most of it and was able to rewrite it.

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Today was full of surprises! In the evening, Anna and Gayatri surprised the group with two brownie cakes! Dynamite was spelled out in snickers on the two cakes. It was delicious and very creative! Thank you guys! They made my day. It reminded me of the beginning of the trip when there were 3 consecutive birthdays. I can't believe how close we are to the end of Microcampus! Afterwards, I had some hot cocoa and enjoyed my last Sunday evening in Xizhou.

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This was our 2nd and last Saturday in Xizhou. It was a big day for my Service Learning Group. We found a Service Learning partner the day before, Ms. Chen from Old Town Snacks. We filmed today. We learned more about Ms. Chen and her life. There was also a festival for a local god. There was smoke everywhere. And there were some big pieces of bread. My hair and jacket smelled strongly of smoke when we got back. It was a very interesting experience. I also ate a very delicious piece of chocolate. I can't believe that it was the last weekend in Xizhou!

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Tonight was Girls Night In and Boys Night Out! For Girls Night In, we watched All About Steve and Ramona and Beezus. The movies were okay, but it was pretty good overall. I got my nails done and drank some delicious hot cocoa in the kitchen. It was very peaceful without the boys. Sadly, the boys came back from their camping trip due to rain. It was fun having just a Girls Night In. I think the movies weren't very good, but it was still fun.

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Today's evening activity was the highlight of the day. In the Daily Meeting that day, Kate J. told us that there would be some deep reflecting that evening at Si Fan Jie. After dinner, they announced that there was no reflecting, but instead we were going to go on a horse-cart ride! Everybody was exicited and we hurried onto the horse-carts. The horse-cart ride was quite slow, probably because 9 people on a horse-cart is quite heavy. It was a lot of fun though! When we got to Er Hai, we had about 10 minutes of terrace time. It was quite cold, but very peaceful. It was a lot of fun!

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Today we went to Dali Old Town again! This time, my group decided to eat western food. We found some cafes that sold pizza and french fries. I ate a Margarita Pizza, french fries, and pineapple juice. Since we spent a lot of time shopping the trip before, we decided to spend a lot of time eating. One amazing discovery was the shop: Sweet Tooth. It took us quite a while to find, but it was totally worth it. I ate a very delicious slice of mint-coca cake. It was so good. I can't to go back and eat more cake!!!!!

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Today was mainly about getting back in the groove. It was a bit hard at first, because of the 3-day hike. Everyone was a bit tired. I had to schedule my time wisely. I took a nap during WIPPIT time and it really gave me lots of energy. I also took a walk and talk with Rory and Mr. T in the afternoon. I needed help deciding what I was going to do with the loads of information I had. We walked to a really nice temple near the market. It really helped me figure out what to do. It was a good first day back.

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Today was the last day before the 3-day hike. It was a normal day, but I made a lot of progress on my Inquiry Project. I went out 3 times during WIPPIT Time and learned a lot. I also had a new ice-cream during lunch. It was chocolate on the outside, and vanilla on the inside. It was so good! One of the people I talked to was Mr. Zhao. He is the leader of the Dongjing Band and told me about the changes Bai Music went through. I also went to see Mr. Dong, an 84 year old man who has a very nice instrument collection.

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Today was the final and third day of the hiking trip. I was excited because it would be mainly downhill. I knew that downhill would be more difficult and I was right. We had to pass through a lot of streams and water. It was really slippery and covered with branches. I got a few scrapes, bruises, and blisters but overall it was a great mental and physical challenge for me. I feel like the Dynamite Group bonded over the hiking trip and got to know each other a bit better. Of course it was really nice to take a warm shower back at YZR, but I will miss the mountains.

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Today was the second day of hiking. We woke up from quite a chilly night in "Da Hua Dian Ba." We left our camp after a tasty breakfast of noodles, bread and peanut butter. The hike was about 2 hours long and was steep, but easier. The view when we got to "Xiao Hua Dian Ba" was amazing. We reached the high altitude of 3232 meters. Afterwards, we got to rest and hang around. The highlight of the day was when a group of us were playing cards on this hill. The view was amazing! Suddenly a bunch of yaks came coming at us. It was kind of scary, but we got away safely.

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Today was the first day of the three-day hiking trip. We left around 8am in the morning and hiked until about 4:30pm. It was about 7 hours of hiking. In the beginning, the hike was steep and tiring. Afterwards, it got a bit easier and the land got flatter. We got to "Da Hua Dian Ba" around 4:30pm. It was really fun and mentally and physically challenging. Once the sun went down, we went star-gazing and saw a lot. I can't wait for tomorrow! Thankfully it will be a shorter hiking day.

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In the morning, I woke up around 6am, to a damp campground. We packed up our tents and headed home, not through the huge puddles, but through a slightly longer road. There were some ripple effects, but we all arrived home safely. The road that we took passed through a town and went through some fields. After we came back, we rushed to do math and eat breakfast. In the afternoon, I made some progress on my Inquiry Project. Rory and I went to talk to Ms. Duan again, and learned about traditional and non-traditional music. Overall, it was a tiring day.

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Today was quite an interesting day. The two highlights of the day were probably lunch and camping at the Tongue of the Lake. At lunch, Christina, Rory, Andre, Matt, Jeffrey, Gayatri, Sarah, and me went to Si Fan Jie for lunch. We were eating our fried rice when Mr. Yang came over with a child. He gave the child to Rory and said, "Feed him." Then he walked away. It was funny watching everyone try to feed the kid. Suddenly, he started crying. Then bees flew into Andre's hair? It was quite a confusing lunch. The entire group also went camping last night.

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Today was a normal day, breakfast, SAS Essentials, Pitching In, lunch at YZR, WIPPIT, dinner at SFJ, and chilling and chatting. The highlight of the day was Wellness. I ran about four Microcampus laps. A Microcampus lap is a little longer than 1 lap around a track. I got 60 minutes in zone!!! I was really proud of myself. Gayatri helped me through the process and I am thankful for having such a persistent friend! This will certaintly get me ready for the hike! Also, for my Inquiry Project, I have decided to focus on musicians and music during the Cultural Revolution.

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Today was the first day after a quite relaxing weekend. I was bit more tired but excited for the rest of the week. The highlight of the day was trivia night! Trivia Night was hosted by Mr. T and was the Evening Programming. I was in the team KARS (Kate J., Andre, me, and Sarah). It was really fun! Some questions were true or false, multiple choice, hard, and easy. The trivia game was based on Jeopardy. The categoreis were People and Places, Good Times, Natural World, Science and Tech, Arts and Culture, and Hobbies Sports Games.

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Tourism has both positive and negative influences on Xizhou. This area is very beautiful and tranquil, the two main factors that lure tourists out to this small town. Xizhou is not a very well known spot in Yunnan. 

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Today was our first official Saturday at Microcampus. The best things about yesterday were the late wake up, carrot cakes and bacon for breakfast, and meeting new people in the village. The highlight of the day was movie night. After dinner, we all sat down in the TV Room for movie night. We voted and Get Smart won. The movie was really funny and food was passed around. It was really nice having everyone together watching a movie. I can't wait until next movie night!

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Today was our first trip to Dali Old Town. In the morning after Daily Meeting, I experienced the joys of doing laundry. It was a long and slow process. We had to hurry home in time for lunch, but came back during WIPPIT Time. WIPPIT Time is when we work on our Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, and Terrace Time. I finished the final details for Phase 2. Next was Dali Old Town. We went on a 25 minute bus ride to get to Dali Old Town. Dali Old Town was similar to what I expected. My group (Christina, Gayatri, Anna, Miranda, and me) went to eat at a noodle shop.

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Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival. In the morning we did our usual routine. The afternoon was taken up by WIPPIT Time. The highlight of the day was after dinner, when Xiao Tang took us to a local's family to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. The family's house was three floors and cousins, uncles, and many relatives where there. There was a lot of food and we all sat together outside to enjoy the food. Unfortunately, it started to rain, and we were forced to move inside. We ate ham mooncakes, fruit mooncakes, pomengranate, walnuts, mao beans, peanuts, and soda.

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Today's highlight was the 2 hour bike ride in the afternoon. WIPPIT time was cut in half, making time for the bike ride. The group was spilt in two. The first group consisted of 8 students and Mr. T. The second group also consisted of 8 students and Mr. T. The first group went right after lunch, while the other group waited until they returned. Each group went to a different area. I was in the second group and we went to Lake Erhai. Then we went to a temple that was different that most temples that I have visited. The wooden pagoda inside was really beautiful.

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Today was the first day where we experienced a typical day at Microcampus. We had SAS Essentials, Daily Meeting, Pitching In, WIPPIT Time, and Evening Activities. My highlight of the day was visiting Mrs. Duan with Rory. Mrs. Duan is a local who owns a yarn shop but also has a passion for music. She showed us some Bai dances, music, and instruments. I also enjoyed the Donjing Music Concert at the Linden Centre. Mrs. Duan and her husband were in the group that performed. I learned about the history of Donjing Music and saw many instruments and dances. It was an amazing experience.

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Today was officially our third day in Xizhou. It was full of meetings, skype calls, and beautiful mountains. I got to skype Mr. Gould for math and Ms. Staver for AMIS. It was nice seeing all of those familiar faces. My highlight of the day was Terrace Time. The entire group went to the Linden Center. We weren't the only ones there and had to be extra respectful of the guests there. I wasn't expecting that much, but when we stepped out onto the terrace, it was one of the most amazing things that I ever saw.

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Today was our second day in Xizhou. We started the day bright and early with a warming breakfast. Then we went into our work groups and half of the work groups went on a tour of Xizhou and the rest of us stayed in Yang Zhou Ran with Mr. T, working on our Inquiry Projects. I polished up my Phase 0, 1, 2, and 3. Then we had a bit of down time. I practiced a bit of violin and piano, then went exploring with my buddy Christina. By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINA!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Today was our second day in Xizhou. We started the day bright and early with a warming breakfast. Then we went into our work groups and half of the work groups went on a tour of Xizhou and the rest of us stayed in Yang Zhou Ran with Mr. T, working on our Inquiry Projects. I polished up my Phase 0, 1, 2, and 3. Then we had a bit of down time. I practiced a bit of violin and piano, then went exploring with my buddy Christina. By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINA!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Today was full of traveling. I woke up at 3am, but sadly, fell asleep on my science notebook. After a hurried last minute packing, it was finally time to leave the comforts of my home. I thought I was early to the airport, but as Mr. T always says, "To be early is to be on time." After saying goodbye to my parents, we headed to check in our luggage. Unfortunately, my bag was a bit overweight and I had to take out some things. We then went through security and grabbed a bite at Starbucks. On the plane, I sat next to Jeffrey and diagonally from Graham. Our plane ride was three hours long.

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This weekend was the first official Microcampus Lock-In at the Pudong Campus. We began the afternoon by meeting the Puxi kids for the first time and trying to figure out how to order dinner. This proved a real problem since nobody was willing to deliver to SAS. The counselors presented a nice slideshow for us on how to stay emotionally healthy, socially healthy, and spiritually healthy. The rest of the day was spent working on a team name, talks about Microcampus, Wellness Plans, and stuffing our stomachs with soda and delicious pizza.

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Hi! My name is Rebecca and I am 14 years old. I was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and have lived in Connecticut and now, China. This will be my 3rd year at SAS. I am back in Shanghai and was very excited to be part of the September-October Microcampus trip! Xizhou is an incredible place with friendly locals and breath-taking scenery. I wish lots of fun to future groups and hope you enjoy this journey as much as I did.