Sydney F. (Alumni-N)'s Journal

I came to Microcampus because I was interested in changing up my normal schedule, getting outside of my comfort zone, and learning about a different lifestyle and culture. This trip showed me how to try new things and do something you do not do normally. Because I learned how to do these things, it impacted me greatly.

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Today, in honor of Mels birthday, we went to get our hair cuts at a local barbor shop. We were recomended to a place near Ran Yi Xian by Ms. Mai. Melanie went first to get her hair cut. We only wanted a little off just to be safe. The lady started cutting her hair on an angle, being very gentle. Once she was finished, Mel looked in the mirror. It just looked a little shorter but still even. Next I got my hair cut. For a straight 5 minutes, they were feeling and stroking my hair. When the lady finally starting cutting, it was almost like she was rushing.

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For service learning today, my group and I went to Backpackers Café. Since it was quiet, it was easy to get a lot of our work done. We worked on our final product video and some of our other work. While we were there, Melanie suggested a Chinese dessert that she had eaten before. We all go it besides Sabrine but she tried some of mine.

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After getting back from dinner, I decided to work on my inquiry project. I noticed that a really good filming spot to record my voice, was our bathroom. While I was in there, a bug, "yay" big, came flying in from a rectangular hole that connects to the kitchen. I quickly ran out and called Riko and Cara.

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At dinner today, Mr. T said he saw two young boys with rubiks cubes. Ryley S. and I ran off to find them and we were very successful. We challenged them to a "cube off." Sadly, Ryley is not that speedy when it comes to cubing. She started a whole 20 seconds ahead of the other kid. He even had a smaller cube. Lets just say, Ryley brutally lost to this kid. He finished 20 seconds before she did.

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We were lucky enough to not have any toilet issues throughout the first 3 weeks. But, tonight we were all scarred. I called Mr. T to let him know that our toilet was clogged and he came as soon as he could. He showed up at our door with a plunger and a bucket. We told him that it was not flushing and then other substances started coming up. He went into the bathroom after we warned him how bad it smelt, and all we heard were loud noises. Banging, slushing, water running, grunting... It was quite funny actually. Mr.

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Service learning has been a struggle. Mr. Zhang had agreed to be our partner but said he was too busy gambling. Yang nai nai said she was very sick and camera shy. Li nai nai is no where to be found. We have talked to so many people and keep being turned down. I have written a journal post about this already but I thought I should talk more about it. A couple days ago, we were trying to talk to a lady but she was not paying attention. She just kept repeating the same sentence. Then, a lady who knew her came up to us and told us to leave. She said that the lady was deaf and grumpy.

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Tonight, I went with 7 other girls, plus Mr. T to Dali Old Town. Origanally, the trip was canceled because lots of people were not on good behavior. But, Mr. T decided to not take the whole group and leave behind the others at Yangzhou Ran. After getting a 5 minute tour around the town so we would get lost, we were told that we should go eat dinner, shop a little, and explore the town. It was a lot different than I expected. There were lights on a lot of the buildings, lots of stores and tourist shops, and western food everywhere.

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Today was my third dish duty day. Riko T. was my partner for breakfast but since she ate out for lunch, it was only me washing the dishes. I asked Shannon A. to help me instead. After we finished eating lunch, we went outside to talk. I looked at my phone 15 minutes later and realized that we only had 10 minutes to wash the dishes before WIPPIS time started.

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During service learning time, Yannick J.Melanie C., and I, decided to ask Mr. Zhang if he wanted to be our service learning partner. We had talked to him many times and he was very open about his life. He sits next to a baba shop everyday while his family works and makes Baba. Sometimes when Mr. Zhang is not there at the Baba shop, he is out playing ma zhong.

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In our 5-4-5 meeting today, Mr. T bet that he could solve a rubix cube in under 3 minutes. But, this was a one sided bet. If he could not solve it, everyone would get free ice cream for the day. 2 minutes and 30 seconds in, he nearly solved the cube. There was only one more turn left to do. Shannon A. then said "Oh, even I can solve it!" We all replied laughing, "No you can not!" It distracted Mr. T just enough to make him flip the cube the wrong way.

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After our 1/2 day hike, Cara L.Ryley S. and I went out for dinner. We decided to try a new place that no one else on our trip had gone to. It was the Muslim BBQ restaurant that I talked about in my earlier journal post. As we walked into the tiny restaurant, we saw one table. We went to sit down and the lady named Ms. Zhang told us to go to the fridge and pick out things that we wanted. Inside were many different meats, vegetables, fish, and other foods on a stick.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Today after eating lunch out at Sifang Jie, we circled back to YZR to eat a nice meal that the Linden Centre staff prepared for us. There were slices of turkey and chicken, sweet potatoes, mashed potato, vegetables, and other  local dishes. Though it was my first Thanksgiving away from home, I still enjoyed it greatly. Ryley had brought her turkey hat that completed the day. After stuffing myself with apple pie, I finally stopped eating.

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This is the story of the Phantam Of The Room Inspector. It all started when a baby was born with a deformed face (Mr. Tafel). He then later in life met his first love, Christine (Ms. Mai).He went on as a room inspector for many years with Christine by his side. Every once in a while, he breaks out into opera singing, reminding everyone that he still has it in him. During our first room inspection today, the highest score was 3.1 out 5. Sadly, that was not our room. The second best scored 1.9 out of 5. Still, that was not my room. Third place was my room scoring 0.6 out of 5.

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While Mr. T. and I were walking through Sifang Jie, we stumbled upon a married couple. Both were dressed in formal attire with two men standing besides them. They were being handed eggs, flour and water. Confused, Mr. T and I both watched waiting for something to happen. They opened the cartons of eggs and gathered them in their hands. I heard them start to countdown.

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Today, I went with Mr. Robert as a part of my Phase 3 work to have a conversation with Ms. Zhao. She works at a Muslim BBQ restaurant and has been working in the food industry since Middle School. During my conversation with her, I asked her where she got her supplies and vegetables for her meals. She told me that all of her land to grow crops on had been taken away by the government. The government took a lot of her money and took her land along with it.

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Because the day was very laid back, I chose to write about the once thing that is different everyday. The weather. In the morning, we got to see the sunrise over Lake Erhai. I thought the sunrise would be very early in the morning, like 5:00am. But, with a 7:00am wakeup call, we were right in time. At first the skies were pink and red with blotches of yellow. Then, in a matter of 15 minutes, the sun started to peak up from the mountains. It was so relaxing and calm to see the sun rise.

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Today, we went camping at the tongue of Lake Erhai. We had no bathrooms, no lights, and no heater. The bathroom... was the ground. You had to be very careful about where you did your business because some places were not all that nice. I discovered at 9:45 pm that there also were rats or mice roaming the grounds. The lights...were our phones and our headlamps. But, when my phone ran out of battery and my headlamp started getting dim, it was very difficult to see anything. The heater...was nothing.

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Today we went to the Wind farm! It was not as windy as I expected it to be. We took a bus ride up to the mountains and stood right at the stop where all the windmills are. I took a solid 15 minutes to take the view all in because it was just outstanding. You could see houses, rocks, solar panels, and just windmills everywhere. It was definitely an experience I will not forget. Also, to measure how big the windmill was, we all hugged it touching our fingertips together.

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The highlight of my day was learning new tricks about the Rubik Cube from my fellow roommate, Cara. I have not yet learned how to actually solve it but, I know how to do two tricks. I think that by the end of this trip, I will be able to solve it! Trivia night was canceled! :( I was really sad about that because my groups costumes were going to be great.

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Today was the first day we had WIPPIS time. WIPPIS is wellness, inquiry project, pitching in, and still time. My journal post is called “Whip It” because every time I hear WIPPIS, I think of the song “Whip It!” I don’t know why, but it just comes to me. The whole day was full of laughs and funny moments that I look forward to having again. Tomorrow, at our evening activity, it is trivia night, Mr. T’s favorite. I’m really excited about making a group name and costume tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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This morning, after having a fulfilling breakfast, we started our first session of SAS Essentials. We did our Math work for 90 minutes then had lots of time for Pitching In. During this, I made schedules for my committee works and completed my schedule for the week. My schedule is very useful and I recomend it to Future  Microcampus students. We ate in again for lunch today but, tomorrow we are going out. The highlight of the day was the bike ride we took to Lake Er Hai.

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Today, I had my first experience with Er Si. I had it during breakfast and it was delicious! We also went to a small factory where it is produced. Also, we traveled the Xizhou streets and went to food markets. When we got back home, we reviewed our work and started creating schedules. To add on, early today, we went on a mini tour through the place we are staying. I got to explore around Yangzhouran. To conclude, I am greatly looking forward to what brings me tomorrow.

 
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After a long day of traveling, we finally arrived in Xizhou. We went over rules and expectations right when we got there. Once we finished with the basics, we got to meet some important people. People such as, Mr and Mrs Linden, Jake, Mr. He and Mr. Zhao. These people will help me throughout my trip. Then, we got to choose roommates and explore around our new home.

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My name is Sydney F. and I'm currently 12 years old. (Turning 13 after we come back from Microcampus!) I have been at SAS since the middle of 6th grade, so almost 2 years. Some of my interests include listening to music, playing all sports, reading books, and being with my friends and family. I enjoy traveling and experiencing different life styles and that is one of the reasons I joined this program. Microcampus was a great experience and I am glad I got to share it with the people I did. I look forward to coming back to Xizhou some day.