Nicole F. (Alumni-P)'s Journal

Today as I woke up, the day went as normal. My roommates and I shuffled around, brushing our teeth and getting dressed. But then, realization hit me. This was our last full day in Xizhou. My heart seemed to race, my head began to pound, but none of it was real, just imaginary. I couldn't believe it. At some point, we were not going to be in Xizhou anymore, we were going to be Alumni. Tears stung my eyes. One last day, I have to make it count. I began with the list we had to complete before departure, slowly checking off the items as I went.

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I first heard about Microcampus through my sister. She came back telling me about the greatest month of her life and that is when I knew I also wanted to join the Microcampus program. When the time to apply came around, I was ready. I attended every meeting, hopping to get in. I wrote my application the best I could. I wanted to come to Microcampus to experience real China. I wanted to come here to get outside of my comfort zone and do great things and study one topic in depth and really get to know the village.

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Today was an uneventful day. Everywhere I turned, I saw service learning groups huddled together, staring at one computer and occationaly barking out changes that need to be made. Alexis Y., Grace W., and I were one of those groups. On the bright side, we were able to finish out video and get it exported! Tomorrow we share our video so far with our parter percicley at 3:00.

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Wrapping up, what a wonderful thing. Today, I was able to finish my Inquiry project! I am extremely grateful to be past the hardships that happened yesterday and be able to move forwards with service learning! You can view my final product here. The inquiry process was long and hard but I managed to finish and I am extremely grateful for that. Now it is time to work with Grace W. and Alexis Y. for service learning.

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Today was a very challenging day for me. After spending many hours completing my Inquiry Project and getting teacher review on it, my computer crashes and I loose my work. I did everything I could to bring it back but the images were now just black. I was crushed. But, I said to myself do not take this as a loss, take it as a opportunity to make it better than it was before. I was able to complete my project again, thankfully. It was not easy though. It took me around three more hours to piece it all together again and get it back to what it was.

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This morning I was reminded by Grace W. that we had only 6 days left. That was a very sad reminded and throughout the day I felt the last 6 days weighing on my shoulders. I cannot believe at one point this truly outstanding experience will end. Today was another day packed with inquiry work. I worked for what felt non-stop all day (although I did take many little breaks to rest my brain) but I should have took a better use of the rest time that was provided and not do more inquiry work.

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Today was the end of week 3 and beginning of week 4 today! Time has flown by so far, only one week left. That is an extremely sad thought to me and I think the majority of the group. This place has already had a huge impact on my life already and I really don't want to leave. Anyways, the stretch for finishing the final product has begun! I think I might be a little ahead of the game with my entire product already recorded by sometimes its okay to be a little ahead!

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The final strech of Microcampus is starting. Our final Injuiry Projects are being started, out service learning filming is starting, it is avery busy time for the Phenomena group right now. But withing all the madness today, I found peace. Today, I traveled with Rachel B. to Hai She where I had a great time watching her work on her final product of wood carving. I also greatly enjoyed looking around at the beautiful surroundings of Hai She at the edge of Lake Erhai.

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"Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than before" -Unknown. I think this quote describes today, day 19 of 28 on our Microcampus journey. The end is approaching fast but along our trip we have made mistakes. But like this quote says, our mistakes will turn our group into something better. I feel we are now all motivated by our mistakes to make up for the wrong we have all done during the course of this trip. We can only get better from here. Today was better than yesterday, tomorrow will be better than today, so on.

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Today, the Phenomena group did not have the best day. We were having minor issues with using phones in the way they are supposed to be used. Reflecting back to the document we first received at the beginning of the trip called the more and less than document, I think we can work on the use of our technology as a tool and not as a toy. We should use it to help us with our experience here, not for us to hide behind.

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Today is day 16 of the Microcampus Phenomena group trip. Today is Sunday, which means that today is a very lazy day for the group. We started with a late wake-up call, which allowed to me to ketch up on a good night of sleep after our camping trip where I did not sleep very well. Today, we completed out week 2 wellness reflection which always takes quite a while.

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We returned at at approximately 10:30 am from our hike. We were all exhausted and ready to hit the hay but instead, we hit the ground running. My roommates, Tiffany Z., Risa Y.Grace W. and I rushed into our rooms to prepare our laundry and unpack our gear. After, we all rushed to the courtyard to re-pitch our tents to let them dry from the nights rain, but then it started to rain again.

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Phenomena

Two whole weeks at Microcampus today! We are half way there, a very scary thought because so far, I am greatly enjoying my time in Xizhou. Yesterday, we had a half day trip up to a tea plantation where we camped for the night. Before departing on this trip, I was very excited to go hiking out in the woods and explore and camp out in nature. I was a little disappointed when we reached the campsite after our hike up a paved brick road. However, I was trying to stay positive and thought about how we were going on another hike later and I thought this will be better.

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Today is day 13 of the Phenomena group Microcampus journey. Today, I will share with you my assignment I have completed for science abut he positive and negative impacts of tourism on global warming in this area. 

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The day started as usual, we had a 7:00 wake up call after a long night of rest, breakfast, SAS essentials, etc. Just another normal day at Microcampus. This morning, Mr. T rolled out to us the plan for our inquiry project and take the information we had and group it into larger categories to help us focus on something for our final product. Today, Nicole L. and I went out the the fields to exercise. While there, I had a great opportunity to reflect on my opportunity so far.

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I was just going about my business when suddenly, I heard a melodic voice singing form the staircase. I peeped through my window and saw Mr. T with his hat obscuring half of his face. Another room inspection. Today we had our second room inspection, and second visit from the phantom of room inspections. Risa Y. and I scrambled through the room, folding towels, tidying chords, and straightening bed spreads.

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"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." I think this quote greatly relates to what happened today at Microcampus. We have to be prepared with our schedules so we know how our day will go and everything will run smoothly. Today was another regular day at Microcampus, the sky was beautiful blue, we had a math test, and I had more conversations with local people about the evolution of energy in the Xizhou area, overall a good day.

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Ah the weekend, a time for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Nothing major happened this weekend, we had some down time after a very busy first week at Microcampus. It was nice to have some time for us to just relax and play cards. Last night, however, something great happened. Me and about half of my group sat and watched the stars. It was beautiful, an ocean full of start surrounding us as we tried to identify constellations. It was very peaceful and was a great wind-down for the night.

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Today was day 8 of the Microcampus Phenomena group trip. We started out today with a late breakfast which meant we got to sleep in longer. From here, we had the worlds most boring Chinese history lecture from Mr. T and the start of service learning. We all had lunch out this afternoon and after that, we started with our service learning. To start, we are just making connecting with the older people in the village because they would have experienced some of the history we learned about earlier this morning.

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Today was day 7 of the Microcampus Phenomena group trip, the one week anniversary  of our trip! The weather was good, the air was clear, and the day was pleasant. Me an a few other students went to visit the wind farm up in the mountains while others went to the tie-dye factory. I had a really great time there even though the drive was a little bit longer. When we first got out of the car, we were told not to look up until we reached the turbines. It was difficult but when we finally reached them, it was amazing.

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Today was day 6 of the Phenomena Microcampus trip. Today was like any other, we went through our usual schedule and I was able to get my wellness completed today. Today however, I had teacher support with Mr. T. We went to Tai Biao solar panel shop and I conducted an interview with the woman working there, her name was Ms. Wang. You can see the information I gathered from my interview in Phase 3.

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Today was a great day for the Phenomena group! Altogether, we, as a group, made this day so good. The amazing weather defiantly lifted our spirits too. Today was the second day of our regular Microcampus schedule. We began with SAS essentials where I completed my math requirements for the day. I was the one to administer our daily meeting today, although I was very nervous to do so. I went through the daily schedule and committee updates and what we needed to complete for our SAS essentials, just the regular daily meeting things.

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Today was day 4 of the group P Microcampus journey. Today was a big day for us all. Today, we had out first normal day at Microcampus including: wellness, Inquiry work, still time, SAS essentials, but not Service learning. Today went pretty smoothly overall. We had our schedules assigned to us so we knew exactly what we needed to do. In the future however, we will be making our own schedule going on what we think is best for that day. My group ran into some challenged with our wellness but it is okay because we will have future opportunities to improve what we did not get today.

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Today was day 3 of the Phenomena spring trip. We started the day with SAS essentials and from there moved on to our daily meeting and from there we had pitching is which was time we took to meet with our committee members. From here, the odd numbers in our trip went on a group bike ride to get our 'biking license' or our official right to go biking with a buddy or more. For our group, the biking went very well. We had very effective communication and good, attentive focus. We bikes around Lake Er Hai and through some truly amazing scenery.

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Today was day 2 of the Phenomena group Microcampus journey. We started our day with a tour of Yang Zhuo Ran to become familiar with our new home. During this tour, we learned some basic safety procedures of what to do in case of emergencies. After our tour of Yang Zhuo Ran, we went on a complete tour of Xizhou, starting with a stop at happy embroidery shop. From there, we went to a rice cake factory where we watched them use different methods to form rice into dough for the cakes. From there, we made a stop at the local market.

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   Today was the beginning of the Phenomena group Microcampus journey! We had a very early flight out of Shanghai and arrived at the Dali airport at 11:30. We had lunch at the airport then gathered all of our belongings and headed to Xizhou. On the bus ride there, Mr. T told us a brief history of the area and also about the current standing of the Lake Erhai area. The bus dropped us off 20 minutes away from Yang Zhou Ran, our new home for the month. On our walk to Yang Zhou Ran, we encountered a bit of construction on the road leading there.

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On April 22-23 2016, the Phenomena group had a lock-in where we learned many things about Microcampus and the daily life of a Microcampus student. You can view my reflection here.

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Hi, this is my first journal post of my Microcampus journey. I am very excited to have to opportunity to travel to this village for a period of 28 days starting April 30th. Microcampus is a great experience for us to really learn what daily life is like is this village. I look forwards to learning much during my time there and trying many things outside of my comfort zone. While on the trip, I look forwards to going in depth wight my inquiry project and learning much about the village and what China can be like outside of the comforts of the city.

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Hi, my name is Nicole F. and I am 14 years old. I go to Shanghai American School Pudong Campus and I am in 8th grade. I was born in Texas but have lived most of my like in Georgia before moving to Shanghai at the beginning of 5th grade. My passions include drawing, gymnastics, music, science, reading, writing, and travel. Although back in Shanghai, Microcampus will always be a part of me that I will never forget. This month has been one of the best in my life and has taught me so many things. Xizhou will forever be with me throughout my life.