Rachel B. (Alumni-P)'s Journal

Today was our last full day in Xizhou. We have already finished packing and cleaning up the common areas. My Service Learning group and I went visit our partner, Mrs. Yang. She gave us tea and we had a long conversation. She was really nice to us and shared her story with us, so it was really hard to say goodbye to her. Before visiting our Service Learning partner, we filmed our last Daily Video Shoutout named "Goodbye XiZhou." I almost cried right after filming it. I had my last dinner at the Old Town Snacks where we usually had lunch or dinner at.

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"Microcampus will be a great experience for me to learn about the real face of myself and it will also be a great opportunity to improve my communication and collaboration skills." This is what I wrote for the questions "Why do you want to join Microcampus for Microcampus survey before joining it.

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Yesterday, I went to the cheese factory with Grace, Risa, and Nicole F. to buy souvenirs. They had bracelets, bags, hairbands, wallets and Tie Dyes. I bought three wallets for my mom, my sister, and my grandmother, and two bracelets for my aunts. Before going on the trip, my friends and I were nervous and worried so much about how we would be living living there for 28 days.

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Today was a good day. Everyone was in a good mood, we all did great job until lunch. My friends and I went out and got BaoZi for lunch. The restaurant owner gave us the BaoZi in a plastic bag, and we did not realize that. Since it was raining, and there was nowhere to sit in the restaurant, so we had look for a place to eat. We wandered around for about 20 minutes and decided to head back to YangZhuoRan because we could not find anywhere to sit and eat. We were supposed to call Mr.

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Yesterday, I had two portions of food for dinner. I ate not because I was hungry to death, I was very stressed out due to my slow computer and final product due, and continue eating was on my ways to release my stress. After done with eating two portions, I did not feel anything, felt like I was still able to eat more. I knew it was not good for my health, but that was the best way to release my stress. After dinner, I could concentrate on my work and use the time productively. 

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Tomorrow is a big day. The Inquiry Final Product is due tomorrow and we also need to finish filming for service learning by the noon. Since I had to work on both making the final woodcraft and the final product video, I was very behind. Even though I had so many things to do today, I hoped the time go slowly, so I could stay in Xizhou longer. Writing the daily journal makes me count the days even though I do not want to.

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A week from now, I will be in Shanghai. A week from now, I will be telling my parents my story. A week from now, I will be bragging how awesome microcampus was. A week from now, I will be missing the past 28 days. A week from now, I will be recalling blue sky and fresh air of Xizhou. A week from now, I will be busy for wrapping up my 8th-grade journey and preparing for the summer vacation. A week from now, I will miss my friends, my teachers, and my home I had in Xizhou. http://sites.saschina.org/ctafel/Mr.

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Yesterday for the evening activitiy, a group of 5 students including me went to DaLi Old Town. We were given two hours at there. We first walked around and did a bit of shopping. We all bought necklaces and bracelets. Then we went to Stella's Pizza and got three pizzas with one salad. We had a long conversation during dinner. All in all, this was a great experience, and I hope to go visit again later. 

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I saw double rainbows with my teachers and friends yesterday. That was my first time staring at the rainbow disappearing and it was my first time I did not want to take a picture of the rainbow. I wondered why I have not done that before. Like the double rainbows, I will be noticing a lot of things in Microcampus, that I have never noticed before even though it was right next to me. Today, 5 people including me are going to Dali Old Town today. I am very excited to go there and experience many things.

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Yesterday was really cold and chill, but today was much better than yesterday. However, there was an issue. Most of us were not proven that we could handle my smart phone. The phone is for only calling and texting, but I have used it in other ways too, such as talking to my friends in Shanghai on social media. Since I could not handle my smartphone, I got my phone taken away. I will be using my 2G phone from now on and using it in a proper way. 

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During the inquiry project time, I went to HaiSe, the place where I learn woodcarving, again to work on my final product. Inquiry Project final product is due on this Sunday. My final product will be a woodcraft that contains a story of Microcampus Phenomena group. Fortunately, my teacher, Ms. Chen, is really nice and good at explaining and teaching, I had a really good time learning from her during every inquiry project time. I have started working on it today and am really looking forward to finishing it.

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Today was my both dish duty and laundry day. I was very happy that I could wear the clothes I have not wore for 3 days. I realized that laundry is also one of the sources that help me have personal growth. I have never done laundry at home, so I did not know how to use the machine. I have learned how to operate it here in microcampus and I believe I can do it at home now. Today was rainy day, again.

 

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We came back from the hike today. Last night, it rained so hard, so my hiking boots and the tent was wet, so I felt very uncomfortable on the way back to YangZhuoRan. As soon I we got back, I pitched the tent on the courtyard to let it dry. It was really unfortunate that it rained again and the tent was wet again, but it dried really fast. Today is Sunday. Today is the first day of the third week in Microcampus. Next week, I will be wrapping up my Phase 3 and 4 work and starting working on my final product.

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I was sad today. It is almost half way through the Microcampus trip. On 27th of May, I will be at Shanghai telling my family how amazing the trip was. I have been here for twelve days with 14 buddies and two teachers.

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I went out with Mr. Zhang and Mrs. Digges to HaiShe to learn woodcarving skills. It took 20 minutes by bike to go there and the road was very bumpy and dusty, but on the way to the place was really beautiful, there was lake and trees beside the road, so it was not a bad trip . Today was my first day of an actual woodcarving experience.The expert didnt have time, so his assistance taught me. She first showed me various kinds of carving tools and explained what they were and how to use them. After that, I actually started to make a thing.

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Today is Monday, our second Monday in Microcampus.I date Liang fen, bean noodles, for lunch. It is a street food, so I thought it would not be good for hygiene. Unexpectedly, the food was amazingly tasty and I even ate Risa's Liang fen. I will have it again tomorrow. I was on dish duty today with Mallory and Alexis. I was happy that I was out for lunch.

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Today is Sunday, Day 9. It has been 9 days since I have arrived in Xizhou. Yesterday, three guests, Mrs. Digges, Ms. Fishman, and Ms. Reed, have come to Xizhou and will be staying here until Wednesday. Every day was special because we had something special every day. Today is also special because there is nothing special going on today. We have Pitching in for two hours and forty-five minutes and a lot of down time and still time.  I am very looking forward to the next week, will be going out with Ms.

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This is called Saturday. I woke up at 7: 30, but stayed lying on my bed for one hour and fifteen minutes doing nothing. That was one of my favorite moments in microcampus so far. I was really sad before coming to Xizhou because I  thought I would not be able to play piano for one month. However, during Lock-in, Mr. T told us that there would be piano in our house and I was really glad about it.

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Today was one of my most favorite days so far. We had room inspection today. Our room got 1.1 out of 4, but we got the highest score among four groups. I was very proud of myself and my roommates that we were always ready for the room inspection, so I thought we would get 3.5 out of 5. Even though we got the lower score than I thought, I was still proud of myself that I cleaned up my room every day. Next time, we will get 3 out of 5.

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I felt clean today. Today was my room's turn to do laundry so my roommates and I had to wake up 10 minutes earlier. It was the first day we have done laundry since we have arrived in Xizhou, so even though I was tired to do it in the morning, but I felt very clean. Since Xizhou is really dry and hot, the clothes dried really fast. I was very happy about that I can wear my sweatpants again, but it is very sad that we need to wait five more days to do another laundry.

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Lunch was awesome today. I went with Nicole Liu to SiFang Jie and had the pork with fried onions dish. Then, we had 'baba' which is Chinese pizza that is very oily, but very good. I have made five connections with local people so far, Ms. Li, Ms. Zhang, Ms. Kang, Ms. Qing, and Ms. Zhu. Ms. Li is always on the way going to SiFang Jie, so I always say hi to her. Ms. Zhang, Ms. Kang, and Ms. Qing are all in the same restaurant which sells 'TaiFeiChaoFan', so I am planning to visit there again tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

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The full normal day has started today. Our normal schedule is  wake up then have breakfast, SAS Essentials time, Daily Meeting, Pitching-in time, Lunch, WIPPIS time, 5-4-5 Check In, dinner, and Evening Activities.There was nothing special we did today as it was a 'normal' day. I had lunch with Nicole L. at SiFang Jie. We planned to go to the really good restaurant called 'Golden Flower,' but the other group already took spot, so we went to another restaurant. We both had noodles and the both noodles were awesome.

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Today was a little bit normal than yesterday. Almost everything for the next 25 days was set up. We had our first daily meeting and pitching- in. The highlight of today was biking. We split into two groups, one group went to bike first and the other group stayed inside and worked on their inquiry projects. The bike trip was awesome as my group members and I followed Mr. T's instructions well. We also had still time during biking for 13 minutes. I was lying down on the middle of the field and staring at the sky. A ton of thoughts were going on in my head, but nothing was organized.

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We ran through lots of things today. We did two tours, one was YangZhuoRan tour with Ms. Zhang and the other was village tour. I have learned some new things about our house, such as that  we check out and in our bikes from He Shufu or Zhao Shufu. We went to many places in the village. We first went to the place called 'Happy Embroidery', everyone in there gave us weird and awkward look, but I felt cozy in there. After that, we went to the Rice Factory where people use rice to make rice products, such as ricecake and noodles. People working in there seriously disliked us, I could feel it.

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Today was the first day of Microcampus Phenomena group. This is my first time staying with peers and leaving my family for about a month, so I was half-excited and half-nervous. Today, we had some good chances to get along with people who we are in different social groups at school by sitting with them in the airplane, having lunch together, sitting with 'workgroup' members on the bus, and rooming. As soon as we arrived at our house, YangZhuoRan, we first looked around the house and found some special rooms, such as classrooms and music room. Then we unpacked and had some rest.

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I am Rachel B., and I am 14 years old. I was born in South Korea and have lived most of my life in there before moving to Shanghai in 6th grade. I am passionate about choreographing, designing, modeling, playing the piano, handcrafting, studying medical science, traveling, and walking. I am very excited about going on SAS Microcampus, and taking this opportunity, I believe I will get to know myself and I expect to become a better person at the end of the trip. I was in Xizhou and made some new good experiences here. I have visited many local places and made connections with locals. It was an amazing experience.