Lao Mao was our service learning partner and he was generous enough to lend us time to talk with him. He is an antique shop owner and he really admires Chairman Mao. He admires him because although he had pros and cons, but the pros was more better than the cons. He said that without Mao there would not be the China right now. He was also my local contacts for my inquiry project.
From this experience I have learnt about Lao Mao. I never knew he liked Chairman Mao, nor did I know the reason why he liked Mao. I also was curious about why his name was Lao Mao and from this experience I learnt why it was that. The reason was because he had a long beard.
I learnt numbers of facts about Xizhou's history when talking to Lao Mao. He told us how they were not so wealthy during the time he lived in Xizhou. Starving was a common thing, and Mr. Tafel told us that they would not be used to eating meat so on special occasions such as spring festivals they would have meat, but their metabolism would not fit the food and they would have digestion problems.
From this experience I learned new perspectives about the Chinese history. I did not learn new facts about the history because the talk with Mr. Tafel covered everything that Lao Mao and I talked about. However the diversity of perspective was very interesting. He also described the past days more descriptively because he was actually there.
When showing the video I experienced various things. The first time we showed in public it was in the movie room in the Linden Centre. Lao Mao couldn't make it to the the room because he had his own schedule overlapping with ours. There were two families in the Linden Centre and it was really nice. The families were really nice to us and it was really fun to see them talk to each other when they came on screen. I saw many eyes agreeing to what Lao Mao was talking about in the screen. When he talked about the living condition back then when he was 15 or 16 everyone started to nod.
Then after the meeting our group went to Lao Mao's house to show him our video. When we showed it to him he called his wife to watch it with him. His wife just woke up from her sleep. Lao Mao was really nice and was truly enjoying the video. This was really interesting to observe because Lao Mao was very happy. His wife showed tears in the middle of the clip and it was very heartwarming. Watching Lao Mao smiling was really nice and I really wanted him to come watch our video. Then when we went to take a group picture with him, he called another person to watch his video and he seemed like he really wanted to share our videos with his friends. It was a great experience.
I have few recommendations for future microcampus students for their service learning. My first tip is to make actual relationships. Not a relationship where it is just to gain information, but a relationship that is formed because they are your friends. My second tip is to have a cameraman that keeps an eye on the camera when the others are asking questions. I recommend this because we did not have a cameraman and when our camera had a problem we did not know about it and we lost half of our recording. My final tip is to be on time with everything. Have a schedule about service learning and stick with it. We had a schedule and this really helped with surviving the due dates.