SeYoung K. (Alumni-O)'s Journal

I still remember November, when the first trip of the year came back. I was uninterested in everything that was happening this year, as I was trying to get my things together. However, it was a normal November day until we had a presentation during advisory. It was great to see everyone back, but I was still unsure of what the trip of Microcampus was meant to be. Sitting next to my friends, I was listening to the presentation, until I heard Mr. Tafel speak Chinese. It was a shock, as I did not expect that all.

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Many feelings went in my mind as today is the last full day in the village of Xizhou. From all the local connections and the people in the Linden Centre, it was time to leave that all behind. Although it was sad, the process of moving on had to start. I would like to thank everyone in the Linden Centre, Mr. Linden, Mrs. Linden, and the people from our village for being so understanding of 12 eighth graders roaming the village. Also, I would like to thank Ms. Mai and Mr. T for accepting us into the village and allowing 12 students in.

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At the final day of our work, we had to present our video to our partner Mr. Zhao. Unfortunantely, since he had health problems that day, he could not come to the Linden Centre for our presentation. However, we could eventually get to him by visting his house later in the afternoon. When we entered his house, we had difficulties making him watch it at first because he refused the fruit that we offered as a gift.

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Today the village was without power for the whole day. As today was our laundry day, we decided to wash our dirty clothes. However, we did not know that would effect the washing machine. When we finished our first load of clothes, we realized there was a problem. After we were done, we found out that the machine was dead! Therefore, we had to hand wash our clothes, which took a long time. Since there are only three days left, I am trying to make the days count!

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For today, we took a little different route from other days. The morning was rather normal, consisting of a normal breakfast and a meeting which addressed basic things for the days. However, the afternoons were rather different, since we chose our own WIPPIS Schedule. Since we had lots of things to do, our WIPPIS schedule was rather tight. I am scared for the future, since there are many deadlines coming up.

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It was scary how this was the last weekend in Xizhou. Today, our life was rather busy as we were busy finishing up our Inquiry! We conferenced with Mr. Tafel today for our pearls of wisdom, which was the session which he gave us tips to make our project better for us. For evening activity, Chelsea had organized a very nice event, which we rode the horse carts. The view was very beautiful, which healed my difficulties through the day. I am excited!

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I think today was the day we worked the hardest. However, last night was a great treat for my mind as we had our Mr. Tafel's Whizz Bang All Star Super Duper Trivia Night! Our theme was stereotypes, as we believed that this would be interesting. In my team, I was the nerd which I put tape on my glasses in order to make my character stonger. We eventually won, which got our bragging rights! However, today we worked very hard as there are deadlines coming up for our Inquiry work. I am nervous for the deadline.

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Today marks an important spot, as there is only one week left from this trip. This surprised me, as coming here felt like yesterday. Anyways, today was a rather chill day, which we finished up our SAS essentials. I felt good, as this meant I could work full time in my Inquiry and my Service Learning. In the afternoon, we talked to our service learning partner Mr. Zhao.

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As last night wrapped up, many thoughts came up in my mind. I realised I could still do better, and I fell asleep. Today felt different because I realized I was the one to change for the mood of the group to change. Anyways, today was a better day as everyone of us wrote a revision log for our Phase 4! It was great to see how everyone got back on track. However, I did not do so well room inspection, as I kind of did not do the pitching in responsibilty. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

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Today, I worked on finalizing the format of my work. This process was difficult, as I still could obtain more information, which was hard to combine all my information into a solid plan. However, it was very achieving as it felt like I was wrapping up my final works. However, today was also slightly depressing as we found out our mistakes through our life in the village, and decided that we needed to change. I look forward for tomorrow!

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As Day 18 of Microcampus passed away, only 10 days remain now. Everyday felt like a second, and I could still remember the second I arrived at Xizhou. Now with 10 days, I finished my Phase 3, and also started planning my future destination of my project. Although I was scared at the first time, I eventually got a hold of myself, and thought of Ideas. I am still scared of what is going to happen, but I am still excited!

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After we enjoyed our weekend, it was time to get back. Today marks the third week of Microcampus, which shocked me because time seemed like nothing. Everyday seemed to pass real quick, and it seemed that connecting with locals became easier over time. This was interesting, as it shows my personal growth over time, although it has already been 17 days ever since we came. It would be interesting to see how much I grew!

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As the second half of our trip went through, we took a break from what we were doing. We enjoyed our late breakfast, after we woke up a hour late than usual. Today included a special course of Bacon, which we fully appreciated. After our breakfast, rest of the period was mostly chill. As our day today was filled with Down Times and Pitching In, there were plenty of opportunities for us to rest and recover from our tiring week of Inquiry and the Hike. Today was a good break!

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To heal back from our five hour hike from yesterday, we took a deep rest on a weekend. Waking up with our sore muscles, we took a late breakfast at 8:15. With a choice of omelette available, I gobbled a bacon-omelette with my friends. The rest of our time was pitching in and down time, which was rather chill. This was a opportunity to take a break from our busy week, and let it chill. After lunch, we got introduced to our service learning project. This was our first connection with our local, and it was interesting to see how different we became. I am excited for the future!

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Today marks the half way point through out Microcampus 28-day journey, which we are in day 14. Although we have been in the dip once, we went through successfully by everyone trying their best in order to continue the process of our Microcampus life. Our schedule today was more or less the same, which included our sessions of SAS Essentials and Daily Meetings. However, we took a different route today by taking a hike today, which took the half-day period of our normal schedule. However, it was all worth it when we saw the views.

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Today was a great day, from the weather to the sleep. As soon as we woke up, we noticed the blue skies, which were very clear! For today, we took the Reading Session of the MAP test, which was the most challenging as it took a long time to read a passage. Although there were occasional internet issues within, it went well. Next we proceeded to our daily meeting. Today was the first day which I became a Facilitator, which was very interesting! Also, today was the day for me become Green Zone, which allowed me to use all of the rights.

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For Day 12 of Microcampus, the days were not much different compared to other days. The schedule was more or less the same, which included MAP test times instead of SAS essentials which we would normally do. Today, we took the Math test of MAP. After our daily SAS essentials, we proceeded our schedule to the morning meeting. This was important to me. This was the day before I became facilitator of the meeting, which was a great feeling of taking responsibility for the group.

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As we are progressing through our dip through this trip, we got back on track with our SAS essentials. To match our classmates in Shanghai currently, we took the MAP tests which are initials for Measure of Academic Progress. Due to this test, our SAS Essentials time got extended by 10:10, which was better for us since there was more chill time! In our meetings, we discussed our committee work and the big events which included the half-day hike to the mountains in Xizhou on Friday. I am excited for the hike, and for the future days.

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On Day 10 of the Microcampus trip in Xizhou, the weather was slightly foggy but it was still sunny. However, our group of OREOs did not do so well on reflecting upon our actions that happened throughout the camping trip on this weekend. This caused us to rethink what the teachers had to do for our trip to happen and started to reflect. After our meeting with our group, we proceeded to take the video shoutout for day 10.

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Today was the end of the camping trip, and it was a special day because it was the first and last time that we went as a camping trip as a whole. The sleep with a fast wind and a bumpy road was not the best sleeping condition, but it was fun how we got closer. The view of our lake was very nice, and we had our still time, which was a good time to heal back from the lack of the sleep that we suffered. We had our breakfast back in the hotel, which had Ms. Mai's surprise of bacon. It was a great treat for our tired bodies, which we appreciated fully.

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Today, we took a different route from the everyday schedule of Microcampus life, and took a camping trip to Lake Erhai. Although Mr. Tafel claimed his lessons on Chinese History will be the most boring ever, it was quite interesting how China developed over time. Also, this connected to our service learning, which was exciting to see the future of our life in Xizhou. Secondly, it was cool to see what the elders of the Chinese faced in their youth life.

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Today marks the first week of Microcampus! As we are getting used to our life in Xizhou, we had a variety of choices for a small field trip. We could choose between the Wind Farm and the Tie Dye Factory, which were both what Xizhou was most known for. Although Wind Farms seemed very interesting, I chose to go to the Tie Dye because it seemed more of a traditional industry. Also, I thought it could be a chance to bring my parents a present for my opportunity in Xizhou. When we went, it was cool how everything was made from natural materials such as indigo.

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Today, we were introduced to our first local connections in our Phase 3 Microcampus work time. Before today's morning meeting, we had to sign up for teacher support which we had get teacher's in order to enhance our meetings with our local people. I signed up with Mr. Jake, which is the manager of the Linden Centre. Today, we went to meet Ms. Zhao and her husband, which are the owners of the Old Town Snacks in Si Fang Jie.

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In the fifth day of Microcampus life, it was a rather chill day compared to other days. While the morning schedule was same, we learned many things. In the morning meeting, we found out that we were still not the best we could have been. For example, we were still not as used to leaving a positive impact on the town of Xizhou, which was a good opportunity to learn from our mistakes. This caused us to reflect upon our actions. After our meeting, we procedeed to our laundry day.

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As day 4 of the mircrocampus, we started to drive our own life without Mr. Tafel and Ms. Mai's support. The mornings were not much different, which included the normal breakfast and little amount of chill and chat. However, the thing that differed was that the meetings were led by ourselves. How crazy is that! At first I was quite worried how things will progress, but eventually it worked out well. After the meeting, we had our first Pitching In time. Pitching In is when we do our basic requirements, such as laundry, cleaning rooms, and much more.

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While the process of getting used to the nine hours of sleep is progressing, I woke up late to get extra rest, because I was super tired from Day 2's village tour. As soon as I walked out of my bedroom, I appreciated the good air that Xizhou provided. I chilled in the second courtyard, and proceeded to the Kitchen Area for the breakfast. After the breakfast, we had a breif meeting and met with Ms. Mai for the Heart Rate Monitors. At first it was complicated, as the watch had many functions to it. However, we eventually found out how to use it and seen how it worked.

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In the second day of Microcampus, we continued our journey through the village of Xizhou. Luckily, most of our group members were on time with the Inquiry Project work, which allowed us to have more time enjoying the food out in the market. This was the day which we chilled in the village, and walked around to find our way around the bank and the restaurants.

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After a long plane ride of three hours and a bus ride of two hours, we finally arrived at our home Linden Centre. We did not do as much for our Inquiry Project or Service Learning, but we had experienced the fundamentals. We were all very tired due to the long rides, so we did not have much time to experience as much as before. As soon as we arrived, we had the best dinner with the brocolli.

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Hello! My name is SeYoung. I am currently 13, and I came back from Xizhou. I have lived in China for 7 years. I came to Guangzhou when I was 7, which I lived there for a year. After that, I lived in Beijing for three years and Shanghai since fifth grade. I decided to join Microcampus because I think that only learning in Shanghai is different from actually interacting with the locals. It was so amazing to be in Xizhou, and I wish I could go back in time to visit again!