The person we are interviewing is called grandma Yang. She is 70 years old and she has 3 children. She lived her whole life in Guizhou before moving into Xizhou after her sister's reccomendation about Xizhou 3 years ago. She currently owns an embroidery shop with her older sister helping her. Both her sister and herself are from the Miao minority and she is a great help to us since she explained what was their own minority's tradition and how is their minority affected by the Chairman Mao in the past.
I had learned that she was very proud to be in the Miao minority. She was especally proud about her own minority's ability to sew and make fabric related items. She said that her minority are all experts at sewing and only a very small fraction of their people in their minority does not sew at all. I also learned that she was heavily affected by the cultural revolution and her life was never the same while being affected. People during the cultural revolution commonly misunderstood their minority and treated their minority like foreigners from another country, sometimes violating or disobeying their beliefs. People certainly did not like how they dress. They throw out their hairpins and their head wrapper instantly as soon as they saw them wearing that. They also might use a sickle to cut their wrapped hair as soon as they saw them entering their homes.
I learned that the cultural revolution is a very wild yet unorganized period of time. The cultural revolution showed extremely little tolerance to people that are against the revolution or anything that the people supporting Mao do not like. Xizhou was affected too, especially during the great leap forward. New farmlands are being expanded, trees are being cut down in the mountains, propaganda sprays are sprayed on walls, and furnances are created in people's backyards to create steel.
I learned that the 20th century is a whole lot easier and better to live in compared to the 19th century. The 20th century does not require people to work all the way from 4 AM to 10 PM nonstop. The 20th century gave people the chance to work at a more reasonable time and to rest at an even more reasonable time. The 20th century is also a much safer time to live in compared to the 19th century on medicine and healthcare. Back in the days, 4 out of 5 people that got infected or got sick are likely to die because of infection. The medicine technology back are not advanced enough to stop infectious disease and viruses from spreading to people to people. Also, due to the lack of nutrition, people are even more likely to die once they got infected by the disease. If we compare today with the past, infections and viruses today are much less of a threat today and it could be treated by just a single or a couple pills.
While we are presenting our movie to our service learning partner, I was confident and relaxed during the process. I believed that our work is solid and was paid off in a good way. Overall, I am sure that our team did a great job on the movie in cooperation and dedication.
As we watched the viewer's reaction, some of them laughed at certain points and some of them are surprised at certain points too. During one period, one of the guests suddenly got a bit emotional. I felt a bit of doubt about our project afterwards and I was a bit concerned about if our movie was a bit too sensitive. Fortunately, our movie was last, and that meant that there were no more after that.
Overall, I felt like our movie was a big success and we had accomplished the goal of starting strong and ending strong too. We had a great time working with them and we will miss them while we are back at Shanghai.
After the project, I finally realized the true value the speech Mr. T told us before we started our trip to Xizhou. "Every instruction is an attempt to solve a problem before it becomes one". When we started our project, I was in this unsure position about whenever I should risk myself sounding like a jerk when I give valuable instructions and the position of being humble and to refrain from making other think about me in a bad way. Now I realised that the balance point I thought is way on the humble side and I will need to fix it in the future. What I learned about this project is to start off strong and end strong too. Always push your teammates to work their best. Yes, we want to use time efficiently and effectively, and it definitely does not mean to hard core ever single detail of work. Instead, the key is to work smartly. Find the balance point of getting work done and the limit of people's stress levels as soon as possible. Do not work over people's stress levels. Remember that we will still need energy to celebrate at the end of the project. The second reccomendation I want to give is the last thing a group would want is a stressed out group. Keep those "Who is wrong who is right" related arguments far far away from our minds. It can waste more precious time than people normally think. The third strong reccomendation to our future microcampus group is to stay together, stay together, and to stay together. We might think it might be more efficient to make people split up into groups to finish up their task. But not in microcampus. Our group wasted tons and tons of precious time just because we thought we could finish out task more easily and faster if we split up work. The fourth thing I want to reccomend to our future microcampus group is to remember any action will act like a water ripple. It will always effect other group members. Try to always act confident and do not show doubts unless neccesary. Try to express your stress as little as possible with your groupmates. If someone expresses too much stress, people will get stressed as well, slowing down work and wasting precious time. The fifth reccomendation is to be optimistic! No matter how hard the task looks, always be optimistic! A happy group is an efficient group! This can increase the range of people's stress levels because they know that they could get work done while also giving them the warm feeling of them supporting the group. Last but not least, have fun! Occasional funny "Oopsies" are acceptable! Who said service learning is all about stress and seriousness? In conclusion, I wish future microcampus groups the best luck and success of ending their Xizhou trip on a high note!