Alba N. (Alumni-O)'s Journal

27 days of the Microcampus trip have past, and now the question is, 'Why did I come to Microcampus?' There is no simple answer to this question. At first, my parents wanted me to go on Microcampus as they were saying it would be a great experience for me. In the beginning I did not really want to, but later I started having my own reasons for wanting to go on this trip. I wanted to grow as an individual, make connections with locals, and get out of my comfort zone. However throughout the trip, more reasons came to mind of why I wanted to go on Microcampus.

2 Comments

Today was the last full day of our Microcampus journey. In this post I will not be talking about my day, but I will be giving thanks to the people around me. First of all, I would like to thank the Linden's and their staff. They have provided us with an amazing stay for our one month experience out of our comfort zone. They made me feel as if XiZhou was my home, for that I am very thankful. Next I would like to thank the locals in the village. They all always had a positive attitude and made me smile just by having short conversations with them.

0 Comments

Our Service Learning partner could not come to the showing of the final showing of the video. However we did go and see him later to show him our video. On the walk there, I was really nervous. So many thoughts came into my head. I was wondering whether he would like the video or not. We finally got to his shop, he greeted us kindly and we sat down all together to watch our final service learning video.

3 Comments

Today is the beginning of our last week in Xizhou. We only have 4 days left of this experience and we are going to make the most of it. Like any other weekday, we started off our day with breakfast at 7:30 then SAS essentials at 9:30. However since this is our last week and the people back in Shanghai are on spring break, we do not need to do any SAS work. We had service learning and inquiry project time instead. Now that I have completed my inquiry project, I am under less stress. We are now focusing on our service learning work. Our final partner is Lao Mao.

2 Comments

Today we completed our final products. There were 3 parts to completing this; the introduction, sharing our learning, and the reflection. When my final product was uploaded and everything was finish I had a huge sense of acomplishment of the work I had completed in the matter of just 4 days. Before 3pm today, we needed to have a chat with Mr. T so he could take a look at our final products. After I finished the meeting, I felt stress-free. I only needed to change a few things that took a few minuites to change. All my hard work has finally paid off.

2 Comments

Today was our last Saturday in the village. Tomorrow we will be showing Mr. Tafel our first draft for our final Inquiry Project and we need to be done with filming our Service Learning by noon tomorrow. This is going to be a struggle as we do not have a Service Learning partner yet. Our first choice, the canola oil maker, left yesterday so we were not able to record and finish our project with him. Our second choice, Mr.

2 Comments

This beautiful morning, Maya and I woke up at 6:30 to be able to see the beautiful sunrise over the mountains. We did all our morning routine and headed out with many layers of clothes as it was freezing out. I was so excited to see this view again as we have not seen it since the beginning of the trip. The first time we went, we were not allowed to take any photos as we needed to experience the sunrise first instead of always looking at a camera or at a phone.

3 Comments

Today we have completed our Phase 4! I woke up this morning and checking the website to see a 'Completed and Approved' next to my Phase 3 work. At 1:00pm we all gathered in the conference room to read over the instructions of the Phases left. We were then able to spread out to work on it anywhere we want. I did not expect myself to be able to finish the work on time but I was able to and I feel very accomplished.

4 Comments

Today we will be wrapping up Phase 3 and tomorrow we will need to start and finish Phase 4. In Phase 3, we talk to local contacts and experts about our inquiry project and gathering information. During Phase 4, I will be sorting out all the information and planning out my Final Product. Today I will be going with Mr.

3 Comments

Today marks the start of our third week out here in Xizhou. This week will be a busy week with a lot of work we need to finish. Tomorrow will be our last day working on our Phase 3 work which is gathering information with local contacts around the village. As soon as we are done with that, the next day we are starting Phase 4 and we need to complete it in one day.

2 Comments

Today marks week 2 of Microcampus and the start of week 3. Week 3 is going to be busy and pretty though. We need to finish up Phase 3 & Phase 4. That week will also be our last week to finish up SAS essentials. This is work given to us by our SAS teachers to finish up during the month.

8 Comments

Today was a fun yet tough day. Our Microcampus group went hiking to the jade belt. We started off by taking the bus to a closer location. Once we arrived at the bottom of Chang Shan, we started our hike. It was really tiring at first as the path was very steep. When we finally reached 2626 meters above sea level. At this point, we all felt extremely accomplished. We took a little break to eat some of our comfort food we brought here from Shanghai. To go downhill, there was an easy and flat path we could take. This took us to the bottom of the mountain.

4 Comments

Today we had an option to help pick up trash in around the Linden Centre for pitching in. When I heard about this option I was very interested to help the community. A few days earlier I went running with Maya in the garlic fields. During our run, I saw lots of trash laying around everywhere in the garlic fields. I kept on thinking that it is a shame that with the beautiful scenery all around Xizhou there had to be this much trash. This was our chance to help do something about it.

4 Comments

Today was a pretty good day so far. We had MAP testing again and followed our typical schedule. However today, I did not manage my time very well. I did not sign up for teacher support the day before and I realized I needed to get more information for my inquiry topic a few minutes before the meeting started. I quickly signed up but Jake (my support teacher) did not know this. About 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave with him he called me saying he was not ready for teacher support at this time.

2 Comments

Today was the first day of MAP testing. The kids in Shanghai are taking the same tests as us. We did this as part of our SAS work. The rest of the day was a typical Microcampus day. We did our pitching in responsibilities, ate lunch, then did WIPPIS time. I did wellness with Aniketh and Orion.

2 Comments

At the beginning of the trip, Mr. Tafel mentioned that every trip has a dip. Right now, we are experiencing ours. Half of our group is not following directions and most of us do not notice the bigger picture. The world is not only SAS and our decisions have bigger effects than just us. In my opinion, our group can do better than this. In the beginning of this trip, we were very strong and I think we can still be this strong if we keep putting in 100% effort. Some of us now are slacking off. Especially at this point, we need to try our hardest.

8 Comments

Last night we went camping by the beautiful Lake Er Hai. During this short trip we learned how to set up tents and we became closer together as a group. In this small trip, we also made some mistakes, but as any other mistake, we learned from it. Today, Day 9, we came back to the Linden Centre. We were all pretty tired since the night before was a tough night. Some of us had to sleep on hard soil and with lots of rocks. Also, it was a very windy night so our tent kept on moving around. In the morning, we sat by the lake and had some still time.

4 Comments

Today is Day 8, which means we have officially spent one full week in Xizhou. It has been an amazing experience. There has been some ups and downs in this week but overall we are doing great so far. Stress wise, I am doing okay. In the beginning of Microcampus I was under more stress as I did not know how to organize my time well. Now, I have gotten better at this, I am managing to do all my work and finish it before the deadlines. Of course, I still have things to work on but I am already seeing some personal growth. I am so excited for the weeks to come!

5 Comments

Today was a very eventful day. We visited a tie dye factory and went to Si Fang Jie for dinner. The tie dye factory was a unique experience. We got to make our own traditional cloths. At the same time, we got to bond with the owners of the shop. We also got to see the process of the workers making the indigo dye. Next we went to Si Fang Jie for dinner. Our food was really good but that was not a highlight of our outing. When we were walking back to the Linden Centre, we saw a couple taking photos.

3 Comments

Doing laundry is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Today was our first day doing laundry and Maya, Chantal, and I struggled with it. We came during our morning Pitching In time and tried to start up our first batch. We were all pretty clueless on how to do this as in Shanghai, we are used to this being done for us.

4 Comments

If you have read my Day 4 journal, you would know that I was not feeling well. Now, I am back to my usual self and my day is going great. I did not rush through things today and I stayed pretty subtle. For lunch, I took regular fried rice with no spicy parts to it, to keep recovering. Since I was resting all day yesterday, I had to catch up on some work.

3 Comments

Last night was a tough night. I was not feeling very well. This morning was challenging as well. I felt a lot of anxiety and boredom. I was very worried as I knew I was going to be behind on work and this made me feel very stressed. I soon came to realize that this was all part of my Microcampus journey. As soon as my perspective changed, I managed to realize that not everything about this situation was negative. Even though I could have learned many lessons out in the village today, I learned a lot staying home in the Linden Centre as well.

3 Comments

Today was our first time riding bikes in Xizhou. This was all very new and exciting. We learned how to ride our bikes safely, where to find our bikes, and other important parts of riding a bike out here in Xizhou. Before we were able to get on our bikes and go around Xizhou, Mr. Tafel taught us a lot of lessons. We all needed to understand how to stay safe. Some of the important things we learned were keeping a three second difference with the person in front of you, and keeping a 1 meter distance between the cars next to you and the side of the road.

4 Comments

Today was our first full day in the beautiful village Xizhou. We had a breakfast at the Linden Centre. The traditional foods we ate were Er Si noodles. They are a type of rice noodles that most of the locals eat throughout the day. Later, we toured our home and then toured the village! When we were walking in the streets, the locals were always very friendly. Unlike Shanghai, when you say hello to a local or wave they do not think you are completely insane, they wave back and smile. We also visited the market.

3 Comments

Our Microcampus journey has begun! 12 students have arrived in the beautiful Xizhou. However before this, we had a long journey where we had some nice conversations which brought us all closer and made us feel more comfortable with the group of people. This made me feel full of excitement but at the same time, we were all extremely nervous. When we were at the shanghai airport, I remember sitting in a circle on the floor. Mr.T asked us two questions. First was, what could we, as an individual, bring to this group? We all had different and unique responses.

3 Comments

I am pleased to go to microcampus as I feel it will be a spectacular experience to learn about China's country side and the way of life of the people. In Shanghai, we can not do this as the people around us do not live the same life as someone in the country side. Mr.Tafel mentioned that we all live in a "bubble" and for me Microcampus would be a way to step out of that "bubble" and experience something new. This trip would also be a way for me to be able to interact with locals and learn about how their life is.

0 Comments
Hello, my name is Alba and my time in Xizhou has now ended. I am 13 years old and I attend Shanghai American School. I have lived in Shanghai for 8 years now. Before that I lived in Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan. I wanted to join the Microcampus program to experience living out of the "bubble" life. I was a part of the O.R.E.O spring Microcampus trip of 2016. I am so happy I got to come here and learn about my inquiry project, bond with locals, have personal growth and develop more intercultural understanding!