Vincent C. (Alumni-E)'s Journal

Well, today is the day we all feared, my final full day here at Microcampus. I actually want to go back to my home, yet I also do not want to leave my home away from home. I have mixed feelings about leaving XiZhou. Today, I woke up saying "Oh my, it is our last full day here at Microcampus!" Then I heard Mike and KChen moaning, not wanting to leave YangZhuoRan. There was not much to talk about during the meeting, so it ended at 10:10 am. Everyone was in a bad mood, therefore the day seemed very glum.

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Wow, day 26 already, I cannot believe how fast these 28 days past. I still remember the first day crystal clear, when I arrived at the airport and the whole Extreme Team took a group photo. For lunch, everyone ate in because they were not notified that the trip was canceled yet. The trip to Dali Old town was canceled due to safety reasons, I had more time to finish up my inquiry project. After lunch, I went around XiZhou talking to some of my old chef friends and took pictures with them, and having my last goodbyes with them.

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Today was the day after the electricity outage, so some of my schedules changed. For SAS essentials, I worked on my social studies test. During my pitching in time, K2 and I bought a matching beanie.  During lunch, I ate in SiFangJie at my favorite MiXian shop, and then bought a sweet baba to share with Thomas. When I came back, I worked on my final products for the entire WIPPIT time. I complete a large amount of work after WIPPIT time. During dinner, I sat outside for dinner with Thomas, Mike, Julia, and Nicole.

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Today was the most interesting day in all of Microcampus. When I woke up and went to the kitchen for breakfast, the entire room was dark, while only the tables had candles on them lit with fire. 10 minutes into our meal, and Mr. T called a mini meeting where he announced some rules for the day. Everyone had to turn off their phones to save battery, put on as much layers of clothing as you can, and if anyone wanted to do anything, they had to ask Mr. Tafel for permission first. The inquiry projects were postponed, and the service learning project was canceled.

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Today was a completely messed up day. It started like a normal Sunday, with me getting up late at 9:20am. Then around 1:00pm, the clouds turned gloomy, and it started hailing! The hail quickly ended and became soft snow. I spent most of the afternoon playing the piano in the music room. At around dinner time, a man from the kitchen told me that it has not snowed in XiZhou for 18 years. Right in the middle of our dinner, the electricity suddenly went out. Mr. T told everyone to put on an extra layer of clothing, and also take their flashlights with them.

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Today was Saturday, so I got to sleep in and wake up at 9:20 am. During the after, my study group went out to the linden centre for our service learning partner. Marisa introduced an old woman called Mrs. Yang. She lives in a fabric shop next to the linden centre, and is around 90 years old. She told us how she was not allowed to go to school when she was a kid because she was a girl, therefore she had to stay had home making embroideries. She thought that her parents were extremely biased, because they left all the good education and even daily needs like food for her older brother.

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Today, I worked on making our own social studies test together with other red students during SAS essentials time. We will be taking it on Sunday. During WIPPIT time, Thomas and I had a video skype conversation with our counselor, Mr. Everett. Mr. Everett asked us some basic questions, like whether we felt stressed or not, or whether I had enough time for work. I actually think that WIPPIT time is too long while SAS essentials time is shorter than we need, because 1 and a half hours is not enough to complete all the work for 4 cores.

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So today there were some interesting things happen to me. First of all, it was my first time being the facilitator for the daily meeting. It was not as hard as I imagined it to be, since all I did was read from the daily meeting post. During WIPPIT time, the Extreme Team had a meeting at 1:00pm and then I worked on my phase 4 for the rest of inquiry project time. At around 3:00pm, I went out with K2, Marisa, and Kara to work on our service learning. We walked around SiFangJie trying to find elders who remembered what happened during the Great Leap Forward.

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Today had a couple things happen that was kind of interesting. Since it was the last day for phase 3, I spent most of my time outside interviewing local contacts and making the most out of my time. I was completed with phase 3 and work a bit on phase 4 by the end of WIPPIT time. At around 4:00 pm, Mr. Tafel called a meeting before our trip to Dali, and made everyone clean their own dorms. During the trip to dali, K2 and I went to play basketball in a public court. After around 10 mintues of playing, some local adults invited us to play with them.

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Today was yet another normal day, but there were a few interesting things happen, like every microcampus day. During SAS essentials, I took the tedious math test that I have been preparing for a while. During WIPPIT time, I interviewed our local chef in YangZhuoRan, and Ms. Yang gave me lots of information on what a normal household in XiZhou eats. I also went to SiFangJie for an interview with Ms. Zhong again to learn about MiXian. After Dinner, I went outside to the Cheese factory to milk a cow with Catherine and Abby.

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Today was yet another craigular day. The morning started out with Kara, Kevin Chen, and I doing the dishes for the day. During SAS essentials time, I worked on the podcast with Thomas. After Lunch, Kara and I washed the dishes, and went up to the TV room to work on our day 17 video shoutout when KChen returned from his lunch. During WIPPIT time, I mainly worked on my inquiry project, and proposed an interview with our chef, Ms. Yang, tomorrow at 1:00pm. Something interesting happened to Thomas, K2 and I bumped into an Australian family while eating at the Golden Flower. Mr.

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Today was our final day for our 3 day hike. We started off walking up many flights of stairs and hiked uphill for some reason. After around an hour of hiking, most of the people were worn out and hungry, so the aroma of tangerines and sweet corn was extremely fulfilling. While sitting on the sidewalk, I watched the forest, and listened to birds chirping far away. At the end of our lunch break, we gathered all of our trash and began our hike down the mountain.

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Today's hike was the easiest of all three, we began with a four hour hike to the top of the hill above ZhongHeSi. During this hike, we walked past a dirt road passing a forest which leads us to the peak of the mountain. The view of Dali Old Town and Lake ErHai was magnificent, we could see the entire valley from the top of the mountain. The hike was the easiest because the terrain we were hiking on was not too steep, and the ground was not slippery at all. When we reached the peak, the Extreme Team took a group photo infront of the landscape, and had a 5 minute terrace time.

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Today, everyone woke up with high spirits, because we were all "enthusiastic" about our upcoming journey. We started out our hike by riding a bus to dali old town, and talking upwards to the mountain. We began walking up the stairs, and this was the most difficult part of the 3 day hike. I was exhausted after our first break going up the stairs. When we began hiking up the actual hill, it was a bit more easier. After around 5 hours of hiking, Mr.

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Today morning, I woke up to the same smell of breakfast for the past 13 days. I even had the exact same foods I have eaten for the past 13 days: three carrot cakes, one bag of milk, and one spicy ErSi. During SAS essentials, I worked on social studies and math. For social studies, I planned out how to record my podcast for the Krakozhia assignment. I also finished my math review. For lunch, we had an amzing lunch prepared by the lunch committe, for once. During the afternoon, I went outside to the supermarket with K2 to buy some necessities.

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Today morning, Kara, Thomas, Mike, and I ate breakfast early because we did not camp out in the tongue of the lake yesterday night. Thomas announced the dish washers were numbers 16, 1, and 2. My number for Microcampus is 16, which means I had dish duty with 1 (Kevin Chen), and 2 (Kevin Tu). Since I was the only one in the group who did not go out camping, Mr. T told me to wash the dishes with Thomas and Mike, so that K2 and KChen could unpack their hiking backpacks. For lunch, I went out to SiFangJie with Nicole, and I ordered the popular TaiFeiChaoFan #2.

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Today's schedule was interesting because of our evening activity; nonetheless, my WIPPIT time consisted on an interesting trip too. During my WIPPIT time, I visited the cheese factory near YangZhouRan. In the cheese factory, I learned the ingredients needed and also the steps to make RuShan. RuShan is a signature snack and dessert in XiZhou, it is a dried soft cheese product. The name Shan is chinese for fan, and the RuShan is named after a fan because of its fan-like shape. The RuShan is usually topped with sugar to increase its taste.

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Today was like any other regular microcampus day. It was the same schedule, where we had SAS essentials time in the morning, and WIPPIT time in the afternoon. During SAS essentials, I worked on my Social Studies, where I learned about different government and economic systems. During WIPPIT time, I mainly tried to put down as much information I gathered onto phase 3. I also made a new food menu for the next week with my food committee buddy, Mike.

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Today was a Sunday, and also the first day of December. Yesterday, we met a local boy called Sean who was the son of the owner of the antique shop. He followed us to Dali old town, and also promised us a basketball court today at his school. So K2, Mike, KChen, Bryce, and I followed Sean to his middle school. When we arrived, we immediately began or skirmish. We played basketball for around an hour. By the moment I reach 30 minutes in zone, our group of friends did not feel like tossing a ball around a court anymore, so we walked back to SiFangJie.

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Yesterday was our first free weekend in Microcampus. At around 9 am, Mike and I biked out to the morning ingredients market to learn about some signature ingredients used for XiZhou dishes. Most of the ingredients used are spicy powders, vinegar, and peppers. When we returned at noon, K2 and I got into throwing playing cards, so we just threw some cards for two hours straight. I also did some step ups, jumping jacks, and jogged a while to reach 30 mintues in Zone.

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Today, I spent most of my WIPPIT time working on my inquiry project. I was working on Phase 3, which meant I had to collect information on my inquiry project, which on local food products. I went outside to SiFangJie with Mike to interact with local chefs and people who seemed like they knew information on foods in XiZhou. The first man we interview was Mr. Wang, who made XiZhou babas, a popular dessert that is like a fried cake. There are 3 types of babas, plain, salty, and sweet, my favorite one is the sweet one. Mr.

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Today, I had my first meeting with Fay, one of our chaperones. I went out to SiFang Jie to learn how to people make a signature dish called baba. There are different types of babas, like there are normal flavor, sweet flavor, and salty flavor. Normal ones are just made from flour and pork oil lathered on it. Sweet ones have red bean paste, rose sauce, and brown sugar in it; pork oil is also lathered on it. Salty ones have onions and salty pork in it. The pork oil is used to make the skin of the baba crispier.

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Today morning, I woke up at 6:00 am with Michael to enjoy our very own special terrist time area. We sat on a large rock that was past the sideline of a pond. We stayed there gazing at the moon and stars, along with small tadpoles inside the pellucide pond water. 

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Today morning, I woke up at around 7 because I was tired from all the star gazing last night for our evening activity. We were up on the terrist and gaped at the beautiful night sky. We saw a space junk called the Deltoid 1 Rocket Booster 1, which is an interesting name for the piece of space garbage circulating in our atmosphere. For breakfast, we muched down some spicy ErSi, which is a specialty rice noodle made in XiZhou, I took my math test during SAS essentials, and after that I worked on my food committee with Mike.

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Today morning, I woke up early to finish our daily video shoutout. I worked in the TV room along with K2 and Mike. After a delicious breakfast, we were about to experience our first regular Microcampus day. SAS essentials was held at around 8:30, but our group has some time management issues and 12/16 people arrived late to the meeting. I worked on my math to prepare for the test tomorrow. I wish I had more time because I did not have any time to prepare for the Science test.

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Today morning, my friends and I wanted to venture off early in the morning to play basketball, but we were stopped for a few reasons. First, the maximum number of people to travel in a group is 4, while 5 people were about to go off as a group simultaniously. Second, we did not notice Mr. T about our actions the day before, so we could not leave in such short notice. These are a few rule I learned today by being making mistakes. 

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Today, at 5:15 A.M. was the beginning of my Microcampus journey. I was pretty excited yesterday night, so I barely had any sleep. I was absent from school due to sickness, but now I am feeling better. It was difficult for the newly formed group to cooperate and follow directions, so we had a slow start. The 3 hour airplane ride was tedious, because I did not want to use my electrical appliances. Once we arrived from the airport, we began our 6 hour bus ride. The Extreme Team started to work together after we arrived.

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The Microcampus lock in is now over, I have learned so much in just these 2 days. I learned the point and reason for why we go to Microcampus. We go to Microcampus because of Experiential Learning, Personal Growth, Expanding Intercutural Understanding, Having a Positive Impact. Experiential Learning means when we learn from activities which require us to depend on ourselves, our peers, our chaperones, and outside experts. Personal Growth is what happens to ourselves after the many challenges and activities that require ourselves to exit our comfort zones.

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Hi, I'm Vincent, and I am looking forward to Microcampus because I would like to learn about people and places outside of Shanghai. I like being independent and working on my own, but I also like working with others as a team. I am looking forward to working on Inquiry projects (best if it could be food!), and also learning about the citizens who live in XiZhou. I would like to leave the "bubble" in Shanghai and travel somewhere else to learn about XiZhou's cultures and also working on Inquiry projects.

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Hi! My name is Vincent, and this year I am 13 years old. I was born in Canada. I go to school In Shanghai American School's 8th grade. I lived YangZhuoRan, and I already finished investigating my inquiry project, which is about local foods and cuisine in XiZhou. I enjoyed my stay at the Microcampus site in XiZhou. I enjoy playing badminton, tennis, volleyball, and floor hockey.