Nicole C. (Alumni-E)'s Journal

This month-long journey has helped me to realize why I truly came on microcampus. I did not only come to travel and learn to become independent like I first thought, I came to learn new things about myself by stepping outside of my comfort zone or also known as "bubble". This trip has really helped me to experience letting go and allowing new people to accept me for who I am, not who they want me to be. However, I do still feel that I came for some of the reasons that I thought of when I first signed up to be a part of this journey.

0 Comments

Sadly, today is our very last full day that we will be spending here in XiZhou. This morning I began to clean and pack up all of my belongings. We also had to return our heart-rate monitors, watches, and receive our very last amount of money from the banking and financing committee. Furthermore, we all were to complete our final wellness reflection which helped us think and reflect on how we have developed as a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. In the afternoon we all showed our appreciation to Mr.

0 Comments

It is day 26 of microcampus  and also the last day we had to work on our inquiry projects. After i finished and had a talk with Mr. T to check in, I added a few more elements to make it the best possible outcome. Overall I feel pretty proud about what I have done throughout this trip in terms of inquiry project work. Sadly, our trip to Dali got cancelled and I am quite devastated. I was really looking forward to going back there for the last time and trying the Ugly Brownies once and for all.

0 Comments

The power is back on today and hopefully it will stay this way for the rest of our microcampus trip. My day mostly consisted of embroidery and working on my final project. As well continuing to bundle up in layers and layers of clothing to stay warm. During lunch, the people at Dali Old Town Snacks helped us to set up a table outside, where we could sit under the somewhat warm sun and eat delicious food. In the afternoon, Vanessa, Amy, and I went over to find Ms. Li so she could help us learn how to embroider.

0 Comments

More surprising events related the weather occurred today. What happened? Well it snowed for the first time here in XiZhou! Not only that but the power also went out again, for the second time. This time it went out for the longest period of time; almost a full day. Last night everyone went to bed pretty early due to the lack of light and source of entertainment. In the morning, we had a hard time getting prepared in the morning and had to work together in order to make it to breakfast on time.

0 Comments

I am finally back in my own room, however today i was still pretty limited to my activities. After all, I felt pretty sore so I did not mind resting in bed for most of the day. We had some pretty surprising events related to the weather that occurred today. First we were surprised by loud hail, which we thought was rain at first. After about 30 minutes, this snow/slush like material began to form on the ground and many people seemed very excited. Especially since snow if very rare in Shanghai.

0 Comments

Well, today was a pretty boring day for me. Since early this morning, at around 12 am, I was moved to go sleep in the nurse room. I had my temperature checked, which resulted in finding out that I was sick with a fever. All day the only activity that I have participated in is sleeping. Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Once in a while someone would check in and give me updates on what was happening, or  get equipment and comfort food. I just took my temperature again and my fever is gone, which is good news.

0 Comments

Just now, on our way back from the Linden Centre Julia and I decided to walk back a different route. We chose to walk across the garlic fields to have a better scenery as well as experience what every-day farmers walk through everyday. It was actually pretty amazing to see all of these crops and garlic being grown across this giant area of land. The only "bad" part probably was that the route that we took was longer than our usual way back, but that did not matter that much. Also today, I began to work on my final product for my inquiry project.

0 Comments

Yesterday we finished finding background information to put in our Phase 3s. I feel very accomplished seeing that it got completed and improved, especially since we have been working on it since around the time that we arrived here in XiZhou. Today we completed Phase 4 which is all about drawing up an outline for what we plan our final product to be. I cannot believe that we are already coming to a close, time has gone by so fast it is absolutely unbelievable.

0 Comments

Currently I am stuffed wtih food from our trip to Dali Old Town. These included pizza, pasta, mint cookies and cream pie, passion fruit tea, and strawberries covered in this sugar coating. It was all very delicious and I am glad that we were able to go back. This time, we walked around with our study groups to get to know them better and step outside of our comfort zones. Near the end of our trip, Benji took us to this road filled with little stands selling kebabs.

0 Comments

Today was a VERY exciting and interesting day, getting to see the wind turbines and its blades up close for the first time. After squeezing into Mr. Wang's car and dropping Marissa, Risa, and Annaliese over at Zhoucheng, Mr. T and I went on a little adventure to the northern tip of Lake Erhai. On our way there, I saw some more streetlights that were powered by using renewable energy. However, unlike the ones here near YZR, they only had solar panels and not small wind turbines.

0 Comments

After breakfast this morning, we set off to catch up on the SAS essentials that we missed during the duration of our hike. About halfway through, Bryce came into the movie room to say goodbye and get 'bro hugs' from the guys. It was actually pretty funny to watch, especially seeing how aggressive their "manly" hugs were. Sadly we will not be seeing the Lindens until around the time that we leave, but the hike with the brothers was very fun and a great bonding experience.

0 Comments

Today we got to sleep in until 9 AM which helped to supply me with a super boost of energy. Instead of taking the cable car trail right next to where we were staying, we took the longer path around the mountain. Overall, the toughest part was probably just carrying our hiking backpacks up the stairs and onto the main road. Afterwards, the hike was only okay since we had to walk on pavement for about an hour, however there was beautiful scenery on both sides which made it better.

0 Comments

To start off, the second day of the hike was supposed to be the hardest apparently. However, in my opinion I felt that it was actually the easiest and most fun because there was more scenery and less pavement to walk on. While we were walking, some of us made the connection of the scenery from our hike, to the one in the movie Twilight. It was so beautiful that even my fear of heights did not stop me from reaching the top. Unfortunately, due to our slower pace, we were not able to make it to our goal of 3,232 meters.

0 Comments

This morning straight after breakfast, the extreme team set off to pack our lunches and get our hiking backpacks ready. We all walked down to the "Big Tree" and boarded the bus. the ride was quite uncomfortable with all our stuffed bags and a few extra people. First we made a stop to drop off some of the bags where the mules were. Then, we drove over to the end of a rode and prepared all of our hiking equipment. The first 30 minutes of the hiking were just terrible.

0 Comments

After lunch today, Julia and I went up to the star terrace and got ready for our call with Mr. Everett, counselor for the middle school red team. Since it was very sunny, we had to position the chairs as well as my laptop in order to see clearly without having to squint. During the call, we talked about our goals for the trip, and ways we would strive to accomplish them. We also talked about a possible stress factor that could cause us a bit of discomfort during the microcampus trip.

0 Comments

Last night the Extreme team went on a tough biking adventure to a campsite nearby. Many of us hauled large hiking backpacks filled with sleeping bags and tents. We set off at around 7 at night, so we all had to shine our flashlights or headlights in order to see. Lucky for me, just the day before our departure Jacob and I had already biked through these paths. Therefore this gave me an advantage to riding through the bumpy trails, especially with the hiking backpacks that made it a little harder to balance.

1 Comments

This morning we were informed that there was a possible chance of a surprise room inspection. Being a member of room 3, and also the record holder for highest room inspection points (for the Extreme team), my roommates and I were frantic to clean our room. We made sure that all the beds were wrinkle-free and could pace the "bounce test". The trashcans were emptied and jackets were hung at a 90* angle. The shoes were lined up properly and laces were all tucked in.

0 Comments

After lunch today, I spent my hour of wellness sitting under the sun resting and reading a book on the terrace.  It felt nice to find a quiet place where I could read without distractions, as well as enjoy the nice weather. Especially after this morning, when Mr. T informed us that the pollution in Shanghai was over 300. It feels great to be able to safely breath in air here in XiZhou, allowing more time to be spent working outside. During terrace time today, I chose to focus on the sounds around me instead of just viewing the world with my eyes.

1 Comments

It is Sunday and also the first day of December! We started our day (and new month) by reflecting on our wellness plans that we made before our arrival in XiZhou. Overall, today was a very chill day that included a lot of time to give thought to, and reflect on the past week. In the afternoon, I decided to finally spend some time in the music room playing piano, guitar, and attempting to learn how to play the ukulele.

0 Comments

It has been one week since we arrived and settled into our rooms here in XiZhou. We spent the afternoon learning about China's history and going out to find elderly in the village. Whom we planned to talk to and ask questions. Many of the villagers that we found only spoke in a dialect that we could not understand, which meant they could not understand us either. After we got back, everybody went back into their rooms to fill their hiking bags with heavy valuables.

0 Comments

After my walk to the guesthouse with Mr. T the other day, I decided to go back there to spend my 30 minutes of terrace time. Julia came along with me, since we chose to go after our little adventure down to the local market. As we entered the guest house, Mr. Yin kindly allowed us to walk up to the rooftop to rest. When we reached the top, we were breathless from the amazing view. There we were able to see almost all of XiZhou, as far off as the mountains to the west (covered in wind turbines).

0 Comments

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! Sadly I will not be able to spend it this year with my family back home in Shanghai, but having said that, microcampus is practically family. Earlier this afternoon, Mr. T and I went on a walk down to the guesthouse nearby. Which is owned by the past "mayor" or head of the village, but due to the large amount of work and stress of owning the guesthouse and being head of the village, he recently decided to resign from being the head council.

0 Comments

It is only our 5th day here in XiZhou and we are already traveling and exploring new places outside of town. Today we rode a bus to ZhouCheng to visit a local tie-dye factory. There we split into 2 groups, one who went to visit the local market and a temple first, and the others who started on their tie-dying piece. During our walk to the market, I was able to see more larger pieces of cloth covered in tie-dye designs. I never realized how difficult the whole process of tie-dying was until we got back to the factory and tried ourselves.

0 Comments

During lunch time, once again I returned to SiFangJie to buy food. Today I urged myself to try new foods and go to new shops that neither I, nor the rest of the extreme team, have not already gone to. After circling around the center square of the area, I decided to walk father and explore the smaller roads behind. The first piece of treasure that I found were cold noodles. In them, the lady added homemade spicy pickles, that were a lot like kimchi, as well as different kinds of hot sauce and crushed peanuts.

0 Comments

Today was our first regular microcampus day, including the morning meetings and WIPPIT time. A fair amount of exploring, as well as inquiry work was completed due to the vast amount of time that we were given. This morning, to start off our day, Shane Linden showed Julia and I a route that we could possibly run in the mornings for our wellness activity. We set off at 6:20 AM to begin our first wellness exercise and had to adjust to the morning darkness.

0 Comments

It is only the second day of our Microcampus journey, and we have already began to show signs of our bonds beginning to grow stronger. Today was full of funny moments, including Mr. T's overload of puns and an unexpected fall by me as well. Me, along with 7 other students in my group, worked together to play a special version of badminton. It involved 6 students standing in different corners of a star and finding the longest ways to keep the birdie from touching the ground.

0 Comments

Today was the exciting start to our microcampus adventure... The extreme team gathered together at the Hong-Qiao Airport at 5 AM this morning, each individual hauling their heavy backpacks and dragging their suitcases behind them. Sadly, soon after the arrival of all members (excluding Julia who came late) we all had to say our goodbyes to our parents, whom we will not see for about a month's period. Although it was still early in the morning, many other travelers began to come and check their bags in just like us.

0 Comments

To kick off the month of November, the Extreme Team had their lock in at the Puxi Middle School where we learned new information on our upcoming daily lives at microcampus and our roles there. We also got to experience the roles of being independent and using our chinese skills as we ordered dinner and breakfast in the local shops nearby campus. As well as finding the correct times to sleep in order to function properly early the next morning. Last night we also received information from the counselor and nurse on how to keep ourselves healthy, emotionally and physically.

0 Comments

Right now I am feeling very happy and grateful that I get to be one of the 16 students chosen to go on the winter Microcampus journey. My friends Kate and Chuli, who had their first day back at school today, talked on and on about how amazing their experience in Xizhou was. They also gave me tips that I hope will be useful during my stay. One thing that I am very excited about is the scenery there, since one of my passions is photography. Not to mention that I will be able to capture pictures on more natural scenery, compared to Shanghai's busy city life. Hope all goes well! 

0 Comments
Hey, my name is Nicole and I am currently 13 years old. I was born in San Francisco, California and my parents are from Taiwan. Throughout my life I have moved 5 times so I am a pretty social butterfly. Leadership and taking risks are things that I feel confident at. Photography, dance, and swimming are my hobbies and passion. I had a very delightful time exploring new cultures on my microcampus experience in XiZhou and will miss it deeply!