Catherine W. (Alumni-E)'s Journal

For the past twenty eight days I made plenty of mistakes, but the important thing is that I learn from those mistakes. I am very glad that I had the chance to learn and grow. This opportunity gave me a chance to see myself and get out of my comfort zone. If I didn’t go to microcampus, I don’t think I would have ever saw the true me. The reason why I came to microcampus is very complicated, but it is also very simple. In one word, my reason is “try”. In a sentence my reason is, “to try something new for the first time”.

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This morning we spent our entire time finishing things up with Inquiry Projects and Wellness reflections. Things are starting to rap up. A little sad... but I sort of miss home. I guess I am excited for winter break, since I am going to Japan. I will miss every one in this city, every plant, every thing. Xizhou, you will always be the place I love the most.

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Today I need to finish my entire final product. Which seems impossible since I have been lying in bed for more than four hours because of Uncle Dan’s visit. I have four hours to get this thing together. So after lunch, I started finishing my iMovie. Which seem so hard because there is no place in this building that is quiet. I mean SERIOUSLY... People are so loud (including NALA). After WIP-PIT time I finished my entire iMovie, now I just need to work on my reflection. Which can be hard to write. I am still working on it now. I regret not starting on my reflection earlier...

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Today, I wake up in the morning feeling I am so glad that we have power back. The heater is so nice. I am so warm... When I walked out side, I noticed that there is still snow on the roof top. I feel like I need to get things done right now, for my inquiry project. I am done with half the iMovie but I am still in the process of writing the script and everything. 

 

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Today is such a relax day. The power is not back yet. It is so cold in my room. I have three layers on and a huge jacket. I also have a scarf and a warm fluffy hat, but it is still cold. Freezing to death. The snow is still there. It is so cool... During breakfast Mr. T announced that we are not going to be on our computer today and also we are not going to work on our inquiry or service learning project because we will need to save the battery of our computer. So during the day I just basically slept and slept and slept.

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Today is the best day in the entire Microcampus Trip. I am so happy. Today started out really early... I woke up at 3:00 to see the meteor shower. We didn’t really see any, but one was really bright. It was sort of like star raining. I went back to sleep at 4:20 and the next time I woke up Kara was shaking my shoulder. IT WAS 10:30. CREEPY... So I got dress and everything, but I was starving. 3/4 of room nine didn’t go to breakfast because we woke up too late. So eventually I went out side of my cozy room. When I went out side I noticed it was raining.

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Today Nicole is sick. This means a lot because she is apart of our service learning group. So me, Benji and Thomas went off to find a service learning partner. It was so creepy, we literally went inside every single aisle of Rang Yi Xiang and we went in to every single house that has a door open. My job was to do the main speaking. Benji’s job was to be the back up and the follow up person. Thomas is the video loader and the computer opener. Once we have a chance we will ask the elders if we can show them a video.

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Today is Friday, and I am totally ready for the weekend. I am so tired right now. I want to skip breakfast and lunch, because I want to sleep until two in the afternoon. During WIP-PIT (wellness, inquiry project, pitching in, terrace) I took a 1 hour nap for my wellness. It was so nice, to fall a sleep in the middle of the day. I want  to keep sleeping, but I know I need to work. So I started on my inquiry project. I finished the first part of the iMovie. Im pretty happy...

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Today we HAVE to find a partner for service learning, but things are not going really well. The whole group has been looking for old people, but that really work well. Many elders of the village, rejected us... We went from SiFangJie to the muslim street to the laundry place and then to the cheese place. When we arrived at the cheese place the owner told us that Mrs. Yang (the elder we were looking for) isn’t going to be back until late at night.

 

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Today was a very typical work day. I needed to finish Phase 3, but it seemed impossible. So I spent four hours on inquiry project during WIP-PIT time (wellness, inquiry project, pitching in, terrace). I needed to record all my information from the previous research. Which was a lot... The only way to go to Dali Old Town that day was to finish my Phase 3. So I worked really really really REALLY hard to finish my work. And guess what?

I DID IT!!!! YAY!

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Maybe you can not believe it, but I milked a cow today! It felt very weird, very... As you all know (-_-), my inquiry project is “Cheese Fan”; a traditional dish from Xizhou, Yunnan. So for my inquiry project me, Vincent and Abby went to the cheese fan production place to learn more about the ingredients of the cheese fan.

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Today I wake up feeling like I am still in a tent but the truth was we are back; we are back at YZR, a place we can call home. It is warm and cozy in our little room. The heater is on and the bathroom light shines towards my face waking me up from the bad dream. 

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Today is Sunday but it is not relaxing at all. We are heading back to Yang Zhou Ran today and that means that we will have to hike all the way down hill; which is tiring.

 

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When I opened my eyes in the morning, they were tired and hard to open. I wanted to keep sleeping but the sound of Abby getting out of her sleeping bag kept me awake. I went to breakfast late that day since it took me a long time to look for my tooth brush and tooth paste. The temple (the place where we eat breakfast) was located far away from our camp site. Most of all, there were STAIRS. I hate stairs so much. So I had to walk three stories to get to the temple.

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I am exhausted and tired... Right now I am sitting in a tent writing this journal. It is freezing! Last night we stayed up until ten, packing our sleeping bag and other stuff in the stupid hiking backpack. Now that we have finished the first part of the hike, I feel relieved and proud.

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Everything seems so perfect today... The blue sky and the golden sun; sun bathing under the sun light. During WIP-PIT (wellness, inquiry project, pitching in, terrace) time I slept for a hour in my bed. It was very comfortable but at the same time I felt really lazy... So soon I pushed myself out of my comfy bed and went to work. I started out with math because I want to get it over with. I finished all of the text book pages, but I didn’t do my review guide yet. I am a little worry, we have a test next monday and I am not ready for it.

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When I woke up all I could see was darkness and faint of blue on this plastic thing, most of all Abby was beside me; I was really confused. Soon I realized that I am still on our camping trip. I didn’t know that it was morning because it was pitch black out side. I thought that it was two or one or three or something. So I kept sleeping... After three minutes and twenty five seconds Mr. T said “Wake up! Out of the tent in five minutes”. Me and Abby were really surprised. We started changing after thirty seconds.

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Today we went camping near the lake "Er Hai". After dinner we packed all our thickest clothes into the hiking bag pack. My back pack was stuffed; I had a chili feeling coming down my back, I don’t think I can fit everything back after taking it out.

 So soon after we packed our clothes and our sleeping bag in to the hiking back pack we started our long or short journey to “Er Hai”. We rode our bikes and on the way there were some challenges. 

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Early in the morning, when the sun just came out of its bed, I can hear the little birds chirping and screeching. I can also hear Nala, the dog, bark perfectly matching with the birds. The floor cracking and the sound of the early village woke me up from the terrible dream. Everything was like an orchestra performing a symphony.

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Just like any other day, everything was normal... UNTIL after lunch. So me and Risa were just eating like usual and then the Linden boys, Shane and Bryce said, "Do you guys want to play Settlers of Ca tan?"of course we said yes. But at that time we didn't know that our day is going to change from a normal day to a weird day.

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This morning abby and I went to Happy Embroidery. The teacher there was really friendly and taught us how to do it. Embroidery is extremely time consuming. It took us two hours to finish five centimeter!

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Today was chaos! So we went to pick up our laundry that we washed yesterday at the laundry place. The problem was we had to get there early because we had undergarments hanged up. Well, it wouldn’t be that bad if the next group were girls, but they weren’t, they were BOYS!!!

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For some reasons I woke up at 5:00 today... It was so weird, I didn't set an alarm or anything. After half a hour me and Risa went to the kitchen. Two days ago we have arranged a day with the kitchen because we wanted to make some French Toast. After making the French Toast. We went back to our room to sleep, but it turned out to be that every one was awake. The day was normal, nothing particularly happened. But after dinner we went CRAZY...

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I felt like I was in a dream all day long. I got out of my bed at 6:00 am, the toilet light was opened I could see my room mates Kara, Marisa and Risa are still in bed. I slowly walked towards the door.  The door was old and cracky, it made it really hard to open. As I walked out side the room I saw the sky. Everything was pitch black , all you can see was the stunning shinny stars in the dark black night. After 15 minutes the sun slowly creeped out of our neighbor's roof turning the sky into a orange purplish color.

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Today the bank officially opens in Microcampus. Me and Vanessa are in charge of organizing the money, distributing money and saving the money. After the daily meeting I sat at the end of the table for fifteen minutes and only ONE costumer came (thanks to Benji). So basically I just sat there waiting for time to go by. After collecting the money Mrs. Mai showed me how to organize the money. Hope that tomorrow more people will come and save money...

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Today is my first regular day at Xizhou. It was more relaxing than I thought. Most of the SAS work was done at the "SAS Essentials" time. Today during "SAS Essentials" we were working on math and language arts.

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Today was an exciting day! In the village I noticed a lot of tourist. When we were eating at the “Si Fang Jie” I noticed some people speaking different dialects of China. The person sitting behind me at the restaurant was talking in “Cantonese” (a dialect that is normally spoken in Guang don or Hong kong). Another thing I noticed was that even though there is really less cars here, people can be very vicious.

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To me, today was a really long day. I just can not believe that I am actually here! We took a three hour plane ride to 昆明. The plane ride was shorter than I thought. This statement is really true, "Time flies when your having fun!".  

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During the lock-in I learned about the four pillers of Microcampus; Personal Growth, Experiential Learning, Positive impact and Intercultural understanding. We also improved our realationship with diffirent people. Overall the lock-in was really fun.  (This was the place I slept last night!)

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I can't wait until Microcampus. Finally going to go to a place where there is no polution. I'm looking forward to the fresh air, blue skies and the mountians. One and a half month until MICROCAMPUS! YAY....... Seems such a long time. 

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I was there... A place where there was orange soil, fresh air, white clouds and red sunsets. A place where there was green grass and blue skies. Also a place without pollution. I am a 13 year old girl who is now in Shanghai. I was born in a very polluted city; but in a very short period of my life, I was here. A place anyone will call paradise. A place where I can call home for 28 days. This experience changed me. I learned from my mistake. I fell over and stood up. I started as a seed but now I am a tree. Xizhou town I will never forget you. I will never forget the people who use to live in Room 9 or YZR. I will never forget the smell of the wooden floor and the sound of birds chirping. This is an end, a memory, and a wonderful beginning.