Marisa K. (Alumni-E)'s Journal

Today, I am to be talking about why I came to Microcampus.  I'm going to start with the original reason: To view China outside of the "bubble."  Then I realized once I got here that there were more reasons.  For one, I wanted the independence and freedom from my family for a little while.  That was my first realization I made when I got here.  I also realized that I wanted a wider variety of people to hang out with, or, as they're more commonly known as, friends.  I got all of that.  I got to see the "real" China, I got more independence and freedom from my fam

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Honestly, I don't want to go home.  But I don't really want to stay here either.  My Chinese isn't good which makes communicating hard, but it's warmer, cleaner, and just nicer here in general.  I also think that I will yet again forget something, as I always do when I'm going somewhere.  I'm very anxious and I have mixed feelings about leaving.  I also want to go to Dali just one more time so I can get a mint cookies and creme pie from The Sweet Tooth.  Oh, how I will miss that pie!  Unless... Maybe there's a recipe on the internet! I shall check...

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We almost went to Dali today... Then it got canceled... There's my first disappointment.  As for appointments, we're finishing up our inquiry work today, so we need to make appointments with Mr. T about our final phase of work.  My main drive for getting it done today was Dali... Plus, I was basically already finished with it before WIPPIT time, which was supposed to be short today.  Now, I have nothing to do.  So, I am probably just going to go on about random disappointments and appointments.  Another disappointment is that we're leaving on Friday...

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Before I start going into the memorable textures and feelings of Xizhou, I would like to say a few things.  First of all, the inquiry project due date was extended until tomorrow, and I finished my bag today so I can focus on the iMovie part of my final product!

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So, yeah.  As you probably figured out, the power stayed out all night.  What you didn't guess is that it didn't come back until about 4:20 P.M.  Although, I hope we don't have to do inquiry work today because of a late start or else I WILL NOT MAKE THE DEADLINE.  I am only having my tie-dye piece dyed today, and then it'll be washed and dried overnight.  Tomorrow, I'll sew it together then make an iMovie of the process that I did.  If it's due tomorrow, I will hardly be able to finish, then it'll be really bad, so I hope today doesn't count as an inquiry day. 

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The CandleI hate snow sometimes because it is evil, as I know now.  I was walking out to dinner, and it was cold and snowing.  We went down to Old Town Snacks and right after we ordered our meals, the power went out.  At least the power outage led to cool candles while we ate!  Sadly, it also led to a colder environment and slower food production.  By the time I got back to YZR, the power had come back, then it took me forecver to warm up.

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Finally, my study group has gotten somewhere with service learning.  Today, we both found a partner and recorded our video of her.  Basically, this started when service learning ACTUALLY began, which is a long story about how we started late, which I won't tell.  So, when service learning started, I said I knew an old lady down by the Linden Centre.  So, we walked down to the place next to the Linden Centre and asked this lady's mother if we could interview her for a project and if she was okay with being filmed.  She said it was okay, so we just went and did our filming.  We had to use th

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So, WIPPIT time is being cut short today by an hour and a half.  Some people might be going to Dali, some might be staying home and working, of course this is being/was written during WIPPIT time, so I won't know who went and who stayed until tomorrow.  We have no idea who is legible, and who isn't legible to go to Dali because T won't tell us, but we have our suspicions.  Mr.

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I saw something funny as I was walking down to laundry today.  As I walked, I saw a horse-drawn carriage--which is normal around here.  This was not any random horse-drawn carriage... Okay, maybe it was, but still.  This horse-drawn carriage was being chased by a dog, and this dog was running around the carriage just yapping away.  Let me guess--this sounds boring to you.  Ah, but it was oh, so much funnier in person.  If you don't believe me, well... then you don't believe me because... I.. um... I didn't exactly record it or anything... so... um...

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I am so glad that the three day hike is over... and that some deadlines have been changed.  The conclusion for my science lab has been extended until Wednesday, when my Language Arts essay is due.  Then the math test has been postponed to Tuesday since there was quite a lack of study time.  Then, there's Social Studies.  In Social Studies, we are supposed to do three weeks worth of work in one week because we didn't get the assignment until now... One week before winter vacation.

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Free of the hiking bag at last!  Yep.  That's right.  Hiking is OVER.  I don't have to lug any big heavy bags anywhere.  Then again, there's the math test on Tuesday... On the other hand, I can get more Snickers! :) Yes, I did have to add that smiley face.  I am just so happy to be rid of carrying that hiking bag around.  Now, figuring out a way to show my hyperness.... Thinking... Thinking... Okay, I got nothing.  So, let's just do this.  I am so HyPeR.  I really don't have anything to say about today except that... So, I guess this means goodbye for now.

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Ah.  Another day where I have to write 200 or more words on one of the five senses.  Today is, as you may have guessed, smell.  The thing about smells is that you don't always smell anything.  Like in Xizhou.  I can't really smell anything in Xizhou.  Of course, this isn't including food and the occasional sewer smell.  For the food smell, there's the smell of a meal done cooking and ready to be eaten at Yang Zhuo Ran every meal time.  Naturally, the food smell is different every day because of the different meals we have every day.  There's also the smell of f

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The HikeThe beginning of a three day hike.  Yay.  I found out today that hiking and old ankle injuries do NOT go well together.  It was still fun for the last hour or so, though.  This is because the ground had finally evened out and we weren't really going uphill anymore.  When we reached our destination, Kevin Tu was the one who radioed about having the target in sight.  Then Mr.

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I don't have anything to say about today really, but I can tell you about my feelings about tomorrow.  Tomorrow, we start a three day hike.  Yay?  Truth be told, I'm not sure.  I'm anxious since tomorrow we are hiking, up-hill if I might add, for eight hours.  Then, when it's time to sleep, I have to deal with Amy...

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I don't have anything to say about today really, but I can tell you about my feelings about tomorrow.  Tomorrow, we start a three day hike.  Yay?  Truth be told, I'm not sure.  I'm anxious since tomorrow we are hiking, up-hill if I might add, for eight hours.  Then, when it's time to sleep, I have to deal with Amy...

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Waking up at Lake Erhai this morning? Yes.  Mysteriously? Definitely not.  The reason we woke up Lake Erhai this morning is because we camped out there overnight.  Now, I can finally post pictures of Erhai.  YAY!  These pictures I will post are not of the place we camped but where I played Frisbee with Abby, Jacob, and Xiaotang.  Now where was I... Oh yes!  The camp out.  We saw the Andromeda galaxy last night since the tongue of the lake was so remote.  We also saw Orion's belt...

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I get to talk about sound around the village today.  Yay.  Since I have a specific task today, my journal probably isn't going to 'flow' very well today.  Here we go.  As I sat next to the Er Hai Lake, I heard the small waves lapping up against the rocks.  Then as I walked down the worn path, I heard the crunching of footsteps against the gravel while the birds sang in the near distance, if that phrase makes any sense.  Along with the birds, the wind could be heard whistling through the trees and into your ear.  There was also the sound of stones clinking again

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Weekends.  Still weekends on Microcampus, and this was our first real one.  Saturday's still have a little work in the afternoon, but it's mostly a day of rest.  Sunday, all we have to do is spend an hour on our wellness reflection, then we have the whole day to ourselves.  Today, Sunday, I played Frisbee.  I played Frisbee down at Erhai Lake with two of my friends.  Sadly, I cannot post any pictures of it because we're having a little field trip down there sometime this week, and I don't want to spoil the beauty of it.  I really actually didn't do anything except play music and Frisbee. 

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We took a trip to Dali old town today.  I am very sorry that I don't have a picture for you, since it was hard to find a good picture to take of the old town.  Anyway, I had a good time there, and I realized that I look good in fedoras.

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Indigo and that other plant.I had a good day today.  It was very productive and fun at the same time.  It was productive because I went to Zhoucheng during WIPPT time for my inquiry work.  I learned a lot from the ladies who were doing tie-dye.  I also got a sample of some indigo leaves, and some leaves from another plant.  This other plant makes yellow dye, so if you mix them together, the dye becomes green.  I will post a

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Purple Flowered TreeFirst things first.  In my first journal, I mentioned that I liked a tree with purple flowers, remember?  Well, I posted a picture of one of those trees at the bottom of this entry.  Now, onto the other stuff I did today.  As you can see in the title of this journal entry, I was questioning a local on my topic.  Today was the first day we could.  If you would like to see

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Today at the end of WIPPIT time, Mr. T, Risa, and I went down to a textile place by the Linden Centre.  We saw old textiles, and new.  There were Miao textiles, Dong textiles, and textiles from other ethnic groups as well.  One that "stuck out" was a cotton piece with a leather-y looking border.  This piece turned out to be a baby carrier.  The border was worn out from years of use in the mountains and through a few generations and families.  The piece was hand-made many, many years ago, and still beautiful--even through how worn it was.

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The Cat at Happy EmbroideryToday was our first normal day at Microcampus.  The basic schedule is waking up, breakfast, SAS Essentials, daily meeting, pitching in, lunch, WIPPIT time, dinner, and sleep.  WIPPIT stands for Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, and Terrace time.  During Terrace time today, I went and sat at Happy Embroidery for a while.  I would love to say that I was watching

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Today was tour day.  We learned our way around the village and learned how to do laundry.  Exciting, right?  My highlight of the day was the potatoes.  I know, you're wondering, 'Why potatoes?  You toured an amazing village and your highlight is potatoes?'  Well, these potatoes were really yummy.  They are a local favorite and a small family business.  The potatoes are bland without spice, but with a little spice, they are amazing.  Just in case you didn't know, my spicy food tolerance is about five (whatever that means to you).  It's a big thing if I like some

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Xizhou does not look the way I imagined it would.  The village is still amazing to walk through and look at, but it is not what I expected.  I was expecting the buildings in the Service Learning projects from the earlier trip.  My favorite image in my head is the purple flowered tree at the 董园.  It looked somewhat like the cherry blossom trees in Japan, just with purple flowers instead of pink.  That was the highlight of my non-traveling part of the day. (Sort of)

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I can't wait to go to Xizhou.  Yunan is a beautiful province, and even though I'll miss Helen and Katie, I'll still be able to chat with my friends.  Anyways...  I know I'm going to have so much fun in Xizhou on Microcampus.

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I used to be a little girl who lived in a little city, which I wouldn't even really count as a city. Then, everything changed when I moved to Shanghai when I was 11. Something that really changed is that I enjoyed the fresh, clean air in Xizhou for a month, rather than the dirty, polluted air of Shanghai. I was in the Microcampus Extreme Team group that went to Xizhou from November 2013-December 2013. I really enjoyed my stay in Xizhou, while making constant trips to Zhoucheng for inquiry work, which was xxx-xxx. You see, I would tell you what my project was, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise if you didn't know. OK, fine. I was studying tie-dye. Back on topic, Xizhou was amazing, and I loved every aspect of the village.