Orion H. (Alumni-G)'s Journal

Why did I come to Microcampus? In 6th grade I heard about a program called the Microcampus. At that time Mr. Tafel was our science teacher, and he mentioned to all of his classes how exciting/awesome/challenging it is. I wasn't interested until 8th grade, when I wanted to experience something else than school/normal vacation. 

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It is day 27. Which means it is one day until we leave. Unfortunantely, we will be leaving very early in the morning tomorrow so we will not be saying goodbye to the Si Fang Jie friends that we know. Today lunch everyone was eating out, so we had a chance to thank the Si Fang Jie cooks and say our goodbyes. We had hugs, tears, and pictures. Everybody misses this palce and wants to stay here a little longer.. But this is reality. There is a deadline for everything, and tomorrow was our deadline. Wayne and I ate at Mr.

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My experience sharing our video with Li Zhi Yuan was a great one. At first he was kind of reluctant to go. He said he had lots of other stuff that he had to do, like write books, read stuff... Yet, after lots of convincing, we finally have him to go. At around 2:00 PM on Wednesday, April 1st, we were finally finished with our service learning video, and at 2:25 PM we started to walk towards Mr. Li's house. It was about a 10 minute walk. When we were there, we handed him our bag of fruits as a sign of appreciation.

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Today was a chill day for me, but not for others. Why? Because I made the fourth mistake, and that was like crossing the grizzly bear boundary for Mr. Tafel. After I woke up and went to breakfast, I ordered a treat. Instead of the usual noodles I ordered, I also had another dish of scrambled eggs. I have long forgotten how scrambled eggs tasted like, and since it was available I wanted to feel that taste again. Scrambled eggs is easier to make than noodles, and I got it first, hot and steamy.

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Today was another bright and sunny day! At least until dinner. Something bad had happened at dinner. First of all, after I finished dinner at Linden Center (which was delicious, like normal), I had a very strong sensation to burp, and I wasn't able to make it last long. I turned away from the dishes to make a large burp, and after that did I know I was facing the other guests at the Linden Center.

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Today is Day 21, and it is one day after Phase 4. During today's WIPPIT time, our Inquiry Project period is designated to start our final product. The Final Product is an iMovie (for me) that shows either my adventure in Xizhou of Ba Da Wan or three subtopics about Ba Da Wan. I chose to work on my adventure, and started making voiceovers and finding appropriate music for this iMovie.

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Today was day 23, marking the point of the last day of week 3. Sundays are the days when Wellness Reflections are finished. Wellness Reflection are questions that relate to your wellness being for the past six days. These questions are required and important for us to answer because the questions included makes you think of how your wellness was. Did you get in zone for at least 30 minutes? How was emotionally wellness? What relationships did you make during the week?

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Another day! Today was officially the day that marks 3/4 of the Microcampus journey trip. Today we did two special things: we finished filiming our service learning partner and we turned off the lights during WWF. Today's service learning time was from 1:00-4:30, and Ryane, Erica, and I went to record our footage at around 1:30. Our Service Learning partner is Mr. Li, and he is a very scholarly guy. He wrote many books, and people don't buy them too much because it is too complicated for them.

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Today was the start of a new day, and today was the day where phase 4 have to be completed in 2 hours. During WIPPIT from 13:00-15:00, Mr.Tafel called all of us to go to the conference room and he gave us an introduction on what phase 4 will be. Phase 4 is basically a 2-hour phase where we were supposed to figure out our plan for our final project, which is going to be made on iMovie.

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Wow! 2/3 of Microcampus has past already, and it only feels like I've been here for 1 week or so! Today was a very big day. By the end of the day, we were supposed to finish our Phase 3 with twenty sources. We have really been struggling on that. By the end of WIPPIT, there were only two people who have finished Phase 3, the rest of us are barely close. I was one of the students who almot finished Phase 3. The lucky thing is that I was eating in at dinner, so I had time to finish up Phase 3 after dinner.

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Today is another day! Yesterday I slept earlier than usual, yet today when I woke up I felt more tired than before. I have no idea what that is happening. I guess I will have to sleep even more earlier every day. After I woke up, I followed the regular routine. What I want to write about today is the laundry event. Our laundry day was yesterday, and Harry and I put all of our dirty clothes into the SAS washing machine. We put many buckets of water into the washing machine, and put lots of detergent in.

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Today is Day 17, one of the busiest days for me. Today, my room has laundry, I am the point person for uploading the daily video shout-out, and we have room inspection. After breakfast, we had a small meeting at 8:15 regarding the mistakes that we have been making constantly these few days. Mr.T talked to us about how many of us were late to breakfast, how half of the group were using computers after tech curfew, and how their roommates did not even warn them of anything.

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It is already day 16, more than halfway through the trip! Today was another normal day. What I want to focus on today was the Inquiry Project and Pitching In part during WIPPIT time. At 15:30 in the afternoon, Erica, Ryane, and I went together to find Mr.Li, our service learning partner. As we are traveling to the market, we saw this strange homeless person just sitting on the street on the side.

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Morning sunshine! Today was saturday, which usually means a late wake-up time, but since our hike got moved 3 days earlier, our Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is basically our Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, which technically means that we have a Wednesday schedule. Breakfast was at 8:30, and we got there just a little bit after, and therefore tomorrow we will have to get there at 8:20.

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Today was another pretty chill morning. When Matthew Easton and I woke up from Yang's Guest House, feeling all refreshed, we decided to go to the Muslim Noodles place in Si Fang Jie to eat breakfast. Along the way Jamie and Wayne called me and they wanted to go with me, and I did. We first went to the supermarket, where we stocked up on tons of snack. I bought two packs of QQ candy, and I already finished one!

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It is the last day of our hiking trip! I expect today to be the worst and tiringest day of our trip, and it sure is. Even though the morning is pretty chill: eating noodle soup with soy sauce and burning my eyes near the fire place, the afternoon wasn't the same. After about 11:00 was the hike downhill. About halfway through the mules went crazy and started to go downhill very fast.

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It is already our second day of the hike, and today we will be heading to "the top of the world": 3232 meters! Today was also a pretty chill morning. Matthew Easton and I got up at pretty early in the morning since we slept pretty early last night. We got out of our warm sleeping bags and found Austin and Bryce playing hackey-sac. We joined them as we tried to stay warm from the cold morning. At about 8:30 the sun rose and the temperature started to go up.

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Finally it is the first day of the hike! We started out by riding a bus to the tounge, which took about 10-15 minutes, then we started hiking. As Mr.T said earlier on, the beginning strip of the hike requires physical strength, but after about an hour so it's only your mental strength. You decide if you push on or stop, because you can do both in a split second. I never liked hiking upwards, especially with small stops along the way, yet I told myself to hold out until 13:00 where we will have lunch. Lunch was amazing.

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One more day until our big hiking trip! I am so excited! Today was another normal day, except for the fact that we temporarily moved hotels from the Linden Centre to Mr.Yang's Guest House. Ar first we had breakfast. Breakfast was really nice, the sounds of forks clanking on bowls and noodles being hungrily slurped rang in my head as I slowly chewed on vegetables.

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Today was another late sleeping day; breakfast ended at 9:30, so I slept in again, waking up at around 8:30. Breakfast was normal, I ate a delicious bowl of noodles and some cups of apple juice. At 10:00, we had our wellness reflection. Wellness reflection was basically just writing answers to questions that relate about how emotionally/socially/physically healthy you are. It took me about 1 hour and a 1/2 to do all of them. After it was lunch, which was special.

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Today was Saturday, which meant I could sleep in 1.5 hours late, which I did. I felt so full of energy by the time I woke up, that I went to breakfast immediately. Today's schedule is kind of different. Breakfast was open until 9:30, and until 12:00 it's basically all down time (free time). 12:00 was lunch, and I ate outside at Old Town Snacks (yet again). At 1:00, we had Service Learning. For the first part of Service Learning, Mr.T was teaching us Chinese History that started at around 1850's until a little bit after the cultural revolution.

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It is another day already, and today we had something amazing and fun: the few hour test hike! The hike took up most of our WIPPIT time, so we only had a little time working. Our normal schedule consisted of the following: Breakfast, SAS Essentials, Daily Meeting, Pitching In, Lunch, Inquiry Project, The Hike, Dinner, then the Evening Program. The Mosque Hike was created for our preparation of the 3 day trip, which is happening on next tuesday. At first, the hike was pretty tiring. Even though the floor was pretty flat, I almost wiped out.

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It is day 6, and I have already learned so much! Today's schedule was basically the same: Breakfast, SAS Essentials, Daily Meeting, Lunch, WIPPIT, Checking in, Dinner, and then finally the evening activity. What I want to focus on today's journal is the two things I did at WIPPIT. For my wellness, Narelle, Joyce, Jamie, and I rode a bike. Yes, I actually rode a bike, despite the fact that I thought I wasn't able to, I did. It wasn't that hard either! The trick for me is just to control it as hard as I can, then graduately put less strength to it until I am just holding on to it lightly.

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It is already Day 5.. Can you guys believe it? I barely started realizing the precious seconds ticking by, and more than 1/6 of the time has already been spent! I must savor the time even more. Well today, our schedule was pretty normal, breakfast, SAS essentials, daily meeting, lunch, FIELD TRIP, dinner, evening activity, and sleep. The sight of XiZhou once again reminded me how much I have to take care of every action I do and whether I am making a positive or a negative impact on my community. Today's quiet time was 8:00... Seriously? Yeah.

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Wow! Time flies! It is already day 4 of our 28 days of the Microcampus trip, and I have already explored and learned so much! Today was our first completely regular day. The first thing in the morning is breakfast, as usual. For breakfast I had apple juice, a yogurt, a cup of milk, and a small bowl of noodles that tasted great. After breakfast was our SAS Essential, which was mainly finishing LA and GIS HW. That went pretty well and we got a lot of stuff done in one hour and a half.

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It is already day 3 of our Microcampus trip! Time does fly, does it not? Well today, I had an interesting day. At first I woke up by 6:30 (thanks to Austin) and went to the Terrace to see the sunrise. It was beautiful as always. The sunlight shines on one side of the mountain and darkens the other. I took some interseting photo, and for the first time, used instagram to posted them. After the sunrise was breakfast where I ate a delicious bowl of noodle soup with some vegetables and some grinded meat.

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The sunrise was amazing, right Austin? It was definitely a worth of a 5-10 minute sleep loss. You could see the sun slowly rising as the West side mountain slowly shines until the sun completely covers it. After the sunrise, we had breakfast, which was awesome! It was a buffet with some delicious choices of food and I ate so much it's hilarious. After that we were settling into our room, enjoying the fresh air at the terrace, and exploring our village.

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Finally we're here! XiZhou! I've been riding 8 hours of transportation here.. I am so tired. But guess what? The Linden Centre food made me awake. The food was marvelous! Garlic cucumber with pork... what can you describe something that is better than heaven? After the dinner we had a trip around our hotel. It was good! I especially liked the terrace and me and Austin decided to go there at early morning tomorrow to see the sunrise.

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My name is Orion, and I am 13 years old. I was born in Pennsylvania, and when I was 2 years old I moved to Shanghai. In 6th grade I became a member of the SAS Puxi community, and in the beginning of 8th grade I signed up to be a student who is attending the Microcampus. In Xizhou I communicated in Chinese and Chinese and learnt as much as I did in the past month. The Microcampus trip has ended, yet this was only the beginning. I hope that in the future I will discover more opportunities like the Microcampus and join them!