My group partners include Harry, Narelle, and Wayne. All of our work is kept on Narelle's service learning page.
As a result of this experience, I learned a lot about my service learning partner. I learned a lot about his life, and the hard times that he went through. When he was born, he lived in some very poor times, where he had to work and experience many hardships even at such a young age. When we asked about it, he told us that he didn't want to think about it, because he didn't want to become upset. This was really how bad it was for him before. I learned that Mr. Du went through things and hardships that I probably will never go through, and I respect him a lot for staying so strong and having so much wisdom.
From Mr. Du, I learned a lot about the history of China. Since he is an antique seller, we talked a lot about the different antiques that he sold, what era they came from, and what they stood for. For example, I learned that there were certain parts of a door or a wall that would be put on a rich families' door to represent their wealth. However, if a poor family did that, they would be excecuted because this meant that they were mocking the emperor.
I learned a lot about Xizhou's 20th century history as well. I learned what it was like back when Mr. Du was young, and how things have changed. For example, during the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to the army where they tried to "brainwash" him, as Mr. Tafel put it. Overall, I feel like the Cultural Revolution is less like something read out of a textbook, and I have more personal connections to it.
Future recommendations that I have for future Microcampus students is definitely to start working on the service learning as soon as possible. Spend a lot of time working on it in the week 3 weekend, because this is something that I regret not doing. Don't just wait for the time when you are supposed to do the service learning project to do it. If you start and work hard from the beginning, you won't have to rush around and stress out as much.