Harriette T. (Alumni-Q)'s Journal

Why I Came to Microcampus. I arrived in Shanghai at the beginning of 6th grade. China was the first country I have ever lived abroad in. Moving a couple of times in the USA whether it was a house, school, or state helped a bit, but this was something no one could truly prepare for. At the time a couple of my friends older siblings were going on this trip. Throughout that year I learnt a bit about Microcampus, and my parents would often come and ask me if I was going to do it and if I would like to. Yeah sure, a trip where you leave school and go to a small village!

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Today was a day mostly full of reflection and packing up. We completed our final reflection and packed everything in our room up once again, it's amazing how quickly our time has gone by. We also have the jammies awards tonight, which should be extremely entertaining. I will definitley miss everyone and everything here in Xizhou, and I can't wait until I can return again and hopefully bring my family or other friends.

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On Day 26 of the trip, we had the incredible opportunity to share our service learning videos. We had a presentation/showing in classroom 1, and about twenty guests came. Our group had been split into three service learning groups which made us have three final videos. When we were presenting our video we introduced ourselves (in English and Chinese which was a bit of a surprise) and then sat at the front of the room, with our backs facing the screen where our video was being shown. 

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Over the past month, I think that I have honestly eaten more fried rice and noodles than I ever have in my whole life. Here in Xizhou at almost every restuarnat you can find common rice and noodle dishes. I find this extremely interesting becuase in Shanghai we have such diverse cultures and so many different cusines that the local dishes are not as evident. I will definitley miss a couple special dishes here that I have come to love. Being here has definintley helped the idea of eating all different types of noodles grow on me as well.

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Today was a pretty relaxed day, we mostly worked on our service learning projects and I am happy to announce that my group is done with our video. Tomorrow we can review our video with Mr. T and then review and revise what we need too. I still can't believe that we are done with our inquiry projects, I have to say that I am extremely proud of all the hard work that my entire group and I put into our projects. After all of our hard work, getting to see our Final Product definitely paid off. 

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Our final weekend, I can't believe time has gone by so fast. Today Maggie and I both woke up a bit early, so we decided to head outside and walk around the village. Getting to see everyone getting ready for their day and the sun rising over the rice fields was an amazing sight. Maggie took some incredible photos as well. Some other great news, I finished my inquiry project today!

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Today we spent most of the day working on our Final Products for our inquiry projects, and our service learning projects. I completed my reflection and my video, which I can't wait to share with everyone tomorrow after our final revision. An interesting part of today was that we had a massive thunderstorm blow through the area. After it had started raining very quickly huge strikes of lightning and thunder came through. Mr.

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Once again, in this post, I will be completing a Language Arts class assignment back in Shanghai. Today I will be talking about the many contrasts and connections between our experience in Xizhou and Microcampus and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Finding connections and contrasts may seem hard, as we are in different times where experiences have changed, but if you look closely you can find them almost everywhere.

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Amazing news! Norman, Yisu and I confirmed out service learning partner today. After working very hard we were finally able to find someone. As our time here gets shorter and shorter I will be sure to keep everything updated and add links to our project. Focusing on something I don't think I have ever talked much about, our name.

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Something Mr. T said was really interesting today (as always). As international students, and expats, where is home? For some people, Shanghai is home, for others it is their home away from home. For me, I've lived in three different places now, New York, Washington, and Shanghai. When I first moved, a couple years afterwards I was asked if New York was still home to me. I was taken aback and began to think about it. A lot of my family is still there, so yes, I would consider it as home. I think a home is what you make out of it and also who is there with you.

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Setting off on our well delayed adventure, the hike! Last week it was sadly canceled due to the not-so-nice weather we were having but we luckily were able to go this week. We hiked about an hour and half up into the mountains to get to our campsite. When we arrived we set up our tents and had the rest of the day to hang around an explore. Maggie, Casey and I were able to walk around and we spent quite a bit of time up at the salmon pond. It was really cool to see the huge fish swimming around. We also had the chance to watch the geese and chickens being fed which was quite a sight.

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It's the beginning of our third week already. Time has definitely flown by. Today we are finishing up all of our Phase 3 work and we are celebrating by having a very special trip. Tonight at 5:45 six others and I are leaving to Dali Old Town. I can't wait to see what it is like and to try the delicious food! Apparently, there are some absolutely amazing burgers. Tomorrow we have an exciting day as well, we're finally going on our hike!

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Today after a long sleep in, we finally got our day going. We finished up our week 2 wellness reflections by reflecting back on the choices we made whether they were physical, emotional, or mental. Curled up in the TV/couch room a few friends and I spent most of the day reading and making sure our Phase 3 work was up to date. Since I was a bit sick the other day I uploaded that day's notes today. Everything has been amazing and we all continue to get better at rowing the boat together.

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Our second week here is almost over, I can't believe it. Today we all slept in before getting up and eating breakfast which was a great luxury. Our hike was sadly canceled for yesterday due to weather conditions but it has been moved to later on next week. I can't wait until we can watch the sunrise and sunset from the mountains. I went to visit Ms. Pans shop today with five other friends.

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It's already day 14, half way through! We only now realize how incredibly fast time flies here and how every day we learn something new. Tonight, a US Consulate General from Shanghai is coming to stay at the Linden Centre. Later on today we have the opportunity to ask a couple of questions and meet him. I think that it will be a really cool experience and I hope that we can talk for a bit. It's amazing how one huge opportunity, like Microcampus, can lead to so many others.

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Once again, a bit of a heads up. Today I will be addressing our roles, power, and control in Microcampus. This is also an assignment for our Language Arts class back in Shanghai so I will briefly talk about today in tomorrow's post. 

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Today we got a chance to experience what winter would be like here in Xizhou. Let's just say that it would be cold, very cold. As most of us bundled up with at least three layers we have started calling each other polar bears as we sit all bundled and curled up. However, despite the dreary weather a major highlight of today is that I'm going to be able to try making tie-dye! Ms.

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If it were not for the drizzling and dreary sky, I think today would have been amazing. Starting off with a delicious breakfast everything else seemed to follow. I got to go out with Ms. Chu and Casey today and we walked around the village stopping a few times to talk to different people. We stopped by Old Town Snacks, one of our favorite restaurants, and talked to Ms. Zhao the owner for at least twenty minutes.

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As we headed out for lunch today, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Old Town Snacks. As Amelia, Maggie, and I walked to the restaurant we noticed that it was extremely busy today. However, when we were about to head to another restaurant, Ms. Kang ushers us in and as we walk to the back she sits us down with another woman who was traveling. Soon after ordering, we began to talk about what we were doing here and how she was enjoying China.

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The weekend, a wonderfully relaxing thing. Yesterday we had our wonderful two-hour history lecture and then went off to start our service learning projects. However, today, we have been able to sleep in, relax, and just hang out. We're going to go out on a nice bike ride later as well to Er Hai which will be really relaxing and beautiful. As we were all sitting down enjoying our pitching in time, we hear an opera voice coming from the piano room. Who could it be? Only Mr. T. As our 'oh so secretive' group of 11 creeps up the stairs, cameras on, we are shocked to find Mr.

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Finally, the weekend. Today we had our wonderful two-hour Chinese history lecture/lesson from Mr. T. After learning a ton about the last 150 years, we met in our small groups, and read over the instructions for our service learning projects. My group, which consists of Norman, Yi Su, and myself. Then we headed out into the village to try and make some more local connections.

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During this journal post, I will be talking about the power and control in Microcampus. This is one of our Language Arts SAS essentials assignments, so I will be talking about our field trip and activities today in tomorrow's post. 

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Our 5th day was full of reliability, new chances, and trust. We had the chance to improve on some things we hadn't done so well on like our daily meeting, making sure we always arrive five minutes earlier than the starting time, and our volume. These are all things that we are still working on as individuals and as a group. Adjusting from the SAS 8th grade hallway to the quiet and peaceful environment of our new home Yang Zhuo Ran has definitely been a struggle, as we always tend to speak louder than we need to.

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While talking to a few of my group mates at lunch today, we realized how time really does fly. It's already day 4! Today we had the chance to really experience what a normal day is going to be like, relying on ourselves and on our peers to stay on task and focused. Luckily, today is our second to last day of map testing so as soon as that is over everything should be easier to organize. Our schedule doesn’t change much, but the flexibility and choice we have within our day is incredible, and is most definitely a lot more responsibility than we've ever had.

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This morning I woke up to roosters crowing, and the sound of food being made for breakfast. We continued on to have our very first daily meeting and our designated pitching in time. Later on after lunch, a small group of us went out on a bike ride with Mr. T. We went past the village and through the most dangerous intersection in Xizhou, and then down to the rice fields, continuing on we came to the banks of Lake Er Hai.

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During our first full day in Xizhou, I was amazed at the difference there is here from life in Shanghai. While we can be loud, polluted, and wasteful so easily in Shanghai, here, we have to be mindful of every action we take so that we are not disrupting anything. In our home, every ones words can be heard from everywhere in the house. I think this is something we as a group will definitely need to remind each other of and help everyone get used to it as it is definitely a big change from Shanghai. Today, Ms. Zhao and Mr.

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Today we left Shanghai, at an extremely early time in the morning, and began our journey out to Xizhou. We learnt about the Microcampus airport rules, which are 1. Stay together, 2. Stay together, and 3. Stay together. We had our first struggle and success as a group and began to learn more about each other. To get to Xizhou we had to take two flights, one to Kunming, and another to Dali, and then we took a 45-minute bus ride to Xizhou. We were dropped off and had to walk to our home with all of our bags, at around 7:00pm.

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Hi! My name is Harriette, and I am currently 13 years old and I attend the Shanghai American School. Now that we have left Xizhou I miss everything about the village and the people there. Microcampus was an amazing opportunity that I will never forget. I have learned so much within the month and I will forever hold the connections, experiences, and memories close to my heart.