The Service Learning partner that Harriette, Yisu, and I chose was Mr. Yang, he is 66 years old and he used to be an expert on Minorities of Xizhou. He was born locally in Xizhou, and he has two boys that does not live with him. I learnt that Mr. Yang was a very open person during the old times where you did not want to be open. He believed in freedom of speech in China and he believed in the rights to criticize the governments without any harm coming to him.
Something that I learnt about the history of Xizhou during this experience is that although there were many young kids during the time of Cultural Revolution, they were the people we formed the Red Guards and they destroyed many of the historical monuments such as the Gates of SiFangJie and the Gates of Xizhou. I also learnt that although many people said they supported Mao, they, in reality, supported Deng Xiao Ping because his political reforms helped China grow in all sorts of way, in economical ways, and many more ways. This showed me that the Xizhou locals did not have freedom of speech, nor freedom of thought.
This project showed me many things about the 20th-century history of China, especially about the Cultural Revolution and the Reform and Opening. Something that I learned about the Cultural Revolution during the project was that the Cultural Revolution were not supported by many people, but they still pretended that they liked it. Many people in reality actually approve of Deng Xiao Ping's political ideas and his reforms, but they do not dare say it out loud because Mao Ze Dong was in power at that time. During Reform and Opening, the economy of China suddenly improved. This experience made me learned that the Chinese history that they teach at local Chinese schools are not accurate enough and they have many bias, including describing Mao Ze Dong as a savior of China.
When we sat down and watch other people watch our movie, it was a very fun experience because usually, we would be the people who were watching the video play out on the screen, instead of watching other people watch it. When we watched it, I felt like I disappeared because of the lighting and that let me see how focused people were. Although there are people who were not really focused, the majority of the audiences were focused on the screen and ignoring us. This was a different experience because most of the time, if we saw a mistake, we would laugh out loud and the audience would not be focused on the projection, but instead, it would be on us.
Some other experiences that I had while watching others watching our video was that their emotions and their faces were the same faces that we had when we watched a certain part, for example, when there was a funny part that we thought was funny as well, the audiences laughed as well. While watching them, I noticed the faces that the people were being serious about watching our film, and I saw the attention on their faces, this made me more certain that our projects needed to be well-made because I do not want to disappoint the people who are watching with a bad quality video.
I recommend that the next group of Microcampus students make more connections when they have time during pitching in, I also would like them to not choose shop owners as Service Learning partners because sometimes, when people were needed to come to the presentation, if they were shop owners, it would be hard for them to leave their shop and come watch a presentation. I would also recommend them to be more polite and they need to learn how to accept rejections because they will be rejected a lot of times.