Jing Rong L. (Alumni-F)'s Journal

Today was a night of glamour, a night of appreciation, and a night of celebration. After 27 days of none stop work and play, the biggest and most important event in the whole of microcampus had arrived. We started by gathering together in the TV room and singing a happy birthday song to Mr. T. Earlier this week I had prepared a dessert to share to the rest of the group. The dessert started with a crushed oreo base, than white chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate cake, and finally some ice cream to top it off. It was after all a night of glamour.

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Today was the last day for service learning. We finished up the videos and uploaded them onto the hard drive. By the time it was time to present, we had all our guests seated, we started playing all the finished service learning products. After about 20 minutes of that (as well as a few "tiny" glitches), the presentation was finally over. After that we had about a one and a half hour time period to do some work and finish up some things. So at 5 PM, almost all the group set off to Dali Old Town for some chill time and some dinner.

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Today was the last day to work on our inquiry project. There was no time to lose and there was still so much to do. There was a slight drizzle in the afternoon but other than that it was all clear. In the morning Ms.Mai and I went to the supermarket for a little surprise which will be coming up soon enough :) I started the day off slow, and then finished up some service learning and worked on my final product.

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Today, we had our first rainy day in this whole microcampus trip. Personally, I would think this is honestly quite impressive, due to the fact that we've been here for just over 3 weeks now! Today was a colder day and alongside the rain, it made the atmosphere both mistical and magical. Today was also a huge work day. We had so much to get done, and sometimes it just felt like we had no time to finish it all. But either ways, I actually managed to get quite a few things done!

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Today was the last day of a weekend I would spend here in Xi Zhou. I had a lot of things to do and I had no time to waste. Firstly, I had laundry day today and started this out early in the morning so that by later this evening, we could bring it back and fold them back neatly. I also had some service learning to complete and more footage to capture. On top of that I had to spend an hour smiply dedicated to writing our wellness reflection. The first part of the day went pretty smoothly, but once service learning time rolled around (about 1:00) problems started coming in.

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Today we finally found a service learning partner! It all started with a trip to the mosque with Ms.Mai. Earlier today, my group and I had planned with Ms.Mai to meet at 1 so that we could go together. But as time came rolled around, we realised that we still had a few things to do. But since Ms.Mai had to do something later onwards, and was kind of stressing for time, Taylor F. and Myself decided to get a headstart with things and follow Ms.Mai towards the mosque. When we arrived we were greeted very kindly by Mr.Ma.

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Tonight the evening committee programing group organised a valentines dance. When I first got there I was a little confused due to the fact that all I saw was a group of microcampus students playing hacky sack. But after things started clearing up, I found out that the stero had stopped working and that there was not going to be music loud enough to play that we could dance to. So after a while, the whole party turned into a whole group of people playing hacky sack while another group was busy being anti-social.

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Today, Taylor F.,Taylor H., Brandon, and myself ate dinner out together at a restaurant in Shi Fang Jie named Old Town Snacks. But this was no coincidence, we had plans from yesterday to set off to meet the Baba makers' wifes' mother to interview her as our service learning partner. Everything was all going as planned, we met together near the 2 big trees at 7:00 P.M., we followed them back to their houses to meet our possible service learning partner, and that was when things started to go downhill.

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Today our whole microcampus group went to Dali Old Town for the first time! After a long rant from Mr.T on how to stay safe and all, we finally arrived into Dali Old Town. This town is known to the tourists and is super crowded. We divded into small groups of 3-4 and we started our adventure into this lively town. I went in a group with my friends Grace, Taylor F., and Eirean. The first stop we made was the shop " The Sweet Tooth ", previously reccommended by Mr.T. There, Eirean and I bought an ugly brownie each and started off with our 2 other friends to look for a place to eat.

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Today many things happened. Here is a list of my thoughts :)

1. I finished my last interview for my inquiry project. It was such a relief and now all I have to do is put all the information out neatly in my phase 3 workspace!

2. I cleaned a pot during my free time. During terrace time, I went with Ms.Mai to the antique shop and cleaned a pot which hasn't been cleaned in about 50 years! It was fun and kind of productive?

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Today was the last day of the 3 day hike. In the morning we woke up slightly later due to the flexiblity of time we had. We got up, ate yummy noodles for breakfast, packed up our bags, unhooked our tents and let them out to dry, then chilled for about 1 and a half hours. It was very nice and all but soon it was 12 P.M. and we had to start on our hike downhill, back to the Linden Center. During this hike we only had 1 break. Mind you, this hike lasted for about 3-4 hours, so you would understand how this could tire us. But even still, that was not the worst part of the hike.

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Today was the second day of the 3 day hike. All of us were tired from the hike the previous day but we somehow managed to muster up enough energy to go up once more on our hike to the top. This hike was harder than the one the day before as there was a lot more steep rocks. We even encountered some snow and ice along the way! We took a few group pictures and had a lot of nice breaks and views. When we finally reached the top, we had the choice of going on for about another hour to get to another destination or to stay and relax for a that same amount of time.

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Today we started on our big 3 day hike. In total the hike lasted for about 6 hours. It was exhausting and hard but we managed to reach our goal in a pretty good period of time. At the start of the hike, everyone was ready and pumped to get started, but by the time lunch rolled around, people were begging for rest, food, and water. When we arrived to our destination, we quickly set up our tents and took another short break. Dinner was delicious. After dinner a small group of us decided to play some card games and my other group filmed a short daily video shout out.

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Today is the final day before the 3 day hike. I feel both unsure and excited. Part of me keeps telling me that I'll be very tired and worn out during the whole trip, but another tells me that its worth it and the beautiful views will make the pain and tire balance out. Everyone has told us that it is a mental climb, your body will be physically tired but your mind can always stay fresh and ready. I just hope that by the time we start this hike that I will be mentally prepared for it. I never thought that I would be actually spending 3 days up in the mountains, camping and hiking.

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Tonight, right after dinner, the second court yard was buzzing with excitement. Everyone was dressed in wacky, crazy outfits, in preperation of trivia night. Let me explain a little, today morning, trivia night was annouced as the activity for the night, and since  then, the fearless group has had the time to form into 4 groups of 4. These groups all came up with random outfits, including my own, sport shoes, PE shirt, atheletic shorts, heart rate monitors on the outside of the shirt, a bright orange safety vest, and last but not least, a biking helmet.

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Learning. Such a simple word yet there are so many different types of it. Today I will be explaining one type in particular, I will be talking about learning in microcampus. I know that many people, as well as myself, had a completely different understanding of learning in microcampus before we got here. Now that I'm here, my whole way of thinking has changed, its a completely different mindset here at microcampus. During a normal microcampus day, we go through many different forms of learning, ranging from acedemic learning, all the way to experiential learning.

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How do you see this article reflected in the daily life of Xizhou?

Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

 

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Today was yet another fun and exhausting day. I could tell you about all the things that happened today but that is not what I'm going to do, I'll start in the afternoon. After a long bike trip back from camp, we got our breakfast, finished our wellness reflection, and then went out for lunch. During this time we had many options but I had one thing in mind, the baba festival. This festival is a new one, founded this year by a few uni students, the baba festival is a festival in which people are gathered around to enjoy,eat, and make baba.

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Yesterday 7:30 P.M. we started our journey on our bikes to the campsite for the night. The ride started off a little hard due to the fact that it was dark and our communitcation was a little hazy, but after a few minutes, we started to get the hang of it and did not have quite as many problems as before. The more we rode, the darker the night sky grew, soon the only lights we had were the stars in the sky and our flashlights. We rode though the easy and hard. We had to paddle through water that came up to our knees. It was quite difficult to say the least.

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Today afternoon we went for a 3 hour hike. We started at the mosque, which was about a 15 minute bus ride away from the Linden Center. We lingered around for a bit, said our hello's to the people coming out of the mosque, and then headed off to the start of the 3 hour hike. The first 10-20 minutes or so the hike was pretty easy. There was not much challenge due to the fact that most of the time the altitude stayed the same. After a while we stopped, this gave people time to take off their jackets and also take in the beautiful scenery. But the break did not last long.

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Today is Chinese New Years' eve. Today was non-stop hours full of fireworks, firecrackers, smoke and busy streets. The highlight of today was definitely at night when we got to watch the fireworks burst into life in the dark night sky. From the terrace, the red, green, and golden colours were a gorgeous contrast to the almost black background. A few people from the microcampus group was also there to watch the Chinese New Year festivities begin!

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Today was a fun, adventure-filled, and tiring day. We had a lot of fun in the morning we followed most of the morning schedule, than when afternoon came, we went out for a 2 hour bike ride. This bike ride started off as an easy ride, not too much core strength was involved. The first part was more about the safety, rather than the exercise. Once we got to our first pit stop near Er Hai Lake, we stopped and had a short conversation on what to do next, It was simple.

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Compare the community and life in The Giver to life in Xi Zhou.  What roles do people have in the community? How do they all work together?

 

People in the community all play different roles in order to keep the community up and running. Even the elderly do work! Here is a simple example:

 

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Tonight we watched the night sky, as it slowly was illumined by bright twinkling stars. From the brightest ones, to the slightly dimmer ones, every single one of them have their own unique story and background. Jupiter was shining as bright as ever and we even got to see what appeared to be red stars! Mr.T guided us through the stars in the night sky. Starting with Jupiter due to its higher levels of visiblity, than moving on to sirius and betelgeuse, and finally to aldebaran.

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Today we got to tour the village of Xi Zhou. We got to look around at all the different places of Xi Zhou. From the slightly more ancient parts of the village to the more hip and modern part. While touring around I found that a lot of shops around the village area clashed with each other. For instance, one moment you might see a shop selling pottery and clay pots, the next you see a shop selling modern winter clothes. There were also a lot of new people I met and a whole lot more new things that we got to see.

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I'm a 16 year-old Singaporean with a lot of hobbies including playing the guitar and piano, and other artistic related things! I had such a wonderful time in Xi Zhou and will hopefully return someday. The month I spent in Xi Zhou will never be regretted, and all the memories made there are now part of me. I really do miss Xi Zhou, and if any active microcampus participance ever need any advice or what not, always feel free to ask! ♡♡