Taylor H. (Alumni-F)'s Journal

There are no words that could possibly describe how sensational and positively stupefying this experience is. I left with the intentions to get out of my bubble, experience new things, to grow, and to make new connections. The first time I heard about about this trip I knew right away that I would do anything I could in order to be apart of this trip. I wanted to get away, to a place where I could grow as a person. 

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Today was our penultimate. Our second to last day at Microcampus. I honestly hope that the day goes by slowly so that myself and my peers get to spend as much time as possible in Xizhou on our last days. We all spent the day reminiscing about our memories here in Xizhou and the things we would miss. During our last daily meeting we all finally realized the impact of our departure. The fact that we’re leaving tomorrow is a heart breaking thing.

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We were all greeted this morning by a light shower of rain. After awhile the rain created a double rainbow across the sky. As many of us had never seen one before we were all quite bedazzled by the rainbows. Today was the final day of inquiry project. I can’t actually believe that today is the last day. All that research, time and effort ends today. The entire morning and afternoon people worked nonstop in order to get their projects finished and uploaded.

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This was the day, the day that I finally performed. Due to several setbacks my performance in SiFangJie was not able to happen but in order to counter that hurdle I decided to instead perform in the main courtyard while guests were milling about. I spent much of the morning strumming away on my SanXian practicing for my big performance.

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Today the girls and boys had a fight. Due to a certain boys night out at Dali Old Town and a few certain boys not telling us. Things escalated quickly and all the girls grew angry at them. This morning they all acted strangely and kept referring to a certain bandage plastered on all of their necks. Due to the secretiveness of their actions we all began to worry. Eventually it was blown completely out of proportion and most of the girls barricaded themselves in the TV room and refused to leave.

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I woke up today feeling stressed and slightly out of it. Due to yesterdays failure to find a service learning partner, my group and I have all been feeling down. Today we decided to pay a visit to the mosque in order to try our luck in finding a service learning partner there. As we got to the mosque due to the door being locked we had to knock in order to make our presence known. The door was opened my an elderly man named Man Hua Lin.

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First of all I should start of by saying Happy Valentines day! Happy lunar festival day! Today in order to celebrate the MYG night back home, the evening activity planners have proposed us to have a dance. They planned the dance to be held within the second courtyard, which was later moved to main and they took care of all the invitations and banners. They invited the kitchen staff, and several other groups of people. To represent our Microcampus experience in the dance they named the dance Supmac.

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Today we began phase 4. At 3 pm we all gathered together in the conference room for a brief debriefing of what phase 4 entailed. We were introduced to a general outline and were given explanations to what we would be specifically doing in phase 4. Together we all worked for 2 and 1/2 hours straight making sure that our phase 4’s were complete and ready for teacher review.

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Today we visited Dali old town as a group. In the past most of us have not had time to visit together, as we were all busy or had a lot of work to complete. The streets of Dali Old Town were lit and there was a crowd of people milling around looking at trinkets and being souvenirs to bring back home. I walked around together with Kat and Shirley. At first we decided that it would be best to go and have some dinner before walking around. In the end we decided to eat at a dim sum restaurant.

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Since purchasing my San Xian I have been practicing one particular song named Cao San Diao. I've decided that it'll be my final performing piece, as in the one I want to use to surprise the people. Most of this day was relatively normal and there were no extreme surprises except for one! We're having a trip to Dali Old Town tomorrow! That should be relatively interesting as though I've been there multiple times I never had the chance to actually walk around and take a look at the shops.

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This is my humanities entry 3, as part of my SAS essentials curriculum. 

Entry 3: Entry 3 – At the end of the 3rd week respond to the UDHR article regarding family life.

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Today was the first normal day of Microcampus after the hike. In other words right after the hike no extra days for resting, straight back to the normal Microcampus schedule. This morning I woke up and instead of feeling the cold hard ground beneath me, I felt my bed which never felt so good. I payed a visit to "Long Kang" village to see my instrument teacher. Today I learned how to play a piece which was deemed by Zhao Lao Shi to be a flirtacious piece.

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Today was the last day of our 3 day hike, time to head back home! This morning I woke up to the sound of chatter from the other tents and I felt a chill in my bones from the morning wind. When the food came out from the kitchen, everyone attacked it like wild animals. Around 12:00 to 12:30 we set off up the stairs to get back to the path. When climbing up the stairs, I started panting quite quickly. I know one thing, stairs are not one of my most favorite things, but they are useful.

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I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to hike for another day. During the night I had woken up twice due to the coldness in the tent. When I woke up my hands and feet were freezing  and the wind was wailing outside as if trying to get into the tent. When it was time to get up most of us crawled out of the tents sluggishly and got up to stretch out stiff bones. After a quick breakfast of peanut butter and baba we all set out upwards.

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Today we set out for our big hike at 8:30 AM right after breakfast. We all packed up and set out in a bus for the mountain. We got to the bottom and immediately set out for the top. Over the course of the entire hike we didn't stop as much as I thought. The course was very rough and the floor was littered with branches and pine leaves. At many points along the home a lot of us felt the need to stop and rest be we all pushed on and eventually we reached our new home for the next 2 and 1/2 days.

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In general today was a normal Microcampus day and nothing extremely eventful happened. I had two meetings today with Mr.Dong and Mr.Zhao and together they both provided a lot of information. I learned a lot today, such as the fact that the person who so creatively thought up the tune for the Chinese national anthem, was not credited as he was on the wrong side of the politics at that time.

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Today I went to Dali Old Town. During WIPPIT time I blocked out a 4 hour period of time in order to travel with Brandon and Mr.T to Dali Old Town. While there I spent the first hour walking around from one wood shop to another, learning all about the art of wood carving which was Brandon's topic.  At the very first shop we went into, I was able to find out a very interesting piece of information.

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Yesterday, as I mentioned in my previous journal post I hit a road block with music. I began questioning the authenticity of the Bai Minority music and whether it was just for show. I started to wonder about the tourism and showmanship aspect of the music. Today I continued wondering about this topic and when visiting Mr. Dong it really opened my eyes. He showed me his collection of instruments, played an instrument, and told me how to play an instrument. It made me realize that these small meetings were more authentic then the ones done for tourism.

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This is my humanities entry 2, as part of my SAS essentials curriculum.

 

Entry 2: At the end of the 2nd week - How do you see this article reflected in the daily life of Xizhou?

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I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm blaring out music, it was not a great experience. In total it took me at least 7 minutes to just get up and reach over to find my alarm. Eventually after everyone in the room had waken up, we rush to breakfast as we were late. Because Mr.Gould and all other staff and students were on holiday currently, we did not have a skype math lesson today.

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This morning we all woke up to a beautiful sunrise above lake Erhai. I woke up multiple times throughout the night due to the temperature in the tent being freezing. The area we were camping on was quite near to the water, so if anyone was even a little bit careless they would be going for a midnight dip in the icy water. In the morning when we were all awake we all quickly grabbed our cameras and hurried to the lake side to take pictures of the lagoon.

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Today was our very first weekend at Microcampus, the very first day we were allowed to sleep later. Breakfast started at 8:10A AM and ended at 9:50 AM, so this allowed most of us to catch up on lost sleep due to work. The rest of the day was relatively normal until 1-4 PM, where we were given a very nice and long history lesson by Mr. T. We were lectured on the most important dates in Chinese history and how it affected Xizhou.

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Today I started off my day with a visit to the terrace at 6:40 AM in the morning. Most of us woke up earlier and headed to the terrace in order to see the I.S.S or the International Space Station pass overhead. Before it was time for the station to pass us, we got an early morning lesson on astronomy. We all saw and learned some new stars and constellations, such as Scorpio, Leo, Mars, or Antares. The station was shining just as bright as Venus, except moving.

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Today is a special day, its Chinese New Years Eve. Throughout the day you hear fire crackers going off everywhere. Even from inside the rooms in the hotel. Most of the day was normal, until WIPPIT time. During terrace time today I decided to do some cross stitching with Kat. During lunch we walked past a cross stitching shop and bought small cross stitching kits. We both chose different pictures, I chose a small bunny while Kat chose a small purple sheep.

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This is my humanities entry 1, as part of my SAS essentials curriculum.

 

Entry 1: Compare the community and life in The Giver to life in Xizhou. What roles do people have in the community? How do they all work together?

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The day started off as normal with breakfast and SAS essentials. We started off with a skype call to Mr. Gould, who told us some very exciting news. There was going to be a quiz on friday, so it's definitely going to be exciting preparing for that!!!! The rest of the day was relatively normal save for a 2 hour bike ride, frozen and a sing along. The 2 hour bike ride was a beautiful and the scenery flew by so fast.

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Today was the very first normal day of Microcampus. Instead of running around like crazy doing interesting things out of schedule, we had an average day in Microcampus. Which basically contained SAS essentials, pitching in, daily meeting, and WIPPIT time. These things were basically what a normal day at Microcampus looked like. SAS essentials was the time for us to work on any homework we had from SAS.

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I woke up today to a loud blaring sound. My phone was vibrating and loud music played through the speakers. It took me awhile to figure out that it was time for the morning run. My body felt so stiff that it took awhile for me to crawl out of bed and change into my clothes. Due to high altitude, it was hard to get enough oxygen into my lungs. We were all running slower than normal and at the end we felt as tired as we usually did after a mile.

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I woke up this morning feeling refreshed, but since it was still relatively early I decided to stay in bed awhile longer. As I lay staring at the ceiling reflecting on the previous day and gathering my thoughts, an arm slapped me in the face.... I looked down and Kat (my first roommate) was looking at me with an apathetic look, that was definitely a great way to start the day. As all of us gathered after breakfast, it was time for the tour!

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I woke up feeling ecstatic for the day ahead. Actually to be honest, I barely slept at all, woke up at 3 AM, and left the house at 4:30 AM. The roads were bare, there were barely any cars in sight at all except for a few early morning drivers. When all of us had arrived at the airport we all gathered together for a quick debriefing and sharing of our unique traits that would help others.

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Hello! I'm 13 years old and in 8th grade. I'm from Hong Kong and this is my 1st year in Shanghai. I was born in Hong Kong and lived there for 8 years, moved to Beijing for 4 and now I'm in Shanghai. I'm half cantonese, half taiwanese. Some of my hobbies include drawing, playing badminton, singing, and playing the piano and guitar. I have a huge passion for music and it's one of the biggest influences in my life. I've played guitar for 1 1/2 years and the piano for 10 years now. Now that I'm back in Shanghai I don't feel at all regretful that I chose to come on this journey. I miss the clear starry nights of Xizhou, the fresh air and the sense of calm being there gives me. This was an experience that I will never forget and I wish the future Microcampus kids the best of luck in their journey to come!