Updated 6 years 5 days ago



My group and I have decided that I will be hosting the video on my workspace. 

I have read 2 of the articles and have figured out several things from each of those articles. I read the article involving the person Chen Tingtao and another article detailing the lives of Ji Lianzhen and his wife Dong Yongkang.

I believe that 3-5 questions that might have possibly been asked might be: 

1. What are some important events to you?

2. What are some changes?

3. What are some precautions you had to take when you      were younger?

4. What were your children’s if you had any, lives like?

5. What was your public status? How did people view      you as a person?

I believe that a good service learning partner would have to be kind, compassionate, open, special, cooperative, interesting, and they would also have to have a deep history. A good elder would have to have all these qualities because for example using open. They would have to be quite open and mentally strong so that people like us who want to learn about their history will actually be able to learn about it. If they weren’t open we wouldn’t be able to learn anything about their history. By sharing things like this we would be able to know how it felt to be living in harsh times such as that. 

5 possible elder partners would be: Mr.Zhang (Baba maker’s father), Ms.Zhang (Baba maker’s mother), 

Eventually we chose Mr.Ma, who is a retired 81 year old teacher. We met him while he was attending a daily praying session at the mosque. The first time we saw him we could tell right away that he was Muslim. He walked with a certain formalness that allowed us to tell right away that he most have had a more formal profession. 

After considering the list we decided that questions asked at the first meeting probably wouldn’t reveal very much about the person but would allow them to get more comfortable with us. 

  • What is your full name? (Chinese characters, Pinyin)
  • What should I call you?
  • How old are you?
  • What are some of your hobbies?
  • Do you have any children?
  • How old are your children?

After the second or third meeting asking more personal questions would be ok.

  • What are your memories about some significant historical events? (Flying Tigers, Liberation, Mao’s death etc.)
  • What would you like to change about your life?
  • Do you have any regrets?


What did you learn about your elder as a result of this experience? I learned about his history and how China’s past affected him. I have learned so much about the lives people led back then and the hardships they faced. I learned about his history and his opinions on certain areas. I learned about Xizhou and its changes and I also learned about China and its changes.

What did you learn about Xizhou’s history as a result of this experience? More than I would have learned from a textbook. Actually getting out and having conversations from an elder who had lived through the experience is much more real. Much more palpable compared to reading it off textbook pages. 

What did you learn about 20th century Chinese history as a result of this experience? I learned about the differences it has compared to 21st century China. How the cities used to be villages and the buildings used to be grass huts. How it was hard to walk on the undeveloped roads. The hardships during the years of the Cultural Revolution etc. How good modern day China is compared to the laws of olden China such as foot binding.

What recommendations do you have for future Microcampus students? I recommend them to get right on the work. You may think that your making enough connections but your really not. You can never make enough questions when it comes to service learning. Make as many as possible because when it comes time to actually ask them to be service learning partners they may not want to even if you know them very well. Always watch the video over many times before exporting. Don’t just export it on the first go. You may think that it’ll work but usually there will be several issues after the first export.  

Experience of sharing:
Due to unfortunate circumstances my groups service learning partner was not able to attend the viewing. My group partners name is Man Hua Lin. He is an 81 year former teacher who we met at the mosque. The first time we met him was when we were frantically searching for a partner at the mosque. He was kind enough to take 10 minutes out of his day to get to know us and chat awhile. To be honest I am very happy that our other possible partners declined because we met Mr.Ma and he has been the nicest out of all of them and the most open. While our group was not able to show the video on to Mr.Ma we will see if we can get a hard copy to one of his friends so they can pass it on to him. 

The service learning sharing process was a heartwarming occasion. It was nice to see the elders happy at their stories being shown. But now that it’s over I see now why some of the previous videos turned out the way that they did. I see the problems of filming and procrastinating. After the hardships of service learning I definitely have a ton of advice to share with future Microcampus kids. 

About This Learner

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!