Stella R. (Alumni-R)'s Journal

In the Service Learning sharing experience, we had a chance to invite local villagers of Xizhou to Yang Zhuo Ran to watch our final Service Learning video products. After hosting them with tea and snacks, the presentations went on in a comfortable atmosphere. Although Ms.

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Today was a busy, but great day. I worked a lot on my Service Learning project and we made great progress. I hope that I will be able to finish by tonight so that we can have the Jammies! The Jammies are Mr. T's glamourous award show to celebrate our trip. I look forward to sharing our video with our Service Learning partner tomorrow.  

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Returning to another fulfilled Monday from the weekends, this is our last official week of Microcampus. Still, a lot of work needs to be, not just done, but thoroughly completed. Today was a very hard working day for me since I need to take huge responsibilities for our Service Learning project.

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Today is our last Sunday of the trip, but it is not a very chill and empty day. It is in fact very fulfilled as we all want to build a strong ending to this trip. With only 4 more days left, we are all valuing every single day of this trip and trying to make the most of them. We need to end this trip on a high note and make the last bit of the memory truly enjoyable. The focus of today was mainly Service Learning, and there is still a lot of work to do. I am looking forward to our final video. 

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Although today is a Saturday with a more relaxed schedule, I still spent all my time today concentrating on producing my Final Product. I am finally moving toward the completion of it after hours and hours of work, which is really impressive. Reviewing my Microcampus experience, I can't believe that it went by so fast, and we only have 5 more days left. I still remember the beginning of the trip, when one month seemed like a long time.

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Today is another big day with a lot of work to complete. The highlight of today was talking to Ms. Yang, our Service Learning partner. She lives alone next to Si Fang Jie as her parents already passed away, she has no siblings, and she isn't married, However, she is still very optimistic and outgoing. When we asked her about her biggest regret in her life, she said there is nothing to regret about because nothing could be changed with regret, the only important thing is to move forward and look ahead.

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Final Product, Service Learning, committee work... As we approach the final week of Microcampus, a lot of things are going on, and a lot of duties need to be fulfilled. Today was another busy day with loads of work to complete.

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A lot of things are happening and moving forward today. Phase 4 work, the planning process for our final product, needs to be started and finished today, representing the beginning of the production of our final product, which is very exciting. The highlight of today is the trip to Dali Old Town, which is also certainly a very fun experience. However, the expectations at Dali Old Town is even more strict and require us to aim at a 12 food rim instead of 10. Dali Old Town is where many accidents or irresponsible actions took place for previous groups.

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Today was a really busy and fulfilled day. By the end of the WIPPIS time today, our Inquiry Project Phase 3 needs to be finished, which signifies the end of our research and gathering information stage of the process. I feel like I am at a stage with plenty of information but I just need to work on organizing the facts and ideas to exhibit them with a well planned-out final project.

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Today was such a fun day full of laughter. During morning pitching in, after 15 minutes of panicking and cleaning our rooms, the phantom of the room inspector once again visited us. He seemed to be very pleased with the results of our welcoming treatments and well cleaned room. I would like to proudly announce that our room, on the International Room Inspection Federation's 5 star scale, earned a score of 4.8 stars, which is the highest score so far on the Microcampus history. 

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Today, with the abundant downtime available, I had the chance to continue and finish the creation of a silver book mark with my own design, which I started on yesterday. Silver smithing seems very easy when an experienced silver smiths performs it, but it is in fact, as I expected, very difficult to conduct when you actually try to do it. It is very hard to control the direction that the carving tool is going towards with the uneven force of the hammer.

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Although today is another really relaxed day with tons of down time, we still tried to keep the standards up. With the emotional struggle that everyone went through yesterday at night about the high expectations and Mr. T's explanation that we are allowed to make mistakes and not be perfect, today seemed to be a pretty chill weekend day. 

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Today is the 14th day of Microcampus out of the 28 days, which means that we are already halfway through the trip. I can't believe there's only two weeks left in this beautiful village. In the morning, we talked about hooks and hangers, which is about our final product of inquiry project and gave me a lot of inspiration of how I could exhibit my experience. 

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Today is a critical day that would shape the development of the rest of the trip. After having a long day yesterday and further recognizing the standard of responsibility that we need to be able to handle as a student of Microcampus, we had a student only meeting at night and decided with determination that, just like our group name Revival, we need to turn the situation around and make improvements immediately. Changing our bad habits is not just a matter of the act of one individual. It requires collaborative efforts from the whole group.

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Although today is another normal workday, we all learned a lesson today about our responsibilities as a member of this group. In the morning, we left the classroom a mess after the SAS Essentials time and headed straight to Daily Meeting. When Mr. T pointed it out to us, we finally recognized how irresponsible we have been with our environment and duties. The lights were left on, the notebooks and materials were left all over the table, and the chairs were not pushed in. After recognizing this issue, I spent time during pitching in working on cleaning up common areas and my room.

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Although it is already day 11, I still want to take a moment and memorialize our success at the Mr. T's All-star Whiz Bang Super Duper Trivia Night yesterday. Our team Egg-cellence won the jeopardy game with one point because we were smart enough to do calculations for the final round. Yay math. 

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Today is the first official day of the second week. We resumed to ordinary work day schedule, but many exciting things happened today. During SAS essentials time in the morning, I had the opportunity to make a fractal folding card, which was a very cool experience. Filming the daily video shout out was also such a fun experience as we tried to make a really epic video with creative transitions. The most remarkable thing today, though, was the lunch we had. 

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Today is just a day to relax and chill. After the morning wellness reflection, we had a great lunch with Mr. T. It was certainly very interesting to discover the not very serious side of Mr. T. The story of the mysterious teacher of SAS Puxi campus that Mr. T made up and the fact that he is still around as a magical Santa-like existence is just hilarious. Mr. T's magic trick was also very very cool and unpredictable, and his reaction of Lexi hitting his thumb (did it really happen) was amazing. I think I got abs (abdominal muscles) from laughing too much during lunch. 

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A 150 minutes long lecture of 150 years of the Chinese history does not sound very appealing. However, Mr. T managed to make it a not that painful process. In the morning, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the most recent 150 years of Chinese history as an introduction to our service learning project. Some of the information we received were certainly very interesting and mind-blowing. I recognized how I actually knew very little about what China has been through.

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Once upon a time, in a far away land, there is a fairly handsome young man-a room inspector. Every night, he wanders around and checks every single room. His life was very peaceful and calm, until one day, when he entered a room, an explosion rushed toward him without any sign. His once beautiful face was burnt, torn apart, and ruined completely. Some said he disappeared after that, but some said he is still around, until this day...

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Thanksgiving! Although today is another ordinary work day, the highlight was the theme of thanksgiving today. After the normal morning work and some fabulous food and shopping, I had a chance to connect with some more silver smiths in town. I took a closer look at how Mr. Zhao worked with gold and created a really beautiful and fascinating piece of decoration for traditional Bai clothing. 

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Today is another ordinary work day on Microcampus work in general. In the morning, we had our usual SAS essential time, daily meeting, and pitching in time. During pitching in, my committee members and I had a chance to travel to the local market to take a look at the fruits there. The market was certainly very busy and crowded, and was filled with excitement and anxiety. The scenes that seem unusual or uncomfortable to us are in fact people's daily life in Xizhou.

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Today was our first self-led workday that follows our normal schedule. I finally recognized how everyday in Microcampus should be self motive and planned. Once we get the hang of things like the rules and schedules, we have a lot of freedom to decide how and when we are going complete he work required. In the morning we had our first student facilitated daily meeting, followed by the pitching in time. 

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Today was our first official workday of Microcampus. Having our first daily meeting in the morning, we gained a better understanding of how such a student led meeting is operated, and what kind of responsibility we, as students, have to take.

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Our first full day of Microcampus went very well. We spent the day to help us integrate into the daily life here through ways such as getting to know the Linden Centre, learning the layout of the village, and understanding our daily schedule and processes such as laundry, pitching in, dish washing, etc.

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After waking up very early in the morning, saying goodbye to our parents and the bubble life in Shanghai, and taking a six hour long trip, we have finally arrived at Xizhou and began our Microcampus experience. I feel like the theme of today is taking the first step out of the bubble and our comfort zone, as well as having the first impression of how the daily life at Xizhou and understanding the expectations that we need to meet. As soon as we entered the airport, I started to experience differences.

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My name is Stella R. I am an 8th grader at Shanghai American School Pudong campus who already returned from Xizhou as a member of the Revival group. The 27 days Microcampus adventure was truly one of the most fascinating experiences I have ever had. I will not forget about the beautiful environment with the clean air, green lands, and blue sky, the welcoming village full of cultural and historical values, and the challenging opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself in many aspects. This may be the end of the 4 weeks long journey, but it is the start of something brand new.