Anne-Marie C. (Alumni-R)'s Journal

Before I came to Xizhou, I knew I needed a break from the bustling crowds, crazy traffic, and unclear air. I orginally thought that Xizou was going to be a quiet, non-tourists communitiy. As it turns out, tourism is Xizhou's number one industry. Needless to say, I recieved the nonpolluted, crazy crowded village that I wished for from the beginning. The mountains on each side of XIzhou are breath taking and Lake Erhai is easily one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen.

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Today has been a very busy day. We were supposed to meet with the teachers so they could edit and look over our service learning videos. After several corrections, I think we have our video nearly perfect. But the highlight of my day is not only finishing most of my service learning, it was the Jammy's (and yes, the Grammies are based off of this). At 7:30 PM we all met in the TV room with our comfort food. I ate Oreos and sour strips. First, there were the room  awards.

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Today, I am proud to say, I finished all of my inquiry work. Click here to view all of my completed and approved inquiry work. It is satisfying to know that the only work I have left is my Service Learning project, which you can read more about in yesterdays journal, Day 23: Mrs. Deng. Instead of signing up for a WIPPIS today, we were left to do the work that e needed to complete, journals, Inquiy work, service learning, pitching in responsibilities, etc...

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Today is Day 23 of Microcampus. Our Final Products are being reviewed by Mr. T's Peals of Wisdom. All the work that remains for Inquiry Work is my Reflection. I find it crazy that there are only 5 days left and that today is the last Sunday of the trip. After I get my Inquiry Work knocked out of the was, all that will remain is Service Learning.

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Today is day 22 of Microcampus. The highlight of my day was eating at the noodle place. For lunch, Claire, Lexi, Jerry and I all ate at a noodle place that served noodles that tasted like Ramen. The taste reminded me of home, and I much enjoyed it. Speaking of home, Emma C. has supported me this whole journey. Thank you Emma! With only a couple days left of Micorcampus, I have to remember to make the most of my experience because there is not a time that goes by that I am not thinking about the limited time I have left in Xizhou. The people here I are amzing and have open hearts.

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Today is Day 21 of Microcampus. I have been busier than ever working on Inquiry Work and Service Learning. Now that we are in the ending steps and phases in our work, we need to plan and coordinate more than ever. Our time is very precious right now and planned down to the minute. One thing that we we are not doing any more, is SAS Essentials. With our time put to work, school is one thing that we can not manage to do.

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Thus being only a week left of Microcampus, there is much to do. I have finished my Phase 4 work and starting on my Final Product, which you can click here to see. I dread the end of Microcampus, even though I have gone through the worst. The locals of Xizhou are warm hearted and open to all. They have made this trip possible. As well as Mr. T. He has predicted our failures and our successes. He has made Microcampus possible and changed my life for the better.

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Today is Day 18, which means there are only 10 days left. The highlight of my day was the scavenger hunt. The hunt was prepared by Lexi and Colin. I realize that they sacrificed their time into this process. Even ending up as the losing team, I still immensely enjoyed it. Each clue was cleverly hidden somewhere, such as in folded leaves and in weaved chairs.

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Today is Day 17 of Microcampus which means there are only 11 days left until we leave Xizhou. These past couple weeks have flown by and I regret not enjoying them to my fullest. The people that I have met around Xizhou and the connections I have made with the other Microcampus students are amazing. Thanks to the extra push of Mr. T, I find myself knocking on strangers doors and starting conversations with random locals. What I have gone through with the other Microcampus students has helped me understand Group Revival even more.

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Today is Day 16 of Microcampus. I am here to report that I am sick with the Xizhou flu as Mr. T calls it. This means that I will be in house and sleeping in the treaty room. It all started this morning. Claire and I decided to go hang out in the music room. After talking for a while, we decided to go eat breakfast. At this point, my stomach had a strange feeling, but I though nothing of it. The more I ignored it, the more it I felt it. Right before I went to eat, I mentioned it to Claire. I was now aware that something was up.

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Today is Day 15 of Microcampus. The highlight of my day was my bike ride. I went on a 2 hour bike ride with Hillary and Imani. We went to Er Hai (lake). The view was breath taking and I enjoyed it very much. Once we got to our destination, we ate Oreos and took pictures. After we finished, we picked Stella up from the Silver Smith.

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Today is Day 14, which marks the half-way point of Microcampus. The highlight of my day was definitely the hike. All of us got to hike for about two hours. The hike was a bit challenging and I got to see amazing views. Small terraces and Lake Erhai were in view. As well as mountains and white houses that stretched for half miles. Windmills and small homes were barely visible on the the north eastern mountains. When we first started up the mountain, we stopped at two temples. At each, I learned a bit more about the peoples' perspective and history.

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Day 13, I think, has been a success so far. At the beginning of Microcampus, Mr. T told us that we each had a bucket of patience that was given to us from him. Over the last 12 days, we have managed to lose a majority of the patience, but I am confident that we can regain his trust. He has warned us that the reminders are over and the first thing that will come will be the punishments. Some of the students see this as unfair, but in my eyes, punishment is what we deserve at this point.

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Today is Day 12 of Microcampus. I woke up at 7:15 and ate breakfast from 7:25 to 8:00. After I ate breakfast, I had Dish Duty with Kevin and Colin. Following Dish Duty, was SAS Essentials. We worked on humanities and science. After SAS essentials, we had our Daily Meeting, which was led by Stella. During this Mr. T gave us a lecture about following the rules.

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Today is Day 11 of Microcampus. I started my day off with the usual, breakfast, SAS essentials, daily meeting and so the list goes on. My day got really interesting when I went to eat lunch. Today, I had two options for lunch. Fried rice or pizza. The obvious answer was pizza. We ate at my all-time favorite cafe, Old House Cafe. Again, I had 2 choices. Would I order the cheese pizza, or the pepperoni pizza? Imani and I decided to order the pepperoni pizza, which turned out to be more then pepperoni.

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Today is Day 10. The highlight of my day was probably the magic show and Mr. T's All-Star, Whiz-Bang, Super-Duper Trivia night. The magic show was so cool and I yet to know the secret. Let me tell you what Mr. T did. So apparently, Mr. T has been connecting with 1 kuai for the past couple days. He placed the bill somewhere in the courtyard and left. While he was in a different room, someone hid the bill in their pocket or sock. When we were done hiding it, Mr. T came back into the court-yard. He used his psychic abilities to single out who had the bill.

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Today is Day 9 of Microcampus. The hightlight of my day was getting to explore Xizhou with Lexi, Claire and Imani. We got to connect with some interesting people during our 2 and a half hours of down time. We first made a visit to the pearl shop, which had live oysters in front of the store. We each got a pearl necklace for 55 kuai. That was our first connection of the day. The next stop that we went to was Mrs. Pam, the tie-dye lady. There, I bought myself a scarf that is not only comfortable, but cute. She was our 2 connection. My third connection was at the tie-dye warehouse.

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Today is Day 8. It's hard to say what the highlight of my day was because I experienced and learned so much. It's down to these two things. One, this morning, since it is the weekend, I got to sleep in. You know just as well as I do that getting to sleep in on the weekends is a big relief from the 6:00am wake up that we must do 5 times a week. Two, this may not sound very interesting, but we sat for 2 hours doing nothing but listen to Mr. T talk about the last 150 years of China.

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Today is Day 7 of my Microcampus Journey and not just any day. Today we all got to go on a field trip. We had the option of visiting the wind farms or we could go do tie-dye. I chose tie-dye, along with Claire and Imani. This is what I learned. The process starts growing/ buying the proper plants to make the die, such as indigo and coffee. The next step in the process is preparing the fabric. Next, you must tie knots in the cloth, the effects of this will show later.

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Today is both Day 6 and Thanksgiving! Just like every Thanksgiving, the meal has definitely been the highlight of my day. Turkey and apple pie was served and enjoyed. Sweet n' sour pork and rice. Broccoli and French fries. With out a thought, Thanksgiving dinner was definitely the best part of my day. Not only was dinner exquisite, but lunch as well.

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Today is Day 5 of my Microcampus journey. I'm finally starting to get a hang of my schedule, which is super helpful. The beginning of my day was just like any other, wake up, eat breakfast, go to the daily meeting, ect... It wasn't until lunch that my day started to get interesting. I went out for lunch at 12:00pm with Stella and Hillary. I got rice and Hillary and Stella got dumplings. After, we took a trip to the Tie-dye street, where I bought my little sister and older sister a Christmas present. The selection was huge, so it took me a while to finally pick their gifts out.

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This is Day 4 of Microcampus, and probably the most resourceful and discipline thing I have ever done. Today we guided ourselves through our schedule instead of Mr. T and Mrs. Mai. I learned the importance of discipline and mono tasking through making mistakes. As I went through my day, I used independence and putting first things first to get each of my things done. The highlight of my day was getting to talk to my parents. Here I have learned how much I depend upon family and the support that they give.

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Today is Day 3 of Microcampus. Today I learned more about what my daily life will be like in Xizhou. We talked about heart-rate monitors, biking and daily meetings. I also finished my Shanghai work, which is something that I've been procrastinating about. I worked on my inquiry work, daily journals and my Daily Video Shout out for Day 1. The highlight of my day was probably getting my bike license and driving around Dali. I got to see the deep, beautiful blue lake and ponder and think about it for some still time.

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Being the second day of Microcampus, it is thus very important. Today I got a true understanding of why Mircrocampus was made. Being from Georgia, I have seen stars before, but many of the kids that were raised in Shanghai, were awe struck when Mr. Tafel brought us to the Linden Centre Star Terrace. It opened my eyes to the wonders of the world and how much I take my life for granted. Many of the kids had no idea what wonders the universe held, and seeing their reaction was a blessing on my part.

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Today is the first day of Mircocampus, a very important date. We woke up in Shanghai at 4:30 and left for the airport in Puxi. Take off was at 8:00am. Though the plane ride was only 3.5 hours, it felt much longer. When we finally arrived in Xizhou, we ate lunch and took an hour ride bus ride to the Linden center. We got to meet some of the staff and get acquainted with our new home. We learned the basic history of some of the common life of Xizhou and thanks to Mr. T, got to meet some of the locals of Xizhou.

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Hello I am Anne-Marie. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. This is my first year at SAS and I am enjoying it. My hobbies are volleyball, reading and traveling around the globe. I am currently on Microcampus and enjoying it. The people, air, market and Linden Center are all great welcomes to this wonderful village. I am enjoying and already wishing that this trip is longer than a month.