Claire O. (Alumni-R)'s Journal

Today is day 27, which means it is our last day in Xizhou. Yesterday was full of bittersweet goodbyes to our friends in the village and the Yang Zhou Ran staff. This morning, we left at 8:30 for the airport, so we had no time to say our last goodbyes. These past 27 days have been absolutely incredible and I will cherish my time here forever. 

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Today is day 25 of Microcampus! Last night after dinner, Imani and I walked over to the Linden Center to take showers because the hot water at Yang Zhou Ran is not working at the moment. After that, we had some extra time so we sat at the terrace. The sky was so clear and so pretty, and there were so many stars! I have mixed emotions about leaving so soon. I want to see my family and my friends, but I am going to miss this village so much.

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Today is day 24 of Microcampus! Today I focused on Service Learning, because we have to edit all of the footage that we took in the past few weeks and add Chinese and English subtitles. At first, we thought that we were not going to have enough footage to make a successful video, however that is not the case. We have so much footage, and all of it is super important so we can not delete anything.

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Today is day 22 of Microcampus! Today is the last Saturday of the trip, and I spent pretty much the entire day working on my Final Product. It was completely worth it though, because now I am completely stress free and can edit the work in the hour we have tomorrow. The sharing my learning portion was the hardest because we had to not only write a script for a video, but record it and make it an iMovie.

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Today is day 21 of Microcampus, which means we have somewhere close to one week left! I can not believe how fast time is going by. We are continuing our work for our final Inquiry Project today. Yesterday, I finished my whole introduction. Today, I wrote my script for the sharing my learning portion, recorded it, and started making the iMovie. We do not have a lot of time left to work on this, so we all have to stay completely focused.

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Today is day 20 of Microcampus! Today was a very normal day following our basic schedule. During lunch, Anne-Marie and I went to try a noodle restaurant in Si Fang Jie. The noodles were very good, but the best thing about lunch was by far the special guests. A Chinese tour group came inside our restaurant and we did not think much of it at first. Then, one little boy, around 4 years old, came up to our table with his parents fancy camera and started taking photos of us eating our noodles.

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Today is day 19 of Microcampus! During WIPPIS time today, we had to start and complete Phase Four of our Inquiry Project. We only had 2 hours to do that, so it took lots and lots of focus to get it done in time. I was the first one finished, and even I finished a whole minute late. The highlight of my day is yet to come right at this moment.

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Today is Day 18 of Microcampus which means that we only have 10 days left! I can not believe how quickly my time here has gone, it seems as if it was just yesterday we arrived in Xizhou. However, I am kind of excited to go back to Shanghai. I miss my friends and family more than I thought I would. Wouldn't it be great if all my friends and family could just come here? Today was a very busy day because we had to finish our Phase Three by 5:45. I went out into the village one last time to talk to the locals with Mrs. Mai.

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Today is Day 17 of Microcampus! Today was a regular schedule day, but we had a surprise guest that came to visit around 11 o'clock. He is the "Phantom of the room inspection" ( scary, right?) Anyways, he came to give our rooms a score on a scale from 0-5, although last week, both of the boys rooms got negative scores. The highest score before today was a 4.6, however today the Revival team beat that score, twice!

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Today is day 16 of Microcampus! We started our Service Learning projects yesterday and I had no idea how hard it was going to be. With in the first hour of yesterday, my group had 2 people who agreed to be our partner however, one of them was 53 ( they should be at least 70) and the other had already been a Service Learning partner before. We had really nice conversations with lots of other people, but they were all too young.

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Today is day 15 of Microcampus and it has been the perfect Saturday so far. This past week has gone by so much faster than the first. Our group has been able to hit the 10 foot rim, now we just have to stay there for the next 13 days. We are all human and we will make mistakes, the goal is to not let those mistakes hold us down, we just have to learn from them. I love Saturdays because we can get up super late, and still have lots of time to get ready before breakfast. Today I woke up at 8:30 and could take my time getting ready and eating breakfast.

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Today is day 14 of Microcampus, which means that we are half way done with the trip. As a group, we have significantly increased our effort and ability to preform a task. Today we started with breakfast, SAS essentials and then our daily meeting. After that, Mr. T talked to us about "hangers and hooks", which is a process we use for our inquiry project work. Basically, we should be able to take all of the information we have gathered and put it into 3 major sections under our big topic.

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Today is day 13 of Microcampus. As this point in the process, there are usually 2 or 3 students who are not following the very clear instructions given to us by Mr. T. However for our group, that is not the case. 50 percent of our group do not follow through with a simple task or follow directions the first time they are given. The worst part of this is, that it is not just 5 people who never follow through with the instructions. All 10 of us have never been able to do something right the first time Mr. T asks.

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Today is day 12 of Microcampus! Today was a regular day, however this was not the best day for our group. After SAS essentials, we all went into the TV room and left classroom one a complete mess. After the meeting, we all went back into classroom one and Mr. T raised his voice at us. We all should have been more responsible and not let this happen. It should have taken Mr. T raising his voice at us for usto do basic responsibilities.

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Today is day 11 of Microcampus! I started out the day with the regular schedule: breakfast, SAS essentials, daily meeting and so on. After lunch, I started my WIPPIS time. I started out with Inquiry Project, where i went out to talk to some of the local villagers about their ethnic groups and the ethnic groups of others. I am a pretty good Chinese speaker, not fluent, but i know enough to successfully get my point across and engage in practical conversations.

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Today is day 10 of Microcampus! The trip has been going pretty well so far. As a group we have had a couple of bad days, but that is inevitable. Now that it is week two, we have started to get the hang of things and understand the process more. We had a pretty relaxing schedule, so it was hard to get back into the regular schedule. Today was one of the many normal days on Microcampus, so nothing big or exciting was supposed to happen. However, that was not the case for today.

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Today is day 9 of Microcampus. It is one of the sunniest days yet and we had 2 and a half hours of down time to explore the village. We started out the day with a late wakeup and then did our wellness reflection. The wellness reflection gave me a chance to reflect on my social, emotional, and physical wellbeing this past week. This past week has gone by so quickly yet so slowly. We have learned so much in the past week so I already feel like it is day 20. However, I also want to be here for 3 more months, instead of 3 more weeks.

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Today is day 8 of Microcampus and our first full Saturday in XiZhou. We had a really long week, full of learning how to do everything the "Microcampus way" and learning about the village. We started out the day with the "Worlds most boring history lesson" as Mr. T calls it. In reality, It actually was not THAT boring, I got to learn lots of new things about the history of China from the 1830's. The reason for this lesson is because we are finally starting our Service Learning projects.

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Today is day 7 of microcampus. Today started as a regular day, but we spent most of our afternoon on a field trip. There were two options for our field trip and I chose to go to the TieDye village. it was pretty interesting because we got to learn alot about the steps on TieDye and got the chance to watch the Bai ladies working on the Tiedye. Although TieDye is not my inquiry project, I still find it interesting and I really liked being able to see how it was made. We went to a near by village called ZhouChang and walked around for a bit in between the two diffferent TieDye locations.

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Today is day 6 of Microcampus, and it is also Thanksgiving. It is very weird to not celebrate thanksgiving with my family, but I know they are having a great time in Thailand. There is so much for me to be thankful for, but I am most thankful for my health, family, friends, this experience and education. I am so lucky and fortunate to be able to go to a school that allows me to learn in ways other than a classroom.  Today I finished lunch early so I had time to connect with the local people.

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Today we started our Inquiry project work. This means that we had 2 hours to work, but one of those hours were used for going into the village. I went with one of the linden center staff, Mrs.Chu. She helps us alot at microcampus and makes sure everything this is running smoothly. Although she has only been here for two months, she knows alot about the village life. In our hour of time, I talked to 4 different people and went to one location. I one had one very interesting conversation with a Han women. She helped me answer all of my questions and gave me lots of valuable information.

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Today was the first day of our regular schedule. This means that we had to be very responsible and manage our whole afternoon. During our 2 hours for Inquiry project, I was able to talk with Mr.T about my project and topic. During my talk with him, I started to rethink my inquiry project topic. Although the idea of how facial features differ by ethnic minority seems very feasible and real in theory, In reality it is the complete opposite. The way to determine facial features is kind of like palm reading.

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Today was our transition day into our regular schedule. We woke up and immediately saw the bright blue skies. We started out the day having our first daily meeting and SAS essentials. After that, we got into our committee groups and started planning out what we were going to do. Since I am in the banking and financing committee and the common area committee, I made the schedule for when we are going to hand people their food allowance and also assigned common areas for people to be responsible. The highlight of the day was the bike ride at the middle of the day.

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Today was our first full day in XiZhou. To start off the day, we had a tour around Yang Zhuo Ran and the town. After that, we had time to finish all of our shanghai work, but since I was already finished with that, I was able to go explore the village with 2 other people. Having been to the village before, I knew my way around fairly well and we were able to connect with the locals. Although my chinese skills are pretty limited, I able to tell them a little about us and where we came from.

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Today, we arrived In Xizhou. We had a very early start to our morning but managed to stay awake trudging through the airport terminal. it was hard for all of us to say goodbye to our family for the next four weeks, but we all knew that the journey ahead of us was going to be a once in a lifetime oppurtunity. After the 3 and a half hour plane ride, we finally arrived. It really surpised me how different everything looks even though I was here only two years ago.

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Hi everyone, my name is Claire. I am part of the Revival Microcampus group. I am originally from the United States, most recently Dallas,Texas, however this is my forth year living in China. My passions include soccer, volleyball, traveling and photography. Microcampus has been the experience of a lifetime. XiZhou is absolutely beautiful and the people are incredibly kind and welcoming. I loved all 28 days I spent in the village and wish there were so many more. Through my time in XiZhou, I learned so much about Chinese culture, my Inquiry Project topic, and myself. Microcampus was remarkable opportunity and I will cherish it forever.