Nolan Y. (Alumni-S)'s Journal

Why I Came To Microcampus. The reason I came to Microcampus was because I am to spoiled. At home I will sometimes wash my dishes, but not all the time. I have someone to do my laundry, I don't do any of my laundries. Stepping out of my comfort zone in shanghai is rare and uncommon. The idea of spending a month away from my family was worrisome but I realized that also is very beneficial for when I leave for longer periods of time.  Growing up and seeing my older sister going on this trip was inspiring. I spent 4 years wanting to go on Microcampus. I knew from early on I was going.

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Today is out last day here at Microcamus and I'm sad to say goodbye. I am so glad I went on this fantastic trip with great students and teacher. Mr. T Talked about how this trip wasn't guaranteed to be great and that we would need to make it great. Well, I'm glad to say that we've made this trip amazing. We had a great balance between work and fun at the same time learning new things. I will miss Microcampus and this amazing experiences I have made here.

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Presenting our service learning video went really well. We had many people show up to watch the videos. I enjoyed watching the audience watch our video because we were able to see all of their faces and their expressions. It was great to see our service learning partner Yang Mei Kong enjoying herself along with the other guests. I'm proud of my video and I'm really glad to be able to share it with everybody else. 

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 For the first time in Microcamous history, There is going to be not one, but two Mr. T's all-star whizbang superduper trivia night. Last time we had a trivia night, the teams were Barton, Angela and me against  Laura, Annie, and Nicole. Safe to say we won by over 100 points. This time's trivia night will be Barton and me against all the girls including Bryce. I am extremely excited for tonight's trivia night and hopefully, we win. Earlier today we also completed our service learning projects and handed them into Mr. T for review.

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We have 4 days left at microcmapus and things are winding down. we have all officially completed our Inquiry project and handed the polished version in. Today is our last day to work on service learning and it was a heavy work day. Today was our only day to edit our service learning project to produce our final product. Our service learning partner is Yang Nai Nai, A lovely lady that sells small handmade shoes on the side of the road. We talked to her about her childhood and how certain events such as the cultural revolution affected it.

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Today was a big day for inquiry work. At 10 am we needed to hand in our inquiry projects to me. T for pearls of wisdom. I was able to get great feedback from the chat and great insight on where my Project is going. The rest of the day I edited my project according to what Mr. T wants and I think it is a much better final product. Today we also worked on service learning because in 2 days our service learning project is due. Our service learning partner is so kind and hopefully will be able to make the viewing on Wednesday.

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We worked on our final product for our inquiry project. For my sharing my learning, I will be creating an iMovie. It was a very productive day and was able to get most of my work done. Many students will have their final product on the site by Monday. The remainder of the time will be focused on service learning. I am excited about service learning, being able to connect with the community really well. It is enjoyable to talk to the elders of the community. I am excited about the service learning project and hope that it succeeds 

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For S.S during SAS essentials we were required to take notes on a 50-page chapter. I decided to do a chapter on memory and today I will be talking about how it relates to the village of Xizhou. My inquiry topic is on parents expectations and I talked with many adults about what their childhood was like. Many of them hao use their memories that would take them over 35 years back to when they were children. During my time talking with many of the locals I came across many people who constantly said what to questions than answered shortly after.

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Xizhou BaBa is a classic snack here in the town of Xizhou. Originally it was a snack to fill the bellies of people on the tea horse trail. Today for a still time I was bale to watch people make Xizhou BaBa. Xizhou BaBa is sort of like a pizza. It has no cheese but it is very doughy and greasy. Personally, I don't enjoy Xizhou BaBa as much as other people do. It's a unique way they cook it, they have hot coals on a pan that they put over another pan that holds the Xizhou BaBa. Thye have a fan that blows the hot coals so that it fries the Xizhou BaBa.

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Today right after lunch, we had 2 hours to work and finish Phase 4. It was a little stressful but we were all able to finish in time. I still can't believe that for almost 5 months now we have been working on a project that is about to come to an end. We have been working and striving towards our goal and we are just in reach of it. The next few days we will be working on our final product which will bring and end to our inquiry time.

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During Pitching in time, we went to a traditional Bai minority wedding. It was day 5 when Mrs. Yang, our gardener, Invited our group to her daughter's wedding. We accepted the lovely invitation, At around 11:00 we headed over to the venue, however, the venue was over and it was lunchtime. We had a delicious meal and afterward we went over to Mrs. Yang's house to relax. It was nice to see her beautiful flowers in her garden. We left Mrs. Yang's house to make our way back to Baocheng Fu. Today was also the last day of teacher support along with phase 3 due.

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It is day 17 at Micro campus and it is our second to last day here to work on our Phase 3 and tomorrow will be the last day we will be able to go out and talk to the locals. In 2 days we are supposed to finish 2 phases and that definitely makes me nervous. However today was a great day, I had to share ant inquiry slot with Laura because the other teacher wasn't available. Laura needed to talk with the local farmers here and it was really fun to talk to the local farmers. In fact, they even taught us how to pull out the garlic stems with the tool.

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Today, Our house Gabby so generously asked us if we wanted an art lesson on paint. It was very fun being taught the different shadings and really just how many colors you can blend. We then were able to paint what we wanted and that was fun too. Sadly afterward I came down with a stomach ache and had to go to my own room in order not to infect anyone. The room is really nice and I'm glad I have it to myself but I missed out on evening activity and dinner. Hopefully, i am feeling better because I don't want to waste any more precious time here at Microcmapus 

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Today was the first day of the weekend to rest and recover. When we woke up, we woke up camping. We packed everything up after breakfast and headed home to BaoCheng Fu. When we got home we had to set up our tents so that they could dry out. After that, I took the greatest shower ever, with hot water and soap. It was nice to take a small nap in my feather bed with my pillow once again. During down time our service learning groups went out to have conversations with local's and make connections. I cant wait for tonight's sleep in my comfortable bed!

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Today, Instead of WIPPIS time, We went camping. We started our day like a normal day. However when after lunch we drove down to a hiking trail. It was a beautiful hike being able to see Lake Er Hai most of the way up. It was a great hike that wasn't too challenging but really beautiful. When we were able to get to the top we had a truly stunning view of Er Hai and other villages. We went back down the trail to the base in order to drive to our camp spot. The camp spot was very interesting because it wasn't what I was expecting. It was sort of a tent hotel.

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Yesterday for the evening activity, our house guest so kindly hosted an intro to art class for us. A couple days ago, a lady by the name of Gabby moved into Baochengfu. She is staying in Xizhou for 2 weeks working with the Linden Center teaching art classes. She then proposed an Introduction to drawing class. it wasn't exactly a drawing class but it was much better. We ended up using charcoal paints and powder. We started off the lesson with the quick usage of charcoal powder on a brush, we then moved to the charcoal pencils.

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During a still time, I was by Lake Er Hai looking out on the beautiful scenery until I started to think about Home. This is the longest I have ever been away from my family and it is a bit challenging. I miss seeing my family every day and friends. I know that it is good practice for when I move on in life and in appreciate for the chance that is given. However, the 12 days have been truly amazing. I'm glad that I will soon see my family but also sad that this truly amazing journey will be over. 
 
 
 
 
 
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For evening activity we are having Mr. T Wiz Bang Allstar Superduper Trivia Night. This is the world renowned trivia game that is have heard so much about and am really excited to participate. It is the first time in about a week that we have had blue, clear skies. It was also the day we talked to the next Microcampus group. Angela, Laura and I had a skype call with the Micorcampus group coming right after us to answer some questions. It was great to meet the Tactical group and to be able to clarify some questions they needed to answered.

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Today was the start of the week and I'm glad to report I am not ready. The sudden workload caught me a little off-guard in the morning but I was able to ease my way back into the week. At the bank, i had a great conversation with a nice elderly lady. She was very nice and have heard from other people about our program. Today was also a beautiful day and the way to the bank we found a wonderful Bao Zi place. Up next I have my conversation with the Mr. Du, An antique dealer nearby to talk to hm about his children. 

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I woke up to beautiful blue skies with barely any clouds. Today is Sunday and is a day of rest and recovery for us. In the morning we needed to complete a wellness reflection for the week. We took around an hour to complete the reflection. Afterward, we had lunch in House and a meal design by us students. Today was an absolute amazing day and hopefully will go for a bike ride soon. Today for evening activity we will be getting prepared for the week ahead. 

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Today was the first day of a weekend. We started our day off with a talk on 150 years on Chinas history in 150 minutes. It was really interesting to hear about china's history. After lunch, we had to go out for about an hour to have conversations with people. That was really interesting to just connect with people for our service learning project. Today was very chill and laid back with a lot of downtimes. Today's evening activity is skyping back home with friends and cant wait to talk to them. 

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Wind turbines, Wow. Today we took a trip to the wind turbine farm. At around 3:00 we were able to choose either to go to a tie die factory or to the wind farm. If you get the chance you need to go to a wind farm and stand in front of the Turbine. the amount of wind and how strong it is is tremendous. Before the field trip we didnt have WIPPIS time. We only had inqury project time until 3:00. Today was a great first week and i cant wait to see what the weekend can offer!

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Day 6 of Microcampus and where do I even start. Our Superior group has been troubled lately, Ecpesccaily when it comes to following instructions. We are getting constantly reminded on what to do and to follow instructions. Today was definitely a wake-up call for our entire group. In the future, we will be sure to think before we do something, Follow directions better and listen to instructions. Today was a good day because today was a day of growth, We learned our lesson and hopefully, in the future, we can apply this to our daily life.

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Today is the 5th day at Microcampus and the first day with local contacts. it was also the first time we woke up late. We woke up about an hour after breakfast started. It was quite terrifying to see how late we woke up. Since starting our day was quite difficult without any breakfast, we were tired and hungry up until lunch.After lunch, however, we started the day oof well with a fun game of badminton, then I  did some jump roping. Wellness was fun but the inquiry project was amazing. Mr. Tafel and I one out to Interview Mr. Yang. An antique dealer at the corner of SiFang Jie.

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Today is our 4th day at microcampus and our 1st day of WIPPIS. I started off the day with a 5:00 AM run. Only to realize that the power was out and there was no water. This came to a big surprise and quite a difficult start. The run was beautiful running through the pitch black village. When our run slowly came to an end the sun started to rise. when we came back from the run we all needed to move our stuff over to the Linden center so that we could work. We had our SAS essentials and daily meeting there.Today was the first day I did my own laundry during pitching in time.

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It is the 3rd day at Microcammpus and also the first day of Still Time. We started off our day with the daily meeting. There we were able to talk the plan for pitching in. After the daily meeting we had Pitching in for around an hour and a half. During Pitching in we meet with our committee to see what the plan is in the future. My committees are Food and Menue which is planning out what we eat, banking and financing which is distributing the allowance every 4 days and Laundry We stopped which is assigning laundry to people. After lunch we then moved on to our Inquiry projects.

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Today was our 2nd day on our twenty day trip. Today we were really able to step out of comfort zone and explore the market place. Along the way we had the signature XiZhou BaBa and Tai Fei Fried Rice.  In the morning we were able to get a tour of Bao Cheng Fu. We were told some very intresting background knwoledge and insight of why it was created. After out tour around Bao Cheng Fu we got ready for our 2 hour journey to the village. We started our journey at the bank where we learned how to exchange our money.

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My name is Nolan Y. and I am an 8th grader at Shanghai American School. Going on Microcampus was a life changing experience. I was able to see rural China through the lenses of not a tourist but as a local. Microcampus had taught me so many things that I would never even imagine. I am glad I came on this 28 day trip to Xizhou to learn about parental expectations and have an experience I will hold dear to my heart for a long time.