Annie Y. (Alumni-S)'s Journal

Before I came to Xizhou, I wanted to join Microcampus so that I can experience the world outside the "bubble." I wanted to experience less modernized and developed city. I have lived in Shanghai all my life. I thought Xizhou would be calm and quiet and nothing like old towns that are made for tourists. I also expected it to have many old and half broken houses. Obviously, when we arrived, I saw a lot more newly built houses and quite a few tourists.

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Today was the day I have been dreading for. It feels surreal that we are leaving tomorrow. This month has gone by faster than I ever thought or expected. I did not comprehend how fast these four weeks have gone by until now. The day has gone by really fast. It is already the afternoon. In the afternoon, I went around the village with Angela to say goodbye to the locals we met. We bid our farewells and hugged the locals. It was a sad day and the gloomy day made it even more emotional.

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Today, we worked for a long time on our Service Learning videos. We had 3 checks with Mr. T in the morning, Ms. Song, then a last check by Mr. T. It was very tiring and stressful since our plot did not flow together. We did some heavy editing to make it work out. The improvement of our video was quite unbelieveable. I almost gave up on my project when until we swtiched the plot and it became much better.

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Today we worked on our service learning project as our priority. We handed in our storyboards at around 9 am. Mr. T was very helpful in giving us tips about our service learning video. During the daily meeting, Mr. T said that our service learning partners have to come. I got quite scared because I did not know if Mr. Zhang would be able to come or not. I knew he had a family business and so I thought he would not be able to join us on Wednesday. At lunch, I went to ask Ms. Zhang, his daughter and she said she will tell him to come which was a relief. The days have been quite busy.

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Today for still time, Angela and I watched Mr. Ma make cream cakes. It was very interesting to see him make the cake. He would wrap the cream around a stick to make the petals of a flower, then he would place it on the cake. He gave us a bit of the cream for a taste, it was sweet and thick. Eating it with the vanilla cake would be just delicious so we decided to come back tomorrow with a plate so that we will not use one-use containers.

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Today, we had to finish Phase 4, it was not very stressful for me but for some of the members in our group, it was very stressful. We helped each other and encouraged each other to finish our work. We are all working together well and getting stuff done on time.

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Today we got to attend Ms. Yang's (our gardener) sons wedding. It is very different from normal weddings in Shanghai. We do not have weddings that lasts 2 days. We did not get to see much of the ceremony because the time was not right. We joined the wedding for lunch and went to Ms. Yang's house for a while. She invited us to come back at 5 but we had to do our inquiry project, wellness, pitching in, and still time. It was still quite interesting to see how weddings work here.

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Since it was the weekend, we didn't do much. Gabbie offered to teach us some things about painting and acrylic paint. It was very chill and interesting to see how colors work together. It was also nice for Gabbie to show us some of her artwork she did. They are very colorul but so realistic. There is more color than it will have in real life but as Gabbie said, if you get the lighting correct, it will feel like it is real. I saw how colors can show up differently to the human eye on different background color paper.

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We have 10 days to decide how our final product is going to turn out. We had our hangs and hooks talk after the daily meeting. It's about piecing together the pieces of information we have gathered. The hanger is the type of our final product and the hooks are the peices of information we need to know to support the thesis and the type of product.

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Today was mostly the same as all the other days. Laura and I practiced hacky sack today. It's just hitting this sack with sand or beans inside with any part of our body (mostly feet) to pass the sack around. We have been practicing quite a bit these days. We are improving from not being able to hit the ball at all to at least being able to hit the ball once or twice and if we are lucky we pass it back and forth.

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Today was the first day of week 2. One different about the schedule from this week and last week was that now we get to choose who we have WIPPIS time with. I spent this time today with Angela.

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Today was the first normal weekend here. We had our 150 years in 150 minutes talk today. I learned a lot more about Chinese history. I learned how China was before today. We talked about the Hundred Flower Movement that I have never heard of until today. It was quite interesting and I think it has got me ready for Service Learning.

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Today is the first day we got to go out into the village and talk to locals. We have teacher support meaning that a teacher will come with us just to be there in case we need help, also not to waste other microcampus students inquiry project time. I signed up to go with Mr. T because he reccomended this contact to me. I was going to meet Mr. Yang, an old man about 95-96 years old. He has a really good memory, so I wanted to talk to him. But he wasn't at home and so we went to talk to Mr. Zhao at this Baba Shop and Mr.

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Today was the official day we got into our regular schedule without WIPPIS (Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching in, and Still time). Some highlights of the day the bike ride, our first daily meeting, and working on my inquiry project. We rode out bikes out to Er Hai which is the lake near our village. It was an amazing sight to see. There were streams of light coming out of the clouds and shining on the mountains which made it look like heaven. We also completed the Flying V while riding out bikes.

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Today, we got a chance to better understand BaoCheng Fu and the village. The Er Si at breakfast was so food. We learned a bit about the history of BaoChang Fu. We learned that it was built in 1928 before YangZhou Ran. It was also occupied by the military at a point in history. There is also a mix of modern and olden style of architecture here in BaoCheng Fu. Later on today, we got to take a tour around the village to better understand the village and learn how to get back to BaoCheng Fu.

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We left at 5:45 am to catch a flight to XiZhou. It was a long journey here. We arrived in the afternoon. The sun was bright and sunny even though they say it is only a moderate day. It feels like a dream right now to be here.

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I am honored to be choosen to go on this one month trip to XiZhou with my classmates. I look forward to learning more about XiZhou and the topics I'm interested in. I hope I will experience the XiZhou culture along with the connection I will have with the people there. I will be challenged but that means I will be able to learn more. I look forward to getting out of the bubble. City life is great but sometimes you just need a bit of peace and calm. I look forward to this trip full of adventure, learning and passion.

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My name is Annie Y. I am part of the Superior Microcampus group. As of March 4, 2017, I arrived in Xizhou. We stayed in Xizhou for 28 days. Those 28 days has been such a unforgettable experience. I got to connect with the people here. They were very nice and welcoming. The weather was really nice. There was pretty blue skies and puffy white clouds. I miss everything about Xizhou and the Microcampus experience.