The Beginning of Our Service Learning Project:
My service learning partners are Nolan and Angela. Our partner is Yang Nai Nai, Mrs. Yang. She owns a souvenir stand near Sifangjie. Her full name is Yang Mei-Kang.
1. Who was your Service Learning Partner?
My Service Learning Partner was Mrs. Yang. She is 67 years old and has lived her entire life in Xizhou.
2. What did you learn about your elder as a result of this experience?
This was certainly a very eye-opening experience as I received the wisdom of the elders here in Xizhou. I learned about her story as a child as well as the qualities she values. I learned how her past experiences shaped who she is now.
3. What did you learn about Xizhou's history as a result of the experience?
Although I did not expect to learn too much information about Xizhou's history, it would to great if Mrs. Yang talked about it. However, we were not given this information.
4. What did you learn about 20th Century Chinese history as a result of this experience?
I learned how the events such as the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward shaped the entire China affected the entire region, not just a small area or town. It also affected the people that were living in area. I saw the human factor in history.
5. Describe the experience of sharing your final video with your Service Learning partner--please copy/paste this as your Day 26 daily journal, with a link from your journal to your final project.
I think this was a great experience to give thanks and to express our gratitude to this community. As I said, this is a place I would want to come back to and renew old connections and know new acquaintances. It was awesome to see the smile on her face. Our lives look outlandishly different on the outside, however, we are the same people. We value the same qualities in others, for example, honesty and perserverance. It was great to share our exhilarating experience with close friends. This is so vastly different than China Alive because we interact with the culture of an area very intimately instead of 走马观花, or to see as many places as possible in a short amount of time. It is really about settling in and to understand the way of life here.
6. What recommendations do you have for future Microcampus students who will be involved in a Service Learning project?
I would say try to build as many connections as possible. However, I would rather them have few solid connections than many weak ones. My main advice to them is to be open and talk to as many people around town as possible. Remember to be kind to them and leave behind nothing but smiles and memories. I cannot stress this enough but DO NOT simply talk to people because they can be Service Learning partners. Please, love them for who they are.