Michael B. (Alumni-U)'s Journal

Today is December 14 and day 27 of Microcampus. Today we had to take all of the books and board games that we borrowed from the Linden Centre Library. In the morning we had to get all of the books that we had from the centre. When all were gathered all of us, but two students took a walk down the Library to place the books neatly on the shelves. On our walk there we talked and sang old songs that we all remembered. When we got there we I placed the board game Settlers of Catan back on top of the shelf after two immensely fun nights of play.

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I got to see my new group's service learning partner watch the video that we produced. I invited an older lady that has already been a service learning partner named Chen Nai Nai. she has always been nice and welcoming to all of the Microcampus students. Henin and I walked Chen Nai Nai to Yang Zhuo Ran when we arrived my original group showed our guest around the place that we have been staying at for a month. When it was time to start the sharing I was excited to see what Mr.

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Today is December 12 and day 25 of Microcampus. Today we have to get all of our service learning videos finished and given the ok by Mr. Tafel. We will also need to have our subtitles corrected by a native Chinese speaking adult. In the morning after breakfast, it was my turn to do the dishes, when I had all plates and utensils washed and dried, I went up to help my group with editing. We had worked until we had to go down to eat lunch. After I was done with the dishes for the last time this trip I went back to help my group do some more work. This is nearly as easy as it sounds.

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Today is December 10 and day 23 of Microcampus. I am done. I am done with what you might ask. Inquiry work. I have done Phase 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and I have just ask for my final teacher review on my final product. I am so proud of myself that I was able to sit down for many hours a day and finish all of my work. I wonder what I am going to do instead of my two hours a day for inquiry project. I think that I am going to spend the two hours as service learning. I am very proud of myself that I was able to get all of my work done and try my best.

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Today is December 10 and day 23 of Microcampus. I am done. I am done with what you might ask. Inquiry work. I have done Phase 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and I have just ask for my final teacher review on my final product. I am so proud of myself that I was able to sit down for many hours a day and finish all of my work. I wonder what I am going to do instead of my two hours a day for inquiry project. I think that I am going to spend the two hours as service learning. I am very proud of myself that I was able to get all of my work done and try my best.

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Today is December 9 and day 22 of Microcampus. Today I went to church to find service learning partners. I knew how to get there because I followed a group of students that had a partner and were as well going to the Church. When I first heard about this I was very surprised, I have never seen or have been told about Chinese Christianity. When I got there I was a little skeptical because it looked as though we were going to the back of someone's house. We had to go to the second floor of a building that looked like the back of someone's house.

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Today is December eighth and day 21 of Microcampus. I am having to remind myself to make the days count. I know that this message sounds pretty cliche, but I am going down to under a week in my time here. I am having to make smart decisions that will event in having the whole group being able to have fun and be rewarded. We are being worked very hard and I am having to cherish and enjoy my breaks. There are still some things that I want and need to do, one of them being to go explore the village of Xizhou.

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Today is December 7 and day 20 of Microcampus, yesterday I was picked with three other students that have joined us on the Microcampus trip to go on one of the two trips to go to Dali Old Town. This was the same day that we need to finish all of our Phase 4 work. This was very well deserved due to all of the hard work that was put into this process to make sure that I got all of my work finished. 

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Today is December 6 and day 19 of Microcampus, this morning today and after our SAS essentials and daily meeting, we went to go over the instructions for Phase 4. I was a little anxious and nervous, I felt that way because we were starting and finishing our Phase 4 today. After we pulled up our tabs we and had Mr. Tafel Take us through all of the instructions we were already 30 minutes into our time we had to work. 

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Today is December 5 and day 18 of Microcampus. Yesterday I ate something that I have not had in my whole life. I had ma la tang, this is a type of noodles. You get your noodles in this small plastic strainer and the things that you want in your noodles. The people that work at the restaurant then cook everything that is in your strainer. When it is finished cooking they add spice if you want and you can enjoy your food. When I was finished with my bowl Mr. Tafel took only me for a walk. We talked along the way, I did not know where we were going.

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Today is December 4 and day 17 of Microcampus. Today I went to Bao Cheng Fu, this place is one of the partners with the Linden Centre and also Microcampus. Today Julia, Henin and I all went there for wellness and still time. Still time is a 30 minute period where you and your group members all sit silently and watch to world happen right before your eyes. My group and I got our badminton kit from the back courtyard and left for Bao Cheng Fu.

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Today is December 3 and day 16 of Microcampus. Today me and my group for service learning, Henin and Holly went out to make more connections with the locals and come back to talk with past people that we have made connections with. We went to see some new person that we have not seen before, we talked to her for a while and learned that she was into embroidery and that she is 62. Unfortunately, she is not eligible to be a part of our service learning project, but I am glad that we were able to talk and connect with her.

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Today is December 3 and day 16 of Microcampus. Today me and my group for service learning, Henin and Holly went out to make more connections with the locals and come back to talk with past people that we have made connections with. We went to see some new person that we have not seen before, we talked to her for a while and learned that she was into embroidery and that she is 62. Unfortunately, she is not eligible to be a part of our service learning project, but I am glad that we were able to talk and connect with her.

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Our hiking trip was amazing with so many views. We all loaded up all of the food, water, and tents into the four vans before we drove to the mountain. When we got there Mr. Tafel picked three people to go first and set the pace of the hike, these people were called the first group. Then I was the leader of the second group, we needed to be five meters away from the first three people. As we got further into the hike it was challenging to keep a steady pace and not stop. When we were about one hour into the hike we stopped and took in the view from between two mountains.

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Today is December 1 and the 14 day of Microcampus. I am having to write my journal entry early because we have to leave early for our hike. I am excited to go on our journey, I have all of my things packed, I have double and even thripple checked to make sure that I have all of my things gathered. The only thing I need to remember is to bring my camera so I can post a lot of pictures of the scenery along the way.

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Today is November 29 and day 12 of Microcampus. Today Nina and I went out the center of Si Fan Jie for lunch. I had to communicate because I was the best at speaking Mandarin. We went to a place that she has not been to and I have not visited recently. This restaurant is very narrow and was smiley faces on the back of all the chairs. This place is a family business with a street vendor in front selling cheese. I knew what to order based on of my friends that speak fluent Chinese and I would ask them how to say a certain food and after they replied I would write it down in my notes.

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Today on November 28 day 11 Mrs. Linden one of the owners of the Linden Centre came by with her dog Nala and a boy Mathew to return books to our library upstairs in Yan Zhuo Ran. Mathew is a tall 15-year-old with long curly brown hair that has been living in Xizhou for two months and is homeschooled. I went got out of my beanbag in the TV room to see what was going on in the main courtyard. The first thing I see is a golden retriever in the laps of two students and two other people petting her. I went down and petted her until Mr.

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Last night we got to either read or play board games as our evening activity. Chris, Saleem, and I chose to take a break from reading like we have been for the past few days to have fun with each other by playing the board game Catan. After setting up the complicated board and taught Chris the rules fifteen minutes later we started to play. As the game went along there were grudges and spots that needed teaching.

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Today November 26 day 9, I'm getting my hair cut with Chris L. and Mr. Tafel. I have made time to do this because over the weekend our schedule is more laid back and we have more time to recharge. I have a time period of 2 hours and 45 minutes for recharge, that is the time when we recharge. Instead of that, I am using it to trim off my hair. I am also going on a run with Saleem E. and Chris when I finish this very journal entry. We are going to run from Zhuo Ran to the Linden Centre there back and there back again.

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Today, November 25, day 8 of Microcampus marks the first official week of our adventure over. Throughout the highs and lows, it feels as though we are only on day two and adjusting to the rules. Today we had our first full weekend, this is time for the students to relax, catch up on work, and recharge our batteries. We also got an introduction to what we are doing and how to start our service learning. Services learning is having to interview elders of the Xizhou community about their life and past history.This person that we will be interviewing will need to have a connection with us.

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Yesterday was November 23 or also known as Thanksgiving. I forgot all about it until our 5:45 daily meeting before dinner. I was so excited that I got to have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving day. This was the first time in three years due to activities and conflicts. There was also another first yesterday for me, it was the first time for me that the head if the turkey's head was on the plat. After a meal of french fries, turkey, and broccoli, there was apple pie for dessert.

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On November 23 I went out and about for my social wellness instead of physical. During this time another Microcampus went around the village making connections and conversations with the citizens of Xizhou. Making connections is also a task at Microcampus. The whole group needs 10 contacts in two days and I received six in one day. I started conversations by admiring people's  shop items, work ethic, and even with people that know my sister from her trip. I also connected with my sister because two of my contacts were people that my sister worked with.

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Today on your fith day on Microcamous I did the laundry for the first time here. My two roomates and I had to wake up early before breakfast to put in the blacks. When the first load was washing we had to wash our underwear and socks by hand and leave them out to dry. Right now some of our cloths still need to dry, but are close to being done. All of our laundry is done except for the colors. I'm excited to get all of my cloths clean and smelling good again.  

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Today was my first time doing wellness at Mircocampus. Me and two other people on my trip went out to get our 30 minutes in zone. We started off with a Crossfit workout for 10 minutes, we then ran around the square for 40 minutes. When we got tired we would walk until we would not get time in zone anymore. We went to the two Ficus trees and did suicides for the final ten minutes. When I got back I completed my 30 minutes.

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Today November 20, we put our normal schedules into our day today for the first time. I got to be very independent with how I did my work and how I plan jobs for others. I got to go out to dinner with four other classmates to then go to the Linden Center to watch the sunset from a terrace. The view was incredible, the red sun in the background of two mountains with the beautiful village in front of it all. I have had a great day today and can't wait for tomorrow. 

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In my second day on Microcampus, Mr. Tafel showed us around the village so when it's time for us to do it by ourselves we won't get lost. We explored in many different buildings and homes. We looked at newer and older buildings and how to be able to tell them apart. We got to explore with one other friend around the market. I saw many different things such as the preparing of a live chicken, many different spices, and the grinding of chilly peppers. At the end of the day, there were many different learning opportunities that I took advantage of. 

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Today I arrived at our new home in Xizhou and got my first glimpse of Yan Zhou Ran. After our tour, I found every place that I wanted to spend time at. There was a music room, a terrace, and even a TV room. A dinner was well deserved after our 3 and a half hour flight and a one hour bus ride. We went through multiple procedures and received our rooms, I am rooming with Chris and Saleem. We have unpacked and are ready for tomorrows adventure. 

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I had been lucky enough to be able to join the Ultimate group with eight others to go down to the village of Xizhou. I had been able to grow through this experience and learn about my inquiry project and even about myself. I have made bonds and friends with the students on my trip and also the community of Xizhou.