Julia J. (Alumni-U)'s Journal

Before arriving her in Xizhou, I realized that I was quite reluctant to come. A couple of days before the trip, I thought about how I would miss out on all of the opportunities in Shanghai and how I would miss out on my sports. After a few days in Xizhou, I realized how incredible this experience was, and my reluctance slowly turned into excitement. I was excited to have a new experience and a new classroom environment. 

0 Comments

Our whole group was nervous the day it came to the final Service Learning sharing. We had many things to do that day, and we were messing around with our video and trying to make it perfect. That day, Saleem E., Hayley S. (our Service Learning group) walked over to Ms. Zhou's shop to walk her here to Yang Zhuo Ran. We brought her a bag of fruits, which she tried to decline but we insisted that she kept it and so she did.

0 Comments

Today is December 11th, Day 24 of Microcampus. Now, we only have four days left until we are back in Shanghai. Today during our daily meeting, Ms. Yolanda (our middle school counselor) and Ms. Ling (Saleem and Holly's Mandarin teacher) came out to Xizhou and met us. Each of us had a talk with Ms. Yolanda, and when I went out to talk with her, we had pomelo. Even though the pomelo was in a one use container (plastic bag) Ms. Yo said that she would reuse the plastic bag as a shower cap. After that, we started editing our Service Learning video.

0 Comments

Today is day 23 of Microcampus, which means there are only five days left. I think the fact that Mircocampus will be over in less than a week is just starting to dawn on me, even if I do not want to believe it. Microcampus has been an honestly very incredible experience, where I got the chance to leave the comfort of my Shanghai "bubble" and actually step out into the real world. Today we had a lot to do. I had to finish my final product for the final phase, and I managed to get the video done.

0 Comments

Today, our service learning partner invited us to go to church with her. Our service learning partner, Ms. Zhou, converted to Christianity in 2002. She explained to us that this was one of the lowest points in her life, and once she found out God's faith and belief, it really helped her with moving on with her life and giving her hope. She brought us to her church, which was not the typical church with a big cross and big building. Instead, it was inside someone's apartment, and there were a few benches which people sat on. After 10-15 minutes, the priest came.

0 Comments

Today is Day 21, and there is only one week left of Microcampus! Time has passed by so quickly and it is amazing to think that we are almost back on the bis to the Dali Airport that will then fly us back to Shanghai. Today was the last day of SAS Essentials, and almost everyone had already finished everything that was required of us. We finished our cause and effect chart on the American Revolution for humanities, and we also finished our paragraphs/essay on the American Revolution.

0 Comments

Today is December 7th, Day 20 of Microcampus. Time is passing by so quickly, and I think that it is so  Yesterday, we started our Phase 4, then we finished it on that same day. This is because we started our final products today, and our Phase 4 acted as an outline for our Final Product. In our final product (mine is a video which shares three perspectives of the residents of Xizhou), we need an introduction which states our thesis statement.

0 Comments

This morning, we had breakfast, mindfulness, and SAS Essentials. Today during SAS Essentials, we had a formative math test on functions. Fortunately, it was only a formative, plus, the test was very short, so we still had to do our regular math work after the test. After SAS Essentials, we had our daily meeting where we discussed today and tomorrow's schedule, upcoming events on the horizon and more. After our daily meeting, we had pitching in. During the first part of pitching in, we had our committee meetings.

0 Comments

Today was a regular day with our schedule. We had breakfast, mindfulness, SAS Essentials, lunch, then WIPPIS time. WIPPIS stands for wellness, inquiry project, pitching in, and still time. Even though the words are in that order, during the day we can choose what order we want our WIPPIS time to be in. Today, I had inquiry project first.

0 Comments

Yesterday, we found one of our potential service learning partners, Ms. Zhou. Ms. Zhou is 65 years old and has her own scarf/textiles shop. She runs it with her daughter in law, who also has a shop next to her. Ms. Zhou is so nice, and she gives us hugs everytime she sees us, as well as fruits every time we go talk to her in her shop. This morning, we had mindfulness before SAS Essentials, and the mindfulness track which we listened to required food, so we got mandarins. After that, We had SAS Essentials which was Math today.

0 Comments

Today is December 3rd, day 16 of Microcampus. Yesterday was the day after the hike. We went camping, and in the morning our tent was freezing. The insides of the tent were wet, due to all the condensation and breathing that happened while we were asleep. The first thing that I noticed when I went outside was that there was frost on the ground outside, and that it was freezing. The clouds which were normally way up in the sky were much lower, and everything ended at the same place as if there was an invisible ceiling. For breakfast, we ate inside a dome that was a greenhouse.

0 Comments

Yesterday, we went on a hike. We hiked up to the Jade Belt, which is 2600 meters above sea level. The way up was one-third of our hike, and it was also the most difficult. Many people tripped, got hit in the face with branches and leaves and also got bug bites. For me, the way up was okay, and it wasn't too hard since I have gone hiking a few times before. Once we reached the Jade Belt, it was much easier as the ground was flat and paved. We got to put down our heavy backpacks and put our chins on the edge of the rock and look down.

0 Comments

Today we are going hiking. Last night, our evening activity was packing our hiking bags, which was to prepare for our hike today. We had our SAS Essentials, Daily Meeting, and Pitching In. After Pitching In, we will have an early lunch, then we were off to go hiking. We have been preparing for the last two days during evening activity. We had one night with an introduction on tents and how to set them up. As well as that, we also had one night to pack our hiking bags.

0 Comments

Today is Day 13 out of Day 28 of Microcampus. We are almost at the halfway point, and time is passing by very quickly. Today was a normal day, and we had SAS Essentials (which was math today) and then we had our daily meeting. Today in the daily meeting, we were shown a calendar for this week and the next two weeks, then we talked about what we are going to do for our evening activity. Since we are going to go hiking and camping tomorrow, our evening activity is going to be packing our hiking bags. Yesterday, we set up tents and Mr.

0 Comments

We have to get information from local contacts about our Inquiry Project topics every day. Normally, I would sign up for teacher support so that I could go out of Yang Zhuo Ran and talk to people in the village, but today I wanted to talk to Ms. Linden, and she came to Yang Zhuo Ran with her dog Nala and had a conversation with me. She talked to me about my topic and answered a lot of my questions. Ms. Linden talked to me about many different aspects of health and wellness, and she also brought her dog Nala, who is a half Labrador and half Golden Retriever.

0 Comments

Today is Day 11, and it is our second week at Microcampus. Today, we had Math for our SAS Essentials, then the rest of our day begun. In Pitching In, we had our Committee Meetings, and my partner and I filmed our first Video Shoutout. We were talking about some of the local foods of Xizhou, as well as Tafel fried rice, which is a dish named after our Microcampus teacher Mr. Tafel. I also went out with Ms. B and made many more connections and talked to lots of different people.

0 Comments

Today was the first time that I have done social wellness, and I really enjoyed it. My partner and I stopped at a few shops and we made around seven connections. We were in a tea shop, and the owner was very nice. He let us try many different types of tea, and was very kind and explained everything to us. After that, I went to have the Inquiry project portion of my WIPPIS time with Ms. Braverman, and I got to talk to a few people who gave me very thorough and interesting answers. Today is the first day of week 2, and it feels like the time is passing by very quickly.

0 Comments

Today was Sunday, which meant that we got to sleep in. Today was the first time this week that I got to sleep for 10 hours. After that, we had breakfast, where we had these pancakes that we get to have almost every morning. The pancakes were really strange at first, but now they are actually very good. When my partner and I went out during downtime, we go to see how Xizhou Baba was made then cooked which was quite interesting. This weekend, the weather was very good, and it was warm and sunny and very enjoyable.

5 Comments

Today was the first day of our service learning. Mr. Tafel explained some things about service learning, gave us our groups, then we were off. We had about an hour to talk to people and make connections around Xizhou. Today my group talked to many possible service learning partners to hear a bit about their story and their shops. Today was also the day where we had our history talk from Mr. T, which was supposed to be 150 years in 150 minutes, but it became more like 150 years in 120 minutes. Even though Mr.

0 Comments

This morning we had our SAS Essentials, which was designated for Math. After that, we had all of our daily things, for example, our daily meeting and pitching in. After that, I had signed up for teacher support with Mr. Tafel, and we went to see Mr. Du. Mr. Du is an antiquity dealer. He has done his job for many years and we got to see all of the objects he had collected, and he also patiently explained everything. Mr.

0 Comments

This morning we had our SAS Essentials, which was designated for Math. After that, we had all of our daily things, for example, our daily meeting and pitching in. After that, I had signed up for teacher support with Mr. Tafel, and we went to see Mr. Du. Mr. Du is an antiquity dealer. He has done his job for many years and we got to see all of the objects he had collected, and he also patiently explained everything. Mr.

0 Comments

Yesterday I signed up for teacher support with Ms. Mai. She walked with me through the alleyways near Si Fang Jie, where I met a few new people, for example, Ms. Fu, the lady who owned and operated a herb/Traditional Chinese Medicine shop. I also met Ms. Ling, who owns her own accessories store, and she handmakes everything by herself. The TCM store had many smells, and it was very interesting to know which herbs did what. In Ms. Ling's store, everything was so colorful and it was very nice to see the differences between her store and some of the other ones on that street.

0 Comments

Last night, my roommate Ana M., and I decided to go to Si Fang Jie at around 19:15 for some XiZhou Baba. When we got there, all the shops were closed and there was basically nothing open, so therefore we walked down a street that neither of us had visited before, and we found a very cozy boutique with tea, dried fruits, clothing, and many accessories. The shop was very big and there was a very interesting courtyard in the back of the shop which was over 100 years old, but it was very well preserved.

1 Comments

Last night, on November 21st, we went to the Linden Center. AT the linden center we got to go on the terrace and we experienced the stunning sight of XiZhou at night. Not only did we get to enjoy an amazing view, we also see the biggest English library in Dali. Right above the library was the Linden Center TV room, where we got a movie and we will be watching that movie tonight during evening activity. Today at Bao Cheng Fu, we were playing badminton and we met another very warm and welcoming guard called Mr. Dong.

2 Comments

Today was our second day at Microcampus. It was Monday, so we had to do our SAS Essentials for the first time, as well as getting in zone on our heart rate monitors. Today at lunch, my partner and I (Saleem E.) went to the Golden Flower restaurant where we tried the incredible Tafel fried rice, as well as Fried Cheese which was filled with rose jam, and that was an interesting blend of flavours. After we got back, we had a short introduction on how to use our heart rate monitors. This was because we got to get our 30 minutes in zone afterwards. Chris L.

0 Comments

Microcampus, Day 2. We got to wake up at a reasonable time, have an incredible breakfast, then we prepared to leave our home for this 28 days. As we made our way towards the main square of XiZhou, we were reminded multiple times to make sure we remebered the way home, as we would be walking home by ourselves. We saw various souvenirs, local specialties, and many different foods. One of the more memorable events of Day 2 was going to the rice shop, where we got to try blended rice, and we got to see how rice noodles were made.

0 Comments

Waking up at 6:00 to leave home at 7:00 is just like a normal morning. But where I was heading was going to be an amazing experience. November 18th, 2017, was the official first day of the "Ultimate" groups Microcampus experience. I remember arriving to the airport at 8:00; which was one hour earlier than the actual meeting time, but it was favorable as I got to enjoy some more time with my family. Once everybody was there, we started handing out baggage tags, putting our suitcases on trolleys, and making sure that everyone was there.

0 Comments
My name is Julia J. and I am an Alumni of the "Ultimate" Microcampus group. Microcampus has been an amazing experience and I am sure that everyone who is an Alumni is missing the blue skies and fresh air which Xizhou has to offer.