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Nike's picture

Oh my gosh. Today is the  last day of Microcampus. I am sitting in one of the chair outside, bundled in sweatshirts because it is really windy, looking at Yang Zhou Ran. I am thinking about how wonderful it all has been and how much I love Xizhou and this group. I am going to cherish today and make it a really great day. 

Updated 5 years 2 weeks ago

Our partner was Mrs. Dou who is 67. She sells tofu in the main square, Si Fang Jie.

Mrs. Dou has sold tofu for 30 years and still goes to work with a smile on her face. She wakes up everyday from 5am to make the tofu and rice porridge. No matter how tough times can be you have to work hard to get through it and get what you want. I want to be like Mrs. Dou when I go to work.

Alex's picture

This is the day that I really felt like, “Wow, we have left a positive impact on Xizhou.” This afternoon my group, Vicky, Brandon, and myself, presented our video we made to our Service Learning elder. Their was some misty eyes in the crowd today. All of the partners that each group had were amazing and inspiring. Mrs. Dou, our partner, was non stop smiling during the movie. She loved how we showed her that even selling tofu for 30 years of your life that their is a lot to say.

Christopher's picture

            Today is the final full day in XiZhou; I really will miss this place. I will mss the sky, so high above everyone, the stars each one individual, like little pinpoints in a vast array. I guess I just really don’t want to go back to Shanghai, back into the bustle of the city, with everyone speeding through everything. If you don’t keep up you’ll fall behind and not be happy, but if you keep up it’s still to fast to enjoy at all.

Christopher's picture

            So today we went to Dali old town for the last time in Microcampus. Now when we went there we usually just go eat dinner and buy some souvenirs. I bought a pocket watch, which doesn’t work anymore, a little trinket and a coin. For dinner I went to certain restaurant and bought a burger, it took forever to make but it was the best burger I have had since I came to China. But before this we went to a certain café called the sweet tooth.

Updated 5 years 2 weeks ago

My Service Learning Gorup consists of three members, Mark, Peyton, and myself. Our Service learning partner is the joyful Mr.Li who owns a restaurant in Si Fang Jie

Please go to Peyton's service learning workspace to see our groups work. Here is the link: 
Below is my reflection on this project...



What did you learn about your elder as a result of this experience: 

Cassandra's picture

I came to microcampus because I wanted to be around nature, because I wanted to see China for what it really was and not from the view that you get inside our “little America” bubble, because I wanted some time to not have to go through life just going through the motions and going “from destination to destination” (yes, that’s right, I just quoted myself), and lastly, because I was itching for adventure!

Nike's picture

I have always been an outdoorsy person. This trait might not be something another person will see in me immediately, but its there. Ever since I moved to Shanghai, I have not seen a real forest, a lake with mountains on all sides, or a flock of birds flying over a bright green field. I have been craving the beauty of nature since the day I lost it, and I came here to quench that thirst. I came here to leave the bustling, smoggy, competitive Shanghai.

Cassandra's picture

Wow. What an amazing day. Today was our day to present our service learning videos and all the hard work was completely worth it.  What service learning is, is where we interview elders in the village and make a video of their stories to preserve their memories and their stories. How amazing would it be for someone long after we die to watch this movie and see what their great great grandfather was like. That's just.... wow.

Yi Fei's picture

I joined Microcampus to learn, to explore what the "less-traveled" China has to offer, and to more importantly learn understand and learn about myself. I came to Xizhou to do things that is not offered in Shanghai, and what cannot be necessarily learned on the internet and on textbooks. Unlike school that lasts around seven hours, In Xizhou you are always learning, 24 hours in 28 days, there is so much to learn. Everything that you do here matters. I came here mainly because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone for a while.

Ashley's picture

I came to Microcampus because I was interested in the Yunnan province, since I never have been to Yunnan before. I also believe that I was seeking independence and freedom because in Shanghai I was always at home doing homework and I seldom went outside to hang out with any of my friends or anything. I thought that going to Microcampus would give me a chance to be more well-rounded as well, because I was sometimes socially awkward, and talking to nice strangers in Xizhou would help me become more outgoing.

Jason's picture

Today was our last trip to Dali old town.  Simple as that. We had a great time playing basketball at the local courts.  The courts are made of concrete and have rims but no nets.  The sides are flanked by empty bleachers and lights.  However, Ethan and I couldn't make a shot for the first few minutes as we were badly off rhythm since.  Additionally, we were sliding badly everywhere and having fun with going at it.  Also, Mark and Brandon were running around the courts doing their wellness so we had quite a lot of interference from the two of them, Brandon in particular. :)

Yi Fei's picture

Mr. Zhao and our group have built a very close bond, I feel that it is a shame that we couldn't stay a few more days in Xizhou. I no feel that I am just using him as a project, but rather to engage in significant conversations with him. During our last meeting, we met him in the courtyard of our campus, he is our security guard after all. The conversations we had with him didn't really feel like it is a project, it felt more like just daily normal conversations. At the end of the meeting we invited him to come today at three to share with him what we had created. Mr.

Yi Fei's picture

Today is the last full day in microcampus, we leave YZR (our campus) at 6:30 tomorrow morning. This is the time for me to wrap up my work, make sure that everything is in place on the website, say goodbyes to the people of Xizhou, and of course buy something to take back home. The sourviner that I have in mind currently is a sharp historical artifact that will not be revealed to the public. I realized that I have come very very far (literally and figuratively). In some ways, I honestly do not wish to go back home.

Peyton's picture

I am here, in Microcampus, to learn, to explore all life has to offer, and to understand myself better. The learning we did here is so much greater than what can be offered in school. To genuinely learn about myself, the community, and the world around me is something a textbook cannot teach. I keep on saying this, but every day I felt I am learning new things, from architecture to local life to TCM to myself. Everything I do here, I learn from it. In Microcampus, I also stepped out of my comfort zone many times.

Christopher's picture

            Today is a day spent in-house, nothing interesting happened today although if we finish all the work then we could go to Dali old town. So I am trying to finish all of my work today. This will be our last visit to Dali old town. I think that I am more or less on target with my inquiry project.

Updated 5 years 2 weeks ago

Vicky, Alex and I are in a group for Service Learning. I am hosting the project.

During the interview, there could be few questions such as:

What was your childhood like?

What kinds of changes occured throughout your lifetime?

What is your current job?

What was the most memorable event to you?


Possible Elders in Xizhou:

Mr. Yang-Shoemaker

Mr. Yen-Restaurant owner

Mr. Zhao-Casket Maker

Mr. Duan-Architect

Mr. Su-Happy Person


Ethan's picture

I clearly remember the morning before the big, initial Microcampus presentation. Mr. Musk asked our homebase: "Mr. Tafel will be talking about Microcampus this afternoon. How many of you guys are interested in it?" And the response was a long silence. Everyone just kind of looked at each other and thought: "Microcampus? What's so great about Microcampus?" It was easy for me to put the topic off my mind as I went on with my day, thinking about other various things.