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debbie01pd2021's picture

I first discovered Microcampus from flipping through the pages of my sister's yearbook. I started reading the description and was very confused. What do they mean by "the bubble", and why are they skipping school for a month to go to a village in Yunnan? My thoughts about Microcampus vanished during my sixth and seventh grade years, but I occasionally heard information about it from my classmates' older siblings.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was really laid back, like yesterday. We had lots of downtime, so Audrey and I went to Chengdong, a nearby village with a giant ficus tree. We brought a ukelele and a guitarlele (a mix between a guitar and a ukelele) and headed off to Chengdong. Today's weather was not good, so we brought along our rain jackets. It was really cool to play under the ficus tree, because there were not any people around. Later on, it started raining a bit, so we decided to put our instruments away and read for a little bit.

Updated 4 months 2 days ago
Our Service Learning partner is named Mr. Yang. This year, he is 77 years old and has retired. Mr. Yang was born in Chengdong and lived there his whole life. He has three older brothers, and Mr. Yang is still residing in Chengdong.
 
audrey02pd2021's picture
As the final full day in Xizhou, we were all busy with packing and saying our goodbyes. Microcampus has been a unique experience for all of us. And we are all not ready to say goodbye to this wonderful village. Today's work included final reflections, reviewing Inquiry Projects and Service Learnings, packing bags, and cleaning the area we have been using for a month. This afternoon, Jason and I are planning to have dinner with Mr. Yang at the Golden Flower restaurant as a celebration and a goodbye. Mia, Debbie, and I really wish to visit Mr.
audrey02pd2021's picture

The first time I heard of Microcampus was when an 8th grader in my Spanish class disappeared for a month. When I was in 7th grade, I never really knew Microcampus in depth, neither was I interested. The concept of leaving the comforts of home for an entire month to a rural village was difficult for me to fathom. But as 8th grade came, I realized it was a something that looks good on an application, especially since I was starting my high school application process.

jason01pd2021's picture

Today is the last full day of Microcampus and it is definitely something that I am going to remember. Today was mainly spent wrapping things up. Firstly, I went over all of my projects to make sure that they were completed and approved. Then I started to do these things called Buddy Checks. The point of Buddy Checks is to make sure that the others in the group are also caught up in the process. After having all of my tasks completed, I started to get ready to eat out with my Service Learning partner, Mr.

Updated 4 months 2 days ago
debbie01pd2021's picture

In the spring, I will be embarking on a journey that I have never experienced before - Microcampus. During my stay, I will be investigating Local Spirits/Legends/Stories (more specifically the ficus tree and how people interact with them) and using photography to document my knowledge and my journey. I started off with a lot of topics, but then I slowly narrowed it down to one final topic with the help from Mr. T. 

jason01pd2021's picture

After the completion of our Service Learning video, it was time for it to be shown to our audience as well as our partner: Yang Ye Ye. Luckily he was in good shape when we asked him if he would come. This is because when Mr. Yang's children are with him, it typically means that he is suffering health issues (Cerebral Insufficiency), and his children were with him.

marco01pd2021's picture

After failing to find previous contacts for our Service Learning, Mia, Debbie, and I found a wonderful contact in Mr. Yang. As soon as he knew of our project, he invited us back to his house to film. We had a very productive day, with lots of very useful footage. He is a very easy-going person and managed to joke around with us quite a bit - this significantly helped our project. Today was also our final Saturday here, beginning our last week at Xizhou. I will miss this place a lot.

marco01pd2021's picture

Today was a pretty productive day, even though it broke the usual WIPPIS schedule in that all of us did Inquiry work at the same time. After being given instructions and explanations by Mr. T, I worked at a breakneck speed, I finished Phase 4 of my Inquiry Project today. This involved a synthesis of my Phase 3 information into a coherent outline for my final product. I look forward to seeing a completed Inquiry Project. 

marco01pd2021's picture

Yesterday, for Inquiry Project work, I went to Mr. Du's house and interviewed him about his old collection of 1970's propaganda. His house is very beautiful, with a large yard and a massive antique collection on the inside. His antique collection is truly spectacular and numerous - his house would be completely covered if he did not have any cabinets to store everything. He also had a huge collection of propaganda posters, glorifying China from the Long March all the way up to the Cultural Revolution.

marco01pd2021's picture

Today was my first Inquiry Project day where I did not talk with anyone and record notes about our conversation. Instead, Mr. T and I walked around town and looked at multiple messages, carefully observing how decayed and worn down they were. Some messages were plastered over, but the plaster nearly always faded away before the red paint did. They might even have protected some messages, as natural elements could no longer damage those messages.

marco01pd2021's picture

Today followed a similar schedule as yesterday; the only change was the people who I did things with. The main highlight was my talk with an Inquiry Project source, Mr. Du. Mr. Du was very interesting to talk to, as he had served in the Chinese Army and experienced government propaganda that way. I also managed to practiced my Mandarin fluency in our chat. Our Evening Activity was also very fun, as we got a new ukulele today, and had a good night practicing our instruments.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today, I went to Mr. Du's house for inquiry work. Mr. Du is an antique dealer, storing countless antiques in his home. When Mr. T and I first walked up to his home, we were welcomed with the sound of ducks quacking and a dog barking. He quickly ushered us into his courtyard, full of energy. Mr. Du also told me many interesting stories and legends, which was really cool. Afterward, he led us up the staircase to see his antiques and old pottery.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was another one of those standard days, but we did our first load of laundry today! We carried our loads in garbage bags (very fancy) and headed down to the laundry courtyard. We did not really know where to put the laundry detergent, so we winged it and dumped it directly into the washing machine and hoped for the best. After breakfast (which was delicious as always) we continued on our normal schedule- SAS Essentials, pitching in, and more.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was a relatively average day- it was our first real "work" day. We got our first taste of what a normal day in Microcampus would be like. In the afternoon, we were occupied with WIPPIS (Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, and Still Time). I decided to go play the guitar in the courtyard during my wellness period, which was really calming and peaceful. For our still time, Jason, Marco, and I decided to go out into the village to spend our still time.

debbie01pd2021's picture

We started the day off as usual- eating a quick breakfast consisting of some toast and er si, and then moved onto our first SAS Essentials session. The rest of the morning was pretty basic, daily meetings and pitching in. One of the highlights was probably doing our 3-to-5s, because it gave us our first "taste" of what it would be like talking to other adults in Xizhou. I felt pretty comfortable talking to the experts, which is a pretty good sign.

debbie01pd2021's picture

After waking up, we were welcomed with blue skies and puffy clouds. We ate a quick breakfast, and then headed on out to explore the village. One of the highlights of the tour was probably visiting the place where they made all the er si, which is basically a type of noodle that is native to Xizhou. Apparently, the er si is made from grinding the rice into a dough and then pushing it through a machine that makes it into a noodle.

debbie01pd2021's picture

We left for Xizhou bright and early, leaving Shanghai's gray skies behind us. After a bumpy plane ride and a one hour bus ride, we arrived at our destination at around early afternoon. One of the highlights of today was probably playing around with the instruments in the practice room and the journey from our drop-off point to the Yangzhouran. It was really cool to see a completely new and different environment, and how the locals interacted with each other. I spent two hours in the practice room playing with the guitars/banjos and the piano, which was really fun.

debbie01pd2021's picture

When the day finally arrived, I was nervous for multiple reasons. We were not sure if Mr. Yang would be able to come, because according to his family members he was not feeling too great. We later learned that he was battling a very serious disease and has low blood pressure. In the morning, my service learning group and I went to Mr. Yang's house to give him a gift, a box of tea.

Updated 4 months 2 days ago

Our service learning partner's name is Mr. Yang and he is 72 years old. His son owns a rose business, and his father is a renowned watchmaker. He loves building things and has lots of experience with houses and woodworking. 

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