Day 28: Why I came to Microcampus

Springtime in Shanghai was drowned in April rain. A mist veiled over the city in a suffocating melancholy too empty to grasp. Such times seemed to force the suitcase to stand and for the people to rise, dreaming of escaping in a confined space that all already know too well, or perhaps not well enough, but nevertheless, the thought of exploration appeared futile. The rivers of tears failed to flow to sea, and everything of negativity percolated positivity until it all became too toxic to breathe, to think, to live in. 

The first thought to join Microcampus was solely based on escape, yet regardless, my actions seemed to follow some sort of inescapable fate or purpose, and continued on this peculiar journey further and further, into this place called Xizhou where past remains on the walls of the alleyways after decades of rain, where storms pour from the cloudless skies, and where the eyes of the people remain in nostalgia and joy from a century before.

I came to study the town's local history, yet soon it became a collection of life stories, because I realized it is only through understanding the experiences of individuals, can one have a better grasp of the larger picture of Xizhou, and China. Mr. Zhao, Mr. Zhang, Mrs. Qin, Mrs. Lee, Mr. Yang... as I began to collect their stories, my days became lodged within the words of their past. Humanity began to show itself in all its moral ambiguity and social networks. China unfolded silently through the careless words of men and women, somewhat bitterly, said through a smile.


Yet regardless of all I've been through, I have never found a purpose for this trip. Not to say that it's pointless, but it is simply too hard to summarize. Even if I managed to do so, I suppose it would be immoral to put something this free into the confinement of brief words. 

Therefore, this journal will just remain without a conclusion. Perhaps that's the best conclusion. 



I'm fourteen years old and was born in America, Minnesota. However, my family moved to Shanghai when I was 1 year old, after that, I have lived in Tianjin for a while, then moved back to Shanghai. The days at Xizhou had been very memorable and taught me a lot, I will certainly return to visit at times in the near future.