This is my final product, what I have spent nearly 3 weeks working on. I came to XiZhou with adventure and excitement and a challenge in my mind. I would say I have met all of the points while here. My topic of inquiry is about the Flying Tigers. I chose the Flying Tigers because I was interested in World War II and I was born in Taiwan. The Flying Tigers played a major role in helping the KMT defend itself against the Japanese. I feel connected to the Flying Tigers. Taking on the Flying Tiger inquiry project was a great way to be immersed in the town’s culture and history.
The Flying Tigers played an important role is XiZhou in the 1930s and 1940s, so there are many sources on the Flying Tigers in XiZhou. My sources ranged from old men and women of XiZhou, to Chinese books about the Flying Tigers, and Flying Tiger websites. I think my 2 favorite sources where the old Flying Tiger "guide book" that Mr. Linden had at the Linden Centre, and Mr. Yang a very old man with many detailed accounts of the Flying Tigers.
Here is the actual list of my sources:
3. Mrs. Zhao 81 year old women from a nearby town.
4. Mr. and Mrs. Zhao live right next to the Flying Tiger outpost.
5. Mr. Yang lives near Linden Center he is very nice and has been used before in service learning videos.
6. A second Mr. Yang was an old old retired man who also lives near the Linden center. He is very smart and I enjoyed spending time with him.
7. Mr. Tafel head of Microcampus, knows XiZhou very well.
8. Mrs. Mai co-head of Microcampus.
9. Annalise a co-worker with the Microcampus program, and staff member at the YZR.
10. Linden Center website, there is a page about the Flying Tiger.
11. Guards at Linden Center.
12. Xizo Tang worker at YZR.
13. Mister He a guard at YZR.
14. The old Flying Tiger guide book.
15. The Chinese Flying Tiger book written by Jeffery B. Greene, called When Tigers Roared.
16. Mr. Dong a very smart and nice man who is 87 and still has a sharp memory.
17. The tour of XiZhou, first day.
18. Mr. Linden.
19. Jacob E. family
20. Risa B.
These sources all presented ways to connect me with the Flying Tigers. Most of the human sources where chosen because they had specific information and memories about the Flying Tigers. Some of the online sources connected the Flying Tigers to World War II and the Chiang Kai Shek and the KMT.
My thesis is that the elders in XiZhou remember the Flying Tigers bringing World War II to XiZhou and at the same time protecting and securing XiZhou from Japanese destruction. I started out with 10 questions that I was going to use to help me. But after some time researching in XiZhou, I realized that my ten questions were not relevant to the Flying Tigers, XiZhou and World War II. The most powerful idea I discovered about the Flying Tigers in XiZhou was the story about the daily air fights above Kunning and Yunnan Province between the Japanese fighters and the Flying Tigers.
My thesis was about Memories of the elders here in XiZhou. I know that there are few if any bad memories of the Flying Tigers. I enjoyed talking to the elders about the Flying Tigers and in some way bringing the Flying Tigers back to life.
Sharing My Learning
See the video above for a summary of what I learned during my research.
My Microcampus experience changed how I think about solving problems. I have learned so much, and not only about the Flying Tigers. I learned a lot about connections between people and the environment. I also learned about different ways of living because I lived in XiZhou. The Flying Tigers had a lot of different aspects. They were courageous fighter pilots; they were friendly allies to the KMT; they were out of their comfort zone; they were very secretive; and they had many radio outposts but what they did around the world. I learned a lot about what the Flying Tigers did around the village of XiZhou, but also about the important role they played in World War II.
I did not change my topic during Microcampus. I felt that my Topic was a good topic and did not need changing. But, I did need to change my study questions and my thesis.
It was important to find elders who were old enough to be good historical sources. Elders who were 70 years old, would have been too young during World War II to have specific memories of the Flying Tigers. So, my best sources had to be, at least 85 years or older. The best sources I found were Mr. Yang and Mr. Dong. Mr. Yang was 92 or 93 and he was incredibly smart. Mr. Dong was also very smart, but a few years younger. They both remembered so much detail about the Flying Tigers.
I think a "a-ha" moment accorded every time I talked to an elder and I learned a new story from them. To me this is a "a-ha" moment because every story was like a step in to the past of that person and of the Flying Tigers and XiZhou. Some of these stories would be short and not much detail, however just the fact that some of these 90 year men and women remembered that single memory out of all of their life says something about the Flying Tigers and their appearance in Xizhou.
This project helped me understand how the Flying Tigers worked on the "people" level. They were not merely fighter pilots being shot at in the sky. Although I did learn about the Flying Tigers about their important role in World War II. I did not know much about them before Microcampus.
This project helped me interact with the people of XiZhou because to find out about the Flying Tigers I had to see if the people of XiZhou had any memories of the Flying Tigers. So I talked to a lot of people, some who helped me with information. This project was a great way of getting to know the people of XiZhou.
This project helped me understand how I can solve problems in the real world. There are several to solve problems, I must understand the problems, seek information and contacts, and then apply all of those to find the best solution.
I think some advice that would have been nice to have before this would be how to pace yourself while at Microcampus. Or maybe how to find and obtain sources at Microcampus. But other than that I think that we had plenty of information from past groups and from Mr. T on how to be a successful at Microcampus.
If people where to build on the work I have done so far, I think a appropriate direction to pursue would be Flying Tigers in the Dali region, not just in XiZhou. I think that there are more stories of the Flying Tigers in XiZhou. I suggest developing a greater set of contacts of people who remember the Flying Tigers and also I would suggest looking at the role of the Flying Tigers in Dali.
I need to give thanks to a lot of people for helping me with this Inquiry project. First off we have to thank Mr. T and Mrs. Mai because there would be no Inquiry project and Microcampus with out them. I want to thank Annailse for helping me with contacts. Xiao Tang for telling me many stories about the Flying Tigers. And I would also like to thank Mr. Linden for letting me use the Linden Centre as a resource for a lot of my work. And thanks you so much to my parents for all of the expense and trouble to send me to Microcampus I would also like to thank all of the fellow students who came with me on/to Microcampus. Without any of the people that I have named Microcampus would not have been possible. Again I am so grateful to be given the chance to go to Microcampus.