Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection
Microcampus is not a vacation but a choice to learn experientially what is outside of city life and learn about the people that live in rural China. I will be visiting XiZhou as Group L and I will stay there for 28 days to investigate my inquiry project. I have chosen wood carving as my inquiry project. I have chosen wood carving because of my strong interest in the subject. There was a huge list of possible projects but I narrowed it down to three finalists from which to pick my top choices. For the inquiry project there are many phases, and this one is Phase 0. Phase 0 is when I pick a project that I like and learn about it.
Firstly, I spent time looking through the previous student's Phase 0. Then I talked to my brother who has been to Microcampus to get his advice and also with my family to get their knowledge. I want the topic I am going to work on to be of interest and something I can relate to. So although there are many interesting subjects, I really think that wood carving would fit me best. I will only have the one chance at this, and so I want to make it a project that I will enjoy and treasure very much.
1. Wood Carving: This topic caught my eye first because I have always liked carving as I am surrounded by wooden sculptures at home that fascinates me so much. I have visited the Ju Ming Museum and seen the carvings of Ju Ming the world famous sculptor, and one of our neighbor is a master sculpture and he has many beautiful pieces in his house. I would love to learn more about how the wood carving industry works through interaction with the local masters that craft the wooden sculptures in the village I am staying in. I realize that these crafts people earn their living from this, and feed their families through their skills, and so I would hope to meet them and be able to make friends with them. I would then be able to learn more from them about how their art is taught and how this work influences their families.
2. Water Usage is the learning of how the people in XiZhou use the water, where the get the water and what happens after the water has been used. I did not chose this topic in the end because even though it is my second choice I found wood carving much more interesting and fun
3. End-of-life rituals is about what the people who live in Xizhou believe in for the after life and what they do when someone dies. I found it interesting but it did not really have anything that related to me personally and also it could offend someone when I ask them about my research.
My rank of interest is in the sequence I have presented them, with my preferred subject, wood carving, at the top. Wood carving is my top priority as it is the subject I can most relate to and it is an area that I would enjoy to do my project in, and it relates to many aspects of my life. Water usage while fascinating would be new ground for me and so I ranked wood carving over this. The end of life rituals is something completely new to me, but after reviewing it I feel it is to far from my other experiences.
I have visited Sasha R. and Alisa K's reflection pages and have learned a few things that I have to do when I want to get information or what I want to know. I learned from Sasha that I should go to Dali Old Town first to find someone I could get information on woodcarving on; Alisa also talked about that in her reflection, and from both of them I learned that I should go to find Ms. Xiao, Mr. Zao, and Ms. Li from Dali Old Town. Although both of them advise me to study the meanings and stories behind the sculptures I have chosen to learn about the background of wood carving by hand, form the financial point of view. Alisa said the people who want to work hard should have good time management skills( Do not get distracted).
In Phase 0, I have selected a topic that interests me very much and that I intend to study it in XiZhou for 28 days. Now that I am done with Phase 0 I will be moving on to Phase 1 where I will begin detailed research on the subject and further define my project's key question questions that I will answer on the trip. The link to my Phase 1 page is right here --> Phase 1