Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection
I will be spending 28 days in the beautiful village of Xizhou. I will be doing a learning project to share what I have learned about this village in China. I choose Photographing Local Recreations out of all of the choices I had because I believe that I will be able to understand what is important to villagers from what they do in their free time. I love to spend time outdoors with horses, which is an important part of who I am. I want to know what people in the village do for fun.
For my Inquiry Project, I considered a few different topics such as Photography, Local Recreations, Local Spirits, Local Food Products/Cuisine, Local History, and Religious Studies.
The process I used to narrow the possible topics for my project was I looked at what interested me and what I would learn the most from. Also, I thought about how I could make the experience in Xizhou even more incredible. I came up with photography, local recreations, and local spirits.
I choose those topics because I wanted to learn more about the "real" people of China and I thought that these topics were going to help me do that. They allowed me to be creative and enjoy myself during the trip while also teaching me important things. I was able to really connect with the lives of people in the village when I did my research. How we spend our free time tells us about the cultural interests of communities.
One of the research topics was Local Spirits. For this project, I had had to learn about the history, legends, and old stories about the village. I choose not to do this topic because I was more interested in photography and local recreations, but also because I felt that I would be able to take away more from the topics I chose. I moved from a rural area in the U.S. to Los Angeles, and now I want to compare Shanghai to Xizhou.
I wished to not only photograph local recreation and people in action but learn the story of the village. That was important to me because I wanted to share my experiences and new found knowledge with others. I believed that I would learn more about Xizhou and teach others about it with the photos I have taken. I will be telling stories through the photos I have taken and publish those "stories" to call attention to real life in the village. I was hoping to see what both boys and girls do in their free time. I was curious as to what I can take photos of, the people, their families, and their lives focusing less on social media and more on living in the moment!
Suggestions from Microcampus Alumni such as Hannah H. included having many and various types of resources to get my information from. Yuval K. suggests that I focus on the specific details of my project before leaving for Xizhou. Knowing how much and what is expected of us every day is helpful in getting the project done.
Overall in Phase 0, I considered my choices of topics for my Inquiry Project and narrowed it down to what I would really like to do. In Phase 1, I finalized my chosen topic and gathered information regarding my topic.