Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection
March 10, 2017, will be the first day of MicroCampus. MicroCampus is a Program where 28 students travel to Xizhou from Shanghai and start an Inquiry project. I am one of those students and I choose the topic Case Study of Small Businesses. The way I went about doing this was looking over the topics briefly and picking the ones that stood out to me. Then I carefully considered each on while taking notes and figuring out which ones were the most interesting. The one that I decided one was Local Businesses and Industry because I think learning how to run a business is a great skill to have and I have always wanted to learn about economics.
Once I looked through all of the topics I had to narrow down the possible Inquiry Topics. I did this by picking out the ones that stood out to me, for example, End-0f-Life Rituals, Green Energy, and more. Then I looked over all of them and found the ones that I would learn the most from.
Local Spirits/Legends/Stories will have me listen to the old stories and legends in Xizhou and look at how those stories affect the village. I did not choose this because I am afraid that the low level of Chinese I have will affect the translation of the stories or the amount I could have understood. Tools/Technology will have me look at some old tools and compare to the new tools of the industrial age. I did not pick this because this one sounded the least interesting to me and I feel that I have a good idea of the industrial age because of a unit in 7th grade.
The topic I have chosen for my Inquiry Topic is Local Businesses and Industry. I choose this one because I have always been interested in how businesses run. This is important to me because I think businesses are a very important part of life. I plan to find out what thriving business looks like, what failing business looks like, what are some major hardships for the business owners and how their attitude affects their customers. I imagine conversations with store owners about the community and their life in business. I can't wait to start on this project.
I am interested in all of them but I am most interested in Local Businesses and Industry, then Local Spirits/ Legends/ Stories, and I am least interested in Tools/Technology.
I have looked over some of the Mirco-Campus Alumni and read what they had to say about there Local Businesses and Industry Inquiry Project. For example, Lauren R for group K talked about the Rose petal Jam business that she observed. She also talked about how you should not waste time being nervous, but just to ask questions and to make the most of it when something difficult comes. She also advises that future students should study a family business. This intrigued me, and I think I will take her advice.
In Phase 0 I looked at the Inquiry Project, narrowed down my selection, and choose Case Study (Local Businesses and Industry). In Phase 1 I will be researching my topic and finding questions.