Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection

Updated 1 month 1 week ago

We were first given a list of ideas about topics we could research in Xizhou for the 28 days that we will spend there. I read the list that was given to me and I was interested in many topics, but we were given the instructions to pick out only three. I narrowed down the topics I was interested in by firstly, reading the list again and highlighting the topics I was interested in. Afterwards, I wrote down 2-3 sentences about why I was interested underneath the highlighted topics. Finally, I chose the topics by the ones that I wrote a lot about and was the most interested in. The three topics I picked were Water Usage/ Treatment, Body Language/People Watching, and Textile Production.

After picking the three topics; Water Usage/Treatment, Body Language/People Watching, and Textile Production we were given the instructions to pick one or blend our topics together. After a long time of consideration on these topics, I found out what I was going to study for the 28 days. I decided to study about Textile production, more specifically tie-dye. I did not decide to do Water Usage/Treatment and Body Language/People Watching. This was mostly because I was not as excited to study the other topics for a month but I was very interested and excited to study Textile Production. I also felt that I could connect Water Usage/Treatment with talking about how eco-friendly are the locals that work in the textile production industry in Xizhou. 

For the 28 days when I will be in Xizhou, I have decided to study textile production (tie-dye) and how environmentally friendly the industry is in Xizhou. Textile Production is very interesting to me because there are many different styles of tie-dye and I would like to know the difference between a machine made tie-dye piece and a handmade piece. I plan to find how eco-friendly the textile production is in Xizhou and I also plan to find out the different styles of tie-dye that the locals make. I would probably photograph the different styles and I could maybe learn how to make a piece.

I have read 3 reviews from Microcampus Alumni; Erica L.(G)Risa B.(E), and Imani R. (Q). They all chose Textile Production specifically tie-dye as their Inquiry Project. I was very intrigued by Erica L.'s project. Her main project was tie-dye but she focused on natural dyes. I was intrigued because I also want to study how eco-friendly locals are when making pieces. I was also very interested in Risa B.'s project because she was trying to know who taught the people making the tie-dye pieces whether it was a teacher, family member, etc. Lastly, I was also very interested in Imani R.'s Inquiry Project. Her main idea was "How does tie-dye change over time?". I liked this idea because recently I went to India for a week and learned about the patterns, dyes, and also the differences. I also learned that the more a person walks on the carpet and the older it is the higher the price gets. I would like to see if there are meaning behind the patterns or how do they assume a price for their work. 

In Phase 0 I explained my final choice about what I am going to study on this amazing 28-day trip to Xizhou. See Phase 1 to see more information about it.

Hi there! My name is Ana M. and I am a proud representative of the Ultimate Microcampus group! I was born in the United States, but since I was 4 I have been living in different places like Brazil and China. I am now back in Shanghai and I am getting used to my old schedule. Being a part of the November-December 2017 trip was the best decision I have ever made. I will remember the great and the not-so-great parts of the trip. I have been able to learn many life lessons and I hope to carry these forever. I am missing the fresh air, the delicious food, and being able to see the brightest stars at night!