Who was your Service Learning partner?
Our Service Learning partner is Ms. Yang (杨阿姨), she is Mr. Du the antique dealer's wife. She was born by the lake--Erhai, she didn't know where she was born since her husband answered the question for her. She is Bai people and speaks the Bai dialect. She has 2 sons and grandsons, a husband that loves her. She lives in a house that is quite big compared to other houses here in XiZhou, she has a tiny farm in her yard along with a duck and a dog.
What did you learn about your elder as a result of this experience?
From this experience we learned a lot about our partner, here are some things that we learned. Her family is something that she values a lot, she always cooks for her family and makes sure that they are safe. She does not know much about her past and the history of China, whenever we asked her a question about that she just said that she did not know. Her son said that she had been through The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution but she did not know what happened during that time period because she never went to school. She needs to bring her grandson to school and back every day. Once we saw her grandson ran out of the house, and she chased after him to make sure that he is safe.
What did you learn about Xizhou's history as a result of this experience?
I learned that during The Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward, Ms. Yang and her family was poor and had to farm. They didn't have enough money to support Ms. Yang to go to school. Her sister died.
What did you learn about 20th Century Chinese history as a result of this experience?
I learned that during the 20th Century in China, people did not have enough money to go to school. They did not get educated and has no knowledge of how to read or write Chinese characters.
The experience of sharing the video:
My group was the second group to present our video. I sat in front of the whiteboard and watched how Ms. Yang reacted when the video was playing. We started off with the question of "how did you meet your husband?" Ms. Yang and including her friends all burst out laughter. My group and I laughed too. I realized that our video was the only one that was humorous enough to make people laugh. I was very glad and proud to see that reaction.
There was this moment where we couldn't find our Service Learning partner, Ms. Yang. We were all very nervous about it because we told her ahead of time to stay home at 3:30. We weren't blaming anyone at that point but we were way too nervous and started rushing and speaking way too fast to Mr. Du. When we were walking back to YangZhuoRan I saw Mr. Du coming behind us and I was disappointed about the how Ms. Yang couldn't come. Then I ran and saw Ms. Yang, I sprinted at her and hugged her. When I saw her, it was like the whole world is lightened up for me, I can see the way to heaven.
Recommendations for future Microcampus Students:
1. Make connections starting in the first week, so that you will not have to find strangers during your Service Learning time.
2. Make good use of the Teacher Support time, teachers will bring you to meet people about your Inquiry Project
3. Don't be afraid of people, talk to anyone that looks old. If someone was already a Service Learning partner, then find their family members that are also old enough to be a partner.