Our service learning partner was Mrs. Duan Fu Hua (段富花). She is 71 years old and has been working as a farmer and living in Xizhou for 60-70 years. While interviewing my service learning partner, I have learned that she has one daughter and one son, though her daughter passed away because cancer in a young age of 43 years old. She is really happy thoughtout her life though she didn't recieve any education because of her family's status. One of her dreams when she was young is to recieve education and learn about this world. She was born in Wei Guo (魏国) but then moved to Xizhou after marrying her husband, Mr. Zhao who is also known as the retired security guard of YangZhaoRan. Their meeting wasn't something as romantic, they both just got introduced by a friend and was then in love because of the identical personalities and hobbies. Since she was a farmer girl when she was young, her hobbies were mostly, burning the coal, doing physical labor, working or playing on the fields. She is the only child in her family and her mom died at the age of 94 years old in the current house she is now living in. Though sadly, her dad died at the age of 36 because of an unknowned sickness.
She seems to be really happy with Mao and his actions, she says that when he took the lead, he made the lives of the farmers better and more sustainable. Since Mrs. Duan is uneducated, she doesn't seem to know anything that happened in this little village, she never witnessed anything that was quite a shock.
Our group didn't get to show the video that we have made to Mrs. Duan in person because she had to leave to meet some relatives somewhere in Xizhou. But when we were showing our movie to everyone else during the presentations, I was really anxious on how well the movie is going to be and the mistakes that might appear. Everything was find though, the movie was great and I didn't expect to hear so many people clapping at the very end. I was really pleased with my groups work and Mrs. Duan's patience and willingness to participate and be our service learning partner. I felt really sad because I don't get to see her again, and I also learned so much about her and her life that made me connect to her in a even more personal way. I wish that if I could have a family trip back to here, I would definitely go visit her again.
My recommendations fo future microcampus groups is to make connections earlier, just keep on making them and really get to understand the local as a person. As for us, we did not talk to Mrs. Duan like we atually want to know her life and understand her as a person, so it was really hard for us to ask questions. Also, don't slack off to the very end, plan an outline of the movie earlier so you wouldn't rush to get it over with. Lastly, enjoy this experience and actually gain or take something away from the interview, don't leave it there like another finished project, take a look at it and remember what you took from this place called Xizhou.
Answers to Questions
We have read the articles from That's Shanghai magazine. The people who were in the articles we read were Chen Tingtao and Qian Yaqin.
Some questions that could have been a part of the interview process for the articles would be...
1. When were you born?
2. Do you have any memories of your past?
3. Do you have any memories of Chinese history?
4. .... What was your occupation?
There were three people we considered for our service learning partner. One, we considered Mr. Zhao the retired security guard at YZR spouse. Her name is Mrs. Duan. We think that she would be a good match because Mr. Zhao has been a service learning partner before for the past microcampus groups. She would have been there when he got interviewed and she would have understand what service learning was. Two, a lady who sold footwear named Mrs. Gui. She would have been a great service learning partner though unfortunately heard that during the next day, she had passed away. She had died of an unknown death. We even saw her funeral go by in the town center of SiFangjie. The last person we considered was Mr. Mao's parents. We then figured out that he was already featured in the past group's service learning video.
We finally decided to go with Mrs. Duan because she was the only other person we could do. She is the wife of Mr. Zhao the security guard at YZR. She once was a farmer but now is a retired one.
We decided to ask all of the questions on the list. We would then edit the unwanted questions after we started editing the video. The questions that were the most important that we asked were mostly the required questions. Some specific required questions that we asked that were important are do you have any regrets in your life, of what are you most proud of in your life, and do you have any memories of specific historical events.