During my summer trips to Shimenkan, I was able to explore and view the current state of the village from my own perspective. The experience was definitely special and seeing the actual village made it easier to learn about the history. For a large portion of the semester, I’ve been studying the history of Shimenkan and I explored topics like poverty, the value of charity, charity and more.
Originally, I thought that I would be only focusing on the history and the current state of Shimenkan. But as my project went on, I’m very grateful that I was able to reach outside of my project and reflect on broader ideas. I’ve found some connections between the past and the present in terms of how the village is undergoing reformation. Also, after studying about Pollard’s experience and his achievement at Shimenkan, I was inspired to maximize my personal value.
In my research process, I encountered a small difficulty when I was reading Pollard’s translated journal. He originally wrote the journal in English, and it was then translated into Chinese. As I was reading the journal and trying to translate it back into English, I had some difficulties understanding the text. But I worked slowly when I read the journals, and I was able to get the hang of it after a few days. I will be working closely with T. Betsy and T. Victoria during the upcoming weeks for citations because my sources are very scattered. Most of my sources are articles or journals posted on Wechat.
I’ve decided that my final project will be in the form of a presentation, and I will start making the presentation after we return from Thanksgiving break. For the first two-thirds of the semester, I focused heavily on the history aspect of my project. I designed it this way so that I can better understand the current government tension and put in my perspective about the current situation. I will review the field notes I took when I visited Shimenkan during the summer and organize my notes for the interviews I conducted this week and during Thanksgiving break.