Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday...the program begins.

Sunday morning, we had our first group meal. Some of the group of 29 (all but two are French teachers) were very nice, some a little old and annoying, in an old person way. There are really only a few other girls my age so far. Also, every has the same issue with the dorms. It seemed the consensus that after midnight, it became cool enough to sleep but before that...bad juju. I did wake up a little after midnight and it took forever to get back to sleep...I read some, ate a snack (bread and cheese!) and eventually sleep great for 6 hours or so. So, that was a relief.

Later, I found a great running spot. It was awesome. I saw this grassy area from my window and ran down there, followed another runner and found this path around these sport field, along the Arve (sp?) river, in and out of the woods. Very pretty, kinda like the Cameron park trail, but prettier and a little rocker and very up and down hill, including this crazy rocky staircase...I followed this guy and his was great. I ran 6 miles...perfect. There were tons of other runners, walkers, people playing soccer, tennis...and this weird sport that looked like sand volleyball, but the people were tossing the ball to each other and then into a small soccer-like net on the side. Any idea?

For lunch, we went as a group to the "Spaghetti Factory" (Good grief, can I not escape English!) and sat on the terrace. I had a bowl of noodles with some ratatouille. Other people got a lot more apparently, because the bill was over 1000 swiss francs (close to dollars)!

Anyway, after that the director (who looked like a Swiss Mr. Bean) drug us all around Geneva and lectured us about random monuments, walls, statues, churches that are important to Geneva's history. What we did see was basically everything, and I mean, exactly, the same things that I walked around and saw yesterday, with exception of the church St. Gervain and the ancient Calvinist University which is closed for renonations which he described in detail. So we would walk around, with the sun burning my already burned back, and stop and listen to him go on about Calvin or Rousseau or I have no idea. I paid attention best I could. But sometimes it just didn't make sense, or he would stop at this old ugly wall (but it dates from the Renaissance!) and talk about it. And then people would take picture of the ugly old wall! Kathryn and I made jokes about it. It made it more bearable. But, I did learn about Rousseau that his parents were first cousins. That, I paid attention to. Later, Dr. Koop said we would have a "Questionnaire" at the end of the class. Doh! I'll take notes tomorrow.

So, our group is interesting. I would say the average age is 45. There are a lot more older people than I thought. Some are more interesting than others, but there's a lot of gray or white hair here. There are only 4 other women near my age. There are four men...but much older. Anyway...a lot introduced themselves around or I introduced myself and seem nice. There are middle school, high school and college professors here. Folks from California, Miami, Cape Cod, Long Island, Ohio, Illinois, and a good amount from Texas.

And the meeting after dinner with the whole group was informative. Basically, the Swiss university is running this gig just until Saturday night. And the Swiss government donated 25,000 dollars to this, goodie bags! So, anyway, each morning, we need to show up at the University each morning at 8:45, which is in Parc Bastillon. Groovy. They gave us a card to pay for bus tickets, etc. Very nice.

1 comment:

Christy said...

thanks for the comment! it sounds like you are having a good time - running in switzerland! how much fun. enjoy yourself on your adventure! do you get class credit for this trip? did casey do on the triathalon?