week one of classes

we may drink mimosas before class but we actually do go to school here…

as week one of classes are wrapping up, i feel obligated (mostly for my family who fears study abroad is really go-abroad-and-do-whatever-the-hell-you-want-because-you’re-only-in-school-four-days-a-week-for-three-hours-a-day) to share a bit of what I’ve learned in class:

  • switzerland is a direct democracy with some president gal, Doris Leuthard, who breaks ties on their referendum votes. (PSA: she might be related to martha.)
  • TVA=tax value added. like it is here in Europe. (does not stand for tennessee valley authority #throwoutyourAPUSH)
  • what allocative efficiency is, COGS and other fun acronyms, Porter’s model of competitive advantage, and the actual five-part definition of economic self-interest
  • more about the toothpaste market in latin america than i ever thought i would ever know ever… but seriously, i’ve spent the majority of my time this past week poring over country case studies and market data with kyle, phil, and josh discussing our simulation strategy.
  • communism actually really for real doesn’t work (RIP. RIP. RIP. RIP. long live my collectivist utopian dreams. but for real if you consider utilitarianism you realize that three problems — defining honest preferences, finding out what people are best at, and the information Np-hard problem that is matching them up — lead to the establishment of a free market no matter what. we did a three day long thought experiment on a desert island with sarah as philosopher queen. it checks out and my heart is forever broken.)

yeah wait economics/business is actually kind of interesting… not really sure how but maybe your girl is destined for wharton??? as if. but for real — like for the first time in a long time i’m actually really interested in what i’m learning.

But as this really is go-abroad-and-do-whatever-the-hell-you-want-because-you’re-only-in-school-four-days-a-week-for-three-hours-a-day :3, I can share plenty about what I’ve been doing outside of class: mainly exploring Geneva.

*photojournal time since I need to read so much of why globalization works tonight in order to have a w-free weekend — here goes!*

on tuesday after class we all went down to the beach: Genève-Plage. it’s the more expensive of the two public beaches here, but the guy at the front gave us a student discount so was only about 4 francs. definitely worth it. i’m not really sure how to explain how incredible it is to swim in the actual for real lake geneva (really lac léman). but the beach has a pool, really long water slide, a bunch of random floaty bouncy things, a 3-platform diving tower, volleyball courts, etc. and all i know is that i would love this place more than air if i was a kid that lived here.

after class on wednesday, i took the bus downtown with josh and pansy and went to st. pierre cathedral, which is really cool because it’s almost entirely bare due to the fact that the interior was stripped after the reformationi n 1535, and the flower clock along the lake. then, we hit up MANOR which is the swiss equivalent of a department store and i bought some lovely food including swiss yogurt, some lebanese thing that vaguely resembled a tyropita, and pasta sauce for all the free pasta i benefited from when tara left to go back to canada.

dying because even in geneva i can’t escape crew. this is my attempt at being responsible and erging (i.e.: not running) when this morning i tried to take tyjair and sarah to the park but they got lost because i was walking and couldn’t guide them to safety.

summer and i decided that instead of hanging out with the spanish kids on our floor who really really want to get to know everyone from duke and keep taking us kayaking or to the river in general we’d go to the parc de la grange tonight for some free music. summer’s sister and her ex-boyfriend/best friend met us before the concert. it ended up actually being a country singer from tennessee so that was a little disappointing, but was a lovely evening in a lovely setting. please appreciate the first shot — gran hotel quality.

yep so it’s been wondrous! And tomorrow starts first weekend adventure as i travel to zurich with lizzy, kyle, and ryan and then run off to liechtenstein to live my real life fantasy before i swing down to zermatt with everyone else and then roll into/through bern, lucerne, and basel. the only other things i have to share are my discovery of snowball berries (you can apparently find at whole foods back at home), the fact that martha and alex’s toaster exploded, and that i just ate like seven linzer cookies which is a big deal because we legit are starving in switzerland because everything here is so damn expensive.

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