geneva, a girl, and a reckoning

I’ve been at Geneva University in Switzerland this past week for a summer school course on cultural diversity. It’s been spectacular – highlights include learning from my research idols, yummy cheese fondue and French accents, on top of a time zone that respects my sleep-wake cycle. Unbelievable!

hijinks at a cheese fondue restaurant

But we all know our core memories are not made by knowledge — they’re created with people. Inspiring lectures aside, the event that defined this trip for me came over drinks with my classmates at a Mexican tapas bar. As the five of us self-disclosed, I quickly discovered that I was the least interesting person at the table, so I spoke less and listened more. (Instead of talking, I will brood and write more from now on. To all my readers, beware!)

The first surprise of the night was when one of us, a spunky, freckled PhD student from France, explained her decision to opt for a non-alcoholic drink – she was expecting.

She also happened to have a toddler at home.

What! I thought, mouth agape (subtly and respectfully).