Settling into St Charles

As part of my training with Accenture, I have two weeks of classes the Accenture Q Centre campus in St Charles. Contrary to what I’d heard prior to my arrival, I think it’s a pretty nice place. People I’d spoken to complained of small rooms and bad food but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Ok, so it’s university hall-esque single rooms and cafeteria food but so what? The bed is comfy, they give you the little bottles of stuff everyday like you’re in a hotel (I currently have five bottles of moisturiser that I’m probably never going to use but it’s a habit I’ve picked up while traveling) and the wifi is fast! As for the food, they have an ice cream machine and a never-ending supply of American chocolate-chip cookies. I rest my case.The only thing I’m struggling with is the classes themselves. I feel a tad bit sorry for our faculty. We start class at 8am and by 10am, peoples’ eyes have started to glaze over and the energy level has already dropped, not entirely surprising given the nightly ‘networking’ sessions. As a result, we’re now having ridiculously regular breaks (every 90 minutes or so) and energiser activities once or twice a day to keep us all awake and paying attention.

By the time we’re finished, most people head back to their rooms for a nap but this is such a waste of an opportunity. While St Charles is hardly lively, it’s a beautiful little town and I’ve already got into the habit of going for post-class cycles or walks every day.

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As I cycled past all the houses on my way into St Charles, there was no denying I was in America. The first thing you notice is that the houses are huge. There’s just so much space here that there’s no need to build up so everyone just builds out. Way way out.

I had to admire the American spirit and no, I’m not talking about the American flags everywhere but rather their love of Halloween. Two weeks before and the gardens (or ‘yards’) are already decked out with skeletons, grave yards, spiders and pumpkins. The Brit in me found this all a bit tacky…but it was still rather cool. Is tacky-cool a thing? Can we make it a thing?

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There was time for a few more quick photos like this one below. I still haven’t worked out why they have this massive fox in the middle of town. Google hasn’t given me any clues either… suggestions anyone?

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