Wednesday was our first challenge run. It was only 1.8 miles, though the weather was pretty typical Florida weather. Actually, for 0800 in the morning, it may have been worse than typical FL weather, if I did not feel like running I may have been able to breast stroke through the humidity. All 250 of us did the run together. There were some long hills but nothing too terribly steep. There were a few people who had to walk some of the way; I had no problems with it.
We had the rest of the morning and early afternoon to study. I started reading a biography of Evita Peron and made a run to Wal-Mart for a few items I found I needed. In the afternoon we had our section meeting and I showed the slide show of photographs from the fitness testing. Then from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm was Flag Night.
In the cafeteria there are flags from all fifty states and five territories on the wall. They also set up flags for each of the international students. Flag night is part social gathering and part swap meet. At Flag Night you initially gather at a table under your state’s flag and can set up anything you have to give away or trade there. Patch collecting is a long standing tradition among some law enforcement officers and a more recent collecting phenomenon is challenge coins, agency or unit specific coins. I was able to bring about twenty patches from home with me for swapping; some of these guys showed up with 300 patches, plus boxes of challenge coins and other trinkets from their agencies. Brandon Ball (Fire Marshall’s Office) had sent me a box of Everglades Seasoning sample packs as well as a couple of gift boxes of Everglades for the auction that will be held later in our session. I was surprised how many people were familiar with Everglades. Most people wanted to know what it was but I had people from northern states grabbing some and saying their retired parents and had sent some up to them from Florida. Hopefully it is popular here, because I still have half a box of samples.
Sabien had the neat idea to bring a map of the United States and asked each of us to sign by our hometown. I have several of the international students pictured here but this was not International Night, that is still coming. I have to run back for my next class now but I will post more on Flag Night later tonight.