Ya, I did not like the “the gift box exercise” either. I tried to sort of adapt it but ended up not really attempting what I had intended.  Some folks found the first two sessions somewhat slow but they seamed to like the third session. I think the next two (session 4 and 5) will focus there interest. We have a literature professor in our group who has some significant exposure to Girard which is really great.  Overall this experience is wonderful.