Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.


It’s pouring, and I’m late. What’s a Cheit? Oh. Where is Cheit? I stop someone walking to class. She points it out to me. I thank her and run inside.

The room is interesting. Everyone has a name tag. I find a seat in the back corner of the room. The professors are cold calling students. My missing name tag means I am off the hook today. They say this class is about forming teams, and everything will be based around the teams we form.

The setting is somewhat unfamiliar. I feel out of place and slightly nervous. They say they’ll provide students the opportunity to pitch business ideas in the second half of class. I have to get over the nerves, so I think of an idea to pitch. There’s a break midway through class.

When the break ends, two visitors present a pitch. They speak in a language I strain to understand. Jargon, no doubt, but unfamiliar jargon. The professors then critique their presentation. I look at my idea and how I’m going to present it. I tweak it in response to the critique. Finally, it’s time for students to present ideas.

I raise my hand high. They call on me. I start my pitch by asking a question. Everyone’s hand goes up. Then I pitch my idea. The professor asks for my e-mail address and puts it on the board. Then a bunch of other students present their ideas, and I settle back into anonymity.

Class ends. As I start to leave, someone calls to me. “K, right?” he asks. We talk for a few minutes, and he shares his idea. He hopes we can find common ground and tells me he’ll follow up.

We continue talking as we leave the class when someone stops me. “K, right?” he asks. The process repeats itself.


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