As almost every Thursday I went to dance salsa in Collis. I like it a lot, both for the dancing part and the social aspect. Sometimes it is boring, sometimes it is fun. And sometimes you get to know completely new interesting people, something I have not been used to before coming to Dartmouth.
This time I got to know Catie, a girl from the local area. She struck me since she introduced herself as a nerd. Well, it is not common to find girls that are nerds and it is even less common to find nerds that dance salsa. But then again, that is exactly what is cool about Thursday Night Salsa. You always get surprised.
While dancing we talked a little bit. I usually ask many more questions than answers I give. I discovered that she is a biochemist and that after college she went to work for a startup company in the area around Dartmouth. This company is planning to produce cheap antibodies hacking the yeast using a new secret method that has not been patented yet and that therefore she could not tell me about. I could feel the excitement. The company is hoping to get the job done and then get sold to a big pharmaceutical company and that's good since she is being paid with stock options.
You get to read on books that these things happen. Maybe one day when I will go to buy antibodies at the local pharmacy I might be able to tell that I met one of the people that helped inventing them. You get to really understand what makes the United States the country that changes the whole world. Efficiency and entrepreneurship. The country where ideas get transformed into reality because people are more willing to take risks.
It is just such a different feeling to see it with your own eyes.