There was an early experience in first grade when the makings of a geek made an appearance. Somehow, I had managed to perfect the art of making papier-mâché frogs faster (and at higher quality) than anyone else in the class, including the teacher. The teacher then had me demonstrating for the entire class how to make this particular craftwork.
How I perfected the art shall remain my trade secret, but what’s important is little did I know that the path I had set out upon because of that single activity would take me to where I am at today. From that incident, I learned that I was capable of doing things no one else could, or in cases such as papier-mâché frogs, what no one else sanely wanted to do.
By second grade I was still determined to be the best at whatever ridiculous class activity was occurring. Only this time I got duped into doing math. By first semester’s end I had plowed through not only the second grade textbook, but the third grade as well and was just cracking the fourth grade textbook. I then decided to become a mathematician. (more…)