In 8th grade, I was enrolled in Algebra 1 at Coronado Middle School in Kansas City, KS without progressing through the standard channels. The adverse experience of working under the tutelage of a horrible teacher, yet, working with my mother on math problems until 3:00 am, extracted a level of resilience that had never surfaced prior to that school year. Now, 27 years later, I serve as the Math/Science Teacher Leader at my high school alma mater.