I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. My mother was born in Reading as well; my father was born & raised in Dille, West Virginia. My father went into the Air Force, and when he left the service took a job with AT&T traveling around and installing/maintaining/repairing microwave towers. I don't know how my parents met, really. But I was born, and my mom raised me for those first two plus years while my dad was on the road doing his job. My dad, I guess, wanted to settle down near where he grew up. He got transferred to Summersville, West Virginia (20 minutes from Dille), and took a job as an Outside Plant Technician. That's telco jargon for he put up new wires and poles. That move was in May, 1978.
Six months later, my sister was born at Summersville Memorial Hospital. We lived in the Frontier Trailer Park until I was in 3rd grade, I believe... so I was 9 or 10 years old when we moved to our house in the Margdun Estates development. Not that it was much of a development. But they did put a big ol' sign that said "Margdun Estates" out by the entrance.
I was a little, skinny, blonde-haired child, until we moved. I really left all my friends behind in the trailer park. I stopped playing outside as much, probably started snacking too. I've been overweight for a long, long time. My mom is overweight as well; my dad is a little toothpick.
In 4th grade, I was picked to go to "Math Field Day." I didn't know what it was, all I knew was that instead of normal classes, I spent that day doing a bunch of math problems--which I loved. I sucked that year. In 5th grade, I had a math teacher who was much more interested in preparing me for that competition. She gave me textbooks to run through, just doing the chapter tests and redoing chapters where I didn't ace the chapter test. I worked through textbooks for grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 that year. I also went through the country, regional, and state Math Field Days, finishing 2nd in the state (but 4th in the region, go figure).
And that is when I knew that mathematics were my gift. I took to math very quickly. In 6th grade, I did pre-algebra via an odd arrangement with the math teacher and the Gifted and Talented program teachers. In 7th grade, I took Algebra with a class full of 9th grade students. 8th and 9th grades were spent on Algebra II, one semester a year, due to paperwork fuckups by the G&T teacher at the junior high (who came there from the grade school, and who I really didn't care for). Then I just did normal class progressions 10th-12th, ending with Calculus. But really, I learned Calculus in my 10th grade year, again for Math Field Day.
My senior year, I found out there is a competition beyond the state Math Field Day. I forget the name of it, but the top 15 high school students are sent to compete for West Virginia at the competition. I don't know how well we did, but it was a new experience.
Not really the end point I wanted to get to today, but oh well. ^_^