I loved math from a very early age. In the third grade I enjoyed it so much that I would write out entire multiplication tables; originally a penalty for those who didn’t do their homework but so much fun for me. I was absolutely intrigued with math. The idea that we could take three groups of three things and write down a number and some strange signs to represent them and explain that you end up with nine things in total! Math caught me. It was a way of expressing the rules of the physical world, the whole created universe, concisely. I thought it was a miracle that we could comprehend such things let alone translate them onto a page.

My enthusiasm grew. In ninth grade I learned to recite

*pi*to 90 decimal places, winning first place in the school competition and receiving the prize of a graphing calculator pencil case. I was so excited, and I didn’t even have the calculator yet! (This was some time ago when high-tech calculators were just coming into use, although they haven’t changed that much since then really). Later that week I was even more excited to be selected for a math camp teaching how to use the latest graphing calculator. We each received our very own calculator for free. Well…that just made my year. I was so eager, I went through the entire manual from start to end learning all its functions, and my sister (who I shared a room with at the time) said I woke her one night when I jumped out of bed, apparently still asleep, and recited “on…off…on…off…on…off”. I had clearly spent too much time with my calculator. In my senior year, I shared in the excitement of our math tutor when she hand-made bright red felt flags for our small calculus class, each with the phrase “ Math is No. -eiπ ” pasted onto them (can we all guess those symbols and squiggles amount to the number “1” of course, Euler’s identity!).After this I discovered there was so much more to the world of math as I pursued an electrical engineering degree and drilled into complex concepts, formulas, and the weird and wonderful world of making sense of real-life physical phenomena…let’s not go into the whole light is a wave

*and*a particle thing. But it was also then that I discovered I still enjoyed going back over the fundamentals; the first math concepts that formed the ground base of my later learning. That first multiplication still gave me pause to wonder. I enjoyed being able to give free math tutoring to my sister and her friends as they worked through their homework. I enjoyed the process of tutoring because it was not a chore but a privilege to help others see that concepts made sense, and that they too could find the answers and get a good grade in math. I started helping a family friend with her chemistry homework, and her friends with their physics and math homework. I loved seeing the fundamentals again - of math, physics, chemistry - because ultimately these are the fundamentals that have formed the base for some of the most amazing things humans have developed to help each other and improve the world today. After completing my PhD, I invested some years to use the knowledge I had accumulated towards developing a medical imaging technology that I hoped (and still hope) will one day improve cancer surgery (*Microscope-in-a-needle wins national award*).I made the move. I am an online math tutor. All my experience tells me this is the right move. Not only has tutoring online enabled me to continue teaching the subject I love, but it has allowed me to continue to serve the students who will become the next generation of wonderers and world-changers.

*Loretta Scolaro*