I was in second grade when I first discovered the power of self-assertion.
That year, my school joined an inter-school storytelling contest. Because competitions were a big deal to the teachers (the results somehow established a school’s reputation), they carefully chose their representatives. In my class, three students were initially chosen to train. Each was given a copy of the piece to memorize, and whoever would emerge as the best would be the final choice. I wasn’t among them.