The cereal box story was actually true. I was the top math student in my high school class, but I'd get bored because the assignments weren't challenging me. Especially during calculus class, I felt like I just knew the material intuitively. My mom was taking college math classes while she was pregnant with me, including calculus, so perhaps I did actually learn it earlier.
To keep myself from dying of boredom while still doing the required gruntwork, I began doing my math assignments creatively. This included doing them on cereal boxes, in crayon, on a 2" x 2" piece of paper, in a spiral pattern around a page, and other wacky ideas. Every day I would turn in something new. I especially loved seeing the teacher's reaction when I turned in Tony the Tiger. I remember when we'd do polar graphs, I'd color them in with colored pencils and turn them into artwork.
Although my classmates thought I was nuts, it was my way of keeping my sanity and not dying of boredom. After several weeks of this though, even that became boring, so during the Xmas break my senior year, I did the rest of my calculus homework for the year and turned in a big stack when I returned after the break. I didn't know which problems would actually be assigned, so I simply did them all. I told the teacher, "I'm done for the year." I spent the rest of the semester in that class writing programs for my programmable calculator, including a playable blackjack game that graphed each card one pixel at a time.
Fortunately I had a very tolerant teacher, so he gave me full credit for all my assignments. I doubt he even looked at them.
I've always loved blending mathematics and art, which is probably what originally drew me into game development. It's also something I love about running this web site -- the perfect blend of programming and prose, neither capable of succeeding without the other.