I had a similar experience (and I’m a white male) in working for a tutoring company. They dismissed me after I couldn’t spit out the formulas to mostly Asian students whose parents paid big bucks to have this company help their kids to score perfectly on the SAT or other standardized tests. I took this experience into a job at a local college helping students with math and science. Sort of the same thing. The students wanted the answers to their homework and potential test questions, not to understand. I just don’t work that way. I figure it out on the fly, like you, talking through it. Good luck in your studies and work. And don’t change for the establishment!