Hopefully this gets posted successfully.
I’ll edit and add in the fancy stuff like photos, tags and links later since I am trying to conserve the amount of data I use on my phone due to the wifi being down and can’t really do that stuff on the app. (See day 10 and the post about the app)
To the topic at hand, why am I a cuber and how did I get started?
So when I was in 3rd grade (Primary 4 for the British system people, mid 2000’s for future historians) there was a bit of a “Cubing revival” at our school. Everyone had one on the corner of their desk, even though only one guy in our class knew how to solve one.
And to fit in and be “cool” I got one as well (hint: didn’t work).
It was my first cube, Rubik’s branded one (how was I supposed to know better?) with karate guys on the white face of the cube (I did martial arts at the time).
I proceeded to scramble it… then tried to solve it without a guide or help. After all, how hard could it be? That kid in class does it all the time, starting with the cross, then working his way up. I totally got this! (I also may have had a tiny crush on the guy and wanted to one up him at his own game, so never asked… yup)
Eventually, (and predictably) I gave up.
And so, the scrambled cube stayed on my desk, then moved to the book shelf, slowly collecting dust, until one day in a quest to “clean” my room as quickly as possible, I threw everything that wasn’t necessary into a garbage bag and chucked it in the garage (since my mom would check closets :P)
It stayed there in that bag for years, watching me take out other items I needed, but never being chosen itself…
Until THAT summer, when I was about to pack up everything and fly thousands of miles away to a new country, a new home and… most daunting of all… a new school (DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!)
Being the “new kid” was a terrifying prospect for me. After all, in kindergarten and 6th grade (Year 7) Middle school, I was never alone in being the “awkward kid who had no idea what they were doing”. But now? That was about to change. I was going to be “that kid” now. *Gasp in horror*
So to prepare myself and make a good first impression, I googled “How to look intelligent”. I know, a bit self-righteous, but hey, I was 12.
On that list, next to being well read/speed reading (check) and knowing another language (sorta, kinda check?) was solving a Rubik’s cube. Since I had one, a free summer and the internet (more specifically google and youtube).
And while it didn’t exactly make me look smarter to my classmates, it was a conversation starter that helped me connect with others, and become friends with some amazing people.
After that one thing lead to another… and several cubes later, here I am today!
So what did life lessons learn (need to answer that click-baity title after all)?
Well for one, don’t be afraid to ask for help when learning or trying something new. You are going to suck at stuff when you first start, that is kinda the nature of starting something new. Trying to reinvent the wheel is not just a foolish endeavor, it is an exhausting and time consuming one as well.
Also, don’t just give up because something seems impossible or difficult, persevere through it! Feliks Zemdegs started in 2008. I picked up my first cube in end of 2006, early 2007… could’ve had a head-start on the guy, just sayin’ XP
But perhaps more philosophically…
I think we as people all too often focus on the “How to’s” of the world: How to choose a major in university? How to be rich? How to choose become an Olympic athlete? Or in this case, How to solve a Rubik’s cube? We try to strip down goal or achievements to their bare essence, to tasks with clear “steps to success” with clearly defined numerical metrics of success: your GPA, your net worth, your medal count, your solving time etc.
But in doing so, we blatantly ignore the real human stories behind each personal endeavor to try, learn and improve.
We pretend that we live in a world where doing XYZ leads to success, as if we are characters in an MMORPG, with skill trees to complete and levels to gain. But that is just plain false!
To evoke Charlote Bronte’s Jane Eyre: We are not antomations – machines without feeling!
Thus, everyone has their own unique story to tell, their own way of viewing the world
In the end, WHY do I solve the cube?
Why do I spend time out of my day to mess up the pattern on a plastic cube, just to fix it a few seconds later?
For me, it is impossible to pin point down, because the reasons are so varied and nuanced, that it is just easier to lay the entire story before you.
- A bit of pride plus a fear of the unknown?
- A constant reminder of self improvement?
- Or it is just fun?
- All of the above?
- Or I am pondering this question too much, who knows?
So remember: “How to” is the simple question to ask, but will give you a dry, cookie cutter answer. Instead, ask go out and ask yourself “Why?” to get a more personal perspective and the opportunity to learn something new!
Fellow cubers out there, what’s your cubing story? Non cubers, what are some lessons that unassuming things have taught you? Feel free to post below!
Stay curious and see you tomorrow with another post!