The Power of The Cube
Benjamin Voller-Brown (15, USA)
Distractions come easy for me in school. My mind just seems to drift while I’m in class. One day in my Mandarin Chinese class, on one of my drifts, I saw a friend fiddling with something colorful. I was curious about what it was; it turns out it was a Rubik’s Cube. I asked if he had another and he did! I paid more attention to Chinese that day than I had the entire year. Instead of twiddling my thumbs, I moved the colorful pieces. I sat still the entire class, twisting the cube in every possible way. Contrary to popular belief, the “distraction” caused me to focus. Because my hands were busy, my mind was more engaged; because I had something to fidget with, I finally understood the concept.
On that first day I experienced the power of the cube. For the next week I played with the cube in class, while still paying attention. That Friday was the exam. For the first time in months, I was not baffled by the seemingly indecipherable Mandarin characters. After I confidently turned in the test, I sat down and thought about the cube. Up until then, I was merely scrambling the cube, and was clueless on how to solve it. My friend wanted to know if I wanted to learn how to solve it, instead of just mixing it up. I did. He offered to teach me.
Later that day, I asked my mom for my first Rubik’s Cube. Since I started solving the cube in class, I aced my Mandarin test, and my grades have risen. The cube helps me learn. Since that eventful day, I memorized the necessary algorithms and learned to solve it in under 30 seconds. I have also taught 3 of my friends how to solve the Rubik’s cube, passing on the magic of that first day. I started cubing to focus in school, but it turned into a way to learn and teach. Since that day, I have loved cubing, learning new algorithms, racing friends (and even teachers), and having fun.