One of the notable parts of going to a private upper-tier school for college is that most of the the people there think they’re smart. Other notable parts include lots of female athletes and Jews, but the first thing that really smacks you in the face as a freshman is the way even the dumb ones think they’re smart.
Take that guy on my freshman floor, who we’ll call ‘John’. I’m sure he had good memorization skills, and maybe a scientific mind. He was a perfectly nice guy, too, he just didn’t really understand basic social interaction. He did, however, know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I looked at him make a few quick turns and have the thing solved, and I knew I should be able to do the same. I’m spatial, I’m an architect. I get how the cube is suppose to revolve, how you have to move things around in conjunction with other colors and sides of the cube.
In the ending months of 2007 I was finally ready to fulfill this lifelong dream. I had a Rubik’s Cube. I had my dazzling intellect. I had plenty of spare time at my job. What more did I need?
Alas, as of the turn of the year, I’m still stuck. I’ve got the four top corners easily, and I can get the whole of one side complete, but everything breaks down beyond that. The Cube keeps sitting on my desk, taunting me. I keep wondering if it would come out better if I just twisted the sides without looking, random chance guiding the steps. Occasionally co-workers who know my predilection for puzzles point and laugh. And most unfortunately, this particular cube has the melted-plastic colors rather than stickers, so no cheating. Although I have considered snapping the thing apart in order to suitably rearrange the sides.
Instead, to tame this little tangle, I’m turning to my old friend, the interweb. And, lo and behold, step-by-step instructions from the pros. Best of all, they teach you the strategy behind the thing, rather than just giving you a simple solution. Reading just a bit I’ve discovered there are multiple solutions and people actually went out and found bunches of them. Way to go, math brainiacs who can actually communicate effectively.
So I am going over this silly cube square face by square face just as soon as I finish typing. And this time (with the help of a few dozen others) I will succeed!