[Odyssey Article 17]
An old (nerdy) essay brought back to life.
The other day while randomly looking through the About Me section of my Facebook profile, I strumbled across an old essay I wrote for my AEGIS English class in high school. While I completely forgot how to solve my Rubik’s Cube, it is still something near and dear to my nerdy heart. With a few touch ups, I present to you (in all its geeky glory) “Insanity Cubed”.
In this world history calls “barbaric”, science calls “evolutionary”, and literature calls “madness”, math is everywhere. Yet, whether equations, theorems, or equalities are relevant in everyday conversation is an entirely different personal essay itself. However, I find it interesting, though a person might not favor or even particularly like math, his or her interests often revolve around a mathematical point. Take athletics, for instance. The team, individual player, and coaching statistics (numbers, essentially) are generally all that matter. Scores of games (past and present), rankings, and how many gold trophies are housed in a shadow-boxed case for all strolling past to admire are the basic building blocks of a respected sports program. Those numbers shape a tradition, and thus, a confidence and a mindset. Math may not necessarily create a state of mind, but it surely affects one. This is most certain when observing people attempting to solve one of the oldest and most brain-challenging nerd toys of all time… The Rubik’s Cube.
I found in watching and trying myself to solve this multi-colored, six-sided conundrum, three different reactions arise from one who has the cube in his or her hands. The first group of reactors is called the Obsessers. These people stop at nothing to complete any and/or all ten or so various algorithms of the squared brainteaser set in front of him/her. Members of this group are often seated in class beside people who are irrelevant to this paper, and those unimportant persons become annoyed when Obsessors doze off due to Physics-induced sleep deprivation and begin mumbling, “White face, second layer, yellow cross, yellow fish, yellow face, seven move, solid face and matching pair, done,” in effort to complete the pattern in their slumbers. (These people are also known to solve the cube while blindfolded, using only one hand, and while participating in underwater basket weaving.)
Between Groups One and Three are the Droolers. Members of this group merely hold the cube in their hands and gawk at it in awe, mouth agape. At times, a Drooler looks upon the mottled box as if, stared at long enough, the toy might metamorphose into a beautiful butterfly with all of life’s answers displayed brightly on its delicate wings. Sadly, this is not so, and that is too much for Droolers’ minds to handle. The Rubik’s Cube sends members of this group into an almost altered condition. Droolers become disoriented, glassy-eyed, and drift into a vegetable-like state.
Last, but not least, are the Destroyers. These people feel the need to make life a living hell for the Rubik’s Cube. This way, no suffering from the puzzle emanates, resulting in no further negotiation for the cube to happily solve itself. Destroyers only care about the bragging rights earned from success, and they are greatly angered when things do not go their way. The relationship between Destroyers and the Rubik’s Cube bases purely on hate. The Destroyers initially sit down to solve the cube, but upon realizing they can not figure out the pattern, Destroyers explode in a snarling fit of rage. They will scream, smash, kick, spike, and/or throw the defenseless toy against the wall as to shatter it into a million pieces. (In addition, you may find a Destroyer peeling the colorful stickered flesh from the cube in impatient desperation.)
At one point in time or another, I was a member of each of these groups, but as I grow in my intelligence and discipline, I find myself a proud member of the Obsessors group. (Granted, I can function throughout my day without touching my plastic pet.) I’m just constantly striving for a faster record and a more difficult challenge, and at times, this search unintentionally influences my mental stability. Nevertheless, if you call me a nerd, my brain will not argue. I gladly agree because I can not deny what is in my heart. I am crazy in love with a little, colored cube named Rubi.
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