Bryant PAGE 1 Andrew Bryant Mr. Beckwith Advanced Composition ? 1 11 August 2007 Rubik?s Riddle ?I could make a few bucks doing that.? I thought to myself as I stared at the stranger?s hands fervently race in an unspoken challenge against his adversary, the clock. I sat mesmerized as he effortlessly managed to do the seemingly impossible task of putting back together the scrambled puzzle. Colors blurred and passengers sat agape as the man twisted the brainteaser left and right, up and down. The final piece clicked into place as uproarious applause reverberated throughout the cabin of the plane. It was then that I knew what I wanted to find under the Christmas Tree; a Rubik?s Cube. ?6 Colors, 6 Sides, 43 trillion possibilities!? The pamphlet mocked me as I began to have second thoughts about just how large of an undertaking this truly was. Katie and Megan, my two sisters, had followed through on my sole Christmas wish and I immediately removed the cube from its casing in order to study the problem. At first I was hesitant to rotate the cube from its pristine condition, knowing all too well that very few cubes are ever reset. My observations in the first few minutes taught me nothing of how I would eventually learn to solve it, but simply the necessary knowledge of mechanics of the device. Running as if my house were on fire, I dashed to boot up my computer, and like every child born in the Information Age, consulted the Internet. Armed with my newfound companion, a frosty glass of water, and Google, I poured through page after page of perplexing notation. Unbeknownst to me, a gigantic community existed insatiably dedicated to this cube, and they had developed a shorthand notation that took me nothing short of an hour to decipher. Initially, I had believed the language to be a long forgotten African dialect. The notation dealt with intricate clockwise and counterclockwise rotations, not to mention orienting the cube a certain way depending on the required move. Grudgingly, I toiled at my computer as I worked towards completing the preliminary steps of the cube. Stopping only for the sporadic bathroom break, I labored over the complex steps on the printed sheets until I was forced to retire late into the night with bloodshot eyes. As the sun rose on the second day, I awoke with the vision that today would be the day. Significant progress had been made that first day, but there was still the last layer to deal with. Calls were placed to friends who knew of people that were able to perform this apparent magic trick. Eventually a trek was made to QuikTrip, the location of my volleyball coach?s work. He first laughed in my face at my pathetic attempts, then completely redeemed himself when he showed me the final few moves required. Euphoria burst from every pore on my oily face as the colors aligned, and the car ride home was filled praying for red lights just so I could unscramble the cube once more. The rest of winter break was spent honing my newfound trade and repeatedly racing my own times using the microwave timer. School resumed, giving me all the more reason to pull the cube out at any and every possible moment. The reactions of my peers were as if they were emulating the passengers on the plane. If a counter had been placed on the middle of my cube it would read somewhere in the neighborhood of eight hundred solves, although never has there been any two alike. The mixed reactions from individuals who have seen me solve the cube range from some that say I have mastered an utterly useless ability to those who politely ask me to show them how they can finally solve the cube. I smile and think to myself, ?I could make some money doing this.?
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