## Friday, February 5, 2010

### Rubik's?

I now truly understand Suzuki's reasoning when, in teaching little toddlers to play the violin, he begins by teaching their parents, while the tots simply watch and observe. This sort of "desired activity" psychology is being clearly manifested in Hunter's sudden, not only supreme interest, but in actual beginning reasoning and budding ability to solve the Rubik's cube.

I, meticulously following a how-to video the other day, solved it for the first time. Hunter was sort of "around" while I watched the video (with the pause, play, pause, rewind, play, pause pattern). After the first time solving it, I wrote down the algorithms and solved it (ever so painfully) a few more times - it was somewhat addictive.

Then two nights ago,  right before bed, Hunter told me, "Mom, tomorrow when I wake up, I am going to run into the school room, and I'm going to solve the Rubik's cube, then I'm going to show you."

I was humored by his enthusiasm. Up until now he would occasionally play with the little puzzle but didn't seem to get the inner workings of it all. He would get excited when he could get a few of the same color on one side but that was as far as he ever got.

However, recently he all of the sudden seems to be really picking up on it. He has, with a little coaching from me, solved an entire side. He will fiddle with the thing saying, "right inverted, up inverted, right, down" etc. (usually just randomly saying some combination of those things without actually doing them). He is fascinated with the "magic algorithms", and how, with the right algorithm, you can completely mess it up but then it all comes mysteriously back together in the end. And then yesterday, he actually "solved" the whole thing, just as he promised.

The cube was in some special checkered pattern, made so by some concoction my sister did while she was here. I'm not sure exactly how she did it, but it was only few twists away from it's truly solved state, and it looked really cool. Each side was, for example, a red square, green square, red square, green square, etc., like a checker board.

Well Hunter took the so-solved cube and fixed it back to its original state, several times actually. I'm sure it was only a few twists to do so, but I'm pretty sure that if I would have made an attempt at those "few twists" I would have done more damage than good. Yet he did, somehow, see which twists needed to be done and "solved" it. He then proceeded to mix it up, solve it back, mix it up, solve it back, several times. He wasn't mixing it up too far, but far enough that I couldn't figure out how to do it (he handed it to me and offered that I try at one point - which I couldn't, so he did it for me).

He hasn't totally figured the whole thing out yet but, he is definitely getting the gist of if. It's amazing what little kids can pick up on, isn't it?

"Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge..."
Proverbs 22:20
Hunter is 4 years, 10 months old