Sunday, April 21, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.21

PocketCube (small)

By Silver Spoon (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons


I have a couple of students who are obsessed with Rubik's Cubes and who are AMAZING at solving this puzzle. They study videos, learn algorithms, and work with a timer to improve their times. This kind of thinking is completely outside my skill set. I am in awe of them. Here is a video one of these Rubik's Cube experts made of himself solving the cube in under 20 seconds:



Video used with the permission from mariojj123Cubing


RUBIK'S CUBE

Rotate layers -- twist twist spin --
Up and down -- twist twist spin --
Backwards, forwards -- twist twist spin --
It's solved! ...How did you do that?
Kindly repeat, but
Slower this time...

Clickclick twisttwist spinspin
Updownaround, faster than you can follow.
Believe it...because you see it happen before your very
Eyes.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013




"It only takes 20 moves,"
the boy whispered, as his father stared
at the young fingers
quickly swiveling and twisting the color tiles,
remixing the cube back towards its original and perfect state,
"and I can do it in less," the boy boasted,
barely looking at his hands in movement,
matching up colors in a blur of speed
and confidence.

Instead, the boy gazed intently at his father,
seeking a compliment, or comment,
or an acknowledgement at the very least,
but all he got was that dead-eyed look of an adult
suddenly realizing just how difficult it would be
to put his own fractured world back together in just
20 moves or less.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013



From Linda (TeacherDance):


Mr. Rubik, thank you!
You gave magic to those
drowning
in two-dimensional school.
They got to show their talents
as their fingers twisted and turned-
all eyes watching.
The teacher turned away,
but his thoughts filled
with new ideas
of what might be. 

©Linda Baie, 2013


From Cathy (Merely Day by Day):


Rubik's Cube

I gave my cube a twist,
and then a turn or two,
the colors started mixing,
what was I to do?

I twisted more and more,
I tried to match a row,
but the harder that I tried,
the less I seemed to know.

Now I look upon my cube,
a tear drop I have cried,
because for the life of me,
I can't even match a side!

©Cathy Mere, 2013


From Carol (Carol's Corner):


"A Rubik's Cube Kind of Life"

The Rubik's cube,
Those six faces
red, yellow, blue,
green, white, orange,
a twist, a turn, a spin, 
in the hands of some 
the faces magically align.

In my hands
that crazy cube
doesn't quite work that way
I twist one way
sure that that will make a color align
but then another color
is misaligned
and I make one more twist
sure that I will create perfection
and then two faces are misaligned.

Sometimes life
is a lot like a Rubik's cube
all those facets- 
family, friends, finances,
job, house, God--
and I think if I just make one shift,
if I just get up half hour earlier,
or spend $20 less here or there,
or pray a little harder
just that one twist
and all of the faces will align.

Except they never do. 

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013 




The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 

"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

19 comments:

  1. "It only takes 20 moves,"
    the boy whispered, as his father stared
    at the young fingers
    quickly swiveling and twisting the color tiles,
    remixing the cube back towards its original and perfect state,
    "and I can do it in less," the boy boasted,
    barely looking at his hands in movement,
    matching up colors in a blur of speed
    and confidence.

    Instead, the boy gazed intently at his father,
    seeking a compliment, or comment,
    or an acknowledgement at the very least,
    but all he got was that dead-eyed look of an adult
    suddenly realizing just how difficult it would be
    to put his own fractured world back together in just
    20 moves or less.

    -Kevin

    (This was inspired by the image, but also by a conversation this very week that I overheard at the mall between a son and his dad about how to solve a Rubic's Cube. Odd coincidence.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "but all he got was that dead-eyed look of an adult"-sad, yet I've seen it, even in conferences with student & parent. You captured much in this Kevin.

      Delete
    2. Wow, Kevin! What a big message in such a very few lines! And as Linda commented, unfortunately, a scenario I have seen played out way too many times. I wonder how often I do it with my own boys…Thanks for this very important reminder!

      Delete
    3. It is SO amazing that I fumble for a response. I guess I need to remember that sometimes it's plenty enough just to be amazed.

      Delete
    4. "suddenly realizing just how difficult it would be
      to put his own fractured world back together in just
      20 moves or less."

      Powerful!

      Delete
  2. I remember my son gaining some attention as his abilities doing the cube, when most times he struggled with the regular school work. I am only imagining that the teachers began to see new talents in those students who are most comfortable in a 3-d world.


    Mr. Rubik, thank you!
    You gave magic to those
    drowning
    in two-dimensional school.
    They got to show their talents
    as their fingers twisted and turned-
    all eyes watching.
    The teacher turned away,
    but his thoughts filled
    with new ideas
    of what might be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Linda, so, so, so true! School is such a two dimensional world! And there are so many three dimensional kids who just never get the opportunity to shine! I have one of those at my house too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many three dimensional opportunities do we offer students? Something to ponder...

      Cathy

      Delete
  4. I just checked to see when the Rubik's Cube was invented -- it was 1974! I think it's great that this puzzle has such staying power. I was talking with a middle schooler recently who is on a Rubik's Cube-solving team. In tournaments, they solve a bunch of cubes together, using more cubes than team members, and the team who does all the cubes fastest wins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And of course you've seen the puzzles, like the one in the picture, that are 2x2, and there are 5x5 and 7x7 in case you need an extra bit of challenge...

      Delete
  5. Well, Mary Lee, I always found the Rubik's cube to be quite a challenging puzzle. My brother-in-law can get the colors back together in hardly 2 minutes. It's amazing to watch. When I saw your picture this is what I thought.....

    Rubik's Cube

    I gave my cube a twist,
    and then a turn or two,
    the colors started mixing,
    what was I to do?

    I twisted more and more,
    I tried to match a row,
    but the harder that I tried,
    the less I seemed to know.

    Now I look upon my cube,
    a tear drop I have cried,
    because for the life of me,
    I can't even match a side!

    That was fun!
    Cathy





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VERY fun, Cathy! You've got your RHYME on today!!

      Delete
    2. You've described my plight, Cathy. I could get a couple of sides, but that's about it.

      Delete
  6. Cathy-
    Your poem made me laugh! Totally my experience with rubik's cubes!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mary Lee,
    Your poem also totally matches my experience of trying to have someone teach me to do those dumb cubes! They go way too fast! Love the "twist twist spin" and the "clickclick twisttwist spinspin." Perfect! And now I have to go walk the dog and mow the lawn and write a dang poem!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mary Lee, you've captured that 'dizziness' that some of us feel when others are trying to 'teach' us how to do the rubik cube. Round and round...

    ReplyDelete
  9. "A Rubik's Cube Kind of Life"

    The Rubik's cube,
    Those six faces
    red, yellow, blue,
    green, white, orange,
    a twist, a turn, a spin,
    in the hands of some
    the faces magically align.

    In my hands
    that crazy cube
    doesn't quite work that way
    I twist one way
    sure that that will make a color align
    but then another color
    is misaligned
    and I make one more twist
    sure that I will create perfection
    and then two faces are misaligned.

    Sometimes life
    is a lot like a Rubik's cube
    all those facets-
    family, friends, finances,
    job, house, God--
    and I think if I just make one shift,
    if I just get up half hour earlier,
    or spend $20 less here or there,
    or pray a little harder
    just that one twist
    and all of the faces will align.

    Except they never do.

    (c) Carol Wilcox, 2013

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Carol. So very true.

      Delete

We welcome your contribution to the conversation!