It’s no secret that Ridgewood High School is filled with talented people. Of these people, a whole bunch harbor some really interesting talents – some of which aren’t typically known by the general public. When I was thinking of people with “hidden talents” to interview for this article, I remembered that Kiera Boucher, our very own RHS Senior, is a Rubik’s Cube connoisseur. Here’s what she had to say.
Ellie: When did you first get into Rubik’s Cubes? Why?
Kiera: I first got into cubes when I was in the eighth grade. I had received a cube as a party favor and played around with it for a while until I accidentally scrambled it. I hated the fact that it wasn’t solved anymore and was determined to figure it out as soon as I could. I sat down for about 2 hours until I was finally able to complete it. From then on I have loved the challenge and continue to get more complex cubes.
E: How many cubes do you own? Do you have a favorite one?
K: I believe I own 152 as of right now. My favorite one would have to be my 13 by 13, which is about the size of a basketball.
E: How much time do you spend per day on this hobby?
K: I would say I spend around an hour and a half a day solving. I constantly fidget with them throughout the day, but lately I have been sitting down and teaching myself to blind solve when I have the time to do so (look at it once in the beginning and then blindfold myself while solving).
E: What other hobbies do you have? Do you spend an equal amount of time on those as you do with Rubik’s Cubes?
K: Other hobbies of mine include playing sports and hanging out with friends. I do spend a lot of my time playing softball in particular, but whether I spend more time on softball or cubing depends on the time of year. And I always do prioritize my friends over cubing, obviously. However, some of my friends have gotten into them too because I just always have them around.
E: Is there such a thing as ‘cubing competitions’? If so, have you ever participated?
K: There is such a thing as cubing competitions, which are held by the World Cube Association. They are held all over the world, and every year there is even a national competition held. I myself have never gone to one, even though I would love to. I am more intrigued with new cubes and coming up with new algorithms and solutions than practicing only one cube to get fast times. To solve the standard Rubik’s cube at a competitive time of around 5 seconds, you need to memorize hundreds of algorithms, which I just haven’t had the motivation to do. I prefer the new challenge of different shapes and mechanisms.
E: Do you follow any famous Rubik’s cubers or have any favorites?
K: I follow several cubers, some who compete and some who have contributed so much to the industry itself. One of my favorites is a boy named Max Park, who has severe autism, but is arguably [sic] the best cuber in the world. He holds almost every WCA record and has developed social skills his parents never thought he could. His story just represents how fun and welcoming this community is that not many people know about.
E: I understand you’re going off to college next year. Do you intend to keep solving cubes in the coming years?
K: I definitely intend to continue to cube when I go off to college. It is something that helps me relieve stress and is fun for me so I couldn’t imagine cutting it out from my life. I’m sure I won’t be the only one at my college who has this hobby so hopefully I’ll make a few friends through it.
E: Any other fun facts that you think we should know?
K: I guess a fun fact is that my 13 by 13 has broken three times and I have reconstructed it from its hundreds of pieces each time. And all of my cubes are on shelves on the walls of my room.
managing editor & features editor
Graphic: Kiera Boucher