12:01 AM, Tuesday, May 31st, 2022:
Late night entry as we're leaving for Hawaii tomorrow (today) so it's kinda chaos with packing whatnot - but I have to document this.
So I decided to relearn the rubik's cube and now that the kids were a little older - show them how to do it. As I started though, they both seemed pretty uninterested. So I just let them play with it after I did it and make patterns, etc.
I noticed Vienna getting SO FAST making the checkerboard patterns I finally said "Vienna, I really think you can do this."
So we start. Tears. Meltdowns. Intense anxiety issues come up which is something we've always known about her and always grappled with. She's brilliant, but has these crazy blocks to learning that can freeze her. So I let it go and then started trying to think LIKE her. I started naming the patterns and algorithms. I started breaking them down in different ways. I felt like I just jumped in her brain and spit out a way to learn catered just to her...
...and it worked. Flawlessly. She got to the last layer in a day. And then I started showing her the final layer and again - lots more tears... it seems impossible if your brain isn't in the right place. Shit - show it to adults, and you'll see what I mean. But she's too damn young to feel that way - you just need to find her language. Which I finally did. The clock pattern (picturing a clockface). The magic layout (yellow face layout). Your favorite pattern (the one that feels good to do). And suddenly we're there. And she's fast.
Like, I think she's as fast or even faster than me. I'm buying a cube scrambling computer and some software so she can increase her speeds and we can find out what our averages are. We're both around 90 seconds right now, and I believe that's about as fast as you can hope to go (60-90 seconds) when you're learning the beginner method. After this? Memorizing soooooooooooo many algorithms to shave off seconds here and there. People do it under 10 seconds in competition for that very reason. And of course the finger flicks and movements you need to just practice.
But, I make this entry not because she can do it... but because it's a mini-breakthrough with how her brain works. This is math, something she thinks she's bad at. But if taught the right way? She's brilliant... taught the wrong way? She's frozen. It's concerning. It is definitely spectrum-ish... but we're aware and this one thing lets her know she can do... we just have to find HOW.
This is where you're thankful you're in California and it's the 2020s. Handling autistic tendencies and progressive ways to teach are the norm here. She's so outgoing and social that she's nowhere near what would be considered autistic... but there are learning anxieties that are straight up crippling. Hopefully this is a start to understand how that all works.
And it was the cutest thing to watch her teaching Jesse and Megan some moves on the cube...
Also, I'm of the opinion that nearly everyone can solve it if they really want to. Jesse is certain this isn't the case (which of course probably means he won't be able to) but you just have to find your path. It's different for everyone. Some people can go online and read the patterns and just BOOM. I can't. Those patterns the Us and the Rs and the U primes and what the fuck. I have no idea. I just kinda look at it and feel it. Of course I did memorize the algorithms but it's from how it looked, not an assigned letter. In time however if I wish to KEEP THE FUCK UP WITH MY 9 year old daughter? I will need to do that or else she's gonna blow past me. BLOWWWWWWWWW past me.
She may have already done it.