Humans of Appleton North: Iris Hertting


Sonia Tallroth, Contributor

After tests during finals week, some people read, text their friends, or cram for their upcoming tests. However, Iris Hertting took a different route.

“During finals week last year one of my friends, Hannah Schecklman, had started taking her Rubik’s cube to school as something to do after tests. I saw her and instantly knew that I wanted to be able to solve it as well. I had originally anticipated that I would maybe learn the beginner’s method by the end of the summer then be able to race when the school year started. That timeline quickly changed once I memorized a basic method the first day into the summer, then for the next three months I drilled my algorithms constantly.”  Iris’s fastest time is 19.24 seconds, though her average is about 25 seconds.  She is hoping to soon be averaging under 20 seconds.

When asked about her favorite cube to solve, she said that the 3×3 (a “regular” cube with 9 squares on each side) is her favorite, though she likes to figure out how to solve other variations of the traditional cube as well.

“I find it fascinating that such a simple concept is so complicated, and the idea that there are roughly 43 quintillion combinations on that tiny cube but you are still capable of solving it. I am really enjoying the Megaminx [a 12-sided cube with pentagonal sides] right now because it is solved very similarly to a regular 3×3, but far more complex, with around one hundred unvigintillion combinations (10^68).”

Most people probably have a Rubik’s cube in their house and have never even dreamed of solving it. However, it’s not as hard as you might think.  Iris got her sister to learn how to solve it as well. “It took her a few weeks to completely memorize a method that suited her, but she was never in a rush because she just wanted to know how. It still takes her around two minutes to solve because she’s not interested in putting a ton of energy into getting faster, she would rather have it be something to do as a study break. Yet I personally find a lot of the appeal in constantly learning and practicing new ways to become more efficient and thus faster. Most cubes also conveniently fit into pockets or backpacks, so wherever you are or whatever you are doing, you can enjoy it.”