Student Spotlight “Rubik’s Cube Kid”

I’ve never been able to complete one side of a Rubik’s Cube, much less the whole thing. In fact, I’ve wasted countless hours trying to solve one. So, you can only imagine how shocked I was when I turned around to ask Kellon “Ayo” Olusola ’11 a question in our Chemistry class and saw him sitting there, solving one before my eyes. “Ayo,” who boards in America House, has an uncommon hobby and talent: speed cubing. Q: Ayo, how long exactly have you been Rubik’s cubing? A: About one and a half years. I don’t remember exactly, but it was somewhere around the Halloween of eighth grade. Q: How long did it take you the first time you solved a Rubik’s cube? A: The first time I timed it, it took about two or three minutes. That’s where it should be for a beginner. I’ve actually made pretty slow progress, but I’m happy where I am right now. Q: Did your skills come naturally to you, or did it take a lot of practice to become as good at Rubik’s cubing as you have? A: Well, once I knew how to solve a cube, I thought it would be really fun to solve it really fast. So, I went onto YouTube and watched some people speed cubing and tried to imitate the moves. But, as easy as it looked when they were doing it, it took me several months to master what they were doing. Q: Do you have a favorite side of the Rubik’s Cube? A: The green side is my favorite. My birthday is in May, and the gemstone for May is the emerald, so green is my favorite color. Q: What is the fastest time in which you’ve ever completed a cube? A: I can’t exactly say, but I think I’ve gotten under 20 seconds. I can never get it perfect when I’m timing myself. Now, on a computer simulator, I’ve gotten under 20 before. Q: Have you competed with your Rubik’s Cube? A: No, but I’d really like to. I was thinking of going to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungry. Not to win or anything, because I’m not even close to the world record; it’s under 10 seconds! Which I think is pretty crazy. Q: Have you ever Rubik’s cubed in public for money? A: (Bursts out laughing) Wow… umm… I wish! I probably could make a lot of money. I heard about this one guy who made something around $6,000 in one year doing that! Q: I’ve seen you cubing in Uncommons as well as in class. How much time per day, on average, would you say you spend practicing? A: It’s probably way too much, actually (laughs). On a school day, usually it’s less than two hours. If I’m really bored, though, it can be about three. But then on the weekends, I’ll get in a good five hours a day. Q: I’m sure people have very dramatic reactions when they see you finishing a cube in less than 30 seconds. What is the best response you’ve ever gotten? A: (Laughs) I’ve gotten a lot of pretty good responses. Okay, I remember a great one! I was in a restaurant [in Washington D.C.] with a group of friends and there was a table of about 12 people in front of us. When I finished solving the cube, they all turned around and started clapping! I was all, “Thank you! Thank you!” Q: Did you get up and bow? A: (Laughs) Yeah, of course!