Notes
16 Sep 2021

Puzzles. Patterns

Reading Time: < 1 minute

There was a picture of Mount Fuji on the square carton which contained 1000 interlocking pieces. The task was to assemble the pieces on a flat surface such that I could see Mount Fuji. It took a week of patience to solve, but it felt awesome once I finished. That is how I remember puzzles, as problems that would test my ingenuity. They were an opportunity to prove that I could solve complicated problems.

Last July my son shipped me a puzzle by byKIEVWOOD. I expected a Mount Fuji. When I opened the packet, this puzzle puzzled me. There was no picture, no box, and it came pre-assembled. I asked, “What am I to do?”. He said, “Figure it out”. I took apart the pieces. They were all identical. To reassemble, my task was to find the pattern, the repeated or regular way in which they locked together. I had to see before I could solve. Puzzles challenge my ability to solve, but this pattern challenged my ability to see.

Are education or healthcare problems scrambled puzzles or disassembled patterns? Should I solve them to match my imagination, like the Mount Fuji jigsaw? Should I first discover the patterns? If I can see the patterns, would that help me solve many puzzles? Would that help others solve their puzzles?

Exploring: byKIEVWOOD: Mind-Bending Fractal Jigsaw Puzzle

Image Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robbins, ca. 1910

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