February 21, 2012
A herd of people form around senior James McMasters watching to see if he can do it as he fiddles with his three by three Rubiks Cube. Only he knows how quickly he can solve it, but no one else realizes how fast. With a slight snicker, he concludes the final turn of the cube, finishing in fifty-five seconds.
“When I do my Rubiks cube, usually I feel disappointed afterward because I don’t beat my previous record,” McMasters said.
McMasters holds the title of being first in his senior class, a varsity swimmer and has been accepted to the Naval Academy, however, he hasn’t signed off yet.
“Space, dreams, puzzles, psychology, astronauts, engineering…” McMasters said. “These are a few of my favorite things.”
McMasters has been influenced by friends and family members who have served their country. His grandfather served in the Navy, Army and Air Force and his cousin served in the Navy. McMasters looks highly upon them, but his one true role model was 2010 graduate J.D. Canclini, who received an acceptance to the Naval Academy after high school, and now attends.
“[He was an] archetype of a high school student athlete,” McMasters said. “He was the swim team captain, top of his class, great person and an all around role model.”
McMasters wishes to overachieve in everything he does. The majority of his grades are 100s, and he’s never received below an ‘A’ in a class. In swimming, coaches admire him for his hard work and never giving into pressure.
“He tries hard all the time, and swims hard,” swim Coach Tony Tulbane said.
To pass time, McMasters enjoys playing with toys he likes to call “trinkets”. These include a rubber band gun, an assortment of Rubiks Cubes, multiple card and magic tricks and his favorite “Buckey Balls.” These are magnetic balls that morphed into three dimensional objects with some intelligent techniques.
“I just like to entertain others,” he said. “It’s fun to see their faces after.”
Although McMasters hasn’t signed to the collegiate school quite yet, his acceptance to the Naval Academy makes it possible for him to do a training seminar this upcoming summer known as the Plebe Summer. This is the basic training for the first summer for freshman, also known as ‘Plebes’.
“The challenge of plebe summer is the main thing on my mind these days,” McMasters said. “But overall the lifestyle and daily rigor make it something I want to put myself up against just to see what I can do.”