Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge
I remember when… Those funny words used when a delicious dusted off story, is about to begin. It’s likely, this story, to begin for the eight hundredth thirty seventh time.
As the story goes, I remember when I was your age. My elementary school was about ten-fifteen minutes from home, and my father was the principal. We would arrive every morning, usually before every other students, and leave after all were gone.
Within nearly every classroom, was a black chalkboard, framed with a chalk ledge at the bottom. Oh the mess that could make. The teachers did well keeping it contained! Along with the standard presentation equipment, some teachers had a three prong chalk holder. It increased legibility greatly. In addition, of course was an eraser.
For me, I had received an exciting pencil box, full of school supplies. A brand new set of crayons, glue, scissors, pencils, and an eraser. I was elated! When it was necessary, a student was raise his/her hand, and proceed to the pencil sharpener. The grinding sound was so loud; but, it was our normal.
Years passed and I made it to 8th grade. Technology advanced in the years, as well. I remember sitting in class, and asked a classmate to barrow a lead pencil! It was the coolest moment ever. The eraser came out from the back; I would insert a stick of mercury the size of a hair strand; then reinsert the eraser.
Soon, lead pencils were everywhere. Everyone had one, or five. The chalkboards were being archived while whiteboards were installed. Multiple colored ink pens even showed up in my life! Neato isn’t it??!! At that time, it was really cool!
Oh my gosh yes, the pencils with multiple tips stacked atop one another inside the pencil itself. That was another lovely toy for class.
Overtime, all of that vanished. Today, it’s a rarity to see a pencil sharpener in a classroom. Kids , before they even hit Kindergarten, are using their finger or these plastic replicas (styluses) to do the writing… on iPads and touch screens. They don’t even voluntarily handwrite that often.
It’s crazy how “historic” a pencil is; but, years ago, people said the same about my (at this time) 8 channel double knobbed color tv.