Back to school choices

An interesting article in the Salina Journal (Salina, Kansas) discusses some of the back to school supply routines in their community. Mechanical pencils, woodcase pencils, and specific brands may be required depending on the school.

Link: Making the list

2 Replies to “Back to school choices”

  1. Last year, my 1st grade daughter’s teacher required Ticonderoga 2 HB. Nice, but as we have seen, Ticonderoga isn’t what it used to be.

    (long-time reader; first time poster)

  2. Well, I can see all sides of the issue and how things have changed.

    When I entered elementary, the school list clearly listed #2 Mirado pencils. They were bad quality we thought, it turned out to be the sharpener, but too late. We had complete disregard for what they asked and bought like 200 Eagle pencils that are not made of wood but of a weird material, and they sharpened nice.

    I swapped to a mechanical when I was in 3rd grade or so, since I was much more of a fan of them. I did have a nasty incident at home, when a 0.5mm lead broke and went straight into my eye, it went out, but the memories remain.

    If you force students to bring their own sharpener, then you have potentially a lot of pencil sharpeners that can spill their contents into the floor, or turned into itchy powder (works). Pencils can also be used as a weapon, I’ve heard cases of kids stabbing other kid’s backs with pencils, and of someone running downstairs with a pencil that stabbed him in the mouth and actually creating a hole that allowed water to spill from his mouth (this is real). Risks that are eliminated with mechanicals.

    For kids used to pencils, you can probably ask for a 0.9 or 0.7 pencil, since that can withstand a larger pressure and still retain the benefits of a mechanical.

    Asking for specific branding won’t help, and people wouldn’t comply, since preferences vary. I have several thick mechanicals, but for normal use I have a Graph1000 Limited, and for school ended up taking an A120. But for example girls want pink pencils with hello kitties around, some will like the Bic pencil + pen, all those things have to be taken into account.

    I was a victim of a specific branding regulation, in which they asked a particular model of a Wearever pen that wasn’t sold by the dozen and was only sold in some places. My dad insisted (very angry) in taking another model of Wearever, which I later found out very uncomfortable and ended up losing, and not the Office Depot brand pens which were exactly equal to the pen asked but in a black body. We ended up switching to the Office Depot brand later, since no one cared for what they asked.

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