Pencils and paper, pens and a stapler . . . These are a few of my favorite things! The wall of pens and pencils at Office Max makes me smile. The seasonal school supply department at Target makes me giddy. Even the relatively small selection of office supplies at Hy-Vee is a reason for me to stop and gawk. As much as I love a new pencil with a fresh eraser, or a three-ring binder full of graph paper, there are other things I don’t like. Not all school supplies are of equal value. Some are wonderful, useful tools, and others just don’t do what they are supposed to do.
I love Dixon Ticonderoga pencils. They write smoothly, erase easily, and sharpen to a beautiful point. At Costco they come in a box of ninety-six. That new box always feels like a lifetime supply. I must be a cat.
There are many Dixon Ticonderoga enthusiasts. We are sometimes referred to as pencil snobs and we wear the title with pride. We love our Ticonderoga pencils, and we want to share the joy with everyone!
A student struggling with her pencil is an opportunity for conversion. While working with a student her pencil lead broke. I gave her a Ticonderoga and she continued writing. A moment later she erased something. Her mother, who had been quietly observing, exclaimed, “It erased everything so easily!” Another convert.
When I find other pencils in my home I usually just throw them away. While it seems wasteful, I believe it’s wasteful to provide inferior tools to our children, and ourselves, and expect excellent work. Excellent tools make it easier to produce high-quality work. Excellent tools make it more likely we will enjoy our work and therefore invest more effort and more time. When I find other supplies I love as much as my Dixon Ticonderoga pencils I’ll be sure to let you know. What tools have you used that exceeded your expectations?