It’s Antonia, the resident high school intern! It kind of seems weird, to be an intern in high school during the school year. My school, Bergen County Academies in New Jersey, has no school on Wednesday for seniors, on which we have to take an internship. So I found myself in the midst of a pencil shop, pretty much creepily following around Caroline every Wednesday. Luckily, my interest in wood-case pencils easily ties into school.
Pencils are a necessity. Beyond the sheets of bubbles for Scantrons, high school tests require organic chemistry rings and integral signs to be drawn. And, God forbid, if you’re using a pen during these tests, your mistakes are irreparable. Sometimes your mistakes are even embarrassing. You wouldn’t want the teacher to think you’re dumb or something, right? I certainly don’t. Pencils prevent the showcase of your inner stupidity because of its close partner, the eraser.
I personally don’t carry wood-case pencils in my pencil case, in fear of the points breaking inside and spreading graphite all around. I usually carry one or two in my pocket to school, particularly on test days. An all-around testing favorite of mine is the Craft Design Technology HB pencil, which runs smooth enough for timed essays, but doesn’t smudge in the sea of graphite lines. It’s also just soft enough to fill in bubbles. And the eraser! The lack of a ferrule means that no metal grates at the paper when it wears down. Plus it’s pretty, making testing feel more decorative with a minty weapon in your arsenal.
Of course, for erasing huge paragraphs of essay in a short amount of time, a pencil’s eraser just isn’t going to cut it. Each second on the clock is an important one for test takers, so quick erasing is essential to every pencil case. But erasers shouldn’t be too large; sometimes I just need to perfect size to erase a line or two. Plus it doesn’t take up too much space. The length of the Matomaru-Kun Long Plastic Eraser is perfect. It’s size means that the edge won’t get too large and erase what shouldn't be erased. Time is money. I mean, so are erasers, but what is life without mistakes?
These two things are colors that are close enough to look like cousins, but not the same so it doesn’t look too preppy. They brighten the pockets of my dull sweats I wear on test days. Gotta combat test stress with bright pencils, erasers, and comfort.
I have this adorable Sumikko gurashi pencil case, which has a calico cat who is shy, timid, and anxious. The cat is holding a weed who dreams of being in a florist’s bouquet someday. They are friends because the cat waters the weed. Since I keep wood-case pencils in my pocket, I only have a few mechanical pencils, pens, and highlighters. But those are irrelevant. GO WOOD!
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FELLOW STUDENTS:
A good, dedicated, lined notebook for subjects that require a lot of writing (like history, lit, or even math — lines of equations!). I recommend Calepino’s Lined Spiral Notebook, which is perforated. I like doing assignments in notebooks with perforated pages so I can tear them out ———————— to submit. The pocket can be used to store returned assignments for safe keeping; you might want to study them for future tests!
A graph notebook for classes with a lot of tables or charts (like school labs or math graphs). Iron Curtain Press’ Standard Notebook is fantastic; the boxes aren’t too small so it feels really spacious. The header provides a good place to put figure titles or dates!
Drawing organic chemistry rings or doing geometry? Maruman’s Mnemosyne 183 A5 Drawing Pad provides the perfect space for note taking. The dedicated title header allows you to keep track of your notes and their dates!
During a presentation, index cards can be a bit finicky; they can fall everywhere, the order can get messed up, and losing one card could mean losing points on your grade. Use a Calepino Dot Grid memo notebook and write your presentation notes in the landscape orientation. You’ll find that the dots are sparse enough that it makes it just easy enough to read on the fly but still be organized.
Struggling to stay on task is hard. Checking boxes off is satisfying. Iron Curtain Press can keep you on track with their Task Pad.
Thanks for reading and happy stuDYING.