School supplies: mechanical pencils

Self-tutoring about school supplies: the tutor reflects….

My wife and I were in the stationery aisles a couple of days back, noticing many “back to school” supplies. I spied a box of disposable mechanical pencils that were 0.5mm.

“Get 0.7,” my wife commented. I was plunged into reminiscence.

When I was a kid, the first mechanical pencil I got was a 0.7 – that was back in ’78. Mechanical pencils were less common then, in favour of wooden ones. Yet I really liked my 0.7mm one.

Eventually I lost the 0.7 mechanical pencil, or else broke it. Replacing it wasn’t easy: 0.5mm mechanical pencils were easy to find, but 0.7mm ones weren’t.

As I recall, I had to settle for a 0.5mm one, and broke the lead often while I refined the touch needed to write with it. By grade 5, however, I was a pro.

When you’re used to 0.5mm, it’s a little nicer than 0.7mm. However, during the decades since my elementary years, mechanical pencils have grown common, with 0.7mm ones eclipsing 0.5mm on the shelves I see. 0.7mm lead is about twice as strong as 0.5mm, so is preferred for kids. I can’t recall the last time I saw 0.5mm, until just the other day.

Lately I’ve been doing more writing with pencil. I might pick up those 0.5mm mechanical pencils soon:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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