Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Lost and Found Pencils and Pens

Long-time readers may recall that last summer I wrote about the pencils and pencil stubs that I had found in the yards of three nearby schools.  Well, I've been picking up pencils again this year and once more I have ended up with a rather nice stash of worn down stubs and pencil fragments.  My stash this year is larger than last year's: 39 pencils and pencil fragments as compared to only 20 that I picked up last year.  The larger numbers this year are probably due to the find of about a dozen coloured pencils, many marked with the name "Lexy."  Clearly, some student lost the contents of his or her pencil case.  This year's collection is also augmented by two pens and a marker that I found.

Once again, I find myself pondering why pencil stubs are so much easier to find on the grounds of the middle school rather than those of the high school or elementary school.  Is this age group particularly careless of their writing instruments?  Most of the pencils that I can identify seem to be inexpensive varieties from Dixon and Staples, although I also found one from Faber-Castell and a couple (broken into pieces) of Staedtler Noricas.  The coloured pencils include Crayolas and one Laurentien.  And one of the pens is, of course, a Bic ballpoint.

Do you pick up pencils and pens that you find on the ground?  If so, where are the best places for looking?  Have you noticed any trends in the kinds of pens and pencils that you find?


  1. My dad goes metal detecting in school playgrounds all the time, and has been for years. I haven't once seen him bring me back a pencil or a pen. I don't seem to have much luck when it comes to finding pens/pencils on the ground. I've found one in the parking lot of the local Blockbuster (a Papermate Eagle) and I found a new Papermate Flair laying on the floor at a Staples with no empty/opened package nearby, so I kept it ;) Sometimes I find grab bags of old pens/pencils at garage sales and thrift stores and I always scoop those up.

  2. I found a gel pen in late winter/early spring this year. It was parked in front of a place that I frequented, a massage and skin studio, since I did graphic design for them. It was a G-7 Pilot, and I tend to have a lot of those, so I'm wondering if it was one that I dropped ages ago. It was pretty scuffed but not cracked, so I just replaced the inkwell of one that had run out.

    Colleges libraries are a good place to find lost pens, especially near the catalog computer consoles and study cubes. I like trading out my generic pens with interesting ones bars and restaurants supply when signing the bill. :)

  3. My Mum drives a school bus ~ she collects the absolute mother lode of stray writing implements! She gives me shopping bags full of them! Apparently kids are not terribly careful with keeping track of "writers"... or perhaps prefer "texting" ~ with no pen required. :((

  4. When I worked in the hospital, I LOVED to get the big, fat, nice pens that the doctors would use. There was one counselor who worked there and he always had some freebies to hand out to the employees.

    Also, my boyfriend comes home with pens from work, and they write really really smooth. They are called "uni JETSTREAM 1.0" in color blue.

    The only places to find pens I can think of are inside of schools (hallways) I remember in Highschool during passing time I'd always find atleast 1 a day lol... they'd always fall out of someones locker. Or at the Library:)

  5. I always pick standard graphite pencils and pencil stubs. Together with my drawing pencils, ad-pencils and souvenir pencils it makes up over a thousand now ;]

  6. Grammar school kids have their bags checked regularly by their teachers and parents to ensure they remembered to take/bring home their stuff. Also, the younger kids are moree likely to play than writing on the playground. And they generally don't hang out after school without supervision.

    Middle school kids are running things around, writing notes, etc. No one is checking if they have their pencils, and they aren't many don't see the correlation between cost of items and loss of "regular use items." They just think they'll always get more. This is obviously dependent upon a variety of issues, including parental styles and socioeconomic classes.

    I can't speak for all high schoolers, but I bought my own school supplies starting the end of freshman year. My parents caught me telling financial falsehoods ("School lunch is $2.50 in high school!" when it was only $1.00), so the result was that since I'd obviously saved so much money, I should purchase anything beyond the required pencil, pen, compass, and notebook for each class. I also got to make or purchase my own lunches so that I'd understand that money doesn't grow on trees. Wow did I learn THAT lesson quickly, especially with consequences that lasted another three years! When I started buying my own items beyond the necessities, I learned that I liked the nicer, more "fun" items, so I'd be extra careful with those.

    I honestly don't know why other high schoolers are less likely to lose their pencils. It's not because they're older. I'm constantly finding run-over pens and pencils in the parking lot at work.


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