In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

Pens and pencils bring back memories of my time in primary school and how I transitioned from using one of these instruments to the other.

In the School I went to, passing from Primary two to join Primary three brought tremendous joy to each and every one of us as this was not just a mere promotion from one class to the other but also marked a major transition from using pencils to pens.

We celebrated this opportunity in whichever way we could. Our bragging rights were increased as no one would still make the mean statements about us being pencil-holders. It was also a sign that we had mastered the art of writing well which we all cherished. Indeed, even those with bad handwritings worked so hard to improve them because this would be enough justification to deny them their right of using a pen.

Primary three was not only a mere graduation from using a pencil to pen but also came with a reduction of subjects from 8 to 4; this we thought would mean increased playing time as there would be less to read. Awww! huge smiles filled our faces at every thought of this.

Unlike pencils, pens have several colours and using them indicated a new world of design possibilities not after the art of shading pictures using crayons that we had already mustered in the lower classes. All these thought processes filled our small medulla Oblongata’s then. Who wouldn’t have wanted to have blue, green, black and red pen markings in their books?

Amidst all this excitement, never did we ever think about the challenges that come with using a pen like the reduced chances of erasing what is written, the possibility of ink staining our well ironed white shirts or Khaki trousers that formed our school uniform or even the fact that pens were more expensive. Infact, handwritings seemed worse in pen compared to the same written with a pencil.

Expensive they were! we therefore had to be very vigilant in keeping our pens since loosing them would mean foregoing buying yourself a favourite snack at break time for several days unlike a pencil, a sacrifice no one was willing to continuously make due to carelessness. Moreover, theft of pens in school was more common than for pencils.

Interestingly, it is now 16 years since I first used a pen and probably 20 years since I first used a pencil but I still use them especially when I am writing my university examinations and every time do this, I can’t help but smile at the journey it has been.