These days, I mostly use pens, since my field of study means I do most writing on the computer and the writing that’s not digital rarely involves multiple erasures in order to come to the correct answer (excepting Hebrew). But I have not forgotten the joys of a sharpened pencil.

Surely you know that feeling. You’re writing away, and suddenly you start feeling that something’s amiss. The lead letters on the page aren’t crisp; the words are losing their definition and you realize, I need to sharpen this pencil. And let me tell you, in that moment, it is a need. Because if it doesn’t get sharpened, your happiness is going to disappear like so many dust particles going through an air purifier.

And so out comes the sharpener. It’s like a magic lamp, and inserting the pencil ensures that your wish for restored happiness is about to be fulfilled. When the pencil comes out it’s beautiful, precise, a point.

And then you write, and it’s blunt again. The good news is you get as many wishes as you want. You sharpen again and, instant presto, back to beauty.