The Edupocalypse Part 1:
And there we sat all in our seats. It was the 5th week of second grade. Mr. McDonough looked a little more stressed than usual, we all had our ipads on our desks and were getting ready for our reading exercise when he decided it was time to see how well we were doing with writing our names.
“Ok Class, please take out your pencils for a quick test on writing your names on paper.”
and then the worst possible thing happened. Little Susie raised her hand, Susie never really paid attention and was always somewhere else during class.
“Mr. McDonough, what’s a pencil?”
I’ll never forget the look in his eye, it was as if someone lit a bonfire in his brain. What was our teacher was no more, he was replaced with something else. His posture straightened his face fell flat, and his eyes … his eyes burned with a fire behind the black holes that were now his pupils. He went to respond and instead walked to the wall turned off the lights and left. The next day is when the Pencils came. They started slowly at first but soon enough everything was impaled by pencils, cars, bicycles, tires, the unfortunate squirrel that crossed the high tension lines. That’s when the war began, 20 years ago with my friend Susie raising her hand. Someday they will run out of wood for their pencils but ’til then the war will rage on.
The initial Rain:
” The sunset was beautiful today, the sky was alight with reds, magentas, and yellows. These dreams come to me once in a while remembered from my youth. As I wandered down the road, cares melting from my body as the sun slipped below the horizon, I remember the confusion as I stepped and a black number two pencil bounded off the pavement and off of the side of my leg.
‘Tis odd’ I thought, as I was a child obsessed with old phrases, ‘there isn’t anyone nearby nor a car in the road. Where did this pencil come from?’ I learned that I didn’t want the answer.”
“She didn’t know what a pencil was?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE CHILDREN?!”
the word children echoed around the domed conclave. Off of the glistening obsidian-esque ceilings to the blood red mahogany that formed the barriers to the outside world. The penultimate meeting had begun. Educators from around the world have gathered for this day, rumors had been spreading. ‘Had students really lost their way so badly? Did we need to reboot society to fix these problems?’ were some of the murmurs spreading around.
A Schwarzenegger-esque Austrian man approached the podium at the head of the ant colony like masses swarming the room.
“My students have begun skipping the physical fitness preparations. They claim that there is no need todue to the drugs coming out soon to keep them healthy! They lack the understanding of discipline and training for the uniting of body and mind! They refuse to reject their sloth laden attitudes.”
“YEAH!” chimed a serious of fitness gurus among the swarm.
Charging the podium came a short woman with an overwhelming presence. “A student in my class continues to refuse to fix her pencil posture, she balances it among her fingers like a drum stick of an off duty marching band member. She refuses to learn to write properly! She shows no respect to the tool! The pencil must be respected!”
More wails of agreement swept the room. As the small woman finished her speech it was as if a small pen light was turned on in the shadows far behind the podium. With each mention of the ‘pencil’ McDonough’s eyes brightened with a fervor not seen in decades. The man in the shadows straightened up as he approached the podium to bring the vote to the council. Before he arrived it was as if Athena herself had taken the podium.
“There must be a better way, we can teach them earlier, we can modify the preschools and kindergartens under cover of night. Not this, please not this”
He was only a few feet away when he withdrew the pencalibur. Sharpened to a point with pure graphene no wider than a few molecules. No one came to her defense, nor would anyone else have stood up to the beast that had been awoken with him had they objected…
The conversation that started it all:
Me: All right, so how exactly is it that you hold a pencil? I’d chat about other things in your profile but for some reason this one sticks 😛
Person X: running through the space between my thumb and pointer finger and supported on the bottom between my middle and ring finger. By the time I got to 4th grade my teachers all stopped caring. But even at 28 I’ll be writing something somewhere and some elementary school teacher will approach and chastise me for my pencil holding.
Me: Hmm that’s really interesting! Maybe they have an extra sense for non standard pencil use. Or they’ve infested society and are preparing a mutiny, not sure which is more likely, what do you think?
Person X: Probably a mutiny. And the guilty shall be judged by how they hold their pencils……I better start investing in pencil grips again
Me: Indeed, and shields made from erasers when they inevitably fire the pencil cannons upon us all. There will be enough pencils to blot out the sun.
Person X: With ipads infiltrating into the classroom I think the pencil holding debate is bound to evolve