So long, pencil sharpener

I bought some school supplies when I started med school 22 years ago (has it been that long?). Index cards (used a lot of them), pencils (ditto), and a $12 pencil sharpener. Which wouldn’t sharpen a pencil worth a darn. Kept it anyway.

It mangled pencils for all the kids homework, and as we’ve all gotten more digital (and have outgrown homework, mostly) we don’t use pencils much any more.

In a recent cleanout of a desk we’re going to do without, it was re-discovered and brought to the office. Where it sang its farewell song, a perfectly sharpened pencil the first time, then it died in my hands.

I suppose it’ll get replaced someday, though for now we will respect its contributions by marking its absence. Farewell.



  1. Mrs. Fred says:

    Your parents still HAVE the pencil sharpener you grew up with! It’s still on the wall, in the garage next to the kitchen door. Yes, it still works. It doesn’t get much use any more, but it’s comforting to know it’s there when we need it.

  2. Aerospace Genius says:

    The electric pencil sharpener/letter opener that Grandma gave me served me well for many years, but the gears in it were really loud. I had to stop using it when I sharpened a pencil in a quiet engineering office and one of my co-workers said “Are you all right?”

  3. Steve Lucas says:

    My wife and I have just had two manual typewriters repaired and I dug out some old tractor feed address labels. She is involved in a group and is arranging speakers for the coming year and needs to send an information form to the speakers. Since these are one off’s this system works great.

    The only person who gave her any problems was a government speaker who wanted everything done electronically, even though an envelope and stamp was the quick and easy way to accomplish the task.

    This seems to speak to all of our problems with government, if there is a complicated way to accomplish a task, that uses the greatest amount of resources, while generating the greatest amount of paper; this is the preferred way to do it.

    Heaven forbid someone use a pencil and paper to write something down.

    Steve Lucas

  4. RWMondak says:

    I have had my manual pencil sharpener (at home) since 1978 when it was “surveyed” along with some other equipment being replaced at an overseas Naval Hospital . In our large building there is one person (in the business office, none in the clinical area) who has a pencil sharpener. The others who use pencils purchase mechanical pencils which are supposedly refillable. They’ll get me as many as I want, but NOT approve purchase of a REAL (crank handle) pencil sharpener.
    I like my “government issued” (sort of) pencil sharpener but there is no way I’ll get permission to bring it from home.