There’s no getting around: First Day of School equals a new pencil box. You had your knee-high socks, brand new shoes, Jansport backpack, notebooks all neatly covered but the back-to-school experience wasn’t complete without knowing that your pencils and pens were boxed in a perfect, enviable pencil box.
For me it was the most important item in my backpack. I would take my time dismissing all the different pencil boxes that were presented until I found the right one.
We would stow the most mundane to most interesting bits in the safe storage of our pencil box. Chewing gums, iridescent stickers, pocket-money and sometimes even movie tickets. We would underline a layer of our pencil box with our crafts paper and then store our fun stuff beneath it.
Our pencil boxes were geared for daily life and daily rituals – sharpening pencils the night before, checking if we had the refills for our ball pens and ink cartridges for the fountain pens. Since the interiors of our pencil boxes were often marked with pencil marks, we would use the eraser to swipe them clean.
Pencil boxes came in all different shapes and types – as simple as a box with a humble lid (my favorite kind) or as elaborate and fancy as electronic toolbox or swiss army knife. Some of these fancy ones would come with a built-in sharpener, pencil erasers, rulers, scissors along with other secret compartments.