The Continuing Adventures of Pen and Paper


Summer was entering its final phase for the year. Only a few more weeks and it would be time to welcome the kids back to school.

Jane carried a box and a tote bag full of classroom decorations into the music room and set them on her desk. She flipped on the light and began unpacking her treasures: 2 banners to hang from the ceiling beam, a “Cars2″ wall clock, letter decals, her notepad and pen. Jane loves pen and paper. She has a special fountain pen that she uses as often as she can, and always carries a note pad. That’s because she loves to write, and is always ready to jot down an idea or a quotation.

The Big Boss popped his head in the door. “Janie, can I see you for a minute? Come on down to my office when you get a chance.”

“I’ll be right there,” Jane replied. She took the empty box and set it on top of the recycling bin, then headed out the door and down the hall to the main office, leaving items scattered all over the desk.

No sooner had she gone than the pen rolled closer to the note pad. “Hey Paper,” she said, “How ya doin’?”

“Hi Pen!” exclaimed Paper. She was obviously happy to see her friend. They didn’t converse too often because usually when they were together Jane was there too, and it wouldn’t do for her to know that Pen and Paper could talk.

“So,” said Pen, “here we are, back at school.”

“Yep,” answered Paper. “Quick summer, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” Pen replied, “but long enough for Jane to recharge and restore some creativity for the school year. She has an idea for the kids that I think you’re gonna like.”

Paper was quiet for a moment. She was always a little jealous that Pen got to know what was on Jane’s mind before she did, because Jane’s thoughts had to flow through Pen in order to get onto Paper. She really wanted to know about this new idea, though, so eventually she said, ” Let’s hear it.”

“The emphasis for this school year is going to be on vocabulary and writing,” said Pen. “You know how she loves to write, and is always posting stuff on her blogs. Well, she’s thinking of creating yet another blog.”

Paper rolled her eyes.

“No, no!” Pen exclaimed. “This one will be written by the kids!”

“She tried that last year,” Paper interrupted. “Big Boss wasn’t too crazy about the idea because anybody would be able to post or comment, and something bad might make its way online before Jane could do anything about it. He felt it wasn’t secure enough.”

“This will be different,” answered Pen. “First of all, the kids won’t be commenting on an idea that she puts up – they’ll be writing the blog themselves. Anything they want to post will have to go through Jane first. She thinks their classroom teachers should have a look at it too, just to make sure it passes muster. She wouldn’t post more than one or two a week.
Because the site is password protected, Jane will be the one doing the posting. No one will have the password but her.”

“So far so good,” said Paper, “but what about comments from readers?”

“Comments are not published until they are approved, so its impossible for anything inappropriate to go public,” Pen explained.

“It’s sounding pretty good,” Paper nodded. [She always looks like she’s trying to fold herself when she nods.] “But Big Boss is really concerned about school security and student safety. I dunno….” Her voice trailed off.

“Here comes Jane!” whispered Pen. “Quiet!”

They were silent while Jane hung pictures on the bulletin boards. Picking up a banner she said to herself, “I’m going to need a ladder to hang this.”

Once she was off looking for a ladder, Pen and Paper resumed their conversation. “You were saying?” Pen queried.

“I want to know if Jane’s thought about security,” answered Paper.

“You know how cautious she is,” said Pen. She only plans to use first names, no pictures without parent permission, and no one will ever know the name or location of our school. She’s even blocked search engines so only our students, parents and teachers can see it.”

“What’s the first topic?” Paper asked.

“Possibly a response to this video. She’d have a series of questions for the kids to answer in depth. She wants to run it past Big Boss first, though.”

“And Pape! Guess who she wants to use to introduce the whole project!”

Paper looked quizzically at Pen, but said nothing.

“Us! Pape….we’ll be famous!”

Paper’s eyes widened as the implications dawned on her. “Famous!” she whispered.

“Every kid in school will know who we are!” Pen sounded gleeful. “I can see it now – product endorsements, merchandising, autographs….I’m really good at autographs!”

“Ok, ok,” Paper interrupted. “Let’s not get carried away here.” She thought for a moment. “Still, I like the idea of kids knowing about Pen and Paper. Especially in the technology age. I’ve worried that the time will come when no one will need us anymore. Could you imagine a blog called ‘The Keyboard Chronicles?”

“Hmmmm,” thought Dell to himself, inside his case.

Jane Rivera, August 8,2011. All Rights Reserved.

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7 comments on “The Continuing Adventures of Pen and Paper”

  1. The video almost made me cry. Really sweet.
    I still like pen and paper. That would be cool if you could make it like a cartoon. I can see them with faces. 🙂
    It makes me sad to think that pen and paper might become a thing of the past-paper bound books, too.

    • I’ll take a book over an iPad almost any day. The convenience is nice, but there’s nothing like turning pages, or actually being able to pass the book along when you’re done.
      I’m thinking of either having a contest for the kids to design the cartoon characters, or letting one of their blogging options be to write/draw a cartoon strip. My boss draws really well too…maybe he would design them and the kids could have the comic strip option….thinking, thinking

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Holly. I haven’t forgotten about our “take turns” story. :0)

  2. Thanks for the video. That was great.

    I would love to wax eloquently about “pen and paper” but I have to confess, I prefer to write with Dell.

    Want to see more of P&P. They could have their own blog. Kidding, just kidding. I write for 5 blogs now, off and on. It’s insane.

    As to students . . . let me know how that goes. Freedom writers. Writing is to be read.

    • I’ll let you know for sure, Irm. I’m also pretty sure you’ll see more of P&P. I kinda like them.
      I read 2 of your blogs….what are the other 3?
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I’ve missed your writing. I’m glad I had some extra reading time tonight. 🙂

    • And I’ve missed you! I’m glad you had some extra time too…although I don’t know how in the world you came by it. Thanks for reading Beth…I’ll talk to you and see you soon!

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