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by Thea Kupersmith (8th)

In an absolutely shocking display of blatant disregard for academic regulations, an anonymous student was found to be in possession of a number one pencil during a standard class period. “I was watching the students work on their tests,” said their teacher during aninterview. “

As they began to bubble answers, I noticed that monstrosity of a pencil clutched in their hands.” Immediately, the class erupted into screams, with students showing fear that hadn’t been witnessed since the infamous pop quiz of ‘98. The teacher immediately called an emergency evacuation of the classroom, and the principal himself called a school-wide assembly. The number one pencil, typically confined to the world of art and shading, has somehow found itself in the learning environment.

The pencil was immediately confiscated in a biohazard bag, and the student ushered out of class. Although it seemed the threat was contained at the moment, chaos erupted mere minutes after the incident.

Rumors have been circulating for ages about the mysterious properties of the number- one pencil, and this event caused a virtual explosion of theories. The pencil has long been shrouded in an air of superstition and fear. The peculiar ways that teachers insist on the subpar “number two” pencil can only add to the curiosity of the young scholars of today.

Local legend suggests that the ownership of this simple cylindrical rod of graphite encased in wood can bring good luck, cure all diseases, and almost get your life together. You may also be granted immediate entrance into any Ivy League college, gain impeccable handwriting, and walk out of every class with background music and your hair flowing dramatically behind you. Rumors
persist that any straight line drawn with the pencil immediately passes any test, while a wobbly line shalt bringeth down a curse upon thy family. With this realistic and believable gossip, no one could have a complete idea of the properties of this positively peculiar and perfectly puzzling pencil.

The number two pencil has long been perceived as the epitome of standardized testing, so when the student had the absolute audacity to commit this egregious act and disrupt the learning environment, the school board was scandalized. Teachers questioned their teaching methods, while parents feared for their children’s academic futures and did what any self- respecting parent would do, complain.

The students were especially affected by the uproar, with the guidance office positively overflowing with confused pupils. “After seeing my peer with a
number one pencil, I started to wonder if I had been unknowingly using one all along,” said Bob R. Bobert. “I’m so confused... what does this mean?” asked Rob B. Robert. “When’s lunch?” questioned Hun. G. Ry. Obviously, school had to be dismissed early, as the safety of the students is paramount.

The administration held an emergency meeting, and were able to come to a consensus. All usage of number one pencils was prohibited, to maintain the accepted status quo. However, the school hasn’t truly recovered, and the haunting question still remains. Is the number one pencil a representation of an academic standard we should all strive for, or is the harbinger of doom upon the educational regulations we are familiar with?

The Artichoke attempted to meet with the school for more information, but they were occupied. Something about a number three.