Monday, September 27, 2010

Not Peculiar, But Particlar

I stopped off at the office supply megastore this morning on the way in to work. My wife wisely gave me the job of picking up more notebooks for my son ("Because I know you like shopping there.") If you've ever had the pleasure of trying to get a teenager to write, with actual paper and by hand, you can skip ahead. Otherwise, let's just say that it's a challenge. We're home-schooling my nearly-teen this year, and hit a slightly rough patch when it came to the two-headed whammy of composition assignments and essay questions. Clever one that she is, my wife noticed that the boy preferred writing with gel pens on legal paper. Specifically, glue-top, wide-ruled, no-margin pads in yellow. He balked at the idea of getting paper pre-punched for his three-hole binders, because even those throw a red margin line down the left side of the page, and he hates that. "I feel trapped" with margins, he says.

Fair enough. I'm certainly not one to begrudge him a preferred writing surface or a favorite writing implement. I've certainly spent enough time and spilled enough digital ink here talking, bragging, and giving away my favorites. And I certainly don't think he's being peculiar at all. Just particular. If that helps the words manifest on the page, then so be it.