Last night after the Kick-Off Party we screened “No. 2: Story of the Pencil” by director William Allen. It was a delightful account of the history of the No. 2 pencil, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The film questions the future of the pencil, and it made me think about all the ways in which I use this old writing utensil. I bubbled in my answers to the ACT with a pencil, my score got me into UNA. In a sense, the pencil got me into college. I used to play classical piano, when I was learning a new piece I would scribble all over it in pencil. The pencil helped me translate the great works of Beethoven and Bach. When I need to write something down in a hurry, if I have the choice between a pen or a pencil, I choose the latter. It is trusty and reliable; I don’t have to risk it running out of ink.
I spoke with the filmmaker before the screening at the Kick-Off Party. He told me, through this film, he discovered a whole underground community of pencil lovers. The film featured several of these pencil fans including the owner, Caroline Weaver, of the world’s only pencil store, C.W. Pencil Enterprise. After the screening, I went home and looked her store up online. I was pretty jazzed on “No. 2: Story of the Pencil” (and okay, maybe a little sleep deprived) I bought 20 bucks worth of pencils on her online store.
If a film can make a college kid part with 20 dollars, it must have a powerful story to tell.