BY JOANNE SASVARI
“Back to school” means different things to different people. For parents, it’s harried mornings and jam-packed schedules. For students, it’s catching up with friends after a long summer. For those without school-age kids, it’s remembering to slow down in school zones and taking extra care around 3 p.m. each day.
But for some of us, it’s all about the school supplies.
There is something wonderfully hopeful about an empty notebook, an unsharpened pencil, an eraser that has yet to tackle a mistake. Anything and everything is still possible, those blank pages say. Nothing, after all, is written. Yet.
Of all the school supplies, none gives us as much delight as pencil crayons. Or, as the rest of the world calls them, coloured pencils.
Who didn’t love opening that plastic packet of Laurentien “crayons de couleur” and carefully choosing their favourite? Peacock Blue perhaps, or Orchid Purple, or Poppy Red? (Poor old Burnt Sienna was always left in the pack.)
The Laurentien brand has been gone for more than a decade, but we’re still tempted by the rainbow of hues in a tin of the much-higher-quality Faber-Castell artist’s pencils available at Opus, the Bruynzeel Expression watercolour pencils at Monk Office & Art or the Prismacolor ones you can find at Michaels. Pick me, they seem to say, and we’ll draw you something beautiful.
We know not everyone is nostalgic for school days, that not every experience was a good one. But when you filled your brand-new pencil case with bright, optimistic colours, didn’t it feel like it could be?