To some, all pens are the same, and from one model to the next many believe there are no true differences between models, only gimmicks. However, beneath the general populace lies a niche group of pen enthusiasts. Discussions, comparisons, and missions all surround the pursuit of the highest quality pen. Some are better for math and science, while others suit long essay writing. Pens prove to be highly specialized. The gratification one receives from using their choice pen cannot be measured. The selection process is a form of meditation on one’s personal preferences, and when the time comes to place the nib to the paper and the ink begins to flow, the true value of a favorite writing utensil is finally exposed.
Many students at East covet specific brands, models, or locations when discussing their favorite pens. Japan is elevated to a somewhat divine position in local pen culture. The sub-group of enthusiasts who restrict their writings to precision-made, ultra-fine utensils from the island country surely find themselves salivating at the thought of a gleaming new Namiki or Pilot pen.
A staple amongst East students, the “G2” model of pens produced by Pilot are by far the most popular writing utensil around. Available in a variety of nib sizes as well as a diverse range of colors, G2 pens make for not only a universally versatile instrument, but a source of countless arguments and discussions throughout the school as to which combination of specifications make for the most complete tool.
East junior Eashwar Mahadevan is an avid enthusiast of the G2 when fashioned with a 0.5 millimeter nib and classic black ink. For Mahadevan, this combination makes for a pleasant and invigorating writing experience.
“Using the optimal pen can make taking notes enjoyable,” explained Mahadevan. “It makes notes easier, neater, and more comfortable, not to mention the classiness of using a pen.”
Like many others, Mahadevan believes that it is the nib that makes each pen special.
“A fine tip like on the G2-05 [denoting the 0.5 mm model] helps with neat and fine notes,” described Mahadevan. “Otherwise, a rollerball is super smooth and comfortable to use.”
Sophomore Gaurav Sirdeshmukh matches Mahadevan’s fervor for the seemingly incomparable G2-05.
“[The G2-05] is very fine and allows me to take clean notes and write very neatly,” said Sirdeshmukh. “I feel that when I have a good pen to write with, I can focus, take notes and produce quality assignments.”
In addition, Sirdeshmukh agrees that the nib of the pen is what makes it so unique.
“The tip makes it smooth, which is definitely the main thing I’m looking for,” said Sirdeshmukh. “I’d say the click is also nice, and I do look for it to be fine and not smear. I’m very picky about pens, how most people should be.”
Undoubtedly, some will never be able to find ecstasy in the slow glide of ink mating with paper, and yet for others writing is incomparable. To get a start in the world of pen collections and specialized utensils visit Chapel Hill’s very own Crazy Alan’s Emporium. Crazy Alan’s, previously called Office Supplies and More, is the largest independent pen distributor in North Carolina. Crazy Alan’s is located in the Timberlyne shopping center. The world of pen enthusiasts is everywhere at East. Look around in your next class and spot those who choose their pens wisely.