My major and career path demand many instruments, some considered highly advanced, while others are considered archaic. It is easy in our fast-paced world to forget the objects that we consider old-fashioned or seemingly unnecessary by today’s standards. It is also true that some objects once used for my major are no longer necessary. The chalkboard, for example, is no longer necessary, nor easy to locate. One in particular would is so seldom used it is rarely thought of anymore by the average individual. Its small proportions and sleek sides allow it to lie unnoticed on most desks, or on the shelves of most office-supply stores. However, what many do not realize is it has the power to transform.
Such a seemingly small object should not hold so much power, but it does. If it comes in red, I become authority, scrawling my ideas across the words of others. If it comes in black or blue, I can become a calmer voice of reason, on an even playing field with my peers. If it comes in pink, green, yellow, or any of the other arrays of rainbow colors, I could be mistaken for a fourteen-year-old girl, writing song lyrics on her trapper-keeper. Not only is the object transformative in status, but it is also a time machine.
It is not a paintbrush, but I can use it to paint. With it, I can create entire landscapes. Simple strokes with the instrument allow me to create houses, neighborhoods, streets, and towns. Meadows of flowers come into view as rolling green hills fill a sunny, mountainous valley. I can do it all without a single drop of paint. Apple trees and unmown crab grass lapping at its trunk are all possible with this object. However, I can go a step further without paint. I can make my objects and my scenery move. The grass and leaves and sway and bend in the wind. The sunlight can crawl slowly over the expanse of the setting as twilight slowly approaches, casting shadows over rock and house. Neighbors can check their mail, go to work, and wave hello to one another. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility with this simple, delicate tool whereas, with a paintbrush everything is stuck in place forever.
For being so tiny, so apparently insignificant to the rest of the world, it is also a portal to wherever I wish to go. Its slim body fits sleekly in my hands. It feels smooth. With it, I can delicately weave new worlds if I wish. I can grant myself passage to a pirate ship, a distant galaxy, or the office building across the street. I can breathe life into people who do not exist, give them names and addresses, and motives with which to commit crimes. In a far less exciting expanse, but still just as important, I can also address business envelopes, write notes to colleagues and friends, and leave reminders for myself.
As you may have guessed, my object of choice is a humble, modest pen. It is not an advanced piece of equipment. With the arrival of computers, it is often forgotten on dusty shelves, or under piles of papers on desks in the back of classrooms. However, unlike the computer, or the aforementioned paintbrush, I still see the pen as a powerful tool. Depending on its color, I can be seen as a person of authority or a peer. I can use its sleek body to take myself through time, or anywhere else I choose, depending on what I wish to write. More practically, I can also use a pen to leave notes or even make notes during a scholarly seminar. For my field of study, the pen will be used more than my peers and I initially believed.