29 August 2007

R.I.P. O Fountain Pen!

I received a beautiful Waterman fountain pen for my sixteenth birthday. Since then the pen has been my constant companion: I guarded it all through high school; I brought it to college with me, where I flowed debate rounds and wrote a first draft of my senior thesis in elegant style; I brought it to graduate school, where it assisted me in making notes on the many, many books I read, and I have in file folders a complete fountain pen draft of each of my dissertation chapters.

I had my pen out last night as I was writing a lecture. I have up the ghost around 10 and went to bed, leaving the pen out on my desk.

Now His Royal Highness Prince Pepper has been disgusted with me for the last few days. I've been so busy with the start of the school year and all the work that entails that I have not, I regret, had much time to spend dragging around a bunch of feathers on a stick for HRH. This is an activity upon which we usually spend a half an hour every evening before I go to bed. Pepper was clearly angry at my lack of attention last night, for during the night he cleared my desk: he knocked off the papers, pens, coasters, books, articles, flashlight, and telephone. The only items remaining on my desk were my laptop and the desk lamp. Alas, on the floor this morning I found the battered corpse of my fountain pen. I'm not sure if the impact with the floor caused it to crack, or if Pepper took out additional frustrations on it after he had pawed it off the desk, but there you have it. I discovered it in a small puddle of (appropriately) red ink, looking like the mortal remains of a soldier abandoned on a battlefield.

I'm not sure how I'll write the Amazing Mr. Book without my fountain pen. I'm very distressed. And Pepper is...well, he's in the dog house for sure.

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At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 5:14:00 PM, Blogger Profane said...

WOW. You hand wrote your Bates Senior Thesis in pen? And each of your dissertation chapters? I think about the only things I use a pen for any more are writing checks, taking notes in faculty meetings, and of course making comments on student papers.

Will we be members of the last generation who are trained extensively in handwriting? R.I.P. O Fountain Pen Indeed!

At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 5:42:00 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

I find that when I handwrite the ideas emerged more fully formed than they do when I type. So I think it saves time in the long run, but isn't necessarily good for trees. :)

I don't think my handwriting is very pretty, though.

At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 6:53:00 PM, Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway said...

Oh, the noble fountain pen! (I collect them - have 100+. Yes, I'm weird.) And the evil that cats do to them! I am well aware of this. (Two of my three are dedicated knockers-off-of-stuff.)

I have to say that you're more hard-core than I am, though - I edit in fountain pen and draft pieces of stuff, take notes, that kind of thing, but 90% of my composition is on computer now. (I don't think it uses any fewer trees!)

However, if you would like to find a worthy successor to your pen, you need only look here. Your wallet won't thank me for that, though!

At Thursday, August 30, 2007 3:00:00 PM, Anonymous Sara said...

O lost! O rare fountain pen! You have my condolences. I still draft longhand (but in a favorite ballpoint), and I much prefer to edit longhand in red pencil. You'll have to break in a new lucky, magical, and eloquent Waterman on Emanuel Driggus before tackling the Amazing Mr. Book.

At Thursday, August 30, 2007 3:27:00 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Well, I do have a working draft of Emanuel Driggus written longhand with the fountain pen. :) I've just had to set it aside as I start the new semester!


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