Colored pencil points

Yesterday (if there really are people out there reading this, yes, I know I've been behind on several occasions lately), I spotted one of my 3rd graders take out a Ziploc bag full of something multi-colored and covertly but not so subtly try to show it to her friend. Immediately my teacher hackles went right up. What was she hiding? I wondered. My mind raced to the illegal possibilities.

Yet when I brusquely said, "I'll take that!" and snatched it out of that poor girl's hand, it was, well, this:

Colored pencil points?! I went on with my lesson, but was quite perplexed as to what this girl was doing with all of these colored pencil points.

After class, I called her into my office to demand an explanation.

"It's my collection," she explained, "I want to see if I can fill the entire bag up. Lots of the girls in our class are doing it."

In that moment, I remembered the eraser shaving fad in my elementary school. We would try and get our hands on as many different colored erasers as possible, erase them on our desk and scoop the shavings carefully into a plastic bag.

Was there a point? No. Was it completely gross? Yes. Yet that's what we did. From eraser shavings to colored pencil points, it was nice to know in that moment that quite often we are fascinated by something that's quite beyond an explanation.