My List of Necessities in my Pockets (LONIP)

Before I choose a pair of pants, I count the pockets. If there are fewer than four, it goes back to the box, shelf, or drawer it came from. A life of scouting has hardwired my brain so I am always prepared, a fact evident by the endless array of materials flowing from my pockets at any given moment. The actual contents, however, have ebbed and flowed through the years.

The Basic

Pencils (1-2)
Pens (1-2)
Tissues (3-5)

Long before my memory began recording the event referred to as “my life,” Schoolwork, homework, and my nose dominated the physical needs in my world. Running from classroom to classroom as an elementary school kid enrolled in both CCL (the Center for Creative Learning) and PSR (Parish School of Religion), I always made sure: Pencil? Check. Pens? Check. Tissues? Check. Eraser? Probably.On the bus ride home each evening, the nagging never stopped: “Steve’s a nerd! Steve’s a nerd!” I was a nerd. Books seemed to follow me around, beginning well before I stepped foot in a real classroom. My sister would play School with me, leaving me to read Laura Ingalls’ Little House books while she tended to her stuffed animals.

The Artsy

Pencils (5-10)
Pens (2-3)
Erasers (2-5)
Pencil Sharpener
Markers (10)
Colored Pencils (50+)
Index Cards (10-20)
Highlighters (3)
Eye Glasses Cleaner
Tissues (2-3)

My internal nerd has persisted, however, I began seeking new talents as I grew. From athletics to art, I loved it all. Running didn’t require good pockets, yet my passion for drawing filled my pockets beyond any reason. Through middle school, I lost any hope that I had about making use of athletic shorts. Their pockets were simply too small. “What’s the project today?” came the constant question before any class. “The waterfall,” came the standard response. I never left home without a pad of paper, the front page of which was filled with a glorious, impressionist masterpiece depicting a waterfall behind a tree. It ate through an average of five hours and as many pencils each and every day for two and a half years straight.

The Technological

Mechanical Pencils (2-3)
Pens (2-3)
Erasers (2-5)
Index cards (20-30)
Flash Drive
Calculators (1-3)
Extra Watch
Tissues (3-7)

High school hit hard, bringing computers, science, and math raining down on the world around me. When cross country and art gave me a break, I pored through textbooks–finding, studying, and validating or disrupting theories. During an exempted final in my french classroom, a physics textbook was all I had to read. I dove deep into the second half, reserved for the class above mine, and read up on wave theory and the theory of relativity. In my teacher’s words, “the only kid who would read a physics textbook for fun” found himself a project for the winter, and spring, and summer.

The Handy

Pencils (2)
Mechanical Pencils (3-5)
Pens (3-5)
Erasers (3-5)
Index Cards (15-20)
Rubber Bands (5-20)
Paper Clips (3-5)
Safety Pins (3-5)
Hand Sanitizer

Finally elected to lead both my Boy Scout Troop and Venturing Crew, I always had my hands full with one project or another. I became Mr-Fix-It in every situation. The door needs held closed? Let me tie it up. You fell and cut yourself? Here’s a band-aid. The calculator fell apart? This rubber band should hold it together. The comments on my hankie first began shortly after I returned from the Philmont trip that inspired it, and they don’t seem to have an end in sight. My exploits did require more than would fit in my pockets at times. Two friends had eagle projects that involved holes for various posts. After establishing myself at the first, I was given the task of digging at the second. We had only two post-hole-diggers and twelve holes to dig. I was given a shovel. Five people split time with the diggers and dug four holes. I finished eight. All of my bandages were distributed by the end.

The Necessary

Mechanical Pencils (1-2)
Pens (1-2)
Safety Pins (1-2)
Hair Ties (1-5)

By the end of Junior year, I had taken tests to qualify for college, completed around 30 credit hours, and hit the limit of core classes. There remained a few that I could take, but they subtracted from the explorative aspect of schooling that had been missing from my schooling since elementary school. I decided to revert back to the basics and devote myself to extracurriculars, interrelationships, and service. My pockets emptied out and I began looking around. My first job landed in my lap after digging around for months, I poured myself into my running and writing, and science and service came in active, yet relaxed settings, promoting growth, understanding, and connection.


6 thoughts on “My List of Necessities in my Pockets (LONIP)

  1. Sorry about the delay. I hit the post button earlier in class but for some reason it didn’t send :/


  2. I. Word use and mechanics 15 /15

    Based on the rubric, here are my specific suggestions: Word use is very fluent and very few errors are found throughout the list.

    II. Development of a theme or evolution of character 13/15

    Based on the rubric, here are my specific suggestions: Character development is noticeable and strong but some improvement in evolution could be added. One a side note I really like how every part starts with a list of things you carry.

    III. Showing instead of telling 15/15

    Based on the rubric, here are my specific suggestions: List does a good job of showing what is happening and doesn’t just list what’s happening throughout.

    Overall a very good LONIP and I really enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rob Durham says:

    Or did you leave comments and they haven’t been approved yet? I’m guessing that’s what happened–my bad. Still, I didn’t get Devin’s paper, so let me know if he gave you any feedback. Thanks!


    • snayls42 says:

      We’ve both left comments. I have his if you haven’t seen. And I apologize for all the delays. Work has been non-stop and I failed to compensate before it picked back up. I’m also a relatively slow editor because of how thorough I try to be.


  4. Rob Durham says:

    I got your feedback for Devin…but did he? Post what you gave me to his blog. I’ve asked him to do the same for you. I’m not sure how this group dropped the ball on this one. : /


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