Let me set the scene.
For the past two years, my students have been without pencils (and sometimes paper) on a daily basis. Rather than grow frustrated and waste time waiting for them to borrow something, I decided that I would create pencils for loan this year.
I bought some sticks (OK, swizzle sticks) that were bright and colorful. I bought colorful duct tape and duct taped the sticks to pencils, put them in a container, and kids could leave me some collateral and borrow one of the pencils if they needed it. (The sticks were to remind them not to walk out of the room with them.)
The year began with six pencils. Mid semester, I had to replace two that were broken. By Christmas, three were gone and two more were broken. I made more and started the spring semester with six new ones. By Spring Break, I had only one pencil on a stick that was intact. So, I made four more. *argh!
At the end of the day yesterday, I found a bright blue swizzle stick snapped in two. One half of it was still wrapped in the duct tape and had been thrown on the floor. The other half was tucked into a text book. When I went back to the container, another was broken, and a third was gone. Mind you, this container sits on my desk. And that's when I snapped.
I emptied the pencil container, turned it upside down, and put this note on it: