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Engineering paper
added Mon January 26 2004 at 4:22 PM
I noticed what I found to be an interesting coincidence today when I picked up some homework from one of my classes. The assignments had actually been handed back during class, but I missed one bundle, so I needed to go through the stack again. I was near the front of the class, so I got the bundles of papers before most of the class did, and I noticed that most of the work was done on engineering paper. This makes sense, because we've all had the same class that requires engineering paper, and it just keeps work so much neater.

However, when I went to check the box this afternoon, most of the assignments left in the box were on notebook or loose-leaf paper (not engineering paper). It would seem from this observation that students that do their homework on engineering paper are more likely to attend class. Interesting coincidence? I don't actually think so.

I think that the reason why the majority of the assignments written on engineering paper were picked up was because those that care enough to use better paper are also more likely to care enough to attend class. Perhaps only slackers will turn in engineering homework on something other than engineering paper? Well, it's not quite that cut and dry, because I saw someone today working an assignment ahead on notebook paper. And obviously, all slackers don't use notebook paper, because I'm definitely a slacker, and I use engineering paper for assignments.

Notice for all nerds: pocket protectors are out, engineering paper is in (probably always has been). It's such a subtlety that I don't think non-engineers even pick it up as a quirk. After all, paper is paper, right? Perhaps you don't know why they even sell that green-yellow paper. Let me inform the uninformed masses:

Reason number one: The grids. On the back, engineering paper has dark gridlines. Note-- the dark gridlines are on the *back*. Please don't ever try to turn in an assignment writing on the back, because that defeats reason number two. When the paper is on top of another sheet of engineering paper, the gridlines show through just enough to keep your work all on horizontal lines. Plus, if you do have a graph, you can draw it right in the middle of your problem, no need to get a seperate sheet of graph paper.

Reason number two: Legibility. Now, engineers aren't necessarily known for their good handwriting, we'll leave that for elementary school teachers. However, I find it very annoying to have lines in the middle of my work, so I really like that when I take the sheet off the pad of paper, the gridlines don't show up very much at all. In fact, they are simply non-existent on xerox copies. What you see in the end is exactly what's written, no hiding behind annoying lines in the middle of the page.

Reason number three: Quality. The third (and for purposes of this rant, final) reason is that engineering paper is simply better for writing on. It writes cleaner and erases cleaner. It doesn't seem to smudge as much. Quality paper makes for (potentially) quality work. It's all about presentation.

There's only one thing I don't like about engineering paper (well, two things if you count a slightly higher cost). It's easy to find notebooks with engineering paper. It always comes in pads. The closest thing to an equivalent in notebooks is chemistry lab books, which I've considered buying for taking notes. The problem is that I have to have all my notes in a notebook, or else they get all cluttered and it's just a huge mess. Trust me on this one. We need engineering paper in notebooks (meanwhile, I'll be trying out the chemistry lab books).

big sister says:
DITO!!! I love engineering paper, but I think I'm the only one at work who really uses it much, and I desparatly want a bound notebook with it (enough that I've spent hours on line over the years searching for it). I've even went as far as to print the problems off on engineering paper when they were given electronically so that I could still have a nice working space. you forgot a reason though, the lines on the front at the top make perfect header sections for organizing homework so pages don't get lost or shuffled in the wrong order or with the wrong class before turning the assignment in and after getting it back when it becomes your favorite supper pretty study sheet.

yeas I'm a nerd too... but I've already come to terms with it :)
posted Sat September 23 2006 at 1:58 PM

Jo-Pete says:
It's good to know that no matter how nerdy I am, my little sister will always be nerdier;). That is a valid point, that I actually do utilize, but I don't even think about it. The stuff is just so great that it's natural:).
posted Sat September 23 2006 at 1:58 PM


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