(on an unrelated note, BOO ARSENAL, despite Rosicky’s excellent goal)
This may surprise those of who who go to my school and know I study Geography (a subject which, for better or worse, is taught almost exclusively through the means of highlighting a reading pack and transferring information to a table on an A3 piece of paper), but I hate highlighters.
Firstly, you can’t write with them; you may argue that they only serve to emphasise important information, but given the subjects that I study – English, Geography and History – the majority of marks available are for discussion and creative analysis, not just rote-learning a shed-tons of facts. Therefore, I find that highlighters discourage me to write commentary on information I find in reading packs and textbooks, because of the slight, but important, extra effort of having to switch pens to one suitable for writing.
Furthermore, they are fundamentally limited in achieving this goal, as they are so single-purpose; they can emphasise information well, but can’t be written with, used for drawing, and even colouring in is a bit of a push unless you’re particularly dextrous. There’s the added bonus of the slanty nib which, instead of allowing multiple thicknesses of line to be drawn, practically confuses one’s use of the highlighter, as one will often think they are creating a thin line on a page, only to realise, to their horror, that they have made a thick one.
Their colours also annoy me; I understand that bright colours stand out, but the overly pastel range of ‘pink’ to ‘somehow more pink’ means my worksheets often end up a mess of highlighting that is harsh on the eye, as opposed to the alternative which is just a mess of highlighting. Personally, I’d like a black one or a grey one, to go underneath the coloured pens I use frequently.
And these are my great alternative to highlighters: coloured ballpoint pens, specifically the Pilot V5 range. The range of colours of these pens is useful: I can write in black for notes and circle important ideas in red to fill the role of a highlighter, without having to adapt to a new style of pen. Furthermore, the ease of writing with a V5 of any colour means that after I underline important ideas – the role of a highlighter – I am automatically encouraged to write my responses to that idea, which will ultimately be more useful in the exam.
Because they all come from the same line, they are also often on special offer in shops; there is often a ‘buy three pens, get one free’ sort of thing, and there have even been more specific offers to buy two Pilot pens for the price of one, an offer they think no-one is into pens enough to take advantage of. I take great amusement in proving them wrong on that one.
Their cylindrical shape also means they fit into a pencil case much easier than highlighters, and the clips on the lids lets you clip them to an inside pocket for speedy withdrawals; this is especially important for me, as, being seventeen years old, I have done away with pencil cases in general and keep all of my identically-shaped Pilot V5 pens in the same jacket pocket – the ability to clip my current pen to the lip of that pocket to differentiate it from the others is of great convenience to me.
So I hate highlighters, love a specific brand of pens, and in no way was rushing this to finish it to catch half of tonight’s Top Gear episode, the second part of the Burma special (because the big films are the only good parts left).