Easily marked upon and easily erased, chalkboards and their slick, white successors have been a focal point in the classroom for generations. Focused on the “right” or “wrong” of the blackboard, many children (and adults) have made the slow, trepidatious walk to the front of the classroom to take the chalk from their teacher. In schools I attended writing lines or equations on the blackboard was the go-to punishment (à la Bart Simpson). On the other hand, knocking the chalkboard erasers together, purging them of the accumulated dusty scribbles and scrawls, was the reward. Considering the august persons that rely upon this simple yet limitless slate to achieve the most amazing goals (and accidents), perhaps a new relationship to this slate surface is appropriate. As the preservation of chemist Linus Pauling’s blackboard suggests, the value of the blackboard lies in our ability to lay out a meditation. In his book 100 Hieroglyphs: Think Like an Egyptian, archaeologist Barry Kemp alleges that “there is a general reluctance to see [hieroglyphs] as writing, any more than watching traffic lights change or interpreting facial expressions can be said to constitute reading, even though information is being transmitted”. While the writing on the below blackboards might strike the viewer as mysterious, even meaningless, it is nonetheless the tool of the person standing in front of the board; perhaps it is even yours.
Lady of the Month
Portrait of the Month
Team of the Month
All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times.
Ecclesiasticus 44:7, King James Bible