A few years back, during a round of budget cuts, the English Department, which never, ever has any money, made its final cuts.* It cut out long distance telephone service, and it cut out exam books. These are the little booklets of lined paper (sometimes known as blue books) that students use for exams. The solution was to xerox exam books, and so students were given stapled sets of paper with lines crookedly xeroxed onto them. These little copies were so sad.
And then a couple years later I was jointly appointed in English and Communication, a department where people get grants, and things are much more flush. Imagine my delight when, during a supply-gathering visit to the main office I discovered that Communication had exam books! Loads of them, sheathed in plastic wrap, in various sizes (5, 10, 20 pages).
Today while I was cleaning out my office, I found several stashes of those exam books, tucked under a stack of folders on my filing cabinet, hidden away in a drawer, stacked with my course packets on my bookshelves. Two packs weren't even open. Apparently over the past four years I have been hording them, like a child of the Depression who dies of old age in a house with a basement full of canned beans, or a hibernating animal after a long, hungry winter with a fort of twigs and nuts. After I cleaned out my office, I had a stack of exam books more than a foot high, my little nutty stash.
*by final, I mean final. When the next round of budget cuts came, the Head reportedly showed the Dean the budget, and the Dean reportedly said "nevermind."