​​CALMING PRESENCE
  • Maintaining proper composure and perspective, even when the stakes are high
     
  • Offering a steady and consistent approach in the midst of stressful circumstances
     
  • Reducing the stress in others while staying collected, despite external agitation
COMMENTARY
My biggest addiction is fountain pens. As I write the draft for this article, I volunteered my fountain pen for the task. When I am having a bad day, I'll write with a fountain pen to cheer my spirits. The podcast I listen to is all about fountain pens. There is something about fountain pens that turns my frown upside down.  
 
Maybe the look of a fountain pen is what captivates pen addicts. The glossy finish that causes the pen to shine. Or the gold clip on the cap that catches the eye. Fountain pens just look classy. But the most elegant piece of a fountain pen is its defining feature: the nib.
 
A nib is the pointed metal tip of the fountain pen. Typically, nibs are made of gold, as it is a durable yet flexible metal. On the nib’s back is the feed, which is plastic or rubber groves that connect to the fountain pen’s ink reservoir. The feed employs capillary action and gravity to easily apply ink to paper. As a result, very little effort is needed to write with a fountain pen.

Only a light touch is required for a fountain pen. If too much pressure is applied to a nib, the nib may bend in two, and you’ll have more of a fork than a pen. Therefore, a lot of care is taken into writing with a fountain pen. Gentle, smooth strokes from a light hand are best.

I find people are a lot like nibs. They are often sturdy and flexible. People can bounce back from a bit of pressure (like meeting a major deadline). But, if too much pressure is applied, people break. When using a fountain pen, the nib writes better the steadier and more calm your hand is. Like nibs, maintaining a steady and calm countenance around others amid pressure can bring out the best in everyone.

Funds For Learning’s goal is to be a calm presence, even under pressure, so we bring out the best work in ourselves and others. Our team works in harmony because we appreciate one another. We value the clients we serve, and so we practice serenity even when the going gets tough. Because we know that being calm brings out the best in others. Funds For Learning is the steady hand guiding each other and our clients through the E-rate process. 

After all this talk about pens, I think I need to replenish my ink supply (and maybe purchase another pen or two).
 
Key Words and Phrases
Steady and collected; Not agitated or disturbed; Steadiness of mind under stress; Composed; Peaceful; Cause to be calm; Collected; Abate stress.
 
Opposite Terms
Agitation; Commotion; Disturb; Stir up.
 
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