Among a dozen or so of us at school there was briefly a craze of taking squared school notebooks and pencilling in alternate squares like a chess board. One or two filled a whole book, page after page of grey and white squares - something that took a commitment of many days - but most achieved a handful of pages only.
Progress was a slow and laborious, and its essential pointlessness somehow excited us and drove us on. After we'd done a page or two the pencil would have worn nicely to a flat diagonal, optimal for quickly covering a square. We'd keep these pencils carefully in our pencil cases, reserving them for the notebook.
But soon the teachers confiscated the books because they represented a waste of our time, particularly in the classroom, and of school material. The practice immediately went underground, but it was hard to keep up, and the checkerboard craze soon fizzled out.
The image is a replica from last week, the original notebooks are sadly long-lost.
(More personal history of drawing to follow!)