Veterans Day a Day to Celebrate and Remember

Officially there are 11 federal holidays celebrated in the United States: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Out of those 11 holidays, I would argue that only four of them are celebrated properly.  Veterans Day is one that is not.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are around 23 million veterans in the United states and about 4o percent of them are 65 years or older. The number of veterans in the United States almost makes it impossible for every other person not to be related to one. Veterans Day is a day to celebrate warriors of all different kinds. Whether they served in World War II or the Iraq war, the holiday is in honor of them.

Although the war in which they served may have ended, the problems may have just begun. Vets face a numerous amount of health issues after leaving service whether the problems are physical, mental or both. There are scars of war that millions of vets deal with everyday.

Lost limbs, gunshot wounds, and head injuries are just some of the physical scars left by war that can be seen walking down the street. But some of the scars not visible to the naked eye are post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Not only are these hidden problems hard on the veteran, but their family and friends may suffer as well.

This holiday is not only important because we are celebrating their courage and bravery during the war but also because of their ongoing attributes after. The national Veterans Day ceremony, which is held every November 11 at Arlington National Cemetery, will start precisely at 11 a.m. But make no mistake, you don’t have to be there to celebrate. Here are some events happening here in PA:

  1. Military Appreciation Monday Free “Thank You” dinner Nov. 15- Golden Corral, Bensalem
  2. A tribute to veterans will be held 11 a.m. Thursday- Shappell Park, Main Street, Phillipsburg, PA
  3. Veterans Day celebration will be held 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday- Lehigh County Senior Center, Allentown, PA
  4. Commemorate Veterans Day at The National Constitution Center Thurs. Nov. 11- Philadelphia, PA
  5. Veteran’s Day Commemoration at Valley Forge Thurs.- Valley Forge National Historical Park, King of Prussia

By Robert Henry

No More ‘Clubbin’ for the School Year

It’s Thursday again and I am sitting here bored in homeroom.

There is only a few weeks left of school and I am trying to enjoy what is left. All students have to go through finals, study hard and work like they have never worked before to make sure they do well in all their classes.

But one thing that I looked forward to since day one was going to club every Thursday. When I wake on Thursday mornings, my motivation to get out of bed is knowing I could play floor hockey.

Now for others, it’s different clubs they enjoy including chess, basketball or newspaper clubs. I can say that I am probably not the only person frustrated that I can’t participate in club for the remainder of the year.

Mike Bouder - Penn Points staff writer

What I keep wondering is, why exactly do we not have clubs for the rest of the year?

Whatever the reason, its unfair. If students need time for tutoring, they are supposed to skip  club, anyway. If not, administration punishments ensue. I know that, and I am sure the rest of school does as well, its common sense.

If there is one thing that I would tell the school administration and board is:  keep clubs all year. There’s really no need to make these students suffer in homeroom when we can be doing the things we love.

Some clubs benefit and help students in their classrooms, they advance learning and thought, like German club.

I have never been in German club but I sat in a homeroom while the club was going on. They do activities having to do with all things, well, German. I’m not saying the kids don’t have fun, just that if they want to get more in-depth into German, they turn to their club.

My new end of the year resolution is to get through the rest of the year without losing my sanity sitting in homeroom and not running around joyfully playing floor hockey.

By Mike Bouder

Immigration Law Hurts all Americans

Hispanics in this country will probably want to avoid the state of Arizona completely, at least I will.

A new immigration law in Arizona requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and it allows law enforcement officers to question anyone if they seem to be in the United States illegally.

How does someone “seem” to be in the country illegally?

Do they walk differently?  Eat differently? Oh, I get it.  They look different!

“It is unjust and it’s inhuman, and it violates the civil and human rights of the Latino community … It goes against all human dignity, against the principles of most Americans I know,” said Shakira, a singer and celebrity.

Actually, I’m just saying that because I’m Colombian, nonetheless, the statement she gave about the new Arizona Immigration law is influential because of the truth of how this new immigration law violates the rights of so many Americans.

I do understand that there has to be control of the immigration problem in this country, but being in a country that was founded by immigrants and is run and defended by descendents of immigrants, it is hypocritical to impose such a law that targets one race.

I was born in this country.  I am enlisted in the Air National Guard and I will avoid Arizona at all cost while this new immigration law is enforced there.

Look at the picture to the right, now imagine if I stayed out in the sun until I turn a nice bronze color, let my mustache grow until its thick and then I put a sombrero on. Would officials in Arizona ask me for my alien documentation?

Juan Montes, Penn Points columnist

The thing is yes, of course they would, but could you imagine the humiliation I would go through? I was born in this country and I serve this country and this same country can turn around and question my belonging to it?

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” wrote by James Madison who authored the Bill of Rights.

If you feel like something isn’t right after reading the last quote and the new immigration law of the great state of Arizona, you’re not alone.

For an editorial on this issue please go to this link:

Good Luck McNabb

In the eyes of Cowboys fans, the NFC East conference looks like it should have their team’s name all over it.

The Philadelphia Eagles are losing their team one player at a time. Not only is it bad enough that the Eagles are losing their players, but they are giving their sloppy quarterback of 10 years over to division rivals, Washington Redskins.

This news is not as much of a surprise to me as much as it is a pleasure, especially since I know that McNabb might not even start.

The head coach of the Redskins, Mike Shanahan, told McNabb that he will have to earn his place as the starter.

If the current starter, Jason Campbell, stays in the starter spot I will be in shock and awe.

Many people may think of him as a nice addition to the Redskins, however McNabb is no miracle worker. Whether he improves the team or not, the Redskins will not have a shot at the playoffs.

The Redskins ended their 2009-2010 season with four wins and 12 losses. To have a shot in the playoffs you need to have 11 wins.

Whether McNabb makes an improvement or not, the Redskins will never be able to win seven more games than they did last year.

No matter what quarterback you are, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana or Tony Romo, some of the best the league has ever seen, no one will never be able to adjust to the Redskins offensive line.

Now I am not going to say that Eagles had an amazing offensive line, but the Redskins offensive line is just terrible. According to the Redskins let up 45 sacks all season. That is an average of 2.8 sacks a game. If you are a football fan you will understand that that many sacks per game is outrageous. If you are not a football fan, then just understand that you cannot get much worse than that.

Good luck Donovan, good luck.

By Mike Bouder

To Homework or not to Homework?

Students dread it on a daily basis. It lurks in our backpacks, hidden in the brightly colored folders we use to organize our subjects. It silently waits, longing to be completed.

Of course, I’m speaking about homework.

Homework is something that most, if not all classes are assigned. It generally consists of a page or two of extra work that the assigning teacher could not find a way to fit into the 90-minute block of time allotted for each class in school. Be it math, science, English or history, you can be sure that you will be on the receiving end of an array of to-be-completed assignments.

The problem with homework is simply this- students aren’t doing it.

As students reach different points in their lives and assume new responsibilities, they are forced to set aside more and more time each evening to take care of new obligations in the six or seven hours they have after school, besides taking care of their homework. Generally speaking, 20 percent of students have jobs after school.

One example: Luke Harvey works from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.  three days a week. After speaking with him, he informed me that on most days, his homework goes undone.

“I just don’t have the energy to come home and do more work,” says Harvey.

Asking a student to set aside time to complete a few problems after school does not seem like an absurd request- until you take the time to factor in just how much time a student who works after school actually has.

For example, I am a working student. I get home from school at approximately 3:15. After sitting down my backpack and getting in the mail, it probably is about 3:25. From that point on, I will start to cook myself a small dinner, which probably takes me about 20 minutes to cook, and another ten or fifteen to eat, taking me up until 4:00. At 4:00 I will get prepared for work by changing into my uniform, shaving, brushing my teeth, and the like. Assuming that takes another fifteen minutes, I have now arrived at 4:15 p.m.  Heaven forbid I run into any delays in that process, because I have to leave for work at 4:30, and that leaves me with a whole 15 minutes of free time before I slave away at Lancaster’s best grocery store until 10 p.m.. In those 15 minutes, am I expected to complete all of my allotted homework assignments for the night? The answer is yes, I surely know that when I get home from work, I’ll be more than ready to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep, and consciously ignore my homework.

As it stands, I can safely say I’ve completed about 20 percent of my homework assignments for the year. Is this because I am a bad student, or because I don’t care about school?  Neither, not in the least.

It raises the question, is homework even worth assigning?

Is the time of the students who do complete the work being wasted? Even more so, is the teacher wasting their personal time by grading only a handful of assignments each night, only to find out that the students who did complete their homework did not score high on the tests, because their homework was not efficient in teaching them the necessary concepts?

With 90 minutes in each block of school time, why do teachers find it necessary to assign homework? I can surely understand the idea behind it, especially in classes such as science or math, when perhaps the best way to learn something is simply through repetition- but the truth of the matter is that teachers still require homework to be completed. If someone feels that they have a convincing grasp on a subject, should they truly be required to take home an assignment that they probably won’t complete, and lose points in the class on an assignment based upon a subject they are proficient in? I don’t think so.

So no, in short, I am not asking for the abolishment of homework. I am asking for our teachers and faculty to consider the prospect of making homework worth fewer points, or perhaps even making it optional, rather than to rid of it completely. Sure, we all need some practice from time to time, but should we be penalized for not having the time to practice?

Andrew Zell

Graffiti Gossip

It may be more of a girl thing.

But Penn Manor has a problem with graffiti.

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Photo by: Lyta Ringo

Enter any girls bathroom at our school, and you’re bound to find that you have no choice but to giggle. Until you become the topic of the writing, then the tables turn.

Reading the stalls, you can learn a lot about fellow classmates. Who’s the local “hoe,” when so and so is having a baby, or even who is cheating on whom. And nine chances out of ten, what you’re reading probably isn’t true. Now I know some people love to draw attention to themselves, but seriously… we live in the Twenty-first Century. Can we grow up?

If you have a thought about someone, wouldn’t it be easier just to confront the person? I mean arguing on a bathroom stall? One, it’s immature, and two, it’s vandalizing. If you would get caught you’d be in just as much trouble if not more, than if you got into a fight.

Now if you’re lucky, every once in a while you’ll find a decent writing, for instance someone will draw a peace, love and happiness symbol or even some religious things.  Which is nice and all, and everyone has their own right to voice their opinions and beliefs, but not everyone has the same opinions and beliefs. This is also why religion is not allowed in school… it starts too many problems.  If you don’t believe it look at the second stall in the downstairs wing.

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Photo by: Lyta Ringo

At our school, some things have been done to try and contain the problem. For instance, last year the housing and interiors class repainted one of the girls’ bathrooms in the school and the teacher’s bathroom. This contained the problem for awhile but kids just couldn’t hold back from temptation.

And then they tried black, just paint them black. It’s a good thought-most things won’t show up on black… until kids get smart enough and find that pencil shows up and even crayons show up on black paint. However, some kids have used metallic markers and have just carved into the stalls with a sharp object.

Now as simple as it sounds, I’ve found a solution.

My solution is chalkboard paint, and I’m convinced it would work. Parents paint their homes with it all the time to control little kids’ habits of coloring on the walls. All we’d have to do is paint the stalls in chalkboard paint, and put some chalk in the bathrooms. It almost sounds counterproductive, as if bathroom graffiti is being promoted, but janitors could erase the comments at the end of the day.

Yes, chalkboard paint does cost a little more, but it would make more sense to spend a little more money one time for a solution, rather then a smaller amount of money… every year. I mean let’s be honest, since people decided to be immature and vandalize the school, our bathrooms have been painted at least once every single year.  This year, we’re not even halfway through the school year, and at least one bathroom needed painted again.

Which is quite frankly, pathetic.

Either way, positive or negative, helpful or harmful, it’s vandalizing, it’s illegal and it’s stupid.

If you’re that bored, buy a notebook.

By Lyta Ringo