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

Grotesque Grub

Sweet, sour, spicy, savory, tart, tangy, bitter and just plain scrumptious.  Food has just as many flavors as there are taste buds (about 10,000 to be exact).

From pickle-flavored chips, to peanut butter slathered on top of pancakes, “weird” foods seem to be getting more popular, but come out tasting like a million bucks.  There are  “weird” combinations of food that people put together that just seem to work.

I’ve made many tasty discoveries in my 18 years, as well as some, well…not-so-tasty.

Try dipping Oreo cookies in peanut butter, or salt and pepper on cantaloupe.  Peanut butter and chocolate syrup pancakes with whipped cream, and mayonnaise on red-beet pickled eggs.

I decided to roam the halls of Penn Manor to find out other people’s strange food habits.

Here are some of the most disturbing but debatably delicious food combinations that I found:

Put Peanut butter in the microwave and pour over ice cream.

Mustard on a salad

Dipping French fries in a chocolate milkshake

Ketchup on sauerkraut

Mustard on Mac & cheese

Ketchup and mustard mixed in mashed potatoes

Mac & cheese on top of a hot dog

Grape Jelly on eggs

Salt on watermelon

BBQ sauce and peas in mashed potatoes

Hot sauce on chicken alfredo

Ketchup on spaghetti

Peanut butter mixed with sugar

BBQ chips and peanut butter

French fries dipped in honey

Peanut butter and jelly on Doritos

Potato chips in apple sauce

Nacho cheese on a sub or hoagie

Nacho cheese on a chocolate chip cookie

Mayonnaise sandwiches

Gummy bears and chocolate

Of course, then there is always the infamous “fried foods” at fairs and other events.  It is, however, Lancaster County.  Now, don’t judge before you indulge.

Fried Oreos

Fried Broccoli and cheese bites

Chicken-fried Bacon

Fried Twinkies

Fried Coca-Cola

Fried Snickers bar

Fried ice cream.

These are crazy but sometimes actually delicious combinations.  So as soon as school is out for the day, it looks like I’m going home to try some crazy food combinations.

By: Alyssa Funk

Fifteen and Floundering

No job no money no wheels no life.

15 is probably the worst age for  teens.

It might be the worst age for anyone.

You are right in between everything important.

David Mohimani
David Mohimani

You are too young to get a permit but yet too old to get discounts and child prices.  You are too old to be cute yet they still ask you if you want a kiddie menu.

Old enough to get a job but not old enough to get a good job.

16 may seem close but you are still waiting at least six months more to get your license.

You can’t drive and are envious of almost anyone who can. You want to get a car, pay for insurance, and get gas, but you are going to need a job.  In most cases, however, a decent job isn’t an option for a 15 year old kid.

You are of an age where people expect things of you but don’t want to give you the respect you think you deserve and the cute girl in your 3rd block won’t even look your way.

You don’t have the right friends, the right look and you’re not in the right clique.

Your parents don’t love you, your coach is out to get you and you can’t remember for the life of you what an endoplasmic reticulum is.

15 is the epitome of teenage angst and self loathing sorrow.  Everybody thinks the world is out to get them and they are the target of every teacher’s cruel joke and that pimple on their nose can be seen from a Google Earth sattelite.

Well get over it. Your life isn’t over and no one is out to get you.

Yeah, you can’t drive but don’t worry you’re almost there and you will be driving your whole life. Yeah, you might not get a great job but who has a great first job. By the way, that pimple on your nose can be treated with a healthy dose of Proactive and that girl in your third block is probably going through a sexual identity crisis anyway.

Still, 16 does seem sweet.

By David Mohimani

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

Recycling is a simple concept. Turn your unwanted materials into something useful.

But people are getting lazy.

I can’t drive down the road without seeing a cup or a bag lying lifeless on the road. It’s sad and disappointing that even now, with the hype of global warming, people are littering mindlessly, not even giving it a second glance. Sometimes, if there is no one behind me, I will get out of my car and pick up the trash.

It’s disgusting that people think it’s ok to throw their waste on the streets, while those are many of the same people who “oppose” it. The trash we throw onto the streets have long term effects on our planet. From traveling through storm water systems into our oceans and bays, harming and killing wildlife, to having negative effects on our health by the spreading of bacteria.

Not to mention that litter looks repulsive and also takes a long time to decompose.

For example:

-Banana — 3 to 4 weeks

-Paper bag — 1 month

-Cigarette butt — 2 to 5 years

-Tin can (soup or vegetable can) — 80 to 100 years

-Aluminum can (soda pop can) — 200 to 500 years

-Plastic 6-pack rings — 450 years

-Plastic jug — 1 million years

-Styrofoam cup – Unknown

-Glass bottle — Unknown


By just dropping your junk in a green bin you can help prevent global warming, save energy and reduce the amount of harmful toxins released into the environment. Recycling also has economic benefits such as creating jobs and saving money.

So think again before you throw your coke bottle out the window, it will be there for awhile.

By Katlin Blake

A Thanksgiving without a Turkey

I pulled into a parking spot in the team member parking lot, fake ducks floating in the pond and the fall leaves leaving the trees almost completely bare. I fobbed past the door and began the trudge up the stairs, hung up my track jacket and walked to the time clock. Not much of a surprise to find that I was section two, yet again, I began lining the bread baskets with the tan napkins that always happen to be in twenty different shades.

Tyler Barnett
Tyler Barnett

My supervisor called us for stand-up, which is a version of a two minute debrief that, in reality, turns into twenty minutes of the same repetitive reminders we all hear every day we work. But this day was different.

As usual, I stand there and suddenly I hear the six words that would forever change my life: “The Thanksgiving turkeys have been cut.” And I do not mean cut, as in the birds have been carved and are waiting for our personal enjoyment, but I mean cut, as in we are not getting one at all.

At this moment, my eyes bulged out of my head and my jaw dropped to the floor. My attention shifted, like a goldfish eyeing up the cat, which was suspiciously walking around its fishbowl.

My supervisor went on to explain that with the uncertainty of healthcare, the upper management had decided that they had to make some cuts.

They cut our turkeys.

It was obvious to me that the upper management had underestimated the ability of a Thanksgiving turkey to brighten up our lives. Like the sun to the world, the turkey is a big benefit, especially to part-time employees. A resident appreciation gift, otherwise known as a Christmas bonus, a free birthday cake, and the gift of a turkey are three benefits that employees can claim.

Days later, reality hit me like a meteor crashing into the earth.

Yes, I may be losing my twelve pound turkey, but that turkey only holds the value of twenty to thirty dollars, but the value of better health benefits to those that I work with every night is worth so much more.

Reality can be hard to accept at times. It creeps up behind us and hits like a cold cement block. But reality is something that we all must accept at some time.

While talking to a fellow employee this past Monday, I realized that her health benefits actually included a switch in their health insurance company. Needless to say, the company offered many pros that the previous had not. It is also the health insurance company that my family and I are a part of and we enjoy it quite well.

I have come under the realization that there are times that the world is not fair. Maturity allows us to realize that the world will continue to rotate around the sun, and that world does not rotate around ourselves. The feeling that you have sacrificed something that brings benefit to others is a feeling that more people should experience. And it is that feeling that I will carry in to the Thanksgiving holiday.

By Tyler Barnett

Cell Phones and the School System

No matter what the policy, students will always keep their cell phones close at hand. It may seem to the school board that they can do something about the ongoing texting spree that occurs in classrooms of high schools all across America, but the students feel differently. Right now Dr. Leichlieter is examining the cell phone policy and considering loosening the rules on cell phones in school.

Texting isn’t necessarily the most dangerous thing students can be doing in their learning environment. Being a high school student, I know that I am perfectly capable of learning while texting. I do agree that while a teacher is speaking it may be rude to pull out your phone and text, but that isn’t the only time that texting is taking place. Many students walk in the halls, and in order not to be rude by pulling their phone out during class, they wait until the opportune time between classes. However, even though these students have attempted to be kind to their teachers and wait, the teachers will just turn around and snag your phone from you will while you’re walking in the hall.

Is that really necessary? Is it really that big of a deal that students may have something to say to each other while between classes? After all, our generation is known for being the most adjusted to technology, so this shouldn’t be taken away from us. Technology is definitely a large part of my life in many aspects. I know that many adults may look down on texting, or not approve of it in some sort of protest on the dependency on technology.

But many of us are well-aware that texting is not the only use of a cell phone that students may be taking advantage of. Many cell phones have a calculator or calendar that will come in handy during class time. There have been many times where I haven’t had a calculator but I’ve had my cell phone right in my pocket, and I’ve attempted to use it. Some teachers understand that this is not big deal however other teachers act as though you’ve just committed a felony and the world is going to end when they see you slide open your phone and press a few keys.

Technology is coming into schools from all angles, from the smart boards, to new computers, and new software available to students. It would only be logical to allow a high school student’s favorite technology to be allowed into their school. There are many advantages to cell phones, especially many of the newer models, and having them in school may be beneficial. Cell phones include applications such as calendars, calculators, timers, the internet and its many sources, and video recording (which could be used during an experiment in a science class or any other important events).

Personally, I think that if students were granted the opportunity to use their cell phones in school, they would not exploit the new privilege. I believe that many students would still be somewhat respectful and not go completely crazy with the new rule. The administration might as well recognize that no matter what they do, students are going to text in school, it’s just the question of whether or not they have been allowed to do so. Until Penn Manor decides to lighten up on their cell phone policy, they will be stock-piling cell phones in the office until the end of time.

By: Abby Wilson

Cell Phones Allowed in Schools?

Look out for more classroom distractions. Penn Manor students may be getting a break on cell phone usage.

The claim is that cell phones will provide more efficiency for internet access and other school instruments such as calculators. The real issue here is another excuse for students to pull out their cell phones. It will enable a more relaxed restriction on cell phones that may allow students an easier way to use phones without having to hide them under the desk or behind bags.

With this freedom, it is almost guaranteed that students will take advantage of it to text their friends or use the internet for games or for other uses that weren’t intended with the privilege. Even if restrictions are set on the phones for the usage to be strictly school related, it’s inevitable that students will easily sneak past any such rules.

Students are often distracted without cell phones. People already snap gum, whisper to the people next to them, rap on their desks, and cause other disruptions. Adding cell phones will just add to the noise of an already noisy environment for students who enjoy complete silence. It would be irritating to get stuck beside someone who spends their whole class period clicking mysterious messages on their phone, or who spends time twirling their phone around to mess with the latest applications.

There aren’t many advantages to cell phone usage. There are laptop carts, there are means of getting calculators, there are computer labs and other resources – let’s not forget the ever dwindling thought of using the library – that can enable students with more than enough technology to get by in school life. Past generations have learned just fine without today’s cell phone outbreak.

All that can be said is: let’s not encourage students to use their cell phones even more than they already are. It’s already an obsession to many teenagers, so why push it to become more of a necessity to life?

By: Samantha St. Clair

Grizzly Guys of November

The month of November is full of turkey, graduation projects, and facial hair.

Everywhere I look, I see a half -hearted beard sprouting up here and there, each one as equally bad as the one before it.

David Mohimani
David Mohimani ponders the important issues.

In most cases, students look like they have a prepubescent hygiene problem rather than a beard.

Who started No-Shave November, anyway?

Nobody knows, yet dozens of students are putting away their razors for the month of November, myself included.

Some students have been able to boast a nice little beard,but most can’t even manage a rough goatee.

We have all had a nice laugh over kids who are sporting half -beards and whiskers. We’ve also marveled at the few students who are able to grow a complete beard.

We joke about the kids who look like they’re in seventh grade and could barely muster up a pimple,  let alone a few whiskers. We ask them if they are participating in No-Shave November just to get a laugh.

November was somehow chosen as an arbitrary month for guys to relax and not have to shave but are girls granted the same leisure?

But is No-Shave November fair to everyone?

What if girls put their razors away?

I think No-Shave November would quickly turn into a forgotten pastime, if even 10 girls were to allow their body hair to be seen by the school.

Fair or not, that’s how society is and even though I know girls have body hair the same as guys, it’s just not acceptable for them to go unshaven.

So if it is deemed socially unacceptable for girls to do this, then it should be for guys too.

Enough is enough. I stopped to look at myself in the mirror and couldn’t help but smirk at the ridiculous whiskers protruding from my face.

Tonight I have a date with my razor and I suggest everyone else who is boasting a half-beard do the same.  Let’s agree to leave it to the professionals.

By David Mohimani

I Survived: the Parking Deck

The other day I was on the parking deck and, being my first day in my coveted senior parking spot, I didn’t feel the need to pay attention.

Now if you’ve never been up on the deck you might not understand, but it’s a senior war zone, imagine the parking deck filled with seniors trying to get out of school at the end of the day? Do i need to be any more descriptive than that?

Abby Wilson
Abby Wilson

If you aren’t turned completely around in your seat backing out, and possibly have an aerial view of your parking space, like on Google Earth, you won’t move without a fight.

It would seem to me that the parking deck should have extra large spaces, since the deck is predominantly for seniors, and let’s face it guys, we’re not all the best drivers. At least I know for sure that I’m not.

As I attempted to back out of my spot blaring Biggie Smalls, I almost hit three different cars. As people were screaming bloody murder for me to stop (I could only tell this as I turned around and saw their mouths moving, hence the loud music) all I could do was laugh. For some reason whenever I royally mess up while driving I laugh, not a good trait I must add.

Anyway, after I almost hit the person behind me, who coincidentally was the same person who had been parked beside me, I thought I was in the clear. So I continued to back up until I saw a huge truck in my rearview that would have been a new addition to my car if I wouldn’t have stopped.

FINALLY I got out of my spot and almost, almost, almost rear-ended the person in front of me.

I believe some day there will be an “I Survived: the Parking Deck”  television special on the BIO channel for any of you fellow science nerds.

By: Abby Wilson