Farmville a New Craze That Has Students Toiling Online

There are millions of students who should be studying, they should be doing chores around the house, they should be running errands for mom and dad but, they can’t.  They have to milk cows, plant beets and harvest their crops.

The culprit… Farmville.

Farmville is an online game created by Zynga and hosted by Facebook. The game allows members to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing, and harvesting virtual crops, trees, and livestock.


Though the game has been out no longer than six months, Farmville has become the most popular game application on Facebook, having a total of 70,476,996 members as of December 7, 2008.

Farmville has become worldwide, and many Penn Manor students have found themselves swept in by its power.

“It’s alright, I didn’t like it at first but it’s addicting,” said Justin Herr a junior at Penn Manor, “I still don’t like it that much but I have nothing better to do.”

Started only months ago, in June of this year, by November 9th it had claimed more than 63 million members.

Although the game is meant for just fun, once you begin a farm, the game requires certain things of you. Crops must be harvested at certain times or they are worth nothing.

“It depends on my crops; but normally I play every two days,” stated Herr, “the crops dictate my life.”

Kirsten Bechtold agreed, “I play every other day, no… make that everyday.”

There are times you actually have to play the game, if not, you might lose everything.  For instance, once strawberries are planted, it takes four hours until they can be harvested.

That’s four hours of real time.   That’s four hours when lots of other things could be getting done, like chores, homework, those kind of things.

“If my crops died I would get really pissed off,” stated Herr, “I tried to earn that money and it would just be going down the toilet.”

In Farmville you have a plot of ground where you grow your crops and raise your animals; however there are farm plots around you where you can have neighbors.pink_cows

“All my friends are my neighbors,” said Bechtold, “my neighbor is my neighbor on Farmville.”

One of Herr’s neighbors is Jeremiah Mazzur.

Mazzur commented that the music on Farmville is amazing, and his favorite part is the cows.

“The strawberry cows to be exact,” added Mazzur.

Who said Penn Manor isn’t a farm school anymore?

“It’s addicting,” said Bechtold, “once you start; you can’t stop.”

By Lyta Ringo

Do I Look Sexy To You?

Sprinkled throughout the halls of Penn Manor are girls in short shorts and ripped jeans, and guys with their backsides exposed for all to see.

No matter what rules are put into place about the dress code, it never fails that students will be showing too much skin to handle.

Many students in Penn Manor are familiar with Dr. Mindish’s infamous video about the dress code which highlighted points about what not to wear to school. Inappropriate clothing includes:

Photo credit Alex Blythe

1.)    Hats and hoods

2.)    Shirts that reveal cleavage

3.)    Tank-tops that are less than three inches wide

4.)    Midriffs that are not covered

5.)    Shorts/Skirts/Dresses that are shorter than mid-thigh

6.)    Holes in jeans above mid-thigh

Yet, everyday, students in Penn Manor violate the dress code.

“If I can see your undergarments, I’m saying something,” Jason Hottenstein, school resource officer states.

Girls may be sent to Krista Cox’s (high school principal) office due to dress code violations. They will then be asked to change into a unisex pair of sweatpants or an oversized tee shirt, according to Hottenstein.

Despite the penalties, student Taylor Smith said, “I feel very sexy,” when she breaks the dress code, wearing things like low cut shirts and ripped jeans.

Karli Heiserman believes that she wears what she wears because “I really don’t feel like it concerns anyone what I wear,” and, “a little cleavage never hurt anyone.”

Photo credit Alex Blythe

Many other students agree with Heiserman. Cheryl McDonald also thought that “You should be able to wear what you want.”

“I’m not trying to impress anyone,” says Teerney Nace, who reportedly breaks the dress code by wearing holes in her jeans and having shorts that are considered to be too short for school.

Lauren Richards also said, “ripped jeans are just in style.”

Also in style now, are low cut shirts and short dresses with leggings underneath, all which are violations of the dress code, and can be found on the bodies of many students walking though the hallways.

As opposed to the students’ cries that ‘it’s just what is in style,’ and their claims that ‘they just want to wear what they want to wear.’

Michelle Wagner, part of the staff at Penn Manor exclaims that, “I would say that they (the students) are looking for attention.”

By: Kimmy Bowman

How to Get a Guy in 10 Days

In 2003, the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” was released.

Here at Penn Manor, we looked at this from a different angle.

We want to know how to get a guy in ten days and we got advice from several Penn Manor students.

Flirty girl isn't quite winning over her love interest. Photo by Damien Oswald

“Don’t tell a guy you’re drama,” said junior Emily Land, “they don’t care, they don’t wanna hear it.”

“I want an all American renaissance girl,” said Eric Bear a junior at Penn Manor, “I’ve gotta be able to take them home to mom, but also take them to Vegas.”

To get a guy you’ve got to act normal. No one wants a girl who plays to be something she truly isn’t.

“She’s gotta be attractive and funny,” said Macon Kirtley.

“She’s gotta have a bod, be a girly-girl, and be prim and proper.” said Bear.

“I want a girl who can chill with me and my friends,” said Zach Miller, “she’s gotta be able to deal with me and my shenanigans.”

It seems easy to win a guy over doesn’t it? I mean their just guys, right? Just be laid back, be yourself, and have a good time.. If you’re lucky enough, you might just win over your guy.

Think you can do it?

By Lyta Ringo

Penn Manor Math Whiz to Enter Math Olympiad

Working at advanced level classes and at a grade two above where he’s supposed to be, Ben Clark is prepared for the Math Olympiad.

He has been qualified to participate in the American Math Olympiad that only 500 in the nation are accepted to participate in. All this and he’s only 14 years old.

Fourteen and a junior in high school.

Ben Clark, 14, is an accomplished math student at Penn Manor

“It’s nice, I don’t mind being in high school classes,” Clark mentioned, also saying that people treat him better here than they did at his other school.

Clark already finished AP Calculus BC last year while a sophomore, with almost a perfect score. He’s currently taking courses through Stanford, which are Multivariable Differential Calculus, Optics and Thermodynamics, Linear Algebra and Modern Physics.

He’s had several accomplishments in math competitions through the school, including being one of four that placed first out of 32 teams at the George Washington University Colonial math challenge.

Clark also has a part in the Lehigh Valley mathematics team, where they recently placed first at the Princeton University Math Competition. He also qualified for individual finals, where he placed tenth overall in the Algebra Subject test.

“I just really got involved in it when I was younger,” Clark says about his interest in math. He liked math since kindergarten, and has been taking advanced classes since his elementary days.

In the future Clark plans to go to an Ivy League college.

“Maybe Princeton,” he said while also listing several other options.

Clark plans to go to school for physics research for a future job field in the subject.

By Samantha St. Clair

Black Friday Will be an Event for Penn Manor Students

It’s ten-thirty on a Thursday night; most people are getting ready for bed. You however, you’re getting ready for the big sales.

Black Friday begins in a few hours.

Black Friday is known as one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year. The term “Black Friday” comes from olden days when accounting records were manually kept. Red ink indicated financial loss while black ink indicated profit, thus coining the popular fiscal terms of being “in the red,” (losing money) or “in the black” (profitable).

Penn Points  has investigated local sales, and found out what’s hot this season on Black Friday.

Maddie Mull said, “I’m probably shopping for Christmas presents, and looking for sales on fun clothes and boots.”

“The mall scares me,” said Mrs. McMullen, “I will never go to the mall.”

Some Penn Manor students talked about how people get very antsy on Black Friday, because they might miss the deal they want.

One student, Tanya Luckenbaugh said, “I’ll punch someone in the face if I need to.”

Last year on Black Friday the Xbox 360 was the most wanted item. However not one interviewed student at Penn Manor had an Xbox on their mind.

While most students had simple things like clothes in their focus, a few students had high expectations for their finds.

“I’m going shopping for my car,” said Michael Schneider, “I’m looking to spend around $4,000.”

A few stores are opening as early as midnight Thursday, and many great sales are to be found.

Will you find yourself out at the sales?

By Lyta Ringo

Penn Manor’s Smoking Rules More Lenient than some Schools

Penn Manor School District has one of the most lenient tobacco policies compared to other districts including Lampeter Strasburg, Hempfield and Manheim Township.

“Our policy does not crush you right off the bat but you are aware of what’s coming,” said Jason Hottenstein, high school resource officer.

There are simply bigger fish to fry at Penn Manor. That is the reason Penn Manor administrators use when referring to the school district’s tobacco policy.

The punishment at Penn Manor for the use of, possession of, or intent to see of tobacco policy is a $10 to $25 fine, with a letter sent home to parents on the first offense. The third offense results in a $25 fine, a parent conference and a three day out-of-school suspension.

Hempfield School District imposes a fine up to $50 and five days of in-school suspension. By the second offense, the district calls for ten days of in-school suspension.

For a Hempfield student, the punishment for the third offense includes a recommendation for expulsion to the school board.

Hottenstein believes the current policy that Penn Manor holds is the most fair to the students.

“The only reason I think ours is fair is because there are so many kids that do it, it would be hard to justify giving 5 days (referring to Hempfield’s policy),” Hottenstein said.

Creating a policy similar to Hempfield’s could be challenging at times, Hottenstein noted. “We’d have to have ISS (in-school suspension) in our auditorium.”

Manheim Township School District enforces a $15 fine and three days of in-school suspension for a first offense. The second offense doubles the fine to $30 and includes five days of in-school suspension. A third offense also includes a $30 fine, but changes the in-school suspension to ten days. With the third offense, the district will consider expulsion or a second form of excessive punishment by the Discipline Committee of the Board.

Living Word Academy contained one of the strictest policies in the county, according to their student and faculty handbook: “In the event of use or possession of alcohol or tobacco, the course of action could include suspension, probation, and/or recommendation for expulsion.”

The school also fully explains to its students that they can expect to have their locker, vehicle or person be searched if there is any suspicion. If the administration would find something, authorities are notified immediately, according to the handbook.

At Lampeter Strasburg, the first offense regarding tobacco results in three days of in-school suspension and a choice between a series of after school detentions, or a three-day tobacco education program. The second offense brings a five day in-school suspension and a parent conference. Finally, a third and final offense would result in ten days of out of school suspension and a recommendation to the school board for expulsion.

Two Penn Manor High School secretaries estimate that as many as one-third of Penn Manor students smoke cigarettes.

Another administrator at Penn Manor, Eric Howe, had this to say: “You would be surprised how money out of the pocket is a deterrent.”

“I don’t think five days suspension will stop them from smoking, no policy is in place to deter them from smoking. Once that addiction to the nicotine, they won’t leave them at home, they won’t make it,” said Hottenstein.

Whether or not Penn Manor will follow in the footsteps of other nearby school districts and increase  punishments regarding tobacco is still unknown. Until then, Penn Manor smokers will not have the same punishments that many other schools in the area have enacted.

By Tyler Barnett

Wanted: New Moon Tickets for Twilight Premiere

The highly anticipated sequel to Twilight premieres in theaters tonight at 12:01 and vampire fever is sweeping through Penn Manor. Tickets are harder to get your hands on than a buttered up watermelon. Even the books are difficult to come by.

“We have four a copies of each book and they’re all checked out and there’s a waiting list,” said librarian Susan Hostetter, “The same thing happened with Harry Potter.”

Penn Manor student, Angelica DeJesus, was out of luck when hunting down tickets for the Twilight film.

“I tried to buy tickets but they were all sold out,” she said.

While DeJesus didn’t find any tickets, sophomore, Megan Schlegelmilch, had good fortune, but didn’t cash in on the opportunity.

“Someone was gonna get tickets for me so I wouldn’t have to pay for them,” said Schlegelmilch.

The movies are based off the highly successful Twilight Saga written by Stephanie Meyer. The story follows Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart. She falls in love with a 104 year old vampire named Edward Cullens, who is played by Robert Pattinson. He tries to separate from her because he is a danger to her but they find themselves unable to part ways.

Steff Moore and Grace Wolfe are two Penn Manor students who were lucky enough to find tickets.

Moore ordered tickets one week in advance and plans on dressing up in a Twilight costume when she sees the movie on Friday.

Wolfe is going on Saturday with a group of friends and is really psyched about seeing “New Moon”.

“I’ve been reading the books since seventh grade, before everyone else just hopped on the Twilight bandwagon,” said the sophomore, Wolfe.

By Jake Shiner and David Mohimani

Penn Points Celebrates Their First Milestone

After three weeks at a new school, they have ten thousand friends, and as of now, you’re one of them. Now that’s something to celebrate.

The Penn Points newspaper staff, who launched one of the first-ever, totally web-based school newspapers in the state, celebrated their 10,000 hit this past week and is fast approaching the 13,000 visit.

Penn Points staff recently celebrated the 10,000 hit on their new website
Penn Points staff recently celebrated the 10,000 hit on their new website

“I feel that we’re hitting record setting numbers faster than I would have expected,” said Rob Henry, Penn Points Editor-in-Chief.

Although the newspaper was launched only three weeks ago, the newspaper and its staff is receiving public recognition for the effort.

There was an article in the Lancaster Newspapers, the staff was interviewed by WGAL (which aired on T.V. Wednesday morning), and a video about the paper was posted as the video of the day on the worldwide educational video site,

It’s safe to say that the Penn Points staff’s expectations of their high school online newspaper have been exceeded.

By: Abby Wilson

Rocket Club Members Walking on Air

Launching a rocket, designed and built by you and your team mates, hundreds of feet into the air, with nothing but a streamer to ease it’s fall back down, without breaking the fragile egg inside can be a difficult trial and error process that many rocket club students enjoy.

Rocket team has been open to Penn Manor students for eight years now. The students in rocket club get together, usually in teams of three, and design a rocket on the computer, and then test it in a simulation. After designing the rocket, the students then begin to construct, launch and make adjustments to their rockets. Before qualifying, the teams practice 25-35 times at Manor Middle School field.

To qualify for nationals, a team’s rocket must launch at least 825 feet high, and land within 40-45 seconds. Although this can be a challenge to meet these requirements, many of the students, from freshmen to seniors, find this a fun experience.

“Once they join, most of them stay in it as long as they can” said Brian Osmolinski, the rocket club advisor and science teacher here at Penn Manor. “They love the challenge.”

Osmolinski has been the rocket club advisor for almost four years now, and he has seen a wide-range of students learn and enjoy this club.

“The most beautiful thing about it is that anyone can do it, everyone gets something out of it,” said Osmolinski.

Jordan Franssen and Ivan Puskavoic
Jordan Franssen and Ivan Puskavoic show off one of the models they constructed for rocket club.

Jordon Franssen, a senior who has been in rocket club since 8th grade, said, “It’s a good experience and it’s fun. We definitely do repairing, because rockets like to crash and break into millions of pieces.”

Rocket club raises about $6000 from the Thursday snack carts. They also receive some of their funding from some of the Raven’s home games, and they apply for grants.

“It’s a good time,” said Ivan Puskovic, also a senior who has just joined rocket club this year. “It’s hard, but it’s definitely worth it”

By: Mike Stokes

Facebook Announces Memorial Guidelines

Since the passing of Cory Denlinger  this past summer, the loving comments left by family and friends could break the heart of even the toughest man.

A recent post, left by a friend of the funny, outgoing 2007 Penn Manor graduate: “everyday this week I’ve been thinking of you! I got to describe you to all of my roommates last night and share some hilarious stories… we were all sitting around cracking up. You still can make anyone laugh 🙂 I miss you so much Cory.”

From Cory Denlinger's Facebook memorial page
From Cory Denlinger's Facebook memorial page

From Facebook:

Cory Denlinger was loved by everyone he met and will be missed by all.

Please share any stories about Cory on this wall, I know we all have one,

and his family greatly appreciates them.

The posts that loved ones are continuing to cherish will remain, thanks to Facebook’s new policy announced October 26.

Facebook’s head of security, Max Kelly, made the official announcement to media reporters explaining the memorializing of its users, according to Time Magazine Online. Facebook spokesman claims this option has been present since shortly after the creation of the social networking site.

Facebook makes the process quite simple. If the family of the user wishes to terminate the deceased’s profile, they can surely do that. The second option is to complete an online form, which requires a link leading to the obituary or other proof that the user has actually passed away. This would create a Facebook memorial.

Along with the memorial, any friend suggestions, user updates, and status updates would no longer show up under the “news feed.”

Kelly released a statement where he said, “We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them, which is why it’s important when someone passes away that their friends and family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialized.”

Facebook does not officially have the new guidelines as a part of their privacy policy, however, according to Time; the changes will be made in the coming days, most likely the end of October.

Facebook claims that they have no plans to change the basic idea of this policy, despite the outcry of a handful of critics, including MySpace, which continues to struggle with determining such a policy.

The family and friends of Cory Denlinger will forever be reminded of his loving charm and humor, and through Facebook, be able to share the stories that make Cory,  a “Corlinger.”

By: Tyler Barnett