Dec. 2011 Smoke Signals Issue 2
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    Dec. 2011 Smoke Signals Issue 2 Dec. 2011 Smoke Signals Issue 2 Document Transcript

    • Smoke Signals December 2011 PT Alumni... Where are they now? pages 16-17 REALLY...we PROMISE GIRLS RULE! PIAA State Champion Soccer & Tennis Teams pages 4-5 Twas the Day Before Break pages 12-13 Student Work: Ceramics pages 22-23
    • Smoke Signals Volume 3 Issue 2 Peters Township High School 264 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Phone: 724-941-6250 www.ptmedia.net
    • Meet the Staff Carly Beck, Features Editor John Galatic Print Editor-in-Chief Allie Schlafman Layout Editor Valerie Kotar Special Features Editor Katie Denning Managing Editor-in-Chief Christine Manganas Online Editor-in-Chief Katie Finn Life & Style Editor Amanda Moore News Editor Denée Renz Layout Editor Molly Doehring Print Editor-in-Chief Val Gobao Layout Editor-in -Chief Stephanie Hammell Marketing Editor Madison Mincone Sports Editor Liz Weimer Online Editor-in- Chief Julia Gauthier Entertainment Editor Smoke Signals Staff Camille Barnes Madison Creehan Elise Jozwiak Lydia McCall Lindsey McCay Andrea Salizzoni McKenzie Fritz Online Editor-in-Chief Grant Taylor Michelle Thomas Taylor Cox Shane Dazen Jesse Eby Jillian Eby Josh Glicksman Alexa Kennedy Bobby Lewis Laura Purkey Jenna Taimuty Benjamin Zalewski Mission Statement: Smoke Signals is produced six times a school year by the students of the Media II, III, and IV Journalism staff at Peters Township High School. Staff Advisor is Mrs. N. Sitler. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the express opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its advisor, or the Peters Township School District.
    • 4-5 PT Focus 6-7 Sports Fish Tail Braids 8-9 Opinion 10-11 Life and Style Holiday Recipes 12-13 Twas the Night Before Break 14-15 People Features Letter of Intent:Mike Bittel 16-17 PT Alumni Feature 18-19 Entertainment Table of Contents Girls Soccer and Tennis State Titles Finding the Best App for That 20-21 News Features Occupy Wall Street 22-23 Student Work Ceramics
    • 4 PT Focus Meet and Greet: Mr. Lesnett & Ms. Sanders McKenzie Fritz.Online-Editor-in-Chief You see them in the halls, waiting by the buses, and eyeing up your dress code violations, but how well do you really know our vice principals? In the past year and a half, Peters Township has employed two new vice-principals, Mr. Christopher Lesnett and Ms. Emily Sanders. Mr. Lesnett, a Fort Cherry High School graduate and prior viceprincipal at North Hills School District, has long wanted an administrative role. After teaching world history and geography at the honors and AP levels, he had witnessed the impact teachers have on their students and desired to apply that same positive influence as a vice-principal. Starting this fall, Mr. Lesnett said he will strive to, “provide an administrative presence, supervise consistently, and shape the PT culture to be one of school spirit and honor.” In his spare time, Mr. Lesnett enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, skiing, watching Modern Family, and taking walks with his daughter. Ms. Sanders, also a local high school graduate from Laurel School District, is another positive force in shaping our educational experience. A prior English teacher in Monessen and West Middlesex school districts, Ms. Sanders stated she is always, “looking for ways to improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment in hopes of better preparing students.” After a year as an assistant principal for the BaldwinWhitehall School District, Ms. Sanders has brought her drive and determination to PT. She would like to institute policies that would help us better use our technology and – much to the students’ delight—reinstitute the currently banned Muffin Day. Overall, both of our vice-principals bring engaging and productive personalities to PT. The student body should be looking forward to the exciting changes they will bring as part of the administration. PT Girls Soccer Team Makes History ShaneDazen.StaffWriter The Peters Township Lady Indian Soccer Team captured its second consecutive state championship Saturday, Nov. 17, 2011 against Pennridge. It is the first time in which a female soccer team defended its previous title in Pennsylvania state history. Although the Lady Indians were outshot fifteen to three, they made the most of an early tally by sophomore striker Veronica Latsko at the 21 minute mark of the first half. Taking a pass from freshman Laurel Carpenter, Latsko weaved through two defenders before netting the eventual deciding goal. Stingy defense and a spectacular effort by sophomore goalkeeper Megan Parker helped to preserve the 1-0 victory over the seventeenth ranked team in the nation, according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. “We have great individual talent and when we play together as a unit we are unstoppable,” said Parker. The victory capped off a phenomenal season for the squad. Led by seniors Madison Creehan and Brooke Smith, the Lady Indians compiled a 20-3-1 record as well as an astonishing 11-1 mark in section play. They did so by outscoring their opponents 112-16. Despite the fact that the team only had three seniors, a cast of young stars helped lead the way. Latsko followed her sensational freshman campaign with an MVP-like performance this season. Junior Olivia Roberson followed closely behind, finishing second on the team in goals scored. “The playoffs are crazy. The atmosphere is so intense and everybody’s blood is flowing. If you lose, you’re out so it’s winner-take-all,” said Latsko. And win they did. The team thrashed the Obama Academy 9-0 to open the state playoffs and after a positive decision against State College, they were ready to rematch archrival Upper St. Clair, an opponent who squandered their hopes of winning the 2011 WPIAL Championship. By defeating U.S.C., the group solidified their spot in the final. Head Coach Pat Vereb led his troops into Hershey for a match that would make history. Photos by McKenzie Fritz Photo by Soccer Boosters
    • December 2011 5 Girls Tennis Achieves Perfection RebeccaPerryman.StaffWriter The Peters Township Girls Tennis Team had a flawless season, with an overall record of 22-0 after defeating Shady Side Academy in the PIAA State Championships. They have won two PIAA titles in three years. This year, they also placed first in their section and won the WPIAL title. Their success came from the unbelievable depth that the opposing teams lacked; their line-up was incredibly powerful from line one singles to line two doubles. However, the girls knew they would not have an easy victory in the finals. “When we were in the finals against Shady Side, I was really nervous, but at the same time, I was excited,” said freshman Morgan Parisi. When the girls arrived at the courts on the day of the finals, they were anxious to become state champions again but knew they would have to play their best to beat Shadyside. After freshman Sara Komer and senior Caroline Nixon won their matches, the girls could sense the excitement of victory. Sophomore Stephanie Smith was in the middle of a close match, and it was up to doubles partners senior Liz Palko and freshman Abby Cummings and senior Eleni Coleman and junior Vida Komer to close out the win. Line two doubles defeated their opponents when Komer and Coleman put their heads together and Coleman hit an incredible overhead to end the match. “Winning our match was amazing. It was the perfect way to end my senior year,” stated senior Eleni Coleman. Palko and Cummings dropped a set, but kept their composure and pulled through to win their match. After they won, the team rushed the court. “The most memorable part of states was when everybody ran onto the courts after our victory,” stated junior Vida Komer. The team was absolutely unstoppable on the court. However, over the weekend, team bonding was a huge part of the experience. Photo by Mrs.Perryman After the win, the team posed for a picture with the trophy and medals. “There was a big group of girls with so many different personalities, but we all shared a common goal: to win states,” said freshma Sara Komer. “This past season, our team bonded and became a family. Everyone got along. Spending the weekend together at states brought us even closer,” stated freshman Jen Holcombe. The team visited Chocolate World, went out to eat each day, and went swimming in the hotel pool after the matches were over. Additionally, six inches of snow fell in Hershey resulting in another overnight stay at the hotel. “It was fun to be with the team over the weekend because everyone enjoyed each other, even though there was a big group of girls with so many different personalities. We all shared a common goal: to win states,” said freshman Sara Komer. PTHS Makes AP Honor Roll JohnGalatic.StaffWriter Peters Township High School has been selected by the AP District Honor Roll due to its collective success in AP courses. Only 367 school districts across 43 states and Canada receive this prestigious honor. Playing a crucial role in this achievement are the AP teachers. They provide challenging classes and encourage their students to go above and beyond what is expected of them. Ms. Hamilton, an AP Literature teacher, saw this one coming. “I’m extremely excited about this, but not surprised, because we have extremely hard-working AP students,” said Hamilton. Ms. Hamilton makes an excellent point. Maintaining a decent grade while juggling other classes and out-of-school activities is a difficult task to accomplish. Students like senior Garret Verwer find this challenge to be ultimately beneficial. “I think it’s great. It really goes to show how well our school prepares us for college and life,” explained Verwer. Although Peters is often statistically compared to Mount Lebanon, they were one of tens of thousands of school districts across America that did not receive this honor. When it comes to academics, Peters Township School District is truly among elite company. Photo by John Galatic Ms. Hamilton’s second period AP Literature and Composition class is busy preparing for the AP test.
    • 6 Sports Early Playoff Exit Marks End to Boy’s Soccer Season ShaneDazen.StaffWriter The Peters Township Boys Soccer team fell to Erie Cathedral Prep in a gut wrenching 5-4 PIAA Playoff loss on November 8, 2011. The team packed it in early, but there were no regrets as they are already anticipating next season. This year, they established themselves as legitimate contenders and will work hard to win it all next year. “We always have room for improvement. We need to keep working together as a whole,” said sophomore goalkeeper Max O’Hare. Behind senior goalkeeper Chris Gagianas, the team earned a 14-7-1 record (7-2-1 in section play). Seniors Zach Partyka and Matt Venanzi provided a stable scoring touch and were counted on to help the team through tough games. Losing to archrival Upper St. Clair helped keep the team grounded and focused on the big picture. Despite being ousted from states early, the boys understood how much they sacrificed and accomplished. “The effort shown by the players and the dedication Photo by Soccer Boosters How to Feed a Hockey Player MadisonMincone.SportsEditor shown by the coaches was phenomenal,” stated junior Neil Harrison. However, it was not all hard work all the time. When the team was not fighting for position on the field, it was hosting other events that gave the players some downtime and relaxation. Led by Head Coach Bobby Dyer, team bonding activities were put to good use and players enjoyed them. “It’s always fun to do things with your teammates because it helps to keep the guys close,” said senior midfielder R.J. McGinnis. Though the team is losing numerous star seniors to graduation, there are plenty viable pieces in place to contend for a title next season. The level of play is not expected to diminish any time soon, and the team would not have it any other way. “We have to be in shape and be determined,” stated sophomore Connor Kovacs, “Not to mention our social life; that will be gone the next four months. It’s worth it.” Photo by Madison Mincone What Do You Usually Eat? A typical meal for the three senior ice hockey captains involves carbs and meats. Davan Groom usually eats Mrs. Snyder’s homemade pasta with meatballs and breadsticks. Aaron McDonough and Cole Snyder typically enjoy Taco Bell. Snyder eats three chipotle flat bread sandwiches and then a beefy five-layer burrito; while McDonough likes his Taco Bell with a piece of chocolate cake. How Many Times A Day Do You Eat? While most people eat about three times a day, these boys eat anywhere from four to six times a day to stay fueled up for games and practices. What is a Normal Practice Like? A normal hockey practice starts off with the basics: passing and stick handling drills. After that, they move onto skill-building drills, sprints, and finish practice with a game. What is Your Pre-Game Food? As an athlete, pre-game food choice is extremely important to keep you powered up and ready to go for the entire game. Pre-game food for Snyder is Taco Bell. The carbs and meats in the Taco Bell power him up to score goals. Groom’s pre-game food is either pasta or chicken, which keeps him energized while on the ice. McDonough likes water and pretzels for his pre-game meal, and that helps him to stay hydrated and full throughout an entire game.
    • December 2011 Young Basketball Team Looks to Improve The Peters Township Boys Basketball Team comes into the 2011-2012 season with a clean slate and a chance to improve upon its mediocre 2010-2011 campaign. Although the team is shorthanded when it comes to seniority (Kevin Glod is the only senior member), the basketball program has been infused with a breath of fresh air in its younger players. Coaches and players are optimistic about the team’s chances this year. “We finished 6-16 last year,” said team manager Matt Crall, “we can go nowhere but up.” ShaneDazen.Staffwriter The season opened with a plethora of early matchups. Although there were some questionable calls, the play has many people, including the boys themselves, happy about the direction they are headed in. The squad spent the whole summer conditioning and working out the kinks in their game as they set out to prove they belong with the top teams in Quad-A. They had an opportunity when they faced section opponent Baldwin on December 16th. As in every sport Peters plays in, Upper St. Clair is always the biggest match of the season as they are the Indians’ greatest rival. The squad will face the Panthers on January 3, 2012, with only one goal in mind. “We have to beat them. They are a great measuring stick for how our team will do this season,” said sophomore shooting guard R.J. Pfeuffer. No matter what happens this season, the group of basketball players will still put fans in the stands and help display school spirit along the way. However, it is not all about the stats. Winning games is the main goal. Under Review: Best Wide Receiver in the NFL JohnGalactic.Editor-In-Chief & GrantTaylor.Staffwriter JG: Speed kills in the NFL, and Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Wallace is the Ted Bundy of wide receivers. Perhaps the fastest man in the league, Wallace can outrun any defender. Not even the great Joe Montana could overthrow this speed demon. Number 17 leads the NFL in yards per catch among active players, and he holds the Steelers’ franchise record for the longest reception at 95 yards. As shown by these stats, Mike Wallace is able to use his speed to help his team tremendously. However, the Ole Miss product contributes much more than just quickness. Wallace leads the team in receptions, touchdowns, and receiving yards, and is among the nation’s leaders in all three categories. Also, Ben Roethlisberger can rely on him to catch the ball in any situation, not just as a deep threat. Quite literally no one in the NFL can keep up with Mike Wallace. GT: Although Mike Wallace is a solid player, he is simply not producing as much as Lions wide out Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. While Johnson and Wallace share similar numbers in receptions and receiving yards, Johnson is blowing Wallace out of the water in touchdowns. Throughout the first eight games, Megatron scored eleven touchdowns. This is quite an impressive feat. Because Johnson is scoring at such an efficient rate, he is putting his team in a position to win every game they play. The game is all about scoring points and the more points you score the better chance you have of winning. Maybe, someday, Wallace can be compared to Calvin Johnson when he provides more points for his team. 7 that many touchdowns simply out of necessity. Do you really think the Lions would air it out as much if they were not consistently behind in most games? Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws to Johnson often because he is essentially his only option. I challenge you to name one other receiver from Detroit. Only Google will help you there. Jahvid Best, the Lions’ running back, is the team’s third leading receiver. This suggests a serious of lack of depth at the wide out position. The Steelers, on the other hand, have Hines Ward, Heath Miller, and a slew of talented young players that compete with Wallace for catches. Even so, Wallace is on par with Johnson in every other receiving category. Besides touchdowns, a misleading indicator of greatness, Mike Wallace produces just as much as Calvin Johnson with fewer opportunities. GT: Johnson’s stats are far more impressive because he is seeing double and sometimes triple coverage on him in almost every game. Since teams know that the Lions are trying to throw the ball to Johnson, they key on him heavily. Despite all of this, he still manages to produce in big ways. On the contrary, when Mike Wallace is put in double coverage, he does not come up with the ball. Another reason Calvin Johnson is a better receiver is because of his 6’5” stature. He has the ability to out-jump any defender in order to go up and catch the ball. Wallace hardly breaks six foot, which does not allow him to leap in the air and take balls away from defensive backs. Mike Wallace is a commendable player; however he does not possess the intangibles that Johnson does. Calvin Johnson would without a doubt outperform Mike Wallace on JG: Calvin Johnson has caught any given day.
    • 8 Know Your Dance Personality CamilleBarnes.StaffWriter Want to know your school dance personality? Answer each question below based on your interests and with what is most relevant to you. Keep track of how many A’s, B’s, and C’s that you answered and at the end, select the appropriate box that matches your answers to discover your dance personality. 1. When you think of your favorite style of dress for a school dance, what comes to mind? A. Long, elaborate, formal dress/Nice tux and bow tie B. Short, fun, casual dress; not very expensive, one you possibly already own/Button-down shirt and dress pants, no tie— very cost effective overall C. Short dress, colorful, and fun/Button-down shirt and dress pants with a colorful tie 2. Do you typically like to go to a dance with: A. A date—your boyfriend/girlfriend B. A group of your close friends C. A date—a close friend 4. Where do you prefer dinner before the dance? A. At the dance B. At McDonald’s C. At a local fancy restaurant 5. How do you like to dance? A. In a cluster—tight group of people, everyone crammed on a small, crowded floor B. Spread out, not a lot of people around you C. With a small group of friends in a little tight group 3. How much are you willing to spend on tickets? A. $120 B. $10 C. $20 Mostly A’s—Prom You are very sophisticated and love to dress up. You are okay with spending a good bit of money for a good time. Typically, you like to go to dances with your boyfriend/ girlfriend and get sweaty dancing in one large group. You like to have a nice classy dinner before the festivities begin. You are and overall fun person, with a touch of class. The scandal at Penn State, the death of Andy Rooney and Steve Jobs, and the Kim Kardashian divorce have overwhelmed the media the past few months. The Kardashian divorce seems out of place compared to these other important and news worthy stories, but the public was fooled by it in more than one way. The divorcees, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, spent less than eighty days together before a split that wasted $10 million dollars, none of which came from their own pockets. Do- Mostly B’s—Snowball You love to have a good time, and Snowball is the place to do just that. For girls, short, fun dresses are the fashion with nice accessories. For boys, a button-down and dress pant. When it comes to dinner, you would rather eat at the local McDonald’s—or anywhere cheap, fast, and delicious. With fashion, dinner, and tickets, you are more likely to spend less money. However, whatever the cost, fun is always your main priority. Mostly C’s—Homecoming You are moderate when it comes to the extremes of school dances. Homecoming is between fancy and casual dances. You enjoy dressing up, but have a more casual look to you rather than the long formal dresses or expensive tuxes. You typically enjoy going out to a local fancy restaurant for dinner with a group of friends. Because you can essentially determine the cost yourself, homecoming is the perfect dance for a lowmaintenance, high-energy person, like yourself. Reality Star Needs a Reality Check AlexaKennedy.StaffWriter nations and the television company, E!news, paid for the extravagant affair, but the joke is still on us. This shortlived couple actually made $18 million off of their closely watched nuptials, including the $2.5 million spent to get first-look wedding pictures, according to People Magazine. TMZ found that for each day that they were married, Kim and Kris might as well have spent $138,888.88, which would have added up to their fairytale wedding bill. What is even more than mind-blowing is that $10 million was donated to a wealthy celebrity’s wedding instead of helping a charity. For example, the price of Ms. Kardashian’s wedding earrings was $5 million, which could have supplied water to 750 million Haitians. Furthermore, her fabulous shoes cost around $600 could have supplied 240 pairs of shoes for SOULES4SOULS, an organization that sends shoes to third world countries left distraught by natural disasters. “I don’t even care,” said Junior Jake McPeek, “the money could have been used for way better for feeding kids and stuff like that.” After recognizing the colossal loss of cash, some students see Ms. Kardashian’s oops as a sincere mistake. “It was a huge waste of money, but although everyone wants a dream wedding and she gets to keep those memories,” said sophomore, Sarah Zimmerman. And while Kim gets her memories, children in Africa are still orphaned and go unclothed. Try “Keeping Up” with that.
    • December 2011 9 PDA, Blobs, and Happy Valley No More ChristineManganas. Snurtling: What Not to Onine-Editor-in-Chief Do in the Halls “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good KatieDenning. Managing-Editor-in-Chief Imagine, you are rushing down the hall, trying to get to class, but there is a blob of students standing in your way. Some of them are cuddling, some are just being generally obnoxious, some are freshmen, and some are even upperclassmen, but all of them do not understand the rules of the high school roadway. However, these hopelessly confused students can still learn the rules for navigating the halls. Rule 1: Do not snurtle (walk in a combination of a snail and turtle like pace) down the hall. You are not taking a leisurely stroll; therefore, it is unnecessary to walk at that pace. Even though you may not want to get to class, the people behind you do. Also, if you feel you must walk slowly down the hall, do not recruit twenty other people to walk slowly in a pack with you. The only thing worse than walking slow is walking slow with a blob of people that take up the entire width of the hall. To learn more about how to properly organize a blob in the hall, refer to Rule 3. Rule 2: Do not PDA in the hall. It happens all the time; some couples slowly walk down the hall, hand in hand, taking up as much of the width of the hall as possible. Other couples stop in the middle of the hall to kiss and say how much they are going to miss each other for the next 41 minutes of their lives. However, although you may be totally “in love” and want to proclaim that “love” to the world, but no one wants to see you sucking face like a malfunctioning vacuum while they are trying to get to class. So be courteous, keep your hands to yourself, and save your displays of affection for the privacy of your own home. Rule 3: This is not middle school anymore; you do not need to stand in blobs in the middle of the hall. Although you may not realize this, the middle of the hall is where people actually walk. If you want to stand, without making anyone angry, move a couple of feet to your left or right, find a wall, and stay near it. You are not an animal that moves in a pack, so do not act like a donkey (or its euphemism) and move out of the way. Rule 4: Do not throw stuff. Just because you have an empty water bottle or bag full of trash sitting around, you do not have to launch it across the hallway. Also, it is unnecessary to place trash on the ground and then blatantly watch for someone to slip and fall on it. So, instead, act like big boys and girls and find one of the millions of conveniently placed trash cans around the halls and dispose of your trash there. Rule 5: No stink bombs in the stairwells. It should really just go unsaid. men do nothing.” These words, spoken by political activist and philosopher Edmund Burke, apply to a chain of events that continue to unfold at Penn State University. Currently, the allegations of sexual assault by Jerry Sandusky against young boys throughout the past weeks continue to grow and create a domino effect for the University Officials. “I feel this is a terrible thing that happened to Penn State and I feel terrible for the children that this happened to. This is an extremely negative situation, but the school will find its way to bounce back,” said teacher and Penn State Alumni Mrs. Hruby. As a result of the Sandusky scandal, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was fired after 46 years of coaching. “JoePa” fans and Penn State alumni all question why, after his years of legendary discipline, Paterno was punished for a crime he did not commit. “My family grew up watching Penn State football and Joe Paterno. It’s just sad that it had to end like this for him,” stated senior Sarah Barczak. What people fail to realize is, although he is a good man, graduate assistant Mike McQueary came to him with the alleged assaults, and Paterno fell short of his responsibility. With not reporting what he knew to the police, Paterno will have to live with the fact that he did next to nothing to stop Sandusky. Unfortunately, after his 46 years of coaching, people’s last thoughts will not be how much he achieved, but how little he did for the victims of the scandal. What is most baffling is how little blame is put on McQueary. Was McQueary not the one to first witness Sandusky and report it to Paterno? With claims that he was only a young graduate assistant who was in shock and too nervous to report Sandusky to the police, McQueary remains in the shadow of the allegations put on Paterno. Age and inexperience does not restrain him from his responsibility to help the victims. After what he witnessed, McQueary was obligated to not just go to Paterno, but to assure that the information got to the authorities. With not doing this, he is yet another good man who basically hid in the background and did nothing. With all the activity surrounding Paterno, McQueary, and other former staff members, the big picture is fading away: Sandusky is the person to be pointing fingers at and he is the one to blame for the scandal. With all the confrontation and confusion being passed around, people are forgetting who committed the primary crime-Jerry Sandusky. Yes, Paterno, McQuery, and others must be held accountable for their failures, but Sandusky is ultimately responsible for the offenses against these innocent children. Photo by Taylor Laster
    • 10 Life & Style A New Wave In Braiding: How To Fishtail KatieFinn.Life&StyleEditor A fishtail braid is an easy way to spice up any outfit and is different from the average hairstyle. It can be dressed up with a pretty flower or clip, or kept simple for an ordinary day at school. Also, a fishtail braid is an easy way to cure “bad” hair days; it looks complex and time consuming, but is easy and fun. To do this braid, you will need a comb or brush and a hair tie. If your hair is layered, you may need a few bobby pins to hold back fly away hairs. Step One: Use a comb or brush to split the hair into two even sections down the back. Step Four: Continue this process until you reach the bottom of the hair. Step Two: Take a small strand of hair from underneath one side and cross it over the hair to make it join the other section of hair. Taking hair from underneath creates the “fishtail” effect of the braid. (It does not matter which side you choose to use first.) Step Three: Take a piece from the opposite section of hair. Cross it over to join it to the other side. Make sure to still take the piece from underneath of the hair. Make these pieces of hair as loose or as tight as you want. Step Five: Tie the hair with an elastic band. Senior Mandy Nerone comments, ‘Fishtail braids are so easy and a cute way to wear my hair for school. I love it.” Photos by Katie Finn If you would like to make your hair look wider or thicker, gently tug the outsides of the braid. Also, by taking smaller pieces throughout the process, you can make the braid look more intricate. The bigger the piece you take, the more it will resemble a normal braid. To make the braid more fun and girly, you can tie strands of multi-colored yarn to pieces in the bottom layers of your hair. Make sure to tie the yarn at the root and also tease the hair a little in order for it to stay. Intertwine the yarn into your hair and you will have a colorful braid. Kicking off Winter Fashion with Boots As the weather gets colder, and the snow on the ground rises higher, our choice of footwear is basically limited to boots. No, I don’t mean Uggs, which are probably the most unstylish things ever created; don’t get me wrong, I wear them too. However, with so many styles of boots these days, there is certainly a boot to fit everyone’s fashion sense while still looking stylish. The most popular trend emerging this winter is over-the-knee boots. They come in a wide variety, from completely flat to sky- MollyDoering.PrintEditor-in-Chief scraper heel heights. Over-theknee boots usually have a loose fit so you can wear them with jeans tucked in or pair them up with a dress or skirt for a more sophisticated look. When picking out the perfect pair, be sure to get the right length for you. Otherwise, they may be too tall and make your legs look super short, which is definitely not flattering. The top of the boot should hit right above your kneecap, do not go all the way up your thigh. Ankle boots will definitely be back again this winter, for the fourth season in a row. This boot trend has certainly taken over the footwear world. The two main styles of booties are open and closed toe. Again, they can be worn with either jeans (don’t tuck them in) or with a dress or skirt for an edgy look. This year booties are looking edgier than ever, with many designers adding spikes and other metal accents to them. The populaity of wedges from the warmer months will carry into the heel trends of boots this winter. With wedges, you get the best of both worlds: the height of a heel and the comfort of a flat. However, when wearing them in the snow or ice, be careful not to slip because most wedges don’t have much traction on the bottom of them. Wedged boots come in a variety of colors and styles. Designers are now even making wedged rain boots. Photo by Molly Doehring Black Booties paired with a dress can go with any outfit.
    • Ring a Bell for the December 2011 11 New Year CarlyBeck.LifeandStyleEditor Celebrating the New Year brings toasts to new beginnings, party hats, noisemakers, and of course, resolutions. These optimistic promises sound great on January first, but are difficult to accomplish as life becomes busy. If you are in search of a fulfilling, attainable resolution, the hunt is over. The following kettlebell workout is a simple yet effective routine for getting fit in 2012. Kettlebells are a new trend in weight lifting because they make typical dumbbell exercises more difficult. Their weight is not evenly distributed which makes your stabilizer muscles work harder. The results are worth it as definition can be gained from just a few simple steps. For extra tone, repeat the circuit 2 times. Move 1: Figure 8 Stand in a slight squat with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Maintain a flat back with your chest up. Hold the kettlebell in your left hand on the outside of your left leg. Swing the kettlebell in front of your left leg, between your legs, and behind your right leg, grabbing it with your right hand as you do so. Repeat by swinging it in front of your right leg, between your legs, and behind your left leg. That is one rep. Continue for 10 reps. Move 2: Front Squat Stand straight up with your feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. Keep elbows bent and close to your body. While keeping your back flat and chest up, push your hips back and bend your knees until they form 90 degree angles. Return to standing while pushing down into heels. That is one rep. Continue for 10 to 15. Move 3: Windmill Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart with the kettle bell in your left hand raised overhead. Rotate your chest to the left and look up at your hand holding the weight as you bend down to touch your right foot. Pause then return to standing position while keeping your arm up. That is one rep. Do 5 to 10 reps, then lower the weight and switch to the right side. If this is a workout worthy of making your New Year’s Resolution come true, check out Jillian Michael’s kettlebell workouts. KatieFinn.CarlyBeck. Life&StyleEditors With the holiday season closing in, last minute gifts are on everyone’s minds. Bath & Body Works offers a variety of fragrances that can be those perfect gifts for others or even yourself. Indulge in any of the four spotlighted, holiday scents this season and you will not be disappointed. Vanilla Bean Noel- This decadent scent is a combination of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel and rich cream. One spray of this holiday-inspired fragrance will warm up any winter day. Pink Sugarplum- Mist this fragrance all over your body to leave a light scent of sugarplum, tangerine and vanilla musk. A quick spritz of this mist will leave you smelling as sweet as candy. Winter Candy Apple- This fragrance is a mouth watering blend of crisp apple, candied orange and cinnamon spice. The fruity scent will catch everyone’s attention this holiday season. Twisted Peppermint- A spritz of this fun winter scent will leave you smelling like refreshing mint with a hint of vanilla. Nothing describes the holiday season better than the smell of a candy cane. Photo by Katie Finn Junior, Lindsay Spinabelli, brings a little holiday spirit into her day by spraying herself with Twisted Peppermint
    • Twas the day before break, when all through the school, No seniors were here, because they were too cool. The projects were graded by teachers with care, In hopes that the students soon would prepare. The juniors were stressed and filled with dread, While visions of SATs danced in their heads. With teachers in their jeans, and freshmen in their shorts, The PT fashion was all out of sorts. When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter, Mrs. Pavlik sprang up to see what was the matter. Away to the front she flew like a flash, Tore open the door with an echoing crash. Even though there was ice on the student lot There was no two-hour delay, definitely not! When, what to her wondering eyes should appear, But the snow covered man who was principal last year. Layout by Valerie Gobao With a cell phone in hand and a glass of hot cider, She knew in a moment it was Mr. Brettschneider. More rapid than eagles, the teachers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! "Now Kuharcik! Now, Degnan! Now, Baker and Pinto! On, Gearhart! On, Kuhn! On Lawrence and Giaquinto! To the top of the stands! To the end of the hall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!" As Mr. B and the teachers rushed into the gym, Mr. Lesnett quickly chased after him. So up to the bleachers the teachers they flew, With the bag full of smart phones and iPads, too.
    • And then, on the TV, Mrs. Pavlik appeared Urging students to the gym before the surprise disappeared. And then in an instant the students left class, They ran to the gym in a large, crazy mass. All through the school, students were perplexed Anxious to see what would happen next. The gym was then filled with excitement and glee For they saw him, the famous Mr. B. His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. “Now students,” he said in a resounding voice “I’ve come here at last to give you a choice” “Today is the day where no rules will apply. Everything you’ve dreamed of in the blink of an eye. Go on Facebook and tweet to your heart’s content I want all calls answered, all text messages sent.” “Forget all the tests and forget all the grades. There will be no homework, you’ll all get A’s. This holiday season, you now have your chance. It’s now time to party, to cut loose and dance.” He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work. And filled all the lockers then turned with a jerk. With a wink of his eye and a nod of his chin, He waved to the crowd and left the gym. Then, all of a sudden, the roaring bell sounded I woke up in study hall, confused and confounded But as I looked out the window, I saw quite a sight. Mr. B yelling, “Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!” Happy Holidays from the News Magazine Staff!
    • 14 People Features Sugar and Spice and Everything Ice JennaTaimuty.StaffWriter Anything a guy can do, a girl can do with heels on, right? Well, in this case, its skates. Julianna Dachille and Darby Kern play ice hockey for the high school team. Dachille is currently on the JV team and Kern is on Varsity, and yes, they play with the boys. Both girls started playing hockey at a young age; Kern was nine and Dachille only six. “I love hockey because of the excitement of the game, and overall, just having a blast while I am on the ice,” stated Dachille. Kern and Dachille play not only for the high school teams but also for a girls travel team, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite. “Placing first in the Mid-American District for girls and then placing second in the nation in 2009 were some of the best accomplishments I have ever had as a team,” said Dachille. After they placed in their District, the team went on to Nationals. Not only did they make it to Nationals in 2009, but they made it in 2008 and 2010 as well. Kern also has a list of accomplishments. For example, she was selected to go to the USA National Camp for girls U-16 in 2010 and she has set high goals for herself. “For girls, my goal is to be one of the top point scorers on my team and get better. For boys, I want to learn more and become a better player,” said Kern. In the fall, Kern will head to Penn State on a scholarship to play Division I Women’s Ice Hockey for head coach, Josh Brandwene. This is especially significant due to the fact that next year will be the first year Penn State endorses a D-1 women’s ice hockey team. I n previous years, there was only a women’s club team. Dachille strives to contribute as much as she can to both teams and have fun while doing so. She would like to continue playing at this competitive level and eventually earn a spot on a Division I college team as well. “My main goal is to play Division I in college and earn a scholarship to get there,” said Dachille. Being the only two girls on the PTHS Hockey Team is quite remarkable. Neither of the girls are treated differently by the boys on their team or any opposing teams. “It is hard to play with the boys because they are very talented and more physical than girls, but it is also not hard because they are all nice kids,” said Kern. “They take no mercy on us on the ice and that’s how it should be,” said Dachille. Photos submitted by Julianna Dachille and Darby Kern Shane Dazen: Last Man Standing in MLB Contest JoshGlicksman.StaffWriter Photo by Josh Glicksman Dazen fills out his MLB brackets. The 2011 MLB Playoffs amazed just about everyone who watched. Furthermore, the St. Louis Cardinals’ victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 6 of the World Series is a game that will be talked about for years to come. The word “predictable” could not be used to describe the postseason. Or could it? Annually, mlb.com hosts a competition called the MLB Postseason Bracket Challenge. Participants face the task of correctly predicting the winner of every series and the amount of games taken to earn victory. If a participant miraculously succeeds, he or she earns a cool 10,000 dollars. This year, over 40,000 baseball fans flocked to the site, looking to earn some green. Sophomore, Shane Dazen, found himself among those that entered. “I just wanted to win 10,000 dollars; it is as simple as that,” stated Dazen. Dazen’s predictions lead him to the very end. His predictions of the Rangers winning the World Series in six games faltered in the last game. The Rangers blew a late lead and ended up losing to St. Louis. Although he received no money for his valiant efforts, Shane was the last man standing in the competition. Everyone is still impressed by his amazing picks. “It was a great ride,” said Dazen.
    • Mr. Lesnett Makes the Grade CamilleBarnes.StaffWriter New Assistant Principal, Mr. Lesnett, was recently awarded with the Distinguished Young Educator Award from Pennsylvania Association of Curriculum Development. To receive this award, an educator must be 39 years of age or younger and display an array of contributions to the profession. Mr. Lesnett has continuously promoted an environment of constant learning. From his extensive schooling and past experiences, the new Assistant Principal has learned a wealth of knowledge and now shares that knowledge with his colleagues. Congratulations, Mr. Lesnett! Bittel Commits to a College December 2011 Holiday Choir Concert RebeccaPerryman.StaffWriter On Tuesday December 6 the choir held a multicultural concert. They incorporated songs from around the world to kick-start the holiday season. The backdrop for the forty-five minute concert was a slide show with about 1,800 pictures taken by Mrs. Boni’s photography students. Some of the songs performed were “Betelehemu”, “Most Wonderful Time” and “Rudolph”. The concert was a great way to give the community holiday spirit. ShaneDazen.StaffWriter Senior Mike Bittel committed to Seton Hill University last month. He will pitch for the baseball team this spring on a full scholarship. “I have a sense of pride in my players that have been successful at our level to the point they are able to play at the next level,” said Varsity Baseball Coach Joe Maize. Good luck next year, Mike! Photos by Michelle Thomas Art Students Bringing Holiday Joy JohnGalatic.PrintEditor-in-Chief On Thursday December 1, the Peters Township Ceramics Honors and Art Honors students took a field trip to the Western Penn Allegheny Health System Outpatient Care Center. The students, under the supervision of Mrs. Kazalas and Ms. DeGiovanni, painted col- 15 orful and lively murals on the large window at the entrance, as well as several others inside the building. “All the kids had a great time, and the patients appreciated the kids’ work. It truly lifted their spirits,” said Ms. DeGiovanni. Photos by Ms. DeGiovanni
    • PT Alumni Feature D’Abruzzo Goes From the Bubble to Broadway LizWeimer.OnlineEditor-in-Chief Class of 1989 “In 2005, I participated in a giant concert at the Hollywood Bowl in honor of Stephen Sondheim's 75th birthday. I sang in front of 17,000 people, shared the stage with incredible performers, and hung out backstage with legends. There was even a picture of me in Variety the next morning,” stated alumna Stephanie D’Abruzzo. Many teenagers share this dream growing up, but few believe that anyone from such a “bubble” could make it big in the real world. Never giving up, D’Abruzzo, who graduated in 1989, achieved what many view as the impossible. She has had opportunities that few people experience, such as performing for the Clinton family, rehearsing and performing for the Tony Awards telecast, and meeting actors she has always admired. D’Abruzzo had many rough patches along the way, but her high school experiences guided her to where she is today. “I had really wonderful teachers who were supportive and often brutally honest, which definitely helped me achieve more and aim higher,” D’Abruzzo stated. D’Abruzzo also mentioned that during high school she learned numerous lessons that helped her separate from the crowd later in life. Important qualities such as showing up on time, being prepared and respectful, and always giving everything your all made her shine brighter than others. Nothing was ever handed to her, which later only bettered the memories of her journey. “Because I didn't have a car, I often just stayed in the building between the time school let out and the time rehearsals started. Sometimes the auditorium would be unlocked, so I would just sit in that empty theatre and eat my Cup-a-Soup. I would wander the stage, sit in the seats surrounded by the Hall of Fame pictures, memorize my lines, or do my homework. I felt very much at home there,” said D’Abruzzo. Many current thespians could agree that the theatre department is a family, and maintains a cozy atmosphere. However, students who have similar dreams as D’Abruzzo are unsure of how to reach such a far-fetched dream. “Try to be a decent person, no matter what you decide to do in life. Also, if the price of that sushi is too good to be true, just walk away,” stated D’Abruzzo. Ben Glicksman: PT Dud to SI Stud Ben Glicksman graduated from Peters Township High School in 2007. Since receiving his high school diploma, he accomplished feats that make Peters Township proud to call him an alumnus. After graduating, Ben attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, which prides itself on being one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the country. During his senior year at Northwestern, he completed an internship with Sports Illustrated and his articles were often published on their website. Ben finished his years JoshGlicksman.StaffWriter in college, graduating Cum Laude, and went searching the job market. After searching the job market for a few months, Ben received an offer from Sports Illustrated. He currently publishes multiple articles weekly, and the sky seems to be the limit for this young writer. Ben is fascinated by life “outside of the PT bubble.” He notices several differences between the lifestyle in Peters Township world and lifestyle in other places such as New York and Chicago. “Learning different peoples' points of view and being exposed to different cultures was really interesting. Liv- ing at Northwestern and in New York, you come into contact with people from all over the country and the world," Glicksman stated. Although Ben is having great success outside PT, he never forgets his roots. He remembers his enjoyable high school career, but he also wishes he had done other things while at PTHS. “Participate in at least one extracurricular activity because it is a good thing to compliment schoolwork with a fun activity that helps you to meet people,” advised Glicksman. Ben recalls some of his favorite memories in high school. “I loved going on ski trips with my friends, because I loved skiing and it provided an opportunity to get together with a huge group of people after school,” he said. This love of sports may have contributed to his success at SI Ben seems to be succeeding greatly outside of the bubble, but he does not forget the good life right here in Peters Township.
    • Hanson, “SlapShot” To Success BennyZalewski.StaffWriter greatest game on earth.” Hanson fell in love with the game of hockey as a child because he was always at the rink with his dad. At the age of thirteen Hanson started playing youth hockey for the Pittsburgh Hornets Travel Team. Hanson also practiced with the Pittsburgh Forge, a junior team from the North American Hockey League (NAHL). “Winning PT’s first state championship at Rostraver, and being able to celebrate it with my fellow classmates, was my favorite high school memory,” he stated. “Since I was away almost every weekend for the Hornets and didn’t get a chance to do much with my peers, it was really special.” During Hanson’s senior year of high school, he moved to Kearney, New Eng- When Christian Hanson grew up, his family never spoke of the legendary hockey movie “Slap Shot.” He was aware of it as a child but never understood its significance until his teen years. ”Knowing now what the movie is and what effect it has on the game of hockey is great,” said Hanson of the iconic film that his father starred in and the enduring effect on the game of hockey. It helped to transform hockey from a cult following into a mainstream sport in the United States. “The best part of the entire situation is that over the years, my father and the Carlson brothers have been able to raise millions of dollars for charities while being positive ambassadors for the land. There he played for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL for two years before attending the University of Notre Dame. After graduating college, Hanson was drafted to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored his first goal in his first year of professional hockey. “My first goal was something amazing that I had never imagined,” stated Hanson. “Growing up Brodeur was my favorite player, so to be able to not only play against him but be able to score my first NHL goal against him is something that I can’t even put into words.” High school hockey was not as big when Hanson played for PTHS as it is now. Since then, PT is becoming a hockey hot bed for the entire city of Pittsburgh. Having been pumping out quality players for the past eight years, PT has become a notable location for hockey players. “Just like any other job, hockey is a job and you are paid to perform.” However, “If you are not playing for the love of the game, you are playing for the wrong reason,” stated Hanson. Class of 2004 Degnan: From Student to Teacher LindseyMcCay.StaffWriter Class of 2000 Caitlin Degnan attended Theil College after graduating from PT in 2000, to become a Spanish teacher at her old high school. While in school she had a tremendous time studying Spanish. “My college experience was unbelievable. I still go back every year for Homecoming, and it still feels like home. Thiel was an amazing school. While there, I was able to study abroad in Spain during my junior year and finished the requirements for my major (Spanish) early, ” said Degnan. Degnan also feels Peters curriculum prepared her for college. The courses here were very effective during her time in college. “I was very well prepared as a result of graduating from Peters. I won a full tuition scholarship based on my high school GPA and performance in a competition at Thiel. Also during my freshmen year of college, I was placed into an upper level Spanish class first semester ,” said Degnan. Degnan currently lives in North Strabane and feels that not much has changed because she is still close to Peters. She has a wonderful job here and is still close to her family. Degnan believes that coming from Peters has been a gratifying experience in her life. “Peters definitely had an impact on my life. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and I am honored to now teach in the district. As a teacher, I appreciate how supportive and kind the parents and students of Peters Township are. I consider myself very blessed to work here,” said Degnan.
    • 18 Entertainent Kindle Fire Attempts to Scorch iPad Sales Apple’s Next Big Thing EliseJozwiak.StaffWriter From Nanos to iPads, Apple’s evolution has been a success since the beginning. Constantly creating the next big thing, Apple has set on making current products thinner and more efficient for the consumer. What can possibly be brought out next? Judging by the timeline of the Apple Corporation, newer devices have a tendency to lean toward the music portion of technology. This is due to all of the different generations of iPods circulating, not to say that Apple cannot come out with a nonmusical related product. They have surprised us many times before with their creations, guaranteed they will do it again. A few ideas for the Apple Corporation to dwell on would be iTV, a gaming system, a camera, or perhaps a Home Entertainment system. The graphics of these products would be clean cut and defined- almost futuristic. Not only would the graphics be brilliant, but the sound systems ability would be impeccable. Judging by the incredible features included with iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and iPhones. This would be a great technological advance in Apple’s timeline. Not only has Apple come out with numerous new inventions for our modern day society, but they have also produced new generations of their already released products. Making the “igeneration” thinner and more efficient for the consumer, Apple has recently been trying to add more memory to the product while shrinking them in size and width. Basically, they are trying to make the words first hand held computer. Apple’s thriving business has yet to disappoint a customer. Recently, they were rated the top computer networking system according to Hubpages. If they were to come out with any type of TV or gaming system, it’s clear that the consumers would flock to it. StephanieHammell.MarketingEditor With the holiday season closing in, last minute gift giving is rapidly approaching. The search for the perfect gift is never easy, but the Amazon Kindle Fire could be that gift. The Kindle Fire claims to be better than all other tablets because of its Amazon original features and low price. The Kindle Fire features a vibrant color touch and glare free screen, which is perfect for use in the broad daylight, unlike its competitor, the iPad. The state of the art display is chemically strengthened to be harder than plastic and more durable against accidents. Additionally, the Fire comes with free storage for all Amazon music, videos, photos, and documents, using the Amazon Cloud. Not to mention, the device already comes with a capacity for approximately 80 apps, 800 songs, 6,000 books, and much more. The new Amazon Silk, which is a browser that uses split browser. That can load websites in five milli- Finding the Best App We all love the convenience of apps, although finding one that appeals to us, or just one we are trying to find can be a challenge. To narrow your search, here are 5 apps that are as useful as they are amusing. Whether it is for finding out the weather, traveling, or just passing the time, apps are handy to use and fun to play. All of the apps listed below are available on iTunes. 1. Mad Pad, created by Smule Inc., 2011. On the screen appears a bunch of everyday objects and while in use make a variety of different songs. By tapping a variety of different objects in different sequences, you can create a very unique video; you can also turn your imaginative creation into a music video by using the record for Andrea Salizzoni.StaffWriter button. Costing only 99 cents and available in the app store, this unique app will keep you amused for hours with your creative musical creations. 2. Too lazy to go control your music or TV program? No worries, Remotes’ got you. With Apples’ Remote app not only can you control your iTunes and Apple TV but this convenient app comes with numerous more features. You can rewind, fast-forward, or play and pause anything playing from your apple device at any time. You can basically do anything you would do on your computer from a tap of your touch screen. There is nothing you cannot do with Remote. seconds, compared to the 100 milliseconds of other wireless connections, which allow users to multitask. Finally, the Fire is also light weight at 14.6 ounces and 7.5 inches wide it can easily fit into any briefcase or purse making it great for anyone who travels or is always on the go. It only costs $199, which is a bargain compared to the iPad’s $500 to $700 price tag. Plus, the Fire comes equipped with free Wi-Fi services unlike its competitors. It has been the bestselling product on Amazon.com since it was introduced in early November. Amazon’s Black Friday sales are up four times more than 2010. On Black Friday, sales at Target stores soared because of the Kindle Fire. That 3. Revenge is sweet...and so is Demon Cam. (Created by Video Copilot). If you want to seriously freak out your friend (or just someone who deserves it) this app gives you the perfect opportunity. Just by filming a short clip of yourself or someone else, you can use the effects to alter yourself to look like a demon. With this creepy effect, the person you decide to trick will always regret tricking you. 4.It’s that time of year: stressful but exciting, busy but relaxing. However, when you are travelling with friends or family and are trying to seek plane tickets at a convenience, dealing with the stress of buying them takes away from your “time off.” With the Jets app, you can not only purchase plane tickets cheaply and quickly, but this app comes with much more. You can also view a digital picture from the bird’s eye view of the type of plane you would like to travel with. With this picture, you can look at available seats and choose where you would like to sit, if available. 5. On the amusing side of things, Rogue sky, created by Chillingo Ltd., is an easy to play game with relaxing features. Playing as a hot air balloon floating in the sky, you use the simple controls to make it move left and right, to avoid possible obstacles that could be in your way. If you are looking for a simple and amusing yet time consuming game to play, Rogue Sky is the one for you.
    • December 2011 James Taylor’s iPod Playlist 19 It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…Boredom? LauraPurkey.StaffWriter Excited for break but not sure of things to do? If your answer is yes, then you are pretty much like everyone else. Take a look at this list of fun activities to keep you busy, and out of the house, when your great uncle whoever comes to visit. No matter what you choose to do, this list guarantees holiday fun. 1. I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas 2. Don’t Shoot Me Santa- The Killers 3. Silent Night 4. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer 5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Call of Duty: The Next Chapter GrantTaylor.StaffWriter Grab your controllers and snacks, because everyone’s favorite game is back. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hit shelves this past November eighth. The third installment of the Modern Warfare series picks up right where the second left off. The same characters from the series return; however, players can use five new playable characters in the game. The plot continues to follow Captain Price as he and his team attempt to stop World War 3 and kill Russian terrorist Makarov. Players can expect the story mode missions to be very exciting and meaningful to the overall plot. Players and enthusiasts alike can expect great things from multiplayer and online play. Though the online play is very similar visually to Modern Warfare 2, the points and rewards system has been completely modified. Players can kiss kill streaks goodbye as infinity ward has changed the con- cept into a system called point streak. Players can improve their point streaks by planting bombs and capturing flags. Two new online games have been added as well; Kill Confirmed and Team Defender are the new games that players can engage in while playing with friends online. Within twenty hours of going on sale, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold 6.5 million copies in the U.S. and U.K. alone, grossing over $400 million dollars. These statistics made the game the top grossing entertainment release of all time. However, this is not surprising since Modern Warfare 2 was the top grossing entertainment release of all time before Modern Warfare 3 was released. Players will not be disappointed with the newest edition of the Call of Duty series; the game is guaranteed to keep gamers in their chair for the next couple months. 1.Go downtown: There is nothing like Pittsburgh during the holidays. Go with friends, family, or even both. Some places to check out include the ice skating rink at PPG, the decorated store windows at Macy’s, Randall’s toy store, and eating in the Market Square. Take the T for convenience and to save extra dollars on parking. 2. Build a snow fort: Ideally, we need another snowpocalypse for this to work. However, just in case we do have a ridiculous amount of snow this season, take advantage of it by building a snow fort. It’s like a sandcastle, only much colder. 3. Get ready for Oscar season: Those coveted shiny gold men are being given away in a few months, so catch up on all those indie/retro films you have not had time for. Some movies that should definitely make your list: J. Edgar, Melancholia, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Bridesmaids, and The Descendants. 4. Enjoy the snow: Hit the slopes or hit your backyard. Go skiing at the popular Seven Springs lodge. It has beautiful views and is like a road trip and snow adventure all in one. However, you are pretty much guaranteed to awkwardly bump into that kid in your third period. Or, you could always go sled riding at home. For those who do not like skiing or spending money, this is perfect. Except, try sledding on ice, not snow. Be careful though, this is meant for expert sleigh riders. 5. Have a baking contest: Get your friends together and see who can make the biggest gingerbread man. This is faster and easier than making the traditional gingerbread house. Also, let’s be honest, who really wants to spend four and a half hours putting miniature gumdrops on an icing roof unless you are Buddy the Elf? 6. Host a costume party: It is all the fun of Halloween, but less scary and more cheery. Props to the person who can think of a costume other than the Clauses, elves, or reindeer. 5. Go to a Pens game: There is nothing better to do than see our own Pittsburgh Penguins. Pens games are fun for both guys and girls—they are a fantastic sports team to watch, that also happens to have many attractive players.
    • 20 News TTYL: Texting While Driving Becomes Illegal JesseEby.StaffWriter Last month, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a law that makes texting while driving a primary offense. This makes Pennsylvania the 35th state in the country to adopt this law. It will take effect in March of 2012. If a driver is caught texting on a cellular device while operating a vehicle, they will be pulled over and charged a fifty dollar fine. This law will be strictly enforced, but there are some instances in which using a cellular device will be permitted. One exception to texting while in a car or any other motorized vehicle will be if the driver is completely stopped on the side of the road while texting. Also, passengers of a car are permitted to text or talk as long as the driver is not involved. The issue of people on the phone while driving has been held off for now, but will be discussed at a later date. According to Reuters.com, since 2010, 13,790 crashes have been caused in Pennsylvania by distracted driving. Nearly 1,100 of those were caused by a cellular device, and 66 people were killed due to lack of attention. However, this new law has raised some controversy from student drivers. “It’s going to be a pain sending a text message. Especially if you are in hurry and you have an important message to send. I think it does more bad than good,” said senior Holly Popovich. While there are detractors towards the law, most people believe it will improve driving conditions. “Texting while driving severely affects driving conditions in a negative way. This law will increase safety and make the road a better place,” stated senior Laurel Adamson. Cell phones distract the driver from the road, making an already hazardous activiy lethal. Senior Stephanie Miller attempts to text while driving, a deadly mistake. Photos by Allie Schlafman Occupy Wall Street: A Reflection McKenzieFritz.OnlineEditor-In-Chief Photos by McKenzie Fritz On Veterans Day, November 11, 2011, I spent the day at what may be considered a highly patriotic rally or, as New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg put it with, “a whole bunch of people that are just disaffected.” Yes, I spent the day at Occupy Wall Street. Before you start calling me a dirty hippie and egging my house, you should understand that I was in New York City on college visits and traveled to, the now infamous, Zuccotti Park out of pure curiosity. However, I can easily say that the Occupy Wall Street protest was the most interesting part of my trip to New York. From the moment I arrived, all of my preconceived notions were pushed aside by the bustle of the crowd. When shown on the news, Zuccotti Park appears to be a giant expanse of land filled with protesters. In reality, the park is no larger than our school gym. However, what the park lacked in size the protesters made up for in sheer volume. Never have I seen so many people packed into such a small space. Still, the protesters themselves were just a tiny portion of the crowd. From tourists and press to street vendors to police officers, everyone was smashed into the square. The protest itself was diverse. Anyone who had a problem or a cause to be heard could be found in Zuccotti Park. As stated by one NYPD officer, “It’s a carnival of crazies, every single one of them.” Although he may have been slightly overreacting, there were definitely some “quirky” types to be found –I’m looking at you, man with the sign that read “Fluoride = Hitler.” Despite the intermittent bongo solos and strong scent of Eau de Homeless man, Occupy Wall Street had an abundance of thoughtful points. Walter, a twenty-four year old plumber, was protesting for better workers compensation. After volunteering at ground zero, he suffers from PTSD and a debilitating autoimmune disease. He was denied workers compensation two times and is now jobless. Oth- ers were protesting Marcellus shale drilling in New York and passing out rocks with the witty phrase, “What the frack,” scrawled on them. However, the protesters numerous messages are ultimately the downfall of the protests. At its core, the Occupy Wall Street movement is supposed to be against corruption in business and corporate greed. However, while at the protest, I saw people advocating everything from the legalization of marijuana to the freeing of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. While I find it inspiring that these people are standing up for what they believe in, perhaps, if they all stood together they could have a much larger impact. Though I support the protest as a whole, for now, I will be cheering on the protesters from the comfort of my home. While I don’t reside in a 1% mansion, I’m not quite ready to pack up and move into a tie-dyed tent.
    • December 2011 PTHS Book Club Held First Meeting What in the World? ValerieGobao.LayoutEditor-in-Chief AmandaMoore.NewsEditor Do you enjoy reading? There is good news for you. Peters Township High School has started a book club for interested students. The first meeting was on December 16 where the books were all chosen. The first book they anticipated reading was “The Fault in Our Stars” by author John Green. The books will all be oriented towards young adults to make for a more enjoyable experience. “Lots of kids seem interested in the book club,” said senior book club officer Lexi Marlett, who is very involved in creating the club. “I think the book students are most excited to read is The Hunger Games, so we are going to try to take a field trip to watch the film adaptation,” said Marlett. The majority of the meetings will be held on Fridays after school and there will be numerous movie parties to watch books that have come to life on the big screen. On top of that, the school is teaming up with the public library to make this a better experience for everyone involved by granting access to their facilities if necessary. “I’m really excited to be working with the public librarian, Maddie. She is great and I really hope we can use the teen room there,” said Ms. Myers. The two librarians are planning on combining the PTHS Book Club and the teen book club for the public library in order to offer a networking experience. Bebout Construction Update AmandaMoore.NewsEditor The Bebout Tunnel is undergoing a huge makeovermeaning it is being completely torn down and rebuilt. When Construction started on October 24, local drivers did not realize how often they used the Bebout Tunnel until they were forced to find absurd shortcuts through the township. The most commonly used detour is the one is through Photo by Amanda Moore the neighborhood Briar Cliff. These signs add a few more minutes to “I find it to be very every commute. “I was late to so many inconvenient because I travel things, but it will be worth it when the through [the tunnel] all the new bridge is finished,” said senior David time and it makes so much extra Tucker. traffic with all the detours,” said junior Gail Luster. Not only is the construction inconvenient, but it is also sad because the bridge is so iconic. “That tunnel has been there for as long as I can remember. It’s going to be weird to see it torn down,” said senior Ronnie Toomey. The construction has also impacted more than just road traffic. The trail that used the former bridge has also been closed down which impacts local runners and walkers. “I run there every day and it’s really frustrating that I can only run one way,” stated sophomore Rachel Moore. Public Works Director Peter Overcashier reported that there have been multiple damage complaints about chunks of cement falling from the ceiling onto unsuspecting cars. Once the actual tunnel was completely torn down on November 20, the township reopened the road for drivers. The construction will resume whenever the beams are delivered, which is expected to be mid February. There is also the possibility of an addition of a turning lane and stoplight. Another project in the near future may be redoing the bridge on Sugarcamp Road. 21 In New York City, Off Broadway is breaking news and wind with its latest tasteful  addition to the world of theater: “The Fartiste.” The musical chronicles the true story of Joseph Pujol, a nineteenth century  Moulin Rouge performer with the special asset of being able to fart on command. His act revolved around this skill, entertaining the masses by  creating “the sounds of thunder, cannons… tearing fabric,” smoking cigarettes, and playing the trumpet with his talented derriere. Despite the stinky nature of the plot, the creators of the new play insist that it’s about more than just potty humor; apparently, it’s the story of a “dignified man” striving for “artistic respect.” Unfortunately for the show, numerous potential viewers are turned away by the gassy subject matter. Obviously, they do not see the true art in the fart. Sorry kids, there is a reason that Santa is not real: among other things, fat men do not fit into chimneys. Unfortunately, Atlanta native and rookie burglar Ronaldo Jack learned this lesson the hard way when he, and his bag of stolen loot, became lodged in his victim’s chimney for ten hours. An observant neighbor heard his muted screams and called the police, who then had to get the fire department to lift him out. Talk about embarrassing. But if that was not bad enough, he gave a false name to the police after he was rescued and arrested, adding another count to his record. When questioned about the robbery, Jack only had one thing to say: “I’m stupid.” Truer words were never spoken. Forget Norman Bates, it is Russian historian Anatoly Moskivn who’s truly psycho. Prone to rummaging through cemeteries in his hometown of Nizhny Novgorod since the seventh grade, his main goal was to “uncover life stories” by deciphering gravestones. However, he took the concept a bit too far by actually digging up the corpses and taking them home with him to the apartment that he shared with his parents. That’s even more insane considering the extent of the collection; when recently discovered by the police, the apartment was filled with a display of twenty-nine Russian mummies dressed in stolen women’s clothing, like creepy life size Barbies. Described as “a loner with certain quirks,” locals could not imagine what inspired this behavior in Moskvin, a previously respected member of the community. However, I can; he must have a face that only a mummy can love.
    • From the Potter’s Hands... Ceramics is one of the Art Department’s most popular electives. In this class, students are taught different clay working techniques, such as, wheel work, hand building, and sculpting. Here are just a few examples of the talent found in the Art Department. Jess McIntosh, 12 Alexa Ansel, 12 Nico Arribas, 11 Lindsay Pisarcik, 12 Layout Design by Denée Renz Christina Fortunato, 12 Mike Bittel, 12 Sammi Philips, 12
    • Sadie Martinez, 12 Liz Palko, 12 Elena Buzzatto, 12 Holly Popovich, 12 Courtney Golembiewski, 12 Jess McIntosh, 12 Sarah Grippi, 12 Maddie Williams, 11
    • What is your worst holiday memory? “I got lost in the woods and ran out of gas.” “Our dog chewed up one of my presents.” Mrs. Morriston “Our dog ate the turkey.” Adam Alavi Amanda McCay “I didn’t get any presents from Santa on Christmas.” Mr. Whalen “I only got clothes on Christmas.” “I set a part of my house on fire.” Mike Aroni “When I didn’t get a puppy on my seventh birthday.” Alexis Cirocco Jesse Eby Dom Gebell Kaitlyn Schmidt Kyle Wagner “My grandmother put too much alcohol in her tea.” Chrissy Lampert Zachary Secunda “My worst holiday memory is when there wasn’t snow on Christmas.” Mr. Burns “My parents got me a dictionary for Christmas” “My mom dropped the turkey on the floor.” Mr. Ripepi Darby Kern Seniors “I ate too much and got sick.” “The year it didn’t snow I was devastated!” “Cops yelled at us for sledriding on a private golf course.” Mr. Guerra “My parents didn’t give me anything I wanted.” Teachers Melanie Cocco “I had to tell my mom I didn’t like the gift she gave me” Emily Corrigan Josh Reardon Juniors “The Easter bunny forgot to come to my house.” “I actually got coal for Christmas.” “I hurt my tailbone in a sled riding accident.” Elsie Growall Allison Hurley Sophomores Timmy Kuehn “My mom spilled hot wax into the potatoes.” Cara Matthews “I was puking on Christmas Eve.” “My mom put little fake coals in my stocking.” “Finding out Santa wasn’t real.” “I was sick on Christmas.” Tori Lewis Rachel Hino Freshmen “I was hit by a garbage truck.”