December 1983

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Penn Post
Mt. Penn Jr./Sr. High School
25th and Filbert Sts. - Mt. Penn, Pa. 19606


The Penn Post would like
to wish everyone a


The Gift
by Loretta Buckley

     Soon in your hand will be placed a priceless gift. Look at it closely. There is no price mark stamped on it. It cannot be weighed because no scale can balance its value. A king�s ransom in comparison is as nothing, yet it is given to beggar and prince alike. The giver asks only that it be used wisely and well.
     This jewel, rare and unique, is not displayed in any shop window. It cannot be purchased, cannot be sold. No other treasure holds the possibilities this gift offers � none can surpass its golden splendor.
     Of all gifts this is most precious. It has been offered many times before; today, from the depths of a boundless love it will be given again. It will be left to you to find the golden thread running through it. Carelessness ingratitude, and selfishness will tarnish the brilliancy, break the unspoiled thread, mar the perfection.
     Guard it closely, lest through weak fingers it slip from the hand. Look often at its faultless beauty. Accept it as it is offered from the heart of the giver. Consider it the most treasured of all possessions, for of all gifts it is by far the greatest. It is the gift of the New Year.

Christmas Happenings
C hildren waiting anxiously for the day to arrive.
H oping their wishes were heard and revived.
R eindeer and Santa stories are told.
I gloos are made and trees trimmed with gold.
S ongs are sung - carols ring through the town.
T oys are wrapped - soldiers, dolls and a clown.
M any people running to and fro.
A Iways waiting to the last minute-shopping they go.
S oon Christmas will be here and children will know, the
D ozens of presents that once wondered them so.
A II will cherish the gifts that they�ve gotten -
Y ou know they will not in a long time be forgotten!
          - Jenny Miller
Short Story for Christmas
     It was Christmas Eve and I went into the hospital to visit my grandmother. Walking into her room, I found her roommate. I wanted to spend as much time with my grandmother as possible, but when she had to go for tests, I was left with her roommate. We started talking and she told me that she didn�t have any relatives. No one came to visit her. She told me that Christmas made her think of all the families that will be together.
     People don�t realize that there are some people that have no family to spend the Christmas holiday with like the hospitalized, the elderly, the shut-ins. They sit around not able to share the Joy of Christmas. This Christmas, take a moment to remember the people who will not be sharing Christmas with someone.
          - Julie Horst

"Another year, another Christmas, another pound!"

Hanukah Came Early
This Year

     Happy Belated Hanukah! It�s belated because the holiday of Hanukah was very early this year (the year of 5744 on the Hebrew calendar). Hanukah was celebrated December 1 thru December 8. This was great for children because gifts were given and received sooner.
     At sundown on November 30, Jewish families gathered around the dining room table and ate a specially prepared meal. Presents were exchanged after the ceremony of the menorah during which prayers were recited and the first of eight candles was lit. Eight of the candles are for each night of Hanukah, the ninth serves as the helper or Shamos. With it, the other candles are lit, from the right side to the left.
     This holiday serves as a reminder to the Jewish people of the victory of the small Hebrew army over the huge Roman army. The menorah is a symbol of the miracle of the eternal lamp. After the Jewish Temple had been ransacked by the Romans there was only enough oil in the eternal lamp to burn for a few days. This lamp must be lit at all times and more oil was far away. Instead of burning out after a few days, the lamp remained lit for eight days, until more oil arrived.
Celebrating these miracles has become a tradition. Other observances of the holiday are playing a game with a dreidel (a top), eating potato latkas (pancakes), and singing songs. It is certainly a time to rejoice.
          - Stephanie Rosenthal
          - Gabrielle Savitz

The Soup Kitchen
     Most of us have nothing to complain about. We are constantly complaining when we shouldn�t be. There�s probably not one person who hasn�t heard someone say, �Be thankful for what you�ve got because it�s a lot more than some will ever have.� Whenever someone says this, we say, �Yeah, yeah, you�re right�; but inside we�re still complaining and wanting more.
     Recently I was involved in a careers program, which included visits to various organizations in Reading. The one that was most interesting was a place called the Soup Kitchen. It is actually Central United Methodist Church with parts of it serving as food cupboards and kitchens. Volunteers from the church and the neighborhood come in daily and prepare meals. Food is given to the Church by commercial contributors and anyone who is willing to donate it. Once a month families are able to come to the church and �grocery shop� there. Records are kept so the same people don�t come too frequently. Every day meals are provided for those who can�t provide for themselves. Maybe the people have no money to buy food, are unable to prepare it, or have no facilities to make meals. The Soup Kitchen is open Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. It uses 8-10 gallons of soup, 6 gallons of milk, and 10 large loaves of bread daily.
     The lady in charge told us true stories of people who live under porches, in shacks, or in their cars all winter; and the meals they receive at the Soup Kitchen are the only meals they get all day.
     We all know that there are poor people everywhere - even here in Reading. I had always blocked it out of my mind, but it�s a very real and present problem. Being aware of the problem and knowing where to go to help will do much for those who can�t help themselves. It�s only fair for us to share with those who have nothing.
          - Jenny Miller


Sponsored by Penn Post
Grades 7 - 12
Categories: Poetry, Cartoons and Short Stories
Prizes: $25 winner, $5 honorable
mention for each grade division.
Rules will be posted in January.

Staying Slim Through
The Fat Season

     Right about now is when everybody starts to wonder why those extra pounds always seem to creep on during the winter to ruin a summer figure. Well, basically two reasons � all those skimpy bikinis that gave us so much inspiration during the summer are gone, and all we�re left with is pound-hiding layers of clothes, also, the great holiday feasting doesn�t help much either.
     So, if you�re the type of person who just can�t say �no� to your mother�s homemade Christmas cookies or Aunt Sally�s mouth-watering pies, then here�s some advice. Realize now that you will be splurging during the holidays and take off a few pounds now before you put them on.
     Here�s how: Number one rule is - exercise. Know the shape you�re in, recruit a fitness buddy, and keep an exercise journal. This chart may help decide the exercise for you.
Calories burned per half hour
240-300 cal.
230-240 cal.
480-520 cal.
260-276 cal.
135-140 cal.

     A few more suggestions are keep your swimsuit handy for frequent try-ons during the winter, set a gain limit that can easily be taken off in a week or so, and don�t weigh yourself everyday (watching your weight and being obsessed with your weight are two different things); once a week is fine.
     Follow this advice, and you�ll keep your bikini figure all winter long.
          - Kelly Grim

Christmas -
A Time To Enjoy

     Christmas! When people say that word, what is the first thing to come to mind - Christmas trees, presents, carols, holly, no school or shopping? Through the years, I�ve noticed people panic at the mention of that word. It means endless hours of frantically searching for gifts they can�t even afford. They seem to have lost or forgotten all the fun and joy of Christmas � decorating the tree, the beautiful wrapping on presents, the snow, the holiday spirit. For me there�s only one way to enjoy Christmas � relax, sit back, look around, and take in all that Christmas has to offer.
          - Christine Jurasinski

     The Penn Post Staff Is well aware that teenage drinking is illegal, as is serving alcoholic beverages to teen�agers. We are also aware, however, that it is done and with that in mind hove prepared the following as a service to our readers.

Holiday Partying
     With the Christmas holiday just a-head there will be many people celebrating and sometimes not too safely. A party is a great time to see old friends and meet new ones, yet it can also be very dangerous for those driving home under the influence of alcohol. Last year from Christmas Eve until the following Sunday, eight Pennsylvanians were killed and 231 were injured in alcohol - related accidents.
     There are ways for you, as host, to avoid drunk driving: Serve food with the alcohol, have non-alcoholic beverages available for those who wish to stay sober, and stop serving alcohol an hour before the party is over.
     Even under the best circumstances there will still be that person who drinks too much. To avoid a possible tragedy, you could drive for him or suggest that he stay the night. More drastic moves would be to steal his car keys, physically restrain him if necessary, then call a taxi for him. This might seem like a hassle, but if you�re the host, you are responsible - and besides, let�s keep the LIFE of the party ALIVE.
          - Kelly Grim


Penn Post Staff

Editor Stephanie Rosenthal
Editorials Dawn Hill
News Gabrielli Savitz
Features Lisa Pacharis
Sports Julie Horst
Art Vicki Woolever
Kelly Grim
Reporters Jeff Corliss
Sam Heizmann
Julie Hyman
Christine Jurasinski
Jenny Miller
Jill Moyer
Laura Schnader
Advisor Mrs. Strickler



>> Pages 3, 4, 5 & 6 are missing! <<

Stockings, stockings hung all around
Not a single soul to be found.

Children everywhere, love to hang stockings in the night.
And see all the glitter, oh so bright!

Santa doesn�t care if the stockings are green or blue.
He still has goodies for you.

It always pays to be good and at your very best.
Not just at Christmas time, but all the rest!

          - Jeff Corliss


The Reason
The love and joy and peace that
   come from the Christmas season
Would have to be the very best
   and most important reason
For us to look forward to and celebrate
   the joyous Christmas Day.
Candy and presents & Santa & food
   must not be and aren�t the only way
To remember Christmas and all that
     happened on that happy day.
          - Jenny Miller

Christmas Memories
The fire, the tree, the lights,
     the songs,
All seem so long ago!

The tiny child, staring wide-eyed
     at a multitude of presents,
The memory captured in my mind.

Each snowflake falling, lightly,
     covering all in sight,
This moment standing still in time.

Santa�s laugh, loud and jolly,
     Still ringing in my ears.

Relatives talking, chattering,
     buzzing about,
Their presence still lingering.

All returning on Christmas �
     Only to be stored as
     memories once again!

          - Christine Jurasinski
Elves at Work
The pounding of little nails
is heard throughout the room.
Icy, frosty gales
Pass the window - zoom!

The newest toy elves make
for children far and wide.
For when the children wake,
they�ll know Santa was inside.

They wrap all the gifts
in colors of red and green.
They know how a child�s spirit lifts
at the presents yet unseen.

0 happy elves � how they work,
racing against the clock.
A doll for Jan, a train for Dirk,
Presents for a brightly colored sock.

Finally work is done
and off St. Nicholas goes,
Delivering packages full of fun
with brightly colored bows.
          - Jill Moyer
Christmas Morning
     Six-year-old Amanda Gallanty woke up very early on Christmas morning. Like most children, she had been awake half the night looking for Santa. As she crept quietly down the stairs, she spotted the brightly lighted tree. Under it were many colorful presents. Hoping not to wake her parents, she tried to open one. But it didn�t work. Her mother and father were already descending the stairs. All three proceeded to open their gifts, each taking a turn.
     Then they hurried upstairs to dress for dinner at Grandma�s house. Within 45 minutes, they were dressed and ready to go. Mrs. Gallanty took along the cookies she had baked the night before. Amanda took along her new pink teddy bear, and Mr. Gallanty took the family camera.
     The ride to Grandma�s was a long one, so the Gallanty�s sang Christmas carols to pass the time. Although Amanda didn�t know all the words, she hummed along.
     In what seemed five minutes, they were at their destination. From inside they could hear loud singing, talking and laughing. As they entered, a strong smell of turkey, cranberry sauce, desserts, and many other things, drifted past them in a wave. Grandma and other family members greeted them warmly, and immediately admired Amanda�s bear. This, among other things, made Amanda feel warm and secure. She felt that this must really be the spirit of Christmas.

          - Laura Schnader
Santa�s Train
Santa�s train is all packed and ready to go.
Over the tall mountains and through the deep snow.
Com�n round the bend with a Clickity-Clack, Toot-Toot!
He�s all decked out in his bright red suit.

Santa looks so jolly and neat
He even brought us goodies to eat.

In my day Santa used to come by sleigh
But that took all night and most of the next day.
He tried the plane, for years
But all those computers drove him to tears.

This year Santa�s com�n by train
He said he�s had it with that low back pain!
No more luggin the big old sack about.
I�ll just pull up and dole out.

Now his train is a real beauty.
Red, blue, and heavy duty.
It�s so long and low, it holds lots of toys.
Enough for all good girls and boys.

But if your a rotten brat and schemer
Santa will �floor� his little steamer.
So if you�re bad, remember your house he�ll pass
So fast your head will spin.

The only thing he�ll leave you is his famous little grin.
So Clickity-Clack, Toot-Toot!
You better be good,
or Santa will give you a big black boot!
          - Jeff Corliss

Another �Hoops� Season
     The boys basketball team will soon be starting a new season. There are two new coaches this year for both the Varsity and Junior Varsity teams. Mr. Mike Zuber is the Varsity coach, and Mr. Jeff Cardinal is the JV coach. Mr. Zuber was previously the assistant coach at Holy Name High School. Mr. Cardinal had been the Girls� basketball coach here at Mt. Penn and is also a driver�s education instructor at the school.
     League games begin on Tuesday, November 29 against Exeter. The new season will be kicked off by the celebrations of spirit week.

Matt Gettis
Jeff Motze
Ben Overly
Jeff Rogers
Tom Sload
Jim Seiz
John Sosh
Dave Werner
Jeff Peterson
Ryan Petterson
Randy Boyer
Barry Mowery

Ryan Petterson
Ron Slutsky
Randy Boyer
Darren Max
Barry Mowery
Steve Kunkel
Jeff Peterson
Mark Goldstein
John Henry
Steve Monroe
Steve Reis
Dave Rogers

          - Stephanie Rosenthal

Down The Alley
     The Mounts have an intramural league set up for preseason bowling practice. This practice, which is every Monday after school for approximately $2.75 at Bowl-O-Rama, is a helpful start for the bowlers. The season begins in mid-December. Mr. Fegely, the bowling team�s coach, is expecting a prosperous year from his team. He hopes to have a full line up this year with 12 girls and 12 guys.
          - Jeff Corliss

Girls� Basketball
     For the first time in at least two years, the girls� basketball team will have a Varsity and a J.V. squad. The girls will be sharing the gym with the boys for practices. One week the girls will have early practice, 3:00 until 5:00 or 5:30. The following week it will be a late practice, 5:00 or 5:30 until about 7:30. The Varsity coach is Miss Biffel, and the coach for the J.V. team is Scott Wittich.

Heli Kallio
Robyn Franckowiak
Margie Walters
Gwynne McCormick
Amy Miller
Roberta Schreiber
Diane Churan

Norine Miller
Joell Miller
Audrey Miller
Lara Stutz
Alisa Jacobs
Jenny Eckel
Vali Sikla
Rae-Lynn Fletcher
Carol Bigos
Kim Steiger

          - Dawn Hill

A Surprise for the team
     On October 24, 1983, there was a pizza party for the field hockey team. This party was at Pizza Hut, and it wasn�t your average one.
     Before the party, a few of the hockey players planned to send a Muscle-Gram to Miss Biffel and Miss Weaver.  Everyone helped pay, and there were a lot of laughs. At around 6:20, two men entered Pizza Hut with a portable. One was in a dark red sweat suit, and the other one was in a three-piece suit. Immediately, the hockey coaches suspected something because the men were making their way over to our table. When the one man removed his sweat suit, on his chest was written �THANK YOU NANCY AND DEBBIE.� He was wearing a red bikini bathing suit, a black bowtie, and cufflinks. The music was turned on, and he showed off his muscles to not only the coaches, and the team, but to everyone at Pizza Hut. A picture of him and our two great coaches was taken afterward.
          - Laura Schnader

Ball Bounces in Gym
     This year boy�s basketball will be played in the high school gym, as it was several years ago. This will be quite a change from the large, modern middle school gym. I think both good and bad factors will result from the change. First of all, the limited space will cause crowded and extremely warm conditions. The crowded gym, however, could make the fans more excited and enthusiastic. Speaking of fans, I think more will attend the basketball games because the high school is closer to a lot of the students homes. More fans will produce more support, and who knows - Mount Penn High School could be the home of the next state champs!
          - Jenny Miller

Spirit Week
     This year spirit week was November 21 through December 2. Events occurring on the days were Monday, November 21 - funny hat day; Tuesday, November 22 - punk rock day; Wednesday, November 23 - backwards day; Tuesday, November 29 - spirit day.
     The annual hall decorating took place from November 29 through December 2. Many participated and hopefully the school spirit will continue through basketball season.
          - Jenny Miller

M.P.H.S. Bonfire
     This year Mount Penn is trying something new to arouse school spirit. A bonfire was scheduled for November 28; but was postponed to a later date because of rain. At the bonfire all basketball players - boys and girls - will be announced, as will the coaches and the cheerleaders. Cheering contests between classes will be held. The bonfire will hopefully be a continued tradition at Mount Penn.
          - Jenny Miller

Susan's Korner
2309 Perkiomen Avenue
(Below American Bank)
779- 2128
gifts, cards,
ice cream, penny candy