April Issue

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IT DOESN’T ADD UP The Tam News — April 2016


04 05 06



Reid Runs for JSA State Governor by Franny Kiles Stoner Continues Career Speaker Series by James Finn Service Held for Tam Alum Gabe Bouchard by James Finn Strawberry Protests Branson’s Relocation by Vincent Boot Tam Alum Jacari Cook Remembered by Raqshan Khan and Calvin Rosevear


April 2016

Lifestyles 07 08 09

Kevin Gate’s “Islah” by James Finn Artist of the Issue: Sam Emblidge by Trevor Bukowski A Detailed Analysis of the Hungry Hawk by Blake Villanueva and Blake Killingsworth


Features 10

It Doesn’t Add Up by Willzie Connelly, Hannah Chorley and James Finn

Op/Ed 16 17 18

Don’t Yuck My Tuna by Blake Villanueva To Stream or Not to Stream? by Claire Donohue Editorial: Parkin’ Problems by Staff

Sports 19 20 21 2

Q&A: Annie Whalen by Jackson Gathard Sports Opinion: Warriors Fans, Be Grateful by Connor Norton Athlete of the Issue: Hank Taft by Trevor Bukowski

April 2016 — The Tam News



Dear Reader,

The two most common issues I hear Tam students complaining about are the math classes and the difficult parking situation. This month’s issue examines both of these hot topics. The feature takes a closer look at why many students feel they need to pay for tutoring in order to succeed in their classes, especially math. The rising number of students who pay for outside help is concerning and perhaps a bigger problem in promoting inequity in the classroom than we realize. Does the pressure to get good grades for college lead to tutoring becoming the first option when a student struggles? Is there a culture at Tam that encourages outside help? We examine these questions and others in our cover story by Willzie Connelly, Hannah Chorley, and James Finn. On a lighter note, the parking issue at Tam is always something people are happy to complain about. This month’s editorial takes a stance on how both Tam students and administration can help improve the current parking situation. Neither party can take full responsibility, but together, we might be able to help make the parking situation a little less frustrating for everyone. So take some time to read both the feature and editorial. It’s all anyone talks about anyways.

Raqshan Khan EDITORS IN CHIEF: Hannah Chorley, James Finn, & Raqshan Khan

NEWS: Megan Butt & Danielle Egan

INTERNS: Elissa Asch, Kate Finn, Samantha Locke, & Miles Rubens

LIFESTYLES: Claire Donohue & Jackson Gathard

INTERNS: Michael Diamondakis, Adam Harband, Piper Goeking, Charile Rosgen, & Dahlia Zail

FEATURES: Marina Furbush, Tandis Shoushtary, & Kendall Lafranchi

INTERNS: Marie Hogan & Framcis Streitmann

OPINION: Cam Vernali, Maddie Wall, & Trent Waltz

INTERNS: Nicole Anisgard Parra & Madeline Reilly

SPORTS: Connor Norton, Calvin Rosevear, & Misha Krivoruchko




Cover by: Jackson Gathard On the Cover: “It Doesn’t Add Up” examines the high math tutoring rates among Tam students.

BUSINESS TEAM: Megan Butt, Danielle Egan, & Kendall Lafranchi

INTERNS: Michael Diamondakis, Piper Goeking, Adam Harband, & Max Williams

PHOTOS: Claire Donohue & Sam Toland

INTERNS: Ginger Lazarus, Anika Kaplan, Lucky Shulman, & Max Williams

GRAPHICS: Leo DiPierro & Luke Rider

INTERNS: Nicole Anisgard Parra & Lucky Shulman

COPY EDITORS: David Hanson, Izzy Houha, & Glo Robinson

INTERNS: Kennedy Cook

DESIGN: Tandis Shoushstary

INTERNS: Kennedy Cook, Ginger Lazarus, Lucky Shulman, & Francis Strietmann

INTERNS: Jack Loder, Sam Pletcher, Adam Tolson & Zoe Wynn

ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

Volume XI, No. VII April 2016 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1916

Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org

REPORTERS: Nicole Anisgard-Parra, Elissa Asch, Maddie Asch, Griffin Barry, Vincent Boot, Aliona Brichov, Trevor Bukowski, Willzie Connelly, Kennedy Cook, Alexandra Deane, Michael Diamandakis, Keldon DuaneMcGlashan, Kate Finn, Piper Goeking, Jacob Goldman, Nick Goldman, Arya Guinney, Adam Harband, Marie Hogan, Whitney Howard, Elliott Jacobs, Gibson Katz, Franny Kiles, Blake Killingsworth, Ethan Lawrence, Ginger Lazarus, Ilaria Lobo, Samantha Locke, Jackson Loder, Joshua Love, Nicholas Moe, Jack Murphy, Lilly Murphy, Elisabet Nelson, Connor Norton, Benjamin Olizar, Mitchell Pardi, Luca Pelo, Morgan Pinney, Samuel Pletcher, Max Plotkin, Alexander Price, Madeline Reilly, Isabel Rodriguez, Charlotte Rosgen, Miles Rubens, Eddie Schultz, Connor Scutt, Hannah Shulman, Francis Strietmann, Adam Tolson, Blake Villanueva, Wanya Williams, Maxwell Williams, Zoe Wynn, Dash Yarnold, Dahlia Zail EDITORIAL BOARD: Hannah Chorley, Claire Donohue, James Finn, Marina Furbush, Raqshan Khan, Franny Kiles, Connor Norton, Blake Villanueva, Peter Wynn

The Tam News, a student-run newspaper publication, distributed monthly, is an open, public forum for student expression and encourages letters and article contributions. The Tam News reserves the right to edit submissions for length and content. All content decisions are made by student editors. The Tam News is published monthly, though dates may vary. The Tam News is nonprofit and any proceeds and contributions are used in the production of the newspaper publication and for journalism education. Additional information concerning contributions or advertising can be obtained by writing to the address provided above or through our website. Copyright © 2015 by The Tamalpais News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

The Tam News — April 2016



Reid for JSA State Governor by Franny Kiles


unior Ashley Reid, the President of involved and now I’m here.” Tam’s Junior Statesman of America Reid immediately loved JSA because (JSA) club, is currently running for gov- of how flexible and open the conventions ernor of the Northern California State of are. “I prep a lot [for the conventions] beJSA (the organization divides California cause I speak on a lot of things...and this into two “states”). JSA is one of the larg- time I’m going to be preparing for my camest student-run organizations in the country paign,” Reid said. “[But] if you want to just and the Northern California region hosts go and listen you don’t have to do anything about three to six conventions for hundreds of students each year. As governor, Reid would be in charge of the Northern California conventions and would meet with the nine other JSA governors in the country in Washington DC a few times a year to discuss ideas for improving JSA. Reid joined JSA as a sophomore when her friend convinced her to come to one of the conventions. “I had never really been into politics, never really been into public speaking, and I spoke once [at the convention] and was immediately hooked,” Reid recalled. “After that point I wanted to get more involved and basi- ASPIRING GOVERNOR: Reid is running for cally I took every opportunity to get more governor of the Northern California state of JSA. PHOTO BY CLAIRE DONOHUE

except turn your forms in.” The election for 2016-2017 governor will be held from April 22 to April 24 at the Spring State convention, the last convention of the year for the Northern California state. Reid is currently running against one opponent from the east bay, but according to JSA Vice President Kent Sawyers, she has an extremely good chance of winning the election. “[Reid is] by far the best candidate for the governorship,” Sawyers said. “She isn’t afraid of commitment, and continually sacrifices what she needs to in order to excel at her job.” The Tam JSA club meets every other Monday at lunch in Mr. Costanzo’s room to prepare and talk about upcoming conventions. “I’m running for governor which is about the most involved you can get in JSA but we have people at Tam who just go to listen to the debates [at the conventions],” Reid said. “It’s about choice... what you want your JSA experience to be.”♦

Stoner Continues Career Speaker Series by James Finn


he College and Career Center (CCC) has been hosting a Career Speaker Series, consisting of a succession of professionals from an array of fields speaking to student audiences at lunch about their professions. The series began on February 25 with a presentation by Kurt Jordan, an engineer for Oracle Racing, and will end on May 16 with a lecture by pediatrician Jeanette White. College and Career Specialist Elizabeth Stoner said that the series was started with the goal of providing students with information and inspiration about careers they might potentially be interested in. “We spent a lot of time working on college in the first semester, and I really wanted to start the second semester [focusing] on careers,” Stoner said. “My experience finding my way into my career was actually meeting different people at different jobs and forming relationships. I thought also for Tam students, who tend to be really busy


April 2016 — The Tam News

and probably can’t make it to one event [such as a career fair] it would probably be better to have a rolling series that kids could kind of show up to or not show up to.” “It’s been eye opening to talk to specialists in their field and listen to how their job works and why they pursued that career,” Career Speaker Series attendee and junior Gwen Tosaris said. “I found it not only interesting but also mentally stimulating when asking questions about how their work has affected their life and what they’ve taken away from their jobs.”♦


Service Held for Tam Alum Gabe Bouchard T

he memorial service for Gabriel Bouchard, a class of 2014 Tam graduate who died on February 5 of an apparent drug overdose, was held on Sunday, March 13 at the Mill Valley Community Center. A number of Bouchard’s former teammates, teachers, relatives, and friends, including current and former Tam students, congregated to celebrate the memory of a man who was remembered by many for being exceptionally caring and compassionate towards those in the Tam community. “Gabe had a really big personality, a very big kind of presence,” said social studies teacher Sharilyn Scharf who had Bouchard as a freshman and sophomore. “He was someone who liked to have a lot of fun, and he had a lot of friends and it was clear that friendship was always first for him….He had a good heart and he was a good person.” Bouchard’s past as a baseball player was a central part of the service. Many of his friends attended the service wearing baseball hats that had been part of a large collection kept by Bouchard, and memories were shared of his time spent playing baseball in Mill Valley. A number of Bouchard’s baseball jerseys were also displayed at the service, according to senior Ethan Lawrence, a former teammate and friend of Bouchard’s. As a left-handed pitcher, Bouchard played on Mill Valley Little League baseball teams for many years and was an important contributor to the varsity baseball team his senior year. “I knew Gabe from playing baseball my whole life, from when I was about six years old to my sophomore year on [Tam’s] varsity [team],” Lawrence said. “I always saw the good side of Gabe on the baseball field, being a team player and being a great teammate. As a member of the team, you really felt like he was there

by James Finn

for you and that he wanted the best for you. Gabe was the most welcoming for me on that team when I was one of the only sophomores on varsity.” Lawrence, who is a reporter for the Tam News, said that the service captured these aspects of Bouchard’s personality well. “I thought that the memorial service did a great job celebrating his life and recognizing that this was a huge loss for our community,” he said. “I think it was evident of how impactful Gabe’s life was within the Mill Valley community based

off of how many different age groups there were there, how many different people were there. I’ve never seen the community center so filled with students....It was a good, warm community, and I think that a lot of us were holding back tears the whole time.” Jack Elias, who graduated from Tam in 2015 and was also a teammate of Bouchard’s in the baseball program, found the service moving as well. “The community center common room was absolutely packed to begin with, I

think with 400 [or] 500 people, which in itself was extremely powerful,” Elias said. “I thought it was beautiful [and] was intended to be a celebrations and remembrance, not a time of mourning. That is something that I know Gabe would have wanted.” Senior Brooke Butler attended the service and echoed Elias and Lawrence’s sentiments. “[The service] wasn’t meant to be sad, it was meant to celebrate his life and try and stop thinking about the bad and remember all the good and happiness he brought to the table,” Butler said. Bouchard was known to have struggled with substance abuse prior to his passing, but the ceremony on March 13 focused on the earlier parts of his life – his time as a baseball player and his childhood in Mill Valley. “My favorite part of the service was the video that was played,” Elias said. “Eric Moe [parent of Tam alumnus Daniel Moe] put together a video using all the footage he had collected of Gabe from Little League all the way up to high school baseball. This was an awesome moment, because we were able to see an extremely happy Gabe without struggle, which is what we will all remember him for....[It was] not only a commemoration of Gabe’s life, but it seemed to also be a commemoration of the childhood of so many kids who grew up at Boyle Park and with Gabe.” Elias added that there are alternatives to drugs and alcohol when it comes to coping with challenges that may arise in one’s life. “There are always people out there who will care for you and do whatever they can to help you,” he said. “If you can utilize people and appreciate their love and care for you, maybe you won’t need to resort to other things for happiness.”♦ PHOTO COURTESY OF 2014 TAM YEARBOOK

The Tam News — April 2016



Strawberry Protests Branson’s Relocation by Vincent Boot


igns on the lawns and decks of hundreds of Strawberry homes read “No Branson,” particularly ones in close proximity to the Seminary. The Seminary is a 101-acre neighborhood on the southern end of Strawberry in Mill Valley. In September, the Seminary was bought by North Coast Land Holdings, a real estate development entity, for the large sum of $85 million. The developers aim to build more housing on the relatively open property and to allow The Branson School to relocate and expand on it. Branson’s goal is to create a much larger school than they have now; they look to construct a school suitable for over 1,000 students, just about tripling their current enrollment of 340.

The community in and around the Seminary is outraged for multiple reasons. They have coalesced under the Seminary Neighborhood Association, formed in June of 2010, aiming to make developments in the Seminary that reflect community input. They hold Strawberry community meetings and distribute “No Branson” signs. According to the Association’s website, the development entity has restricted rights under the Strawberry Community Plan and the Seminary Master Plan. “They can ask for this change, but they have no right to expect this chance,” the website says. “When [Branson] purchased the property they did their due diligence and knew exactly what was allowed.” Tam junior Pablo Lochman, a strawberry resident, displays a “No Branson” sign on his lawn. “Strawberry is a great community and already growing. Adding a 1,000 student high school will make it difficult to get around and

past Strawberry and will negatively affect the way of life for us residents,” Lochman said. Other members of the community express a lot of concern towards the potential traffic, which the website reports is expected to increase by 1000 percent upon the current traffic activity in the area. This traffic won’t just affect the Seminary, but all of Strawberry and Mill Valley as well. The Seminary community (specifically The Seminary Neighborhood Association) is also worried about safety. “Thousands of cars coming and going, while neighborhood kids are biking and walking to school, is a real safety threat to our community,” their website says. Consistent with Lochman’s view of the situation, senior Trenten Francis said, “No one in Strawberry actually supports Branson coming in besides those associated with the actual school itself.” According to the website, the review process will begin with the Strawberry Design Review Board, and then pass to the County Planning Commission. Their recommendation will be taken by the Board of Supervisors, who will vote on the issue.♦

Jacari Cook Remembered by Raqshan Khan and Calvin Rosevear


ormer Tam student Jacari Cook passed away on Sunday, February 7 at 29 years old. He and his father-in-law, both Marin City residents, were shot in Marin City during a confrontation with a neighbor. According to news reports, Cook and his father-in-law were coming to the aid of a relative who had supposedly been injured in a relationship dispute. A suspect was identified by the Marin County Sheriff Department. According to a press release sent by Lt. Jamie Scardina on February 25, a search warrant was obtained for 37 year old Charles Welsh. Jewell Barrow, advisor for the Black Student Union, remembered Cook as a student when he was a member of the Black Student Union Club, in the early 2000s. Barrow reflected on the time she found


April 2016 — The Tam News

out about Cook’s passing.“When I came back from church...I just saw tape everywhere! The yellow tape. Danger tape. And I saw people, and I... asked the guy who was walking by what happened. And he told me that Jacari and Carl got shot, got killed. And that’s when I found out. It was shocking, very shocking,” Barrow said. “His grandmother and I were classmates and so I knew his uncles and mother. Lots of people in his family came to town,” she said. “I was basically in shock. I guess [that’s what] everybody else felt like. And then when I was told basically what happened, that even made it unreal. More unreal. You know, because I can’t imagine that, not in Marin City, not people you know.” Barrow said she couldn’t remember anything negative about him. “He was

nothing but the average, typical young guy,” she said. “He always had a smile. A pretty nice smile actually.”♦


Kevin Gates' "Islah"

Lifestyles Lifestyles

by James Finn

Girl” gave jarring and occasionally boastful accounts of Gates’s experiences as a drug dealer in his hometown. Certain tracks on “Islah” suggest that he hasn’t changed much — “La Famila” presents a description of a family drug-dealing enterprise, and “Thought I Heard (Breadwinner’s Anthem)” provides a narrative of Gates’s struggles prior to the mainstream musical success he eventually achieved.

If you want to hear more of the old Kevin Gates, if you’re hoping for a sound reminiscent of “The Luca Brasi Story,” don’t worry — “Islah” will not disappoint; the gritty Gates sound that listeners have become accustomed to is still present on his latest release. But what makes “Islah” worth listening to is the degree to which Gates retains that style while opening up and expanding his style to include a vulnerability that isn’t often heard in modern rap. ♦


he term “vulnerable” is rarely used to describe gangsta rappers. The likes of Mac Dre, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent, all of whom pioneered the genre, hardly provided a template that encouraged their successors to wear their emotions on their sleeves. But on his major-label debut, “Islah,” Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates manages to retain his signature deft rhyming and gritty sound reminiscent of the aforementioned rap pioneers while introducing an element of vulnerability that hasn’t been widely present in rap of Gates’s type. Gates was married in 2015 and has a young daughter after whom the album was named, and tracks such as “Kno One” and “Not the Only One” all paint an image of Gates as a tender romantic who is more interested in treating his family well than he is in selling cocaine and drinking lean (a frequent focus of his early work). “Think about you all the time... no one love you like I, hope our love ain't expire.... one day I'll get over my pride,” Gates proclaims to his wife on “Pride.” Gates’s transformation makes “Islah” an interesting listen — it’s an anomaly in itself to see a rapper veer from the conventional machismo and chest-pounding that is so present in the genre, but it’s even more unusual to see one do so after he has established a name for himself by proscribing to that very archetype. On his prior releases (such as the successful mixtapes “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Luca Brasi 2”), Gates’s style was decidedly harder, more shaped by a past that included a prison stint for drug dealing and firearm offenses. Earlier tracks such as “Narco Trafficante,” “4:30am” and “Trap

The Tam News — April 2016



Artist of the Issue: Sam Emblidge by Trevor Bukowski

SMILING SENIOR: Senior Sam Emblidge fell in love with ceramics in Art Exploration Freshman year and has been creating intricate and bold masterpieces ever since. PHOTO BY TREVOR BUKOWSKI


t’s three feet tall, standing strong on a wide base, a connection of bright blue molded tubes built up into a tower-like thing. At least that’s how senior Sam Emblidge describes his clay project. It’s funny to think that the smiling senior, proudly finishing up a months long project, wasn’t supposed to be here. Freshman year, Emblidge thought he wanted to take architectural design, but after he was introduced to clay in Art Exploration he switched out and signed up for ceramics. Three years later and he knows he made the right decision. “I never really had a steady hand,” Emblidge said. “Ceramics has given me an opportunity to express how I'm feeling in an abstract way.” What makes Emblidge’s art pieces so unique is his process. Emblidge prefers to limit his planning. “I just kind of see how it goes,” Emblidge said. “I take out these tubes and whatever shape they are in, I put it on there and try to just see how tall I can make it.” He can never be certain how the final piece will end up. “When you’re glazing you never really know what it’s gonna look like when it comes out of the kiln,” Em-


April 2016 — The Tam News

blidge said. “Sometimes that’s horrible and you’re gonna have to throw away the piece, but sometimes you can make some beautiful things.” Some might argue that working without an outline hinders one’s outcome, but no quality is sacrificed due to his organic method of sculpting, according to Emblidge's teacher. “He’s very thoughtful and methodical about his approach to his work,” ceramics teacher, Lisa Ouse, said. “You can totally see a connection between all of the pieces he’s working on in his portfolio.” Emblidge's most recent piece, pictured to the right, is one of the four tube sculptures he’s done. “I’ve made a lot of these throughout my high school career,” Emblidge said. “And I’ve slowly gotten better and better each time.” Emblidge decided to make his most recent sculpture extra tall, so tall in fact hat it wouldn’t even fit in the standard kilns. A lot has changed since Emblidge first started taking ceramics. “Freshman year he was kind of wanting to just get projects finished,” Ouse-Hicks said. “Now he has a plan in mind and it comes out in his work.”

Although Emblidge’s love for ceramics is strong, he doesn’t see himself doing it professionally. “I’m planning on taking some ceramics classes in college and maybe a minor in art history, but I don’t see a career there,” Emblidge said. “I think that ceramics just really gives me a time away from all the stresses that school provides. I go to ceramics, my head is clear, and I’m ready to take on the day.”♦



A Detailed Analysis of the Hungry Hawk by Blake Villanueva and Blake Killingsworth

ome people hate driving every day to get lunch from places around school. They’re crowded, hectic, and expensive. The Hungry Hawk is a good bang for your buck and is conveniently located on campus, but many people avoid it because it’s a “cafeteria.” However, I, Blake Villanueva, eat there quite often and have tried the large majority of their cycle of dishes. With the help of Blake Killingsworth’s expert palate and food critique experience, I will shed light upon the reality of the Hungry Hawk’s food selection, giving each dish or side a score out of 10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best). We hope you will find this Hungry Hawk Review useful and informative.

Hot Dog: 5/10 It’s hard to go wrong with this American classic. It is your typical street hotdog with a wiener and a white-bread bun. While there isn’t relish or onions or an abundance of toppings, ketchup and mustard are provided. Chicken Tenders With Tater Tots: 8/10 This go-to combo is usually done right at the Hungry Hawk. They serve up several 2-3 inch warm breaded chicken breast strips and are generous with the tots. However, the texture is inconsistent; the meat can be dry and the tots can lose their crunch. Ketchup is available and recommended. Chow Mein: 6/10 If you’re accustomed to authentic Chinese food, you won’t be impressed. The dish contains thick, slippery noodles, beet-colored lettuce, and the overall taste is more sour than sweet. Also, make sure to race to the Hungry Hawk if you want the noodles to stay warm.

Chicken Tikka Masala: 8/10 Although this is not a typical cafeteria dish, it is one of the better dishes served at the Hungry Hawk. Tikka masala is an Indian cuisine classic made with chunks of chicken lathered in a mildly spicy sauce. The Hungry Hawk’s version is served hot over a scoop of white rice and is a great meal to have on a cold day. Egg Salad Sandwich: 2/10 This sandwich hasn’t made an appearance for a while, which is for the better. The main problem is that the moisture from the egg salad seeps into the wheat bread, making it soggy. The Saran wrap can also get a bit wet. Also… you may find fragments of an eggshell. Philly Cheesesteak: 6/10 This is definitely not the real deal, but props to the cafeteria for serving this Philadelphia classic. The sandwich consists of melted white cheese and circular patties of rather sweet ground meat on a white-bread bun.

Pizza: 6/10 The Hungry Hawk serves up one mediumsmall slice of thin-crust cheese pizza with minced roma tomato slices and crushed basil on top. The bottom is crisp and the pizza isn’t greasy, making for a small but satisfying meal. Coconut Soup: 8/10 Indulge in the exotic flavors of Thai cuisine with this savory soup. It is served hot and contains broth and a few various vegetables. The broth goes well with a croissant, which is also sold at the Hungry Hawk. Meatball Sandwich: 5/10 This is one of the better sandwiches and is similar to Subway’s “Meatball Marinara.” The meatballs are rather large and fairly sweet, and are lathered with spaghet-

ti sauce. As is common with all meatball sandwiches, it is messy and can fall apart while you eat it. Make sure to grab extra napkins and eat over a table. Chipotle Wrap: 4/10 As is common with wraps, the ingredients inside are not well distributed. The wrap contains mostly shredded chicken and lettuce covered by a wheat tortilla. Some sections of the wrap are dry, while others are loaded with chipotle sauce that can make parts of the tortilla soggy.

Salad: 3/10 This larger version of the side salad is made with a combo of iceberg lettuce, mixed greens, and arugula. Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are mixed in, as well as a bit of parmesan cheese. The salad is served in a plastic container along with ranch dressing on the side. Carrots and Raisins: 1/10 Mixed together in one container means wet raisins and bendy carrots. Side Salad: 4/10 This extremely small serving of iceberg lettuce comes with cherry tomatoes and thin, soggy cucumber slices. Ranch dressing is available. Cucumber Slices: 1/10 They were thin and soggy, but you can dip them in ranch dressing. Raisins: 7/10 Not everyone’s favorite, but a good choice if you like them. ♦

The Tam News — April 2016






by Willzie Connelly, Hannah Chorley, & James Finn additional reporting by Marie Hogan


April 2016 — The Tam News




enior Kayla Blair describes herself as a driven student. When Blair needs academic help, she is proactive and seeks assistance from her teacher. Yet, halfway through her junior year, Blair started to fall behind in Advanced Algebra and, after attending multiple tutorial sessions with her teacher, she still felt she needed additional support outside of class. “Even though I am the type of student who self-advocates, and I try to go out of my way [to get additional help], I still feel like it’s not enough,” Blair said. “I can’t imagine the kids who are a bit less outgoing, and especially when they see there’s a 10-minute line waiting for a teacher [during tutorial]. I try so hard but just can’t get help at Tam... and that should mean something.” Since that point during her junior year Blair has attended a study group session at Sage Educators, which consists of a group of several students receiving instruction from a private, paid tutor every other week, in order to obtain

the extra math instruction she feels she needs. Among the less outgoing students that Blair described is senior Walker Sapp. “When it comes to asking questions about a subject I’m completely baffled by, I tend to keep my head down and pretend I understand rather than asking what might constitute a dumb question,” Sapp said. “For kids who don’t understand things the first time and are hesitant to ask questions, they can go from slightly confused to behind in a matter of days.” Sapp and Blair are among a large population of students at Tam who feel that they benefit from a private tutoring program such as Lifeworks Learning Center or Sage. According to Gregg Althen, a site director at Lifeworks, the location’s tutoring program is meant to provide students with both the structure and instruction that they feel they need outside of class in order to succeed.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of having a space where students know there aren’t many distractions and they are just able to sit and focus on their work,” Althen said of Lifeworks’s role in learning. “There are other times when having someone teaching or reteaching them the material is exactly what they need....I have [math content knowledge] to offer, but I can also be a presence that just says, ‘Hey, let’s get organized here.’” In a recent Tam News survey of 282 students in grades nine through 12, 43 percent of surveyed students stated that they have used a form of tutoring. Of those who received tutoring, 96 percent focused primarily on math. The survey indicated that 39 percent of Tam students pay for math tutoring and bypass the free options available

The Tam News — April 2016



at school. Why are so many students paying for math tutors? Many students interviewed were quick to point to inadequate instruction as the reason for the high rate of paid tutoring, but the complete answer is likely more complex. Counselor Sarah Gordon expressed concern over the large percentage of students who use paid tutors for math. “I find it disturbing that we don’t hold the school accountable for students’ learning. These tutoring companies are great, but what if you can’t afford it?” Gordon said. “To supplement what’s being taught is one thing, but to go [to supplemental learning centers] to actually learn the material is another thing....Ever since I’ve been here, we’ve talked about [the tutoring] issue, but nothing has ever been done. I’m disturbed by the notion of outside learning....If it’s needed, why can’t we provide that here at Tam?” The survey data reflects Gordon’s concerns, calling into question the quality of instruction in the Tam math department. Of the surveyed students using math tutors, 54 percent said that they began tutoring because they felt their math teacher was not giving them adequate instruction. Numerous students cited a bad relationship with a teacher as a motivator for going to tutoring. Senior Marley Townsend explained how she dropped her math class and opted to take math online with the help of private tutoring after developing a negative relationship with her math teacher. “I actually had to leave math at Tam, because I had such a poor experience with teachers... because [one teacher] refused to work with me and refused to help me get better, and I’m not the kind of person who learns math quickly. She was moving the class at such a fast pace that I couldn’t...keep up,” Townsend said. “The biggest problem is there’s a sort of lack of support for students who fall through the cracks.” Similarly, Sapp began to consider tutoring after he had trouble getting in-


April 2016 — The Tam News





dividualized help in class with material that he found challenging. “I remember being in [my] math class asking [my teacher] countless times for help on a specific problem, and he would refer me to my notes every time,” Sapp said. “Unfortunately I didn’t understand the notes I had taken, and he seemed unwilling to help me understand them.” Sapp began attending tutoring sessions at Lifeworks as a result. A decline in math standardized test scores raises additional questions about the quality of instruction in the Tam math department. Between 2009 and 2013, all freshmen were required to take the Algebra I California Stan-



dards Test (CST). In 2009, 45 percent of students scored proficient or above on the test. In 2010, 37 percent of students were proficient. The score went down to 30 percent in 2011, 29 percent in 2012, and finally fell to 24 percent in 2013. The CST was discontinued at Tam following the 2013 school year, and in 2015 students began taking the California Student Assessment of Student Progress (CSASP), better known as the “Smarter Balance Assessment.” In comparison to other Marin schools such as Redwood and Drake, Tam students have generally performed worse than their peers on the the CSASP. The results of the test taken in 2015 showed


which you saw in this department five or six years ago, when we had teachers that had been here for 10 years and working together for 10 years,” Wetzel said. “I think you’re going to see that trend no matter what department you’re in.” Tam’s math department has experienced significant turnover in the past few years, such as when three young math teachers were unexpectedly let go in 2014, a move that was protested by many teachers, students, and parents. Tam’s growing student population is another trend that poses problems, according to Wetzel. Since the 20092010 school year, Tam’s student population has increased by approximately 300 students, and Tam’s enrollment is projected to increase by 328 students over the next five years, according to the TUHSD Enrollment Projection.

that only 52 percent of Tam students met or exceeded the proficient mathematics achievement level. Fellow Tam District high schools Redwood and Drake scored 74 percent and 64 percent in the same category, respectively, according to the California Department of Education website. Although this decline in student performance on the exam seems congruent with the criticism of the department’s teachers, there are a variety of factors that may have influenced this trend. Math department teacher leader David Wetzel attributes the drop in standardized test scores to a range of challenges. One such challenge that Wetzel described was the frequent teacher turnover in the department. “The more stable a math department is, the more consistent the scores will be,

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“What I’ve found over the last few years is that our low level courses have had 29, 30, 31, 32 kids in [them] which just makes it impossible for me to get around to every kid who needs one-on-one help every day,” Wetzel said. “I’ve found that every day when the bell rings there are kids who haven’t gotten the attention from me that they needed, which makes it difficult for them to get back up to speed.” Students have also noted that an increase in class size has negatively affected their relationships with their teachers. “I would try and talk to my teacher during tutorial, but he was always busy so I could not get the right amount of attention that I needed,” junior Olivia Phillips said. Administrators are aware of this


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ENGLISH (1.7%) OTHER (0.9%) SCIENCE (1.7%)

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“ Features

I’m disturbed by the notion of outside

learning....If it’s needed, why can’t we provide that here at Tam? - Counselor Sarah Gordon

issue and have expressed their concern. “The student-to-teacher ratio is very high, which is not uncommon in large public high schools,” assistant principal Leah Herrera said. “It’s challenging to give substantive feedback when you have 150 students.” A constant challenge for math teachers is that many students simply don’t enjoy math. “Math is a very difficult subject, and especially in the high school levels,” Hunt said. “Not everybody grasps it the same way, or can grasp it, period. So math teachers are inherently cut off at the knees at the get-go. Not to mention there’s a major negative stigma against math… not a lot of kids say ‘I’m excited to go to math today.’” The Tam News survey indicated that 28 percent of students who attend paid math tutoring do so because they feel that their teacher is instructing them adequately, yet they still need more help. So quality of instruction at Tam may only be part of what’s driving students to paid tutoring, and perhaps not even the most significant part. According to a June 11 article published by the Redwood Bark, approximately 45 percent of 160 surveyed Redwood students said they paid for a math tutor. Given that Redwood students use


April 2016 — The Tam News

paid math tutors at a higher rate than Tam, the quality of math instruction at Tam may not be the biggest reason students seek out paid tutors. Many Tam students may be attending tutoring because they can, not because they need to. In an article for The Observer, Helen Zelon hypothesizes that parents often “hire tutors because the tutor is a kind of high-powered human shortcut to a desired end.” Students view the extra time and mental exertion that they could spend doing homework by themselves as a nuisance, and turn to tutoring as a means of homework efficiency, according to Zelon. “I don’t think all kids who go to tutoring actually need it, but they do become reliant on it, or think they [need to go to tutoring],” counselor Alex Hunt said. Wetzel agrees that many students may use tutoring as a shortcut. “Students that stop using my [math] help dislike the fact that I make them work, I make them think. I don’t just answer their question so they can get their work done,” Wetzel said. “I make them show me that they understand what they’re doing when they leave the room, and that’s too much work for a lot of kids.” Blair attends math tutoring once every-other week, which is far less

than many Tam students for whom paid tutoring can be a weekly or even twice-weekly event. She said that it was frustrating to hear how friends complete their work with the ease of a tutor’s help. “Hearing how my friends only spent an hour on an assignment because they did it at Lifeworks while I slaved away for hours alone at my desk made me want to go to a tutoring center,” Blair said. “I would just think, why should I have to spend my entire night on this when everyone else is breezing through it with a tutor? It’s definitely hard to be in a class where everyone is going to a center to do the work.” Wetzel thinks that the affluence of the community combines with a lack of willingness to grasp the nuances of material lead students to tutoring. “The first flippant reason [that students might go to tutoring] is that the money’s there, so why not grab another resource?” Wetzel said. “We have a population here that strives for grades, and when they find out that they didn’t get the grade they wanted, i.e. an A, they try to find a tool that will help them get the grade. And I would say the flaw in that logic is, they’re trying to get the grade, they’re not trying to get the understanding. I see the results of that flaw when I give tests. Students will have a 100 percent in homework, because they went and got support for it, and then they come back and they get a 72 on a test.” Hunt acknowledged that, in a community where students are as highachieving as Tam’s, parental and college pressures are driving forces behind students’ decisions to go to math tutoring. “This community is incredibly competitive, to the point where it’ll have a negative effect on a lot of our kids,” Hunt said. “Parents want the best for their kids, but they think the best for their kids is the best college possible, and by that just the most competitive, and so every kid should have above a 4.0 and a perfect SAT score. And that’s just not a reality that anyone can live up to.”


Sapp said that his decision to go to tutoring was prompted by his parents’ wishes for him to improve his performance in several of his classes. “[My decision to go to tutoring] was mostly influenced by my parents pushing me,” he said. “[It became] clear that I needed to get help somehow because they wanted me to have every opportunity to go to whatever I college I wanted to.” While staff and students interviewed agreed that paid tutors are appropriate in certain cases, few students seemed aware of multiple free tutoring programs offered on campus. Wetzel provides tutoring before school in his classroom. Math teacher Rebecca Henn leads a Link Crew tutoring program, in which Link leaders tutor students on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the library after school. Other math teachers offer before school, tutorial, lunch, and after school times where students can come and get help. Wetzel expressed frustration about the underutilization of Tam’s free tutoring opportunities. Junior Georgia Pemberton, who is a Link Crew peer tutor, described how she has volunteered since December and has only tutored two people the entire year. Even though Pemberton and other Link Crew members have made regular announcements about these opportunities, most interviewed students were unaware of them. “I haven’t gone to the Tam tutoring sessions purely because I wasn’t aware of it before I started Lifeworks,” senior Gavin Sakamoto said. Hunt thinks that Tam offers many opportunities for students to get help without having to pay for it. “I think we allow a lot of time and support here, at Tam. I don’t know that students utilise that to the best of their ability,” she said. Wetzel and AP Calculus teacher Susan Proksch also said that if students took more advantage of class time to ask questions and comprehend the material they are learning, paid tutoring after school wouldn’t be as neces-

sary. “I don’t know why they [go to paid tutoring], since I have a full tutorial [during which they can get help],” Proksch said. “During my help times, I don’t have a lot of students asking for help. Students aren’t really using that time, and they aren’t asking questions...there’s a lot that don’t, and they’re more relying on Lifeworks and …Sage.” Proksch recounted instances when students who were struggling with her material would spend class and tutorial time on their phones or talking to each other, and would count on paid time at a tutoring company after school to learn the material they had missed out on during class. Regardless of whether 39 percent of students truly need paid math tutors, such a high percentage can have negative repercussions. By running to a tutor the second they encounter a problem they cannot understand, students may miss out on the reward of struggling – a reward that neurologists have shown helps development. According to psychologist Jason Moser, who studied the neural mechanisms that operate in people’s brains when they make mistakes, mistakes prompt distinct electrical signals that move between synapses when learning occurs. Many staff members interviewed expressed concern that some students view homework as a path to a grade – one that should be crossed in the shortest time possible – rather than an opportunity to work through difficult concepts and come out with a deeper understanding and ownership of the material. Another concern is that the large segment of Tam students paying for tutoring may have begun to develop a classist system within a public school. The cost of off-campus private tutoring is staggering – a two-hour session at Lifeworks costs $100. Segments of Tam’s student population aren’t equipped to pay for this. Some of these students who are aware of on-campus

tutoring opportunities might be receiving the extra help they need, but those who aren’t are left completely in the dust. Students who attend a public school are in theory all supposed to receive the same educational benefits, but the playing field becomes skewed when a large segment of the school’s population is receiving extra instruction that other students simply cannot afford. “[Students who can’t pay for tutoring are at] a major disadvantage,” Hunt said. “Yes, the students who can’t pay for tutoring, they can get help from teachers. We also do have free tutoring, mostly in math, on campus. But... that means they have to give up tutorial time, or lunch time, or before or after school. What if they play sports? Just because they have less money that doesn’t mean that they don’t have just as many time constraints as other kids.” None of the people interviewed for this story – neither teachers nor students – seemed happy with the fact that 39 percent of Tam students pay for math tutoring. A number of steps are being taken to reduce this figure – our district is exploring methods to keep class sizes down, our math department is working to stabilize and improve instruction methods, and students are being made increasingly aware of opportunities for free help on campus. Once this is taken into consideration, parents and students may want to think twice before hiring that paid tutor – if they think they might want to do so, a discussion with teachers and counselors about the student’s learning needs and the ways their teachers can better service those needs might be in order. “I believe that tutoring, whether it’s here, or paid, is a tool,” Wetzel said. “What you use that tool for is dependent on [the individual needs of] every student.”♦

The Tam News — April 2016




Don’t Yuck My Tuna

few weeks ago, I was delighted to find mini boxes labeled Bumble Bee in the Student Center vending machine. Someone had answered my prayers in the form of tiny gifts that cost only $1.50. They were the perfect supplement to the various sodas, chips, and gummies. I eagerly bought two. One for my TA period and one for whenever I couldn’t resist having another. In class, I eagerly ripped away the walls that encased my little treasure, revealing a small can of delicious tuna and a pack of six golden crackers. Upon peeling back the foil of the tuna, I heard a startling, “Ewww! What is that?” I was shocked. I looked up and saw a disgusted classmate. People at the table turned their heads. I was sure they’d agree that tuna is a tasty snack… but when I told them it was recently added to the vending machine selection, they were repulsed by the fact that it shared space with the other vending machine snacks. They asked if there was something wrong with me. Well, if you not only don’t like tuna, and you can’t deal with the fact that a lot of people do, there’s something wrong with you. (Kudos to you if you’re like me, and enjoy the tuna. This is for all the people who diss the fish.) First off, don’t tell me that tuna looks like cat food. Sure, cats eat fish. That doesn’t mean only cats are allowed to eat fish. It’s also normal for a human to eat fish. You’re right—it’s shredded fish with some other stuff in it, but haven’t you heard of a tuna salad sandwich? Tuna is not unhealthy. Not even if it’s in a can. I guess you shouldn’t eat 20

by Blake Villanueva

pounds of it because it may have traces of mercury, but it’s not like the can is going to seep into the tuna. The FDA says fish, including canned tuna, are an important part of a healthy diet. And it’s not rotten. If it’s safe to eat other canned foods, why is it suddenly unsafe to eat canned tuna? Anyway, tuna has protein, vitamins, and maybe the Omega 3 could help you smarten up. You might argue, “You’re weird because you’re one of a small minority that actually likes the tuna.” Completely wrong. Bumble Bee Foods produces all kinds of seafood treats and is actually pretty popular. It’s really not a new trend. It’s amazing how sheltered some people are, to the point where they’re disgusted by the idea of a common household food. You should really try it before you bash it. And then if you don’t like it, you can go back to eating your pizza and hamburgers in the safety of your kitchen.

Heard “When i get behind in the wheel, i lose half of my brain Tam cells.” - BPL 16 April 2016 — The Tam News Hallways by the Opinion Staff

Even in elementary school, we were taught not to alienate someone because of their differences. In such a “progressive” community, it’s weird to have so many people complain about me because I like the tuna in the vending machine. During one of my classes, I stayed outside to finish the tuna out of courtesy for my peers. When I went inside, people held their noses, made faces, and just criticized me as the “only person in the school who likes the tuna.” And they were surprised when I became moody. I think we should accept someone even if they have different preferences than other people. I’m not hurting anyone, so let me be. Does this argument sound familiar? There’s a reason they put tuna in the vending machine. People eat it. Eating it won’t kill you. Watching someone eat it definitely won’t kill you. So you can ask me politely to eat it somewhere else if the smell bothers you, and I’ll gladly comply. However, if you berate me for eating tuna in general, don’t act surprised when I get pissed.♦ GRAPHIC BY LUKE RIDER

“... and then his wife exploded because of the government.”



To Stream or Not to Stream? I

spend an embarrassingly large amount of my life with my headphones on, or getting knocked around at a local concert venue. Like so many teenagers, music and the culture that surrounds it is a way I’ve been able to define myself during high school. But our listening options don’t resemble the graduating class of 1960 or even the class of 2000. In 2016 we have an enormously overwhelming field of choices when it comes to the way we hear our tunes. Spotify, Soundcloud, 8tracks, Tidal, and Apple Music have all sprung up just in the past decade. The convenience, immediateness, and relative cheapness of these various services are incredibly tempting, but I’ve always wondered what exactly the trade off is—and where does the money go? The shelves of my cluttered bedroom are packed with records, messy stacks of burned CDs, and cardboard boxes of cassette tapes with handwritten tracklists. Does ignoring these gems and instead shuffling “Sad Lo-Fi Supermix” on Spotify make me a bad fan? Will my physical music collection one day collect dust and end up in a Goodwill storage facility in Daly City? Will I become solely responsible for the total collapse of the tape industry? These are questions I legitimately ask myself as I effortlessly drag hundreds of singles into uncreatively titled digital folders. I feel disloyal. According to a study published by The Guardian in 2015, artist revenue is $.0001 per song stream on Spotify, $.0007 on Tidal, $.69 for a single track sale on iTunes, $8.50 per bandcamp album download, and $2.76 for a label-distributed CD. I know that that seems like just a jumble of very small numbers, but in general it reveals that streaming services don’t pay artists the same way that physical or even digital

“i got pulled over for speeding, but i ugly cried so hard i got let go.” - ARCHES

by Claire Donohue

purchasing does. Spotify, seemingly the most popular streaming site among Tam students, costs $9.99 per month. A cassette costs around $5, a CD around $10, and a new record around $20. So assuming you buy around one album a month, regardless of the physical format, you’ve already exceeded the cost of millions of digital tracks available with a single click. Streaming means less money for artists, but more money for you. However, that money is instead going to the Internet corporations that provide the music, and not directly to the music industry. It’s definitely a tradeoff of some sort.

I don’t think money is the only factor in the dilemma of buying vs. digitally renting music. Maybe I’m an exceedingly material person, or maybe I spend too much time watching ‘70s high school dramas, but there’s something sort of special about taking a record out of sleeve or peeling back the plastic on a brand new cassette. So although physical music doesn’t win the price or convenience factors, I think there’s something to be said about the routine of record shop loitering, tape deck cleaning, and CD alphabetizing.

“can you pat my back? i need you to burp me.” - orange court

Another significant factor to consider is whether listening to music on either format leads to the discovery of other arguably enjoyable music. Spotify’s “recommendations for you” will never quite live up to a heartfelt suggestion from your local record store clerk or the first track of your friends’ mix CD, but to be completely honest sometimes it’s kind of spot on. As much as it makes me feel like simply a statistic whose interests can be carefully calculated based off the embarrassingly high number of times I listened to Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” in the past three days, sometimes they pick real treasures. As much as I wish I could convince myself to delete my Spotify account and spend my next paycheck exclusively on April 16’s Record Store Day releases, something inside me feels like I’d be missing out on the endless void of Internet music. We can all recognize the enormous upside for artists: it’s just as easy to upload a song as it is to download it. Instead of needing a record contract and a PR team, all you really need is a Soundcloud account and an empty garage or bedroom. I don’t think the trend of streaming is going anywhere; Spotify has over 75 million users. But I also don’t think it’s necessarily evil to buy in. Just like everything else in our lives, it makes sense to weigh the pros and cons and not let pure convenience completely sway our actions. If I really love an album that I discover on “Rainy Garage Rock Playlist” I’ll probably end up buying the record too. So I guess it doesn’t really need to be an either or situation. I don’t think I’ll ever part with my needlessly large shoeboxes full of cassettes, but I also don’t see myself canceling my Spotify subscription anytime soon.♦ GRAPHIC BY LEO DIPIERRO

“This parking situation is compromising my education.” The Tam News — April 2016 17 - library



EDITORIAL: Parking Problems

he lack of parking at Tam has been at the forefront of student conversation, often outshining other topics - prom, standardized testing, college acceptances and decisions, grades - as the most complained about subject among our student body. As more and more sophomores get their driver’s licenses, parking in proximity to Tam is at a premium. There is only one student parking lot on campus, located beside the student center and coined the “BPL” (back parking lot), yet that space is designated for seniors, disabled students, and teachers only. Anyone else who parks there runs the risk of becoming a victim of vigilante parking justice. In the BPL, there are only 58 legal parking spaces. There are 286 seniors. Off campus parking is also extremely limited. There are those students who show up at 7:25am to get the best spots, those who sleep in and end up enduring

the walk from the field house, those who park illegally and get ticketed, and those who park perpendicularly between two horizontally parallel parked cars alongside the creek and look as if they are about to slide tail-end into the water (pictured in the TOC). One student, who lives near Tam Junction, described how she had to park so far away from school that she was closer to her house than she was to school. Some students joke about how they consider their “field-house trek” a source of daily exercise. In an affluent county such as ours, where many students drive personal vehicles to school every day, there are simply too many cars and not enough spaces; as our economics teachers tell us, the demand far outweighs the supply. In order to tackle the parking shortage, students, administrators, and the Marin County community must work together

Crackin’ and Slackin’


April 2016 — The Tam News

and take a multi-faceted approach. It is not as simple as expecting students to finally take their parents’ advice to just walk or break out the bike they haven’t used in 10 years. On the other hand, it isn’t realistic to expect the Tam administration and the taxpayers to fund a six-story student parking garage. In an email announcement read by Tam teachers to students on March 3, Principal David Brown explained how there will be some “adjustments this summer that will involve rearranging and restriping our present lots, and increasing the number of spaces available for next year.” Yet, this measure will only go so far. The administration should consider painting lines to define parking spaces along Almonte Boulevard to prevent newer drivers from parking crookedly and taking up two spaces instead of one. In addition, Marin County could cover the ditch alongside the baseball field, while still allowing water to flow underneath. This way, students could back in and the perpendicular parking would resemble that of Miller Avenue. On the students end, we should put an increased focus on carpooling to school. In previous years, Tam enforced a rule that only allowed carpoolers to park in the BPL. Measures such as this should be reconsidered to provide an incentive for students to carpool to school. Additionally, students who live close to Tam and whose houses are not located at the top of a giant hill, should walk. The Marin Transit system is also another resource for students to utilize. The Reed Union School District has brought back school buses in order to reduce congestion during drop off and pick up times. A school bus system, much like the one in Tiburon, could be one part of the solution. We understand that the present parking issue will require a nuanced solution, yet it is an issue that must be discussed and addressed immediately. According to a TUHSD Enrollment Projection, our student body is predicted to grow by 328 students in the next five years. At a rate like that, the distance between the campus and our cars will only keep growing too. ♦



Annie Whalen: Girls’ Varsity Swimmer by Jackson Gathard

VETERAN IN THE WATER: Senior Annie Whalen (second to right) has been swimming for 13 years, and is currently on the girls’ varsity swim team for Tam. PHOTO COURTESTY OF ANNIE WHALEN


enior Annie Whalen is on the girls’ varsity swimming team, and has been a part of various leagues throughout her swimming experience. I asked her a few questions about her past in the sport and her plans to continue. Q: How long have you been swimming (how did you get started)? I’ve been swimming for about 13 years now. My sister had been doing it for a while before me so I think it just made sense for me to start. We were on the Strawberry Seals, which is by far the best team in the Marin Swim League. Hands down. Up until I was 10 or 11, swimming was just a thing that my parents could drop me off at for a little while. A lot of my friends from school swam too, so really it was just like having a big playdate every day. Q: What is your favorite thing about swimming? My favorite thing about swimming... It’s cliche no matter how I say it, but it would have to be the social part of it all.

I swim with some of my best friends people that I’ve known and gone to school with since I was five. Which is pretty cool. I think that anyone who’s ever been apart of a team of any kind would agree that doing something that you love with a group of people who love the same thing is really a lot of fun. For me personally, being on the team that I’m on now means that I’m seeing the same people 5-6 times a week, sometimes very early in the morning. We’re all moving through the hard workouts together and because of that, you form a close kind of friendship with those people. That’s the other thing too; it’s really, really hard and I absolutely have days where I would rather be hit in the face with a shovel that put a suit on and get trashed in the pool for two hours. But the people are why you stick with it at the end of the day. Q: What are your plans with swimming in the future? As of right now, I’m not really sure. I’m waiting on a school to get back to me

and if that works out, then I’ll be swimming for a D1 team. If that doesn’t work out, then I’d continue swimming with a club team or something. Q: How have you contributed to Tams’ team? Tam does pretty well in dual meets. I’m not positive but I think that for three, almost four years that I’ve been here, we usually win all of the dual meets except for Redwood. Q: What is one of your favorite memories in the pool? I dont really have any favorite memories in the pool. I mean, it’s always nice when you do well in a race or when you get to watch someone else have a great race. Getting out after practice doesnt suck either. Q: What is one of the things that you will miss about Tam high swimming? The team, as a whole. It’s a lot of fun just getting into the pool after school. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed too.♦

The Tam News — April 2016



SPORTS OPINION Warriors Fans, Be Grateful! by Connor Norton


hoever saw Steph Curry line up for the 35-foot three-point game winner against the Oklahoma City Thunder in late February, you understand that it’s about time The Tam News addresses the phenomenon that is Warriors basketball. Let’s begin with their all-stars: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. I think there almost seems to be a counter culture developing around Steph Curry because of his nonchalant, “Smug” attitude. “He thinks he’s the [expletive],” they say. “He thinks he’s the best.” Folks, he is. He has already broken his own singleseason three-point record (also the NBA record) of 356 and there are still 8 games left in the season. In fact, Stephen Curry has had four of the six best three point seasons in the history of the NBA. Let’s shift the focus to the more likeable and proportionally vital Green. He’s got the most triple-doubles in a single season in franchise history (11) which is the second-most in the league. He’s the ultimate leader, team player, whatever you want to call the attitude of the team, that’s him.

And last but not least, number eleven, the number-two best three point shooter in the league, and number one in my heart: Klay Thompson. Possibly the streakiest shooter I’ve ever seen, Thompson can literally be so hot shooting that he will not miss a single shot (even ones after the whistle) for an entire quarter. He is also having a historic three-point shooting season alongside Curry with 255 three-pointers thus far. The reason I like him is that he can do anything, including play intense defense, and he’s getting better. When the Warriors regain Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli, their extremely skillful roster will be at full strength. The Warriors have not lost a home game in over a full calendar year, and they are 11-1 in games decided by 5 points or less (clutch).

Their postseason potential is extremely promising and will surely produce some great basketball. Writing this piece is my attempt to alert the students of Tam High that history is unfolding. The Warriors play the game so elegantly and fluidly, their capabilities outreach any other team. When they’re on, even non-basketball fans can be entertained. There is not a team in history that can score more efficiently than them. When they make a run they can close any gap or widen any lead. They’re unstoppable. The fact of the matter is, if you’re not watching the Warriors right now, watch them. There may never be a team this special ever again. And if you’re already a fan, don’t take them for granted. Enjoy witnessing every moment of this season and those to come. Golden State is truly in a golden state.♦



140-22 20

April 2016 — The Tam News

Result of boys’ varsity swim meet win vs. Marin Catholic on March 18.


The place of the mountain bike team at Granite Bay in the NorCal Cycling League for the second race of the season.

Athlete of the Issue: Hank Taft


Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Lead Scorer by Trevor Bukowski

LAX LEGEND: Junior Hank Taft is the varsity boys’ lacrosse team’s lead scorer. He was introduced to the sport as a nine-year old. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANK TAFT


t the age of nine years old, junior Hank Taft was introduced to lacrosse and found an intense love for the game. He recalled an early memory when he was playing on a lacrosse team called Wolf Pack and his dad was coaching. “We ended up doing really well and beating our rivals, which was the team from Ross Valley,” Taft said. “It was just so intense and I got to know my team so well that I really sort of fell in love with lacrosse.” Now, midway through his third season on varsity, Taft loves the game just as much as he did when he started.

Taft also benefited from strong encouragement coming from his father. “My dad played at UCLA and he’s pretty much the whole reason I play lacrosse today,” Taft said. “He’s really knowledgeable about the game and he’s always been a role model for me when I play lacrosse.” During Taft’s freshman and sophomore year his dad helped out with the high school team but this year they had a “pretty complete coaching staff,” according to Hank, and didn’t need his help that much. Taft is the top scorer on the team. Does his athletic success stem from his rituals?

Maybe a little bit. Sometimes he’ll listen to Kendrick Lamar. Other times Eminem. Sometimes he’ll talk with his teammates about the goals for the game. Other times he’ll reflect on ways to improve from the last. Whatever he does it all relates back to one word. Focus. “The game is very fast paced and high tempo,” Taft said. “I do my best to stay focused during the heat of the game. During bigger games sometimes nerves start to come in but normally I’m pretty calm. I do my best when I’m calm.” Taft loves beating his opponents just as much as he enjoys skiing in the offseason, but according to his coach, Scott Jennings, Taft’s biggest enemy is himself. In a recent lacrosse game against Cardinal Newman, Taft missed the goal and turned the ball over causing him to get angry. “I hold myself to a high standard and I don’t think I should be turning the ball over,” Taft said. He remembers his coach pulling him aside and telling him, “When you’re angry you are your biggest enemy on the field.” Later that game Taft ended up scoring multiple goals and Tam won. Taft admits that he is not the type of guy to give the motivational speech. He’ll leave that up to senior Giancarlo Lobo. But he does say he tries to lead by example. “I like to be more of a leader on the field,” Taft said. “When I see things on the field I try to give players advice.” Taft is unsure if he is going to play division one lacrosse but he does know that wherever he goes, his stick will surely follow. “Whatever college I end up in, I think I’m going to want to be on the lacrosse team, Taft said. “I love lacrosse so much. I want to keep it going in my life.”♦

Check the Tam News online (www.thetamnews.org) for elecctric and efficient sports coverage.


Number of points scored against the girls’ varsity lacrosse team to their 16 in their first two MCAL season games.


Number of spring varsity sports teams undefeated as of March 28.

The Tam News — April 2016


from the archives:

December issue of ’88

Al Gore

Michael Dukakis by Scott Miller

by Amira El-Ahmadiyyah

by Jonathon Gear

AIDS: favors education in public schools and increased federal funding for AIDS awareness and sex education. Strongly opposes mandatory AIDS testing. HOMELESS: enact welfare reforms that would provide day care, remedial education, and job trainings. Encourages people to understand that Social Security does not benefit a handful of Americans at the expense of its many contributors. STAR WARS: believes that early deployment of SDI ould create instabilty and increase that risk of nuclear confrontation and would be too costly due to current out-ofcontrol budget deficit. TRADE DEFICIT: opposes protectionist legislature. Would persuade trading partners to reduce their interest rates in return for cutting the U.S. deficit. BUDGET DEFICIT: cut defense spending. Call a bipartisan summit conference to negotiate multi-year budget cuts. Close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy; consider tax increases as a last resort. ABORTION: voted against a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion and federal funding unless the life of the mother is endangered. DRUGS: supports federal funding for drug education in public schools. Increase federal funding for anti-drug activities and agencies.

AIDS: wants to increase research funding HOMELESS: for welfare reform, especially work-fare programs, where people recieve work and training for new jobs. For the building of more low income houisng. STAR WARS: favors research, but opposes deployment of S.D.I. Would like like to improve conventonal forces rather than nuclear weapons. TRADE DEFICITS: favors a plan to give industries temporary relief if they agree to modernize to become more competitive. BUDGET DEFICITS: would reduce the deficit with spending cuts, and stabilize defense spending where it is. Opposed to the balanced budget amendment. ABORTION: pro-choice, but feels that his decision is unimportant, since the Supreme Court makes the final decision. DRUGS: no stand.

AIDS: demands more federal money for AIDS research and treatment. He is strongly opposed to mandatory AIDS testing. The only candidate to march in the Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day March. HOMELESS: make low-income housing, job training, and mental health care available as it was before the Reagan Administration. STAR WARS: no star wars, no covert wars. Four year reductions in military spending and a pledge that the US and its NATO allies would never authorize a nuclear first strike. TRADE DEFICIT: restrict corporations from seeking cheap labor overseas. Reinvest in America, reindustrialize , renew our economic infrastructure and invest in research and development to meet our needs. BUDGET DEFICIT: cut military spending and put money into social programs that will in turn create jobs and put money back into the economy instead of missiles. Raise taxes on large corporations and people making over $300,000 a year. ABORTION: pro-choice. It is the woman’s decision that should never be taken away from her. DRUGS: more federal funds to fight the drug war. Beef up the Coast Guard in order to protect our coast from drug traffic.

AIDS: supports a solution that reflects “traditional values and personal responsibility.” With this framework in mind would institute testing and education. HOMELESS: no stand. STAR WARS: strongly supports Reagan’s stand on the Strategic Defense Initiative. Wants to continue research funding for Star Wars and backs development of the system, if it is deasible, by the early 1990’s. TRADE DEFICIT: strongly opposes any form of protectionism. Believes that a solution to the trade deficit can be found through international negotiation and cooperation. BUDGET DEFICIT: has a three point plan to battle the deficit: wants drastic cuts in federal spending. He is adamantly against any tax hike. Supports the balanced budget amendment, which forces an end to the deficit. Supports the line-item veto power for the president which would allow the president to cut out any part of the budget that he sees as being excessive. ABORTION: advocates a return to traditional values. Calling abortion “the most important moral question of the 20th century,” he pledges to oppose it and appoint pro-life judges whenever possible. DRUGS: is a current supporter of the president’s “war on drugs” and supports drug education

by Brian Green


April 2016 — The Tam News

Jesse Jackson

George Bush

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April 2016 — The Tam News