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The Tam News — February 2018

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February 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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sports Emma Bowser: Dishing Out Dimes

by Megan Butt

04 news

Unity Poster Winners Announced by Johanna Meezan

05 news

Administration Prepares for Enrollment Growth by Benjy Wall-Feng Tam Students Take on Mavericks by Ava Finn Another Breakthrough Day in the Works by Eddie Schultz

06 lifestyles

OCD: My Brain is Not What You Think by Josie Speigelman

07 lifestyles

The Tam News’ Oscar Relevancy Guide by Fergus Campbell

08 lifestyles

Artist of the Issue: July Palomares by Emily Spears

February 2018 — The Tam News

Freshman Emma Bowser is quickly becoming a star player on the Tam girl’s varsity basketball team. It must run in the family.

09 perspectives Queensland, Australia by Savannah Malan

11 features

Getting Ed-Juul-cated by Hana Curphey & additional reporting by Evan Wilch

19 sports May the Schwartz Be With You by Dahlia Zail

16 op/ed

20 sports

17 op/ed

21 sports

16 op/ed

22 sports

A Dystopian Present by Yoav Paz-Priel

Let’s Have The Talk: #MeToo by Abby Frazee

Editioral: Breaking Through Breakthrough Day by Staff Crackin’ and Slackin’ by the Opinion Staff

Connor Jenkins: Sophmore Stud by Jacob Swergold & Jack Loder

Emma Bowser: Dishing out Dimes by Megan Butt

Sports Opinion: Bleacher Report by Tom Russell


Dear Reader, In recent months the normalization of Juuls and dab pens on Tam’s campus has become quite the bathroom, witnessed the charging of said devices in class, or tapped through a Snapchat story of someone oh so casually blowing smoke into the camera. Hanna Curphey’s feature story, “Getting Ed-Juul-cated,” examines the use and health effects of nicotine and THC vaporizers. The devices have become as common in the classroom as the USB sticks and pencil lead cases they are often mistaken for. The common misconception that vaping is inherently safer than smoking cigarettes is appearance. We need to be aware of the products we are endorsing and integrating into our everyday currently marketed. The editorial this month addresses how Tam can improve upon our discussions of diversity and race in the community. As administration and student organizations prepare for a second Breakthrough Day-esque event, we as a staff discussed the components we believe are crucial to single day cannot solve Tam’s problems -- let alone nation wide, systemic ones. What it can do is start a conversation. As community members, it’s our responsibility to continue that conversation.

Megan Butt EDITORS IN CHIEF: Madeline Asch, Megan Butt, Marie

Hogan, & Dahlia Zail

NEWS: Milo Levine, Ethan Swope, & Benjy Wall-Feng LIFESTYLES: Fergus Campbell, Camille Howard, Lola

Leuterio, & Glo Robinson

FEATURES: Kennedy Cook, Michael Diamandakis, Samantha Ferro, & Ava Finn

OPINION: Samantha Locke, Ravi Joshi-Wander, Emily

Spears, & Zoe Wynn

SPORTS: Connor Dargan, Jack Loder, Miles Rubens, Eddie

Cover by: Kylie Sakamoto On the Cover: Hanna Curphey and Evan Wilch explore the rise in vaping at Tam.

GRAPHICS: Francesca Shearer, & John Overton COPY EDITORs:

Annie Blackadar

DESIGN: Kennedy Cook, Ava Finn, Elise Korngut, & Kylie

Sakamoto

BUSINESS TEAM: Josh Davis, Shane Lavezzo, Yoav PazPriel, & Aaron Young

SOCIAL MEDIA: Ava Finn, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jack Loder,

& Adam Tolson

PHOTOS: Ethan Swope

Schultz, & Adam Tolson

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

Volume XIII, No. 1V February 2018 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1919

ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

Elan Levine, Logan Little, Josh Love, Johanna Meezan, Sebastian Meyer, Cal Mitchell, Amina Nakhuda, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, Dara Noonan, John Overton, Jake Paz-Priel, Luca

Spears, Joanne Spiegelman, Paisley Stocks, Jacob Swergold, Grace Tueros, Gisela Vicente Estrada, Maddie Wall, Daisy Wanger, Evan Wilch, Beckett Williams, Maxwell Williams, Niulan Wright, Aaron Young E 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 vertising can be obtained by writing to the address provided above or through our website. Copyright © 2017 by The Tamalpais News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

The Tam News — February 2018

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News

Unity Poster Winners Announced by Johanna Meezan

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rt students in Drawing and Painting classes competed in a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA)-sponsored poster contest on December 7 and 8 to promote Tam unity with the phrase “We Are One.” Several students, parents, grandparents, PTSA members, teachers, counselors, administrators and community leaders judged the posters at the Winter Art Faire. At the end of the first semester, the PTSA announced the winners. The poster contest finalists were junior Jax Conner, sophomore Nikki Batroff, and sophomore Nicole Foster. The honorable mentions were sophomore Anna Stuart-Friedman, sophomore Cooper Frazee, and junior Savanna Detjen-Creson. Conner’s poster earned the highest number of votes and therefore will be printed by the PTSA. Currently, hers is the only one of the 35 posters that the PTSA is planning on reproducing. The stated goal of the Tam Unity Poster contest was to involve and unite the Tam community, in coordination with groups throughout Marin who are working to encourage equity, inclusion, and acceptance in our society. The PTSA is planning to hang Conner’s poster around campus and throughout Mill Valley and potentially the larger Marin. Art teacher Zach Gilmour worked with the PTSA on this contest and had his Drawing and Painting students create posters as a part of the class. The contest was only available to these art students. “I wanted my poster to represent that we need one another to hold our world together and without each other, we fall apart,” Stuart-Friedman said. The judges examined each poster and assessed which one had the best interpretation of the phrase “We Are One.” Sophomore Angie Zuber was one of the few students who placed a vote. Another student, sophomore Theo Koffman, judged with her. The two sophomores are PTSA Student Representatives from the Tam leadership class. “Theo and I specifically looked for diversity and images that we felt best represent what it means to be united as a school and community,” Zuber said. The judges rated the posters on a scale of one to five. The PTSA awarded the student final-

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ists gift certificates to local arts and crafts store Once Around, which was chosen by Gilmour and the PTSA for its status as one of the few remaining local art stores that, according to Gilmour, provides Tam High art students with high quality supplies. Once Around will be displaying the winning posters in its storefront beginning on February 14.

February 2018 — The Tam News


News

Administration Prepares for Enrollment Growth

Another Breakthrough Day in the Works by Eddie Schultz

by Benjy Wall-Feng

T

wo new portable classrooms will likely be added to Tam’s back parking lot in the fall as part of a short-term effort to accommodate enrollment growth, according join the two which were added prior to the beginning of this school year, also as a result of rising enrollment. The most recent enrollment projection released by the Tamalpais Union High School District estimates that the number of students enrolled at Tam during the 2018-19 school year will be 1,658, an increase of around 60 students. The projection expects Tam’s population to peak in

the 2021-22 school year, at 1,765 students, after which point it will begin to decline. Those trends are district-wide: the School and Redwood High School have also swelled in recent years, and three portables were installed at Redwood during the summer of 2017. The portables will remain under lease until the campus undergoes construction entail a plan being drafted, approved, and funded by the district, potentially, due to the lack of available surrounding space, by

Another Breakthrough Day, a discussion-based event aimed at addressing racial issues in the Tam community, is currently being arranged by the Tam Unity Committee. It is tentatively schedyear’s 50-year anniversary of the original Breakthrough Day received mixed reactions from the student population, more student involvement this year. “If the goal is to raise racial consciousness of our students, and engage our students in dialogue around racial issues so that students feel more comfortable having discussions, then I’m all for whatever format would lead us to that Some members of student leadership are working with the Black Student Union and the Students of Color club to organize a weeklong event, rather than

Tam Students Take On Mavericks by Ava Finn

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hree Tam students surfed Mavericks, the notorious 25- to 30-foot break located north of Half Moon Bay, on January 11. Junior Mac Castaneda, junior River Galland, and senior and Tam News reporter Jacob Swergold trained for months before heading down to Mavericks. Even though January 11 was one of the most “memorable days” for the students, Castaneda and Galland only informed their parents that they were risking their lives once they had successfully arrived back in Mill Valley that night. “My mom did not know I went that day but I told her after and she said that was pretty crazy. I totally forgot to mention the idea to her,” Galland said. The students left for Mavericks in the middle of the school day. “I had my Billabong inflatable vest, my 9’6” board and my wetsuit and left class early to go drive down there,” Galland said. “We got to the parking lot and did not even check the waves and just suited up and paddled out.” Although Mavericks can produce large waves year-round, many surfers know that during the winter the waves can break at up to 60 feet. Although the students felt nervous going in, they had confidence that their training would help them in the water. “We have been going out to Ocean

Junior Mac Castenada rides a massive wave at Ocean Beach in January. 11. PHOTO BY REX HILL

Beach for the past couple of winters to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations to make us more comfortable. Ocean Beach is the best training ground for Mavericks,” Swergold said. After being in the water for about two hours, the three students came back feeling “like a million dollars,” according to Castaneda. The students will be going back for more, but understand the danger ahead. “You better really think

about what you are getting yourself into because the consequences are pretty severe if you [mess] up,” Castaneda said. Senior Gary Griffis, inspired by his fellow surfers, went to Mavericks a couple of weeks after Castaneda, Swergold, and Galland. “I definitely would not have surfed Mavericks if there was not a solid surf crew at Tam who loves big waves,” Griffis said.

The Tam News — February 2018

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Lifestyles

OCD: My Brain is not what you think...... GRAPHIC BY FRANCESCA SHEARER

By Josie Spiegelman y room is always messy, my books are M never in alphabetical order, and my desk is not wiped down with antiseptic on OCD, but that doesn’t make my disorder any less real. OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder, not “obsessed with cleaning disorder” or “obsessive Christmas disorder”– as cheerful Target shirts sold a few years agoread. I’m not going to rant against these shirts — a clever pun is a clever pun, regardless of what mental illness it parodies. Society’s idea of OCD is based on a kernel of truth, but wildly misinterpreted by contemporary entertainment. To try and put an end to some of these ing that I have OCD, and it’s probably not what you think. I started to develop symptoms when I OCD that I remember is utterly bizarre and seemingly irrational, yet common for people with the disorder. I was drawing some form. While drawing, most of the weight in my body was leaning on my right hand. It was the classic way for an an elementary schooler to draw: putting too much pressure on one’s hand, which ends up cramp-

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ing later on. Yet before I could start getting the unequal distribution of weight made me uncomfortable. This is a typical example of an obsession: striving for equality in a physical sense. Later, I came home crying and told my confused dad, “It’s not the same,” holding my hands out for him to see. Even from a young age, it was clear from the expression on his face that this was a peculiar thing for a child to be doing. As I got older, I started to develop more unhealthy obsessions. in second grade, after I began to feel like I had to go to sleep early. While most kids were arguing with their parents to let them stay up “just 5 more minutes,” I was begging my mom to tuck me in at 7:45. It felt as though something horrible was going to occur if I didn’t go to bed early. Every brain cell compelled me to go to my bed and be

................................... “ your compulsion is

the way in which you act it out in order to settle your mind even just a bit. ”

..................................

February 2018 — The Tam News

fast asleep. This was a compulsion. You have an idea in your head, your obsession, and your compulsion is the way in which you act it out in order to settle your mind even just a bit. As the years passed, my fears started to develop and become much worse. Every night, I couldn’t go to bed without having completed a series of rituals throughout the day, including holding my breath until I felt like I was suffocating and stepping on each crack on every sidewalk I walked. I obsessed over the idea that I would fall words so my family wouldn’t disappear, dragged my feet across the ground, wore down my new Uggs so the world wouldn’t end, and tapped certain objects in order to One of my worst fears that I had in elementary school was the Apocalypse. Yes, the Apocalypse, the superstitious concept that for no reason in particular, the world will suddenly shrink to the size of a basketball. (This was a theory I read online, and I am ashamed now to say I truly believed it). I researched the theory behind the world ending in 2012, and I stayed up some nights in tears because I thought we would all die once the clock struck midnight on the doomsday date.


Lifestyles It ultimately drove my parents to get me My shrink liked to call what I had “DCO” instead of OCD, so it wouldn’t sound like a formal medical label, and so that it would be less scary. She recommended I take medication for my my brain and lessen the thoughts of disaster. My therapist would often tell me to “take control” of the obsessions, which I found ironic, considering the only reason I acted on my obsessions was because I felt like I needed to be in control of everything in my life. I thought everything would be better if I acted on my compulsions. The truth is, you can never really just pop a small dose of dopamine every morning and suddenly feel better about your anxiety. In order to really progress, you need to have an outlet to talk about your worries. Therapy helped with this quite a lot. I graduated from middle school in a bet-

ter mental state than when I started. I had stopped seeing my therapist, and the compulsions seemed to be gone for the most part. I may sound irrational, overdramatic, and perhaps even a bit daft for thinking that a few random acts would prevent major life changes. Looking back on it now with a level head, I realize that for the most part, the compulsions and obsessions were irrational. But it’s not just in my head. OCD is a genetic disorder that has been passed on to me by generations of worrywarts. Chemical reactions and hormonal shifts distort my mind to make me believe things that aren’t true. While often grossly misrepresented by the media, OCD is real and it is something that people such as myself have had to deal with, and most people who face it experience a wide variety of challenges. OCD usually manifests itself as anxiety and depression, and as high school wears

habits and developing new ones. This is common for most teenagers, though, and for anyone struggling with mental health issues, just know that you are not alone. People often make light of mental illness, calling a moody girl bipolar, a crying friend depressed, or a well-groomed classmate OCD. Depression is more than a bad week and anxiety is more chronic than a night of worry over a test. Still, what is essential to understand is that these conditions are never to be ignored. Depression often runs in your family, and writing it off as an overdramatic outburst can create an unhealthy mindset for the person experiencing it. Everyone deals with their own problems and it is never wrong to ask for help or reach out. Never in a million years could I have gotten to the place I am in without support from my family and outside help. Don’t be

The Tam News — February 2018

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Lifestyles

Artist of the Issue: July Palomares many other artists, junior July PaloLikemares’s inspiration for his artwork is

Palomares said.

Palomares, however, everyday life is a little out of the ordinary. Because he lives in Bolinas and is an avid surfer and skater, he is surrounded by rare views of nature. “I like to paint perspectives that people

coincide…everytime I go surf, I always think about what I’m going to paint based upon what I see in the water,” he said. Palomares said Bolinas has given him a different perspective on nature, as well as opportunities to improve his artwork. “I’ve always been open-minded and the land from the water, I like to paint that interested in the world, and I’ve always - cared and paid close attention to the envirelled inside of a wave I’ll paint that too.” ronment and its creatures. That’s why BoliThe unique scenery depicted in Palomares’ nas is such a perfect place for me,” he said. paintings recently won him success at his - the Bolinas Gallery in November, displayings. ing 20 of his paintings, all of which were of Palomares’s life since he was around seven years old. Back then he preferred using pencil, whereas today he chooses acrylic. Over the years both his talent and the depth of his approach have advanced. “When I was little I would focus on cars and fruits and basic stuff that everyone draws. Now I am more exposed and actually paying attention to the things around me. I feel like that is what my art is about,”

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sold all my paintings; I was really happy.” The art show altered the way Palomares believes his art should be priced. “In this show I priced my art by how much time it took me, the materials, the frames and all that…but actually I think art should be priced based off of how you feel about it– like do you want to feel good when you release it and it’s a piece you are never going to see again? I think it’s important to feel that interconnection with your art pieces,”

February 2018 — The Tam News

y By Emil

Spears

he said. Palomares sees himself involved in the art industry in the future, but acknowlbeen thinking about this a lot. I have seen the success of other artists, but it’s hard to make a living through art because there is a lot of competition,” he said. “I can see myself doing art—I just have to put in the effort. I have to be 100 percent focusing on the artwork.” Looking ahead, Palomares said that maintaining a genuine, passionate purpose in creating individual pieces of art is crucial to success in the industry. By focusing on the unique qualities and perspectives that lie within the natural world, he also believes he can set himself apart from other artists. “My objective is to let people know how to consider the things life on this planet gives us,” he said. “The Earth is designed with color and beauty and that’s how I express my art. I want people to see that

olor and c h it w ed n desig “The Earth is how I express my art. hat’s beauty.” beauty and t t a h t ee s o t I want people


and my art. uty.”

Lifestyles

PHOTO AND PAINTINGS COURTESY OF JULY PALOMARES

The Tam News — February 2018

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Perspectives

A new perspective: Queensland, Australia

By Savannah Malan

Above: Savannah Malan, a Tam junior who moved

Savannah Malan, a Tam junior who moved to Marin from Australia one year ago. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAVANNAH MALAN

H

i, my name is Savannah, and I grew tem is very different to what I experienced up in Australia. Technically, I am from in Australia. Uniforms are required in most Australian state and private schools, and I have citizenship in both of these countries, are often prioritized over the education itbut I’m a straight up Aussie. Travelling to self. Uniform monitoring came down to - the small things, such as colored hair ties, lia, South Africa, and now the U.S., I have printed socks, the length of compulsory had the privilege of experiencing many dif- skirts, ensuring we would wear blazers over ferent cultures. sweaters and never sweaters alone. There I moved to California in August 2016 is such an immense focus on only allowfrom Queensland, Australia, where my ing leather black ankle length shoes and no - jewelry other than one pair of gold or silver studs, that many believe the standards of

purple mascara. In the U.S., students can take accelerated classes and challenge themselves as much as they would like. In Australia, my classes were mostly chosen for me, and there weren’t as many opportunities. Tall Poppy Syndrome is a common phenomenon in Australia that describes the tendency for ambition to be discouraged. In many ways, it is the opposite in America. My friends in Australia did not encourage me to work hard in life, get good grades, and try to get into selective universities. My friends here, on the other hand, motivate me to push myself to my full potential. the competitive nature of Marin, but now, I love it. I’ve learned to respect and nurture my academic abilities. I am lucky to have landed in an area that educates me in many topics which Australia did not, such as racial and gender equality and education regarding politics. That being said, my experience with shortcomings in Australia’s education speak on the behalf of all Australians. Overall, I am fortunate and lucky to have been a part of the community at Tam. Alas, my family has decided that America downsides to Australian culture and education, though, there are many things I love about it: Vegemite and summer Christmases, to name a few. I am moving back in a few days, and I must say I’ll miss the States. No doubt about it, I’ll be back.

mer, water does naturally turn the opposite direction down the sink, and Vegemite is a common household item, which, when used correctly, is enjoyable. The tech industry brought my dad on

love the ideas of not having uniforms, but are afraid of being judged. This is not a fear in America. At Tam, I was not trying to impress others with my wardrobe, and I did not have teachers and administrators trying to squeeze me back into the crowd. Palo Alto, and distant family brought us to I saw someone wear(I enrolled in Tam at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year as a sophomore.) My parents both loved Mill Valley. Coming from a semi-rural location, it seemed somewhat similar to our old lifestyle, except for the close housing proximity to our neighbours. America’s education sys-

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school. My Australian-wired brain immediately recognised the person as doing something that I did not consider “normal.” Throughout my time in the US, I learned to appreciate individuality on a level I never had before. Eventually, I was buying

February 2018 — The Tam News

GRAPHIC BY FRANCESCA SHEARER


Features

getting ed-juul-cated

by hana Curphey additional reporting by evan wilch

S

ophomore Kylie Frame was in history class when the student sitting next to her started Juuling. “The teacher turned around and started talking to me right after he took a hit, so he had it in his lungs,” Frame said. “He wasn’t wearing any sort of shirt [to exhale vapor into]. After the teacher walks away he [looked] like he [was] about to pass out. You’re not supposed to keep that stuff in your lungs for that long, right?” Was it for the short headrush or for the thrill of doing it in class? Or perhaps around. In recent years, there has been a spike in the number of students doing drugs at school. Discreet new technology like vape pens, which contain nicotine, and dab pens, which contain THC, make it possible for kids to get head rushes or highs in class while teachers just a few feet away are completely unaware. “We have a serious issue at Tam. There’s been more drug suspensions [so far] this year than there were the whole of last year,” social studies teacher Nathan Bernstein said in November, just three and a half months into the school year. “I would say it’s an epidemic. The number of kids that are intoxicated on campus is a huge problem. We’ve seen an emergence of the vape pens and the Juuls not only in classes but in the halls and in the bathrooms constantly.” Though Bernstein himself hasn’t seen kids vaping, he realizes that they probably do. “I’ve been informed, I know it happens. I’m naive to say it’s never happened in my class,” he said. Arielle Lehmann, said they had received some level of instruction regarding what to look for — long sleeves can easily conceal vape pens, for example — a much smaller number said they had ever actually caught someone vaping or dabbing in class. That’s not to say nobody ever gets caught. In an email to students and parents on October 19, Principal Farr wrote that “since school started in August, we have had over 20 cases of student suspensions related to drug and alcohol use cases on campus.” Farr went on to list a number of “alarming statistics” from the California Healthy Kids survey, which was taken by the class of 2020 and the class of 2018 last year. “There are consequences, sometimes minimal and sometimes tragic,” he wrote. Farr did not mention the statistics regarding vaping in his email. The 2016-2017 Healthy Kids report surveyed 1808 students across the district. 10 percent of the then-freshmen reported vaping within the last 30 days, while 13 percent of juniors reported the same behaviors. In general, around 3 percent less Tam students had vaped within a month than is the statewide average. high schoolers in America vaping within the last 30 days. However, many think that number is suspiciously low. As Bernstein pointed out, however, the study features data and students from two years ago. “I wouldn’t target the vaping data here because it’s such a new phe-

The Tam News — February 2018

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Features

nomenon so I think next time we get the data it’s going to be a lot more,” he said. Assistant Principal David Rice agreed with Bernstein in that the Healthy Kids data is likely inaccuHealthy Kids Survey are that the numbers are generally lower than reality because students tend to not fully report what they’re doing for fear that it’s not actually anonymous.” Perhaps it’s that the data was never correct, or perhaps it’s the perception that more people vape than actually do, but Farr seems right in citing “the growing ‘normalization’ of use among students.” Though statistics tend to vary between studies, a sharp increase in adolescent vape use is undisputed. “Ecigarettes are very popular with young people. Their use has grown dramatithe use of e-cigarettes is higher among high school students than adults,” reads

graphics by kennedy cook

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February 2018 — The Tam News

a 2016 Surgeon General Report. Besides nicotine, vape pens release

to lung disease, chemicals found in exhaust fumes, and heavy metals including nickel, tin, and lead. “Scientists are still working to understand more fully the health effects and harmful doses of e-cigarette contents when they are heated and turned into an aerosol, both for active users who inhale from a device and for those who are exposed to the aerosol secondhand,” the report said. None of the interviewed users were of vaping. Zoe Portera, a junior, said she knew that “it’s not good for your lungs,” but added that “it’s not as bad as smoking a cigarette.” Although little conclusive research is available, a study conducted by the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center suggests that vaping is between 5%-40% as dangerous


Features

as smoking cigarettes. While this number is certainly convincing to a smoker looking to make the switch to vaping, addiction and the risk of lung disease still pose a clear health threat over not using nicotine products at all. Anonymous students will be refrom here onward. Olivia, a Tam student and relatively new Juuler, reiterates the perception that vaping has some health effects but they are minor. “I think it’s bad. I don’t know the health effects that much. But I also think that some people over-exaggerate the whole thing, and what I mean is people will either say ‘it’s not a big deal’ or ‘it will kill you if you do it at all,’” she said. “A part of me didn’t know all the consequences [when I started] and a

part of me [vapes] because my peers do it and because I like it. I don’t know [why I don’t quit].” Olivia elaborated that for her, vaping was an alternative to smoking weed, as nicotine doesn’t show up on the drug tests mandated by many competitive sports teams. Samantha and Jane, both freshmen, were reluctant to talk about vaping and requested anonymity for fear of social scrutiny. “In my grade, everybody’s high in class,” Samantha said. She was unsure of exactly what drugs were being used, citing anything from alcohol to cocaine as sources of intoxication that her classmates turn to. “Vaping is 100 percent [the most common drug used at school]. I see it happen out in the hall, in the classroom,

The Tam News — February 2018

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Features all day every day,” she said. Samantha and Jane both suggested that, as the only ones in their friend groups who didn’t own and use Juuls, they often felt alienated from their peers.. The Juul, a small black rectangular device which mimics the buzz of smoking a cigarette, dominates the vaping market with a 32% market share, according to 2017 Nielsen data. Its ease of use - most vapes require the user to unscrew the cap and add “juice” - aesthetic appeal, and size make it the vaporizer of choice for many students. Similar in an appearance to a USB stick, it’s easy to charge a Juul in class undetected. Some students even plug their Juuls into school provided Chromebooks to charge them during a lecture or while working on an online project. Unlike a dab pen, which contains THC, vapes deliver nicotine, which gives a head rush that’s more easily ty in disciplinary actions with such a broad range of physical hardware. “The little black one [Juul], those things are pretty much lollipops around here,” Rice said. “I think the challenge for us is identifying what kind of vaping pen it is, because there [are] lots of different kinds. I’ve had students say to me, ‘I promise it’s not THC, just hit it and you’ll see.’” Though possession or use of vaporizers and other drugs - such as cannabis - always leads to police referral, use of nicotine products leads to, at most, a one day suspension whereas cannabis products can lead to 1-3 days of suspension as well as 30 days of “social

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February 2018 — The Tam News

probation,” according to Tam’s Behavior Intervention Guide. Wellness coordinator Hannah Wright is putting together a “Vaping 101” to update teachers of the latest models. “The students are way ahead in the technology and the understanding of what’s what, and I can see them looking at me thinking to themselves that I don’t have a clue what they’re talking about,” says Rice.

that we won’t do it and we take advantage of that. I think it’s bad.” George, a student who said he deals drugs at and around school, agreed that Tam students do have a tendency to overstep the line. “It is way too [normal] he wrote over email. “If you know where to go you time of the school day. It’s kind of a part of the culture for a lot of people and it’s weird. It’s worse among the freshmen but prominent among everyone.” George describes his technique in keeping up with the demand for popular drugs. “The way it works is there’s series of trends. One month one type of drug might be the cool thing to do, the next it’s something else. The game of drug dealing in Marin is staying woke to those social trends and buying up those drugs Xanax [right now]. Xanax is huge at the moment. Coke has made a comeback as well. But probably the most lucrative of all of them is dab pen cartridges.”


Features Dab pens are similar in size and appearance to a regular vape pen or Juul, but vaporize THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in cannabis) instead of nicotine. The PAX Era, a common model, costs less than $20 online and, much like the Juul, resembles a USB stick. Popular amongst students is a “repurposed” dab pen, which can be made by attaching a THC cartridge to any cheap vape pen battery. George doesn’t sell full dab pens, but he does sell the disposable cartridges, or “carts,” of THC concentrate. He says that demand centers around ease of use, more low key [because of] smell, smoke, time taken to use, and stashability. When you’re a distributor, you could pay as little as $3 per cart or less because of the sheer volume you purchase in, and most carts don’t go for cheaper than 20 bucks. $25 is pretty standard. If you pay more than that you’re paying for very good quality Though George is a fan of dab pens, he’s torn when it comes to vaping. “I think they have their place for people tryna quit smoking but for the most part they are an obvious attempt by big tobacco to get today’s youth hooked on nicotine, and it’s working,” he wrote. “No one has really yet assumed the title of ‘Juul dealer’ or whatever, but if someone did, they’d make bank, benicotine because of Juuls and Phixs and whatever.” In an interview with Wired Magazine, Dr. Stanton Glantz from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF argued that “it’s totally out of -

reational nicotine being advertised on television and radio. The youth use is exploding in parallel to the marketing.” Although Juul has blocked its Instagram to users below 18, those with access to the account of a modern and attractive lifestyle. In another UCSF study which aimed to measure the long term effects of vaping, Glantz found that teens who have vaped at some point in their life are about four times more likely to smoke cigarettes than someone who has never vaped. So why, despite the health risks and addictivity, do students continue to engage in this behavior? “I honestly don’t know,” said Rice. “When I ask students why they do it, they generally answer, ‘I don’t know, I just wanted to get a rush.’ I think accesask them, ‘How do you like Tam?’ About 95 percent of the time they reply saying they love it. And when you ask them why, they’ll say that the middle school was a prison. But, then they come here and it’s open campus and open tutorial, so sometimes I wonder if some of those freshmen are ready for that level of freedom, so I think that’s why we see more mistakes made there. “I always think it’s kind of interesting that there’s two worlds that exist at the same time in high school; there’s the student reality and what you guys see, and then there’s the teacher reality and what we see, and sometimes they just don’t align.”

The Tam News — February 2018

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Opinion/Editorial

A Dystopian Present by Yoav Paz-Priel

skills, adept balance and spatial awareness, and demonstrated cognitive ability. The pool of toddlers that graduate from these high-end establishments summa cum laude are considered to be the only viable candidates for Ivy League elementary and middle schools. Clustered in the Northeastern part of the state of Connecticut, such academies employ Nobel laureates and other accomplished individuals in their faculty. Leading neuroscientists have carefully structured these schools’ rigorous maximize brain stimulation and increase learning elasticity during instructional periods. As these prodigal youngsters mature and continue to be groomed for success, they must continue on the inside track to the best education a second mortgage on your house can buy. This next step is arguably the most crucial in the entire process, turning those pesky individualistic youngsters into standardized, freshly minted cogs in the gears of society. The procedure begins by whittling away those infuriating little unique traits in young adults through streamlined AP courses. Entrance to these accelerated classes is dependent on students’ completion of two related internships and the quality of their several

Heard in the Tam Hallways 16

Sincerely, the home stretch in their 18 year applicato schools. Colleges have attained record CEO of the nation’s premier college statistics in their attempts to look better on counseling service, Harvard or Bust LLC, paper. Most notably, Harvard and Stanford and waitlist candidate to Princeton have pioneered the practice of rejecting students who haven’t applied, securing much sought-after negative acceptance rates. Harvard currently boasts a -2.3% admit rate, with Stanford not far behind with a lean -1.7%. Other schools have adopted the strategy, creating departGRAPHIC BY ments that hand-select ITY S R ideal candiCESCA IVE r’s a N e SHEARER is y ogies EU dates for the l d th ishe e apo YAL s fin sincer a unsolicited h re. ith tee utu mit you w om ur f . rejection in t, ns c rite to ce list d yo urself den o n i u a s t w n is I er ta yo rS letters. Many adm s, and accep care better perb Dea e r l u a e Y ur at to y su h yo The candid ake o wit rtunity o man applicants s of o uck ot m n of l n opp away iew u did n n. I t v s e e r b sa worry about atio urn yo the plic r ial a to t hat t

costs, but these prestigious schools generously use their endowments to link applicants to a portal where they can easily advertise their kidneys on the black market. The few parents and teenagers

“I just want to hit my Juul until I pass out and die.” -Student center

February 2018 — The Tam News

ED

eginning this academic year, parents are sending record numbers of applications for their unborn children to participate in internships in order to have a competitive edge. Selective day care programs groom 12-36 month-olds for Ivy League schools. Yearly tuition for the top-notch day cares such as Johnson and Johnson, Gerber, and Pampers range from twenty to thirty thousand dollars a year. These prestigious institutions have extremely demanding criteria to even be considered for

with the rare “polyrenal syndrome” have the opportunity to sell multiple kidneys and net enough capital for 4-5 semesters of tuition and board, depending on the university. Merit aid has become a relic of the past, as the last student to receive an accoladebased scholarship famously did so from the colony she founded on Mars. While these obstacles may seem to prospective students to be insurmountable spair, as they also seem insurmountable at second, third, and even fourth glances. Good luck to the future class of 2043!

u ap you den r us our ess. Yo al for e hes ee our ful fo r in y n ti wis s in ing s weak poten are su k Yale pe you It is pa c la u d nd was t obvio ent an luck a llege. I ho uture. t a o h f n m st of gw or c poi the ents. eve erin to pin al achi the be ersity d stu ond iv e w for us ated re ish you le un b y d r ib ma ew har nst red You , it is demo gain, w er inc h h trut ication Once a h anot l app uture. far wit f the will go you

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doctorate-level research papers. Pupils begin their collegiate preparation in freshman year, with each student required to always have a crisp, updated stock paper copy of their resume on hand. These resumes start off their college application process, where the studious teenagers churn out Pulitzerwinning short stories as their responses to admissions essay prompts. Students have begun to casually document every waking second of their lives on video in order to satisfy colleges’ requests for ‘a more fourdimensional insight’ into the students’ dayto-day. After outlasting the daunting initial

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“Why go to Israel when you could come to my party?” -Hoetger Hall

“My Instagram explore page is all butts and sports.” -Pool


Opinion/Editorial

Let’s Have The Talk: #MeToo by Abby Frazee

I

t’s been four months since news broke that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein paid off dozens of actresses to remain silent about their sexual assault accusations against him. Thank God they didn’t. What followed were a series of accusations against numerous other men in power –– actors, talk show hosts, congressmen, and an Olympic doctor. “Everyday” women have also been empowered to speak out about their experiences with harassment and assault through Tarana Burke’s hashtag #MeToo. In the wake of allegations against Weinstein, the hashtag has grown into a movement shaking up halls of power. But #MeToo to have a lasting impact, we need to rethink our cultural relationship to sex and gender, develop systems more capable of holding sexual assailants accountable, and unite all genders in the battle. In order to create change, sex/ed programming needs to develop healthier beliefs and perceptions about sex early in life. Currently, most sex/ed fails to disprove preconceptions about heterosexual sex that students learn outside of the class, many which center around a submissive female role and dominant male role. When students walk into the classroom, their lesson on consent often begins and ends with ‘yes means yes’ and ‘no means no,’ while powerment and equality through consent are glossed over. American sexual education rarely discusses female pleasure, the entire female anatomy, or equality in relessons of #MeToo, students must leave the classroom with respect for their peers, heterosexual men must respect women’s desires, and women must respect their own bodies. This results in healthier, happier reHigh schools must change the way they deal with harassers. When sexual assault occurs on a high school campus, we

“The drama building gives me aneuryisms.”

-Keyser Landing

cannot assume that suspension will cure a perpetrator. Sexual assault may continue to be carried out by this person. Instead, it must be revealed that perpetrators’ perception of sexual power is an illusion. Perpetrators need behavioral intervention and help understanding the incentive behind their actions– suspension provides neither. In places in which accusations have broken out, from social media to the conrisk of not only alienating men, but also leaving genders more divided than before. There is a developing attitude that those who discuss and take part in #MeToo are anti-men––a common misconception about feminism in general. Women are not out to get men, nor is assault entirely a men vs. women issue. Men, women, and people of the LGBTQ+ community can all fall victims of sexual assault. everyone’s problem. The essence of the #MeToo movement has been to empower victims to speak out––an act so simple, support. When men are absent from the discussion of sexual assault, women, predominantly, are left preaching to the choir. We must work together, not divided, to further change. Men are the solution to sexual assault. Bystander prevention has been shown to against sexual assault on college campuses and in the military. Though any bystander can help to prevent assault, male bystanders can play an especially important role. If you see something, you must say something; that may include talking with the assaulter after helping to avoid an uncomfortable situation. Men must talk to other men about their sexism, asking questions like “why do you believe you have the right to do this?” and “How do you believe it would make your victim feel if you assaulted them?”

“I left my job because we were constatnly being infested by gerbils.”

’ Of course, women must support other ment and assault. Victims must support other victims. Too often, women chime in with misogynistic language because it is part of the language of pop culture. They have succumbed to societal pressure and have internalized the narrow standards held for women. Lack of unity enables sexual abuse to persist. Women also need to continue to make their voices heard in every aspect of their lives; success in the #MeToo movement can lead to other types of female empowerment. Women can gain control over their body and sexuality through becoming more proactive and assertive. We cannot expect all men to be consent experts, and therefore we must work to express what we are comfortable and uncomfortable with when we are able. Women and their allies are not trying to take over the world. They are just simply trying to have their voices heard more of#Metoo to become a social and political movement that changes the course of history, society needs to change its attitude, and men and women only need to work together and listen to one another, not remain divided.

“I can eat five raw potatoes at once... Don’t Ask How I know that.” -Wood HAll

-BPL The Tam News — February 2018

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Opinion/Editorial

EDITORIAL: Breaking Through Breakthrough Day

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“Breakthrough Day,” which commemorated the 50th anniversary of Operation Breakthrough, an event intended to promote racial understanding and organized by students in response to race riots on campus. Breakthrough Day admirably sought to address racial inequalities within our community, but several aspects of its execution were ineffective. As students, teachers, and administrators begin planning a follow-up breakthrough day or week for this year, it is imperative that they improve on last year’s event and challenge students to think more critically about the role race plays in their lives. One of the most notable barriers to a constructive dialogue last year was the fact that the discussions on race were held in students’ tutorial classes, which led in some instances to conversations populated mostly or entirely by white students.

Many of those students — who’d experienced limited direct encounters with racism — were too cautious to voice any potentially controversial opinions, and the onus of speaking for the entirety of Tam’s students of color fell unfairly onto the few non-white students per classroom. Given Tam’s racial makeup that imbalance is to some extent unavoidable; however, the event’s organizers need in the future to make a greater effort to arrange discussions with an eye for diversity. Another important facet of a successful Breakthrough Day is an emphasis on student leadership; after all, Operation Breakthrough was both planned and executed by students. But staff played a much larger role than advertised in the arranging of Breakthrough Day last year. This year, the administration has signaled an intent to work closely with groups such as the Black Student Association

Crackin’ and Slackin’

and Students of Color, a decision which was unequivocally the right one. Last year’s Breakthrough Day also suffered from having too broad of a scope. day’s focus never fully developed; that is, the importance of working together to create racial understanding was stressed without outlining a plan for doing so. The vital to Breakthrough Day’s accomplishing Ron Blasingame, Tam alumnus and the able to contextualize racism in a way that many class discussions were not. The day’s lack of action-based outcomes also meant that for the most part its effects on white students were short-lived. After racism’s brief time in the spotlight it fell again largely to the back of their minds. Expecting teachers, especially those who don’t teach classes related to humanities or the social sciences, to discuss those issues constantly is unfair and unrealistic, and making Breakthrough Day a more frequent occurrence would disrupt classes with the to make sure the lessons of Breakthrough Day stay with students. Above all else, a successful Breakthrough Day should cultivate an environment that allows students to be more comfortable with each other with issues of race, at Tam and in the world at large, as was the event’s original purpose. In a time where not just our school but our entire country is often divided along racial lines, it is more important than ever that students are able to fully, and passionately. Breakthrough Day was never meant to act in that respect as a solution, but if executed properly it can offer the kind of start we desperately need. Ultimately, we as community members will determine the success of future breakthrough days, and equity work at Tam as a whole. Breakthrough Day was, at its best, an invitation to a conversation about race that Tam must have. It is our responsibility to conntinue that conversation, even

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February 2018 — The Tam News


Sports

May the schwartz be with you By Dahlia Zail

then also what it is now.” Schwartz is used to the leadership role, however. He ing competitively at eight years old, and has been the captain of his club team Senior Owen Schwartz (right) poses with teammates after their

that time, Schwartz has grown to love PHOTOS COURTESY OF OWEN SCHWARTZ the unique aspects of soccer. inning the MCAL championship game was the highlight of Owen ronment,” Schwartz said. “I love that you Schwartz’s soccer career. “It was one of could have relationships with other guys the best experiences of my life,” Schwartz, senior and captain of the boy’s varsity soccer team, said. “I scored the second goal of that game, I scored a free kick. It was like and everybody does their job, but together.” nothing I had ever experienced before.” Having played varsity since freshman However, the euphoria of winning the 2017 year, Schwartz has experienced teams that MCAL championships did not last into this have chemistry and teams that don’t, and season, and Schwartz was faced with a long thinks the level of friendship and team comedown because 11 members of last chemistry is what will ultimately make or year’s team graduated last year. break this year’s team. “I think there’s two or three “Sophomore year we didn’t do too starters from last year that are starting this year... and there’s a huge

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well and I think a lot of that was due to the cliques formed on our team a little bit,” Schwartz said. “Junior year, that completelot of talent on our team, but we also were all really tight and we would hang out a great time that whole year and we ended up winning MCALs that year.” Soccer has given Schwartz much more than just a strong community. “It’s been my stress reliever. I think when I have a lot of schoolwork or I’m stressed about some part of my life I can play soccer and it’s kind of a release. I don’t think about anything else when I’m playing except for said. “I also think it’s taught me a bunch work, and kind of how to deal with advernitely helped me with my school life and my personal life in general.” The record of the soccer team is 4-53 as of January 30, keeping alive hopes to make the MCAL playoffs. After high school, Schwartz will be attending Brown University, where he will play soccer in the class of 2023. He plans to Europe or South America to play soccer.

that this year,” Schwartz said. “It’s tough because we don’t have a ton of experience on our team and it’s hard to be the single person that’s trying to lead everyone. Everyone has to step up, and I think some kids on our team are starting to do that.” Spencer Stanton, the boys’ varsity soccer coach, sees Schwartz as the connection between Tam soccer’s past and future. “I feel like one thing he brings that’s unique is four years of experience,” he said. “So I think just by him being in team meetings, him on for Tam soccer... so it’s been good, been a link between what Tam soc-

Senior Owen Schwartz (right) races for the ball in a league match at home against San Rafael on PHOTOS COURTESY OF OWEN SCHWARTZ January 13.

The Tam News — February 2018

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Sports

Connor Jenkins: Sophomore Stud by Jacob Swergold and Jack Loder Now at Tam, Jenkins has become a key contributor to the varsity basketball team. Senior and teammate Jack Duboff emphasized Jenkins’ offensive talent. “On the court he’s so quick and so good at creating his own shots that it’s hard to guard him. Not only that, but he is also

Sophomore Connor Jenkins drives to the hoop during a game at Redwood January 16. PHOTOS COURTESY OF HONG SOON PARK

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efore moving to the United States and starting his sophomore year at Tam, sophomore Connor Jenkins was balling on and Japan. Jenkins fell in love with basketball at seven years old while living in Tokyo. boarding school, where he continued to improve his game. Jenkins described the boarding school atmosphere as “beat or get beaten.” Upon his arrival, he was immediately hazed. “One night I woke up freezing to death. While I was asleep, the older boys transported me out of my bed sheets to the Despite his peers’ bad example, Jenkins was able to keep his head down and focus on his game. “The boarding school was generally a last resort for out of control kids, so there ing. But I kept my nose clean because I dreamed of playing basketball at a higher level,” he said.

others,” Duboff said. Varsity coach Tim Morgan spoke to the gritty aspect of Jenkins’ game. “He is a hard nosed player that thrives on the defensive end. His aggressiveness and attack mentality on offense enables him to get to the rim to make plays for his teammates,” Morgan said. Jenkins credits his success to his upbringing. “When I played basketball in so they play a very fast game. This forced where I learned my skills.” Jenkins speaks highly of a mentor he met through a showcase

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Aside from basketball, Jenkins seems to have had a smooth transition into life in America. “Connor is such a funny kid with a huge personality,” Duboff said. “He’s always laughing and he always has a smile on his face.” Coach Morgan reiterated this sentiment. “He has a great sense of humor and an outgoing personality once he feels comfortable,” Morgan said. While he sometimes feels homesick, he has become comfortable with American life and has even gotten used what he calls the “funny accent.” Above all, Jenkins’ has had no problem getting used to Hawk basketball. “He’s got a bright future ahead of him,” Morgan said. “I look forward to coaching him for the next two season

would meet me at six in the morning to help me develop my skills. He did this for free and I am forever thankful for that.” What makes Jenkins’s success even more impressive is that he’s just 15 years old. “There are some struggles of being a sophomore on the varsity team, but I have good teammates and good coaches so I don’t feel younger than my teammates,” Jenkins said. “I struggle the most hold-

BY THE NUMBERS

4

ing my composure because I’m one of the smallest players on the court, which makes

Number of goals scored against the girls’ varsity soccer team this season.

February 2018 — The Tam News

13

Number of turnovers committed by the boys’ varsity basketball team against Redwood on January 16.


Sports

Emma Bowser: Dishing out Dimes by Megan Butt

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own 12 points at halftime, in one of man Emma Bowser points to a motivational speech that ignited her inner scorer. “We were in the locker room and we knew we needed to gain momentum,” she said. “We came back in the second half and I missed a layup, then my sister [teammate Ruby

court, she’s a great passer, and she’s really

point line, she tossed it to me, and I made the shot.” The younger Bowser is the latest highlight of a long list of girls who have run the point for the Hawks varsity squad over the years. She started the season coming off the bench, but was quickly ushered into the starting role halfway through the preleague schedule. “It would have been hard to keep her on the bench because of the fact that she does so much, she won the position,” assistant coach Ralph Wilson said. “She sees the

Bowser has been playing basketball since the second grade, practicing in her backyard and competing in Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). She always knew she was going to pursue basketball in high school, but excelled in other sports while growing up. In addition to basketball, Bowser

She considers her time on the bench as key to visualizing how she wants to impact the game. “When I was starting on the bench I could watch how the game was played but now that I’m a starter, I’m fo-

soccer season this past November. She credits her family in part with instilling in her a passion for sports. “My parents wanted us to have something we really cared about and could work at, but also wanted us to know what it was tries to get our attention on the court and we try not to listen to him but he calls us over and tries to coach us.” since their summer run with AAU. “[Playreally close off the court so we really get each other, we know what we’re gonna do together on the court, we understand each other’s playing styles,” she said. “We have expectations for each other but we don’t get down on each other.” Bowser’s teammates and coaches describe her as a good passer and playmaker. “She’s learning a lot and is improving in every game, and is just naturally very tal-

Bowser gives the Hawks a boost on both ends of the court. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JUSTINE WHITEHEAD

said. “She sees the court really well, looks for the open man up the court, and she can drive and take over whenever she wants to.” Bowser acknowledges that passing is one of her best attributes but also an area of continuous growth. “I think you can affect the game without stats, but the one stat I care about a lot is assists,” she said. “I want to pass and I want my teammates to score.” Bowser looks forward to the rest of the season and has her sights set on future championships. “There’s nothing on the court that she can’t do and I know she’s only a freshman but she plays like a senior at times,” Wilson said. “I think she’s up to the challenge in terms of getting us to playoffs, doing her best to lead us, and doing whatever she needs to do to make the team

talent for running the point.

Check the Tam News online (www.thetamnews.org) for more sports coverage.

26

Number of steals by the girls’ varsity basketball team against Terra Linda on January 26.

6-0

Record of the varsity wrestling team as of January 30.

The Tam News — February 2018

21


Sports

Sports Opinion

Bleacher Report

The Redwood visiting student section bleachers following the basketball game on January 16. PHOTOS BY ETHSN SWOPE

By Tom Russell

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hen discussing sports of any kind, especially those with particularly passionate fans, the age-old phrase “It’s just a game” seems to be a go-to argument used to criticize overzealous displays of spirit. I never quite understood how and why this preposterous fallacy gained popularity, because I have never been to a Tam sporting event that was “just a game.” Quite frankly, Tam sports would be borderline boring if it wasn’t for the camaraderie and energy that the student-fans create. Their rowdy behavior, however, has been met with plenty of criticism. The January 16 matchup at Redwood on the hardwood generated conversation well before the night of the game. In the days leading up to the event, administration and parents were busy doing their part to ensure that the visiting crowd would be respectful. The fuss was not unwarranted, as there were already complaints coming over allegedly “obscene” chants from the Tam crowd during an outstanding road win over Marin Catholic on January 11. Of those chants, “We let gays in” was among the most controversial. This particular cheer stems from a 2015 incident in which, according to the nuns walked out of their classes to protest the sponsors of a program intended to protect gay and lesbian teens from bullying.” I agree that the chant itself is crass and disrespectful. But MC wants to prevent this offensive chant, a perfect resolution would

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be to support students of all sexual orientamanage such an “inconvenience.” It’s safe to say that going into the TamRedwood matchup, the Tam students had already garnered quite the rowdy reputation. That reputation didn’t improve over the course of the game. By the end of the night, around 20 of the visiting bleachers were destroyed. This is not, by any means, a good look for our fanbase, and the outrage we received from administration was extensive. Destroying the property of another school during a visiting basketball game is not something I, or any Tam fan, would be quick to support. No one showed up to the game with the intention to smash some seats that night. Yet I can’t help but wonder if the crowd was really to blame for the incident. The students that broke bleachers that night have attended many other basketball games at many other facilities, including Marin Catholic, Drake, College of Marin, and even our own. At each of those games, the crowd was just as rowdy, just as loud, and jumped just as high as the crowd at the Redwood game. Yet no other bleachers were broken. With the exception of three seats in our own Gus Gym, the only bleachers that have broken during my four years at Tam have been in one gym: Redwood. Some may point out the fact that, after the bleachers began to crack and give way, the students made no attempt to prevent further destruction, and continued to

February 2018 — The Tam News

cheer with the same physicality and energy that led to the damage. In perfect honesty, it was painful to continue our cheering knowing that with every jump, we were that much closer to a possibly fatal accident. that the team depended on the support that risked our ankle bones in the hopes that our cheers would give strength to our Hawks out on that court. As I said earlier, I think I speak for everyone in the senior class when I say that we don’t want to see any more broken bleachers. I believe that, when it comes to the construction of the Redwood bleachers, corners have been cut. I fear that the shoddy quality of these seats not only serves an inconvenience to the school after they are broken, but more importantly, poses a serious and immediate threat to the safety of the students and parents attending Redwood basketball games. Marin Catholic may have some lessthan-tolerant faculty members, but they make some great bleachers. I pray that Redwood administration follows suit, and provides its fans with a safe and reliable standing area. If they don’t, I fear that many an ankle will be lost to the treacherous death trap they call stands. Let’s hope that recent incidents serve as an ominous warning of injuries to come, and the school


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Meezan

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February 2018 — The Tam News

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