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The Tam News — December 2017


January 2018




04 news

CAASPP Test Results Released by Fergus Campbell & Abby Frazee New Field Trips Approved by Shane Lavezzo

05 news

Winter Rally Recap by the News Editors

06 news

Board Considers Parcel Tax Increase by Samantha Locke Fire Hydarnt Causes Flooding on Shoreline by Kennedy Cook Bomb Threat at Tam by Madeline Asch & Ethan Swope

07 perspectives Changsha, China by Zihao Wang

08 lifestyles Go-To Guy by Jack Loder

December 2017 — The Tam News

lifestyles Go-To Guy

by Jack Loder

10 features

Loder profiles library specialist Hans Goto, who’s retiring this year after 20 years serving the district. Over the course of his life, Goto has worn many hats, including aikido enthusiast.

Snap This by Lola Leuterio and Emily Spears

15 op/ed

Editorial: Ending STEM Supremacy by Staff Crackin’ and Slackin’ by the Opinion Staff

19 sports

Where’s Friday Night Lights? by Camille Howard

16 op/ed

20 sports

17 op/ed

21 sports

Smartphones: Who Needs People? by Milo Levine

Not on the Menu by Emily Spears

18 op/ed

Making a Case for Midnights by Fergus Campbell

Just for the Halibut by Adam Tolson Winter Sports Season Preview by The Sports Staff

Trials and Trail-bulations by Emma Schultz

22 sports

I Can’t. I Have Gymnastics. by Sophia Krivoruchko

Dear Reader, As high schoolers, we all deal with the concept of taboo subjects. This is mainly due to our discomfort when talking about things like being excluded, feeling inferior to other students, and dealing with the reality of the future. We are at the age where these subjects can no longer be ignored, but are still hard to talk about. It is not easy to accept these issues that stem deeper than just “what am I going to wear today.” Our issue this month focuses on exposing these deeper issues, despite discomfort. This month’s feature focuses on the mental, physical, and social effects of social media, specifically on how it is used in terms of party culture. The goal of the feature is to highlight a phenomena that affects almost all Tam students, but is rarely openly discussed due to the uncomfort in being vulnerable, as well as people’s lack of willingness to recognize a trend they are participating in is actually hurting people. Our editorial discusses the attitude of superiority surrounding STEM classes at Tam. Many students are made to feel inferior because their strong suits lie in the humanities. We believe this is an attitude in need of being discussed, and ultimately changed. Student’s strengths lay in all disciplines, and each deserves to be respected by the rest of the student body. We hope that these articles will inspire you, the readers, to continue having harder conversations that will hopefully inspire change, as we hope we can at least spark a conversation.

Dahlia Zail

Cover by: Kennedy Cook, Kylie Sakamoto, Ethan Swope, & Dahlia Zail On the Cover: Lola Leuterio and Emily Spears explore the effect social media has on Tam party culture.

Hogan, & Dahlia Zail

EDITORS IN CHIEF: Madeline Asch, Megan Butt, Marie

GRAPHICS: Avery Robinson, Francesca Shearer, Raven Twilling, & John Overton

NEWS: Kavi Dolasia, Samantha Ferro& Milo Levine

COPY EDITORs: Griffin Chen & Annie Blackadar

LIFESTYLES: Shane Lavezzo, Lola Leuterio, Glo Robinson, Calvin Rosevear, & Emily Spears


FEATURES: Kennedy Cook, Michael Diamandakis, Ava

BUSINESS TEAM: Josh Davis, Shane Lavezzo, Jake Paz-

OPINION: Ravi Joshi-Wander, Josh Love, Maddie Wall, &

SOCIAL MEDIA: Abby Frazee & Jacob Swergold

Finn, & Benjy Wall-Feng

Zoe Wynn

SPORTS: Connor Dargan, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jack Loder,

DESIGN: Kennedy Cook, Ava Finn, Elise Korngut, & Kylie Priel, & Aaron Young

PHOTOS: Ethan Swope

Miles Rubens, & Adam Tolson

Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941

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

ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

REPORTERS: Nicole Agosta, Camila Alfonso, Hannah Alpert, Annika Astengo, Ava Aufdencamp, Alec Bakhshandeh, Michael Balistreri, Griffin Barry, Isabella Bauer, Rocky Brown, Sophia Bruinsma, Lila Bullock, Fergus Campbell, Griffin Chen, Zoe Cowan, Hana Curphey, Ian Duncanson, Jordan Engel, Tessa Flynn, Celia Francis, Abigail Frazee, Leah Fullerton, Max Goldberg, Cassidy Holtzapple, Camille Howard, Abigail James, Emlen Janetos, Charlotte Jones, Jamilah Karah, Kara Kneafsey, Elise Korngut, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jissell Kruse, Elan Levine, Logan Little, Samantha Locke, Johanna Meezan, Sebastian Meyer, Cal Mitchell, Amina Nakhuda, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, Dara Noonan, John Overton, Jake Paz-Priel, Luca Pelo, Cassandra Peterson, Collin Prell, Luke Rego, Darieus Rego, Madeline Reilly, Lucas Rosevear, Charlotte Rosgen, Thomas Russell, Alexander Saenz Zagar, Kylie Sakamoto, Samuel Schnee, Skye Schoenhoeft, Emma Schultz, Wilton Senel, Aryana Senel, Camille Shakirova, Adrian Shavers, Henry Soicher, Summer Solomon, Emily Spears, Joanne Spiegelman, Paisley Stocks, Jacob Swergold, Ethan Swope, Grace Tueros, Gisela Vicente Estrada, Daisy Wanger, Evan Wilch, Beckett Williams, Maxwell Williams, Niulan Wright, Aaron Young EDITORIAL BOARD: Madeline Asch, Megan Butt, Kennedy Cook, Michael Diamandakis, Marie Hogan, Ravi Joshi-Wander, Milo Levine, Samantha Locke, Ethan Swope, Aaron Young, & Dahlia Zail 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 © 2017 by The Tamalpais News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

The Tam News — December 2017



CAASPP Test Results Released by Fergus Campbell & Abby Frazee


Graphics by John Overton

he results from the statewide Smarter Balanced Assessment were released this fall, once again highlighting the socioeconomic and racial academic achievement gap at Tam. The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), a public education agency, administered an updated version of the Smarter Balanced Assessment to juniors in March of 2017. Student performance was broken down into four ratings. Students either exceeded the standard expected of an eleventh-grader in mathamatics and language arts (Level 4), met the standard (Level 3), nearly met the standard (Level 2), or were far from the standard (Level 1). Unlike last years results, there is no new CAASPP data on black student performance at Tam, Redwood, or Drake, due to insufficient sample sizes at the three schools. ♦

Additional data is available at

New Field Trips Approved


by Shane Lavezzo

mid concerns about student equity, the Tamalpais Unified High School District Board of Trustees approved field trips to Hungary/Serbia, Belize, and London in 2018, at the board meeting on November 15. As the field trips were being motioned for approval, Board of Trustees member Michael Futterman brought up the issue of equity. “It would be a good idea if we had some kind of a study that would indicate over a period of time demographically who is going on these field trips and where the funding has been coming from and so forth,” he said. “We would get a sense of whether these opportunities are being provided on an equitable basis district-wide.” This idea was met with approval from the other board members. Futterman also brought the price of each field trip up as an equity question, considering the Hungary trip is $3,400 per stu-


dent, the Belize trip $3,000, and the London trip $3,500. World Languages teacher Brian Zailian explained that he urges all students to go, using scholarships in situations where money is the problem. He believes the solution lies in “trumpeting it really loudly and getting them encouraged to do it. Some students are just afraid.” Zailian emphasized that he would love to work with somebody to boost the number of students attending. Board of Trustees member Chuck Ford highlighted the fact that there has never been a student that was denied attending a field trip. The water polo team, and as four chaperones, including athletic director Christina Amoroso will attend the Hungary/ Serbia trip. The purpose of the trip is “for the water polo team to compete in tournaments as well as train,” spanning from June 21 to July 5, 2018, ac-

December 2017 — The Tam News

cording to the field trip request form. The Belize trip, considered to be highrisk as students will be kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and swimming in the ocean, includes 17 students and two chaperones, including English teacher Michael Levinson. Students will travel from April 3 to April 14, 2018 to “participate in community service, outdoor education, and cultural immersion.” The London trip is for 28 Tam drama students and 4 chaperones, including teachers Ben Cleveland, Heather Basarab, and Susan Brashear. The purpose is described as to attend theater, workshops, plays, museums and galleries and span from March 31 to April 12, 2018. All three trips will be paid for entirely by student and parent contributions.♦

Winter Rally Recap



by News Editors

he traditional Tam High winter rally took place on December 1, in Gus Gym. The festivities featured a dance performance from the cheer team, a parody of the high school musical High School Musical “Get’cha Head in the Game” from the varsity boys basketball team, a gameshow hosted by members of the girls basketball team, and a cover of Three Little Birds sang by the student group Music Together. There was also a human foosball game played by the boys and girls varsity soccer team, and a cart race between two members of the wrestling team.♦


The Tam News — December 2017



Board Considers Parcel Tax Increase by Samantha Locke


he Tamalpais Union High School Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to propose an increase in parcel taxes, if they can garner enough community support, according to an announcement made at the November 14 board meeting. Parcel taxes are localized property taxes that are frequently used to fund education. Superintendent David Yoshihara said that, based on research from the firm Whitehurst/Mosher and polling conducted by the company Godbe, the board is considering a 50-100 percent increase on current parcel taxes. To get the measure on the ballot, the board would require four of its five members to vote yes. Before voting, the board will gauge community support with a public opinion poll by Godbe. Yoshihara ex-

plained that this parcel tax increase will be raised in an effort to counteract the increasing amount of money lost by the district each year. Yoshihara said that the district has been using savings to cover expenses, but that those savings are beginning to run dry, due to a significant increase in student enrollment. 80-90 percent of the district budget goes towards personnel, and with a larger student population, more faculty members are needed, thus the strain on district funds is greater. “We have a large structural deficit which has materialized for many years...This year was the first time in a number of years [where] we ended up in the red,” Yoshihara said. “We had estimated we would be in the red 4.5 million [dollars]. This is for the year that just closed. When everything was

Fire Hydrant Causes Flooding on Shoreline by Kennedy Cook


commuter bus hit a fire hydrant on Shoreline Highway in front of Proof Lab, at around 4:30 p.m. on December 12. “The bus was straightening out and the tail end swung into the fire hydrant,” California Highway Patrol Officer Sandro Salvetti said. The fire hydrant exploded and water sprayed approximately 30 feet into the air. The Proof Lab is experiencing major flooding. “[Keeping the] merchandise dry is a top priority…” We’re going to try to figure this out,” Proof Lab Floor Clerk Noah Sargent said. There have been no injuries reported. “We’re just lucky that the fire hydrant didn’t shoot up and hit anybody,” Salvetti said. “That’s what’s really dangerous.” ♦

Fireman at the scene of the flood, outisde of The Proof Lab. PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE


December 2017 — The Tam News

finalized, we ended up at 3.8 million [dollars] in the red, so while [the district finished the year with more money] than we had predicted, [we still lost] a lot of money.” This year, TUHSD is expected to have a deficit of 5 million dollars. The tax measure may be on the ballot as soon as June 2018. “There are other windows that were briefly discussed but I think in terms of narrowing those opportunities, June of 2018 and November of 2018 are really where the focus is at this time,” Yoshihara said. According to budget data for the past two years, parcel taxes have increased marginally. Recent research found that the community was in support, meaning budget plans are likely to continue. ♦

Vandal Yet to be Found by Madeline Asch

A bomb threat was found in a Wood Hall boys’ bathroom stall on December 14th, indicating an attack would come the following day. This was the second of two threats by vandalism that Tam has received this year, neither of which were acted upon. An email sent out by Principal J.C. Farr that same day stated that police were immediately notified and would investigate the incident. Despite the threat, school was in session on Friday, December 15. Administrators, additional staff from the District Office, and the Mill Valley Police Department were also on campus and in the hallways all day to monitor the situation. According to Farr there are no current leads as to who the perpetrator of the vandalism was. However, Farr stated that the newly updated camera surveillance system will be a useful aid in any future investigations. “I’m very irritated by this particular incident,” Farr said. “It makes me think that perhaps more needs to be done in terms of a conversation with the student body and just bringing more attention to the fact that it’s all of our responsibility to create a safe environment.” Farr believes the pattern of vandalism is connected to a general push against political correctness in society. “I think there is just more of a sense that there is freedom of speech. People are exercising their right to express themselves but not really distinguishing between what is freedom of speech and hate speech. Farr urged anyone with information on either incident to please contact the MVPD at (415) 389-4100 or the Confidential Tip Line at (415) 380-3507. ♦


A new perspective: Changsha, china By Zihao Wang

my house, lots of clubs, bars and shopping malls. I had lots of fun PHOTO COURTESY OF ETHAN SWOPE in China. But in America there is no one outside at night, it is so much more quieter in China. Chinese people talk very loudly everywhere. They always cut the line and are disrespectZihao Wang, a junior who moved to Marin from ful to others, unlike American Changsha, China three years ago. people. Americans always let women and the elderly go first, and it feels more like a big family. 大家好,我的名字是王梓豪,我来 There is a subway station outside my 自中国. Hi everyone, my name is Zihao house, there is subway everywhere. TransWang, I’m from China. I’m a Junior. I portation was efficient, traveling to other moved here when I was 13. I’m 16 right cities was like going to your neighbor’s now. Many people ask me, do I like Amerhouse next door. Unlike here, there is highica or China better? It is very complicated. way everywhere, if you can’t drive it’s I prefer having school in United States bemore like suffering. cause it is more relaxed and less stressful Also America is a country full of freein school, and students and teachers are dom. Citizens are more law-abiding in like friends. In China, it is all about comAmerica than in China. In China, there petitions between students. Also, we had is more tradition and less awe of the law. so much homework every day, even in the There is less of a drunk driving situation holidays. in America. Lots of people in China don’t In China there are more tall buildings than in America. I feel the community is rather quiet sometimes in America, because I lived in a very crowded and fancy city filled with chandeliers in China-Hunan, ChangSha. It was very beautiful there. The most memorable thing was the food, the culture and the architect. China is a country with a long history, is more than 2000 years, it is very mysterious. The builds in China are very nice, they very tall and with fully neon lamp, the tallest build in China is about 632 meters with 118 floors and the build in ShangHai, is called The ShangHai Tower. In Beijing, they kept a very old palace that made in 1406’s Ming Dynasty. Also the Great wall is one of the famous builds. There are a lot fun places around

care about laws and the rules, so there is always people getting in trouble in China. But in China people are not allowed to have a gun, even the police don’t carry guns. So I feel like it is more dangerous here than in China. The weather was totally different in China as well. During the winter it’s warmer in America than in China. The weather is extreme in China, so the summer in China is also super hot, Is about above 100 degrees, we need air conditioner everywhere. The winter is very cold. So we always prepared a heater and a air conditioner at home. The Chinese new year celebration is in February, the celebration is about 10 days, and lots of kids will get lots of money from their family, and we hang out all night long. I really miss the new year in China with my entire family and my friends. People play with fireworks in China after the big dinner on the February first, in our special calendar. We have lots of different holidays on this calendar. In America it is more about Christmas and Halloween. I think I’m lucky at some points. It’s beneficial to speak two languages, because I met people from the other side of the world and I studied a different culture. I like it here a lot, but I also miss China. ♦ PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE

The Tam News — December 2017





he Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” has company. You won’t find him climbing the world’s tallest mountain, or wrestling crocodiles in the Nile. He resides in the corner of the Tam library’s back room, perched behind an awkwardly tall desk, making only his head visible to the seated students inhabiting the library. Most assume Hans Goto has spent decades in the library. This assumption, however, could not be further from the truth. Goto’s story begins before his birth. His family was forced into Japanese internment camps during World War Two, where his older sister was born. “I came along after the camp,” Goto


said. “I won’t tell you how long after,” he continued, flashing his signature friendly grin. Although both his parents were Japanese immigrants, Goto spent his entire childhood in Los Angeles. While growing up, he didn’t think his Japanese heritage would define his adult life and professional career, until he traveled to Japan in 1973 to study the ancient martial art of aikido. “I was fascinated with the art of aikido during my teenage years,” Goto said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the aikido club at UC Santa Cruz from 1969-72, but this was minimal exposure, and I was hungry for more.” Following his 1972 graduation, Goto began to work to save money to travel to Japan and be immersed in the culture, specifically aikido. He worked tirelessly at two jobs in order to pay for a plane ticket to Tokyo. Once he arrived, he enrolled in a three-month intensive aikido course with a very respected teacher. “I was introduced to the class by a close friend, he warned me of the rigors of an ad-

December 2017 — The Tam News

vanced aikido class, but I was so determined I couldn’t be deterred,” Goto said. While the next three months were arduous, they were also the most formative of his life. When the course was finished, Goto’s passion for Aikido was just beginning. “All the other members of the class left, including my friend,” he said. “I was granted live-in student status by the teacher, who had taken a liking to me during the normal course. Little did I know that the title of live-in student described more of a position of a homeless slave,” Goto said. Over the following months, he adopted the aikido lifestyle, becoming the right hand man of his instructor. “It was mentally and physically grueling, but such a valuable experience. It shaped me and still has lasting effects on how I view the world and interact with others today,” Goto said. Goto returned to America a new man, wise beyond his years. Becoming the multi faceted inspiration he is today stems from a long list of unique endeavors the aikido connoisseur experienced before settling in Southern Marin. As he started the new chapter in his life, he worked as a jeweler at the famous Gump’s Jewelry and Home Decor on Post Street during what he liked to call, the “Golden Age of San Francisco.” “If you were walking down the street holding that pink Gump’s bag, you were somebody, and everyone knew it,” said Carol Craft, the Tam budget secretary and long-time friend of Goto. Goto concurred, and continued to explain how he navigated the world of jewels. Like every other part of life he experienced, Goto was able to take away valuable lessons from his tenure in retail, “I was taught how to trade and work as a merchant as well as a salesman while at Gump’s, which is a very real world skill,” he said. “I also had to learn how to gift wrap without using any tape!” Goto’s career in education commenced following his tenure at Gump’s. He has served the high schoolers of Marin County for 20 years, culminating in his time in the Tam library. “I’ve been at Tam for six years,” Goto said. “I took over in the library and fell in love with the atmosphere and the students.” Education is the one field in which Goto has led multiple careers, although he held a much different position at Drake High School prior to Tam. “I worked in food service at Drake, serving those meals that everyone loves so much,” he said with a wink. “I would always present ideas for exciting new nu-

Lifestyles tritional dishes to the board, but they would turn them down every time. They claimed the food couldn’t be served due to uncertain calorie count.” Efforts like this are a testament to Goto’s passion he has for his job and unwavering care for his students and colleagues. “I don’t know if I’ve ever worked with anyone like Hans,” Craft said. “His experiences have shaped him into the kind, compassionate man he is today. He’s wise beyond his years.” Craft paused and grinned ,

then added, “And that’s a lot of years.” Goto’s ability to connect with every demographic of Tam’s unique student body is a product of his own diverse professional history. “I’ve been through so much and done so many different things, I believe this allows me to be more empathetic to all students and situations,” he said. This is a valuable trait, according to social studies teacher Nathan Bernstein. “I have a tremendous amount of re-

spect for Mr. Goto both as a co-worker and as a person,” Bernstein said. “As a young teacher, I try to emulate the knowledge and teachings of those who have more experience than myself, and who better to look up to than Goto?” The fall semester of the 2017-18 school year will be Goto’s last. He embarks on a retirement he promises will be, in contrast to his adult life, relaxing and predictable. Although his time directly impacting students will end, many Tam students have formed a strong bond with Goto that will stick with them for the duration of their academic lives. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the library over the last few years, and Goto and I have become close,” Senior Amal Hayat said. “He’s a special individual in that he gives so much without expecting anything in return.” As he looks back on his time at Tam, Goto is glad he has been able to positively influence students through his authentic life experience. “I’ve gone through trials and tribulations in life just like everyone else,” Goto said with a smile. “Being surrounded by students has been incredibly rewarding for me. I’m just happy I could help.” ♦

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The Tam News — December 2017



50% Snap This



by Lola Leuterio and Emily Spears


t’s 11 p.m. on a Saturday night. A Tam student is throwing up on the bathroom floor at a party, unaware that cameras are rolling. The student, who requested anonymity, described how it felt to wake up to that video on Snapchat. “There’s a video of me throwing up and people bring it up and just continue to show it. It’s just going to be out there forever. It [wouldn’t have been as traumatic] if there wasn’t video evidence of me throwing up and having everyone keep watching it over and over,” they said. This student is not alone in their experience. “Partying is definitely brought up amongst the students I see every day …. I’ve spoken with students one on one who come to see me after a weekend and they are upset and scared because they know that they did something that they wish they didn’t do and someone captured it,” counselor Brian Napolitano said. Scrolling through Snapchat on most weekend nights, it’s easy to get the impression that everyone is out partying and having the time of their lives. Poorly lit drunken selfies and videos of people dancing with their friends and shotgunning beers run rampant on Snapchat — as do videos of people throwing up, hooking up, or starting fights. Some nights, it might be


you who is caught on camera during a regrettable hookup, one shot too deep. Or maybe you’re home with your dog watching Netflix, feeling slightly embarrassed for your peers as you check social media, either feeling a little left out, or thankful you aren’t there. Social media has changed the high school experience dramatically. Still, according to Napolitano, some things never change. “Unfortunately, in high school, I think people like drama a little bit and they find it, and not because people are mean-spirited, or because they want to be jerks, just because it’s part of the culture,” he said. Tam may have always had this element to it, but the extent to which its presence has been exacerbated by the population’s widespread use of social media is a new and less-explored issue. So: how is social media affecting student behavior at parties — drug and alcohol consumption, reckless or embarrassing behavior, potential longterm consequences? And for those on the other side of the screen, scrolling rather than posting, what are the psychological effects of the images they are seeing? According to a 2015 Pew survey, 94 percent of teens with a mobile device go on social media platforms daily. A 2011 survey from the National

December 2017 — The Tam News

Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASAColumbia) found that teenagers who use social media daily are five times as likely to use tobacco, three times as likely to use alcohol, and twice as likely to use marijuana, perhaps because those teenagers are exposed to pictures of their peers under the influence. If increased rates of substance abuse are the result, students said, they were almost certainly not the intent. “People use Snapchat at parties to show that they’re cool and that they have stuff to do,” sophomore Isabelle Clifford said. “If you want to show off, you’re gonna post videos of the parties, your friends, and you.” But that momentary documentation can have lasting consequences. At the epicenter of the issue are the parties themselves. A student who asked to remain anonymous and will be referred to as Cameron described his experience with Tam parties. “You walk in the house, usually holding alcohol … and you’re kind of sitting there … thinking, ‘Huh, I wonder how many people are gonna show up.’ The house is usually really nice and you kinda feel bad for the kid who’s throwing this party because Tam kids are notoriously rambunctious,” Cameron said. “You go in, say hi to everybody, and you’ll start drinking and/or smoking …. The




In a 298 person survey, 50.5 percent of Tam students who use social media reported feeling left out or excluded after seeing images of their peers at parties.



Photos by Ethan Swope

vibes start to heat up and more people come and everyone gets more excited. You start drinking some more, then usually about 45 minutes after you get there, that’s kind of like the heart of the party, at around 9:45 to 10. It starts to actually get going because everybody knows, people start coming …. Then everybody starts dancing, people get too drunk. There’s always at least one person throwing up, totally blacked, or having some problem — they get too inebriated.” Many students interviewed agreed that self-destructive behaviors at Tam parties are worsened by the presence of social me-

dia, mostly in terms of how many people show up, the amount of drugs and alcohol consumed, and their motives behind attending parties or acting a certain way. “The vibe definitely changes [with social media involved]: everybody at the party is taking Snapchats and they want people to know they’re at the party. [It’s] like their sole purpose isn’t to go and have fun … some people are just on their phones the whole time, not socializing, and saying ‘get a Snapchat of this,’” Cameron said. Students also mentioned how certain party trends promoted through social media are picked up by Tam

The Tam News — December 2017



students. Cameron used the widely popular Instagram account “imshmacked” as an example of how people get exposed to party trends like shotgunning and slamming beers into their heads, explaining that these types of social media handles have sensationalized the activities that occur at parties. Cameron added, “Snapchat captures the best 10 seconds of the party, or the funniest 10 seconds of the party, so it makes it seem like this huge fun thing when often times it’s just a bunch of annoying people taking Snapchats and shotgunning beers.” Within parties, the presence of social media can impact students both emotionally and physically. One example, students said, is peer pressure, which with the advent of social media has become less obvious, if not less problematic. If a student is drinking out of a bottle of vodka and is being filmed, sophomore Emily Coleman said, “they will feel more pressure to go faster and drink more.” During or before a fight, social media can also escalate student behaviors. A student who requested anonymity and will be referred to as Riley explained how the presence of social media made him feel pressure to


December 2017 — The Tam News

engage in a fight at a party. “It was a pointless argument, but we were both drunk. The minute someone took out a phone and [said] ‘fight,’ you realize that you’re a b---- if you walk away,” he said. “[I’d have looked] un-masculine if I walked away from that so I felt inclined to be like ‘alright, I’ll beat the [crap] out of you’ because everyone’s watching, and everyone’s filming.” Boe Roberts, a Bay Area Community Resource (BACR) counselor and therapist at Tam, expressed that events like these are indicative of the general way the combination of phones and parties can affect students’ actions. “[There’s a lot of] attention seeking at parties, people feeling good about themselves in the moment when a lot of people are watching their stories. They feel cool, and they want to prove that to themselves,” she said. While it is normal for teenagers to look to their peers to decide how to act, the addition of social media to students’ everyday lives has provided a constant knowledge of what peers are doing — inevitably increasing this aspect of peer pressure. Napolitano elaborated on how this can play into into how people are led to make decisions they may regret the next morning. “If people are drinking or doing drugs, more people will want to participate,” he said It is evident that the constant presence of social media has changed the way we live our lives: on screen, off screen, with our family, and our friends at parties. But what often goes unnoticed is how it can impact students’ futures and their ability to succeed in school. It seems that what used to be a constant warning has recently become an insignificant detail: despite the fact that Snapchats can only last up to 24 hours, what’s put into cyberspace has the potential to stay there forever. But kids get sloppy; students admitted that they had saved photos or videos to Snapchat memories and then posted it to their private Instagram accounts. This dynamic occurs all the time, often without thought regarding how the material might affect others or themselves. When it comes to academic consequences, parents’ reminders about the permanency of the internet may ring true. “When I go to see college admissions officers speak, they talk a lot about kids online and what effect it can have,” Napolitano said. A 2017 survey by Kaplan Test Prep found that 40 percent of the 365 college admissions officers surveyed said they checked social media during the admissions process. Of those that checked, 42 per-


cent determined that examining a student’s social media presence typically had a negative impact on that student’s chances of admission. “If someone was under the influence [and they were filmed] they could get in a lot of trouble,” Roberts said. “It’s just making public behaviors that wouldn’t have come to the surface before [the integration of social media]. I think people are really afraid of what the long-term effects are going to be. That never used to be the case. For example, what’s that [Snapchat] going to mean when you’re 25 or 35? And how accessible is that? People don’t know what their futures are going to hold or what careers they’re going into, [or whether] that’s going to matter.” And the consequences of posting at parties can go beyond academics. According to both Napolitano and Roberts, the psychological effects are often more detrimental to students’ well-beings. The Tam News conducted a survey of 298 students in December of 2017 regarding the issues surrounding social media and parties. It found that 84.9 percent of students from all grades use Snapchat, 81.4

percent have seen pictures of parties on Snapchat, and of the students who have social media and have seen pictures of parties, over 50 percent have felt left out or excluded after seeing these images. “When I see other people post videos of themselves being drunk at parties, I feel left out and it makes me want to post pictures of me at parties too,” junior Savannah Malan said. Sophomore Devin Guinney felt similarly. “I definitely have [felt left out] from looking at pictures of parties on Snapchat,” he said. “I think that is probably why people post pictures of themselves at parties, to prove they do go to parties. [So do I], when I hang out with my friends, it’s kind of a way of saying, ‘hey, look at me!’” An anonymous freshman added, “[Seeing these images] makes me feel excluded and like I am missing out on something fun .... It makes me feel unwanted.” But if social media can make students wish they were at parties, it can also have the opposite effect. Some students said that the portrayals of parties on social media reaffirmed their opinion that they would rather not be included. “I’ve seen people very inebriated [on social media], on drugs or drinking, and I’d much rather feel like myself,” senior Jake Franco said. For those who do experience a fear of missing out — commonly referred to as FOMO — after seeing these images and videos, the sheer speed and intensity that is inherent in social media might be to blame. “I’ve seen a lot of anxiety when you have information [from social media] coming at you that fast and it’s hard to shut off, it causes a lot of anxiety … and I think it promotes the party culture,” Napolitano said. Roberts reinforced this sentiment, saying, “Snapchat is just a bigger platform [to promote yourself]. People in general want to feel cool and accepted and have a sense of belonging, and [feel like] they’re one with the community. That’s always existed, but social media has just taken that and exaggerated it.” The addition of Snapchat’s presence to parties not only allows students to display social experiences that make them feel relevant, it also draws a line between who is at parties and who is not. “What often comes up for me as a therapist is a lot of people feeling like they are missing out,” Roberts said. “So when you’re posting things on social media, whoever’s not at the parties is aware that they’re

The Tam News — December 2017



not at the party in this way that didn’t exist before Snapchat stories. That has a huge impact on people.” Sophomore Talia Beyer reiterated this idea: “If people aren’t invited, it can definitely cause them to get jealous, especially when they see it on Snapchat.” This issue can be explored by considering the different sources of FOMO in students. “When it comes to feeling left out, [I see] a lot of internalizing of feeling not good enough,” Roberts said. “I think [the origins of FOMO] are different for every person, it stems a lot from their families, who they are as an individual, and their community. But in general, the fear of missing out [comes from] the underlying fear that you might not be good enough, that you might not make it in the world.” Roberts emphasized how important it is for students to not blame themselves, pointing out that this is a widespread feeling brought upon by the increasing development of social media. “[This is evident] especially as a young person that hasn’t had enough time as an independent person to feel like they are good enough. It’s a big world out there and there are other opportunities to expand other parts of your personality. And so when you don’t feel good enough because you didn’t go to a party [your perspective] is more limited.” Both Napolitano and Roberts echoed the sentiment that, when exposed to what your peers are doing at all times, it is natural to feel left out. The key is being able to recognize that feeling without acting destructively. Maybe that means catching yourself as you take a Snapchat of a party and asking yourself why everyone needs to see this picture or video. Maybe that means just putting down your phone.


December 2017 — The Tam News


EDITORIAL: Ending the STEM Supremacy M

ost writing is bad. Anyone who’s suffered through the dreaded peer editing session or seen the anguish on the face of an English teacher facing a tall stack of papers to grade knows this. Yet many people continue to think of the humanities, disciplines founded on writing, as easier than math and science. It’s pointless, at the end of the day, to rank subjects by the effort they require. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and what’s easy to one person may seem impossible to another. But too often, we do rank subjects, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects are consistently at the top of the list. The implication is that, because more people will get an A in an English or history class, the skills learned there are less valuable. This has led to an increasing focus away from humanities in the classroom, even as many students—and adults— struggle with basic writing and reading.

This is especially true in California, where approximately 20 percent of residents lack basic literacy skills, according the National Center for Education Statistics. In December, student advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that its educational system fails to address poor literacy rates and exacerbating the achievement gap. “Public education was intended as the ‘great equalizer’ in our democracy, enabling all children opportunity to pursue their dreams and better their circumstances. But in California it has become the ‘great unequalizer,’” Mark Rosenbaum, an attorney on the case, said. “Although denial of literacy is the great American tragedy, California is single handedly dragging down the nation despite the hard work and commitment of students, families and teachers.” Considering the political upheaval of the last year, the humanities should emphasized more than ever. As fake news

Crackin’ and Slackin’

and punditry become dominant features of the media landscape, critical thinking skills and a working knowledge of civics and rhetoric grow in value. Yet Americans have proven themselves to have low media literacy, and are easily swayed by propaganda and conspiracy theories. Despite the relevance of these subjects, students who view writing heavy disciplines as fuzzy and less valuable than the cool objectivity of math and science classes. Students voicing this belief are often smart and capable. Humanities classes would benefit from them, and, perhaps more importantly, they would benefit from humanities classes. Perhaps counterintuitively, an overemphasis on celebrating STEM “genius” can intimidate those not confident in their skills from taking risks in science and math. For example, we tend to describe students as either “math people” or “not math people,” encouraging them to think that even small failures in the discipline mean they’re not cut out for it. By mythologizing some forms of intelligence over other, we risk losing young people who feel inadequate or unwelcome At the same time, many face undue pressure to focus on science and math fields. As we choose which classes to take and look towards college, we are surrounded by the message that careers in STEM are the only viable option because they presumably pay better and are more employable. However, the value of an education extends beyond preparation for a career, and while the skills gained in writing and reading centric classes are sometimes intangible and harder to quantify, that does not negate them. The United States’ public education system exists in large part to prepare students to be diligent and effective citizens, and the functioning of democracy itself depends on the success of that mission. The critical thinking and contextual knowledge gained in from a strong foundation of humanities and social sciences. Tam provides far more opportunities for STEM learning students, including a wider variety of electives and APs. In the mad rush to prioritize and pour resources into STEM education, we run the risk of leaving the humanities behind, a choice that hurts all students, be they die hard mathletes, poets, or something in between. ♦

The Tam News — December 2017


Smartphones: Who needs people? by Milo Levine


y favorite thing in the world is coming home after a rough day at school and talking to my dad about all of my problems. “Dad, I’m really depressed, and I could use some advice, because life has got me down right now,” I say. “My GPA is so awful that it’s actually a negative number, I’m addicted to crack, and I accidentally ran over the neighbor’s dog like five minutes ago.” I look across the room at my dad, who is sitting at his desk with his head down, in what I assume is thoughtful contemplation of how he can guide me. A moment passes. Then a minute. Then two minutes. Finally, I can’t wait any longer, and I just need his help. “Dad,” I say again. After another few seconds, he replies, “Oh hey Milo, wait one sec, I’m just upgrading my SimCity highway right now. It’s super important.” It immediately became clear that my dad wasn’t going to be useful at all, so I went to the living room, to talk with my mom. “Mom, I have a suspicious rash all over my body, ISIS has reached out to me personally online, and grandma told me that I’m not her favorite or even second favorite grand kid,” I say. “Hold on Milo, I’m figuring out how to use Snapchat so I can become friends with your sisters. I think it’ll really bring the family closer.” So on I went to my friends, because I knew I could always

count on them. “Guys, I think I’m developing a gluten intolerance, my teacher said she wants to beat me up after school tomorrow, and I’ve been hallucinating with a fair amount of regularity,” I tell them. “Hey Milo–check this out,” they reply, gesturing to their phones, completely ignoring everything that I had just said. “It’s a picture we just took of you, but we drew enlarged male genitalia on your face. Isn’t that hilarious?” It was hilarious, but I still couldn’t find anyone to help me with my problems. I was feeling pretty dejected, until I realized that I control my own destiny. I could’ve done nothing, and wallowed in misery until I withered away, but I decided to embrace the real world, without being bogged down by invasive technology. I woke up real early, leaped out of bed, brushed my teeth with overwhelming enthusiasm, and had a nutritious gluten-free breakfast. The sun rose up over the horizon, sprinkling a beautiful red-orange across the valley, and I went to the window to gaze and take it all in. The quails started chirping, a high pitched gleeful harmony, and a rush of euphoria overcame me. The music of the birds reminded me that I still have Flappy Bird on my iPhone 5s, so I plopped down on the couch, and spent the next 14 hours breaking my old record. It was the best day of my life. ♦ GRAPHIC BY FRANCESCA SHEARER

Heard in the Tam Hallways by the Opinion Staff


“I have an emotional drive not a sex drive.” -Wood Hall

December 2017 — The Tam News

“If they sold yerba mate at costco i would save so much money.” -Student Center

“If you eat oatmeal you’re going to hell.” -math building


meal to



hat do you envision as the first face you see walking into a restaurant? If you’re like me, the image you’ve conjured up probably resembles a pretty young woman, ready to sweep up some menus and click-clack her heels to your desired table. Hostesses set the tone for the restaurant experience; we’re the first face you see when you walk in the door, and the last you see on your way out. While it might seem like hostesses only have to deal with seating tables, and phone-calls, hostesses have to put up with a lot more. Contrary to what some may believe, sexism is alive and well, and it’s something prevalent when working in a restaurant as a young woman. Hostessing in a restaurant has become a popular job option amongst female students. You get to dress up, smile, and wave at elderly women and rambunctious families as they enter and exit the restaurant. All you have to do is seat tables and look pretty! Just kidding. I’ve only been working as a hostess for about a month, but the job has proven to be much more stressful than it appears. People, especially elitist Marin residents, are impatient and insistent. They want to be seated immediately, and on a busy Friday night, it’s not always possible to give them their “favorite table in the back by the fire.” Some will slip you a ten dollar bill and a wink. Others will throw a tantrum fit as if they were their 5-year-old son. None of these actions make you feel as though you, your job, or any of your hard work amount to much of anything. “It’s really easy for customers to make you feel awful, but sometimes they think they’re actually doing you a favor or paying you a compliment when they’re actually making you feel taken advantage of,” said junior Celeste Moore, who has worked as a hostess for the past two years. Many high school hostesses in Mill Valley have received unwanted attention while working, often with sexual undertones. “A lot of old guys... [who are] re-

“I have a non-alcoholic hangover.” -Arches

by Emily Spears ally drunk, really loud, come over to the hostess stand, make comments about my appearance, tell me that I’m beautiful.... There are a lot of people who are belligerent, and it makes you uncomfortable, you don’t know how to respond,” Moore said. The idea that hostesses have the job of portraying the “face” of a restaurant can easily lead customers to fall into the misconception that they are nothing more than that. “I would be walking a family to a table. Some drunk guy would come up to me, and would ask me for my number, or ask me how old I was. It puts everyone in an uncomfortable position, especially to the person it’s directed towards. It makes you kind of feel victimized, especially in your place of work,” said Moore. By treating hostesses and waitresses as women to hit on or flirt with, customers imply that we are there for only that purpose. Customers have also given hostesses critiques on what they’re wearing, sometimes deeming certain looks “inappropriate. “A friend of my dad’s came in, sat at the bar, we made small talk for a bit...” Moore said. “When I got home my dad told me his friend had told him that I was dressed inappropriately for work, and that I shouldn’t be wearing that. I hate it when people, especially men, who have no right to tell me what to wear in my workplace, tell me what to wear or that what I’m wearing is inappropriate.” The audacity that leads some men to believe they can make these comments reveals a deeply-rooted underlying message about the way many people generally perceive women in the workplace as subordinate. On occasion, this perspective reflects the restaurant staff as well. While the majority of the time, bosses and staff are respectful and supportive, there are times when the women are critiqued or subject to harassment from their coworkers. “Recently one of our waiters was fired because he would touch some of the hostesses inappropriately, and grab our hips

“They’re hooking up, but platonically.”


while walking by,” Moore said. When the staff of a restaurant proceeds to sexualize women staff, it sends a message that it is okay for customers to do the same. Fortunately, explicit actions such as the one Moore described are often cracked down upon more quickly. However, sometimes that same message is sent in more subtle ways. For example, many have noticed that women hired as hostesses in restaurants tend to be those considered physically attractive. Junior Natalie Towle said, “I’m constantly more judged on my physical appearance than my actual ability to do my job. My managers have told me that I need to wear more makeup, or that I should dress ‘like I’m going on a date.’” “I think that women in the restaurant business are almost looked down upon,” Moore said. “They’re not treated the same way as women in other fields. Once you actually start working in the restaurant business, meeting people, hearing their stories, forming connections, you realize how much work actually goes into it… People don’t know any of this, there is just a lack of respect.” Women go to work to do their job and to make money. Hostesses are not standing by the door, smiling at people as they walk in, just so that customers can comment on their appearance or ask for their number. And when we force a “thank you” to a drunken man’s belligerent “compliment” that doesn’t mean we asked for it. “Especially because I’m young, it always feels condescending when guys come up from the bar and talk to me and crack comments to make me laugh…. because it’s weird and it’s not normal.” Moore said. She’s right. This kind of behavior should not be normalized. Unfortunately, many in our society deem it acceptable to grab a woman by her hips while she’s trying to do her job. This mentality is toxic, and it needs to end. ♦

“if I don’t know you to the bone, I’m not giving you the bone.” -Keyser Landing The Tam News — December 2017



Making a Case for Midnight by Fergus Campbell


hen I was ten years old and deeply invested in the Harry Potter films, I attended a screening of Deathly Hallows Part 1 with friends at 12:01 a.m., the morning of its official release. Yes, red carpet premieres had already taken place and an international rollout meant that thousands witnessed the penultimate chapter of the Boy Who Lived hours or days before. But it excited me to feel like I was among the first people to see the film. At Century Cinema in Corte Madera, eager fans stood dressed head to toe in robes and Gryffindor sweaters. They held wands, cast spells, clutched Marauder’s Maps. My own group’s evening ritual had consisted of an extravagant themed feast: shepherd’s pie, pumpkin juice, and Treacle tart. The line to enter the theater snaked around the building twice. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were introduced separately at the beginning of the film, and each of them received rounds of applause from the audience—these hollers and screams proved as integral to the picture as its own sounds. At school the next day, even the teacher took interest in my midnight experience. When Deathly Hallows – Part 2 debuted, I returned to Corte Madera and left in the wee hours of the morning. My Hunger Games fandom, though never as intense as with Potter, drew the same friends and me to the first film’s midnight arrival a year later, where


fervor and anticipation sent plastic arrows flying across aisles. Then, in November of 2013, I checked on showtimes for the sequel, and was surprised to see that the first available was not at midnight, but 7:00 on the Thursday preceding it. Cinemark theaters had extended screenings back five hours, and in some cases, filled in 9:30, 10:15 and 11:00 before an eventual midnight run. Century Cinema did not include midnight at all. My friends and I ended up driving half an hour to a theater playing the movie when we wanted to see it—we were not going to change our tradition just because we had different options available to us. The place we found was one of those which included four shows before midnight, so by the time we reached our seats, secured our popcorn and started watching the previews, we realized only two other groups accompanied us below the screen. Now while I undoubtedly felt thrilled by Quarter Quells and rebellion, the atmosphere brought by fans in years previous had disappeared, and Catching Fire was just a movie. To be clear, I’m aware of the conventions and events that die hard fans of any blockbuster franchise can take part in. Seeing a film at midnight is not the only way to express obsession with your favorite novel or character. But nights at Century Cinema attracted


a certain type of devotee: a normal person who was also genuinely excited by the content and meaning in the books on which these immensely popular films were based. Condescension didn’t exist; no snobby preteens could be heard demanding of others the name of the Quidditch team that Cho Chang supports. (That’s what I imagine of any so-called Potter-con, and I’m certain it’s accurate.) I have tried to figure out why Hollywood would do away with these screenings, but a rational explanation doesn’t exist. In addition to their destruction of the integrity of fan gatherings, 7:00 showtimes essentially rob a film of its claim to an opening; no, Captain America: Civil War cannot sensibly declare its release date to be Friday, May 6, if it’s viewable the day before. There’s also little proof for the argument that earlier openings pad box office grosses. Until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Harry’s final outing topped all pre-show grosses—midnight or otherwise—by a large margin. An astounding $45 million came from just those 12:01 tickets, equaling the entire first weekend of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (itself considered a solid success). Would Force Awakens have still locked up a $57 million Thursday haul if Disney had limited screenings to midnight? You can bet on it. The same people who stake out spots that early will come regardless of a time shift. Plus, weekend grosses before the implementation of Thursday shows in the early 2010’s are now distorted because they don’t factor in an extra twelve hours of cash flow; Force Awakens claims to have the largest threeday launch of all time, even though it really made that money in four days. So can I please have my strictly midnight experience back? I admit that I can’t currently find a series worth obsessing over (Star Wars is too universal, D.C. is colorless boilerplate trash), but when I do, I want to be transported again. I want to hear spells chanted and Hedwig’s theme sung like an anthem once more. The film industry is changing, I know, and so far, there have been no backward steps to speak of. Maybe this can be the exception. It’s the Tutshill Tornadoes that Cho Chang loves, by the way. ♦ GRAPHIC BY FRANCESCA SHEARER


December 2017 — The Tam News


Where is t h g i N y a d i r F ? s t h g Li Ca by


ll mi

ar ow


Graphic by Francesca Shearer


y old high school, Petaluma’s Casa Grande, is nowhere near as beautiful as Tam’s campus or as excellent as Tam academically. However, the one thing the Gauchos excel at is football. Gatorade even sponsors the impressive program. Casa Grande revolves around football culture, this is largely due to the games being played on Friday nights, under the lights. Everyone – parents, teens, children – attend the production that is Friday Night Lights. The hum of the crowd is confidenceboosting for the players as they stomp their feet on the gargantuan bleachers, hold “Go Gauchos!” signs, and wave pompoms in the air. It is a social event for everyone: teens socializing safely outside of school, parents talking amongst each other, kids playing under the bleachers… the bleachers at Tam aren’t even high enough to crawl under. The house I moved to in Mill Valley has a bird’s-eye view of the Tam football field. On my first Saturday afternoon of living in my new home, I looked out my bedroom window and noticed the football team practicing. Suddenly, I heard a beautiful voice singing the national anthem. I realized this was no practice, but perhaps a game. My attention was drawn toward what I thought to be this exceptionally well-planned field. The missing components began to re-

veal themselves one by one. Where were the visitor’s bleachers? Why were the home bleachers out of proportion to the rest of the field? Where was the marching band? Could you really see the scores on that tiny scoreboard? Why weren’t there stadium lights? How could you have Friday Night Lights on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon? I knew all of these burning questions could be answered by my government teacher and Tam’s head football coach, Matthew LemMon.

According to LemMon, Friday Night Lights is absent from Tam due to complaints made by the neighbors bordering Tam. Perhaps they should have thought about this before moving to a high school that was founded in 1908. If the neighbors of Casa Grande complained about high school football lights, they would’ve been told to take a lap. LemMon says the stadium lighting is just a convenient excuse for the neighbors. “We don’t have lights not because it’s loud, not because of light pollution, but because we would have to hire security on Friday nights, taking the police away from their jobs,” he said. Around October, I noticed that there were portable stadium lights for whatever sports team was running around the field. Upon seeing this, I realized the lights truly were not the real issue, but Coach LemMon’s theory was correct. Although the lights are used as an excuse, Friday Night Lights do not have a place at Tam because of the trouble Mill Valleyans think kids will cause. The Mill Valley a-listers are too concerned the police will not be able to guard their mansions while they are on vacation because of nightly football games. ♦

The Tam News — December 2017



Just for the Halibut by Adam Tolson

the fish in ice, I do maintenance on the boat with the captain when it’s needed, and that includes cleaning and oil changes and everything of that sort.” Norton began fishing when he was four years old, working on the boat during summers, and occasional weekends of the school year six years ago. “My friend used to work for my current boss, and I went fishing with them, and then my friend moved away and I took over the job,” he said. NorWillie Norton drives his boat out for ton works for Jeremy Dierks, one of the last individual commercial fishermen in a day on the water. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILLIE NORTON Bolinas. “I catch fish for him, and then he sells at either local markets or distribuot many people can say that their job is also their favorite activity, espe- tors in San Francisco, at a fish warehouse cially high school students. There are many called Ports Seafood,” Norton said. Norton fishes both for leisure and in hostesses, busboys, baristas, and sales emcompetitions. “My best moment was probployees, but senior Willie Norton is getting ably three years ago in the Bolinas Fishpaid to do what he loves. Norton has spent the past six summers ing Derby. I caught a 28-pound salmon in as a deckhand on a fishing boat in Bolinas. the last 10 minutes of the Derby and won “I commercial fish for salmon, halibut, overall biggest fish,” said Norton, a regular and tuna occasionally, and I pretty much do at the Bolinas Annual Rod and Boat Club everything [on the boat],” Norton said. “I Fishing Derby. “In 2013 I won first overrig bait, I reel fish in, I clean the fish, I store all, and then in 2014 I won first place in


my division, which was teens. And then the year after that, I won third place in my division.” A day on the job can vary in hours, but is always a big commitment. “Sometimes we go out there for four hours, sometimes we go out from 5:30 to 9 [am],” he said. Despite all of the time spent on the boat as a worker, Norton still finds time to fish on his own time, and makes use of what he catches. “I fish because it’s fun... And I bring food to my family. I eat most of the fish that I catch, because when I’m fishing on my own boat, I can’t sell it. So I have to keep all of that fish to myself.” No matter the commitment, whether it’s in a competition, commercially, or just for fun, fishing is always worth it to Norton. “The moment of catching the fish is the best. It’s hard to describe, but it’s just the craziest rush ever,” he said. “You’re battling it until it’s in the boat, and that’s the only time that you know you have it. It can be on the edge and be fighting for its life on the side of the boat and then it can come off and swim away. So you never know.” ♦

Winter Sports Season Previews “We have some major gaps to fill for sure. Losing three all-league guards isn’t easy, but I’m confident in our abilities. Our senior leadership will play a huge role, it’s going to come down to who will step up into the vacated guard roles.” - Girl’s basketball coach Michael Evans “We have a young team, a lot of new players, some freshmen, some players that have moved up from JV, so we’re looking

to just build as the season goes along and get ourselves in the playoffs and see what happens when we get there. We feel pretty good about our group.” - Girls’ soccer coach Shane Kennedy “It sounds cliche, but I think my goal is to get the best out of what we have... I just think our goal everyday is to continue to evolve and continue to get better as a group.” - Wrestling coach Preston Picus


5-1-1 20

Girl’s soccer overall record as of December 9.

December 2017 — The Tam News


“We’ve got a great senior class, six guys who put in a lot of work... I think that we’re one of the best teams in the MCALs, and if we can put it together we could be MCAL champions this year.” - Boys’ soccer coach Spencer Stanton “Build on last year, [where we reached the NCS Division II championship game] that’s the key. Take all the almosts and let last year’s pain motivate us.” - Boys’ basketball coach Tim Morgan


Place of boys’ basketball in the Pleasant Valley McDonald’s Winters Classic in Chico on December 7-9.

Trials and Trail-bulations


am’s cross-country team is one to be reckoned with. It trains six days a week during the season and finishes consistently among the top MCAL teams. The boys’ team, led by senior captains Nick Wong and Ronan Cain, placed fourth in MCALs. “We had lost three seniors last season, so at the beginning of the season I was apprehensive of how we would perform as a team,” Cain said. “However, I was really pleasantly surprised to see athletes who previously weren’t as serious begin to perform on a higher level, and we had good additions from new students and some sprinters who had never run distance.” In the end, the team wasn’t as successful as it hoped.“One of our hardest times as a team was after NCS and realizing we wouldn’t be moving on to state, missing the cutoff as a team by one place,” said Cain. “NCS was hard because we performed well as a team, but we were up against really stiff competition and some of us didn’t have the races we had hoped for.” However, the team still placed 5th in NCS. Sophomore Paul Law placed 8th at NCS, which qualified him for CIF state championships, where he placed 146. The girls’ team, led by senior captain Lauren Tanel, placed 3rd in MCALs. “I wasn’t sure what to expect for the girls’ team this season,” senior Colette Bartschat said. “The class of 2017 had made up most of the varsity team for every year that I had been on cross country. We lost most of our fastest runners this season, so I think a lot of us were not sure if our team would be able to live up to what our team had been in the past.” However, it seems the girls did live up to expectations. In their first meet against Redwood, who has been their chief competition in recent years, winning MCALs for


By Emma Schultz

The 2017 Cross Country squad is a tight knit group. PHOTOS COURTESY OF COLETTE BARTSCHAT AND RONAN CAIN

the past three years, the Hawks unexpectedly came out on top. “We were all really happy and excited for how the rest of the season would turn out after beating our biggest competition,” Bartshcat said. The team went undefeated in the regular season. Despite its success, on the day of the league championship, the team had an offday. “Some of us ran really great races, but some of us had an off day, and unfortunately we did not win like we were hoping for,” Bartschat said. But even though it didn’t win MCALs, placed 3rd in MCALs,

and 9th in NCS. Junior Kelsey Van Allen placed 17th in NCS, which was one spot away from qualifying for state. The cross county community is an extremely close knit one. According to Wong, the best part of their season as a team was that “we really just became one unit and super close,” which really helped their training and racing. Cain agreed. “[I] had a lot of positive moments personally with the boys team because we were really cohesive and got along really well,” he said. ♦

Check the Tam News online ( for more sports coverage.


Number of points senior Jack Duboff scored against Chico in boys’ basketball’s win on December 8 in the same tournament.


Number of players from the girls’ tennis team recieved MCAL All-League Honors.

The Tam News — December 2017



I Can’t. I Have Gymnastics.


by Sophia Krivoruchko

our hours of gymnastics a day “isn’t a big deal” to junior gymnast Nicole Leary. This is her second year training at Novato Gymnastics after transferring from Gymworld Gymnastics in San Rafael, where she began gymnastics at four years old. “I had been thinking about switching to Novato for about five years,” Leary said. “It never seemed like the right time but after my last season [at San Rafael] when I was a sophomore, I realized the equipment wasn’t that good and most of my coaches left, so it seemed like the right time.” She is a level nine gymnast, training to be a level ten, which qualifies as college level gymnastics. Leary’s average school week differs from that of other student athletes. Four days a week she comes home right after school to prepare for gymnastics practice. “I leave my house at 3:45 and drive up to gymnastics in Novato which starts at 4:30. It ends at 8:30 and I get home at 9:05 and do my homework until whenever it’s finished.” Leary practices a total of five days a week, including weekends, when she sometimes competes at meets. “People think its nerve racking going into a test, but competing is twenty times worse and much more stressful. Everyone is looking at you and you can’t mess up. They expect you to be absolutely perfect. Perfect handstands, perfect form, perfect everything,” she said.


Leary finds that time management is an important part of being a gymnast, “The hardest thing is mentally being able to do gymnastics and getting yourself to do skills but also finding a balance between school, friends and gym so you’re not just all gym-

mate, competed with Leary at Gymworld for 11 years. “Our relationship was very competitive and once I would get a skill, she would always want to get the same skill and vice versa,” Ross said of Leary.

nastics or school,” she said. Leary cannot imagine her life without gymnastics, but, she does not plan on continuing her sport beyond high school. Leary understands that participating in collegiate gymnastics requires even more time commitment than her current five-day-a-week practice schedule. “I would consider doing club [gymnastics] in college but not NCAA, especially because my whole college experience would be gymnastics and my whole life has been gymnastics,” she said. Junior Lauren Ross, a former team-

The two have trained together since they were four years old. For 11 years, they pushed each other during every practice to be better gymnasts. “We were always the dynamic duo in gymnastics and once I left, she took the opportunity to make it her thing and has developed as a gymnast and gotten crazy skills,” Ross said. Even though it takes a mental and physical toll on her, Leary perseveres through the grueling and time consuming season each year. “Although gymnastics is a team sport, it is also very individual and you learn so much about yourself. It taught me commitment, responsibility, self-discipline and work ethic,” she said. “In gymnastics, you can reflect on yourself when going through the best and worst times. You see yourself in your moments but you also see yourself at your worst.” ♦

December 2017 — The Tam News


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December 2017 — The Tam News

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