Tam News June Issue

Page 1

JUNE 2018

The Tam News — June 2018


June 2018




Pedal to the Medal by Samantha Ferro

The Tam Mountain Bike team waits to begin their race in the Norcal Division.

04 news Nygaard Steps Down as Golf Coach by Benjy Wall-Feng with additional reporting by Emlen Janetos Class Council Officers Announced by Skye Schoenhoeft

05 news

Sustainability Conference by Emily Spears Prom Has Record Sales by Elissa Asch Mayor Holds Tam Forum by Lola Leuterio Sausalito Continues Waterfront Cleanup by Calvin Rosevear

06 news

Students Win Rube Goldberg Competition by Hana Curphey

07 features Chasing the Dragon by Griffin Chen

June 2018 — The Tam News

10 features

Don’t Tell Me That Everything Happens For a Reason by Kara Kneafsey

14 lifestyles

Senior Class President: Jayjuan Radford by Sophia Krivoruchko

15 lifestyles

Reaching Out With Robotics by Tessa Flynn

16 lifestyles

13 Reasons Why (Or Why Not) by Ravi Joshi-Wander

17 op/ed

Editorial: by the Staff Crackin’ and Slackin’ by the Opinion Staff


Microaggressions: Not So Small After All by Niulan Wright

19 op/ed

How to Find a Mate: A Dating Guide by John Overton

20 sports

Haight Wins Coach of the Year by Miles Rubens

21 sports Pedal to the Medal by Samantha Ferro

22 sports

Roddy and Marks Serve Up NCS Banner by Jacob Swergold


Dear Reader,

It goes without saying that every student at Tam struggles with adversity, and is uniquely shaped by their own triumphs and tribulations. It’s important that we be mindful of the challenges that our peers face, in order to better support each other, as a small community. In this spirit, our two features this month will detail the experiences of two Tam students, both of which highlight the extreme adversity that these students have encountered. “Chasing the Dragon,” by Griffin Chen, provides a raw look into the life of a student dealing with heroin addiction. Chen’s piece will shatter common misconceptions about addicts, as the student profiled by Chen may prove to be far more composed and self-aware than most of us would have assumed. Perhaps you will even be able to empathize with the student, more than you ever thought imaginable. However, in the eyes of many, he is just another junkie. Our second feature, “Don’t Tell Me Everything Happens For a Reason” by Kara Kneafsey, is a moving personal narrative about what it’s like to lose a loved one, and how people who have suffered great loss are impacted by the responses of others. Finally, our editorial “Tech in the Classroom” addresses the increasingly relevant topic of the role that electronics should play in our education. While new technology can be highly beneficial to the learning process, it also comes with drawbacks, and striking a balance between convenience and rigor Cover by: Ethan Swope, Kennedy Cook, Samantha Ferro & Logan Little is evermore important in the digital age.

Milo Levine EDITORS IN CHIEF: Lola Leuterio, Ava Finn, Kennedy

On the Cover: Kara Kneafsey explores how to best address the loss of loved ones.

Cook, & Milo Levine

GRAPHICS: Francesca Shearer & John Overton

NEWS: Kara Kneafsey, Lucas Rosevear, Ethan Swope, & Benjy Wall-Feng

COPY EDITORS: Aaron Young & Kara Kneafsey

LIFESTYLES: Leah Fullerton, Charlie Rosgen, & Emily

Logan Little


DESIGN: Kennedy Cook Emily Spears, Samantha Ferro, & BUSINESS TEAM: Aaron Young, Ian Duncanson, & Griffin

FEATURES: Ephets Head, Griffin Chen, Zoe Cowan, NuNu Wright


SOCIAL MEDIA: Max Goldberg & Logan Little

OPINION: John Overton, Skye Schoenhoeft, & Josie


PHOTOS: Zoe Cowan, Camille Shakirova, & Ethan Swope

SPORTS: Rocky Brown, Ian Duncanson, Samantha Ferro, & Aaron Young Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org

Volume XIII No. V June 2018 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1919

ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

REPORTERS: Nicole Agosta, Camila Alfonso, Hannah Alpert, Elissa Asch, Annika Astengo, Ava Aufdencamp, Alec Bakhshandeh, Michael Balistreri, Griffin Barry, Isabella Bauer, Alex Bires, Sophia Bruinsma, Lila Bullock, Hana Curphey, Jordan Engel, Tessa Flynn, Celia Francis, Abigail Frazee, Max Goldberg, Cassidy Holtzapple, Abigail James, Emlen Janetos, Charlotte Jones, Jamilah Karah, Elise Korngut, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jissell Kruse, Elan Levine, Logan Little, Josh Love, Johanna Meezan, Sebastian Meyer, Cal Mitchell, Amina Nakhuda, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, Dara Noonan, Yoav Paz-Priel, Luca Pelo, Cassandra Peterson, Collin Prell, Luke Rego, Darieus Rego, Madeline Reilly, Calvin Rosevear, 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, Joanne Spiegelman, Paisley Stocks, Jacob Swergold, Grace Tueros, Gisela Vicente Estrada, Maddie Wall, Daisy Wanger, Evan Wilch, Beckett Williams, & Maxwell Williams EDITORIAL BOARD: Maddie 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 — June 2018


News News

Nygaard Steps Down as Golf Coach by Benjy Wall-Feng with additional reporting by Emlen Janetos

P.E. teacher and former boys golf coach Dustin Nygaard holds his California Interscholastic Federation Model Coach Award. PHOTO BY BENJY WALL-FENG


.E. teacher Dustin Nygaard ended his tenure as boys golf coach following the conclusion of the spring 2018 season. “I just stepped down from the position, and I’m going to be an assistant coach

working with Shane [Kennedy] on the girls varsity soccer team next season,” Nygaard said. Nygaard coached the boys golf team for five years. In previous years he has

also coached boys varsity soccer, girls varsity soccer, and girls varsity golf, for eight, three, and one years respectively. In February of this year he was one of 13 high school coaches across California to receive the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Model Coach award, for “positive role modeling, leadership, and school community service,” according to the CIF website. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with so many great kids and it’s always nice to get that positive feedback,” Nygaard said. “[Nygaard receiving the award] shows that all of our coaches are on the same page in terms of philosophy around athletics and across sports,” athletic director Christina Amoroso said. “It means that our students are noticing good quality coaching because they are the ones writing these letters of support for their coaches to be nominated and then recognized.”♦

Class Council Officers Announced by Skye Schoenhoeft


lass council elections were held on May 16 to elect new class officers for the upcoming school year. The newly elected senior officers are president JayJuan Radford and vice president Ashley Clemens. Junior officers are vice president Lily Bowman, treasurer Kylie Frame, secretary Lauren Pyfer, and site council representative Sonia Saltsman. Sophomore officers are president Sophia Brooks, vice president Collet Kennedy, treasurer Quinn Rothwell, secretary Rachel Sulcner, and site council representative Chris Adams. Students campaigned for one week, hanging posters around school and using social media to promote their campaigns. Applications were open to all students. Un-


June 2018 — The Tam News

like the ASB elections there was no formal debate; rather, students were required to write a paragraph and then speak on Hawk Talk. ASB officers, who were elected previously, have a slightly different role than class council officers. “ASB officers supervise all the proceedings for the entire leadership class and student body like ASB budget and works with admin a lot,” sophomore and leadership student Grace Rodriguez said. “Class councils just focus on class specific things like fundraising for prom and doing events specific to each class. Senior class officers also do graduation and stuff for their class.” Voting took place online via a Google form on the Tam website. Each student had

to sign into their school email, and were only given the option to vote for officers in their own grade. 162 of 382 or 42 percent of current juniors voted, 230 of 422 or 55 percent of sophomores voted, and 121 of 405 or 30 percent of freshmen voted. Teachers were asked to have their students vote on the day of the elections. A runoff election was held on May 24 and May 25, electing Lily Travers as junior class president. The positions of senior class secretary and senior class site council representative were left unfilled following the runoff election due to a lack of candidates. Applications for the runoff election were due on May 21, and required the same prerequisites as the prior class election.♦


NEWS FLASH Sustainability Conference

Prom Has Record Sales

Mayor Holds Tam Forum

by Emily Spears

by Elissa Asch

by Lola Leuterio


n environmental sustainability conference was held in Gus Gym during 2nd period on May 29. Several math, English, and science classes attended the conference, which was held by the Sustainability club. Florian Schulz was the guest speaker. Schulz is a German nature and wildlife photographer, who has travelled the world filming and photographing nature. In addition to showcasing examples of his work, he spoke about his purpose of shedding light on the effects of global warming. “The main purpose of the sustainability conference was to spark interest about environmental protection in the student body,” sophomore Isabelle Winstead said. “Events like these are important as we, as a society, need to stay conscious about our day-to-day decisions and how they affect the earth.”♦


am’s 2018 prom was held on May 26 at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. There were three things about this prom that stood out, according to students, teacher planners, and attendees. One was the venue. Event coordinator and senior Gabriel Tolson said that the Academy of Sciences made planning the prom more simple. Another was that this was the first year that Tam offered ticket sales online. “I think the convenience of being able to buy a ticket on your own time … helped students manage their time more efficiently,” ASB advisor and English teacher LesLeigh Golson said. A third difference was turnout: there were a record 704 tickets sold this year. The new online sales and the draw of the venue were likely responsible for the record, according to event organizers.♦


ill Valley mayor Stephanie MoultonPeters and vice mayor Jim Wickham provided a forum for students in room 2020 during tutorial on May 30. The event was organized by senior and JSA president Caroline Olesky, who interns with Mill Valley City Council. This was the first time Moulton-Peters and Wickham had come to speak at Tam. Students asked questions about topics from city infrastructure, bike paths, and pedestrian safety to immigration policy, affordable housing, and student activism. “We are constantly reaching out to our community to find out what their vision is for the future, and ... making sure we do not lose our roots,” Wickham said. “Most of the meetings we have with the community are usually this older-generation group, and we are trying to get the younger generation to get involved with local politics.”♦

Sausalito Continues Waterfront Cleanup by Calvin Rosevear


ausalito police and city employees continue to engage in a city councilsponsored cleanup of marine debris in the Sausalito waterfront area. The cleanup focuses on the anchor-outs, a handful of boats anchored in the Sausalito waterfront used as housing for a slim minority. Many of the boats are currently unoccupied or abandoned, creating a need for waterfront cleanup efforts and programs like this one, according to Sausalito police lieutenant Bill Fraass. “We are looking for a long-range strategy. We are putting the blocks in place for a long-lasting solution,” Fraass said while briefing the City Council on the strategy in May, according to the Marin Independent Journal. The Marin Independent Journal also reported that 11 boat surveys have been conducted by the program in an effort to obtain accurate numbers of occupied, unoccupied, and total numbers of vessels in

A program initiated by the Sausalito city council continues to remove marine debris in the waterfront. PHOTO BY MILA ELIASCHEV Sausalito waters. In the most recent survey, on May 17, 69 boats were counted. Though the boats do occasionally move around throughout the year and give up their anchored Sausalito position, the surveys indicate a generally consistent population. In all the surveys conducted, a low of 64 boats were recorded, with a high of 77. With the most recent

survey data, which accounted for 69 boats, 30 were found to be unoccupied, 30 were found to be occupied, with the remainder unknown. The program has been removing the abandoned boats from the Sausalito district waters and aims to continue doing so and continue addressing the changing populations of anchored boats, occupied and unoccupied, as surveys continue.♦

The Tam News — June 2018



Students Win Rube Goldberg Competition by Hana Curphey

From left to right, back to front: Sophomores Rebecca Preis, Hannah Kahn, Maddie Cope, Ben St. John, Hayden Yearout, Theo Koffman, and Oliver Febbo were this year’s winners of the International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. PHOTO BY JOE PREIS


ill Valley students representing Tam were informed that they had won the International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, High School Division, on May 16. The team consisted of sophomores Rebecca Preis, Maddie Cope, Hannah Khan, Theo Koffman, Ben St. John, and Hayden Yearout, as well as sophomore Oliver Febbo of The Urban School. They began work on their machine in October 2017 and gathered on an almost-weekly basis at Preis’ house. In order to win the high school division, the team beat 21 other teams from across the world. The goal of the 2018 competition was to create a Rube Goldberg machine that would pour a bowl of cereal. The team’s machine served “Breakfast in Bed” (the machine’s name) to Kahn. Rube Goldberg was a Bay Area native known for his award-winning cartoons, many of which featured sketches for complex machines that complete simple tasks. In the 1980s, Jennifer George, Goldberg’s granddaughter, founded the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, allowing various corporate sponsors (this year, General Mills)


June 2018 — The Tam News

to pick the simple goal that each machine must complete. Teams practice applying STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) to each step, according to the the event organizers. “For me personally, Rube Goldberg Machines are a really fun, interesting, and rewarding way to get hands-on experience with physics and building,” Febbo said. “Though the construction methods we use are usually far from standard, it’s a great way to experiment with workarounds and gives us a better understanding of the machine as a whole.” Tam’s machine began with Kahn hugging a rigged stuffed animal, which triggered a series of 53 steps including a tray on wheels which activated a motor, tipping the cereal box and eventually pouring the cereal. The filmed run took about 30 seconds. Everything had to have been perfectly placed for the machine to be successful, and the nature of a Rube Goldberg machine is such that each piece will need to be moved back to its original place after each attempt. Preis explained how the group got in-

volved with the seemingly obscure competition. “In eighth grade [at Mill Valley Middle School] in tech class there was a project to build a Rube Goldberg machine. Long story short, the same group [as this year] — almost — was put in a storage closet attached to the conference room to build a machine while the rest of the class worked on a different project,” she said. “We entered that machine in the online middle school competition even though it kind of sucked. Last year we decided to do it again, so we built a machine at my house on weekends and ultimately won second place and people’s choice.” Preis added that she still couldn’t believe they came first this year. When asked what led to the success of the team, Koffman said that “over the years we’ve grown as a team dramatically. We have gone from a closet space in the conference room to international champions. This is by far the best we’ve ever done.” The group plans to compete again in the 2019 competition.♦ Watch the machine work at bit.ly/MVrube.

By Griffin Chen


Chasing the Dragon By Griffin Chen

“Chasing the dragon” is a slang phrase of Cantonese origin from Hong Kong referring to inhaling the vapor from a heated solution of heroin. The “chasing” occurs as the user gingerly keeps the liquid moving in order to keep it from overheating and burning up too quickly, on a heat conducting material such as aluminium foil.


June 2018 — The Tam News

The TheTam TamNews News——June June2018 2018



fter five minutes of waiting in the pool parking lot and some subtly threatening questions from Sergio about my intentions there, I still haven’t noticed any sign of my source. Then I see a hand reach out the cracked window of a beat-up, early 2000s sedan and knock a piece of ash off the end of a cigarette. As I cross the street to his car, parked next to the Redwoods, my interviewee looks up and flashes a smile. Will, a junior at Tam who requested anonymity, gets decent grades, loves music, and is passionate about art. His face is slightly flushed, he likes the color blue, and he always seems to be able to offer a smile and greeting. He’s also a heroin addict, who recently got clean. “Do you care if I smoke?” he asks as I step into his car, producing another cigarette and a large, rusted, industrial blowtorch, seemingly from nowhere. “Cops can’t smell the weed when you smoke a stoge [cigarette].” He sits with one foot on the seat, completely at ease in his space. There are pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge taped to his dashboard. “Let me know when you want to start,” he says, taking another drag. “I’m ready whenever.” Despite the image of a heroin user being a streetside junkie, shooting up with dirty needles in an alley or rural town, Will’s use was almost entirely smoking in his Marin house, separated from his family by just a few thing walls. Unfortunately, Will isn’t alone. California’s Healthy Kids Survey of Tam High showed that 21% of 11th graders self reported as heavy drug users in 2015. In addition, he personally knows at least six other individuals in his grade at Tam who regularly used heroin last year. All six tried, and initially failed, to get sober. Five are still sober today. As his frequency and dosage increased, Will realized that he would also need to go sober eventually. Will is more open with me about his heroin use than most people are about their grades. When asked about his recent step into sobriety, he jumps into his story immediately, with the ease of someone discussing the weather. “I wanted to [get] sober for a while … But with withdrawal and addiction, I just couldn’t. I tried like three,


June 2018 2018 — — The The Tam Tam News News June

four times by myself,” he explains. “But withdrawal is really terrible. Some people can literally, for ten days, have diarrhea, be vomiting, and shaking, looking like they are having seizures because their muscles are getting used to being without heroin.” This process can often go beyond physical pain, though. Withdrawal from drugs can cause death, and heroin is one of the leading killers, according to Adi Jaffe, Ph.D, writing for Psychology Today. When individuals get off heroin, they can take medication to make the transition to sobriety easier. Users are often prescribed Suboxone, a combination of the drugs buprenorphine and naloxone. “[With] Suboxone, the way it works, basically you wait 24 hours from the last time you smoked, then you take it. It stops withdrawal from continuing, and pretty much the agonist fills the receptors for opiates in your head, so [heroin] doesn’t do anything,” Will said. According to the description on the Suboxone website, the drug reduces the effects of withdrawal and can prevent users from getting high on heroin. However, Will didn’t have access to Suboxone, and was resigned to his addiction at least until he became an adult. “There’s these things called Suboxone clinics, and you can just get it for free. But you have to be 18. I was like ‘What am I gonna do? I’m just gonna have to wait until I’m 18.’ It was fucked. But what else was I gonna do?” he said. However, when Will’s family found out about his use, he was forced to face his addiction and his loved ones head on. His family was also able to get him the medication he needed. “I went to my family and was like, ‘Please get me some Suboxone and leave me the fuck alone.’” The first step Will had to take before healing, however, was facing the fundamental issues in his life that led him to his addiction in the first place. “The thing is, that for every drug addict, there is a vacuum in your life created by some kind of depression, anxiety, or just pain, physical pain,” Will said. “Most people who get addicted to heroin, you know, start off on opiates. They hurt their back at work, get some Oxycontin. Their insurance covers that for four years, but then it stops. So they go start doing heroin.” According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 86 percent of heroin users were on prescription painkillers beforehand. Will was never prescribed pain medication, though. “For me… I had a lot of anxiety, depression runs in my family, just all this shit. There was a lot of pressure on me to just do good–and I’m a very rebellious person so I pushed back against that, and when I was offered heroin by a friend I was just like, ‘Why not?’ I didn’t really think I was gonna get addicted. I had no idea that was gonna happen. I couldn’t even imagine it,” he said.

Over time, Will used more and more heroin, and cared less and less about what kind of drugs he did. He did cocaine, Molly, and thinks he probably did Fentanyl, a highly potent and often fatal opiate, more than once. Then one day he realized he was addicted. Physically and mentally. Will’s addiction came to define in his life. “Life on heroin is just like normal life, except you’re on heroin. Pretty much you spend all your time trying to get heroin, trying to get high,” Will said, “All you’re thinking [is], what can I do to get heroin? What can I sell to get heroin?” Will had a job, but often required more money to get the drugs he needed. However, he had a luxury that other drug users didn’t–an ingenious way of getting drugs for extremely cheap. “What I would often do is go online, buy a bunch of fake Gucci, fake Louis Vuitton, and give it to the gang members and get 50 dollars of heroin for five dollars.” Even with this dangerously effective strategy, Will was struggling to support his addiction. Heroin users often report overwhelming feelings of both physical pain and mental urges when they don’t have the drug, to the point where every fiber of their being needs another dose, according to former addicts speaking for American Addiction Center. “When I stopped, my dose was at least 50 to 60 dollars to get high. For the last few months I never got high–because I just ran out of money. You just need to smoke enough to not feel like killing yourself until your next dose.” The physical hardship and the mental urges weren’t what Will struggled with the most, however. Facing his family hurt far more. “After 18 hours I was okay [with the withdrawals]. But the hard part was having those conversations with my family. We argued for so many hours. My sister was crying; she thought I was going to die. But now I’m just trying to get my life back on track. They want to help me. My dad is very understanding... My sister is just worried sick all the time. She thinks I’m going to kill myself or something. I’ve just been dealing with it. It’s a lot better than being on heroin,” he said. Regardless of all he has to deal with – family problems, the continuing pain of withdrawal, dropping grades — Will says he is happier now. Will is ready to approach the rest of his life and is hopeful about the future, but this ideal has not been secured yet. “It’s been about a month since I last used. There was one time, a weekend, where I smoked a hit of heroin because I wanted to taste it again. I don’t know if that counts as a relapse but I didn’t get high or anything. I just wanted to taste it because I’m a fucking heroin addict. I can’t really say [if I will relapse in] the future, because I don’t know what exactly will happen around me.” Despite his hopeful outlook, the statistics are not on Will’s side for recovery, and overcoming them would

be not only impressive, but also lucky. “I think if I’m doing good and if no shit starts happening around me, I’ll be fine. Doing good mostly means not doing heroin. My priority is staying healthy.” Will isn’t just focusing on the present, though. He is also thinking about his future. “For my future I see… [girls]. Not fucking up my grades. Staying sober. Go to college. Totally doable. If I just pull my shit together I’ll be fine. Some weird shit to go through as a 16-17 year old… you learn how fucked the world is. You hang around these people who sit on the sidewalk, smoking crack, doing drugs. I don’t think kids in Mill Valley have any idea what that’s like.” Which, according to Will, is a good thing. He doesn’t believe any teen should be subject to the horrors of addiction. Despite this, he believes that his addiction and the things that he saw during it changed him – for the better. “The whole heroin experience has made me a smarter and kinder person… I definitely grew up a lot. In a good way. Overall, the experience has had a bad effect, and I wish it never happened. But you can’t turn back time, and I definitely think that it’s our past experiences that make us the person who we are today. And I like who I am. Even if I’m a shitbag ex heroin addict – I accept myself.” Will sighed, and almost as if in defense, said: “I valued my life then just as much as I do now. I’m just doing a better job at preserving it.” As we finished up the interview and I walk away, he lights up another cigarette and starts his car. He looks happy. A study published in 2010 showed 91 percent of heroin users relapse. Since this story was written, I have repeatedly tried to contact Will, without response. Will seemed hopeful, but I can’t help but imagine that he has become another part of that statistic.

"I valued my life then just as much as I do now. I'm just doing a better job

at preserving it. " The Tam News — June 2018



Don’t Tell Me Everything Happens For A Reason By Kara Kneafsey It was August of 2013, and the familiar San Francisco fog continued to roll in day after day. My life had been constantly changing the past seven months, making the disorder seem routine. Everything having to do with my sister’s condition had been evolving faster than I could follow. I started noticing the changes when her visits to the hospital stopped. Suddenly there were fewer medications for her to take, and the calls with her oncologist seemed to cease. I didn’t realize that her condition was getting worse until the hospice nurse started coming to give her treatment at home. That foggy day we all headed to Healdsburg for our Kneafsey family reunion with my dad’s side of the family. Then my mom’s side of the family showed up. Nobody went swimming or wine tasting. They all just wanted to be around my sister. Then it hit me; they were coming to say goodbye. Four days later, on August 15, 2013, my younger sister Tess died of brain cancer at the age of six. I was ten, and my brothers, James and Emmet, were four and nine, respectively. Tess was my only sister, and we were the best of friends, partners in crime. We teased each


June 2018 — The Tam News

other about boys, shared each other’s clothes, and did each other’s nails. Just seven months earlier, all of a sudden she wasn’t herself anymore. She had no interest in her favorite things, had bad headaches, and was nauseous. My parents took her to the doctor and she ended up in the hospital. I was confused on how a checkup turned into my parents not coming home that night. The next morning we found out that Tess had a brain tumor, a label which, I had never heard of. We learned that she was going to have to have surgery to see if the doctors could remove it. We later had to learn more words about her treatment like chemotherapy, radiation and physical therapy. We were told that we couldn’t see them or Tess until she was healthy enough for us to visit her. Tess was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a rare type of brain cancer with a 5.5 percent rate of survival beyond five years. My life completely changed when she was diagnosed, and I don’t think it will ever be the same again. I struggle with aspects of life that the average person wouldn’t necessarily think about. For example, every time I meet a new person, I will eventually have to say the same sentence: My younger sister Tess died of brain

cancer. If I had told you all this in person, what do you think you’d say to me? Maybe you would tell me that you’re sorry or ask to give me a hug. Maybe you would just sit there and stare blankly at me, or tell me that the best people die young. These types of reactions often trivialize my experience and only serve to make others feel better. I can’t blame people for these reactions, as most don’t understand how to properly respond. But that doesn’t make it feel right. When I arrived to school for the first time after Tess’s diagnosis, all of my teachers knew what was going on. Throughout the day, they were all constantly coming up to me to say that they were “sorry.” That was my first encounter with pity. From then on, I always thought that it was my responsibility to talk about her situation publicly. I started off by telling everyone about how my family was doing and updating them on my sister’s condition. Then, right after she passed away, I started middle school. Everyone was talking about what had happened and telling me how sorry they were. I never realized that I was allowed to say I wasn’t comfortable talking about my sister’s condition or death. At the start of freshman year, I

Features was afraid of entering a new community and once again having to explain my experience, going through the same awkward conversation, and putting my peers in an uncomfortable position. In sixth grade I was the girl whose sister died. Starting high school, I didn’t want that to be all I was known for. Looking back, the transition to freshman year wasn’t horrible; I chose who to tell and who not to tell. One of the people I connected with while sharing about my sister was Junior Matthew Rodriguez. We connected through a middle school support group and are two of three students I know of at Tam who have lost siblings. Rodriguez was 12 when his older

brother Steven was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), at the age of 19. He was a Tam graduate, an active member of CTE, and aspired to be an actor or vlogger. He passed away a few months later in the fall of 2013. Rodriguez experiences similar reactions when people find out about his brother. “They will be in shock; at a loss of words,” Rodriguez said. “They get extremely uncomfortable and try to change the topic as fast as possible; just move the topic to a happy note.” Losing a sibling is different than any other loss. It affects the surviving sibling in ways that an ordinary person wouldn’t think of, and there-

fore deserves a personalized reaction and response. I feel my grief the most on days like the first day of school or family events. Even things like taking family photos or the question ‘so how many siblings do you have?’ will bring up some heavy emotions. Rodriguez and I both have been in situations where we have both felt isolated. “A big pet peeve of mine is when someone compares [their] grief with yours,” Rodriguez said. “You can’t compare losing your grandparents, parents, even pets to losing your brother or sister.” He reflected on some of the worst reactions he received. “‘At least you have another brother’

“Then it hit me; they were coming to say goodbye.”

The Tam News — June 2018


Features was one of the worst things I have ever heard,” he said. Like Rodriguez, I often get offensive responses aiming to explain why my loss is okay. “Everything happens for a reason” is the most common and unhelpful one. These kinds of statements make me feel horrible because they are an attempt to rationalize my sister’s death. But the death of a sibling can never be rationalized. I find that inappropriate responses often come from people trying to comfort themselves. They make me feel like I am grieving in the wrong way. Over the past five years, there have also been positive responses to my loss. About halfway through my freshman year, I told my teacher indirectly about what had happened to my sister in front of the class. Everyone sat in silence until my teacher spoke up and simply said, “I’m so sorry Kara. I don’t know what to say besides that, but know that I’m sorry and here if you ever need anything.” I never ended up going back to


June 2018 — The Tam News

talk to my teacher about my sister, but that response has stuck with me more than any other. He processed my story and didn’t rush to respond. It was short, simple and truthful. Baylor Herlehy is a freshman at Placer High School in Auburn, California and was just over a year old when her older brother Maxwell was diagnosed with leukemia. “My entire childhood was hospital visits and checkups for Max,” Herlehy said. “The nurses became family friends and the hospital like a second home. Max was in remission multiple times, but the cancer kept coming back,” Herlehy said. Maxwell lost his battle to cancer when he was nine years old. She was seven. “My brother was loud and goofy and fun. He was always smiling and never for a moment was down about his circumstances.” Herlehy said. “We practically lived in costumes our entire childhood.” Herlehy and I met at a camp for kids who had siblings with cancer.

We became close as we went through the program and realized that we could truly connect through our loss. “Many people act like they understand my circumstances when they can’t even begin to understand what happened to me and what I am going through…” Herlehy said. “Sometimes people treat me differently, like I am fragile or I’m a freak because I have been through hard stuff. I’m just like everyone else, I have just had different experiences than some people.” Like Herlehy, I have also been thought of as “fragile.” I have had many teachers modify curriculum or excuse me from assignments after they found out about my sister, in an attempt to make me have one less thing to worry about. It makes me feel victimized, as if they don’t believe that I can be a strong individual after facing a hardship. When I open up to people about my past, I find that it often makes them comfortable to share something personal back with me. It feels as if they are trying to connect to my experiences by using their own hardships, that they are trying to prove that they have experiences similar to mine. Rarely do I feel like I have a place to talk about my story without worrying about someone else venting to me. What scares me the most about writing this story is what people will think of me for talking about my experiences. I always think that people will assume that I am seeking attention or sympathy, which is the last thing I want. I try to remember and explain to people that stories like mine are essential to tell and to hear. It took me a long time to learn what pity was and how I was supposed to react to it. For the bulk of the time that my sister was sick, whenever people told me they were sorry or they felt bad, I would always respond with “It’s okay.” Looking back now, it never was okay. I just couldn’t un-


For the bulk of the time that my sister was sick, whenever people told me they were sorry or they felt bad, I would always respond with, “It’s okay.” Looking back now, it never was okay.

derstand the difference between “I’m sorry I bumped into you” and “I’m sorry your sister is sick.” Pity almost always comes with good intentions, but I have come to see it in a negative light. For me, it has always felt like the sympathizer is unintentionally undermining my situation. They make me feel as if I was somehow inferior to them because of what I have gone through. Despite my ease with speaking openly about my sister, I will always struggle with what I’ve gone through. I struggle with not knowing what people truly think of me, since you can’t be mean to the girl who’s sister died, can you? I feel, more often than not, that when people learn about my sister, it changes their opinion of me. I don’t want that to happen. There are basic things you can do to not make grieving individuals feel worse. “My advice would be to not act awkward about it or scared,” Herlehy

said. “It is something that happened to me a long time ago and although it is still hard, I am not going to break at any second.” The impact of the loss of a sibling will never change, but since their death we have learned ways to cope with our emotions. “If you hear someone’s story, don’t treat them any different and keep your personal experiences to yourself,” Herlehy said. Rodriguez offers more advice. “Don’t feel afraid to talk back,” he said. “Don’t feel uncomfortable. Don’t feel like if you talk about it that it would upset me.” It can be quite ironic when someone tries to change the subject or think that we don’t want to talk about our siblings. If we had the courage to tell you our stories, that means we also have the courage to handle a few questions. “So don’t feel afraid to ask questions about my brother because I can

handle it. By asking questions it lets me know that you care,” Rodriguez said. I love talking about my sister. I love it when people ask me about her. People get overwhelmed by the fact that Tess died of cancer, but she was so much more than a cancer patient to me. She was an absolute goofball who loved to dance, no matter where we were. She loved the color pink and her Littlest Pet Shop toys. She loved babies and asked for my mom to have another baby when the Make a Wish Foundation offered her a wish. She would stay up all night having conversations with her stuffed animals. She would sing about how much she loved tikka masala and bothered all the nurses with her horrible jokes. She would walk up to a complete stranger and instantly make a new best friend. When I get to talk about Tess, rather than the details of her illness and death, I feel at peace.

The Tam News — June 2018



Senior Class President: JayJuan Radford By Sophia Krivoruchko


ayJuan Radford’s vision for his term as senior class president was unlike those of candidates preceding him. Going into the election, Radford was skeptical that he would win. He said he had never really seen students of color as leaders in the Tam student body and wanted to help with this problem by serving as class president. “Vote for Me, Let Your Voice Be Heard” was Radford’s campaign slogan. “I felt nervous to apply [for senior class president] because I thought I wouldn’t win because of my color or probably because people don’t know me,” he said. Radford’s goal for next year is to raise money for Tam prom and various school events as well as to make the students of color feel integrated and accepted. “I feel like I have a big responsibility because I am...representing the people of color at this school, and I feel like I can do it and make everyone feel welcome and safe,” Radford said. He added that if more people of color are in office, it will boost the chance of others running for leadership positions. This was one of Radford’s prime motivations for running for senior class president. Former senior class president Gabe Tolson thinks Radford’s position will have a positive impact on Tam, specifically students of color. “I think by having Yanaiya [Sa’Aadat] and Jay Juan running [for senior class president] this year and Radford [winning] senior class president is really going to inspire others to run. Maybe bringing members of the BSU or other students of color with leadership potential and introducing them to leadership more would [also be] effective,” said Tolson. After it all, Radford won the election and will be the senior 14

June 2018 — The Tam News

class president for class of 2019. Radford said his teachers and peers supported his run for president. “They helped me with my campaign and they helped me get the word out that I was running…” he said. Tolson said Radford is passionate and charismatic. “I’ve spent more time talking with him this year through SOAR, and he’s really nice and thoughtful, so I definitely think that helped [him win senior class president],” Tolson said. Radford said he is looking forward to the coming year and wants to be an JayJuan Radford (pictured above), the newly inspiration to others who are elected senior class president, promotes his considering running for leader- message of equality. ship positions in the future. “If I can do it, you can do it,” he said.♦ PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE



Reaching Out with robotics

By Tessa Flynn


ophomore Kavi Dolasia led her two middle school robotics teams to compete in the third annual Reaching Out With Robotics (ROWR) Games at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, on April 18. The competition was made possible in part by ROWR, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach program for middle schoolers. The program holds weekly meetings at Willow Creek Academy, Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and various other locations. ROWR was co-founded in 2014 by Dolasia and her sister Sona Dolasia and has thrived with the continued help of high school mentors. “Our goal in creating this program was to expose kids to robotics that wouldn’t normally have access and really get them interested at a young age,” Kavi Dolasia said. “Most of these kids have only had access to one science teacher at their school and we wanted to create a real opportunity.” Dolasia’s interest stemmed from her love of robotics beginning in middle school where she was awarded a gold and silver medal at the International RoboGames. “The best part is the engineering and programming side,” she said.

Photos by Kavi Dolasia

Sona Dolasia graduated from Tam last year, leaving the responsibility of running ROWR to Kavi. Since Sona’s departure, there has been an expansion to two new locations, an increase in teams competing, and new creations of programs at local schools and libraries. These programs include the involvement of the Tech Resource Center Marin, Belvedere-Tiburon Library, Mill Valley Public Library, and as mentioned, Willow Creek Academy and Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy. Students of a wide range of ages varying from elementary to middle school students competed in ROWR. The three teams consisted of middle school students within Marin: MLK, Willow Creek, and MVMS. The two ROWR associated teams worked up to the competition for months in order to show off their creations to guest judges such as author Samantha Walravens. The competition required the kids to use Lego Mindstorms to build their robots, which were made possible by grants and funding. These Mindstorms are programmed and created through block programming, which mentors teach the kids individually in their groups. Dolasia recounted one moment where she watched a group of her stu-

dents present their work to the judges. “A standout event would have to be a group of three young girls from MLK who built a dancing robot to the song ‘Stir Fry’ by Migos,” she said. Aside from the students and coaches, high school mentors from Tam were there rooting their teams on. According to Dolasia, each mentor works with a group of three kids. One of these mentors included Charlie Osborn, a sophomore at Tam. “The competition was really fun, it was great to see all the kids get excited. I really enjoy this program because of the flexible hours, the STEM aspect, and the opportunity it creates for the kids. It’s really great to see kids interested at such a young age,” said Osborn. After the official ROWR competition, the teams proceeded to compete in the annual RoboGames. As for the future of the program, Dolasia hopes to continue to attend competitions involving kids from all over Marin and expand the mentor program to schools like Redwood. She also hopes to help MLK’s science programs as it continues to grow. “I encourage all Tam students to join [ROWR]. It only requires an interest in the program,” Dolasia added.♦

TheTam TamNews News——June June2018 2018 15 15 The


13 Reasons Why (or Why Not) SPOILER ALERT By Ravi Joshi-Wander


tapes, 13 episodes. That was the allure of the first season of “13 Reasons Why,” the 2017 Netflix series that depicted the suicide of high school student Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford). The show told her story through the lens of cassette tapes that she had made detailing the 13 people she deemed responsible for her death. The second season takes a different approach, framing the story around the testimony of witnesses in a lawsuit brought by Baker’s family against Hannah’s school district, arguing that the district was responsible for her suicide by failing to protect her from bullying, harassment, and rape. Season Two of “13 Reasons Why” succeeds in many of the same areas that the first did, resulting in a suspenseful, well-acted show with a great soundtrack. Unfortunately, the show is brought down by an attempt to tackle social issues that is misguided at best and dangerously reductive at its worst. The strength of Season Two lies primarily in the story, which despite a slow start, picks up midway through the season with an incredible level of suspense that makes the show perfect for binge-watching. Hannah’s onetime love interest, Clay, (Dylan Minnette) along with his friends Alex (Miles Heizer) and Jessica (Alisha Boe), begin to uncover dark secrets about their high school. Han-

nah’s former stalker Tyler (Devin Druid) and his new friend Cyrus (Bryce Cass) engage in a campaign of sabotage against their bullies, and eventually the entire school. The character of Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn) is also a standout in the show, with Flynn bringing depth and redemption to a character that was seemingly an archetypal jock for most of the first season. Where 13 Reasons Why fails, however, is in its inability to bring nuance to the more taboo subjects that it attempts to tackle. One of the most glaring issues in the first season that remains unrectified is the character of baseball star and serial rapist Bryce (Justin Prentice). The writers of the show have taken the easy way out by solely portraying him as a stereotypical bully for the entirety of the show. While 13 Reasons Why attempts to critique rape culture, it ends up perpetuating the dangerous idea that all rapists fit in a box, ignoring the nuances of the issues that make rape such a difficult crime to report. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 59 percent of sexual assaults on juveniles reported to law enforcement are perpetrated by an acquaintance. The majority of rapists aren’t Bryce Walkers, shoving people into lockers and openly bragging about their sexual conquests. The last, and undoubtedly most talked episode of the show only adds to the disappoint-

ment I felt in their attempt to address serious issues. The episode features one of the most gratuitously violent and disturbing scenes I have ever seen on television, sparing no details in its depiction of a gang rape, a scene that seemed to be thrown in the show for no purpose other than to generate attention. The first season’s graphic depiction of Hannah’s suicide garnered similar criticisms, and was derided mental health experts who claimed that the suicide scene could trigger copycats (A later medical study suggested that the release of the show had led to an increase in suicidal thoughts of internet users). Given the show’s previous flirtation with controversy, I’m left with the impression that the showrunners sought to replicate the social media buzz of last year. Graphic violence on television is often necessary to portray, and can serve important purposes that further the impact of the show, but that was not the case here. What made the first season of “13 Reasons Why” so great was its ability to resonatewith its audience through its portrayal of teenage isolation, bullying, and harassment. Season 2 has attempted to replicate that, and in some areas, it succeeded. Nonetheless, the show’s irredeemable misfire in its handling of sensitive topics is an indication that Hannah Baker and her tapes may have overstayed their welcome.♦



June June2018 2018— —The TheTam TamNews News


Editorial: Technology’s Impact on the Classroom Educational technology, which includes things like Chromebooks and Google Drive, has the potential to be incredibly beneficial. It makes many parts of learning faster and simpler; it streamlines student to student and student to teacher collaboration; it saves lots and lots of paper. But it brings with it several issues whose impacts can and should be mitigated. One such issue is that the immediate gratification which the internet grants has superseded the need for actual, in-depth learning, and both students and teachers are affected. It’s less necessary to internalize information because that information will always be available at our fingertips, an ideological loss for obvious reasons and a practical loss because by the time tests roll around and knowledge is actually required we’ll all be worse prepared. The prevalence of comprehensive databases such as Wikipedia is also a factor; while it’s ridiculously convenient it’s also easy to skim for answers without gaining

context or learning anything beyond the bare minimum. And the omnipresence of every piece of information ever means that a greater emphasis is placed on learning information, and that accordingly less time is spent on learning skills, which is perhaps good at preparing students for tests but comparatively awful at preparing them for the real world. Teachers are affected in a similar way. In the face of the cornucopia that is YouTube academia, for instance, they can more easily delegate parts of their job to the machine. That’s not always a bad thing, since third-party sources like Crash Course are generally excellent at providing supplemental material, but the ease of teaching through ready-made media (although this problem existed long before the internet via workbooks and textbooks) means that when teachers lean too heavily on those sources they stop teaching themselves. Educational technology can also fos-

Crackin’ and Slackin’

ter confusion, or, in more drastic cases, its toothier cousin, academic dishonesty. Take for example Google Classroom: Why were those questions posted online if you didn’t mention them in class? Was that due at 8 this morning or at the end of the period or at midnight? The problem isn’t so much that these questions are difficult to answer — common sense and general togetherness usually do the trick — but that they provide an easy excuse for students to consistently turn in late work. Other uses of technology are more blatant in their enabling of cheating. Tests in the computer lab, for example, are often conducted with internet access and insufficient supervision, and, schoolwide, plagiarism of anything and everything is laughably easy. Technology itself is also inherently distracting. Even when they’re allowed, devices like Chromebooks can lead to situations like students playing video games or watching movies in class. It’s also worth noting that everything being online lessens the need for legitimate human interaction; that is, making activities more digital makes them less interpersonal, which is maybe OK, depending on how much you like people. Three caveats: first, again, that technology is generally a force for good, and that the bulk of this editorial focuses on its negative impacts shouldn’t be misinterpreted; second, that those negative impacts are generally not the creation of new problems but the catalyzing of existing ones; and third, that the system is basically functional as it is — but it could be better. Then: most of those problems have fairly straightforward solutions, straightforward enough at least that they aren’t explicitly laid out here. (Teachers might sidestep the chaos of Google Classroom, for example, by establishing reasonable ground rules for their assignment system and consistently adhering to them.) But the first step to effecting those solutions is being aware of the problems, which is what this editorial, by no means an exhaustive list of all the ways tech can negatively impact us, aims to do. Students and teachers both should be mindful of how the changing world is changing them too, and be careful not to lose their balance.♦

The Tam News — June 2018


Microaggressions: Not So Small After All By NuNu Wright


n Asian, Mexican, and an AfricanAmerican sit in a boat. Suddenly the boat springs a leak and the three start to drown. Who wins? America. I am Asian American. When I was in the sixth grade I performed in the musical West Side Story in downtown Mill Valley. One day during rehearsals I was told this joke by one of my fellow cast members who was white. I specifically remember him mentioning that I might be offended by the joke. When he told me, I didn’t know how to react to the joke because I did not fully understand the weight behind what it meant. I realized later the significance in what he had said wasn’t the joke itself, but that he had known that it would offend me and that he probably wouldn’t have given this warning to a white person. Now that I understand the full implications of the joke and what happened, I can find a little humor in it. It’s funny because it is so absurd that there are people who genuinely believe that the United States would be a better place without people of color. It’s funny in the same way that it’s funny when white people overexaggerate how offended they are when they see a slogan for a Chinese-run laundromat that says, “Two Wongs can make it white.” not because they are actually offended but to prove to me that they aren’t racist. It’s funny because White people won’t laugh without the “permission” of a person of color to laugh at these types of jokes. It’s funny because if I were to get offended at every joke about race I would never feel anything else but offense. It is funny because deep down white people want to be colored without the consequences. It’s funny because people in the most liberal places like Mill Valley still tell these types of jokes. The problem isn’t the joke itself; the problem is that racist jokes is just one of the microaggressions that people of color have to face every day. Microaggressions are “the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized

Heard in the Tam Hallways 18 18

group membership” writes Doctor Derald Wing Sue on Psychology Today. Other examples of microaggressions are singing the n-word in a song, assuming someone’s intelligence and economic class based on their race, telling someone that they look attractive for someone of their race, etc. While one microaggression may not be a hate crime the constant onslaught of microaggressions cause me to constantly feel different from everyone around me. White people need to understand why and how microaggressions are harmful as well as understand that constant microaggressions are the reason for our culture of systemic racism. I have run into many people who have said racist stereotypes about my race and have made assumptions about people of color and their intelligence or economic standing. I always brushed it off because I don’t want to create an awkward or hostile environment. However, I started to get increasingly uncomfortable every time I ran into a person who would say things like this to me, grimacing with a forceful laugh to change the subject. Eventually, I started to stereotype myself not as a way to reclaim these racist remarks but simply to avoid others saying them to me. To phrase it as elegantly as possible, just because you have friends of color does

“Finals have me so done I think I should become a farmer” - Math buildng

June June2018 2018— —The TheTam TamNews News

not magically make you a person of color. Moreover, if someone makes fun of their own race it does not give you permission to say racist things to them or about them. I do not speak for every person of color, but I can speak for myself and my experiences. Everyone experiences racism differently including white people. This means that people of color don’t have to be in the room for white people to discuss race. In fact, white people should talk about race between each other no matter if a person of color is there or not because white people can still identify racist remarks and correct them. Furthermore, it is okay if you are uncomfortable during these conversations because the whole point of talking about race is to get over that discomfort. It is also fine to be wrong when talking about race because, hopefully, someone will then correct you. The last thing I want to say is that if you are white you benefit from racism. You have white privilege which means that it is your duty to use that privilege and speak out against racism. Being white and privileged is not a bad thing. It just means that one should work hard to understand why one has those privileges and that covert racism hidden in the most liberal places makes sure that one continues to have those privileges. ♦

“I say hi to her as “I deepthroated a Celcommunity service” ery for you guys” - Wood Hall - Student Center

How to Find a Mate: A Dating Guide Satire by John Overton


f you’re like me, you’re a sucker for a fulfilling relationship. And if you’re like me, you know that when it comes to finding a mate, nothing is more important than the process. As a professional lover, I can tell you that nothing can be more challenging than popping the question. Every time I ask someone out, it is hard to keep my head from filling with doubt. “What if they don’t like me?” “What if they don’t think I’m funny?” ”What if they think I’m dumb?” “What do I do if they order a hot dog and I order a slice of pizza when we eat lunch at Costco?” These are all valid questions that can plague even the best of us. And sometimes these doubts can even keep you from asking someone out! So of course, when you’re asking someone out, you will always want to have the competitive advantage. In this article, I will give you a few tips and pointers that will ensure your success at finding a mate. Humans have been around for trillions of years, and the animal instincts they used to survive are deeply rooted in everyone’s genes, so an excellent mate-finding-strategy is the primal one. In order to be a productive-prehominid-baby-maker, you must dress the part. Show up to school in your favorite homemade animal hide clothing and jewelry made out of bone. Your neanderthal look will make all the potential mates swoon and follow you around drooling with lust. All the jocks of the stone age were hunter-gatherers, so you’ll want to come to school with your favorite tenfoot spear. This will show your potential

“So, um, do you guys have tacos?” - Taco Truck

mates that you don’t buy food; you kill it. If you want to push this point a little further, you should start by killing animals around campus. I suggest squirrels, crows, rats, or even the fish in the science building. Finally, if you want to be a prehistoric sex icon, you have to appeal to all five senses: smell, smell, smell, smell, and smell. I up my smell points by never showering, and I can tell you, I have more mates than there are Tesla Roadsters in Space. With some simple changes to your personal hygine routine, you can be sure that your rugged scent will intoxicate those around you. Another way to find a mate is through one of America’s most time-honored traditions: prom. Since we all know that your prom date will be your life-partner, promposing is of the utmost importance. Some people bring a sign, some people bring flowers, but I bring exotic safari animals. Who would reject anyone who brought a Sumatran rhino to school as a promposal gift? That’s right: no-one. Can’t find any critically endangered critters for your promposal? (I know, right: where’d they all go?!) Don’t worry: you can blow your date away with a sweet tattoo. Permanently engrave their name into some part of your body with ink, and they’ll never have the guts to say no. But be careful: your prom date is who you’ll grow old with, so make sure you spell their name right. In short, if you want to be successful in asking your date to prom, make sure that your promposal is as loud and noticeable as possible, that way if your crush says no, someone else will surely notice your promposal, and definitely say yes.

“She tried to eat her juul” -Orange Court -Upper Keyser

Another great strategy for procuring a mate is one that I call “the social butterfly method,” Get the upper hand on dating by developing the following social skills. Send memes. Flooding the DM’s of your prospective mates with confusing images will invariably result in a fulfilling, lifelong relationship. I regularly employ this strategy and have noticed that I get more success when I do not write any messages, or even introduce myself, but spontaneously spray memes instead. If you really want to show your crush that you care, invade more than just their DM’s. Score heavily by inserting yourself into their conversations, whether they’re talking to their friends, teachers, or just themselves. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, when should you ask them out? During PE! Yeah this one’s for you underclassmen. There’s a time and place for asking your crush out, and it’s smack-dab in the middle of PE, right when you’re sweating the most. Remember what I said about scent? Well it still applies. Your body’s unique microbiome of bacteria is the strongest pheromone, and your pit stains are on the top of the attractiveness list, up there with a six-pack of abs. All in all, everyone knows that finding a mate is the most important aspect of your high-school career, and it is definitely a higher priority than your grades or personal development. So if you’ve taken this 5-foot-hairless-sex-god’s advice to heart, you’ll be breeding like a rabbit in no-time. ♦

“I think we should socially interact” “Okay, let’s touch fingers” -Keyser Landing -Keyser Landing The Tam News — June 2018


Haight Wins Coach of the Year by Miles Rubens


Coach John Haight (left) was awarded the Coach of the Year award by Tam Administration. PHOTO COURTESY OF KARA KNEAFSEY


irls golf coach John Haight was awarded this year’s Coach of the Year award by the Tam Administration. Haight, who has coached the team for ten seasons, was given the award for his leadership, positive attitude, and sportsmanship. Haight first learned he had received the award in a letter from Tam athletic director Christina Amoroso. “I was very proud to receive this honor and it immediately brought back fond memories of all the girls that I had coached over the years including the 2017 squad that had the best season in the history of Tam Girls Golf,” he

said. “This award is for all of my studentathletes over the years that have made my time as their coach such a wonderful and positive experience.” Under Haight’s tenure, the team has had great success in the past few seasons. “When I started ten years ago, the Tam girls golf program was floundering,” Haight said. “With a lot of support from... Amoroso, our girls golf program has steadily grown over the years and we are proud that in the last five seasons we have been perennial challengers in the MCAL and our team has been invited to the Division 1 Tournament of Champions.” Haight strives to create a positive environment on the team. “I know I’ve come out of games feeling super disappointed,” said sophomore Chloe Jeanmonod. “He always pulls me aside and gives me a big pep talk. He’s always there by my side supporting me.” These ideals are all a part of Haight’s mission.


13 20

MCAL wins by the varsity baseball team, most in Tam history.

June 2018 — — The The Tam Tam News News May 2018

“I place having fun as the paramount goal for our team,” he said. “I am a firm believer that if you can make the game of golf fun for the student-athletes then they will want to get better and they will want to spend the time that it takes to improve.” Senior and team captain Mikayla White echoed this sentiment. “[Coach Haight] emphasizes having fun over all else,” she said. “He wants all of us to improve, but he always said just enjoy what you’re doing.” Haight views coaching as something bigger than just part of the sport. “Golf is a great sport to learn life’s lessons and if I can help the team have fun while learning those lessons then I have found that both the individuals and the entire team grow,” he said. Haight will look to continue his success next fall and in future years. “It has been an honor to be the coach of such outstanding student-athletes at Tam High over the past ten years and to help all of them grow both on and off the course has been my greatest hope and honor,” Haight said. “He really was the best coach I could have wished for and I’m going to miss being on his team,” White said. ♦


League record of the girls lacrosse team.


Pedal to the Medal by Samantha Ferro

The team’s last race of the regular season, winning NorCals for the first time. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE VAN ALLEN


he Tam Mountain Biking team took third place in the State Championships on May 20, losing to Drake for the ninth year in a row. However, the team did win this year’s NorCal league Championship. To determine the winner of NorCal, the total points earned from all five of the regular season races are added up, and the team with the most points wins. Tam earned a total of 20,713 points, putting the team on top. Previously Drake had won Norcals for the past eight years. However, Tam broke their streak this year, beating Drake by 13 points and Redwood by 839 points. After countless hours of work, Tam came out on top with the help of junior Jason Dunne, who was the only Tam student on the podium in the state championships this year. Dunne got second place in JV. “I’m really satisfied with how the state championship race went. I knew that Petaluma would be one of my better courses, as I primarily train on hills, so I shot for

one of the top spots,” he said. “States was a tough race for the team. A lot of our best riders were injured or sick, so we didn’t see the kind of results that we usually get.” Dunne is hoping more freshman will join the team for next year to improve the team. “With many good riders graduating this year, Tam is going to need a lot more recruitment if we want to stay in competition with Drake.” Overall, Dunne enjoyed being a part of the team this season. “This year has easily been my best season so far. Freshman year I was averaging 25th place, last year I averaged 6th place, and this year I finally got

my first win. Climbing through the ranks has been a tough journey, but definitely a satisfying one,” Dunne said. Graduating head coach Patrick LePelch is already excited for the next season to start, “Next year the competition will be even stronger as the sport continues to grow. We’re losing 11 graduating seniors who will be tough to replace, but we have some very strong JV and Sophomore riders who will be fun to watch compete next year, and we have a couple of very strong incoming Freshman who have been riding with the team all year. We have our eyes on 2019 State Champs,” LePelch said. Both the head coach, LePelch, and the assistant coach, Mike Van Allen, are proud of their team. “It is a great feeling knowing all of the hard work that went into it,” said Van Allen, who will take over as head coach next year. “Scoring better than Drake over the course of a long, 5-month season requires Junior Jason Dunne at State Championships. dedication and consistency. We PHOTO COURTESY OF MOLLY BAUMHOFF coaches feel incredibly lucky to have such a strong competitor in Drake. We have a great relationship with them and cheer one-another on at races. They make us better. To have defeated Drake in the series is the ultimate achievement for any team, and for us to have won the regular season by a mere 13 points (out of 20,713) is Clodagh Mellett, Josie Weisert, Kate Peterson, Marijike amazing.” ♦ Bluto, and Emma Pollack. (left to right) PHOTO COURTESY OF NESSA BRADY

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


Number of points Tam mountain bike team beat Drake to win NorCals.


League wins from the boys golf team

The Tam News — June 2018 The Tam



Roddy and Marks Serve Up NCS Banner by Jacob Swergold


ophomore Mason Marks and senior William Roddy claimed the MCAL doubles title, finishing 2nd in Division 1 NCS, and leading Tam tennis to the MCAL win. Marks and Roddy have been playing together for the last seven years and have developed remarkable chemistry. “We’re able to focus during a match and feed off of each other’s strong desire to win and play well.” said Roddy. “I like playing with Will because he is amazing at the net as well as having strong serves. He also has strong determination and never gives up.” said Marks, in reference to their chemistry. Both Roddy and Marks also place a strong value on their team as a whole. “The greatest team success was winning the MCAL championship,” said Marks “Our whole team had never cheered that loud all season and it meant a lot to the seniors since they never won before this year. This year we went out in every match with nothing to lose. We had a great group of guys that wanted to win everytime they stepped on the court.” Similarly, Roddy said, “I will always remember that championship match and how elated our entire team felt. Everyone worked hard in practice and was motivated to beat Redwood. As a Freshman, Marks was ranked fourth on the team, but this year climbed the ranks to first. Marks is not one to slack and works very hard to achieve the success he does. Marks said, “I currently train 3 hours a day with other time doing workouts and conditioning, as well as competing in USTA tournaments on the weekend.” In the future Marks intends to play Division 1 tennis and he is currently training to compete in Sectionals, the biggest tournament in Northern California. All good things must come to an end eventually. Roddy’s Tam Tennis career finished on a high note with lots of success on and off the court. “I was proud to see our team perform well and win the pennant.” said Roddy.


June 2018 — The Tam News

“Aside from the the victories on the court I will remember various social interactions and practices. We got along well as a team and had a lot of fun together.” Roddy plans to play tennis at the club level next year at UC Berkeley where he will be attending college. In regards to the future Roddy said, “I’ll be playing tennis for decades to come, I love the sport and it will be a passion of mine for years to come.”♦

Sophomore Mason Marks helped Tam win the MCAL title.

Tam tennis team beats Redwood to win the MCAL title.


William Roddy and Mason Marks finished second at NCS.

The Tam News Thanks Its Patrons Ellen Rosenthal The Belza Family Aaron & Samantha Wall Joe & Anne Shea Katie Vasicek Nicole Kennedy Paul M. & Pamela Moe Bruce Conybeare Ann Mitchell Nancy Conybeare Barb & Dick Rosenthal Ludmila Krivoruchko Clifford Mcguire Anne Marie Gallagher Andrew Parsons Penny Meyer Sheela Joshi Brett Wander Meya Kindred Sue Meltzer Barbara Rubens Tom Balisteri Jan Moody Tim Schultz Germaine Chee Julie Jeffrey Alex & Eris Cushner Barbara Ann Wingate Barry & Heather Soicher The Bell Family Catherine Hinsworth & James Long Christie & Will Emami Christina James Cynthia Samson & Alan Cowan Dauray Tannahill Owens Dylan Dammann Ephets Head Fernando Figueirinhas Heather Hawkins & John Duncan Hilde Kraemling Jan & Steve McDougal Jean Bolte Jean Morris-Cuvin Jennifer Murr Kathy & Mike Bishop Kathy Sonderby & Rich Ross Kelly & Dennis Leary

Kyle & Jennifer Klopfer Kyle Carnevale Leslie Dixon Lisha Driscoll Lori Fineman Mackie Hill Mary Waluk Molly Baumhoff Molly Spector Myra Pasek Natalie Atri Nikita Valajev The Rago Family Rea & Pheobe Ashley RuthAnn Spike & Elliot Neuman Sharon Kramlich Simone Morrow Sue & Marc Holzer Susan Krenz The Wieland Family Wayne & Vicki Buder Whitney Bardwick The Wice-Perkoff Family The Shore Family The Martin Family Tracy Gant Dawn Dobras Jan Hudson The Spears Family Ken Schultz Jennifer Oreste The Todebush Family Brad Frazee Marshall P. Jensen Andrew Levine Sheila Levine Todd Lieman Mary Kay Dargan Pat Stanfield Jensen Toth Irwin Love The Frankel Family Mitch Wortzman Wendy Feng Stephanie Lytle Rhonda Campbell Kenneth Campbell Adam Tolson

The Reichley Family Jon Tolson Gregory Janetos Joshua Davis Noel Loder Morris Asch Cathy Greene Annie Asch Allen Family Wendy Tobiasson & Raoul Wertz William & Barbara Owens Sue & Steve Weinswig The Weisman Family Judy Shanower Lori Klimach Mali Finn Joe Locke Cherie Sinclair Ken Williams Susanna Kemp Kristy Williams Tam Bikes Alex Shmelev Amy Resford Andrea & Jerry Lane Anna-Pia Slothower Caryn Lentz Cynthia Stone Emma Figueredo Gillian & Richard Reilly Gretchen Boyle Heather Howard The Lachter Family Leslie Lundgren Lisa Hukari Lisa Le Lievre Lori Luc Faillace Michelle & Brad Stauffer Michelle Tripp Rebecca Rossner Trish Bernel Lisa Orloff & Paul Kraybill Maria Dinopoulou Graham David & Amy Finn Eric Peterson & Kane Stern Noel & Kerry Loder Solomon Family Bob Schultz

Ari Wolfe Sherry & Jeff Rosenthal Alpert Family Ann Colman Annika Emblad Bryce Goeking & Tia Miyamoto Deborah Huber Eileen & Michael Spitalny Ethan & Claudia Moeller Harold & Eleanor Oertell Ingrid & Andrew Tolson Janie Karp Jennifer Levine Jennifer Wolfe & Nolan Zail Jonathan & Deborah Goldman Jordan Priest-Heck Karen, Patrick & Johanna Meezan Kathy Reed Lisa Shanower Lisa Terry Liz Brown & Janet Lewin Mark Nieker Mary Pult The Muir Family The Preger Family The Sternfels Family Steve & Tina Clements Tracy & Scott Cook Julia E Haimowitz Jacobson Family John & Susan Whitaker Barbara Wolfe Mark & Jan Laret Stephanie Young Lisa Pelo Sharilyn Sakamoto Judith Richey Brian & Laua Sakamoto Gayle Dan Dargan Barbara Sobel & Jonathan Rubens Howard & Valerie Wynn Celeste Moye Jon Duncanson The Ferro Family Heidi Rosevear Jon & Gale Love Tessa Zertuche Micaela Breber

If you want to become a patron of the Tam News or advertise with the publication, please visit thetamnews.org The Tam News — June 2018


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Volume XIII, Issue No. V - June 2018

June 2018 — The Tam News

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