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The Tam News — May 2018

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April 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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by Abby Frazee

Yamaecha Davis and Ta’ Naejah Reed are working to increase intersectionality in the way Tam students talk about gun violence.

04 news

Gun Violence Sparks Walkout by Ian Duncanson

05 news

ASB Election Results by Niulan Wright Link Olympics by Griffin Barry Women’s Dipsea Hike by Jissell Kruse District Pivots From Proposed Layoffs by Milo Levine

06 news

Students Clean Up Campus by Johanna Meezan

07lifestyles

J Cole Returns, With the Same Things on His Mind by Michael Diamandakis

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Student Activism at Tam

May 2018 — The Tam News

08 lifestyles

Yamaecha and Ta’ Naejah: Student Activists by Abby Frazee

10 lifestyles

“Office” Star Spins Horror Tale by Josie Spiegelman

11 lifestyles

French Answers to American Questions by Fergus Campbell

12 features

Message Failed to Send by Ava Finn & Dahlia Zail

17 op/ed

Editorial: Because We Don’t Talk About College Enough... by the Staff Crackin’ and Slackin’ by the Opinion staff

18 op/ed

Satire: Much Ado About Nuttin’ by Milo Levine

19 op/ed

Autism: No Laughing Matter by Skye Schoenhoeft

20 sports

Unified Sports Track Event by Elissa Asch

21 sports

Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Kennedy Cook

22 sports

Sam Smith: Lax to the Max by Eddie Schultz


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Dear Reader,

There’s no denying that social media plays a sometimes more than unhealthy role in our relationships. Gone are the days of in-person confrontation or an old fashioned phone call. The ability to see our peers’ likes, followers, and friends on varying platforms, in addition to tracking, changes the romantic game in its entirety. This month’s feature, “Message Failed to Send,” explores social media’s impacts on teen relationships and explains how certain habits can be advantageous or detrimental to the functionality of romantic partnerships. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the convenience and safety of hiding behind a phone, whether the intent be a result of insecurities or for the purpose of deceit. We must remember that despite social media’s prevalence in our everyday lives and the seeming necessity to maintain constant communication with our partners and peers, adolescent relationships influence our future communication and relationship skills. These skills can not be fostered behind a screen. The editorial this month focuses on a topic left entirely untouched in the history of our publication: college. Tam’s current climate surrounding college perpetuates the idea that there are “good schools” and “bad schools,” that a student’s intellectual worth is dependent on the prestige of his ot her university. This attitude makes matters worse in its unintentional, but inevitable, alienation of students who don’t plan to attend college following high school graduation. As a community we should consider why we talk about college the way we do and how it affects the Cover by: Elise Korngut, John Overton, & Kylie Sakamoto way that students evaluate their success in high school and beyond. On the Cover: Ava Finn and Dahlia Zail explore how social media has changed high school relationships.

Megan Butt

EDITORS IN CHIEF: Madeline Asch, Megan Butt, Marie

Hogan, & Dahlia Zail

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

Robinson

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

OPINION: Samantha Locke, Ravi Joshi-Wander, Emily

Spears, & Zoe Wynn

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

GRAPHICS: Francesca Shearer & John Overton COPY EDITORS: Griffin Chen & Annie Blackadar DESIGN: Kennedy Cook, Ava Finn, Elise Korngut, & Kylie

Sakamoto

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

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

& Adam Tolson

PHOTOS: Ethan Swope

Schultz, & Adam Tolson

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

Volume XIII, No. 1V April 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, Rocky Brown, Sophia Bruinsma, Lila Bullock, Griffin Chen, Zoe Cowan, Hana Curphey, Ian Duncanson, Jordan Engel, Tessa Flynn, Celia Francis, Abigail Frazee, Leah Fullerton, Max Goldberg, Cassidy Holtzapple, Abigail James, Emlen Janetos, Charlotte Jones, Jamilah Karah, Kara Kneafsey, 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, John Overton, Yoav Paz-Priel, Luca Pelo, Cassandra Peterson, Collin Prell, Luke Rego, Darieus Rego, Madeline Reilly, Calvin Rosevear, 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, Grace Tueros, Gisela Vicente Estrada, Maddie Wall, Daisy Wanger, Evan Wilch, Beckett Williams, Maxwell Williams, Niulan Wright, Aaron Young

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 — May 2018

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News News

Gun Violence Sparks Walkout by Ian Duncanson

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embers of the Students Against Gun Violence club held a walkout to protest gun violence in schools on April 20. The walkout, which took place on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, began at Tam and culminated in a march to the depot in the Mill Valley town square. Approximately 50 students participated. “I think the bottom line of this event was to talk about how gun violence [affects] all kinds of young people,” freshman Jake Cohen, who helped organize the walkout, said. “When you hear [about] gun violence, you hear [about] school shootings — that’s definitely a big part of it but it’s not the only part of it, and that was important for us to highlight to some degree.” The students walked along Miller Avenue to the town square, where they formed a group that attracted many Mill Valley locals. Several Students, including Cohen and sophomores Kylie Frame, Hannah Kahn, Ta’Naejah Reed, and Isabel Williams spoke. “Today is the 19th anniversary of Columbine and I think today’s here to show that 19 years later, we’re still here...

Sophomores Isabel Williams, left, Hannah Kahn, center, and Kylie Frame, right, were some of many students who spoke during the walkout about the need to effect change.

we’re still campaigning to get safety in our schools, and that’s something we shouldn’t be doing, we shouldn’t have to be here almost 20 years after that deadly shooting happened,” Kahn said. Many of the students involved saw the walkout as progress. “We’re not giving up, we’re not saying, ‘Oh, only 50 kids [showed up], that’s not enough.’ We’re just going to keep fight-

Students walked from Tam to the town square on April 20 to protest past and present incidents of gun violence in schools. PHOTO BY IAN DUNCANSON

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May 2018 — The Tam News

PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE

ing and keep moving forward until these 50 kids make a difference, because marching here, chanting, being at the town center, even if it seems small, this is a really big act for us to do, and we’re going to keep marching out until something changes,” Kahn said. However, some students who attended were unsatisfied with the turnout. “It’s crazy that people at Tam and [students] in Marin, think that a grade, not even learning, but a grade, is more important than really standing up for something that you believe in and making a difference — the people that say that they can’t leave this one class one day,” junior Sarah Goldman said. Students Against Gun Violence and other community groups are searching for ways to continue effecting change in the future. “I think our next step is media. I think getting kids involved, getting kids on the news, getting kids speaking in podcasts, going to events, giving speeches, getting our messages out there,” Cohen said. “We need to create more leaders on this issue, and it doesn’t always have to mean protests, because that’s a big part of it but what’s the next step? We’re not going to stop, and we need as many kids from the Tam community becoming those leaders.” ♦


News

NEWS FLASH ASB Election Results

Link Olympics

Women’s Dipsea Hike

by Niulan Wright

by Griffin Barry

by Jissell Kruse

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he Associated Student Body (ASB) elections were held from April 26 to April 27, and the newly elected officers are junior Natalie Bricker, president; junior Dollan Clahan, vice president; sophomore Theodore Koffman, treasurer; and sophomore Kara Kneafsey, secretary. Other students who ran included juniors Zachary Harris and Zoe Portera, for president; sophomores Eli Blum and Sam Sternfels, for treasurer; and sophomores Hana Curphey and Chloe Jeanmonod, for secretary. The ASB class had previously held a “Town Hall” meeting during tutorial on April 21, which was attended by about 40 students. Candidates each gave a short address about their campaign and participated in a debate. Those who ran and others will have another chance to run for their Class Council during the week of May 7.♦

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ink Crew held its second annual Freshman Advisory Olympics on April 25. According to English teacher Abigail Levine, who runs Link Crew, the program is designed to build a welcoming environment for freshmen. “Our goal is, in a way, to solidify or reaffirm, or even make visible the sense of community that’s been built in these tutorials over the course of the year ... to create smaller supportive, positive communities for freshmen, where they feel connected,” Levine said. The winner of this year’s contest was math teacher Raj Mistry’s tutorial. The student reaction to this year’s festivities were positive. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm, different advisories are running around, chanting cheers on the field,” Levine said.♦

O

ver 500 women participated in the 100-year anniversary of the Women’s Dipsea Hike on April 21. The event celebrated the nation’s first all-women’s cross country race, which took place in 1918 as a protest against rules that banned women from participating in competitive distance races. “There were women and girls of all ages [at this year’s event], including the first female winner of the Dipsea, Mary Etta Boitano Blanchard, who won in 1973 as a young girl,” Tam parent Mari Allen, who was a leader of the Dipsea’s Muir Woods Trail Team, said. The race carries an important message, according to Allen. “I felt so grateful to these women who, despite being told that distance running wasn’t ‘healthy’ for women, proved how competitive and determined women are, and showed that they can do anything they set their minds to.” ♦

District Pivots From Proposed Layoffs O

n April 17, the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) Board of Trustees approved a proposal to reduce the budget for the 2018-2019 school year by roughly $2.8 million, in response to substantial debt brought on by growing enrollment and increasing pension costs. The proposal, made by superintendent David Yoshihara, does not contain any staff layoffs. This comes following mass speculation about staff reductions, due to a proposal passed by the board on March 13 which recommended that the positions of the district librarians, weekend custodians, wellness center director, and athletic trainer be eliminated. The aforementioned employees received pink slips, warning of the possible termination of their positions. “The pink slips were preliminary and not final. It is state law to issue these notices if there is a possibility of an employee being released,” TUHSD Board of Trustees president Leslie Lundgren Harlander wrote

by Milo Levine

in an email. The district has since pivoted, and the current proposal targets components of the budget that the board says it hopes will have less of an effect on the students, according to Lundgren Harlander. “The reductions include items that will cause the least impact to our students and primarily include administrative and organizational changes,” she wrote. For the following school year, a reduction in hiring and the suspension of the teacher leadership program account for more than $1.7 million of the $2.8 million proposed cuts. Suspending the teacher leadership program, the largest expense that is addressed in the proposal, will save the district over $1 million next school year. The district will also spend $475,000 less next year on food and beverages for school events, non-essential travel, and instructional coaches. The remaining $560,000 will be reduced via budget adjustment.

This series of budget cuts will not officially be enacted until later this year. “The final 2018-19 budget will be brought to the Board in June,” Lundgren Harlander wrote. “No final decisions with respect to any staff or program reductions have [been] made nor approved by the Board.” In an attempt to further mitigate the deficit, the district voted to place a parcel tax increase on the November ballot that would bring in an additional $5 million annually. This measure must receive a twothirds majority in order to pass. “The Ad Hoc LCAP [Local Community Action Plan]/Fiscal Advisory committee will continue to work with the District to identify areas to reduce costs for the subsequent school year (2019-2020). This work will take place throughout the fall of this year (2018),” Lundgren Harlander wrote. “The amount of additional reductions will be determined once we know if the Parcel Tax passes this November.” ♦

The Tam News — May 2018

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News

Students Clean Up Campus by Johanna Meezan

Volunteers worked primarily in Orange Court on April 22, Earth Day, to weed and otherwise clean the campus.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KAREN MEEZAN

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am Beautification Club and Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) partnered to arrange a campus beautification day on Earth Day, which falls on April 22. These groups worked with volunteers from the Tam community to weed and pick up garbage around campus. All members of the Tam community were invited to work at the event, including students, parents, and Mill Valley Middle School students who may soon be attending Tam. Volunteers worked mainly in Orange Court and on the corner of Miller Avenue and Gomez Way. The day was scheduled to go from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; however, several volunteers stayed until 5:30 p.m. “I liked doing something for Earth Day,” sophomore Rebecca Preis said.

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May 2018 — The Tam News

“[The event] wasn’t that large, but it was nice to do something to help the earth when most people don’t do anything specifically on that day.” Sophomore and Tam Beautification Club co-leader Dessie Vartholomeos considered the day a success. “After a long five hours of work, looking over Orange Court, it made me happy to see what a fantastic job everyone did,” she said. “We all put our heart and soul into fixing it up.” The club’s leaders, Vartholomeos and sophomore Jessie Clements, wanted to create the beautification day to work as a community on something that was relevant to the school. “We got lots of work done and left it

better than when we started,” Vartholomeos said. Two days after Earth Day, the Tam Beautification Club continued their cleanup of Orange Court by removing the orange trees. “The orange trees were dying, and we thought it would be awesome to plant new trees,” Vartholomeos said. The club obtained permission from the principal and head custodian to remove the trees. Clements and Vartholomeos are unsure if they will be planting orange or another type of tree to replace them, as orange trees do not grow well in Mill Valley. In fact, while removing the so-called orange trees, the club discovered that one of them was actually a lemon tree. ♦


Lifestyles

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j. cole returns, with the same things on hiS mind.

GRAPHIC BY JESSIE CLEMENTS & SAMANTHA FERRO

ith just two days notice, J. Cole released “KOD,” his eighth studio album, on April 19. The album’s 12 tracks explore typical J. Cole themes; drugs, life in poverty, ascent to stardom, copious cash, and the complexity of love appear in “KOD” as often as they did in “2014 Forest Hills Drive” or “4 Your Eyez Only.” However, unlike previous projects, “KOD” also explores the temptation, guilt, commitment, forgiveness, and drug addiction that have come with Cole’s adult life. The overarching theme of the album is that challenges and pain come at us all, and it’s up to us to “choose wisely” on how we cope. “KOD” strikes a fascinating middle ground between the fast-paced bass-bumping “2014 Forest Hills Drive” and the introspective and tame “For Your Eyez Only,” with injections of modern ‘Lil’ era beats. “KOD” is a vast departure from Cole’s previous works, yet it still feels like the culmination of his growth as an artist after 15 years in the rap world. At the dawn of his career, Jay Z, Nas, Dr. Dre, and Eminem dominated the market. Complex lyrics, enjambment, and technical rap were the gold standard. Cole blew up in the end of that era, and enjoyed critical and commercial success for the better part of a decade. Before long though, the aging rapper found himself in a strange new era that was a direct and deliberate contradiction to the rap that he knew. These days, the producer is often what makes a track popular, not the lyrics, meaning, or technicality. Glorification of hard drugs, constant pursuit of social media clout, and focus on trap style music has changed the game in what seems like an instant. A few months ago, it looked like J. Cole was becoming a relic of a time past, but the harmony struck in “KOD” proves that not only can Cole roll with the times and adapt to the new school, but can do so without losing his identity. ‘KOD,’ ‘ATM,’ and ‘Motiv8’ were the most uncharacteristically new school songs on the album: an overpowering beat, simple rhyme scheme, and even the trap drums that he so often maligns characterize these songs. ‘BRACKETS,’ ‘The Cut Off,’ ‘Kevin’s Heart,’ and ‘Window Pain’ are the slower, quintessentially Cole songs on the album, while ‘Photograph’ and ‘1985’ strike an interesting balance between the two. This album largely revolves around an issue that is certainly topical, especially in today’s rap culture: drug addiction. Eight

by michael diamandakis out of 12 songs on KOD revolve around the perils and complications that come with drug use, and how substances like Xanax, lean, and marijuana plague the black community. J. Cole takes a somewhat hypocritical stance on drug use; one moment he says “slip me a xany [Xanax] at once, I got the earth in the blunt” and the next he raps “meditate, don’t medicate.” This contradiction has lead many to believe that Cole is rapping from multiple perspectives in his album, which would further explain the wide variety of musical styles in “KOD,” and shed light on why the mysterious kiLL edward, the only other artist featured on the album, exists. J. Cole is famous for going double platinum without features in “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” so many were confused when the artist kiLL edward featured on ‘FRIENDS’ and ‘The Cut Off.’ It turns out that kiLL edward is J. Cole’s alter ego, a persona in which Cole adds a deepening effect on his voice and sings without autotune. kiLL Edward is a direct reference to both the main themes of the album, “choose wisely” and drug addiction; many believe that kiLL edward represents the part of J. Cole that didn’t chose wisely, and decided to take the path of drugs to soothe his pain. The existence of kiLL edward val-

idates the multiple perspectives theory, and explains the hypocrisies over drug use that run through “KOD.” The theme of drug abuse has been the main clue fans have used to guess what “KOD” really means: King of Overdose, Kids on Drugs, and Kiss of Death are prevailing theories, but at the time of writing Cole has neither confirmed nor denied any fan theories. In my opinion, ‘Kevin’s Heart’ is the best song on the album. J. Cole speaks about cheating on the girl that he loves, and how that guilt leads him to drug addiction. Whether or not the story told is true, the same flawless storytelling that made ‘Wet Dreamz’ a hit is found in ‘Kevin’s Heart.’ The song is a must hear for anybody who enjoys rap, whether old school or new school. “KOD” doesn’t have the hit of the summer or the song that J. Cole will be forever remembered for; however, the album is a testament to his versatility, skill, and intelligence as an artist. There are rowdy and mellow tracks, blunt and eloquent lyrics, words of wisdom and those of youthful naiveté. In short, “KOD” is a tour de force by J. Cole, and one that will resonate with rap fans everywhere. ♦

The Tam News — May 2018

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Lifestyles

Yamaecha and Ta’ Naejah: Student Activists by Abby Frazee

Ta’ Naejah Reed (pictured above) and Yamaecha Davis have spent the last year involved with and speaking on behalf of SOAR, Black Lives Matter, and other groups.

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n April 20, Tam High students partook in the national walkout to protest gun violence and to remember the lives lost twenty years ago in the Columbine shooting. Students and guest speakers addressed the crowd, including Tam junior Yamaecha Davis and sophomore Ta’ Naejah Reed, who were among the few people of color at the walkout. In their speech, Davis and Reed asked for twenty seconds of silence to signify the number of times Sacramento police shot Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard. They emphasized that the Black Lives Matter movement and the black community have fought to end gun violence long before the Parkland shooting and that the shootings of unarmed black men by police are as much a form of gun violence as mass shootings. “I feel like it’s a part of me, because I’ve seen things happen with family members,” Davis said of fighting for black lives. Reed snapped her fingers in agreement. “I have a little brother. My mom is always telling him to ‘protect yourself,’ ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that, because you

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May 2018 — The Tam News

are a black man,”’ Reed said. Neither can bear to imagine something terrible happening to their twelve-year-old brothers, and yet those terrible things happen far too often to black men and boys–– according to Mapping Gun Violence, black men are three times more likely than white men to be killed by police. Along with fighting for black lives, Reed also wants to fight for mental health, because she believes it has a strong connection with gun violence. “Somewhere in society, we weren’t raised right, treated right, and that messes with our heads,” Reed said. “[Mental health] is probably the key to why everything continues for people of color,” Davis said. “The incarceration system, education system…” “The slavery system!” Reed chimed in. All of these systems have been designed to diminish black people’s mental health, and it results in depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and anger issues, the two went on to say. Both try to engage in activism regularly. Davis is a member of Students Organizing Against Racism (SOAR). “Everyone should know about racism and how it af-

fects everyone,” Davis said. Reed has previously organized events––movie nights, for example––within her community, Marin City. “I feel like activism could be anything when it comes to black people,” Reed said. She organized the movie night to provide her peers with activities instead of “being outside doing nothing.” Upon meeting both Davis and Reed, anyone can sense their confidence and poise, yet it took courage for them to speak at the walkout. “I never really try to speak out [on campus]” Davis said. “I wouldn’t be as supported as other people.” Davis and Reed both feel like the Tam community does not support their voices and opinions because they are black. They feel the same about the current gun control movement. “[White people] felt more comfortable showing up to the March for Our Lives because its organized by not a lot of people of color,” Davis said. She went to the rally on March 24th, but the experience wasn’t very fulfilling for her. “I totally support them, but they have a huge platform and they’re not saying anything about [Black Lives Matter]... Half of these people wouldn’t come to a Black


Lifestyles Lives Matter protest, and it’s the same thing.” Davis felt that Black Lives Matter has lost its voice to the current movement. In Marin City, Davis and Reed stand out for their activism. “There are not a lot of colored people at our school that are willing to speak up and take time out of their day to do the protest,” Reed said. “Deep down inside they think, my life matters, but they get distracted [by stereotypes].” For example, “[there is] pressure on guys to be like ‘that black guy’ who does whatever he wants.” Davis believes more students of color would engage in activism if they were more educated on the causes of issues within their community. “I know a lot of people of color that don’t know about these issues because they are around a predominantly white community, and then they just see the news,” which continues to exclude issues facing people of color, Davis explains. Despite the discouragement Davis and Reed experience at Tam, they continue to engage with these issues in other ways. Davis, Reed, and other Marin City youth travelled to Montgomery, Alabama for the opening ceremony of the Lynching Memorial with the organization Performing Stars of Marin City. They listened to prominent African American Activists like Bryan Stevenson and John Lewis speak on equal justice. They visited the legacy museum, which focuses on the journey from enslavement to mass incarceration and the toll it takes on families. There, they learned more about their history, while envisioning a future America that can move past the atrocities it once sanctioned, like lynching. Davis and Reed both look up to their moms as role models. The pure act of mentioning their mothers seems to stir deep emotion within both of them. At home, they have strong foundations of support and inspiration, contrasting with the relative silence felt on the Tam campus. Coming back from Alabama, Davis and Reed are even more prepared to take action and make a difference in their community. ♦

Left: Yamaecha marches for gun control. Right: Ta’ Naejah and Yamaecha visit a museum in Alabama.

PHOTOS BY ETHAN SWOPE. INTEGRATED WITH GRAPHICS BY FERGUS CAMPBELL.

The Tam News — May 2018

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Lifestyles

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he opening scenes will shock you, the plot will entice you, and the actors will leave you tense for days. A Quiet Place, starring John Krasinski (“The Office”) and Emily Blunt (“Sicario”), is a special breed of horror, a new twist on a genre which has lost its allure by pumping out gory, bland movies that are more gruesome than scary. Instead of relying on sequel status or an apocalyptic premise, “A Quiet Place” succeeds with its strong emphasis on family, love, and just how far people will go to survive. I wish I could say that I am an expert on what makes a great horror film, but honestly, I’ve never really been a fan of scary movies. None of the horror films and thrillers I had watched prior to “A Quiet Place” really stood out to me, and I could never get over the boring plot lines and scenes that relied purely on jumpscares and violence, sacrificing their emotional cores and character development in the process. So of course I was skeptical, sitting in the Larkspur movie theater with a friend that was raised purely on Japanese horror, watching bad trailers for scary movies that would definitely bomb at the box office, and waiting for “A Quiet Place” to start. I mean, could Jim Halpert really make a terrifyingly good thriller? The answer is a definitive yes. Krasinski, who directed the film in addition to acting in it, is best known for his comedic performance on the American version of “The Office,” and it shocked many fans and film enthusiasts when he announced he would be co-writing, directing, and starring in a horror movie with his wife, Emily Blunt. He follows the footsteps of Jordan Peele, director of the Oscar winning thriller “Get Out,” in his transition from comedy to horror. Both of the directors’ success pose the question: what are the similarities between the two genres? Each relies on touching an emotional nerve, and in doing so often reveals a truth we’d rather not acknowledge. Krasinski and Blunt were also influenced by the birth of their second daughter two weeks to the release date, contributing to the parental instincts which are emphasized in the film. While most horror films depend upon parents screaming and shielding their children, the power of “A Quiet

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May 2018 — The Tam News

Place” is instead drawn from the silent bonds between parent and child and the sacrifices made for one’s family. These emotions make the movie almost a love letter to family. The phenomenal chemistry of Blunt and Krasinski only adds to the tragedy and impact of this sentiment. The plot itself is original and daring, focusing on the psychological aspects of horror. The film forces the audience to look deeper into the subplots of the story using the character’s actions, and the absence of dialogue, the film’s most eerie element, keeps viewers on edge. The sheer authenticity of the family forces causes the audience to relate more deeply with the movie and its characters. With stunning performances from both Blunt and Millicent Simmonds (a deaf actor), the story feels real and affects the viewer deeply. “A Quiet Place” is a film that brings human feelings into an inhuman world. With Krasinski’s unique touch, a product of years of comedy experience, the horror movie both keeps the viewer gripped till the end and leaves them invested in the characters even after the credits have rolled. As for me, I left the theater completely silent and fell asleep after clasping my hand over my mouth. ♦

“OFFICE” S T A R S P I N S HORROR T A L E BY JOSIE SPIEGELMAN

GRAPHIC BY FERGUS CAMPBELL


Lifestyles

s n o i t es u Q n a c i er m A o t s r we s French An C

atherine Welter reminds her AP French class often that the test is dominated by cultural comparisons—sections where the test-taker must evaluate differing qualities of institutions present in both Frenchspeaking countries and the country that the student is from. Throughout second semester, Ms. Welter’s class has penned essays on gun control in France versus in the U.S., and we’ve had timed conversations about the differencese in health care and paid work leave between the two countries. It was with a mindset geared toward parallels, then, that I set out for France on the Tam exchange trip in March. Almost unconsciously, as I ate dinner with my French family, attended school and socialized, I looked for ways in which French culture was different from my own. No, not different. Better. With the current American political climate and deep cultural divisions it reflects, I found myself wanting France to outshine the U.S.—in its school structure, in the daily routines of its citizens, and in its general mood and lifestyle. For much of the exchange, however, I struggled to reconcile my need for validation from French society and the fact that there were many aspects of it I disliked. Take school hours at Lycée Saint Cricq, which extend until six at night, and not because French students study relentlessly. They’re granted three-hour breaks to eat lunch and wander downtown Pau (the city where our Frenchies lived), bump into friends from other schools, and smoke. Yes, the stereotype of a Frenchman puffing on his cigarette, with sunken eyes and yellow skin, is exaggerated, but not untrue. Some of these kids go through packs per day, mingling in groups as Marlboros dangle from their mouths before the morning’s first bell, at every break, and after dismissal. The teachers do it too. Standing on the curb just outside school grounds, I would be surrounded by a thick gray cloud that hovered like inclement weather. When classes end, there isn’t time left for school-administered sports. Saint Cricq’s English teacher insisted that teams exist, but told us they only practice on Wednesdays. Most serious sports commitments come in the form of club involvement. (The Pau-Pyrenees area has a num-

by Fergus Campbell

ber of strong club rugby teams for which Saint Cricq students play.) I didn’t like seeing young children handed tablets at restaurants more frequently than in America, nor did I enjoy the tendency of many of the Frenchies to divert attention toward their phones, on which they boasted Snapchat scores matching— and often exceeding—our own. However much a product of Mill Valley hyperawareness I may be, I winced at having to lump together orange peels and scratch paper in the same “poubelle,” or trash bin. Recycling is basically nonexistent in France. “For sale” signs dominated Pau’s streets, and much of the postwar infrastructure was dilapidated or downright ugly, calling to mind Soviet block buildings east of the Berlin wall and reflective of the economic stagnation that France has experienced for much of the past decade. With an unemployment rate hovering around ten percent—higher than that of the U.S. at any point during our most recent recession— and an economy growing slower than both Britain and Germany, France’s ability to top the American experience felt hindered by its sluggish state of being. My Frenchie’s parents told me often that the French like to complain, and that if things go wrong, they’re more likely to make noise than make change. They value togetherness and the shared experiences of their own communities. When economic decline plagues job availability and living standards, there may be a desire to wallow in the discontent as a group, instead of allowing individuals to work harder and succeed. I realized that this mentality might be responsible, in part, for France’s continued economic underperformance, and that it contrasts greatly with the American tendency to power through obstacles toward prosperity, in spite of personal costs. That focus on the individual, while present to an extent in France, is overpowered by a love for family. I saw this love most evident in weekend lunches, which, unlike the unnecessary breaks that punctuated school days, proved essential. They formed the cultural centerpiece of French life, packaging quintessential gastronomical perfection with long,

meandering dissertations (much of which I could not understand) on everything from drinking ages to Napoleon. Arguments ran scarce, and when they appeared, they fizzled fast. Affection was apparent in the dessert served invariably after main meals, in my Frenchie’s cheeky comments and his mother’s admonishments. Alarmingly, French families wanted to spend time together, when the majority of such gatherings in the U.S. are treated as burdens. Has anyone ever asked whether Thanksgiving, so widely mocked as that one day racist uncles must be tolerated, was established merely because if it didn’t exist, no one would see their relatives? I talked to Tam students whose lunches extended from late morning to late afternoon. One remarked, half joking, that because French teens don’t get their licenses until they turn eighteen, they need to maintain close connections with parents in order to be driven places. (Indeed, parents drive everywhere, and are on hand for pickups at four in the morning.) I’m sure this wasn’t the case, though. I noticed a real desire in my Frenchie to learn from what his mother and father had to say and engage them in his own thought processes. Long lunches dominated my routine for two and a half weeks: lunches with my family and other correspondents, even in Paris with Tam students on the last few days of the trip. Along with “rond points” (roundabouts) and constant baguette, they gave France a distinct cultural identity defined by human interaction. When I thought about the culture present in the U.S., I couldn’t call to mind a significant equivalent in daily activity that was resultant from my country’s own character. Sure, America has its diners and football games and girl scout cookies, but arguably no all-encompassing tradition that allows for dialogue and understanding. I got off the plane at the end of the trip almost as conflicted as when I left. I still couldn’t begin to decide if the cross-cultural match that had played in my mind during the exchange now yielded a winner. I did discover, however, a small void that French lunches had occupied, and a month later, the void is still there. ♦

The Tam News — May 2018

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Features

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Senior Lula Georgiadis had been dating her previous boyfriend on and off for three years when she become suspicious that he was cheating. “I knew his [Instagram] password because he gave it to me for some reason,” she said. “.…This one time he was lying about a certain situation and so I went on and found these direct messages with this girl. And a thousand others, but I knew the one girl was what I was looking for.” Georgiadis confronted him over the phone but said she now regrets that approach. “I didn’t get to see his face. Not having that face to face connection when you know that someone cheated on you kinda sucks.” The experience changed the way Georgiadis looks at Instagram. “Social media can sugar coat things,” she reflected. “People have the ability to make something up or [they might] be on the phone and hang up to have an hour to make a story better than it is. After that I deleted my Instagram that followed him, and


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I literally had to delete that entire account because I could not go on it anymore.” Social media might have allowed Georgiadis to discover the truth about her relationship, but the platform also facilitated the cheating. Georgiadis’s experience exemplifies how many students told the tam news they now view social media; to them, it’s become a negative outlet rather than a source of connection or positivity, creating the opportunity for shallow interactions and miscommunications. Relationships can fall on a spectrum where on one end lies a partnership where the members are completely disengaged. On the other end lies a partnership in which the members are in overly attached. In the middle lies the perfect balance where the two members are connected, but live their own lives, giving and taking equally. This spectrum can be represented by circle diagrams. Two circles can be distanced, overlapped completely, or intertwined. Social media can be a deciding factor on where the relationship falls on the spectrum. Wellness Director Jessica Colvin discusses this idea and displays these circles on a board. “An unhealthy relationship can often be when the two circles are separate and there’s not a connection, or when they’re on top of each other and there’s no space left for your individual life” Colvin said. Both scenarios are often exacerbated by an integral aspect of high school: social media. Family, friends and, most importantly, partners, have transferred face to face communication to their phones, communicating via social media, which often negatively impacts their relationships by creating relationships on either side of the “circle spectrum.” Jealousy is one of the emotions most incited by the use of social media. Having the ability to share the picture or see what others are “liking” and who they are “following” eventually catalyzes the motivations and effects of covetous insecurity. One way of making others jealous using social media is posting provocative photos or photos with other people that aren’t that person’s romantic partner. “I wanted to make someone jealous, so I posted a

picture with my arm around someone and I know that that blew up their whole day…. It made me happy that it did and it’s messed up to say but it is definitely true,” junior Kai Kohlwes said. The capability to constantly see what one’s partner is doing, where they are, and who they are with, creates the perfect platform to make a partner jealous. Feelings of jealousy often lead to a need to hover and protect a relationship, as a way to feel less threatened. This can lead the two people to overlap in each other’s lives so much that room for individuality is smothered, resulting in circles that are completely on top of one another. Not only can posting pictures provoke unwanted feelings of insecurity, but apps like “Find my Friends,” which allow those who you accept as network friends to track your location, also can ignite anxiety and jealousy between partners.. Senior Ellie Evans recounted an instance when one friend’s curiosity led to jealousy and anger. “Her boyfriend won’t respond about meeting up but then she can track him and see where he is and that’s what also over complicates relationships and can lead to problems” she said. The problems associated with tracking have even led to the breakup of couples. “[A] girl [was] hanging out with one of her closest guy friends and her boyfriend found her on find my friends and [saw] that they [were] together,” sophomore Sophia King said. “That caused the end of their relationship because he got jealous… and she was just done with him controlling her… That stuff wouldn’t happen if there wasn’t social media or find my friends or snapchat.” Tracking can erode privacy and even lead to a loss of self-identity. Partners become inseparable, worried that if they detach miscommunication may result. “If I open [my new boyfriend’s] snapchat and don’t reply, he’ll be like what are you doing, why didn’t you respond? It becomes a thing” Georgiadis said. Many students interviewed shared thoughts and experiences about how social media intensified the need to be in constant contact, physically or emotionally, with a romantic partner.

The Tam News — May 2018

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Features “I think in this day in age relationships are shifting more towards complete connectedness. They have no privacy because of some of the technology we use. I think it can definitely cause problems, because everyone deserves, should have, a sense of privacy. Who really are you, if someone else is looking at every single thing you’re doing?”senior Ari Rosenberg said. Rosenberg went on to share an example of this unhealthy loss of privacy. “I know this one couple that, on both of their phones, [they have each other] logged into all of their accounts,” he said. “The guy would be logged into the girl’s accounts [and] every time a guy would message the girl, her boyfriend would see the messages and get really mad and get in a fight with both of them, and he would just be really upset. I think that was something that could have been avoided... That’s not a healthy aspect of a relationship.” Sometimes, this overprotectiveness starts off looking endearing, according to Colvin. “I’ve seen cases where what starts

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May 2018 — The Tam News

as sweet where a student is texting their partner a lot and then meeting them after class a lot and walking them,” she said. “It looks really great and then what it ends up being is too much for one of the students…” These types of relationships fall into the overconnected category, in which members of the relationship loose themselves and their own interests. “That’s definitely an issue when your so enmeshed with each other, you’ve lost sight of your own independence and your so affected by each other that it becomes unhealthy,” Boe Roberts, one of Tam’s licensed therapists, said. “That’s definitely something we can work on with counseling. [The] buzzword is co-dependence, and I definitely see that here [at Tam],” At the same time, overuse of social media can also lead to relationships at the other extreme, where the partners are distant and their circles are disconnected. The constant between both types is an absence of deeper communication and trust. “Most relationships these days start over social media and people start talking over the phone instead


Features of going up to someone in person and starting a conversation,” King said. But, while social media has been designed to make people more connected, people often overlook the multitude of ways in which it can create a disconnect. Face to face communication increasingly is replaced by social media. “The drawbacks [of social media] can be just [losing opportunities for] building healthy communication skills, and how to talk in person, and how to get comfortable in person,” Colvin said. “So I definitely think there is a benefit to social media and text and all of that but I think in building healthy relationships

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your inflicting on the person by saying whatever your saying,” he said. What happens when the relationships ends? The common answer: y c Blocking. “[Blocking] is a message without sending a message” Evans a priv f the o said. Because of the already great emphasis on social media, when all n ave some o e. I h communication via social media is immediately taken away, it is essens ey f “Th use o y we u itely e tially like completely erasing someone from your life. But this isn’t the a s n bec nolog n defi becau healthy process of a break up. A break up is supposed to be hard, your h tec k it ca lems, s, supposed to see the other person, and hear them out and try to work things e b n thi e pro eserv nse of s out potentially. Blocking erases all of these steps. d e cau yone e, a s ly are r l v Yet to Roberts, blocking is a very unfamiliar form of communicaeve ld ha o rea se is l u h tion. “What I hear about a lot that is really interesting to me is how quicksho acy. W eone e single v i m y ly students are to block each other… and what the impact of that is...as it pr if so ever g?” , t n becomes more normal,” Roberts said. “Something goes wrong, and even you ing a e doi k r ’ o u before there’s a conversation about it or just speculation of some reason lo g yo berg n n i e h why someone has hurt feelings, [the partner]will block them from social s t i Ro r A media, [and] that’s the cue to the other person that they’re not okay.” While social media has the power to create both disconnected and over-connected relationships, there are ways to make healthy connections using social media as a platform of communication. Students in we have to connect human to human in person. If you’re the tam community see the positives of using social media, as long as it talking about romantic relationships, they often involve is not the first priority. “I like having [my new boyfriend] on Snapchat some level of intimacy that has to happen in person, not because… when he is out of town we get to Snapchat and I get to see his face and that’s really nice…” Georgiadis said. “I try to not make social just over text or social media.” media a first priority, but I don’t feel like… I’ve ever had an experiStudents interviewed described social media as ence where the face to face hasn’t been as great because we’ve been their main medium of communication during arguments, snapchatting all day.” Georgiadis still uses social media as a way to which often just ends with greater disconnect. Many stucommunicate, but veers away from using it as her main outlet of dents have experienced these fights that escalate over social conversation, which has ultimately created a healthier relationship. media due to the lack of face to face conversation. Sometimes getting off social media, even for individual reaBehind a phone, students reported gaining a certain boldness they would not normally express in person. “People defi- sons, can benefit relationships. Junior Oskar Oste took it one step nitely hide because it’s easier and they’re more confident over further when he deleted his social media because he felt himself the phone then in person,” King said. In this sense, social me- getting addicted to using his phone. In this day and age, Oste had dia is used as a “shield” of sorts to hide behind; a way for to explain this decision to his romantic interest. “We have had a conversation about our one year and Valenpeople to create a different persona, maybe one with more tine’s Day and that is something I would have posted about, but conviction. Social media can also be used as a shield in the way it now that I am not on there,” Oste said. “...I don’t feel like she needs cuts off the ability for one to sense emotions through messag- to get the assertion that I love her through that es. It can be challenging to understand the tone of the person Instagram post anymore, so we kinda moved off from that - which I am “talking,” which in the end only leads to further miscommuproud of.” nication.

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“I think if you are going to hang out with somebody you want to see the expression on their face, you got to read body language, there is a lot of things going on and if you misinterpret it via text…” psychology teacher John Hartquist said. The lack of understanding tone goes both ways, as the person speaking might not always understand how their words via social media will affect someone else, according to Rosenberg.“You don’t see the person so it’s easy for you insult or whatever because your not seeing the emotions

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May 2018 — The Tam News


Opinion/Editorial

Editorial: Because We Don’t Talk About College Enough...

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e could spend this editorial proving the obvious: that Tam students are drowning in college talk and it’s making us miserable. But despite frequent hand wringing, it only gets worse every year. What we need is a plan to do somthing about it. The constant pressure to succeed by getting into a “good” school stems from both peers and authorities like teachers, parents, and counselors. Successfully changing Tam’s culture requires a community wide effort to acknowledge our own biases, change the language we use, and redefine our understanding of success itself. For example, teachers often reinforce unhealthy attitudes towards college admissions unintentionally when they namedrop their alma maters. Some Tam teachers frequently reference the name of the undergraduate school they attended as an attempt to validate their own intelligence and gain credibility as an authority figure.

Statements like “trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I went to [Prestigious University]” leave students with the impression that college admissions can and should be viewed as a proxy for intelligence and worth, despite the process’s increasing randomness. For a student who doesn’t plan on or isn’t able to go to college, these interactions can be especially harmful. They send the signal that following a less “conventional” path is not a valuable choice, despite the fact that for many students, it’s the right one. As a more supportive alternative, teachers can choose not to explicitly name a school when referencing their college days, or can balance out references to their alma mater with accomplishments and experiences unrelated to college. Similarly, the intensity with which students ask questions like “Where are you going to college?” come April and May excludes students not interested in or able

Crackin’ and Slackin’

to attend a four year college. A simple shift to asking “What are your plans after high school?” frees students to discuss their plans without shame or a sense of alienation. To counteract never ending college talk, Tam upperclassmen might even consider asking that students refrain from telling each other where they’re applying, as some other high schools have done. Although drastic, that kind of policy could alleviate much of the toxic competitiveness that surround college admissions. However, it could only work if it was enthusiastically by a borad sawth of the student body. Fundamentally, changing Tam’s culture around college and “success” in a meaningful way starts with community members, be they students, teachers, or parents, looking within and reevaluating the way that they talk to others about these topics. Do you name drop your alma mater to get respect, or assume that someone is more intelligent after hearing where the got in? Do you sneer at the idea of going to community college because “you’re better than that” or loudly dismiss schools as “safeties?” Perhaps most importantly, do you ask about college before you ask about how fulfilled, engaged, or connected a peer is?

do you ask about college before you ask about how fulfilled, engaged, or connected a peer is?

When we focus solely on college as a measure of high school success, we forget to celebrate the wide variety of achievements and skill sets among our student body. Moreover, students often sacrifice their mental and emotional well being in pursuit of the external validation that a college admission can provide. The result is an exclusive and unsupportive school environment that fails to serve all students, regardless of their plans post-graduation, and an overburdened, unhappy student population. Success doesn’t have one meaning, nor does the question “What are your plans after high school?” have a single right answer. Our challenge is to get used to hearing, and celebrating, the diversity that both invite. ♦

The Tam News — May 2018

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Opinion/Editorial

Much Ado About Nuttin’ Satire by Milo Levine

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n an email sent out to parents and students on May 1, the administration stated their concerned with the recent rise of student masturbation on campus. This email comes as the CDC has declared a national Porn Induced Masturbation Addiction (PIMA) crisis. This condition has struck high school communities especially hard. A recent study conducted by the CDC has concluded that Tam has amongst the highest PIMA rates in the state. Experts agree that PIMA is substantially more prevalent in affluent communities. According to Laura Watson, Ph.D., who has studied PIMA for the last 25 years, dangerous trends in youth culture have contributed to this rise. Peer pressure and the desire to “be cool” are the two main reasons that teens first try porn. The underdeveloped brain of teenagers makes them more susceptible to addiction, which can begin after just one 3-5 minute video. “I didn’t want to watch porn, but then this girl that I had a crush on told me that only losers don’t watch porn, so I thought I’d try it out,” an anonymous junior, currently in a PIMA rehab facility in Oregon, said. “Next thing I know, I’m masturbarting in a bathroom stall during class on a daily basis. That’s when I knew I had PIMA.” This student is not alone in their experience. In recent months, the administration has been cracking down on daytime masturbation, with random bathroom inspections and DNA testing. Thus far, 37 students have been caught. Students have also played a role in addressing the issue. Peer Resource is organizing an event to counter PIMA at Tam, which is scheduled for sometime later this month. The event will feature a motivational speaker, in depth personal discussions, a group art project, an obstacle course, a drum circle, silent meditation, staff versus student basketball, and free frozen yogurt. “I really think that when we unite as a

Heard in the Tam Hallways

“Is stalin dead?” - AP Euro Classroom

by the Opinion Staff

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community, people will want to masturbate less,” Jimmy Baldwin, a junior running for ASB President, said. PIMA has been the hot topic of this year’s ASB elections, and the candidates have all stated their plan for dealing with the epidemic. “If I were elected, I would take a hardline on daytime masturbators,” Mark Newton, a sophomore who is running for ASB Vice President, said. “I would personally patrol the bathrooms while class is in session, to make sure they are being used properly. If I were to catch anyone masturbating, I would secretly film them, and then I would post the video on my official ASB Instagram page, @NewtonsNotForNutting.” Newton also plans to add another vending machine to the Student Center. Although PIMA is widely considered to be a problem at Tam, some students have voiced their approval for masturbating on campus. Historically, the liberal majority at Tam has silenced students who hold pro-masturbation beliefs; however, a small group of pro-masturbators has decided to come forward, uniting under the battle cry of “Jerk Free or Die!” “This country is where the Founding Fathers first masturbated,” senior Jason Carter, co-founder of the Fapping for Freedom Club, which currently has over 400 active student members, said. “Masturbating to porn is a basic human right.

May 2018 — The Tam News

“I was almost an abortion” - Wood Hall

It’s written in the Constitution. As students, we have the obligation to defend our basic principles, even if we face persecution from the administration.” As a show of solidarity with masturbators nationwide, Carter has orchestrated a school walkout to culminate in a peaceful public masturbation demonstration, all scheduled to take place on June 1, in front of the school arches. “We completely support our students’ right to express their beliefs and opinions on campus,” the administration wrote in the email. “Hopefully, this protest will further the national conversation regarding masturbation addiction.” Students who choose to participate in the walkout will receive an unexcused absence for first period. ♦

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“Anything’s a snack food if you’re depressed enough” - BPL


Opinion/Editorial

Autism: No Laughing Matter By Skye Schoenhoeft

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t’s a Friday night, and again I find myself living out the teenage stereotype; eating crackers and scrolling through Instagram in my bed after a long week of school. Everything is going just fine until I see a video posted by one of my friends. There they are, being kooks and loudly running around campus. Just the usual. But then my friend comments at the end of the video, “God you’re autistic,” to the other person. This cut makes me sick to my stomach. Autism is a developmental disorder that impairs social interaction and communication. There is a wide range of people that exist within the autism spectrum, from slightly socially off to entirely nonverbal. My brother was diagnosed with autism when I was about five. I don’t remember when we learned the news, so my brother’s differences have always been a part of my life. I’d like to think that I have had a pretty typical teenage experience, but in reality, living with him has changed me in a multitude of ways. I don’t think about his differences all the time, but in the back of my mind I know his actions will always affect mine. I was in the fourth grade when I first realized that not everyone is aware of my situation. I was in the car on the way home and my friend and her dad were joking around. In the midst of their conversation, through spurts of laughter, her dad told her that she was retarded. She giggled and shouted the same slur back at him. I sat in shocked silence. At the age of 10 I had never heard that word used before as a casual insult. I didn’t think something like that would seem funny to anyone. Life with my brother is certainly unique. He and I still laugh, argue, collaborate, and clash, but our interactions are different than those of other siblings. To put it in perspective, I have never had a typical

conversation with my brother all 14 years of his life. He is mostly nonverbal but he communicates through lines from movies he’s watched. He expresses how he feels through Disney characters’ quotes and imitations of their actions. He gets stuck on repetitive behaviors that I try my best to endure, but sometimes I want to lose it when I hear “The Incredibles” theme song for the four hundredth time that day. He gets on my nerves but I love him unconditionally. He can’t tell me himself, but I know he loves me too. Two years after that car ride with my friend, I remember talking to a class of third graders to bring attention to autism awareness month, which occurs every April. After a short presentation, one little girl stopped me outside and told me that she was so sorry for my brother. When she first said this I felt defensive, as if she was saying there was something wrong with him. I was only 12, so I was too young to know how I should react. In hindsight, I know this girl did not intend to offend me in any way, but her response proved that many people do not understand what it means to have autism or be close to someone that does. Yes, living with someone with autism can be difficult at times,

but it does not make people who deal with these differences lesser in any way. Those of us related to, or in the autism community do not need your pity, we just deserve your attempt at understanding. My life is different but it doesn’t seem that difficult to me. It’s the only life I have ever known. I do not envy others who may have more typical siblings because living with my brother has made me who I am today. Having someone so close to me that faces challenges makes me more aware that everyone else faces their own challenges in different ways. I can’t speak for every special needs sibling by any means–all experiences are different. There is such a wide range in humanity, how we interpret our lives, and the abilities people have. Yet it never fails to make me want to throw something across the room when a joke is made about someone being autistic. What angers me the most is the fact that students use autism as a slanderous term even though they don’t know what it really means. Personally, I will never feel offended if anyone asks me about my brother or my experience. In fact, I would be more than happy to answer. If people have the courage to speak up and ask questions about how people with autism see the world and how they influence the world around them, they should be appreciated for trying to educate themselves. Many issues that come up are due to people’s lack of knowledge on the subject, and autism jokes are no exception. The problem with some jokes is their content can hurt unknowingly. Whether it be a joke about something being gay, a joke about race, or a religious jab, all can hurt people more than you think. Be careful with your words because words have meaning. You never know who may be listening. ♦ GRAPHIC BY JOHN OVERTON

“You can smoke salmon?”

-Pool

“My mom has Rabies”

-Upper Keyser

“My mom tried to set me up with a 22 year old she met at a shamanic retreat” -Keyser Landing The Tam News — May 2018

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Sports

Unified Sports Track Event by Elissa Asch

TOP: Special ed and general ed students gather before the event. BELOW: Students compete in various track and field events. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHAEL LOVEJOY

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oth special and general education students competed side by side at the Unified Track Sports event at Tam on April 18. The event was the latest of multiple unified basketball games and track meets held this year at Tam and other schools in Marin County. “Our program combines general ed students with special ed students and they

partner up...primarily for the special ed students to have a real sports experience,” special education teacher Michael Lovejoy said. “So [our students] train weeks to run track or play basketball and then we compete against other schools.” Tam held the first unified sports program in the district four years ago, and now there are seven high schools that compete across Marin. Athletes, students, parents, and teachers have come out to show their support for the team.

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Consecutive wins for varsity baseball as of May 8.

May 2018 — The Tam News

“I think it’s a really good bridge between the general ed and special ed students,” said junior Ethan Swergold, a two-year participant in the program. “It’s a common love of sports and I think it’s really great when people come out and watch and cheer our teams on.” Mr. Lovejoy stressed the value of these competitions to the special educations students as well as the community as a whole. “What I’ve seen is our students come back with confidence and they come back knowing more people...they’ll walk different the next couple of days, like walking on a cloud, with their shoulders higher,” he said. “[The effect of these events] go on for days and months and weeks and years... somebody might be inspired to work in a classroom, somebody might be inspired to just say hi and say ‘Hey, I saw you run a great race.’ It builds confidence in our students and it builds a stronger community.” ♦

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Regular season record of varsity boys and girls swimming.


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Sports

by Kennedy Cook

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o senior Alexis Travers, basketball was everything. Her first time playing on a basketball team was in fifth grade. “When I was little, I wasn’t athletic at all,” she said. “I was really self conscious... and I didn’t really know what I liked or wanted to do. I was really shy. Basketball brought me confidence, not only within the sport because I began to get good at it, but also in life in general. That’s the biggest part of it.” Travers played competitive Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball every summer, on the varsity team her freshman year, and captained the varsity squad her sophomore year. By then, she had already torn her ACL twice. “My doctor said it would probably happen again [after the second tear], but I thought, ‘I want to play so I’m going to play until it happens again and go from there,’” she said. And she did. During a basketball practice the summer before her junior year, a familiar pain erupted from her knee. She had torn her ACL yet again. This time, she was left with only one option: to quit. “Hearing the news was really just

horrible,” Travers said. “It took me probably a year to come to terms with everything because [basketball] was something that I had been doing for so long and had made me the person I am. It was something that I was good at and I liked to do and had been such a big part of my life, and so to hear that I couldn't do it anymore was just really disappointing and sad.” Although Travers had been forced to give up the game she loved, her passion for sports remained. “I did know that I needed something to replace the physical part of [basketball], being able to play a sport all the time.” Crew coaches had been trying to recruit Travers since her freshman year. Now, unable to play basketball, she was ready to give it a shot. The hardest part of taking up rowing was not acquiring the skills, but rather letting go of basketball. “When I started [rowing] I was pretty discouraged,” Travers said. “I wasn’t going to do it at first because I was just like, ‘There is nothing that can replace basketball. I just don’t want to do anything. But then I made myself go to the tryouts. I was in my car and I didn’t want t o go at all. I had to physically force myself to get out of the car and go.” Less than two years since those tryouts, Travers has committed to the University of Washington on a rowing scholarship. “It’s just amazing this opTravers (center) poses for a photo with the rest of her portunity that came from something that was bad,” she said. boat. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALEXIS TRAVERS

Unfortunately, Travers’s determination and passion for athletics was tested once again. “I overtrained over the summer and I was put into a boat at the beginning of the year with girls who had all been rowing for much longer,” Travers said. “When I felt the pain I kinda ignored it because I wanted to be in the top boat.” Months later in January, Travers finally visited a doctor and was diagnosed with a broken rib. “The doctor said that I need to wait at least a year for it to fully recover and even then I may still have pain. I’m still going to Washington. I’m hoping to come back sophomore year, but it’s not 100 percent yet, I still have to go see another doctor and see how I feel then.” Despite numerous setbacks, Travers remains thankful for everything she has learned from athletics. “Through the experiences I had, I realized that I didn’t need [sports] to make me who I am. ♦

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Check the Tam News online (www.thetamnews.org) for more sports coverage. Score of varsity Score of boys tennis win varsity girls against Redwood lacrosse’s to win the MCAL win against tournament. Cardinal Newman on May 8. The Tam News — May 2018

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Sports

sam smith: lax to the max By Eddie Schultz

Smith eyes one of her 19 goals on the season in a game at Drake.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEAMSNAP

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reshman Sam Smith had an immediate impact in her first season on varsity lacrosse, helping the girls’ team to a 5-3 MCAL start (as of May 7). “I was really nervous my first game, I remember I was about to take the draw and I was just freaking out and shaking,” she said. Smith started lacrosse five years ago as a fifth grader, pushed forward by her father, who played lacrosse in high school and was an All-American at University of

Smith participates in the draw at the start of a game.

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May 2018 — The Tam News

Virginia. “I just got into it really easily and understood the sport well,” she said. “It just kinda clicked with me [and it] made sense.” Smith is one of five freshmen on the girls’ varsity lacrosse team this year. The transition to playing at the high school level has been smooth for the freshmen. “Sam Smith and Maggie Griffis are two new freshmen, and they are already two of our best players,” said senior and teammate Emily Pavis. “They are extremely talented and have a passion for lacrosse that made the transition from youth to varsity extremely easy.” Playing with older and more experienced players is less of a disadvantage for Smith and more of an opportunity to improve. “I’ve always liked challenging myself to play with more experienced players,” she said. “Getting to learn from them is

really nice and what they teach you is really valuable.” Even in her first year on the team, it is evident that Smith puts the team first. “Not letting my team down is a huge [motivator] because losing is just so hard on the whole team,” she said. Smith has quickly become a leader on the team setting the tone for her teammates with hard work. “As a freshman, she is already a team leader by setting an example for how much effort each player on the team should be putting in,” Pavis said. “She’s devoted to the sport and leads by example.” Smith looks up to team captain and senior Raven Twilling as a role model. “She’s only been playing for four years but she’s a captain on the team and she’s really involved,” she said. “She’s a really good motivator and she just brings up the energy and intensity of our team.” According to Smith, the program is on the rise thanks to incoming students during the next few years. “I know some good lacrosse players that will be coming in in the next few years, so I’m excited.” ♦


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