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The Tam News — November 2017

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November 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2

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features Ghosts of Tam by Ethan Swope

Tam custodian Moris Mira takes readers on a journey through an otherworldly side of the school.

04 news

08 lifestyles

05 news

10 lifestyles

19 op/ed

11 features

20 op/ed

As the Smoke Clears: A Photo Essay by Ethan Swope

Editorial: Reacting to National Tragedy by Staff Crackin’ and Slackin’ by the Opinion Staff

15 features

21 sports

18 op/ed

21 sports

Tam College Counselor Resigns by Josie Spiegelman, Skye Schoenhoeft, & Lila Bullock

News Flash by Zoe Cowan, Milo Levine, Griffin Chen & Aaron Young District Attorney Candidates by Maddie Asch & Connor Dargan

06 news

MVMS Skatepark Reopens by Ava Finn

07 news

Mill Valley Marijuana Regulations by Camille Howard

November 2017 — The Tam News

Artist of the Issue: Maren Curtis by Kennedy Cook

Fashion Faux Pas by Camille Howard

Ghosts of Tam by Ethan Swope

Nextdoor Mad Libs by Milo Levine

Let’s Have the Talk by Abby Frazee

Cian’s Cannon by Miles Rubens

Natalie Durham: Causing a Racket by Eddie Schultz


Dear Reader,

Pictures are worth a thousand words. It may be a cliche, but it’s true. As a publication, we tend to focus on written, rather than photographic, journalism, but in this issue we chose to put emphasis on photographs because they have a power that a news story or even feature wouldn’t be able to convey. Images provide an insight and provoke a visceral reaction that writing alone can’t. The photos of Northern California’s fires and their aftermath show the devastation they wrought. On the other hand, there’s a place for small and sweet stories within journalism too. In this issue we tried to balance the tragedy of destructive fires with more enjoyable pieces, including Ethan Swope’s profile of Tam custodian Moris Mira and his experience with ghosts. It’s our hope that stories like these can provide new perspectives through which one can view Tam, in addition to being a respite from the world’s conflicts and problems. Finally, even those of us who can’t yet vote have a responsibility as citizens to stay involved and informed in current events. As seen in this issue’s news stories, Marin is currently debating how to deal with legalized marijuana, and an election for District Attorney is coming up. Community members should speak up and participate in the democratic process, regardless of where they lie on these issues. As journalists, we value our role in keeping readers aware of ways that they can participate in and shape local events.

Marie Hogan EDITORS IN CHIEF: Maddie Asch, Megan Butt, Marie

Hogan, & Dahlia Zail

NEWS: Elissa Asch, Samantha Ferro, Kavi Dolasia, & Milo

Cover by: Elise Korngut and Kylie Sakamoto On the Cover: Ethan Swope’s photo essay shows the affects of California’s outbreak of wildfires.

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

Levine

COPY EDITORs: Griffin Chen, Annie Blackadar

LIFESTYLES: Shane Lavezzo, Lola Leuterio, Glo Robinson,

Calvin Rosevear, & Emily Spears

DESIGN: Kennedy Cook, Ava Finn, Elise Korngut, Tess Lochman, & Kylie Sakamoto

FEATURES: Kennedy Cook, Michael Diamandakis, Ava

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

Finn, & Benjy Wall-Feng

Priel, & Aaron Young

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

SOCIAL MEDIA: Michael Diamandakis and Maddie Wall

Zoe Wynn

SPORTS: Connor Dargan, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jack Loder, Miles Rubens, & Adam Tolson Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org

PHOTOS: Ethan Swope

Volume XIII, No. I October 2017 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1919

ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

REPORTERS: Nicole Agosta, Camila Alfonso, Hannah Alpert, Annika Astengo, Ava Aufdencamp, Alec Bakhshandeh, Michael Balistreri, Griffin Barry, Isabella Bauer, Rocky Brown, Sophia Bruinsma, Lila Bullock, Fergus Campbell, Griffin Chen, Zoe Cowan, Hana Curphey, Ian Duncanson, Jordan Engel, Tessa Flynn, Celia Francis, Abigail Frazee, Leah Fullerton, Max Goldberg, Cassidy Holtzapple, Camille Howard, Abigail James, Emlen Janetos, Charlotte Jones, Jamilah Karah, Kara Kneafsey, Elise Korngut, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jissell Kruse, Elan Levine, Logan Little, Samantha Locke, Johanna Meezan, Sebastian Meyer, Cal Mitchell, Amina Nakhuda, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, Dara Noonan, John Overton, Jake Paz-Priel, Luca Pelo, Cassandra Peterson, Collin Prell, Luke Rego, Darieus Rego, Madeline Reilly, Lucas Rosevear, Charlotte Rosgen, Thomas Russell, Alexander Saenz Zagar, Kylie Sakamoto, Samuel Schnee, Skye Schoenhoeft, Emma Schultz, Wilton Senel, Aryana Senel, Camille Shakirova, Adrian Shavers, Henry Soicher, Summer Solomon, Emily Spears, Joanne Spiegelman, Paisley Stocks, Jacob Swergold, Ethan Swope, Grace Tueros, Gisela Vicente Estrada, Daisy Wanger, Evan Wilch, Beckett Williams, Maxwell Williams, Niulan Wright, Aaron Young EDITORIAL BOARD: 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 — November 2017

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News

Wildfires Hit Northern California by Josie Spiegelman, Skye Schoenhoeft, & Lila Bullock

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wildfire broke out in Napa County, California, at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, and has been followed by four other major outbreaks, leading to terrible air quality throughout the North Bay, including Marin County and Mill Valley. As of October 17, the series of fires have burned 340 square miles, left 42 people dead, 65 missing, 100,000 displaced, and 5,500 structures damaged or destroyed. The fires’ direct cause is unknown, but officials say the high winds and dry weather were significant contributors to the fire’s rapid growth. Strong winds spread the smoke from the fires, drastically worsening the air quality in Marin. All school-related sports were cancelled during the first week of the fire and avoidance of heavy physical exertion outside was strongly recommended by officials. That week, 182 students at Tam called in sick due to the poor conditions. School was canceled on Friday, October 13. Tam students and teachers are being directly affected by the events in the North Bay. Science teacher Suzanne Garcia was required to evacuate from her home in Santa Rosa. “The disruption from being out of our home and the mental toll has absolutely impacted [my teaching],” Garcia said. The fires also have affected Garcia emotionally. “I feel deeply, deeply sad for the enormous loss that so many of my friends and colleagues have experienced. Everyone in my community knows at least a handful of people who lost everything. In my community I am met with constant reminders of the fire. I drive down burned down streets; I meet friends and neighbors at the grocery store who have lost homes, pets, even in some cases family members. It feels unbelievably strange to do ‘normal things’ like go to work, grade papers, go to the gym, when so much in my community is not normal,” she said. Teachers at Tam have noticed an emotional change in their students. “I have students directly impacted [by the fires] that I am seeing where they’ve disconnected a little bit,” social issues teacher Shawn

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Weber said. “It’s hard to find evidence directly, but I get the general feeling that there could be a very deep e m o t i o n a l A car lies abandoned in a fire damaged area of northern California. impact hapPHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE pening for some of our students, and it might not be was moved enough by the devastating coming out right now because there is still events up north that he decided to take action. “Friday morning, I went to the evacuthis sense of shock from it happening.” Adding to the emotional toll on Tam ation center that was set up at the Marin students, the fire burned down the Jewish County Civic Center and I volunteered for sleep away camp, Camp Newman, beloved a few hours there,” Pribble said. “So then by many. “I’m devastated, Camp Newman in the afternoon, along with a few other was like a second home to me, and now, teachers, I went up to Santa Rosa and we without any warning, it’s gone,” said fresh- helped distribute gift cards at an evacuation man Jack Cohen, who had attended the center in Santa Rosa.” Pribble also said that gift cards can be more helpful to evacuees camp for six years. Freshman Jordan Engel also attended than supplies, since they take up less space. “Gift cards are tantamount to the Camp Newman. “I used to go there every summer, but now I won’t be able to. I can’t equivalent of money, so it’s a way to give believe what’s happened! I woke up this people the flexibility of cash essentially, so morning and hoped it was all a bad dream, that they can have at least a little bit of fionly to discover it was the heartbreaking nancial relief and use it however they can. In some ways, it’s a little bit silly to give reality,” Engel said. Engel’s family has been housing their $100 to someone who just lost their home, babysitter and her boyfriend since Mon- but I do think that every little bit counts day, October 9, and will continue to do so when you’re looking at people who ran out until it is safe to go back. “We try and do of their homes with nothing but what they the best we can to help in these times of had on in some instances. It’s just a drop in need. They were forced to leave their home the bucket, but I do think that it helps just a in Napa and were headed to a shelter, but little,” Pribble said. He added that he felt there was a they were crowded enough, so we gladly strong sense of community while he was offered them to stay with us,” Engel said. Assistant principal David Rice ad- volunteering. “One would expect the mood dressed how the Tam community will as- to be somber, and people were certainly sist those in need. “We have an awful lot upset, but there’s something about when a of people that have lost their homes, who community pulls together and people are need places to live, and one school com- looking after one another ... the emotion pletely burned to the ground, and some was really raw,” he said. “It was a range schools aren’t open yet. The kids still need of emotions, but it was really nice to see to continue their education, so I suspect people coming together, even people who we’ll have students coming to our district didn’t have anything, coming together and helping people out.” ♦ schools.” Social studies teacher Aaron Pribble

November 2017 — The Tam News


NEWS FLASH

News

New Bakery to Open in Lumberyard

Tam’s New Attendance Enforcement

by Zoe Cowan

by Milo Levine

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wners of Flour Craft Bakery in San Anselmo, Heather Hardcastle and her husband Rick Perko, will be opening a second location of the gluten free bakery in the Mill Valley Lumber Yard in the spring of 2018. The lumberyard location will offer a variety of freshly made, certified gluten free pastries, cakes, and breads, as well as savory breakfast and lunch dishes. Serving Equator coffee, the bakery will be a place to grab a quick coffee and pastry for breakfast, or to enjoy a leisurely meal. “I have been gluten free for 18 years and have found a lack of freshly baked items of excellent quality available in the market. So, I decided to make them myself,” Hardcastle said. ♦

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Brush Fire Starts in Sausalito by Griffin Chen & Aaron Young

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his year the administration has amped up its attendance enforcement to counter Tam’s abysmal absence and tardiness record. “Tam High [absences] are excessive … for our district [and] excessive for all high schools in California,” assistant principal Angela Gramlick said. Both excused and unexcused truancy will be targeted as a part of the new crackdown, due to many parents calling in illegitimate excuses for their students. There has been some confusion between students and teachers as to what has actually changed with regards to the rules. “A lot of it is not new,” assistant principal David Rice said. “We’re just actually enforcing it this year.” Consequences for truancy include, but are not limited to, ineligibility for a parking permit, a lowered semester grade, or the loss of course credit. ♦

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round noon on October 17, a fastmoving brush fire broke out along the southbound side of Highway 101. Local fire departments, with assistance from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, quickly arrived at the scene, containing and extinguishing the fire before it spread out of control. Marin County spokesperson Laine Hendricks told SFGate that the fires were under control at 1:59 p.m. There was a mandatory evacuation on a few roads. According to a police officer directing traffic at exit 445A, most of the roads near the fire had been evacuated. “To be honest, I’m just glad my family and our house are safe and no damage has been done,” Sausalito resident Kelly Davlos said. ♦

District Attorney Elections

andidates AJ Brady, Anna Pletcher, and Lori Frugoli, will face off in the November elections for District Attorney [DA]. The DA, a four-year position, represents the state government in prosecuting crimes and also serves as a legal advisor to Grand Jurors, who decide whether or not a case should go to trial. Anna Pletcher is a Mill Valley resident who has served as chair of the Marin Women’s Commission, member of the Parent Teacher Association and the Wellness Advisory board at Tamalpais, Redwood, and Drake high schools. Pletcher was Assistant Chief at her San Francisco office where she was a federal prosecutor. • Offers new perspective as first Latina DA • Reform juvenile justice, specifically advancing restorative justice through programs such as Youth Court.

PHOTO BY SUSAN ADLER PHOTOGRAPHY

by Maddie Asch & Connor Dargan

Born in San Francisco, AJ Brady has an intensive background in practicing law in Marin County while also raising his family here. Having served as the Deputy District Attorney for 13 years, Brady believes his experience has prepared him well for the job. • Previous experience in county leadership and in an elected office • Implement initiatives such as his “Smart Crime” initiative where “violent crimes are prosecuted vigorously, non-violent lowerlevel offenses are offenses are diverted from the system, and fresh, innovative practices are implemented to encourage rehabilitation and lower recidivism”) to reform justice system.

Lori Frugoli, a Terra Linda High School graduate, Novato resident and a Deputy District Attorney for 27 years, knows what it’s like to be a part of the Marin community. While working to earn her college degree from College of Marin, Frugoli began her career as a trendsetter and a progressive, joining the San Rafael when there were few female officers serving. • Won the Peace Officer of the Year Award in 1982 for ‘Meritorious Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty’ as a policewoman in San Rafael • Expand restorative justice, focusing on alternatives to incarceration for the mentally ill, homeless, and drug addicted. ♦

PHOTO COURTESY OF AJ BRADY

PHOTO COURTESY OF LORI FRUGOLI

The Tam News — November 2017

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News

MVMS Skatepark Renovations by Ava Finn

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n September 23, local surf and skate shop Proof Lab hosted a fundraiser in conjunction with the Mill Valley Middle School (MVMS) 8th graders, Good Earth, Equator Coffee, and State Room Brewery. Families and friends gathered to celebrate and raise money for a new MVMS skate park. New ramps, railings, a place for shade, and an evenly cemented flooring will replace the current MVMS skate park. “The upgrade to the existing skatepark will hopefully take place in spring 2018,” Proof Lab’s website stated. “The size cannot be expanded at this point, but if we raise enough money the existing uneven and rough blacktop could be replaced with cement.” Proof Lab’s fundraiser hosted “about 300 people … throughout the evening,” Will Hutchinson, co-founder of Proof Lab said. “Proof Lab was willing to raise the money for the skaters of Marin largely because of the notion that Proof Lab is owned by skaters, who understand the struggle of a less than satisfying skate spot,” junior Mac Castaneda, a local skater, said. Many skaters at MVMS are excited about the installation. According to 8th grader Jake Moore, he was the one to

propose the plan, bringing his idea to the Board of Parks and Recreation. “Me and my friends would joke around and be like, ‘It would be so cool to get a new skate park,’ and then I was like, oh wait, my dad’s on the Park’s and [Recreation Board], so maybe he could get us a presentation .... and then I asked my dad and he thought it was a great idea,” Moore said. According to MVMS 8th grader Calder Dorman Greene, parents are concerned about the skate park’s working condition, constantly complaining that children are getting burned on the metal ramps. “They pretty much just threw a couple ramps in the parking lot,” Dorman Greene said of the construction of the current MVMS park. According to Moore and friends, the skaters of Marin have been banned practically everywhere. Many of them skate at Safeway, using the sidewalks and space to learn and practice tricks. “I love Safeway and all, but we always get screamed at, and my mom has gotten three emails already saying ‘No more skating at Safeway’ because stores there just don’t like it,” Moore said. He added that if his project is successful, students and skaters won’t have to re-

vert to Safeway as a common skate ground. Moore and other MVMS students have also created a Facebook page to publicize the idea of the new skate park. The page, titled “Mill Valley Skate Park,” helps to provide information to the community on what the new layout could look like and the benefits it could provide to all the “shredders,” a nickname given to skaters. Many parents around the community are also excited for the refinement of the skate park, frequently posting questions or enthusiastic comments on the MVMS Facebook page on when they can expect the project to begin. “Will this park include access for bikes?” Dan Jeffris asked in a comment. “I agree with the idea of needing MUCH more coverage against the sun,” Laura Diecks posted. The awareness from the community is continuing helping to push this project into action. The Proof Lab fundraiser was able to raise $16,000, but Moore and other skaters are still waiting to find out when they can expect the new ramps and railings to be installed. “I’m hoping that [this skate park] will get a lot more kids to start skating and satisfy all the kids here,” Moore said. ♦

Mill Valley Middle School (MVMS) holds a skate park fundraiser at Proof Lab.

The proposed skate park model, above.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILL HUTCHINSON

PHOTO COURTESY OF MVMS SKATE PARK FACEBOOK PAGE

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November 2017 — The Tam News


News

Mill Valley Marijuana Regulations

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y January of 2018, the City of Mill Valley must establish a local cannabis (marijuana) ordinance, or else they have to comply with state regulations which legalize medical and recreational distribution. The Mill Valley Planning Commission is currently holding meetings to decide on whether to allow or prohibit retail sale of medical and recreational marijuana in the city as well as where the drug may be used. “The Planning Commission is recommending [that] City Council prohibit outdoor cannabis cultivation and commercial cannabis activity, but indoor cultivation is allowed,” Mill Valley Senior Planner, Danielle Staude, said. California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 94, known as the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), on June 27. Along with Proposition 64, which was signed on November 8, 2016 legalizing marijuana, MAUCRSA grants local jurisdictions control over commercial cannabis activity within their city limits and where public consumption is allowed. California voters passed Proposition 64 by 57 percent, and 74 percent of Mill Valley residents were in favor of it. However, Mill Valley currently bans recreational cannabis usage through the Mill Valley Municipal Code. On October 10, the Mill Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) discussed the dispensary and delivery of medicinal marijuana as well as recreational use. The plan is to evaluate the current ban to decide whether or not the policy should be changed. “The Planning Commission is recommending [that] City Council prohibit outdoor cannabis cultivation and commercial cannabis activity, but indoor cultivation is allowed,” Staude said. By the California state law, individuals are allowed to use marijuana recreationally at a private residence, as long as they are 21 or older. They can possess up to six plants and 28.5 grams of marijuana, but only eight grams can be used for recreational use. If minors are caught with marijuana,

GRAPHIC BY FRANCESCA SHEARER

by Camille Howard

then they will be sentenced to community service. “Anyone over 21 who breaks any of the laws surrounding cannabis activity will be charged with a misdemeanor,” Staude stated. The state of California prohibits the use of marijuana within 600 feet of schools, day care centers, or youth centers, but the MVPC is debating whether to follow the state’s law or extend the boundary to 1,000 feet in order to try to prevent minors from getting a hold of the drug. The only medical cannabis dispensary in Marin County is located in Fairfax. Marin County and San Anselmo considered establishing medicinal cannabis dispensaries in select locations, but these regulations were unsuccessful due to local concerns such as traffic. San Anselmo is also permitting outdoor cultivation. In addition, San Rafael is

allowing test laboratories and commercial manufacturing. In a meeting on September 26, the MVPC discussed how retail sale of cannabis could benefit the city. The advantage of allowing retail sale of cannabis is using the tax money from local cannabis businesses for health-related support groups. Cities that prohibit the retail sale of both medical and non-medical use of marijuana will not receive revenue generated from state tax. Nothing has been made official yet, as the City of Mill Valley is still considering the maximum amount of product a retailer can have, security requirements, hours of operation, environmental impact, and whether or not consumption of cannabis should be permitted or prohibited on site. ♦

The Tam News — November 2017

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N E R S A I MURT C IS ART

DE N TA

NT

EN R P RE

EUR

By Kennedy Cook

Above: Junior Zoe Curtis, Maren’s twin sister, shows off Maren’s shirt design. Maren is a shirt-designing entreupener as well as aspiring artist. Bottom Right: Maren models another shirt design she created. The same everyday events you and I experience are transformed into pieces of wearable art by junior Maren Curtis. Since kindergarten, Curtis’s world has revolved around art, whether it be watercolor, pencil drawings, or her favorite: ink drawings. “I love using ink to draw everyday events and scenes,” she said. “If I really like a photo taken of my friend, I’ll draw that too.” Curtis carefully chooses which scenes to recreate. “I mostly do places that I either feel very confident in or very vulnerable,” she said. “You’ll be able to see what type of setting it is based off of the backgrounds and whether or not they have stars or halos.” Stars and halos are consistently used in Curtis’s art. “The stars appear in drawings where the subject is comfortable and confident,” she said. “It is rare, but there are a few drawings where the stars are missing. I use halos to make the subject seem wiser and

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more important than anything else in the drawing. Halos are usually a composition thing and don’t hold as much meaning.” The smallest details can express the tone of the piece. “Mostly what’s around the subject’s head and the direction of their eyes tells whether or not the subject is experiencing a good or bad event. It depends on the scene whether or not it’s a sad drawing or a happy one, or maybe a very vulnerable drawing based on my mood in that place at that time.” Curtis began creating shirts with her own designs and drawings last

November 2017 — The Tam News

year. “I started because my family friend has a shirt business and I wanted to make some shirts for Christmas gifts,” she said. “I realized I could put my drawings on shirts and it would be kind of fun. I could show people my art unintentionally.” Since then, Curtis’s shirt business has expanded dramatically. “I am now with a small company, Epic Sky,” Curtis said. “I sell them some of my designs. Otherwise it’s completely on my own. I have my press and everything in my garage. I just make them all by myself.” When Curtis first started making shirts, she had help producing them. “It was really expensive to have another person make them and also having to give somebody directions for different colors, designs, and shirt sizes was so difficult,” she said. “You can’t explain it to them unless you’re there. Doing it myself means I don’t have to write it out for anybody. I know that based off this name and this keyword or acronym means this type of shirt, this color, this size....I deliver everything in person or I ship it in small packages. Having someone else do it....becomes really expensive.” She added that the process was confusing for others to learn. Producing her own shirts has not only saved Curtis money, but helped her add a more personal touch to her work. “I care a lot more about my customers

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAREN CURTIS


Lifestyles than I would if I [only] sold my designs to a company or I was having someone else make the shirts for me,” she said. “I think it improves my quality of work because I want all of my customers to be very happy with what they buy so they will buy my shirts again or they’ll tell their friends. If they put it in the wash and the ink fades or they get a rip in their shirt or a piece of ink accidently got cured where it’s not supposed to that would be really bad for my business. I literally can’t blame any mistakes on anyone else. It’s all my production. It holds me responsible.” The transition from hiring a company to do production to producing on her own was not an easy one. “[It] was really hard at first because I didn’t actually know how to use any of the equipment and I had to kind of figure it out by watching lots of videos,” she said. “I bought everything on Craigslist or Ebay and I didn’t know if it was going to work. I didn’t know how good the quality of the equipment would be. I got very lucky with it because it could have been a lot worse than it actually was. I could have bought defective supplies and wasted all of my funding. I could have messed up everything. “At first, I did. I didn’t know that you need an actual heater so I was just using a hairdryer, which does not cure the ink. When I washed everything it was destroyed. I was so upset because I thought that none of it was going to work and I had already taken probably 50 orders. It could’ve been really bad. I got myself a heater and then it was all fine, but it almost all went downhill really fast.” Junior Connor King, a regular customer of Curtis’s, describes her style as “androgynous.” “She draws the human body in a very beautifully abstract way,” he said. Another regular customer, junior Catherine Craig said she would describe Curtis’s style as “quirky and fun.” “She is able to produce art that evokes certain emotions which can be really difficult to illustrate and I’ve always been incredibly impressed by it,” Craig said. “I think she can be really versatile and at the same time create a series of art that remains cohesive and appealing as a whole.”

Craig admires Curtis’s business in addition to the final product. “Maren’s products are easy to wear; she was smart to make most or all her products unisex,” she said. “She was able to appeal to an extremely wide variety of customers, boys and girls, with her casual yet cool clothing line.” In addition to making an impact on her customers, Curtis’s art has transformed her into the person she is today. “I started making things that were not just a face or a plant once I got into high school,” Curtis said. “I saw all of these other kids that had these really cool original styles that were exactly what they wanted, she said. That experience really affected, not only my

art style, but also my personality. Why do I have to listen to what everyone else says about my clothing or my hair or anything else? I think it’s helped me find a really comfortable place with not only my art, but with being a happier person because I look at things differently now than I did in middle school or anytime before that because I feel much more confident in myself because of my art.” ♦

Above: Curtis sells her shirt designs at Proof Lab during a pop-up convention. Top Center: Original art piece Curtis created using microns.

The Tam News — November 2017

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Lifestyles

Fashion Faux Pas By Camille Howard

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epending on the individual, wardrobe malfunctions are either accidental or distastefully deliberate. Although an abundance of false steps exist, I would like to focus on two that have prevailed far too long: sagging and whale tails. Thankfully, these fashion blunders are uncommon at Tam High, but many parts of the Bay Area have not caught on. Individuals polled from neighboring cities – Richmond, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, Napa, Sebastopol, Vacaville and Petaluma – confessed to still witnessing both flub-ups. For the Millennial dudes: in the ‘80s, sagging was the result of the prison population that was not provided belts. It caught on and became a trend for even the average Joe Shmoe, who desired to appear rebellious. Here we are, 30 years later, and this “style” has far surpassed its time. Ironically, this fashion faux pas has evolved into today’s gentlemen sagging their pants with a belt. The newly added belt reads, “I wanna look cool… but it’d be embarrassing if my pants actually hit the ground.” Hear me out fellas: If your pants are anywhere south of your coin slot, you are not actually wearing them. Rather, you are still in the process of putting them on. It is equivalent to pulling a sock to your arch, while walking confidently about as they flop around like some inflatable tube man in front of a car dealership. On a serious note, research provided by the St. Louis American Foundation has proven that continuous sagging of your pants can lead to many severe physiological problems including, but not limited to, your ability to pitch a tent. However, if someone wants the “I just pooped my pants” look, then by all means, I say go for it. Now don’t get me wrong, boys are not the only ones who commit fashion booboos… For the millennial ladies: thankfully, gone are the days of full cotton briefs. Most girls understand thongs were invented for the sole purpose of avoiding VPL

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(visible panty line). But every ingenious invention has its pitfalls. We’ve all had the opportunity to sit behind THAT girl, the one with the black and white bedazzled lace thong with the pink bow breaching the top of her low-cut jeans. This image pays homage to our fine marine mammal: the whale. This violation will alert the fashion police and Fish & Game as well as PETA. There is a steep fine for poach-

November 2017 — The Tam News

ing, and a consequence for inhumane exposure. Hear me out ladies: If your panties are anywhere north of your crev-ass, you are far beyond the point of putting them on. The solution: choose the appropriate undergarment to suit your baby beluga. This perfectly exemplifies the difference between men and women down to their skivvies. Guys want to jack their panties down and girls want to jack them up! ♦


Features

As The Smoke Clears On the week of october 11, multiple fires swept through 340 square miles in the napa, sonoma, and santa rosa areas, killing at least 42 people, leaving 65 people missing, and 100,000 others displaced. Photos by Ethan Swope

The Tam News — November 2017

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Features

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November 2017 — The Tam News


Features

The Tam News — November 2017

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November 2017 — The Tam News


Features

By Ethan Swope H e made the sign of the cross, placed his hands together, and prayed. A door suddenly banged on the floor above him, piercing the quiet, like glass shattering on the ground. Night custodian Moris Mira looked around the deserted hall, trying to figure out what had happened. He ran through a mental checklist. A student? No, it was 9:30 p.m. A burglar? No, the doors to Wood Hall were bolted shut. So, he decided, it had been a ghost. Another sound startled him from behind. He turned, alarmed, but it was only the flush of a toilet. He turned back and continued his work. “I don’t feel afraid because the ghosts, they don’t want to kill you,” Mira said as he swept the front office floor. He has had too many encounters with the paranormal to be scared by it. Mira has worked at Tam for 12 years. “I love [my work],” he said. “I will always try to keep Tam number one….Tam is my school, so when they [have rallies], I scream aloud. I want to leave good memories.” Mira wants to be remembered, just like the people before him: the ghosts of

Tam. He explained that the ghosts are the souls of people who had connections to Tam and have passed away, including former students and teachers. “So many people [have] passed away, and they leave their spirit, their soul into the school. They probably come to say hello to whoever is working. Lately we have two persons who passed away,” Mira said. “One [was] the computer guy, Charlie. The spirit is hanging around here. They just want to look around, like a regular person.” Mira feels as if he knows the ghosts of Tam. He spends much of his time studying the cracks and crevices of the halls, he said, listening to or interrupting the ghosts that wander by. “I spent 75 percent [of my] time at Tam. My wife works very early in the morning. She get up at four o’clock in the morning and go to work. When she [gets] home, sometimes I just left, I don’t see her. But in here, I see [my coworkers]...every day for twelve years,” said Mira. That proximity, he continued, has made him closer to them: “It’s like a family. We here all the time, five

days a week, eight hours a day we’re here.” He unlocked the door in front of him, flipped a switch, and walked confidently up a narrow staircase, the walls of which were covered in graffiti. “A lot of the graffiti is from people who are not alive anymore,” Mira said. “Check this out: 1966.” Some of the graffiti were signatures of classes dating back to the early 1940s. “Up in the clock tower, [it] is so lonely and quiet...it is a good place for the ghosts to hide,” Mira explained. The stairs led to a landing. There were a few unmarked doors and rooms on the side, but mostly pipes, heaters, and vents. Old uniforms and awards lined the floor and walls. Straight ahead was a bolted door. Mira’s keys rattled as he took them out of his pocket. He selected one, and slowly opened the door, revealing a ladder-like staircase that ascended into the murky darkness of the clock tower. For all that it is now, Tam has not always been his home. Mira moved from El Salvador in 1975. “In my country you see these [ghosts] more than in the United States.

The Tam News — November 2017

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Features

Photos by Ethan Swope

In the United States, people work 24 hours,” said Mira, who added that when people are busy, they don’t have time to notice paranormal activity around them. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of Salvadorans believe that it is possible to communicate with spiritual beings, compared to 29 percent of Americans. For Mira, ghosts are not so much a matter of belief as of experience. One night in El Salvador, as a young boy, he was sleeping in the back of his brother’s pickup truck after a long day’s drive. While he was curled up under a blanket, a figure appeared in the distance. “You could see [her] from a block away. She was walking toward us…[and] wind started blowing,” said Mira, adding that the experience was the most frightening moment of his life. The ghost, wearing a white wedding dress, drew up close, and almost immediately dogs started to howl. “They were going crazy like they were seeing something,” Mira said.

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“She was getting close to our truck ... she started coming closer to us.” He took a heavy breath and continued. “She went into the flatbed where we were sleeping. [She] came and opened the blanket so she could see my face, and the other two guys. She looked at my face and said, ‘No.’ Then she looked at the other two guys and said, ‘No’… she walked down and disappeared [into] the darkness.” Mira is accustomed to darkness. He, along with the rest of the custodial staff, works from 3:30 p.m. until midnight, cleaning the campus long past students’ bedtimes. “We are people that worry about doing our job the best,” Mira said. “I [want] to do my bathroom nice and clean, that’s why I know a lot of people like to come and use [the Wood Hall restroom], because these restrooms are much, much cleaner than other restrooms. So, I do my best overall to make sure my students have clean re-

November 2017 — The Tam News


Features

“ They

ignore me . That makes me feel something . . They think . .” [ jamitors are] worth nothing

strooms tomorrow when [they] come in, classroom ready when [they] come in tomorrow, ready to go. So, we’re always looking forward to Tam being the best .... I always make sure my furniture [is] well aligned, my floors, they’re all cleaned. I had a teacher who [would say], ‘Oh Moris, thank you, thank you.’ That made me feel good. That little bit helps, but some other teachers, they don’t give a damn about [custodial staff].” This disregard is not uncommon. “We have some teachers, they’re coming in the hallway, they don’t even say hello…sometimes they come into the room [when] I’m cleaning the room, they don’t even say thank you, they don’t even say hello,” Mira said. “They ignore me. That makes me feel something. They think [janitors are] worth nothing....God created everybody the same…I know I am in the low-level classification as a worker,

but, you know, everybody has to do his work their best.” This will be Mira’s last year working here. He looks forward to moving back to El Salvador, his home, where he plans to barbecue and play soccer. Until then, he can be found working with those he considers family and doing his best to make Tam a better place. He told one final ghost story while he worked. “These ghosts come and visit me, not only in this building but in some other buildings,” he said. One night he heard a noise in the boys’ locker room and exclaimed, “God, you’re with me...don’t leave me alone. I’m not a bad person. I just try to do my work, to do my living.” But instead of a ghost, he discovered a different visitor: “A big rat over by the garbage [was] eating all the leftovers from the kids. I said, ‘Oh my god.’ But...I’m not afraid of them.”

The Tam News — November 2017

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Opinion/Editorial

Nextdoor Mad Libs by Milo Levine

M

any of us in the Tam community, especially adults, use the neighborhood social media network Nextdoor, which allows us to have positive and productive online interactions with fellow local residents. Nextdoor has revolutionized the way neighbors interact, by tapping into a more elderly and knowledgeable demographic of users. Unlike teenagers, who primarily use social media as a tool to sell drugs and cyber bully each other, mature Nextdoor users never waste their time with immature and idiotic posts. Instead, Nextdoor is a 21st century hub of progressive ideas, where valuable content is shared and discussed by the respectable members of society. Now, it may seem like Nextdoor is only for an elite group of enlightened individuals, but this is not the case. By using the generic Nextdoor Madlibs located below, you can unlock the intellectual dexterity and emotional intelligence of the average Nextdoor user. It’s really that easy.

Hello, my name is [your name], and I would like to complain about [my neighbor, a high schooler driving too fast, some kind of wild animal, suspicious minorities, skateboarders, other people’s dogs, an overbearing police presence, the lack of police presence, traffic, parking, getting diarrhea from a local restaurant]. This has been going on for [amount of time] and is driving me crazy. This only happens because the [person/animal/diarrhea you are complaining about] feels entitled. I pay [price of your house] to live in Mill Valley, and I thought that meant that I wouldn’t have to deal with this level of disrespect. I also happen to be selling [one ski, a lice-infested couch, a broken stroller, a Costco case of Muscle Milk, a pair of kitchen scissors, an old printer, my dog, a Guardians of the Galaxy mouse pad signed by Chris Pratt, half a roll of sandpaper, a towel, a shovel, my house], in case anyone’s interested.

GRAPHIC BY ELISE KORNGUT

Heard in the Tam Hallways

“I’m not gonna lie, “Is there a back “Pistachios are the road to Safeway from I’ve never looked number one nut.” behind me when backhere?” ing up.” -Upper keyser by the Opinion Staff -Student Center -BPL 18 November 2017 — The Tam News


Opinion/Editorial

Let’s Have The Talk: Healthy Relationships by Abby Frazee

A

h yes, high school relationships. We have moved past the time of middle school when “messengers” told our crushes that we like them, and we are now able to formulate our feelings into words–sometimes. We are also relatively comfortable with physical attraction. That is not to say, however, that teenagers are mature enough to handle the many complexities of a romantic relationship. The teenage brain is not developed enough to process situations and make appropriate decisions. Hormones can often blur reality and exacerbate emotions. These factors impact day-to-day interactions in high school, especially those of a romantic nature. Though some couples can enjoy a mutually healthy relationship, many struggle to do so, leading to unbalanced relationships where one person has power over the other. This can often lead to abuse; below I will address the different types of abuse, the signs of an unhealthy relationship, and what to do when seeking help.

What are the different types of abuse seen in a relationship?

What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Perceived superiority: An unequal balance of power is often caused by the an unequal balance of power where one person in a relationship has power over the Physical abuse is an act of assault or battery on a signifiother. This makes them feel that they have the right to tell their partner what to cant other. One in ten high schools students have been do, what to and what not to wear, to make decisions for them, and to unfairly intentionally physically harmed by a significant other. blame their partner for issues in the relationship. Emotional abuse, or psychological abuse, is where one person demeans the other’s personality, character, or being. This can often lead to anxiety or depression. While more applicable to adults in an abusive relationship, economic abuse is where one person controls the other’s spending habits and amount of money they can have at a time.

Possessiveness: When one partner thinks that they “own” the other partner. This can be seen in constant check-ups, constant blaming, and their desire to have their partner all to themselves, keeping their partner from their friends and family.

Rigid gender roles: Gender roles are enforced by society and ingrained into people’s minds. Many know no other way of thinking when they enter an intimate relationship. A partner may believe that the woman should do all the cooking, shopping, and remain hidden, while men should be dominant and strong in Sexual harassment, unwanted touching, coercion into sex, the public’s eye. Many men expect a woman to be submissive and obedient, and and rape all fall under the umbrella of sexual abuse. to submit to the other’s sexual desires, which reinforces their supposed superiority. This warning sign is more applicable to heterosexual relationship abuse, Although it is not as common in our community, spirituthough abuse also occurs within same sex relationships at comparable rates to al abuse consists of using one’s religious beliefs against straight couples, and women can also be perpetrators. someone, or using religion to justify abusive behavior. Stalking and digital abuse are also very serious issues. Digital abuse can facilitate sexual or verbal abuse, but also leads to unique behaviors like a significant other constantly calling or texting their partner, or constantly checking and controlling their social media.

It’s also important to note that within an abusive relationship, both partners can still feel love and joy. After every abusive interaction follows love for a decent period of time. The next occurrence of abuse becomes a little more severe, but the love that follows is even more intense. When it is time for victims to leave for the sake of their safety, they often feel incredibly conflicted. Yes, all couples fight and encounter rough patches in a relationship, but not in forms of unequal relating and violence.

What do you do if you think you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship? People in an abusive relationship are not alone. One in three adolescents experience dating abuse, and domestic violence is the leading crime within Marin County. Talk to a friend for emotional support and contact your local youth services for confidential advice and counseling. Nobody deserves abusive treatment, and no one should fight alone to escape an unhealthy relationship. Quiz: http://www.loveisrespect.org/for-someone-else/is-my-relationship-healthy-quiz/ Hotline #: (415) 526-2557 Want to talk to someone in person, confidentially? Go to: Teen Tuesdays, Huckleberry Youth Clinic, San Rafael Feel more comfortable speaking with a peer? Contact me: (415) 717-1825 GRAPHIC BY AVERY ROBINSON

“Pumpkin like a BPL islattes “The spice inside the taste like petri dish of of camel.”” edanxiety. a microwav social -Arches -BPL

“I just saw a guy who is either a famous person, or a sub at Tam, and I’m going to need you to tell me which.”

-Safeway

“The hickey confrontation situation was horrible.” -Keyser Landing

The Tam News — November 2017

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Opinion/Editorial

EDITORIAL: Current Events in the Classroom A

ll around us, crisis and disaster run rampant. The months of September and October brought vicious hurricanes, the deadliest mass shooting to date, a twitter beef backed by nuclear weapons, incredibly divisive NFL protests, and devastating fires in Northern California. During this tumultuous time our school has remained strangely, well, normal. The Tam News staff was shocked at the apparent lack of acknowledgement, conversation, or consideration for tragedies that have plagued the nation recently, especially pertaining to the Las Vegas mass shooting. Three days after the shooting, less than one third of the Tam News staff had participated in a substantive conversation about the shooting. How should these tragedies be discussed, if at all, at school? This sparked conversation: Should we talk about current events in class? Matthew LemMon,

a new government and psychology teacher, has come up with an answer. “I think that talking [about] current events is super important,” he said. “I talk about [current events] in both my psychology and government classes. My students have a very basic worksheet and a short presentation [on current events] to do, and that just starts a conversation in the classroom and I think that’s incredibly important. We can remove some of that confusion about ‘What’s going on, how do we find out?’ kind of thing.” Admittedly, this approach takes away a large portion of class time that would have been designates to a fixed curriculum, but LemMon describes this as a non-issue. “Sure, it takes 15 minutes out of my class, but that’s 15 minutes where we actually have a positive conversation about everything that’s going on. I feel like that’s more important than

Crackin’ and Slackin’

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November 2017 — The Tam News

‘Who was the second president?’” The obvious counterargument to this is that it’s easy for social studies teachers like LemMon to incorporate serious current events like mass shootings into their curriculums, which may not be possible in quantitative classes – at least at first glance. Aaron Aubrey, an AP Statistics teacher, is making such connections in his class. Aubrey wove pertinent gun statistics into his curriculum in the days following the Las Vegas mass shooting. “You can’t ignore things that happen like that,” he said. “In AP Statistics, there’s so many analyses of data that it was easy to [incorporate into] the subject at hand. For example, there’s all kinds of charts and graphs on gun enforcement... It just lent it to my curriculum so nicely, and in a math class you don’t get to do that too often.” Aubrey stood by his decision to discuss stats pertaining to the Las Vegas shooting, but he’s not aiming to force issues that don’t necessarily fit in his curriculum. “I think you play as you go. Like the hurricanes, I didn’t talk about those at all. There’s ways to do it. There’s also a time and place for it, and I have to keep in mind the curriculum. If I can do both, that’s fine. Sometimes I just need to stop and talk about it, like the wildfires I was affected by, so I just had to pause and just be like, alright, here’s what’s going on in my life. Then you move on, we’ve got into the nuts and bolts of math.” Teachers walk a fine line in determining the amount of time they can devote in class to current events. In the case of national tragedies on the scale of the Las Vegas shooting, however, not allowing for in-class conversations seems inappropriate. Teachers should provide a platform for student voice in these times of crisis, even if it’s just for a few minutes at the beginning of class. We are grieving, and to ask us go through the school day as if nothing has happened is wrong. In the opinion of the Tam News staff, our school should be both a place for students to have productive and informed conversation about events of this magnitude, and an institution that endeavors to make its curriculum relevant to the whole student. ♦


Sports

Cian’s Cannon by Miles Rubens

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he boys’ water polo team has a reputation for constant jokes and pranks during practice, and at the center of it all is senior Cian Concannon. Concannon, who is third on the team with 34 goals as of October 5, has been one of the Hawks’ top performers with his physical play. The team looks to follow up on last year’s NCS Division 2 Championship and subsequent move to Division 1. You might not know it during practice. “We all make fun of each other,” senior teammate Ben Sherwood said. “We are pretty serious but [practice] is always a big joke for us.” Concannon often is the instigator. “It’s very common that I get hit in the back of the head with a ball,” Sherwood said. Concannon demonstrated his talent during Hell Week. “I brought an air horn to morning practice during Hell Week to just wake up the guys a little extra,” Concannon explained. With several strong players from last season graduating, Concannon has stepped up both in and out of the pool. “I’ve taken a leadership role,” he said. “I’m one of the most experienced guys on the team so I will help out the juniors when they don’t understand something.” Concannon has been a varsity starter since moving up from junior varsity towards the end of his freshman year. “Playing with him in games is good because he’s a hardworking guy and obviously a great player,” Sherwood said. “He’s one of the strongest guys out there, constantly working [and] scoring a lot.” Coach Bob Kustel echoed Sherwood’s praise. “Cian is the heart of our team–very skilled, hard working, a fierce competitor,”

Kustel said. “Our offense is built around him. Other team’s gameplan is to beat him.” Concannon attributes his as well as much of the team’s success to the group of seniors that have played together since middle school. “We’ve always had that chemistry since we’ve been playing [with each other] for so long,” Concannon began playing water polo in middle Concannon said of the other eight school and fell in love with the sport. seniors. PHOTO COURTESY OF CIAN CONCANNON Concannon found his passion for water polo in sixth grade. “I was swimming, ing with the eighth graders because there’s and I really liked the team aspect of sports, only one team so I wasn’t very good.” so I joined the Tiburon Peninsula Club Concannon travelled to various tour[team],” he said. According to Concannon, naments with the team and gradually immany of his teammates are some of his best proved. “The more I held with [the sport] friends today. the more I liked it,” he said. While he dominates in the pool today, Through a balance of dedication to success did not always come easily. the sport as well as a light-hearted attitude, “It probably took two or three years un- Concannon has made the most out of his til I was decent,” he said. “I was also play- four years in the pool. ♦

BY THE NUMBERS

38-0

Score of varsity football’s loss to Harker on October 6th

3-0

Victory for girls’ varsity volleyball over Novato on October 17th

The Tam News — November 2017

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Sports

Natalie Durham: causing a Racket by Eddie Schultz

Above: All smiles for Durham on Senior Day, October 18. Right: Durham prepares for a backhand. PHOTOS BY SAM FERRO

G

irls’ varsity tennis captain, Natalie Durham has had a strong presence as a leader on the team for the last two years. The senior and four year varsity starter has led her squad to an impressive 10-0 start in MCAL play as of October 16. Durham and fellow senior captains Madelyn Broad and Emma Schultz head a program that has seen an influx of players in the last few years. For the first time since Durham’s freshman year, there has been a taxi team, which practices tennis after the varsity team and generally doesn’t compete in matches. “I think [having a taxi team] is good because it makes it so that the team can only improve throughout the years because you have people who continually want to play and get better,” Durham said. Durham likes the competitive spirit of this team. “My sophomore year we didn’t necessarily have the strongest team but we won MCALs because we really, really

wanted to win,” Durham said. “This year I think we’re really determined as well so it will be interesting to see how the season goes.” Throughout her four years on the team, Durham has kept a winning mentality and has done her part to achieve success. “She has been a solid, devoted, highquality, and productive player her entire four years on the team,” head coach Bill Washauer said. “She has a positive attitude towards practice and competition and towards the team and her teammates.” Durham is in her second season as a captain. “She has always shown a very high level of commitment to the sport and the team; we felt that it would be good for the team to have in a leadership role last year as well as this,” Washauer said. “She’s a leader. She helps direct practices, provides a positive role model for younger play-

ers, and overall helps make the team as competitive as it can possibly be.” As a captain, Durham oversees many different aspects of the team, including organization and logistics, like fundraising and ordering team jerseys. Durham also leads on the court. “I play second singles, and occasionally I’ll play doubles with different people on the team,” she said. Throughout the past four years, Durham and the team have had their ups and downs. One of the biggest failures was a NCS tournament loss in 2015. “We were seeded number four and then we lost to the 13th seed,” she said. One of Durham’s biggest successes was during her sophomore year when she helped lead the team to a win in the MCAL finals over Redwood. “I had played the same girl three times at this point and I had lost the first two times and then the third time during the finals I won. I felt like it was a big deal because I kind of overcame that one,” she said. Given the strength of their roster which includes lots of young talent, the Hawks are built for success for years to come. “We have a lot of incoming freshmen who I think are going to be great assets to our team,” Durham said. Having beaten both Redwood and Branson–some of the strongest teams in the MCAL–they are looking forward to the finals. With Durham at the helm, they have a good shot. ♦

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

9-8 22

Score of boys’ varsity water polo loss to St. Ignatius on October 14th

November 2017 — The Tam News

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Score of girls’ varsity tennis win against Drake on October 5th


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