November Issue

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The Tam News — November 2015




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Marin City Park Renovated by Cam Vernali Lapp Receives Symetra Heroes Award by Miles Rubens New Good Earth Store Faces Opposition by Michael Diamandakis David Yoshihara: Improving Communication by Marina Furbush Upcoming District Board Elections by Marina Furbush, Samantha Locke, and Zoe Wynn

Lifestyles Cub to Eagle: Grant’s Scouting by Ilaria Lobo Cierra as the New Master of Ceremonies by Ethan Lawrence Movies of the Month by Leo DiPierro, Kate Finn, & Maddie Wall

Features Across the Border by Elissa Asch

November 2015




Op/Ed Editorial 16

17 18

by Staff Saggin’ Not Swaggin’ by Wanya Williams White Feminism by Tandis Shoushtary

Sports 19


Mirabel Levine Commits to Harvard by Hannah Chorley Tam Football Beats Novato by James Finn Athlete of the Issue: Connor King by Calvin Rosevear Q&A with Courtney Chang by Calvin Rosevear


November 2015 — The Tam News






Dear Reader,

According to a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 12, 2016, only 24 percent of polled American voters currently believe that our country is headed in the “right direction.” Meanwhle, presidential candidates have been vocal about what needs to be fixed in America. But it’s easy to focus on the negatives and forget about the triumphs that take place in the U.S. every day. Mesgna Neghasi, the subject of Elissa Asch’s feature “Across the Border,” is the perfect example of someone who has found success in America. As a nine-year-old, Neghasi walked out of his home country of Eritrea and overcame three bouts of malaria to immigrate to the U.S. in search of a better life. Although his story his inspiring, there are millions of other immigration successes. After reading this month’s feature, we won’t be likely to forget Neghasi’s story. What amazes us the most is his optimism, his vibrancy, his happiness, in the face of what he has overcome. It’s important to celebrate individuals like Neghasi and others who have succeeded in America in the face of daunting odds, even as the national dialogue shifts to highlight all that is presently wrong with American society.

Hannah Chorley, James Finn, & Raqshan Khan

Cover by: Tandis Shoushtary On the Cover: Feature subject Mesgna Neghasi poses at the Tam baseball field.

EDITORS IN CHIEF: Hannah Chorley,

PHOTOS: Claire Donohue & Sam Toland

NEWS: Danielle Egan & Marina Furbush

GRAPHICS: Leo DiPierro & Luke Rider

James Finn, & Raqshan Khan

LIFESTYLES: Claire Donohue, Jackson Gathard,

COPY EDITORS: David Hanson,

FEATURES: Tandis Shoushtary, Megan Butt,

SOCIAL MEDIA: Hannah Chorley

OPINION: Cam Vernali, Maddie Wall,

DESIGN: Tandis Shoushstary

& Max Plotkin

& Kendall Lafranchi & Trent Waltz

SPORTS: Calvin Rosevear & Misha Krivoruchko

Izzy Houha & Glo Robinson & Maddie Wall

WEB: Marina Furbush

BUSINESS TEAM: Sam Toland & Peter Wynn ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

Volume XI, No. II November 2015 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1916

Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941

REPORTERS: Nicole Anisgard-Parra, Elissa Asch, Maddy Asch, Griffin Barry, Vincent Boot, Aliona Brichov, Trevor Bukowski, Willzie Connelly, Kennedy Cook, Alexandra Deane, Michael Diamandakis, Keldon DuaneMcGlashan, Kate Finn, Piper Goeking, Jacob Goldman, Nick Goldman, Arya Guinney, Adam Harband, Marie Hogan, Whitney Howard, Elliott Jacobs, Gibson Katz, Franny Kiles, Blake Killingsworth, Ethan Lawrence, Virginia Lazarus, Ilaria Lobo, Samantha Locke, Jackson Loder, Joshua Love, Thibaud Mabut, Lila McKinley, Nicholas Moe, Jack Murphy, Lilly Murphy, Elisabet Nelson, Connor Norton, Benjamin Olizar, Mitchell Pardi, Luca Pelo, Morgan Pinney, Samuel Pletcher, Max Plotkin, Alexander Price, Madeline Reilly, Isabel Rodriguez, Charlotte Rosgen, Miles Rubens, Wilton Schultz, Connor Scutt, Hannah Shulman, Francis Streitmann, Adam Tolson, Blake Villanueva, Wanya Williams, Maxwell William, Zoe Wynn, Dash Yarnold, Dahlia Zail EDITORIAL BOARD: Hannah Chorley, Claire Donohue, James Finn, Marina Furbush, Raqshan Khan, Franny Kiles, Connor Norton, Tandis Shoustary, Blake Villanueva

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 © 2015 by The Tamalpais News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

The Tam News — November 2015



Marin City Park Renovated by Cam Vernali

NEW AND IMPROVED: Marin City’s renovated George “Rocky” Graham Park opened July 11. The park aims to be a gathering place for the community. PHOTO BY: CAM VERNALI


arin City renovated its George “Rocky” Graham Park this past July with brand-new amenities. This park is the only community park in Marin City. “I think it’s great that they’re giving all of these kids an opportunity to get out more near their new school, it’s definitely a huge step for the environment,” junior Misbah Mamoon said. “Not to mention that it’s just a continuation of the major upgrades in Marin City after the MLK and Bayside schools [were completely redone]. “ According to the Marin City Community Services District (MCCSD) website, the State of California Parks and Recreation Department issued MCCSD to renovate the park. The community was without a park for almost 20 years prior to this renovation, since the park became an illegal dumping ground and was shut down in the 1990s. Residents in Marin City signed a petition to restore the park in 2009 and were given a $5 million state grant under AB 31, an act which directs a portion of park funding toward park improvement in communities that the state deems the most worthy. “The Park is part of a collective vision for a healthier, more vibrant Marin City,” said MCCSD chair Nancy Johnson in an official press release. “We listened to our residents who told us they needed a public park as a central gathering place where the community can meet each other, young people can access after-school programs, and adults can take advantage of the exer-


cise equipment.” Construction on the new park started in August of 2014. The official George “Rocky” Graham Park website recorded updates of the park construction as time went on through both pictures and timelapse videos. The grand opening of George “Rocky” Graham Park was on July 11. The ceremony had speeches, food, entertainment by the band “The Best Intentions,” and an unveiling of a historical mural that is featured at the park. The mistress of the ceremony was Alecia Reid, a general assignment reporter from KRON-TV/ CHANNEL 4. The one-acre park includes a central grass turf area with playground equipment off to the side. There is also an amphitheater for community movie nights and performances. Public art, native plants, and exercise equipment are also in the park. The park is seen as an improvement in the community. The MCCSD website says, “MCCSD is excited to spearhead this community effort to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space for people to enjoy. Community members have played an active role in the planning stages and continue to have a voice throughout the development phases.” Community involvement can be seen throughout the park in many ways. Community members voted for their favorite mural design, had the option to be on the Rocky Graham Park Community Advisory Committee, and purchased space for their

November 2015 — The Tam News

names on the honor wall in the park. The construction contract for the park also had a goal that 30 percent of all hours went to Marin City workers. The park’s namesake, George “Rocky” Graham, was an influential person in the Marin City community. Graham died in 1978 at the age of 28. During his life he pushed for low-income housing, was a counselor in the Big Brother program, and a big brother in the Operation Give A Damn program, as well as a director in the Summer Youth Program. He also served on the MCCSD Board. “[The park] is a great example of community members and local government partnering to bring non-profits, businesses, educators, and health organizations together to deliver on an outstanding vision,” said Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears in an official press release. “It is such a beautiful gathering place for the entire community.” George “Rocky” Graham Park is located at 800 Block of Drake Avenue in Marin City and is always open.♦ GRAPHIC BY LEO DIPIERRO


Dave Lapp Receives Symetra Heroes Award by Miles Rubens


ongtime physics teacher Dave Lapp received the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award at Mead Theatre during tutorial on September 9. The award recognizes 16 teachers in the Bay Area each year and is awarded in partnership with the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Lapp was nominated by former student Jonny Wachtel. Representatives from the Forty-Niners and Symetra surprised Lapp with the award, which recognizes leadership and unique teaching ability. He received a signed football, personalized jersey, two tickets to a Forty-Niners game, and one thousand dollars to be used for his class. He plans to spend the money on tools for his musical-instrument project and on supplies for his model rockets lab.

Lapp provides unique learning tools through his many demonstrations (Lapp estimates he conducts 130 demonstrations each year) and through the course manual that he created. He tries to relate what students learn in the classroom to the outside world. “I also try to make the course really relevant. So when students learn a particular aspect of physics they can apply it to their lives and…see connections outside the classroom,” Lapp said. “I want them to look back and have a memory of physics that gives LAPP HONORED: Physics teacher Dave Lapp recieved them an appreciation for the rest the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award honoring his of their lives,” he said.♦ leadership and teaching. PHOTO COURTESY OF: SYMETRA

New Good Earth Store Faces Opposition


new Good Earth grocery store is likely to come to Tam Valley in February 2016. However, bringing the organics-only Good Earth store to fruition has taken longer than planned. Corte Madera resident Dave Coury has asked the county to address the potential environmental and traffic effects of the new store. Good Earth opened their first store in 1969 in Fairfax and is now expanding to Tam Valley. “Southern Marin has been asking us to come down for a long time,” Good Earth owner Mark Squire said. “We’re excited to provide for them... sustainability and organic choices.” The community of Tam Valley and the majority of Marin supports the new establishment, but there is some controversy about the new Good Earth. Coury acknowledges the benefits that Squire and Good Earth have for the community, but he believes the way the county has gone about building the store is wrong. Coury filed an appeal saying

by Michael Diamandakis

that the new store required a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis. The building initially did not necessitate one because the building’s former tenant, DeLano’s Market, was a grocery store so the building was used for the same purpose. However, the new Good Earth will be bigger than DeLano’s and have additional features, so Coury argues that a CEQA analysis is necessary to understand its environmental effects. “I know that the Good Earth proposal is very popular right now in Tam Valley, but that popularity lacks adequate information. If a fully informed public supports a project with environmental impacts, CEQA allows its approval, but the information has to come first.” However, a CEQA could have consequences. “We would likely never open, as the cost would sink the whole project,” Squire said. Coury is also concerned

about the impact of additional traffic on the area. “The County specifically called out this exact area as a heavily impacted area for congestion in 2007,” Coury said. “It wrote into the Countywide Plan a requirement that the traffic be dealt with before bringing in more development and the situation is even worse now. The effects of further worsening congestion could be severe.” Squire believes that the store may not have such severe impact. “Some folks in Tam Valley [think] that once we open many people...will not need to go through the junction to grocery shop, thereby reducing the traffic,” Squire said. “It could be that this effect counters the increase in traffic that we may create.” Coury’s goal is to inform the community. “The best outcome in my eyes would be for...a CEQA analysis [to] be completed and negative impacts...Identified and mitigated, if possible,” Coury said. “If not, the County would have to publicly acknowledge that opening the store would make traffic worse. If people were okay with that, then changing the Countywide Plan policy would let the store open.”♦ GRAPHIC BY LEO DIPIERRO

The Tam News — November 2015



David Yoshihara: Improving Communication T

by Marina Furbush

he Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) welcomed new Superintendent David Yoshihara this summer. Despite the challenges of a leadership change, Yoshihara retains an optimistic plan for increasing trust, communication, and inclusion throughout the district. Yoshihara feels his primary role as superintendent is to facilitate and support schools. “If [the schools] have ideas or projects that they may be working on, it’s the role of the district to figure out how to help them make that work, or if it can’t work [give them feedback],” Yoshihara said. “Tam, Drake, Redwood, San Andreas, and Tamiscal are all individual schools that have a different sense of priorities...[To] maintain that we need to allow the schools to have a lot of local control of what they see is best for them.” As for the district, Yoshihara hopes to improve communication and trust. “I know that there were a lot of things happening in the district...some students may be more aware of it than other students.... Certainly at the staff level there was a lot going on and there was a lot of attention given to the district that...took away from some of the energies that teachers could have been focusing on student learning,” Yoshihara said. “[To build trust] we have to spend time just sharing information with people. I think the more we communicate, the more we talk...the more people will know and feel comfortable with information. They can ask questions if things are not clear, they can have meetings if they want to know more about something.” Yoshihara recognizes that communication is difficult. “In my prior district it was always a vision of mine to be able to visit’s so important if we’re going to be instructional leaders to watch instruction,” Yoshihara said. “[But] teachers were not used to if I just start showing up….[teachers] were worried that I was going to evaluate [them]... [so] when I came here to Tam….I spent a lot of time frontloading that so when I come, it isn’t a surprise.” Yoshihara believes that an important


part of improving communication is empowering teacher leaders. “I think there was some feeling [last year] that [teacher leaders] could not affect change, that they were sort of powerless,” Yoshihara said. “So empowering our teacher leaders to affect change at their schools would involve updating and meeting with our stakeholders, our students, our parents, our community, and ultimately our talk about these plans around...some of the programs at some of our schools.” There are many other administrators new to the district BUILDING TRUST: New Superintendent David this year. Besides Yoshihara, Yoshihara aims to improve communication between the district and the community. Assistant Superintendent of HuPHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID YOSHIHARA man Resources Lars Christensen and Assistant Superintendent of Finance schools as a whole. “I think that [conflict and Facilities Sally Swan are new to the between teachers and administrators] can district. The interim Assistant Superinten- occur when you’re looking at the larger dent of Educational Services, Tara Tarpier, picture. The large picture is going to inis new to the position, although she has clude student voice, [teacher voice]...[and] parent voice, it can include community worked in the district for several years. Yoshihara sees advantages and disad- voice. And so, when you look at all the difvantages to a new team. “With the newness ferent voices...[and they] line up a certain [of the administrators] comes an openness way, then it certainly [can be] a viewpoint to ideas. There is no past practice because different from [the teacher’s viewpoint]. everybody is new...If something comes up Vice versa would also be true.” Yoshihara feels that incorporating all we don’t have to say, ‘Well, we’ve always done it this way,’” Yoshihara said. “Cer- of the stakeholders’ viewpoints is crucial tainly a drawback [with a new team] is you when making decisions. “I think it’s impordo miss that institutional knowledge….We tant that people feel listened to,” he said. “I don’t have the advantage of ‘Well, this is think there should be opportunity for peoall the research that we did the last time this ple to share their thoughts and also undercame up, this is how we did it.’...We’d have stand if there are different thoughts....You to either go and spend the time to research have to make sure that you’re inclusive... that or not be able to include it because we [that] everyone feels that they’re listened to, that to some extent...[they] have some don’t [have] it.” Yoshihara feels the hardest decisions input in the outcome....It does take a long to make are the ones that personally impact time...for all the voices to be heard because students. “Those are very difficult because people need to absorb it.” As for long term goals, Yoshihara you can imagine the emotion and the feeling that occur,” he said. “And you have to hopes to create a culture that fosters student look at the large picture of the whole dis- ideas. “I’m excited about getting to a place where teachers and students and parents trict.” The larger picture is also important can feel open to share ideas,” Yoshihara when looking at decisions that impact said.♦

November 2015 — The Tam News


Upcoming District Board Elections O

by Marina Furbush, Samantha Locke, and Zoe Wynn

n Tuesday November 3, voters will choose new trustees for the Tamalpais Union High School District. There are three seats currently open, two of these seats—held by outgoing trustees Bob Walters and Cindy McCauley—are for a fouryear term. Leslie Lundgren, Robbie Powelson, and Barbara Owens are running for the four-year seats. The third seat is a shortterm, two -ear seat that Matthew Nagle and current incumbent, Michael Futterman are running for. Futterman was appointed to the board July 2014 after former trustee Sheri Mowbray stepped down. Lundgren has noticed issues with the district from her perspective as a manager at an engineering firm. “Collaboration with all stakeholders and experts always leads to a better outcome,” she wrote in her candidacy statement. “We must run this district...

professionally, with fiscal responsibility.” Powelson, who attended Redwood, promises to focus on the student voice, especially regarding issues such as mental health and substance abuse. “Given my experiences as a student and my work in shaping policy, I will add an important perspective to our board,” his statement reads. As a former teacher for 36 years in the district, Owens says she strives to work with schools and teachers. “Together we can develop authentic assessments that align subject matter and create consistent, challenging opportunities for all students,” she writes in her statement. Futterman also believes that improving education for all students is key. “Our challenge is to improve on that level of excellence, and to focus on using our available resources to provide the best possible edu-

cational opportunities and support services for all students,” he writes in his statement. Matthew Nagle, principal of the West Marin and Inverness schools, wants to ensure that the focus is on students’ learning. “[We] likely agree that we have some of the best teachers, they are perhaps the most important factor in our children’s learning...Let’s move forward to...a place where teachers are listened to, where we evaluate our programs, and where the students are always the focus of our conversations,” Nagle writes in his statement. Parents are keeping a close eye on the election. “The biggest thing that we’re looking for is a fresh start. Everyone I know is feeling optimistic about the new Superintendent and a new board in November,” Mitch Wortzman, a member of the parent group Friends of Tam District, said.♦

The Tam News — November 2015



Cub to Eagle: Grant’s Scouting Evolution S

by Ilaria Lobo

ince the age of five, senior Elliot Grant has been on the journey towards becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting. Over the years, Grant has learned about survival skills and earned over twenty merit badges. He is now dedicated to his service project at Nicasio Autistic Ranch. Time is of the essence as Grant will turn 18 in November and a Boy Scout can only be awarded Eagle if they are under 18. Even though Grant’s Boy Scout journey is coming to an end soon, he will never forget how much this brotherhood has meant to him. “Boy Scouting defines me,” Grant said. Grant’s father Terry, an Eagle Scout himself, has always passionately described the unique community to Grant and his older brother Laird. According to Grant, these stories inspired him to join the community and helped him solidify his passion for the brotherhood and the goals he wanted to accomplish as a Boy Scout. Along with his father’s stories, Grant was inspired to become a Boy Scout while admiring his father’s actions around the community. “One time while my father and I were driving, he slammed down the brakes and rushed out of the car to help an old lady unload her groceries. I remember watching from the window and thinking how remarkable that was and how I wanted to be like that one day,” Grant said. In 2003, Grant became a Cub Scout and devoted three hours a day after school to the Scouts. While a Cub, Grant learned about basic survival skills and techniques: setting up tents, backpacking, and fishing. Along the way, he received various merit badges for the completion of specific skills, which included archery, leather working, and first aid. Cub Scouts are the lowest level of Boy Scouts followed by Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout. As of right now, Grant is a Life Scout and has earned all the required eleven merit badges in order to reach Eagle.

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The last factor that will determine Grant’s ability to finally achieve Eagle is the completion of his service project in Nicasio Autistic Ranch. “In order to become Eagle I had to discover a problem in a community and design a project to better the community,” Grant said. When Grant stepped onto Nicasio Autistic Ranch for the first time he was surprised by the amount of children in wheelchairs unable to participate in horseback riding. This sparked Grant’s idea to design a raised garden bed at the ranch as an alternative. “I wanted to provide an alternative learning environment for the kids who couldn’t ride,” he said. As a sophomore, Grant discovered exactly what the Eagle Scout service project demanded of the individual while helping his brother with his own. Now that he is responsible to coordinate and design his own project, Grant is in charge of collecting all of the necessary donations for the project’s construction, gathering volunteers, and making sure they show up. Additionally, as a part of the project requirements, Grant is restricted from physically contributing to the project. Through the ranks, Grant has become a physically engaged leader. To reach the rank of an Eagle Scout, Grant must learn how to lead from a different angle. “My project is bullet proof but people are really flaky. It’s the one thing I can’t account for,” Grant said. When Grant discovered the type of project and community he wanted to develop, he had to pitch his project design three times before an Eagle Scout master, a board of 30 parents, and the Eagle Scout board. “That was really scary,” Grant said. “Now that I’m doing this project there’s so much bureaucracy I have to deal with and it’s really not washed.” The garden bed is being made out of scrap wood, and so far Grant has collected $225 from the Tiburon and Mill Valley Rotary Club to help with the building and the installation of the automatic watering system.

The Tam News —— October 2015 November 2015 The Tam News

YOUNG CUB: Senior Elliot Grant is hoping to earn the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout this November. Here he is pictured as a Cub Scout.


All of Grant’s dedication to the garden has helped him realize the true reasons for why he loves being a scout. “The personal gain I get from helping others is extremely powerful,” Grant said. This project is the culmination of everything Grant has learned since he began as a cub, especially the skills it takes to be a leader. Grant’s most recent leadership role was when he led a group of 60 boy scouts for two weeks during a backpacking trip, where he discovered how much he valued and respected others. “I have a lot more respect for people now and I know how to carry my own,” Grant said. “Elliot’s really become focused on getting his Eagle in the recent months, and I’ve seen a rare rise of him that most people aren’t used to experiencing,” senior Gavin Sakamoto said. “Usually he’s the laid back, fun guy that we’ve all become accustomed to, but as soon as he’s focused on something important, or serious, his Boy Scout side kicks in and it’s just constant hard work until the task is done.” Grant has been dedicated to the Scouting tradition for the past 12 years and doesn’t plan to let it go. “I don’t know what other peoples’ heritage is, but [Boy Scouting] is mine. I’ll never abandon my heritage.” Grant said. ♦


Cierra Haynesworth Takes the Mic S

enior Cierra Haynesworth has been chosen by the rally committee as the new Master of Ceremonies (MC). Haynesworth is looking forward to keeping up the rallies’ high energy and fun. She has watched the MC’s over her years at Tam and feels that she has what it takes. “I wanted to be the MC to change the way upperclassmen view freshmen,” she said. “I didn’t like getting booed as a freshman nor did I like watching others get booed. This year, I want to strive as a Link Leader to create a culture that allows freshmen to be comfortable at Tam by enjoying the rallies.” Haynesworth auditioned for the MC position along with several others in front of the rally committee and several teachers. Junior Margaret Stoops is in charge of the rally committee and played a key role in selecting the new MC, along with leadership advisors Jessica Variz (an English teacher) and Tim Morgan (who teaches social studies). Stoops said that the Leadership team is looking forward to Haynesworth taking on the position of rally MC. “Our hopes and expectations of her are unlimited, as she has already begun to bring a new level of fun and creativity to our process,” Stoops said. “The decision was ultimately made by [Social Studies Teacher and leaderhsip adviser Tim] Morgan, [English teacher and leadership adviser Jesica Variz], and I. [Although] we did have people audition with a script to see what they were capable of as a performer, a large portion of the decision dealt with the ability that we would have as a group to work with the MC behind the scenes.” Haynesworth has had a positive experience at Tam so far and enjoys expressing herself. “I feel like I want to return the favor because I am very outgoing and I have a super ecstatic personality,” Haynesworth said. “I just wanted to be the life of the party and make the rallies come alive for our senior year.” Throughout her years at Tam, Haynesworth has been brainstorming ideas to improve the quality of the rallies. “I have so many ideas that have never

by Ethan Lawrence

been done before. I want to bring a new vibe to our rallies that makes people excited to go to them,” Haynesworth said. “I also want to create a culture for people to perform in a new way and not just the same old stuff. For example, if we had a cypher [rap battle] or singing competition we could invoke a new audience.” Haynesworth has lost two brothers in the BLAST OFF: Senior Cierra Haynesworth, the new Master of Ceremonies, last six years. One sports her spirited space suit while hosting the homecoming rally on October 2nd. while she was in PHOTO BY ZACHARY GILMOUR seventh grade due because she has had a great three years at to gang violence, Tam and wants to make it better for othand the other her freshman year due to a ers. “Tam has been an amazing experience drunk driver. “After I lost my brother I rebut it took me a while to realize [that] it ceived so much care from people I didn’t really is,” Haynesworth said. “I think Tam think cared and it really brought me into a is a school for possibilities and so many mind set that I want to give back the joy chances to be who you want to be.”♦ and support I received,” Haynesworth said. “My siblings mean the world to me and when Dashawn and Joshua died, each time [it] took a large toll on me. Now I do everything knowing I have two angels on my shoulders looking out for me. They [wish] the best for me so I have to give to them.” The final reason why Haynesworth auditioned to be the MC is

The Tam News — November 2015


Lifestyles Lifestyles The Martian - Steve Jobs - The Visit GRAPHICS BY LUKE RIDER AND LEO DIPIERO

The Martian: Matt Damon on Mars by Leo DiPiero The film industry has seen a number of incredible, realistic science-fiction films in the past few years. Among these are “Gravity”(2013) and “Interstellar”(2014). Famed director Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” is shaping up to be an addition to the collection of realistic sci-fi films of the past five years. Based on the book of the same name by Andy Weir, “The Martian,” released October 2015, centers around Mark Watney (Matt Damon) and his plight after he is stranded on a Mars colony and presumed dead by his crew mates. He must hatch his own plan to contact NASA and escape Mars with the little supplies at his disposal. Scott is known for making very high quality films, the most notable being the “Alien” movie franchise, which was launched in 1979. Scott’s recent films have been criticized as being sub-par. “The Martian” seems to make a spectacular comeback. Based in the near future the story has a wide arc that takes place over multiple years, transitioning between Mars and Earth. The film winds two interconnecting stories together fairly seamlessly. The dialogue of the film is remarkably well balanced. Watney’s character is slightly cocky and sarcastic, yet resourceful. The film itself is very well done overall in terms of both writing and cinematography. It’s visuals create wondrous alien landscapes and the futuristic white gleam of NASA’s equipment. If you are interested in space exploration or what the future could hold, I would recommend taking a trip to watch this film. With NASA’s manned Mars mission coming within the next five to ten years, this film gives a broad horizon for what could be possible in terms of future development, hopefully without the catastrophes. ♦

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine By Kate Finn Alex Gibney’s new documentary, “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” examines both Jobs’s journey with Apple and why people mourned his death so widely, despite the negative image that many people actually had of Jobs. The film, rated R for language, follows Jobs from his early days and the beginning of Apple to his death in 2011. Composed of archival footage of Jobs and interviews with early Apple employees and personal acquaintances, the movie paints a critical picture of a man willing to do anything to succeed. The film glances over Jobs’s time after he left Apple in 1985, and does not explain why he returned to Apple in 1997. Instead of delving deep into why or how the iPhone or iPod were created or any other Apple products, the film focusses on Jobs himself. Filled with interviews with people ranging from journalists to former colleagues to the mother of his child, it provides a look into Jobs as a regular person. Perhaps the thing that captured my attention the most was the look into Apple’s policies near the end of Jobs’s life. Apple was investigated for allegedly option backdating, an illegal practice of giving employees shares with an earlier date stamp to give the employee the lowest price for the shares. Several people were investigated and resigned, but it was never traced back to Jobs. Overall the movie was not as interesting nor informative about Apple and its history as it could have been, and by the end, it was still unclear why the people mourned Jobs the way they did. The movie lacked a unique or exclusive view on Apple or Jobs, and I would have rather skipped this Steve Jobs movie and chosen one of several others, including the 2013 movie “Jobs” or “Steve Jobs” (Which came out October 9th), both of which are fictional. ♦

10 November 2015 —— The Tam News 10 November 2015 The Tam News

The Visit: Minimal Horror By Maddie Wall “The Visit” (released September 11) is a horror-suspense movie with a total cast of seven. The four main characters are Becca (Olivia DeJonge), Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), Nana (Deanna Dunagan), and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie). The movie starts off with two grandkids, Becca and Tyler, who are going to spend a week with their grandparents, Nana and Pop Pop, who they have never met due to a falling out between the children’s grandparents and their mother when she was young. Throughout their stay, weird things happen, leading to some unexpected realizations. The movie was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who is best known for directing the movie “The Sixth Sense.” “The Visit” is a found footage documentary about the falling out between Becca’s mother and grandparents. However, it was done so well, the style never distracted from the plot. The movie itself had an unexpected amount of comedy, which was creatively channeled by Shyamalan through Tyler who portrayed a young aspiring rapper. But it did not have as much horror as I was expecting. Based on the trailer, I was looking forward to a lot more jump scares and gore. If you’re looking for something truly scary, you won’t find it while watching “The Visit.” If you’re looking for a movie with decent comedic values, minimal horror, and a suspenseful plot twist, I would recommend “The Visit.” It made me laugh and cringe, and raised my heartrate. Although it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when I walked into the theater, I definitely plan on watching it again when it is released online, because I enjoyed it in a different way than a usual horror movie.♦

Features Features

ACROSS THE BORDER By Elissa Asch Photos by Tandis Shoushtary


ophomore Mesgna Neghasi didn’t know if he was about to be caught crossing the bridge and locked in jail for the rest of his life. He didn’t know whether he would be able to sneak over the expanse of exposed road without being seen by the guards. All he knew was that he had no choice. Swallowing his fears he took one step forward, then another.

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At the age of nine, Neghasi left his mother to attempt to join his father, whom he had never met, in the U.S. He walked 24 hours from his village of Areza to cross the border of Eritrea, his home country on the horn of Africa, and escaped into Sudan. Neghasi, like hundreds of thousands of refugees from Africa and the Middle East today, left his home to seek a better life. Neghasi and his mother decided that it would be better for him to live in the U.S. with his father because he could receive a better education and greater opportunity. It wasn’t an easy decision for him and his mother to send him abroad. “I could have a better education in the United States and I can get here the things that I wanted and have a better life,” Neghasi explained. Once the decision had been made, Neghasi and his mother wasted no time. “These people work for business and we paid them a ton of money and they can get you out of Eritrea like in a night, in 24 hours,” Neghasi said. “Nobody looks at you, looks at them. They work a business. They’re normal people just like you.” Upon being smuggled over the border and reaching Sudan, Neghasi was terrified. “When I go [to Sudan], I wanted to sleep but my heart did not want me

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to sleep cause I have no parents with me, I’m just nine year old, doesn’t know anything, just like so scared I couldn’t eat anything,” he said. Neghasi has come far, after being immersed in the overwhelmingly advanced technology of the United States, not seeing his mother since he was a 9-year-old boy, and learning to speak English (a language that he hadn’t spoken a word of upon his arrival). Neghasi grew up working on the farm all day, every day, with his mother. His father had escaped over the border to make his way to the United States before Neghasi was born. “[My father] was military of Eritrea, and the military guards the border, so he just walk away like normal people do. He just run somehow,” Neghasi said. Once Neghasi decided to escape, he traveled to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, to meet the men that would smuggle him over the border and the woman he would be travelling with after. “When I was going to the border well they told me that they had a car,” he said. “The people meet me there at like eight o’clock, we walk for fifteen minutes and after we walk I ask them where’s the car. They say it’s gonna be like right here, short time, and I ask them many time and they

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say it’s gonna be here soon. And it’s been like two hour, four hour, and we just like keep walking, no car, keep walking, no car, and then it’s like morning, and I’ve walked twenty four hours.” Neghasi completed this trek across the Eritrean border into Sudan while carrying food, water, a pair of shorts, and the baby of a pregnant woman who was escaping with him. However, even harder than the physical conditions of his escape were the fears that accompanied it. “First of all you have to be scared, because think about it, it’s a really scary situation, if you got caught, if something happen and they hear you or something you’re in jail, your whole entire life is jail,” Neghasi said. “It’s really scared, it has to be really strong person, when you’re walking it can’t be like one, two, three, you have to be walking like super fast, you have to be smart, and it’s a pretty hard situation.” Upon reaching a village on the outskirts of Sudan, Neghasi found it difficult to eat and sleep due to his extreme fear and exhaustion. “I got malaria in Sudan because I was not eating well, and I was like super scared, missing my mom,” he said. Eventually, due to his sickness and the lack of Map courtesy of Free Vector Maps

Features medical supplies close to the village, Neghasi made his way to Port Sudan and stayed with one of his father’s friends. “When I got malaria, is probably hardest disease I’ve ever seen. It hurt my body, I almost died, I go to hospital but they doesn’t have any medical or anything,” Neghasi said. Neghasi would slowly get better, but upon contracting malaria a third time he had to contact his father. “When I got from Sudan to the United States Embassy, I didn’t have any proof that I have a dad from the United States. I didn’t have like any paperwork that he’s my dad, or that he had that said I was his son. It’s a hard process, you can’t just go ‘Oh, blah blah blah blah, I’m going to the U.S.,’” Neghasi explained. After the U.S. embassy contacted Neghasi’s father, a DNA test proved that they were related. “It take like super super long be-

cause I was getting DNA in the Sudan and my dad was getting DNA in the United States, and Sudan didn’t have good access or power to get to know in short time, so when my dad got DNA from U.S., they had to send it from America to Sudan,” Neghasi said. After Neghasi waited weeks for the DNA to arrive and to regain his health, his father finally decided to come to Sudan himself to accelerate the process and begin building his relationship with his son. “It took so long, so finally my dad, he decides he has to come to Sudan. So he get DNA in Sudan and I get DNA in Sudan, so it become true that I am his son, and he is my dad,” Neghasi said. “And after I got better of malaria, and I come to the United States, and my process was done, I was in the U.S.” Neghasi’s difficulties in gaining entry to a foreign country are being experienced all over the world at this very moment. Hundreds of thousands

of refugees are being driven from over thirty countries (mainly Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Syria) due to persecution, war, and government instability. Some countries in the European Union are requiring all refugees to apply for asylum, and though European governments put some effort into improving this global crisis, they ultimately refuse access to thousands of people in need. Other countries are more adamant about improving the horrific situation. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has announced that Germany will take in 800,000 refugees this year alone in an effort to make up for Germany’s Nazi history, according to The Guardian. In order for the U.S. to take in a proportional number of refugees to Germany we would have to allow 57 million Syrian refugees into our country, a number drastically higher than the 70,000 refugees that we have taken per year at this point, according to the New York Times. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the U.S. is raising that number to 100,000 Syrian, Somalia. Afghani refugees per year in 2017. Neghasi believes it’s important for the U.S. to accept its share of the refugees. “I know a lot of people who try to get out of [Eritrea]. We need to help take them to United States,” he said. English teacher Cathryn Bruno, one of Neghasi’s instructors, strongly agrees. “I think that our moral responsibility is to accept




13 The Tam News 2015 13 The Tam News — —November November 2015


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That [is] my top top dream of my life, every single time I wake up, every time I go to bed, it’s all about my mom. [Bringing] my mom to the United States, that’s my goal.

and welcome people when they’re in need,” she said. “I’m so impressed with Germany welcoming refugees into their country and accepting them, I think that’s a beautiful thing and we need to do the same thing here in the United States.” Of course, after entry, the refugees would still need assistance with simple things such as learning the English language and attending school, just as Neghasi did. After arriving in Marin County speaking absolutely no English, Neghasi attended the second half of his fifth grade year at Strawberry Point School. Slowly, Neghasi began to learn English and adjust to his new life. “I did go [to school] until fourth in elementary, [while in Eritrea]. I failed like two times though I was not smart kid, my house was like super far [hour and a half walk] so sometime I don’t go to school. I would skip, and like my parents never went to school, so they don’t know what it’s like to go to school, so they don’t push us to go to school,” Neghasi said. One of the more surprising things Neghasi experienced upon coming to the U.S. was the extreme emphasis on attendance in the school system. “In here [the United States] if you don’t go to school... it’s like being homeless in your life,” Neghasi said. He also noticed the different expectations in relation to school in Eritrea and the United States. “You have a lot of responsibility, school, everything, you have a ton of responsibility, and in Eritrea you don’t have responsibilities, you just be who you are,” Neghasi said. “It’s true that working [on a farm] all day is hard, but here you have to work, too. Eritrea is more body work, and here it’s more mental work, because this life here is more harder than Eritrea.” Among the other major differences were the more advanced technology that Neghasi had to become accustomed to, the sheer amount of waste in Marin, and the food in the U.S.. “Ever since I was a little kid, I grew up as farmer, and here I can’t really [find] the food I used to eat,” Neghasi said. Neghasi’s Eritrean heritage remains a large part of his identity. “I really love Eritrean culture, my country. I’m so lucky being Eritrean guy, we have such great things, so many nice things and so many support from just anyone in Eritrea,” Neghasi said. “You go anywhere and we look like similar people, and we know what kind of life we have in our country, so we really give help to someone when he need it.” Neghasi plans on going back to Eritrea one

day. “I want to go there to see it, and I want to see where I was and get help these people who live there,” he said. “I remember everything when I was little kid, so I will help them, ton of things that they want, and I know what they want, so I will really help these people there.” Neghasi misses his mother most of all, and he plans on helping her come and live in the U.S. by any means necessary. “That[s] my top top dream of my life, every single time I wake up, every time I go to bed, it’s all about my mom. [Bringing] my mom to the United States, that’s my goal,” Neghasi said. Neghasi has completed four of the five years living in the U.S. needed to get his citizenship. “Soon I’ll be American citizen, so if I’m American citizen no person can stop me getting my mom from Eritrea to to the United States, so that’s a ton of power,” Neghasi said. “My mom...doesn’t have to do it the way I did like walking, and I can just get her. I’m free to get her and she’s free to come here.” In the four years since Neghasi and his mother have been separated, they have managed to stay in touch. “I do contact my mom every week. Some guy in the village, a really rich, nice guy, has a lot of good things, [and] he has phone access. I called him first and told him to meet my mom this time there, so I called again there, and I contact my mom this way,” Neghasi said. Neghasi and his father have managed to build a substantial relationship as well. “Now we have so great relationship and he did miss me, and he did really help me to come to the U.S.,” Neghasi said. “If my dad doesn’t help me I would still be in Eritrea and be some military guy. I know I’m just fifteen but in Eritrea I could be military at fifteen.” Neghasi’s father has


also built a life for himself since traveling to the U.S. “My dad work at the Marin General Hospital, and he is like a medical doctor, but without [credential of M.D.],” Neghasi explained. After working tirelessly, Neghasi can now communicate effectively in English, though it was a very hard process. “I didn’t make friends fast, cause I didn’t speak English, people would ask me my name, and I couldn’t speak nothing,” he said. Upon his arrival, Neghasi was already bilingual in the first and third most common languages spoken in Eritrea. “My first language is Tigrinya, which is the Eritrean language, and I speak Arabic which is the third language of Eritrea,” He said. Neghasi also takes the English Language Development class for students whose first language isn’t English. Bruno has been teaching Neghasi’s English Development class for the past two years. “He has tremendous empathy for the newer students who [can’t] speak any English. He encouraged one particular student to not give up and to just keep going...Mesgna shared that it took at least a year and a half to learn English,” Bruno said. “I admire his optimistic, positive attitude. I have never seen someone so consistently with a smile on his face. He never gives up, and he just continues to try and be open-minded to experiences.” Neghasi also has a great love for soccer. “We played in Africa, no shoes, made our ball out of shirts, it was such fun time, and we heard about the famous players on the radio like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Neghasi said. “We heard it on the radio and it feels like it make us cry, we were such crazy fan of soccer.” Neghasi still plays soccer as a striker and left wing for the U.S. Development Academy team, and hopes to play professionally for the United States one day. “I could go for national team but I don’t have American citizen[ship], I email[ed] U.C. Berkeley and tell them who I am what club I play for, a ton of stuff. They email back and they ask me what level I play in, and they come and they see me playing, they’re not gonna tell you when they gonna come, they’re just gonna come,” Neghasi said. U.C. Berkeley offered Neghasi a scholarship for his soccer talents as long as he maintains an acceptable grade point average. “I have great college which is U.C. Berkeley. That the college I really want to go to. It’s my dream, and they also division one soccer,” Neghasi said. “I practice with them one time a week, they give me my jersey and stuff, and all I

want to do is make my grade get higher point.” Andoni Etcheverry has been a teammate of Neghasi on his academy team for two years. “He gives percent at everything he does,” Etcheverry said. After one game where their team lost badly, Neghasi gave a motivational speech to the whole team to bring up morale. “He gave it with intensity and a pride in his voice and showed he really cared about the sport and about all of us,” Etcheverry said. Besides his close relationships on his soccer team, Neghasi has experienced a lack of personal connection with many of the people in the Marin community. “They don’t know me, they only know me as the kid, good runner, good soccer player from Tamalpais High School, but they don’t know who I am inside myself, until if I told them all they know is that I’m guy named Mesgna,” Neghasi said. After having experienced life in Marin as well as drastically different circumstances, Neghasi has a single message for the Marin community. “I will tell to most people here, in life you only have one chance, that’s all I want to say to them, that you only have one chance.”♦

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EDITORIAL: Humanizing Immigration

n this month’s feature, Elissa Asch introduces readers to explore Mesgna Neghasi, who fled his home country of Eritrea in the hope of finding a better life in the U.S. Human stories are too often overlooked as mere statistics that move to the forefront of the immigration conversation,. Mesgna Neghasi’s story serves as a human manifestation of the wealth of statistics that are used to refer to foreign immigrants in modern America. America is supposed to be the “melting pot” of the world. Or at the very least, we are supposed to be diverse. People from all over come here to build new lives for themselves, and the means by which they create new begin-

nings is immigration. So why is the idea of “foreigners” becoming such an unwelcome concept? Why are people who come to this nation from overseas or across borders treated any differently than the rest of us? If you really look back at our history, weren’t most of our ancestors, at some point, foreigners? Modern media tends to portray immigration as a problem. Referring to immigrants solely as statistics that are the cause of contentious issues such as unemployment paints the immigrants of this country as the essence of corruption, violence, and danger. No one wants to be seen as embodiments of these aspects of humanity. However, what politicians and other leaders who promote negative stereotype

Crackin’ and Slackin’


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don’t seem to understand is that labels with these dark connotations simply adds to the amount of anger and resentment that leads to increased racism. Labels are something that clearly set people apart, creating a divide between us and communities that are perceived as “different.” These labels, including those such as “immigrant” or “refugee” are not necessarily derived from bad intentions. Still, the constant use of the words in degrading context such as bigoted jokes or scapegoating can act as fuel for racism and ignorance. No matter what label you put on individuals who arrive in America from abroad, everyone comes to this country for a reason. Whether they are fleeing disease, political unrest, economic distress, or a lack of social freedom, those who immigrate to the U.S. come looking for something better. Each and every one of them is a human being, a person who has a desire to survive and make a life. There are more than 40 million immigrants residing in the U.S. as of 2012, so it is impossible to go out and tell everyone’s story, to publicly acknowledge every person coming into this country, and to understand everyone’s journey. It is not impossible, however, to get to know a single person who has immigrated here. It is likely that you have, at some point in your life, come into contact with a person who has immigrated here. Start by reading Mesgna’s story and when the opportunity arises, take time to learn someone’s else as well. Listening to stories of people who have embraced and improved their own lives by immigrating here can make you truly believe in the American Dream. Whether you are on either side of the immigration debate, for or against, getting to know someone who has gone through the incredible process of becoming part of our country can contribute to the growth of your political beliefs and enrich your own life.♦


Saggin’, Not Swaggin’ by Wanya Williams


very day, I walk down the streets of Drake and Cole in Marin City and all I see is Hanes, Polo, and Fruit of the Loom. Sagging is like a sport nowadays. More and more people are sagging each day. I don’t understand why it’s okay to show your underwear to the whole world. To be honest, I sag sometimes. I stopped doing it all the time after the police caught me one time for throwing rocks at houses. I should’ve listened to my mom; she would always tell me to pull my pants up. Now I see why. If you are doing something that may require you to run, remember not to sag. It will not end well. You are going to end up with your pants around your shins like a baby taking its first couple of steps. There is a history behind sagging. Sagging originated from American prisoners who were prohibited from wearing belts which could be used as a weapon to strangle other prisoners or commit suicide.

Teenagers and others emulate rappers for their fashionable sagging. In music videos, rappers sag, and it looks cool because popular people are doing it and we are following up on the trend. Some people do it to be funny. I used to walk around with my pants down to my knees. I would do it because of a movie I watched, “Don’t Be a Menace.” The movie showed a line of black men who were sagging. It was funny to see the people sagging lower than the person in front of them. The one thing I hate is when a person sags with a belt on. Come on, what’s the point of the belt? I think the reason is that people from Marin City wear designer belts. No lie. If I was wearing a designer belt that I paid a lot of money for, I would want people to see my belt. But if I were to pay for an expensive belt, I would rather wear a smaller jacket to show it off. The only reason I used to sag is because

of my brother’s clothes. My brothers are giants compared to me. When I was younger, they outgrew their clothes and they handed them down to me. My friends never knew why I was a good swimmer. It was beacuse I would always swim around in those big clothes. My pants would fall every second, and back then I didn’t own a belt at the time. So my mom told me to use an old shoe string, but I didn’t want to be that one boy with the shoe string tied around my waist. It was bad enough that I used to walk around with my shoes on the wrong foot. I decided to buy clothes that fit me with no belt, so my pants don’t sag. Although sagging is a form of fashion, nobody wants to see you walking around showing your butt all the time. I’m not one to talk about it; I used to sag on the daily. But mooning someone every day gets a little weird.♦ GRAPHICS BY LUKE RIDER

Heard in Tam Hallways by the Opinion Staff

“You can be a hot one, or a smart one. I’m a hot one, so I can’t be a smart one.” - Student Center

“And that’s why LSD and deep fryers don’t mix” - Upper Keyser

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White feminism: One size does not fit all

Opinion/Editorial by Tandis shoushtary

Feminism advocates for the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. The definition sounds simple; the actual ideology is not.

Contrary to the name, White Feminism does not refer to feminists who are white, but rather feminists who ignore intersectionality, and focus solely on the experiences of high-earning middle- and upper-middle-class white women. For example, when White Feminists advocate to close the wage gap, they ignore the fact that the oft-cited statistic “women make 78 cents to a man’s dollar” only is true for white women. The wage gap hits women of color the hardest.

As great as it is to have feminism finally Break into mainstream media and educate the masses, the concept is being watered down, Whitewashed. What we get as a result is White Feminism, a problematic and ironically unjust version of the ideology.

White feminism is a very superficial kind of feminism that ignores the experience of women of color, trans women, and disabled women. It assumes that everyone experiences oppression in the exact same way.

It’s a “one size fits all” approach where the white woman is the mold that everyone must fit. Her issues are prioritized, and everything else is secondary to the movement, assumed to be resolved on its own after hers are adressed. But like trickle down economics, White feminism is letting down people who need it the most.

* White women

black women

Latina women




Major issues that affect only a subset of women, such as the heightened risk of sexual violence that disabled women face, the insanely high murder rates of trans women, and the unjust over-incarceration of black women, are deemed unworthy of the title “a feminist issue” just because they aren’t issues women face universally.

*According to the National Partnership for Women & Families analysis 18

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white feminists believe that sexism exists seperately from other issues such as racism and ableism, when in fact, different forms of oppression are deeply intertwined. in order to be successful, Feminism needs to be a movement that addresses the different intersections of oppression women face. white feminism can be easily prevented by hearing out and embracing minority voices.


Mirabel Levine Commits to Harvard by Hannah Chorley

COMMITTED: Senior Mirabel Levine (center) at Southwest Junior Regional Championships. She recently committed to Harvard for rowing and won regionals in the eight-person boat. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIRABEL LEVINE


enior Mirabel Levine recently committed to Harvard University as a rower. “I love the amount of teamwork and how challenging crew is,” Levine said. “I also love the relationships you build with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet.” Levine has been rowing for the Marin Rowing Association (MRA) since her freshman year. According to, the MRA varsity women’s team is ranked third in the nation. Levine’s cousin, a coach for the boys’ varsity team at MRA, got her interested in the sport. “I’ve definitely flipped my fair share of boats when getting too competitive and racing someone before being comfortable in the boat,” Levine said. “Over the past four years, I’ve seen myself turn from a person who rows because she has fun doing it to a person who rows because [she] wants to win...and still have fun,” said Levine. And she definitely does win. Last spring, Levine rowed in a winning eight person boat at regionals. “We were a very young boat and had been struggling all season to really find our speed,” she said. “We ended up beating all the other crews from the southwest region and it was such an amazing moment.” Levine also competed in a pair and four person boat. The win at regionals qualified her boat for the summer Youth National Championships, in which they placed second. “It can sometimes be challenging to juggle crew and school but it has made me a much more efficient and I don’t procrastinate anymore,” said Levine, who rows seven days a week, and sometimes has practice twice a day. “It is most challenging when I have to miss school for races all over the

country.” Levine began talking to college rowing recruiters during the fall of her junior year and over the course of that year, she began solidifying her top schools. This fall, Levine went on four official visits in which colleges pay for all of a student athlete’s travel expenses to Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Princeton. “I was really able to gauge where I would be happiest

[and] I ended up choosing Harvard,” Levine said. “I loved the team and the coaching staff and I ultimately decided that I would succeed best as a student and as an athlete [there].” Harvard is a Divison I school, and athletes compete in the Ivy League conference. Radcliff, Harvard’s women’s rowing team, is ranked 13th in the nation. As for her rowing plans for after college, Levine says that “only time will tell.”♦

The Tam News — November 2015



Tam Beats Novato for First Time in 15 Years by James Finn


he varsity football team defeated No- come back and take this.” we didn’t really think about it too much, vato 37-35 on September 26 on NoThe highlight of the first half came because at that point it was still really early vato’s home field. The nail-biting victory when senior kicker Riley Walls made a 52- in the game, and we didn’t realize that it marked the first time the team had defeated yard field goal to put Tam on the scoreboard. might have been the difference in the game, a Novato squad since 2000, according to Walls, who had never played football prior you know?” several Tam players. to this season but has played varsity soccer Tam’s comeback run culminated in Tam’s victory was hard-fought and, since his freshman year, has thrived in his a harrowing final sequence, when the in more ways than one, miraculous. The role as kicker. “It’s been kind of surreal,” Hawks, up only two points, nearly gave up Hawks fell behind 22-3 early in the first Walls said of his experience on the team. a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Jordan half, and ended up having to claw their way “A year ago I would have never pictured Smith came through in the clutch, however, back from a 22-10 halftime deficit to earn myself playing varsity football. I’ve only catching an interception near the end zone the win. as the clock ran out to Junior linebacker seal the Tam win. and center Mason Junior running back Sapp said that the imTre’chaun Berkley, who provement in the sechas been a key contribuond half was the result tor in his first year on varof defensive alterasity, played a huge role in tions. “In the first half, the win, running for 127 they were able to have yards on 17 carries. “Last a lot of success offenyear on JV against Nosively, until we made a vato I took some pretty defensive adjustment,” hard hits and I didn’t get Sapp said. “We shifted a chance to score which from a four-man deI kept thinking about so fensive front to a fiveI told myself ‘we got to man front, and then MAKING HISTORY: Senior Riley Walls kicks a Tam record 52-yard field goal [win]’,” Berkley said. we were able to slow during the first half of a varsity football. Tam won 37-35 against Novato on Septem- “My teammates was ber 26. The game was the first victory for Tam against Novato since 2000. down the run and stop PHOTO COURTESY OF JON BLACK producing and had plays the pass. [Prior to the they will never forget adjustment] they were scoring mostly off ever played soccer and to try something about. My blockers did their job, [quarterof long pass plays because we weren’t put- new has really opened my eyes.” back] Jack [Harris] threw some wet passes ting enough pressure on their quarterback.” Walls’s 52-yarder set the record for to my receivers, and the defense was killing The improved second half was the longest field goal in Tam history. “It was an it with the tackles and robbing novato for... result of work the team put in before the awesome feeling,” Walls said of the kick. interceptions.” game. “Good preparation...was critical to “I hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to kick Players agreed that the win provided our success because we watch a lot of film field goals but when coach said for me to them with significant confidence going and [offensive coordinator] Mick O’Meara get in there I knew it was my time to shine. forward. “This was easily the best win I’ve and [head coach] Jon Black had us ready To set a school record makes it even more ever had playing football and the coaches for what we were going to see,” senior mid- special.” agreed this was one of the greatest games dle linebacker and offensive tackle Trenten Sapp agreed that the field goal turned they have ever coached,” Francis said. “It Francis said. “It was a very hot day, more heads of spectators and players alike. “It was a big deal for the whole Tam program. than 90 degrees...We fell behind early 22-3 was sick,” he said. “Everyone was stoked. I was proud of everyone the whole team but we still had the feeling that we could No one really believed it would go in. But and how every player stepped up.”♦




Number of goals Cian Concannon socred against Ukiah in a 21-4 boys’ varsity water polo victory on October 8. November 2015 — The Tam News


The score of the girls’ varsity water polo victory over Ukiah on October 8.


Athlete of the Issue: Connor King by Calvin Rosevear


reshman Connor King has become the king of the pool this year, as many of his coaches and teammates can attest. He has been a natural at water polo since he began playing in sixth grade. He now starts for the varsity water polo team and is the team’s third-leading scorer. “A friend of mine was playing [in sixth grade]. He recommended that I start, because I was a swimmer a while before water polo,” King said. “Water polo’s pretty much 50 percent swimming, so my background in swimming really helped me.” King moved to Marin from the east bay in the eighth grade. “[In] the East Bay, it’s a lot more competitive. Definitely, the level of water polo is a lot higher there,” he said. King made the US National Team that same year before even playing for Tam. The US National Team is part of the Olympic Development Program. King played on the Pacific Zone AllStar team which made up a majority of Northern California’s top water polo players. “We played against Southern California’s all-star teams, and even Great Lakes and Florida all-star teams,” he said. From there, 70 athletes were selected to go to a training camp, or selection camp. After four days of that, the field was narrowed down to around 18 kids chosen to represent the nation for a certain age group. This is the team King made in eighth grade. Senior Jackson Hettler, a teammate and friend of King, met him through the Olympic Development program. “I knew he’d be a real good player, especially for our program,” he said. “He’s been scoring a lot of goals which is what we need….I can’t imagine how good he’s going to be as a senior.” Head coach Bob Kustel was grateful to have King on the team. “He starts as a freshman, and only one other freshman has started in my 15 years here….he’s our second-leading scorer,


he’s our best defender, and he’s got a great he’s been shutting [all the team’s best playunderstanding of the game, and he’s been ers] down,” said Hettler. “And for a freshthe big reason that we’ve been so success- man, that’s really good.” ful this year,” Kustel said. “When we got Kustel also had good things to say in our first game, we weren’t sure whether about King. “He doesn’t have a cocky athe was going to be on varsity or JV at that titude, even though he could, he’s so good. point, and then we put him in for our first He’s just a great team player, [and he’s] scrimmage, and he dominated.” got a great attitude,” Kustel said. “From Due to the personality of the members the first game on, he’s been so solid in the of the varsity water polo team, King is less water in every aspect, offense defense, intimidated by being a freshman on a var- the whole thing. He guards [the opposing sity team. team’s] best player, and he does everything “The guys on the team are really nice you want out there.”♦ to me and really supportive. It is hard though. It’s a lot of work,” he said. “I just like being in the water. It was really fun, and all the people that play water polo are generally pretty good people.” King plans to play water polo all four years in high school and expectations are through the roof for him. “He’s got the potential to be a Division one water polo player [and] play at a place like Cal or Stanford or USC or UCLA. I mean, he’s that good,” Kustel said. “The Cal assistant coach was here...scouting some players and saw him and I know he’s going to be interested in talking to him more. So, he saw the potential. I think he’s got a great future.” In the meantime, King continues to focus on the season at hand. KING OF THE POOL: Freshman Connor King stands pool“He’s been scoring side before a water polo game at Tam. King is the second higha lot of goals which is est scorer and starts as a freshman on the varsity water polo what we need….he’s a team. PHOTO BY CLAIRE DONOHUE [good] defender so….

Number of Tam football starting quarterbacks injured on Homecoming Saturday.

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Number of league wins for the girls’ varsity golf team after 13 league games.

The Tam News — November 2015




Courtney Chang: Varsity Golf Captain S

enior Courtney Chang has been on the girls varsity golf team since freshman year, her first year on a golf team. This year, she’s a co-captain with senior Maddie Stoops and consistently helps to keep the team high in the standings. Q: Why did you start playing golf for Tam? I started freshman year because my sister was captain. She was a senior when I was a freshman. She [said,] ‘You have to join, help the team out,’ because back then, there weren’t that many people interested in golf. So, she [was] like ‘The more people, the better,’ so I brought [senior] Maddie Stoops and [senior] Shay Engstrom. We all started freshman year. Q: How would you say you’ve improved since freshman year? I think etiquette-wise, like being respectful, having patience and all, has definitely grown in me as I’ve grown as a golfer. Also, responsibility, because now I’m captain. I’m just kind of making sure everyone’s okay, mentally, emotionally, physically, and all that. So, I feel like I’ve improved as a leader as the years have gone on. Q: What do you specifically like about golf? I’ve played soccer, lacrosse, and taekwon-do. And a lot of those sports have to deal with parents, just kind of being there at the game, and you’re kind of dependent on them. But then, in golf, I feel like you’re more independent, and you have to deal with girls that you’re playing against. Your parents aren’t really around that much, so I feel like you’re more independent. Q: Could you describe coach John Haight and his role? He coached my sister all four years, and me all four years. We’ve had a pretty good connection, [a good] coach-student relationship. He’s a really good guy. He really cares about our academics as well as our mental states, hoping that we’re all okay and able to play, and we’re enjoying


by Calvin Rosevear

the game too. He’s a good men- TEEING OFF: Senior Courtney Chang follows tor and teacher to all the players up her drive on her second shot at Mill Valley golf course. Chang is in her fourth year with the Tam golf on the team. PHOTO COURTESY OF COURTNEY CHANG Q: Do you have plans to program. continue golf past high school? I don’t think I’m really going to pursue golf as a main part of college, but I want to continue to play the sport. I have a good time playing it, and I actually really love the game. So, playing with my family, my friends, with anyone, I’ll keep it up that way. Maybe [I’ll play in] an intramural golf team, something really laid back. Q: How’s the golf team been doing this season? I think it’s been really awesome. I love being on the team, because I see everyone each year blossom and really improve their skills. It’s really great to see them step into this new sport, not being super aware of what’s going on. But eventually, they pick up how to play, pace yourself to be as good as them, but we acof play, and other etiquette throughout the tually had a match where we were pretty season. It’s really great. close. We were tied with them at one point. Q: How intimidating is the JustinSo, it shows how much we’ve improved Siena golf team? too, and that it’s not just them controlling Justin-Siena is the best team in the who wins the matches. league... They’ve been the number one team Q: Any proud moments throughout in MCALs and they’ve gone to NCS and four years of golf? post-NCS, like the Tournament of ChamWell, last year, we made history. We pions. At first, I thought they were really made it to the Tournament of Champions. intimidating, but then I’ve connected with So, that was a major accomplishment for a lot of the girls on the team that I played all of us, a team accomplishment too....This with, like their number one player last year. year (I’ve been shooting in the 40s or so), Her name was Kathleen Scavo, and she’s my lowest score was 45 and I’ve gotten third in the state, she’s an amazing golfer, three 45s this season, so I was really trying and she has a scholarship to University of to break that, and yesterday I got 44...Also, Oregon because of golf. And another girl, I’ve been co-captain with Maddie Stoops, who I play with this year, named Maria so that is a big accomplishment, having a [Davis] actually committed to [Cal good connection with everyone and being State Long Beach] for golf too. It’s really kind of a figurehead or leader is really a awesome though, to play with these really great experience.♦ good players, because it kind of motivates

November 2015 — The Tam News

The Tam News Thanks Its Patrons Adrienne & Garrett Lawrence Alan Frankel & Lily Chen Allen & Lisa Preger Ana Levaggi Andrea and Jerry Lane Anne Courtney Annie Lazarus Arthur Antonio Barbara Bowman Barbara Laraia & Chris Pilcher Barbara Wingate Bill & Heidi Whalen Blake Sgamba Bryce Goeking & Tia Miyamoto Cabana Family Catherine and Jim Long Chris & Kelly Haegglund Chris Hill Chuck Gathard & Kay Arentsen Claudine Murray Cnthia Koehler + Gordon Renneisen Cole Jordan Connor Scutt Cynthia Stone Dale Rice & Jeff Johnson Daphne de Marneffe & Terrence Becker David & Stefany Harband Dawn Dobras & Eric Swergold Dee Dee Taft Diana Coupard Diane Chang Diane Worley Donna Wenig Eric Lagier Ethan Moeller

Fox Family Fran Chouchena & Stephan Thomas Francia & Ian Grant Gary Ferroni Gillian & Richard Reilly Gretchen & John Boyle Hanna Ostroff Harold Ball and Amy Zimpher Heather Young Howard and Valerie Wynn Ingrid & Andrew Tolson Isabel Smoyer Jan Hiti Janie and Joe Karp Jeff & Tracy Brown Jennifer & Kyle Klopfer Jennifer and Kyle Klopfer Jennifer Duffy-Bello Jim & Sally Simpson Jon & Gale Love Jonathan & Deborah Goldman Judtih Weaver and Steven Blackburn Julie and Tripp Taylor Karen and Steve Jaber Karen Benke Karen Fritz Kathy and David McMahon Kathy Sonderby and Rich Ross Kelly and Dennis Leary Kerstin Bastian Kevin Head Kim and Vic Rago Labeeuw-Anderson Family LaDuke Family Laurel Johnson Lauren and Jerry Hancock Liam Shore

Lide Jordan Lisa Hukari Lisa Terry Lori & Mark Coopersmith Lowry Parko Family Lynn & Mark Garay Mara Brazer Marcie Meyers Margaret Kirvoruchko Margie Herman Mari and Richard Allen Marianne Shine Mark and Shonalie Guinney Maureen Keefe Max Perkoff and Melanie Wice Perkoff Mcquaid Family Mia Krueger Micaela Breber Michael and Amy Thomas Michael and Ruth Chavez Family Michelle and Jeff Tripp Mike Webb & Patty Mullen Molly Baumhoff Molly Brown Name Nessa Brady Nicola and Paul Stiff Pam Sowerby Richard Rider Robert Schultz Rubens Family Ruth Ann Spike and Elliot Neaman Sam & Aaron Wall Sandy & Peter Goetz Sarah McNeil Sasha Faulkner Sharon Brusman Shawn Yarnell Steve & Jan McDougal

Steve and Jan McDougal Sue & Steve Weinswig Sue Oliver and Tim Pozar Suzanne DiBianca Tamara Goldman The Alamin Family The Allen family The Begler Family The Berlinger Family The Bishop Family The Ferro Family The Gant Van Vliet Family The Griffin Parker Family The Kiles Family The Korngut Family The Kuhn Family The Levine Family The Oliver Family The Parker Family The Parkin Family The Rose Family The Rosevear Family The Weisert Family Tina & Jeff Taylor Tina and Jeff Taylor Toussaint Family Trish Bernal Tristan Naramore Waluk Family Wei Yin Wong Wendy Tobiasson & Raoul Wertz Whitney & Peter Bardwick Nancy Conger Christine Hildebrand Steven Podesta Adrienne & Garrett Lawrence Wil & Barbara Owens Kathleen Clifford & Bill Lampl David & Leanne Hansen

The Tam News — November 2015


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November 2015 — The Tam News

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