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THE TAM NEWS APRIL 2020

six feet

APART Pg. 11


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CONTENTS APRIL 2020

News 04 SMCSD presents desegregation plan 05 A month in quarantine Lifestyles 08 Digital drag 10 Why I’m worth more than all of you Features 11 Six feet apart

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Opinion 16 Why I don’t drive 17 Tam has a problem with white fragility 18 COVID-19: A manmade disaster 19 Heard in the “hallways” Sports 20 Title IX’s foul ball 22 Sports canceled due to COVID-19

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Dear Reader, School is canceled, students are homebound, and the Tam community has never been so disconnected. As students, parents, and faculty navigate these difficult times, all of us here at The Tam News would like to remind you once again to stay indoors, stay vigilant, and invite you to read this edition of our publication virtually. (It will receive a smaller print run in the fall for our records.) In our news section, read about how Bolinas residents have protested outsiders swarming their small beach community and the uniquely Marin nightly howl. Explore our photo feature documenting the realities of life outside our homes during a pandemic, using photos taken by Emily Stull and Ethan Swope. During times like these, it is difficult to be optimistic, and a shelter-in-place order may feel never-ending. Although many of us may feel helpless and idle, it’s important to do our part to help restore our community and keep those around us healthy. And from the staff of The Tam News, stay safe.

Editors in Chief Leah Fullerton • Kara Kneafsey Skye Schoenhoeft • Josie Spiegelman Benjy Wall-Feng News Jessica Bukowski • Logan Little Johanna Meezan Lifestyles Tahlia Amanson • Chloe Gammon Zev Grossman • Marco Steineke Natalia Whitaker Features Claire Conger • Claire Finch Emily Stull • Mikyla Williams Opinion Paige Anderson • Sam Jefferson Sophia Martin • Tenaya Tremp Sports Eli Blum • Jordan Cushner Luke Ferris • Stephania Glass Samantha Nichols TBN Saranyu Nel Website Benjy Wall-Feng Design Niulan Wright Social Media Grace Gustafson • Quinn Rothwell Business Team Samantha Nichols • Oona O’Neill Cover Ethan Swope Editorial Board Claire Conger • Leah Fullerton Chloe Gammon • Stephania Glass Sam Jefferson • Kara Kneafsey Elan Levine • Logan Little Skye Schoenhoeft • Josie Spiegelman Emily Stull • Benjy Wall-Feng Niulan Wright

Volume XIV, No. VII April 2020 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1919 Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org 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 © 2020 by The Tam News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

Adviser Jonah Steinhart Printer WIGT Printing Reporters (continued) Benjamin St. John • Catherine Stauffer Lukas Stoker • Pablo Stuart Steven Taitusi • Jessica Tempero Lauren Terry • Aleksander Teplitsky Tristan Tober • Ella Tollefson Aidan Toole • Iris Treharne-Jones Noel Urick • Mey Uysaloglu • Kaveh Vafaie Santiago Vera-Buoncristiani Daisy Wanger • Katya Wasserman Lassen Waugh • Lily Wieland Beckett Williams • Isabella Williams Carlos Wiltsee • Isabelle Winstead Niulan Wright • Hayden Yearout • Yasha Zink

Reporters Charles Abe • Cooper Alley Ava Amanson • Ruby Rose Amezcua Charlotte Anderson • Mobeen Angalia Arkin Balain • James Ballschmider Dara Baradaran • Kaya Beasley Colin Bender • Saad Bham Benjamin Bogas • Dylan Boon Kayla Boon • Charles Boyle Alyssa Broad • Jamese Brown Jenna Bui • Nicole Caldwell Kimorion Calloway • Nyiera Campbell Federico Caruso • Daniel Casillas Carlos Castro Vonk • McKayla Cates Myles Cence • Hayden Chamberlain Reggie Chen • Andrew Cherner Jacob Cohen • Alana Concannon Edward Cooper • Joseph Cooper Gina Criollo • Rory Cronander Lawrence Dahms • Richard Damico Isis Delorenzo • Zetana Demmerle Gabriella Diecks • Daniel DiPierro Kavi Dolasia • Alanna Donaldson Ian Duncanson • Avery Emison Kennedy Enlowsmith • Isabella Faillace Jack Fierstein • Jack Finn • Eloise Flad Tessa Flynn • Max Franck Sebastian Ghosh • David Gilmore Benjamin Ginnebaugh • Samantha Glocker Joseph Glynn • Talina Gonzalez-Alvarado Olivia Gould • Sebastian Graham Ronan Grele • Cesar Guedez Oberto Grace Gustafson • Riley Hardiman Serena Hariri • Sophia Harkins Taylor Hill • Colin Ingoldsby Kyle Johnson • Eva Jossart Quesada Keenan Karcs • Liza Lachter Isabella Larson • Maja Layden Phoebe Leisek • Lexa Lemberg Felicie Lemee • Naomi Lenchner Elan Levine • Ezra Levy • Chadson Lui Daniel Lund • Lily Lunn Zaahirah Majid • Francesca Malek Joshua Markowitz-Meeker Mariana Marquez Carrillo Akira Martha • Zelie Martin Sofia Matarrita • Marin Mattesi Amaari McCoy • Ezra McKinley Maya Meckley • Jake Mclaughlin Emily Mercy • Christine Moreno Max Moreno • Gabriella Mormorunni Christopher Newell • Aeneas Nicholas Barrett Nichols • Oona O’Neill Isabella Oldenburg • Athos Oliveira Katharine Owen • Bradley Page-Harris Sydney Parks • Kobie Pearson Cal Petersen • Luca Petrella Anna Plante • Jack Polakis Preston Radcliffe • Luke Rasake TaNaejah Reed • Tristan Regenold Nathan Robinson • Chloe Rodriguez Ethan Rosegard • Paul Rosenthal Dillan Ross • Quinn Rothwell Cassandra Ruark • Meya Saenz Zagar Dayanna Salas • Amelia Sandgren Kendall Scanlan • Emily Schauer William Schreiber • Tessa Schumacher Camille Shakirova • Carmen Shavers Foxy Shazam • Marcis Shelton Samuel Sheykhet • Caroline Shinner Nicholas Silva • Garnett Silver-Hall Cade Slijepcevich • Hugo Slothower Taylor Smith • Aryan Solanki Summer Solomon • Jackson Sperling


NEWS

SMCSD presents desegregation By Benjy Wall-Feng plan PHOTO BY KATHARINE OWEN

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fter months of deliberation, the Sausalito Marin City School District (SMCSD) has released a comprehensive plan to desegregate its schools. Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, in Marin City, serves a majority black population. Willow Creek Academy, a charter school in Sausalito, is plurality white. Desegregation must occur within five years in order to comply with a settlement announced last August by the state attorney general’s office. The draft plan, which was presented at a board of trustees meeting on March 11, envisions a “PreK-8 Dual Language Science Technology Arts & Research (STAR) Community School that: provides a trauma informed, culturally and linguistically sustaining top tier academic, social and emotional curriculum; attracts and retains highly qualified staff who reflect the diverse identity of our community; ensures a safe and inclusive climate for all.” The plan is built on sev-

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eral “pillars,” SMCSD superintendent Itoco Garcia said. They include a pre-K program for two- to five-yearolds; a dual-language Spanish program, which will first be implemented in pre-K and expand to every grade by 2027; and an after-school program called People’s Empowerment Arts & Community Engagement, or PEACE. The plan also outlines a commitment to increase the number of teachers of color who work in the SMCSD, the Tamalpais Union High School District, and the Mill Valley School District. The 10-year commitment was made jointly with institutions including the Marin County Office of Education. The board of trustees will vote on a finalized plan later this month. Officials have yet to determine where such a school would be located, but they have considered a range of options, including establishing a pre-K through elementary school on the Willow Creek campus and a middle school on the Bayside MLK campus. Meetings to discuss

consolidating the two campuses have fallen through, the Marin Independent Journal reported in February, and a unification plan that would have been presented on March 11 was postponed. One of the primary obstacles is a lawsuit, filed by Willow Creek against the district last March, which argues that the district has illegally diverted funding from the charter school to Bayside MLK. The plan presented on March 11 also included responses to several anonymous surveys administered by the district. The participants, which included several hundred staff, parents, and students, were asked about different aspects of their education and about the ongoing unification effort. The district said that the survey results were used to help shape the desegregation plan. However, the responses also point to a process that has exacerbated bitter divisions in the community. Many parents said they were concerned that unifi-

cation would lower the quality of education at Willow Creek. Enrollment for next year has already plummeted, perhaps due to similar concerns. Willow Creek “is a great, thriving school, and should be the model and base for any unification discussion,” one respondent wrote. Other responses said that the plan was long overdue: “Not unifying is not an option. We need to have more faith! Also, we need to keep a school in Marin City.” Parents and teachers from both schools voiced their frustration with a process that they saw as opaque or insufficient. “There has been a lack of communication from the district,” one response said. “The process is seemingly both active and stalled at the same time.” Read another: “The school district has done nothing to help with the unification at this point other than provide sheets of paper and marker pens and tell parents to go figure it out.”♦


NEWS

A month in quarantine

The following pages are about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Marin County as of April 13, 2020. For the full-length stories from this month’s issue and up-to-date information, please visit thetamnews.org/tag/coronavirus.

Distance learning By Logan Little and Lauren Terry with additional reporting by Grace Gustafson, Johanna Meezan, and Quinn Rothwell

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ollowing the closure of school campuses on March 13, students began to receive instruction and assignments online from their teachers. The district laid out a plan for remote learning in an email on March 12, directing teachers to email assignments to students through EschoolPLUS. However, in response to an announcement that schools would remain closed until May 1, the district presented a revised plan on April 3 introducing a schedule more reminiscent of one on a school campus. Students are now required to do the classwork of a particular class during the time that class is scheduled to meet. Teachers now must hold class meetings once per week over Zoom or other virtual services during the time that class is scheduled to meet. According to superintendent Tara Taupier, the decision to move to a set schedule was motivated by a district survey on distance learning. “Students were running into conflicts with teachers holding live sessions at the

PHOTO BY JOHANNA MEEZAN

same time,” Taupier said in an email. To ensure all students could participate in online instruction during the campus closures, the district provided digital devices and hotspot internet connections for students who requested aid. Sophomore Ben Hasen received a computer from the school following the closures. “My photo teacher dropped it off at my house ... the teachers are making a good effort to make sure every kid can do the work they need and it really shows how much they care about their students,” Hasen said. However, as of March 29, 25 Tam students who needed internet access had not received a hotspot, according to principal J.C. Farr. “We are looking into other options to support students, such as purchasing hotspots through phone carriers,” Farr said. Teachers, students, and administration are facing a variety of additional challenges adjusting to online learning. Many teachers are uncertain of how to assess stu-

dents. “So much of how I teach is based on how I see students responding and seeing what they want and need. I feel like I’m just assigning work into a void,” history teacher Jennifer Dolan said. Other students and teachers have reported having similar difficulties communicating. “Some of my teachers definitely have [distance learning] down ... but some teachers have been just posting random assignments,” senior Elliot Pavis said. Teachers have used a wide variety of online resources — including Google Classroom, email, and personal websites — to convey instruction, which has proven to be frustrating to some students. Math teacher Rebecca Henn originally used email

and her website to assign work and then moved to Google Classroom. “I want to minimize the number of times I change my procedures for my students ... as they are already trying to understand a new system,” Henn said. “However, as time proceeds, I am continually getting more information about the expectations for me as a teacher ... It feels like designing a plane while flying.” Some teachers are hopeful that the new schedule will reintroduce routine. “I plan to make [the mandatory Zoom classes] close in style to what my in-the-classroom style is, which will hopefully make [students] look forward to that bit of remembered normalcy,” science teacher David Lapp said.♦

APRIL 2020

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NEWS

Nightly howls By Skye Schoenhoeft

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ill Valley broke out in a roaring howl at 8 p.m. on March 22, and has been howling nightly ever since. “I got on the porch and all of a sudden … I’m hearing the howls,” University of California, San Francisco ICU nurse Tawyna Napoli said. “Out of nowhere I got all choked up and crying right there on my porch. It really felt like it was the first acknowledgement [of the impact of the pandemic on healthcare workers].” PHOTO BY JOHANNA MEEZAN

Bolinas protests

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olinas residents gathered at the entrance to their town over the weekend of March 21, urging visitors to return home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We understand that they want to get out of the house and be in nature, but they also [need to] understand that people live here — lots of people who cannot afford to get sick,” senior Lucian Patton said. Local residents saw unusually high numbers of outside visitors coming to Stinson Beach and Bolinas the weekend of March 21 and 22, likely due to the shelter-in-place order announced by the state on March 19.

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THE Tam The TAM news NEWS

The howl started with a Nextdoor post by resident Hugh Kuhn suggesting that Mill Valley should participate in the #Solidarityat8 campaign, a movement to support essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Across the world at 8 p.m., neighborhoods have been clapping, banging pots and pans, singing, and, now, howling in appreciation of essential workers. Park Elementary School student Emerson Mitchell has participated in the howl each night. “[I’m howling] to make people feel like they’re not alone,” Mitchell said. Howl participants can be heard all over Marin and beyond, as far as Denver, Colorado, according to Denver resident Shale Wong. Residents are introducing variations to the nightly

campaign, including horn honking and renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The police had to draw a line at the fireworks that were set off one night, however. “Howling = Cool, Fireworks = Not Cool,” the City of Mill Valley wrote in a Nextdoor post. Beyond illegal activity, there have been criticisms of the howl. Some parents of young kids have requested to move the time to 7 p.m. “There are some people that are just stressed by it because ... it wakes up their kids and I feel for those people,” Kuhn said. “But it seems to me the majority of people are actually enjoying it. It seems to be a bit of a release for people and a little bit of a feeling of ‘Oh, there’s people over there too, we’re all in this together.’”♦

By Kara Kneafsey “Bolinas has a very large elderly population, so when the government issues a shelter in place it is frustrating for us to see literally hundreds of tourists coming into town in large groups,” Patton said. Many, according to Patton, turned around after seeing the gathering. However, some responded negatively. “People were calling us assholes and pieces of shit. I had a sandwich thrown at me from someone’s window,” Patton said. On March 22, the County of Marin closed all parks to motorized traffic, which curbed the issue (see page 7).♦

Bolinas residents protested tourists at the intersection of Mesa Road and Olema Bolinas Road. PHOTO COURTESY OF LUCIAN PATTON


NEWS

Marin closes parks By Johanna Meezan

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he Marin County Department of Health and Human Services ordered the immediate closure of all parks on March 22 to keep visitors from congregating in large groups and potentially spreading COVID-19. The order impacts national, state, county, city, and local land. However, the closure only affects motorized traffic, according to Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Health Officer for the

County of Marin. “This is a necessary step to protect our community. We are not discouraging Marin County residents from getting outside and walking or biking to a park or trail near your home,” Santora said in a video statement the day of the closure. The announcement came one day after visitors from all across the Bay Area traveled to Marin for recreational pur-

poses. These crowds resembled those from the summer months and, according to a news release from the County of Marin on March 22, put elderly and immunocompromised residents at risk. The order was set to expire on April 7, but the county extended the restriction until May 3 in a second press release on March 31. The Marin County Department of Health and Hu-

man Services also closed playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, rock walls, and similar recreational areas in the second announcement.♦ The closure of Marin County parks on March 22 discouraged visitor traffic into the county over the Golden Gate Bridge. ABOVE:

PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE

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NEWS

Digital Drag:

has forced drag entertainers particularly for young queer of all categories to adapt. viewers who may not have Since then, either inde- had access before. pendently or through manOnline performances agement agencies like Voss aren’t the only change to Events, an agency managing the drag community that’s prominent drag entertain- come from the guidelines ers, have had to cancel their surrounding the COVID-19 shows across the globe while outbreak. For young peostill ensuring that queens, ple like me — not yet old dancers, producers, interns, enough to go see most drag and anyone else involved are shows outside of the Castro still able to make an income. Theatre, at pride parades, or The solution? Bringing drag from our TV screens — this is to the masses through the a rare opportunity to be expower of the internet. posed to the drag that exists When tuning into any of outside of what is accessithe seemingly thousands of ble to us in the mainstream. scheduled livestream events And especially for fans of that drag performers have drag, or Drag Race particubeen advertising across so- larly, who aren’t members of cial media, one can’t help but the queer community, these notice the almost campy ad- digital shows give you no justments any given queen excuse to skip out on these has quickly made for their shows. Queer drag performact. While it takes a second ers deserve your support how they make their liv- to adjust to seeing perform- 365 days of the year, but esings, following increasingly ers who regularly take the pecially now in this time of restrictive and absolutely spotlight in a crowded club crisis. In other words, there necessary social distancing or music hall perform from is no reason not to show up guidelines around the world.  their living rooms, the new as an ally for the queer peoSince the 2009 premiere format brings with it a new ple struggling right now just of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a sense of intimacy as well, because you can’t leave your reality-competition show where drag queens compete for $100,000 and the title of “One byproduct of this outbreak is an “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” certain aspects of drag impact on the lives of many queer peoculture have been thrust into ple when it comes to the way America’s the mainstream. Because of this, over 100 queens from drag economy has gone digital, and the show have garnered al- how young people, for the first time in most instant international their lives, are able to experience a live fame and social media followings, particularly among drag performance.” queer audiences.  Queens from Drag Race, as well as local entertainers with smaller platforms, all rely heavily on making an income through performances at bars, clubs, or local tours, which pay them through some combination of booking fees, and audience tips. But in recent weeks, the COVID-19 out- GRAPHICS BY TAHLIA break sweeping the world AMANSON

How Drag Queens Are Adapting In The Age of Quarantine By Jake Cohen

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s of today, March 31, I have been practicing social distancing from the comfort of my own home for over two and a half weeks. Each morning since the news of my school’s closure, as well as the shutdown of my parents’ places of work, it’s gotten exceedingly difficult to not fall into a pit of panicked headline reading and worrying about statistical analysis. But while it’s gotten hard to avoid scrolling past the latest apocalyptic headline from the White House or grim sound bite from the CDC, one byproduct of this outbreak is an impact on the lives of many queer people when it comes to the way America’s drag economy has gone digital, and how young people, for the first time in their lives, are able to experience a live drag performance. In recent weeks, drag queens have been forced to get creative and digital with

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LIFESTYLES

“Queens aren’t letting anyone’s lack of ability to attend in-person events stop them from entertaining the masses.” house; this is an opportunity to demonstrate support. Notably, Voss Events, known for their “Werq The World” tour bringing Drag Race stars to audiences around the world, recently announced the formation of a digital-drag global livestream set for Saturday, April 4. In the event, queens are not only given the opportunity to make money themselves through social-media livestreams and online tipping via Venmo and PayPal, but are also raising money to aid local drag entertainers not managed by large production companies. The announcement on their site reads, “RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq The World has visited 95 cities across 28 countries over 5 continents. “Now the largest drag show on the planet jumps from stage to screen for a massive global fundraiser to help displaced local drag entertainers who have lost their source of income due to the COVID-19 shutdown of bars and clubs!” Additionally, the site offers an application for “Local Queen Aid’’ where enter-

tainers losing money from social distancing guidelines can apply to receive aid money from a portion of the digital livestream proceeds. Similarly, an even larger event entitled Digital Drag Fest 2020 (presented by P.E.G.) is set to take place every day for the next month until April 30. It boasts large names and over 40 different queens, from legendary New York City club kid Amanda Lepore to Northern Ireland’s own Blu Hydrangea, who aren’t letting anyone’s lack of ability to attend in-person events stop them from entertaining the masses. And perhaps most notably, not only did the first shows sell out in the first 48 hours, but a whopping 50 percent of all of the shows merchandise processes will be donated to GLAAD. The resiliency of the queer nightlife economy, specifically when it comes to drag, is more widespread than just this first, higher-profile event. Queens from all levels of fame and exposure have been forced to get creative when it comes to the new restric-

tions that prevent them, just as millions of other Americans and global citizens, from making their income as they usually do. But these performances aren’t all lipsyncs and stand-up comedy. London queen Dolly Trolley, who wanted to continue her regular mid-weekly “Drag Aerobics” class — a mix of Jane-Fonda 1980s workout video-esque fun and pure camp comedy — has now gone digital. “Loss of routine is a massive thing to have taken away,” Trolley told the BBC. “It’s what people need right now, a bit of laugh, an excuse to put on some Lycra, and an opportunity to dance, have a move, and create some community and togetherness,” even if that means it has to happen in her living room. (Information concerning upcoming classes can be found on Dolly’s Instagram.)  Being stuck in my home — granted, one that is massively supportive of all things queer — has allowed for my own even deeper exploration of varied gender-expression though experimenting with

drag within the confines of my own bedroom. Not just as a way to distract myself, when I can, or from the circumstances the world is finding itself in, but also as a way to explore essential queer history through my love of makeup, drag, fashion, and more. I hope this momentary shift in the way drag shows are performed can do for people is inspire their own love of drag and what playing with one’s own gender expression might be able to offer. What more people, particularly straight and cis folks, need to realize, is that drag doesn’t just exist once a year at pride parades, during Halloween, or on Drag Race. Drag is everywhere. Whether it’s in your living room or live on stage, it’s something everyone needs to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about, or even participate in it. Take it from me, someone able to explore my gender expression and my drag-related hobbies in newfound ways, even if my only audience is my dog, Ruby, who refuses to tip.♦

To find tickets and support the queens, look up these websites and events!

digitaldragfest.com Werq The World Livestream

APRIL 2020

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LIFESTYLES

Why I’m worth more than all of you By Zev Grossman

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hree weeks into January this year I slept from like 8 in the morning until 5 in the evening. The doctors had me loaded up with “feel-good juice” (their words) and anesthesia and strapped me to the operating table for a grueling ninehour operation to straighten my spine. I was out cold and out of my mind. Waking up in the recovery room, with full function in my limbs and $30,000 worth of titanium hardware secured to my vertebrae, was the end of an arduous two years of back-bracing and scoliosis exercises. Now, at least, I’m taller than my friends. The doctors found my scoliosis in the spring of ninth grade during a checkup. It was surprising, to say the least, though at the time I didn’t anticipate what that would entail. The specialists prescribed a hard-plastic, full-torso brace to be worn 23 hours daily, meant to ease the progression of my spine’s curve. I begrudgingly wore it every day, all day, for two full years, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pissed. Try high school in a brace. People couldn’t tell, I don’t think, but I like to think it had a big impact on my experience. My confidence plummeted, my wardrobe dwindled, and my eagerness to interact with

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THE TAM NEWS

anyone other than my parents was at a minimum. It was tough, definitely, to hear after two years of vigilance that the brace had failed its purpose, and my spine was approaching a life-threatening degree. It was truly a

afford. I won’t mention all of the side effects of anesthesia, but know that it’s extremely unpleasant. The first night, I was so drugged up, every time I moved I’d vomit out my brains and bile. I also wasn’t allowed to

“Waking up in the recovery room, with full function in my limbs and $30,000 worth of titanium hardware secured to my vertebrae, was the end of an arduous two years of back-bracing and scoliosis exercises.” bummer in the summer. The operation, deemed “spinal fusion,” sounded simple enough. They’d slice me open, fasten two aluminum rods on either side of my spine, and pull it straight. A bone donor’s generous contribution would be incrementally arranged between each pair of vertebrae so that my bone would “fuse” together, and after a year of restricted activity, finally, I’d be fixed. The surgery itself I obviously don’t remember, but the pain afterwards definitely wasn’t a stroll. I lost weight, too, which I couldn’t

lie in one position for more than an hour, so the nurses would come turn me, I’d puke, rinse, wash, and repeat. I’d decided before surgery that I’d do my best to refrain from using too much medicine, but I didn’t anticipate the levels of discomfort I’d experience. Not for a second, though, did I hesitate to mash the hydromorphone button. Who knows, maybe it helped, but I was so comatose I didn’t even register. The doctors and nurses kept encouraging me to use the painkillers, they’re so helpful, but I didn’t want to.

Even when I was discharged a mere four days later, they sent me home with a big container of oxycontin. I took exactly one, and it messed me up so badly I couldn’t do anything but lie still for the day. That’s a no from me. Recovery was quite literally painfully slow. Again, I’ll spare the details, but after three weeks of oatmeal and prune juice I was finally able to use the restroom again. Oh, and get this: The doctors gave me a new brace to wear for three months so that I won’t bend my back. Joke’s on me. Finally, though, most things considered, I’m doing well. As you read this I’ll be doing better. I’m able to attend school again (I was back for four days before it closed) and I can move and yell at people and eat balanced meals. In July I’ll be able to start lifting things and probably swim or do something mildly physical. I’m immensely grateful everything went well. Life is slowly getting back to normal, amongst the covidiocracy, and my parents are finally lucid again. Best of all, though, is that with a new car’s worth of hardware in my back, I’m objectively more valuable than you. Funny how that works.♦ GRAPHICS BY TAHLIA AMANSON


FEATURES

The novel coronavirus has brought the world into uncharted territory. California has been under the instruction to shelter in place since March 17, causing a dramatic shift in our daily lives. Tam has transitioned into online learning, and sports, extracurriculars, and social activities have been canceled. So many things are up in the air, and there is no telling

when things are going to return to normal. This feature illustrates a snapshot of what California’s shelter in place order entails, outlining the experiences members of the Tam community are going through.

Six feet apart Reporting by Kara Kneafsey Photos by Ethan Swope and Emily Stull

APRIL 2020

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features

I feel as though some kids are missing out on getting an education while others aren’t. (Kylie Frame, senior)

I honestly think school from home has been easier, I have more freedom to create my own schedule and do homework whenever I decide to, which gives me an opportunity to develop useful time management skills. I also notice myself getting assigned more homework than usual. (Colin Greg, sophomore)

I have been making the best of a trying situation. The one-on-one connections you make with your students is one of the best parts of teaching so remote teaching is tough! One of my main goals during this school closure has been to try and keep my lessons as interactive as possible While it has been good to develop the digital side of my teaching, I really miss being at school and most of all I miss my students. (Arielle Lehmann, social studies teacher) 12

THE TAM NEWS


FEATURES

Overall the quarantine has been hard, but whenever I think about how hard it has been to stay away from others, I also try and think about the things that I am grateful for. That my parents are lucky enough to still be employed, that we have food on the table, and this beautiful area surrounding us fit for hiking and fresh air. I think that I am lucky to have that community but I miss it more than anyone could imagine. (Sophia Brooks, junior in Team program) I have been alright with the school closures so far. I have been very lucky because taking a harder course load has taught me how to teach myself on my own in the past. I think there needs to be more support for students struggling to cope with their academic and home situation. (Anonymous, junior)

It’s definitely been very weird. You can definitely tell that most customers are being very cautious and trying to respect our space as well, which is nice, but there are also some customers who still seem oblivious to what is going on. (Charlie Osborn, employee at Juice Girl, senior)

APRIL 2020

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FEATURES

As of April 3, orange states are those who have a state order to stay at home, and those with lines have orders in parts of the state. 14

THE TAM NEWS

GRAPHIC BY ISABELLA FAILLACE


Shoreline Highway was barren while residents sheltered in place.

FEATURES

It’s been a strange transition. I find it more challenging to stay organized, but I am able to get my work done very fast. Even though I can still get my work done on time, I find that it is way more effective to learn in the classroom then it is to learn from home. (Ben Hasen, sophomore)

The thought of not stepping foot on the lacrosse field ever again is something I am having trouble wrapping my head around. Lacrosse has been a huge part of my life since before I can remember, and I can’t believe I may have played my last game without even realizing it. (Kylie Frame, senior) APRIL 2020

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OPINION

WHY I DON’T DRIVE By Natalia Whitaker

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erhaps the most eagerly awaited non-academic milestone one hopes to reach during high school is driving. It seems to me that every approach one learns to get from one place to another serves as a cause for celebration — learning to crawl, walk, bike, successfully navigate public transportation, etc. — but none are even remotely as exciting as learning how to drive. And it makes sense. Driving is so cool. The very quintessence of independence and grown-up-ness. The most notable distinction between the different grade levels. Moreover, driving is incredibly convenient. I, however, am nearing the end of my senior year and I do not drive. It’s not like anything is stopping me; I no longer spend my time studying for standard-

ized tests, I already know where I’ll be attending college, and it’s not like I am crippled by the stress of the senior-year workload. I have the time and, because I’m 18, I wouldn’t even need to wait six months after receiving my permit to take my license test. I have been long chas-

exam. I completed driver’s ed, yet I never took the test. I told myself that I would take it the following month. But a month turned into nearly two years, and now here I am. The truth is, I wasn’t ready. As someone who has been in a fair number of car accidents — although none

“When you sit behind the wheel, you become responsible for your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of other drivers.” tised by my peers because I don’t drive — rightfully so. I admittedly exploit the benefits of having friends and siblings who do drive. And I too was once an eager and impatient 15-year-old who couldn’t wait for the day that I could take the permit

that were really bad — and someone who has witnessed some truly awful ones, I do not take driving lightly. Driving might be the kind of skill that you pick up quickly, but that doesn’t mean it becomes any less dangerous. When you sit behind the wheel, you become responsible for your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of other drivers. It is expect-

ed of you that you stay in control and are alert at all times. And that is not a responsibility that I felt ready to undertake. Just because I had turned 15 and a half and was legally allowed to begin the process doesn’t mean that I felt comfortable. I understand that my friends who drive are probably sick of driving me around and hope that I eventually just get my license. I appreciate that sometimes I need a push when it comes to doing things that frighten me. But the pressure and judgement can be a little overwhelming. That being said, I think I might be ready now. Some people might say that it’s about time. But I think it is tremendously important that more teenagers evaluate for themselves whether or not they are truly ready to take on the responsibilities that come with driving. Driving might not seem as dangerous as it really is. But, just as checking your mirrors and signaling is your duty as a driver, it is your duty to others and yourself, to make sure that you are both ready and comfortable when you not only begin driving, but every time you get behind the wheel.♦

GRAPHICS BY TENAYA TREMP

16

THE TAM NEWS


OPINION

Tam has a problem with white fragility By Mikyla Williams

L

et’s talk about white fragility at Tam. Tam is a very white school, with very defensive white kids. During my time here I have noticed a common theme of white fragility. But before anyone gets defensive, hear me out. As a person of color, I find it difficult to have conversations about race with my w h i t e p e e r s because I almost always f i n d myself going f r o m the victim of racism to the perceived perpetrator. It’s difficult trying to explain myself to people who are unaware of the racism that is present in our school. It’s even more difficult when they silence me or make me feel like my feelings and opinions aren’t valid. I ‘ve found that while some students understand their privilege and racism at Tam, many don’t. White fragility comes in many different forms. I’d define it as when white people get offended and

give dismissive responses to clear evidence of racism. This also includes arguing that not all white people are awful. In freshman year we had our first Socratic seminar addressing the topic of racism, and I can’t say it was particularly successful. I brought up the fact that white p e o p l e are privileged and should be more aware of it, but another student went on a rant about how not all white people are racist, then continued on about how his white privilege wasn’t his fault. He got a lot of backlash from the other students and criticism from our teacher, but it was a reality check for me that a lot of people think and feel the same way he does. Since freshman year I’ve learned a lot about racism and what it actually is. The best way to explain the term “racism” is that if you are a white person who benefits from white privilege you are automatically racist. If you

go back to 2018 and asked me if all white people were racist I’d say, “No, there are some nice ones,” but that’s not true: All white people are racist. If you’re white and you don’t hate people of color or people of different ethnic backgrounds, you should still work on your own actions, language, and mindset. Be aware of your privilege and slip-ups. Accepting that you might have a better life than others can make you feel guilty, but as long as you are working on yourself and behavior there is nothing to be guilty about. That doesn’t mean just go out into the world and try to prove to me and everybody else that you’re not racist. The process is deeper than that. You need to replace

where I’m telling someone about where they messed up, or why they shouldn’t be so sensitive, and they totally dismiss me. I’d feel ignored and that would make me want to stay silent. But don’t just assume that every student of color thinks that same way. I am speaking not for all black students, but about myself and my own experiences. Other students might agree with me, but that’s not always the case. Lastly, try to be more mindful of the things you say and how you say them. People don’t just change overnight, but if you really want to become a more open-minded person, don’t take what I say lightly. In the classroom, I used to feel proud about calling

“I’ve found that while some students understand their privilege and racism at Tam, many don’t.” sympathy with rapport. People of color don’t need pity. What you can do is become aware of the subtle racism that happens on a daily basis and work on helping other white people to do the same. Talk to us. Have a conversation and, most importantly, listen. There have been so many instances

people out on their mistakes — but it has become too hard of a job, and, in fact, it’s not my job. I call people out not only because I’m upset but because I care. I’m tired of always being the person that tries to solve racism. It’s not my job to call anyone out. But if I do speak up, don’t interrupt me. Just listen.♦

APRIL 2020

17


OPINION

COVID-19: A manmade disaster By Samantha Glocker

W

hite LEDs illuminate a shining white truck pulling out of a large blue garage. It transports precious squeaking, squealing, growling cargo. Its destination is one of the bustling Wuhan wet markets, where animals are slaughtered and sold for consumption. Wet markets can be found all over the world. My mom picks up our weekly groceries at a local farmers market that easily can be called a wet market. “Wet market” is defined as “a market for the sale of fresh meat, fish, and produce.” If you live in Marin, you’ve probably been to one before. However, Chinese wet markets are different. During the 1970s, China was facing complete societal collapse. Famine had struck, and the Communist regime, which was controlling all food production, was failing to feed its more than 900 million citizens. In 1978, the regime gave up control and allowed farms to be privately owned and sold. Large companies increasingly dominated production of popular foods like rice, poultry, and pork, so smaller farms turned to catching and raising wild animals as a way to sustain themselves. In the beginning, these farmers mostly came from lower-income households, and since wildlife farming was sustaining people, the Chinese government backed it. In 1988, the government enacted the Wildlife Protection Law, which designated wild animals as “resources owned by the state,” and protected people involved in the “development or utilization of wildlife resources.” Under this new designation, the wild-

life farming industry was officially born. The populations of wildlife farms suddenly grew a lot bigger and more diverse. And with plenty of animals from all over the world living on farms together in small confined spaces, the opportunities for disease abounded.

Almost 20 years ago, a similar virus appeared in wet markets in southern China. It was the winter of 2003, and sufferers complained of fever, chills, headache, and dry coughs — all symptoms you might expect during cold and flu season. But this condition would progress

“Inside the market, cages holding animals were stacked, and animals at the bottom were soaked in the excrement and blood of those around them.” Nonetheless, these animals were still shipped into the markets for profit. That’s what our glossy white truck from earlier is doing — it’s carrying a large population of strange animals into the Huanan wet market to be slaughtered and sold. The market most likely hosts animals from all over the world, and not all of those animals are legal, even with China’s loose policies. Endangered species, like ferrets, mingle with bats, snakes, and chickens. In the case of COVID-19, one of the leading hypotheses is that it traveled from a bat to a pangolin before infecting a human. That’s where the Huanan market comes in. Out of the first 41 coronavirus patients, 27 had been to the Huanan wet market. Inside the market, cages holding animals were stacked, and animals at the bottom were soaked in the excrement and blood of those around them. Through those liquids, viruses jump from one animal to another. If those animals come into contact with or are consumed by humans, the virus jumps to them. And if the virus then spreads to other humans though contact, it causes an outbreak.

into a lethal form of pneumonia, one that left honeycomb-shaped holes in people’s lungs and generated severe respiratory failure in a quarter of patients. By the time the epidemic ended seven months later, more than 8,000 cases and 800 deaths stretched across 32 countries. That disease was SARS, and as a result Chinese officials quickly shut down wet markets and banned wildlife farming. Six months later, China lifted the ban. Now, the link between the wildlife epidemic and disease becomes even more concerning. Although there are many different possible origins of COVID-19, there is evidence that wet markets play a part in the spread of disease. On January 26, Chinese authorities issued a nationwide suspension on the trade of wild animals. In February, they issued a nationwide ban on all terrestrial wild animal commerce and consumption. Today, humanity is no longer confined to singular cities, countries, and continents. That means that disease isn’t confined, either. The consequences of animal rights violations stretch further than individuals. As long as wildlife continues to be traded and exploited, the world will constantly be at risk of the emergence of another novel disease.♦ GRAPHIC BY TENAYA TREMP

18

THE TAM NEWS


OPINION

Heard in the “hallways” “Maybe we can tip the Instacart delivery person in toilet paper?” “Man I’ve been getting pretty good at twerking recently.”

TIN

AN R A U

Q

ON

ITI D E E

“I was brushing my teeth to go to bed and I saw my mom getting up for work.”

“How many times do I have to throw it back to be famous?” “Is it possible to put myself up for adoption?”

“Raves are an essential service!”

OP-ED’S LIST OF THINGS TO DO WHEN FEELIN’ LAZY

WHEN FEELIN’ PRODUCTIVE

Watch Blades of Glory starring Will Ferell Listen to The Lost Boy by YBN Cordae Watch All American season 2 on Netflix Read the Percy Jackson series ... every single one Get your old Fortnite squad back together Endlessly scroll through TikTok

Bake some oatmeal raisin cookies Record a podcast about the best off-campus lunch spot Become a highly proficient somersaulter Learn how to sign your name in sign language Do your own laundry, put it in the dryer, and then sleep engulfed in your warm pants and t-shirts

APRIL 2020

19


TITLE IX’S FOUL BALL SPORTS

By Samantha Nichols and Luke Ferris with additional reporting by Nathaniel Burroughs

I

n 2019, San Francisco 49ers’ offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers became the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl, and in 2020, Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to join the fulltime coaching staff of a Major League Baseball (MLB) team when she was hired by the San Francisco Giants. Despite this recent progress in gender equality among professional sports, statistics show that society is far from achieving proportionate numbers of male and female coaches. An analysis of the coaching at Tam High revealed that 35 percent of female-only sports teams have women as head coaches, while no male-only sports teams have women in the head coach role. This is concurrent with collegiate athletics, as about 40 percent of women’s Division I sports teams and about three percent of men’s teams have female head coaches, according to the New York Times. So why aren’t there more female coaches? In 1972, just prior to Title IX, a law that required

20

THE TAM NEWS

high schools and colleges to ensure equal opportunity for men and women both academically and athletically, women held 90 percent of the coaching jobs in female sports, according to Forbes. Title IX resulted in many schools putting more money into female athletics, which attracted male coaches. Female coaches were gradually replaced by male coaches, and women now hold less than 41 percent of coaching jobs in female sports. Theresa Sherry is a twosport Ivy League champion, winner of the MPSF coach of the year award in 2008, and the founder and CEO of the Tenacity Project, a program that aims to empower girls through sports. Sherry fears that sports like lacrosse that are quickly gaining traction among youth will experience a shift toward gender inequality in coaches, similar to what happened after the enactment of Title IX. “Girls’ lacrosse has more female head coaches than other sports do, but that’s starting to change as more money comes to the sport,” Sherry said.

“We need more female coaches, we need more educated, experienced female management in sport, at all levels ... I think that having more females in a sport helps push the professionalism and the opportunities for people in the future,” Tam cross country coach Verity Breen said. Female coaches are viewed by many young athletes, especially girls, as valuable role models and respected adults. “In my experience, female-coached teams have a better dynamic because we all feel a sense of connection and comfort,” senior Lily Bowman said. Sophomore Lia Pletcher agreed, saying, “There definitely have been points when I’ve had a coach that’s a woman where I’ve definitely felt more

connected and talked more with them than I would have if the coach was a guy.” Breen also believes that female coaches are important to young female athletes. “Women in sport and youth in sport, especially females, they need someone they can trust and confide in, and can ask personal questions to, with


SPORTS

In the United States, women head coach 43 percent of all-female teams and 3 percent of all-male teams. At Tam, women head coach 35 percent of all-female teams and 0 percent of all-male teams. GRAPHS BY BENJY WALL-FENG

it feeling comfortable,” Breen said. However, despite the shared view that female coaches are an asset to young women, they are still vastly outnumbered, which can affect aspiring young coaches in a negative way. “There’s a lot of great women coaches, but there’s not as many opportunities for women in

[coaching], so that’s not exactly the most encouraging thing,” sophomore Ariana Greenberg said. Sherry recalled how, as a young athlete, a lack of female coaches affected her view of the future. “They always say ‘If you can see it, you can be it’ and a lot of us growing up didn’t have female coaches,” Sherry said. “My dad was also one of my best coaches,” she added, “so I think it depends on the person, but in general I’m much more in favor of women coaching women just so that it prepares them to become another strong woman in the world.” While women are rarely the head coach of male sports teams, men coach the majority of female sports teams. “I think we are re-

ally underachieving and missing out on a lot of positive role modeling and leadership development for both boys and girls if we don’t get more females into coaching roles,” girls’ lacrosse coach Mike Smith said. Approximately 44 percent of NCAA athletes are women, yet women hold 20 percent of NCAA head coaching positions. Somewhere along the line, female coaches are either being overlooked or replaced in their positions, especially as more sports gain recognition and increased funding. A study by the Tucker Institute at the University of Minnesota about the number of female coaches in sports concluded: “It is simply not possible that as each new generation of females becomes increasingly involved in and shaped by their sport experience, they simultaneously become less interested, less passionate, and less qualified to enter the coaching profession.” Despite the gender disparity, female coaches like

Sowers and Nakken, among others, have risen to success in recent years. Part of the Tenacity program is focused on continuing to break down societal barriers and empower women through sport. “What we’re trying to do through our sports is defy those statistics and help them hang onto that confidence so that they become confident adults,” Sherry said. Given the recent developments in professional coaching, our society may be on the way to undoing the unforeseen changes that occured after Title IX. Sherry believes that the inclusion of more female coaches in sports must be driven by a motivation to break down deeply seeded societal barriers. “I think as a society, if we can change some of the narratives that have been ingrained in us. I think that would be beneficial for young athletes and the entire human race,” Sherry said.♦

GRAPHIC BY TENAYA TREMP

APRIL 2020

21


SPORTS

Sports canceled due to COVID-19 By Jessica Bukowski and Jordan Cushner

A

ll spring sports were suspended on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This news came as a disappointment to many high school athletes, as their seasons were seemingly just beginning. Sports affected by the shutdown include boys’ and girls’ swimming, diving, lacrosse, track and field, boys’ tennis, and boys’ volleyball. An email sent on March 5 by athletic director Christina Amoroso outlined how a school closure would logistically affect spring sports. According to Amoroso, sports are to remain suspended the same number of days that TUHSD schools are closed. Although many student athletes and coaches under-

stand the intent of sports cancellations, they are still discontent with the prospect of not having any season at all. “This year I was most looking forward to lifting the MCAL banner,” senior tennis player Mason Marks said. “Being ranked number one in MCALS as a team and individual is a lot to live up to and I wanted to prove myself. Not only that, but as a captain, showing the many new kids on the team what Tam tennis is all about.” Girls’ varsity swim coach Candace Murphy is sympathetic toward her 63 swimmers who may not be able to finish their season. “This is so hard. I feel so bad for the seniors, and

not just swimmers, all spring athletes, who were representing Tam their final year in school. I feel bad for the juniors, whose performances this year count for college intrigue and maybe even acceptance. Sophomores were no longer the bottom on the totem pole and freshmen will never know how great it is to participate in a spring sport and work together as a team,” Murphy said. During a meeting between the CIF executive director and 10 section commissioners, the decision was made to cancel spring Sectional, Regional, and State Championship events. This decision was made in consideration of student athletes’ “ongoing health and

safety during this challenging time,” CIF executive director Ron Nocetti said in a press release. Although the cancelation of the spring sports season is a disappointment to the athletic community, coaches have left their athletes with positive messages. Girls’ lacrosse coach Mike Smith said, “It’s the love and excitement of the experiences you’ve had playing that is ultimately the source of such disappointment — and that is reflection of something great and something to be appreciated. Nothing, including having a season cut short abruptly, can take those experiences away from our players.”♦

FROM LEFT: PHOTOS COURTESY OF LESLIE OWEN, ANNE ELISCO-LEMME, GRANT JARRETT, AND JON CRONANDER

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THE TAM NEWS


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