Page 1


News Lockdown Aftermath pg. 4

Lifestyles Cats Review pg. 8

Features 2020 Voting Guide pg. 11

OPINION Lockdown Editorial pg. 17

Sports Kobe Tribute pg. 21



News 04 Lockdown sparks concerns over emergency procedure 06 Performing Stars hosts MLK Day of Service 07 District proposes second parcel tax to stabilize budget Lifestyles 08 Review: Cats 09 The real price of style 10 Review: Peets, Starbucks, and Equator Features 11 2020 voting guide


Opinion 17 Editorial: Not a drill 18 Why I want to teach kids 19 We should stop using plastic applicators 20 Can I say the “f-word”? Sports 21 Mamba forever 22 Girls’ soccer’s perfect season rolls on


Dear Reader, The Tam community is in constant motion, and these past few weeks have been no exception. On page 7, Logan Little covers the upcoming vote on a new district parcel tax. While this initiative arises in an effort to confront and minimize challenges, other issues on election ballots signify great opportunity. Nationwide, the 2020 presidential campaigns are in full swing, and many Tam students, come November, will find themselves in a unique position as first-time voters. On page 11, “2020 Voting Guide” provides an overview on the voting process, as well as the perspectives of the candidates on key issues. Editors also cite results from a schoolwide poll with student views on various election-related matters. Much like the nation, our school continues progressing. Recently, the Tam community was stunned when the safety of its members was put at risk, and a required school lockdown and shelter in place ensued. In the wake of this unpredictable event, our editorial, “Not a Drill,” examines Tam’s lockdown procedure and the importance of cooperation during these situations. There is no way to measure or amend all of the ramifications of this event. But with communitywide challenges comes the chance for unification on the part of all members. As students, we must commit to and honor our shared responsibility to remain engaged. As many have felt these past few weeks, the line between campus-specific and national issues is often blurred. By equipping ourselves with information, we can contribute to the productive forward motion of the Tam community and world at large.

Editors in Chief Leah Fullerton • Kara Kneafsey Skye Schoenhoeft • Josie Spiegelman Benjy Wall-Feng News Jessica Bukowski • Logan Little Johanna Meezan • Samantha Nichols 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 • Lucas Rosevear Tenaya Tremp Sports Eli Blum • Jordan Cushner Luke Ferris • Stephania Glass TBN Saranyu Nel Design Niulan Wright Social Media Grace Gustafson • Quinn Rothwell Business Team Samantha Nichols • Oona O’Neill Lucas Rosevear Cover Henry Hoelter 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 Adviser Jonah Steinhart

Volume XIV, No. V February 2020 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1919 Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 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.

Printer WIGT Printing Reporters (continued) Taylor Smith • Aryan Solanki Summer Solomon • Jackson Sperling 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 Jessica Clements • 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 • Theodore Koffman 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


Lockdown sparks concerns over emergency procedure By Paige Anderson with additional reporting by Samantha Nichols and Emily Stull



arin authorities arrested a 21-year-old man on January 30 in connection with reports of a masked gunman that led to the campus lockdown and shelter in place on Monday, January 27. According to a press release from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect, former Tam student Michael Kessler, used an Airsoft replica gun and mask to record a Snapchat video near campus when he was noticed by witnesses. “Everyone who does have a free seventh [period] had already gone and then had gotten in their cars and left so I was the only one in the [back parking lot] and the only one on this road,” eyewitness and Tam senior Hugo Slothower said. “He opened his door and went to his trunk and that’s when he pulled out the Airsoft. It was as real as it could be at



the time ... Then he got back into his car with an [Airsoft] AK-47 and drove toward the school.” Kessler was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds, destroying and concealing evidence, brandishing a replica firearm, and changing the markings on an imitation firearm; he had covered the orange barrel on the replica AK-47 with electric tape. The lockdown raised concerns from students, parents, and staff over Tam’s emergency preparedness, due to a variety of issues that arose during the two-hour shelter in place. Several substitute teachers were unsure of what to do during the emergency, according to some students who said they were forced to conduct the lockdown procedure in their place.

“We had a sub the day the lockdown happened and he was really unprepared ... He was outside at one point trying to lock the door and we told him to come inside. We had to try to use belts to secure it [the door] since he couldn’t lock it,” sophomore Ariel Lee said. Tam teachers have an annual staff meeting with a local police officer to review emergency procedures and conduct. Since substitute teachers are not full-time employees at Tam, they are not required to participate. “I was upset after the fact. Finding out students tried to advocate [for themselves] knowing exactly what to do. They knew to leave the door locked. They knew not to look at the blinds … [the subsistute] still did it,” social studies teacher Tim Morgan, who was sick on the day of the lockdown, said.

“I was actually very proud of them for standing up and taking initiative ... It’s unfortunate when an adult wouldn’t listen to them on those steps.” Long term subsitute Lisa Monroe-Watts said she was able to follow the lockdown producure and was felt that her classroom was as safe as possible during the emergency. “I basically reacted from the point of stay calm and carry on ... Then I thought, what if we’re here for hours? What if this goes on for a really long time and they [the students] get hungry? I was thinking about what they were feeling and what they were going to need next,” Monroe-Watts said. Soon after the lockdown ended, all substitute teachers were given directions for appropriate emergency behavior.

“We are already working on an instructional page that will be given to all subs when they check in, in the morning. We must also make sure that our students know what the procedures and protocols are as there may be times that the teacher, sub or permanent, is not able to respond to the emergency,” assistant principal Kaki McLachlan said in an email. A separate issue with the PA system’s volume in the portable classrooms left some students unable to hear any announcements during the lockdown. The administration fixed the issue the following day. “We had to adjust the volume so announcements come through clearly. We have multiple methods for communicating with teachers like reminders, emails, so that if a person doesn’t get the information in one way they will in another,” principal J.C. Farr said. Students brought up several issues concerning their peers’ behavior during the lockdown. Multiple students reported their classmates making noise and treating the situation lightly. “Students were acting like nothing was going on, and messing around and laughing. If there had been

a dangerous individual, I think it would be really unsafe to be acting the way students did. Even though we knew we were safe, it’s still a lockdown, and people should treat it as such,” an anonymous student said. “After around 15 to 20 minutes, people started to talk and play Uno. I was drawing stuff on the whiteboard. We all could have taken it a little more seriously,” junior Luke Osborn said. In some classrooms, students continued to work and teachers kept teaching, which is against the lockdown procedure. “I’m going to implicate myself here, but the kids kinda kept working. I never really told them to keep working,” chemistry teacher Simon McBride said. “We made sure the blinds were down and doors were closed. I just thought it was the best thing to do — and I know you’re meant to huddle — was to keep them working since they were calm. I thought it was good to keep them focused.” The administration held a staff meeting the day after the lockdown to discuss how the district could be better prepared for future emergency events. “Our staff met to talk about how to improve the


situation. I think we realized we have a pretty good base for our protocol, but we definitely have some areas of improvement. Our administration recognized that. I think teachers recognized that,” Morgan said. The district is currently reviewing emergency procedures, but they have not yet put specific plans into motion. “These protocols and procedures are constantly being updated and revised based upon best practices and what we learn as these tragic events continue to happen. We have a great group of students, community volunteers, staff, and police representatives called our Emergency Preparation Committee that meet on a monthly basis to continue to take steps to make our campus and community as safe as possible,” McLachlan said. Members of administration stated that they were happy with how the lockdown procedure was conducted as a whole. “We did great. This was an extremely scary time and we will continue to find ways to be safer,” McLachlan said.♦

News flash


Upcoming stories and tam’s Headlines from the past few weeks

Mvms hires raptor to quell seagull infestation Tam Students win poetry out loud competition

VOTERS to decide on WILDFIRE Prevention tax FEBRUARY 2020



Performing Stars hosts MLK Day of Service By Samantha Nichols


arin volunteers attended a Martin Luther Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Marin City on Monday, January 20. The event was organized by Performing Stars of Marin in partnership with the Marin City Community Services Districts. Approximately 60 volunteers participated in three projects: clearing debris from the Orchard trail, a cleanup of the Mattie and Clarence Boatman Community Garden, and litter abatement around Marin City. Performing Stars is a non-profit organization that serves low-income youth in Marin County by providing opportunities for them to connect with the arts and build pride and character, according to founder and Executive Director Felecia Gaston. “The Martin Luther King day event was one of the many events that we sponsor where we connect our community with people outside of the community so we can do … a number of activities so we can build pride


THE Tam The TAM news NEWS

in our community,” Gaston said. “I think it’s a great organization. I feel like it starts here ... I think more people should get involved because it’s a great opportunity,” junior Siyon Farin, who volunteered at the event, said. Performing Stars and local volunteers participated in a restoration of the Mattie and Clarence Boatman Community Garden on Cole Drive in Marin City. The garden was established in 1970 and was later named after Mattie and Clarence Boatman, two Marin City residents who “envisioned local people having their own little plots where they can grow their own vegetables and fruit, and it just hadn’t had any sprucing up for a while,” according to Gaston. Performing Stars partnered with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (GGNPC) and the Conservation Corps in other projects around the community. The GGNPC helped volunteers trim fruit trees in

the orchard next to the Orchard Trail and clear French broom, an invasive plant species and potential fire hazard, from the path. The Orchard Trail is the only trailhead in the country that connects directly to public housing, the Golden Gate Village housing, according to GGNPC Youth Programs Manager Elsa Calvillo. “A lot of this land used to be Portuguese farmers’ and so there’s a historic orchard leftover from there,” Calvillo said. “The cultural history of the space is really unique and unlike any other space that we host within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.” Eight volunteers from

the Conservation Corps North Bay collected 250 pounds of trash from around the neighborhood. “We’re trying to do a little good, do our part,” Conservation Corps volunteer Matthew Simmons said. “This was a great opportunity for people within the community and outside the community to say that they came and did a day of service on Martin Luther King’s birthday,” Gaston said.♦ BELOW: Volunteers

work in the Mattie and Clarence Boatman Community garden on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. PHOTOS BY LOGAN LITTLE AND SAMANTHA NICHOLS


District proposes second parcel By Logan Little tax to stabilize budget


oters will decide in the upcoming election cycle whether the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) will implement a $645 parcel tax. This follows and would replace a previous parcel tax of $442, Measure J, which expires in 2022. Measure J was passed by the district in 2018 as a part of its efforts to minimize the impacts of the current financial crisis. A parcel is a segment of taxable land. The tax, titled Measure

B, would increase three percent each year for a maximum of 10 years, raising the district roughly $23 million annually. The bill states funding would go toward attracting and retaining teachers, maintaining academic and arts programs, and supporting college preparation and career-development programs for students. According to a poll conducted by the district in July 2019, Measure B has almost exactly two thirds of taxpay-

er support. The tax must receive two thirds of taxpayer votes to be implemented. If it fails, the district will have to introduce more budget cuts to avoid insolvency. “If Measure B fails, we will likely try to take another shot on the November 2020 ballot, but that would be a board decision. If it fails and we don’t secure the increase in funding, we would reconvene a fiscal advisory committee and repeat the process we went through in 2018 to identify neces-

sary reductions in expenditures. Some cuts would be unavoidable if the measure fails,” district superintendent Tara Taupier said. Some TUHSD residents are concerned by the flat rate policy in Measure B, which would tax all residents the same amount regardless of income, parcel size, or property value. “Their [my neighbor’s] house is a block-to-block lot with two homes and two separate two-car garages. We pay the same tax. Next


door to me is a three-unit multi-family apartment building. We pay the same tax,” Mill Valley resident Lisa De Gennaro said during a district board meeting. “It’s really hard when you’re in a lower-income [bracket] ... All these people that support the tax also support diverse and lower-income homes. My home is 500 square feet, yet I pay the same as the McMansions and I just don’t have that budget.” California Proposition 13 prohibits parcel taxes GRAPH BY BENJY WALL-FENG

based on land value, but not those based on property size. However, according to Taupier, taxes based on parcel size have been struck down in the past by courts. “The issue at hand is that parcel taxes cannot be based on the value of the property but rather must be uniformly applied to all parcels. The courts have not set a precedent on what ‘uniform’ means,” Taupier wrote in an email. District enrollment is projected to peak in the

2020-2021 school year and then gradually drop off throughout the next decade. If enacted, Measure B would expire in 2030. Some residents have criticized Measure B as being unnecessary given the projected decline in enrollment. “For a basic aid district, declining enrollment is a fiscal windfall,” the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers, a Marin grassroots taxpayer advocacy organization, said in campaign materials criticizing Measure B. However, the district believes enroll-

ment will not fall quickly enough to stabilize the budget. “We are not projected to drop down to pre-growth enrollment levels any time in the near future,” Taupier said in an email. “So, our enrollment numbers are projected to remain higher than our 2010 numbers for the foreseeable future. We will drop back to about our 2014-15 enrollment levels by 2028.” District residents will vote on Measure B on March 3.♦




Review: Cats I want to vomit out of my meowth By Josie Spiegelman


e’ve all done it — seen a movie because we thought it would be so bad, it’s sort of good, in its own deranged and ironic way. Maybe you’ve downloaded some old, gory, awful horror movie from the 80’s or seen those terrible spin-off superhero movies that never seem to find their footing. That’s what I believed I was going to do, too. After hearing the recap of the story from my cousin (“It’s just a bunch of cats competing about who gets to die”) I thought that I might get a kick out of it. I’ve always had a guilty pleasure of watching musicals and thought that I might even enjoy the music. Oh, how wrong I was. The opening scene is as jarring as it is horrifying. A cat gets thrown in a bag which goes into piles of garbage, emerges by doing some sort of ballet, and then is bombarded by a humanoid CGI stray cat tribe: the “Jellicles.” They all proceed to sing at her, and as the movie progresses, many odd characters compete to go to


the “heaviside layer,” such as James Corden in a fat suit, Sir Ian Mckellen disgracing his name by letting someone put a tail on him, and Jason Derulo in an unnecessarily sexy milk bar scene. The worst part for me was watching Rebel Wilson’s Jennyanydots character ripping off her fur suit to reveal a tutu on top of more fake fur and proceed to dance with cockroaches that had the faces of actual human children. Macavity (Idris Elba) appears to be the villain and kidnaps his opponents in order to up his chances of winning the Jellicle Ball and ascend to either heaven, hell, or reincarnation. I honestly can’t tell you which it was. Perhaps the ambiguity of it was supposed to contribute to the plot, but the magic of the mystery is lost when we see Jennifer Hudson in cat form floating up in a hot air balloon and disappearing in the clouds to her death. Possibly one of the most sexually charged movies I have ever seen, I was as-

tonished that Cats was able to get away with a PG rating. However, I would understand if those rating it walked out after the opening number, where the cats sing much too quickly for me to understand and describe what makes a Jellicle cat, even though no one ever explained what that was supposed to mean because it is definitely not self-explanatory. They all seem ready to have some very intimate moments with each other, but as tensions rise they instead butt heads in a strange attempt to mimic cat behavior, choosing to replicate the most disturbing qualities of animals throughout the film. I can’t outright say that the music was bad — Cats was one of the longest-running broadway shows ever, and the acclaimed popularity wasn’t for nothing. I shamefully enjoyed moments of Jennifer Hudson’s Grizabella belting out the show’s only notable song, “Memory,” and the bizarre

moment that Taylor Swift’s Bombalurina excitedly introduces Idris Elba’s Macavity in “Macavity: The Mystery Cat.” The ballet, although extremely jarring and overall frightening, was probably up to a very high standard. But none of this excuses the poor cinematography and juxtaposition of the tiny humanoid cats next to disproportionately large props, or the fact that while most of the cats were naked, some wore fur coats (relics of their fallen comrades perhaps?) which constantly reminded the audience that all the other cats are so painfully disrobed. The movie ends with Judi Dench’s Old Deuteronomy telling the scarred audience what a cat is, and how to treat a cat, and most notably, that “cats aren’t so different from humans.” Well, they certainly aren’t in this movie. Overall, I would say that this movie not only took $13 and two hours of my life from me, but it also made me feel less love for cats themselves.♦


The real price of style

By Tahlia Amanson


he world of fashion is a diverse industry, with fast fashion and sustainable fashion being the two branches of the trade that you may be able to find together while shopping. Many stores that you see in malls, like Forever 21, H&M, ASOS, and more, have their clothing mass produced in horrific working conditions across the world and then sell the garments at a very inexpensive price in stores. This business model, known as fast fashion, pushes our society to feel the need to wear a piece of clothing a few times, dispose of it, and then buy more because of the cheap price and hasty production. To counterbalance this side of the industry, there are many people who go with the ethical way of fashion, also known as sustainable fashion. Many people don’t know

what “sustainable fashion” actually means. If you look it up, the definition isn’t very clear either. Merriam-Webster defines sustainability as “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” In essence, this means that if fashion were to become a more sustainable system, then there could be a reduced amount of environ-

mental harm throughout the supply chain involving the source of raw materials, the factories where those materials are made into garments, and the distribution network by which the clothes are delivered to consumers. While fast fashion does the polar opposite of this, there are brands out there that try to make a difference. While brands like Refor-

LIFESTYLES Although part of the industry is trying to reduce their footprint, the speed at which new trends are appearing continues to create a culture of throw-away clothing that is cheap, and bad for the environment. In an article on, Elizabeth Bohm writes “figures from 2015 show that 97 percent of what goes into making clothes is new resources with only 3 percent coming from recycling.” The process of how clothing is made involves way more than what is shown to the public eye. Just to make a pair of jeans, “approximately 500 gallons of water are used in the production,”

The speed at which new trends are appearing continues to create a culture of throwaway clothing that is cheap and bad for the environment. mation, Sezane, Tradlands, Patagonia, and others make an effort to use sustainable cotton initiatives to lessen the water, energy, and chemical used to grow and process fabric, new dyeing technology to reduce water consumption, and/or numerous energy and chemical preserving plans all over the supply chain, their push for a resolution is barely seen in this enormous industry. The 2019 update from the Pulse of the Fashion Industry, a publication by Global Fashion Agenda, reported that “the fashion industry has improved its social and environmental performance in the past year, but at a slower rate than the previous year ... the findings demonstrate that fashion companies are not implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to counterbalance the negative environmental and social impacts of the industry.”

according to Not only does a pair of jeans use a ton of water, but the labor, the amount of cotton, the electricity that goes into the machines, and more. It’s a whole cycle that uses way more resources than needed. “By 2030, it is predicted that the industry’s water consumption will grow by 50 percent to 118 billion cubic meters (or 31.17 trillion gallons), its carbon footprint will increase to 2,791 million tons and the amount of waste it creates will hit 148 million tons,” according to Everyone should reduce, reuse, and recycle. To start, you can reduce the amount of clothes you buy, which can quickly decrease the resources overused by the industry. Reuse clothing by buying high quality clothing, because then after you

have had your fair share with that item, you can sell it and make money or donate it to charity, giving it new life. Additionally, used tex-

tiles from existing clothing can be recycled and used to make new clothing. Levis partnered with sustainable fashion brand Outerknown to create a collection that includes a blend of cotton and hemp to create denim products. Hemp can acquire carbon from the air while also decontaminating polluted soils and it requires a lot less water to be able to produce it compared to cotton. Buying secondhand clothing is also a good solution for being sustainable. Thrift shopping also can create a look that is personal to you, as for most used clothing is limited to its style.

A popular sustainable phenomenon at Tam is “clothing swaps.” This event happens when a big group of people come together with clothes that they don’t want anymore and trade clothes with each other. It’s a great movement because it’s not only a way for people to get free clothing, but it helps reduce the footprint that new clothing leaves on the planet. Sustainable fashion is a movement everyone can join, to not only bring back the authenticity in clothing between individuals, but also to help our planet.♦







ou do not need to be my dear friend to know my two greatest loves. I’m talking about true and complex, yet old-fashioned and pure love. The kind of love that poets write poems about and the kind that boaters name their boats after. You might be wondering what entities are so deserving of this unconditional love and borderline addiction. I will confess, my loves are coffee and scones. To establish some credibility, I am not some fake baked good lover with a poor palate, who occasionally wanders into Good Earth to pick up a muffin or two. My love for scones runs deep like the deepest of oceans. Scones stand far above all the rest of the baked goods, and are superior to any other desserts, including German chocolate cakes (my second favorite entrée). Aside from scones, the only thing that can truly match their effortless and timeless taste is coffee. I’ll admit abashedly that I am no hardcore black coffee lover — it is the vanilla latte that has stolen my heart. Keeping this in mind, I am always on the move, alert and searching for elite coffee shops in to satisfy my addiction. Staying local in Mill Valley, I came across three coffee shops: Peets, Equator and Starbucks. I dined at each with hopes to uncover the best place to get GRAPHICS BY ISABELLA FAILLACE



coffee and scones in town. The first coffee-scone place I visited was Peet’s Coffee. Going in with high morale I ordered my iced vanilla latte and selected the mixed berry scone. When my coffee arrived I immediately noticed the large quantity of ice swimming around in the cup. Concerned by the mass amount of ice, I took a sip trying not to have a heavy heart. Once I tasted the coffee, I was pleasantly surprised. The overall taste was respectable and the sweetness of the vanilla flavoring didn’t overpower the coffee. My biggest critique is that the large amount of ice took away from the amount of coffee. While my coffee experience was fairly pleasant, my experience with the scone was not. Deceived by the promising sparkle of the sugar on top, I took a bite of the scone and was massively disappointed. The scone itself was dry, and the mixed berries were sparse. Demoralized and unfulfilled, I traveled to the next closest coffee shop in town: Equator Coffee. Once inside, after withstanding the long line, I ordered my iced vanilla latte ($5) and this time chose the seasonal scones ($4.50), which included seasonal blueberries and blackberries inside. Immediately once my coffee was ready, I took a sip, eager to have a better go than my prior experi-

ence. I was not disappointed. The coffee was sweet yet bitter all at once, and these flavors played off each other perfectly. I could taste the freshness of the vanilla bean, and I drained the entire cup within five minutes. While it is slightly concerning how fast I drank the coffee, I wouldn’t have been able to reach that speed if the coffee didn’t have a perfectly crafted scone to go with it. The seasonal scone had a crunchy exterior and crumbly yet moist interior, the qualities that all elite scones have. The fruit was perfectly distributed and flavor burst into my mouth as I inhaled the scone. Slightly full and heavily caffeinated, I drove to my next destination with a sense of purpose: Starbucks. Anyone who orders baked goods at Starbucks knows of the acclaimed petite vanilla scones. I ordered both an iced vanilla latte and three petite vanilla scones because apparently “two is not enough and four is too many.” The first and most pressing matter: the coffee. My iced vanilla latte was very unpleasant. Someone had clearly abused the vanilla flavoring because my coffee was overwhelmed by sweetness. Additionally, the coffee itself tasted watered down and lacked a rich coffee taste. In contrast to my experience at Equator, I was not able to finish my cof-

fee. The scones on the other hand were phenomenal. The petite vanilla scones were devoured in a short period of time, and I might have to disagree with the statement that four petite vanilla scones is too many. The vanilla icing and the dense scone played together perfectly and created a borderline addictive taste. After my eventful morning I drove home properly caffeinated with a clear consensus in my mind. Since visiting all three coffee shops I can confidently say that my experience at Equator was by far the best, surpassing both Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks in both scone and coffee categories. While my scone at Peet’s was disappointing, the coffee was admittedly good, so I will still continue to go to Peet’s from time to time. Also, while my coffee experience at Starbucks this time around was unpleasant, I have had prior vanilla lattes from Starbucks that were better, and we cannot forget about the petite vanilla scones which now hold a special place in my heart. Regardless of this, Equator has proven that it is the optimal place to receive scones and coffee, a beacon of hope in the land of average baked goods and beverages. I will move into the future with confidence, security, and purpose, knowing that my greatest loves are met.♦

2020 Voting Guide


By Claire Conger, Claire Finch, Emily Stull, and Mikyla Williams GRAPHICS BY SKYE SCHOENHOEFT COVER PHOTO BY HENRY HOELTER


Glossary Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): “Shields from deportation people who were brought into the United States as children. The status is renewable, lasting two years at a time.” (The New York Times)

Public-option healthcare: “Public-option plans would allow middle-income, working-age adults to choose a public insurance plan — like Medicare or Medicaid — instead of a private insurance plan.” (The New York Times)

Section 1325 in Title 8 of the U.S. Code: “The newly contentious statute, Title 8, Section 1325 of the United States federal code, makes entering the United States ‘at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers’ a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine and up to six months in prison.” (The New York Times)

Universal background checks: “Would require background checks on nearly all gun purchases.” (

Green New Deal: “The proposal calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy.” (The New York Times) Paris Climate Accord: “International treaty, named for the city of Paris, France, in which it was adopted in December 2015, which aimed to reduce the emission of gases that contribute to global warming.” (Encyclopædia Britannica) Pro-choice vs. pro-life: “The extent to which people believe that abortion should be sanctioned. Those who are pro-life tend to believe that the fetus has a right to life. In contrast, pro-choicers believe that the pregnant woman has a right to privacy.” (The University of British Columbia) Medicare for All: “A single-payer, government-run health care program in which all Americans are covered and which replaces almost all other existing public and private plans.” (NBC News)

How to pre-register

• Online pre-registration is available online at registertovote. You have to be 16 or 17 years old. • If you can’t vote in the primary, pre-registering gives you more time to learn and participate in the election.

Buyback programs: “A plan for the government to buy back the newly banned weapons [assault weapons] from private owners.” (The New York Times) Charter schools: “A charter school is a tuition-free school of choice that is publicly funded but independently run.” (Education Weekly) Nuclear power plants: “Unlike fossil fuel–fired power plants, nuclear reactors do not produce air pollution or carbon dioxide while operating.” (U.S. Energy Information Administration) Capital gains taxes: “Capital gains tax is a tax on profits from the sale of an asset held for more than a year.” (Nerd Wallet) Minimum corporate tax: “The United States imposes a tax on the profits of US resident corporations at a rate of 21 percent (reduced from 35 percent by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).” (Tax Policy Center) Wealth tax: “It would shift more of the burden of paying for the government toward the families that have accumulated fortunes in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.” (New York Times)

What you need to pre-register

• Give your legal name • Place of birth and birthday • Identification: Social Security number or driver’s license or proof of residency • Select your ethnicity or race • Language and address

Criteria to preregister

• U.S. citizen • Resident of California • Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole • Not found mentally incompetent to vote by a court




How to vote

• In California, you can early vote 29 days before the election • You don’t need a reason to vote early but to request absentee voting you need a reason in some states — sending by mail • Election Day is Tuesday, November 3

What is the primary?

• The election that narrows down the field of candidates and determines the nominees for the political party before the general election • California will hold its primary on Tuesday, March 3


Climate change:

“Department of Environmental Protection: We are going to get rid of it in almost every form.” According to The New York Times, Trump has rolled back 95 environmental regulations since taking office. • Withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in 2017 • Supports cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and looser regulations

“For too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools.” • Supports charter schools • Does not support making college free

Gun control

“The big questions are, will [Democrats] ‘move the goalposts’ and, is this just a ploy to TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY? I hope NOT on both counts, but I’ll be able to figure it out!” • Opposes universal background checks • Does not support a ban on assault weapons • Supports arming school employees


• Signed into law the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduced taxes for most Americans • Imposed import taxes on washing machines and solar panels of 30 to 50 percent • Imposed import taxes on aluminum of 10 percent, and steel of 25 percent • Import taxes resulted in $7 billion in costs to Americans, more than twice the average monthly rate • The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is projected by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation to increase the federal deficit by over $1 trillion over the next 10 years


“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals ... President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!” • Has begun building a wall along the southern border • Opposes DACA

Donald Trump

President of the United States


“Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.” • Pro-life




• Enforcing immigration restrictions • Renegotiating or eliminating international deals on trade


Democrats would “impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system” and “raid the Medicare benefits our seniors depend on.” • Supports repealing the Affordable Care Act • Supports a free market system • Opposes Medicare for All


Where can I vote?

• Mill Valley Community Center – Forest Room • Bolinas Community Center – Main Hall • Stinson Beach Community Center – Small Board Room • Tam Valley Community Center – Main Auditorium Hall • Sausalito City Hall – Council Chambers

Economy: Climate change:

“We’re making the same mistake with climate change today — we know it’s coming, but we’re not doing enough to stop it.” • Supports Green New Deal • In favor of Paris Accord • Supports a fracking ban • Opposes nuclear power

• Supports new wealth taxes • Supports increasing the capital gains tax to 35 percent • Reform costs: $5 trillion, majority compensated for by increased taxes

“I’ll work with Congress to pass broad-reaching reform, but I’m also prepared to move forward with executive action if Congress refuses to act.” • Supports DACA • In favor of repealing Section 1325


“Education is about creating opportunity for all our children, not about leaving many behind.” • Opposes charter schools • Supports canceling student debt based on income • Supports making four-year college free


“I believe, at that point, we’re going to be ready to vote for Medicare for everyone.” • Supports Medicare for All • Opts to get rid of private insurance • Supports expanding public option healthcare

Gun control:

“We’ve got to have a leader who’s willing to stand up to the gun lobby and say no more.” • Supports universal background checks • In support of voluntary buyback programs • In favor of federal law requiring gun owners to register all the firearms they own • In favor of assault weapon ban


Elizabeth Warren

Senator from Massachusetts Focus:

“Senator Elizabeth Warren is running for president promising to bring about ‘big, structural change,’ with the goal of tilting power toward working people and away from big corporations and the rich.” (The New York Times)


“It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice.” • Pro-choice




Gun control: Economy:

• Supports increasing corporate taxes anywhere from 21 percent to 35 percent • Opposes new wealth taxes • Reform costs: $3.2 trillion, partly funded by increased taxes

• Supports universal background checks • In favor of voluntary buyback programs • In favor of federal law requiring gun owners to register the assault weapons they own • In favor of assault weapon ban

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Climate change:

• Supports the Green New Deal “cruFocus: cial framework” “Mr. Biden served as Vice President in • In favor of nuclear power the Obama administration during the • Would regulate fracking passage of the Affordable Care Act, and • In favor of the Paris Accord health care remains a top priority for him.” (The New York Times)



“It’s a woman’s right to do that. Period.” • Pro-choice



“The idea that anyone will be deported without actually having committed a felony or a serious crime is going to end in my administration.” • Supports DACA • Does not support the repeal of Section 1325


“Obamacare is personal to me. When I see the president try to tear it down and others propose to replace it and start over, that’s personal to me too. We’ve got to build on what we did because every American deserves affordable health care.” • Supports expanding public option healthcare • Opts to keep private insurance • Opposes Medicare for All


“We need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all our children.” • Opposes charter schools • Supports making at least two-year college free • Would alleviate $1.6 trillion of existing student debt



“For too long, we have seen devastating education funding cuts used to pay for massive tax breaks for a handful of corporations and billionaires. When we are in the White House, that greed is going to end.” • Opposes charter schools • Supports making four-year college free • Supports cancelling all current student debt


“Women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions.” • Pro-choice

• Supports new wealth taxes • Supports increasing capital gains tax to 35 percent • Reform costs: $19 trillion, majority compensated for by increased taxes

Bernie Sanders Senator from Vermont


“Comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.” • Supports DACA • In favor of repealing Section 1325

“Despite the fact that more than 40 million Americans have no health insurance, we spend almost twice as much per capita on healthcare as any other nation. We need to establish a Medicare-for-All, single-payer system.” • Supports Medicare for All • Opts to get rid of private insurance • Supports expanding public option healthcare


Climate change:

“We say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry that climate change is not a hoax but is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet.” • Supports Green New Deal • In favor of Paris Accord • Supports a fracking ban • Opposes nuclear power



“He often boasts, correctly, that some of his agenda items once considered radical — ‘Medicare for All,’ a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free public college — have now been embraced by many Democrats.” (The New York Times)

Gun control:

“I want to see real, serious debate and action on guns, but it is not going to take place if we simply have extreme positions on both sides. I think I can bring us to the middle.” • Supports universal background checks • In favor of voluntary buyback programs • In favor of federal law requiring gun owners to register the assault weapons they own • In favor of assault weapon ban



FEATURES Immigration:

Gun control:

“Would closing off the loophole in the terrorist watch list hurt my Uncle Dick in his deer stand? Not at all.” • Supports universal background checks • In favor of voluntary buyback programs • Is not in favor of federal law requiring gun owners to register their firearms • In favor of assault weapon ban

“Regardless of if people have immigrants in their area or not, they understand they need workers for the jobs.” • Supports DACA • Does not support the repeal of Section 1325



“I will reverse Trump abortion policies in the first 100 days.” • Pro-choice

“No, I am not for four-year college for all ... if I were a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, I would.” • Supports making two-year college free • Would alleviate student debt • Supports charter schools


• Supports expanding public option healthcare • Opts to keep private insurance • Opposes Medicare for All

Amy Klobuchar

Senator from Minnesota


Climate change:

“Hold the fossil fuel industry accountable.” • Opposes Green New Deal • In favor of the Paris Accord • Would regulate fracking • Supports nuclear power

• Supports increasing corporate taxes anywhere from 21 percent to 35 percent • Opposes new wealth taxes •Reform costs: $1 trillion, majority compensated for by increased taxes


“In May, she released a $100 billion plan to combat drug and alcohol addiction and improve mental health care — an issue deeply personal to her.” (The New York Times)



• Supports increasing capital gains tax to 35 percent • In favor of new wealth taxes • Reform costs: $5.7 trillion, majority compensated for by increased taxes

“We must recognize the great contributions of immigrants and create an immigration system that meets the needs of our nation now and in the years ahead.” • Supports DACA • Does not support the repeal of Section 1325

Gun control:

• Supports universal background checks • In favor of voluntary buyback programs • Is not in favor of federal law requiring gun owners to register their firearms • In favor of assault weapon ban


Climate change:

“We’re running out of time. Experts tell us that we have 10 years to get on the right path, or global warming will reach catastrophic levels by 2050.” • Supports nuclear power • Would regulate fracking • Supports Green New Deal • In favor of the Paris Accord


Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“I believe that a woman ought to be able to make that decision.” • Pro-choice



Pete Buttigieg


“Mr. Buttigieg was the first candidate to push the idea of increasing the number of seats on the Supreme Court. And he has proven to be one of the most formidable fund-raisers in the race.” (The New York Times)

“You take something like Medicare, a flavor of that, you make it available on the exchanges, people can buy in ... if people like us are right, that that will be not only a more inclusive plan, but a more efficient plan than any of the corporate answers out there.” • Supports expanding public option healthcare • Opts to keep private insurance • Opposes Medicare for All


“We need to honor teachers like soldiers, and pay them like doctors.” • Does not support making two-year college free • Would alleviate student debt • Opposes charter schools


EDITORIAL: NOT A DRILL The school lockdown ended with no casualties but serious concerns.


s a generation raised at the same time as the victims of countless other school shootings, the threat of gun violence at school is often on our minds. Loud noises from slamming doors or falling textbooks can bring rushes of fear and adrenaline. But when the possibility of real danger presents itself, it is imperative that proper lockdown procedures be followed and enforced. On Monday, January 27, in our school’s first lockdown in 10 years, our school demonstrated difficulty functioning effectively under a lockdown. When the school went on lockdown, at approximately 1:58 p.m., some classes followed procedure to a tee, others did not. Though the lockdown proved just a precautionary measure, a few shortcomings of the school presented themselves clearly. After the PA system announced that the school was on lockdown, some students continued to talk loudly or even make TikTok videos. Even worse, some doors remained

unlocked for a significant amount of the lockdown, and at least one for the entirety, demonstrating how we need to revisit how we approach lockdowns before it’s too late. Firstly, it is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure that they do their best to ensure the safety of their

ously. Additionally, many substitutes, even those who were long-term, were unsure of proper lockdown protocol, including how to lock the doors. Teachers following improper lockdown protocol were potentially putting their students in danger. Secondly, the student body must shift their atti-

A shift must occur within the student body to be more disciplined if their teachers are not following through on proper procedure. students. This includes turning off lights, locking doors and windows, and closing the blinds. Teachers must know how to handle all possible scenarios during a lockdown. It is concerning that there were reports of some teachers continuing to teach, not quelling the loud behavior of students, or not taking the situation seri-

tude during lockdowns. Students should behave with empathy and understanding, considering the fears of all students and not just their own feelings. Making light of a frightening situation is a natural reaction, but it is important for students to consider how their actions may affect the feelings and safety of those around them. A shift must occur within the student body to be more disciplined when approaching lockdowns, especially if their teachers are not following through on proper

This article represents the opinion of Tam News staff. Read our news coverage of the lockdown on page 4.


procedure. Finally, Tam’s administration must communicate with empathy and efficiency. All communication should be clear and straightforward. After the lockdown ended, the Tam community was not given information until the following day, and many students and parents were uneasy about going to school. An email sent out at 8:06 a.m. on January 28 detailed extra police presence on campus and commended the community for their etiquette but discussed little else. Although not much information was available to Tam’s administration at the time, an email sent before school started, not after, would have helped to put students and parents at ease. Realistically, there is only so much that can be done during a lockdown, but it is worth revisiting and improving our lockdown procedures to prepare the best we can. Fully equipping the school’s portables, holding lockdown drills during lunch or passing period, or even printing flyers about proper procedure would allow students and staff to be and feel safer. Other precautionary measures could be having every member of Tam sign up for a school text chain to immediately tell them reliable information about any potential threats. Administration has been taking considerable measures to improve the school’s readiness for future lockdowns, but it is ultimately up to the entire community to learn how to operate effectively in these situations.♦




Why I want to teach kids By Benjy Wall-Feng


hadn’t been in preschool for more than a week when a girl playing in the sandbox sized me up, grunted, and threw sand in my eyes. I went home crying. I wanted to believe that my decision to transfer schools soon afterward had been unrelated, so some 10 years later I asked my parents for their version of events. My mom said, “We went to a musical that some of the older kids put on and it was really unimpressive. We didn’t want you to go somewhere that didn’t value the arts.” I thought, Huh. And then I thought, What about the place I ended up attending? What were our musicals like? My elementary school did this cute thing where every grade rehearsed and performed a different play. Second grade’s was “Coming to America,” which was a thoughtful way to learn about our ancestors. In third grade it was “Recess: The Musical,” which was about as riveting as it sounds. Things got messier from there. In fourth grade’s “Voices From the Mission,” we were



made to dress in costume and deliver speeches we had written from the perspective of, in my case, a Native American man who had been enslaved by Spanish missionaries. That’s a weighty task for a 10-year-old. I read a lot when I was younger, and I like to think that I’d developed a complex understanding of race relations in colonial America. But I hadn’t even developed a complex understanding of how to tie my shoes (my parents value the arts), so, no. In one segment of fifth grade’s “America Sings,” a musical jaunt across two centuries of hyperexpansionism, students dressed up as Native Americans and sang a traditional Native American song. In another segment, students dressed up as slaves and sang a slave song. I thought that was horrifying until recently, when my friend assured me that, no, not all of us got to play those roles — just the nonwhite students. I thought, Huh. And then I thought, Really? I didn’t distrust her, but my own memories of “America Sings” were hazy, part

of the same prepubescent fever dream that has eroded the rest of my childhood into caricatures and punchlines. So I dug up archival footage of the performance online. My friend was basically right: Seven students were “slaves” in the scene in question, and three of them (43 percent, myself included) were racial or ethnic minorities. Eight students were “Native Americans,” and four of them (50 percent, myself included) were racial or ethnic minorities. That feels substantial for a school as white as mine was. But could it have been a coincidence? Great question! No. Eight of the 60 kids in my fifth grade class, 13 percent, were students of color. If a teacher randomly chose seven fifth graders to play slaves, the probability of her picking three or more students of color would be 4.3 percent. If she randomly chose eight fifth graders to play Native Americans, the probability of her picking four or more students of color would be 0.8 percent. (Statistically, this is called a hypergeometric distribution.) This means it’s pretty safe to assume that my teachers had some non-random reason for assigning half of the grade’s minority students to play minority parts. Determining what that reason could have been is left as an exercise for the reader. Granted, the standard for what is widely considered acceptable is in constant flux, as Justin Trudeau, Mike Ertel, and the entire government of Virginia will attest. Beyond that, though,

there is the very real possibility that a handful of adults impressed their own biases on a whole swath of impressionable kids. And that’s why I want to be an elementary school teacher: You can get away with anything. There’s a lot of power in subtle misinformation. One of my teachers told me the wrong way to pronounce “respite” and I didn’t realize for seven years, because how often does that come up in conversation? One of my teachers told me liking math would be cool. One of my teachers cast me in a flagrantly offensive musical that took a cheeky sideswipe at my own heritage (“Chinese workers loved singing songs from their home after a hard day’s work”) on its way out. There are bigger takeaways here, but I’m not qualified to recommend structural changes to America’s public education system. Even if I were, I wouldn’t start with my school, since the same environment that enabled things like “America Sings” ensured that, by every other metric, we were pretty well off. I do know, based on the fifth graders I volunteer with, that it’s possible to teach kids history in a way that blunts content without compromising facts. But I also know that nothing I’ve written about is particularly unusual, given the number of people I talked to about this article who recalled similar experiences. It’s never too late to learn how to tie your shoes.♦ GRAPHIC BY TENAYA TREMP


By Claire Conger


, of course, understand the appeal of plastic applicators. Periods are uncomfortable already, and using a plastic tampon applicator makes things a bit easier in a time of pain and emotional distress. However, I have been using cardboard instead of plastic applicators for years, and I can confidently say that I see almost no difference between them. Comparisons aside, I feel like I am making a positive change in my lifestyle and for the planet by not using plastic. In recent years, the Save The Turtles movement has encouraged and promoted the use of reusable alternatives for plastic straws, water bottles, and bags in an effort to limit the amount of plastic that is put into our oceans. While members of the Tam community have

been active in eliminating plastic water bottles and straws from their lifestyles, I strongly feel we should drop plastic applicators from our lives as well. To put the amount of waste produced from these tampons into perspective, consider this: If the average period length is five days, and uses around four tampons per day, that’s around 20 tampons per menstruation. Tam High has roughly 760 menstruators. If each student used 240 applicators per year, we would be disposing of 182,400 plastic applicators by the end of the year. That’s about 1,300 pounds of plastic. If even a quarter of those people switched to an alternative, that number could decrease by 45,600 applicators, or 319.2 pounds of plastic.

Crackin’ and Slackin’

Luckily, there are many alternatives to plastic applicators. Alongside cardboard tampon applicators, menstrual cups and brands of underwear are designed as a tampon or pad alternative. Thinx underwear is available

and Thinx make reusable tampon applicators that are available online. These cost between 30 and 60 dollars, but make the no plastic transition much more comfortable if you prefer to stick to tampons and hate cardboard applicators. For five dollars

at Macy’s and menstrual cups, such as the Diva Cup, are available at CVS, Target, and Rite Aid. Additionally, tampons that come with no applicator are available at Walgreens and CVS, and DAME

a box, DAME provides biodegradable, chemical-free tampons that can be used with the DAME applicator, which is self-sanitizing and doesn’t require to be boiled after each cycle, just rinsed after each use. I am aware of the state our planet is in, and that my actions, no matter how small, can add to or reduce our problem of waste. Every day, we purchase non-compostable or non-recyclable materials and mindlessly throw them in the trash. Although some of these materials can seem unavoidable or maybe even essential, I can assure you that you can live without them. I strongly encourage you to consider your waste production this year and maybe even eliminate plastic applicators from your life. They are easily replaced, and without them you can make a significant difference. Let’s save the turtles.♦ GRAPHIC BY TENAYA TREMP




Can I say the “F-Word”?


was at a concert the other night. The singer was a very openly gay artist, singing to a very openly gay crowd. About 20 minutes in, the singer shouted to the audience, “Is anyone gay in here?” and was met with a roaring response. She laughed and said, “Get the fuck out, f*****s.” The theater quieted in uncomfortable tension. Then the show went on. Now, if the singer had been a straight white male saying that on stage, the response would have been different. There may have been outrage, boycotting, or other forms of backlash. Nobody left, though, and nobody said anything in opposition. She’s gay, which arguably gives her the opportunity to use that word. But it still made some people uncomfortable. I’m all for self-expression; anyone should be able to identify however the hell they want. If she wants to call herself a f*g, that’s her prerogative. The audience froze because she chose to call them by that term. But how did the f-slur become such a burdened expression? Originally, the word was used to describe a bundle of sticks, according to Merriam-Webster. These sticks were used by young boys who did chores for their older peers, and soon the instrument was associated with the type of person who would use it; a boy who performed women’s duties (God forbid). Not only this, the young boys were sometimes asked to perform very personal favors for their seniors. The word has long



By Skye Schoenhoeft

been associated with femininity, as it was used as an abusive term for women as early as the 16th century. Over time, the term evolved into its current, American definition: a derogatory description for gay men, first printed with this direct meaning in Louis E. Jackson’s A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang. I know the singer wasn’t using the slur in an attempt to alienate her fans, as they’re the ones paying her bills. She said it in a poorly executed, edgy endearment, and was met with an audience stung by the reminder of an ever-present discrimination. While the context seemed reasonable enough, those around her weren’t ready to forget the original meaning, and froze in discomfort. We live in a liberal area, so one would imagine that a county just north of San Francisco could be beyond the era of LGBTQ discrimination. But it happens all the time. In elementary school, Southern Marin Broncos played “smear the queer.” In middle school, girls stopped hugging lesbians in fear of getting hit on. Last week in class, I heard boys talking about what a “f*g” someone was, mocking their lack of masculinity. It’s still here; we hear it. People in the LGBTQ community are always on high alert for moments like these, so the other day in class my ears perked when I heard the slur pierce the air. As I eavesdropped, it became clear the student wasn’t using the word in an intentionally derogatory sense; instead, they were

describing in shock how someone else had been using it. Except, they said the actual word multiple times in their story. While the purpose wasn’t harmful, the interaction quickly became uncomfortable. It’s a loaded word, and its presence haunts people. Saying it, regardless of context, stirs emotions. So, can LQBTQ people say the f-word? Yes and no. The reclamation of slurs can change the ownership of their power. Yet, this doesn’t omit their original meaning. Just because one gay person feels empowered to take back a word that was once used to oppress, does not mean others are ready to embrace the same. It is hard to reclaim a word that is still being used to oppress. Yes, a gay person has the

right to call themselves any slur they wish. No, they cannot label others in any way without their consent. There is no harm in self-censorship. Generally, don’t call someone a loaded word without their explicit permission, and especially don’t say something that isn’t yours to use. This applies to the LGBTQ community, but it’s also applied to many other realms of life. I don’t say the n-word or the r-word because they’re not open to me. The line becomes blurred when there are words I can or have the right to use, yet risk resurfacing their tumultuous history. Do not say slurs unless directly referencing yourself, and even then, ask why you want to use that type of word. What type of power are you looking for?♦

Heard in the Hallways “Before we all die does anyone want to admit they have a crush on me?” —The Lockdown “Do you think it will work if we just torch it with acid?” —Chem Room “He just fully sent the wasabi into his mouth” —Palmer Hall “My dad tells me to do more drugs because I’m boring” —Student Center “I found the lost city of Pompeii!” —Senior Steps “I’m an alchoholic but only on Saturdays” —Orange Court

Mamba forever By Sam Jefferson


he first NBA game I ever watched was at my uncle’s place in the San Francisco. The year was 2012; times were simpler, and the Los Angeles Lakers were playing the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. I watched as Kobe Bryant tore up the defense with fadeaway jumpers, feeling in my heart there was no way the Warriors could pull this one out … and they didn’t. But that’s not why I remember this game so vividly. This was the game that Kobe Bryant, the basketball god, tore his Achilles. An injury heralded as the worst an athlete can suffer, a career ender. I couldn’t help but think I’d missed out on something special, a legendary career over. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Ever since that night at my uncle’s I have been infatuated with the game of basketball. D e spite never playing in a league as a kid, it was still my favorite sport. I dreamt of becoming a pro, turning my shoulder, shifting the other direction … swish, winning the game, just like Kobe did, time and time again. I may have missed the prime of his career, but Kobe still meant so much to me as a player and role model. He was the cold-blooded assassin, willing his team to victory no matter the

cost. A five-time NBA champion, an 18-time all-star, a two-time Olympic gold-medalist, an MVP, and a basketball great. I think of that picture of him, taken at 5 a.m., in the Lakers facility, arm in a cast, pajama pants on under his shorts, standing at the free throw line getting reps in. Kobe never took a day off, and that’s why we loved him so dearly. It’s because of legends like Kobe Bryant that basketball holds such a special place in my heart. I’ve gone back and watched all of his highlights. I rewatched him squaring off with Michael Jordan in the All-Star game. I watched him hit that incredible buzzer beater over Dwyane Wade in 2009. I watched him make shots that only he could make over, and over, and over again. I watched him score a whopping 60 points in the final game of his career at the ancient age of 37. Since that day at my uncles, Kobe has been a vital part of my life as an NBA superfan. The end of his career in 2016 was the start to an even greater one, training his daughter Gianna in the sport he loved, working on his Grammy-award winning film “Dear Basketball,” offering basketball and life advice to anyone who’d listen, doing everything he could with his daughter to grow the game of women’s basketball. A career cut short for reasons I don’t know. This is why the tragic passing of Kobe, at 41, and Gianna, who was 13, has felt so impossible for me. NBA player Marcus Morris summed it up perfectly: “Superman isn’t supposed to die. And to us he felt like Superman.” Kobe Bryant was a superhero, much more than a basketball player. He was a father, a husband, a mentor, an artist, a friend, a role model, and a son. I didn’t know him personally, but that didn’t stop me from loving him. I can see my younger self, playing knockout at my elementary school, yelling “Kobe!” as I hucked the basketball from halfcourt praying for it to go in, left only to laugh as my ball landed miles short of the hoop. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t Kobe.


SPORTS The news was all over social media when it happened. I watched as my other idols, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and the entire NBA and sports family mourned the deaths of the greatest Laker of all time and his daughter. I sat in my room, watching a classmate’s compilation of Kobe’s best highlights to a happy tune singing, “There’s gonna be good times” tears welling up in my eyes, thinking, why him? Life is too short to not chase your dreams and do the things you love. Cherish your time with your loved ones, hug them, kiss them, make sure they know how much they mean to you. I love you Kobe, may you rest in peace.♦

By the Numbers 13-0-2

Record of the girls’ varsity soccer team as of February 5


Final score of boys’ varsity basketball’s overtime victory at home versus Redwood


Final score of boys’ varsity soccer’s victory at home versus Drake FEBRUARY 2020



Girls' soccer's perfect season rolls on By Quinn Rothwell

The girls varsity soccer team just wrapped up their first undefeated MCAL championship season in history.


n Saturday, February 1, girls’ varsity soccer shut out Drake High School 4-0 to win the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL). Prior to this, Tam continued their undefeated season with a 3-0 win against Marin Catholic on January 11. Additionally, this year the team beat and tied Redwood, and tied Branson 1-1 in a nail-biter. Although they lost in an North Coast Section (NCS) game against Livermore with a score of 1-0, the team has held their own within the local league. This is Tam’s first undefeated MCAL season ever, with a record of 13-0-2 as of February 5. Directly behind them are Redwood with a record of 10-1-3 and Branson with a record of 7-1-3. In 2018, Tam girls’ soccer won MCALs, but this year the RedTailed Hawks have been on another level and have taken the league by storm over the past two months. Junior Ellie Ryersen, who plays center forward or attacking mid, gave a lot of credit to the team’s younger players. “We got some new additions, some new sophomores who have really shown through and filled in for the positions that we did not have because of the graduating seniors,” Ryersen said. However, the skill on the field is not the only thing that has brought the team success. Senior captain Lily Travers

believes that the relationships between players has made a huge impact. “I think this year we have had the best team chemistry of all my four years; we have done a lot of team bonding this yea, from getting ice cream to boba in the city,” Travers said. According to Travers, because of the connection off the field the team is able to support one another through knowledge of t h e i r t e a m mates’ weaknesses and strengths. Head c o a c h Shane Kennedy said, “I think the team culture, leadership, and everybody pulling together and supporting each other. It is a very cohesive group so I would say that has made a difference.” Kennedy believes that there is a clear standout on the defensive end of the field. “I think as a unit we defend really well but I would say our back seven are very very special. That is the foundation of every good team, the ability to defend. To win the ball in transition quickly, you know, and then keep the ball,” Kennedy said. Ryersen also agrees that team bonding has come to make the team grow together. “This year is amazing. The team is super close, we all love spending time together and it reflects on the field. It is the key to success,” Ryersen said.♦

"I think this year we have had the best team chemistry of all my four years"


The girls varsity team huddles before a game vs. Branson. Senior Thalia Greenberg takes a shot against Branson. Senior Grace Gustafson, a Tam News reporter, dribbles past a pair of Branson defenders. PHOTOS COURTESY OF IAN BOYD





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