Tam News March 2020

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Under my Roof page 12


CONTENTS March 2020


News 04 Measure B fails, plunging district into $3 million deficit 06 District grapples with COVID-19 08 MVMS hires hawk to quell seagull infestation Lifestyles 09 Review: To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You 10 Monster Jam 11 Review: The Slow Rush Features 12 Under my roof


Opinion 16 Editorial: Save our schools 17 Crackin’ & slackin’ 18 How to: Instagram 19 Stop doing it for the Gram Sports 20 Smooth sailing 21 Goalie Ellie Flad breaks MCAL record 22 Tennis coach turmoil continues


Dear Reader, Our community has opened a new chapter: one of grave reality. With the rise of COVID-19 and the failure of Measure B, anxiety and confusion have taken hold in our district. COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on our schools. In our news coverage, Johanna Meezan and Tenaya Tremp lay out the administration’s preventative actions, from canceling field trips and large gatherings to closing campus until further notice. The failure of Measure B is no small news. As we phase into the proposed cuts, many question why the measure did not pass. Who, if anyone, should the blame be placed on? Our editorial, “Save Our Schools,” examines why Measure B failed and how we can prevent it from happening again. The graying current issues within the community do not diminish the everyday struggles of our students. In our feature, “Under My Roof,” Claire Finch looks at stories of students who have dealt with substance-abusing parents. We hope this eye-opening story will create awareness and let others know that they are not alone. Not all is without hope, though. Our lighter stories include satirical Instagram tutorials, a breakdown of a monster truck rally, and a report on the hawk on the MVMS campus. With all that is going on, now is not the time to lose sight of each other, even while we are all apart. Times are tough in the Tam community. It is important to remember to be supportive of one another and remember who we are as we also take care of ourselves. Be safe and be well.

Volume XIV, No. VI March 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.

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 • Lucas Rosevear Tenaya Tremp Sports Eli Blum • Jordan Cushner Luke Ferris • Stephania Glass Samantha Nichols TBN Saranyu Nel Design Niulan Wright Social Media Grace Gustafson • Quinn Rothwell Business Team Samantha Nichols • Oona O’Neill Lucas Rosevear Cover July Palomares Guzman 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 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


Measure B fails, plunging district into $3 million deficit By Benjy Wall-Feng with additional reporting by Logan Little


he failure of a parcel tax on March 3 has once again put the Tamalpais Union High School District in dire financial straits. The tax, Measure B, would have added $190 per parcel to the existing parcel tax of $455. It had received 62.91 percent of the vote as of March 11, short of the two-thirds margin needed to pass. Supporters of Measure B argued that it would have been crucial to maintaining quality of education. The measure’s opponents argued that the tax was unnecessary or inequitable. What is certain is that the district now faces a multimillion-dollar deficit that will grow over the next few years, and balloon if

the current parcel tax expires in June 2022 without being renewed or increased. (Measure B would have added about $6 million annually.) At its meeting on March 10, the board of trustees voted to approve a list of layoffs and schedule reductions that will impact 11 teachers across the district. The layoff notices, which by state law must be issued before March 15, were necessary so that the board could make decisions on a list of proposed programming cuts, according to superintendent Tara Taupier. The cuts in question would increase class sizes, prioritize classes that offer graduation requirements over electives, and

limit students to taking no more than seven periods. They would also suspend the Team program at Tamiscal and suspend release periods for Global Studies and journalism. The layoffs, along with a continued suspension of the teacher leader program, would save the district about $1.4 million. Those cuts will be finalized if the board does not change their decision by May 15. No more teachers will be laid off this year, Taupier said, and neither will classified staff. But the district faces a $3 million deficit for the 2020-21 school year, and the measures taken on March 10 total less than that. The district will re-

convene its Fiscal Advisory Committee to explore additional cuts that would make up the difference. For many teachers, the possibility of future layoffs looms large. Special education teacher Christine Costello said in an email that she was “absolutely concerned” about her position. “I am a first-year teacher at Tam, and I want to continue to work here,” Costello wrote. “This school has many amazing and qualified teachers who are already overwhelmed by large class sizes. Budget cuts would be devastating to staff and students alike.” The teachers at risk in

District CFO Corbett Elsen presented the second interim budget report, which proposed teacher layoffs and cuts to Team, Global Studies, and journalism, at the board of trustees meeting on March 10. PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE BELOW:




For more coverage of the budget crisis, including an analysis of why Measure B may have failed, check out thetamnews.org the near future are likely those who have worked in the district for three years or less, administrators said, since the order of layoffs is determined by seniority. Tenured teachers are not yet at risk. But some teachers expressed concern over the district’s plan to prioritize classes that meet graduation requirements. For example, the adoption of a new district curriculum has made Chemistry a required course, and science teachers credentialed to teach Chemistry may be favored over science teachers with other credentials, according to science teacher Simon McBride. “I’ve already had conversations with science teachers who are like, I will need to get credentialed in this, this, and this, so that if things go south I can jump to a different subject,” McBride said. Several teachers declined to be interviewed for this article because they were worried their jobs were in jeopardy. Others cited the drop in morale that has accompanied the layoffs. “If the district comes to the staff and says, you know, we’re going to treat senior teachers and new teachers differently, that creates a division with them. If they start doing layoffs, that creates a division,” English teacher Austin Bah said. Science teacher Mary Wuerth called the outcome of the election a “slap in the face from the community towards all the teachers in the district.” She added: “There’s some really good young teachers — who are excellent teachers — who are going to leave. And I think if they leave they’re never coming

back, because I wouldn’t.” When the teacher contract is renegotiated this year, the board may choose not to give teachers the standard compensation for costof-living increases, which would reduce the projected deficit from $3 million to $1.3 million. But administrators have not yet indicated that they plan to do so, and the district’s budget report operated on the assumption of a $3 million deficit. Administrators emphasized their distress over the layoffs. “Most of our budget is people,” Tam principal J.C. Farr said. “When you start making cuts and for a significant amount, you’re talking about cutting people. And my heart goes out to those that are impacted.” At least 200 students, teachers, and parents attended the board meeting on March 10, where the board of trustees would discuss the $1.4 million in proposed cuts. (About half of the attendees were escorted outside by a fire marshal, who said that the room was filled past capacity.) Community members used the two minutes per person allotted for public comment to argue against suspending Team and the journalism release periods. The 24 students in the Team program attend Tamiscal and go on backpacking trips, learn wilderness survival skills, volunteer, and work at internships. Supporters said that the program was invaluable, especially for students who had been underserved by traditional education. Selena Marmolejo, a member of Team, credited

the program with saving her after a difficult high school experience and the death of her father. If she had stayed at Redwood, Marmolejo said, “it would have been extremely difficult for me to come out of that dark place in my mind.” She added, “Team has taught me to be more open-minded, to appreciate everything and everyone around me. It has given life a new purpose for me.” Members of Team expressed skepticism over the board’s decision to label the cut as a suspension of the program, suggesting that it would likely not be brought back. “Team is truly the most revolutionary high school program I’ve ever seen offered to teens. It truly changes the trajectory of their lives,” Team teacher Diana Goldberg said, according to a press release published by Team on March 8. If release periods for journalism advisers are cut, journalism students said, the print publications at Tam, Redwood, and Drake would be eliminated, and students would lose vital oversight and the chance for collaboration. Ryo Weng, an editor in chief of the Redwood Bark, questioned the board’s suggestion to suspend release periods for journalism and Global Studies specifically, instead of all release periods in the district. He said that journalism release periods were necessary to “maintain the quality of content that we publish.” Bah, who was the adviser for The Tam News until 2006, and who successfully lobbied the district to give journal-

ism advisers release periods, said in an interview that the extra time, which is separate from normal classes, had allowed Tam’s journalism program to “go from unranked to about the top percent” of high school publications. He added, “That history and legacy could disappear in a year or two without giving a teacher time to do that.” The list of cuts tentatively approved at the board meeting was created last spring by the Fiscal Advisory Committee, concurrently with the $2.8 million in cuts passed last June, which laid off librarians and custodial staff and increased class sizes. Because teachers in California must be notified by March 15 if they will be laid off, and because Measure B failed less than two weeks before that, the district had to rely on the existing cuts instead of recommending new ones. Although that list had been circulated internally for about a year, it was not made public until after the election, Taupier said. She added, “When you start to make those available during the process, when you’re identifying them, you start to get lobbied really hard. And sometimes it can be hard for people to be sort of impartial and think about the process.” Taupier acknowledged that listing potential budget cuts beforehand might have rallied community members eager to protect the programs “near and dear to them.” “For the next campaign, this is up to the board, but I think we would have to be very specific so people know exactly what’s at stake,” she said.♦

March 2020



District grapples with COVID-19 By Johanna Meezan and Tenaya Tremp with additional reporting by Eli Blum


he Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) joined thousands of districts across the United States by closing its schools on March 13. This was a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. No students or staff in the five schools within the district were affected by a case of COVID-19 at the time. “It has become clear that the most responsible action, at this moment, is for us to take a proactive versus reactive approach to social distancing and other containment measures,” superintendent Tara Taupier said in an email to the district on March 12. Students are scheduled to return to campus on April 12, following spring break, in accordance with a ABOVE:


countywide order from the Marin County Health Officer directing all residents to shelter in place until April 7. Teachers will email students assignments while students are not at school through EschoolPLUS. The district will provide a digital device and hotspot internet connections during this time for students who request aid by filling out an online form. All campuses will also undergo a deep clean of all facilities during this time. The district did not specify what steps were involved in a deep clean. Updates from the district will be sent out nightly by 6 p.m. to students, families, staff members, and the district will also send an additional communication by 4 p.m. on March 27 about resuming classes on March 30.

The preemptive closing of schools is a shift from the district’s previous prevention plan, which would have gone into effect only after a case was confirmed on campus. “We have to weigh the benefits of closing schools, which is a major social disruption to our community, and the risk of transmitting this disease,” Marin County Deputy Public Health Officer Lisa Santora said in a community forum. Impacts on Tam events The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in several additional consequences for the Tam community, including canceled extracurriculars, school events, and field trips. As of March 12, the school has canceled the

spring rally and postponed its Open House due to a recommendation by Matthew Willis, the Public Health Officer for Marin, to avoid large indoor gatherings. Additionally, all extracurricular activities and sporting events have been canceled, and school facilities are closed to the public, including access to swimming pools and fields. “We feel like the hard work we put in this offseason is going to waste with this time off from playing, and it’s very hard to see the seniors’ reactions,” junior and varsity baseball player Jake Ferguson said. “They are all so excited for the season and for most of them it’s their last year of baseball so it’s sad seeing it cut shorter. All we want is to be able to play and I’m sure when we

Safeway shoppers prepared for the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving store shelves empty. PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE

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NEWS come back we won’t take a single day of it for granted.” It is unclear if other school-sanctioned events, such as prom and graduation, will be affected. Following a level three warning from the Center for Disease Control recommending that travelers avoid “all non-essential travel,” administration and staff members canceled two international trips to Italy and Spain. Teachers expressed concern that students would be quarantined if they were near or in an infected area during the trips. “The issue is if there’s an outbreak and they close the city and we get trapped ... or if we are coming back into the U.S. and we are required to [go through] a mandatory quarantine process,” art teacher Zachary Gilmour, one of the three staff members leading the Italy trip, said. As of March 12, Italy has partially closed its borders and mandated strict restrictions within its borders. “I really wanted to go, but I understand the worry,” senior Lisa Adelson, one of the students who had planned to attend the Italy trip, said. Staff members and the administration are working to reimburse students for the canceled trips. Junior Cassie Peterson, who was planning to attend

News flash

the Spain trip, said, “I am really disappointed because we have all been looking forward to this trip for a long time, but at the same time I am finally beginning to accept that it was the right decision because the conditions in Europe have only gotten worse.” COVID-19 in Marin As of March 17, there were 11 confirmed Marin County residents infected with COVID-19. A previously reported case of COVID-19, which was transferred to Marin General Hospital on February 27 from Solano County, has since been treated. On March 16, Marin and five other Bay Area counties announced shelter-in-places to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under the restriction, residents are not permitted to leave their homes except to provide or receive “essential services” or engage in “essential activities,” such as getting food or necessary toiletries and caring for elderly individuals. Prior to this, Willis had recommended limiting “non-essential” indoor gatherings to 100 people or less. This motivated the district to close all schools on March 13. Willis anticipates that the county and district will soon see a larger impact due to the rapid spread of

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

the disease worldwide. However, it may not be as severe as many are anticipating. “The mortality rate in places that are more like our community is less than one percent and it is similar to the mortality rate we experience for influenza. I’m not sure if I can dismiss the need for a robust response to COVID-19. I’m offering this to temper and balance our collective response,” Willis said in a community forum on March 9. Some are concerned the community is not taking enough precautions, given the risk the disease poses to

Kennedy wins AP computer science Female diversity Award

elderly and sick individuals. According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.8 percent of Chinese citizens aged 80 years and older who were infected by COVID-19 died from the disease. This is in contrast to only 0.2 percent of 20- to 29-yearolds. “We all have grandparents. I have parents and students that have compromised immune systems. It bothers me that we aren’t thinking of others as opposed to just the inconvenience to ourselves,” Gilmour said.♦

SENior Trip MOved to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk March 2020



MVMS hires hawk to quell seagull infestation By Skye Schoenhoeft


he Mill Valley School District hired Aero Falconry Abatement Services in early February to contract an on-campus falconer and hawk at Mill Valley Middle School. Serenity, the new hawk, creates a predatory presence on campus, scaring seagulls away. The MVMS campus has a history of large populations of seagulls disrupting the school, according to students and faculty.


Serenity, the new hawk, scares seagulls away during lunchtime at Mill Valley Middle School. PHOTO BY NIULAN WRIGHT

“A teacher came and told me ... that when the flock flies over, it sounds like it’s raining outside,” the on-campus falconer, Jennifer Hosperman, said. The school’s proximity to the marsh and bay inlet combined with leftover student food scraps draws many birds. It is estimated that around 30 seagulls visit the school daily and fly over the students during lunch. “It’s like that movie The Birds but instead of getting eaten you get pooped on,” eighth grader Jake Donohue said. At lunchtime, some students described the flocks of seagulls above them as a “seagull apocalypse.” “There’s this wave of seagulls, and everyone’s like ‘Yo, seagull apocalypse’ and everyone starts screaming and then we just all dip to the overhangs, people just run to the seventh grade area, you go under the stairs and just try to not get pooped on,” eighth grader



Dequarius Martin said. “You’re not a fullfledged staff member at MVMS unless you’ve been baptized (pooped on) by a seagull,” MVMS assistant principal Mark Nelson wrote in an email. “In my second or third year at MVMS, I was in the middle of reading a few 8th graders the ‘riot act,’ saying something to the extent of ‘I’m not going to put up with any of this crap.’ Right as the word ‘crap’ came out of my mouth, a seagull got me on the head, shoulders, neck, and shirt, and one of the kids said, ‘Well, you’re going to have put up with that crap until you clean it up.’” Students have become accustomed to the aggressive behavior of the seagulls, where seagulls rip open lunch boxes if left unattended or even try to take food directly. “One thing about the seagulls [is that] they’ve been conditioned to know

that when the bell rings they come out for lunch,” Jana Barkley, master falconer and the owner of Aero Falconry, said. “The problem is the mess left by the students ... they leave so much food mess behind that it’s so inviting to the seagulls that that makes them very aggressive and that makes them actually come down.” According to multiple accounts, the Friday before the hawk’s arrival, one student threw an apple at an airborne seagull, knocking it out of the air and killing it. “Seagulls are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is a felony to harass native species,” Barkley said. “So that’s where we come in because we can harass them and send them somewhere else in their territory [without harming them].” The program has been met with positivity from MVMS students and staff. “This program has been

successful so far. We have noted seagulls and other birds scattering from the campus at lunchtime when the hawk is present,” Amanda Finlaw, the executive assistant to the superintendent of the Mill Valley School District, wrote in an email. The program is only scheduled to continue through April. Toward the end of this month, the seagulls naturally migrate north, so the school anticipates the problem to dissipate on its own for the remainder of the school year. However, due to its success, the district is interested in working with falconers in the future. “Next, this method will be brought to Strawberry Point Elementary School, which has a similar seagull problem,” Finlaw said in an email. “We may use it at other school sites and could use it again at MVMS in the future if needed.”♦


Review: To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You By Niulan Wright


ho doesn’t enjoy a good rom-com? I certainly do. I loved the movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I liked that it starred a female that not only looked like me but also shared a similar upbringing. I liked that the typical romance movie cliches were just abundant enough to get the stamp of approval from fans of the romance genre. Yet, when I saw the movie’s sequel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved: P.S. I Still Love You, the bar of quality and enjoyment that the first film had set was sadly missed. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is about a Korean American teenager, Lara Jean Covey (Lana Candor), who writes love letters to her crushes as a way of working through her emotions. However, eventually the letters get out, and to hide from her current crush, who got a letter, she starts a fake relationship with the most popular boy in school, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), who also got a letter. Peter goes along with Lara Jean because he wants to make his ex jealous and she wants to hide from her crush. Of course they fall in love and the fake relationship turns into a real one and there’s a nice and happy ending. For years, my best friend had been telling me to read the series, and I kept putting her off, telling her I was too old to actually enjoy that sort of thing. I, a seemingly mature young woman, was


reading nonfiction books about segregation and 60s culture, novels that were literary tapestries so complicated chapters had to be read twice, etc. However, after I watched To All the Boys, I went and read all the books as soon as I could get my hands on them. So, when the sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, came out on Netflix on February 12, I put aside studying for the two tests I had the next day and binge watched it with a cup of tea and a soft blanket. The movie was not worth a good cup of tea. Chalk it up to bias from actually reading, and liking, the books, but P.S. I Still Love You just barely stacked up to the first movie and definitely not the book it was modeled after. The plot of the book and movie P.S. I Still Love You follows the new relationship of Lara Jean and Peter. However, Peter seems to be meeting with his ex quite a lot. Lara Jean is self-conscious and John Ambrose McClaren, a boy Laura Jean had written a love letter to years ago, re-enters her life and seems to be holding a torch for her from way back when. In the book, Laura Jean wrestles not just with being in a relationship where it seems the two people come from different worlds, but her widowed father dating, feelings she holds for other boys, and questions around sex and intimacy. Of course these are all complex topics and no film can hardly be held to the standard of perfectly conveying

them all, plus a love story, in two hours, much less the one-hour-and-thirty-sixminute run time of P.S. I Still Love You. It also does its best to include these sub-plots instead of bulldozing over author and creator Jenny Han’s intentions for this story. Yet, one can only wonder if choosing one subplot to highlight instead of two or three might have made its message more powerful instead of three small, diluted messages. For example, in the books and the new movie, Lara Jean struggles with being a virgin but having a boyfriend who’s had sex multiple times and frequently did with his ex. In one scene, the topic comes up and both have a healthy conversation about consent, pressure, and comfortability. It was the beginning of what could be a powerful scene, especially when considering that the target audience is probably themselves dealing with these same questions or similar ones. Yet Netflix moved on and never mentioned it again, forgoing a powerful message they could have imparted on a widely viewed platform. Lastly, there were just some strange and out-ofplace choices made during the film. Both movies were made with Lara Jean’s internal monologue as narration. It is used well in both movies to change up the pace and gives the viewer a more intimate insight into Lara Jean’s thoughts and feelings. However, in one scene,

where Lara Jean is feeling down, she starts singing with the background music while looking into the camera and gliding through a school hallway. It’s disorienting and heavy-handed that Lara Jean’s singing is just short enough to seem like an afterthought that the editor or directors thought might look good and then forgot to delete later. Or, at the end of the movie when Lara Jean kisses her boyfriend, the camera starts to rise but the couple does not leave or move within the frame. It makes it look like two people have suddenly gained the ability to float or they stepped onto a crane that was just out of frame and are now being lifted into the air by said crane. Now, I’m no diehard realist that deplores fourth wall breaks or shuns film techniques that try to convey feelings rather than reality, but these two scenes were the exception, not the rule, and were wildly out of place in a movie made for teens whose first movie never did anything like this. I ended the movie wondering if creators had been under pressure to release the movie as soon as possible and/or didn’t have the same budget as they did on the first movie. To viewers who have read the books, this movie is a letdown. To those who only saw the first movie, I say “Stop while you’re ahead or just read the book.” And to those who’ve never seen either, I hope you don’t feel the same urge I did to finish what I started.♦

March 2020



MOnSTER JAM By Emily Stull


porting events are typically the epitome of boredom for someone like me, who has never been all that interested in them; however, a monster truck competition is one event I wouldn’t miss. I had the greatest privilege to attend the 2020 Monster Jam Tour in the Alameda County Coliseum in mid February. A Monster Jam is a monster truck competition where drivers put their skills to the test. It’s the only event in the wide realm of sports in which a 55-year-old man can go head-to-head with a 25-year-old woman. The “jam” was certainly unique, with the delightful scent of churros and gasoline wafting throughout the concrete stadium. When I bought my ticket for $25, I made all too many assumptions about what I was getting myself into. My



expectations included the majority demographic to be right-wing rednecks, and a similar masculine vibe as my hometown in Ohio. Needless to say, I was accustomed to such an environment, but boy, was I mistaken. There was the occasional drunk white man sporting camo and a beer gut, but the crowd was pretty diverse. The age range amazed me as well. There were babies in the audience seated next to people in their 70s at least. It was awesome. The trucks were massive and produced quite an impressive sound, but the announcers and the music they played were just as pronounced. Stadium workers sold earplugs down the aisles. Each monster truck had background music to their entry onto the field (Or track? Dirt pit? I don’t even know). It was absolutely hilarious to see a rail-thin truck driver hop into his massive vehicle with Guns and Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” rattling the arena as fanfare. There were three major competitions. The first was a classic race around the dirt arena between two trucks. The area was decked with about four mounds of dirt, each at least 15 feet tall, and a large green wall for them to flip from.

The event held the audience on the edge of their seats, especially when driver Brianna Mahon flipped onto her roof like a turtle stranded on its back. Stalling out and getting stuck was a recurring aspect of a Monster Jam, coinciding with truck decals falling off or obliterating completely. This only added to the intrigue of the event. The third round (at this point the crowd was louder than the announcer) was known as the Freestyle. Each monster truck was given 90 seconds of fame on the field, a chance to improvise their greatest tricks and push their engines to the limit. The drivers pulled off donuts, wheelies, and my personal favorite: gainers off of the green wall. In other words, the trucks would drive at the wall head-on, and upon impact would flip backwards and (most often) land upright. After watching a few freestyles, I realized that I got more of a kick out of the event when the trucks stalled out or popped a tire rather than a successful attempt. When a competitor found themselves in a pickle, golf carts and a mini crane would scramble into the ring with flashing lights on their roofs. Damage control would hop out with their little helmets and headphones before running frantically about the massive truck, trying to figure out how to de-turtle the monster and deliver it to safety. After the driver had gotten out of their truck safely and performed a disturbingly entertaining victory dance, the crowd would roar with excitement. Audience members are the judges for a freestyle, and interestingly, yet unsurprisingly, those with the greatest failed at-

tempts would gain the highest score. Unfortunately, like all good things, the Monster Jam came to an end after a runtime of about two and a half hours. To close the event, the Jumbotron presented a short video of the drivers working with children of St. Jude’s Children Hospital, promoting the opportunity to donate to the organization. Underneath their monster truck uniforms, many drivers were sporting St. Judes t-shirts branded with the slogan, “This Shirt Saves Lives.” This small-in-means but large-in-thought act of promoting the hospital proved to be a very sweet and sentimental touch by the drivers. All too often — and I admit to being guilty of this — monster truck drivers and the fans of Monster Jam are depicted as crude rednecks of meager heart, but as I experienced firsthand, that truly is not the case. I saw Monster Jam as a unifying moment between a whole range of people, people who were just there to have fun and enjoy themselves. I highly recommended looking into the upcoming Monster Jam Tour dates, and I also plan on attending the next event that comes to the Bay Area.♦ GRAPHICS BY ISABELLA FAILLACE PHOTOS BY EMILY STULL

Review: The Slow Rush


By Chloe Gammon


his Valentine’s Day, Tame Impala, a.k.a. Kevin Parker, the Australian psychedelic-indie artist, released his fourth studio album, The Slow Rush. I went to my first Tame Impala concert in the seventh grade, and have loved his music for years. He has consistently come out with stellar albums since 2010, with classics songs such as “Desire Be Desire Go,” “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” “Let It Happen,” “Eventually,” and many others. I couldn’t wait to see what new tracks I could get hooked on. While I was expecting him to continue with this pattern of breathtaking songs full of unique and unparalleled melodies, what I got was something just OK. Compared to the history of this popular artist with over 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify, The Slow Rush was a disappointment. The main issue I have with this album is the lack of new material. A third of the songs had been released as singles before the album release: “Borderline,” “Posthumous Forgiveness,” “Lost In Yesterday,” and “It Might Be Time.” When I

Art Works Downtown

heard these songs a couple of months ago, I was completely obsessed, and they made me even more excited to see what Tame Impala would produce in their album. However, having these songs be a large chunk of the album surprised me, and not in a good way. For someone that cycles through music quickly, I felt like I had already worn out these songs. I wanted to be refreshed with a new series of Tame Impala songs to play on repeat and add to my playlists, but instead I was listening to the same old tracks I was already tired of. They still were, and always will be, some of his best songs, but with an album you expect new material. This resulted in me losing excitement over new songs, because I was already disappointed by the third track. While I was already let down, I couldn’t ignore the few notable new tracks the album had to offer. Just as I expected, they didn’t compare to the four tracks that had already been released. There are only two that stood out to me: “Is It True” and “On Track.” “Is It True” stood out among the oth-

er new tracks in the album, with its catchy and upbeat rhythm making you want to dance around, and how it strayed away from the typical synth we get in most Tame Impala songs. “On Track” was more of your classic Tame Impala song, leaning into the electric keyboard and synth that “Is It True” strayed away from. The rest of the six remaining songs, however, all sounded the same to me. They had the same characteristics of “On Track,” but what makes “On Track” different is that it feels like an original Tame Impala song, something authentic, when the others felt like watered-down renditions of it. One track, “Tomorrow’s Dust,” is the prime example of this. “Tomorrow’s Dust” is five minutes and 27 seconds of the same synth and basic drum beat I heard many other times throughout the album, with hazy melodic “ooohs” and “aaahs” and mumbled lyrics. Anything Tame Impala produces is obviously listenable, and I didn’t necessarily dislike the song, but compared to the crisp storytell-

ing I normally expect from Parker this song, among the many others, seemed fake. Why would Parker release his four best songs before the album? I couldn’t tell you. But it made the new songs we were supposed to be excited about look even worse. Don’t get me wrong, the other songs sound fine, but fine wasn’t what I was hoping for when I waited patiently for this album. I expected more from this artist, one I know is insanely talented. But, with the combination of already released, and therefore unsurprising, songs, and over half of the album sounding fake and disingenuous, it left The Slow Rush as something forgettable.♦ GRAPHIC BY TAHLIA AMANSON


Under my roof By Claire Finch Art by July Palomares Guzman Photos by Henry Hoelter

Trigger Warning: This story contains sensitive content regarding various Tam High students’ experiences, involving alcohol and drug abuse from their parents and guardians. The purpose of this piece is not to speculate on students’ trauma but to spread awareness of students who have grown up with family addiction.


was my mom’s birthday, and we were going on a hike. We were all in the same place and my dad got a phone call from his mom and he just told me, my cousin died last night,” Sarah, a Tam student, said. Sarah’s cousin, who was 29, had been in a car accident. The driver drove into a tree under the influence of alcohol, killing everyone else in the car. According to the nonprofit organization Alcohol Justice, “More than 28 million Americans have seen at least one parent suffer from alcohol.” The teenage children of these parents have to adapt and accommodate to teenage culture — such as recreational drug and alcohol use — differently based on the trauma they have received from their guardians. From growing up with an alcoholic and drug addict father, Sarah experienced flashbacks to her childhood when her cousin died. “Alcohol was always an iffy thing, because my dad was an alcoholic until I was nine and he went to rehab. I still



drank, [but] after [my cousin’s death], I just stopped. It was scary for me after that. I’ve tried to drink but I’ve never gotten past three shots. I just feel bad,” Sarah said. According to the healthcare company American Addiction Centers, a combination of genetics and environment can cause about 40 percent to 60 percent of a person’s risk of addiction. Sarah said, “I don’t know if the roughest part of my cousin dying was him actually dying, but watching the people around him, like who it affected, like my aunt and his sister. That was really hard.” “[My dad] would pick me up from school because my mom had to work. He was drunk. Drove us home and it was kinda normal at this point. I didn’t know it was a bad thing,” Sarah said. “I didn’t know he was drunk at the time. I was just a kid. I just thought he was crazy.” Back then, being surrounded by addiction, Sarah didn’t register that it was not normal. “We would drive over to the convenience store. He would get

me a bag of Cheetos, but then he would also get a bottle of vodka. And I would open the fridge and find only vodka.” Like Sarah, many other students at Tam and in Marin County have faced some sort of association with addiction in their life. “I remember coming home one night and she was throwing plates at us,” Matt, another Tam student, said. Matt was raised with an alcoholic mother who presently still uses. “She goes off and on [of being sober],” Matt said. “[She’s been to rehab] six or seven times. I visited her and talked to her on the phone.” Despite Matt’s fears of incriminating his mother, he explained how she drives him consistently while drunk, and sometimes he will have to call a family member to get him out of the house. “I told her I didn’t feel safe living there. I don’t really like my stepdad and then, I don’t know, I feel like at my mom’s [I] always have to lock my door when my mom is drunk,” Matt said. Matt has been living with his father for five weeks now. Matt describes

FEATURES his mom as an amazing person when she’s sober, and hopes that one day she will overcome this illness. Many kids during these moments feel isolated and unsupported by their family, causing them to feel extremely alone during their upbringing. In Sarah’s childhood, she had limited friends and a mom with a full-time job, caus-

They have never talked about his addiction, or the mental damage it has caused her. “I do want to [talk to my dad] but I’m scared. We’ve just never had — this is weird to say, but it’s not like we’ve never got that emotional with each other,” she said. This lack of communication is an ongoing issue in their relationship.

“I didn’t know he was drunk at the time. I was just a kid. I just thought he was crazy.” ing her to fall into the primary care of her father. “So it’s kinda hard, because other people recall their childhood memories and have really good memories and then I think of an abusive, alcoholic father,” Sarah said, trying to stop the tears from building in her eyes. “Sometimes the bad parts overtake the good parts.” According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 8.7 million children in the United States live with at least one parent who has a substance use disorder. Those children are more inclined to develop mental and behavioral disorders, including substance use disorders. “I do have depression, but I don’t know if it’s genetic, or maybe because of that. It has affected me a lot. More so my cousin now, I think of that every day,” Sarah said. “I don’t know what can help me. I went to therapy for a really long time. I started when I was three.” When Sarah was nine, her father received a court-mandated order to go to rehab. If her father didn’t comply, he would never have custody of her again. “It felt like months but I didn’t call him once,” she said. “I was too scared to. I’ve never talked to him about it.” Sarah’s childhood caused a damper on her relationship with her father.

According to healthcare company American Addiction Centers, “The relapse rate for substance use disorders is estimated to be between 40 percent and 60 percent.” To this day, Sarah worries about her father potentially relapsing. Sarah said, “sometimes I get scared. I was scared when my cousin died he would relapse. Whenever something bad

you like this?’ And a week after that, she disappeared again, and then after about three months, she passed away,” Lucy said. Lucy and her family had tried to get her mom into rehab. However in 2014, after a lifetime of addiction to opioids, Lucy’s mom intentionally overdosed during her first time using heroin. “Honestly, I just remember being completely like my mind just went blank. It’s like I couldn’t hear. Like I was screaming so loud that I couldn’t hear myself. It was like my ears were ringing. It was like I got all the air punched out of me. I couldn’t even think. I couldn’t even react,” Lucy said. “I stayed home, I just kind of isolated myself to just process what had just happened. I had never ever experienced death in my life. The most major death that anyone could experience happened. I basically just hid out in my room and stayed at home,” she said. Before her passing, Lucy’s mom’s presence had become less frequent. “She called my dad one night, on a school night, and was like, ‘I can’t take her anymore, you have to take her.’ I grabbed all the stuff I could in a suitcase. And I just went to live with my dad permanently. I wasn’t informed of

“I had never ever experienced death in my life. The most major death that anyone could experience happened.” happened or he would get stressed he would go to drinking. So I don’t know, sometimes it scares me. He was addicted to heroin, alcohol, and cocaine ... so who knows?” Lucy, a Tam student, had a firsthand struggle with her mom’s consistent relapsing. “She did come back for about a month, picked me up one day, and she clearly had been using drugs and she brought me to this condo housing complex and was like, ‘I’m going to buy a house here. We’re going to live together. So pick your room, do

anything when I was a kid but I would always ask, where is she, what’s going on, and I’d have a different response from my family members. Like my dad would tell me, she’s in Arizona at this detox facility. And then my aunt would tell me she’s in the streets. And others would tell me she was in the hospital,” Lucy said. Regarding Lucy’s needs for support and respect, she said, “I think the people around me were really supportive. People just need to recognize that I don’t have a mom. It’s just kind of awk-

March 2020


FEATURES ward when people are like, ‘Oh, can we go over to your mom’s house?’ Maybe just recognition, but I don’t want to be a spectacle,” Lucy said. “The people who care about me, that’s who I want to care about me,” she said. After her mom’s passing, Lucy developed IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, caused by her severe anxiety. Ted, a former Tam student who is

currently enrolled at San Andreas, has been diagnosed with anxiety from a lifetime of living with parents who have substance use disorders. Although Ted is formally undiagnosed, many of his friends believe that he has depression. “[My parents’ addiction] just makes me stressed and angry,” he said. Ted has never talked to his parents openly about their addiction because he has tried to disassociate himself with them as much as possible. His father is still an active addict, while his mom is a recovering addict. This recovery followed a court order for rehab due to endangerment of chil-

dren and public intoxication. “The police showed up while my mom was doing blow in the living room. [This was] while me and my brother were eating in the kitchen.” Both of Ted’s parents were addicted to cocaine, pills, and “would use anything and everything constantly,” he said. Ted has been living in and out of his house since he was six years old. “My mom and dad put a fourth of Xanax into my juice when I was 11. It fucked me up and confused me. I couldn’t trust them after. They did it because I seemed stressed out. I don’t really trust them fully,” Ted said. The longest time Ted has been away from his parents was for two years, when he lived at a family friend’s house. “I don’t go home a lot, and [I] do reckless things because I think no one cares,” Ted said. Ted said that the stress from his parents’ situation had affected him so-

“I had to raise my brother and find mo ways to make money



FEATURES cially and academically: “[I] had more responsibility at a young age [and that has] made me kind of angry now.” Ted’s brother is four years younger than him. “I had to raise my brother and find money for food. I would always find my ways to make money: steal, sell drugs,” he said. Ted holds a lot of resentment towards his parents, “for believing in them for so long that they would ever care.” He said that when other people discuss their childhood experience, he feels “most times jealous, not sad, because it is what it is.” Children nationwide, statewide, and within Marin are affected by the same traumatic experiences that students such as Sarah, Matt, Lucy, and Ted have had or are going through. To decrease the apparent mental health impact on children living in these con-

ditions, an environment of support and awareness of these situations within our own community is crucial. The following list contains resources for outreach. SUPPORT GROUPS: Alateen is a mutual support group for kids who have or have had loved ones who are addicts, to express and share memories and stories, with counselors to help people cope effectively with these experiences. Alateen meetings can be found in Corte Madera, San Francisco, and Oakland. Huckleberry is a student youth

program that has a substance abuse counseling program that provides both group and individual support, for kids who have family members that are or were addicts. This program works with high schools in Marin County, including Tam. Students can also visit the Wellness Center or their counselor for help or more information.

oney for food. I would always find my y: steal, sell drugs.”

March 2020



Editorial: save our schools I

t has been little over a week since voters rejected the parcel tax Measure B, and 11 teachers have been laid off or lost classes. It appears likely that several popular programs, including Team, Global Studies, and journalism, will suffer serious cuts. And those decisions will cover less than half of the $3 million deficit the district now faces. Students and teachers have already felt the impact of the $2.8 million cut districtwide last June. Custodial staff and nearly all librarians were laid off. Wellness and on-site therapy services were slashed. Class sizes this year have shot up, and students have reported schedules filled with holes and incorrect courses as a result. Now the district will have to pass new, drastic cuts, and they are running out of options. Measure B failed for a number of reasons, but one of the most troubling appears to have been a series of misconceptions about what it would have accomplished. The process was aided by a lack of accurate public information and by voters who may have opposed what seemed like just “another high school tax,” as prominent anti–Measure

B yard signs argued. To be clear: The failed measure would have taxed $645 per parcel, replacing the $455 per parcel already in effect, and it would have increased by three percent annually for 10 years. The existing parcel tax, which includes the $149 added by Measure J in 2018, will expire in June 2022. The additional $6 million Measure B provided annually would have been necessary to prevent the district from becoming insolvent. If the existing parcel tax expires without replacement, the deficit will grow to nearly $17 million, enough to exhaust the reserve in less than a year. A number of Measure B’s opponents, particularly the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers of Marin, made misleading claims to advance their arguments. For example, COST has claimed that because the district’s financial crisis was caused by increasing enrollment, and because enrollment will soon decrease, additional funding is unnecessary. It is true that larger class sizes were partially responsible for the financial crisis. But although enrollment is projected to decline starting in the 202122 school year, class sizes will not shrink nearly fast enough to stabilize the budget, superintendent Tara Taupier said in January.




Even if all of COST’s arguments were accurate, it is appalling that the anti– parcel tax stance seems to be: Public schools should receive in funding the bare minimum necessary to keep their doors open. The failure of Measure B also raised questions about the district’s efforts to campaign for it. A poll conducted by the district in July found that Measure B had almost exactly two thirds of taxpayer support, the same fraction it needed to pass. Taupier has said that the district thought it could increase support before the election, as happened with Measure J, but whatever steps the Measure B committee took were evidently insufficient. Its deci-

sion to withhold information about the specific programs on the chopping block until after Election Day was questionable at best. And unlike Measure J, which drew student rallies and phone calls urging support in the weeks leading up to Election Day, Measure B attracted little public attention. Another parcel tax will almost certainly be on the ballot in November, and the community must advocate ceaselessly for its passage. The damage that a second failed tax would do to our education — in terms of people and programs, not just numbers — must be made public, loud, and clear. All of our futures depend on it.♦

Go Zero Waste at Tam High

Stop, Think and Sort! þ Bring your own water bottle and coffee mug þ Bring a zero-waste lunch in reusable containers þ Always sort your trash þ More tips at ZeroWasteMarin.org Learn about the Zero Waste Schools Program at ZeroWasteMarin.org




HEARD IN THE HALLWAYS "My calculator history is pretty embarrassing" —Math building "I cry to curious george" —student center "I'm so done with the fact that he looks like an egg" —Safeway


"Be gay and break laws, it's 2020 baby" —Starbucks "You know what my fetish is? Car crashes" —boys locker room

"My homework planner is more crowded than Keyser Landing during break" —Library "can i borrow your underwear?" —wood hall bathroom

March 2020



HOW TO: INSTAGRAM By Jessica Bukowski


his morning, you woke up, threw on some clothes, ate breakfast, and started your day. Sometime during this bland routine, you picked up your phone and opened Instagram: the social media app loved (and hated) by millions across the world. You saw posts of friends, acquaintances, and celebrities who seemed to be having the time of their lives. After you finished looking at the accounts of these people with thousands or even millions of followers, you tapped on your own profile to see how yours stacked up. After spitting out your water in horror, you pinched yourself to see if this was some sort of nightmare. It wasn’t. As you stared at your profile, with its 127 followers and garage sale of a feed, you knew it was time for a change. And that’s what brought you here. You may not believe it, but I too was just like you: lost, scared, and hopeless, a complete Instagram nobody. However, with the help of my mentors, including over 200 influencers from around the world, I was able to rise from the ashes and truly, miraculously, thrive. Lucky for you, I have compiled a never-before-seen list of tips and tricks that will help you turn your Instagram from what a bore ... to I want more! First things first: Improve that ratio! All the Instagram legends know that cool people ALWAYS have more accounts following them than they’re following. Nothing screams lame quite like someone with 87 followers who follows 1,247 people.

This is why you should try to have as many followers as possible while following as few people as possible. I hate to break it to you, but if your ratio is cutting it close, sacrifices must be made, and the “unfollow” button must become your best friend. Don’t feel too bad though — I’m sure that Aunt Linda won’t notice if one of her 11 followers disappears. Tip #2: Buy your followers! Your secret’s safe with me!

do next? Try making a brand for yourself. With options from heartthrob to comedian to pet lover, picking a persona can be pretty challenging, but if you can’t settle on an Insta-personality, the “troublemaker” persona is a solid choice. To kickstart this image, all you have to do is rob a bank. I’m kidding! You don’t have to do anything too crazy, just steal someone’s Hydro Flask. Have a friend capture it on video, then post that bad

As you stared at your profile, with its 127 followers and garage sale of a feed, you knew it was time for a change. If you’re not willing to give up seeing Aunt Linda’s heavily-filtered selfies with her 22 cats, buying followers is always an option. If you can’t afford to spend a few bucks on followers, sell a few of your belongings. I’m absolutely positive that you can find something useless laying around the house. Who needs two kidneys anyways? Not you! Tip #3: Color palette! One of the staples of curating a solid Instagram account is keeping a consistent color palette. Here’s a pro tip: Switch out all the normal light bulbs in your house with blue-light-emitting ones for a blue-tinted aesthetic. Haters (scientists) may say that blue light is the most harmful to your eyes, but just think of all those #artsyfartsy comments you’ll be raking in! Tip #4: Image is everything! Out of ideas of what to

boy on your Instagram story. Tip #5: Every influencer’s nightmare! As you know, Instagram is not always rainbows and butterflies. There may come a day when you experience the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a person. There may come a day when you *gag* don’t get over 300 likes on a post. But

no matter how bad it seems, these things happen. Bad things happen to good people. The first step towards dealing with this nightmare is damage control. Delete the picture immediately. Stop whatever you’re doing and rush home. Do not stop for anything or anyone. After crying for the required four hours, start packing a suitcase. You must move to another country no later than 24 hours after the post, preferably to a more photogenic one. I hear that Fiji has some beautiful beaches! You won’t be jazzed about cutting ties with everyone in your life, but it’s really a blessing in disguise. You’ll get a chance to pick yourself up and start a new life with even better Instagram posts. Finally, you have all the resources you need to turn that frown upside down and live your best life on Instagram. Now, all you have to do is go out, have fun, and do everything you’ve ever dreamed of doing. Just make sure you post about it!♦





STOP doing it

for the gram By Luke Rasake


veryone has heard that “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” The amount of teens trying their hand at photography recently is amazing, as there are vast amounts of Instagram accounts dedicated to the wonderful art, all showcasing the same oversaturated photos of flowers, the sunset, and their friends in front of flowers and sunsets. Now I’m not saying everyone should give up — there is a talent for photography that even I cease to possess — but if you’ve been taking the same photo of the “eye” you’ve been drawing on your math homework since the eighth grade, you do need to give up and indulge in something more worthwhile. There is nothing I find more amusing than seeing the same green, open fields in the middle of nowhere

posted over and over again in my Instagram feed. It really helps me visualize just how barren and boring Mill Valley is. And on nights when I feel deprived of human interaction, I can just scroll past the green fields, and indulge myself in the millions of selfies taken from the same crooked angle, with the same dumb filter. Is it really so hard to hold your phone straight? Another cliche that I can’t wrap my head around is the photos that people take of them staring into the distance of a beautiful landscape, or a dreamlike scene painted by the sky itself. The photos would be perfect if you had only refrained from inserting yourself. You got to experience the mesmerizing view without anyone standing in our way. Why are you now depriving us of that same experience? We understand with such great

“talent” comes great ego, but as a wise man once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” My biggest gripe with these self-proclaimed photographers is their lack of knowledge when it comes to operating a machine of some complexity, such as a camera. Why bother purchasing a machine you don’t know how to use, and in many cases, don’t need at all? You don’t need a thousand-dollar camera to take good photos — just use your phone. It might not make you feel like a “professional,” but you’re still taking photos, aren’t you? In no universe is it necessary to use a 35mm film camera to take photos of your night out with the soccer team. That job is for the $60 Polaroid cameras you buy from Hot Topic. The camera was once a glorious invention used to document poignant or significant mo-

ments in history, and now it’s being used to capture the $30 undercooked steak you ordered at the Cheesecake Factory. Is it humanity’s primal desire for technological degradation, or our desperation to capture every waking moment in the hopes that our lives don’t get forgotten or left out in the history books, no matter how poorly documented? There are also many other things open for exploration and experimentation: Learn an instrument and further disappoint your parents, or maybe try your hand at Frisbee. The world offers you so many alternatives to express yourself creatively, so why choose the one thing you suck at? There are so many things you could be good at, but you limit yourself to the most surface-level of talents. Pack up, open your eyes, and give up.♦ GRAPHIC BY TENAYA TREMP

March 2020



Smooth Sailing By Tenaya Tremp


The 2020 Tam High sailing team.


enior Luke Marshall never expected to sail in high school, but after trying it out for fun his freshman year, he never looked back. “It’s so different from any other sport,” Marshall, who is now co-captain of the sailing team along with senior Lily Hock, said. Sailing, a sport officially labeled as a club, is one of the lesser-known sports at Tam, but once people try it, they often find that they are reluctant to stop. “I started because it sounded cool, so I tried out for the team. I got on and I never left,” senior Josh Holzer, who has been on the team for all four years of high school, said. One of the most unique aspects of sailing is that it is both a spring and a fall sport. “There’s a core group of people that stay on all year,” Holzer said. Others



rotate in for only one season, such as Marshall, who is also a member of the football team during the fall. “Typically when kids join the team they’re at a beginner to intermediate level so it takes them a while to learn,” coach Renee Corpuz-Lahne said. “Sailing has a very steep learning curve and we’re teaching them not only how to sail but how to race competitively at the same time so it can be a bit challenging.” But after six years with the team, Corpuz-Lahn has seen how quickly anyone can improve when motivated. “It’s not an easy sport,” she said. “So [members] need to like the water and be athletic.” “Even if you don’t really know how to sail you can start on JV and you’ll learn a lot pretty quick,” Marshall said.

In season, practices are only two days per week, but members of the varsity team often attend regattas, or races, on the weekends. “We go to Santa Barbara, LA, or Newport for regattas ... for the whole weekend,” Hock said. “The regattas can be kind of tough, some days you’re on the water for seven hours,” Marshall said. But despite that, weekend regattas are where the team forges some of their closest connections. “You get so close with the people on the team because you’re traveling and staying together on some of the regattas.” “Luke and I have made some of our best friends on the team,” Hock said. “We used to have three practices a week, and then every other weekend we carpool [or] fly to regattas … and stay in ho-

tels the whole weekend.” Holzer agreed. “When you’re traveling and you’re going on flights or you’re taking five-hour-plus car rides it’s different [than other sports],” he said. “We get to go out, we all hang in the same room and do stuff together ... Our coach always emphasizes to ‘all be smart and all be together.’” Having a close community is strongly emphasized in the team, and a big part of the captains’ roles is “making sure [that] everyone feels welcome and safe,” according to Corpuz-Lahn. Sailing can be hard and sometimes dangerous, and having a strong sense of teamwork is important in doing well. “There have been plenty of days where there’s been no wind and we just sit there,” Holzer said, but

SPORTS sailing if you aren’t tired mentally or physically.” Signups for sailing open in the fall at the club fair where “people that are interested can come chat with current team members,” Corpuz-Lahne said. She, along with most members of the team, strongly encourage people to give the sport a chance. When explaining his love for the sport to his

By the Numbers

friends, Holzer often describes the rush that comes with it. “In sailing there’s an infinite amount of variables, from the wind to the current to your partner or your crew to the conditions of other boats ... you’re constantly checking around you,” he said. “It’s a really really fun sport,” Hock said. “I hope more people at least give it a try.”♦


on other days, “It will be ‘nuking,’ where there is an incredible amount of wind, waves, everything, [and] adrenaline is always high.” Hock, who has injured herself twice onboard, agreed. “[If it’s really windy] you can be capsizing and people can get hurt,” she said. “The sport is mentally draining.” Holzer said. “You did not have a good day of




Score of Girls’ soccer’s NCS Victory vs. Maria Carillo

Rank of Varsity Baseball Team in state of California at start of season

Number of seasons Tim Morgan served as Boys’ varsity Basketball head coach

Goalie Ellie Flad breaks MCAL record By Kavi Dolasia


enior Ellie Flad, the starting goalkeeper for the Tam girls’ varsity soccer team, broke a Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) record this February for most regular-season shutouts in the league. Flad has had 33.75 MCAL shutouts

since her freshman year in 2016, breaking the previous record of 32 that had been held since 2013. The partial number of shutouts is due to a game during her sophomore year in which Flad did not play goalie for the entirety of the game.

Ellie Flad takes a goal kick during a game against Branson. PHOTO COURTESY OF IAN BOYD

In soccer, a shutout is when the team does not allow their opponent to score any goals. “I was really happy [about breaking the record] because I did not realize that my shutouts were being tracked, I was just playing,” Flad said. “Then, one day, my name popped up as the [goalkeeper] with the third highest number of shutouts and I made it my goal to break the record before the end of the year.” Flad has played as a starting goalie on varsity since her sophomore year and led the team to one MCAL championship in 2018 and, more recently, a North Coast Section (NCS) title against Maria Carillo High School on Saturday, February 29.

Coach Shane Kennedy has been working with Flad since she was 13 years old as her goalie trainer and later as her high school coach. “[Over the years] Flad has grown as a person and taken responsibility for the talent that she has,” Kennedy said. “Her breaking the record is just a nice milestone for an athlete to have that kind of consistency, especially as a goalkeeper.” While Flad is graduating this year and will be playing goalie for the Whittier College women’s soccer team this fall, she is optimistic about the future of Tam soccer. “[Next year] the team should still be strong. We are losing a lot of seniors and starters but I know we will still be good,” Flad said.♦

March 2020



TEnnis Coach Turmoil continues By Logan Little


ormer girls’ and boys’ head tennis coach Bill Washauer was dismissed from his position during a meeting with athletic director Christina Amoroso and Tamalpais Union High School District human resources and facilities director Lars Christensen in mid-December. “I was called down to a meeting with principal [J.C.] Farr on very short notice. I got to Tam that afternoon. Principal Farr wasn’t there. Apparently he was home sick ... I was redirected to the athletic director’s office. I sat down and [Christensen] delivered the news,” Washauer said. Besides the initial meeting, the district never provided any additional information behind the decision, according to Washauer. “There was no explanation whatsoever. There was no preamble. All he [Christensen] said was ‘We’re going in another direction.’ That’s been the district’s position ever since, ” Washauer said. Amoroso and Christensen both declined to comment on Washauer’s

dismissal, citing California Government Code 6254, which allows the district to withhold records that are “personnel, medical, or similar the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.” “One can surmise all sorts of things [about the rationale behind my dismissal], but surmising is not the reality ... My assumption is if they had a good reason, they would have stated it and probably would have given me the option of resigning,” Washauer said. Several individuals questioned why Washauer was fired, given the girls’ successful tennis season this year. “We [the team] just came out of a D1 NCS [North Coast Section] win in both team and doubles. This was the best season we’ve ever had in my opinion so when we learned Bill was fired right after that season we were all shocked,” junior and next year’s co-captain Jamilah Karah said. In the 13 years Washauer has been head coach of the tennis program, he has coached the tennis teams


Bill Washauer (center) with the 2018 boys’ tennis team.


Bill Washauer (center) with the 2018 girls’ tennis team. to eight regular-season pennants, 10 MCAL tournaments, and two NCS titles. The Friday following Washauer’s firing, several members of the girls’ tennis team met with principal J.C. Farr and pushed for him to be reinstated. “Nothing useful came of our meeting with Farr,” junior and one of next year’s girls’ tennis captains, Katie Bulger, said. “We ended up just going in circles and came out with nothing more than we went in with.” Thirty-two parents, coaches, and players spoke on Washauer’s behalf at a Tamalpais Union High School District board of trustees meeting on January 17. “Bill instilled important life lessons around discipline, time management, hard work, commitment, teamwork, and grit, all key ingredients for building important life skills,” tennis parent Ken Broad said at the meeting. “If those words sound familiar, they should. They were drawn almost verbatim from your [Tam Union’s] newly revised mis-

sion statement. The firing of Bill Washauer is completely antithetical to your vision for Tam.” Supporters put together a petition on gopetition.com asking the district to “provide an explanation of process and due diligence for the firing of tennis coach Bill Washauer from his coaching position at Tam High,” collecting 243 signatures as of this March. Soon after Washauer was fired, the district hired former head coach of American Tennis School Tex Swain to coach the boys’ upcoming season. According to Swain, he asked Washauer for permission to interview for the position. Swain quit for unknown reasons on March 11. It is unclear when a permanent replacement coach will be hired.♦




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