Back to School

the axe magazine online issue 10

14 April 2021



BACK TO SCHOOL by Bettina Wu, Will Borrevik and Soju Hokari




AP Tests • Solar Events • Basketball Geography



Land Acknowledgement

Eugene School District 4j, South Eugene High School, and your Axe Magazine online would like to acknowledge that our institution sits on the homelands of the Kalapuya people.

In the Treaties of 1851 and 1854-1855, and the subsequent forced removals of many Indian people from western Oregon, some of the Kalapuya were moved to the Grand Ronde Reservation and some were moved to the Siletz Reservation. It is important to note that all of Lane County was an important trading and gathering area for camas and other resources.

During the Restoration Era, from 1977-1989, Lane County was designated at the Service Area for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.

Eugene 4J District and South wish to acknowledge that descendants of the original and Service Area inhabitants of this land are still here today. They are thriving members of our schools and our communities. Countless members of other Tribes now also call our community and schools their home.

We wish to thank those original stewards of this land. We as outsiders on this land wish to remember that we need to take good care of this land and take good care of all members of our school district and community. Thank you for joining us.

Land acknowledgement courtesy of Brenda Brainard.

mission statement

The Axe is dedicated to the goals and ethics of journalism. As a student-run publication, our mission is to both inform the student body and spark discussion among the student body about the news within South Eugene High School and the wider community. We function under an open forum policy. We accept and may use in our publication the feedback and commentary of our readers. Email all inquiries:

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Vaccinations Continue

Four months after the first healthcare workers received the COVID-19 vaccine, many South students and families are receiving their shots at local pharmacies and clinics.

Students and community members can choose from the three authorized vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. While the two-shot Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 16 and older, the two-shot Moderna and one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines remain limited to those older than 18. Currently, Phase 1A and Phase 1B (including frontline workers, those older than 65, and educators) are eligible for the vaccine, with Phase 2 eligibility beginning on Apr. 19. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose; currently 25.65 percent of adults are fully vaccinated in Lane County. Vaccines are available at local pharmacies and vaccine clinics. Visit the Lane County website for more specific information. – Story by Lina Nakagome and Illustration by Bettina Wu.

Wifi Hotspots

The Eugene Public Library is now accepting donations to purchase 300 wifi hotspots with the goal of lending them out to the community in the same way the library lends books. WiFi hotspots are small devices that can be carried around to connect electronics, such as mobile phones and laptops, to the internet. The Eugene Public Library is hoping to use this fundraiser as a method of closing the broadband gap between social classes as the need for internet access grows more and more urgent. Donations toward the $60,000 dollar goal can be made on the Eugene Public Library Foundation website and will be accepted until Apr. 24. –Bettina Wu

British Variant now Most Prevalent

On Apr. 7, the British variant of COVID-19 became the most dominant strain in the U.S. The variant, known as Lineage B.1.1.7, was first found in Ireland and Great Britain last fall and is believed to be up to 70 percent more contagious than its counterparts. More than half of all recent, new COVID cases in the U.S. are said to be of this variant. Currently, the variant seems to be effectively combated by the COVID-19 vaccines. Variants of viruses are formed when viruses mutate while replicating themselves. At present, there are variants originating from Britain, South Africa, Brazil, and California. –Bettina Wu.

Students walk into South’s front entrance in a single-file line Monday morning. Photo by Soju Hokari.

Back to School

396 days later, South students return to the building

By Bettina Wu, Will Borrevik, and Soju Hokari

South’s 8:30 bell did not ring Monday morning as students filed into the school building for the first time in more than a year for the start of hybrid learning. Spaced six feet apart, masked students quickly walked down the right side of the hallways to their first classes of the day.

In the hallways, there was a notable lack of clustered students or congestion. In the classroom, students and teachers met in groups that numbered between six and 20 people. Teachers juggled students both in the classroom and online.

The atmosphere was one of muted excitement and anticipation.

“I’m a little nervous,” sophomore Leo Chan said. “I don’t know what my schedule’s going to look like. I don’t know where my classes are.”

Chan is most looking forward to his IHS class, where he will see his tight-knit class in-person for the first time in more than a year, but he still has reservations about seeing people again.

“I’m stressed out not just about school,” Chan said, “but also about seeing all my friends again. It’s going to be weird.”

Along with the stresses of going back to school, students remain somewhat concerned about COVID-19. Even with classrooms at half capacity and routine sanitization of shared spaces, some amount of risk cannot be avoided.

“My biggest concern is the transition [between classes],” Chan said. “Before COVID, I could barely get through the halls [at school].”

Story continued below

Top: Students wait outside South’s front entrance before school Monday morning.

Bottom: South Eugene High School sits still on Monday Morning before the start of in-person school.

Photos by Soju Hokari

Students walk through the Main hallway between first and second periods. Lines and arrows on the floor directed traffic, and the transition was abnormally quiet without the usual music and announcements. Photo by Soju Hokari.

Mixed sentiments were shared by most students, many of whom shared their expected hybrid struggles, such as getting used to a classroom setting and readjusting socially and mentally.

“[I feel] nervous because I’m going to have to re-memorize where everything is and because a main factor of going to hybrid for me is re-learning the skill of being around people without going into panic mode,” sophomore Bella McBride said.

But despite the trepidation, humor was not lost on those who got to experience in-person learning.

“Honestly I want to be at home more right now,” sophomore Morgan Collins said. “But I guess it’s good to get out.”

“At least people can see how incredibly hot I am in person instead of on zoom now,” sophomore Anna Staruch said.

Even as schools reopen for hybrid learning, Lane County has been issued a warning from the state about increasing levels of COVID-19 and a possible return to a “high risk” level from the “lower risk” level that Lane County has been at since March 26.

Photo by Green Chameleon from

upcoming AP tests

AP exams are happening May 3 to June 11, and students have the option to take them online from home or in-person at exam sites.

By Lina Nakagome

As South students begin studying for the 2021 AP tests, which will take place through May and early June, many of them are finding it difficult to prepare due to the effects of distance learning.

Every year, thousands of high school sophomore and juniors take AP (short for Advanced Placement) tests offered by the College Board. These tests are often used in college admissions, and they enable students to earn college credit during high school. At a high school like South, where academics can be a major point of pressure, many students are wondering about the potential impacts of the coronavirus on AP exams, on top of the usual stresses of studying for them.

AP U.S. History teacher Brad Jungert explained that the switch to distance learning has had a dramatic effect on his class.

“The test is the same, but prep is different,” Jungert said. “I am recording review videos or sharing someone's video review. That is because we, [AP U.S. History] classes, have not finished reading the textbook.”

Because of the online-learning schedule, students only attend two or three classes each day, as opposed to the usual five, meaning that the amount of learning material students can cover in class is significantly limited.

Jungert recommends students start studying “the first week of third trimester” — AP U.S. History classes end after the second trimester — “and review two [historical] time periods a week.”

A common way in which students prepare for the tests is to review the material through notes, books, and videos.

“I basically just read the teacher’s notes and highlight/annotate them,” sophomore Jeffrey Chen said.

Sophomore Kelsey Bouse is going to study by “watching ‘Crash Course U.S. History’ videos, rereading the textbook and going through my Princeton Review book.”

The Princeton Review book is a popular AP study guide. It includes several practice tests and answers, a general overview of the exam, tips and techniques on how to approach the test, and concise content review.

“Crash Course,” a YouTube channel led by John and Hank Green, is loved by students and teachers alike. These videos are typically around 10 minutes long and are lighthearted, comedic at times and easy to follow, unlike most educational videos. As a result, many students binge-watch them before the exams and find it to be pretty effective.The College Board also has review websites set up for each test.

According to Jungert, students should invest the study time to be effectively prepared for the test.

Take three to four hours a week to review, and chunk out the time in one hour increments. Make sure to take review quizzes and at least one practice test.

Brad Jungert

Some students are finding that a change of scenery can help their study sessions. Sophomore Robbie Spence, for example, has organized a study group where students meet at Tugman Park to review chapters and quiz each other.

In addition, test dates and locations are different this year. Students can choose to take their AP exams online at home or in-person at the usual locations (such as high schools or exam centers). While the testing environment and preparation time will be impacted by the circumstances of pandemic, the effort and diligence needed to succeed remains unchanged, and students will still receive much-needed support from both their peers and teachers as the exam dates approach.

A view of the Alley from the street depicting the glass covered promenade and the new Nike Store. The Market Alley is sandwiched between a new retail building and an apartment complex. Photo by Helen Evans

5th street expansion

By Helen Evans

Eugene’s 5th Street Public Market expansion has new shops, restaurants and a new hotel. Market Alley, the focal point of the new expansion and located across the street from the original 5th Street Public Marketplace, is an open-air walkway lined with local businesses open just in time for springtime outings.

While a majority of the shops are still under construction and will likely open near summertime, the Alley is on its way to being a hotspot for the Eugene community. Here are a few of the currently-open shops.

Handel's Homemade Ice Cream

Handel’s is a fun red, white and blue ice cream shop located on the north side of the Alley. They serve ice cream and frozen yogurt with more than a hundred different flavors on rotation. If you’re not in the mood for a plain and simple ice cream cone, Handel’s also offers specialty desserts, such as banana splits, Hurricanes (an equivalent to the DQ Blizzard) and Handel Pops, which are scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, mint chip and a specialty flavor) dipped in chocolate and poked with a popsicle stick for easy consumption.

An outdoor shot of Handel’s red, white, and blue storefront. With a multitude of frozen confections this ice cream shop is a great place to treat yourself. Photo by Helen Evans

A small corner packed to the brim with greenery, The Basic Botanist is the perfect stop for all things plant related. Photo by Helen Evans

The Basic Botanist

This tiny shop is practically bursting at the seams with greenery of all shapes and sizes. The goal of The Basic Botanist is to infuse the outdoors into your inside life. They specialize in Pacific Northwest tropical plants, while also carrying accessories, such as pots and soil to make your new plants comfortable in your home. The employees inside the store are very friendly and can answer any questions you may have concerning the care for different plant species. With the smell of freshly tilled soil and the vibrant foliage all around you, it's almost impossible to walk out without a few new houseplants.

Nike By Eugene

The Nike store is one of the main attractions within the new 5th Street Market Alley. It is located at the opening of the Alley on the left-hand side and, per usual chain store fashion, the Nike store looks and functions almost identically to all of its sister stores. The bright and airy venue is full of bold colors and sleek fashion that inspire activity. Two-thirds of the store is devoted to clothing and apparel situated around a fun seating arrangement in the center of the store. The back of the store has two walls of shoes complete with couches to sit in and try on shoes, and employees ready to be of assistance.

The minimalist seating arrangement inside Nike is surrounded by bright activewear. The Nike store carries shoes, athletic clothes and fun statement pieces that can be combined into your everyday wardrobe. Photo by Helen Evans

Shops coming later this year include: Magpie Coffee shop, Marely’s Monsters (a sustainable living shop), Pedego Electric Bikes, Beaudet Jewelry Design, and Carlita’s Tacos, a rooftop restaurant to be located on top of the Gordon Hotel.

The bustling alley is full of eager shoppers exploring the new shops and restaurant, the covered promenade is complete with benches, tables and heaters to create an enticing atmosphere. Photo by Helen Evans


Photo by Naomi Saenger

Back-to-School Breakfasts!

Healthy fun breakfasts are key to start your day of learning.

By Naomi Saenger

Going back to in-person school is a time of turbulence and stress, and breakfast can be that constant, calming aspect in your life when you use my simple make-ahead recipes. Listed below are breakfasts that can fit your new, hybrid-learning lifestyle; you can make a batch of muffins on a Sunday to prepare for the school week; you can make overnight oats the night before a busy day; or you can whip up a quick recipe before school.

Recipes to Make Ahead for the Week

As the type of person who likes to be organized and prepared for the coming week, I try to make a large batch of food ahead of time that I can eat every morning.

Banana Bread Muffins

Enjoy these muffins with a generous spread of nut butter.

Adapted from After School Bakery


  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas

  • 5 and 1/2 tablespoons (75g) melted butter

  • ½ cup sugar (100-200g) (adjust according to the ripeness of my bananas)

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 and 1/2 cup (200g) all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line or oil a 12 muffin pan.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients in the order in which they are listed, whisking briefly between each addition.

  4. Use a large ice cream scoop to fill each well about 2/3 of the way up in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the tops of each with sparkling sugar or extra chocolate chips.

  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the muffins are puffed tall, and a toothpick comes out clean when tested into a muffin.

  6. Let the muffins cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Enjoy warm, or set to cool completely to room temperature on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Enjoy this easy egg frittata in a breakfast sandwich, or enjoy plain topped with salsa!

Recipe by Brekkie with Naomi


  • 8 large eggs

  • ½ cup of milk (cow or your favorite alternative)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 onion

  • Any vegetable add-ins you want

  • Optional Bacon and/or Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the eggs, milk, and seasonings.

  2. Heat neutral oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Bacon lover? Add some bacon and cook until browned.

  3. Add onions and any favorite vegetables (pepper, kale, spinach), and cook until onions are softened.

  4. Lower heat and add egg mixture. Stir to evenly disperse the vegetables. Optionally drop some of your favorite cheese (goat, light cheddar) evenly on top. Transfer to oven.

  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the eggs are set and not jiggling. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Enjoy warm, or store pre-cut slices individually in the refrigerator.

Recipes to Make Ahead for the Next Morning

If you have a busy day planned for the next day or if you have a test first period to stress about, make breakfast the night before!

Overnight Oats

This is a go-to summer breakfast for me that I love to enjoy cold or warmed up.

Recipe by Brekkie with Naomi (author Naomi Saenger)


  • ½ cup rolled/old fashioned oats

  • ½ - 1 cup of milk (cow or your favorite alternative)

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, hemp hearts, or flax seeds

  • 1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice (honey, granulated sugar, or maple syrup)

  • A small splash of vanilla extract

  • Optional add-ins for before the overnight soak (i.e, dried fruit, mashed banana, cinnamon, coconut).

  • Optional add-ins for right before you eat it (i.e. nuts, chocolate chips, nut butter, fruit).


  1. Place all ingredients into a bowl with a covering (like a mason jar), and mix vigorously to make sure there are no lumps. Adjust the amount of milk to your liking (½ cup for thicker oatmeal; 1 cup for thinner).

  2. Tightly seal and store at least two hours or overnight and up to five days in the refrigerator.

  3. When ready to eat, mix it up and enjoy with your favorite toppings!

Quick Day-Of Breakfasts

Only have half an hour before school, and haven’t made breakfast yet? These recipes are quick, easy, and adaptable.

Shaye Hazen’s Breakfast Quesadilla

South sophomore and breakfast lover Shaye Hazen describes this Breakfast Quesadilla as, “A hug in the form of a food.”

Recipe by Shaye Hazen


  • Lavash flat bread or tortilla

  • Nut butter

  • Banana

  • Cinnamon

  • Granola


  1. Spread nut butter inside flatbread or tortilla, and place a cut up banana on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and granola, before folding it in half.

  2. Warm a skillet over medium, and add quesadilla. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown, and the nut butter has melted.

  3. Serve warm, and enjoy immediately.

Upcoming Solar Events

Looking for something to do in the coming months as the weather improves? Get outside and see some of these amazing solar events.

Story and illustration by Mira Ciccarello

Super Pink Moon: April 27, 2021

The super pink moon falls on April 27. This event is a result of the moon's full phase coinciding with its perigee, or the point in its orbit when it comes closest to Earth. The full moon combined with its closeness to the Earth makes it appear abnormally large and bright (the effect is most visible when the moon first rises over the horizon). But do not expect any change in the moon's color; the name “Pink Moon” comes from a North American wildflower species called Moss Pink that typically blooms early in the month.

Meteor Showers: April 16, 2021 - May 28, 2021

The Lyrids meteor shower is predicted to happen between April 16 and April 30, peaking on April 22. This is a medium strength meteor shower that can produce high levels of fireballs. It is best seen from the northern hemisphere.

Overlapping with the Lyrids shower, the Eta Aquarids shower is going on from April 19 to May 28. This shower will produce 10-30 meteors per hour and although the meteors will not produce as many fireballs as the Lyrids shower, the trails caused by them will be much more persistent.

Total Lunar Eclipse: May 26, 2021

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes completely through the Earth's shadow. During this eclipse, the moon will gradually get darker and then take on a rusty or blood-red color. This eclipse occurs on May 26, at the same time as another full/super moon.


Winter Sports Preview

By Clara Snelling

With South’s spring sports season concluding in May, it’s time to move on to… winter sports? That’s right. The winter sports season will be beginning in late spring and wrapping up just before summer break due to Coronavirus rescheduling. Students participating in wrestling, swimming, and basketball this season will be following proper COVID-19 protocols. Although you may not be able to watch our athletes compete in -person, you can access live streams of South sporting events using the Boxcast Channel via the South Eugene athletics page. Go Axe!

West Coast Best in March Madness

The left side of the country could be primed for a basketball revival.

By Ivan Freck

Bucking a trend that has persisted in recent years, both the women’s and men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament were dominated by teams on the western side of the country.

On the men’s side, Baylor’s decisive victory over Gonzaga sealed the first championship for a team west of the Mississippi River since 2008. However, it wasn’t just the Bears finding success, as seven of the Elite Eight came from the region that could loosely be described as the West, with four of those teams (USC, Oregon State, UCLA and Gonzaga) originating from Pacific Coast states.

Over in the women’s tournament, the regional divide was more balanced with an even split in both the Elite Eight and Final Four. But the final was decided between two Pac-12 schools, as Stanford topped Arizona in a 54-53 nailbiter. While western teams have seen a tad more success in women’s basketball than men’s as of late (13 teams from the West have made the Final Four in the prior decade, compared to just seven for the men), it was the first title for a western team outside the state of Texas since the Cardinal themselves back in 1992.

Whether or not the regional balance of power shifts in college basketball remains to be seen. Teams east of the Mississippi have won almost two-thirds of the NCAA Tournaments played (26/39 for the women, 53/81 for the men). Perhaps the decline of the traditional powerhouses on the East Coast, think Duke and Kentucky for men’s basketball and Notre Dame and Tennessee for women’s, has allowed other strong programs to surface without any geographical disadvantages of the past. Or maybe the shift in population from east to west has increased the odds of western schools landing top recruits. Or it might just be a statistical quirk that is not replicated again. Whatever the case may be, we will have to wait and see if a new era of West Coast dominated basketball has begun.

A map showing the locations of each college that made the Elite Eight in this year’s NCAA Tournaments. Stars indicate the national champions, circles the runners-up, squares Final Four participants, and triangles Elite Eight teams.

Signs of Life

Stop Asian Hate

Mourners and protesters gather at a Stop Asian Hate rally in downtown Eugene on March 21 after a shooter killed eight, including six Asians, in Georgia. Organizers spoke about the growing amounts of anti-Asian racism experienced in the past few months. Photos by Soju Hokari.



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