the axe magazine online, issue 4 thanksgiving 2020


Journalism Rookie Reporters Throw Down with the News Briefs

Holiday Desserts • Vegan Thanksgiving

What We'll Never Take for Granted Again After Lockdown

Amazing Animal Pals








With thanks to Brenda Brainard

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.

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:




Th – 11/26 Thanksgiving

Fr – 11/27 No School

Mo – 11/30 Week 11

We – 12/9 Last day for seniors to submit graduation orders

Mo – 12/7 Week 12

Th – 12/10 Last Day of Trimester 1

Fr – 12/11 No School: Trimester 1 Grading Day

Junior/Senior Night Ongoing starting 11/19

Here's the link to access the Weekly Announcements Newsletter with more student information and calendar items.

THE rookies report



Music Imitates Life

While it feels that the world is crumbling around us, some musicians are using their extra time to produce music that helps them to process recent events. Many artists have released acoustic, unplanned albums, most notably Taylor Swift’s hit album Folklore. Many musical releases have also been pushed back or released in unconventional ways, like Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia or Ariana Grande’s Positions. Quarantine has had a substantial impact on the modern music scene. –By Rowan Davis

DeFazio wins 18th Term

Peter DeFazio and Alek Skarlatos faced off in Oregon’s Congressional District 4 House of Representatives race on Nov. 3. DeFazio was seeking his 18th consecutive term, but he had to face Alek Skarlatos, who is known for stopping a terrorist attack in France in 2015. The anticipation for this race was intense, but Peter DeFazio pulled away to win his 18th consecutive term. –By Elliott Hunt

Online Learning

Online learning had been hard for nearly everyone, students across the nation, especially. COVID hit hard and continued to rage on, but students pushed through and went to school. Online learning was rough and probably the most stressful time for many students, but they still pushed on. Their teachers helped them through it and continued to be strong for their students, which was greatly appreciated. And even though it more than likely it didn't always show, teachers' hard work was noticed and appreciated. –By Kiarra Jobe

third-party voters

Jo Jorgenson, 2020's Libertarian presidential candidate, won the second most votes in Libertarian Party history, with 1.18 percent and a total of 1,836,427 votes. Jorgensen is also the Libertarian Party’s first female candidate. Her vision is to move toward "smaller government," because a larger government model has created many problems, including being trillions in debt, skyrocketing healthcare costs and high imprisonment rates. – By Isaiah Myco

the lights are on!

Roughly 43 percent of people who celebrate holidays have already started putting up decorations for the holidays before Thanksgiving. These decorations include putting up lights inside and outside their houses. The reason behind the trend is presumably about being more festive this difficult year; seeing lights and holiday decorations before the actual holidays might mean a more cheerful, if distanced, season. –By Samaya Madrone

A Second Lockdown

In the past month, Oregon has seen an increase in new COVID-19 cases. On Nov. 12, the state broke its previous case record and reported 1,122 new cases. This uptick caused Gov. Brown to reinstate many of the quarantine restrictions put in place early during pandemic. For the next two weeks, restaurants are limited to takeout, businesses are required to close or limit shoppers, and indoor recreational areas are also closed. These new restrictions are concerning, as Oregon has not fully recovered economically from the first stages of quarantine restrictions. – By Hollis Mann


a celebration of truth



An Axe Magazine Online Collaboration


The Axe Magazine Online staff talk to Brenda Brainard (second from top left), director of 4J's NATIVES program. Brainard spoke about the lack of education about Indigenous history in Oregon schools.

Who among us isn’t familiar with those Thanksgiving paradigms – pilgrims, Native Americans, horns of plenty, breaking bread a chummy meal gone down in history.

Except we now know that was more myth than authentic memory. The things we still remember are romanticized to the point of verging on fiction, while the ugly parts of history have simply been erased from our collective memories.

Realizing that our knowledge in Indigenous history was relatively limited, the Axe Magazine Online staff decided to learn more. We wondered how to think about Thanksgiving, and the usual coverage of it in journalism, differently, and reached out to Brenda Brainard, author of 4J’s Land Acknowledgement.

(For those who don’t know, a land acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes the fact that Americans are operating on what was once all Indigenous land.)

Brainard, director of the 4J NATIVES program, has dedicated her life to teaching Indigenous history from the perspective of Indigenous people. Since the early 90’s, she has advocated for Native American students in 4J and their inclusion in the curriculum at all grade levels.

But engaging people in the work has not always been so easy. Brainard says that it’s been a “long and hard” journey.

“I’ve spent the first 28 years [in 4J] beating my head on the proverbial brick wall to get native students to be seen, to be counted,” Brainard told AMO.

But she knows that all of it – struggles included – are part of the work.

“Things that my elders gave me to do have come to fruition in my time in 4J,” Brainard proudly states.

Brainard speaks with the confidence and dexterity of a lifelong educator (she also has a JD and a career in law). In conversation, it is abundantly clear that she values the Native American students of 4J and has a special place in her heart for her own tribe.

As a child in the mid-’50s, Brainard’s tribe, the Miluk Coos – along with dozens of others across Oregon – had their lands bought for well below its value, and their people were forcibly relocated by the U.S. government.

“Terminated,” she tells us with finality.

The word hangs solemnly in the middle of our conversation.

“Termination – it’s what you do to bugs or vermin,” she says.

The cheery images of pilgrim hats and hand turkeys fall away as we consider a broader perspective on the historical context of Thanksgiving.

“I was born a recognized Indian,” Brainard says. And in just a few years, the government had decided, you are no longer an Indian.

In fact, during the 1950s, about 70 of Oregon’s tribes were terminated by the Federal government, their lands stolen and sold; by 1960, only three tribes remained recognized. After decades of struggle, only six of those terminated tribes have been reinstated. This history, along with other hard truths, is what Brainard wants to teach.

“If you don’t teach people about history, [then] we keep glorifying the romantic West, and we see ‘heroes’ who have done nothing bad,” Brainard said. “I think we need to be honest. Even little kids can get it. [But] I think we don’t teach it because we don’t want kids to feel bad.”

And while she isn’t advocating for teaching first graders about genocides and lynchings, Brainard does not believe we should make up our own fictions in order to hide the terrible parts of history or to make children feel better.

Instead of feeling bad, Brainard wants us to “feel badly”: to understand, to empathize and to elevate Native American voices.

“Stand west and look east,” she says, sort of summing up the truth of historical context, “and imagine how frightening it was.”

'termination – it's what you do to bugs or vermin.'


In our hour together, we discover Brainard loves Thanksgiving; just not the romanticized version that is untrue and harmful to Indigenous people.

That isn’t to say that she rejects teaching that history. When parents or teachers wonder what to tell kids about the historical context, Brainard minces no words.

“What should I teach? The truth,” she says emphatically. “There’s nothing wrong with teaching a true Thanksgiving.”

It turns out it’s Columbus Day in October – now celebrated as Indigenous People’s day – that Brainard takes real issue with. While she fully supports the purging of Columbus Day, simply swapping it out feels like a weak and token gesture.

“We don’t really celebrate indigeneity,” she explains. “We celebrate anti-Columbus.” Rebranding to Indigenous People’s Day simply hands Native Americans the “scum leftovers” of a deeply traumatic historical event packaged as a holiday.



When asked about her current goals, Brainard’s response goes right back to her work in education, namely the efforts around Senate Bill 13 – the 2017 law that, according to, directs the “Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to create K-12 Native American Curriculum for inclusion in Oregon public schools.”

“My hope for the future is that SB 13 curriculum gets completed across all grades,” Brainard says.

And while this request may seem simple and modest, the truth is that it is a subtle and powerful way of reclaiming identity.

“I didn’t think I would live long enough to see [it] completed,” Brainard tells the Axe Magazine Online.

So enjoy the loved ones you see, whether by Zoom or in real life, this Thanksgiving holiday. Cook something delicious and savor a special meal. Gratitude is never a bad thing.

“Thanksgiving is a good time to be thankful,” Brainard says. “There’s a lot of things to be truly thankful for.”

And remember, Native Americans will always exist.

“Indian people are still here on an everyday scale,” Brainard says.

Cedar bark baskets woven by Brenda Brainard. Photo: Courtesy of Brenda Brainard.

axe staff take-aways

    • The sentiment of coming together to express gratitude is still valuable, but that doesn’t have to come from a fairy tale that white people altered in their favor. –Ivan Freck

    • I also was most surprised by her quotes about terminated tribes and what that means and how that feels to hear, and the time it has taken to get some tribes recognized again. –Mira Ciccarello

    • We should be teaching every student about the history and the reality of Native lives today. –James McKeon

    • I could hardly believe how much time and work it has taken to get to where we are now in Oregon in regards to Native rights, when we are still so few steps down the road in the right direction. The number of U.S. legal processes tribes must go through so their history and present is actually taught is horrifying to me... All of that work has been left to Native people alone, with little to no help. –Natasha Dracobly

    • It breaks my heart that years and years of hard work had to be done in order for schools to teach authentic history... Non-Native people have to step up and uplift Native voices, rather than ignore them. We are on stolen land, the least we can do is advocate and uplift Native communities. –Elita Kutateli

    • The celebration of our so-called land needs to be replaced with the remembrance and reminder of the genocide and violence Native communities experienced.Sarah Dione

    • It has taken blood, sweat and tears for students to finally be taught authentic history... U.S. schools need to be better about teaching students the truth, no matter the grade level. Sophia Telaroli

Arts & Features


‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles' redux

Neal Page, an ‘80s marketing man played by Steve Martin, has a cab stolen from him two days before Thanksgiving, in a last-minute attempt to get to the airport and home to his family in Chicago. He runs into the cab thief at the airport, and is assigned a seat right next to him. Del Griffith, played by the late John Candy, sells shower curtain rings for a living. During an emergency land in Wichita, the two end up scrambling home to Chicago together. But it’s grueling for the clashing personalities. This classic Thanksgiving movie, released in 1995, showcases both the crazy and wonderful in every family. – By Sarah Dione


After losing her job and having a somewhat awful day Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) has to go home for the holidays and try to navigate the mayhem of a thanksgiving dinner. This classic Thanksgiving themed movie, released in 1995, perfectly showcases the balance between crazy and wonderful in every family. It embodies a feeling many have felt, in regards to family, but never quite been able to explain. With many laughable moments, a hint of romance and lots of drama this movie is enjoyable for everyone and will quickly become a family favorite. –By Mira Ciccarello

cranberry bread

This recipe makes two loaves.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:

1 pound cranberries, cut in half

4 cups white and/or whole wheat flour (half of each is great)

1 cup white sugar

1 Tbsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Baking soda

2 tsp. Salt

Wet Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. Melted butter

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup grapefruit juice

2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together, then pour into dry and mix. Fold in cranberries.

Grease the bread pan, and pour in batter. Bake for at least 40 minutes, usually more like an hour. When a knife comes out clean, take bread out and let cool for 1 hour. Then, wrap in foil to keep it moist. Do not overbake. –Soju Hokari

holiday desserts

Compiled from by Sophia Telaroli

Turkey Brownies

What you’ll need:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix (yields 20 brownies)

  • 10 orange mini m&ms, halved

  • 20 mini York peppermint patties

  • 1 bag candy corn

  • 1 package candy eyeballs

  • 2 oz. melting chocolate

  • 1 toothpick

Directions :

  1. Bake the brownies per the instructions on the box and let cool.

  2. Melt the melting chocolate per the instructions on the package. Use a toothpick to dot a tiny bit of melted chocolate on the back of each candy eyeball. Adhere both eyeballs to the York patty.

  3. Do the same for the halved M%M, and place vertically right beneath the eyeballs for the turkey’s nose.

  4. Use a toothpick to spread a bit of melted chocolate on the back of the York patty towards the top. Put one piece of candy corn in the middle and one on either side, making a fan-like shape. Make sure to press evenly so the candy corn can adhere.

  5. Use a toothpick to spread a bit of melted chocolate on the back of the York patty towards the bottom. Place the York patty onto the brownie, and adhere.

Pumpkin Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Cupcakes: 1 box Betty Crocker super moist yellow cake mix

  • 1 cup of pure pumpkin

  • ½ cup of water

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Frosting: 2 containers Betty Crocker vanilla frosting

  • ½ cup salted caramel sauce

Topping: 24 Hershey Rolos Chocolate, unwrapped, quartered

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

  • ¼ cup salted caramel sauce

  • Coarse sea salt if desired


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.

  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full).

  3. Bake 14 to 19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. In medium bowl ,mix frosting and 1/2 cup caramel sauce with spoon until well blended. Spoon frosting into large resealable freezer plastic bag; partially seal. Cut off bottom corner of bag. Pipe frosting on outside edge of cupcake and spiraling up toward center. Decorate with 4 Rolos™ pieces and 1 teaspoon pecans. Repeat steps to frost and decorate with each cupcake.

  5. When ready to serve, drizzle 1/4 cup caramel sauce on cupcakes and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

a very vegan thanksgiving

The star of the show, the centerpiece of the dining table, everyone’s favorite food : Turkey. Turkeys are the face of thanksgiving, most Americans only have it once a year and look forward to it. But, what is the cost of having that Turkey on the table? Where did it come from? The answers to these questions can be unpleasant, so here is a short list out of many reasons why you should rethink having turkey this Thanksgiving :

  • 240 million turkeys are slaughtered every year in the U.S ; 46 million die for Thanksgiving.

  • Commercial turkeys are bred to grow an abnormally large size, which results in immense suffering: inability to walk, heart failure, and early death.

  • Turkeys love to be pet, they are able to create deep emotional connections because they are naturally bright and social animals.

  • Commercial turkeys are forced to sacrifice their entire lives, for one meal.

  • Turkeys are not protected under the federal Humane Slaughter Act, because of this, Turkeys are oftentimes conscious when killed which causes immense pain.

  • Not only are Turkeys mistreated in industrial slaughterhouses, workers are as well. Working in an industrial slaughterhouse is one of the most dangerous jobs: exploitative work conditions, low wages, and lack of basic necessities.

  • Animal agriculture is a big problem, it is one of the leading causes of climate change. Contributing to the world’s carbon water footprint, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and much more.

  • Most Thanksgiving dishes are already vegan, or can easily be made vegan. There are many incredible vegan recipes available for pies, mac and cheese, and other classic Thanksgiving foods. In addition, simple dairy alternatives for butter, cheese, and milk are all available at most grocery stores.

Regardless of your opinion on veganism as a social movement, it is always important to recognize where your food comes from, and what you are exactly paying for. Veganism is not about having a perfect, plant-based diet, it is about taking the steps in the right direction.

visually speaking

it's thanksgiving, and you're on mute


South by the Numbers

We’ve all experienced our high school. But how well do we really know it?

By Soju Hokari

In October, the Oregon Department of Education released their annual school profiles for the 2019-2020 school year. Here’s how the numbers played out.

As of last year, almost a third of South students are non-white, with a significant number self-reporting as “multi-racial.” The numbers are similar at other 4J schools, where a little over two-thirds of the student body is white:

While all of 4J seems to be pretty similar in racial makeup, a large wealth gap exists between some 4J highschools.

South is similar to Sheldon in wealth (although one school or the other may be wealthier in higher income brackets), but that similarity gets flipped on its head when comparing vaccination rates, a statistic where South is a complete outlier:

And while the ODE’s annual school reports give a fair amount of information, there are other categories that it does not cover. To fill that gap, the SEHS Social Justice Leadership class administered a survey last year that came back with these results:

Due to a smaller sample size, we cannot know exactly what percentage of South students are transgender, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming; however, we do know that at least 3.6% and as many as 14% are. South Eugene High School has a non-negligible percentage of LGBTQ+ students.

Sources: 2019-2020 SEHS Social Justice Leadership Student Survey, 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 ODE At-A-Glance Profiles for South, Sheldon, Churchill and North

signs of life

teachers' pets


Peter Hoffmeister and puppy Dragon.

Two of the sweet creatures from the Tubman household.

Jennifer Garland-Warren and her amazing cat Daisy.

Bobbie Willis's quarantine canine family addition Thor.


doing a good deed

Despite pandemic and lockdown, don't forget the ways in which we have always been #southstrong. Here is a photo from South's 2018-19 blood drive, an annual event providing lifesaving donations for those in need.

thank you for reading the axe magazine online!