issue 5 cold hands, warm heart

Land acknowledgment

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:

Covid-19 information

Check out the links below for information on how to get a Covid-19 booster, and places to get tested.

Places to get a booster

Places to get Tested

covid-19 updates

By Natasha Dracobly

The COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the U.S., and many guidelines are changing again. Here’s what you need to know to navigate the spread.

4J has updated its COVID-19 guidelines to reflect changes to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance, and to attempt to limit the spread of Omicron. These changes include:

      • Making masks optional outdoors on school grounds provided social distance is maintained, in accordance with updated OHA guidance. Masks are still required indoors.

      • Changes to quarantine following exposure for unvaccinated students. Previously, unvaccinated students were required to quarantine for 14 days following exposure to COVID-19. Now, they must quarantine for 10 days or can opt into the “test-to-stay” program. This program requires them to receive negative results on 2 school-administered tests on different days, as well as remain symptomless, in order to stay in school.

      • Changes to sport extracurricular events. Spectators at sporting events will be limited and concession stands will be paused.

      • 4j keeps a running record of all COVID-19 cases in the district, which can be found at

Since the new year, the Omicron variant has driven the case rates of both the state and Lane County to their highest numbers yet. Some information on the spike:

      • Due to the Omicron variant's high transmissibility and relative lack of COVID-19 measures compared to previous waves, case rates are higher than they’ve ever been in the U.S.

      • In light of the high transmission rates, many experts have recommended switching from solely cloth masks to N-95s, K-95s, or a disposable mask with a cloth mask over it. These options do more to filter out particles and are more tight-fitting than cloth masks alone.

      • While “breakthrough” infections, when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus, are common with the variant, the vast majority of vaccinated cases are mild, especially among people who have received their booster shot. Check out the link at the top of the site for information on how to get your booster shot.

      • Testing remains one of the most important ways to prevent further spread of COVID-19, but in the case of Omicron, some tests are more useful than others. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests are the most accurate tests available, especially for detecting the virus early on. They often take 1-2 days to get results back. Rapid Antigen tests return results within a few hours, but are more likely to return a false negative result, especially in asymptomatic cases. Because Rapid Antigen tests require a higher viral load to detect the virus, they are more fallible in the early stages of infection.

      • Though the Omicron variant generally may cause less serious illness than previous variants, areas on the east coast that saw the spike begin several weeks ago are now also seeing hospitalizations and deaths spike again. Because it’s a lagging marker of the virus’s toll, Oregon will not see a spike in deaths until a couple weeks after the original Omicron spike here.

      • A daily-updated rundown of COVID-19 data across the globe, U.S., and specific states and counties can be found at

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidelines.

      • In the updated guidelines, the recommended quarantine length was shortened to five days for unvaccinated individuals, with a COVID-19 test on the 5th day. For vaccinated individuals, the CDC recommends wearing a mask around others for five days, again with a test on the 5th day.

      • For people who test positive for COVID-19, isolation guidelines were shortened to five days provided the person has been fever-free for at least 24 hours, with a further five days of wearing a mask around others. For people who are severely ill with the virus, 10 day isolation is recommended.

The CDC’s full quarantine and isolation guidelines can be found at

winter wonderland

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Photo courtesy of Claudio Schwarz on

Quarantine cutback cause chaos

On Dec. 24, 2021, the Center for Disease Control Prevention, also known as the CDC, announced that quarantine restrictions for those who have contracted the virus will be shortened from 10 to five days, with even milder precautions for asymptomatic people. The decision was ruled by the fact that those infected are most contagious within the two days before and three days after symptoms are active – as well as spiking cases of the fast moving, and potentially milder omicron variant. A “CDC says'' trend on Twitter has stemmed from social media users' disbelief in the change in pace, as well as from the lack of clarity in the CDC’s recent communications. By Sarah Dione

Photo courtesy of Naomi Saenger

Feminist Union Hygiene Drive

South’s Feminist Union and Economic Justice League have teamed up to sponsor a feminine hygiene drive from Jan. 10-31. Period products are very expensive and many people are not able to afford their own. Although menstrual hygiene products are great things to donate, any hygiene products (such as deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, etc.) are also highly appreciated. Products can be dropped off in boxes labeled “Feminist Union. Hygiene Drive” located in certain teacher’s classrooms. See the Feminist Student Union or EJL Instagrams for more info. – By May Lafer-Kirtner


Photo courtesy of Mikkel William on

Photo courtesy of Tim Newman on

Mysterious Man Breaks Into Homes Worldwide; Cookies Stolen

By Marston Scher

Reports of break-ins in over two billion households worldwide have baffled police as people begin to notice an annual pattern

Now that the holiday season has come to an end, we here at Axe Magazine feel that it is our duty to report on the mass break-in that occurred in over two billion homes worldwide on Dec. 24, 2021. According to our sources, the suspect has been entering houses through their chimneys after magically putting out their fires. Some people have tried to deter him by hanging giant, old socks from the mantlepiece to make him believe that giants live there, but so far this tactic has yielded no successful results. Surprisingly, these break-ins are not a one time issue. In fact, they have been happening for a while.

“This has been an annual issue,” said Constance Van Flandern, a mother who is worried about the security of her home and family. “It has been a problem since 2002 in our house, but frankly, I can remember a similar spate of break-ins from when I was a kid.”

She then went on to give a more detailed account of these events.

“It always happens in the middle of the night, after everyone has gone to bed. If this intruder hits your house, you can’t leave anything out. If there are cookies or milk left on the counter, forget about it, it’s gonna be gone,” Van Flandern added.

“I don’t understand how the cops haven’t caught him,” she said. “Every year, he leaves sooty boot marks from size 9 Timberlands. I mean, with all the forensic evidence he leaves behind – DNA on the cookie platter and footprints from the fireplace to our decorated tree – you’d think there would be enough evidence to catch him.”

The primary suspect, who was interrogated in 1947 in a trial on 34th street, claims to be a 1,751-year-old elf known by some as Kris Kringle. The subject has several other aliases including Santa Claus and Father Christmas, and is rumored to be hiding out somewhere in the North Pole.

“The weird thing is, he leaves stuff behind. And expensive stuff too! I don’t know where he gets it all from, but who brings an Easy-Bake Oven on a home invasion?” Van Flandern complained.

Police are asking anyone who may have information about Kringle to contact them so that they can prevent further break-ins of this nature.

Photo by Sophia Telaroli. From left to right is Michael Telaroli, Tavo Santiago, and Marco Telaroli.

ultimate blindfold taste test

By Sophia Telaroli

Which pie is better, S’mores pie or Chocolate cream?

Each holiday season, my family tries a new baked good. This year, we decided on Snoop Dogg’s “Gimme S’mores Pie” from his cookbook From Crook to Cook. We decided to pit this recipe against a classic chocolate cream pie. To make it more interesting, we had a blindfolded taste test of each pie to see which one was better.

I made both pies while my family was out of the house. The S’mores pie had a graham cracker crust filled with a rich chocolate pudding topped with marshmallow whipped cream. The chocolate cream pie had a crushed oreo crust, a creamy chocolate filling topped with fluffy whipped cream.

When my family returned, they were blindfolded and given one slice of each pie. Michael, far left in the picture, and Marco, far right, were given Snoop Dogg’s pie first. Tavo, seated in the middle, was given the chocolate cream pie first. After a few bites of the first slice, they were each given a glass of milk to cleanse their palate. Michael and Marco were then given the chocolate cream pie while Tavo was given Snoop Dogg’s pie. All three ended up finishing the chocolate cream pie while only taking a few small bites of the S’mores Pie.

After eating both pies, all three were asked which pie they preferred. Michael and Marco both preferred the second pie, while Tavo preferred the first pie – both choices happened to be the chocolate cream pie. It is easy to say the winner of the blindfold pie taste test was the Chocolate Cream Pie.

Photo by Bettina Wu

reviewing holiday impulse buys: board and card games

By Bettina Wu

To be honest, as a child I never was a fan of card and board games. Perhaps it was because I lacked the attention span it took to read and understand instruction booklets, or maybe it was because 10-year-old me couldn’t be bothered to play games that were not on an iPhone. Well, all of that changed this last holiday season. It all started on black Friday when my mother spontaneously purchased a game of Exploding Kittens. Soon enough, we began to search for more games that we could play together. Before we knew it, we had added three other games to our cart. Today, I will be reviewing my experience with each one of these games.

Exploding Kittens -Ever since I first heard about Exploding Kittens in middle school, I had always been interested in trying it out. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when my mom announced that she had bought it for sale on Amazon. It arrived a week later in a very cute box, which when opened sang a short tune. Admittedly, I was more excited at the prospect of owning it than actually playing the game, so for a while the game wasn’t played. Exploding Kittens is a physically harmless version of Russian Roulette, but it is stress-inducing in the best way. Although it does seem to depend on luck, there is a lot of strategy involved. It’s very engaging to figure out how to best play the cards in hand.

Ticket to Ride: Europe - Who doesn’t love trains? Ticket to Ride has been a very popular franchise for decades because of its simplicity and uniqueness. This train-building board game is really fun to play with family and friends because it’s super easy to learn. Although it starts off slow, the game ramps up quickly and gets really fun trying to predict where opponents are trying to go.

Pandemic - My mom and I were interested in playing this game after we played a different co-operative game titled “Forbidden Island”. We bought this game after scrolling through a whole bunch of stellar reviews, which then resulted in me having expectations that were way too high. The object of this game is to work with teammates, each of whom get special roles, in order to eradicate four historical diseases: malaria, typhus, yellow fever, and cholera. Although it sounds pretty cool on paper in practice, it wasn’t as interesting as anticipated. When we played the game, it felt boring, which then made it feel a little bit too long.

Calico - Tiktok made me buy it! This game caught my eye because of my love for cats, and any game with a cat on the cover is enough to convince me to buy it. This game lived up to my expectations. Not only is the art absolutely beautiful, the gameplay is also very relaxing and minimally stressful. Although the games reviewed above can technically be played with two people, the lower the number of people playing makes the game less enjoyable.. This problem doesn’t exist with Calico because while it can be competitive, it is a game centered around the player’s own ability to connect tiles in order to attract cats and fulfill objectives. Of this list, it is probably the one that depends most on skill rather than luck, although luck is always helpful.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with our purchases and would recommend any of the games on this list for buying. I’m really glad to have found a new activity to do with my family. I think playing physical games with others is a great bonding activity that everyone should try.

Photo courtesy of South student Naren Mahadevan

will we still have snow days?

By Logan Williamson

Will virtual learning be the end of snow days? With virtual classrooms becoming more common than ever, over the course of the pandemic, schools have realized the potential of moving to online learning, even if students can’t make it to the school. This has opened up the idea of schools around the country going virtual during heavy storms, snowfall, and other weather-related school closures.

With recent snowfall in Eugene, this weather-related question has come up. Some parents argue that even if with the potential of schools going virtual, they would still give their child a little snowy vacation. Others say that due to the disruptive events of the past two years, keeping children in school is more vital than ever.

“Kids can’t afford to be out of school days after the days they missed during the pandemic,” according to high school sophomore Donovan Samms.

Should snow days depend on the climate that you live in? If you were to live in a snowier climate would it be reasonable to have virtual learning days due to more days with snow? On the other hand if you were to live in a place that only snowed once or twice a year, would it be reasonable to leave those days to enjoy?

The current policy at south is that “if school is closed due to inclement weather classes are not held.” according to principal Carey Killen. Principal Killen also stated that having 1:1 tech has opened up many possibilities, and if any change occurs that it will occur across the district and not just at south.

Photo courtesy of Ameer Basheer on

‘American Underdog’ movie review

By Nico Scharn

This underdog couldn’t quite get the job done

American Underdog is a little too much like every other slightly cheesy dark-horse drama. It closely follows a generic line of clichés set by previous films of similar genres, whether or not they were about football.

American Underdog is primarily about Kurt Warner’s rise in the NFL from the late 90s to the early 2000s, but more importantly about how he got there in the first place. The film is mostly set in Iowa and includes Kurt meeting Brenda there early on; her presence serves as a romantic interest for Kurt and motivation to achieve his dreams for the rest of the movie.

The movie stars Zachary Levi (Shazam!, Chuck) as Kurt Warner in a performance often lacking emotion; Anna Paquin (True Blood, The Piano) as Brenda Warner, Kurt’s wife today; and lastly Dennis Quaid (The Parent Trap, A Dog’s Purpose) as Dick Vermeil, Warner’s football coach. Acting may not have been top-notch, Oscar-worthy stuff here, but it certainly got the job done.

Unfortunately, decent acting isn’t quite enough to carry this one to the end zone, as American Underdog suffers from yet another formulaic screenplay riddled through and through with clichés. As the credits rolled and light began to shine in the relatively empty theater for the first time since the movie commenced, I struggled to think of anything original or unique that American Underdog had presented to me within its two hours of run time – this should explain everything you need to know about the movie. If you are OK with spending time digging through an unoriginal film in order to get to an entertaining one, then American Underdog will likely be highly enjoyable to watch. If that does not sound like fun to you, then I wouldn’t recommend it.

American Underdog is rated PG for some language and thematic elements. It runs for one hour and fifty-two minutes and was released on Dec. 15, 2021.

A Call for change

By Mira Ciccarello

Over the past few years, we have all witnessed firsthand the effects of climate change. The summer fires scorching our forests, irregular and erratic weather patterns and of course, we have all seen the heartbreaking videos of polar bears falling through ice. However, even with those experiences, it is difficult to grasp the vastness of the issue; for that, we look to the Arctic.

Recently, studies revealed the highest temperatures ever recorded in the Arctic: 100 degrees fahrenheit, with the average heat increasing by 1.1 degrees (celsius) this year alone. This rise in temperatures caused warmer waters to weaken the Arctic ice shelf, eroding it from the underside. This erosion caused a crack, directly through the thick sheet of ice that many ecosystems depend on. The crack spread so quickly and with such vigor that scientists had taken to calling it The Dagger. The Dagger is more than a mile wide at its center and raises threats for the entire globe. The instability will lead to the collapse of the ice shelf. Once it does so, sea levels will rise, possibly leading to devastating tsunamis; all ecosystems in the Arctic will be destroyed, and bacteria that has been locked in the ice for years will be released, spreading new threats and diseases. Although this may seem like a distant problem, spatially and chronologically, the timeline for mitigation and resolution is slim; the problem is growing exponentially, as the rate in which the Arctic melts is increasing quickly.

Although climate change is a crisis so expansive and seemingly irreversible, in the current direction we are heading, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on what the future holds. It is not just the responsibility of big corporations leading to the planet's demise to change their ways, but ours as well, to educate ourselves and others, spreading awareness and promoting all the positive change we can. We all have a voice and platform to educate others and draw attention to the ever pressing crisis. Even small contributions like limiting use of single-use products and trying to reuse them can minimize the impacts of global warming.