Love & Memories

The Axe Magazine Online Issue 6

February 2021


dear sarah schenderlein,


Junior Sarah Schenderlein, Sept. 25, 2003 - Dec. 23, 2020.


By Evelyn Mews

Sarah Schenderlein and I have been friends for about five years now. Her strength, confidence, and ability to make everyone around her smile were just some of the reasons I loved her. If you knew her, or even had a brief interaction with her, you could see how outgoing and hardworking she was. She put all her effort into school, volleyball, The Axe Report, and all of her other extracurricular activities. She pushed herself to turn in all of her assignments as soon as she could and to study for upcoming tests. She pushed herself to make the varsity volleyball team by trying to practice or work out whenever she had time. She pushed all of her friends to become better students, friends and people. Sarah never settled for the bare minimum, and because of this, she wasn’t like anyone I’d ever met.

Sarah and I were like polar opposites; while I was more timid and reserved, she had the confidence to speak up for me. When we worked on The Axe Report together, she was always the one on camera while I filmed and edited in the background. It fascinated me how easy it was for her to communicate with people of any age. We coached two elementary school volleyball teams together, and during this time I was amazed by her ability to inspire the little eight- and nine-year-olds. She was definitely more of a people person than I am. Unfortunately, the third-grade volleyball season was cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions, and when practices start up again, I will have to break the news to all of the kids who had been so excited to see her every practice.

It’s hard to put into words what exactly Sarah meant to me. She was more than a close friend. She was the first person I'd tell if something exciting happened to me, like when I got my driver's license. She was there for me during my brightest and darkest moments. I could go to her house any time I needed company, a meal or even a shower. She and her family were always so welcoming to me. Sarah was one of the most generous people I had the honor of knowing. Well, she might not have been generous when it came to who was going to eat the last potsticker, but she gave others her time and patience. She devoted so much of her time to helping others, whether it was volunteering at her church or Food for Lane County or FaceTiming all of her friends and their friends whenever they needed help with a math or physics assignment. She was the person that everyone came to for help or reassurance.

When we were in eighth grade and had some extra time on our hands, Sarah and I decided we were going to plan out each other's futures. We made slideshows and presented them to each other with information about our future houses, children, pets, spouses, occupations, and even furniture. She predicted I would be an extremely wealthy and successful lawyer living in an extravagant penthouse in the middle of New York City. She promised me that she would come visit me all the time and pet-sit while I was off on business trips in Paris or Tokyo. I even changed her name in my phone to “Future Petsitter” for about a year.

Even though the whole scenario was highly unrealistic, it’s heartbreaking that the futures we made for each other will never come to fruition. She had so many plans for the future and milestones that now she will never reach.

The loss of such a kind and beautiful soul affects so many in the community. As a hardworking student, optimistic teammate, intelligent classmate, loving friend, or easy-going acquaintance, Sarah will be missed.

creative vision

Multimedia artwork by Sarah Schenderlein

Counter-clockwise from top left: "City of Art," "Oh the Places You'll Go," "Help, I'm Trapped Within my Own Four Walls."

Header image: "Stream of Stars" by Sarah Schenderlein. To see more of Sarah's artwork, visit @collage.ry on Instagram.

from the staff & Adviser

Video links: The top link is to the last episode of The Axe Report Sarah and Evelyn did before winter break. The link below is Sarah's very first freshman year video project, in which she showcased the humor, teamwork and dedication we will miss.


The Axe Report and The Axe Magazine Online staffs and adviser knew Sarah in varying degrees of closeness. She was a student in the journalism program every year she was at South; many of us had been in class with her over several trimesters together; others of us were just getting acquainted. But most returning students have fond memories of The Axe Report Fridays last year.

For some in our class, this tribute represents closure; for others of us who are still hurting and healing, this is just the next step in the process. Regardless, we cherish the opportunity to hold the best memories of Sarah in love and light.

Said one classmate: "What sticks with me now, sticks with me still, is the kindness and compassion that Sarah showed to her classmates. She was always steady, solid, calm, and so, so happy. Sarah radiated warmth and happiness. She worked hard and had fun – the last time I talked to her, she told me about what she wanted to change in the Axe Report, and laughed at a few things that other people said. Thank you Sarah, for everything."

In our first class meeting together after the accident over winter break, we spent the hour sitting with and acknowledging the news. At the end of the class, the adviser messaged each student an affirmation as a thought to hold on to and to send out to whomever might need it. Today, we send these affirmations out to Sarah and her dad, her mother Beth, her family and friends, and to all those we love and miss... You are important. You are a gift. You are feisty. You are seen. You are powerful. You are loved.

rest in love, sarah schenderlein 💜

Messages, photos and memories can be shared here at Sarah's online memorial.


tokens of affection

axe magazine Issue 6

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.

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:

Illustration by Elita Kutateli

Valentine’s Day 2021: Alone, Together

By Elita Kutateli

On Valentine’s Day, students either look forward to spending time with their significant other, or they dread the holiday – yearning for that special someone. Oftentimes, it feels sad or embarrassing to spend Valentine’s Day all alone, but in reality this holiday is about love. And all of us can get behind that. Take some time this Valentine’s to celebrate your friends, family or even yourself! After all, it’s still quarantine, and we’re all kind of spending the holiday alone… together. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of it:

  • Bake some heart-shaped goodies, like cookies or cake. Be creative and have fun with it!

  • Buy some flowers for yourself or for your friends. Contactless porch delivery for the win!

  • Take a nice bath. Maybe buy a bath bomb and some candles if you’re feeling fancy!

  • Buy chocolate for yourself or for your friends. Euphoria has really good heart-shaped chocolates!

  • Create a few Valentine’s Day themed cards. Go on Pinterest for inspiration!

  • Have a movie night. Make some popcorn, buy some candy hearts, and relax!

  • If you have a pet, show them some love! Give them treats, buy them a toy, take them on a walk, or just give them lots of attention.

  • Dress up! Even if it’s just for yourself. Dressing up is so fun, and you can even make it Valentine’s Day themed by putting on pink or red.

  • Most importantly, take the time to practice self-care. This can manifest in many different ways: going outside, using a face mask, drinking water, journaling, meditating, shopping for yourself, etc.

This year, Valentine’s day is going to look a lot different from what we’re used to. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take this day to share and celebrate all the love in this world. Happy Valentine’s Day!

So Close Yet So Far Away: Valentine's Day 2021

Illustrations by Natasha Dracobly

On pandemic – whether we're single or partnered up – everyone's feeling a little lonely. Be gentle with yourself; get away from the screen and out of your head. Have a conversation with someone at home or call someone you care about. Use your joyful voice and talk instead of texting.

In quarantine, every relationship is a long-distance (or 6 feet apart) relationship. For the time being, this is what snuggling in the time of COVID might look like. Remember: social distancing is a sign of love and affection.

Illustration by Natasha Dracobly

Filled to the Brim: Chocolate Mug Cake

By Naomi Saenger

This cake is easy to make, comes together quickly – less than 5 minutes to combine and bake, and will be the tastiest and most tender cake-in-a-mug you will ever try. It is a lovely gesture for a sweetheart, friend, family member or just someone you know and care about who could use some sweetness, comfort and joy.

Adapted from Table for Two Blog. Serves one or two.


  • ¼ cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoons milk

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoons additional fun add-ins (chocolate chips, chocolate-hazelnut spread, peanut butter)


  1. In a 14-ounce microwave-safe bowl or mug, whisk together dry ingredients.

  2. Whisk in the milk and vegetable oil until well combined.

  3. Either drop a dollop of hazelnut spread into the middle of the batter or fold in the chocolate chips or other add-ins.

  4. Microwave for 70 seconds on high power or until cooked through.

  5. Carefully remove, cool slightly, and enjoy!

mood music

By Mira Ciccarello

Whether you are spending this Valentine's Day slow dancing with a significant other, hanging out with friends or quarantined in your room, these oldies will fit the vibe. Check out the Apple Music or Spotify playlist to the left. Or pick and choose from the list itself...

  • “You Send Me" Sam Cooke

  • “Be My Baby" The Ronettes

  • "Sleepwalk" Ann Farina

  • “I’d Rather Go Blind" Etta James

  • “Build Me Up Buttercup" The Foundations

  • “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me" The Miracles

  • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You" Frankie Valli

  • “Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)" Bobby Womack

  • “Lean on Me" Bill Withers

  • “You Are The Best Thing" Ray LaMontagne

  • “Sunny" Bobby Hebb

  • “Right Down the Line" Gerry Rafferty

  • “Just the Two of Us" Grover Washington, Bill Withers

  • “Beyond the Sea" Bobby Darin

  • “La vie en rose" Louis Armstrong

  • “Let’s Stay Together" Al Green

  • “Do You Believe in Magic?" The Lovin’ Spoonful

  • “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel (Pt. 1)" Tavares

  • “A Sunday Kind Of Love" Etta James

  • “(You) Got What I Need" Freddie Scott

  • “Dream A Little Dream Of Me" Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong

  • “A Teenager In Love" Dion & The Belmonts

  • “The Book of Love" The Monotones

  • “Stupid Cupid" Connie Francis

  • “Stay" Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

  • “Love Potion No. 9" The Clovers

  • “Da Doo Ron Ron" The Crystals

  • “Unchained Melody" The Righteous Brothers

  • “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" Four Tops

  • “You Make Me Feel So Young" Frank Sinatra

  • “Isn’t She Lovely" Frank Sinatra

  • “Moondance" Van Morrison

  • “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" Natalie Cole

  • “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher" Jackie Wilson

  • “Unforgettable" Nat King Cole

  • “I’ll Be Seeing You" Billie Holiday

Valentine's Day Around the World

Story and Illustration by Bettina Wu

Every year on Feb. 14, people in the United States celebrate the holiday known as Valentine’s Day. This holiday is marketed very heavily in the United States and is treated with great importance. American couples often celebrate by sending each other cards, roses, chocolates, and other tokens of affection.

Though these customs are universally shared, each country also adds their own spin to the holiday.

  • Denmark: Though Denmark only began to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the 1990s, they were still able to create many different customs and traditions to celebrate the holiday in a unique way. As opposed to sending red roses like American couples do, the Danes send white snowdrop flowers to each other, as well as cards. Men send women a special kind of “joke letter,” called the gaekkebrev, a specially cut paper letter that the sender writes a funny poem or rhyme on. The letter is signed only with a series of dots, so if the recipient is able to correctly guess the sender, she will receive an Easter egg on Easter Sunday.

  • Italy: Because Valentine’s Day originated in Italy, Italians take this holiday quite seriously. Lovers attach locks with their initials onto bridges and then throw away the key. In the past, it was also a tradition for single women to wake up very early and look out the window because it was believed that the first man she saw would either be her future husband or a man who bore a great resemblance to him.

  • Philippines: In the Philippines, Valentine’s Days is when hundreds of couples gather in a venue to get married to their significant others in a mass wedding ceremony. The ceremony is government-sponsored, and the entire event, including the flowers and wedding cakes, is paid for by the individual state governments.

  • South Africa: Aside from going on dates and sending each other chocolates, South African couples spend the day wearing the names of their lover in a heart shape on their sleeves. They do this to honor an ancient pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia.

  • South Korea and Japan: In South Korea and Japan, women send chocolates to their significant other. One month later, on March 14, the holiday White Day is celebrated to allow men to reciprocate these gifts. In the past, these gifts could only be white, hence the holiday’s name. Additionally, in South Korea, a holiday called Black Day takes place on April 14. On this day, singles who did not receive gifts for Valentine’s Day or White Day gather together and eat black noodles while dressed in black attire.

Despite the fact that all of these countries are in very different parts of the world and have such vastly different cultures, customs, and world views, love is still a universally translated language. Though all of these variations of Valentine’s Day have their own uniqueness, the theme remains the same: to cherish and show appreciation for loved ones.

Painting by Nicolas Poussin, from a collection of recreations compiled by The Yorck Project


The heart of the matter

By Helen Evans

Valentine's Day – the holiday we all associate with love, romance, chocolate and roses – actually has a muddled and bloody history surrounding its namesake, the mysterious St. Valentine.

Some say Valentine was a priest in 3rd-century Rome; he would marry young lovers in secret, defying Emperor Claudius II, who believed single men made better soldiers than married ones. When his misconduct was found out, Valentine was executed on Feb. 14.

As coincidence would have it, Claudius II executed another Valentine on the same day of a different year. This Valentine was the bishop of Terni, who was martyred for attempting to help imprisoned Christians escape from Rome where they were being tortured. Unfortunately, he was caught; while awaiting execution, he sent a letter to his jailer's daughter, whom he had fallen in love with before his death. The letter was signed “From your Valentine,” a commonplace phrase still in use today.

While the legends of St. Valentine are murky, all of the stories accentuate the heroic, sympathetic and romantic nature of the saint.

The modern day holiday of Valentine’s Day is derived from the Catholic feast day of St. Valentine, which was created in an attempt to christianize the Roman holiday of Lupercalia that took place around Feb. 15. Lupercalia was a pagan holiday in which priests would sacrifice a goat and a dog to symbolize fertility and purification, then they would proceed to dip the goat hide in its blood and gently slap women and crop fields to instill the gift of fertility.

It was also a common tradition for the women to place their names in an urn for men to choose, and each pair would be coupled together for a year, usually resulting in marriages. However, Lupercalia was outlawed in the 5th century, when Valentine’s Day was declared on Feb. 14th by the Pope.

Over the centuries, the holiday has lost some of its gory associations. Shakespeare sweetened and romanticized it in his work, and this iteration began to gain traction in Europe. The common practices of Valentine’s Day didn’t take off till the 18th century, when it became common for friends and lovers to exchange small gifts and letters as symbols of affection. With the improvements of printing technology and low postage fees, printed cards became increasingly popular. Today, Valentine’s Day is the third largest card sending holiday with 145 million cards sent this year, only to be rivaled by Christmas’s definitive lead at 1.3 billion. We show our love and appreciation for our loved ones by sending thoughtful cards and giving chocolate and bouquets of roses, but these sweet mementos evolved more from tormented origins than tender ones.

signs of life

back on track


Assistant Principal Joe Hadley captured this image on Jan. 27. He writes, it's "an unremarkable picture of yesterday's cross country practice, a photo that would never make the cut for a yearbook submission. At the same time, this picture captures a historic moment for South, as it is the first significant, organized gathering of students on our campus for a school-related activity in almost a year." Go, Axe!


signed, sealed, delivered...

Remember the Axe Pageant? And Val-o-Grams? And, um, indoor rollerblading? Here's a throwback to Valentine's Day, pre-pandemic style. Hang in there, Axe friends. We 💜 you!


thank you for reading the axe magazine online!

#southstrong #purplerunsdeep