taking the stage

the axe magazine online issue 14

19 May 2021




TEST ANXIETY by Naomi Saenger & Bettina Wu





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: willis_b@4j.lane.edu.


the latest episode of the axe report

opening night

South Eugene Theater takes back the stage with an in-person musical.

By Lina Nakagome

With the beginning of hybrid learning and the increased availability of vaccines, South Eugene Theater will perform an in-person musical, The Mad Ones, for the first time this school year. The student-led production, directed by senior Oshen Parris-Austin, will open May 27. The play tells the story of a teenage girl torn between her future plans — to follow her mother’s dreams or to go down the path of her daring friend who had recently passed.

In distance learning, student actors filmed parts individually from home. But this trimester, the new hybrid schedule allowed the cast to film together. While the audience will still be virtual, actors said that having the cast in-person has helped the musical in numerous ways.

“A notable difference between remote productions and in-person productions is the music; for A Killer Party we recorded the music and then lip-synced to tracks of ourselves,” senior Adriana Ripley, who plays the main character Samantha Brown, said. “But for The Mad Ones, everything will be sung live and without masks. All members of the cast and crew are fully vaccinated.”

Junior Madigan Rear, who portrays Beverly (Samantha’s mom), said that the new — or rather old — environment is welcomed.

“Being able to be in-person and build camaraderie within the cast was wonderful and extremely refreshing compared to the solo filming and Zoom collaborations that comprised the previous musical,” Rear said.

“I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we much prefer rehearsing in-person.”

Adriana Ripley, senior

Ripley and Rear added that the small cast, consisting of just four actors, made for streamlined communication and an easy adjustment to in-person performance.

“Each member is so talented, respectful and hard working,” Rear said. “Each has dealt with coronavirus adjustments so gracefully.”

Practicing in-person, Ripley added, has led to plenty of fun goofing around – and the goofiness, Ripley said, has improved the show.

“We experiment with character choices and make each other laugh — something I'm definitely guilty of,” Ripley said. “I would say that coming together after being apart for so long made our connections even stronger than they would have been ordinarily.”

At the end of the day, Ripley said, the class is grateful for the chance to have at least one production filmed together. With this being her last musical at South, Ripley said that, while the process has been bittersweet, she was grateful both for the chance to explore new skills through remote learning and the chance to work together in-person for one last musical.

“I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we much prefer rehearsing in-person,” she said.

And Ripley would know. A Killer Party, South Eugene Theater’s all-remote musical from earlier this year, was recently selected to “Main Stage Showcase” at the International Thespian Festival. Ripley said that this is the highest honor a Thespian troupe can be awarded.

“At the beginning of the year, we were all wondering how a remote musical could possibly work,” Ripley said. “It was much more complicated than we imagined, but I'm really grateful that we had the opportunity.”

The Mad Ones opens on Thursday May 27 and runs through Monday May 31 as a live-streamed performance. Tickets are available on the South Eugene Theater website. A Killer Party is available to stream any time through the same website.

Illustration by Natasha Dracobly

Anxious for your AP Tests?

Here are some ways to prevent nerves from negatively impacting test performance.

By Naomi Saenger and Bettina Wu

The month of May can be an emotional time for students. There is happiness that school is almost over combined with the overwhelming stress for finals and AP tests. As exam dates near, anxiety levels increase and students need healthy ways to cope. Listed below are a few ways to keep your anxiety under control.

Breathing Techniques

Sometimes extreme anxiety can come with short rapid breathing that causes the anxiety to worsen quickly. There are countless breathing techniques you can find on the internet for general stress, but if you have anxiety during the test the best thing you can do is deep breathing. Deep breathing is a broad concept that can be simplified by using either the 4-7-8 technique or the 6-2-10 technique. Each number corresponds to the number of seconds that you will breathe in the natural breathing pattern; for example, inhale for 4, hold for 7, and exhale for 8 seconds. The 4-7-8 technique works best for deep relaxation before the test. The 6-2-10 technique is best for calming nerves during the test quickly. All you need to do is breath in for 6 seconds, hold for 2-3 seconds, and release your breath through pursed lips. Repeat ten times, or as much as you need.

Illustration by Natasha Dracobly

Positive Affirmations

If you tell yourself that you aren’t going to do well, the test will not go well for you. In order to meet your potential on test day, make sure you believe in yourself by repeating positive mantras to yourself. This will also calm anxiety by having something simple to repeat to yourself. Some phrases you can use are “I am capable” and “I can do this.”

Put things into Perspective

A lot of the anxiety that comes from taking tests stems from placing too much importance on them when it isn’t necessary. Let’s say you end up not getting the score that you had hoped for. Although it is undoubtedly disappointing, how greatly it negatively impacts the rest of your life depends solely on your attitude over it. From a rational standpoint, one test will not seriously destroy your future and life will continue on as usual, even if it feels hard at first. Hopefully, having this mindset will take more stress off of you while taking the test.

Be Prepared

One big factor that contributes to test anxiety is the uncertain nature of testing. No one knows exactly what questions are going to be on the test and there’s always a fear that you’ll be caught completely off-guard and fail. Understanding the format and content of the test will help you prepare accordingly. For the AP tests, there are so many free resources that will help you study, like AP Classroom (on the College Board website), YouTube, and even your own teacher! Some sites will even tell you how the content of your test is weighted, which can help you prioritize your preparation and studying. When practicing, it also helps to mimic the atmosphere of the AP test as closely as possible. Setting a timer for the exact amount of time your AP test will be while doing a practice test that closely mimics the real test, which you can find on the College Board website, will help you learn how to budget your time well and prevent you from getting caught unawares when the real test day arrives.

What to do the Night Before

The night before the test it is important to first assess where your preparedness is. If you have studied for this test for a few months, then it would be best to not cram the night before and instead do some mindfulness and calming activities. If you have procrastinated studying, then cramming the night before would be a good option. No matter what you do, make sure you get 8 to 10 hours of sleep. The day of the test, practice some of the breathing techniques mentioned above. Eat a large nourishing breakfast, and tell yourself some positive mantras. You have gotten so far, and you will do great.

Food Resources in Eugene and Springfield

Food resources available to everyone, regardless of income or other barriers.

By Elita Kutateli

Lunch People

  • Lunch People runs a non-profit vegan cafe, and distributes free lunches every day. Proceeds go straight to battling food insecurity in Lane County

  • 769 Monroe St, Eugene, OR 97402

  • (10AM-5PM), closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Street Feed

  • Street Feed is a program run by C.O.R.E Eugene. Street Feed distributes essential supplies as well as meals every other Friday in downtown Eugene.

Community Fridges

  • Alder / 18th Ave

  • Washington / 4th Ave

Exclusive to 4J District: The 4J District is offering free meals from May 5th to June 30th, at six locations, from 12:45 PM - 2:15 PM.

Food for Lane County – Qualifying Incomes Only

In order to have access to these food pantries, your income must qualify, as shown in the chart below. These pantries do not require any identification or documentation for access.

CCS Eugene

    • (8 AM-12 PM) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

    • 1160 Grant St, Eugene, OR 97402

Salvation Army

    • (8:30 AM -11:55 AM) and (1:00PM-3:25PM) Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

    • (8:30 AM-11:00 AM) Tuesdays

    • 640 W 7th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402

Coburg Food Pantry (2nd and 4th weeks of the month)

    • (2:00 PM-4:00 PM) Mondays

    • 32697 E Pearl St, Eugene, OR 97408

The Arc

    • (3:00 PM - 6:00 PM) Tuesdays and Thursdays

    • (9:00 AM- 1:00 PM) Saturdays

    • 4181 E St, Springfield, OR 97478

signs of life

Nothing says "springtime" like the clear, southerly view of Spencer Butte on a day in May. Stay #southeugenestrong Axe Fam. Summer is coming!


thank you for reading the axe magazine online!

#southstrong #purplerunsdeep