Quitting Coal, Montana a Battle-Hardened Resource State.

Montana currently produces roughly enough electricity to go completely renewable, yet half the energy produced in the state comes from coal. Why do we continue to produce coal energy if we have enough hydro and wind power to run entirely off renewable sources? The answer, ‘’Exportation’’.

Roughly half of the energy produced in Montana is exported to other states. This explains why Montana doesn’t run 100% on renewable resources. Currently 47% of the energy produced in Montana comes from Hydraulic and Wind power, a significant amount, and yet still less than the 49 percent of Montana’s power that is produced from coal.

So yes Montana could quit coal tomorrow and our energy grid would be able to handle it but, could the states we export to handle the loss? Energy hungry states like Idaho and California need the power we export, and would need a substitute for the sudden loss of imported power. Montana would also need to consider the consequences from the loss of local jobs and livelihoods of families that depend on the income from the coal sector.

While these losses are formidable, they are going to be lost regardless due to increasing automation, growing demand for renewable resources, and the fact that coal is a nonrenewable resource with a limit. The ability to produce electricity from coal will eventually run out but that’s Ok. It is a good thing to embrace the new technologies and the jobs that come with them.

While we may have large coal reserves we also have substantial renewable energy reserves as well. Montana has the potential to recoup those job losses and and even surpass them while also filling the energy gap left by coal. Renewable energy is ripe with jobs from installation to maintenance and Montana has the geographic advantage to do it.

With its rolling hills and flat plains in the eastern part of the state, Montana has some of the largest wind energy potential in the nation. By the start of 2018 the total number of turbines in the state had nearly reached 500, with more projects in various stages of planning and construction.

Critics argue that wind energy is not as consistent as coal-fired power plants.  However, a solution for that issue is already advancing; a closed loop hydro storage facility is under construction a hundred miles outside of Billings. Wind has great potential in Montana but it is only part of the renewable energy equation, albeit a large part, however, Hydro, Geothermal Biomass, and Solar are all good resources to fill the coal void.

Hydro-power

Hydro-power is currently the largest green energy producer in the state and has the potential to grow. Western Montana is mountainous with many fast flowing high volume rivers. Harnessing this energy with new age hydrologic dams that include fish jumps and silt flushing systems could help fill the coal void.

Swan Peak in the Swan Valley

Geothermal and Biomass

 The state also has 50 geothermal areas, with about a third of those having the potential for electricity generation. Although it is not carbon negative, biomass power is another potential powerhouse for Montana.  Sustainable logging provides another source of exportable energy. This also helps fight wildfires and keeps our summer air clear from smoke, a serious issue that all Montanans have experienced.

Solar

 You have probably noticed I have not mentioned Solar yet as a potential green energy replacement.  That is because I have been primarily geared toward utility-scale energy production. Solar does have potential for growth in this sector.  2017 saw the construction of the first utility-scale solar project in Montana with others in construction. With this, most of the growth in solar has been residential and small scale commercial building solar installations.

 Montana is becoming a green energy power house, that future is already under construction, the question remains of how fast that transition will take.

Sources:

Montana state profile and energy estimates; December 2018 update,    https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=MT

Skip those Crowds In Glacier Park this Summer!

Sunset in Glacier National Park at Lake McDonald

For those who want to explore!

Located in the northwest corner of Montana is what most refer to as the “Crown of the Continent.”  This is a vast playground for any outdoor enthusiast. Glacier Park is home of the continental divide, and 1 million acres filled with vast forests, towering mountains, and during three months of the year a ocean… a ocean of cars, crowds, and crazy drivers.

Every year Glacier National Park breaks it’s annual visitation record. Last year a whopping 3.3 million people hiked the trails, swam in the lakes, and battled for parking at the famed Logan Pass Visitor Center. But this doesn’t have to be you this summer if you follow this tip.

Explore Outside the Boundary of the Glacier

The truth is, there is much more to explore beyond the boundaries of Glacier than most think. If you want to beat the crowds this summer, exploring these spots is the right choice for you.

Jewel Basin Hiking Area

Jewel Basin

Located 40 miles south of Glacier Park nestled up in the Swan Mountain Range is the Jewel Basin Hiking area. This spot provides some of the best day hikes in the area. Home to 25 crystal clear alpine lakes and 35 miles of hiking trails, it is easy to say one could get lost here. Don’t worry though, I promise you will only get lost in the best of ways! 😉

Also…. you can camp, park and hike for free!

Bob Marshall photo of china wall with bear grass

Bob Marshall Wilderness

Ever wonder what Glacier Park looked like before the roads, the buildings, and parking lots? Go see it for yourself in the Bob Marshall Wilderness aka “The Bob” by locals. For the slightly more adventurous types (yes I’m talking to you), spend a day, or a week or two weeks here. There are approximately 1,100 miles of trails, that stretch across it’s 1.5 million acres. Home of the some of the most amazing mountains, rivers, and valleys in Northwest Montana.

Flathead National Forest “Swan Valley”

Ah yes… how could I forget home! Maybe I am biased, but the opportunities of the Swan Valley are endless. Don’t believe me? Hop on Alpine Trail #7 and head north, you’ll be walking for about 50 miles! Want to stand on mountain peaks in the morning? No problem! How about swimming in sparkling alpine lakes? Yeah got that covered. How about ease of access? Park at the trail head. And yes of course it is FREE!

Too often we are blinded at what’s in front of us because what people say we should think, speak, and explore. Don’t fall for it, and explore your surroundings. Maybe the trick isn’t to listen to me. But try to focus on what is right in front of you, because your Glacier Park is probably begging to be explored!

5 Important Tips for a Team Road Trip

By: W. R. Widmer Jr.

For most of my life now I have played team sports that have required road trips in some shape or form. Since the start my collegiate career way back in 2010 for TCU’s Lacrosse team I’ve learned that long road trips are inevitable. Over the years as a player and now as a coach for Griz Lacrosse, I thought I would share some tips and tricks on how to make a team road trip easier.

Pack The Night Before

Personally, packing is not the most exciting part of a trip. Coaches demand that we be ready to go at a certain time (usually before the sun comes up). I have found that packing the night before prevents me from forgetting anything in those early morning hours when I am not thinking clearly. In addition, line your bags up at the door so you can have a smooth exit out of your apartment or dorm.

Carry Both Card and Cash

To get to a game you will have to travel though the middle of nowhere. And in the middle of nowhere often times you will find technological conveniences are nonexistent. It is crucial to have cash and not just a card on a road trip in case the store where you are trying to buy snacks is still stuck in the ‘50s. Being hungry on the bus is miserable.

Portable Chargers are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Missoula to Portland on a bus is anywhere from 8 to 12 hours depending on external factors. So even if you charge all your electronics the night before, you will run out of battery life on a haul like that. For $25 to $50 you can get a good quality portable charger that will keep your electronics charged and you blissfully entertained while the hours go by.

Bring Food and Drinks on The Bus

One of the reasons I pack and line up all my stuff the night before is to save time in the morning. With that extra time, I always run and grab food and coffee to bring on the bus. Doing this will save you money over the length of the trip, since prices in food vary from location to location. Additionally, you don’t always know when and where the team will stop for food, having your own will prevent any unforeseen problems.

Bring a Pillow is Key

This one is a little self-explanatory. Not all buses or cars have comfortable seats or headrests. In my case, the Griz Lacrosse team bus has some hard armrests. I always bring a pillow on bus trips. It not only makes the ride more comfortable, but I avoid dealing with hotel pillows that I am not used to.

5 Lies People Believe About Marrying Young

Written by: Megan Wall

I’m a 21-year-old college student in Montana, and I’ve been married for a year and a half as of this month. I consistently get the same reactions whenever someone, especially someone around my age, discovers that I’m a wife: “You’re married?!? At 21?? That’s soo young!! I could never give up so much of my life right now!” While I understand that not everyone needs to, or even should, get married young, I feel that there are quite a few misunderstandings about what it’s like to be a wife at my age. Here are 5 lies that many people believe about marrying young:

Lie #1: Marrying young takes away all of your independence.

It’s true that being married brings change to your life; you’re choosing to weave your life together with another person and that requires a beautiful, and sometimes difficult, selflessness. However, being married does NOT take away everything that makes you YOU. I’ve found that it’s really healthy for my husband and I to do things independently; we both have very different passions, hobbies and activities that we find restful and/or enjoyable. For example, he loves to take the occasional day to go fishing with a few buddies, and could be on the river allll day long. I, on the other hand, could fish happily for a maximum of (maybe) 30 minutes, and would much rather spend an afternoon at a dance class (my husband’s worst nightmare) or catching up with a girlfriend over coffee. 

My husband is my best friend and we value taking time to pour into one another and into our marriage; there are even many things we both really enjoy! However, we treasure our individual friendships and hobbies and understand the importance of taking time for ourselves. I believe that when you’re in a healthy marriage, you take the time to intentionally pursue one another, but you also encourage your spouse to continue pursuing things that they love independent of your marriage. Marrying young has given me a new dependence on the person I love most in this world, while also allowing me to maintain my independence in ways that I deeply value.

Lie #2: You have to give up on your dreams when you get married young.

I hear this one a lot. People think that getting married young requires one to give up on everything they’ve ever aspired to be and do. In fact, many don’t think they should get married until they’ve achieved what they want and have “everything in their life under control.” My experience with marriage, however, has shown me that it doesn’t inhibit you, but rather has the potential to encourage your dreams to flourish and grow in beautiful, new ways. Being a wife and walking through life with my best friend has inspired the dreamer in me to come alive even more; my husband’s support and belief in me gives me a greater courage to walk in my gifts and choose boldness. Now, I must point out that it’s important to choose to do life with someone you’re compatible with– someone who’s heart is in alignment with yours in the ways that matter most. Doing so will allow you and your spouse to pray for and pursue your dreams together.

Lie #3: You won’t grow as much as you could if you stayed single.

            This one is fairly similar to the lie discussed previously. Many believe that getting married at a young age “ties you down” and holds you back in life. However, the beautiful thing about marriage is that it gives you and your spouse the opportunity to sharpen and encourage one another to grow in areas that may be hard to identify alone; starting young can be a tremendous blessing when you view marriage in this way! When you live with another person long enough, they see every bit of you – every flaw and insecurity and struggle. Acknowledging personal weakness is not something most of us excel at… Luckily, a spouse is someone who sees everything in you, loves you despite your imperfections, and even loves you enough to encourage growth in your blind spot areas of weakness – what a gift! 

Lie #4: Marrying young doesn’t empower women.

            Attending a very liberal university, I often get the vibe that women see marrying young as an undermining of women empowerment. That, for whatever reason, it is more admirable for a woman to achieve things independently than when she’s chosen to become a wife. I simply do not believe that I have to achieve a career before marriage in order to be a confident and accomplished woman. Whether a woman is single or not does not determine the validity of her success; accomplishing something without a man in one’s life does not prove greater strength and should not earn greater admiration. I believe that a truly confident woman sees worth and potential in herself whether married or not. Women can walk in empowerment no matter their relationship status. 

Lie #5: Marrying young takes away some of your fun.

            Let me just say this… if you choose your life partner wisely, then your life together will not be dull. Partying, dating around, and hopping from one person to another may be seen as “fun” by some young people, but for others, it’s realized that this is an empty and unfulfilling way to live. Am I saying that you have to be married to have fun? Absolutely not. Am I saying that being single is always unfulfilling and empty? No way! What I am saying, is that the idea that marriage takes away your fun is based on a warped view of what marriage can be. Throughout this past year and a half, my husband and I have laughed until our bellies ached (both at and with each other), we’ve had crazily competitive and hilarious game nights, we’ve gone on lots of small (and some big) adventures together, and we’ve found humor even in the days that seem mundane. It’s incredible to be chosen and loved by another person every day, and it’s a gift to find that special someone early in life – someone who brings more joy into your every day. 

I hope that I have been clear in writing this blog. I want to reiterate that I do not believe that every person should get married young; I believe that God’s timing works in all sorts of wonderful ways, and I know that everyone’s story is different. I’m not claiming that mine is better than anyone else’s, or that it’s even the “ideal marriage timeline” that should be sought for by all. My hope, however, is that my words have brought light to the negative perceptions that many have about getting married young, and that they have clarified why I find the opposite to be true. Although marriage brings certain challenges and complexities to my life that many college students don’t face, I’m thankful to be married and I cherish my role as a wife. Marriage can be such a gift, and it is my hope that other young women may see it as so. 

Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to check out my blog page, Wall Wife Life, to read about other thoughts, experiences, and lessons I’ve learned in marriage thus far.

The Lineman’s Guide to Cutting Weight: Fitness After Football

by Myles McKee-Osibodu

If you’ve played football at any level, you understand the expectations and pressure put on athletes to be able to gain or drop weight quickly. While these pressures can be felt at every position, there’s no position groups that feel these demands more intensely than the offensive and defensive line, where size matters almost as much as talent. I’ve spent the last few years of my life as an NCAA Division I student-athlete, but it wasn’t until football was over that I was finally able to achieve my fitness goals.

First Things First

So I don’t think it’s a secret that a lot of football players (especially the dudes in the trenches) are just wired a little differently than your Average Joe. You’ve gotta be a little bit insane to voluntarily sign up to commit 40 to 50 hours a week (not including school or work) to a jam packed schedule of workouts, 4:45AM wake-up calls, film sessions, training room work, practices, meetings, yada yada yada, all for the reward of bashing your head into another 300 lb grown-ass man over and over again… but for whatever crazy reason, we did that… And that madness instilled a mindset in us that is different than most. A mindset that allows you to face any challenge and attack it without hesitation. The mindset that allowed you to achieve your goals in football is the same mindset that its going to take to achieve your goals after football. Commitment, self-disciple, and a whole lotta that WORK. Easy as that. And just like in football, you’ve gotta have a game plan.

Game Plan

Through hard work and dedication, I’ve been fortunate enough to drop 70+ lbs (in under 7 months) twice in the last 4 years and the things I can point to that contributed the most to my journey were:

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Working out with purpose
  • Keeping your eyes on the prize

Intermittent Fasting

You’re a former lineman. You love to eat. I get it. But believe me when I tell you that even though it sounds pretty intimidating, intermittent fasting is going to be your best friend in this whole process. In fact, if you do it right, you can still eat a lot of your favorite not-so-healthy foods somewhat regularly.

Contrary to popular belief, the entire idea behind intermittent fasting is NOT to starve yourself. With intermittent fasting, you’re still supposed to take in the same amount of calories you would normally, but instead of taking in those calories through the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, you instead give yourself a 4-8 hour window (depending on what you can handle) each day where you scarf down an entire day’s worth of calories. After a few weeks, your body will eventually get used to your new eating pattern and you’ll start to not even get hungry outside of the window that you’ve set for yourself. Not only does intermittent fasting offer weight-loss benefits, but there are also cognitive and cell restoration benefits that come along with fasting regimens as your body enters into a state of ketosis.

As great as the benefits of intermittent fasting can be, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t jump into without doing your research first and making sure it’s the right weight loss method for you. Below are a few links to videos and podcasts to help you begin your research and better understand exactly how intermittent fasting works.

Working Out with Purpose

So obviously, throughout this process, your workout regimen is going to need to be pretty gnarly if you want to see real results fast. It’s crucial that you’re able to hold yourself accountable to not only get in the gym everyday, but also to work your ass off while you’re there! You don’t have your coaches to yell at you anymore, no more teammates to hype you up when you’re not feeling it, no real consequences for skipping a workout. IT’S 100% ON YOU NOW!

So now that you’re in the gym, you’ve gotta figure out how to transition from the year-round swoll-sesh that is lineman workouts into a workout that’ll get you slim and trim. I get asked all the time what my workout routine is and the answer varies but the one thing that is always a constant is CARDIO! I know… as a big guy, cardio is your worst nightmare and rightfully so! Even when you drop the weight, cardio still sucks but like I said before, you’ve gotta embrace the challenge! If it was easy to drop 85 lbs, everybody would do it!

While I 100% encourage you to attack the gym, it’s important to make sure you’re smart about your cardio and that you don’t try to do too much too fast! You can definitely put yourself in some sketchy situations if you’re going all out too early in the process. Nobody wants to be the guy that passes out at the gym because he was hitting the elliptical too hard so make sure you know your limitations, but cardio definitely needs to be the focal point of your workouts. Everything else is supplementary. You’ve been big as hell your whole damn life, you don’t need to lift anymore! Go ahead and hop on that treadmill big fella!

#NipSlip

As many big guys do, I’ve always had some pretty serious knee issues and I know jogging isn’t too easy on the ol’ joints, especially when you’re pushing 300 pounds. I’ve found that the stationary bike is a great alternative to the treadmill and a much more comfortable place to knock-out a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. I bike at least one hour (22-25 miles) on the stationary bike 5 to 6 times a week, alternating between 30-second and 90-second working sets with 30-second resting sets in between. It’s the worst thing in the world for the first few weeks but it’s a freakin’ game changer once you start getting comfortable with higher-intensity cardio! Find some good thermogenic pre-workout, search for a good playlist, and get crackin’ on that thing!

Example of how to do a HIIT workout on a stationary bike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8VswzWDow

Shoutout Brio Fitness 💪🏽😎

The first month or so of  daily cardio is gonna be killer on your lungs and your legs. Your heart is going to be beating through your chest. You’ll probably be the sweatiest guy in the gym and I promise it won’t be a pretty sight. But as you gradually start to shred more and more, you’re gonna realize how worth it it was and be stoked that you did it!

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Just like chasing any other goal in life, its super important to be able to see the big picture and remember what you’re working towards. The biggest challenge you’ll face in this whole process will be the mental battle you’re going to be fighting with yourself to keep pushing your limits. It’s key that you don’t let yourself get discouraged or lose sight of your goals if you aren’t seeing the results that you want right away! Keeping the right mentality can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

You’re not gonna lose 10 lbs in a week and you might not even lose 5 lbs in a week, but you’ve always got to remember to keep a level head, put your head down, and keep on grinding! You’ll only get out what you put into your workouts and dieting, so if you give a shitty effort, you’re bound to get shitty results. At the end of the day, nobody else can want it for you. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen! No excuses.

I hope this helps you in your journey! Good luck, be smart, and get after it!

Man’s Perspective of a Love Story

By: Tyler Burton

Have you ever been to a point in life where you wanted nothing to do with the opposite sex? This is exactly where I was ever since I moved to Missoula, MT in the Spring of 2017 to attend the University. After a year had gone by this is when my love story began. The pictures provided will be important events that happened in order.

On Thursday January 25th, 2018 I was reading The Duck Commander Devotional book (Image above) and the topic was on motivation. I’m not usually the person to post things to my instagram story but it motivated me and I wanted others to be motivated by it as well. With that said, it was uploaded to my story within seconds. Shortly after, a girl replied to my story and said, “Sooooo good”. What did I do next? You guessed it! I went to her instagram profile and scrolled through some of her photos. Of course she was attractive so I messaged her back and made conversation. After a week of messaging back and forth, an unplanned appearance occurred.

Downtown at a local coffee shop called, Zootown Brew, there was a church service being held. I decided to go with some of my roommates that evening and of course the most beautiful woman in the world was there that night. During the church service, I had the worst butterflies anyone could ever imagine. After the church service was over, I saw her and a friend heading across the street. I had to make up my mind and I had to do it quick. Do I try to run into her and make conversation or do I let this opportunity slide and maybe get another shot some other time? I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night if I didn’t go talk to her so I went and made conversation. From the very first time I made eye contact with her, I knew there was something special about her.

Over the course of a month we became really good friends and I decided I wanted to start pursuing a relationship with her. After discussing our feelings with one another, I decided to ask her dad if he wanted to get coffee at City Brew.

We had a great conversation and I asked him for his permission to pursue his daughter. He gave me permission as long as I would Respect her with a capital R. I would recommend this to any guy that wants to get on good terms with the father from day 1. Believe me, it will help.

After the conversation with her father, that night I wrote her a letter in a journal. The letter consisted of my intentions with her and I gave it to her when we were out to dinner at Jakers. After she read it I asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes and when I dropped her off we shared out first kiss together.

Over the course of a few months we shared several memories and wrote back in forth in the journal to each other. Each and everyday I began to fall more and more in love with her. I had a plan in my mind to complete school before I would ever get married. God had different plans… I shared this with my girlfriend at the time and she felt God was leading her down the same path. After some time had passed, I went to one of the most nerve racking conversations I would ever experience in my life. THE CONVERSATION OF WHERE I WOULD ASK MY POTENTIAL FATHER IN LAW FOR HIS DAUGHTERS HAND IN MARRIAGE.

Him and I met at the Cracker Barrel at 9am on a Friday morning. We had some small talk conversation at first and then I lead the conversations into my feelings for his daughter. The rest was a blur until I asked him if I could marry his daughter. He said yes and we both shared some tears as well as some laughs.

Fast forwarding to the proposal! This was one of the most exciting moments of my life. The 1 time in my life that I will get on 1 knee to ask the woman I love, “Will you marry me?” The evening consisted of a nice dinner in Bigfork, MT at When in Rome. After dinner I asked her if she wanted to go catch the sunset on Flathead Lake at a state park called, Wayfarers. She didn’t hesitate to say yes and the ring in my pocket began to itch. As the sun began to go down we arrived at the destination where my sister and her husband were undercover taking photo’s. Neither of us saw them as we walked into my plan to ask her to marry me. I got down on one knee as she began to cry. Then I began to cry. I could hardly get out the words, “Will you Marry me?” I wanted to say all these things that I loved about her before I asked her but the tears down both of our faces said it all. After she composed herself, she said yes. This was the beginning step towards one of the most important days of my life, the wedding!

We had 100 days to plan a wedding over the summertime. My job was to say yes to everything and help where ever I could. It went by so fast and sooner than I knew it, I married my best friend. The 1 thing I wanted to do at our wedding was choreograph a special dance between the two of us. If you’ve gotten this far, don’t hesitate to watch our first dance (click on the picture below). YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Thanks for reading!

A Californian’s Guide to Living in Montana

By Alexandra Kuchinski

If someone had come from the future four years ago and told me that I would be living in Montana in my early twenties I wouldn’t have believed them.  

As someone who grew up in the heart of a major metropolitan area less than 20 minutes walking from the beach I’m the last person that anyone would have expected to move to Missoula.  

However, with the incentive of a good scholarship, snowboarding and fly fishing I found myself drawn to this little mountain town.  

Although moving to Missoula hasn’t been without its challenges, through trial and error over the last 3 years, I’ve managed to learn a few things about the place that I now call home.

If you’re from any other state than Montana you will get poked fun at. 

Especially if you’re a Californian.

It is completely possible experience all the seasons in a 24 hour period—learn how to dress accordingly or you will get sick.

Where I grew up the most layers I ever needed were a winter and summer hoodie.  Most of the time they were the same hoodie. 

Winter weather is not bad until it there’s wind or the temperature is in the single digits.

Learn and embrace that 40 degrees is t-shirt weather.

Ice is real and you will fall on it in the wintertime no matter how much you penguin walk.

It builds character. 

Everyone knows each other.  Get over it. 

Despite it’s significant geographic size, it’s a small state.  While there are a fair amount of out of state students there are a ton more locals and most of the time they already know each other.  It’s a pretty small town and even smaller school.  Tread carefully.

The food will take getting used to

Salt and pepper will be the most spice that you see.  And although the number of places where you can get a bomb burger or pizza is uncountable the best Mexican food here is still Taco Bell.

The most you will ever dress up will be a nice t-shirt and cowboy boots

Welcome to the wild west

Growing Up as an Identical Twin

By: Kaitlyn Graf

*For confidentiality, the names used are made up

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a twin? More specifically, someone you look exactly like, act like, and share the exact same thoughts and interests with? Let me tell you, it’s slightly crazy. I truly believe twins connect on a different level. Although I have a twin sister, we don’t look similar enough to pull off what my dad and his twin brother would do growing up. If you want to hear some amusing stories, I advise you to keep reading. If not, go ahead and stop here.

In sixth grade it may have been cool to show up in your pink sparkle Adidas and butterfly jeans the same day your best friend was wearing them. In Kane and Kaden’s case, they weren’t pleased with this idea. Similar and likeminded, they would often come out of their rooms in the morning before school wearing the exact same outfit. In my dads’ words, “We would get into a full-on argument and if I changed last time then Kaden would have to this time. At times it got pretty ugly and led to fist fights. My mom would have to separate us.”

In school, Kane liked one subject better and Kaden liked another. You probably already know where I am going with this. They would switch classes and supposedly never once got caught. Although, it was a close call sometimes. Their friends would laugh when the teacher called on ‘Kaden’ to respond to a question, but Kane would forget that he ‘was’ Kaden.

Like the class situation, Kaden and Kane would answer the phone and pretend to be the other. To their twin advantage, even their voices sounded the same. When the other one’s girlfriend would call, they would stay on the line and pretend to be the one the girl was asking for. You could imagine what problems this would cause.

Did your parents ever buy you something because your sibling wanted it? Well, try every time one asked for something the other automatically always got it too. There was double everything in their house. Individuality was a tough act. I even experienced this at Christmas this year. My sister asked for slippers, but not once did I ever, yet I unwrapped a pair from my grandma saying, “I know Kay wanted some for Christmas so I got some for you too.” (If you’re reading this Gram, you know I love ya for this)

When I talk about their individuality, they even were called a mutual name. Even their friends had a hard time telling them apart. This was how the name ‘Graffer’ came about. Although, today if you asked my dad or uncle, they would say they were known as the “wonder twins.” (eye roll)

To this day, they still play on the same softball team, enjoy the same hobbies- collecting and fixing up cars, riding dirt bikes, and spending the majority of their summer days at the lake. I’m pretty sure they talk on the phone almost every day. I know, how cute right? Twins truly share a special bond. My twin sister and I will read each other’s mind and often say the exact same thing out loud. What’s most interesting about this is the idea that physical and behavioral traits can be closely replicated in two humans. This runs counter to our expectation that no other person in the world could be like us. Wow, like I said before… crazy.

The Tale of a Transfer Student

By Teresa Zortman

I very distinctly remember being 18 and thinking “I have this figured out.” By “this,” I mean college, and by “figured out,” I really had no idea. The only thing that I knew was that I wanted to leave my suburban hometown, and become “a badass business woman.” With that specificity, what could go wrong? But what happens when you choose the ‘wrong’ place to spend the next four years at the expense of thousands of dollars? What if you are under contract as a student athlete? What if your instagram pictures at the beach make your friends red with envy? I hope that by sharing my transfer journey, at least one struggling college kid can resonate and understand that it is okay to take your college experience into your own hands. Your happiness is important, radical change isn’t the answer for everyone but for myself it was exactly what I needed.

A little about me

I grew up in a California suburb that has become known for the railroad running through it and the rice fields surrounding it. A great place to raise a family, being an hour from the Sierras and two from San Francisco. Pretty perfect for the matured adult, but pretty boring for the car-less teen. Luckily, I was a decent enough track and cross-country runner to get some collegiate attention. After a quick visit to Southern California and a scholarship offer, I was on my way to Los Angeles to start school in the fall, leaving my sleepy old hometown in the dust.

You do not have to be happy all the time, but it should be part of your experience

Have you ever seen the Spongebob episode where Squidward goes to a village of other Squidwards? He thinks it is perfect until he realizes that the days there do not vary or change, and everyone there is fine with that except him. Well, that’s what I felt like after four months in sunny Southern California. The beach is great, but the 10 miles to get there took 25-30 minutes because of traffic. I was running the sport I love, but the practice regimen was starting to break down my body. I had some nice friends, but at night I would still break down alone and cry. Somehow everyone was living in their paradise, except me. I wanted to like this place, I spent so much time telling people about how excited I was to go “Sunny, perfect SoCal” before I left home, I was sure it would pan out.

There came a day I realized that maybe I did not fit in at my current school. I sat and filled out transfer applications to various schools, but I could never send them. Shame that I was “giving up on my team” or that people from home would laugh at me since I was so sure when I left. I felt trapped. I tried to assimilate to the culture and every time it only made me realize even more that I did not fit in. With the way things were going at the moment, I was depressed, angsty, and no-where near the best version of myself. I had never quit something before, that’s why Cross-country and track had come naturally to me, but at some point my course needed to be corrected, so I opened up for that to happen.

When I stepped on the campus I knew

During the Summer, my family was taking our bi-annual trip to Montana. My younger brother was on the college search, so we stopped by University of Montana. An old friend from high school was attending the university and graciously gave us a tour. The tour was for my brother, but I fell in love. The campus lit something inside me the moment I stepped foot on the brick paved walkways. I continued to think of Missoula as we drove away and even when we got home. That was a feeling I hadn’t had before.

So, while sitting at my Southern California University, I applied, got in, and got a scholarship.

There’s no good way to tell everyone

As my second year in Southern California drew to close, the reality that I was leaving began to set in. People would ask me about housing arrangements for the next year, and I just smiled and said “oh yeah! Maybe we can do that!” I knew I had to tell everyone.

So I started with my closest friends.

They were more supportive than I could’ve even hoped for. I felt closer to them because they only wanted what was going to make me happy, if that meant a different school so be it.

Not long after telling them, the news spread on the track team like wildfire. I got people coming up to me asking if it was true, the cat was officially out of the bag. Some people surprised me with how supportive they were, some turned out to be hiding the same secret. One of my closest friendships was forged by the fire we went under for transferring out. I felt so loved by people who I would’ve never expected. For those people I am so grateful. Others were not as supportive, and still do not talk to me, but that was something I had to learn to be okay with. It strengthened me in patience and love so much that the depression and anger that lived in me no longer had a place to live, even if they felt entitled to be there.

It’s okay to doubt

Before I left, even though I had been accepted to UM and more and more details of the transfer had begun to come together, I still questioned my decision. I would love to say that it was ‘easy’ since I was clearly struggling, but the reality was I was living a life that I knew would be discontinued in a matter of months. After the good workouts, the beach visits, the good days, I truly questioned if I should just pull the plug on the transfer and gut it out. I remember breaking down on the phone with my Mom wishing that I would just know what the right choice would be, she simply said “you’ll end up where you are supposed to be.” As I sit here in my favorite coffee shop in Missoula, I can say she was right.

Where I am now

Almost everyday, my decision to come to University of Montana is affirmed. The University took all but a few of my transfer credits, and supportive staff has made me enjoy academics truly more than I ever have before. I have formed close friendships with other friends, transfers and traditionals alike. I even entered a sales competition within the business school and took home 3rd, bringing internship opportunities and close relationships with inspiring professors that I had not known before. There is a sense of comfort that comes with being in the right place, it’s unexplainable.

Even though as I am writing this it is -5˚ in Missoula and Sunny and 65˚ in Irvine, I have no doubt this is my place.

My Advice

There is a difference between missing home and missing out. Too often, college students feel obligated to gut out a decision they made when they were still in highschool. Psychologically, your brain changes from 18-22, that also happens to be when we, as students, have to make one of the bigger decisions of our lifetime. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind, or making the ‘wrong’ choice for you. Life is as positive or negative as you want to make it, having the courage to take your happiness seriously is not something to be overlooked. Transferring is so often ‘taboo’ because it IS a radical change, but why is a radical change towards happiness a bad thing? Everyone is entitled to pursue their own future and happiness.

Transferring universities is not a “one size fits all” solution. But for some, it can make all the difference.

What Losing Friends Has Taught Me

By Gianna Pagano

My Sophomore year of college I met a girl and we instantly connected on so many levels. From that moment forward we became best friends and we were practically inseparable. We did everything together, and I literally mean everything. She was the person that I looked up to for advice on family, friendships, boyfriends, and even academics. Not only was she nice, but she was smart, loyal, spontaneous, hilarious, and most important, she always supported me whenever I needed her.

As we get older and mature into who we decide to become, we often grow out of friendships or lose touch with them. A lot of the times these falling outs can be completely unintentional. Whether we get busy with school, work, family, new relationships, or we simply just change, the truth is that this is just the reality of life. 

I’m sure many of you have experienced something similar, and you can relate that it isn’t easy. There was never an argument or a huge fight that ended our friendship, we simply had a falling out. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me, and I feel that both my friend and I have missed out on being there for each other for many important events.

Having a falling out with a close friend can be emotionally draining, so here are 5 recommendations that helped me and can help many others going through the same process:

Give yourself time to process your emotions and understand the situation

A breakup with a friend can be just as tough as a breakup with a significant other, and it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. To cope with your emotions, start by giving yourself time to grieve and assess your feelings about the situation so you can come to terms with the reality of losing a friend. During grieving, ask yourself: Are our problems beyond repair? Did they do something unforgivable? What caused this to happen?

Since the breakup with my friend, I have experienced about every emotion possible. I initially tried to brush it off and pretend I did not care. However, as weeks turned into months, I realized I was genuinely hurt by the situation and I missed her. I experienced a range of emotions: jealousy, anger, disappointment, loneliness, and confusion. I cried, A LOT.

It is important to remember that it is okay to feel vulnerable during these situations. You might force yourself to hold in your emotions, but bottling up your feelings is not healthy and it is normal to cry it out. 

Look at the situation from their perspective

Everyone has flaws, even you. Try to be more self-aware and understand you might have been in the wrong too. If you both equally contributed to the falling out, then you cannot throw all the blame on them nor should you hold a grudge. It is better to ask yourself: Why did the friendship end? Should I have tried harder to maintain it? Remember, friendship is a two-way street and it takes two people to communicate.

You should take into consideration how they are feeling. When you lose a close friend, it is likely that they are also experiencing the same or similar emotions as you are. And guess what, she probably misses you just as much as you miss her.

Do NOT make your mutual friends choose a side

I cannot express this one enough. A good friend would NEVER try to put their other friends in an uncomfortable position by forcing them to take a side. This problem involves two people, and no one else. Your mutual friends might be hurting too because they’re conflicted and feel they now have to split their time. Making your friends choose a side will only cause more drama and could ultimately make you lose those friends too. 

When both of you are in the wrong, you must be mature and refrain from speaking negatively about them. In my situation, I know that the girl was and still is an amazing person, so I never could say anything bad about her. Talking crap to your mutual friends puts them in an even more difficult position, and frankly, it will make you look petty.

Make new friends

Moving on is never easy but making new friends can be when you put yourself out there. While you may think that no one will ever compare to your lost friend, surrounding yourself around different people can fill the void and offer you new friendship qualities. Evaluate which qualities you look for in a friendship, then find the courage to expose yourself to new people.

I used to struggle when it came to making friends, and when I was younger, I honestly did not have that many. After my falling out, I decided to put myself back out there because I was tired of feeling left out. I ended up meeting a few girls recently that welcomed me in with open arms and have since become people I could not imagine my life without.

And finally, reach out when you are ready

If you are as stubborn as I am, this will be the hardest part. This requires you to be the bigger person and to take initiative. If you realize that you still want them in your life, start by apologizing or reaching out. If the two of you are still unable to resolve your issues, then at least you know you did everything that you could.

I found myself reaching out many times during the first few months, but I eventually stopped because nothing was changing. We would agree that we both missed each other and wanted to resolve our issues, but after each time I reached out, I never heard from her again. It turned into a never-ending cycle and only caused me more pain. I finally had to accept that when she was ready, she would let me know. 

If the friendship was genuine, remember that this is only temporary. Eventually you will both come around and have the opportunity to discuss the situation, but for now it is going to take some distance. In the meantime, be patient, focus on yourself, and understand that sometimes people change.

The 5 Best Artists to Listen to While Studying

By: Cole Anderson

1. God is an Astronaut

Instrumental music is crucial when studying requires your full attention and vocals are only going to distract you. With nine studio albums since they formed in 2002, God is an Astronaut is a post-rock style band that blends traditional rock instrumentation with electronic features to create an upbeat and vibey sound without losing their authentic rock feel.

2. Tool

If you’re looking for something a little edgier to go along with your late night contemplations of dropping out and moving back in with your parents, Tool’s third studio album “Lateralus” is a great place to start. Classified as an alternative metal band, Tool’s music has an intensity level high enough to keep you alert without having to resort to that third Red Bull.

3. Hans Zimmer Soundtracks

If you’re ever experiencing a lack of motivation while studying, it never hurts to throw on the Interstellar or The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack for a spark of inspiration. Hans is a go-to when responsibility knocks at your door at the eleventh hour and you have to start a paper you should have started weeks ago. The forcefulness of the music combined with a dose of Adderall (doctor prescribed, of course) will make you feel as if you are on a mission from God to do the impossible and get that A you probably don’t deserve.

4. Kygo

Kygo has a lot of great music if you have been walking across campus in single digit temperatures all day and would rather be on a beach somewhere.  Kygo’s bubbly sound can help just about anyone keep a positive attitude during stressful times and see the light at the end of the tunnel during finals week. If you’re in need of a pick me up, put on Kygo’s debut album “Cloud Nine” and turn that corner of the library into your own tropical paradise.

5. Emancipator

A mellower alternative that should not go overlooked is Emancipator. With a very hedonic and almost spiritual sound, Emancipator’s instrumentals are a great way to entertain your ears while doing your schoolwork. To this date Emancipator has released five studio albums, all of which are ideal for tuning out distractions while checking things off your to-do list.

And there you have it, get familiar with some of these artists to help you get through your next big study day!


The hope of a Seattle Mariners Fan.

By Bobby Moorehead

Here’s the thing, I never wanted to be a Mariners fan, it just happened. If I could go back and change my life and somehow not become a Mariners fan, I would. It would have saved me from a lot of heartache.

But, I am what I am.

For those of you who don’t know anything about the Mariners or baseball in general, we stink. I’m talking worst of the worst. We have the longest playoff draught of ANY team in professional sports. Not just baseball, ANY sport. It’s been 17 years since they last played in a playoff series. 17! The craziest part about it, the last time they did make the playoffs, they set an Major League Baseball record for most wins in a season. Let me say that again, the last time they made the playoffs, they set the record for most wins in a season… Most ever. And somehow, they can’t make the playoffs in any of the 17 years after? Something just doesn’t add up.

The hardest part about it all, is that every year I talk myself into believing that we are finally going to do it, we are going to make it, and each year I am left devastated and yet, somehow optimistic. Looking back, it is crazy to see some of the teams the Mariners fielded over the years. Some of these rosters are bad. Really bad. And I talked myself into believing every single one of those teams was going to be the one that did it. It is almost embarrassing sometimes to look back and see what I was optimistic about. In hindsight, it’s so easy to look at the Mariners rosters over the years, and say ‘well of course they were bad’, but when you truly care about something as much as I do, you don’t see things the same way others do. Love can be blind.

I want the Mariners to succeed more than I want a successful life, or a successful marriage. I NEED them to succeed. Something inside of me has to see them do well, and I hate myself for it. But there is also something so sweet about it. I urge you Mariners fans, only the ones who have been here all along, to keep going, and to never give up.

Here are a few tips for the true Mariners fan:

1. Keep Hoping

You have made it this far, giving up now would be a disservice to yourself. I know it’s hard, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. What doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger. These difficult 17 years (and counting) aren’t going to kill you. They definitely are not always fun, but having hope in something is a beautiful thing. Hope keeps you going, it gives you something to look forward to. When hope is gone, there is nothing left.

2. The moment it all comes together will be worth it

Only a small few of us will be able to say that we stuck with it, we were with them through thick and thin. I’ve known many who have given up on the team. Not us. We stood strong and are still standing strong. When the day comes, and the Mariners end the draught, we will be standing there with tears in our eyes and joy in our hearts. And let me tell you, that moment will be so sweet. The joy we will feel will be worth all the pain we went through to get there. The relief we will have after persevering and never giving up will be hard to put into words. Regular people just won’t understand.

I’ll wait 17 more years. I’ll even wait until the end of my life. And if that day comes, and I am on my death bed, I will look back and be grateful that I was able to have hope in something. Even if it is just in a baseball team.

Go M’s.

5 Best Views in Missoula

Montana, the Big Sky State, is home to some of the most beautiful photography spots in the world. Many of these underrated views are within an hour drive from Montana’s second largest city, Missoula. Here are a few of my favorite Missoula spots:

  1. Mount Sentinel “M” Trail

This is probably the most iconic of Missoula views. The trailhead for the widely popular “M” Trail is right on campus, and a 30-minute hike will give you some of the best views possible of the valley.

2. Mount Jumbo

The Mount Jumbo hike is a bit longer than the “M” Trail, but certainly worth it for a lesser known lookout of the city.

3. Blue Mountain Recreation Area

Blue Mountain is a great area for a morning dog walk or a round of frisbee golf. This beautiful area is just a 10-minute drive from the city and has some amazing views of the South Hills.

4. Pattee Canyon

The Pattee Canyon road goes from the southeast corner of Missoula all the way to Bonner, Montana. Just be careful on the roads in winter.

5. “Top of the World”

“Top of the World” is the easiest of these spots to access. Simply drive all the way up Whitaker Drive and loop back down on Spanish Peaks Drive. Make sure to check out this view before the area is completely covered in real estate developments.

All photos by Elias Snyders (@EliasSnyders). To see more visit http://www.eliassnyders.com

More amazing spots near Missoula. Photos by Elias Snyders.

www.instagram.com/eliassnyders

I Still like UM and I Think You do too

By Tyler Pike

It’s not a secret that the University of Montana has found itself in quite a morale slump and fiscal crisis. When I was a freshman in Knowles Hall, I remember a time at UM where across campus the study lounges in the Residence Halls were being converted into temporary bedrooms because of a booming freshman class. Those days now seem like a distant memory with multiple floors of Aber Hall vacant, with only the emergency lights keeping the quiet hallways company. As much as I like UM, it’d be silly not to admit its shortcomings. Between scandals, a history of poor academic advising, a few unhelpful tenured professors,  budget cuts, and a declining student population this slump shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Despite UM’s recent struggles, I’m convinced that little chunks of hope, pride, and enthusiasm hide buried in our campus.

I was about nine years old when I got my first taste of Missoula and the University. Back in 2005 my family drove up from Great Falls to Missoula for the weekend so my Great-Uncle Bud could take me to my very first Griz football game. I watched the Griz play Cal Poly on October 22nd,  kickoff was at 1:05 PM, and we beat them 36-27. I don’t remember the game, but I remember being totally blown away by the crowd and energy in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Selecting the right college wasn’t an active thought in my head then, but that day I subconsciously committed to becoming a Grizzly.

Here’s the reason I started to love Missoula

My hometown has the energy of an old industrial town that peaked in the eighties. I grew up on the old side of windy Great Falls. My middle school felt frozen in time with weight-room lifting records from the 1970s still clinging to the walls. My beloved Great Falls High pridefully hangs state championship banners from the fieldhouse ceiling that show how dominant Great Falls was during the 30s, 70s, 80s, but there aren’t many additions since. The town’s economy relies on an Airforce base, an oil refinery, and hospitals due to former residents moving back to retire and die. Great Falls is still riding the high of when Lewis and Clark made an appearance in 1805 and had to port the waterfalls. Needless to say, the excitement and energy of Missoula grew on me.

When I’m on campus I still feel that part of my nine year old self that’s thrilled to be here. I love the opportunities UM created for me. Maybe I’m just glad to not be in Great Falls, but I think it’s something more.I still get excited about having Mount Sentinel as a backyard. I get excited when I see an orientation leader walking around campus backwards. I get excited when I hear about student involvement on campus.I get excited seeing our new handsome President rally hope into people. I’ve worked as a Resident Assistant, I’ve helped submit a KRELF grant, I can actually get excited about going to classes, I’m a captain of the men’s ultimate frisbee team, I accidentally became president of the Judo club, I currently work for UM Housing at the Lewis and Clark Village, and I still get excited about it.

I know not everyone gets dealt the same opportunities, has had my experiences, or loves Missoula as much as I do but I can’t be alone. I imagine that there has to be people like me all over campus, because I’m extraordinarily average. I know I’m not the only one who has made lifelong friends, memories, and found impactful experiences at UM. I understand why people get so critical of UM and I think of it as a sign of endearment. Though right now doesn’t appear to be UM’s peak, we’re all fighting for the same thing. We want UM to be the best version of itself.

I love UM, but I’ll let you know if I love it less after I start getting calls asking to donate.

THE JOURNEY OF A MID-MAJOR STUDENT BASKETBALL MANAGER

The majority of people hear the job title “basketball manager” and instantly think of a water boy who does laundry but, it is way more than that. Student basketball managers are the back bone to any successful program. They are the people who are first in the office and the last to leave. They are the ones who show up to practice a whole hour before anyone else. The people who strive to be a student basketball manager want only one thing… and it is not the glamour but, it is to see the players and the team succeed.

“People look at managers and they think of guys getting balls and water. The reality is that the manager is managing the program. They’re putting in as many hours as anyone else, and they’re as valuable as anyone in the program because they’re the liaison between the student-athlete and the staff.” – Travis DeCuire (Montana Head Coach)

The real MVP’s in student managers come at the mid-major level. The level of college basketball where the talent and expectations are the same as those at the high major level. The manager staffs at the mid-major realms are quite a bit smaller because of school size and budget. The normal manager staffs at the high major level have an average of 8-12 managers and travel somewhere from 5-6 managers. Compared to the mid-major level, have staffs from 1-5 managers and travel 0-2 managers.

For most managers they are on complete staffs. Meaning, they have a coaching staff that completes each role. But for Montana the role of Director of Basketball Operations has fallen on a manager over the past 2 seasons.

For myself being a manager at the University of Montana it has been a HUGE advantage to be at the mid-major level in my college career. Over the past 5 years I have been behind the scenes for the Griz and mastering every trait that has come my way. I have been thrown some ridiculous tasks and tremendous responsibilities.

When I first came in to college basketball, I had to send email after email to the former Director of Basketball Operations for the Griz until I was given an opportunity to prove my worth. I had to tryout at that year’s basketball summer camps as a camp coach. This story has a twist to it that is very common in college athletics, a coaching change. The summer I was auditioning to become a manager for Montana the entire staff left for Oregon State and a new staff came in. With the unknown of whether or not I would still have the same opportunity or not I introduced myself as if I was going to be a part of the team.

Entering season number one and not knowing what to expect from being a student manager and still not knowing what will be expected of me I took all tasks to the best of my ability. Being under a tremendous Head Manager, Kramer Ungaretti, and learning under him and the new staff that was more technology driven than the last. It led me to wanting to pursue a job in basketball front office. I would spend the next 2 years being a student manger and have the tasks of; assisting in creating graphics for recruits, updating recruiting records, setting up practice, assisting in practice, film setup, managing and clipping film, assisting ordering team meals, sending weekly mailouts, and yes, I also was getting water while wiping up sweat from the floor. These tasks helped me form into taking over the head manager position once Ungaretti graduated.

Year three ended up being the year of the most growth. I stepped into the role of Head Manager and brought on more responsibilities. I moved into my own desk into the coach’s offices, where I shared with an assistant coach. I was in the office, FINALLY! In a way for a young professional to be given their own space in a work place that they have always dreamed of working, gave me a peace of mind. I wanted to prove myself and prove that I can fill the shoes of my predecessor and not let the team feel like they took a step backwards. My advice to current and potential managers is to “strive to be the first one in and the last one out” as this has helped me excel in ranks. My family has taught hard work and they believe you have to start from the ground up to really know the industry. The year of being a head manager I was fortunate enough to be able to travel with the team and see what it takes for a mid-major team to travel on a more minimal budget. Traveling with the team has taken me to some remarkable areas. Areas like Costa Rica, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and across the United States. For this year I was still doing all the same tasks as I was before but was granted more advanced tasks. I was in charge of all meals on the road and assisted the Ops with anything else that was needed for travel. I was also the head of Team Communication, was in constant communication with the entire team on upcoming events, travel, academic meetings and community outreach programs. I continued to develop as a video coordinator and started making my own highlight films for the team.

I also spent hours in assisting the coaching staff with scouts and other projects. One skill that a majority of managers overlook is the use of Photoshop. Photoshop is a skill that can put you over the top as a manager. Having the capability of making graphics and other informative tools will separate you and make you more widely used. 

Jumping forward to my last two years of being a student basketball manager, I moved into the role of Director of Operations. Not holding the title as the teams Director of Operations but having the majority of the tasks. As the last two seasons I planned all of the team’s travel. Everything from booking flights, hotels, bus transportation, scheduling of away facilities, head coach recruiting travel and team meals. All while keeping track of the team’s budget. I also keep numerous statistics. I keep track of the teams plus/minus, shot charts, teams passing shot percentage, defense and offense efficiency, hustle chart, and the teams different lineups used in a game with how they performed.

For managers it is a very competitive environment and the managers that do not focus on the glam are those who are in it for a career. Managers take this job seriously. You will not find many individuals sprinting to wipe up sweat on the floor or running to give a head coach a board. You always need to be aware of what is going on as a manager and be on edge during every aspect. It is a thankless job. Managers develop skills in all aspects of the basketball world. They become masters at crafts that have nothing to do with basketball. As an Assistant Coach at Montana, Coach Flores, has said to me, “this job is 80% organization/hard work, 15% completing tasks, and 5% basketball”. Summer camps are the bread and butter for managers. They are typically asked to show off their leadership and at some schools run the entire camp. Being a camp counselor all the way to a camp director has taught me the most. The amount of planning and detail you need for a camp is quite extensive. It is a job that takes multiple people and multiple departments throughout the University to make it successful. Not to mention the leadership it takes to speak in front of hundreds of kids and get all their attention and instruct them to do something can be overwhelming for first timers and will take some time to fully develop. As I have mentioned many tasks above, there are so much more that a manager does to help aid the coaching staff and do not forget they are still full time students.

The 4 C’s of Being a Great College Basketball Manager:

Commitment, Communication, Consistency, Common Sense

1. COMMITMENT

*  To the JOB

*  To your TEAM

*  To the SCHEDULE

2. COMMUNICATION   

*  With your BOSSES

*  With your COACHES

*  With your TEAM

*  With your fellow MANAGERS

3. CONSISTENCY  

*  In your ACTIONS

*  In your APPEARANCE

4. COMMON SENSE

*  With the KEYS

*  With the EQUIPMENT

*  When TRAVELING

With being a part of a small staff and having full time responsibilities at such a young age for a program that is on the rise, I have gathered so much information that has set me up for a bright future. With a mid-major staff, the majority of them are guys who are from the DII ranks or high major teams, they offer a verity of connections for you to network with. With the specific staff at the University of Montana and the other coaches that have moved onto other programs their connections and experiences are impressive. There have been peaks and valleys to this whole process and I am eternally grateful for what the University of Montana, the Missoula community, current/past players, coaches, and Coach DeCuire have provided for me.

“It’s not an easy job to be successful with, and that’s why a lot of the better managers move on to high positions. Some of the best coaches were managers, because they realized that X’s and O’s aren’t always the biggest thing when it comes to managing basketball programs.” – Travis DeCuire

So instead of people looking for glamour, schools are looking for students who want to:

• Haul luggage onto buses and hotels in the late hours

• Fill and refill Powerade bottles

• Cut and edit film until their eyes cross

• Chart hustle plays and other obscure stats at games

• Work camps in the summer

• Sacrifice weekends and holiday trips in exchange for practices

• Stand, just so far apart, ball tucked under one arm, other arm on hip, towel over shoulder.

In other words, individuals who are willing to do just about whatever they are asked to do to make life easier for basketball players their own age. At the end of the road you will not want to replace it for anything else in the world. Best college job.

Quotes of Inspiration

“Don’t let the peaks and valleys get to you. Keep rolling.” 
– Chad Buchanan (Indiana Pacers GM)

“Rest at the end and not in the middle”  – Mr. Fisk (Kobe Bryant’s English teacher)

“Inspire the people next to you, that is how you create greatness” – Kobe Bryant

GO GRIZ!

If You Think Your Server Hates You, Ill Help You Find the Reason Why.

By Hanna Ronish

I have been working in the front of the house of a restaurant for 11 years.  (bartending and serving for those who are not familiar with the restaurant lingo) and I LOVE my job.  It does not feel like work when I get to hangout with people who tell fascinating stories and (my favorite) mediocre dad jokes.  Although my day is filled with positivity and people who bring a smile to my face, there are the few who test my patience.  And let me tell you, all servers and bartenders have a few things in common.  You have definitely starred in the wait staff’s “server nightmares” if you have done the following:

Finish your entire plate of food and then criticize every last bit of it.  At this point, I have silently tallied up every single time I visited the table to make sure everything was running smoothly, only to come to the conclusion that you had more than enough opportunities to tell me about your dissatisfaction.  Too many people try to get free things in this world.  Just don’t do that.

Customer- (never having met this customer before) “Make me something good.”

Bartender – **Face palm.

Complain about the temperature of the restaurant/the volume of the music.  Did someone’s mom forget to teach you to bring a jacket wherever you go?  Servers are on their feet and walking more miles in one 5 hour shift, than most people will in a week.  We cannot function properly if it is 80 degrees in the building.  If we cannot function, we cannot serve you, you will starve. End of story. (Studies show people eat less when they are hot. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the owner.)

Speaking of…

“I know the owner.”  Yeah… you and everyone else.  If you think that taking a class 20 years ago with the guy who writes my paycheck is going to get you a free drink, think again.  He can fire me.

Order a drink but ask your bartender to present it in a different glass than the norm.  If you are not comfortable enough with your sexuality to drink rose out of a wine glass or a lemon drop out of a sugared martini glass then let me give you a quick tip, order a beer like a real man and drink it out of the tough guy, pint glass it comes in.

Sitting at the ONLY dirty table when there are clean, fully set tables in every direction around you. For the love of God, just don’t do this.

It’s not a Cuba Libre, it’s a Rum and Coke.  I don’t know who came up with the pet names for drinks but let’s skip that step and just call a vodka cranberry with a lime a “Vodka cranberry with a lime.” Not a Cape Cod. **Insert dramatic eye roll

Two words. Hot. Tea.  Its not your fault if you like this tasteless drink, just know that as your server is juggling the lemons, honey, spoon, extra piping hot water, assortment of tea flavors, sweetener and hatred, they have probably started fantasizing your funeral.

Above all else…

Treat your server like a human who has feelings.  Waiters and waitresses don’t just talk to hear themselves talk.  When approaching a table and asking the question, “Good morning everyone, how are you doing?” THE. MOST. Disrespectful (and far too common) answer any server will cringe over is “Coffee with cream.”  (at this point I’m assuming you are going to be bitter and unenjoyable the entire visit. Just like coffee is to me)

This should go without saying, but any snapping, whistling, aggressive waving motions, clapping, unnecessary interrupting, or calls from across the bar or restaurant should just be illegal.  We are servers, not servants.  When this behavior arises, we are more inclined to walk the other direction than to tend politely to your needs.  If your waitress walks up to the table with a smile after you have whistled or snapped at her, she has perfected the poker face, that smile was not genuine.