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STANLEY BREWSTER/ARBITER FILE PHOTO Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick scores against the Broncos during their 2007 season at Bronco Stadium

Three years ago, before the phenomena of athletes kissing their biceps after scoring a touchdown was deemed “Kaepernicking,” Boise State football was on the cusp of completely changing the structure of college football.

Only Nevada, one wacky new pistol offense, and Colin Kaepernick stood in the way of the Broncos.

Had Boise State defeated No. 19 Nevada in overtime that November Friday night in Reno, Nevada, the Broncos would have won the 2011 Rose Bowl, joined the eventual Pac-12 Conference and changed the entire destiny of Boise State football.

In case you didn’t already know, that didn’t happen. Two missed kicks ended a 24-game win streak and dropped the Broncos from their No. 4 out of the BCS bowl conversation.

It was Nevada’s best day in program history, and senior kicker Kyle Brotzman’s worst nightmare after missing a 26-yard field goal to win the game at the end of regulation, and a 29-yarder in overtime.

Brotzman inevitably became public enemy No. 1 in Bronco Nation for his miscues.

Boise State sat one spot behind No. 3 ranked Texas Christian in the BCS standings, and a win over a Top 25 opponent would have added yet another positive bullet point to the Broncos’ regular season resume.

On the other side, TCU defeated New Mexico on the road, one week after they pounded the overrated, No. 5 ranked, Utah Utes. Andy Dalton had a career-passing day in Salt Lake City, Utah and positioned the Horned Frogs directly in front of the Broncos for consideration by the Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship game.

If Brotzman accurately kicked one of his late field goals between the Reno uprights, Boise State would have defeated their third Top 25 regular season opponent and looked far more attractive to bowl selection committees than their equally undefeated counterparts.

To speculate that Boise State wouldn’t have been as successful if they played Utah in Week 11 is also off base, considering the Broncos didn’t allow an offensive touchdown to the Utes in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas in their 26-3 at the end of the season.

One kick. One kick would have placed Boise State in the college football promised land that is the Rose Bowl, and TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. One kick would have given Chris Petersen his third BCS bowl game win in four years. And one kick could have caused the Pac-10 Conference to choose Boise State instead of the sorry excuse for football programs Colorado and Utah for the new super conference.

This season may have been Boise State’s last opportunity to make a bid for one of the four power conferences in college football, and with the new playoff system being implemented, the dreams Bronco Nation once had of a national championship have faded away.

Bronco fans called for a playoff for years as they watched Boise State get snubbed by BCS voters, but the development of a playoff system ironically killed the Broncos’ chances of ever finishing No. 1.

Nevertheless, Joe Southwick’s mustache grows on. So that’s something.

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Cody FInney / The Arbiter

Tasha Adams and Nicole Reither are graduating this Saturday. They conquered all things graduation and are proud to walk away undaunted. 

What is a reflection on your undergrad experience? Did it meet your expectations?

Nicole: It met my expectations and more. Even though sometimes I wanted to drop out and be done with school forever I always knew that was just a dream. And now with graduation in one week I am wishing I were on the five-year plan. Either that or I am thinking about re-enrolling again as a freshman. I had the perfect undergrad experience, from classes, friends, work and parties it was an emotional rollercoaster but one I would never take back.

Tasha: I had a different experience from Nicole. I actually envy her undergrad experience. But for being a non-trad, I am proud of how things went. I feel like I always knew I would get my college degree but never really knew how it would play out. It was tough to juggle jobs and bills and school for as many years as I did but I am satisfied with everything I have accomplished. And every other graduate should be too. It was tough and we freaking did it.

What do you wish you had done differently?

Nicole: There isn’t anything I would have done differently other than some typical bad decisions made by every college student here and there. However, everything I experienced in college from student organizations to being apart of The Arbiter has shaped me into the person I am right now. And that is why even though I am scared as hell; I know that I am ready to move on to become a real human.

Tasha: I wish I would have done it the traditional way. I wish I was just a little younger and able to justify house parties or all-nighters. Instead, I had to worry about paying bills I had accumulated while I was busy being an adult. I didn’t make a ton of friends in classes or clubs but the handful I did make are amazing.

What are you doing now after graduation?

Nicole: Becoming a real human? Sounds frightening to me. However, I fortunately have a job lined up in Arizona that I am very excited about. Moving away from this town and the people that have been my family for the past four years is all so bitter sweet.

The beginning of a new chapter and career for me is something I have been working very hard toward however the thought of paying bills and attending a nine to five is still giving me nightmares.

Tasha: I started my own business this semester so I am going to really focus on that. And I am going to enjoy every single evening I don’t have a test to study for or  a paper to write.

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Arbiter Graphic

Tasha Adams is a senior graduating in May. Like Nicole Reither, she is also terrified of all things graduation—failing a class, walking at the ceremony, not finding a job after receiving her degree. 

“The undaunted undergrads” is an account of working through last-semester fears and getting the most out of the college experience. My announcements are sent and I am passing all my classes.

I have (almost) survived my last semester of college and In less than three weeks, I will have to pack into the Taco Bell arena with all the other graduates and walk the line.

I am terrified.

I don’t want to and the only reason I am is because I have friends who have told me I will regret it if I don’t.

I know it is such a large ceremony that the only people who will pay attention when my name is called will be the people who are there for me.

But I feel like vomiting when I think about walking on stage in front of that many people.

While all my fellow graduating friends are deciding on what pretty dress they want to wear on May 18, all I can think about is the shoes I am least likely to fall in.

I am seriously considering just wearing jeans and my Toms; practical, comfortable, low-risk.

Beyond that, I am mentally preparing for the end of my college career.

I am excited for my post-college life free of tests, assignments or late nights cranking out last minute papers. But I am more excited about actually having my degree, and part of that excitement comes from the purely symbolic act of donning my cap and gown to walk the line.

So even though commencement is causing me anxiety now, I am hoping I will be so amped on the fact that I will be a college graduate that I can get through the ceremony without my knees giving out.

Honestly, it will be about 11.7 seconds of my life spent as the center of attention and when it is over, I will push through all the other graduates to join my family in the Student Union Building. By the way, in case you didn’t know in lieu of meeting up with family on the intermural field, each college will have a designated area in the SUB.

The Jordan Ballroom will host the Graduate College, Arts and Sciences & Business and Economics and the Simplot Ballroom will host the Colleges of Education, Engineering, Health Sciences & Social Sciences and Public Affairs.

I will smile, take deep breaths and possibly cry tears of joy knowing that I conquered college, despite all the roadblocks that happened along the way.

And unless all my nightmares about falling or tripping come true, I will come out unscathed and proud—proud of working my butt off for the last four years, proud of passing my classes, proud of not overdosing on caffeine.

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“Breaking Expectations” is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s first hand experiences and advice on dealing with mental illness.

A few weeks ago, I had an obligation to attend a birthday party for a good friend of my boyfriend’s.

The birthday girl and I have had our issues in the past and have been working on developing a relationship. So needless to say, I was not looking forward to dinner.

I woke up that day and was already in panic mode. I didn’t want to get out of bed, go to school or work, let alone this dinner.

My hands were shaking, my brain was cloudy, I couldn’t concentrate on anything besides dinner. I spent the entire day thinking about how awful it was going to be and working myself up.

I had an hour and a half break in between work and dinner, and I wasn’t going to drive all the way home, just to turn back around and drive to the other side of Boise.

Knowing I couldn’t just sit in my car and let my mind roam, I drove to Hastings to start my summer book collection (what English major doesn’t have a personal summer reading list?).

I allowed myself to become enveloped in rows and rows of books which would make their way onto my bookshelf. I felt like a kid in a candy store.

I was so wrapped up in the possibility of reading all the books I could hold in my arms that I lost track of time, and before I knew it, I was late for dinner. But I didn’t care.

The time I took for myself allowed me to concentrate on other things besides my anxiety. It was literally eliminated during my time at Hastings.

By the time I got to dinner, my panic started to return because my mind wasn’t occupied with which Ernest Hemmingway story I was going to re-read first.

However, I knew because I had indulged in some “me” time, where I pushed aside my thoughts, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

I was able to control it with medication and coping techniques.

One thing I want to make clear is it’s not easy to stop panic once it has started.

Some days, I can’t get it to stop no matter what I do. However, be proactive and try to prevent it.

It doesn’t go away by itself. YOU have to be the one to make the change, even if it’s difficult.

 

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

“Slow down!” Meliha Kaya, of Turkey, said.

This phrase is uttered on an almost daily basis in our apartment. The tendency to talk fast and slur words together is one common to anyone speaking their native language, though it is apparently particularly prevalent in Americans.

“You have what people think of as an American accent,” Timothy Daniel, French, said. “You talk fast.”

A lot of misunderstandings can be avoided with proper enunciation and slowing it down. This is obvious to anyone who has tried to learn a use a different language with a native speaker, but it is very difficult to remember when you are the native speaker in question.

Excitement also makes it difficult to slow down. I challenge anyone to try and calmly and slowly say, “The huskies are here and we can drive the dog-sleds to the top of the hills to see the Northern lights let’s go!”

My self-control is not strong enough for that. In this case, sign language and dramatic gestures and grins get the point across just fine.

What else characterizes an American accent though? Though many seldom consider their natural dialect an accent, it is surprising to note that an ‘American accent’ doesn’t include the intra-American accents which come to mind. The southern drawl, or Boston Brahmin accent, are not well known outside the States, making a California-Idaho accent one which is “typically American” in the eyes of non-native speakers.

Despite speed, American English is characterized by being relatively easy to understand. This was a surprise to me and to non-native speakers as well, who thought citizens of the United Kingdom, being from the homeland of English, would be the easiest for them to understand.

“When the girls from Ireland start talking to each other I can barely understand a word. And there was this girl from Liverpool that I couldn’t understand at all,” Christian Gruber of Switzerland said.

This is not to say there aren’t moments of staring blankly at each other as we try to figure out what the other person actually meant. In these instances, I recommend a thesaurus.

American English is rhotic, meaning we pronounce our r’s. According to Oscar Rydblom, English professor, this r pronunciation (or lack thereof) is one of the main differences between English accents. This pronunciation of r’s makes it easier to understand some words and distinguishing between them for non-native speakers.

Another pronunciation point is the enunciation of h’s. This isn’t so much an American English thing as it is a general English characteristic which gives non-native speakers (particularly the French) difficulties. It results in amusing anecdotes though.

On a trip to Stockholm, Timothy asked our Swedish friend Erika Egonsson, “Are you hungry?”

However, due to a lack of h’s, it sounded more like, “Are you angry?”

What followed was a classic slapstick routine out of Saturday Night Live as each party got increasingly frustrated that the other just wasn’t getting it, until finally Timothy managed to pronounce an extremely guttural h as he demanded, “Are you hungry?”

The look of embarrassed enlightenment on Erika’s face was priceless.

Though it has been said repeatedly, it bears saying again. Speaking slowly and without mumbling will save a lot of blank staring, though some misunderstandings are inevitable. Just be patient and have a good sense of humor about the whole situation. Or, even better, try speaking their native language so they have something to laugh about too.

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Sports are one of the world’s oldest forms of entertainment. For centuries, fans have watched in awe and wonder as history has been made right before their eyes. But almost as entertaining as the sports themselves, is the age old contest of fans bickering and arguing over the hot button issues.

For years, one of the most debated topics for sports fans has been, “who is the greatest of all time?” While there is no clear-cut way to decide who is the greatest team, player, coach, etc. sports fans continually insist upon beating out heads against walls to prove that our point is the correct one.

With the beginning of the NBA playoffs, so to comes the argument of the greatest basketball player of all time.

Many people resort to the fact that whoever has the most championships is clearly the greatest ever. With this logic, the award would go to Bill Russell without any hesitation, as Russell won an unprecedented 11 NBA championships in just 13 seasons, all with the Boston Celtics.

But this would automatically rule out several players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, who did not come close to matching Russell’s record. Therefore, other factors have to be added in.

Arguably the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan had possible the most comparable dominant run to Russell, winning six championships in six seasons that included two 3-peats, averaging 30.1 points per game for his career, and 33.4 in the playoffs.

Another great player in NBA history who snatched up five NBA titles, while averaging a career double-double with 19.5 points per game and 12.3 assists per game.  Magic would also tack on 7.7 rebounds per game for his career, making him one of the most prolific all-around players the game has ever seen.

All this brings us to the argument of this generation and the potential of one the most special players we have ever seen, LeBron James. To many people, James has been seen as a bust due to him not winning championship for nine seasons.  But at 6’ 8”, 250 pounds, James is possibly the best overall athlete the world has seen since the great Bo Jackson.

Averaging 27.6 points per game, 6.9 assists per game, and 7.3 rebounds per game, James is arguably the most dominant players on the planet and a close overall comparison to Magic Johnson.

With the playoffs upon us, a second title for James could increase the argument for greatest of all time, but the age old question will live on forever.

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Arbiter Graphic

Nicole Reither is a senior graduating in May with a degree in Communication and a certificate in Public Relations.
Like Tasha Adams, she is also terrified of graduating–missing out on free food at the BRC, student tickets to events and the luxury of the free gym.
“The undaunted undergrads” is an account of working through last-semester fears and getting the most out of the college experience.

Four weeks, four weeks is all I have left of being an undergraduate student here at the great Boise State.
So, as the day approaches my bucket list dwindles down.

With a big road block of deciding what to do next, I was surprisingly taken aback when a good friend texted me telling me she had purchased a massage for me for my graduation gift.

It all seemed like too much but shout out to my girl Annella Kelso for such a generous gift.
Have you ever gotten naked in front of a complete stranger?
Yeah me either, until today. The masseuse was very professional but I still felt extremely anxious and awkward at first, especially because it was a man.

I have never thought of myself as a very conservative person and I’m usually not uncomfortable with the idea of massages.
However, as the hour approached I found myself feeling weird about the idea of having a strange man rub my back and legs while trying to relax.
In the beginning I was very tense and not sure how to act.

However as the hour played out I found myself settling into a sea of not thinking and total mitigation.

The fifty-five minutes was up way too soon and before I knew it I was putting my clothes on and driving away with only the smell of the oils left on my skin.
Reminiscing on the gift I was given from my dear friend, I realized stepping out of your comfort zone is something everyone should partake in.

With finals around the corner and my personal fear of starting a new job and not feeling fully prepared, a massage was exactly what I needed.
It helped to center me and get lost for an hour out of the day.

College has taught me how to think logically and to problem solve.
But most importantly it has taught me what it is like to take a leap of faith on something and hope for the best.

So if you’re graduating and starting your life just like me, then I challenge you to jump out of your box too and go get a de-stressing massage before finals.
It will be a good way to calm the nerves before reality really sets in.
You may not be comfortable with the idea. But trust me, in the end it is all worth it.

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Cody Finney /The Arbiter

Encountering stereotypes is an inevitable part of meeting new people. Meeting new people from other countries just means there are more stereotypes to work through and be aware of.

For Americans, there are two big stereotypes to be aware of.

First, Americans are stupid. This one is interesting because I have yet to encounter it directly, but I have been asked if I have had any problems with people who believe this stereotype. This implies one of two things: either people are aware that the stereotype is a ridiculous overgeneralization so no one actually believes it, or I have a flashing sign saying ‘not stupid’ floating over my head making people think I will disprove the stereotype every time I encounter it.

When asked what it is that perpetuates the stereotype that Americans are morons, the most frequent answer is reality television. Understandable, if my only encounter with America was Jersey Shore, I wouldn’t be impressed.

Another component which is actually rather amusing is geography. We are notorious for not knowing where places are in the world. Europeans are okay with not knowing the location of Estonia or Serbia, but claim we should be able to pick out the major European countries out on a map with no problem.

A valid point, but should you not be aware of the difference between Austria and Switzerland on a map, just whip out a blank map of the U.S. and ask them to pinpoint Colorado. It makes for not only a silencer on the matter of geography, but a fun drinking game.

This stereotype is easy to disprove and isn’t that prevalent for direct encounters. At this point it seems to be more of a stereotypical stereotype than an actual judgment.

The second stereotype is American arrogance. I will freely admit that I didn’t understand this for a while. While here I met far more arrogant Swedes and given the reputation of Swedes for humility that was a surprise. A Lithuanian friend ended up explaining it.

“I kind of envy you. You all (Americans) are just self-confident and willing to put yourself out there. We’re not,” Lijana Songailaite said.

In the interest of avoiding stereotype 1 subsection insensitive moron, I did not ask her if “we” meant Lithuanians or non-Americans in general. After a few questions to other Europeans, the conclusion was drawn that she probably meant Lithuanians in general, or at most, former East-bloc nationalities.

So this self-confidence and assertiveness translates into arrogance. Easily done really, just throw in some overbearing tendencies and fast-talking and the impression is left that Americans think they can do it better than anyone so just get out of their way. Arrogance personified, that’s us.

The best way to dodge this one is to make sure to let other people talk. Sometimes this requires sitting in silence for a good five minutes while everyone stares at each other to try and get someone else to speak up. Torturous, but if you break the silence every time people will just step aside and let you run the show. Not only does this perpetuate the arrogance stereotype, it leaves you with a lot more work to do than you would otherwise.

Supposedly there are other stereotypes of Americans out there. I am certain there are, but since I haven’t encountered them, I have no advice for you. Just be sure to talk coherently and let other people have their turn to speak, that pretty much takes care of them both.

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

“Breaking Expectations” is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s first hand experiences and advice on dealing with mental illness. This particular installment is in response to recent feedback to “Breaking Expectations.”

Just a clarification, this column is intended to give advice to those suffering with a mental illness. It is in no way a column that disregards what having a true panic attack is like.

I’ve never discussed any of my personal experiences with panic attacks, what they physically feel like, because I am still uncomfortable with doing so. Just because I haven’t posted how it feels doesn’t mean I haven’t had one, or experienced the aftermath of it.

The column is meant to induce a positive spin on a horrible situation, not create more fear in those who don’t know how to deal with their own anxiety.

This may come as a shock, but my intention of this column is to HELP, not put others down.

For those of you who say I am implying you can just “get over” a mental illness with breathing exercises and medication are wrong. To put me down for trying to help those who are experiencing minor panics and anxiety is, as some call, “nauseating.”

Yes, there are many, many times when getting out of bed is impossible because you’re so wound up you can’t even move without causing more anxiety. Trust me, I’ve been there MANY times. And yes, there are times when trying to breathe is out of the question because you’re so past the point of no return that the only breath’s you can take are shallow. You’re only worried about coming out of it alive.

I’ve had to drop out of school because I couldn’t go to class without having a panic attack. I’ve had massive panic attacks while driving, in doctor’s offices, even in an admissions office where paramedics were called.

This column has been running for only a few weeks. Give me time to open myself up to you. Like I wouldn’t expect you to tell me your deepest, darkest secrets after only knowing each other for only a few weeks, please don’t expect me to do the same.

Like I’ve said in previous articles, don’t judge someone if you don’t know their situation. So please don’t judge me because I haven’t fully let you into the deeper part of my anxiety. I’m still coping with it.

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Arbiter Graphic

Tasha Adams is a senior graduating in May. Like Nicole Reither, she is also terrified of all things graduation—failing a class, walking at the ceremony, not finding a job after receiving her degree. “The undaunted undergrads” is an account of working through last-semester fears and getting the most out of the college experience.

We are down to the wire, seniors. Less than five weeks until the graduation ceremony and if you haven’t already, now is the time to send out those announcements.

I hadn’t even planned on walking at the ceremony, let alone send out lame cards flaunting my achievement, but since I have had my mind changed about walking (thanks mom) I am now also sending out those lame cards.

However, when I got my commencement packet in the mail listing prices of said cards, my jaw dropped. Eighty freaking dollars for 25 announcements? Yeah, no thanks. So I did what any digital-age student will do, I Googled my own options with student-friendly prices.

From Walmart to Snapfish, the Internet is full of alternatives. And with prices in the $10 to $20 range for the same number of announcements, it leaves a lot of extra cash for other graduation necessities, such as that cap and gown I still need to purchase.

Another ethical dilemma I ran into was who the heck I should send the announcements to. With the only six (maybe ten) tickets available to me, I didn’t want to send announcements to everyone I knew and then say, “Hey, just kidding, you can’t actually go to the ceremony, but thanks for any money you want to send.”

But a friend had a good solution; after making her announcements at Office Max, she added a message on the back that said, “Due to the limited number of tickets available for graduates, I invite you to watch the ceremony in the comfort of you own homes with the live broadcast at boisestate.edu.”

So as we finish out our final weeks and wade through all the responsible things we need to do before we can actually walk on May 18, I encourage you to consider other options for your announcements. We have already spent thousands on our education, don’t spend more than you have to when you announce you completion of it.