The Spectrum's 40th Anniversary!
BY N. RAZBAN '23
Your favorite high school newspaper is hitting a midlife crisis, and to celebrate, I interviewed our very own AB and The Spectrum alumni: English teacher Mr. Brusie! Drawn in by his love of humorous writing, Mr. Brusie joined The Spectrum as a freshman in 1994, and by his junior year of high school, he was editor of “The Other Side,” a section we now know as “Off-Topic'' (a rather respectable role if I do say so myself). His comedic commentary was inspired by writers like Dave Barry, a columnist whose humor column was featured in the Miami Herald, as well as talk-show host David Letterman.
Mr. Brusie recalls some of his most infamous pieces, one of which was aimed at the football team. It criticized “the amount of attention that the football team got in relation to other teams and clubs.” His commentary did not end at sports, however; Mr. Brusie also tackled academics in an article that was “making fun of the English curriculum”. Perhaps karma is what brought him back to AB. Before becoming an English teacher here, however, Mr. Brusie wrote for various publications throughout college and then became a news writer for the The Beacon before realizing news was not his style. Although being part of The Spectrum did not create a straight path to his English teaching career, Mr. Brusie notes that reflecting on his time at the newspaper helped him realize that high school was the age group he wanted to work with.
The communal and interpersonal aspect of working for the paper also played a large part in Mr. Brusie’s high school experience. He recalls “layout nights” where The Spectrum staff would stay late into the night to prepare the paper for print, and how “collegial and fun” that environment was. Although layout week still exists, the new technology we have now makes preparing for print much more efficient as all of our layout is done digitally. Back during his time at the paper, Mr. Brusie explains that they would have to “physically lay [the paper] out” by gluing “the articles that were printed out onto giant poster boards and taking them to the printer.”
Beyond creating a community, The Spectrum was also a creative outlet for Mr. Brusie. He states that he was “never the type to randomly make art” and that the structured nature of writing for a publication allowed him to explore his creativity. When asked about an aspect of the paper he wishes still existed, Mr. Brusie describes a recurring segment which was called “‘student spotlight’, where one student would write a profile about another student.” He notes that coincidentally, one of the students he wrote a spotlight about later became his wife. Hear that folks? Write for The Spectrum to find true love.
Mr. Brusie finishes by reflecting that “It has always been so valuable to have student voices that are allowed to be their own…I’m so glad [The Spectrum] is still around both in print and online.” We’ve been around for forty years, so here’s to forty more. Happy anniversary to The Spectrum!