‘Bru’ off to a brutal start

7:25 a.m.; the time which every student from 7th to 12th grade dreads at LB. On the first day of school, students sluggishly dragged themselves into their respective classes and took their assigned or chosen seats. Then sighed as the third bell of the morning rang, marking the beginning of yet another long year. However, something caught their attention as teachers turned their TV’s to channel six. Returning members of the LB community were all expecting the usual, clever rhyming catch phrase at the beginning of the morning announcements. Instead, all they received was “welcome to the Bruin Announcements.”

The calamity that occurred over the summer of 2013 has been a thorn in the side of all staff and students involved in broadcast journalism and a puzzle for students expecting the catchy introductions to the Morning Bru and the Bruin Cave, the middle school TV show.

“Over the summer, Tech Adventure Camp took place at Lake Braddock,” journalism adviser Laura Borell said. “During that time the switcher malfunctioned.”

The switcher is a device that allows the user to mix together and alternate between a variety of inputs. Usually the Morning Bru is shown on channel 11 using the switcher while the Bruin Cave is shown on channel 6 after burning a disc with that day’s program on it.

“With the switcher not working, we had to make an announcement show for both high school and middle school, which we burned on a DVD,” Borell said. “And the only channel we could show it on is channel six.”

Not only was this a financial blow to the school, but it also heavily impacted those who chose broadcast journalism as an elective this year.

“Because our switcher was down, we have been using a handheld camera,” junior Stephanie Chewning said. “[Thanks to this] we didn’t have as many jobs to fill, so we would only have four people working on the announcements while everyone else was doing their own assignment.”

Not only did this take away a great portion of work for many students, it also added a great workload for those who had to compensate for the loss.

“[Since we used a handheld camera], we had to connect the USB drive to a computer, and I did all the editing on my own computer [at home],” Chewning said. “So some nights because I was editing, doing my own homework and had extra-curricular activities, I would have to stay up until 2 a.m.”

Despite all the trouble this mishap caused, the spell of confusion and disorder that the school and broadcast students were under only lasted for the first three weeks of school. And after setting the switcher back up on Sept. 24, both of LB’s morning announcement programs are back in action.