Brunerbringin’ sexy back

Walking through the halls of Ames High, it is easy to recognize most of the people that pass. Every so often, however, one encounters an enigma, a mysterious traveler separate from the usual grind of life – a wild card. From folding cranes to winning Quiz Bowl tournaments, senior Michael Bruner is a man of mystery. While most students of Ames High who work seek jobs as waiters or lifeguards, Bruner spent six weeks last summer working at the State Public Policy group researching presidential candidates. “I didn’t like it. I don’t want to have to work later in life… that’s what I took from it, I guess,” Bruner said. “I plan to retire before 30. I guess I’ll have to make a lot of money at some point first, though.” Making enough money to retire early may prove to be a problem for Bruner, however. “I was considering being a doctor, but you have to do some pediatrics, and I don’t like being around children. I’d consider being an anesthesiologist, though – then the only people I’d have to deal with would be asleep.” Career choices are still a ways off for Bruner, though. For now, his time is spent here at Ames High, or increasingly, not at Ames High. “I have two ISU classes,” said Bruner, “so I’m not here for most of the day.” The time that is spent here, however, has usually been pleasant. “I’ve never really had a teacher I disliked. My favorite class was probably physics with Mr. Dilks – not that you’d understand.” Alhough he is one of few remaining at Ames High to have taken a class with Dilks, his experiences with other teachers can be shared by all. “People call me ‘wild card’ all the time,” said Bruner. “I don’t really get that. Mr. Daddow came up with it, and it kind of stuck.” Outside class – and sometimes even during class – Bruner maintains a wide range of hobbies and pastimes. “I spin pens,” said Bruner while spinning a pen between his fingers, “but I’m not very good at it. And I fold paper into cranes. I don’t even know why.” Those who have had a class with Bruner may notice a small paper crane sitting on his desk at the end of the period from time to time. “It gives me something to do during class. I go through a lot of paper that way; it’s how I get rid of scrap paper.” Beyond the schoolroom, Bruner has traveled far more than the typical Ames High student would suspect. “I’ve been to Europe six times, mostly to France. I’ve also been to Japan and South America, and I’m going to spend two or three weeks in China this summer. My family goes everywhere all the time.” Bruner’s plans for the future beyond Ames High are still shrouded in mystery, but there’s one thing we can count on – with Wild Card, you’ll never really know what to expect.