By Jackson Santy ’13
Walking into Mr. Mike Nelson’s ’96 room in Eller, one is immersed into what students call a “very chill” atmosphere.
“I try to model the type of art experience I had at Santa Clara—we are college prep after all. There is structure, but also personal freedom,” Mr. Nelson said.
Entering his ninth year as a Brophy teacher, Mr. Nelson teaches Intro to Fine Arts, Graphic Design and Advanced Placement Studio Drawing.
He is also the assistant coach of the junior varsity soccer team and moderator of the FIFA Club, Digital Arts Club, National Artist Honors Society and helps with the Brophy Art Gallery.
During his free time Mr. Nelson said he enjoys going on moonlit walks on the beach with “the missus,” science teacher Mrs. Sabina Nelson, as well as hanging with his “homey” Mr. Tommy Smith and, of course, torturing freshmen.
“He paints like Jackson Pollack, draws like the cartoonist Bill Watterson, and can sculpt a replica of the David out of stone, using just his hands and a toothbrush,” Mr. Smith said during a discussion of Mr. Nelson’s talents.
“All in all, he is a fantastic dude, who embodies the Jesuit ideals of being a man for others,” Mr. Smith said.
Although he is an art teacher, Mr. Nelson still incorporates the use of Tablets where he can.
Mr. Nelson said freshmen in his Intro to Fine Arts class use their Tablets almost every day.
“They use them to document their work and for certain projects to draw, trace, etcetera,” Mr. Nelson said.
When it comes to punishment, Mr. Nelson is a big Filch supporter ,the Hogwarts caretaker from “Harry Potter.”
“He is grossly misunderstood as a squib,” he said.
“I think he stated it best in the first ‘Harry Potter’. A pity they let the old punishments die. There was a time detention would find you hanging by your thumbs in the dungeons. God, I miss the screaming,’” Mr. Nelson recited.
When asked what faculty member he would most like to switch places with, Mr. Nelson went for something different:
“I would have to go with Archie,” he said of Fr. Eddie Resse’s dog. “I guarantee that dog knows where all the bones are buried and is involved in some high level meetings. Plus, you get to roam the campus as a guard dog, you get as much free food as you want from unsuspecting students and can’t be blamed for it, you don’t have to actually work, and you can take naps during the day—the campus is your oyster.”