12 Teaches: Michael
12 Teaches: Michael Nesmith
Legos. Who doesn’t love them? There are probably a handful of you out there, but for the most part Legos have been providing billions of people with the joy of creation and entertainment since 1934. Unfortunately, most of us leave Lego’s behind after our adolescent years. But there are a select few who are carrying on the tradition in the most spectacular of ways.
One of those individuals is Michael Nesmith. Lucky for us, Michael is in the 12 class, and last week he brought in his knowledge and passion for Legos as part of a group workshop.
The afternoon started with a download of Michael’s personal history with Legos. He was first introduced to Legos when he was 4 years old in 1989, via the hospital set. Together with his father an avid toy collector, who collected GI Joes, they saved the boxes/manuals that came with Michael’s Lego sets. Currently right now, Michael has over 70,000 pieces of Legos, including all original boxes/manuals. Amazing, no?
You may be thinking, where does he keep all those Legos? Well, back in Chicago, Michael lived in a two bedroom apartment, where one bedroom was for him and the other was for … wait for it … wait for it … his Legos. Now that is man who is passionate about Legos.
Today, Michael focuses his enthusiasm on creating modular buildings, trains, and a few other city vehicles (police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, etc). This is his city set now:
It has a shopping mall, townhouse, pet shop, green grocer and fire bridge. All of the floors are detachable and contain amazing detail. His goal to create a sprawling metropolis.
After Michael’s Lego lecture, he took us on a class trip. Every first Wednesday at the Cruz Room, in Portland, OR, they hold a BRICK OR BLOCK LEGO Tournament.
Essentially, registered teams get an equal-sized bucket filled with random, assorted Lego blocks. The host, Shannon, then provides a prompt that each of the teams need to keep in mind when imagining their ideas. The timer starts and each team is given 75 minutes to erect their masterpieces.
This week’s theme was: FUNNY.
Mind you, there are teams that come to this event EVERY week—comprised of architects, builders, and toy and pop culture aficionados. There was also a fair share of kids and assorted riff raff, including most of 12.
Judging is based on three criteria: Originality, Stability and Theme Strength.
We broke into two teams and confidently started.
The first team, Les Go Nads, built this:
The second team, The A-Team built this:
In the end, a squad that built an homage to Arrested Development took home the Grand Prize of $100 gift certificates to NE Alberta Businesses.
The A-Team got the popular vote and finished in 2nd place, taking home a $20 bar tab to the Cruz Room.
Les Go Nads finished in 4th place and took home nothing.
All in all, it was a fun night that brought us together over tacos, beers, and a rekindled appreciation for Legos.
Thanks, Michael, for an amazing time.