Knights in Conversation: Mr. Chapman’s advisory


Danielle Brennan, Arts Editor

“You’re in Mr. Chapman’s advisory? Lucky,” Upper School (US) Science Teacher Michael Chapman’s advisees recall hearing since the advisory began two years ago. In that short time, the group has became well known for its fun, entertaining, and driven atmosphere and its leader’s thoughtfulness. The advisory invited The Vanguard to one of their weekly meetings to learn a little more about their dynamic from Mr. Chapman, Eli Waisburd, Gali Levy, Sanya Goenka, Charlie Druker, Tushar Aggarwal (all ’22), and Katie Baker ’23.


Describe this advisory in two words.

Charlie: Like family.

Mr. Chapman: Very involved.

Katie: Uno and candy.


Do you guys have traditions?

Eli: Mostly Gali whining a lot.

Katie: Every time Eli has a macroeconomics test, he’s freaking out.

Eli: That was one time because I wasn’t prepared for that.

Gali: I feel like Eli complaining about teachers is a tradition.

Charlie: We do munchkins on Thursdays.

Eli: We go out sometimes over the summer to get food.

Gali: Oh, Playa Bowls.

Mr. Chapman: That’s a senior tradition. Before the school year starts, we go into Harvard Square and grab ice cream. And this year, we grabbed açaï bowls. What does the advisory like to do together?

Eli: We got Felipe’s last year, that was really fun. And we like to meet in Mr. Chapman’s office sometimes.

Katie: Yeah, and you have candy and healthy snacks in there.

Gali: I get a bar from his office almost every day.

Tushar: During my frees I just go in his office, and I stand there and wait for him to talk to me.

Katie: And that’s Tushar’s fondest memory.

Mr. Chapman: I would say one thing I’m very good at is hunting people down when I need to. I find you all somewhere.

Katie: You’re at my class before I even get there.


What do you think makes this advisory special?

Mr. Chapman: My advisees are really involved in so many different parts of life. It’s really cool to see how much of a positive impact they have within their different spheres, whether it’s on the football field or dealing with student council stuff.

[All laugh.]

Katie: I think six of us are on or have been on student council.

Mr. Chapman: Whether it’s robotics, or it’s leading different initiatives, they each bring something really impressive to the table. And I think that helps make us a really good group.

[The students start to discuss their answers.]

Mr. Chapman: Can I leave for this?

Gali: You literally just gave us a whole speech. Stand still.

Mr. Chapman: How about this—I cannot make eye contact. One thing about myself is I don’t do well with hearing compliments.

[He sits on the floor behind the bookshelf, out of sight of the circle of students.]

Eli: Hey, you’re assuming we’re going to say good things about you right now—hang on.

Sanya: Guys, let’s make him cry.

Gali: This advisory is special first and foremost because we have a very special adviser. Mr. Chapman cares a lot, and he’s always there for us, no matter how much we annoy him during the day. He always has snacks ready for us, and he literally knows every single person’s schedule front and back. He invests in us and wants to have relationships with his students and makes time for them, even though he’s really busy throughout the day. And apart from our special adviser, we also have a really special advisory because everyone comes into advisory really excited…more or less.

[They look to Eli]

Eli: I’m not like that negative. Gali’s always coming after me, man.

Katie: I don’t want to dis on other advisers, but I feel like I’ve never seen another adviser give as much of their personal time and thought and get their advisees food and know [their advisees’] schedules as much as Mr. Chapman does. It makes me and the rest of us feel really supported.

Eli: Mr. Chapman is beyond just an adviser. He’s definitely a friend and a role model, and I really appreciate having that.

Tushar: Especially as someone with so many senior advisees, there are a lot of things going on. He’s always willing to make time, as other people said, and reach out and make the first step if you’re not willing to.

Eli: I also didn’t realize this thing—where he tells us our upcoming assignments and tests in detail from a faculty-shared spreadsheet of upcoming assessments, so we can prepare—is not a normal thing.

Mr. Chapman: There are always things we can do to make your lives a little bit easier. So if there’s a chance to take a little bit of time out to make more space for community time, I will do that.


Seniors, what will you miss most about this advisory?

Gali: Specifically, Eli criticizing my every move and Charlie trying to instigate every single thing he can and then Sanya coming in, perfectly, as our class president. I’m gonna miss Katie and her super clever comments.

Eli: The supportiveness of this whole group. I feel like I can talk with anyone, especially Mr. Chapman, about anything. I don’t know if I will be able to find a support network like this past BB&N.

Sanya: I really hope that we stay in touch as an advisory once we graduate. It’s such a good support system. I feel like whenever I come to advisory, I’m able to forget all my troubles and just have fun and be around good energy for 40 minutes.

Katie: Also, as Tushar was saying, the seniors have so much stuff going on, and I’ve never felt that Mr. Chapman overlooks my tiny little assignments in comparison to their applications to college. Even if I just have a quiz I’m worried about, he makes sure I’m feeling okay about that.

Sanya: I chose you as an adviser. I knew you would care.

Eli: I was chosen, actually; I was told I’m the best advisee of all time.

Gali: I’m actually probably the favorite; I think he tweeted about me the other day.