Friday, August 28, 2009

Orientation Week

When school starts the post will be less lengthy and frequent due to time factors, but I will do my best.

Orientations on safety, transportation, loans, the city, and all other functions of the workings of college and New York life consumed many hours of the orientation week. At night there are optional activities intended to familiarize the students with each-other and the campus as well as have fun. Adorned with club music, casino equipment, and eccentrically dressed art school faux gamblers, a bricked courtyard formed by the meeting of several of Pratt's largest and oldest buildings served as an interesting sub-level spot for Casino night. The shadows of the dying day through the trees of the large lawn adjacent to the Engineering Building marked the start of the outdoor movie night. Nights of this orientation week each held one of these type of events, which varied in student attendance based on the agreed communal interest in the activity, and even more so on the student body's knowledge of parties on campus and in the area. The schism of the nights was a battle of large scale dodge ball matches and elaborate Pratt game shows versus the parties on the top floor of Pratt's slightly off campus Willoughby Hall and trendy New York club spots. I suppose complete escape from the predictable activities of college life are nearly impossible at any college. However, having little interest in the more sycophantic school oriented activities, or being at the mercy of seemingly predetermined college ignorance, this past week has provided some interesting experiences. I found myself avoiding the widely publicized events, on the roof of my dorm with a few close friends. We enjoyed the view, happily refusing to let the call of either stereotypical scenario dictate our night. Ruling out the activities of an entire day, I met a friend from back home near Parsons in Manhattan (a rival art school known for its world renowned fashion design), and she showed me around her stomping ground. I felt important as I walked past the lines to get free admittance into the Museum of Modern art. Not being a huge fan of "modern" art, I was very pleasantly surprised to find Matisse's "Dance," Van Gough's "Starry Night," Frida Kahlo's "Self Portrait With Cropped Hair," and Dali's "Persistence of a Memory," in the collection. She took us to an above ground railway converted into an elevated walkway overlooking the harbor before heading home. This day timing delivered us to the harbor to witness the sunset illuminate the orange and silver water and imitate the glow of the glass skyline. It was just one of those moments. Imagine a rectangular prism with a rectangle of the same proportion removed from the center to create an interior courtyard. Do that, and you picture the mini park within my dorm where last night's barbeque went down. After the upperclassmen and graduate students proved unable to start a fire (and I began to question the education system), I alerted my roommate to the rescue, as he darted downstairs to start the fire and provided the live music that would ignite a full blown singalong of our favorite songs. Turns out art school kids have good taste in music. The sense of family within my particular dorm is unreal. Being the least luxurious and most claustrophobic of all the dorms, everyone gets to know each-other. Large movie and music sessions in the common rooms complete the experience. All is well.

I am set on supplies due to the help of many of you, I recognize and appreciate everything that has been done to get me this far. Thank you.

Contact info:

James Cody Walzel
200 Willoughby Ave Unit 58932
Brooklyn, NY 11205-7521

Cell: 214-417-0356



  1. What a great description of events. Feel like I was there. It sounds wonderful! Mom

  2. P. S. THANKS to everyone who helped Cody with supplies, etc!!!

  3. I can't believe these postings are from the same guy who had writer's block when chronicling the Snow Cone Lady. She should set up shop in Brooklyn.

    It is evident that you are very much at home in New York. You will soon officially be known by all of your new friends as the guy FROM Texas ("Tex" Walzel, they'll call you) only to return occasionally for holidays. We will someday say, "We knew him when..."

    Keep us all posted with the "Cody Chronicles" as often as you can. Now we need to work on finding you a camera.