I grew up in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, a city where people generally ignored each other. It was a place plagued with many problems such as drugs, violence, corruption, and poverty, all of which contributed to an atmosphere of mistrust between neighbors. I was prepared for Brooklyn to operate similarly, but I was proven wrong as early as my first day there.

The day my family dropped me off at Pratt we went out for dinner at a small cafe just a block or two away from campus. We were all consumed with the impending goodbye, so our table was fairly quiet. During one of the lulls in our conversation we were approached by an old man who introduced himself as Mr. Elliot.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” he said in a friendly voice, “are you all new to the neighborhood?”

My mother told him they were dropping me off at college. He welcomed me to Brooklyn, and shared with us the story of how he and his wife had just celebrated their 60th anniversary. He was a charming man, and he left us all in higher spirits.

There are millions of differences that separate Brooklyn from my hometown, but if I were to sum up the gap between the two places in one word, it would be hope. People in Brooklyn are working with the assumption that if things are bad, they can get better, and if someone is a stranger to you, they may someday be your friend. Wilkes-Barre was never like that. Hope does not flourish in a place where the ground can collapse under your feet at any moment; however, I can see it thriving in Brooklyn, even in the unlikeliest of places. It may be because in an area where everyone is so close together, you have no choice but to put your faith in your neighbors. Regardless, I hope that someday I will be able to bring some of this community back home with me.


Illustration by Sarah Beth Inman


Head to 107 Grand Street to experience Canon’s free “Portals” photo-walk workshop. Using a Canon camera, there you can discover new photographic techniques, learn from on-site experts, and even have the chance to win a camera and travel prizes. This event is occurring until November 18, from 3:00-9:00 p.m. on weekdays, 12:00-9:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:00-8:00 p.m. on Sunday.


Pratt’s Communications Design “Image as Communication” lecture series will feature Nate Pyper, an alphabet artist engaged in ongoing research practice on the queer-anarcho punk zine movement. See him speak at Memorial Hall from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on November 14.


Come to “My Life with Warhol” to hear close peers and friends of the late Andy Warhol reflect on the artist’s life and art. The dialogue will be on November 16 from 6:30-8:00 p.m, and tickets are $12 for students.


Hosted by BPL Presents, noted poet, translator, essayist, and classics professor Anne Carson will speak on aesthetics in a two-part lecture series. The talk will take place at 10 Grand Army Plaza on November 17 & 18 at 3:00 p.m..


For just $10 you can explore over 50 chocolate exhibits, try free samples and purchase treats to take home too! The Brooklyn Chocolate Festival will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Aviator Sports & Events Center on November 18.


Photo by Samuel Herrera

Besides midterms and finals, one of the most grueling parts of the semester is registering for classes. Some are worry-free because their time slots start earlier in the day and classes are a free-for-all, but what about those registering at 8:00 p.m.? Only the scraps are left, and we’re lucky to even have a semi-decent schedule as we imagined. I’ve spoken to Michael Farnham, Director of Undergraduate Advisement (Industrial, Fashion and undecided Design majors) to learn about the perspective and insight on why registration has its flaws, and to relay what we can do about it to help ourselves.

Mr. Farnham was eager to take part in the interview, expressing that there was indeed a need for understanding how registration and advisement works, and assuring me that “no one is more frustrated with how the registration happens here than me.” He discussed the structure of registration, and how there are two different parts to it—advisement and registration, although we don’t currently have a registrar but hope to have one earlier next year. The registrar comes into place when the departments create the curriculum and know the amounts of students, necessary courses, faculty, and which days and times to send back to the registrar, then being dispersed to advisement and students at the same time.

With this lack of a registrar department, registration becomes a bit overwhelming with just advisement on the same timeframe as us students. But Farnham also mentioned pros of the process such as the YouCanBook.me appointment system, which has helped students choose their own appointment time instead of visiting any given day during lunch alongside a swarm of other students.

The next topic of discussion was minors, which can be difficult to actually complete with such limited seats in a classroom. Farnham supports students achieving a minor and understands the frustrations that come with it, explaining that “unless you build the appropriate infrastructure to support them, it’s not going to work well.” This statement was followed by an example of a recently added Fashion minor, and how there is a primary course FASD-121 which is also the same primary course for all entry, first-year Fashion majors. Having so many students who are interested in the course as a minor along with the incoming students who are required to complete it results in classes filling up quickly, many missed opportunities and difficulty for those who actually require it. But what Farnham suggested goes back to infrastructure—to possibly separate the sections of the course into minors and major requirements. This separation would open availability but also distinguish a cohesiveness in the classroom, such as student expectation, skill level and commitment.

Before the end of our conversation I asked Mr. Farnham for a few tips and facts regarding registration and classes at Pratt:

  • Psychology is the most sought after minor at Pratt.
  • The number one issue during registration: I.T.. The system often crashes and knocks students off the online portal.
  • Over-plan and over-approve. Although registration is just after midterms, it will help you in the long run. Choose the electives that you want, as many as you want, and make an appointment with your advisor before your registration date so that they can approve your selections. Then, when your registration time rolls around and you don’t get that one class, you’re already set for backups. “[Advisors] want to know what your interests are, what you really want to do and how we can figure that out with you.”
  • One student’s requirement is another student’s elective. There aren’t new electives we should be looking at—it’s seeing what we already have that apply as electives.
  • You will get the required course, but you may not get the section you wanted.
  • There is no priority for fulfilling a minor or in scheduling, the only priorities given are to athletes, LAC (Learning/Access Center for those in need of academic support and needs) approved students, and RAs.
  • Our student government is a great platform to utilize in amplifying our voices and calling attention to what could be changed in the registration process to best reflect our needs.


Illustration by Evy Barnett

Based in Bushwick, the Brooklyn Do-It-Yourself (DIY) music scene brings a continuing life to the local arts community. These environments are lively, filled with the smell of hot sweat and noise that makes your ears ring. However, they are also physically and figuratively taken up by cishet white men— leaving no space for women and femmes in the scene.

Women and femmes, who have often been neglected by those who dominate the landscape, play an integral part in the scene as they bring the marginalized and disenfranchised to the forefront. Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline ignited the genre of ‘Bedroom Pop’ from the comfort of her room to Brooklyn venues. Pratt student and DIY participant Marbling’s Basia Kurlender expresses her complex emotions through a shy alto tone and upbeat acoustic guitar. She believes “for anything to be inherently good it has to be inclusive.” DIY venues have even served as housing for QTPOC homeless musicians, but only after a feminist push for inclusivity.

Kurlender explains that it was easier for her to be taken seriously and felt safer when playing with male-identifying bandmates. However, she describes the worthwhile moments in the collective as she eventually befriended those who supported her work, gaining a powerful sense of belonging.

Basia Kurlender of Marbling

A similar experience is shared with Emily Yacina, Philadelphia native and Brooklyn-based artist, in terms of finding communities through DIY. Yacina always found herself wanting to be included in the scene. When she moved to New York all the way from Philadelphia, conversations of inclusion were placed into the scene and prioritized in Brooklyn DIY. When she played music in local DIY venues in Brooklyn, she felt more comfortable and supported in these inclusive spaces. However, as she describes, the process of devoting herself to music was more challenging: “When I decided to devote myself to music, my relationship with music became a little unhealthy as I got to be more in head, over analyzing my approach to songwriting. It took me a while to foster a healthier relationship with it and make boundaries for myself. Since doing that and making this distinction, it has made me liberate myself writing based off of what people would deem good— making music special and personal once again.”

Emily Yacina playing a recent show in the Student Union

The term punk, which emerged from prison slang, gave space for a more aggressive take on rock. It was about seeking change and women involved saw this as a platform to vocalize injustices faced in a space that suffers the same oppression. Through the surfacing of small DIY labels, handmade punk zines, and the second to fourth wave feminism, this conglomerate granted women and femmes visibility and amplified the DIY scene around the country for generations to come.

It’s crucial that we continue representing local minority musicians who are still fighting for visibility. Their deafening voices have proven to make a difference for the better, keeping the punk alive through resistance of -ias and -isms and securing safe environments. Always combating the status quo, the artists fight on, despite consistent oppositions and pressures embedded in a patriarchal society.


Photography by Katixa Espinoza

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