the place to be...for now
SYLMAR Someday, Eddie Martinez will return to his
native California. But for now, New Yorks the place to be for the
Mission College alum
"I grew up in
the Valley," he said. "I love the mountains, the beaches, the
nice weather. But the pace here is a lot faster. The museums are epic
Theres always something to do in New York City."
Martinez, a 2001 graduate
of Mission College, attends the renowned Parsons School of Design in Manhattan
and will graduate in spring 2005.
Martinez doesnt kid himself about the city that so many natives
seem to love and hate at the same time.
"Its cold, its sweaty, its smelly," he said.
"People here are very distant and competitive." But, he added,
everyone in New York seems to come from somewhere else, and the perspectives
they have on life are different and interesting.
Martinez plans to apply to MIT, NYU and the Art Center College of Design
in Pasadena. But graduate school is not a certainty. As a graduation requirement,
Martinez will work part-time for a design firm in the New York area soon.
For some students, that can lead to offers of full-time employment, he
"Design is becoming necessary in many fields, so Im open to
lots of possibilities," he said. "Ive worked on comic
books, short films, Web design, and right now Im re-designing the
interiors and furniture of a womens shelter."
More recently, Martinez has become interested in toy design, electronics
and even designing medical prostheses.
The 23-year-old student credits Mission College with helping him take
care of his general requirements. This allowed him to concentrate on studio
classes at Parsons and gave him more time to work on individual projects.
Mission, he added, "
gave me a heads up on math and English"
subjects he didnt think much about at the time but which
turned out to be important in his field.
He also credits Claudio Ramirez and other Mission College multimedia instructors
for getting him interested in motion graphics and other specialized classes
that led to design. That, in turn, encouraged him to look beyond the comfort
of Southern California for the "best design school around,"
which he feels is Parsons.
Martinezs New York experience began inauspiciously. Two weeks after
moving into his Manhattan dorm, the World Trade Center was attacked. Martinez
joined dazed New Yorkers in mourning and volunteering while his classes
at Parsons were thrown into temporary chaos.
"The attack really shocked me," he recalled. "It made me
realize that the world is not a perfect place, that there are a lot of
bad things in it."
He never once considered leaving, he said.
"I felt that I was in the middle of history. To leave after working
so hard to get there wouldnt make any sense."
Two and a half years later, Martinez has put down roots. Hes developed
many close and personal relationships and now lives, not in a dorm, but
in his own apartment in Brooklyn.
Does he encourage other students to look beyond Southern California for
college and their future?
"Oh, yeah," he said. "Its definitely worth it."
note: In October 2001, Eddie Martinez wrote an account of his 9/11 experiences
for the Mission College "President's Newsletter." Read