By Tonjanae Watson // Mosaic Staff Writer
Even after arriving off a plane at 2:00 pm from a long 30-hour-journey from South Africa, I was still rather excited to get to the Mosaic program as soon as possible. Dirty, needing to brush my teeth, take a shower, wash a bunch of clothes at once, one would think I should be exhausted. I should have been, but I have this surge of adrenaline for the continuance of my summer and all opportunities to come my way, especially after the South Africa trip.
Barely situated at home, I rush to pack my bags once again to leave my home for 2 weeks. Never have I been away from home for so long. Not only was it a very emotional experience coming back home to physically see my home and my parents, it is probably good training for when I really have to leave and go to college for even longer.
My mother, niece and I arrive a little late to find the food half gone and everyone is sitting eating their dinners. My mom rushes to find her seat by the TV where the Spurs and the Heat are battling it out on the court. I find a seat next to my niece and Jose, a long time volunteer. My niece becomes curious; I have not told her what I am here for and she is wondering why I am leaving her again. I attempt to explain to my 7 year old niece that I am at a journalism program and I will be here for almost two weeks. Jose takes over and explains more in-depth what journalism is. Then there is silence.
I look around to see dorm dad, Joe Rodriguez, and program director, Marcos Cabrera, and I’m looking so hard hoping the answers to my questions will just spill out of their mouths. Am I really a good writer? What did you like about my writing? How many others applied to this program and did not make it? Why do you think I would be a good candidate? Unlike most of the other young journalists attending this program with me, this opportunity came to me as a bit of a surprise. I was very rushed with the essay process and was highly doubting my acceptance into the program. Now I’m wondering how I came to this position.
So I scan the room and I reassure myself that this is going to be a good group and we are going to have a great time. The orientation starts and I am ready. A brief overview of the rules has me a little worried, but the slip ups of the past are things that happen in life, right? I am rather excited to explore around San Jose with an independence not offered anywhere else, not even home.