Day 11 – A Post to the Real A1’s

Mosaic reporter Sara Ashary looks out one of the windows in the new Mercury News office. // Photo by Brian Nguyen

Mosaic reporter Sara Ashary takes in the view of Downtown San Jose from the Mercury News office. // Photo by Brian Nguyen

By Sara Ashary, Mosaic Staff Writer

Wow, I never been so bummed out to write a blog post. (Jacky is currently way too close to me and is invading my personal bubble but his breath smells good.) Thank you all for putting up with my consistent annoyance.

Mosaic Class of 2015… you guys have been like a family to me. All 16 of you guys are like my brothers and sisters. However, this post goes out to the Real A1’s… The Adults.

I am going to say my goodbye to Jumping Jack Joe…

Dorm Dad! You have been super chill with us. Thank you for not being a total stick in the mud and literally not letting us do anything fun. Even though we had a curfew at 10 pm, it was still pretty legit how you let us stay in the lounge for however long we want!

Also, thank you for planning all these activities for us! San Francisco was so fun, and we did so much stuff that day! The bedtime story you told all of us highkey kind of scared me but it was whatever… no worries. After all, King Kong is still the scariest movie to me.

A Goodbye to Fancy Nancy…

It was super chill to laugh with you or you laughing at/with me. I am actually 99.999% sure you were laughing with me and thinking “Oh she is so charming!” Haha, just kidding…kind of. You know, I refuse to say goodbye to you because that makes me sad.

You are funny and your personality is very vibrant yet lowkey… yaknowwhatimean? I get this really chill vibe that we are gonna be good friends. I know sooner or later you will give me good advice and life lessons (you already did for a few snippets). I hope/know we get brunch one day!

A Goodbye to Robert…

AYEEEEE Silver Creek represent! You went to Silver Creek when it was way more ghetto so props to you man for surviving. You are a very interesting man. Like you have a response for everything and that response is either really sarcastically humorous or a SUPER long answer but it’s chill because it’s actually pretty interesting to hear you talk. It was fun to know you…. and please keep listening to that T-swizzle and Lana Del Ray music you 6”1 athletically built male.

By the way, thanks for buying all of us kiddos Starbucks? That was very nice.

A Goodbye to Karl…

You are so nice… oh my gosh! Like how is one person so nice? I told you this before, but you have the exact image on what a journalist looks like…more so a photo journalist! I hope you up your hipster game in the future because I bet you could be super famous. I don’t think I ever heard you say anything negative or giving off a bad vibe in the newsroom so ya.. you are basically REALLY awesome!

A Goodbye to Claudia…

When you tweeted me, I was like “Awh!!!’ That positive subtweet you typed really brightened my day. And then there was the day when I showed you a song, it was called Stolen Dance by Milky Chance!

You are a really cool person, and your dyed strip of hair with the mom jeans and strapped sandals proved that! I think you are a really good person and I hope good things continue to happen to you. (Frankly, I hope good things happen to all of you actually.)

A Goodbye to Rosana…

I only saw you twice but one time my blood sugar got low on the first day here and you hella helped me! Like it was super low and I forgot to pack a snack and you quickly went to the breakfast room and got me a granola bar and juice… thank you for taking care of me, that was super nice! By the way, you have a nice voice. Keep doing you Rosana!

A Goodbye to my editor, Marcos…

Nice Mustache.

Just kidding! I know I annoyed you so much these two weeks (and a lot of other people) with my random questions and talking outbursts, and thank your holy soul you never actually yelled at me or kicked me out of the room! *wipes sweat of the forehead* “phew!”

You were an amazing editor because I really liked how you just gave me a clearer angle of where my story should go and what other sources I need after the first step and then the other drafts were just little changes.

It’s really easy for me to feel inferior and cautious about my writing but I felt a really comfortable environment around you editing my work. You were fun to just talk to and I hope you keep being the Executive Director of the Mosaic because you did a wonderful job. (Then, after you, I highkey hope its Rob.)

A Goodbye to Mariana…

I legit never really talked to you since like today but you are funny and chill no doubt about that! I think if we were actually in a Parks and Recreation scene, you would go out with Tom.

I saw your bright red shoes and I was thinking at first “Wow, that must be really unsafe.” But then I thought “She is so freaking cool! Like all with that funk carrying around her!” Your style is really simple but then something you add on makes it all like good funky. Anyway, you are super funny so keep doing you!

A Goodbye to Julie…

Even though you were only here for a week, it was super chill. Like you are so smiley and positive! I sometimes say things or ask questions and people just ignore me because I talk so much, but then there is you… who answers me! Thank you for helping with the newspaper and using your super cool skills!

A Goodbye to Brian…

I know, I know… I am your favorite out of all the Mosaic students… please, dude… I get it. HAHA DO NOT WORRY I AM JUST KIDDING! 🙂

In complete honesty, you were the first for all of us kids to think like “Yah this dude is Chill AF.” (AF= As Fantastic in teenage slang!)  In a way, we young journalists would trust you first. If you wanted to know if there was any Hanky Panky (there was not any) we would have openly told you.

Also, thank you for giving me a lot of advice about journalism and if I should go in that field or not. That was legit…probably one of the most helpful things ever during these two weeks. I hope you go places with your photography because you have a lot of talent!

A Goodbye to Creo…

Again…SILVER CREEK REPRESENT! You are so chill to talk to you and to be around. You are the sweetest of the sweet and it was funny talking to you all the time.

I remember I accidentally posted something on the Mosaic Facebook page that was actually meant for the youngsters secret group and you texted me and I was like “Oh Creo Texted me!” I didn’t think you were in the room but then I got you texted me because you did not want to make it awkward. HAHA so much for that. I love you so much and Thank God we are facebook friends. Because I get really great vibes from you!

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Day 11 – Thank you guys for everything

Steven Barajas wanders around the SJSU campus // Photo by Mosaic Staff Photographer Hannah Chebeleu

Steven Barajas wanders around the SJSU campus // Photo by Mosaic Staff Photographer Hannah Chebeleu

By Steven ‘Steezy’ Barajas, Mosaic Staff Writer

When I first arrived at San Jose State University for orientation I was a bit intimidated. I thought everyone was extremely serious about journalism, to be honest I had never consider journalism before I came into this program. And to tell the truth, I still don’t. I found out that journalism isn’t the field for me, but I did learn valuable lessons from my mentors here. Karl was a big inspiration to me, the whole staff itself was extremely helpful. I couldn’t have asked for a better class to be a part of and I thank YOU ALL!

Anyways, my first day here I was really quiet I tried to hold back and observe everyone to see how everyone acted and to see if I “fit in”. Everyone was so kind to me and welcoming it was a bit surprising because I thought all the kids would be so serious about their work that they wouldn’t ever want to have fun haha. Well, that night we had a bonding time in the lounge and I got to know everyone a lot better and they got to know me like no one else knows me. I felt really connected to everyone even though it had only been a few hours. Shout out to us.

First day in the new room was a little overwhelming but I didn’t want to complain because I love a challenge. If it’s not hard it’s not fun, that’s a small quote I live by day to day, night by night. A hard challenge is a great reward.

Being a photographer was actually pretty tough, balancing everyone’s assignments and being responsible for that shot needed for their story. If you don’t get that shot, well you’re screwed haha. But I feel that all of us photographers handled everything well, I was surrounded by amazing photographers and I was honored to learn something from all of them. All I could really say is, thank you guys for everything. I’m extremely grateful.

Lastly, one of my most memorable experiences was definitely being able to get a Media pass to the Golden State Warriors game 6 watch party, in which they won the NBA Championship against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although I’m a LeBron James fan, it was amazing to be able to witness a championship brought back home to the BAY AREA! Now we just have to wait for the San Francisco 49ers to do it this upcoming football season.

So as I close this blog, I say again, thank you everyone. Nothing would be achievable here if not everyone put in the work that they do. Thanks to everyone especially our drivers, Brian, Creo, Mariana, Rob, Karl and everyone else as well! Thanks to all the editors for making sure the writers were on top of every assignment. Thanks to Joe for being our dorm dad and Leslie for being our dorm mom. Thanks to everyone who I haven’t said, you all count just as much! One last big thanks to Mr. Manly Marcos for keeping this program alive! I will miss you all.

Day 11- Goodbye, Mosaic

Mosaic staff writer Megan Robalewski enjoys a day out in San Francisco with the rest of the staff. // Photo by Hannah Chebeleu, Mosaic Staff Photographer

Mosaic staff writer Megan Robalewski enjoys a day out in San Francisco with the rest of the staff. // Photo by Hannah Chebeleu, Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Megan Robalewski, Mosaic Staff Writer

The idea that Mosaic is ending tomorrow is starting to sink in. At this point, I’m done with all of my stories so I’m making the most of the last few days with my friends. I can’t even register how sad I will be to say goodbye to everyone tomorrow.

From the first day, I knew we would all become close friends. Meeting Sara, who was so energetic, made me excited to meet everyone else, and we all sat together and talked during the welcome dinner. The Mosaic class of 2015 became so close over these two weeks, and as cheesy as it sounds, I will remember them for a long time. A bunch of us already have plans to go to concerts and get Acai bowls together, and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.

What I really can’t believe is how fast everything went. My stories came along so slowly the first few days that I thought I’d be spending the whole program refreshing my email and getting progressively frustrated as I watched Adele constantly interviewing and writing. But things finally picked up, and I ended up going to five interviews in a row and then interviewing Olympic gold medalists at the Grand Prix. Suddenly I was working late in the newsroom and churning out draft after draft. I really am surprised by how much I was able to do in a short time, and all the things I learned from the struggles I had.

It’s definitely going to be strange readjusting when I go back home; i won’t be stressed about getting my stories done, but I also won’t be laughing constantly and I won’t have instant access to Philz and boba. The one thing I’ll be relieved about is being able to sleep in, because staying up late every night and waking up to be in the newsroom the next morning definitely took its toll (I made some questionable decisions about my sleep during Mosaic).

When people ask me my favorite memory from Mosaic, I have no idea where to begin. Late night dance parties, singing along to High School Musical, getting lost downtown and drinking boba until I got sick. Staying up talking with my roommate Joelle, listening to Shady Shannon give everyone sass, laughing as Adele struggled through her stories, making fun of Idaho, talking about Parks and Recreation with the Leslie to my Anne, Sara. And that’s only scratching the surface.

These weeks have been so memorable not only because of everything I learned about journalism, but also because of all the amazing people. It makes me sad that the whole group might never all be together again, but I’m just happy that we made the most of the time we had. Every person I met here will always be more than someone I knew for two weeks at a summer program; I am happy to call each one my friend.

Day 11 – Mosaic lasts forever!

Hannah Chebeleu, Aysha Rehman and David Early // Photo by Mosaic Staff

Hannah Chebeleu and Aysha Rehman goof around outside the SJSU dorms. // Photo by Mosaic Staff

By Aysha Rehman, Mosaic Staff Writer

As I look back on these past two weeks, I’m surprised they went by so quickly. Not only did this week just slip through my fingers, but I also bonded with 15 other teenagers I never thought I could befriend. I feel like this group has been has been a lot of fun to work with, and I know that after Mosaic truly ends, I will be floating around in denial…because Mosaic lasts forever, at least in our hearts.

I learned a lot about journalism, and how to get up to par with professional writing, skills that will be invaluable when I come back to school this August. I learned how to interact with people completely different than myself, and I saw parts of the city life that really changed my perspective about the kinds of people we have in this world, from the homeless to the rich of the rich.

I suppose one of the most important things I got from Mosaic aside from the skill set to dominate the newsroom was a group of lifelong friends. I can honestly say that these people will be here for me when I need them as I hope to be there for them when they need me. From my roommates to my editors, I feel like everyone has a place in my heart, and I do hope that this is not the end of our time together–I want to see everyone again, at least every once in awhile.

I will forever remember our group hangouts and outings. I will remember rooming with the wonderful not-shy Semira 🙂 I will remember the other girls making my hair and watching High School Musical 2. Most of all I will remember those quiet moments where it seems that everyone is just absorbing the presence of everyone else–because this group couldn’t have been more perfectly put together.

For those who are thinking about applying to Mosaic, when the time comes jump at the chance, because the experience you will have will stick with you For. A. Lifetime. Everything from the technical skills to the social skills, I can definitely say that I’ve become a better writer, as well as a more confident person.

So my dear friends and editors alike, I will miss you all when the time comes to truly say ‘adieu.’ I do hope to see your smiling faces again, even if it means you have to fly over here from Idaho, or drive all the way from Monterey 🙂

This is not the end Class of 2015, Mosaic lasts forever!

Day 11 – We truly became a family

Mosaic staff writer Joelle Dong listens intently as she interviews a subject in Palo Alto. // Photo by Rachel Lee, Mosaic Staff Photographer

Mosaic staff writer Joelle Dong listens intently as she interviews a subject in Palo Alto. // Photo by Rachel Lee, Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Joelle Dong, Mosaic Staff Writer

Summing up Mosaic seems impossible. I don’t think I quite have the distance to really reflect, but I know that I made some wonderful memories during the past two weeks.

Working on my stories was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about interviewing. I learned that when you trust that people want to have their stories heard, they’ll trust you to tell them. I learned that the less you talk, the more your interviewee will, and I realized the hard and beautiful truth of journalistic selectivity.

At first, the need to siphon off detail hurt. I wanted to do the people in my story justice, and was mistaken in thinking that the only way to do so was to capture everything. But then I realized that though there is no all encompassing article, and that it is fully possible to write an entire story in 750 words. And this is the harsh beauty of journalism. It is a beautiful responsibility and privilege to determine the most important aspects of a story, and it is this privilege that makes journalism a craft.

With my stories on Clean Slate and Pain, I reduced my rough draft by over a thousand words each. It hurt to see the words go, but in the end it was very refreshing as the stories got cleaner.

Rob was a really great editor, he helped me accept that you can’t try to tell every aspect of a story, and taught me how to write ledes for events, and how to streamline my sentences. I have a tendency to write too much and be repetitive.

Reporting was so much fun. I got to go on the field at a San Jose Giants game and talk with local hero Tim Watson and his family, was able to hear incredible stories from people at a Clean Slate meeting, and got to sit in on a tattoo removal treatment.

Besides the journalistic aspect of Mosaic, it was a ton of fun. All of our class gets along really well and I’m sure that the friendship won’t end tomorrow. We truly became a family.

The only things that could have made Mosaic better would have been better internet access, more fruits and veggies and more sleep.

I am sure that the memories made during the past two weeks will truly, and please excuse the cliche, last a lifetime.