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!


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 – 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.

Saying Goodbye to the Family







By Kelly Song//Mosaic Staff Writer

Deadlines are approaching faster than ever, and throughout the newsroom Mosaic reporters are typing at lightning speed, fueled by coffee and chocolate croissants, and nervously reading their stories over and over and over and over (did I mention over?) again.

The papers will be printed tomorrow morning, and red marks from edits fade as they come closer to being sent into the final basket, sealed and on their way to production. It’s the final push as we put together one of the best newspapers we’ve ever written, filled with stories of wonder and imagination, ones we would have never imagined writing about.

I hate to admit it, but soon we’ll be saying our goodbyes. I don’t think I could ever imagine my life without these friends, who have been such a great team to work with, and given me one of the best experiences ever. We’ve struggled through the hardships as a not only friends, but also as a family. By the way I also cry about everything, so I may or may not be quietly crying to myself right now… Don’t judge.

Let me just vent out that I’ve become great friends with every person here in this newsroom editors included. And I’ve told myself that I need to write something special about everyone.

Jittery Jacinta has not only been my roommate, but also a great friend. Whether it’s laughing about guy problems, eating at every possible place, and making funny noises, she’s been there for me from day one when I first met her. I don’t think I could have asked for a better roommate to spend Mosaic with, and laugh about everything.

Trendy Talia, and her sass and unique personality make every moment hilarious. Whether it’s her definition of “kooky” (insert sound effect here) or just pointing and laughing crazily, Talia empowers us with her weirdness. Her voice is amazing, and is head leader of the Ghosts of Washburn in face masks.

Creative Calyse is so sweet and nice to everyone around her, and keeps the sanity in everyone at times of craziness. Her passionate views on feminism are truly inspiring, and I have so much respect and admiration towards her. Being my photographer for all of my articles, and someone who I always turn to for creative input, I love her as much as she loves dried papayas.

Bahaar, who although wasn’t with us to make up nicknames, is still a special person whom we welcomed whole heartedly into the family the day we met her. Whether it was introducing me to Indian food for the first time (which was sooo good) and freaking out with me over college apps, Bahaar has always been someone who I can turn to. She is a great listener, and I will miss her understanding and patience as a friend.

Eclectic Enya is downright adorable, singing to High School Musical or cutting out a triangle of jelly like a food surgeon. She’s so determined in the newsroom, always finding a new story to report on. I remember the time we thought she had been kidnapped, but she was just eating dinner, and we all freaked out. She brings a lot of life to the newsroom, dorms, and beyond.

Crying “Fresh Squeezed Lemonade” Cohen makes me burst into laughter without saying anything. I’m not sure how he does the whole cry and laugh simultaneously thing, but it’s hilarious and kind of traumatizing at the same time. Taking two girls out to the dance at the same time, eating the crunchy raw beef ball at Tung Kee, laughing until he’s crying… I give Cohen major props.

Inspector Iris is crazy at times, teasing me constantly about my life, and I return that three-fold. All the group texts of her face and late night press conferences in the dorms have been some of the most fun I’ve had during the workshop, and I will never stop teasing her, let’s be honest. Iris is understanding too, and I always like to sit down and have a conversation with her, whether its making fun of her and laughing our heads off, or so deep it makes you cry.

Notorious Nate is placed in this spot on my blog for a very good reason, cough descending order. Juice pong, and his story on being broken up with over bacon, and making hilarious pictures — they’ve all been highlights from this workshop I’ll never forget. I’ve learned that he is a very nice guy, and has a great personality that opens up to each and every one of us.

Adroit Anthony can always be found on the couch, sleeping. Where is Anthony? He’s on the couch. Whether it was walking out in his boxers as we all laugh on the floor, or saying “I was trying to focus on McDonald’s,” Anthony brings a great personality to the group.

Honest Haley is so nice, and we are indecisive over our food together. Thank you for accompanying me to Hydration and being a fellow Asian who understood my need for rice, and walking with me to various places when I needed a friend. The Language Archive wouldn’t have been possible without all of your determination to find us tickets, and I’ll miss all of the help and support.

Terrific Tonjanae is someone I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with, but she brings a great personality to the room, and the Mosaic wouldn’t have been the same without her. I remember she told us at the beginning that she was worried about writing for the Mosaic because she didn’t have past experience in journalism. But in my opinion, she has produced some pretty damn good stories, and is an amazing writer just as great as everyone else here.

Corny Carl, who takes revenge through bios and is always laughing at the small things in life, lights up the room with his friendly personality. He’s a great friend and person to talk to, and jogging to pick up copies of the newspaper gave us an “exclusive” first look at the paper, even though I couldn’t run fast in my flip flops.

Loyal Luisa is probably the only sane person in the Mosaic family, always keeping calm and being rational in times of crisis. She is great to talk to, and will always be willing to help out anyone if they have problems (which, let’s admit, we have a lot of issues). I hope that she will someday get a selfie with Missy Franklin, which she should send it to me if she does, cough cough.

Finally, a note to all of the editors. Thank you all so much for turning my stories into a work of art, you are all miracle workers. Rob, thank you for editing draft after draft, helping me even when I hit walls, and coping with my insanity. The time you told us you gained 50 pounds just to be a werewolf for Halloween, your phone making those space age noises, walking around the school in search of a vending machine and coming back empty handed… it’s all made every day in the newsroom enjoyable. I will miss you both as an editor and someone that I can go talk to.

To Joe, thank you for being dorm daddy and helping me out with my Undocumented story. Without your connections, I would never have gotten a terrific story. I loved your stories and walking around at night, you being half the height of the bouncer at the club but still bravely being Joe and fighting your way in. I won’t forget Jammin’ Joe!

I’ll miss you all at Mosaic. I hope we all keep in touch, and I wish the best for each person in their future and beyond.