By Adele Shen, Mosaic Staff Writer
The talk to text function saves my life. It’s how I write my blog posts, it’s how I group-chat with my friends, and it’s how I keep my thumbs from cramping up. On Tuesday morning, I made the mistake of trying to message 40 people over Facebook (alumni of a my school who were relevant to my story) and I somehow, stupidly, did not expect or foresee that many of them would reply, and soon. I had planned on taking Tuesday to contact and email all my sources but I ended up taking the whole morning making a list of alumni to contact on Facebook, copy-pasting the same message to them 40+ times, and then replying to their replies and scheduling interviews. I knew we only had until Friday to finish our first draft, and I didn’t want to use all of that time interviewing, so I crammed every confirmation into Tuesday and Wednesday with half-hourly or hourly intervals. I spent 5 to 9 PM Tuesday interviewing people over phone and skipped dinner. I was the last to leave the Spartan Daily building and gave people the impression that I was working super super hard when actually, I had made some bad life choices.
The first interview I had was so disturbing because this guys point of view to me was so sheltered and unreasonable that I just wanted to lecture him right then and there. I thought the sheer awfulness of his interview would drag my entire stories angle of course. When the interviews were over and my head was spinning from the students’ not-completely-coherent points of view, I started to send out emails to professional organizations. Emails have something weird about them, in which they seem like they would only take a second to write but in actuality they are hard to start and painstaking to judge the formality with which you should contact other people (especially when they are professionals and you are a high-schooler). Even though I knew this fact my exhausted brain chose not to acknowledge it. Kaitlyn, the mom of Room 121, made me eat Cup Noodle at 11 PM that day. Without a fork. We didn’t have a fork so I had to eat with a very specific process of shaking noodles into my mouth and simultaneously not slapping it onto my face.
Both on Tuesday and Wednesday, I had asked texted different friends to pick me up some Philz coffee even though, yes, I was awake enough to text, but no, I was not awake enough to get up and walk maybe 10 yards out of campus to pick me up some Philz.
On Wednesday, I only had four student interviews but a lot more emails to send. Many of the emails I had sent the other night gave me the automatic responses that they were on vacation. Wednesday was not as stressful as Tuesday, and Thursday was even more chill.
Except when a certain prep center sent me “on location” for an in-person interview. Creo, Megan, and I were driving to drop me off at my interview first and then Megan’s. I was texting Brian about taking me from my first interview and driving me about 20 miles away to my second one while referring to a printout of Google Maps for directions (we only made one wrong turn). We were cutting it close and arrived at the street minutes before my appointment. But then we spend some stressful, critical minutes circling around the randomly clustered, badly labeled bunch of office buildings, asking construction workers and guys in suits. By then I was cussing violently and frantically emailing my interviewee an apology for being late.
Finally we found the building we needed. It was behind caution tape. Had some gaping pits on the side. No inner walls. No people. Just a bulldozer.
It was an empty shell of a building. Apparently, this center had moved recently and accidentally sent me their old address.
Change of plans then. Megan still had to go to her interview, so we dropped her off there (in another confusing cluster of office buildings that no one bothered designing or labelling logically), and Creo was going to take me directly to my second interview. I texted Brian again, saying that I actually didn’t need him, but Megan will.
And this whole time, an organization that would be a vital source for my story was emailing me about phone interview times. Was Friday 10 AM ok? Actually, was 3:30 to 5 PM Thursday ok? My second interview was at 2:45 and a 40 minute drive away, so I asked for the Friday. Unfortunately, that time was already gone.
In the turmoil of completely scrapping my first Thursday interview, Creo and I tried to figure out if the 3:30 to 5:00 worked while driving to Fremont to the second interview. We decided that I would most likely finish my interview by 3:30, and then I could conduct the important phone interview at 4 in…… Creo’s car.
Shady? Maybe, but it works. No one has to know. Luckily, my second interview ended up taking me early, and Creo and I made it back to the newsroom long before 4. I could conduct my interview in peace… on a bench in a questionably quiet hallway outside the newsroom.