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 – 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.

Day 10 – Wi-Fi, why did you disappear?

The Wi-Fi panic in the SJSU dorms ended by 9:50 p.m. // Snapchat by Adele Shen

The Wi-Fi panic in the SJSU dorms ended by 9:50 p.m. // Snapchat by Adele Shen

By Jacky Tsang, Mosaic Staff Writer

Deadline is today. Fortunately, I was only up until 1:30 A.M. working on my story.

When I went back to my dorm at 6:30 P.M., I was a little worried for my story; I was confused and I wasn’t sure how to approach. I decided to put it off until I ate dinner. This gave me more time to think and process what I should write about.

However, I faced even more problems afterwards. I was frustrated, and I continued to do more research, which only helped slightly. I finally started after I made the decision to change the angle of my story. But then, the internet shut down, at around 9 P.M., and I fell asleep too since I couldn’t do anything.

I think I fell asleep from frustration because I never fall asleep too early. I guess it was because the story was due the very next day in the morning, and I didn’t even have a single word down. And having no wifi rendered me useless, and I was really mad. In a world with internet, it’s hard to go a day without it, especially if you need it to risk getting yelled at by your editor.

At around 11 P.M., I woke up, with news from my dorm mates that the internet came back. I worked quickly and rapidly, editing at the same time. I polished and corrected and made sure my story made sense.

Finally, at 1:30am, I finished. I decided not to sleep because I just didn’t want to. I wanted to watch something on Netflix, but I recently finished watching my favorite T.V. show, Scandal, so I didn’t know what to do.

Actually, when I finished Scandal, my life felt empty and I seriously didn’t know what to do. At the same time, I’m glad I finished it before yesterday night’s frustration. I would’ve been too distracted watching Scandal rather than doing my work.
Anyways, working under deadline wasn’t too bad. I finished on time, and I could’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, but I decided to watch YouTube videos afterwards. Honestly, I waste a lot of time doing nothing, and I really should spend time with these people because we’re all leaving soon in less than three days.

Day 10 – Communal lunch brings people together

Photo by Shannon Yang

The band Dirty Cello plays at Downtown San Jose’s first “Big Lunch.” // Photo by Shannon Yang

By Shannon Yang, Mosaic Staff Writer

A long line of white tables and chairs were lined up in the middle of Paseo San Antonio between Second and Fourth, just a stone’s throw away from San José State University.

Dubbed “the Big Lunch,” June 24’s festivities included booths from organizations and local radio stations as well as dance and musical performances. Most of all, the event was a way for people to socialize after grabbing food at nearby restaurants.

Though downtown already hosts events such as the Jazz Summer Fest, Christmas in the Park and Music in the Park, the Big Lunch marked the first ever communal lunch in downtown San José.

Brad Kanich, who works in promotions at radio station 94.5 K-Bay, believes that such a gathering should happen every month.

“This lunch brightens social lives and brings people together to network and socialize,” he said. “It’s meant to get people out of the office to enjoy restaurants.”

“It gets people to come downtown, just sit at the tables and enjoy free food and free music,” his colleague, Jen Graham, adds. “Usually people get food and go back to their desk job and eat, but this is encouraging people not to do that.”

“I loved it. I was actually just walking by,” Elizabeth Reyes, who works on First Street, said. “There are a lot of people here, I got to know them for the first time.”

For Ed Bautista, who works at City Hall, the lunch is also a way to allow downtown to thrive.

“It’s always fun when they have new exciting ways to network in the downtown area, supporting local businesses. There is friends and food. It’s a great way to support economic development.”

Bautista’s colleague, Melina Iglesias, experienced firsthand some of that economic boom.

“I actually downloaded the DoorDash app, which I had never done before,” she said. “I also tried out a restaurant I had really wanted to try, La Lune Sucrée.”

Downtown is the perfect place for a social gathering, many attendees agreed.

“Downtown is great for the accessibility and the diversity of food and restaurants,” Kranich said.

“It’s uniquely different,” Bautista said. “It doesn’t have the hustle bustle of San Francisco, but it’s still a vibrant, active place that’s always improving.”

“There’s a little bit of everything,” Iglesias said. “Grocery, restaurant, shops, movies. It’s easy and casual and you don’t have to go out of your way to do anything.”

One of the highlights of the lunch was the music. There were performances by Dirty Cello and Juxtapositions.

“The music is nice and inviting,” Iglesias said. “It creates a nice little ambience.”

Juxtapositions was hired to curate the music and perform. Freya Seeburger of Juxtapositions finds purpose in playing music at events.

“To make music with friends, it’s really fun,” she said. “I hope that there’s an event like this every day. I would totally help organize and perform.”