Saying Goodbye to the Family

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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.

 

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A San Francisco Kind of Day

By Haley Kim // Mosaic Staff Writer 

Yesterday was the famous Mosaic SF trip! I woke up excited,  laced up my Nike’s and we quickly walked to the bus station at 9 AM sharp to ride over to the CalTrain station, where we then waited an hour.

Once we arrived in San Francisco, we walked a mile or two to the Westfield San Francisco Centre. I glanced longingly at the stores we passed, especially Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, but I continued walking on with the group. By the time we got to the mall, it was already close to 12:30. As we walked through the tall, glass doors, I sighed as I looked at the sparking, sophisticated stores. I had a strong desire to shop, but I knew that we were not in SF to shop. Sadly.

We soon dispersed for lunch in the Food Emporium, and were told to meet up again at around 1:05. I quickly made a beeline to the Sorabol Korean food (I have been to the Food Emporium before), as I dearly missed my Korean food (it’s already been a week since we have been at Mosaic!).

As we left the food court, we stopped by Union Square to wait while the rest of the group caught up. The warm afternoon sunshine created the perfect summer picture, and we watched the crowd, which was trickling in to watch a “circus show.” Eventually, those of us who were already there walked over to the gates of Chinatown. The rest of the group eventually caught up, and we soon walked our way through Chinatown, where we admired the adorable stuffed pandas, the quirky bowls and cups, and the fun hats and headpieces. We noticed some murals, one in progress of Chinese Zodiac animals, that was very bright and colorful, and the other a much darker mural of Chinese people in 1889. That one was pretty much all black and gray, except for a few red design elements and a California lottery ticket one of the men was holding. I made my artistic interpretation.

Soon we reached City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, one of the coolest bookstores I have ever visited. It was multiple floors, but each floor was small and was crammed with books. There were two staircases that wound inside the building. We didn’t spend too long, but I knew that I could easily spend a whole day in there. Very easily.

After City Lights, we walked through North Beach towards Pier 39. By now it was getting really windy and cold. Despite that, I had a strange craving for ice cream, so I got Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, which definitely hit the spot. We then walked around, climbed the piano stairs, and stopped in a couple of stores, like Seasons, a Christmas themed store that sold sparkling Monster spray and Disney paintings, and Lefty’s. We also attempted to be cheap and get into the Aquarium without paying, but unfortunately there was a guard.

Soon we met up as a group, and it was time to leave, and we walked back to the bus station and then to CalTrain. The San Francisco trip was a lot of fun (and I got a lot of exercise!), and it was nice to stop thinking about the impending stories for a day.

A different crowd, A different ambience, A different experience

By Bahaar Muhar // Mosaic Journalism Workshop 

After returning from a horrible dinner, I put on my walking shoes, slipped on my Mosaic badge, and got ready to walk out the door to explore San Jose’s “nightlife.”

We walked around and had our first stop at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library where Joe told us that it’s a great place to come by some time and check out – it would be one of the few places that we could actually go back to on our own.

Then we crossed the lights to Flames. And I thought, “Wait. Flames? That sounds familiar! That logo even looks familiar!”

Joe told us that this was a originally a breakfast place; one of the many Flames. That’s when it clicked. There’s one right by house – but its known for pancakes, not for a nightlife.

We walked through and we stopped at the middle of the place, in front of the bar when the manager came with a worried face towards us. I guess he got concerned since we were a big group.

We then attempted to check out Fahrenheit but they were having a private party so no entrance for us.

Afterwards, we walked around more lively restaurants that would ultimately become night time hangouts in a couple of hours.

One place in particular was really nice. It had beautiful art, was a nice hang out, and had a great aroma. What was it called? No idea.

We stood at the end of the lane of many different nightlife places, peaking through one that had a huge bouncer blocking the way.

We met a guy who came out and told us that it was a great place. He was the third generation to go to that place and after leaving us with a tad bit of knowledge of past crimes and issues regarding San Jose nightlife and lots of alcohol breath, he strolled off on his bike.

We crossed the streets, dragged our feet around, saw regular restaurants and we ended up at a more modern street with more places to eat and more places to hang out. Joe told us more about the crime that once existed in San Jose regarding its nightlife and it was a bit hard to believe that it was actually like that.

The minute I saw the Old Spaghetti Factory, my eyes brightened up; we had been looking for a good place to eat that was local for so long and I finally found something. Still looking forward to going there soon!

Then I read a poster that the world’s best milkshake was at some restaurant to our left and I thought:

“Wait seriously? So many places? And the world’s best is in my neighborhood..”

I guess I’ll have to go try it to know myself.

We continued on and then I lost my appetite for that milkshake.

A guy in a green shirt was bending over with one hand on a lamppost throwing up. Sucks for him. His friends surrounded him and one looked at me as I saw with an awkward smile.

Will this be life after college? Lol

Then we went to the market. Before we entered Joe said it was one of the greatest things that San Jose had ever created and I thought he was exaggerating. But actually, the place was really cool; there was such a cultural mix and so many great places to eat.

The atmosphere was so lively despite it being crowded and then Joe took us right in front of a pastry stand. And that was my favorite part of the evening.

If there was one thing I really really really REALLY wanted after my trip in India was yummy sweets like macaroons, and Joe put them right in front of me. It sucked we couldn’t get any but at least I knew where to come back.

Then we left the street through the empty Sonoma Chicken Coup and Joe said, “We’re a little over halfway done.” And it was a bittersweet feeling; I wanted to be done with the tour because I was so cold and tired but not at the same time cause it was a totally different experience. We walked back and saw a couple more cool nightlife places and then we walked past one of the most beautiful places in all of San Jose.

Being half-awake I don’t remember the name but it was a Cathedral with beautiful architecture. Joe mentioned that it costed a lot to restore it after the earthquake. San Jose had to hire a guy from Italy for 5 years to fix the murals inside.

Then we walked through the famous Fairmont hotel where Obama had come just a month and a half ago but now it reeked of different types of alcohol.

We saw a couple more places but everyone was tired and ready to go home. We started to finally head back to SJSU.

Luisa opened the dorm door and we went in. I took off my shoes and called my mom and told her about almost everything from the tour. I guess I shouldn’t have told my mom. She thinks Mosaic is kinda crazy now – but she thinks a lot of things are. I’m glad I got to explore things with Mosaic and Joe and the gang that I never would have on my own.

 

I Still Want a Selfie

By Luisa Simpao // Mosaic Journalism Workshop 

I woke up on Friday morning with tired eyes and heavy-feeling limbs. Sure, I’d beat my alarm clock to waking me up, but the anti-allergy medicine I took the previous night knocked me out within fifteen minutes of taking it. As soon as I’d washed my face and gotten a bagel into my system, putting on sunscreen then, I was pumped.

I was headed to the George F. Haines International Swim Center for the ARENA Grand Prix. I was going to interview Missy Franklin. I might run into Michael Phelps, Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, and so may other swimming greats.

As a swimmer, I was excited as we entered, coming in to the meet after receiving our press passes to see the first heat of the Women’s 100 Freestyle up. I definitely couldn’t compare myself to any of them–their swimming level being one I can only dream of and admire–but seeing them up close and occasionally running into them was amazing.

After Missy Franklin swam (and won) her 100 Freestyle, I screamed internally as she walked by us. More internal screaming ensued when the whole Cal girls team, including Missy, decided to sit at the benches ten feet away from us. We continued to watch the races, screaming internally (again) during the 100 Free as Nathan Adrian, Conor Dwyer, Michael Phelps, and Anthony Ervin, took one to four, respectively.

The other events seemed long to me, as the 400 Free and 200 Breast were not events that I swim (and took longer than two laps), but when the 100 Fly came on, I was, again, very excited. Iris and I rushed to Lane 5 during the final heat, she taking pictures as we watched Phelps place first in the event with a 52.57.

We interviewed Missy Franklin after she’d warmed down following her 100 Fly. She was so nice and seemed to be absolutely enjoying herself. When she answered my question, she looked directly at me (!!!!), and I was stunned but still took down my reporter notes.

We returned for finals later that day, with Enya and Jacinta, who had covered Michael Phelps’ interview the day before. Again, the experience of being around so many amazing swimmers and watching them compete seemed absolutely unreal, but–ah, it gets better.

As Enya and I were walking around, trying to find swimmers to interview, I spotted Nathan Adrian at the tent, where I had interviewed Missy Franklin earlier that day.

I got to talk to Nathan Adrian.

I shook Nathan Adrian’s hand.

I met Mel Stewart and interviewed him, too–he was so friendly and just really chill–I followed him on Twitter afterward!

Yesterday will definitely be a day I will not forget.

Even though my feet are still sore from standing by the pool and taking the walking tour of San Jose’s nightlife.

And I was, of course, allowed neither selfies nor autographs but…

Yesterday was absolutely amazing.

Due day, red marks, and anxiety overload

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By Talia Moore // Mosaic Staff Writer 

My alarm sounds at 7:45 AM, yet I decide to doze off for a good 30 minutes more. I awake and realize the day has finally come, the infamous first drafts are due. The morning starts off with our daily talk about the paper and with great excitement Jacinta’s photo of Michael Phelps appears in the paper! Sharon then goes on to describe the essence of a lead and nut graph. I’m a little frantic, for my article contains a basic intro and nothing else and I have a mere 3 hours to complete a draft.

On the upside I completed over 10 interviews for my article previous to today and it’s time to bring the passionate words of teachers, parents, and students alongside the abrupt attitudes of a teacher union representative all together .  As I get to work in front of the finicky Dell computer that enjoys freezing on me, I stress myself out with low expectations of my draft and little confidence in all the words coming out cohesively onto pape. To make matters worst Kelly interrupts my writing flow meaning to press the mysterious red button in front of her computer that manages to turn mine off.  Just my luck.

I hit yet another bump in the road, not only is it crunch time but I have over 900 words in my draft.  I struggle to keep my writing concise and thrive on all the extra fluff words.  It’s like a safety net, and I don’t want to cheat any of the people I interviewed out of what they said. Nevertheless, the learning process of what’s necessary and what can be discarded from the story is in the near future when my paper get covered in red ink.

While most aren’t a fan of red ink all over their writing, I appreciate the critique. There is always room for improvement and the overflowing of red words throughout a paper is exciting.  I break for lunch and head to Whispers for lunch. Craving crepes I dig into a plate of savory goodness.  I literally am so close to faceplanting my head into my food from sleep deprivation. I manage not to do so and we head back to the lab. Quickly Sharon goes over my story with me and the anticipated agony escapes me.  To my surprise, the edits needed to be made aren’t so terrible after all.