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.

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Day 1 – Mosaic: what high school journalism isn’t

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Mosaic staff writers get to work on their story ideas in the Spartan Daily newsroom. // Photo by Creo Noveno

By Kaitlyn Wang, Mosaic Staff

If you asked me three years ago, I would never have imagined myself spending two weeks away from home working in the Daily Spartan newsroom with a bunch of extremely intelligent and passionate reporters who just so happened to be my age, well. I’d probably laugh, but in a good way. But sophomore year rolled around and I realized that journalism was in fact a very viable career option for me, someone who loves writing and telling stories.

Mosaic is an opportunity that I know will open doors for me. Journalism for me has been restricted to a very small perimeter: be it Foothill, our community, or the Pleasanton bubble in general. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting– although certainly it wasn’t these incredibly nice swivel chairs, can I take one home with me?– but I have been pleasantly surprised at every turn.

Perhaps it was the really nice dorm rooms, or the delicious welcome dinner, or even the slightly awkward but in an endearing way name game icebreaker. But I have never made friends faster than I have in these first two days of Mosaic. I think it’s because these students know what it’s like to want to chase and pursue a story, to want to get to know humans for what they are and translate this humanity into words to spread to a wider audience.

And I relate to that. But more than that, Mosaic has already given me a taste of what high school journalism isn’t. By all means, I love what InFlight has given me and will give me, but I will admit that the environment is vastly different to what can be expected of reporters in the “real world.” Here, high schoolers are no longer teenagers that never understand, instead, we are reporters who have a real drive and a real purpose. The first day in the newsroom was spent working on staff bios, story ideas, and getting our assignments, but already I feel far more like a “real world” reporter than I have in my life.

That’s something I can get behind. That’s something I appreciate. And that’s something I will uphold for the duration of my time at Mosaic.

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.