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 – Mosaic lasts forever!

Hannah Chebeleu, Aysha Rehman and David Early // Photo by Mosaic Staff

Hannah Chebeleu and Aysha Rehman goof around outside the SJSU dorms. // Photo by Mosaic Staff

By Aysha Rehman, Mosaic Staff Writer

As I look back on these past two weeks, I’m surprised they went by so quickly. Not only did this week just slip through my fingers, but I also bonded with 15 other teenagers I never thought I could befriend. I feel like this group has been has been a lot of fun to work with, and I know that after Mosaic truly ends, I will be floating around in denial…because Mosaic lasts forever, at least in our hearts.

I learned a lot about journalism, and how to get up to par with professional writing, skills that will be invaluable when I come back to school this August. I learned how to interact with people completely different than myself, and I saw parts of the city life that really changed my perspective about the kinds of people we have in this world, from the homeless to the rich of the rich.

I suppose one of the most important things I got from Mosaic aside from the skill set to dominate the newsroom was a group of lifelong friends. I can honestly say that these people will be here for me when I need them as I hope to be there for them when they need me. From my roommates to my editors, I feel like everyone has a place in my heart, and I do hope that this is not the end of our time together–I want to see everyone again, at least every once in awhile.

I will forever remember our group hangouts and outings. I will remember rooming with the wonderful not-shy Semira 🙂 I will remember the other girls making my hair and watching High School Musical 2. Most of all I will remember those quiet moments where it seems that everyone is just absorbing the presence of everyone else–because this group couldn’t have been more perfectly put together.

For those who are thinking about applying to Mosaic, when the time comes jump at the chance, because the experience you will have will stick with you For. A. Lifetime. Everything from the technical skills to the social skills, I can definitely say that I’ve become a better writer, as well as a more confident person.

So my dear friends and editors alike, I will miss you all when the time comes to truly say ‘adieu.’ I do hope to see your smiling faces again, even if it means you have to fly over here from Idaho, or drive all the way from Monterey 🙂

This is not the end Class of 2015, Mosaic lasts forever!

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 – 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.”

Day 10 – Deadline

Mosaic reporters Adele Shen and Brady N. Delgadillo hitch a ride on the Muni during the staff trip to San Francisco. // Photo by Adele Shen

Mosaic reporters Adele Shen and Brady N. Delgadillo hitch a ride on the Muni during the staff trip to San Francisco. // Photo by Adele Shen

By Brady N. Delgadillo, Mosaic Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 marks the official deadline for Mosaic. Some are in tears while others are just happy to be done. Personally, tears have been streaming down my face this morning. As I am writing this, I am wiping away a flow of tears before they can hit my keyboard and cause water damage. The stress levels have been so high to the point that I am doubting my future career goals. I suppose I will have to move to plan B: opening a Filipino restaurant.

Kidding. Though reaching the deadline has been stressful, I was able to have both my stories in. Last week, I doubted that my stories would ever evolve into something worth reading, but now I can’t wait to see them printed on Friday. My stories consisted of evaluating the impacts of San Jose’s ban on bags and a feature story on an adult ESL class.

I am truly looking forward to reading all of my peers/friend’s articles. The only downside of this is that Mosaic is almost over.

We have come a long way since the first time when we brainstormed our story ideas. Since then, we have learned an abundance of journalistic skills that would not be possible to learn elsewhere. Mosaic has given us a unique opportunity to be real journalists. It has been a major bonding experience so far. On Sunday, we took Caltrain to San Francisco and walked around the city. We went to a fortune cookie factory, watched a break dance performance, and even met three Irish men. The experience we had in SF will be one to remember.

Now, we just wait for print day on Friday.