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 8 – Here at Mosaic, our only drug is breaking news

Alam Skandar, 39, descended from the 90 ft crane at around 10:30 a.m. after a 14-hour standoff with the SJPD. (Photo by Steven Barajas, Mosaic Staff Photographer)

Alam Skandar, 39, descended from the 90 ft crane at around 10:30 a.m. after a 14-hour standoff with the SJPD. // Photo by Steven Barajas, Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Matt Pinkney, Mosaic Staff Writer

I think I’ve finally come down from my buzz.  Don’t worry.  Mosaic isn’t some sketchy organization letting kids get strange drugs from weird people in downtown San Jose.

No, here at Mosaic, our only drug is breaking news.  And I got my first taste today.

I had just rolled out of bed about ten minutes earlier when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize.  I picked up the phone.  It turned out to be Robert, one of our editors.  He told me to find a photographer and get over to City Hall as soon as we could.  It was kind of hard to make him out (dorms don’t have the best reception), but I could gather something about a guy in a high place by City Hall and that I needed to be there now.  I threw on some clothes and David and I rushed over to the corner of 6th and Santa Clara as fast as we could.

When we got there, there were camera crews and reporters from all the local stations.  Video cameras were pointed into the sky, a few reporters talked with colleagues and photographers moved along the corner trying to get pictures.

One of our editors, Karl, introduced us to some of his colleagues from the Mercury News.  We got the full story as the reporters knew it: a homeless man had climbed up into a crane on a construction sight and had been there for twelve hours.  Police had blocked off some of the streets and were trying to get him to come down.

As we got filled in, David got a lot of pictures of the guy in the crane.  I mostly observed what was going on, both up in the crane and down on the ground.  I had never seen one TV news crew so close up, let alone four or five like were situated on this corner.  It was interesting to see everyone so comfortable around each other.  I guess I hadn’t expected professional journalists to be so friendly, especially in TV.

After a while, David and I took a walk around the section the cops had blocked off.  We heard the man shout something down at the cops, we saw people looking up at the crane and talk amongst themselves, and we saw people going about their day normally as if nothing had changed.

For a while, it looked like nothing would change.  Then the man came out of the cab and started walking along the crane.  David scrambled to get into a good position for pictures.  I gripped my notebook tight.  My heart was in my throat.  I was nervous about what could happen.

Thankfully, he went back into the cab, unhurt.  We walked back to where the reporters stood and met up with Steven, Hannah and Brian.  I talked to some more people while all three photographers took their shots.

We were standing far away from the other reporters when he started to come down from the crane.  We had the perfect shot, too, framed by the construction and some of the surrounding buildings.  As soon as he was down, we ran over to the police line where they were loading him into the police car.  We didn’t get great shots as he drove away, unfortunately.
When we finally walked back to the newsroom, I was still pumped.  I felt like a real journalist, getting a story that was happening now.  It was an amazing thrill and I’m so incredibly glad to have had this experience.

Day 6 – Looking into the future

Mosaic reporters Jacky Tsang, Megan Robalewski, Sara Ashary and Semira Sherief enjoy some free time in newsroom. // Photo by Mosaic staff

Mosaic reporters Jacky Tsang, Megan Robalewski, Sara Ashary and Semira Sherief enjoy some free time in the newsroom. // Photo by Mosaic staff

By Sara Ashary, Mosaic Staff Writer and part-time clairvoyant

(Editors Note: Saturday is usually a slow day in the newsroom, so we’ve allowed Mosaic staffer Sara Ashary to take a hypothetical look into the future of Mosaic’s 2015 class)

So today I did a lot of writing but the most interesting thing was predicting with my Mosaic squad where we each will be in 20 years. Here we go…

Steezy and Hannah: We decided to put them together because their futures will be alike. They each are going to be with someone that is like a hippie and/or an animal lover. Their families will go to music festivals and take many photos.

Sara: I think I will become an accountant.

Aysha: She will become a successful podcaster and talk about Middle Eastern problems and give a whole new view to everyone.

Joelle: She is going tp be like the next Melinda Gates. She is going to be smoking rich because her husband is like a computer genius. She is going to do yoga in the mornings, wear nice expensive simple dresses. She will do a whole lot of charity work while being super smart. She will be a very influential activist.

Jacky: Jacky is an interesting man, so he will take life as it goes.

Tomas: He is going to manage the Earthquakes with like a bluetooth on his left ear and a clipboard in his hand. AKA Making bank.

Noah: One look at Noah and you will understand: He will be an Anchor Man for channel 4 news.

Rachel: National Geographic Photographer that travels around the world. She will wear khakis and green cargo jackets with red toms.

Kaitlyn: She is going to have a PhD but have no idea what to do with it. She will probably end up alright and make herself a great life, living in Palo Alto.

Semira: Semira is such a beautiful soul. I see her marrying a celebrity (like Chris Pine). There will be pictures of her wearing sunglasses, Starbucks in her hand and yoga capris.

Matt: Famous Novelist, like the next John Green. Touring around the country for his new book.

Adele: She is going to be like a CEO. Like imagine her coming into our reunion and she is wearing a pencil skirt and talking on the phone, screaming at her assistant for giving her the wrong fax.

Megan: Megan is going to live that American life and live that high class life. There be a white picket-fence home with two kids. She will drive a Mercedes.

David: David is going to be doing some freelance photography and live alone in this really boyish apartment.

Shannon: Holy guacamole! I do not even know. Maybe the first Asian-American president. She is independent and smart.

Day 4 – Challenges

Frank, a homeless Vietnam veteran, speaks to a Mosaic staff reporter. // Photo by Steven Barajas, Mosaic Staff Photographer

Frank, a homeless veteran, speaks to a Mosaic reporter. // Photo by Steven Barajas, Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Steven Barajas, Mosaic Staff Photographer

When I first arrived here, I expected a challenge. But nothing like the ones I have received lately. It’s nothing I can’t handle but it forces you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do your best. My first challenge was coming up with a topic for a photo essay, I thought I had a solid idea about homelessness. Karl quickly stopped me and reminded me how broad homelessness really is. Karl is an enormous help and inspiration, I have proposed about four ideas and they have all been shot down. It’s not something to take personal because Karl and everyone here really want us to succeed, I really appreciate the push everyone here gives. I have yet to find my topic but with help from the the amazing staff at Mosaic I rest assured that everything will fall into place.