Day Two Disbelief

Rocio Ramirez listening to the editors.
Ashley Lugo // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Olivia Lucas // Mosaic Staff Writer

I cannot believe today is only day two!

I feel like I have been at Mosaic for a week now, because I’ve learned so many new things, met so many new people, and done sooo much work.

Yesterday morning, I learned from David Early that the best stories are ones that come from the heart and those that get you caught in the middle of a gunfire.

Yesterday night, when we met with the 2011 Mosaic class, I learned take advantage of the Mosaic experience and to wear flip flops in the showers.

Today, Sean Webby taught me how to spell ‘Jon Smyth’ and also showed me that some interviews can scare the life out of you (he surely scared me in my interview).

While we are learning, we are also working—working really hard.

I’m pretty sure I’ve called about ten different people today trying to get interviews, and I’ve emailed about five.

Things are heating up pretty quickly and the workload is hefty, but I am positive that all of our hard work will pay off when we produce a stellar paper!

In the midst of all this chaos, I’ve also found plenty time to connect with the other campers.

Everyone is so nice and I’ve met so many new people.

On the first day I believe that all us Mosaic campers instantly became friends; everyone keeps reiterating that by Day 12 we’ll all be one big Mosaic family. I truly believe this!

Like I said, I can’t believe this is only day two! Can’t wait for what’s to come in the next ten days!

Day 2: The wonderful world of real journalism

By Naib Mian // Mosaic Staff Writer

After the intimidating, yet inspirational, advice and recollections Mosaic alumni provided us with last night, I was excited to get working on my stories today. We came to the newsroom to find out we were being “thrown off the deep end” into a simulation of a breaking news story – a middle school student was assaulted.

Enter Sean Webby.

A press conference and private interview with a simulated Sgt. Jon Smyth, (we all misspelled his and learned our lesson about always checking facts), played by Sean resulted in a select few students walking out with terror stricken faces. I was then told I would be choosing two dream interviewees who Sean Webby would act out, and I would interview him on my own.

My heart thumped as I walked into the room. He greeted me with a handshake. I introduced myself, and he transformed into a middle school teacher. Afterward, my first conversation with him was a minute long argument over him giving me his name, a request that ended after what felt like an hour in him saying, “Fine. Goodbye.” The interview was tense, and I went out with a mixture of enmity, shock and awe.

I went in for my refill of Webby; he was now a student who was with the alleged assault victim. First question, “How are you doing?” Response, “How are you doing?”  (you can read that in a sassy, “I’m-gonna-beat-you-up” voice.) I asked him if he ever felt unsafe around those areas. In return, I received, “You callin’ me a wimp? Huh punk? I could beat the (expletive) out of you!” After he revealed that he had used the assault story to cover up doing drugs with his friend, I was done. We had gotten an anonymous tip off of the same thing, and I had had enough. So I told him it wasn’t a joke to make up something like that, and I walked out. He bid me farewell with a “(Expletive) you!” I obviously learned not to morally lecture an interviewee, but I felt as if it was just my frustration with the Webbinator.

We then completed our article – success! We broke the drug cover up in our lead!

We all returned to debrief with Webby; this time he had transformed into the real Sean Webby, much more supportive and inspirational. He laughed and smiled as he shook my hand a second time, telling me he had really given me a hard time.

He had sparked a flame of passion in me through the intensity of that activity. I was now so excited about diving into my journalistic work over the next two weeks.

Meeting Kerri Walsh

By Silvia Cardona-Tapia // Mosaic Staff Writer

I think my second day was better. Today in Mosaic media coordinator of district attorney Sean Webby, came and visited us gave us a lot of details of how to interview people and. He is a funny man and an intelligent one also. Elliot took Jewel and me to interview famous Beach Volley Ball Olympian Kerri Walsh. I loved today. Not a lot of 17 year old high school students can say that they interviewed a famous person. Kerri Walsh was one of the kindest people I have ever met.

The Mosaic Myths Are True!

By Corina Martinez // Mosaic Staff Writer

It’s true. They all kept telling us, and no one believed them. I shrugged my shoulders and rolled off the warnings, comments, and suggestions. But it was all true.

Here at Mosaic, we are so busy.

This is my first time sitting down in the Spartan Daily since 10:30 and the first time at my desk since yesterday. I have been driving around, waiting for those two precious minutes when my source is not busy, and prying in people’s personal lives since breakfast.

And my story is still not half way done. I need more sources, more interviews, more answered questions, and more pages in my notebook filled.

I’m writing a story on immigration, a social justice topic that has always been dear to my Mexican heritage. I interviewed three people today, which seems proactive but I feel so behind.

The first was Rafael Baca, a mid fielder for the San Jose Earthquakes. He was born in Mexico and became part of the team long before he was able to work legitimately with a work visa.

I caught him for a two-minute interview after practice right before he got on a plane for a game in Colorado.

How did I ask my twelve questions in two minutes? I didn’t. Other players were honking at him as he stood anxiously answering my earnest questions.

Lunch. Then another interview.

This time we met for a casual coffee as I asked about the deepest secrets an illegal immigrant hold from the rest of the world. He explained his family’s background, their immigration status and his plans for an uncertain future.

He played it cool, but I could tell he was nervous.

Sipping a frappuccino, the guy that I only knew through mutual friends told me things that put him in a different light for me. As we walked back to the newsroom, his stance was more comfortable, his chatter less formal.

The next interview was a thirty-minute drive that should’ve taken ten. We finally got there after getting lost and my nerves kicked in.

This time, there was not a set time or person for an interview. I called and called, no one picked up so here I was.

Thankfully, I managed to talk to Jazmin Segura, a Federal Policy Advocate at SIREN (Services, Immigration Rights, and Education Network). We sat down for the ten minutes for which she was available.

As Ashley (my trusted photographer) clicked away in the same room we were talking, I kept thinking in my head, “YES. This is perfect. This is exactly what I need.”

All these interviews are going to be perfect for the vision I have for my story.

They all gave me hope and at the same time anxiety about the DREAM Act and Obama’s plan.

Two things this day has taught me that I will never, ever forget?

1) Wear comfortable shoes, and 2) if this whole journalism thing doesn’t work out, I’m becoming an immigration lawyer.

Day Two Surprises

By Gabe Quintela // Mosaic Staff Writer

Thinking that nothing could be more interesting or faster paced than the first day, I was in for a surprise today.

After a simulation breaking news story in which we ran around campus interviewing students and police officers, we returned to the newsroom and I was sent out to interview Chris Wondolowski, Major League Soccer’s leading scorer.

Being an avid soccer fan and lover of the game, this was a dream come true for me and an experience I’ll never forget.

Although my time with “Wondo” was short, I was able to get through the questions I wanted to ask and produce a first draft of my article.

Although I’m sure Marcos will rip my draft apart, I’m excited to incorporate his edits and move toward a finished article.

Day Two: A frustrating day

By Kimmy Tejasindhu // Mosaic Staff Writer

As everyone headed out to do their first interviews and finally sink their teeth into their stories, I encountered a very large  wall. I ventured out to the local smoke shop with my photographer friend Ashley Lugo to try and get some words for my story about synthetic or “designer” drugs such as K2, bath salts or spice. Upon entering the store, we were offered a mumbled greeting from a clerk. Once I told her who I was (Kimmy from the Mosaic student journalism program, affiliated with the Mercury News), she instantly offered neither eye contact nor any cooperation. She said that her store did not sell any synthetic drugs, but in fact they were fancily arranged for sale in a glass box right in front of me. When I asked her where I could find any, she recommended a shop two hours across town. It was incredibly frustrating.

Then I returned to the newsroom defeated and, quite frankly, bored. I had called the LCRSP people to ask about events and the nearest one is on June 25, so that story has been put on hold until further notice. I was able to talk to Sean Webby, a reporter who deals closely with police, who could help “point me in the right direction,” in the words of Marcos, my editor. And Sean took down my number and said he’d have his drug expert get back to me. He didn’t get back to me.

So I sat watching videos about people tripping on synthetic drugs and doing gnarly tricks on skateboards while my desk-mate Corina returned breathless from her third successful interview, and Gabe reached a whopping 700 hundred words for his soccer article! At least, Andy didn’t have much luck with his Chinese mothers story either. That makes me feel much better about my close to unproductive day.

Oh well, tomorrow shall be a better day, as I take Ashley along with me to survey the area and the local skaters at LCRSP before we go to the camp on June 25. Wish me luck!

I feel like a real journalist

Nashra Anwer walks to an assignment with fellow reporters.
Margaret Lin // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Tanya Raja // Mosaic Staff Writer

I feel like a real journalist.

After conducting a lovely interview with a friendly student entrepreneur, I walked back into the news room feeling successful and satisfied.

This isn’t hard, I thought.

Then, I found out that the person I interviewed was allegedly fired from an internship two years ago for participating in some sketchy business.

After calling him again to ask about the veracity of this accusation, I received strange and hesitant answers.

Now I have to figure out whether to include this information or take him completely out of my article.

Okay, so it may not be the most exciting of adventures, but today has definitely rekindled my “little kid” curiosity and interest in finding answers.

Also, the kitchen has a lot of food, so that’s awesome.