Better Late Than Never

By Camille Debreczeny // Mosaic Staff Writer

Reporting, writing and photography are in full swing here at the Spartan Daily Newsroom.

Everywhere I look, aspiring journalists are hustling to pursue exciting stories.

I, the latecomer, am feeling the pressure to keep up.

Thanks to an untimely bout of strep throat, I had to miss the first two days of Mosaic. I arrived this morning and was immediately swept up into the action – before I could even catch everyone’s names, I was off on my first assignment.

I witnessed the culmination of an inspiring YouthBuild project that installed energy efficient windows in apartments throughout the city of Milpitas. I interviewed a group of truly dedicated students and educators.

We headed back to the newsroom and I typed up my first draft.

My editor, Sharon Noguchi, is awesome.  She’s very sweet and definitely seems like an expert on writing and reporting. I’m expecting to learn a lot from her over the next couple of weeks!

Everyone is friendly and helpful. The energy is contagious! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t find a cooler group of people to spend these two weeks with.

It will probably take me a little while to fall into step with everyone else here, but I can tell this is going to be an incredible learning experience.

Can’t wait to see what happens next!

Mosaic 101: Survival Skills

The Mosaic staff explores downtown San Jose after work.
Jewel Devorawood // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Ross Ramirez // Mosaic Staff Writer

It’s amazing how friendly people are and all it really takes is for you to get out of your comfort zone and really interact with everyone.

I feel like I have a full-time job, for which I get paid in food.

The amount of time we have to work on our stories is incredible. I only have one story on my hands for this week, so the workload on my shoulders isn’t as heavy for me as the rest.

A few tips on how to survive Mosaic:

  • Never lose track of where your keys are! I almost lost mine while wondering if someone saw me stumble during lunch while trying to look for a way to get to McDonald’s. There seems to be some construction going on, and well, I took a fall while not looking where I walked.
  • Be ready for the weather. I myself don’t prefer warm weather. It doesn’t help while trying to look for a place to eat at noon.
  • Make sure you have an alarm. I’ve been known to be a heavy sleeper, so you can guess how lovely it is every morning.

Believe it or not, you’ll get used to your surroundings fairly quickly.

A Photographer’s POV

Jewel Devorawood taking pictures of her fellow staffers.
Margaret Lin // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Jewel Devorawood // Mosaic Staff Photographer

Now that you’ve had a chance to be introduced to the reporters on staff, let me give you little bit of a photographic perspective.

Aside from myself there are four other photographers this year. Nhat, our teacher has definitely let us have free reign of the cameras and photo assignments, essentially sending us off into the world to experiment and learn through trial and error.

This approach to teaching has helped me learn to self-correct and really think about my shots before I take them.

The thing that people don’t realize about photojournalism is that it is much more then just pressing a button or, as my school friends seem to believe, just having a nice camera to make all your shots look amazing.

Photojournalism is all about capturing that moment, and really working with the reporters to convey the emotions that they are writing about in their stories.

So far I’ve been on two assignments one to a local Ethiopian restaurant to take some delicious food photos, and another to photograph an Olympic athlete.

No big deal, just a five time gold medalist for the United States of America, Kerri Walsh, a six-foot three beach volleyball all-star.

I got the chance thanks to Mr. Elliott Almond to photograph Ms. Walsh during a private farewell party in Saratoga California.

This photo assignment has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have watched her on ESPN do her volleyball thing, but actually seeing her in person?!?! That was a different story.

She definitely lives up to her nickname, “Six feet of sunshine.” Her naturally calm aura and her visibly open-heart were so easy to capture on my Canon.

Looking back at the photos she seemed to be glowing, and in every single shot Kerri was all smiles. She had the elegance of a true Olympian.

Meeting Kerri Walsh, actually photographing her, and getting the chance to have a conversation with the volleyball champion is an experience I will never forget.

So I’d say, for only being day three and having shot multiple pictures of a volleyball legend, Mosaic is definitely going to be a really great experience.

Until next time, blogosphere.

Mosaic On The Spot

Gabe Quintela walks back from dinner with the rest of the group.
Jewel Devorawood // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Gabe Quintela // Mosaic Staff Writer

Heading back from our Ethiopian dinner at Mudai last night, I returned to the dorm earlier than the others.

As I was walking back to meet up with everyone else, I heard yelling coming from one of the gyms on campus. I walked toward the gym to see what was going on.

When I got in the room, there were about five people wearing what seemed to be robes. They were holding long bamboo swords, which they used to slap each other in the head.

I was so intrigued by what these people were doing that I invited the rest of the staff to come watch.

We waited until they finished their “practice” and I decided to interview these students in hopes of discovering what exactly they were doing.

After my talk I was turned onto a world of Kendo, a Japanese martial art that teaches the “way of the sword.”

The students were quick to inform me that Kendo is much more than a physical exercise but also a mental one as well.

I plan on following through with these interviews and producing and article to go into the paper.