A Day in the Life

Ashley Lugo // Mosaic Staff Photographer
Lexy and Tanya, center, make faces at the camera during one of the late nights in the common room.

By Lexy A. Brown and Tanya Raja // Mosaic Staff Writers

Before coming to the Mosaic, all of the participants are given an “official” Mosaic schedule. But it doesn’t begin to describe what really happens when you’re a member of Mosaic. Here is the unabridged truth.
7:30am- Turn off your alarm in your sleep.
7:35am- Turn off the second alarm you set, knowing the first one wouldn’t be effective.
8:45am- Be woken up by your roommate as she leaves for the newsroom. Quickly throw on clothes and hope that they’re weather appropriate. Provided the time, run to the bathroom to brush your teeth.
8:59am- Slide into the newsroom and pile your plate with breakfast, knowing that it’s probably the only free food for the day.
9:30am- A lecture or journalism exercise over breakfast.
10:00am- “Write,” which usually means call anyone remotely related to your subject until somebody finally picks up. If you didn’t have an opportunity to brush your teeth or do any other piece of the typical morning routine, slip out to the dorm and do it now.
10:45am- Grab your first piece of licorice from the giant tub in the newsroom.
10:45:30am- Grab your second, third, and twentieth piece of licorice.
12:30pm- Run to La Victoria’s “La Vic’s” and grab some inexpensive grub to eat in the newsroom.
1:00pm- Back to writing, etc.
3:30pm- While in a waiting hold for editors or interviewee’s to get back to you, look over other staff- writers’ shoulders to see if they’re being just as unproductive as you. If they’re not, be obnoxious until they are. While we call this entertaining, Joe calls this “teenage wasteland.”
5:00pm- Start watching the clock for dinner.
7:00pm- Head out for dinner. Dinner will probably be set up by Andy, who lives on Yelp, doesn’t settle for anything below four-star and likes to try new kinds of foods. Dinner is definitely an adventure.
7:05pm- Realize that you’ve gone the wrong way to get to the dinner place, yell at Andy, turn around and start again.
7:30pm- Decide on a meal to split with one, two or three other people. (Mosaic kids become very money conscious around Saturday, when they only have $7 left for three meals.)
10:00pm- Get back in dorms just in time for curfew.
10:00pm-11:00pm- Hear journalism stories from “dorm parents” Joe and Darlene.
12:00am- Take shower.
1:00am- Play a crazy game of cards. This can get bloody, especially if Andy is losing.
1:15am- Make fun of Lexy. (Out of love…?)
1:30am- Watch videos of Gianna’s eight siblings. Look at pictures of Gianna’s twelve-seater van.
2:00am- Sit around the common room talking. Usually, anything anyone says becomes something to laugh over.
3:00am- Go get blankets and pillows from the dorms.
3:45am- Have a competition to see who can hold an ice cube the longest, until Gianna (the motherly photographer) comes in and shuts us down; try Chinese water torture on Walter; give sleeping Gabe a smiley-face Henna tattoo on his ankle.
4:30am- Fall asleep on the couches in the common room.


Lessons learned

Naib Mian takes notes during a staged press conference.
Ashley Lugo // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Lexy Brown // Mosaic Staff Writer

On Monday morning our editor once again told us words that, as journalists, we hold dear: Always have your notebook and a pen; photographers always have your camera. What he added kindled our nerves, “especially don’t forget them tomorrow.”

We weren’t sure we were even prepared for our first day and already they were warning us about tomorrow?

Coming into the newsroom Tuesday morning should have solved our mystery. Instead, it gave us a new one. We were being thrown into the middle of breaking news: a middle-school student had reported a sexual assault.

Our editors had broken us up into teams and fabricated a case for us to report on as breaking news. We would report on a press conference, two interviews from characters of our choosing, phone calls and interviews we conducted of students on the San Jose State University campus.

With only the press conference, our interviews of San Jose State students and ten minutes we produced a briefing of the case. With another half hour we would produce a story and a side bar. Our team finished first, with two minutes to spare, so we went into the debriefing room expecting the best. After all, we’d finished first and were the only team with a full side bar. Nothing could go wrong.

Except spelling Jon Smyth’s name wrong. Or confusing the time of the assault when converting the 24-hour time we were given to a 12-hour clock reading. Accuracy was lost when we confused the words “restroom” and “restaurant.” And we didn’t follow a lead so we reported on an alleged assault instead of middle school boys using assault as a cover-up for drug use.

As it turns out, we definitely did not have the most accurate report of the crime stimulation, however, we learned techniques and tips that will stay with us for our journalism careers; we will never again forget to ask how John Smith spells his name, we will always clarify times and locations, we will never report without checking our facts, and check on anonymous tips from people claiming that the victim was actually doing drugs.

This activity strengthened us as a team and as journalists, making it well worth the nerves it caused.

A whole new emotion

Lexy Brown reads the San Jose Mercury News during breakfast.
Ashley Lugo // Mosaic Staff Photographer

By Lexy Brown // Mosaic Staff Writer

I don’t think any of us knew what we were getting into.

Our first full day of Mosaic found us nervous in the Spartan Daily newsroom, wondering just how much would be thrown at us.

We had been warned that free time was minimal and that work would start quickly. But were we really ready?

Had years of journalism class, high school newspaper and yearbook prepared us for this,  two weeks of breathing words and bleeding ink? Two weeks of seeing life through a camera lens.

We love journalism, but would this push us to our limits?

Thirty minutes to write out our story ideas. We all felt the pressure of making sure our ideas were not only novel, but feasible.

We had to make sure we could find contacts and develop the stories.

It was a mix of terror and excitement, nerves and expectations. It was a whole new emotion.

The first day of Mosaic was intimidating at first, but once I sat down in the news room and started writing, I relaxed with faith in my love of writing.