change, conference interpreter training, grad school, Interpreter Training, language fun, Personal

Everything I know about interpreting, I learned in the kitchen

Nearly twenty years ago, Untitled design(9)I moved back to the US from Costa Rica, and I dropped out of school with a handful of credits left to finish my BA.  I went straight to work in a restaurant.  I started waiting tables in this Italian place, and I was going to stash away all my tips until I had enough to go back to Costa Rica.  Turns out I hate waiting tables, but I wasn’t ready to leave the restaurant.  There was something happening in the kitchen that called to me.  I ended up working in the kitchen for years, until I decided I needed to go back to school and finish the semester’s worth of credits to earn my BA.

Something similar happened on my road to conference interpreting.  There was something going on in the kitchen (or the booth, rather) that I couldn’t ignore.  Just as in the kitchen, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I stepped into the booth.  It’s true: Everything I learned about interpreting, I learned in the kitchen. Continue reading “Everything I know about interpreting, I learned in the kitchen”

change, conference interpreter training, grad school, Personal

Back to the Booth

12309533_10153465986341865_8688022386764836542_oA trainer recently said about interpreting practice: You practice. And then you do it again. And again, and again, and again. And when you’re tired of it, you do it some more.

When I first arrived to our interpreting lab in Toronto, I was in awe. Fourteen brand-spankin’-new booths! I could practice again and again, and then some more when I got tired of it! All booths, all the time!

It didn’t take long for me to change my mind about the booth.  Continue reading “Back to the Booth”

change, Personal, self discovery for interpreters

La Despedida (The Farewell)

IMG_3757At my first job as a staff interpreter, my colleagues would scold me because I would never saludar–say hello–at the beginning of the workday (I will just never be a morning person).  They’d also razz me because I’d never despedirme–say goodbye–at the end of the workday when I’d leave to go home.  I’d just slip out quietly, usually after a very tough and very busy day of healthcare interpreting.   La despedida–the goodbye, the farewell–has never been my strong suit.

Earlier this year, in July, I said my goodbyes to the house that I bought the summer I turned 30 and then rented out this summer–the summer I turned 40.  So many great (and not-so-great) parts of my life unfolded in that house, but I know that I can keep all those parts of my life and all those memories without still living in the house.  I don’t need the house.  Somebody else lives there now, but after I left I’d still catch myself just about to suggest dinner or drinks at my favorite neighborhood haunts.  But, I’m not there anymore.  Farewell, house.  Farewell, neighborhood.  Farewell, all the places where I met with friends, debriefed after a rough day, plotted and schemed, planned so many of my next moves–including grad school and my move to Toronto–over drinks. Continue reading “La Despedida (The Farewell)”

certification for healthcare interpreters, Personal

Jump In and…Splat.

raindrops1-1-1556962A while back, I wrote about facing fears and “jumping in”.  When I was little, I mostly remember hearing about looking before you leap, but one time, an adult told me, “He who hesitates is lost”.  When approaching a challenge, I tend to go the look-before-you-leap route, carefully thinking and planning, and then the courageous, more ballsy, leap-of-faith-y “He who hesitates is lost” takes me the rest of the way.  This a story about considering that leap of faith, and then turning back in the face of fear.  I think. Continue reading “Jump In and…Splat.”