I have been MIA the past couple of weeks - at least from the blog world but not in my real world. I had a big Enrichment activity at church, baby shower for my 3rd grader's teacher at school (I'm the room mom) and last weekend was a conference that I presented a workshop at and interpreted as well. It was a joint venture between AMPHL (Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses) and UTRID (Utah Chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf). It was a really long day but as a member of the UTRID Board we had donated our interpreting time to support the conference. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the conference went and the turn out was much higher than I expected. I had a great time with my fellow 'terps' - getting to know them better as people, laughing and seeing them working. We usually only see each other at meetings and I was so impressed with their skills.
Anywhoo...during my workshop introduction I was telling the participants how long I've been interpreting (and reminding myself) - over 18 years and sometimes it startles me! I have so much to learn still and I look at other interpreters and think "I'm never going to be that good"! Being an interpreter was not a conscious career choice but more a path that was placed in front of me and like a moving sidewalk it just kept going. Here I am all these years later. It's been so rewarding and yet every assignment is a challenge. I take a big breath right before starting an assignment and internally wonder if I'll be up to the job. I guess for the most part I must be or I wouldn't still have work constantly coming my way. For that I'm grateful.
I still remain fascinated and a little starstruck at times with the Deaf community and their language. Yes, I understand it for the most part but there are still those times when I struggle. I enjoy it most when I can just sit back and watch - not interpreting for anyone. It rarely happens but when it does - wow! If you've never had a chance to check out the website for D-Pan... you should! It's amazing and here's one of their most recent artistic ventures! Whether you know sign language or not it's beautiful and if you do know ASL - prepare to have your heart strings pulled!