Hello September…

August was an odd month.  I don’t know why but this year, August, was emotionally draining for me.  All four of our parents, who have passed,  have birthdays during August.  Both of our fathers passed away in the month of August.  Sure, it was years ago but the grief still exists.  Somedays are better than others.  August…was a rough month.  I have gotten really good at compartmentalizing so I can function at work.  It meant a lot of tears rolling down my cheek as I watched commercials with parents being loving, or movies where parents died (What’s up with that being the beginning of a superhero’s journey?  OMG, I’m a superhero!!) and looking back at old pictures and remembering how funny, crazy, and loving they were.  I am pretty lucky.  My parents, my in-laws, really loved us.  Sometimes,  we didn’t see it.  Sometimes, we were annoyed.  Sometimes, I wish I had more time with them.

August also brought on the new school year.  I love my job.  I don’t like dealing with understaffed issues, though I’m hoping that will get straightened out soon.  I just want to get in the groove my schedule and know what to expect in my classes.  I haven’t been to one of my classes in over a week.  I like to be prepared and in some of my classes, I’m worried that I’m not.  Overachiever, much?  Sure.  It’s worked for me so far.  😀

August was a month where my weight loss journey stagnated.  That trend has finally broken.  Officially down 52.5 pounds since February.  I would say an average of 7.5 lbs per month is pretty darn good. I know, I have a long way to go.  I’m not resting on my laurels, or delusional.  But I am proud…this is the lowest I have been in over a decade.  Thank you Loseit app! People ask me how I’m doing and what I am eating.  Honestly, I eat everything.  If I want waffles, I have waffles.  Sometimes, I have waffles, with chocolate hazelnut butter, and ice cream.  YUP!  The LoseIt app is working for me.  Calorie budget and planning is everything, for me.

September came in hard with Hurricane Hermine.  Jacksonville was lucky, we had some rain but not nearly what the west coast of Florida saw or Georgia.  Honestly, we need the rain.  My grass is looking so green right now.

So September, I’m ready for you! 🙂

Sunday on the porch….

sundayblog2 (1)We rescreened our porch this summer and I have to say that I’m really loving it.  I have been trying to spend as much time out here now that it’s relatively bug-free. Those roaches still find away onto the porch but Nutmeg is a good hunter.  We even got a cute little bistro set from Ikea to replace the white plastic table and chairs.  They were not comfortable at all.   The bistro set, perfect for Sunday coffee and blog writing.  I’d really like to get a glider out here.  Gliders are my favorite!!

Work is going well.  School started last week and after a few little hiccups, we are starting to settle in.  I have to say that the past few years have been getting better overall.  The interpreters have a home in the school.  It’s great, we can store our books, dictionaries, professional development stuff, and have a comfy spot to plan for the classes.  This is the first year in a long time that we’ve had all three grades of Deaf/Hard of Hearing at the same time.  When the finish hiring people, we will have four interpreters at our school.  Wow, the department is growing!

Next week, I have a meeting with the union, DTU, and the district to go over changes to the interpreter contract.  Change is slow but it’s happening.  This has been my goal for the past three years.  It’s amazing to see it finally shaping up.  Eat your heart out Norma Rae!

 

Fudge (not the word I really said)…

I didn’t sleep well last night.  Before I laid my head down, I knew what was happening in Dallas.  I didn’t think it could be that bad. I didn’t think anyone would shoot down among a crowd of people hoping to “kill white people” hitting 12 officers and 2 civilians.  No.  No.  No.  I felt helpless yesterday, today is worse.

I hope the Hughes brothers remain safe and they get the apology that I feel they should get.  I hope that other cities look at what happened and know this could happen anywhere.  I hope that people across America understand that violence is not a solution. I hope that people this November vote to put people in office who can help repair that wounds that America is suffering through.

Here is my plan of action.  I am going to be kinder.  I am going to be polite.  I am going to be patient.  I am going let someone in on the onramp to the highway.  I know that these actions don’t change the world, but if I can make a change in “my world” I  can dream that it will spread.

Ramblings….

I’m sad. I have no clue how to help. …and that makes me sad too. I try to embrace all in my life but feel sometimes I fall short. I know things need to change, and I try to “be the change” but honestly I don’t know how to do that. I wish there was a device that could change a person to make them live in another’s skin and feel what it is like. Even I have no idea what it means…but I know it isn’t good. We have such a long way to go….

We are all the same. Yet, we are determined to focus on our differences than embrace the likenesses.

I wasn’t going to post…but maybe my silence shows conformity. I don’t want to have a blind eye to the world. I still dream of the world where we work for the betterment of the people. Where race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.  are not important. Where we focus on how to keep our earth happy, healthy, and our children grow up with a better life than we all had.

Mentorships and personal growth…

Monday closes out a five week mentorship I was enrolled in.  It was hard for me to admit that I was not proficient.  I have to say that interpreting has been a constant struggle.  I’m not complaining because this struggle/challenge has been enlightening.  I cab see that the mentorship has been well worth my time.  In just five weeks I can see changes in my ASL/PSL product that were lacking.

Armed with the tools to continue, I will practice somethings that have been pointed out to me.  For example, I sign a lot of signs.  Too many for a consumer to get a clear understand of what’s going on.  Why work so hard when you can sign fewer signs and be amazingly clear?

Also, placing people, object, countries, continents in space makes for a clear “picture” in my product.  Armed with sticky notes, I can practice that too.

I am a little sad that the mentorship is over so quickly.  Five weeks flew by.

Cold weather ramblings…

I like the cold weather.  By cold, I mean cold for North Florida, not like “tip of the mitt” Michigan cold. I’d rather bundle up in layers than be sweating in the heat of Florida.

At work, it’s great.  I dress in layers so the more I interpret, the layers peel off.  Wait..that sounds wrong.  Sounds like I’m doing some kind of interpreting/striptease act.  Ooof…ain’t nobody wanna see that!! I do need some more cute cardigans though….

I finally got the results of my performance test.  While I did improve, I did not get the rating I was hoping for to achieve National Certification.  A huge blow to my ego.  Not that I ever think I’m good enough but honestly, this is the first thing in work life that I didn’t just naturally excel at.  Every other job I moved up quickly and succeeded.  This, not so much.  While I enjoy a good challenge sometimes it can be heartbreaking.  Sometimes, I forget that I did improve.  Not as much as I wanted, but improvement none the less. Go me.  Next weekend I’ll be travelling to Central Florida for another workshop. This time for “voicing” skills.  Good, this is one area that I need lots of work.

Cold weather means that Nutmeg, our little ton of fur, wants to go sit out on the screened porch but five minutes after being out is begging to come back in.  We end up playing doorman to her if she would have it her way.  Thankfully, we can distract her with some glossy catalog we tell her “not to sit on”.  Cats….

Detours, not road blocks!

I’m happy to write that I passed my EIPA written exam back in October.  I actually passed.  Yay!!

So why the detour in my journey to certification? Well, this past Saturday my I got my results for the performance test.  I retook the assessment four months ago to improve my score.

…I did improve, but only by .10.  Not the gain I was hoping for.  Not the gain I had worked toward for two years. As I reviewed the breakdown of my score I had actually gotten worse in some areas that I nailed previously.  WHAT?!?  Ugh…  So while I won’t be getting national certification this year, I did improve.  I didn’t slip backwards.

I just read a quote from Janet Fitch, the author, “The phoenix must burn to emerge.”  So burn, baby, burn.  I will rise.  I will soar.

The journey continues….

I slept in until around 8:00 am.  I was woken up by a husband that cooked me breakfast.  This is not a usual task.  Around here for breakfast, it’s fend for yourself.  Today was a little different he told me, “You need brain food”.  Who am I to argue with someone else cooking me breakfast.

I piddled around a little on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic but couldn’t get into a rhythm to start, let alone, finish any quests.  I decided to take a shower.  I lingered…let the hot water calm me down…

I decided that I needed to eat some lunch before I headed out too..so I send Jerry to European Street to get me my usual Princess Anna on gluten free bread.  It seemed like it took him forever but then again, the time for me leaving was approaching.

Noon, ok…time to head out the door.  Darn, still need to get gas.  Why is it that the gas station is always slammed packed when I really need gas?  Hopped on the highway and kept looking at the time.  I had to get to University of North Florida by 12:45 pm.

12:40 pm, pulled into my parking spot.  Checked in on Swarm app.  Headed up to the computer lab. Checked in.  Dry mouth!! Ugh, went downstairs to get a bottled water.  Headed to the bathroom one last time before the exam.

My heartbeat was racing, I even told a few people that I was more nervous about this than the performance tests. Everyone gave each other supportive words and the test started. “You have four hours to complete this exam.”

An hour into the test i can feel the fatigue of sitting and staring at the computer screen settling in.  I sip some water.  Rub my eyes and continue on.  Thirty minutes later I get to the end of the test but have listed all the questions I want to go back and review.  Part of me says “Screw it..just hit submit”.  Thankfully the responsible Jeanne woke up and scrolled to the beginning of the test and reviewed the questions I wanted to review.

I pressed submit.  The screen seemed to take forever to refresh.

Congratulations you have passed blah blah blah…. I blinked a few times, raised my had for the proctor to come exit me out.  We exchanged happy smiles and I gathered my things and headed to the bathroom where I broke into tears.  OMG! I passed.

Another milestone in my journey is passed.  I am feeling accomplished today.  But I won’t rest on my laurels. I will continue to become the best interpreter I can be.

OMG, I passed.  Whew…

_\,,/

 

Omaha….

20150728_152717_208So here I am in Omaha, NE attending a workshop put on by Boystown.  This is the same people who developed the EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment).  I figured that if I was going to test again I should learn from the people who developed the test.

I left the comfort of my summer of nothing, to travel to Nebraska by myself.  I don’t have a problem with that, just with the thought of meeting new people.  I admit that I’m overly critical and feel like I am not worthy to be here.

20150728_152802_507Today was day one and I’m love it.  They really get into the nitty gritty of what the evaluators are looking for in the assessment.  Today we discussed the fingerspelling and why it is so important.  I have to admit that when I started interpreting I looked for signs high and low so that I wouldn’t have to fingerspell.  Now I know why it’s important and why I should be using it more.  Basically, if a teacher is talking about a concept, the student needs to know what the vocabulary work is and they need to know how to recognize it on a test.  They only way they for them to see the “written” word that will be on the test is for us, as interpreters, to fingerspell it.

Looking forward to learing more over the next couple of days. I have to say that the people at Boystown Lied Learning and Technology Center have been wonderful.  I want to be them…haha…don’t know about moving to Omaha though.  Anyway.  Going to let my brain rest a bit before going over all my notes from today.

Silent Weekend 2015

FondueNightSilentWeekend2015Holy new brain pathways, Batman!  I can’t believe how much I learned this year.  I feel like such a noob again.

I really tried to stretch my brain this year.  I went to presenters that I had never gone to before.  I went for topics that were a challenge for me instead of taking the easy workshops.  I asked questions!  This is huge for me.  I am basically an introvert..I know..I don’t seem like it, but basically I just want to be a hermit. (INFJ) Next year, I’m adding “socialize more” on my goal list.

I have a few weeks to let this all soak in before I head to Omaha, Nebraska at The EIPA Diagnostic Center for another workshop.  These are the people who “do” the EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment).  I’m really excited to go and work on tweaking my interpreting skills to hopefully improve my EIPA score when I test in early August.

OMG, just typing this all out has me overwhelmed.  That’s what happens to me.  Breathe!