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!

 

Healing Heartstone

Things I would love to do this summer break would include:

  • Whisking off to Europe
  • Renting an RV and seeing our country
  • Going to a beach house for the next 2 months
  • Cruising the high seas and stopping off at various islands

What I am really doing this summer isn’t as glamorous.   This week I’m focused on things around the house that need repair.  Being a homeowner sucks at times.  Yeah..I said, it sucks.  You can’t just call a landlord to come fix this and that.  You actually have to schedule the appointments AND pay for things to get fixed.  WHAT?!?

Screenshot 2015-06-08 at 8.11.37 AMI love our little 1926 bungalow, but she needs some love.  The bathroom is finally done and paid off and I love it.  I think the next big project will be the backyard.  Our neighborhood, Riverside, has really small back yards and with the grown trend of saving water we want to put in a hardscape with a little firepit.  In the meantime, there are lots of things that need to be fixed.  So today is the day that “Mr. Handyman” comes and fixes all those things.  I’m really hopeful that it will only be a one-day project, but past experience is telling me that isn’t going to be longer than that.

This summer also brings lots more workshops for me.  End of June I head to Orlando to attend Silent Weekend, in July I’m going to Nebraska for an EIPA 3 day workshop and then immediately upon return, another 4 day workshop and then the EIPA test! EEP….I’m freaking out about that last part already.

Nutmeg, our little fur ball, loves this time of year.  It means full days of enjoying the screen porch and catching lizards.

I’m hoping that between workshops and home repairs we can head out to an adventure

I hope everyone enjoys their summer, whatever it brings.

Update since I sat down to start this post:  Handyman doesn’t fix roofs.  That means the carport repair is on hold.  UGH.  Still need to find someone who does brickwork around the bottom of the house and now apparently a roofer.  Hoping the tree service people don’t have any problems.

 

 

Flip my karma…

Up and at ’em seemed to be how we started our day.  We decided that today we would go grocery shopping early and enjoy the weekend.

The universe had other plans.  We were up before 8am, so our favorite breakfast spot Cool Moose Cafe wasn’t open yet so we headed over to Corner Bakery.  As we drove past the park at the end of our street we saw the tents set up for a run.  As we got closer to the Corner Bakery we saw a sea of people at the restaurant.  OOF!  Okay..it was only 15 minutes until Cool Moose was open so we headed back over.  YAY, I really wanted to eat here anyway!  I had the best banana, apple, and flaxseed muffin ever!!

We headed back over towards the sea of runners to do our grocery shopping at The Fresh Market.  In and out in a jiffy!  Now…how to navigate around this…race…walk…what was it?  I made a decision to go the back way to get to Publix.  WRONG!!  We followed the where the police were waving us to go and we ended up back where we started..kinda… Great.  After trying a few other routes I know, we were always met with police directing us back from where we came from.  They had split Riverside in two…and we needed to get to the other side.

At one point, we were stopped for 20 minutes as we hoped the “hold and release” traffic pattern would allow us to cross.  This gave me a chance to find that the event was The First Coast Parkinson’s Run. Finally, I found a map on their Facebook page and could find a route to get us to the opposite side of Riverside.

I’m all for fund-raising, but 45 minutes to get 4 blocks is crazy, especially because the police officers had us going in circles.  There should have been a race detour set up.

Despite all my complaining, I applaud the people participating in today’s event.  Just donated to National Parkinson Foundation.

 

The “busy” dichotomy…

love-heart-yin-yang-thumb10025492It’s been an odd couple of months here at Heartstone.  This weekend is just another example of busy, but not busy, weekends.

Jerry’s company is expanding their office so he is at work setting up workstations for pretty much the entire company.  I forget sometimes just how hard he really works.  Between servers shutting down, the move, and looking for new employees his life is constantly moving.

My work is about to get busy with testing, FSA, Florida State Assessments, start Monday.  This is stressful for all involved.   For interpreters, it’s a lot of sitting around waiting to see if the student needs anything interpreted.  So..on the other hand..not busy at all.  It is mentally exhausting though to sit quietly for hours without being able to occupy your mind by reading or…well…anything.

Nutmeg’s life…well…as far as a cat’s life she is living it up now that it’s warmer outside.  She spends most weekends on the porch watching the passersby and making sure that no other cats try to take her territory. She also protects the house from lizard marauders.

I’m hoping next month we’ll be able to head to Disney. I know Star Wars Weekends are coming up and that is always fun.