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…

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I really should write more…

I think my blog is collecting too much dust.  I don’t know why I don’t post more.  A lot of it has to do with my Google+ account.  It’s there that I do most of my online interactions.  I should utilize this space more though.  It’s cathartic to just sit and type out my feelings.  It doesn’t matter who reads it, it’s for me.

So, what’ have I been up to?  I started walking Mondays through Fridays on a treadmill at a gym.  Yes, you read that right.  At. A. Gym.  This morbidly obese woman walks into a gym and waddles over to the treadmills and walks.  I usually try not to get on the ones that are in front of mirrors because I don’t really enjoy watching my “stuff” jiggle while I walk.  It’s like a bad B-movie where I’m a monstrous bowl of Jello coming to stomp out the small country village.  I also don’t interact with people there.  I hardly ever make eye contact. I plug my headphones in before I walk through the door and listen to my music so I can be in my little safe world.  The staff, when they are there that early usually tells me “Have a nice day” as I waddle out the door at the end of my walk.  It’s nice…I guess…

I started five weeks ago.  I’m doing a 12 week walking plan put out by the Mayo Clinic.  I’m feeling better overall.  I have more energy and I’m sleeping better at night.  Last week we went to the zoo and I could actually walk pretty much the entire time.  I think I only had to tell Jerry that I needed to sit for a minute a couple of times.  In the past it would have been like every 10 to 15 minutes.  Yay me!

Work is going well.  I have an intern there for three days a week.  It’s been going well.  It’s actually a great learning experience for me as well.  It reminds me of the things I need to work on to be a better interpreter. It is fun to see the intern at week one and how much they improve over the weeks.  I think we are in the halfway point of their internship.  I hope I’m doing a good job as a mentor…

If you have made it here, thank you for reading.

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Find out what it means to me….

That’s right, I’m talking about respect!

Today, I told a child to just get on their bus,  saying “Have a good weekend, Bye bye” over and over because I was tired their face and their lack of respect.  Yes, I’m admitting to not being as professional as I would have liked.  I wasn’t rude.  I smiled and genuinely did want the child to have a good weekend but mostly I just wanted them out of my sight.  When a child tells me to “shut up”…..*blink*…  I imagine if I had ever behaved that way at that age.  Heck, I don’t behave that way as an adult.

I’m about to sound very old.  I have no clue how the “youth of today” are going to make it. I know there are a few good “eggs” out there and I can only imagine their struggles and how they are going try to lead their peers to a brighter future.

I know that it’s time to take a step back again and not get emotionally attached to the students I interpret for.  It’s a fine line.  One that I find myself having to find from time to time.  It gets lost among the: make sure so and so does this, and is so and so finished with this, etc.

I have a long weekend.  A perk of being an interpreter at the end of a marking period.  Teacher planning days means no students and no need for interpreters. 😀 I’m going to use this time to get myself in check and start off the third quarter with a more professional demeanor.

Summer school, an education for me…

Today was the last day of summer school.  It was an eye opening experience for me.  I left my middle school in early June thinking that I would be with the same kids I worked with during the year.  I should know that being an interpreter means never staying comfortable.  I was placed at an Exceptional Student Center.  I freaked out a little when I first heard this.  A little nervous that I wouldn’t be compassionate enough to be able to handle these students.  How prejudice of me..right?  I wasn’t happy with these feelings but there they were, and I had to confront them.  The first few days I was a shocked and surprised a few times but ultimately these kids were like any other kids.  How embarrassing for me that I didn’t know that already.

Week one, I was still getting my feet wet.  I only had one deaf student to interpret for but there were ten other personalities in the room that all clamored for my attention.  It only took about a week for each student to warm up to me.  By the beginning of week two, my work table was always busy with people wanting to have me help them with their work.  It was neat to view the world through their eyes.  It was okay if the tree had a red trunk and blue leaves.  Legos became a great team building project where our imaginations connected us.

I am thankful that I got placed at that school.  It opened my eyes, taught me a thing or two and Summer School 2011 will hold a special place in my heart.

 

Maybe too much me time…

I will admit that left to my own devices I can get lost on the interwebs for hours. This is what has happened this past week. I was hoping to more “me” things and get out but that didn’t happen. I spent hours, yes hours, looking at YouTube videos ranging from working on ASL receptive skills, to songs about bacon, to cute fluffy kittens. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible it just seems that I could have been doing more with my “week of me”.

I am trying to find a “summer” job to fill the gap of no income due to being a school district employee. I’ve been wondering if I don’t want to find something part time that I can supplement our income next school year too. With all of our wonderful budge cuts (thank you Mr. Scott) I won’t even be making what I make now. Which is pretty sad. I’ve never had a job that I worked at for four years and didn’t get a raise. Seems wrong… I love what I do. Wish I was better at it. I think that is a never ending feeling though, always room for improvement.

Today was the final realization that I don’t do well being alone for any great length of time. I messed up Jerry’s flight booking and now it seems that he might not get home until Sunday. UGH! I’m already missing him so much. I don’t know what to do with myself for another day. Although, today was a complete waste because I was mostly upset about how I messed up his flight and was calling trying to get it fixed. Let me just say that for an additional $800 he could be home when I thought he was going to be home…$800…crazy.

The week was good for me though. I got to contemplate life which I really haven’t had the time or luxury to do it. I realized that I am overly critical towards certain things and I’m working on changing that. I can’t control everything…and I don’t always know what’s best for everyone….*sigh* Self realization can be tough!

13 school days….

The kids are ready for summer, the teachers are ready and this interpreter is ready for summer to come as well.

Today was the last day for Seniors (if they weren’t absent during their End of Course (EOC) and final exams). By the time 4th period rolled around the halls were thinning out. Next week is EOC testing for undergrads and then it’s the home stretch to the last day of the 2009/2010 school year.

I’ve learned a lot about school politics this year.  I guess I was a little sheltered last year because this year was an eye opener.  I had never worked at a place where I didn’t get some kind of a raise after a year.  Budgets…yay…  I laugh when I hear they aren’t concerned about the A/C because there are only three weeks of school left.  As my brilliant husband said “They do know that they still have to buy it, right?”

I am lucky though, I love my job.  Yes, the kids can drive me crazy.  Yes, I feel that school politics get in the way of education at times. And yes, when the kids finally “get it” I am proud of them.  While I’m still, in my eyes, a noob at this educational interpreting thing, I can say I think this is what I was meant to do.   That or be rich and travel the world but since I’ve never had the opportunity to do that….  😉

The count down…

It’s almost time for summer. Only nineteen school days left. I love my summers off! It’s been an odd year.

This was my first year at a high school.  I really don’t remember if my high school years were drama filled or not. I’m sure they were, but geez.  I’m going to sound “old” right now because all I can say is “I don’t understand these kids?!”  They have everything at their finger tips as far as technology but yet they can’t look up a word in the dictionary because they can’t spell.  They know how to look up their favorite singer/actor/wrestler/football player but ask them to do a report on some historical figure and they become google-phobics.  They spend all day on their phones txt’ing or listening to their iPods instead of paying attention to the teachers.  Now granted, part of that is not the fault of the kids but the school system.  Don’t allow these in the classroom, period.  This means it must be enforced.  Oh yeah…the dress code should be enforced too.  So many students looking like they headed to the beach or the club and not to a class room.  I think I’ve become a fan of school uniforms.  WHOA….that sounded really old. *sigh*  Maybe I was sheltered growing up, I can’t imagine being disrespectful to a teacher.  Don’t get me wrong, not all the kids are bad.  I still hear lots of “thank you, please, you’re welcome” in the course of a day.  Usually the boys will run up to the doors to open them for the teachers/staff.  Now if they could just do that for their fellow students.

Professionally, I’m feeling stagnant.  It’s my fault, I haven’t been to a workshop since last June.  (Life got in the way.)  I’m hoping to set aside some time each week this summer and work on my skills.  I think out of ten weeks off I could find some time 🙂