Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rambling About That Crazy World of the Sign Language Interpreter

I'm always a bit hesitant to talk about the work I do.  It has to do with the confidentiality issue and the right of privacy for Deaf Individuals.   But the photos that you will see posted in this blog are all places that I have been in the last months.  Of course there are many more.  And I would never be able to post the individuals in a blog such as this.

But my thought is to depict the variety of places that the Sign Language Interpreter may frequent over the months and years.
I experience variety.   It is the change, the unknown that interest me and keeps me from burn out.   It is the constant learning that keeps me young and growing. 
The places the interpreter frequents:
Schools: all the way from toddlers to University campuses.
Legal Settings....Courts:  from traffic court to jury trials, from municipal to county to federal settings.  And of course Lawyer offices.
Jails, Federal prisons, drunk tanks, or beside the road or in the home calls for policemen to file reports.
Businesses:  from industrial to hi-rise and blue collar to executive.

Performing Arts:  in the school setting all the way to Broadway productions.
Medical settings:   Lots and lots of doctors offices and laboratories, the emergency room to the surgery suite.
Social Services, Department of Human Services,
Housing Authorities, Department of Rehabilitation
Mental Health Settings:  Detox, Drug rehab,
Mental institutions, counseling, lock up
There are funerals, weddings, church settings, staff meetings.
There are calls for the interpreter to serve in the job hiring process, the job training process, the job firing event.
Interpreters deliver good news
bad news, sad news  frightening news.
Yet every job is equally important.   It is a rewarding service that we preform.
It is an important duty.
And I love the work I do.
Over the years, there are some things that]
I choose no longer to do.
I have burned out on educational interpreting.
I will do it as a sub but not ongoing daily jobs.
I have given up performing arts and loud music.
I just can not understand what they  are saying
and have lost the magic and thrill it once held.

And there are new avenues that I have recently taken on.  such as the video relay interpreting.  It
consist of sitting in a call center and interpreting call after call after call of indivudals all over the USA and even other countries.     It holds a fascination and variety but sitting in a cubicle can get tedious.

My first love was always interpreting the Word of God.  However I don't have too many of those jobs right now.

And I always love the labor and delivery room.  But there are so many new, young interpreters coming up who also enjoy the thrill of that setting that I don't
get called for it as much now days.

And Ken made the decision to retire me from the late night "on call" emergency jobs.  Now that I no  longer do emergency middle of night jobs, I see that it was time to leave those to younger interpreters as well.

There are hazards in the interpreting field to consider.
Fatigue (for me it is more mental than physical.)
Wearing out the body in the neck, shoulders, arms and wrists.
Now I battle that ugly arthritis.   I tell it I refuse to have it but it fights me.    What a thorn!

And then there is the driving.  I love those long drives to other towns where I am paid portal to portal and the driving time is my personal time with God.

Can't ask for better than that.

But this driving around the city with every area under
construction can truely be a pain.
The Call Center work eliminates that hassel.
But I still love and perfer the community work.

Interpreters go to a lot of places, into many different worlds. Jobs can be fun or tedious or tiring.  Jobs can be uplifting, rewarding, or they can tear your soul to pieces.  And while we work, our own personal emotions, beliefs and values are expected to be set on the shelf until the job is over. We learn a lot of information as we work and the learning process never stops.  There are days when the interpreter knows they are right on track...doing a great job.  There are other assignments when I personally feel it is time to give it up.

One of the most recent UNUSUAL jobs of the day was at the call center.  I interpreted for a dog and his master.    The communication took place through an animal communicator so "I became the dog"  answering all the things that his master wanted to know about how he was feeling and what his thought were.  Lucky for me, I did not sign in 'bark' language but ASL.    Oh well, the world of interpreting is varied and offers constant interest.
My have times changed.  Cell phones, GPS to help us find the way.
And it is a real blessing to have so many skilled interpreters today.   Many of them trained in our Community Colleges. 

And I end with I LOVE THE WORK I DO!  THANK GOD FOR ALLOWING ME TO WORK.  I am thankful for the strength and knowledge to serve HIM.    May I ever follow his command in that whatsoever my hands find to do that I will do it heartedly as unto the LORD.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Early Fifties, A Different Time, A Different World

Been browsing through my sister Sarah's Photo Album.  It brought back a myriad of memories.  I can still remember the excitement over Sarah having her first baby, Phyllis Jean.  Phyllis made me  'Aunt Jean'  ....and oh so much joy that summer when we met for the first time. Also, there were many visits as well as  many memories of those drives to Princeton, West Virginia or to Dugspur, our Mother's old home place.  Those yearly trips often included stops at caves or drives through the Great Smoky Mountains.  Such is the photo below at Newfoundland Gap, some 5,045 feet up somewhere between North Carolina and Tennessee.  It was August and we were headed to the Marshall Family Reunion in Princeton from Greenville South Carolina.   I would have been twelve--almost thirteen.  With camera in hand, I believe we pulled over at every scenic pull off.

Above:  Bonnie, Jean, Phyllis Jean, Mother, Daddy, Scott.  (Sarah took the picture.)
The road through the Smokey Mountains has an abundance of places to stop for photos.  Even today we still pull over and take those same photo opts--how did we get so much older when the hills are the same?  Below:  Jean and Mother seated.  Scott, Phyllis, Sarah, Daddy and Bonnie standing.
It was the back of this organdie dress below that brought back a rush of memories of how times were back then.   The values and beliefs of the fifties and the rules of our home ....  My mother had made this dress that I am wearing below.  I felt so pretty in it.  But in the fifties, organdie wrinkled  badly.  I had worn this dress to church on Sunday morning and was pressing it to wear again on Sunday evening to church when my Dad walked in and caught me 'ironing on the Sabbath.'  I was reprimanded for violating the Sabbath.    Yes, I remember, you did not buy or sell on Sunday, we did not work or eat out on Sunday, you filled your car with gas on Saturday --  never Sunday. (How was it Mother still cooked and we still did dishes on the Sabbath.)  Sunday was a day of rest:  Sunday School, Church, naps, friends over if we behaved and then Church again that evening.  So preparing for evening service, I just wanted the wrinkles out of the back of my dress as a result of sitting in  Church on Sunday morning.  Ironing on Sunday was an unacceptable action on my part.
But that memory was just a rabbit trail.   Here we are in Princeton at the Painter home.  The Family Reunion took place this year on Aunt Merle's lawn.  I'm not sure but this may have been the  year when Bonnie and I were invited to stay an extra week -- me with the Painters, and Bonnie with Cousins in Keystone, W VA.  Cousin Paulene's boyfriend flew us in a small, four-seater back to Greenville after our visit.   What an amazing memory that made for Bonnie and myself. 

But my point of this posting is to discuss the difference in attitudes, in manner of dress, the morals of the day.  I note how we dressed in these photos.   Traveling in the August heat  by car in dresses and the men in slacks.  And below, at a later time, Sarah and Phyllis traveling by train in hats, gloves and dress suits.    The manner of dress carries a tremendous impact on the attitude and behavior of the person.    This was a time of courtesy, honor, manners and honesty.   It seems silly today, but our comfortable, casual, and even sloppy styles of today accompany rudeness,  ungratefulness, lack of caring, to only mention a few attributes of our present day. 
I loved our home at 502 Bennett Street.   Being the youngest in the family, this was a special time in my life.  Six children (and often additional house guests) and we had one bathroom.   There was a coal furnace in the basement that had to be fueled.    All the girls shared one small room if I remember correctly.  The boy's room was the size of today's closets.   I do not remember any air conditioners and in the winter, there was only the floor furnace vents. Laundry was done every Monday morning with a wringer machine and we hung the clothes out on the line to dry.   Life was simple and when one gave another their word, they meant it and kept it. I never remember telling a lie and if I disappointed my parents in any way, I would have grieved more than they.  How far have we come.    I don't want to go back to those days, but I would love to see the values of honesty and respect return to our society.  Would it be possible to keep the comfortable, casual clothing and still maintain honor?  And could we eat at a restaurant on Sunday and our word would still remain true?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Alopecia Areata .... I Refuse To Let It Make Me Crazy!

According to the American Academy of Dermatoloty:  "Hair loss in small round patches that may go away on their own or may last for many years.  It is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks itself, in this case, the hair follicles.  Only the body, itself, can turn off the condition....."
For a female, this is not funny.   A bald spot in the back of ones head makes one wonder if the brains are beginning to fall out. 
God deliver me from Alopecia Areata....You were beaten on the cross for this as well as other terrible conditions.   So I command....  "HAIR GROW!!!" 
Here it comes, here it comes, I can see hair growing through the eyes of faith!

Christmas With Family at Church on the Move

In the lobby before Christmas With Family, they were taking photos (with props.)