Hi every one, it’s your Uncle Dale.
Well, the moratorium is over. It is time again for students or those you mentor who should be attempting certification to, in equal parts, avoid eye contact in case you ask them their testing goals and/or want you to guarantee that if they attempt the test they WILL pass.
FYI, I wont make guarantees for things I can’t control. I will look at samples of your work and say if you are in the ballpark or not. I may even tell you if I think you are on the field, in the bleachers, buying hotdog in the mezzanine or still tailgating in the parking lot. But, I will not promise that you will produce work at the moment of performance test that meets the expected standards. That is all on you.
I have given pep-talks to many potential interpreters before the NIC(k-e-y…) as well as state certifications. Like other professors, mentors and supporters I do my very best to make sure each person I helped prepare is as prepared as possible. I also send them with, what I believe to be, a very important final assignment. Each one is to call me the minute they finish the testing so that I can give them “The Speech.”
I originally got a version of The Speech from a friend of mine the afternoon of the second day of my Bar exam in Massachusetts. I gave it to the first student I sent into the breech. She was fully ready but I thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown when it was over. And now I give it to you. Use it well for any applicable situation, not just certification testing.
Ahem. So, you just walked out of the NIC (or other QA)? Right now you are thinking “Now I wait… ” Yep, now you wait. You will next think “I screwed up!” Eh, Maybe. Your heart will start to pound and your palms will sweat and you will think, “I will just not think about it until I get the results.” Yes you will. All the comforting, but untrue, thoughts that you “will just put it out of your mind” won’t stop it from plaguing you. You will worry about it. You know you will. So, give yourself permission to!
Set yourself a time; 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours… it does not matter, set a time and for that time give yourself permission to totally lose it. Second guess everything you did. EVERYTHING. Remember THAT moment. Cry. Pick apart your performance. Beat yourself up over your ASL grammar and English sentence structure. Be relentless! And when the alarm goes off, stop. Let the fear and anxiety and self doubt in, let it show you what it’s selling, and then kick it out without buying it.
If you don’t give yourself permission to do this at a time and in a manner you choose, then you will just do it in every quiet moment or sleepless night from the time you walk out to the test until the results arrive.
Do it in the way and at the time you choose and when it tries to come in you can say, “we’ve already talked about this. Still not interested.”
Thus endeth The Speech.