Hi everyone! Uncle Dale back again.
Ready? Here we go! What do these three questions have in common?
1. Vehicles from which country use the international registration letters WG?
2. Freddie Mercury died in which year?
3. To within ten thousand square miles, what is the area of Louisiana?
The common link? It is highly unlikely that you will need to know the answer to any of these questions in order to successfully pass any interpreter certification screening; state or national.
There will be no surprise algebra section. There will be no surprise sections at all.
What you will need to pass is the skills you have practiced everyday from the day you started to learn ASL until the day of your test.
Think. Suppose the presenter’s topic is “how a bill becomes a law,” that is a process, just like, “how to make fajitas,” is a process or “directions to the lake,” is a process or “how to get to my office from the San Diego airport,” or “how payroll works.” (I hope at least one of those is familiar? Grin)
All of these are the same thing-a process-the content within the steps of the process in each has been replaced by different content, “how a bill becomes a law” or, “what are the risks and benefits of your surgery,” or “Deaf Culture in the 1800’s.” These are each just the same things you have practiced over and over and over… these are each same process with different words, different content. Just do what you do in class or in the field everyday.
The same is true when you are working from ASL to Spoken English. Do what you trained to do. Look for the meaning don’t just substitute spoken words for the signs. Don’t chase the text. Let it come to you. It will come if you let it. It won’t get away, if, you look for meaning instead of substituting spoken words for signs.
When in doubt slow down! Slow down and think. Just repeat to yourself this mantra:
Pay attention.process, produce… pay attention, process, produce.
Just like you have always practiced.
Some screenings and state QAs even give you the topics ahead of time. Google is your friend. With google at your finger tips you not only have the process but might even have the terminology and content to stick in it before you even begin (feed your ELK).
Don’t evaluate your work for the screener. That is their job. Missing a word or a Sign is not an instant fail. If it happens don’t take on the aspect of failure for the rest of the test. If you feel you messed up, fix what you can and move on. Don’t live in that moment. Don’t pitch a tent there. Don’t build a little cabin there. Don’t design a small research facility to examine the mistake.
Just move on.
Have you ever seen The French film La Femme Nikita? Not the TV series or that terrible terrible travesty of an American version with Bridget Fonda (nothing against Ms. Fonda… just dislike the remake!), the French version with Anne Parillaud. (Sadly the scene I found is dubbed… that doesn’t change my metaphor at all, dubbing just sucks in principle, wow I’m grouchy… deep breath, smile, and we move on).
Nikita was very naughty and was “executed” by lethal injection. However, she “wakes up” in a weird kind of finishing school. They teach her how to dress and walk and use computers and fight and shoot. She is there for three years. On her 21st birthday her instructor takes her out of the school (for the first time) for dinner. He gives her a birthday present, a big gun, tells her to shoot the diplomat behind her and escape though the window in the last stall in the men’s room. This is how it goes:
If it is not obvious, it’s a test. It’s what she was trained to do. It does not go as she planned and she freaks out, twice. Then she pulls it together and does what she trained to do. The point is not that she freaked out. The point is she does what she trained to do.
It’s just the NIC or the BEI or the state test or… whatever test is on the other side of that door.
It does not matter if something goes wrong if you do what you trained to do. You can fall down. You can fall down a few times-so long as you always get back up one more time than you fall.
Do what you trained to do. You’ll be fine.
Before I send you off to test remember, oh remember, these three things:
1) this is a review of the the work you produce during a twenty to forty minute moment of your life, not a judgment on your worth as a person;
2) no matter what happens in that room no one will go to the morgue and no one will go to jail; and,
3) you enjoy interpreting. This is interpreting. It’s ok to enjoy it. Feel the stress sure, but it’s ok to enjoy the process.
Good vibes to all of you!
(Psst. I know I didn’t answer the 3 questions at the top. That’s the point. If it bothers you, Google is your friend.)