2023 - The Year of the Water Rabbit
Wishing You a MUCH Brighter 2023
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,
While winter storms have been drenching the West and making headlines, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are safe. After several years of drought, my home state of California has finally gotten more rain than we know what to do with. Although it has been raining a bit in our kitchen, we are lucky and grateful to have been spared the terrible flooding and landslides that have turned so many people’s lives upside down.
Listening to the pouring rain, intermittent hooting of owls, and incessant chatter of frogs, I am reflecting on the past 12 months and thinking ahead to the Year of the Water Rabbit.
Thanks to your continued confidence in my work, friendship, and love, 2022 was busier than last year, with some in-person assignments and long-overdue interactions with friends, colleagues, and clients. Although Covid-19 is still with us, as I found out firsthand back in July, it is so good to be putting the pandemic emergency farther into the past and regaining some normalcy.
I also want to thank my students, trainees, and colleagues who attended my online training courses; one course attendee just made my day when she informed me that she passed a very challenging court interpreter certification exam.
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of my dear friend Tony Roder on New Year’s Day. Tony was a founding member and former president of the Northern California Translators Association (NCTA).
He welcomed me into the organization when I was very new in my career. Tony was respected and loved by everyone he met. I will so miss his sage advice, friendship, bear hugs, and BIG smile.
“What you think you become what you feel you attract what you imagine you create.”
After more than three decades as a freelance interpreter, I have had all kinds of clients and every type of assignment imaginable. I have worked with colleagues of very different backgrounds and skill levels. Most experiences have been rewarding in one way or another, even if very challenging. I have always taken each assignment as it comes, just as I have accepted so many events in my life. But a few instances have stood out as unnecessarily difficult - situations when a person at some level of power makes my life or another’s life miserable for no good reason. Though it may not always affect me directly, I have seen far too many political leaders and media influencers vilify and attack the people with the least amount of power in society.
There is a term in Korean called Gapjil (갑질). The meaning is close to “abuse of power.” My husband Rob calls it “kicking down.” It’s when a person abuses, harms, or bullies another just because they can. It’s usually because the instigator feels insecure or in some way powerless, but that’s of little consequence to the one being “kicked.”
So, my Lunar New Year resolution will be to call out abuse when I see it and even go a step further, to be the client, the colleague, the customer, or the friend I would like to have.
In a letter I received from Tony Roder’s son Marc, he told me how Tony affected and was affected by the people in his life. Marc wrote:
“It is sweet to be reminded how our presence, our kindness, and our actions can have a great impact in the lives of others.”
I would like to bring those positive qualities to the world in hopes that they cancel out some of the negativity.
Now, let me share some of my personal and professional activities in 2022. The year started and ended with fabulous hikes and beautiful scenery.
The last hike of the year included waterfalls, which have been rare for the past very dry years. I thank the hike leaders who made sure I found my way home safely.
Due to a busy schedule and a few out-of-town assignments, the total distance I hiked this year was only 150 miles, much less than during the peak of the pandemic.
California State Courts, Other States’ Courts, and US District Courts.
These were mostly remote, but 2022 definitely saw an increase of in-person court assignments over the last two years.
Depositions and Attorney-Client Meetings – As with the court assignments, these were mostly remote, but the volume of in-person assignments continue to increase.
147 Conferences and Meetings
In-Person Conferences – (18) in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, California; Denver, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Indiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Southern Pines, North Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas; Arlington, Virginia; Washington DC; and Seoul, Korea.
Some of the most challenging topics that required copious amounts of preparation are as follows: Robotic surgery, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Quantum Computing, Vacuum chambers, Selective Mutism, Metaverse Smart City, Monkeypox, Fentanyl, and Tensor Networks in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Teaching and Learning:
I provided a Korean Court Interpreter Skill Building Course and Interpreting Coaching sessions. I also attended numerous webinars, lectures, and workshops both in-person and via Zoom.
One lecture that really stood out for me was Communication Best Practice. It reminded me of what playwright George Bernard Shaw once said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
I have observed a trend in the private sector conference interpreting. With Zoom’s introduction of simultaneous interpretation features, many clients, if not most, have moved to Zoom from other video conferencing apps and Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI) platforms.
This is just what I have noticed and is not meant to endorse or detract from any of the RSI platforms.
Enough about work.
I was able to squeeze in a couple of mini-getaways with Rob to the Mendocino Coast (Navarro Beach, Point Arena Lighthouse, Glass Beach, Noyo Harbor, and Irish Beach). Both were much-needed respites from our work.
I particularly enjoyed the star gazing at very remote beaches. We also enjoyed South Lake Tahoe with plenty of relaxation and a leisurely hike to Viking Home at Emerald Bay State Park.
I had an opportunity to rewatch two wonderful performances I watched before COVID-19;
Colette Uncensored, written by my dear friend Zack Rogow; and Border People, performed by Dan Hoyle. I enjoyed both shows very much. If they ever come back around or are performed in your neck of the woods, be sure to see them. Zack’s play Colette Uncensored will be in San Francisco on January 26. Order your tickets below:
My friend Aoy provided a Thai cooking class in our kitchen, and Rob taught a kimchi-making lesson.
Both were very well received (all our guests absolutely loved Aoy’s cooking) and critically acclaimed by me, an avid foodie. Don’t Worry, Eat Happy!
Now it’s time to share books and films. Please don’t forget to share your favorites. Thank you.
- A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska (c) 2012 Translated by Christina E. Kramer (c) 2016
- The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi (c) 2020
- The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman (c) 2020
- Don’t Know Much About American History by Kenneth C. Davis (c) 2003
- 30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor by Karen Gedney, MD (c) 2018, 2021
- Lucie Yi Is Not A Romantic by Lauren Ho (c) 2022
- Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murray (c) 2019 Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori (c) 2022
Too eerie to recommend to a timid reader
- Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon: The New Science and Stories of the Brain by Dr. Rahul Jandial, MD, Ph.D. (c) 2019
- Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
- Saving Capitalism and
- The Power of the Dog
- Boyz n the Hood
- The Courier
- Nightmare Alley
- Donnie Brasco
- Seven Years in Tibet
- Sing Street
- 20th Century Girl
- My Own Private Idaho
Short film (20 minutes):
- The Silent Child
- Extraordinary Attorney Woo
- The Glory
- Move to Heaven
That's it, folks!
Thanks for reading.
Here's wishing you a happy 2023, Year of the Water Rabbit!
With Much Love,
(510) 914-7596 (Call/Text/WhatsApp)
550 N. San Pedro Rd.
San Rafael, CA 94903 USA