2022 - The Year of the Tiger
Wishing You a MUCH Brighter 2022
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,
The news of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s demise on December 26, 2021, took me back to the summer of 2009 when I had the privilege to interpret his astute, inspiring, and sage words. How I miss those good old days when I got to fly around the globe sharing stories and ideas of remarkable people such as the Archbishop Tutu. I still vividly remember that interpreting for him in 2009. They added Korean interpretation at the last minute, and so I walked into a large room without even knowing whose words I was about to interpret. Although I am not known to be star-struck, I was completely mesmerized by his presence and remarks. Thank you for your bravery, intelligence, integrity, and sense of humor! I will miss your infectious laugh the most.
My 2021 started unceremoniously with a family Zoom meeting on January 1st and ended with another Zoom meeting on December 29th. To me, 2021 will unfortunately go down as another year of Zoom. I spent countless hours on video conferencing and remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) platforms.
Staring at my computer screen, I did not always feel a strong connection to people. Brené Brown has said, “connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” The engagements I had through my computer with visible and invisible listeners and speakers scattered around the globe, more often than not, lacked that kind of connection. COVID-19 continues to inhibit all of us from making the real connections that humans are built to make. Still, I am grateful for the technology that made it possible to work and to share what I have learned as an interpreter over the past 35 years with so many of my colleagues and aspiring interpreters. I thank you for your confidence in my work, and for your friendship, love, and most importantly, your sense of humor.
Some years ago, a good friend gave me a Year of the Tiger mug with all the wonderful adjectives that are apparently traits of a person born during a Year of the Tiger. So as this Year of the Tiger 2022 begins on February 1st, I want to share these words: Ambitious, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Sensitive, Resilient, and Brave. May we all assimilate these traits as we head into a much brighter 2022.
Now let me share some of my professional and personal activities of 2021.
On January 20th I was very excited to interpret President Biden’s inauguration speech and Poet Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb.” I would like to vote for Gorman in 2036, when she is old enough to run for president.
Fortunately, I had more conference assignments than in 2020 with an eclectic mix of topics. Here are some of them:
Anti-Asian Violence; California Governor's Recall Election; Climate Change; Consumer Fraud; Cosmetics; COVID-19; Digital Divide; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA); Domestic and Sexual Violence; Geospatial Information; Information Technology (IT); Marketing; Medical Devices; Mental Health; Military; Patents; Redistricting Process and Maps; Religion; Rice; Smart Cities; Video Gaming; and Voter Suppression.
The year’s first out-of-town assignment took me to Southern California in July during the heat wave. Taking a leisurely walk was impossible when the temperature reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). Still, it was wonderful to work in a spacious single booth with excellent sound technicians who provided full support, not to mention snacks and lunch. The best part was having a rare opportunity to see wonderful colleagues in person. I only had two more out-of-state assignments before the Omicron variant caused the cancellation of two business trips at the last minute.
This year I was not able to attend as many webinars as 2020, but here are some of the ones I found thought-provoking and enlightening, and I want to offer my sincere gratitude to the organizations that offered them:
International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) – “Under Pressure: Artificial Intelligence and Interpreting in the Future: Disruption, Perception and Reality”; “How Soon is Now? Automated Speech Translation Solutions and Devices – Demos and Discussion”; “Humor across Cultures”; and “Mind over COVID: Coping with the Pandemic by Building Your Resilience Skills”
Castillo Language Services Inc. – “Lines, Tigers, and Bears! Oh My! Recognizing and Resolving Ambiguities”
Cross-Cultural Communications LLC (CCC) – “Emojis, Emoticons and Smileys – A Primer”
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) – “Salt of the Earth: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy”; and Panel Discussion on “Pandemic Pedagogy: Remote Teaching of Translation & Interpretation”
World Affairs Council – “What’s Going on with North Korea”
I also spent more time sharing my passion, interpreting with a wider audience this year.
On February 27th I provided a webinar entitled “Preparation Strategies for Interpreters from Courtrooms to Conferences” presented by Cross-Cultural Communications. 424 unique attendees connected from the United States (37 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico) and 22 countries (one attendee signed in from Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya).
Language Neutral Community Interpreter Training presented by Alaska Institute for Justice
Korean-language-specific Court Interpreter Candidate Training presented by the National Center for State Courts
Korean-language-specific skill building workshop for court interpreters presented by DE LA MORA Institute of Interpretation
In September, Ralitsa Combs with Office of Language Services, the U.S. Department of State invited me to be a panelist for a roundtable discussion, “Preparing for In-Person and Virtual International Visitor Leadership Programs.” I enjoyed adding my recommendations and opinions with my colleagues on this interpreter training program.
Now here are some of my personal activities:
On April 11th I received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination and on November 24th I received a Moderna booster shot. (Doing my part to stop or slow the spread!)
My niece Christine tied the knot with Reid and Rob’s niece Ashley tied the knot with Garrett, the two luckiest men in the world. I was able to attend Ashley‘s Surprise Bridal Shower in Drain, Oregon, with my sister-in-law Julie. She and I had a wonderful road trip in the middle of the hot summer.
Sadly, we had a lean year in our Garden of Eatin’. Due to the California drought, the squirrels and racoons were especially destructive, and the excessive heat didn’t help the plants either.
Whenever I had some breathing room, I walked around the neighborhood with Rob and hiked on beautiful Marin County trails of Point Reyes (Drake’s Estero, Sculptured Beach, Secret Beach, etc.), Mt. Bernabe, Mt. Burdell, among others.
Rob and I took two mini vacations: one in Pinnacles National Park in May (hiked on Condor Gulch – High Peaks Loop) and the other in Monterey, California, in October where we enjoyed seafood and baked goods from my favorite Paris Bakery and hiked in Point Lobos State Park. Though all too short, both excursions were much needed respites from the mundane.
The following books and films helped me momentarily forget we are still in the midst of COVID-19.
Please share your favorite books and films. Thank you.
Books – The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison;
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura;
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou; and
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge, M.D.
Films – Sound of Metal;
The Trial of the Chicago 7;
The Lincoln Lawyer;
The Polar Express;
Rain Man; and
The Florida Project
Documentaries – Dick Johnson is Dead
and Coded Bias
TV Series – Squid Game (anxiously waiting for the next season)
That's it, folks!
Thanks for reading.
Here's wishing you a happy 2022, Year of the Tiger!
With Much Love,
(510) 914-7596 (Call/Text/WhatsApp)
550 N. San Pedro Rd.
San Rafael, CA 94903 USA