2020 - The Year of the Rat



Goodbye to Another Decade of the 21st Century

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,
Another decade is ending and I have so many people to thank for helping create meaning in my life.

Like last year, I am having a relaxing staycation while reflecting on 2019 and writing the 25th annual missive; Salman Rushdie’s new book Quichotte is with me giving me frequent chuckles. I'm not usually one for celebrity watching, but having a chance to meet him and listen to him speak was definetely time well spent.

I also watched the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and learned a lot. Since I came to the United States as an adult and didn’t have a TV growing up, I was not fortunate enough to have the ever-gentle Mister Rogers in my childhood. From what I gathered, he truly knew how to make everyone around him feel like the Center of the Universe. Mister Rogers truly embodied the phrase, “it is more important to be interested than interesting” as stated by former United States Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Also, as his journalist friend Tom Junod, and author of the story for which the movie was based observed “He practiced kindness like he practiced a musical instrument.”

Now let me share my professional and personal activities of 2019. By now you probably know I am a Social Media hermit without Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. I find this is the best way to express my deepest gratitude for your friendship, love and continued confidence in my work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! In my work as in my personal affairs, I try to live by the following quote by John Steinbeck, but with a little bit of twist.

“The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”

My adaptation goes,

“The interpreter must believe that what she is doing is the most important thing in the world. And she must hold to this illusion even when she knows that other people believe it is not true or don’t even know what she does.”

My 2019 started in Las Vegas with 180,000 CES 2019 attendees. I could not even breathe with so many people there, but found it interesting and could definitely feel the energy of such a massive event.

The following week I had to return to Las Vegas for another conference assignment. This time, with far fewer people, it was much more relaxing by comparison, and I was greeted with a winter rain in the desert.

Here are some local and out-of-town conference and seminar interpreting assignments I completed in 2019:

Topics covered (in alphabetical order): automobiles, design thinking and innovation, financial, FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD (juice, tea, coffee, supplements, cooked rice, pickled garlic, cherries – YUM YUM), food safety.

Dear restaurant workers! Please follow food safety rules and regulations. Thank you!

The examples here show food that was beautifully prepared with taste, smell, texture, presentation and food safety regulations strictly adhered to.

Assignments also included information technology (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Automation, BIG data and data security, Internet of Things, software development, among others), labor trafficking, labor union, marketing, medical device, military, politics, and video games.

I have also been doing more over-the-phone interpreting assignments (attorney/client calls, deposition preparation calls, out-of-town State courts proceedings), as well as a few Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) assignments.

I’m not sure how to classify these but I also did some medical (Workers Compensation case) assignments, neurocognitive evaluation sessions, State Seal of Biliteracy evaluation sessions, a Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH) interview, and a handful of voiceover projects. I continue to provide translation and translation review services for a very limited number of regular language service providers.

Some of these eclectic assignments took place locally which allowed me to sleep at  home with squirrels, big oak trees, crows, hawks, and our "Garden of Eatin’"

And of course there were legal assignments: Proceedings at United States District Courts and California State Courts, depositions, administrative hearings, mediations, attorney/client meetings, jail and police interviews, and on-site sight translation of legal documents.

This year I also participated in more continuing education webinars in the comfort of my home on Saturdays as well as presentations in Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. They are as eclectic as my conference assignments. Some of the interesting ones are as follows:

Firearms Identification, Ammunition & Forensic Ballistics
Plain Language 2.0 for Translation: Add style to your writing without sacrificing clarity
Do you speak Konglish?
The Practice of Staying in the Present: How not to be knocked off base by eternal sources
Infection Control and Industrial Safety for Interpreters
Child Protective Services for Court and Medical Interpreters
Immigration I: Understanding the System
Boost Your Career; Insider Secrets from a Chief Interpreter
Introduction to Forensic Science, Forensic Drug Chemistry / Narcotics / Controlled Substances

I was also asked to be a panelist for “Interpreter Training and Development Panel Discussion” during 2019 Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC) Conference in San Francisco and shared my views and challenges as a Korean/English court interpreter for the past 34 years and someone who worked with 46 counties in California out of 58. I talked about what language access coordinators can do trying to retain more “already certified interpreters” along with suggested court assignment details.

I am sure by now you might think “does Jacki have any time for fun?”

Why YESSS, Yes I do!

Here are some of my personal activities in 2019:

San Francisco Women’s March
Wednesday Hike on Mount Tamalpais
National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, Albuquerque, Arizona
San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade
Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park California
Knights Ferry Covered Bridge Park, Stanislaus County
Book Signing for Solomon’s Code: Humanity in a World of Thinking Machine
“National Security and Foreign Relations with North Korea: A South Korean Perspective” Panel Discussion
“What’s Happening on the Korean Peninsula?” Conversation with Dr. Kee Park and Ambassador (Retired) Kathleen Stephens
“Politics and Global Health” Presentation by Judith Kaufmann
“Africa’s Looming Climate Catastrophe” Presentation by George E. Moose
The Maine Granite Industry Historical Society Museum
Farnsworth Art Museum – N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, et al.
Feedel Band’s Ethio-Jazz at “Blues Alley” in WA, DC
Otello at the Kennedy Center Opera House
Philadelphia Museum of Art
U.S. Representative Jared Huffman Community Town Hall Meeting
A Grassroots Picnic with Pete Buttigieg, West Sacramento
Marin for Pete First Marin County Volunteer Meeting for Pete Buttigieg
Marin for Pete Phone Banking Session

Rob’s and my annual vacation was spent in beautiful Maine. We visited our dear friends, Rob and Natalie in South Portland. Then we drove up the coast to Mount Desert Island to have easy access to Acadia National Park.

We visited the iconic lighthouse in Bass Harbor and touristy Bar Harbor for restaurants and ice cream. We then drove to Rockland, stopping  in Manset for lunch. Near Rockland, we hiked at Camden Hills State Park and saw some spectacular views of the coast of Maine. The highlight of Rockland was renewed appreciation of inimitable works of not just Andrew Wyeth but also all his talented family members.

Mr. Rockefeller’s Bridges and Carriage Roads were built by the tycoon and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. from 1913 through 1940 in what would later become Acadia National Park. It was a way for the people of his time to enjoy nature's beauty from the seat of a horse drawn carriage. State of the art building techniques, which were the pride of Mr. Rockefeller, were used to construct a network of 17 hand carved stone bridges connected by beautifully graded roads perfect for carriages.

Rockefeller insisted that the landscape not be marred by the construction and even brought in the famed landscape achitect Beatrix Farrand to repair and replant the areas that did get damaged. Now the roads are maintained and used exclusively for park visitors to enjoy some of Acadia's most beautiful landscapes.

There were some wonderful yet strenuous hikes on Acadia Mountain, Gorham Mountain and Parkman Mountain trails. We also had some leisurely walks and sightseeing where we saw Schooner Head Overlook.

Please consider John Muir’s sage advice. 

“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in… where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul.”

And of course, we ate way too much lobster!

For more Maine photos click here!

Now, here are my picks for books, plays, and films. I would love to see more like them created:

Favorite Books:
I’ll Take You There by one of my favorite writers, Wally Lamb
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
My Wife Got Married by Park Hyun-wook (in Korean)
Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People by Helen Zia

Favorite Films:
Kim Ki-duk’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (watched 7th time; 2003 film)
Bong Joon-ho's Parasite
Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born (2018 film)
James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari
Adam McKay’s Vice (2018 film with Christian Bale who deserves the highest accolade)
Lulu Wang’s The Farewell
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (translation. How I felt when I saw that girl), Hindi Film
One Child Nation, Documentary by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang

Some of my favorite plays and stage shows:
Julia Cho’s The Language Archive (Superb writing and performance)
Dan Foyle’s Border People (produced at The Marsh SF by Charlie Veron)
The Great Wave at Berkeley Rep
King of the Yees at San Francisco Playhouse
The American Shit Show by Brian Copeland and Charlie Veron at The Marsh SF
The 39 Steps at Chanticleers Theatre

Please share your favorite books, films, and cultural events.

That's it folks.

Thanks for reading. Here's wishing you a happy 2020, year of the  Rat!

With warmest regards,

Jacki Noh

(510) 914-7596 (Call/Text)
jackinoh (Skype/KakaoTalk) 
550 N. San Pedro Rd.
San Rafael, CA 94903 USA