Sunday, October 30, 2005

I Need Your Opinions, Please! And Fast!

"I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed."
- James Thurber

Just recently: I have my Interpreting I class tomorrow night, and I have to present a project called "My Voice." For this project, I have to find a poem, song or story that I can relate to and either interpret or transliterate it (use straight ASL or use Pidgin Signed English, which is using ASL signs in English word order).

Of course, I put this off until recently, because I thought I knew what I wanted to do. But the more I thought about it, the poem I wrote in high school that I wanted to interpret is a little difficult to interpret, and using PSE would just make it confusing to anyone who was deaf or didn't understand personification (which, I'm guessing, would be most of my class). So, I decided I wanted to interpret the song "I Love to Tell the Story (of Jesus and His Love)," which is the theme for Deaf Ministry in Kansas. The only problem was that I didn't have the music for the song, and I don't want to sing it in class while I'm trying to sign it. But I found a CD that has the music on it, so if I had to do that, I could.

The other option that I came up with was to do The Lord's Prayer, which is something that I had to learn to interpret to help my pastor friend with his home visits with a Deaf couple. But that presents another roadblock because it's a prayer, and I would be interpreting it in a public college setting, which could potentially be a bad thing. Especially since at least two of my classmates are Jehovah's Witnesses. Should I do it anyway?

You have until 6:30 p.m. Central Time tomorrow night to let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Okay. The last poll has been replaced with a new one.

If you were wondering how the numbers for Tyra's talk show were growing, it was because my husband, loving as he is, was voting for her show twice a day during the week: once at home and once at work. I was surprised to see that the next highest votes were for Jerry Springer! If you don't mind sharing, those of you who voted for Jerry, I'd like to know why you would want to be on his show.

Do you think those shows are real, or do you (like me) think that they are scripted? Do you just like the drama? Why do you like Jerry Springer?

In the meantime, I've replaced that poll with a new one. Make sure you vote in the right box: Ladies, your box is pink, and Men, your box is blue. You can choose multiple answers, just like before. As you might be able to surmise already, I'm going to compare the results of these polls to see how well you men read the women in your lives! Enjoy!

UPDATE: OOPS! I forgot to mention that you can select multiple answers. Have fun!

Radio Station's Cash Contest Uses Bad Numbers

Last week, the radio station I listen to in the mornings started a contest in which callers must guess a 4-digit "pin" that will open a "cash vault." Until this morning, only the first number had been guessed. That first number was "6." This morning, a lady called in and guessed both the second and the third numbers: both 6's! So, the first three numbers of the 4-digit "pin" are 666! I missed the lady's guess for the fourth number, but I heard a guess from a man that called in later. His guess was "7." I'm not sure, but I think that the lady who called in was guessing all 6's.

By the way, whoever guesses the correct "pin" will win $1,000! Wouldn't that be nice!

Monday, October 24, 2005

This isn't working like I thought it would...

Last night, I got maybe two or three hours of sleep after getting in bed around 11 p.m. Ron didn't sleep well, either, but I know he slept more than me because I watched him sleep and listened to him snore for most of the night. My sinuses are still bothering me, and I got up drowsy this morning at 6:00, but not enough to sleep. My muscles were sore, too.

Anyway, since I wasn't tired enough to sleep (for some reason), I decided this morning that I was going to do as much housework as I could to try to exhaust myself enough to be able to take a nap before my class tonight. It hasn't worked yet.

So far, I've vacuumed the whole apartment, made the bed, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen, done three loads of laundry (all of which I folded and put away), done some ironing and dishes. After all that, I'm not tired; I'm more awake now than ever! I just hope I don't crash and burn in class tonight!

Update and Reflection

"The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated."
Oscar Wilde

If I were to apply that quote to the interpretation of the musical "OLIVER!" I would be misevaluating the situation. Almost everyone who participated as an interpreter Saturday did a fantastic job. Fortunately, I was not the worst interpreter, which was what I was fearing because I've had less interpreter training than everyone else in my class. But, alas, I was not the best because of the aforementioned reason.

Including myself, there were 11 of us who took turns interpreting. One of those was our instructor, who is the daughter of two deaf parents. One of my classmates (who also interpreted) is also a CODA (child of deaf adults).

Although I probably signed conversations and songs more English than I should have, I was told that I was very expressive and easy to understand, so I guess that made up for it. I did have a card up my sleeve, though: I took drama in high school and acted in a couple of plays, so I know how to be expressive in my signing, too.

I have a lot of chores to do today, so I will conclude as follows with a rephrasing of the quote above that more appropriately applies to myself:

"The only thing that sustains me through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of myself to everybody else, and this keeps me determined to improve upon my own successes."

Friday, October 21, 2005

OLIVER! Interpreted

Tomorrow evening, I will be participating in the interpretation of the musical "OLIVER!" with my Interpreting I class. I will be interpreting Act 2 Scene 2, where "Oliver" is brought to live with "Mr. Brownlow," sees a doctor, and is later kidnapped back from the band of pickpockets that he had been rescued from.

My class attended most of the dress rehearsal Tuesday night. The actors and actresses are really good, for the most part. The little boy who plays Oliver is really talented. He's a great actor, and sings pretty well for no older than he is, too.

I had to get a long-sleeved black shirt tonight for the play tomorrow. I'm supposed to wear something that will contrast a lot with my skin color, and I'm pasty pale white. The reason is simple: the lights are going to be off with the exception of the stage lights and a dim spotlight where my classmates and I are going to be interpreting. Our signing must be visible to those Deaf and hard-of-hearing who attend.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Strong possibility for a better future

My husband had a job interview yesterday for the position of a nondestructive engineer at a rather large aircraft company in town, the same one that laid him off six months after we married.

His interview went really well. He told me that he is one of three candidates to fill two open positions! That's a 66 percent chance of employment! And if he gets this job, we will move out of this crappy apartment!

The only down-side is that if he is chosen, he'll have to wait until December to start. On the up-side, if he's able to finish this semester where he is currently working, we won't have to worry about paying back the tuition assistance they provided for him.

Please pray that he is chosen for this position. It's what he really wants to do at a company he really wants to work for.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Extreme Makeover-Home Edition Comes to Kansas

This is from our local ABC news station, KAKE-TV:

The hit ABC show Extreme Makeover-Home Edition has converged on Southern Kansas.

The Nutsch family lost their home this summer in a big explosion.

Ty Pennington and his crew, complete with bullhorn, surprised the family Sunday.

Construction work begins Tuesday. The public is invited to watch the project from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The construction site is 14487 SW 220th Street near Douglass.

Stay tuned to KAKE News this week for the behind the scenes stories as tragedy turns into a dream come true.

The family had been on vacation and came back to find that their propane tank had exploded and they had lost everything they owned, including a family pet. Most of the family has been living in their grandfather's basement, while the father has been living in a school bus to protect what belongings they have left.

The house is supposed to be presented to the family, who's on vacation in Disney World right now, on Sunday! Watch the show and be on the lookout for this family from Rose Hill, KS!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Oh, such unglamourous work.

I just got back from the pre-employment orientation at the new Remote Encoding Center. This is a rundown of what I can expect:

  • Overtime will be paid only after the accumulation of 40 hours, which could happen as early as the fourth day in. I could be mandated to work as many as 12 hours on an 8-hour schedule. Of course, I should have at least a couple of days notice.
  • I could be mandated to work Saturdays, Sundays, or both during any given week.
  • I will be unable to call in sick or otherwise miss a day of work for the first 90 days, which is a probabtionary period.
  • I will be given two (2) personal days (which I could use for sick days) that I can use until the end of this year.
  • No benefits, including insurance or others, will be given until after one year of employment has passed. The only benefit I will be elligible for is one hour of vacation for every 20 hours worked.
  • I will go through 52 hours of paid training, which I have to pass, including a two-day orientation after hiring, one day in a classroom, and computer training on the fourth day.
  • I will be allowed a five minute break every hour, alternating each hour with a ten minute break, during which I will be able to drink from a water fountain and use the restroom, if needed.
  • The use of cell phones on or near the facility is prohibited.
  • Those who write down the addresses of celebrities, local or otherwise, and take them (or attempt to) out of the facility will be terminated.
  • After my training is complete, and I am able to work independently, I will be able to bring music or books on tape to listen to as long as I use headphones and keep the volume low.
  • No food, drinks or gum are allowed on the work floor.
  • On the plus side, pay starts at $12.43 per hour, with $1.02 being added for every hour worked after 6 p.m.
  • I will be allowed and expected to take a 30-minute lunch break if I work eight or more hours per day, which is more than my previous employer allowed.
  • It will be full-time work of between 35 and 40 hours per week, and more than likely more, especially with Christmas coming up.
  • Since the REC is open 365 days per year, I will be expected to be flexible enough to work weekends and holidays at any hour of the night or early morning. Failure to be able to do so, especially in the first 90 days, will not be tolerated and could lead to permanent dismissal.

So, after learning all of that, and knowing that I am going to take the job, any suggestions of how to keep myself from going completely insane or hating myself for accepting the job after Tuesday's interview?

UPDATE: After consulting with my husband, he told me not to take it. We don't need the money so badly that I have to compromise myself, our family time, church and school.

So, I guess I'm on the job hunt again.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

New Poll

All right. This one should be more fun. You can vote once a day, and choose as many answers as you want.

Poll results are in!

While a couple of the choices in my poll got zero, one, two or three votes, 11 votes (58%) were in favor of me posting whatever I want, not necessarily Deaf Ministry, news-related topics, or even controversial topics, but anything I want to post. They indicated that they'd read my posts no matter what they were.

Now, I'm coming up with a new poll with a completely different topic. Be on the lookout for it, and tell me via votes what you think.

Poll results are almost ready

Stay tuned for the results of my informal poll. I'm waiting until I get the desired number of votes before I publish the results, but I must say that so far, I'm pleased.

I'll also be publishing a new poll, just because I can and I think it would be fun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I've got some research to do . . .

Last night, instead of having a regular class on Deaf Communication Studies, those from my Monday night Interpreting I class joined those from my Tuesday night class to listen to a presentation by people from the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (KCDHH).

They presented a lot of really beneficial information for those of us who are working toward certification as interpreters, including the fact that even with new regulations that will be going into effect in the next couple of years, those who volunteer to interpret in the Church are not subject to the regulation of being certified. However, those who are paid to interpret are required to be certified.

My question: "If my church decides to pay me to interpret, do I have to have a certification?" (BTW, the issue of payment has not come up at my church yet because there is currently no one for me to interpret for.) All I was told was that this was a good question and that they didn't know the answer. They said I'll have to research that question to find the answer. Whoopie.

So, now, I have some research to do. I'm only a first-year student, so it's not like I don't have time to acquire the skills I would need to be certified, but if certification is a requirement that I have to meet, I'll need to know what level I need to be certified at.

Certification levels are given a rating of 1 through 5. Currently, all levels are allowed to interpret, but a level 2 or above is preferred. Under the new guidelines, those with a level 1 or 2 would be given a "transitional permit" to work, but must attain at least a level 3 in order to have a full working certification. Most graduates of Interpreter Training Programs in Kansas attain a level 2, because it's only a two-year program. KCDHH is trying to turn it into a four-year bachelor's degree program, which would, potentially, raise the average graduate's certification level to at least a 3.

As it is, I don't think I'm certifiable yet. If I am, I'm only at a level 1, at best, because I haven't gone through as much training as I need to, and my skills need a lot of refining. I can, however, carry on a good, lengthy conversation with the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, but at this time (compared to working interpreters), my sign language vocabulary is very limited, and my receptive skills and voicing skills need a lot of work.

If, for some reason I don't need to even think about what level I can certify at in order to be a (paid/unpaid) church interpreter, that's fine, but I still would like to try to attain at least a level 3, eventually. That way, I know that I'd be in good shape to interpret elsewhere, too, if the opportunity presented itself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Round 2 for the Post Office job

So, those of you who read my blog on a regular basis might remember this post about me taking the civil service test for a post office position. Well, in about half an hour, I'll be taking a typing test for the same position.

Come to find out, there's a new Remote Encoding Center in Wichita, and they're hiring for about 1,000 new positions. They only require a typing speed of 45 words per minute, but I can type about 65 or better when I get in a groove, about 62-65 when I'm not.

After the results from the typing test are read, they're going to take those who passed and will begin scheduling interviews. Now, because of my regular typing speed, I'm sure I'll get to the interview phase of the pre-employment menu. After that, we'll see if they hire me!

Okay! Keep me in your prayers! Here I go! I'll give you an update afterward, if I can.

UPDATE: So the typing test only took about 15 minutes. I was given a packet of pre-employment paperwork to fill out, and was told to report back to the REC on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. for a pre-employment orientation. At that time, I will be scheduled for an interview.

Turns out that this is for part-time, temporary work of at least 30 hours per week. They're looking for people to work evening and early morning hours to begin with. This is not at all what I was hoping for.

What I need is a full-time position that utilizes my degree or other skills, and that I can work at during the daytime. Maybe (and I'm reaching here) this is just a position that they give people to see how well they do, and then maybe they'll offer me a better full-time position during the day.

Had I known from the beginning that this was a part-time, temporary position that I would have to work at night or during the early morning hours, I might not have even tried to test for it. I pray that something more comes of it. Please pray for me.

Ron is really growing unhappy with his job, and is trying to find something else, maybe in Wichita, maybe not. If I am able to secure this or another job in the near future, it will free Ron up to look for something else. He continually comes home upset, grouchy and irritated with the people he works with and for. He just needs to find a job somewhere where he can be appreciated for his skills and knowledge, and where he is given the opportunity to express those and achieve goals based on merit, not on the "buddy system".

Please pray for both of us. We're growing more miserable in our circumstances all the time, and are desperately crowded in a tiny apartment while we look for rewarding work.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lutheran Carnival VIII is up and running!

To see some of the greatest posts ever provided by the Lutheran blog community, visit the Lutheran Carnival, hosted this time by Full Throttle & an Empty Gas Tank. (I'm not just saying they're "the greatest" because I submitted a post, either. Hee, hee!)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The story of BTK is now a "made-for-tv" movie

It had to happen sooner or later: the story about how Dennis Rader killed 10 people and eluded law enforcement for more than 30 years has been made into a television movie that is supposed to air tonight on CBS (8 p.m. Central time).

Gregg Henry, the man chosen to portray Rader, has an extensive history of acting in made-for-tv dramas based on real events. His resume includes such titles as "Victim of Love: The Story of Shannon Mohr," "When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn," and "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom." (I guess I must have missed that last story.)

A note to viewers, as told by the Wichita Eagle: Chief Detective Jason Magida and Detective Ellen Bains are not real names of anyone involved in the investigation, although they "are composites of all the law enforcement officers who worked on the case over the decades." (Courtesy The Wichita Eagle, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2005, p. 4E, from p. 1E)

I like one of the paraphrases that was made of something Henry said about his real-life counterpart, Dennis Rader: "Some actors playing bad buys say villains don't think of themselves as villains, so the actors look inside the role for some likable or relatable personality element to build upon. Henry said that wasn't possible with Rader because he couldn't find anything redeemable."

Also, if you watch, keep in mind that none of the call letters for Wichita television stations are accurate: they were all made up for the sake of the movie, which, by the way, was filmed not in Wichita, but in Canada. For the record, our NBC station is KSNW, ABC is KAKE, CBS is KWCH, and Fox is KSAS. I'm not sure if that will help or not because, obviously, I'm posting prior to the program.

The true appearance of Henry is of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man with thick eyebrows and sideburns, which make his face appear less full than in the television movie. He resides in Los Angeles, a place that also noted correspondences after BTK's reappearance in Wichita. He told the Wichita Eagle that he "became well aware of BTK."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Please vote in my poll!

So far, only three votes have been counted on my poll, and I know for a fact that two of those votes came from my husband. I'm starting to wonder if anyone is actually visiting my blog to read it, or if it's just coming up as a link on web searches.

Am I so boring that you don't even think I'm worth the time it takes to vote? Should I even continue to post on this blog? Or is it a fruitless endeavor?

I'm giving you an opportunity to tell me what you would like to read. More on Deaf Ministry, more controversial topics, more theologically-based subjects... whatever would bring you and others to my site.

I'm giving you the opportunity to tell me what you like to read. What have I posted about in the past that you liked? What would you like to see? Tell me!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Stop worrying! Start praying!

Almost every day, I get a call from my mom who wants nothing more than to talk and visit with me over the phone. These are usually very good, smiley-faced conversations, and I look forward to them. But there's one thing that always bugs me about what she says: "I'm just worried about..." or "I'm worried that..." And I'm sure you know someone like that: someone who worries about everything all the time.

But the thing about worry is that it accomplishes nothing. Absolutely nothing. It does you no good, doesn't help you figure out solutions to problems, doesn't reach out to anyone for assistance, doesn't do squat. So why do we do it? We do it because we are at a loss for what to do about situations we can't control. The only thing we think to do is come up with "what ifs" and "what abouts". But there is something better we can do: pray.

Let's think about prayer for a minute. What can prayer accomplish that worrying doesn't? Let's look at what our faith in God teaches us.

When we pray to God, we leave at His feet all those sins we have committed, even the ones of which we are unaware, and He forgives us and washes us clean. When we pray to God, we tell Him about our fears and about situations that are beyond our control, and He takes our fear away and takes control of the situations for us. Not that He wasn't in control from the beginning, mind you, but He wants us to come to Him for help.

What I remind my mom about whenever she tells me how worried she is about something is this: "When we start getting worried about something, we need to stop worrying and start praying. Prayer is the only thing that accomplishes what we cannot, because God has everything under control."

If I let myself, I would have a multitude of things to worry about. But I do my best to "let go and let God" handle them because I know that He is the only One who can. I won't say I'm always successful at doing that, but it helps when I remind myself to pray, not worry. Then, I can calm down, knowing that everything is under His control, and whatever happens, happens because He had a reason for it. We may not know in this lifetime what that reason is, but we can take comfort in knowing that He is in charge.

My instructor's kit has arrived!

Sunday, after church, our church secretary told me that my teaching materials for my ASL classes had arrived. I immediately broke it out of the plastic wrapping and put my notebook together, looking over various parts of it in the process. Here are some of the contents:

  • The book itself in loosleaf format for placement in the binder
  • An instructor's guide, showing the suggested way to teach each session of the class
  • Student handouts, including course information, questionaires about stereotypes about the Deaf community and sign language
  • Lists of objectives that will try to be achieved in each unit (semester)
  • Information about Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD/TTY) and the Telephone Relay Service
That's just in the first unit! There is so much more that I will be able to teach and learn, myself, as I go through this book with my students! I also have a practice videotape that will reinforce the teaching that I do, and give more information than I can about signing and interpreting, the Deaf and hard-of-hearing.

My fourth Wednesday class meets tonight. I'm going to go through some of the items in my kit that have been suggested for the class up to this point. I'm really getting excited!

By the way, I'd kind of like to know what you think of these series of posts, so please vote in my new poll, even if this is the first time you've visited my blog and are considering whether to return. And if you link to me on your blog, please mention this poll so I can get a wide variety of respondents. Thank you, in advance.