Monday, July 28, 2008

a story i've been thinking about recently

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

letter B

There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, "Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!"

The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

"Don't cry 'wolf', shepherd boy," said the villagers, "when there's no wolf!" They went grumbling back down the hill.

Later, the boy sang out again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!" To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.

When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, "Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don't cry 'wolf' when there is NO wolf!"

But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more.

Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, "Wolf! Wolf!"

But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn't come.

At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn't returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping.

"There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, "Wolf!" Why didn't you come?"

An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village.

"We'll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning," he said, putting his arm around the youth, "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

Things I like #2 - John Mayer

Many of the people that read this blog, Traci-Colored Glasses, already know that I love John Mayer because they have read it umpteen times on another blog I used to write. I feel the need to proclaim for the new readers of the glasses that I am a huge fan of John Mayer. I dabbled in John Mayerdom when he came out with the album "Room for Squares" in 2001, but it was the album "Heavier Things" in 2003 (right about the time I went to seminary) that sold me on John Mayer. His song "Clarity" became my theme song for seminary, and then JM began to release more and more brilliance... He released a blues album about when I was feeling the blues, he released Continuum when I was ready to graduate seminary, and he's released a variety of Live albums, most of which I have, all of which I've listened to, many times. His most recent live album "Where the Light is" is, by FAR, my favorite live album. It's genius. I'm waiting for his next album, although, he claims to be "uninspired" to keep making records. Noooooooo!

John Mayer, thing I like #2.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day!

Independence Day! Happy 4th, everyone. A few days ago, I decided that this Independence Day would be a day where I would gain my independence from some of the clutter and laundry that is trapping me in life, so today I have been busily working on dishes, laundry, paper clutter, etc. I'm no where near done, but I'm seeing some progress. I am treated myself to this album and this song as independence day "clean up my life music."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Things I like #1 - Ubuntu Linux

Brian recently posted a "things I like" post on his blog, and I liked the idea. I am planning, therefore, to write about "things I like" on this blog from time to time. For the first one, I thought it would be a good idea to write about Ubuntu Linux, because Brian introduced me to it!

To understand Ubuntu, you first have to understand linux. Simply put, linux is an operating system, just like Windows Vista, Windows XP, and all of the Macintosh OS flavors (Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Hedgehog -- oh wait, Hedgehog was actually an Ubuntu release.) So there is Mac, there is Microsoft, and there is linux, except it's really hard to put "linux" in the same category as Mac and Microsoft, because Mac and Microsoft are both companies, whereas linux is not. You can't trade Linux on the NYSE. Linux distributions are all supported by the community. And by "the community," I mean a whole lot of nerds. You can include me in this category if you want, but most of the nerds in the linux community are wicked smart, and exceptionally devoted to computers whereas I am merely interested in one thing: getting my computer to work. I might have gotten started using Linux because I wanted to be a smartypants computer geek, but I have stuck with it because it works better than Microsoft Vista, which routinely makes me cry. In the 3 or 4 months that I have been using Ubuntu at home my computer has NEVER crashed, it has NEVER frozen, I have received ZERO error messages, and I have been booted off the internet ZERO times. Ubuntu Linux, you are a thing I like! Look for more posts on things I like as well as more posts on Ubuntu and Linux!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A few thoughts about speaking to someone using an interpreter...

I just got back from a GREAT weekend interpreting in Chicago for some Cuban people. As I was interpreting (from Spanish into English and then English into Spanish) I realized that there are some common mistakes people make when using interpreters that should be avoided. I also was surprised to see a fellow interpreter make some mistakes that were bothersome to me. So, in the interest of making the world a better place to interpret and be interpreted, allow me a few moments to stand on my interpreting soap box.

First and foremost, remember that the purpose of interpreting is to help communicate thoughts from one language into another language. Sounds simple enough, but it can be tricky. The interpreter's role is simple, to facilitate communication.

Some thoughts and stories that might make this clearer.

For those using an interpreter:
1. Talk directly to the person who is using an interpreter, not to the interpreter. Avoid talking to the interpreter and saying "tell him I said x." Simply look the person in the eye and tell him or her what you want to say.
RIGHT: I really enjoyed your sermon! Thank you so much for everything!
WRONG: Tell him I really enjoyed his sermon and that I am thankful.

2. Avoid making comments to the interpreter that you don't want repeated or interpreted. It causes a feeling of isolation or exclusion.

3. If you are concerned that your message is not getting across, speak to the person directly and ask him or her if he understood. Avoid making comments to the interpreter such as "Did he understand me?"

4. If you are a third party listener where an interpreter is being used, do not correct or interrupt the interpreter. If an interpreter is pausing to find the correct word or if he or she asks for clarification, don't "butt in" and "help." It's rude and also distracting.

5. Don't shout! Just because a person doesn't speak English, it doesn't mean that he or she can't hear. Speak in a normal tone and pace.

As an interpreter. (I can't believe I have to type these things. I'm crabby.)
1. Interpret what people say to the best of your ability! If you don't like it, tough! Your job is not to judge or "soften" what is being said.

2. Don't answer questions that aren't being asked of you! You are the interpreter! It's not about you! (sorry, lots of exclamation points.) For example if someone asks the person you are interpreting for, "What color is the sky?" your job is to turn to the person you are interpreting for and to say "What color is the sky?" Your job is not to say "blue" to the person who asked the question. Duh.

3. Say what the person said! If he says "I'm tired" say "I'm tired." Don't say "He says he wants to go home and take a nap." I'm serious. This is based on experience, people.

4. Watch your body language and gestures. I say this because it's something I personally need to work on. When I am interpreting I tend to get squirmy and play with rings or bracelets or whathaveyou. It's annoying and distracting. I need to do my job.

5. Don't let pride get in the way. If you didn't understand what was said, ask for clarification. It will make you a better interpreter.