Hello everyone. Sorry for the hiatus… the summer was extremely crazy!
This month’s #ADayInTheLifeof features antoher colleague Elisabet, a Swedish, English, French and Danish interpreter and her life – again, it’s longer than average as intepreters are indeed very busy bees. Enjoy!
Thanks Val! Just as for Michelle, my days vary quite a lot so I’ve shared almost a week with you and the blog readers. This is a unique week, since usually I do not interpret, do PhD work and travel to the US all in one week…
Monday – Interpreting
6:00 My alarm goes off. I’m not a natural early riser, but life has forced me into it. I simply have to be dressed and ready before the rest of the family wakes up, or else… Breakfast is coffee (strong!), yoghurt and fruit.
7:45 I get the kids and the dogs to the bus. I walk both our dog and the neighbour’s the days I’m available so after having dropped of the kids at the school bus we go for our little walk.
8:30 High time to get on the bike and get to work. Yes, it is crazy to bike in Brussels, but I do it ”little old lady”- style and I’m usually fine. One of the things I’ll miss about Brussels is the fact that there such a huge market for interpreters that I can do most of my assignments locally.
9:15 Picking up a coffee and getting into into the booth in time for going through the documents that I didn’t get beforehand. Time to surf through the Twitter feed, as I usually favourite interesting stuff and read it later.
12.30 Lunchtime: today I had to run some errands over lunch, otherwise it’s often the ideal chance to catch up with colleagues and on e-mails, Twitter feed, Feedly, etc.
14.00 Back in the booth. Same routine as in the morning. My turn to go get a coffee for the booth mid-afternoon. How would we survive without it – right, Val?!
18.00 On the bike on my way back home so I’ll have the time to go pick up groceries. Over the years, I have become just as well planned as I used to scold my mother for being 🙂 The family runs on weekly menus, planned grocery shopping, chores and I hate it but we wouldn’t survive without it. And in case you wonder, yes I get help with the cleaning!
20.30 Dinner, homework and dogwalk time over (yes, I know we have dinner early, but I defend myself and say that compared to Sweden we dine late). This is the time when I go through what I have to do for tomorrow’s meeting: I do print outs, prepare boarding cards, contracts, invoices and the other paperwork, if any.
Lights off between 22.30 and midnight.
Tuesday – PhD-ing
6:00 Ordinary morning drill
8:15 Back in the house after the dogwalk. Make a coffee for myself and sit down on the coach to go through e-mails the rest of the social media stuff. Just as I open Feedly, Luther, who sits on my right shoulder, reminds me that I have about two weeks left before I absolutely have to submit my PhD.
9:00 love my thesis, but at this point I think we’re entering into a love hate relationship. I spend the rest of the morning editing and writing while having at least three more cups of coffee. It’s odd how all the good ideas for blogs and interesting tweets seem to pop up just during these moments.
12.30 An hour of exercise. I’m part of an outdoor class just where I live, and if I’m at home I make sure not to miss it. It has really changed my life.
14.00 Back in front of the computer. I know I only have about 3 more hours of effective work before kids get home, so this is when I usually start getting that adrenaline rush.
17.00 Children are back: I try to get a few more pages done, it usually slides into homework help and cooking.
20.30 Tonight I have to pack! Tomorrow is my flight for the States and Interpret America (http://www.interpretamerica.net). I was selected to give a TED type speech about my research findings, in their new series InterpreT-ED. This is very exciting – even for an interpreter!
6:00 Morning drill
8:30 Off to the airport. I was very happy I could see the kids off at their school bus. I hate to leave so early in the morning that I can’t kiss them good-bye.
11.10 Waiting in line for the flight, although I’m a very experienced traveller I don’t usually go overseas, so this is a little bit special. I have made use of the waiting time by getting a few things for the people ”over there”. I feel bad that I haven’t planned ahead for my gifts…, then I also treat myself to a Starbucks – yes Val, after I caught my Italian friend in ”flagrant délit” having an espresso at Starbucks I do it without second thoughts.
16:00 (US-time) Finally through immigrations. I always dread it and today it took forever.
19:00 (By now it’s one o’clock in the morning and I’m a little dizzy. Lucky I could sleep on the flight.) I’m very happy and privileged to be part of this group. You can see the list here (http://www.interpretamerica.net/speakers). But I’m so lucky to sit next to Saima Wahab (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5358553.Saima_Wahab), who’s the closing keynote speaker. She wrote In my father’s country about how she, after having immigrated to the US as a teenager, went back to her native Afghanistan to serve as a military interpreter. Truly an amazing person and also very sweet and funny.
23:00 Lights out. WAY to late.
Thursday – Conference day
7:00 Wake up in the hotel room after a night of jet lag, social breakfast and registration starts in an hour. I realize I’m completely ineffective!
8:30 Arrive at the breakfast much later than planned. On the other hand it’s an advantage compared to interpreting when you have to be on time, or else…
9:00 Enjoy the morning session on social media, and how to be present there. Feels like I’m in the right place. I also get to meet Ian Andersen of SCIC Interpreters (https://www.facebook.com/Interpreting.for.Europe.SCIC?fref=ts) in real life and Andrew Clifford of @Glendontransl8.
12.30 Conference lunch. This time I get to sit next to Brandon Arthur of @Streetleverage, very glad to have met him personally now!
14.00 Professional working groups. I have very difficult to decide which one I should attend but I finally settle for the fourth one on vicarious trauma, i.e. the type of trauma you can experience as an interpreter through somebody else’s pain or suffering. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201207/compassion-fatigue)
16:00 End of conference program and social event starting at 17:30. I have to rush out, though, and see if I can get hold of a shirt. I always do this – forget something vital when packing. This time I got only one shirt, which is white, and after a whole day not very clean any more. Any other time I would just get over it and wear the same shirt the next day, but since I’m presenting tomorrow I just can’t (too vain…)
18:30 Finally back at the social event, which is now rounding off. Manage to see a few people before it’s time to rehearse my presentation.
22:00 Just came back to my room and have not had dinner yet. Salad through room service. When it was only me left on stage I continued going through my presentation 4 more times. I was unable to learn it by heart (and I had been trying for a week! age?!), luckily Barry (Olsen) @ProfessorOlsen had a teleprompter app! Thank you Barry, it saved my life.
Friday – Presentation day
5:45 I really wanted to get a work out this morning so what do you do other than get up early…
7:45 Sound check and hooked up to a mic. I learn that Saima cannot join the conference, Oh, no!
9:00 Conference starts. I realize I had too coffee (let’s just put it this way: it was American coffee) or am nervous, but now there’s no more time.
9:15 The great thing about being a conference participant is that you can tweet as much as you like. So now I’m tweeting away and nervously listening to Michelle Scott @Spanish4health, Victor Sosa, and Stephanie Jo Kent @Stephjoke. I’m also reading the twitterfeed from everybody watching the live stream and tweeting from around the world.
9:55 My turn… I love giving a talk or teaching. I get a kick out of that interaction with people. Watch my speech at InterpretAmerica and Interpret-ED! Then I leave the stage for Crista Silva @allinportugese who is the last Interpret-ED speaker.
10:30 Time for presentation of interpreting through new technology. Internet, Skype, telephone… I really like that the people from these companies @babelverse, Stratus, and Capiche in this case, come and talk about their ideas. I’m not sure I’m convinced yet, and there sure was a lot of other unconvinced people there.
This is where I will round off my week, the afternoon rounded off with discussions on standards and reports from working groups.
18:00 I get picked up by my lovely American cousin and taken to their home. I’m now looking forward to enjoying a calm week-end in Virginia before going back to Brussels.
Thank you again, Val, for giving me the opportunity to share a little piece of my life.
(My pleasure, Elisabet!)