As a current interpreting student, I know I have lots to learn. Based on my present knowledge, my mission is to become a registered interpreter, both nationally and in the state of Indiana. I want to follow current best practices and in the future engage in conversations that question those practices so I’m always growing along with the science and data as a professional. Still, interpreting is a human experience, meaning I want to prove myself trustworthy, empathetic, and dependable to all interpreting participants.
In 2003 at age 18 I entered college with the ambition to be a music performance major on violin. Finding I didn’t have the personality for it and wanting to be flexible, I switched to a creative writing program. There, I learned the importance of telling stories, whether in an effort to connect or entertain.
Because the The Recession was challenging to navigate as a college grad with an English degree, I kept on with my education by first earning a Master’s in Literature and Creative Writing in central Michigan and then heading to University of Notre Dame’s MFA fiction writing program.
There, I met students from around the globe and worked to engage with new cultures. While it was a new challenge, coming to appreciate and radically accept each person I meet became a life-long goal. During the following decade I worked as an adjunct professor and stuck to my goal, trying to meet students of different nationalities, races, genders, abilities, and cultures in the middle.
In my twenties, I realized I was hard of hearing, and tests confirmed it. I began using hearing aids, which led me to ask, “Should I learn ASL just in case?” It took many years, but in 2020 I signed up for my first ASL class online and realized I shouldn’t learn ASL “just in case.” Not only could I connect to the rich Deaf culture and community, but my natural tendencies toward creativity and storytelling are embodied in ASL. Shortly thereafter I became the first student in the new Transition to Interpreting program at Goshen College. As an adult student, returning to the classroom requires adaptability, especially working with students half my age and a professor whose role I used to have! It’s an adventure that has me forward thinking in a positive way, and I’m so excited.