Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Conferences and Conventions and INVENTIONS, in Salt Lake and Vegas

This is from a post begun months ago. I could not quite conceive of how to begin to suddenly write about the profession of interpreting on my family blog, out of the bleu. Still family life evolves, and this part is proof of that fact. We have children and they are small for about two nano-seconds. It is much like our fleeting existence overall, floating out here on this planet in this vastness of the universe for maybe an entire heartbeat of time.

As I look for ways to heal the world, I will just keep sharing stories of what unites us and all of our glorious differences from around the world. Some day you will get to read the "tales of a young woman from Sub-Saharan Africa in the US," I have written but dare not yet share.

Life (and colleagues, merci!) have tossed some fascinating travel and work opportunities my way recently: Salt Lake City and Las Vegas both. Below, oui, sometimes work attire means dressed like a tourist.

This is far and yet not far from my normal Midwest venues. True, in-person my work has been closer to where we live, but via video? All around the entire globe, for depositions, conferences, court proceedings, and interviews between humanitarian organizations and their counterparts in towns large and small anywhere. This was merely a next step post-pandemic, as the world is getting back together again.

Last week we had essential oils as the topic du jour, it was aromatic. This week space, robotics, machine learning, AI and ethics. I am learning things I may never have explored without my work. Quantum physics, folks!!!

While we pound into the brains of those sensitive enough to be bothered or those with enough to lose to be defensive the fact that the world is truly going to hell in a hand-basket, there are those actively involved in solutions to critical problems. This last conference gave me a strong hope in the brilliance of humanity's inventiveness, know-how, and the will to solve our current riddles.

This presenter explains that so even this literary type can understand: Shohini Ghose on quantum computing for all here and talking about Marie Curie here.

Tom Oxley, who has found a way for the paraplegic to text straight from their thoughts. This invention helps individuals who may have been contemplating requests to help end their lives because there was no way to meet one of our fundamental human needs; to communicate with each other. It was a privilege to interpret for him. You can hear Dr. Oxley tell the story here in a TED talk.

A well-known and much-loved for his congenial manner and talent for explaining physics as well as the future, in this talk, Michio Kaku gives his take on the future of AI and what jobs will still exist in our brave new world.

Here is a glimpse into what an interpreting booth looks like. It is high-paced action all the time. And those micro-seconds of my children's childhood? Those moments are among the most precious of my entire life, but I have learned to be thankful for each instant as it comes along.

Where else was an interpreter to be found at work in Utah that week? How about a lavender farm, a company's beautiful HQ, or between events behind dog robots in the hallways?

Gala aka dress-up night from the booth. That's the slightly mad look I get whenever I try to take a selfie. You can just get a glimpse of my booth partner's chair next to mine. It is close-quarters. I have been super duper lucky to have had extraordinarily good humans as booth partners every single time; professional, upbeat, fearless in the face of adversity. I have heard tell that this is not always the case. (shark attack music plays...)

There was a six-hour farm stay in 97 degrees and not much to interpret. The tractor was not my idea. We have tractors in Iowa. And they are all green. But my booth partner is a gem and where she goes, I will follow.

Out my hotel room window. I pulled a chair right up to it for those hours of prep listening to speakers and translating terminology. It was not as hard as it looks.

Let us make the most out of that blip we get in history to craft solutions, to be love, to dare to offer what we have to give and then some. Let go of the fear, there is no time for it, nor is there for hesitation, lack of confidence or to be deficient in compassion.


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