I am sitting on my front porch in the dark now, waiting for the cool of the evening. It has been quite a few days for me. I ended the symposium facilitating a discussion on a framework for teaching healthcare interpreting online and that was a nice change of pace for me to switch from my blogging role to presenting. It was a great discussion that we had, and I was glad to explain the framework behind some of the resources that I have been a part of creating. I have to admit, however, that there was a great part of me that just wanted to have a collegial discussion reflecting on all of the information and new ideas that I encountered over the past 3 and a half days. Fortunately, we were able to do some of that in discussing how to structure online materials that incorporate and support the new paradigm of an interpreter as a practice professional (or holistic interpreter.)
I also have to say that doing the blog has been quite an experience for me. I definitely was a more focused participant because I had the task of reflecting on what I was taking in in this forum. Great opportunity to develop my professional voice. What has been especially gratifying is to have the discussion with people at the end of the symposium who have really appreciated finding out that this blog will be a resource that will continue to be accessible.
The plan is to allow the discussion to continue for the next week or so – and allow anyone to post comments and share reflections on here. After that, we’ll shut down the comments – because some site maintenance is needed to prevent spammers from filling up the comments section. The blog itself, with all of the information and resources, will continue to be available into the foreseeable future. (In my workshop, I said that it will be “as long as electrons flow.”) The beauty of a blog like this is that it can archive past postings and pages. So, we’ll shift from the menu on the top reading “Symposium Schedule” to 2012 Symposium. That means that in 2014, we can start a new menu item on top with offerings that can be the basis for a future discussion.
Personally, I have also been doing some reflecting on my future role at conferences. I have done my share of organizing, presenting and/or interpreting for conferences, and have felt I have made contributions in doing that. Yet I have shared with others that I might consider putting in proposals in the future not to present at conferences, but to set up and facilitate a blog such as this. I really do think that forums such as this have the potential to not only expand the geographic reach of an event such as this symposium, but also expand its temporal reach – serving to archive the information in an accessible format for the future. One of the conversations I had was with Cynthia Roy who in many ways has been a pioneer in the field of interpreter research. But, like myself, she is also a history major, so she appreciates the importance of understanding our past as we move into our future. She and Jemina Napier are currently working on a new project collecting essays from our past as a field so that history is available to those people who are just now entering it. I am glad to know that this symposium will be able to join our permanent record as a field without burdening Jemina or Cynthia with the task of capturing it. It will simply be here for all of us.
So, thanks to the CATIE Center and all the people responsible for making the symposium happen. Thanks to all the presenters who so graciously shared so much insight in the sessions and information to be included on the blog. I am so grateful to have shared this opportunity with Karen Malcolm who, as always, has been a pleasure to work with. Finally, thanks to all of the people who took part in the symposium and took part in so many incredible conversations to move our profession forward.