Saturday, January 30, 2010

feeling fine

Time's been moving quickly over the last two weeks, and the first month of the year is practically over.

A local high schooler submitted a lovely painting for the international Young Artist Showcase contest in which our sister city and we participate each year. She included an ancient (~1200) poem as part of the work, so I got to write up a little cultural note about it, in case anyone in our sister city wonders. In college, I really enjoyed a class on traditional Chinese and Japanese poetry, and it was nice to be reminded of it again. Just like some of the assignments I did for that class, in the cultural note I included a romanization of the Japanese, a literal gloss, and a translation for the poem.

We've also been getting some correspondence from the sister city regarding a student exchange this year, so I've been busy translating and writing back. Aside from the kind of literary translation I mentioned above-- which, frankly, may never happen again-- this work is one of the best parts of my job. I love to feel useful; that I'm a vital link in helping people communicate and get things done.

I had another interp night at my place this week, and it was a lot of fun, except for some cookies I tried to bake that ended up melting together. (They still tasted fine, though!)

A few nights, I worked out to the Hip Hop Hustle dvd by Chalene Johnson. I may possibly be the world's slowest learner when it comes to dance, but I really enjoy it when I finally do get it!

This weekend I've been working on a translation/interpretation workbook from JET, because the final correspondence test is due later this week. I haven't been getting very good grades on the other tests I've sent in, but from a comparison of the textbook examples and the word choices suggested by the test correctors, it's rather unclear why. I'm not worrying too much about it, though, since the more important "tests" happen at work.

After I send in that last test and things settle down a bit, I'll have to choose what to do next...... I have so many books I've been wanting to read, but I also want to practice piano, study Chinese, keep studying Japanese (I want to take the new JLPT 1 this year), write some fiction, and start decorating some Eastern European-style Easter eggs. (If possible, I'd like to make a basketful this year!)

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