Sunday Lowdown #116


I learned so much this week that I think I need a bigger skull. Research for my linguistics paper has nearly come to a standstill, but I’m not bothered. When I’m triaging projects and homework, that class comes last for me. Instead, I spent most of the week working on projects for my interpreting class. We were tasked with interviewing nationally certified interpreters about where they work, because their area is somewhere we want to work in the future. I got some really candid answers from Region 4 in Michigan (the part that’s only 3 miles north of my house in Indiana). Part of my confusion about the area stems a history of changed laws that benefit the Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing community, part of it is cost to maintain several licenses (two states plus national) and part of what I’m hearing may be attributed to interpreters’ reactions to the way those laws newly affected them. Everyone I talked to was gracious and encouraging.

The next project followed right after. Each student was assigned a scenario that calls into question ethics and what the people in the scenario should do. I needed to interview an interpreter and a Deaf person. Suddenly, it was so hard to find an interpreter! No one would get back to me with the same eagerness, and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I called my mentor, who is in Missouri, and she said that interpreters may be edgy when asked about ethics because the student then reports to their professor (who is an interpreter!) who the interpreter they talked to was and what they said. The interpreting professor, who also works in the field, no doubt knows the interpreter who was interviewed. Sometimes, my mentor said, the result is the professor calls the interpreter from the student’s paper to ask what in the world happened (yes, that was an experience she had!). Thus, my mentor giving me her opinion from Missouri when I’m in Indiana meant she could speak candidly.

Saturday, I interviewed a Deaf woman. In Deaf culture, we’ve learned about how time works differently for that community. I planned to be with her a long time (our conversation about the ethical scenario was maybe ten minutes tops, but we visited for over two hours). Also, she was forty minutes late. I did not mind, and while I waited I looked on a Deaf-run and owned website to learn more about why a Deaf person may be late. Typically, it’s a back-to-back situation. The Deaf person is visiting another Deaf person, and because Deaf people aren’t everywhere, this is a time to gather information from each other. Then, if the first person runs late to the next event, when they arrive, they explain why they were late by sharing all the information they gathered with the previous person (LifePrint). I think of it almost like you must pay a toll for being late, and that toll is information. Think about all the ways you take in information by watching TV, hearing the radio or people in like talk, etc. that Deaf people don’t hear.

Also, quick note: it looks like several of us are going to read Doomsday Book by Connie Willis with the goal of folks posting a review or whatever they wish during the first week of May.


Though almost no one was convinced they should pick up Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, that didn’t bother me. There were great conversations about the translation process, the significance of italicizing words that are from a different language than the rest of the text, and the power of girls going through puberty gathering in packs. What a great conversation!


If you’re not into artsy horror, maybe you like something soft and sweet? Carla de Guzman, a Filipina who is part of a collective of Filipino authors who write romance in English, presents If the Dress Fits, which may have a predictable plot, but it’s set in a non-Western country, and I support that. Plus, as you can see, the protagonist is a fat woman. Hooray for representation!


Books Bought Since January 2023: 1 (A nearly-new hard copy of True-Biz by Sara Novic, which someone donated to the library sale)

Running Cost: $1



  1. Sounds like a bit of a minefield regarding the ethics and interpreters. Did you ever get someone to call you back?

    The romance up next looks cute. I just finished a cute and spicy but thoroughly predictable romance. Being fairly new to the genre (just started reading it the last few years) I think that’s part of the allure. Sometimes you just want something entertaining/distracting that you know will end well. And then you can go back to your crime novels and emotionally complicated fiction. 😉 Romance is a good palate cleanser for me.


    • None of the people who were new to me got back to me, which is fine, that’s their choice. I called my mentor and asked her to work with me last minute, which she did, and on a Friday evening no less! Yes, it does seem like quite a lot to navigate when you’re an interpreter, so I’m glad I have my current class plus three more interpreting classes coming up before I graduate.

      I have been trying to switch up what kinds of books I read to appeal to different followers of my blog. If you’re just getting into romance, Laila, I really, really recommend Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I completely forgot you are moving! I just keep thinking about you traveling to visit family, and I’m so glad you are able to do that! I hope you hired movers so that you’re not lugging couches around.


      • Yes, we’ve hired movers for the big stuff but we are doing a lot of small stuff ourselves because somehow I feel that even the best movers don’t care as much as I do about my things (which aren’t necessarily valuable but which mean a lot to me.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading that little comment at the top about “triaging” your work and classes made me happy, because it’s something I am trying to get my students to do with limited success. Because I work at an institution where students have to have very high marks to get in, and they are constantly being told they are the Leaders of the Future, they really think they have to do equally well on everything and thus work equally hard on everything – which of course isn’t possible for lots of reasons. (I really shocked one of my high flying students last year by saying that I thought she should go back to her trampolining club even if it meant accepting lower marks on her academic work, because she was obviously lonely and stressed!) I think having the maturity to understand that you can’t prioritise everything is one of the advantages of studying as an adult.


    • It’s taken me ages and therapy to understand that triaging is okay. Also, I’ve learned that when I make a triage list, I DO get everything done, just maybe not when I THINK I should get it done. I hope your students find success. part of my triage list includes hanging out with my husband, because that relationship is important to both of us and me individually and my mental health.


  3. To get back to Jawbone for a minute, I must have had a sheltered upbringing, I don’t remember any of the three high schools I went to having ‘mean girls’ or rampaging 14 year olds – though a daughter and a granddaughter may have fit that latter category.

    I’m looking forward to Doomsday Book. Thanks for setting the discussion date to first week of May, that suits me very well.


    • I wonder how mean the girls were outside of school, though in my experience it carries into school, typically. If you know any of your old classmates, hit them up and ask if they remember any wild girls!


  4. I like the way you explained the “information toll”. It’s so easy not to think of all the ways we receive (and are sometimes barraged with) information that are not readily available to a person who is deaf. It makes a lot of sense that sharing that information would be an important part of interacting with each other.


  5. Glad your projects are going well and your mentor was able to help you out in a pinch! Super interesting about the way the Deaf community shares information. And congrats on making it so long without buying a book, and then that book only being $1!


  6. Ok that is soooo interesting about lateness and the Deaf Community! I’m not speaking from total knowledge here, but I believe there may be a similar viewpoint to time and lateness in the Canadian Indigenous community. They just aren’t so concerned about time the way us white people are (excluding my husband). I’ve heard jokes that they are on “Indian” time, and I’ve learned to just relax a bit when it comes to timelines and the Indigenous folks. This applies to showing up for something, timelines at a speaking event, etc. And although its a trait that annoys me in my husband, I think it’s so valuable for me to know, and work towards when it comes to these other cultures. It forces me to relax and practice patience 😉


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