četrtek, 29. november 2012

Recept za uspeh

Ne vem, kako se kaj razumete s kuhalnico in štedilnikom, a jaz moram priznati, da sta kuhanje in pečenje moji najljubši prostočasni dejavnosti. Vzameš predvideno količino sestavin, jih v skladu z receptom ustrezno obdelaš in rezultat mora biti tam (ok, videz morda ni vedno tak kot na fotografiji ob receptu, ampak to so že malenkosti). Enostavno, ne? Vsekakor precej bolj predvidljivo od katere koli druge dejavnosti, ravno zato sem verjetno k pečenju in kuhanju bolj nagnjena takrat, ko imam še kup drugih obveznosti, za katere ne vem, ali mi jih bo uspelo izpolniti.

Pečenje - moja druga strast! :-)

Tudi med pripravami na medinstitucionalni izpit za tolmače sem veliko pekla, hkrati pa sem tudi razmišljala, kako hudiča, naj se čim bolje pripravim na ta zalogaj. Toliko bolj, ker sem enkrat, takoj po koncu študija tolmačenja, ta izpit že opravljala brez uspeha. Čeprav so od takrat minila že tri leta in sem v vmesnem času zamenjala kar nekaj tolmaških blokcev in kabin, so me tisti občutki neuspeha še vedno preganjali. Še vedno se spomnim razočaranja in sramu, ki me je takrat preveval, še vedno se spomnim nezaupanja vase in v svoje tolmaške sposobnosti, ki se me je držalo še dolge mesece po izpitu. Šele dobro leto po izpitu sem zbrala pogum in sprejela prvo tolmaško delo, se počasi otresla nesigurnosti in s pomočjo zadovoljnih (včasih tudi navdušenih) odzivov publike postala bolj samozavestna in, verjamem, tudi boljša tolmačka.

Kaj je dejansko na tem izpitu, da mu tolmači posvečamo takšno pozornost? Oblak poveličevanja in hkrati strašljivih zgodbic? V času študija je bil ta izpit večkrat izpostavljen kot ultimativni cilj, vstopnica v resnični svet tolmačenja, kjer se malodane cedita samo med in mleko. Preizkus dejanskih sposobnosti tolmača, ker tam uspe le najboljšim. Drugih možnosti nihče ni pretirano poudarjal, čeprav obstaja tudi domači trg za tolmače in ni nujno, da si vsi tolmači sploh želijo delati v EU. Vsekakor pa se je s tem ustvarjal velik psihološki pritisk in breme za mlade tolmače, kar morda ni bilo najbolj produktivno.

Vsaj zase moram reči, da sem bila takrat, vsa sveža po koncu študija, preveč pod pritiskom, stresom. Občutek sem imela, da je ta izpit moja ena in edina možnost za to, da bi kdaj delala kot tolmačka. Zdaj vem, da je bilo vse skupaj pretirano. Zdaj vem, da se da čisto spodobno delati tudi na našem trgu. Zdaj tudi vem, da znam tolmačiti, da sem mnogim ljudem že pomagala, da so se sporazumeli in razumeli, da torej ne potrebujem še kakšnega dodatnega potrdila, da to znam in zmorem.

Takoj po študiju tega občutka nisem imela, premalo sem si zaupala, kar je bilo gotovo vidno tudi navzven. Strah me je bilo, kaj bo z mano, če ne bom naredila tega izpita, kar je pozvročalo še dodaten stres. Preizkušnjo sem si torej bolj ali manj otežila prav sama.

Tokrat sem se zadeve lotila drugače (tudi zato, ker sem zdaj v drugačnih okoliščinah). Seveda sem vadila, predvsem konsekutivno tolmačenje, ki ga na trgu ne izvajam tako pogosto. A najboljša priprava je bila po mojem mnenju prav ta psihološka. Da sem tisti svoj prvi neuspeh sprejela in si ga znala razložiti ter ga tokrat preseči. Da sem si priznala, da je to samo izpit in ne nekakšno vprašanje obstoja ali neobstoja, da s tem ni nič postavljeno na kocko. Da izpitna komisija ni tam zato, da me zašije, ampak da jo samo zanima, ali znam tolmačiti in kako se znajdem pod stresom. Da ni nič narobe s tem, da sem živčna in imam malo treme, ampak da moram to energijo usmeriti samo v eno - 300-odstotno koncentracijo. Da moram biti prisotna, tam in takrat, da se moram otresti vseh drugih misli in da tudi takrat, ko odprem usta in rečem nekaj, za kar se v naslednji sekundi domislim boljše rešitvi, sprejmem in si odpustim, ker popolnega tolmačenja pač ni. Da moram biti pozitivno naravnana, ker je samo to pot do uspeha.

To je bil torej moj recept za uspeh. Komu drugemu morda kaj drugega pomega, a zdi se dobro, da napišem, kaj je delovalo pri meni; morda bom s temu pomagala še komu drugemu. Zdi se mi pomembno, da napišem, da sem tudi sama šla čez neuspeh. Da ni bilo prijetno, ampak hkrati tudi ni bilo usodno, ne zame osebno niti zame kot poklicno tolmačko. Tako kot sicer v življenju je včasih treba sprejeti tudi neuspehe, da lahko potem drugič uspemo. Iz vsake takšne izkušnje se moramo učiti in, kar je mene izkušnja teh izpitov naučila, je da je treba biti vztrajen in si zaupati, tako kot pri vsakem tolmačenju. Pozitivnost, dobra volja in sproščanje pred samim izpitom/tolmačenjem pa tako ali tako sodita zraven. Tudi z dobro glasbo! ;-)



ponedeljek, 05. november 2012

Getting the Most from Training (Keeping your Health&Sanity)

Interpreting classes in Ljubljana have been running for a month or so and the students have probably already got a sense of how things will be proceeding this year. Indeed, they have a very intense year ahead, both in terms of efforts and hard work as well as emotions and, hopefully, joy at seeing their dreams come true. I already had a short discussion with our students about how to organize and deal with everything, but I thought it might be useful to write a post about it too (maybe you will think of something and provide extra advice and tips on the topics I might have missed out).

In Ljubljana, the courses follow a set timetable, though some seminars only last for 15 or 30 hours, some exercises (in simultaneous) start only at the end of the first semester, and there are numerous  footnotes to the timetable, indicating extra activities like pedagogical assistance from SCIC or video-conferences with the European institutions and other EMCI schools, which shake up the timetable and impose their own order. On top of that, teachers might also be absent due to their professional obligations as interpreters, so this practically means that the "timetable" has to be checked and adjusted as the weeks proceed. Nothing new there, we had the same issue, back in the years when I was doing my MA. But it is true that it takes some time to adjust and accept this flexibility (unpredictability?) as modus operandi. The less (time) the better.

Despite flexibility and constant changes in the number of classes per week, continuity is necessary to ensure progress, so students must take the initiative and use the eventual "free" time effectively, if possible by practicing individually or in groups. Since the number of contact hours has somewhat decreased, our students now also have dedicated time to practice by themselves and we also provide guidance as to how and what to practice at what stage, how to provide peer feedback etc. Of course, the time between classes could be used for catching up with the news and reading The Economist or listening to their favourite science podcast jotting down vocabulary or interesting phrases, but I suggest spending as much time as possible (during the morning/afternoon) in the interpreting classroom doing practical exercises. Since we have a small number of students and only two language combinations (sl-en-de, sl-en-fr), they can practice together. I am not sure how these things are settled at other universities with more students in the programme.

However, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying students should spend every second of their awake time doing interpreting related things. Heavens no! Regular pauses are needed to keep the thoughts clear and get a break from everything, preferably with some vitamins, a lot of water, coffee, of course, if needed, as well as a warm meal at the time of lunch to keep the machine going. I also suggest and encourage students to take up a physical activity, if they haven't yet, be it running, cycling, walking or yoga, pilates or the ever more popular zumba classes. Whatever they find good for them and makes them busy for a good 45 minutes to 1 hour sweat, during which they forget about words, numbers, names, terminology and public speaking. Feeling strong physically is an important part of feeling strong emotionally and professionally (something we should not forget as professionals, too, right?).


No matter how hard and complicated things might seem at the moment, when the big picture is still blurry and uncertain, with a well thought out plan and discipline, all the challenges of interpreting studies can be overcome and solved allowing students to build up their competence and self-esteem as future interpreters. Sure, there will be tough moments, many of them, but just stick to your plan, get enough sleep to recharge your batteries, and carry on. Be determined and dedicated, focused and motivated. You will get there! ;)