Am I On The Right Bus?

This week’s post comes from Maria Teresa.  Glad to post it on her behalf. – Kevin

On my way to the terminal to catch my flight to Chicago at Newark Airport, I was on a shuttle bus.  There, I saw a sign that caught my attention and got me thinking.  The sign said, “Are You On The Right Bus, Gus?”

I thought, am I traveling in the right direction to advance my professional life?  Although I had traveled extensively throughout the United States with my husband over the past several years, attending his professional association meetings, this was my first conference related to what I do as a Spanish court interpreter/translator.  I was going to attend and participate in the 2014 conference of the American Translators Association (ATA).  Was this trip a good use of my time, I wondered?

Upon my arrival at the lobby of the host hotel, I felt overwhelmed and confused by the number of people attending, many with name badges and red and black conference bags.  Others, like me, were trying to figure out what to do, where to go, where to register and what seminars to attend. Amidst all of this, I was mesmerized by the voices and the electrifying energy of over a thousand professional interpreters, translators, writers, and exhibitors, from all over the world.  As I absorbed this, I realized that, yes; I am on the right bus.

I attended several sessions and seminars; two are mentioned in these comments.  Others were equally informative and outstanding.

I enjoyed the seminar given by Antonio Martin, a Spanish Linguist Advisor, titled “Fundamentos de corrección de estilo para profesionales del texto (Fundamentals of Editing for Writing Professionals).”  The other, presented by Katharine Allen and Barry Olsen, “Emerging Service Delivery & Business models in Interpreting” was also a tremendous source of information.

In between these sessions, I volunteered at the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) exhibitor’s table. It was a pleasure to meet Ms. Claudia Villalba, who is also a Spanish Interpreter and a member of the NAJIT Board of Directors, as well as so many others with whom I will be establishing a professional relationship in the near future.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 55th ATA Annual Conference.  I want to thank my superiors and colleagues from the Mercer County Superior Court, New Jersey, for affording me this opportunity to discover an expanded new world within my interpreter/translator profession.

I would also like to thank “Gus” for directing me to the right bus.

3 thoughts on “Am I On The Right Bus?”

  1. Janis Palma says:

    Congratulations on your first ATA conference, Maria Teresa. Although, like you said, it can be a bit overwhelming —even after you have been to several of them— the experience of attending a professional conference is always very enriching. I could not make it to Chicago this year, but I am certainly looking forward to NAJIT’s next conference in Atlanta!

  2. Kevin Mercado says:

    After just over a decade in the profession, I’ve asked myself that very question on a couple of occasions. So far its been a great ride. I love the enthusiasm I’ve seen from colleagues in Ohio returning from that very Chicago trip, all the more reason to keep going.

  3. Cbeta says:

    I was not able to attend this year’s Chicago ATA’s conference, but was wondering if you by any chance know where I can get a hold of materials from the “Emerging Service Delivery & Business Models in Interpreting” presentation.
    If you buy any chance have notes, slides or recording that you are able to share… I’d be very grateful.
    Thank you,

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