Sure love my morning cup…


I generally start my day with a cup of coffee.  By no means am I a morning person, and there is nothing like that freshly brewed first cup to get my day started.  I wouldn’t consider myself a caffeine addict.  I grew up drinking 2 to 3 cups a day:  a cup in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night before bed (preferably with some freshly baked bakery bread or pan de agua 

These days I have my morning cup, and occasionally I may have a second cup later in the day or evening.  I recently read in some article, in some paper on my cell phone, that the second cup helps prevent adult diabetes.  Maybe, who knows?  I “phone” read for the vocabulary and the pictures more so than for the content.  

I digress, back to the coffee; I love the taste, and I drink it for the taste.  If I don’t have my morning cup, other than feeling a lil’ groggier, I don’t get headaches or any other withdrawal symptoms.  I like to think it makes me more alert in the morning.  I like to think it helps me stay awake on those late Saturday evenings when the UFC ( main event doesn’t start until after midnight, and chances are I won’t make it to bed till 1am, if I’m not staying up later to watch the post-fight presser.  What I do know is I enjoy it.  Sure do.  It’s my second favorite drink, distant second.  Water holds the top spot; whole nuther’ topic though (intentional slang since I believe we don’t spend most days listening to proper English).

Now, on those mornings when, for whatever reason, I can’t find my freshly brewed, or slightly reheated, or McDonald’s vanilla iced, my back-up method for coping with the morning grogginess is interpreting.  Once I get the first case of the morning under my belt the grogginess is gone, my mind is alert and racing: thinking about word choices, my notes, self-critique, what to work on between cases, etc…  After that first case, I’m wired, no coffee necessary.  I’m “red’ to go”, as Wanda would say, for those folks who remember In Living Color (  I’m ready for a next case, and a next one, and a next one…

I pretty sure I’m not the only interpreter who feels a certain euphoria each time they perform.  There’s a certain amount of thrill in finding the right word combinations, and delivering them properly while keeping emotions at bay.   It’s the thrill which keeps me coming back for more.  It’s the reason I’d rather be busy going from case to case, for that matter, the reason why 11 years later, I’m still on this journey.      

I am beginning to wonder whether the thrill will ever go away.  Sometimes there is a bit or monotony in doing the same things over and over again: wake up, go to work, interpret some cases, go home to rest for a bit and prepare to do it all over again the next day.   So far the thrill is there, and hopefully like coffee, I’ll always want some more. 

What keeps you doing what you do?


7 thoughts on “Sure love my morning cup…”

  1. Jennifer De La Cruz says:

    Hi, Kevin!
    I’m in year 17, and I keep going for many of the same reasons you do. The idea of finding the right words in a split second is truly satisfying. It’s funny to think that I hate my short commute, I can’t stand the trek between the parking lot and the courthouse, it gets old to have to do the stats at the end of the day, and sometimes requests are backed up… and yet I get into the interpreting mode and nothing could be more satisfying. I beat myself and pat myself on the back and make glossaries and look words up for the love of the profession, and I search out interesting cases to work on. Coffee helps, but the world would be even more perfect if I could cut out all the extraneous stuff and just do my thing. 🙂

    1. Kevin Mercado says:

      Yes. After coordinating a department and covering both municipal and common pleas for the better part of 9 years, working as a staff interpreter for municipal court is a welcome break from all the extra duties. Still a challenge, and still very rewarding I can focus on the interpreting and honing my skills.

  2. Gio Lester says:

    Down in Miami I go for café cubano. The best part is that I can get it in bed: hubby makes and brings it to me. Hummm. Usually one cup of that strong, aromatic and sweet drink is enough for the whole day. If things get tough, though, I go for a second or third… It sure helps get those pesky letters to organizing themselves into the words I am trying to use faster :o)

    1. Kevin Mercado says:

      Hawaiian Kona is my favorite, well worth the price per cup, and Highlander Grog when I want something flavored, most morning Folgers, Maxwell House or Chock Full O Nuts. The wife brews a great cup when I’m up second.

  3. Claudia Villalba says:

    Hello everybody,

    It’s going to be 20 years since I started in this profession and I’m still in love with it. I’d rather be in court than in the office dealing with the bureaucratic non-sense and useless paperwork. The only time I enjoy being in the office is when I am researching interpreting related issues, preparing for expert witness testimony, looking up case law or discussing interpreting issues with other colleagues… That is my cup of “coffee”. I still get excited over interpreting, especially when it comes to long hearings and trials! I found another passion though, training aspiring interpreters. It is a way to pay it forward to the ladies who inspired me and took me under their wings when I was a new interpreter in Hudson County, NJ.
    I was never much of a coffee drinker, even though my country produces one of the best in the world (Colombia, of course) but I do enjoy 1/2 cup of hazelnut in the morning, not too hot, light and sweet, and a sweet espresso after lunch with half-and-half.

    1. Kevin Mercado says:

      Claudia, good to see you are still enjoy it, it gives me hope. I can also attest to your passion for training as your training played an important part in keeping me motivated and my certification. I’m sure I’m not the only thankful participant.

  4. Janis Palma says:

    That’s the passion of a true calling. Every word resonates in me: Kevin’s, Jennifer’s, Gio’s, Claudia’s… especially Claudia’s, because I do love paying it forward by sharing my knowledge and experience any way I can–teaching, writing, or just answering questions from people who want to know more about our profession. And I do enjoy the research tremendously, as well. But nothing gets off the ground without coffee: espresso Puerto Rican or Cuban coffee for me!

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