Newbie type question for Interpreters

SorEncarnacion

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I attend a smaller-size private college, and my close friend/roommate/classmate is Deaf. The school finally (after almost a year of asking) got enough resources to give her an Interpreter about a month ago, and so far, it has worked wonderfully. I'd like to know how hearing students should best react to an Interpreter's presence in the class. Is it rude to look at you, the Interpreter, while you are doing your job? Would you prefer to be greeted by classmates or introduced to the class by the professor? I'd like to be able to pick up a few signs from my friend's interpreter, but I don't want to offend anyone in the process. Likewise, because almost everyone (students and staff) at our school knows that we are good friends, they will be looking to me to see what is best to do in class and out in this kind of situation. So far, I have greeted the Interpreter and gave passing glances at her while in lecture, and had conversations during down time. My friend and I will have a lot of classes together next semester, so knowing what to do will be good for future reference. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing your responses!
 

Reba

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... I'd like to know how hearing students should best react to an Interpreter's presence in the class. Is it rude to look at you, the Interpreter, while you are doing your job?
It's not "rude" to the terp but some instructors don't like it. They would prefer you pay attention to them or the Smart Board or the computer monitor, or whatever it is the students are supposed to be doing. But occasionally glancing at the terp is normally no big deal.

Would you prefer to be greeted by classmates or introduced to the class by the professor?
It's nice for the professor to make a brief introduction of the terp at the beginning of the semester, just so the class understands my role. Too often, students think I'm just a friend or relative of the student, or an assistant professor. But that's up to the instructor. I don't need it for my personal gratification. I introduce myself to the instructor and to the Deaf student (if we don't already know each other).

I'd like to be able to pick up a few signs from my friend's interpreter, but I don't want to offend anyone in the process.
If you see some new signs that you can use, no problem. I "steal" signs all the time from observing live signers and videos. :) I do suggest don't bug the terp during class time with "What's the sign for . . . ?"

Likewise, because almost everyone (students and staff) at our school knows that we are good friends, they will be looking to me to see what is best to do in class and out in this kind of situation.
Really? Most of the hearing college students I've experienced just plunge in with the Deaf students on their own. If I'm not around, or they want some privacy, they write notes to each other.

So far, I have greeted the Interpreter and gave passing glances at her while in lecture, and had conversations during down time.
That's OK. I don't know how much "down time" you have, or what kind of "down time" that is (a class break, or the students are working by themselves?). Depending on what it is, try not to monopolize the terp's "down time." Sometimes it's not really a break for the terp, and he/she needs to make use of that time. Don't be offended if the terp needs to cut you off during that time.

My friend and I will have a lot of classes together next semester, so knowing what to do will be good for future reference....
Your friend might not have the same terp all the time. Don't be surprised if what works with one terp's personality doesn't apply to another's.

Any other questions? :P
 

Interpretrator

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In a classroom, I prefer to be as invisible as possible. That doesn't mean I dislike being greeted by students, of course I don't have a problem with that, but I don't need or expect it. Not even from the deaf students! I'm not crazy about being pointed out by the professor, but I'm probably spoiled by having worked in schools where there are lots of deaf students and everyone's pretty much used to having interpreters in the classroom. Obviously if the professor feels the need to explain my presence, it's fine, but I'd rather not be introduced or have to say anything myself.

I'm probably more sensitive than others when it comes to hearing students watching me. The occasional glance is fine, of course, but for some reason it tends to distract me when people I am not there to provide service for watch me as I work. I do find being stared at rude, both to me and to the instructor. But again, glancing from time to time is fine and doesn't bother me.

And I agree with Reba about "down time"; what seems like down time to you may be a much-needed break for the interpreter. If it were me (and this is only me, I don't speak for other interpreters), I would appreciate hearing students not striking up a conversation with me during the class period. Before class starts is fine, and after it's over is probably fine unless I'm having to race off somewhere, but during class any time I'm not interpreting I'm either resting my hands and/or brain, or if there's a team interpreter, I am still actually working by supporting her.

Basically I think of myself as a service dog -- I prefer not to be "handled" when I'm working! :cool:
 

Dixie

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In a classroom, I prefer to be as invisible as possible. That doesn't mean I dislike being greeted by students, of course I don't have a problem with that, but I don't need or expect it. Not even from the deaf students! I'm not crazy about being pointed out by the professor, but I'm probably spoiled by having worked in schools where there are lots of deaf students and everyone's pretty much used to having interpreters in the classroom. Obviously if the professor feels the need to explain my presence, it's fine, but I'd rather not be introduced or have to say anything myself.

I'm probably more sensitive than others when it comes to hearing students watching me. The occasional glance is fine, of course, but for some reason it tends to distract me when people I am not there to provide service for watch me as I work. I do find being stared at rude, both to me and to the instructor. But again, glancing from time to time is fine and doesn't bother me.

And I agree with Reba about "down time"; what seems like down time to you may be a much-needed break for the interpreter. If it were me (and this is only me, I don't speak for other interpreters), I would appreciate hearing students not striking up a conversation with me during the class period. Before class starts is fine, and after it's over is probably fine unless I'm having to race off somewhere, but during class any time I'm not interpreting I'm either resting my hands and/or brain, or if there's a team interpreter, I am still actually working by supporting her.

Basically I think of myself as a service dog -- I prefer not to be "handled" when I'm working! :cool:


Good point made, I have never met an interpreter (or I may have and not realized it! :lol:) but perhaps at the beginning of the semester you can make it clear that you as the terp are not there for the other students entertainment, but instead for the support of the deaf student needing interpreting. You would like to socially converse with the other students during scheduled breaks such as the 5 minutes between classes or during the lunch break, but you also cannot 'abandon' your deaf student to socialize. You are in a place of work whereas the students are in a place of learning/socialization.

If a terp made that clear on the first day I would totally respect that as a student not needing a terp.:afro:
 

Interpretrator

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perhaps at the beginning of the semester you can make it clear that you as the terp are not there for the other students entertainment, but instead for the support of the deaf student needing interpreting.

Well, I prefer not to make such statements because they can be off-putting. The truth is, 98% of the hearing students in the classrooms where I've worked have behaved perfectly well, so there hasn't been a need to avert trouble before it starts. Honestly it's the teachers who have been the major problems in my experience.

If a big problem arose with a student staring or talking to me too much I would have no problem taking that student aside and, nicely, saying something like that. But, being an interpreter, I've mostly taken care of these situations with nonverbal communication. For one student I remember who stared in a nonstop -- and creepy -- way, I ended up giving him a MAJOR stinkeye which finally got the point across, and for the talkers I have a three-step move: smile, nod, and go back to my book. :cool:

Seriously, though, we were taught in my ITP that like it or not, we are sort of ambassadors to the deaf world for the hearing majority who will talk to us but not to our deaf clients. I take that pretty seriously and try to be as open, pleasant, and polite as possible AT ALL TIMES because you know how people are. If I make one snotty comment (and dear lord how I have wished to), it can turn into "Wow, interpreters are really rude" or even worse -- "wow, deaf people are really rude!"
 

Reba

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Well, I prefer not to make such statements because they can be off-putting. The truth is, 98% of the hearing students in the classrooms where I've worked have behaved perfectly well, so there hasn't been a need to avert trouble before it starts. Honestly it's the teachers who have been the major problems in my experience.
I agree. No formal announcements are necessary. Yes, the teachers can make or break the classroom atmosphere.


Seriously, though, we were taught in my ITP that like it or not, we are sort of ambassadors to the deaf world for the hearing majority who will talk to us but not to our deaf clients. I take that pretty seriously and try to be as open, pleasant, and polite as possible AT ALL TIMES because you know how people are.
Exactly. Wrong though it may be, some hearing people do judge the Deaf consumers by their terps.
 

Dixie

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I can see where you do have a point where you are an ambassador of sorts between the hearing world and the deaf world, and I think it is an absolute shame that the hearies dont make some sort of effort to converse directly to the deaf student. And the fact that some kids like the creepy one you mentioned don't realize that you are there to work.

I'm glad to know you havent had too many problems. I guess you terp mostly for high school and college students?

I think alot of the college students are alot more polite when it comes to having non-traditional classroom situation. IE - they may have gone to a mainstream HS and never had a terp in the classroom but once in college they have one class where there is a terp for a student and eventually they learn to 'ignore' the terp and focus on the professor.
 

ismi

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Basically I think of myself as a service dog -- I prefer not to be "handled" when I'm working! :cool:

One of my CART providers told me that one of the classes she covered started out the year with the professor 'introducing' a blind student's service dog to the class ... and then the CART provider. I'm not sure which annoyed her more, being introduced in the same context as the service dog, or coming second to it. :rofl:

On another topic ... the few times I've seen/used team interpreting, I have noticed that the 'off stage' interpreter is doing some sort of support, like you mentioned in that post. What does that usually include?
 

Reba

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... I think it is an absolute shame that the hearies dont make some sort of effort to converse directly to the deaf student...
The hearies in the classes that I interpret (middle school and college) do chat with the Deaf students, usually thru note writing.
 

Reba

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...On another topic ... the few times I've seen/used team interpreting, I have noticed that the 'off stage' interpreter is doing some sort of support, like you mentioned in that post. What does that usually include?
Feeding signs or spellings, or making notes for the other terp to read when we switch places. The notes are usually about signs, spelling, background info for the topic, etc. Sometimes a note that the other terp's blouse is missing a button (just kidding).
 

Interpretrator

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The hearies in the classes that I interpret (middle school and college) do chat with the Deaf students, usually thru note writing.

Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply that no one talks to the deaf students. I just meant that a lot of times hearing people are more comfortable speaking to the interpreter. I've never seen a hearing person come up to the deaf person and go "I love sign language, I've always wanted to learn it," but they do it to me all the time. (Such a stupid thing to say. I always want to reply "So why didn't you?" but never do.)

But in my experience, if the deaf student is involved in group work or something else that involves communication with other students, I don't often see him or her being left out, and there's a lot of gesturing and note-writing among the students directly. Again, I work in colleges that have relatively high deaf populations so I think the hearing students may be more comfortable with deaf classmates than in other places.

Feeding signs or spellings, or making notes for the other terp to read when we switch places. The notes are usually about signs, spelling, background info for the topic, etc. Sometimes a note that the other terp's blouse is missing a button (just kidding).

Heh, why kidding? Definitely telling your team "you have spinach between your teeth" is part of the job! :giggle: When I'm off and my team is on, I'm actively listening to the lecture in case my team looks to me for a sign or phrase, misses something important and needs me to feed it, or gets something important wrong, like a date or number. I'm not one of those interpreters who constantly feeds signs; I wait for cues from my team that she needs help, and I'll only feed without such a cue if there's a major informational or conceptual error. (For example, a teacher was using the term "power" over and over and my team was signing POWER on the arm when the concept was actually ELECTRICITY.) I don't like getting unsolicited feeds all the time so I don't do it myself.

Reminds me of the time I was working with a new and VERY eager-beaver interpreter. He was just juicy fresh out of the ITP and you could tell he had all the classroom rules in his head but not much real-world experience. We were teaming in a very easy low-level English class and he was seated behind a student when I was on. At one point during the lecture I paused for a moment to do some processing, and he made this enormous LEAN around the student and "shouted" a feed (which I did not need at all) at me. This was so distracting, both visually and linguistically, that even though I had been doing fine with the lecture, his "feed" made me completely lose my train of thought.

The funny thing was, I was telling this story to another interpreter, during a "how not to team" conversation, using no names or details at all, but as soon as I imitated the leaning gesture, he broke up laughing and knew exactly who I meant.
 

Reba

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Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply that no one talks to the deaf students. I just meant that a lot of times hearing people are more comfortable speaking to the interpreter. I've never seen a hearing person come up to the deaf person and go "I love sign language, I've always wanted to learn it," but they do it to me all the time. (Such a stupid thing to say. I always want to reply "So why didn't you?" but never do.)
I hear ya. :)

But in my experience, if the deaf student is involved in group work or something else that involves communication with other students, I don't often see him or her being left out, and there's a lot of gesturing and note-writing among the students directly.
Yep.

Heh, why kidding? Definitely telling your team "you have spinach between your teeth" is part of the job! :giggle:
True. I haven't had to deal with those specific "issues" yet but that is definitely a possibility. That reminds me of one of the ethics questions that was thrown at us during a workshop. Suppose you're teaming with a female terp who is wearing an outfit that looks OK in most situations. However, in this scenario, your team is interpreting an important political debate that is being televised. The studio lighting has made part of her outfit transparent. She's interpreting on live TV, and you're in the support chair. What do you do?

When I'm off and my team is on, I'm actively listening to the lecture in case my team looks to me for a sign or phrase, misses something important and needs me to feed it, or gets something important wrong, like a date or number. I'm not one of those interpreters who constantly feeds signs; I wait for cues from my team that she needs help, and I'll only feed without such a cue if there's a major informational or conceptual error. (For example, a teacher was using the term "power" over and over and my team was signing POWER on the arm when the concept was actually ELECTRICITY.) I don't like getting unsolicited feeds all the time so I don't do it myself.
Exactly.

This was so distracting, both visually and linguistically, that even though I had been doing fine with the lecture, his "feed" made me completely lose my train of thought.
I know what you mean. It's a mental "whoa!"

The funny thing was, I was telling this story to another interpreter, during a "how not to team" conversation, using no names or details at all, but as soon as I imitated the leaning gesture, he broke up laughing and knew exactly who I meant.
:lol:
 

SorEncarnacion

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Wow, such a wonderful conversation everyone! Thank you for the chance to be a fly on the wall. :ty:


It's not "rude" to the terp but some instructors don't like it. They would prefer you pay attention to them or the Smart Board or the computer monitor, or whatever it is the students are supposed to be doing. But occasionally glancing at the terp is normally no big deal.

True. Most of our school's classes tend to be pretty small, so it is very noticable when a student just plain isn't paying attention. And besides, it is rude to not pay attention anyway.

It's nice for the professor to make a brief introduction of the terp at the beginning of the semester, just so the class understands my role. Too often, students think I'm just a friend or relative of the student, or an assistant professor. But that's up to the instructor. I don't need it for my personal gratification. I introduce myself to the instructor and to the Deaf student (if we don't already know each other).

It seems this is a point of difference between some interpreters. I can (sorta) relate to this, as before my friend had an Interpreter, everyone would just assume that since we are good friends that I must be able to interpret.

If you see some new signs that you can use, no problem. I "steal" signs all the time from observing live signers and videos. :) I do suggest don't bug the terp during class time with "What's the sign for . . . ?"

I would like to listen in so I'll be able to converse with my friend in the future. (The Speechreading we use now won't cut it in a few years.) Suggestion definitely taken. :)

Really? Most of the hearing college students I've experienced just plunge in with the Deaf students on their own. If I'm not around, or they want some privacy, they write notes to each other.

True. In our experience, it is my friend that comes up with the "new discovery" of a pen and paper.

That's OK. I don't know how much "down time" you have, or what kind of "down time" that is (a class break, or the students are working by themselves?). Depending on what it is, try not to monopolize the terp's "down time." Sometimes it's not really a break for the terp, and he/she needs to make use of that time. Don't be offended if the terp needs to cut you off during that time.

By "down time" I mean class breaks, or time before the actual lecture. I don't mind being cut off at all, if the Interpreter needs to do anything else at that time, I'm happy to not be in their way. My friend and I have waited a long time for an interpreter, so the last thing I'd want to do is give them a reason not to come back. Because some people ask me to translate English and Spanish, I know the value of down time.

Your friend might not have the same terp all the time. Don't be surprised if what works with one terp's personality doesn't apply to another's.

True. Right now we just hope that our school (a private uni.) will still have an interpreter next year, and not try and see if something they know not to work (student "volunteer" notetakers, FM system) just might work again. This is one of those "faith buider" type moments. :fingersx:

Any other questions? :P
Got nothing right now, thank you all so much for your answers to this newbie's "angst". I really appreciate it.
 

Dixie

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Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply that no one talks to the deaf students. I just meant that a lot of times hearing people are more comfortable speaking to the interpreter. I've never seen a hearing person come up to the deaf person and go "I love sign language, I've always wanted to learn it," but they do it to me all the time. (Such a stupid thing to say. I always want to reply "So why didn't you?" but never do.)

But in my experience, if the deaf student is involved in group work or something else that involves communication with other students, I don't often see him or her being left out, and there's a lot of gesturing and note-writing among the students directly. Again, I work in colleges that have relatively high deaf populations so I think the hearing students may be more comfortable with deaf classmates than in other places.



Heh, why kidding? Definitely telling your team "you have spinach between your teeth" is part of the job! :giggle: When I'm off and my team is on, I'm actively listening to the lecture in case my team looks to me for a sign or phrase, misses something important and needs me to feed it, or gets something important wrong, like a date or number. I'm not one of those interpreters who constantly feeds signs; I wait for cues from my team that she needs help, and I'll only feed without such a cue if there's a major informational or conceptual error. (For example, a teacher was using the term "power" over and over and my team was signing POWER on the arm when the concept was actually ELECTRICITY.) I don't like getting unsolicited feeds all the time so I don't do it myself.

Reminds me of the time I was working with a new and VERY eager-beaver interpreter. He was just juicy fresh out of the ITP and you could tell he had all the classroom rules in his head but not much real-world experience. We were teaming in a very easy low-level English class and he was seated behind a student when I was on. At one point during the lecture I paused for a moment to do some processing, and he made this enormous LEAN around the student and "shouted" a feed (which I did not need at all) at me. This was so distracting, both visually and linguistically, that even though I had been doing fine with the lecture, his "feed" made me completely lose my train of thought.

The funny thing was, I was telling this story to another interpreter, during a "how not to team" conversation, using no names or details at all, but as soon as I imitated the leaning gesture, he broke up laughing and knew exactly who I meant.

OMG, I am imagining a young 20s something guy, failry skinny, wears a blue button down shirt with a dark grey tie and he leans in right in front of your face to sign something and when he does I'm imagining you a 30s something woman with lots of experience jumping back like WHOA-WHOA-WHOA! And your student gives you a look like WTH is going on over there??

I would not be surprised if you asked the guy to not worry about teaming as it was likely easier to interpret on your own. :lol:

:giggle:
 

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Suppose you're teaming with a female terp who is wearing an outfit that looks OK in most situations. However, in this scenario, your team is interpreting an important political debate that is being televised. The studio lighting has made part of her outfit transparent. She's interpreting on live TV, and you're in the support chair. What do you do?

As soon as I notice the problem, I sign "MUST SWITCH NOW" as firmly yet unobtrusively as I can, and get her off the chair as quickly as possible. As I'm going to take her place I sign to her that her outfit is see-through. And I hope like hell someone would do the same for me!

It seems this is a point of difference between some interpreters. I can (sorta) relate to this, as before my friend had an Interpreter, everyone would just assume that since we are good friends that I must be able to interpret.

Oh, that brings up something else. If you and your friend sign together during class, that's fine and all. But I have encountered problems where a signing hearing friend begins interpreting the class for the deaf student. Now I don't mean, for example, your friend misses a bit of information and asks you to repeat it. (I'd be delighted to have a signer in class aside from me who could do that!) I mean that I'm a little behind on the lecture because of normal interpreting lag time, and the signer jumps in to interpret what the teacher is currently saying. At one school where I worked, a hearing student had to be banned from going to classes with deaf students because she persisted in doing this and was causing all kinds of problems.

I'm sure you wouldn't do this, but just thought I'd mention it.

By "down time" I mean class breaks, or time before the actual lecture....My friend and I have waited a long time for an interpreter, so the last thing I'd want to do is give them a reason not to come back.

I learned a technique from my much more experienced team interpreters that when the class breaks, I make sure the deaf student doesn't need anything (like to talk to the teacher), and then book out of the classroom fast. This seems to be the time when everyone wants to make conversation. It might seem cruel but mostly during a break I just want to eat and drink something and have a blank brain.

As for not coming back, if your interpreter is professional (and I hope she is!), if she has any problems with your behavior (and I'm sure she won't!), she would talk with you first before just leaving the class. I've worked in classrooms with seriously obnoxious teachers and students and I've never asked to leave. Like I said, most of the hearing students have been fine, but yes there have been a couple of doozies and, well, it's just part of being a terp. The exception was the one who was being disruptive with her "interpreting" and I went to my boss to ask her about that student, about whom it turned out many interpreters had previously complained.

OMG, I am imagining a young 20s something guy, failry skinny, wears a blue button down shirt with a dark grey tie and he leans in right in front of your face to sign something and when he does I'm imagining you a 30s something woman with lots of experience jumping back like WHOA-WHOA-WHOA! And your student gives you a look like WTH is going on over there??

I would not be surprised if you asked the guy to not worry about teaming as it was likely easier to interpret on your own.

Your imagination is absolutely spot on -- just subtract the tie and my lots of experience. :) I wasn't THAT experienced, but well enough that the class was always a breeze to interpret. And luckily I have a really good poker face so the student never realized what happened! Yeah, if it hadn't been a two-hour class I probably would have suggested he go out for an extended "break" while I interpreted. :lol:
 

Dixie

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On the bit about the hearing friend 'interpreting', that had to be a major screwup for alot of deaf kids. Im sure alot of them were upset at her 'help' and often had to ignore or her sign to her to stop interpreting and to worry about her own work. Its nice that she knew sign, but she was taking it way too far.
 

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I've never seen a hearing person come up to the deaf person and go "I love sign language, I've always wanted to learn it," but they do it to me all the time. (Such a stupid thing to say. I always want to reply "So why didn't you?" but never do.)
YES! This one drives me crazy. I always just smile and nod but inside I'm thinking "gee, that's nice, but why are you telling me?"

But in my experience, if the deaf student is involved in group work or something else that involves communication with other students, I don't often see him or her being left out, and there's a lot of gesturing and note-writing among the students directly.
Do you not interpret the group communication? I've always had to do that, it's a pain in the neck but it's how I've always handled it.
I'm not one of those interpreters who constantly feeds signs; I wait for cues from my team that she needs help, and I'll only feed without such a cue if there's a major informational or conceptual error.
Augh, yes! I was once platform interpreting a pageant where there was a deaf contestant who had their own backstage terp, and then there were two of us team-interpreting for the deaf members of the audience. There was a segment when the contestant didn't need any interpreting, so their terp came out to watch the show. He tried to feed me EVERYTHING before I even had a chance to sign it. I wanted to smack him! I guess his lag time was shorter than mine, but I had NO problems interpreting on my own and he just drove me up the wall. It made me lose my train of thought too - I hated that!
 

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By "down time" I mean class breaks, or time before the actual lecture. I don't mind being cut off at all, if the Interpreter needs to do anything else at that time, I'm happy to not be in their way. My friend and I have waited a long time for an interpreter, so the last thing I'd want to do is give them a reason not to come back. Because some people ask me to translate English and Spanish, I know the value of down time.
I don't mind chatting before a lecture begins, but if I haven't met the deaf client before, I prefer to chat with them rather than with curious hearing people. It gives me an opportunity to get comfortable with their signing style, which is very important if they are going to be contributing to a class discussion or anything like that.

As for class breaks, I agree with Reba and Interpretrator. If I'm the sole interpreter, any break in class is an excuse for me to rest. Interpreting is so demanding, that if I interpret for more than 60-90 minutes with no break, I feel literally drunk when I am done...just completely brain-dead. A 5-10 minute break in the middle of that is nowhere near enough to restore me to normal, but it's a desperately needed moment of silence when I can try to dump the contents of my brain for a few minutes. I prefer not to converse with anyone during breaks, unless the deaf client absolutely needs something from me, like asking for clarification of something they didn't understand during the previous discussion.

I wouldn't ever expect an interpreter not to come back, though. If a terp didn't come back after a break, I would expect it to be for a VERY good reason, like they checked their voicemail during the break and discovered their husband or wife had just been in a car crash, or something. In fact even then I would think they should run back to class, explain to the professor and/or student what happened, and then go. I guess if a terp didn't come back I would think it was because something had happened to them PERSONALLY that made them unable to come back.
 

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I don't mind chatting before a lecture begins, but if I haven't met the deaf client before, I prefer to chat with them rather than with curious hearing people. It gives me an opportunity to get comfortable with their signing style, which is very important if they are going to be contributing to a class discussion or anything like that.

As for class breaks, I agree with Reba and Interpretrator. If I'm the sole interpreter, any break in class is an excuse for me to rest. Interpreting is so demanding, that if I interpret for more than 60-90 minutes with no break, I feel literally drunk when I am done...just completely brain-dead. A 5-10 minute break in the middle of that is nowhere near enough to restore me to normal, but it's a desperately needed moment of silence when I can try to dump the contents of my brain for a few minutes. I prefer not to converse with anyone during breaks, unless the deaf client absolutely needs something from me, like asking for clarification of something they didn't understand during the previous discussion.

I wouldn't ever expect an interpreter not to come back, though. If a terp didn't come back after a break, I would expect it to be for a VERY good reason, like they checked their voicemail during the break and discovered their husband or wife had just been in a car crash, or something. In fact even then I would think they should run back to class, explain to the professor and/or student what happened, and then go. I guess if a terp didn't come back I would think it was because something had happened to them PERSONALLY that made them unable to come back.

Hmmm, seems this one is a popular topic. :ty: for all your help, I very very much appresiate it! :D My goal in all of this is to make interpreting at our school as pleasant a job as possible, so that maybe our school will continue to provide this even after my friend and I are graduated and gone, but especially while we are students. Currently our school only has one interpreter, and many of our classes meet once a week for three hours striaght, so any respite I can give to the Interpreter I certainly will. If that means refraining from communication during "down time", whatever that may be, no problem. :) Thank you all for your advice on the not coming back as well. While I don't actually see anyone abruptly leaving class, I want to work so that an interpreter would not even want to do so. I will also be very careful to not give feeds to interpreters, I'd be pretty upset if someone tried to do that to me. My goal is to make this as pleasant as possible, but that is very difficult to do if I have no clue as to what the pleasantries are. Thank you all again, you are a blessing! :grouphug:
 
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