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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

'Manda's Musings 2-My 3 Little Angels (all dressed in black)

First of all the title of this is inspired by a song we (Shannon *my cousin* and I) used to sing in Girl Scout Camp... it was awesome... and I chose black because-this is about interpreters... we wear black...

So this is a story about my 3 little angels (Or huge angels... really). Spending time with Katrina today (read in my post from today) reminded me a lot of my internship and what it meant to me... and about my 3 angels. I am grateful to have been an angel in Katrina's life during her time of need... this is my "thank you note" to my angels: Brenda French, Katie Peterson, and Greta Howe.

When I started my internship my primary goal was to get as much exposure to interpreting as possible. I needed 400 hours clocked... 300 interpreting time and 100 "other" which was observation and debriefing etc. My internship was not what I, or my professor, had expected it to be. We were promised one thing, and received another which was disappointing to both of us. I understand now, better than before, where she (my professor) was coming from and I regret not being able to see things from her perspective sooner. I hadn't had the experiences that I have had now to shape my understanding of her perspective then.

I must say, however, that this blog entry was not meant to be about that... so I will move past it.

My internship was not what we had expected it to be. to be honest I might not have even had enough hours to have considered it a successful internship (of having my hands up and interpreting). What I received instead was amazing gifts from three very special women. I got to grow as a person first and foremost-which resulted in me becoming a better interpreter.

The spring semester started with Brenda French. To fill you in, she and I had known each other years before when I took ASL from her co-worker Summer. A class which her (then future) husband Sam was also in. Brenda and I knew each other a bit but were not super close by any means at that time. I looked up to her so much and she was one of the people who inspired me to be an interpreter-as well as one of the people who continually told me that I was fit to be one.

Brenda and I met up for the first time for the internship at Dunn Bros Coffee in Rapid City. There was a beautiful and happy looking husky dog outside and Brenda greeted her with "Hey Suka! Tim must be here!" I kind of ignored it and we went in to greet a good friend of Brenda's by the name of Tim Rangitsch there was a quick exchange between Brenda and Tim about something involving primal and how she was doing and low carb bull crap. I felt SO out of the loop and so confused by all of it, to be honest I thought they were both insane, so I just politely said "Hello" to her friend and moved over to the coffee counter to order my Large sugar filled latte of something or other and a muffin (I will never forget that muffin... EVER!). Brenda and I first started by catching up, I noted that she looked GREAT (she had recently lost quite a deal of weight...) She then explained to me (very superficially) the primal diet. I couldn't imagine eggs without toast, I couldn't imagine coffee without a muffin... I couldn't believe that wheat and sugars were awful for me. I couldn't imagine dropping the pasta out of my diet...

Over the months she continued to teach me about the mysterious ways of Primal... sent me to Tim's shop to meet with him and borrow he Primal Blueprint from him and get to know more and more about it. You know the rest of the history with primal in my life... (I guess you could consider Tim another angel in my internship as well... just not a terp.)

Jump forward to April? when Katie Peterson came into the picture. She was a bit delayed due to the birth of her youngest child and her maternity leave. Katie and I clicked like we were meant to be friends. She still to this day is a person I consider an older sister. She is just so inspiring and wonderful and exhibits what it means to be a true Christian. Loving everyone equally, caring so much about this world and her family, and showing that love in everything she does. Being a nice and kind person is not, however, the gift I was given by Katie. Katie and her husband Eric had a hand in the Financial Peace University in their church. They taught it weekly. I was struggling so much with the divorce and all the financial ruin it brought upon me-not to mention the impending doom of my student loans that would soon be arriving in my mailbox to be paid. With other people's names on those loans I could not let them go unpaid... Katie had a way of soothing all of this by teaching me the ways of Dave Ramsey. Her success with the program made me realize that life was going to be okay. Not to mention I taught her about Primal and she took it on and now looks great as well! :) Katie will always be my sister from another mister. Someone who is always there when I need her and no matter how long we go without talking we pick right back up without skipping a beat!

My third angel came when I thought my internship was about to crash and burn. I was not getting enough hours at CSD and I needed something to make up for it. Brenda introduced me to Greta who was working in the school system in Rapid City. I spent every single day with her and it was a godsend because she was able to be there for me in an entirely new way. As you all know there is a lot of addiction in my family (including myself) I am not going to get very detailed because the word Anonymous was put there for a reason. Greta had some personal experience in the program as well and was able to be there when I needed her as a sponsor. She was there every day at lunch when I felt like I didn't know how to feel about things. She taught me that it is okay to admit when there is a problem and that the programs are there for a reason. If nothing-trust the program.

All three of these women are beautiful spirits. They exhibit what I believe to be true Christianity. I am not, myself, a Christian but I can spot one from a mile away. A true Christian will give the shirt off of their back without asking for anything in return and will love you no matter what. Even though they may not support what you are doing, they will not judge you for they know the ultimate judge is their God who guides them through life. A true Christian does not find a reason to bring their Christianity into every conversation-because you can see it pouring out of them at all times without them putting words on it. Whether the show up to church once or 4 times every week they go because of their relationship with God and Jesus. They go for themselves and their families and the betterment of the world. They do not go to show off or out of guilt or obligation. They don't look at tithe as a loss, but as a gift they WANT to give.

These women taught me so much in the 4 months I was able to spend with them. They taught me about myself, and what it means to be spiritually, emotionally and physically healthy. They taught me how to be proud of what I believe in. (Not that these things were necessarily missing from my life nor that these 3 were the only influential women... just that they happened to come at the right time and make a serious impact.)

I often say that my internship was an interesting and growth filled experience. I learned a lot about life, and living in those 400+ hours... and whether I interpreted "enough" or not was not important. From the beginning I knew I loved interpreting. Interpreting is my passion and I felt convicted in that from the get go. What I truly needed, and what was provided in those 4 months, was to see healthy women being interpreters. To see how they lived their lives simultaneously with loving their work. As well as to know that it is the most important to NEVER EVER EVER give up who you are for your career. These lessons helped me survive the next 16 months which were excruciatingly hard.

Thank you to my 3 beautiful angels. I am so grateful to have each of you in my life.

I love you so much!

PS-Let me know what else you would like to see on 'Manda's Musings! Maybe I will do another vote-cast soon!?


  1. What touches me most about this post is that you've captured me in exactly the way I want people to 'get' me. Christians are so often labeled as arrogant, judgmental, and 'holier-than-thou'--and it's a tough rap to get past sometimes. Thank you for seeing me as the person I want to be.--Katie

    1. I love you so much Katie and you have never been any less than the way I described you here. You are doing a great job at representing yourself in the way that you want to be seen. Which is not an easy thing to do. Thanks for being a part of my life.