Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Make Me Go To Ninevah

Super Hero has had a record number of interviews going on these past few weeks.  He's interviewed for several jobs in Vancouver, one in Eugene, one in Portland and next week one in La Grande and another in Beaverton.  I'm counting on the one in La Grande to make an offer.  Can you guess why?  Because I don't want to move to La Grande.  It's like Jonah when he says to God, "I'll do anything.  Just don't send me to Ninevah."  He pretty much does everything he can to avoid it and then he gets swallowed by a big fish and gets spit up on the shores of where?  That's right.  La Grande.  I mean Ninevah.

I'm pretty much drowning here anyway.  I might as well be sent to Ninevah.  My dad had his third stroke last week.  He hasn't been taking the medications to help prevent a stroke, or his blood thinners.  Men think they're invincible.  Until they're not.  He's in a rehab facility now, working on learning to walk again.  His speech is mostly unintelligible right now.  We can catch a few words here and there, in between the grunts and loud expressions of anger when he didn't have his glasses for the first day.   Within the past two weeks I've had to interpret for Super Hero twice in very stressful situations when there weren't interpreters hired.  The first was a court appearance - the clerk who had at least 10 day's notice - forgot to call one in.  So the day of the hearing, we arrive to court only to find out that there's no interpreter coming.   The judge was kind enough to ask Super Hero if he wanted to postpone the proceedings since a qualified certified interpreter wasn't available.  Of course he said no, let's just go on.  No one bothered to ask me, the stressed out person about to become the voice for 8 different people, plus participate in the hearing, what she felt.

The second time I had to interpret was at Holland's intake meeting today.  I got a call two days ago saying that the opening for his placement was going to be at 10 am today.  They were going to work very hard to get an interpreter.  But I knew it wouldn't happen.  It never does on such short notice.  At first I thought it was going to be a breeze.  There were only three people in the room besides Super Hero, Holland and me.  Then, the door kept opening and people kept filing in and sitting down.  People would just keep talking and asking Holland questions and I finally had to stop and ask everyone to introduce themselves.  I said it was really hard to be in a dual role and that it would help to know who everyone was.  (Plus, I'm used to everyone introducing themselves at the beginning of a meeting, anyway.  I've been to so many IEP meetings, that's always what happens.)  Lots of papers to sign and read through.  But I couldn't do any of that, because I was interpreting.  So at what was supposed to be the end of the meeting, someone handed me the paperwork to sign and I started to read through it.  Then someone started talking again and I had to stop reading and start signing again. It was so confusing.

After the meeting we got a quick tour of the grounds and then got to see which cottage Holland would be sleeping in, which building housed the school and where the gym was.  He had lots of questions and the biggest one got answered: did he get to play any computer games?  They actually had a rec room and set up was an xbox with Minecraft and many of the boys also like to play Magic.  Holland announced that he was an excellent player and could teach the other boys.  The staff person we were with said he would be introducing Holland to his peers, but as soon as we walked out the door, he bumped into a boy he knew from the program down in Springfield.  He was so happy to see someone he knew and I think it made him feel good to already know he had a friend there.  He's had so many changes and living situations and we are praying that this is the last one.

I also had to get a job.  I interviewed this summer for an interpreting job with Portland Public Schools.  I got hired without ever getting evaluated for my signing skills and so have been waiting to do that.  I had to go to an orientation, fill out paperwork, pay $82 to be fingerprinted and get my ID badge.  And am still waiting to work because they couldn't find anyone to assess my skills.  I get to do that on Friday up at Columbia Regional Program.  My jobs will be on-call.  It will be either staff meetings or for IEP meetings.  Very last minute and could be at any of the elementary or middle schools in the district.  I found out at my orientation that they service 45,000 students.

So, I'm expecting Super Hero to get that job in Ninevah.  It's out in the middle of no where.  The population is 13,048.  It's 4.13 square miles and there's a school called Heidi Ho.

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