21 June 2017

My work star is on the rise.

I recently got my first writing gig (articles on psychology for a foundation based in Chiang Mai), and subtitles work is flowing in. I’m on the fourth episode of my first Korean drama, and I was asked today whether I’d be interested in editing other translators’ work (Surely that must mean my translation isn’t too bad, right?).

I’m slightly concerned what it’ll be like come 3rd October when I begin my CELTA course. I’ve finished my application but have yet to submit it. I’ll do it soon. Now I’m wondering how it’ll be like time-management-wise. I’ll be working four days a week, studying three days a week. Granted, most of those are half-days. But there’ll be homework from CELTA. On top of that there’s the writing and the subtitles. And teaching my one private student. It’s going to be a tough 10 weeks.

I’m preparing for it though. I’ve started cutting down my sleeping hours to a maximum of 8 (from 9-10). I want my body to get used to sleeping less, and I think 8 hours is a pretty solid amount. I’ve also cut down on my nap time. No more long naps, 30 minutes maximum.

I’m also trying to not be lazy and get on the treadmill. I want my body to be in better condition. Plus, my weight has been creeping up these past months. So it’s a win-win situation.

Overall, I’m pretty happy though. I’m doing something that I really like. The subtitles job has truly been a blessing. And I’m enjoying it even more now that it’s a Korean drama. For some reason, it’s much easier to translate. The first time I watch the video, I already have a running commentary in Thai in my head. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched so many of them that I know how they work. Plus, this drama is really fun. It’s a medical investigative drama. The production and acting is solid, and the storyline imaginative.

So yes, I’ve been doing well. Slightly iffy about the future, but you never know until you try, and I’ve been pretty easy on myself these past few years. Time to buckle up and push forward.

Hope you’re all doing well!

Love,

Val

 

9 May 2017

Today has been a super productive day so far.

I woke up at 5:20, got up around 5:30, drank coffee and chilled for half an hour, then did subtitles work for 2 hours straight.

And translated exactly 425 lines. You may not know how much that is, but it’s a massive amount. I usually average just above 100 lines per hour.

In minute terms, I was taking 4 minutes to translate each programme minute. That’s like a million light years away from my speed (as of Saturday) of 1 programme minute every 7 minutes.

That’s like… WOAH.

Then after that I prepped my class for tomorrow; I’m teaching two students at 7:30 and 10am. I finished prepping the first and outlined the steps for the second. Then I got tired of working so I stopped. It was about 10:47am. (Ok fine, it was exactly 10:47am.)

So I did one-third of my current subtitles project and finished more than 60% of my class planning in less than five hours, with a half-an-hour break in the middle watching Hannibal.

That’s an incredible improvement on the 4th of May, which I wrote about here. I blame George Lucas. The Dark Side must have been at work.

So yes, I had an amazingly productive morning, which I’m super happy with. Then I got ready and left for town.

I decided to take the bus the whole way today rather than the usually bus-purple line-MRT-BTS combination, and lo and behold, it was faster! At a fraction of the cost! I’m only taking the bus from now on outside rush hour.

And here I am now, one hour away from my “Amazing Service at Reception” training, blogging in a café. I wonder what they’ll train us today. I’m prepared to be amazed.

After the training my friends from school are having dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I haven’t seen them in many months, so that should be nice too.

Today’s set to be a good day!

Time for me to go work on my second short story. It’s called “One Seventy-Two” courtesy of my friend.

Love,

Val

5 May 2017

I was up at 4:30am yesterday. To do – you guessed it (or maybe not) – subtitles work.

My work coordinator wrote me earlier this week to ask if I’m now available to take on assignments, to which I happily replied with an affirmative. So she gave me a project to work on, a Korean variety show which is being aired by Netflix. (I didn’t know Netflix does Korean programmes.)

It’s fun. It’s different. There’s a lot of on-screen text – you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve watched Korean variety shows. And the style of translating is different from the American shows I’ve worked on, though I can’t describe exactly how. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched many more Korean shows with Thai subtitles; that’s why I have a clearer idea how the mood and tone should be for this kind of show.

I woke up at 6am today to continue working on it. 6am is now considered late for me, which I think is a good thing. I’m generally an early bird when my laziness isn’t preventing me from getting up. I feel fresh and work best in the mornings. So by getting up earlier my productivity should go up.

I had my first part-time day at work yesterday. Damn 4 hours is short. I arrived and left before I got bored. Today I’m working the whole 8 hours though so we’ll see how I feel towards the end of the day. I’m not looking forward to doing the full day, though I’m looking forward to picking up my old duties and seeing how much I remember. This Coaching job is primarily about execution. Not much creativity and planning go into it. Bad in some ways, but good for me to work on my recently lacking discipline.

One alarming thing I want to mention though, is that although I woke up at 4:30am yesterday and only left for work around 3:30pm, I managed to get in only 3 hours of subtitles work. Yes, I did have a class to teach, but it was a one-hour class and I only spent one and a half hour preparing for it. Let’s say I spent 30 minutes eating and another 15-30 getting dressed. I would still have had 4 and a half hours, which I managed to spend doing God-knows-what.

I need to be more careful with my time if going part-time (and cutting my salary by more than half) isn’t going to go to waste.

Talking about time, I should get back to my programme now. I was working on it for a little over an hour and wanted to take a break. I figured writing a blog entry is a much more productive use of my time than scrolling through Facebook, so here I am.

Here’s to productivity and Korean shows! *raise invisible glass*

Val

p.s. I had the talk with my boss by the way. It went well. I don’t think he grasped the gravity of the situation from my point of view, but I was straightforward and I think we both gained something from it.

p.p.s. I was teaching in the Speaking Center yesterday and it was great. I hadn’t ‘taught’ so much at work for a long time, and I really did feel that I was making infinitely more impact helping students in the Speaking Center than sitting in my room planning students’ studies and giving advice on how to practice using English. I used to hate being in the Speaking Center but I’m seeing it with new eyes now. I hope I can keep up the enthusiasm as the months roll by.

p.p.p.s. I’m really struggling with my beanbag. I was sitting on it for many many hours yesterday, with the result that I woke up today with an ache in my back. My dad and I had gone to pick out a desk and chair. The problem is though that the desk in the colour that I want (black) was out of stock; they had only white ones which didn’t look nearly as good. We’ve been waiting on the black for over a week (maybe two) now. I have no idea when they’ll be re-stocked but I’m not about to cop out and go for an inferior model. If I’m going to spend 3k on something, it’d better be something I can’t take my eyes off!

8 April 2016

Guess where I am right now.

Answer: hospital.

That seems to be the only place where I get some writing done these days. Which is not a bad thing.

I didn’t come to the hospital last month because the time clashed with training for my new job. Yes… new job! *applause*

But here I am, over two months after my last visit. And apart from the new blood pressure measuring machines everything is pretty much the same – the stale air, the smell of unwashed clothes and sweat, the interminable wait.

Good news is my doctor is coming on time these days. So in approximately thirty minutes I should be seeing my doctor. Note to self: ask doctor if I can drink decaf coffee (oh may the answer be yes…)

So about this new job, I am now working as a Coach (Educational Service Coach to be precise) at Wall Street English. It’s an English language school and it just opened a branch near where I live. And that’s why I applied. Happily I got the job and I’ve been working at the centre for almost a month now – that’s half the time I spent at my old job already.

So far so good. A lot of things to learn. A lot of students to meet and get to know. It’s nice going around and having students saying hi to you. The centre is in the mall so we bump into them everywhere.

The centre being in a mall is one thing I like about the job: coming to work feels like going shopping. Not that I particularly like shopping but you get the idea. It’s full of happy people, and being around happy people is uplifting.

Another thing I like is the working hours. We start at noon (finish at 9pm) which gives me a whole morning to enjoy/slave away doing translation work for an extra bit (big bit) of cash.

So yes, new job. New opportunities. Life seems to be looking up at last. We’ll see how this one goes!

Love, as always,

Val

29 October 2014

Life sweeps you up and carries you away.
Nothing you can do but let it.

And hope that when you come to a stop,
if only for a brief moment, you are still whole.

That is the only hope you can have,
Not to leave too much of you behind.

Because on the path of life,
To remain whole is all you can do.

Feeling poetic this morning. 🙂

Now I’ve gotta rush to work.

#ImSorry

Love, as always,

But you already know that,

Val

23 October 2014

I’ve missed you.

I’ve missed us.

I’ve missed this.

Work has exceeded all areas of expectation so far.

Course still going swell.

I’ve been so busy though.

And now I have to get back to it.

Just wanted to come by to tell you how much I miss my baby.

And casually insert some in-site links for SEO purposes. (There – that’s my work talking.)

I will be back with a longer, juicier post.

Soon.

Promise.

 

 

19 September 2014

No one told me job hunting would be fun.

So. Much. Fun.

No. Really. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m actually really enjoying the process.

This enjoyment comes completely unexpected – I had pictured job hunting to be a long and torturous process, a soul-destroying endeavour that takes and takes and never gives, and that ultimately saps away all your confidence and self-belief, leaving you with an empty shell, an unemployed empty shell.

Granted, my expectations were rather exaggerated. And deep down I knew it couldn’t possibly be that bad. But still, I had expected the process to be a negative one: time-consuming, energy-consuming, confidence-draining, so on and so forth.

It has turned out to be quite the opposite, which has taken me by surprise. But a good surprise, the kind of surprise you get when your boyfriend gets you a gift for no apparent reason (birthday, Christmas, etc.), just because he wants to.

*pause so you can go awwww*

Anyways, to get back to my point, I’m finding this job hunting business to be surprisingly stimulating and self-affirming. For starters, producing customised CVs and cover letters is turning out to be an extremely rewarding process. It gives me a legitimate reason to sit down and spend hours thinking about all the good things I’ve done in life and how I’ve learnt and grown from past mistakes – something you don’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to do when you’re busy studying, or working for that matter.

And then, with each job application comes a whole world of possibilities. I happen to have applied for very different roles. Picturing myself in these different scenarios is, I think, one of the few times in my life where I’ve come close to actually understanding the saying “life is full of possibilities”. And it’s an extremely empowering feeling/realisation. It’s amazing.

Of course, this brimming optimism is most likely due to the fortunate fact that I haven’t had an application rejected yet. So of course life is full of possibilities. Get back to me when I’ve had my first rejection – we’ll see how full of optimism and self-belief I’ll be then!

On an unrelated note, I got back into teaching. So I was rooting about in my teaching folder and discovered my teaching log from when I was giving English lessons – and what on earth was I writing in that log?!? I had painstakingly come up with a system of notation that must have seemed clever at the time but now just gives me a headache. Over-complicating things – how typical of old me. I’m all for simplicity now – simple and effective! That could be my rallying cry. I should start adding that as a tagline in all my job applications – what do you think? *chuckles Sheldon-style*

On another unrelated note, I walked into a plant today. And it hurt. Yes, it really did. The leaf (you’ll understand when you see the picture) hit me right in my left eye socket, missing my eyeball by an uncomfortable 5-millimetre margin. I was sweeping the leaves on the patio and thinking about which long article to work on for my other blog when BAM. There I go for not paying attention where I walk, for letting my guards down in the perceived safety of my own garden. I’ve learnt my lesson.

2014-09-19 18.00.22

Meet the offending plant.

2014-09-19 17.59.59

The ‘leaf’ in the middle of the picture is the one I managed to poke my eye with. It’s like walking into a block of wood.

I’m lucky to have escaped without a black eye. To have escaped with both eyes, even. So yes, sweepers beware – look before you walk. It’s not for nothing that they say most deaths occur from accidents in the household. Just think, I could have lost an eye. *shudder*

With love,

Val

p.s. Oh and do wish me luck for my job applications. I am taking my time, as I so emphatically wrote in my last post. But still, it’d be nice to have some offers for me to take my time considering. Choice is bad, but money is good. *evil grin*

p.p.s. How random was this post? How did I go from the empowering effect of job applications to a murderous plant?! I must be a torture to read. Thank you for putting up with my writing antics!