If you've seen my profile page, you know that American Sign Language is one of my interests. Well, I received some discouraging news the other day from someone at Huntsville Registered Interpreters for the Deaf (HRID). I have been a member of this group for several years. I am not as active as I should be, but I attend meetings and events whenever it's feasible. I am not a licensed interpreter, but it has been one of my goals for life - until now - maybe. The news I received informed me that as of June '08 a person will be required to have an Associates Degree before he/she can be licensed as a professional interpreter. Well, that really puts a damper on my goal, because more than likely that will never happen for me. Why? I am a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her children, for one. For another, if anyone goes back to college it should be my husband. He, too, is facing the education roadblock in his present job as a firefighter. He has now taken the test to become a driver four times! He has passed the test every time but others who scored lower have been promoted over him because they had a college degree - not even in fire science but in theology or business! Now, does that make them a better driver? Obviously not or they would have scored better on the driving course test! Would a degree make me a better interpreter? Not necessarily. After all, it's experience that perfects an interpreter, just as experience with any language makes one fluent. A piece of paper does not ensure that one has mastered a language. It's being in there with the people, experiencing their culture, etc. that makes one a master at interpreting a language. Like I said, I haven't been doing that lately, but as my children get older it has been my dream to do so. Now if I want to pursue that course as a paid professional, I will have to go back to school myself once my kids are out of school here. Crazy!