Monday, October 20, 2008

The Minute Vagaries of a Scholar's Life...

International Conference on Mysticism
(Logo from Sogang University)

Today begins Sogang University's international conference on mysticism. I don't know the precise wording that announces this conference because I've not yet seen the flyer, and Sogang's English website says nothing.

I know only that the conference starts at 2:00 p.m. and that I'm scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. with my response to two papers, one on William James and the other on Orthodox spirituality. I hope that I encounter no difficulties reaching Sogang for the opening of the conference, for I have to proctor two exams today at Ewha Womans University, the latter of the two tests ending at 1:00 p.m.

Initially, I was told that I have 25 minutes for my response, so I worked for three full days -- Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday -- reading the papers, boning up on the material, and writing the precisely 10 pages that would fit neatly into the 25-minute time limit.

Sunday, I found out that the 25 minutes would include time for simultaneous translation -- though not really 'simultaneous' -- and that I would actually have only about 17 minutes for my presentation. I therefore spent Sunday afternoon trimming my response by exactly 3 pages down to the precisely 7 pages that would fit nicely into the 17-minute time frame.

The life of a scholar is measured as much in pages and minutes as in items on a resumé, but these are only a rough mismeasure of the time and energy actually expended.

Wish me luck.

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6 Comments:

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got a CV thing.

JK

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Charles said...

You're going to hate me for this, I know, but...

There's no such thing as "simultaneous translation." It's "simultaneous interpretation." And if it's not really simultaneous (which it won't be, unless they have an interpreter's booth and everyone is wearing headphones/earphones (like at the U.N.)), then it is "consecutive interpretation." Sorry, the pedant in me was jumping up and down like an over-caffeinated monkey.

Anyway, good luck!

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, a CV thing? What's that?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:23 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I know. That's why I used the scare quotes around 'simultaneous' . . . but I guess that you got me on "translation."

Why is it "interpretation," anyway?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

It's a tricky thing, because "translate" and "interpret" are often used interchangeably by people outside the field, and the only 100% solid answer I can give you is that they just use different words to describe what are two very different activities.

I could speculate, but I think it would be hard to say anything convincing (or even comprehensible).

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I reckon different words are useful . . . and why not the two chosen, after all.

Jeffery Hodges

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