Saturday, June 21, 2008


I acquired a new skill recently and it's what's keeping very busy these days. I am now doing the job of a recording tech. Who would have thought I would have this kind of interest or opportunity!

My job for the past 8-and-a-half years had always involved writing, writing, writing. Along with it I learned to do desktop publishing, which was not my field but which I had to learn. I admit this stretched me beyond my natural abilities, but thanks to a personal mentor, Hubby Buddy, who is the real graphic designer, plus constant upgrading of my "creative" skills, I learned to put together hundreds of letters, reports and presentations over the last several years.

Because of my work in communications, my colleagues say I am creative. As a writer and storyteller, yes, maybe. But visually? I don't believe so. I have to work hard at it. As some say, anything can be learned if you put your heart and mind into it. Didn't Thomas Edison say, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"? I don't fall under the genius category, but I am certainly one of those who need perspiration to make anything work.

For me, it seems that no skill comes easy the way they flow naturally in gifted people. I can't think of one skill that I didn't have to work hard at whether it be music, sports, gardening, cooking, writing, desktop publishing... I do have one thing though that compensates for natural talent. It's called patience. God gifted me with much patience to study and develop the seeds--the gifts and abilities--He planted in my DNA from before I was born.

Admittedly, I have no patience for certain things in which case, I don't learn them unless I absolutely need to.

When I volunteered to train to become a recording tech, it was one other thing that I knew was way out of my comfort zone. I just sensed that I might enjoy technical stuff, after all, I seem to like accuracy and measurements...

Three months ago, a former officemate oriented me on the basics of a media production system that we use for dubbing media in a different language. It was very intimidating at first to see all the controls, sound tracks, sound waves, etc. on the computer monitor. Add to that the connections between various hardware.

After about an hour of training, I buckled down to work and studied much more on my own. I did mock recordings of my voice. I was fascinated. So this was was how they dub English shows into French!

Over time, I became more confident with the program and have spent the last month working with some voice actors and dialogue directors on a project that we hope to distribute on the Web in the future.

Because we work long hours, I sometimes develop eye strain from watching the lips of the speaker on the video to make sure our recording synchs. Sometimes, I think I hear ringing in my ears after hours of hearing non-stop talking.

Gino said I was finally doing something directly related to my course in the university. Yes and no. I have always done something related to my degree throughout my working years, actually. But this is the first time I am working with the technical part of it.

Our dubbing project is more than halfway done. My recording skills have improved and I have much more to learn. But what I know seems to be getting the job done. I don't consider myself anywhere close to expert, just someone who is determined to learn a new thing for a good cause--and having fun at it!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

To drink or not to drink

"Mom, don't we drink because it is sin or because we just don't?" Markus asked me the other while he was doing his homework on the dining table and I was cooking in the kitchen. As if he was even of drinking age...

I thought for a moment. "Well... the Bible says do not get drunk. It doesn't say do not drink. I drink wine sometimes... And wine can be good," I replied. "But the Bible says our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit... You have to take care of your body," I added. "Do you understand what I'm saying?" I heard a faint no.

"It's not a matter of right or wrong, or sin or not sin. It's a matter of wise or unwise," I continued. "Alcohol can be very addicting..."

I was still not about to stop. "Also, you have to be careful who sees you when you are drinking. If you are with someone who will get offended to see you drinking, then you shouldn't. Do you know what I mean?"

"What are you saying?" Markus said.

"Well, some people get offended when we drink," I said. I was referring to those who in my opinion have overly sensitive consciences or take a more rigid outlook on drinking, also in my opinion. "In that case, you shouldn't drink. You should think of how it will affect others and not only yourself."

I was not really sure how much of this conversation was sinking in. Markus was busy writing or drawing. I was yakking from the kitchen. I do hope however that some things I said penetrated his consciousness or subconsciousness, and when he is of age to make a choice to drink or not to drink, he will make the WISE one.