Yesterday I took the first part of the Utah Interpreter Certification test, and today I found out I failed. To receive a interpeter certificate I (and anyone else for that matter) needed to take a written test, pass with a score of 80% or better, then I can take a second performance test, that test has 5 parts and each is scored and critiqued by a panel of 9 people. If you pass all 5 parts of that test, then congratulations! You can now legally interpret, for pay, in the state of Utah.
I however, failed the written test. I got 75%, which is a failing mark (by the way did I mention I FAILED). When I found out this morning, I cried. I texted people to tell them I failed, then my mom promptly called me, she knows me so well. I am still having a hard time figuring out why it is I was/am so devastated (okay, devastated is probably an exaggeration, but I feel really, really crappy about it and myself, so that is the word I am using). And being the overly therapized (not a real word but it should be) person that I am, I now have to analyze this situation to death. No offense if those two people who may actually read this, switch to browsing facebook instead of reading the rest of this.
To be fully and completely honest, I was nervous wreck going into the test, and did not think I would pass it. I have taken 2 ASL classes, and that is where my formal education relating to interpreting ends. Everything else I have learned from my husband, reading a few books, and my general experience in the deaf community. The written test is all about Professional Code of Ethics, what famous person in deaf history did what, ADA laws and so forth. So did I think I would pass? No, but I still hoped I would pull it off somehow, and that does not stop me from feeling like I do.
I suppose it is because so much was riding on this test. Passing this test and the subsequent performance test would give me a job. A much needed job, that would help our current financial situation. Maybe it is because I am a perfectionist, and failing anything it a direction reflection on my personal worth. Maybe it is because failing this, means I should not be an interpreter all. Rationally I know the later two reasons are ludicrous, but my rational brain has never won out against my emotions, so here I sit, doubting my self-worth, my intelligence and my ability to help provide for my family. All because I was 5 questions short of passing a test. So I have to keep telling myself, over and over, that failing one test does not make me a failure.