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Seven years ago, a colleague and I became part-time technical translators for a publishing house that prints bilingual scientific journals. A couple of years after that, we started working in the same room and occasionally comparing translation notes and grousing about the poor quality of writing in the articles we were translating.

Quite often, my colleague would wish that the particularly inarticulate authors were forced to "go through" an editor who she'd worked with when she was younger first, a legend in our field of plasma physics whom many were afraid of because of his sharp tongue and profound knowledge of the subject, and who also, if you managed to stand up to him, would teach you to write and formulate your thoughts remarkably well.

And in those moments I felt a yearning, a wish that I could be something similar. Not someone to be afraid of, but knowledgeable and capable of working with the written word not only as a corrector, something my innate literacy easily permits, or a beta, like I was on and off on fanfiction sites, but a true editor.

For years, this wish remained something so far-fetched I always wanted to chuckle derisively at myself whenever I remembered it. Indeed, me, an editor in the field I can barely call my own? A field in which, however much I felt it was expected of me, I could never find the drive to become and independent researcher? The same field whose "language" is mathematics, a subject that has always been my weak spot? A field in which, in a single word, I have always felt small?

And yet this year, I am making a step in the direction of that dream. I can feel the rightness of it in my very bones, and I am excited, absolutely terrified and not at all afraid all at once.

Our department's Scientific Secretary is retiring and I will be trained to replace her. So far, I have discussed the duties the position entails twice with her and with our chief, I cannot quite envision them all yet.

I will have to be a go-to, both from "below" and from "above", to help ascertain that the higher-ups' directives are known and fulfilled and that the paperwork my colleagues need is ready and in order, participate in organizing the internal annual conference of our department, dabble in editing end-of-year and intermediate reports, do who-knows-what at Scientific Councils which I now only attend in the rare events of PhD presentations, simply be aware of who works where and does what, and I do not know what else.

I will have to be attentive, organized, aware of explicit and implicit deadlines and policies without letting them overwhelm me as has frequently happened in the past. I will have to work with a lot of people and need to build and affirm boundaries around my personal time. I will have to sometimes be strict (about deadlines) with laboratory chiefs and colleagues my parents' age.

In a short, I will have to grow and learn in ways that do not force me into the "independent researcher" groove which I do not fit by nurturing my developing writing and people skills, something that interests me passionately and terrifies me just as much.

I start today.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2017 01:02 pm (UTC)
ConCrit is welcome.

I did not try anything in particular this time, either.
Jan. 12th, 2017 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're doing something new and exciting! I know you've felt yourself stagnating at your job, and this sounds like a great opportunity to be challenged and do something that really interests you.
Jan. 12th, 2017 02:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is exactly how I feel :). Thank you!
Jan. 12th, 2017 04:51 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! I can just see you twenty years from now as the maven of the field--that expert who everybody looks up to, fears a little bit, and wishes they had as plum a job as you. You will be good at it.
Jan. 18th, 2017 04:29 pm (UTC)
I really only wish for a job I actually enjoy in 20 years, but thank you :)
Jan. 12th, 2017 06:30 pm (UTC)
The only way to grow is to try things that are outside of your areas of expertise. That's true from learning to walk as a toddler right on through every stage of life that follows. We have to keep growing because if we aren't learning, we aren't living. Good wishes for great success!!
Jan. 18th, 2017 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have learned that lesson the hard way in the last several years. Thank you!
Jan. 13th, 2017 01:39 am (UTC)
It's so difficult to push toward our own growth... I'm glad you are pushing! :)
Jan. 18th, 2017 04:49 pm (UTC)
Especially when you don't know which direction you should push into, yes. Thank you!
Jan. 13th, 2017 05:41 pm (UTC)
Congrats on your new position. Doing a job you love and have aspired to can also be scary. Great way to use the prompt!
Jan. 18th, 2017 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Jan. 15th, 2017 04:14 pm (UTC)
This is great news! поздравления! (if Google Translate is correct. Who knows, I might have said "you're mother's a goat!). I'm sure you'll be great at your new job. Translating authors who are poor writers must be very frustrating, and the temptation to be both translator and editor must have been fierce -- after all, since the author can't read the foreign language, how would he/she know you improved upon their goop.
Jan. 18th, 2017 05:44 pm (UTC)
Haha. That's both correct and not. A correct way to translate Congratulations but we don't really use that phrase, more like "congratulate [you]".

That is the point, you are right. And sometimes I do reformulate things for them. :)
Jan. 15th, 2017 08:26 pm (UTC)
Ooh, what an exciting opportunity! And how nice that it fits so much better with your strengths while avoid areas that aren't as suited to you and which you have never really been interested in anyway.

Jan. 18th, 2017 06:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 17th, 2017 07:45 am (UTC)
Congratulations on the new position! I hope it's a good fit.
Jan. 18th, 2017 06:36 pm (UTC)
Time will tell, but I hope so, too. Thank you!
Jan. 17th, 2017 02:26 pm (UTC)
All of these emotions we move through, especially when our heart's desire is involved. Great job on detailing that with this line - I can feel the rightness of it in my very bones, and I am excited, absolutely terrified and not at all afraid all at once.

Best of luck with your new venture!
Jan. 18th, 2017 06:42 pm (UTC)
It is interesting that you like this very line. I doubted if I should not to rewrite it as too dramatic :)

Thank you!
Jan. 18th, 2017 03:37 am (UTC)

Congratulation! It amazing to reach the place you always dreams to be in. Good luck. Do well.*Hugs*

Jan. 18th, 2017 06:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 18th, 2017 07:10 am (UTC)
Hey,that's great news! Heartiest Congratulations. I know you'll do well. All the very best. Cheers! :)
Jan. 18th, 2017 06:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Teo :)
Jan. 18th, 2017 05:19 pm (UTC)
Congratulations and good luck!
Jan. 18th, 2017 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 18th, 2017 10:13 pm (UTC)
Congratulations and good luck!
Jan. 19th, 2017 05:52 am (UTC)
Thank you!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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