My Curtain Call: The End of the Notorious Self

李治翰 Hank Lee, Interpretation Track

Never have I expected that one day I will need to translate my stage name for GPTI fan page manager into English, because what I really looked forward to was a good monthly pay with the best boss in the world (and yes, I hope Vicky reads this). Something else that I wasn’t expecting is that I have developed a mind that could switch roles in a split second for the dramatic effect to attract readers to the GPTI fan page. Well, you can say that might be the syndrome for multiple personality disorder, but I would rather think on the bright side, that I have obtained more empathy as I was playing different characters throughout my fan page manager career. And it should be helpful for me as an interpreter because I might be more capable of stepping in the speaker’s shoes, and better at conveying what the source speech is trying to do. Now, straight A student interpreters, got more interested in becoming the next fan page manager?

I wasn’t like this, a bit arrogant and sarcastic, when I first took on the job for the GPTI fan page. I was naïve and filled with hope that I finally got a spot to shine as a poetic person, not the “straightest guy you’ve ever seen who eats like a pig and hits the gym”. I used to think that whatever content I receive from my boss or professors, “Imma show them what I’ve got”, and “get all the readers on their toes waiting for the next post notification to pop up on their Facebook pages”. Though I initially enjoyed immersing myself in the ambitious goals, I felt miserable half way through and considered myself a failure, because a sense of fatigue creeped on me as I had to drain all my energy and time to present things in a way that the most talented me would do. When backstage data pointed out that the hits on the fan page hadn’t been increasing for a while, I dimmed the lights of my fantasy world, and sat myself down in the dark. That was when the Notorious Self got awakened.

For those who haven’t gone to the GPTI fan page and read any of the posts, I hate you, but let me help you ask the big question, “who the hell is the Notorious Self?” The Notorious Self is a character I created to stop being myself on the GPTI fan page. I gradually made this character by killing Fanpage Manager A, B, C, D and other fictional characters because I found it the easiest way to post articles in different styles without explaining why these posts were so different. The Notorious Self was what I ended up with after I shot dead Fanpage Manager Z. He was sarcastic, showed no empathy to others, bossy, rude, but the humblest servant to the respectable figures in the GPTI, including the professors, Vicky, and fellow classmates of mine.

Through this fake identity or character, I posted information about awards that professors have received, books students have translated, introduction articles to GPTI newsletter, and greetings to newcomers to the fan page, of course in a sarcastic and condescending way in accordance with the character settings.

When I acted as the Notorious Self, I wasn’t happy because of the academic barriers I encountered. However, I felt content at the end of the day because of the merits this character has brought me to overcome the difficulties. To begin with, the Notorious Self made the process of generating joy easier for me. Being notorious and evil, the Notorious Self unleashed my imagination to be cruel, and when he went to the extreme, the cruelty demonstrated became ridiculous, therefore reflecting the intended comic effect, bringing joy to myself and hopefully to the audience. Also, the fan page manager role provided an opportunity to learn to judge “a person” objectively. As I was drafting what the Notorious Self would say on the Internet, it was necessary for me to step back, contemplate on the setting, create ridiculous outputs, and step in again to finish a Facebook post. In so many ways that the process was so similar to the practical situation of preparing for an interpreting assignment that had me thinking, “was it really because the process resonates with interpreting, or was it because interpreting is the center of the world?” Intriguing question, isn’t it? On top of the merits, the Notorious Self helped me gain confidence. It took me by surprise that my boss and some other people started to call me “the Notorious Self” as my nick name, which implied that they had read the posts, recognized the silly name I created, and found it interesting to call me that way. Such little things were so important to remind an interpreting student that he could be and is already someone else than a professional exam taker, who might fail and think that he is worthless in the world.

It was one hell of a ride as the Notorious Self, but the show has come to an end, and it is his time to take the final bow. By the time that this article is posted, the Notorious Self will have been retired. Being the fan page manager for GPTI was unexpectedly uneasy, and relieving. On one hand, I drained my energy and pool of jokes for invisible laughter. On the other, all the self-realization and the Notorious Self-realization have led me through so many predicaments, and equipped me with new capabilities.

Eventually, I can say I am satisfied being the Notorious Self. But since villains live in the dark, as I am approaching to the end of the tunnel of the GPTI career, the Notorious Self is bound to stand before the light that shines through from the exit. I am really grateful to be given the chance to write and post as the fan page manager of this graduate program, and wish all the coming managers good luck exploring their new roles.