Well, I suppose I ought to get in one more post before 2012 comes to a close. It's been an eventful year, in language pursuits and otherwise. Last spring I had some health challenges causing what I hope is temporary deterioration of my short-term memory. Mandarin lessons were suspended, and it remains to be seen whether I will be able to interpret again. Right now I can't remember things long enough to render them in another language; I even have difficulty taking notes at meetings in English. I'm optimistic, though---I resumed Mandarin just a couple of weeks ago and was pleased by how much I remember and can still take in.
The other, much happier development is that I've finally landed myself in the perfect job. After being laid off from my position at an educational technology company in May, I worked at a robotics company for two months before realizing that I was going to be miserable at a place so lacking in diversity. Entering the job search again, finally everything lined up and I'm now a natural language processing research engineer at a major speech recognition software company. I get to blend my training as a scientist and an engineer with my passion for and knowledge of languages, and I couldn't be happier. My workplace is the most diverse of any I've ever been in; it's half women and naturally diverse by race and nationality because we need native speakers of so many languages. I get to play with foreign languages every day, both those I know and those I don't, and I can't believe I'm actually getting paid to have so much fun.
I hope to write more frequently in 2013. Happy New Year!