“Olha in CETRA-land”: a testimonial by one of our Summer School alumni

We’ve just received another testimonial by one of our alumni. It was entitled “Olha in CETRA-land”:

Lehka-Paul_Olha - CopyOlha Lehka-Paul, PhD, Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

Olha is a CETRA alumna of 2016. She defended her PhD thesis “The role of the translator’s personality in the process of self-revision”, under the supervision of  Professor Bogusława Whyatt, with distinction in October 2018 at the Faculty of English of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland.

“Thursday, August 25th, 2016: “I had the time of my life. Really. It was fascinating. Fantastic. Unforgettable. Andrew Chesterman was reading his (and not only his) limericks and clerihews (yes, “clerihews” that later became modified and known as “andrihews”), which were met with applause and appreciation from the public. I was sitting right opposite the historical figure in TS, one of its founding fathers, Jose Lambert. We were drinking wine and he was telling us stories about the 70s and 80s when they were struggling for CETRA and TS to develop. About James Holmes and his vision of TS. About Gideon Toury and his strong will. About tennis and the CERA SA Bank. If it hadn’t been for all of this, we wouldn’t have CETRA (and perhaps even TS – who knows?). This is amazing. Alice in Wonderland (read: “CETRAland”). This is how I feel now. Just can’t believe that all the people from the textbooks are now alive in front of me, speaking to me, having wine and chatting. Incredible. Lewis Caroll would be proud. (…)” These are only a few lines from my 35-page long CETRA diary from 2016 Research Summer School. The diary filled with my lecture notes, reflections, ideas, reactions, tips from CETRA professors, and lots of precious memories. That summer was indeed special. Special in terms of both my personal and academic growth. Never before had I felt so immersed in research, so inspired to continue my PhD journey, and so happy to be surrounded by all those amazingly like-minded people from different countries and different research sub-fields.

The School made me realise a few important things. First, the understanding of my own PhD project grew with each tutorial – having to explain and discuss my project with the CETRA staff involved in-depth analysis of what I actually wanted to do, the steps I planned to take, and the outcomes that I sought to achieve. Second, I learnt how important it is to share knowledge and ideas – especially with people who know very little or nothing about our areas of expertise. They can sometimes notice and offer much more than we can expect from them. Third, I realised that being an expert does not necessarily mean knowing everything. Perhaps, it means quite the opposite – being aware of the gaps in our knowledge and willing to fill them in, being eager to learn from mistakes and take charge of any potential outcomes, and being ready to share our experience (both positive and negative) with others. And last but not least, CETRA unites people – where else would one be able to make friends with people from different countries and continents, with both students and professors? CETRA community is composed of so many different people – in terms of age, status, background, area of expertise – that this difference brings them together. In a nutshell, I strongly recommend that everyone who genuinely cares about research in Translation Studies, regardless of how far they have gone with their PhD project, should visit the CETRAland! The advantage is such that (unlike it was in the famous story) as long as you visit it, you will stay in it forever.”

Olha submitted her testimonial in December 2018. You can read more testimonials by our research summer school alumni on this blog page

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