By: Daniel Otero
Tough minded, free spirited, independent, a good leader with conservative attributes. She’s a traditional Chinese woman and holds unwavering true to her ideals.
This was a person I grew to love and admire. A person who I would claim as ‘a go to person’!
Sheila and I met five years ago when she became my work supervisor, by then she was an Education Administrator and here’s where the story begins…
Sheila began her career simple enough at a very young age, because already she knew what she wanted, to be a Professor. What started as an entertaining lesson in an English class while learning the song, “A, B, C, D, E, F, G…” when she was 10 years old, became her life’s passion, work and desire to get there. And the rest is history…
A woman from China’s southeast copper-mining community of Jiangxi Province, she fought hard to achieve her goal. Become a teacher and translator. She admits, she likes teaching, but loves more the art of translation.
This young lady moved on to do post-graduate work later in her educational career, as she was studying in Guangxi Province. There the light flicked with ideas about doing a post-graduate degree in Foreign and Applied Linguistics.
By 2003, she applied and was called through a phone interview to work at a University in Nanjing. She admits, it was a difficult period in her life, being away from her family, and China at that time was going through the SARS crisis; therefore, many fears loomed, but she took a chance and here she landed in Nanjing.
As she developed her career, for several years she went about transporting herself all over the University’s campuses. She readily admits, this wasn’t easy, moving around and teaching several English classes a week. This lasted eight years until she was promoted to Education Administrator.
An educator of thousands, but too ambitious to stay stagnant; she further devoted herself to her art, translation. And here she found a knack while translating three books in the development of her career. Moving to Higher Ground—How Jazz Can Change Your Life by Wynton Marsalis with Geoffrey C. Ward (Chinese Title: 这就是爵士：马萨利斯音乐自述），published in 2011 by Nanjing University Press (see http://book.douban.com/subject/6729105/). The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak (Chinese title 伊斯坦布尔孤儿），published in 2014 by Shanghai Art and Literature Publishing House, (see http://book.douban.com/subject/26277083/). The Retribution by Val McDermid (Chinese Title 罪有应得）， to be published in autumn 2016 by Shandong Art and Literature Publishing House.
Feeling that she’s the best person for the job and not many can do what she does. After all, leadership jobs do carry an element of intense-high stress!
Although, she’s traditional, her spirit is never at ease. Therefore, she decided to also further herself professionally by establishing her own company, keepfun.org; which specializes in tutorials and translation.
What’s next for her? You see, what Sheila’s doing is creating a translating bridge between three cultures. Not only Chinese, but that of the Anglo and Francophone worlds; she’s an expert in translating to both of these languages.
Another of Sheila’s secret talents is singing. While she passionately sings to Chinese and French music in her spare time.
Is there anything this young woman can’t do? Teacher, translator, business professional, leader and matriarch; well, she’s one example most young ladies in China should emulate.