Tarra Grammenos, NIC Advanced


Where is your hometown?
Wayzata, Minnesota – although I’ve spent the last 7 years in St Paul, Minnesota.

How long have you been a member of RID?
Five years (I’ve been a student, associate and certified member in that time)

How did you become interested in the field of interpreting?
ASL was offered at my high school and my mom and grandma thought it was a beautiful artistic language (typical reaction, right?) so they suggested I take it. I took Spanish and didn’t really like it, and since I’ve been pretty artistic my whole life, I took ASL 1-3 junior and senior year. The bitter sweet side of this story however is that my first day of ASL 1 class, September 4th 2001, while I was sitting in class, my grandmother passed away while golfing with her friends (her favorite past time). Even though she’s not around, I know she’s proud of me 🙂

What is the most frustrating part of the profession?
The gossip among other interpreters, the concept of “interpreters eat their young”, the lack of interpreters willing to volunteer their time (interpreting or working within their affiliate chapter) and interpreters who don’t spend enough time learning/socializing within the Deaf Community.

Describe your most memorable moments.
Co-Chairing Minnesota’s 2009 Fall Conference, being elected to the MRID Board of Directors 2010, getting certified, and interpreting for Jeff Dunham

What advice do you have for new graduates entering the field?
Spend as much time as you can in the Deaf Community, find and hold onto great mentors, be humble, volunteer your time, go to workshops and meet other interpreters, and don’t ever stop learning.

Who are the interpreters you admire most?
Patty Gordon, David Evans, and Pam Wellumson, some of the most talented, humble and wonderful interpreters/educators/mentors I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.

What is something members would be surprised to learn about you?
I secretly enjoy watching Hanna Montana and iCarly on the Disney Channel.