I took up percussion when I was about 35. I'm not particularly good, but that is hardly the point. My project for my free semester is to get good on a single kind of drum, or really two: to be a decent conguero and bongocero. I could play timbales too if I wanted to learn.
I can play a four against five polyrhythm without thinking about it too much. I know cáscara and clave, martillo and tumbao. I can play a jazz ride pattern and comp with my feet and left hand.
This part of my formation is really more of an obsessive-compulsive reaction. I need to understand rhythms, since that is the way my mind works. It is "the prosodic imagination," as it were. I do not play in bands.
I started translating almost the second I started learning Spanish. Really before that, because I remember trying to translate Blake's poem about the Fly into French. The first poem I translated from Spanish was by Lorca or Jiménez. "La rosa / no buscaba la rosa." And "Mariposa de Luz." I've always thought translation was central to everything I wanted to do, though I've never published a book of translations. Somehow I always put that off and do another book of scholarship instead.