See One; Show One; Teach One; Good-Bye, Dad
By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.
Part II began: While my father Emmett J. Donnelly was an IM-ICU patient, I watched him wince, groan in pain, and grit his teeth while receiving a “standard blood stick.”
Then she, wearing a short, white lab coat, said, “I’ll get better when I graduate.”
A second bed had been placed in the room, so I could stay with Dad in his IM-ICU room. Mom was in another hospital. I traveled between the two…
That day, knowing there were cameras watching Dad and I in the room, I was working, proofing a national CART captioning transcript to send back to their national offices.
Instantly, I placed my work in my lap. Now, I was listening.
After the “lab tech” spoke, my eyebrows shot to my forehead; I looked to Dad. He shrugged.
Me? I smiled, asked her to clarify.
I kid you not, she said, “I’m in high school. I’ll get better when I graduate.” …
Then, while I visited each parent and sat in their hospital bed – each parent in two separate locations – I listened to their plans, their hopes, and their regrets.
Dad, Emmett, had conversational Latin tutorials and ancient Roman Empire CDs on the window sill “to stay busy. I have to keep my mind busy!”
Few people knew my father Emmett J. Donnelly, M. Ed, guidance counselor, social worker, psychologist, educator, et al, was my co-author with Court Reporter Reference Books, the “Purple Books” preparing students and court reporters for state and national written court reporting academic boards, www.CRRbooks.com. (Our profession knows this as the WKT, Written Knowledge Test, for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSR exams.)
Emmett insisted that he wanted to be accepted on his credentials and did “not want to be known as Monette’s father.” I focused on not rolling my eyes whenever Emmett said this.
Within hospitals and well over 40 hyperbaric, HBO, treatments (he fell, broke his hip; all treatments had to be restarted), we planned new books, new projects. Really.
Emmett was frequently my guest speaker when I taught, and he helped me teach a few courses as Mr. Emmett.
That was the only condition he had – that he not be identified as my father — then, lunch with a glass of wine and a trip to the bookstore, our ‘thing’ for decades.
(As a child, after I finished my homework and chores, Thursday nights, we went to the library together, so he could “instill the love of learning in you.” As a small child I had been taught, by both parents, to recite, while standing tall, shoulders back, “Those who do not read are condemned to live but one life…” — Really.)
No one knew Mr. Emmett was my father until I out-ed myself.
One day, a student won a lottery at the AlamoDome to purchase Linda and Paul McCartney tickets. She asked if I wanted tickets.
Instantly, I yelped, “Dad, give me that fifty under your driver’s license!”
Students, “Dad?” It did make a difference to my students. Mr. Emmett was right.
Emmett loved hearing about the students and working court reporters I tutored. (I truly could never keep up with Emmett until March 2011.)
Dad always wanted to know:
“How long have they been in school? What speed are they in? Theory? Where are they enrolled? How long has it been since they graduated?”
He also asked about CART captioners, and official, judicial, court reporters.
My parents visited every city I lived, viewed the courts in which I reported, watched me CART caption to large screens at St. Francis Di Paolia Church (Deaf mass with sign interpreters on the altar) and many large events.
Oh, how he laughed when I began CARTing college Latin for a legally-deaf honors student. (The linguistic enthusiast who reviewed Latin, as a hobby.)
Then Emmett came to watch me CART caption Latin.
After everyone left the class, he hugged me.
“Now, I understand,” was all he said.
During the last admission, Dad was scheduled to receive a surgically-inserted feeding tube.
Head down, hunched in the wheelchair, Emmett requested, “Read me the emails from new students and reporters.” I read out loud while we answered admission questions, now routine to us. Surgery had to be rescheduled; Emmett was too weak.
It just chapped my Dad (and Mom) that I never would give a full name or city in which my tutoring and coaching student lived.
He would say, “Who am I going to tell?” Me, “It’s confidential. No can do.”
Emmett read ten NCRA JCR (Journal of Court Reporting) issues a year as my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” appeared in each issue for approximately seventeen years.
He knew our issues, our frequent authors.
Dad always read my column, and if I was given a compliment from he – that was high cotton.
He loved reading vendor news commenting, “Your mother and I could never have put you through college today on my teaching salary like I did back then.”
The second to last time I saw my father alive, I had September’s JCR in my lap.
Emmett had not sat up, rolled over, not walked in eight weeks.
Still he wanted to live. I would read or work, quietly, between our chats.
Each day I would appear with work and some portable food. He waited for me each day – as did Mom. I was simply there, witnessing, sharing, listening, always.
That day, not a good day, Emmett looked to me and said, “Show me the cover.”
I smiled, showed him Doug Friend, NCRA’s new president. He asked to see feature articles.
I read Dad my column. Emmett smiled and asked about students, court reporters, CART captioners, and asked to see the steno writer advertisements “the full-page ones.” Really.
We giggled as I held up steno writer ads, the standards and “fancy ones.”
Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Tutor, Motivational Management & Career Coach,
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching
Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam? Are you worried about student loans?
“Get ‘ER Done In Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study “The Purple Books” from Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR exams on the first test. Testimonials are listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.
** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.
The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, computer chapters, and review. www.CRRbooks.com
The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – each listed on www.CRRbooks.com
Monette will help you to pass your test and to exceed schooling and career goals. http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=61
Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and career coaching? Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.
Tutoring and career coaching topics include:
• Motivational skills to keep you moving forward,
• Time-management skills,
• Process learning for more effective retention,
• Development of skills to author your book, your blog, and how to publish,
• Communication skills and daily interaction improvement skills.
Who comes to Monette for tutoring and career coaching?
• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, create new possibilities, advance their career, author their book, and to develop the dream within,
• Veteran and novice court reporters, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) providers, and broadcast captioners brushing up on their skills for test-taking requirements,
• In-class students who feel they’re “stuck” and falling behind, or aren’t ready for the required tests,
• Students and veterans who struggle with focus, goal-setting, time-management or other life skills that might be interfering in their upward success,
• At-home students who want to ensure they’re on track for their exams and for their career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART Captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
• Students and veterans alike who find they’re struggling with key areas of daily practice,
• Students or veterans who have begun to question their career or whether they’re on the “right track” …
Check out: Reach Your Goals with Tutoring and Career Coaching
Monette Benoit, the Court Reporting Whisperer, can help you achieve at much high levels.
Where do you want to go? ** What have you ‘really’ wanted to do with your career, and ultimately, your life?
*NO TWO ARE ALIKE. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!
About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART Captioner, author of NCRA test-prep material, an instructor, and public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART Captioners, students, and instructors.
She has also helped to create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.
Her one-on-one tutoring, private coaching, has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.
Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students, and individuals who are fearless and seek to create their success each day. Reach up. Bring it. * Bring it today!