She’s the CARTographer; She Does CARTography!

She’s the CARTographer; She Does CARTography!

~~ Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Arriving home Christmas evening, we received the call that a friend’s father had died.

“The wake is tomorrow. Could you attend?” While my family checked funeral attire, I pulled the obituary for specifics. I had first met the deceased gentleman and family 25 years ago.

The next evening, we walked into the crowded funeral parlor. The main lobby split off into a separate room, which then extended to a smaller room. Immediate family members and the casket were in this smallest room.

We were hugged by people we had not seen in a long time.

People approached saying, “Hey, I know you.” I giggled each time. I spoke to an “ex” (of deceased in-laws) who attended; we caught up on events, families. Soon the “ex” said, “I really should be going – you know.” I giggled. Yes, I knew.

The man who died had a wonderful family.

His 92-year old mother was in the smallest room with his widow, children, grandchildren, friends and co-workers. People approached to view photographs, then spoke to the family to say good-bye before departing the wake.

Alone for a moment, I sat in the chair by the door. (As court reporters we are trained to be master observers.)

Multiple mini-groups gathered. People were consoling family, politely bumping into others within this smallest room. Men and women held hands and offered tissues. My husband spoke to a small group.

I saw a woman gesture –– and then stop her gesture with her other arm. I smiled. (My February 2007 column “CART, Signs and The Library,” describes a typical day in my world.) She looked familiar. I hoped I was not staring.

My husband motioned to me; I stepped forward in the small room.

After introductions to the group, I said softly to one lady, “It’s been a while; I believe we know each other.”

She laughed; again I saw a hand and wrist gesture.

I asked, “Are you a sign interpreter?”

As we stood together, she turned her head. And when she turned, I saw her profile –– at the same angle I remember as I CARTed her work and projected realtime voiced text to large screens.

We had worked multiple large events together; she – sign terp (interpreter), me, CART captioner.

I softly asked, “You’re the sign interpreter who drove the crappy car and lived in the country, aren’t you?”

She shrieked, “YES! I can’t believe you remember that! I did drive a crappy car. You’re the CARTographer!”

She launched into my lungs; she threw herself at me in a long-lost friendship hug.

She screamed into my right ear, “You’re Moe-net!”

While gripped in this realtime hug two feet from my left elbow was the open casket of the man whose funeral we were attending. I winced, frowned and looked to the adult children.

The person who invited us froze, then said to his grandmother, mother, and “full” family: “It’s okay, everybody. They’re old friends who just found each other! That’s why they’re hugging, laughing.”

A long silence, a pause, hung in the air.

My head down, I was still gripped in this extremely tight realtime hug, I peeked over to the 92-year old mother, widow, his family.

Soon, in unison, a collective sigh, “oh,” floated from each person.

I heard, “They’re old friends” drift into the larger room and then lobby. Startled looks now were replaced with bright smiles.

Large groups nodded their approval.

My head still respectfully down, I looked to the interpreter softly saying, “You complained about your crappy car. I had to write the word ‘crappy’ on large screens a lot. I remember you.” (In 1993, I wrote “crap [delete space] y”; it translated correctly. Thank you, God.)

She howled with laughter. Everyone, to include people, kneeling, praying at the casket, smiled.

I said softly, “This does seem surreal, doesn’t it?”

She said, “I never forgot you after all the jobs we worked together. Has it been 14 years? I always remember you as the CARTographer. You were the first.”

Still cautious of this event, where we were ––surrounded by large funeral wreaths, and an open casket –– I smiled.

She began introducing me to people saying, “She’s my friend, the CARTographer. She does CARTography!”

Each person smiled; some tilted their heads. I said not a word until the fourth introduction. I quietly asked, “May I?” Everyone nodded.

I softly said, “CART –– court reporting – like captioning –”

But the interpreter, “No, she’s the CARTographer. Trust me. I found my old friend. This is wonderful!”

Head down, I watched the family. She and I exchanged private information and promised to keep in touch.

After the interpreter (ASL Master Level 5) departed, I stepped back to my chair and sat.

I was watching the 92-year old mother. She sat alone. I stood, stepped to my right in one step; I put my hand on her shoulder. She smiled up at me.

Slowly, I began to rub her shoulder, her back. Then I leaned over, and without a word, I hugged her.

She looked up to me saying, “I can’t see very well.” After a long pause with continued eye contact, I asked why not.

She said, “I’ve cried so many tears today, my eyeglasses are filthy. I can’t see from all tears I’ve shed today. He was my son…”

I raised my voice and called to her great-granddaughter, Kathy.

Within seconds, I addressed the adult (whom I’ve known 18 years), “Here. These eyeglasses need to be washed. Do you want to do that for her?”

Kathy took the glasses, ran off.

I looked back to the woman and softly said, “Oh, she’ll feel so good helping you. Now we just had to do that for her, didn’t we?” We both burst into loud laughter.

When the sparkling eyeglasses were returned, she beamed, “I can see now. I can see everyone and my son (in casket). Oh, I have lived to see so many miracles. Thank you. You’re the CARTographer, aren’t you?”

I looked to this sweet woman, “Yes, I am.” I added, “I’m also a court reporter.”

She said, “Oh, but this CARTography sounds so much more interesting. Thank you for coming to my son’s funeral and for bringing laughter here tonight to so many. I’m so glad to meet you. And now I can see.”

The court reporter in me was proud and humbled to experience this event culminated by a 25-year friendship and my CART services 14 years ago into a special memory-moment (deaf phrase).

That evening I chose to decline the opportunity to accurately, with spec details, define my CART description.

As I prepped to leave, a sibling (a son of the deceased man) I did not know approached to say good-bye.

He looked tired and sad. He leaned on the doorframe saying to me, “I don’t have a baby brother any more.”

I gasped.

Those were my exact “first” words when I was told my brother was dead.

(I had gasped and looked to my husband saying, “I don’t have a baby brother any more.”  Kevin hated the word ‘baby’.)

Hesitating, I looked to this adult son that evening.

Everyone in the room had paused and waited.

I slowly, softly – voice cracking, said, “The hardest part is learning to get past ‘I have…’ to ‘I had…’ It’s the ‘a’ in each word,” and I paused.

As I paused, the gentleman leaned over to rub my shoulder.

He said “I hear you’re the CARTographer. It’s like Camelot. Your work is CART-a-lot, right?”

I nodded while he rubbed my shoulders.

When I glanced up, his eyes were red, moist; his mother’s eyes were crystal clear. She sparkled.

It is an honor to share what we do each day. I listened, laughed, hugged, rubbed shoulders, and had my shoulders rubbed in consolation.

That evening confirmed again how grateful I am for possibilities that appear each day, each evening within each gathering of people.

And now I ask you: “Can you see?”

Named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, Monette may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

08 May 2020

You All Start In CART Now, Right?

You All Start In CART Now, Right?

~~ Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

An invitation to join friends (each working in college student services) for lunch with their colleagues began with introductions. I selected the restaurant, away from busy “spots” as many were new to this city.

While chewing my sandwich, a college disability coordinator, asked, “Monette, you’re a court reporter, right?”   I nodded.

“Monette, you’ve provided CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) a long time, right?”
I nodded, still chewing my food.

The third question was the stun-err-roo when a woman seated at our crowded table asked, “Monette, (long pause) all court reporters ‘start’ in CART, right?”

I blinked hard and looked to my friends. They gave me a blank look; I sensed this topic had already been discussed prior to this gathering.

I did not nod. I sipped my tea, tipped my head. Thinking. Thinking.

The professional then said, “All court reporters start in CART now, right? That’s where they get their training, so they can then go into court and get other good work, right? It’s a simple question.”

Oh, Lord!  My simple lunch was now halted as each person awaited my reply.

I worked to not appear stunned – now wearing my court reporter face that we know well.

I replied with a question – asking if each person is familiar with CART.

I was thinking how to answer a simple question that did not appear to be simple to the individuals waiting for my words.

And I felt they knew it was not a simple question, too, due to the manner it was asked, and the complete silence at the table.

“We want to know if this is where all court reporters now begin their work? It’s the place to start now, right?”

Again, I looked to my friends.

Not one person offered any words to assist me. Nope. I was clearly on my own.

Slowly, I shared, “Our realtime skills now afford court reporters, CART providers, and captioners multiple opportunities. Many professionals work in multiple venues. We are trained with specific skills, earn certifications, attend conventions …” No one was eating now.

Then they began to share, “We have found that the CART individuals now providing CART for many colleges and universities are clearly learning how to.”

I did not ask the name of companies or individuals providing CART captioning.

This gathering was not a continuing education seminar. Nor did I want to miss the opportunity to share the wonderful services we do provide, 24/7.

I also did not ask the “visiting professionals” the questions I might have asked my friends.

I wanted to ask if they or their schools had gone with the lowest bid and was the work provided by individuals who have completed court reporting school.

I watched my friends who had invited me to this gathering. (They schedule CART captioning for their students.)

I know that a few, perhaps, had been paying experienced CART providers and now are permitting students to provide CART to earn school credits.

Since that discussion was not tossed onto the table, I decided to avoid that scenario entirely – unless it was brought up.

In another forum or within a scheduled meeting, those questions – might have been appropriate.

This was still the light, breezy lunch in a quiet location (their words) “to get away from work and work topics” – yet, this was gifted to me.

Part of me wanted to say, “Okay. Bring it on. Let’s go there. Amplification? Microphones? Where? On professor? Near the student? Near the person hired to capture words for realtime display? Acoustics? Classroom or auditorium? Prep given to CART captioner? CART provided over net? Using what? Have you ever asked the CART captioner if they need anything to provide their services?  Does the consumer wear a hearing aid?  Cochlear implant?  Is rough ASCII provided at end of class -or multiple days later – as may be requested by someone not experienced…?  Is CART captioner able to communicate directly with consumer?  Is the verbatim text for one student or many?  Laptop or overhead projection?”

Oh, I had questions.  Multiple.

I decided not to defend our work or to ask the above multiple questions. I was not their lunching CART consultant that day. (If you disagree, I wish you had been at that table.)

I know that many “coordinators” working in student services departments answer to others – yet, others are often not part of student services. Having worked in a (very) large college and private schools, I know there are often many “chiefs” – not just one.

I succinctly shared that we provide onsite and remote services. Communication with the student, scheduling department, instructor, student, and CART captioner is essential. Then I smiled, picked up my sandwich, and continued eating.

Were we done?

No.  (Darn.)

Several individuals began to discuss their “multiple problems” and “CART beginners” they are working with now as they were still “convinced that this is where all court reporters now begin their work.”

I listened. Continued sipping my tea.

When I was again asked for my thoughts, I did not sigh. I did not roll my eyes.

I asked each person to write down the NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, web address and also to contact their state court reporting associations.

In unison, they replied, “We’ve never considered doing that.”

I asked that they “remember that we – court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast captioners – are trained with outstanding skills and discipline that might knock your socks off if you knew what we lived through each minute, each day to prepare us to share our professional work.”

Then I was asked if I knew where they could get cheaper notebooks “for our transcribers, students, who write on carbons for other students.”

My reply? “Nope. Can’t help there.” Then I put more food in my mouth.

When the waiter brought the ticket, several lunches [sic] gave me their cards.

As we departed, I calmly walked to my friends and quickly pinched each person.

I said, “Gee, thanks. A simple heads up or any assistance to avoid me holding a court reporting – CART captioning seminar might have been nice.”

They howled and said, “Monette, this was what they needed to hear – what we all needed to hear. Maybe you could write an article about this, so court reporters know that we, disability and student services coordinators, find there to be such a large difference in skills among the CART writers. That’s all.”

Yes, I pinched each again, maybe harder than the first pinch.

Ah, when we are enjoying a casual meal, a relaxing moment, our work may still become an opportunity for education and advocacy.

One of my positive takeaways, which I did not share with the individuals, was that I was impressed they knew the word “CART.”

They did not say “captioning” as in days of old.

Though I would have liked to have heard a positive comment, they were aware that the colleges were providing this “service” because we have to, per law…  “And there’s that,” I avoided saying.

Alone, I focused on the advocacy of all our years of work and thanked the Lord that the lunch was over. Oh, yes, I did.

—- Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

 

01 May 2020

Deaf Parent; Incarceration; What Would You Do?

Deaf Parent; Incarceration; What Would You Do?

~~ Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

What would you do if someone you love is charged with an alleged crime?

What if a family member is handcuffed and quickly removed from your home -without any notice?

What would you do if you are unable to hear?

What would you do if equal communication offered late in events is not the mode of communication that you need?

Would you raise your voice, scream – or would you bow your head, not wanting to upset anyone?

This story is true. As I write, many individuals are unsure where the allegation, legal process will end.  And when. And what will remain on a minor’s record… cha-ching (my term).

Let’s say charges are read to the parent after the minor has been arrested, handcuffed, removed from the home, seated in a squad car and charged with an alleged offense.

As police explain details, the parent has to stop the officer, leave the room to get the hearing aid… one that was “off-duty that late hour.”

The hearing dog had alerted the parent to heavy knocking on the door.

The child is driven off into the night, without a parent, without full communication with legal counsel, then the child, minor, is incarcerated.

Stunned and shocked as the parent, your world has now changed.

If you are unable to hear, will you stomp to defend your loved one, or will you make nice to avoid upsetting anyone – anyone who may bring your loved one home – one day or one moment sooner?

Let’s say this experience is your first one within the legal system.

You never visited anyone in jail. You don’t know any attorneys.  Your child has never ‘been in trouble’ – no records.

Now, to begin communicating with your child, you have to be cleared through security, counselors.

Now, your hearing aid is on-duty; you focus to understand each word, which is a struggle at best.

You hope for early release – a new term in your world.

Also new: Will your minor be tried as child or as an adult?

Most likely you will not qualify for free attorney aid; legal counsel is required you are told. The paper also stated this when you are unable to read the person’s lips through the thick plastic glass.

Your reaction could be “This can’t be happening!”   It can. It did.  It is.

Attorneys requiring compensation, often substantial fees, will need to defend a minor incarcerated without bail.

Also new in your world: Minors are not granted bail. Oh?  What will you now do for attorney’s fees for an alleged offense?

Let’s say there’s no prior history to prepare this family.

If this is not your family, perhaps one could think “this is our legal system; it protects all of us.”

But what if your child is placed behind secure walls, visits are limited. No physical contact is permitted.

Detainees are required to earn points to earn rights.  Your child must earn the right to communicate with you – the person with hearing loss.

All communication is shared behind a wall with a small metal circle, thick dark screen.

If you rely on hearing aids and read lips, your opportunity to ‘hear’ is drastically reduced. No one at ‘jail’ will interpret and assist you.  “We can’t,” you are told.

As you struggle to understand words, learn details, to check on your minor, and to learn about the legal process and allegations, what would you do if you could not see the lips of your loved one or hear each word – or some words?

As court reporters we know that fact-finding trials are held. But when a person is held behind a wall, what then?

I know Deaf prisoners in San Antonio – all prisoners often live within a horrible world in jail.

Deaf prisoners cannot be mainstreamed. They cannot hear anyone behind them, so they, Deaf, deaf, HOH, lose the ability to defend themselves.

Deaf are typically mandated to infirmaries. This may appear fine for hearing, but deaf are now constrained to a tiny area. Social contact is limited.

One of the greatest gifts people can give deaf (and deaf community) is to visit deaf prisoners. Deaf are isolated, alone. Alone. A lot.

If your loved minor is detained, they could be placed into foster care – an option decided by the court.

If the parent is deaf or has a hearing loss (aka: hearing impaired), trust me, the parent worries about losing rights to their child because of the parent’s deafness.

Yes, it does happen. Is it fair? No.  Hell, no.

Deaf parents have lost parental rights “in the best interest of the child.”

If that child is not able to fully communicate with their parent, then that child experiences further trauma.

This CODA child (named after an international group called Children of Deaf Adults) will know the parent’s visit is approaching and that communication is limited prior, during, and after each limited noncontact visit. CODA children grow up fast – they say.

Legal facts will unfold with time – but not fast enough for the parent and loved one – in a country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Stress will ripple to others involved and exacerbated because of the parent’s hearing loss.

Powerless, frustrated, scared may now describe you.

Scarred may describe the minor. How will these events affect the minor’s future life?

Limited visitors, who are approved in advance, can be removed at the discretion of parole employees and counselors.

Only attorneys and clergy are exempt. Visits are limited to two a week. Detainees have new rules, regulations.

If the parent has a hearing loss, how does the child share this new bewildering world that has few privileges, mandatory lights out, few books and pencils (if any), and permits only limited communication?

During visits, if you are hearing-impaired (self-described term) contact is further limited.

You also notice that everyone else, including the hearing, is finding communication a challenge with the old-darkened screened circle.

And if a hearing is held for your loved one – perhaps an odd word for the parent not hearing – and if the room does not have assistive listening devices, CART, or a sign interpreter, if needed, communication is again limited.

When ‘this’ parent with hearing loss requested assistance, the parent was informed only “a sign interpreter could be supplied.”

Great, but this adult does not communicate -using sign language.

Since no law states a parent need be present for legal proceedings of his or her child or police interrogation, this will be a huge shock, too.

Will your loved one know when to volunteer information – or – perhaps will your child simply shut down, alone, isolated, and in fear?

If the fact-finding trial has evidence to move forward, perhaps the next phase is a jury trial.

Or, will a plea bargain be accepted because of earlier facts?

Attorneys cost money, incarceration is bleak. Decisions are often made on these factors. Trials take time; trials are pricey.

I was a court reporter in Miami’s juvenile public defender’s office many years ago, and I am still amazed by the information I reported and witnessed.

So, are you at the mercy of the legal system, the court?

Would you “bite your tongue” to avoid stirring any problems, hoping your loved one comes home one second sooner?

Will you struggle to remain un-angry [sic] knowing that if any person involved in the legal process takes a holiday or a sick day during the process, this will cause further delays, postponing justice.

And if an experienced juvenile lawyer says this “is a zoo,” what would you do?  Really.  What.  Would. You. Do.

I wrote to the parent that I was outraged CART (communication access realtime) captioning was not being shared.

I requested permission to write this article in my NCRA  ‘JCR’ column.

The parent, in response to my “how are you,” replied with details and “Thank God for warm furry things that sleep in your arms, snuggle.”

As I finish writing this article, the hearing was delayed – again.

Facts surrounding the alleged incident were shared again, claiming this was a “minor event” – a repeated fact officially shared for many weeks now while the minor remained incarcerated.

And if your child was incarcerated well over one month, including Thanksgiving Day with no visit — and Christmas — no visit — without the ability to fully communicate with his or her parent, and the parent with hearing loss is praying, praying, praying, I ask you, What would you do?

—- Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

01 May 2020

CART Captioning And The $10,000 Spaghetti Dinner – Monsignor Balty Janacek

CART Captioning And The $10,000 Spaghetti Dinner

~~ Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

The CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) community and all court reporters lost a devoted friend on April 30th, 2007. My life and our profession were improved by this gentleman.

I had been CARTing San Antonio’s St. Francis Di Paola Deaf Mass for many years.

One Sunday morning before a mass, privately a new priest introduced himself, spelling his name B-a-l-t-y.

He waited for me to stop writing to shake my hand (I was CARTing with steno machine) — He charmed parishioners with this gesture.

Then the new priest walked to the altar, and introduced himself to the Deaf community, “I’m the new priest and will learn sign.”

We welcomed him with deaf applause.

Balty was proud of his Czech background. He had a deep love of cultures and languages.

He often spoke Spanish while I realtimed – writing verbatim text projected to a large screen on the altar from my steno machine.

I’d sigh; he’d smile and then translate.

As we became friends, I learned Balty was ordained in 1950.

Serving multiple roles he was devoted to causes close to his heart.

Balty remained involved with Native Americans and tirelessly worked to mediate retrieval of their remains, bones, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, UTSA.

I am not surprised that he donated his body to UTSA.

Balty was parochial vicar at San Fernando Cathedral (where Davy Crockett is buried).

Since 1967, he was director of four 18th-century Old Spanish Missions for the Archdiocese (the active parishes of Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada Missions).

Balty established the San Antonio Mission National Historical Park and a historic cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, which the NPS is working to model around the United States.

His picture was in our newspaper so often that I’d phone Balty teasing him that he was my “Where’s Waldo?”

Balty was absolutely devoted to his extended family, organizing Schulenburg, Texas, reunions with nieces and nephews.

I extended multiple holiday invitations, but he’d say, “I want to spend time with the girls (nuns). I’ve known many for 50 years; they’re good cooks. Can you understand?”  Yes.

Much later when he handed me his business card, I saw his title Monsignor Janacek. I almost gasped.  Me, “I didn’t know…”

He shrugged, “Balty – really.” Balty was the “jolly” man who arrived with his peace sign.

One Sunday, Balty asked my former husband and me to lunch.

He asked me what I needed to CART for the Deaf. (CART is communication access realtime translation.

I used my equipment writing to a large screen with instant translation for the Deaf mass.)

‘Then husband’ did not hesitate, “Her equipment is seven years older since she began to volunteer. She has wear and tear on her equipment.”

I blinked, immediately swallowing warm Black Eyed Pea cornbread.

Balty smiled, “How much would it cost for the church to purchase new equipment? Monette, could you use our equipment?”

Balty and my husband wrote numbers on paper napkins as I watched.

Then Balty turned to me, “How about $10,000? Would that work, Monette? What do you need? The Christopher Columbus Society is having their spaghetti dinner. I’ll ask them.”

Lunch was wonderful, and we never ventured back to the topic as we laughed and enjoyed our time together that sunny day.

Church members were accustomed to me rushing up aisles 15 minutes before our Deaf mass.

To prep equipment, I darted around people praying, families posing for pictures after baptisms and other church events.

Parents and parishioners prevented small children from playing with my equipment, understanding my frantic movements each Sunday.

Soon Balty called, “They agreed!”

This event is famous.

Politicians and judges arrive to shake hands. Spaghetti is homemade; all you can eat. I attended and was thanked by lines of volunteers serving family recipes.

Balty waved at me as I stood in line – signing, joking, receiving my hugs and shoulder rubs (a Deaf ‘thing’).

Then, he sat at our long table as we ate our spaghetti. He was busy laughing and listening and enjoying the event.

Balty purchased all my hardware and court reporting software.

I prepared paperwork; he cut checks. We were a good team, and Deaf were thrilled everyone supported their community.

I have wonderful memories of Balty.

I fondly remember when Balty casually commented that women should have rights to become priests. (His predecessor preferred ‘only’ Latin masses and fasting.)

I paused before stroking “those” words.

Parishioners paused, too – looking to my large screen, narrowing their eyes. My hands poised above my steno keyboard,

Balty looked at me and slowly nodded.

As I realtimed his words, Balty paused, too.

After a long silence, people coughed, looked to one another, and then looked up to my (large) screen at the (large) all upper cap text.

Then, small groups stood and ever so slowly side-stepped to the center aisle.

They gave him one slow final look before each quietly and politely exiting the church that morning.

Later I teased Balty, “Well, you won’t be seeing the front of their faces any time soon. Before you arrived, standing room only.  Now?  Wide open spaces.” He smiled, eyes soft.

I phoned Balty when remarkable events occurred.

I was honored how he shared his life – on and off the record. I became protective of Balty as he detailed his world, expanding mine.

In 2000, I moved away from San Antonio. (I returned 2002.) The National Court Reporters Association’s, NCRA, 2001 mid-year was in San Antonio, so when I flew in, I went to my room and immediately called Balty, “I’m up the road.”

Balty instantly recognized my voice, “Monette, hi; I’ll hurry this wedding rehearsal and be right there!”

The hotel lobby had open seating. He ordered “two glasses of your finest wine.”

He raised his glass and began singing to me. Balty had a deep melodic voice; he sang in Spanish.

(Balty did not lower his voice; crystal wine glass held high, he sang.)

Stunned, I watched others watch me before I relaxed, listening. When Balty finished, he raised his glass higher and toasted me.

I whispered, “I don’t understand what you just sang. It sounded beautiful.”

Balty laughed, “Monette, I sang a love song to you.”

I blinked hard.  A. Really.  Hard.  Blink.

Balty smiled, “I sang this song to thank you for all you’ve done. I sang so you will always remember this moment.

As we dined, court reporters trolled and stopped to chat at our table.

(Balty wore a solid black shirt. I watched Balty remove his white collar the moment he entered the hotel. I teased him about being off-duty.)

Bill Weber was incoming NCRA president. His board of directors had driven into the Hill Country to film a movie for his induction.

I proudly introduced NCRA directors, many wearing country overalls, to “the man who raised $10,000 with spaghetti to purchase CART equipment.”

Every court reporter thanked him. Oh, how Balty laughed and smiled. His eyes twinkled, and he enjoyed every moment.

Hours later, court reporters stood at the elevators waving good-bye to my friend – their new friend Balty, B-a-l-t-y, he would spell his name.

Balty waved – waiting for me to get into an elevator. I waved – waiting for him to leave. And we met more people at those elevators.

He and I waited for the other to turn.

We spent hours at the elevators talking, laughing and having great fun as I introduced Balty to many friends.

Court reporters still comment on that moment when they see me.

When diagnosed with leukemia, Balty was optimistic.

I’d phone his private cell phone; he’d answer, “Hi, Moe-net!”

I could hear Spanish in the background, and he was frequently in a southside clinic “waiting to be seen.”

Once I joked that he’d spent more than 50 years visiting hospitals – perhaps he could get an appointment.

Softly Balty said, “Monette, I’m with my people; this is where I want to be.”  Ahhhh.  Yes.

I encouraged Balty to record his memoirs.

I wanted one tape for the church and another detailed version for his family, describing historic, momentous events he transformed.

I teased him that he should have a glass of red wine and sit and talk. I knew his family would want these tapes.

We kept in touch as Balty rounded the last corner of his life.

I would phone his cell phone, and we would laugh and listen to the other.

I always had his name on my to-call list. Each Monday, I put his name on my list.

His last Sunday, April 30, 2007, I had phone in hand dialing his number that afternoon when I was distracted to a family moment. I put the phone down.

I knew I would find the time to phone him. His name remained on my list.

I did not know that Balty recently left his archdiocese apartment.

Alone, he checked into hospice.

I did not know he had few visitors.

That Sunday he “snuck out to a Mexican restaurant with his family; nuns looked the other way.”

Later, he watched Spurs basketball on TV – they won.

Monsignor Balthasar Janacek died that night at 80 years of age.

I learned from his family, “When the nurse checked on him at 3 a.m., he was cold, talking in Czech.

A little while later he was speaking in English to his mother. He said, ‘Mom, I don’t think I am going to make it.’”

Balty’s card remains in my wallet. I haven’t been able remove it. I now live with mindful regrets that I’ll never be able to write his name on another call list. Oh, he was proud of CART providers and captioners, our skills, how we help people. Balty was our biggest fan.

I want you to know this about Balty. He was special to so many people for so long.

And I believe that Balty Janacek is greeting his family, friends, and strangers with a peace sign, kind words, laughter, and beautiful song.

——-  Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

25 Apr 2020

CART Captioning, Sign Language, The Library, Emmett, Another Typical Day For You, Right?

CART Captioning, Sign Language, The Library, Emmett, And Another Typical Day For You, Right?

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

This sunny, cool Saturday in January involved a trip to the San Antonio library.

My father, with cancer, enjoys listening to books. He rents audio books and purchases library cards to expand the selection, so he can listen to books.

This man, with a deep educational training and medical background (social worker, medic, psych work in the Army and worked to develop the ‘new’ Vet Admin psych department in Houston) will not dwell on his illness.

He continues to volunteer in the local E.R. assisting triage nurses admit E.R. patients before he revamped the entire E.R., so “they could more efficiently assist E.R. patients waiting for hours – ‘and’ the wonderful nurses – working to assist everyone.”  (Oh yes he did…)  And the nurses loved Mr. Emmett.  He called them “my girls.”  I would gasp each time.  “Dad, women do not like to be called ‘girls’ by anyone, especially a man.”  The nurses would smile and laugh, “He CAN.  We like it when ‘he’ calls us that.  We do.”  I always stood silent, staring direct to my father who insisted I never permit anyone ever to call me “a girl” in my adult life.  We had us a father-daughter moment each time this conversation occurred because he would smile and the nurses would laugh – having ‘their’ moment.

After his E.R. revamp (he created spreadsheets he showed me, designed the “efficient flow”) the hospital then terminated this volunteer man (really) and hired two full-time people to run their “more efficient” E.R.  (Oh yes they did.)

Then, hospital asked Emmett to ‘stay’ — Emmett refused to sit at the hospital front desk answering questions directing people to the cafeteria, he told them – and me.  Oh yes he did.

Emmett then created a confidential position in the hospital as a “patient – nurse advocate.”  Only the hospital CEO knew… CEO created new nametags for he and Emmett with ‘football’ favorite teams.  Each proudly wore their unique tag listing the football team and their name’ when inside the hospital. (“I like helping people,” Emmett frequently shares. “And I want to help others who are less fortunate or in need. I have to get on with my life. Busy, busy, busy, that’s me.”)

Doctors recently told Emmett Donnelly they are unable to explain why or how he is here since 2002.

He was told, quote, “Go on, live your life; we can not explain this.” The lead specialist then shook his hand.

We, his family, live white-knuckled, moment to moment; Emmett lives adventure to adventure.

And Mom?  She has ‘upped’ her praying, she says — eyebrows raised to us.  Yes.

The library trip was way up on his list, so Dad could borrow my card tapping a larger audio selection.

Who says no to this request? Not moi.

After lunch, we drove to the library, updated records, I was handed an updated library card.  I handed Emmett my card for his key ring.

Emmett’s eyes lit up; you would have thought he’d won the lottery.

Immediately, he headed to the computers.

During lunch, daughter answered father-questions to include books daughter is reading.  This was an ongoing conversation my entire life – from the man who took his only daughter – sans his three sons to the library each Thursday.  Every. Thursday.  Our. Evening.  Then, we often went for ice cream.  “Those who do not read are condemned to live but one life,” I learned at a very young age from Daddy.

Back to lunch – as daughter answered questions and we sipped our wine, father wanted to share an author he thought daughter should read. Hang in here, I’m getting to the fate, luck, serendipity, blessings.

Emmett knelt on the floor in front of computer.

I sat on a child’s seat as father typed John Dos Passos for daughter.

Daughter typed Nigel Tranter for father. The computer displayed ‘author unknown’. I gasped. Nigel Tranter has written over 90 historical novels; I was sure I had mistyped.

The lady to my right leaned over, “excuse me” – knowledgeably sharing how to access the city terminal.

“Oh,” was our father and daughter response, communed in perfect unison – in realtime.

Emmett and I politely listened; then she volunteered, “I come here all the time. I’m finishing my degree online.”

I stepped back one step knowing Emmett, high school guidance counselor and adult career counselor for decades, historian, grammarian, master’s degree in education would bite the hook. Oh yes he did – quickly.

The lady volunteered, “I come here because I have a visual problem.”

We nodded, listening; she shared more information – then she included her child has special needs.

(My mother has a master’s degree in elementary special education – certified in two states; I was raised with a sibling who was labeled ‘always’ as special needs. We know code.)

I asked if she was familiar with Jaws (software assisting blind), she nodded, ducked her head, smiling.

As she spoke, I thought I saw itmotion; I watched as she placed her right wrist over the left wrist. Yes, I have seen that before.

Sonya (not real name) is new to Texas, her daughter is deaf-blind.

Once she shared this information, I asked a question about sign language – watching her wrists.

Sonya replied, “Yes, I sign.”

Then I went for the answer to the big question, “ASL certified?”

Sonya ducked her head, smiled, replying softly, “Yes, Level 5.” (5 is considered ‘master’ ASL level in many areas.)

In one fluid motion, I stepped forward, extended my hand, introducing myself as a court reporter and CART captioner who works with onsite and remote sign interpreters. She burst into laughter; I too busted-out laughing – in the silent library. (Another realtime deaf-moment within my world.)

Everyone in the library turned and stared – until we -in unison- stopped our outburst of laughter.

Emmett stepped back two steps (for privacy).

I asked if Sonya needed assistance, contacts; did she need people to help her family?

Sonya shared personal facts; I listened, then detailed people with whom I have worked in places she mentioned, and we laughed.

Again, librarians and others stared. Together we stopped laughing; we blinked in unison, smiling.

I asked about her deaf-blind daughter; Sonya shared daily multiple challenges.

Sonya and I covered a lot of ground – fast.

I gave her my business card for All ARTCS, Inc., All American Real-Time Captioning Services, Inc., volunteering to email names, services I knew would help Sonya’s family.

Sonya giggled, then shared her knowledge and skills of ASL (American Sign Language), HandSpeak (www.handspeak.com) and Cued Speed (www.cuedspeech.com).

We breezed through multiple methods to communicate, CART (voice to text), sign interpreters, transliterators (sign to voice), how she handles hospitalizations with her child admitted into pediatrics – communicating with medical professionals and parents with children admitted on her child’s floor – where once one hears there’s a deaf parent or deaf child in the ward, deaf and hearing children quickly sit together on one bed signing away, happy, content, communicating. Softly we giggled together.

A librarian soon hovered four steps away; I frowned at him.

Sonya stated her computer time was up; we had to “step away from the computer.”

We laughed softer, and I listened as Sonya shared specific needs.

In realtime, I was able to further digest, filter, network and share information to help with sign, deaf-blind and CART information, relevant facts – due to many blessings of this occupation and my passion.

I gave Sonya the name of Deaf Link, Inc. (They helped Texas Katrina evacuees with onsite, remote interpreting for six months) for her interpreting needs or possible future employment (herself Level 5).

I shared how I met a deaf PGA hotel employee in Phoenix now living here, working with Deaf Link, married to an employee within Deaf Link. Mike Houston, Deaf, is expanding his goal to open international children’s deaf golf camps.

Sonya giggled; she ‘got it’ (that instant deaf-connection).

I told Sonya about Frances Dobson within the United Kingdom who has the most accomplished resume and skills of anyone I’ve ever met with reporting and deaf-blind talents.

I shared articles I had written for my NCRA Journal of Court Reporting column.

Sonya asked if I would email all information to her home, so she could use assistive software, adding, “My daughter will be so excited! She loves computers, too!”

Then I commented about her ‘wrist holding the other wrist’ when she first spoke.

Sonya smiled, “Yes, I have to do that – otherwise I just sign.”

I nodded and thought about the court reporters who find fingers tapping on their lap or steering wheel. Together we stood within the library and giggled softly.

As I said good-bye to Sonya I knew this moment, with my new friend, would benefit both she and her deaf-blind daughter. I welcomed her to Texas. My father had his new library card; Sonya had new facts, information.

I am never, never surprised where or how our skills, knowledge of facts involving CART, sign language, deaf and deaf-blind information can open vast new paths for so many.

Leaving, Emmett quipped, “Well, just another typical day for you, right?”

We laughed, and I looked to Sonya – standing in the library alone, waving.

Eyes bright, her smile big, I signed my departing message to Sonya, so I would not disturb anyone within the San Antonio library on a Saturday afternoon.

Fate? Luck? Serendipity? Blessings? I know. Now you decide. You. Decide.

—- Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

11 Apr 2020

Simple Silence; Have ‘You’ Ever Heard Sound; Oral Deaf Friends Meet; Silence is All I Know…

Simple Silence; Have ‘You’ Ever Heard Sound; Oral Deaf Friends Meet; Silence is All I Know…                                 

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

 

I want to plant a seed; simple silence.  Silence is powerful. I have Deaf friends (their term) who would not change their deafness. They embrace their world.

A special memory was created when I introduced two people who have been deaf since childhood.

I met each through my CART, communication access real-time translation, captioning work. They did not know each other and wanted to meet.

I met my friends for Sunday morning lunch (I called it ‘breaking bread together’) at a golf country club.  I was a club visitor.  Separately, each spent much time on the golf courses with their families.  This was a comfortable environment for them.

While ordering food at the counter (which was then delivered), one friend stood with his hands tucked in his khaki pants pockets, shoulders back and down. He was reading our lips.

My other friend, the young lady, had her hands on the counter, and was reading the menu and watching our lips.

She and I were signing (ASL, American Sign Language). He does not sign; refuses to learn; he is oral deaf. I knew sign language before she –and taught young lady first signs before she enrolled in ASL classes.

Because he refuses to learn ‘any’ sign language and is vocal (yes) about this – (very professional job, technical work) -, she and I signed – to each other – playfully, no verbal communication.  Friends (can) do that… Yes. And we did.  She and I laughed.  He did not… which made ‘it’ that much funnier. Great culture, rich deep – it ‘was’ funny, for us – soon, he was laughing, too.

My male friend said, voice a tad louder than might have been for the Sunday country club, “Have you ever heard sound?”

I stepped back to watch this communication.

The young dude taking our order gasped; golfers stepped away.

She voiced, “I don’t think so.  I don’t know.”

My friends looked to me, paused, and smiled ‘ear to ear’.

My male friend paused, his two hands in his pockets, “I have no sound.  Nothing!  Never heard sound.  Did you?”

She, still signing to me, voiced, “Maybe. I might have. I do not remember.”

Within the restaurant and outdoor patio, mature “bruncher” (my term) adults were seated at little round tables wearing tennis and golfing outfits.

Individuals now were ‘frozen’ (similar to within a photograph) – their food and fork suspended midair. Everyone clearly heard this conversation about sound.

Everyone, many with raised eyebrows, waited. No one – and I mean ‘no one’ – moved. I softly giggled and returned my attention to my friends.

My friends wrapped up the conversation, “I wonder what sound is like.  Silence is good.  It’s all I know.”

The counter-dude had not spoken to my friends while they ordered their lunch. He – as too many – spoke to me, asking me what they wanted – after my friends had spoken their order – yes – to counter-dude.

Yes, I worked to change that.  My friends handled the situation. How?  Per their request, I ordered. They gave me ‘that’ look; each stepped back – eyes cast downward for a moment.  Then, new friends, they began a new new conversation.

I glanced behind me one more time.  (Court reporter reaction, perhaps?)

People were now eating; yet there was no conversation in the room or patio.  There was complete silence.

People worked to avoid eye contact with us.  I remember the moment well.  And I ordered a glass of wine (just before noon on Sunday), which I slowly sipped, watching the moments unfold in real-time as my two friends shared, confided, laughed, and we each enjoyed this time together.

Why am I sharing this special memory?  I believe court reporters are sensitive to sound.  It is, after all, our bread and butter.  Deaf friends have asked, “Is there technology to accurately help me do what you do?”

I slowly shake my head with a smile, “Ummmm, I don’t think so.”

The reply, always, “Me neither; I just wanted to know.”  I am surprised how often this conversation evolves.

Another conversation evolves with court reporters and students while I coach and tutor, help students and professionals prep for national and state written court reporting examinations with Purple Books.  I am repeatedly asked, “What are you listening to?”

When I inquire why this is being asked, I hear, “You are very quiet when I speak. Do you have your computer on?  Are you doing something else?  Do you have music playing?” I am surprised how often I hear these words.

I reply, “When I work – court, depo or CART – I am listening.  When I am teaching, coaching, I am listening.  This is what we do well. My computer is not on, so I may focus. There’s no music.”

Then I pause for the follow-up, which is sure to follow:  “What do you have in the background? Fish tank?  Fountain?  What do you have for sound?”

I reply, “Silence.  I have birdfeeders outside. Truly, that’s it.”

Individuals with severe hearing loss (there are degrees) or profound deafness may not have sound.

Silence is powerful.

Is that one reason we are comforted walking into church? Close church doors, and you may not hear external sounds.  Open those doors, and the world instantly changes.

When people arrive at my office or home often silence is a topic.  Adults pause, “What is that?  No sound?  It’s so silent.  I can’t do that in my world or home.”

And some add, “I hate to leave; it’s peaceful, quiet here.

Teens comment, “What?  No TV, music?  What’s up with that? It’s too quiet. Why?” Teens shrug, hands in the air, gesturing their thoughts on ‘no sound’.

Frequently, in the next sentence, individuals say, “I like it; it feels good” – or – they say the complete opposite, “I need something in the background; I could never do that.”  (There’s not much middle ground on this.)

Again, the topic of sound – or lack thereof – is introduced.

In 1993, when I opened my CART captioning “headquarters” within a sign interpreter’s business, I feng shui-ed my office to see if it would generate more revenue.

Hearing and deaf trolled through and parked in chairs, sharing, “It feels peaceful.”

Maybe having been surrounded by music and sound as a child and adult created an opportunity for my choice.

My mother, a special education elementary instructor (certified in two states) and music teacher with an associate’s degree in opera, plays approximately seven instruments.  She always played an instrument or brought one home to practice for class lessons.

Her mother, my grandmother, was a piano prodigy who formed her own orchestra in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Each musician had to play a minimum of four instruments. My grandmother was also a court stenographer.

I grew up with a lot of sound.  The day that astronauts landed on the moon, my family was traveling and camping in a pop-up tent trailer.  We were in El Paso, Texas.  My memory is brutally hot – no air conditioning or TV.

That day, my youngest brother, Kevin Drue, bought a (cheap) guitar.

In that heat El Paso (with no trees in sight), Kevin sat on a barbecue table.  I listened as he taught himself to play guitar in that unbelievable heat.

Several hours later Kevin was pretty darn good.

And I married a man who played guitar – a lot.

The younger generation?   Yes, music (and video games) are played – a lot.

Often court reporters have had music lessons prior to entering our profession. This talent can be a plus for students.

Walking into stores now, typically music is now blaring.  Studies reveal that people shop longer (with the air conditioning cranked up – even in cooler weather) when music is heard.

While reading e-mails today as I finished this article on sound, I read that several sign interpreting friends were commenting about a new, just-released CD they are purchasing.

One deaf friend wrote, “What is it?  Country?  Rock?  ‘Sounds’ good!  Ha-ha.”

Silence, in my opinion, is powerful. This is a conversation I have had with many friends who cannot hear sounds.  (Watching – actually staring at – people who “sign” is considered to be eavesdropping as shared with me by the deaf community.) Friends, of all ages who are Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, are my teachers on the subject of sound.

Court reporters, CART captioners, students and instructors are accustomed to listening to rapid-fire, back-to-back words in talk-over conversations.

Often we think, “When are ‘they’ going to inhale?  How long can this pace continue?”

We know people are talking faster in depositions, court, and on TV.  The subject has been documented.

As we round the corner for holidays, adding tasks to busy schedules, I want to remind you to listen to simple silence.  

The seed I am planting here – silence – as gifted by my deaf friends is “hearing the sound of sound.”  I seek to resonate this moment within you.  This is my simple silent wish.

—- Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

07 Apr 2020

Mark Cuss Said To The Nymphs: CART Captioning Latin Classes

Mark Cuss Said To The Nymphs: CART Captioning Latin Classes

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

The phone rang Friday at 2:30. “Would you realtime, CART, a class? We need you Monday morning. It started two months ago. Oh, it’s Latin.”

As an experienced court reporter, instructor, tutor, I’m not lucky enough to get math or physics. The university request was for two semesters. I’d get a textbook Monday. I gulped, accepting the opportunity in 1999.

On Monday morning the student arrived, looked at me and my equipment near her seat, and stopped. I wrote on my computer, “My name is Monette. I’ve been asked to help you. Today will be the worst day I write. I don’t have a textbook yet. We’ll work as a team. I promise I’ll get better.”

The teacher began class. I began Latin.

I kid you not, my first day, the start of my first class: Callisto and the nymphs were having a metamorphosis over the birth of Arcas, Juno and the constellations and Mark Cuss (sic) said to the nymphs …

I’ve receive so many requests for information on how to write, how to CART, Latin. I tease: one prefix, root word, suffix at a time, and lots of fingerspelling. And somehow it translates – well, almost.

That day as each student read, translating sentences, learning declensions and tenses, I stroked sounds. When each student spoke Latin, I wrote, “Student Speaking Latin.”

Later I heard a gasp, and my consumer pointed to my realtime screen. I’d written: “Speaking Spanish.” (I had just finished CARTing to two large screens in one large room, five days for a large international Latino convention.)

I shook my head and wrote, “No, I just drifted. It’s still Latin.”

Immediately, in realtime, mortified, I erased those words from the screen.

But she and I got the giggles. Having begun our team building, we were now in the trenches together.

Writing this article, I asked the consumer’s permission to share how I (try to) realtime Latin.

Laney Fox, toes tapping and filled with energy, insisted on sharing.
Laney is deaf, raised oral deaf, and is now learning sign language.

We communicate with realtime, lipreading, sign language and gestures. Somehow it works. At the end of class I give her a rough ASCII disk (verbatim translation) of the entire class. Sometimes I’m reluctant to share it, but we’ve built a strong team communicating with each other and working with the university, instructor.

To provide CART (communication access realtime translation – voice-to-text) in this Latin class, I sit next to Laney with my computer on her desk. We share her text. I point to a selection if a student’s reading. If someone says a word I don’t know, I make a signed hand gesture (usually ASL), and Laney pushes the book to me (we’re sharing a desk for right-handed people; both of us are left-handed). I search for the word, fingerspell it and keep writing.

If the student’s reading from the book, I write, “Reading Latin” and point in the book as the student reads each word. (She likes to follow the class; this is her preference.)

If the student asks a question, I realtime each word to appear on the computer screen. When the professor gives explanations or references, I realtime each word.

Laney makes notes in the text and a notebook and reads my computer screen. As I learn more Latin (actually, sounds), I’m stitching words together. When she’s called upon, Laney translates Latin to English. She answers and asks questions. I stroke Latin phrases.

Sometimes Laney asks, “How do you pronounce that?”
The professor answers in Latin.

I phonetically stroke the word with spaces between sounds. She watches my phonetic translation and reads the word. (I always hold my breath.)

Initially I’d entered sounds in my dictionary when I was preparing to realtime. (I have CARTed to a large screen for St. Francis Di Paola, a Catholic Deaf mass, and various religious, interesting events since 1993.)

Preparing for religious events, I placed sounds with my asterick key, globaling strokes, so when I hit specific keys, they appear as phonetic, English sounds. I now can fingerspell a word faster than stroking it, but when it’s Latin, I have to rely on phonetics.

Sounds help me to help Laney in a Latin university setting at Trinity University.

Laney Fox shares, “Many people think it’s rude to correct a deaf person’s speech. It may be rude for strangers to do that, but after forming a relationship, I think it’s perfectly nice for someone to try to help out a deaf person’s speech.I know many vocabulary words. I simply don’t know how to pronounce them; English is one odd language. The words pronounced do not look the way they are written.”

One weekend I traveled to speak to a state court reporting convention.On my way back, Sunday afternoon, the airplane was canceled. I traveled all night to arrive in San Antonio with only minutes to get to class straight from the airport. I had on yesterday’s clothes.

I wrote, “This is not gonna be pretty; I’ve not slept in two days.”

Laney said, “You don’t have to be good today. It’s OK.”

My heart sang. This is why I do this. I worked so hard to “be good” for Laney.

After class, she said, “You were much better than I thought you were going to be. You were ‘good’ today.”

I sighed and placed my forehead down on the tiny desk on top of my warm computer.

Laney says, “I was so surprised to see Monette come in, telling me she was traveling all night. I would have stayed home and let her go through a class, clueless. After that, I learned her dedication to my involvement in Latin.”

If you want to provide this service, make sure you have a phonetic dictionary you can stroke. Become a confident fingerspeller. Build a rapport with the consumer and teacher. We’ve had challenges. But we’ve worked with gestures, signals and me asking, “Does this make sense?”

Listen for vents that open and close. External sounds interfere when students answer around your seat. Make sure you can hear everyone – front, back and to the side.

Don’t be afraid to tell the class when you have problems. If you can’t hear, others probably can’t hear.

Insist on faculty parking (since we haul heavy equipment, wear and tear dragging our equipment that is bumping over pavement may affect your computer, steno machine). You must have a text and all handouts.

I write all external sounds – sneezing, coughing, birds, stomachs grumbling. I am her ears. If I hear it, I write it.

Keep a sense of humor. Two months into the course, I phoned my dad. Emmett was raised in Jesuit schools, was an altar boy and graduated from Fordham University. He loves Latin.

When I told him about this assignment, he said, “You are in way over your head.”

I laughed and said, “Nope. Gonna do this one, do it well. I’m going to work hard, but I’m going to do this.”

So when I phoned to ask, “What is Ovid, Ovidian?” He howled.

Emmett said, “That’s the author of the huge orange text you’re carrying around. Haven’t you even looked at the cover?”

I laughed, “Nope, been everywhere else, but not the cover.”

After each class I look to Laney. She’s so forgiving and understanding. You must explain how and why words do not translate; why “funnies” pop up. She smirks and giggles when “stuff” appears.

Laney, “I love when we translate Latin stories in class. It’s fun to watch Monette. She frantically waves her arms when she can’t hear. I just love the energy to get me into class discussion.”

If I’d been told I’d be CARTing, realtiming, Latin and giving a rough ASCII verbatim disk to someone in a university classroom, I’d have never believed it. Not in a million years.

But now Marcus, those nymphs, the etymology of Latin with dative, conjugative, ablative, pluperfect, passive prosody applying to dactylic hexameter with basic rules of syntax trans – well, almost.

And it was just my luck to get a Latin honors students with whom I could expand my skills and learn so much about her world.

Today someone asked me how I was doing. I said, “I feel like a character on the I Love Lucy shows.”

The lady replied, “Without the soundtrack?”

Yeah – without the “sound-track”. But I’m looking forward to the final exam. After all, this is Latin.

And Laney Fox was first runner-up in the Deaf Texas Beauty Pageant. Yes, I am honored to be embraced within the deaf and HOH world. She and I are excited to share our passion for this technology with each of you.

Next we write Laney’s experiences and thoughts about receiving CART. Laney, “I want to share to help others. I really do.” Laney insists on sharing – as do I.

Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

02 Apr 2020

Laney’s Latin; Hearing Not Required, CART Captioning University Latin

Laney’s Latin; Hearing Not Required, CART Captioning University Latin

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Laney Fox and I became a team, in the trenches, during her first semester in Latin.

Previously, I wrote how I’m CARTing (communication access real-time translation), realtiming, her classes. I am a court reporter, instructor, author, and tutor translating verbatim voice-to-text upon request for Laney.

I’ve watched Laney blossom in Latin!

Her deafness may be viewed by others. Limitations may be viewed by others, but not to Laney. Her world is full of life and possibilities.

We hope our articles inspire others to step onto the branch, to feel the breeze – to create a new dream, to see it grow. Laney has a zest for life and has many dreams. Sharing her world and life, to help others, is important to her. As Laney repeatedly says (toes tapping), “I ‘want’ to help others. I really ‘want’ to help others.”

Laney was born healthy; she had her hearing. She became deaf approximately near 13 months old, possibly from a 24-hour virus/fever. They are not “entirely positive.”

Laney was mainstreamed into her first “hearing school” during fourth grade after nine years of oral education at C.I.C., Central Institute of the Deaf, in St. Louis.

Her parents relocated the family to Baltimore after a job promotion. “So it was decided that I remain in the C.I.C. dorms for another year to continue my education to speak,” says Laney. “However, I was not happy at the dorms. So I left to join my family. My parents told me that they decided to raise me orally first to see if this was the best method for me to grow up with. They said if I wasn’t happy being orally raised, they would have taken me out of C.I.C. and enrolled me in a signing school. My parents were not trying to make me ‘hearing,’ as some people assume. My parents just wanted to see what was the best way to go.”

“When they saw that I was living a happy childhood with many other children, they decided to continue with this method. They simply did not see the need to teach me sign language when they saw that I was doing well in school and sports.”

“I chose to learn sign language in my senior year of high school. I wanted to see what it was like to communicate through sign language.
My parents didn’t hold me back; they were totally supportive, but still to this day my parents don’t know sign language. This doesn’t bother me. It just allows me to participate in both worlds.”

“If I had a choice, I would have gone a slightly different way. I would have chosen to teach a deaf child sign language when the child is in middle school (after the language acquisition period closes … to ensure that the child’s speech doesn’t deteriorate) to allow the child to communicate the best way that a child can. At least the child would know how to communicate through the hearing world and the deaf world.”

“I think children should learn both ways for total communication. Parents should not let the child place more emphasis on sign language. Parents should work more on oral speaking throughout childhood. It’s important that children are able to speak, so they have a choice in their communication when they enter the real world.”

I asked Laney to describe her Latin experiences with a CART captioner. When I first appeared, Laney -had not received any notice from my Friday afternoon request to this Monday morning class – walked in, took one look at my equipment, stopped in her tracks.

“Let’s say I wasn’t expecting a captioner who was so dedicated to help me learn and ‘hear’ Latin,” Laney says.

“Some high school teachers knew that it was hard for me to understand them in lecture tone. When I was in high school, I took Latin for three years. But I always felt that I was missing out something (which I did because I failed the Latin placement test after three years of Latin!). I’d come into the class prepared with my version of the story and try to gather all corrections from other students. The teacher never corrected my versions.”

“However, I had many questions for the teacher after class. I think sometimes they were the same questions asked in class because he seemed frustrated when I kept asking questions about the translations or the lecture. I don’t think he ever truly understood my deafness. Anyway, I always depended on the students to tell me whether mine was right or wrong. In fact, I had a student, David; I would give him my translations. Then he would correct mine, and return my translations with all kinds of errors marked. He helped me for one year in (high school) Latin. I am grateful for his generosity.”

Laney had to deal with another problem. “I never heard the other students’ questions, translations or the professor’s corrections,” she explains.

“All of my learning relied on my own translations for three years. Throughout this time I didn’t know sign language; I didn’t have anyone to sign to me.”

“In my first semester at this university, Trinity, I’d write out translations before I went to class and have someone look over them. I was rather lucky in this class; there’s an excellent book that contains all the information lectured by the professor. I also had a notetaker, so I had more help than I was accustomed to.”

Laney was enrolled in Latin for two months before I was asked to CART (Communication Access Real Time Translation) caption for her (on a Friday afternoon) and give her a rough ASCII disk at the end of each class (beginning the following Monday morning).

The CART assistance has been a boon, per Laney and her instructor.

Laney says, “Now I enjoy class tremendously when we’re translating stories (instead of lecture days).”

“It’s more fun to watch Monette trying to get everything. When she can’t hear, she flaps her arms around. She also taps my shoulder to grab my attention for her corrections on her screen. I just love her energy to get me into class discussion.”

And when I could not hear, we changed rooms. And when the students could hear doors loudly squeaking, and I had to keep writing “doors squeaking,” the doors were oiled, per my request. The university, professor and students have all become part of this CART captioning team.

As I sweated and struggled to realtime Latin, I talked to Laney about my work, explained why ‘stuff’ popped up correctly – or not. Laney appreciated the information about my experiences in court reporting.

“I didn’t know what to really expect from a captioner. But when Monette Benoit told me that ‘all’ court reporters want to strive to be the best, I was very impressed. When she would get upset with the CART equipment, computer screen, at first I didn’t understand why she would get so frustrated.”

“I was so happy that I could at least have an idea of what everyone else was talking about. It didn’t matter whether you mistyped ‘declension’ or whatever. I now knew what was going on. I am entirely grateful for Monette’s help in showing the pronunciations of the words I was unfamiliar with.”

Laney is enrolled full-time at Trinity University and attends sign language classes once a week in the evening. She volunteers with Best Buddies (a program for people who are mentally retarded). “I just take my Best Buddy out to have some fun,” she says.

And what does Laney want to do with her life?

“My plans for the future are to become a veterinarian. I would love to be able to understand animals and be able to communicate with them. I am amazed how animals and humans can still communicate through body language, even without speaking. I would love to learn many more things about animals and perhaps help the world understand more about the animals we know so little about.”

So, do you want to help others?

Our wish is that you will want to help others – and yourself.

This is a great time to be a court reporter and work with deaf, hard-of-hearing people. Life is good! Hearing, sound, is not required to expand your life, to blossom and to grow. Just ask Laney Fox. She’d really like to “hear” from you.

Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

30 Mar 2020

She Never Speaks; She Spoke To You; Why Can’t She Just Learn English? She’s ‘only’ Deaf

She Never Speaks; She Spoke To You; Why Can’t She Just Learn English?  She’s ‘only’ Deaf

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

One morning in June, I got an early start. The store was near empty. I had me a 2007 Christmas gift certificate. My mission: new dish towels. I went to the kitchen area. This was easier than I thought.

Avoiding clearance racks, I saw the perfect T-shirt on a shelf. I debated — must I? Ahead of schedule I stepped to my left just to look. I spotted a woman who had her head down and was folding a mountain of clothes scattered over a metal table. And I’m talking marine-inspection folding.

The woman looked up; I smiled politely. She nodded and continued folding. I paused long and deliberately before I decided to see if she was the person I thought she might be.

With one motion I made a gesture  that often -only Deaf recognize. (It works very well, folks, Big D.) She tilted her head and smiled. Then her eyes sparkled. She did a small dance, head down, hands high in the air, before launching herself over that table to me.

I have not seen Stephie in ten years. Stephie is deaf, lives within the Big D-Deaf world.

I shook out my hands, signing, “Need put down purse. Signing rusty.” Placing my purse, towels on the table, planting my feet on the floor, standing tall, shoulders back, I began to (silently) talk with Stephie.

When I paused to sign or fingerspell, she signed with me, waiting while I struggled or correcting me (so very nice) as needed. This woman, who does not speak, began to laugh. Signing, she began to voice (words) and have sudden outbursts of sounds (words).

As I turned, I spotted employees watching. Customers approached, smiled at me (but not us), and then turned away. I asked Stephie if she might get in trouble for speaking to me. She laughed, “Nope.”

I asked if anyone in the store spoke or signed to her. “No,” she replied.

I asked how she communicates with her co-workers. Only her manager does – and only as needed. Then he ‘writes’ details on a small pad. I asked how she communicates with customers.

Stephie said that she tries to help, but “customers turn away, not responding.”

I winced. But Stephie beamed, stroking my face and hand, “I found you!”

In my rush that morning, I did not put on my wedding ring. She knows my husband from the years he was my “roadie” (his term) every Sunday when I CARTed to St. Frances Di Paola’s large screen for the Deaf mass. Stephie reached for my ringless hand, holding my ringless finger.

She shrugged and with hands in the air, she voiced loudly, “Sorry. It happens.”

I doubled over with laughter. Stephie then voiced, “Oops.”

This Deaf community is tight. When a hearing person is embraced into the Deaf world, it is an honor. In 1993, an elder within the Deaf community, gifted me with a sign name and named me “Our Token Hearing Girl” sharing my CART skills, learning from their culture. Oh, we have funny moments and memories.

Our conversation lasted 20 minutes. Now I was late. We exchanged information.

I signed, “Late. Must go.” She understood. Good-bye lasted 10 minutes with hugs, she touching my arm, my hand.

One employee who watched Stephie and I pointed to her register. I’m still holding only dish towels. Easy, right?

Anna looks like Priscilla Presley, early 1960s. She takes my towels and said, “She spoke to you.”

I blinked and looked at her hair and eye makeup.

Anna, “She spoke to you.”

I smiled, “We’re old friends.”

Anna paused, then leaned on her register, “She spoke to you. I heard her. She said words ‘to’ you.”

I smiled, “Stephie’s deaf. She communicates with sign language. How much do I owe?”

Anna, “She never speaks; she spoke to you. I don’t understand her. I’d like to …”

I almost put my forehead on that register counter. I’m thinking, “Please, God, don’t let this be a mini-deaf sensitivity seminar. I need to head to my office. I have court reporters and court reporting students confirmed for tutoring this morning and afternoon. Peter Rabbit here must run.”

Anna whispered, “You spoke to her. She understood you. She ‘heard’ you. How does that happen?”

I exhaled slowly without sighing. I looked to the people behind me and asked, “Anyone in a hurry?”

Each person (a first) shook their head.

Customers replied, “I have all the time in the world.”

“I’ve always wanted to learn about sign language — those deaf mutes.”

When I looked up — as I knew would be — Stephie watched, head down. She understood. I made eye contact with Stephie and smiled.

I slowly began my mini-seminar. “Stephie is an intelligent woman to work in a place where no one speaks her language – or will try.”

Anna asked, “But why do her words come up in wrong places?”

Me, “Well, Anna, her language ASL, American Sign Language, is a conceptual language created by hearing people long ago in France.”

Anna, “Why can’t she read lips? She stays to herself. She seems nice.”

I asked, “Has anyone here ever sat with her in the break room?” Anna shook her head. “Stephie wants to communicate,” I said.


Anna earnestly, “But sometimes her words don’t sound like English, yet you understood what she was saying. I watched. You two had a real conversation. Some words are louder than they should be. Can’t she just learn English?”

I winced. Calmly, I took a deep breath, shared tips about Big D, Deaf, sign language. “Stephie does know English. Her first language is ASL.”

Placing my towels in a store bag, I asked for the total. Customers leaned forward to listen when Anna whispered, “I wish I was brave enough to do what you did with her.”

Slowly counting to myself, I softly replied, “Start with one word. When you see her on break, coming into work or leaving, start with one word.”

I showed Anna several signs (and a few funny slang signs) to encourage and motivate her. I added, “And it’s fun.”

Anna finally totaled those dang towels and said, “Thank you for helping deaf people and for taking time to help us – who wish we could understand them.”

Me, “But you can.”

Anna, “No, no, I wish I could, but I can’t. Thank you for helping me and for helping us to understand.”

With one quick, shy motion, Anna raced around the counter and hugged me. Then she sprinted back to her register. Customers then thanked me “for helping those people.” I avoided sighing.

 

I closed the seminar, “Deaf have a wonderful culture with a beautiful language. We must learn from each other.”

I slowly looked down the aisle; I knew she was watching. Stephie nodded. She understood. I signed good-bye to Anna. Overhand I signed (the personal) “I love you” to Stephie. I took my towels and departed with my head down. I wondered what I could have or should have said to her coworkers to have had a more positive result.

Then a large UPS truck flew past me. Stopping on a dime, the driver leaned out the doorless truck and waved overhand. I blinked. Last year, he was stung by a bee at his previous delivery. He’s allergic to bees. After I signed for my delivery I treated his neck ‘timing’ to see if his bee reaction would need hospitalization.

While watching this UPS shorts-wearing dude with dark eyeglasses, energetically waving overhand to me, I thought about Anna and how wonderful it was to have found Stephie. I thanked God for life’s grand memory-moments.

Then like the little Peter Rabbit, this bunny went back to her world – thankful for Stephie’s friendship and her laughter that morning.

I phoned the sign interpreter Stephie requested, sharing Stephie’s message.

 

My friend howled with laughter, “Dish towels with a 2007 Christmas certificate? Oh, Monette, you need to shop for better things. What ya doing tomorrow? Let’s meet there, see Stephie. Let’s go have us some real fun over there.”

     Perhaps we did; perhaps we did. Stephie and I wish Happy Holidays to each of you and your families.

—-Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

18 Mar 2020

Yes We Can, Yes We Did; You No Worry, My Husband, You Okay, Signed Big D -Deaf Lady in Dark Parking Lot, You Safe

Yes We Can, Yes We Did; You No Worry, My Husband, You Okay, Signed Big D -Deaf Lady in Dark Parking Lot, You Safe

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Recently I was out of state on business far from home when I encountered another “memory moment” (deaf term) that will stay with me. I work as a court reporter, court reporting instructor, tutor and coach. Of this I know to be true: if more of us could truly hear and see what’s around us, we would change the world as we know it – one person, one “moment” at a time. Yes, we can, and yes, we did.

After a long day, early evening, I stopped at a hardware store. I needed a few items.

On a long (single) line in the busy store with my cart, I heard a familiar sound.

I tilted my chin up.

“Ahhhhahh,” a woman was pointing a man to another counter. I blinked knowingly. I smiled, she looked away.

I then debated: Could I? Should I? The line wasn’t moving as I leaned on my cart.

I smiled, quickly gestured upwards with the flick of my wrist – and waited. She looked up. Again I smiled.

We looked at each other for a few seconds before I thought, “Oh, what the heck.” I began to sign (ASL) to her.

She watched and did not respond, but she was smiling. I signed that I have worked with deaf people in Texas. I had not signed in a while: “My sign stinky now.” Her smile beamed from ear to ear. She started signing so quickly, I had to remember the first sign I learned: “Slow down.”

My line barely moved toward the cashier. She and I were soon signing (ASL, American Sign Language) and communicating.

Children stopped complaining, whining about standing on line in the hardware store.

Adults looked stunned, clearly staring, as we laughed, spelled, signed. I had a great time; it felt good to sign again! As I approached the cashier, she nodded a brief good-bye and went back to work.

The cashier smiled. I asked if many deaf people worked there. “No, her husband works here.”

I asked the (hearing) cashier if there were interpreters.

“Nope, that lady worked ‘at a deaf place’ and used to come to the store every evening. The boss would say: You don’t have a job. He wasn’t going to pay her. But she continued to show up each night. Soon she began counting the money in each register, and she was very good at it. The owner hired the lady.”

I said, “You know, she’s reading lips, communicating with others; no one’s interpreting for her. She’s very smart. Trust me.”

As I left, I turned and waved good-bye to the deaf lady. The boss arrived at her register with more money, she smiled, I nodded … off I went … or so I thought.

My car would not start. The lights turned on, but not the engine.

It was now dark; I was in an unfamiliar city and stores were closing.

I strolled back into that store, flicked my wrist and signed, “Me car broke.”

The lady immediately signed to her husband, who sprinted out to my car.

Four men who worked with the couple appeared.

One man moved his truck and popped our hoods to “jump” the battery.

No one spoke to me; they were busy.

Within minutes, six men were in and out of my car: “What the hell’s this? What does this go to?”

They popped fuse boxes, flipped switches. I was stunned.

When I looked up, the deaf lady was signing, “You no worry. My husband. You OK.”

The men fervently worked; I turned my back on my car. It was too painful to watch and no one was answering my questions; they were busy.

In the dark parking lot, she and I signed and signed and signed, laughing, enjoying the nice breezes.

When my car was “fixed,” I was diagnosed with a neutral safety-switch problem. (Oh?) Then, each man who had worked on my car quickly vanished into the dark.

I yelled “thanks” to their backs as they silently left.

As I turned to get into my car, the husband asked, “Do you have someplace to stay tonight?” I paused. He asked again.

Standing under the street lamp, alone, stores closed, I hesitated.

Then I heard the deaf lady yelling, signing, “You OK. He my husband. You safe.”

I laughed, answered his questions, and we signed for the lady, his wife.

She then signed, “Firestone. You go tomorrow.”

I started to think this would make a great SNL, Saturday Night Live, skit clip.

She’s standing next to her car four spots away, signing to me.

Her husband is next to me signing into the air, so she can “hear,” and I’m trying to remember all the signs my rusty fingers used to know.

I asked, “What are your names?”

His reply, “Go to Firestone. Tell them Mike and the deaf lady sent you.”

“What is her name?” I asked.

He said, “They just know her as the deaf lady. They’ll know who you mean.”

The third time, I asked slowly, “What is her name? What do ‘you’ call her?”

He smiled and said, “I’m Mike. She’s Millie. We work at Johnny’s.” And he continued to sign (interpret) our conversation.

I signed up into the air, “Nice meet you, Millie.”

She tapped her heart, “You not worry. Go Firestone. You OK.”

I began to giggle when I looked around. People were sitting in their cars in the dark, motionless, viewing this entire scene.

Since my car engine was running, I was afraid to turn it off. Mike continued to stay with me, smiling.

Then I asked Mike what I had signed to Millie in the store.

Earlier I’d asked, “Do you watch TV?” She had said that she kept busy. Mike said, “She doesn’t like TV.”

I signed into the air, “Millie’s Big D. Signing her first language. She’s having trouble viewing captioning because too fast. Practice, reading improves.”

Mike agreed that was the reason she did not watch television. “She struggles with reading captions.”

I stopped signing to concentrate and concisely explain how broadcast captioners and CART providers help deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults.

I discussed the work I’d shared with many deaf and HOH (hard-of-hearing) groups and a deaf mass since 1993.

I signed across the parking lot, “You watch TV. Captioners help you, better reading.”

Finally, Millie said, “Yes, I watch. I will. Promise. Yes, I can.”

As I left, I thanked God for my new friends and wondered why the only place my car had broken down in 17 years was somewhere I’d just had fun and shared with a new deaf friend.

Mike and Millie at Johnny’s … if only “you” could sign, hear, and see, you would shift.

I’m writing about this, yes, we can, and yes, we did because the reactions of court reporters and friends have been interesting.

All deposition court reporters and officials asked, “Why didn’t you just call a tow truck?

The CART captioners and sign interpreters said, “Yeah, I get it.”

Another confirmation, to me, of the differences in our consumers and possibly future clients.

I know Mike and Millie will watch captioning.

If you could sign, hear and see, you too could feel that your skills are wonderful.

Our court reporting and CART captioning profession is a gift to others. We’re not reminded often enough … but my heart knows. It feels so right “in the moment” to communicate, help, sign and laugh.

Mike and Millie confirmed my life path (again); another “sign” from the universe.

Come and join us. It’s fun. You’ll meet many people. They’ll appear anywhere during the day, the night, even in a hardware store.

Mike, Millie and I agree … yes, we can. Yes, we can sign, hear and see together as one.

Each time a deaf person taps his or her heart and smiles at me, I have another “memory moment.” 

That memory moment is mine to keep forever.

Do you ever wish you could have these moments? Trust me: yes, you can. Yes, we can.

 

— Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

15 Mar 2020

ASL, Deaf, HOH, Pharisees, CART Captioning, You, One Lost Sheep And What If…

ASL, Deaf, HOH, Pharisees, CART Captioning, You, One Lost Sheep And What If…
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

Do you have the skills to realtime for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person? You won’t know if you don’t try. What if you could find a comfortable environment to become realtime proficient?

What if you could nurture your realtime skills, build your confidence and attract new clients outside legal arenas.

You can expand your skills by growing into the technology.

You can realtime for people that appreciate you and your talents.

The hardest part will be not taking yourself too seriously.

As a CART, communication access realtime technology, Captioner writing to large screens, I’ve realtimed unique events, assisting people who wouldn’t have participated if I wasn’t there: McGruff the Crime Dog who signs to children, religious gatherings, baptisms, funerals, voter forums, cochlear implant meetings for tots and children, clairvoyants, theatrical plays, large conventions, banquets, and much more.

I realtimed a Deaf mime acting skits of Mr. Ed meets Batman.

The audience joked that they always knew that horse wasn’t speaking because they knew how to read lips.

The humor in this community just floors me. I’ve been the victim of more practical jokes than I care to admit, but I’m grateful for inclusion in their world.

Recently, I wrote a child singing “Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O” in the middle of a technical presentation.

And yes, I’ve asked:  The Deaf Society I work with prefers to be known as the Deaf World; not people who are deaf. When in doubt, ask.

They don’t want us to define their world. They’ll be honored that you cared enough to ask how they describe themselves.

Where do you start?

What if you wanted to begin, and someone said you had to become a certified court reporter, RMR and CRR, and have zero percent untrans?

Where do you start to practice? That answer differs for each person, group, even and upon your skills.

Evaluate where you are.

If you edit much of your work and haven’t purchased a laptop, you’re in for a bigger learning curve. But this is where the goal is created. Seek a group, arena or person.

Ask if you can practice to expand your vocabulary. Knowledge of their culture and (to me) a sense of confidence develops to write on a screen as a room watches — or laughs. Yet you have to keep writing.

The earth will not swallow you, no matter how much you wish for it.

Study the group. Go slowly, but go forward. Where do people meet that might want this service? Call LHAA (formerly SHHH), AGB, ALDA, United Way, the American Association of Retired Persons and sign interpreters. Why do they need you to provide this service?

I keep explanations simple. Our wires, equipment, plugs and technology are foreign to people.

Prepare answers to questions that you think you’ll be asked. The rest will flow from your heart.

I prepare fliers in several colors. Each is targeted to the event or educational level of the group: elementary/high school, adults, educators, hard-of-hearing, oral deaf, etc. When someone asks for information (usually as I’m writing in realtime on my steno machine), I point to fliers. When a person calls, I ask for the color of their handout. This saves me time.

Learn about their world.

Reporters ask me: How do I write with a sign interpreter? Interpreters sign when people voice (speak). I call it “thigh-by-thigh” reporting. Interpreters, thigh by thigh, whisper words, interpreting signed discussions, so I can write on a screen.

Find one place – a church, class, organization open to the public – attend regularly. Call ahead and explain what you’d like to do. Ask if you can take your equipment, sit in the back. Tell the group you need their help.

Once I offer my “deer in the headlights” look, people share information, and speak so I can write their words into my dictionary. This is empowering to people you want to assist.

Every person has thanked me for allowing them to help me. They tell me it makes them feel good to contribute.

And I’m told the misconceptions I need to avoid. They tease, laugh and enjoy my struggles. Don’t be offended.

Expand your vocabulary. Write the news. Rent Robin Williams videos. Create a dictionary with terms other than legal terms and preponderance of the evidence.

Ask to be included. A group will become protective of you. Teach them to be protective of your equipment.

As your skills and friends expand, you become more confident. Get the details.

How long is the meeting or event? Is the content technical? If someone is reading your screen, should there be two court reporters to ensure an accurate job?

How long will they need the writer to write? When ‘they’ take a lunch break, are you given a lunch break? What speed do I need?

Can a student do this? Always define “this.” Each group and situation will differ. Prepare as best as you can, then get into that saddle and just write.

After they’ve embraced you, your professional dictionary’s expanded, your confidence has grown, you’re realtiming live on a screen/laptop, then think about local meetings, state and national groups for Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, hard of hearing.

Consider your fees. How much do I charge? They can’t fire a pro bono writer who is preparing – in the corner with her shoulders at her ears.

Earn your wings, then consider by the hours, level of difficulty, ASCII, day/evening rates, long-term commitments.

Think ahead. How do I handle multiple speakers when I’m used to stopping people?

You can’t rely on a tape recorder when you CART caption in a public setting.

Learn to fingerspell. I began by writing the alphabet with my left hand and then the right. I did this over and over until I could realtime the alphabet without hesitation.

If you’re unable to interrupt speakers (in a large setting and this is not a legal proceeding) and you are unable to write verbatim, analyze your group.

Are you on a large screen or laptop? On a laptop, I’ll write, “fastest set of lips in the west.”

On the large screen, I avoid editing, but if I have to get the message, I drop false starts and repetitions.

At first it feels illegal to drop a word. I think this is an art – to write, keep it clean and understandable.

One wise reporter said, “When you’re struggling, give ’em the Reader’s Digest version.” I gasped. But if I’m unable to get it all, I know the message is more important than incorrect trans (translations) with dashes.

When I’m struggling with a fast speaker or technical material, I focus on writing prefix, root word, suffix, punctuating, hoping my body language doesn’t reveal how much I may be struggling or how much I want to be perfect.

Reporters I know browbeat themselves for what didn’t translate.

But the audience remembers what enabled them to understand the event. The same personality that drives a person to become a qualified reporter can be hard on the reporter.

Get over your fears.

Many reporters tell me they’re certified – a CRR and RMR, they realtime in court or in depositions and are too afraid to begin to realtime on a large screen.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

There are so many wonderful resources available now; reach up and out and make the commitment. Understand that fear is a natural emotion when approaching a new path, you can harness your fear, channeling it as you focus, focus, focus.

Stop hanging around with reporters.

Many reporters can be negative about their limitations.

Cultivate people who don’t quote 100 percent translation. Look for positive feedback. Be prepared to work for your goal.

As I write, I’m hugged, rubbed, tapped, thanked. They will open their hearts and kitchens to you. If you want to realtime, the work will be serious; so is my commitment.

Yet I’m determined to enjoy some of this while I’m sweating bullets.

So what if you could find one place? What if you wanted to expand your life and skills? What if there was one lost sheep?

I realtime a mass for the Catholic Deaf Community to a large screen, which may be viewed by all who attend the service in San Antonio, Texas.

There’s a signing priest who voices and signs ASL, American Sign Language (ASL syntax differs). Interpreters also attend, signing.

The one lost sheep?

One Sunday I wrote about leaders and Pharisees. The priest’s ASL voiced-words, as he signed were:

“Jesus doesn’t understand about these people. If He knew really who was the sinner, He would avoid them. Jesus gave them a story. He said, what if you have 100 sheep, but lose one? What do you do?“ Do you ignore that one and take care of 99 or do you leave 99 and go out and search for that lost sheep until you find him?”

“And you find it, pick it up, and put it on your shoulders. Go back, and you announce, ‘Come, rejoice with me! Because my lost sheep, I have found.’

“How many sheep were in that story? The story said 100; 99 stayed home. Maybe that sheep was deaf.”

“He was calling, ‘Come back. Come back.’ God said, ‘Go, look. Find him. Don’t ignore him. Go, look, find him.”

“That one is precious, bring it back.’ Every day, pray, smile, help others. God bless you.”

Parishioners immediately voiced, signed, “Yeah, what if that sheep was deaf? That’s it. Maybe he was deaf.”

And now I ask you: What about that one lost sheep? What if you made a difference to one person?

What if you extended your hands and heart one step, one event, one realtimed word at a time?

What if you are the one lost sheep?

——–About the Author:   Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.comPurple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

25 Feb 2020

Accepting Lessons, Teaching Lessons, Seeking Challenges To Be The Best I Can Be – CART Captioning

 

“Accepting Lessons, Teaching Lessons, And Seeking Challenges To Be The Best I Can Be” – CART Captioning

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

 

Court reporting has professionals who truly rise to challenges. In 1995, after CART captioning the national SHHH, Self-Help For Hard of Hearing, (now HLAA, Hearing Loss Association of America) convention with Deanna Baker and CART providers, my path changed. A doctor insisted on a procedure, which I postponed until after SHHH. (Then the doctor said she would close her office to take me by the hand if I did not go. Thus, I prepped.) I was adamant about details since I was scheduled to caption and CART caption an international convention with 28,000 teenagers for multiple days. Wakening in recovery, my world shook.

 

Head down, I phoned the person who scheduled my work. Humbly, I was clear that I needed help. He listened, replying, “Let me spin some plates in the air.”

Seeking assistance, I contacted professionals locally, then around the U.S. When Carol’s name was shared I phoned her home. Confidentially, I shared my situation.

We agreed that since I was a religious realtime court reporter I would caption/CART biblical classes and sermons. Carol would caption/CART performances and skits.

Carol arrived first-class. (All coach seats were booked.) When I could not find her in the airport, I had her paged. With gratitude I introduced myself to the smiling woman with her steno machine and tripod inside a beach bag. Immediately we focused to become a team serving others to accomplish this first-time event.

I desire to share Carol’s world. Carol Hill Williams, RPR, RMR, CRR, CMRS, CRI, CPE, is an inspiration, a true professional. Oh, we have the funniest memories. When I sought needed help, Carol accepted a new challenge.

Together we were unstoppable and delivered needed ‘words’ for deaf, HOH (hard of hearing), and legally blind who watched our open captions.

Carol: I love court reporting. In 1978 my mother told me about her jury service, and the person with the little machine. School was my first challenge. I learned to practice, finishing in two years.

How we made money then I will never know. We had no computers. We had an electric typewriter, electric note-puller, Dictaphone, carbons. After lining up papers, if you made errors, you yanked all papers out, started all over. If you weren’t typing your transcripts, you dictated or hired a scopist. My first computer was $20,000 – edit station only. We worked until 5 or 6 a.m., slept little.

I have a strong faith. God teaches me lessons for areas I am weak, surrounding me with people to help me. Initially, I worked for a wonderful woman, Jeanne Wiley of Cook & Wiley. Jeanne, having been president of Virginia’s association, encouraged reporters to achieve certifications, to get involved in state associations.

We need to become active in state associations. You meet court reporters, exchange ideas, associations grow. I worked as editor, secretary, treasurer, vice president, then Virginia president.

I passed my RPR and RMR. After two NCRA CRR attempts, I learned about beta blockers. With a prescription, gushing water from my palms and forehead subdued, I passed. Later I passed the CMRS and CPE.

I love challenges. I still break into a sweat and pace the floor until I arrive. My confidence has increased. I love being a freelancer: every day is different, every place is different, everybody has a story. Life is different faces with different stories, different speeds. I’ve also learned not to worry what tomorrow may bring. The more focused we are in the present moment, the more we appreciate what today is about.

In 1995 I was flown to San Antonio to work alongside Monette Benoit to provide captioning and CART for an international religious teen convention filling the Alamodome. I learned how to quickly add theological entries for instant translation.

I have always been a freelance writer, so 4 to 5 p.m. is the bewitching hour; your fate is sealed for the next day. You may be called to realtime an accident depo or weeks-on-end realtime trial with translators and expedited delivery.

I’ve had my own firm. It takes a lot to keep eccentric people happy. I also learned my values are not necessarily someone else’s values. Focusing on providing the best service I can is what really matters.

After two years in my business and both parents passing away, I needed a change. I wanted to move to a litigious city, one with beautiful weather, palm trees.

I moved to Miami five years ago – knowing no one. I searched for a firm that shared my values. I have been working for Tom Kresse of Kresse & Associates since. It’s a wonderful feeling to work for someone with a stellar reputation, who acknowledges hard work and goes to bat for the reporters.

Consumed with never having enough work, I balanced work and a healthy lifestyle. Then I visited South Beach wearing a one-piece suit, wraparound skirt, weighing 190 pounds. In an awakening moment, viewing women clad in less than almost nothing, I realized I had come to a fork in the road of my life; I had to change directions. The week after South Beach I found a gym. I laboriously dedicated myself to a rigorous exercise regimen, following a nutritionist’s diet.

After three years, I lost 50 pounds. My trainer’s wife asked if I would like to walk or run a 5 K, 3.1 miles. I decided to challenge myself. After the gun went off, I ran – finding a new love of life.

God puts the right people in my life at the right time. I found a running group I run with several times a week and lost 65 pounds. January 2008 I turned 50; I completed my first marathon, 26.2 miles.

Upon completion, I wanted another challenge. Athletes gather to compete in triathlons. My initial reaction was no way could I accomplish this feat, nor risk getting injured. After contemplation, I decided to try it.

I am blessed to have a four-time Olympic inline skater coach, KC Boutiette. He taught me how to swim and bike, run efficiently and how to push yourself out of my comfort zone.

This year I challenged myself. I completed two marathons, Miami and Chicago, a 120-mile running relay, Hood to Coast in Oregon, three sprint triathlons: .47-mile swim, 12.4 bike and 3.1 run; and an international triathlon: .6-mile swim, 26 bike, and 6.2 run. Next year I am slated to do two marathons, sprint triathlons, two half Ironmans, 1.2-mile swim, 56 bike and 13.2 run. And now I am a leader to new runners prepping each for their first marathon.

What have I learned through this madness?

Any goal is obtainable with the right training, dedication. My compulsiveness for never having enough work has never changed; I learned a balance is what really brings happiness.

I never would have made it without my Christian faith and letting those around me give me encouragement. I believe we have to share what we have been so graciously given. Even though what you may be facing seems like a giant obstacle, this too shall pass, and you will have grown even stronger because of it.

Instead of focusing on how I possibly can do what seems impossible, I focus on what I am doing now to become the best I can.

Monette: Often we are challenged, learning lessons.

Then we are blessed to meet new professionals, new life-friends. I continue to thank you, Carol, for ‘Stepping Into The Light’ in 1995 accepting new lessons, seeking challenges to be the best you (we) can be. Carol may be reached: chwmiami@bellsouth.net

Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

 

19 Feb 2020

Yikes… It’s Hurricane Ike!, 7th Regiment TX Infantry, POW, Galveston 1900 and 2008

Yikes… It’s Hurricane Ike!, 7th Regiment TX Infantry, POW, Galveston 1900 and 2008

~~  Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Galveston’s history has a personal interest.

In 1900 my maternal grandmother’s family walked 500 miles from Gilmer, Texas, to Corpus Christi, Texas, with livestock, farm equipment and four covered wagons.

My grandmother’s father, Adolphus D. Floyd, twice a 7th Regiment Texas Infantry Civil War Prisoner of War, POW, struck oil in Gilmer.

Post-war, he studied “the best soil in Texas to grow cotton.”

Then Adolphus saved $99.00 for the family relocation. After their move to Corpus Christi, my family planned a large Galveston family reunion with the family from Gilmer and other towns.

September 8, 1900 a Category 4 hurricane hit Galveston, Texas.

An entire “branch” of my grandmother’s family was swept off a hotel roof.

Reports estimate 6,000 men, women and children perished.

Had the hurricane struck two days later, my grandmother, Monette Rae Floyd, her father, mother Marjorie Howard Floyd, nine siblings and four “extras” (as they were called “raised with siblings ‘as’ family”), white and black children under one roof (unusual– for that time), would have been in Galveston for their family reunion.

Monette Floyd was a four-year old piano prodigy. Later, she became the first music teacher in Corpus volunteering her time in the schools. Later, she had her own orchestra. Later, she worked as a Corpus court stenographer.

Siblings and “extras” not in Galveston that day in 1900, later built a life knowing ‘what might have been’.

I grew up listening to detailed history of Galveston, Texas coastal storms and the phrase, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Sheryl Stapp, CSR, RPR earned her certifications in 1998. She has worked as adjunct professor, Del Mar College, and as an official in Corpus and Sinton, Texas. Currently, Sheryl lives in Houston working as a freelance deputy official. I asked Sheryl to share her story.

September 11, 2008, weathermen asked, “Where will Ike land?” Corpus Christi, my hometown, was targeted. I’ve been in Houston since 2003; I return every few months. My best friend, Diane, whom I met in seventh grade, lives there. I’ve been playing bunco with girlfriends, true treasures, since 1995.

I called Corpus friends, “Come to Houston. Run like a rabbit,” as I was raised to do if a hurricane headed your way! Soon they phoned, “Get out of Houston. Come home!” We were not in mandatory evacuation; we stayed put.

On Friday, September 12, 2008: My parents, roommates, Fletcher and Elaine, were nervous. Near 10:30 a.m. precious Mama had “that funny feeling.” I gave her Advil and tucked her in. Daddy and I put plywood over the patio doors. Soon I heard, “I can’t breathe.” I called 911 praying, “Please, Lord, not yet.” The ambulance arrived in 15 minutes; paramedics put her on oxygen. Again I said, “You’ll be fine, Mama. I’m following right behind.”

The hospital was preparing for lockdown during Hurricane Ike. The emergency room staff worked with ice chests, blankets, sleeping bags and radios. Three crews were staying through Monday.

Mom was intubated and sedated. I headed to the chapel. Then came the really hard part – leaving. Lockdown meant only emergency vehicles in or out. Daddy left his “child bride” (they married in 1955 at 22 and 23 years of age). Talk about tough.

We returned home. Meteorologists had Hurricane Ike down to a science. Ike would blow in 10:00 p.m. and depart the Magnolia City early morning. Rain and wind pounded all night.

I arose at 8:00 a.m. There was no wind, rain or flooding, and there was no phone, TV or Internet. Dad and I walked the house. No broken windows, shingles. We had been spared.

True Texans, neighbors, barbecued freezer meats, and it was the Saturday Night Live Happy Hurricane Party! We had flashlights inside and lanterns outside; ice chests held beer and sodas.

Battery-operated radios shocked us with Galveston’s devastation only an hour away. Pictures in the Houston Chronicle were unfathomable: A Category 2 landfall annihilated that historical coastal town.

Initially, one generator powered four houses. We needed the generator for Dad’s continuous positive airway pressure (C-Pap) machine, so we made the purchase. I’m a city girl. There I was with my 76-year old father, 100-degree heat, reading the manual to assemble this generator! Later, I felt I could do this! We wheeled the generator onto the porch. I realized, again, how little I knew. That generator was loud! It sounded like an 18-wheeler!

I was thankful because that noise ensured I’d hear Dad’s C-Pap machine. I’d listen and think, “Thank you, Lord. Daddy’s lungs need it.”

I thought I’d lose weight since I couldn’t cook, right? Wrong! Everyone asked, “Do you have food? Need something to eat?” One Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Point of Distribution (POD) volunteer went house to house, gifting Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) water, cookies and non-perishables!

It was humbling to walk into the courthouse with wet hair (no hairdryer), wrinkled slacks and shirts (no iron), no make-up (you cannot apply makeup by flashlight)! I was not alone. We all laughed, “This is not a problem. We are so fortunate.”

One lady shared she worked with a Galveston court reporter who had e-mailed everything to her scopist. Even when natural disasters strike, court reporters get the job done! Our technology has come so far and it continues to keep us on our game, on the cutting edge.

My friend, Monette Benoit, called. She caught me at the library checking e-mail – after waiting an hour! Once assured that Mom, Dad and I were okay, she shared her view of captioning Hurricane Ike from a local, national vantage point. Monette always reminds me what we do is unique, an in-demand skill. It’s life-affirming to know court reporters and broadcast captioners are helping deaf and HOH (hard of hearing) every day. My mantra during our conversation: “I love court reporting!”

Daily, we called the intensive care unit, ICU, to check on mom; she was improving. Mom’s our glue; she raised five children in the 1970s on a schoolteacher and construction materials salesman’s salaries.

On Monday, Mom thought it was Friday! She’d been sedated for four days. While Houston was without water, TV, air conditioning, she had comforts. Hospital staff was good to Dad. He’d get a hot meal each time Mom did; they filled his ice chest before he departed the hospital.

Mom came home two weeks later; we still had no power. The respiratory company brought the oxygen machine. At 4 a.m. on Saturday, our generator ran out of gas. I’ll never forget going to check it, flashlight in hand. Daddy, with C-Pap tube dangling from his headpiece, brought the gas cans. He looked like Snuffleupagus! I thought, “Lord, let us get this cranked up so Mom gets oxygen and her Texas-sized heart can keep on ticking!!” After a few stops/starts it was fine. Twenty-four hours after Mom’s return home, here come trucks down our street.

A light switch that turns on one lamp becomes a treasure.

My personal Hurricane Ike experience was humbling: Stress riding it out, leaving Mom, watching Dad feeling lost and anxious without her. After Ike arrived and left, it was the daily hassles of draining and refilling ice chests, visiting the ICU in staggered hours, sitting in lines at the gas stations, filling generator tanks and having no air conditioning (just plain brutal!). I always said, “I can’t complain. We were fortunate. Mom was in the best place she could be; our home is intact; friends and family are safe.”

Galveston’s stories put everything in perspective. I was reminded of Daddy saying, “I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” I’m so grateful, realizing how blessed I am.

You boost my self-esteem, Monette. I tell my little Ike story and think, “Who cares?”

You, Monette, hear my Ike story and think, “Great story! Let’s share.”

I’ve not mentioned this article to my parents because it’s about them, not me. I’m going to frame it and gift it as a Valentine gift to Fletcher Robinson Stapp and Elaine Hansen Stapp.

Monette: Yes, indeed. “There but for the grace of God go I.” And “great story! Let’s share.”

Sheryl may be reached at ssdepo@aol.com.


Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

05 Feb 2020

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Monette.Purplebooks@CRRbooks.com        www.CRRbooks.com

14 Sep 2019

See One; Show One; Teach One; Good-Bye, Dad

See One; Show One; Teach One; Good-Bye, Dad
By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.

This was published on Monette’s Musings blog, June 19, 2016, Father’s Day. Originally, I wrote a shorter version for my NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, column, February 2012. Still feeling the loss of both parents – caregiver for both – I share now.

They were married 58 years. She gave the engagement ring back three times.

His father was killed in a car accident less than one week before the wedding.

A child ran into the road. His father swerved missing the first child.

Then, a second child ran to the first child. His father hit a tree, at full speed, to avoid hitting the two children.

After the funeral, everyone (I ‘mean’ everyone) wanted he, the only child, not to marry – (so) soon.

Her mother was dying with cancer. If the wedding did not go forward, she would never see him again. Never.

When they did marry in a quiet wedding, everyone wore black, except the bride.

He fell hard for this Southern belle, professional ballet dancer, degree-ed opera singer, and student enrolled at the University of Houston to become a special education instructor.

She was working at Sakowitz and Neiman Marcus, as a fashion consultant and model, while attending school. (The engagement ring was from Sakowitz, 15% discount. The bridal gown was from Neiman Marcus with a discount, also, due to her employment.)

When they met, he was employed by the University of Houston and was helping the Veterans Administration build and create a psych department, after his draft ended.

Growing up with my parents and a special-needs brother, I always marveled (my words) “how when it was good, it was very good; when it was not good – you two went to your corners – always.”

In fact, I had a $50 bet that they’d never make it to their 50th anniversary. (Only daughter with multiple brothers and Mom and Dad’s ‘constant learning challenges’ as educators – this made sense to me…)

When they argued, I softly teased my parents about my bet. They would wince their eyes and glare at me; now and then I received a tart remark.

When my family flew from Texas to the home of a younger brother for their 50th anniversary, I phoned to tell them that we had our rental car.

I shared, “We’re here!” after three airports and a full, long day.

Dad, “Your mother and I are not speaking. I’ll give her the phone.”

My tired eyebrows shot up; my giggles percolated.

Mom, “We are not speaking. When will I see you, honey?”

Laughing, I pleaded, “Mom, pulllese leave him. You, we, have three hours. I can come right now. I promise to give you $50. Pulllese leave him.”

Mom, sweetly, “I will see you in the morning. I love you more than I did since we last talked!” (…how Mommy ended her phone calls with me.)

To her husband, “Here! I’m finished.” Click.

The next morning, I raced over to my parents. They were holding hands, greeting people.

Me, “Dad, what happened last night?”

He, “I don’t remember.”

Me to Mom, “What happened?”

She, “Now is not the time to talk about it. But I will tell you all about it later. Alone. Without him! I laid down the law! I did. We’re so glad you’re here!”

Me, to Dad, “So, this is how you made it to 50 years? You, Dad, don’t remember? And you, Mom, you’ll tell me later?”

Both giggled, nodding, and hugged each other.

Dad took my hand, “Let’s get a glass of wine. ‘You’ did not win your bet. I did!”

Through the years we joked about that ‘morning’ when Dad and I had a glass of wine because that was his win.

We laughed about it when Mom was seriously ill. Then, Dad soon followed with serious health issues.

Within the blink of an eye, each had ER admissions, ICU cubicles, multiple pre-ops, many medical admissions.

Then, there were parents in two different hospitals, each critically ill.

As the only daughter (court reporter here) I remember verbatim conversations – and am grateful for not winning my $50 bet.

Today, Father’s Day, I know they’re together again – far from here.

Emmett’s Jesuit Catholic beliefs and my mother’s very strong religious beliefs always taught me that they are now together.

I share this as a tribute to the gentleman who was so good to his wife, to his children, his family, and to all.

Dad had a master’s degree in adult education; was a psychologist; social worker; guidance counselor; co-author; chemistry, science, and English teacher who researched linguistics and history – an “avid-life enthusiast” I called him.

Mom had a master’s degree in elementary special education, was a music instructor, and played seven instruments.

For years, I thought everyone’s mother had a xylophone under their bed.

Her mother was a piano prodigy (and court stenographer) with her own orchestra during the Depression.

I still grieve for how Dad died and for the world I now have without his laughter, his frequent checking in, “I do not need an appointment to see my daughter. Never. Never! No matter where you live and no matter where you work your mother and I will stop in to see you. Always. Just like with your brothers…”

They appeared in each state and each courtroom where I worked.

I will always remember working, focused, often head down – then, I would hear Dad cough.

Sheer panic would set in when I looked up to see if they were in the courtroom pews – or worse, in the jury box where a bailiff or judge granted seats to the court reporter’s parents.

With great love, I can hear Dad, “Onward now” and “of course you can do this…” as he gently reached his hand out to me to give me one last hug.


Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

19 Aug 2019

CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin

CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin
By Monette Benoit

~~ Originally published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting, JCR
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Now and then we’re granted special events we remember for a long, long time. Some can be confidential.

The jobs I’m writing about here were not your typical day at the office.

Originally I wanted special CART (communication access realtime translation, instant voice to text) moments to remain private.

Then my life shifted; it was altered.

Two weeks after the 2000 San Diego installation of NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, president Mike Brentano, my world changed forever.

I received the call no one wants.

My terminally ill youngest (he hated the word ‘baby’) brother died August 5th, 2000.

Two years prior, 12/23/97, Kevin was privately diagnosed with hepatitis C, HCV.

After his diagnosis, Kevin learned that in 1976 he was infected during experiment vaccinations in the military.  Documented.  Proven.  A.  Fact.

A hospital ward was cleared for the arrival of his troop – before they arrived.  Documented.  Proven. A.  Fact.

Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly passionately spent day and night researching, assisting veterans, their families and medical researchers. He died suddenly, tragically alone.

Many court reporters knew of my brother’s illness and his work.

At my request, Kevin also helped veterans, family members, deaf, hard-of-hearing individuals and court reporters (and members of their families) each diagnosed with HCV.

Kevin encouraged everyone, researched information specific for each person, so they could move forward with hope and facts.

Kevin also worked to develop the first Hepatitis C Support Forums.

Captain Kevin documented and proved that the HCV, hep C, virus and other viruses are shared by pneumatic guns, which routinely shared the same needles with multiple soldiers and individuals. Depression is a side of effect of Hep C, and as many know, depression is an often misunderstood illness.

Kevin designed a website that he and LeighAnn Vogel built to assist veterans, families, professionals and children of diagnosed individuals. Some of Kevin’s work may be accessed at http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/index.html

Their web site was the first private web site to be attached by the VA, Veterans Administration, sharing information Kevin gathered to specifically veterans and their families.

The afternoon of his death, prior to the call, my family gathered with my dad to help his recovery from cancer surgery.

Due to dad’s surgery and recuperation, I flew alone to Kevin’s funeral.

August 10th, 2000, in Calverton Cemetery, a military graveyard, I waited in the noon sun for his casket to be delivered to the empty hole in the ground – I learned after standing ‘there’ that the gravediggers ‘had gone’ to lunch. I stared at the lime green chalk with a number marked on a cement wall inside the ‘hole’ – the number marked was the cemetery plot marker before his casket arrived in a dark purple 18-wheeler.

I humbly share that it was the comfort of mentors, court reporters, National Court Reporters Association staff, and kind strangers who strengthened me.

I canceled my JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, “Beyond The Comfort Zone” column from one airport, stood on long lines alone.

Stunned, I phoned a few friends as I waited to board planes.

My court reporting friends insisted I go.  They said:  You. Must. Go. You. Must. Witness.  You know how to listen.

Yes, we court reporters have mastered listening, watching.

When I did not check in with one reporter, that reporter was going to phone another reporter “living near the cemetery to go out there and find you. Thank God you phoned… You and I both know the reporter would have found you.  We find necessary details…”  (One of the few giggles I had for the ‘burial’ was that moment. We are focused.)

I found the words and courage from others to buck-me-up for what I saw, heard, viewed…

They helped me to go, stand tall, listen, fly home, then find sense of my world – especially when I learned the wrong rank had been placed on his tombstone by his grieving widow.  Oh?

Even court reporters – and I – were stunned by ‘that’.  Yes, I documented.  Yes, it was fixed to his correct rank: Captain.  Yes, at taxpayers expense.

When none of Kevin’s research was returned to the Hep C community – and when the community offered to buy “only computer address work” for his work, research, I placed all the data (learned that word from Kevin) on the floor, like he had done one day.

I began to move pieces of paper along the floor, like Kevin had done when he saw his military records had been ‘doctored’ from the copy he was mailed after diagnosis and the copy he was given years before.  Another. Fact.

When my grieving parents were hurt by other moments, I got up off that floor – like Kevin did.  And I went to work.

I left the court reporting field.  I focused, like Kevin did.  And I was helped by people who wanted their messages, facts to be public – yes, like Kevin was helped.

And each year I began to write updates on the day Kevin died – sharing more, more, and more – as more sentences by people who would not return his work – attempted to become accurate facts – when they were in fact lies.

I leaned into the wind.

I remembered the promises to Kevin that I would help “if you can.”

Due to the facts that were delivered to me, I made the decision that I never would have made without such c-r-a-p.

I focused on truth.  Yes.  Truth. I was able to document facts, truth – and my life shifted in directions I never saw possible prior to August 5, 2000.

During the quiet time, I experienced many incidents that spurred me to write this article.

I am honoring those moments. And now I have a special message to share.

Traditionally, my CART, communication access real-time translation (instant voice-to-text display on a computer) request assists deaf, hard-of-hearing, people learning English, etc.

But I received a unique request many moons ago.

They wanted CART and a verbatim disk immediately thereafter. Fine.

The consumer was not deaf or hearing challenged. Fine.

I was requested because “sometimes high energy field surges blow out electricity recording the event.”

Excuse me?

I needed more information.

The person scheduling the event was a medium, a clairvoyant.

The client wanted to speak to a dead relative. (Yes, like you, I paused a little there too.)

They requested CART captioning for an instant verbatim text record.

Could I write on battery to prevent electrical blips?

In court I wrote hearings, motions. Was the plaintiff really injured?

I wrote jury trials.

Was the defendant, alleged criminal, in fact, innocent?

I know they are innocent until proven guilty, but officers of the court (almost always) are entitled to information that the jury often may not receive.

We know information is almost always retained by prosecutors, police, judges – details that are not delivered.

I still remember the divorce law firm that nailed everything down – stapler, sofa cushions, books, etc.

I felt ‘safer’ in criminal court than the one and only divorce deposition I ever reported.  Nope.  I was scared that entire deposition as emotions – were – extreme.

I did not judge others when my skills were used in depositions, hearings, court, more… Was this different?

I thought about seven years of CART captioning deaf masses, PTA/school meetings, religious events, university Latin classes, the McGruff Dog (he had paw surgery, so he could sign to the deaf children), country dancing lessons, funerals, conventions, where I felt privileged to share CART captioning. They required instant verbatim text delivery.

I thought about friends who would scream if they knew.

I envisioned my mom smiling, praying; my Jesuit-schooled father sighing, glancing skyward.

With an open mind, lots of prayer, I accepted.

I entered terms in my job dictionary to include psychics, mediums, shamans, metaphysical, tarot, clairvoyants, mystics and yes, I entered the term: ghostbusters.

I realtimed with the screen turned down, charged batteries to avoid electrical problems.

The ‘reading’ began with prayer, moved quickly into personal information.

Pets, nicknames, childhood memories, favorite foods were shared before communication began.

I remember holding my breath – concerned sudden inhales could invade their privacy.

I ended with wonder (and some shock).

Everyone was so thankful I shared my CART captioning skills. I’d been part of something very personal.

I received other calls.

Each different; each adhered to a Code of Ethics. And, yes, I continued to pray and attend church.

As a result of that work, I received a CART captioning request for a telephonic medical intuitive.

Their appointment had been scheduled two years earlier. This was a medical doctor with a PhD. using psychic abilities to ‘read’ problems from the past and future for someone’s heath.

Again, I charged batteries, globaled, moved forward.

Later, I CARTed a homicide detective sharing a file report.

I am convinced that when someone asks for any verbatim record, a court reporter is the necessary professional.

I tease that as an experienced court reporter I can write anything spoken and/or mumbled.

CART captioners can bring comfort to people who are grieving. When CARTing funerals for who are hard-of-hearing and/or deaf children and adults, I experienced peace while sharing so others could participate.

We can assist with closure involving people close to the center.

I feel privileged to sit at the edge of the circle, to hear what I did.

Faith is personal.

Messages are private.

My brother died young and sadly, much too fast.

He is no longer here to share laughter, to guide me with his courage, wisdom, friendship, and wicked sense of humor with his ‘only’ sister.

Kevin will never send a funny or informative email I could keep or could choose to share with friend, court reporters, and mentors.

I draw comfort from my quiet moments, from those with insights, loving guidance.

We can instantly realtime anything… verbal, spiritual and, now I know, even spirits.

I’m grateful for spiritual moments, for hearing ‘Up and Out’ utilizing CART captioning with an open mind and an open heart.

My work is still private.

My life is forever changed due to my CART captioning skills, the death of my brother, and the possibilities I want to share with each of you.

Further information about Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly is included:  www.captainkevindonnelly.com

Named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, Monette may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

05 Aug 2018

Press Release: Purple Books Revised, Updated, 7th Ed., Textbook, NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSRs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Available from Purple Books, CRRbooks.com, November 2017: new 7th edition textbook with the only updated NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, and State WKT, written knowledge test, information for students and court reporters.

CRRbooks.com by Monette Benoit: Complete Written Knowledge Test Textbook, Seventh Edition, Revised and Updated for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSRs with the NCRA CRC Primer.

Tests change.  Exam questions and multiple choices are not repeated.  Plus, exam fees are pricey.

 

Updated, expanded text chapters: Test-Taking Tips, Focus; Legal, Latin Terminology; Court Reporting Rules; English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Misused Words, Definitions; Medical Information; Computer Terminology, Technology, CRC Prep, Ethics, Windows, NCRA COPE Advisory Opinions; Review

98% successful ‘Done In One’ pass rate continues on NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSR WKT material when Purple Books study sets are a primary source. Plus, you join thousands of students and court reporters who earned their RPR, CSR, and the elite RDR certification with Purple Books test-prep.

Study the only textbook and textbook package for the RPR, CSRs, and NCRA’s RDR written exam.
With thorough prep, you will pass the first time by learning how to answer, how to take the test.

Purple Books are written by a court reporter, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, paralegal, with an educator who earned a B.S. in English and a M. Ed.

Since 1990, time-tested, proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study —
students and court reporters continue to write “best investment — ever.”

  • Plus, 7th edition textbook includes the CRC, Certified Realtime Captioner, Primer because many reporters now provide CART captioning, and certifications are now requested by companies, consumers for their files.

RPR, RDR, and state CSR candidates focus on the popular “Complete Test Prep Set” that includes: the Textbook, Workbook (*2,002 practice questions), Companion Guide (cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions), and RealTime Vocabulary Workbook.

Complete Set includes 4 test-prep books: http://crrbooks.com/product/written-exams

Pedagogically sound, each book reviews and covers material with facts, tips, and information.

Purple Books maximize your time, your expenses, and your results!

Students and professionals also seek tutoring and career counseling with Monette Benoit, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students. No two people are alike. Customized sessions are created. Start today.
Plan and prepare now. Monette is committed to helping you. Email: Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

‘Done In One’ Testimonials, Pricing online:  www.CRRbooks.com

22 Nov 2017

Press Release: Purple Books Pass Rate 99% for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSRs

                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Purple Books, CRRbooks.com, is proud to share: January’s 2017 RPR and multiple State CSR pass rates were over 99%.

CA’s CSR tests in March; NY’s Civil Service Court Reporter test is May; NCRA’s RPR and RDR is April 8 – 20; IL, TX, and WA test April 2017. Additional states and NCRA have exam registration deadlines.

Learn ‘how’ to answer, so you will be Done In One, too.

Complete Set, Purple Books, 4 books: http://crrbooks.com/product/written-exams

Trio Set, Purple Books, 3 books: http://crrbooks.com/…/2-trio-test-prep-3-book-set-must-have…

Many students and reporters continue to write “it was the best investment – ever.”

Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and information the Purple Books are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study

Study the only textbook and textbook package for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSRs.
Now, the Purple Books is the only material available for NCRA’s RDR written exam.

The 7th edition textbook for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, State exams, New York’s Civil Service Exam, with the NCRA CRC Primer by Monette Benoit, an instructor, tutor, career coach, and CART Captioner contains updated, expanded chapters: Test-Taking Tips, Focus, Grammar, Technology, NCRA COPE Advisory Opinions, and Ethics. Detailed chapters include Legal and Latin Terminology, Court Reporting Rules, Grammar, Punctuation, Vocabulary, Misused Words, Definitions, Medical Terminology, and Review.

NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR candidates focus on the popular “Complete Test Prep Set” that includes: *Textbook, **Companion Workbook (*2,002 practice questions), ***Companion Guide (cross references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions), and the ****RealTime Vocabulary Workbook.

Questions and multiple choices on exams are not repeated, so don’t try memorizing them. Instead, learn how to take the test!

Thousands of students, novice and long-time reporters advance skills with Purple Books, CRR Books, Test-Prep Material.

Students and professionals also seek tutoring and career counseling with Monette Benoit, the Court Reporting Whisperer. No two people are alike. Custom sessions are created, per your requests. Start today. Plan and prepare now. Monette wants to help you.
CRRbooks.com 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

Purple Books, Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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 http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

  • No two are alike. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

13 Feb 2017

‘Push-Ups’ = NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR Core Strength-Building

‘Push-Ups Focus’ on the “Complete Set” and “Trio Set” for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSRs. Why Push-Ups?

Push-ups work the entire body and support core strength.

The “Purple Books” strengthen and build core support with detailed structure that has been proven in the classroom and independent study for 25 years.

98% first-time pass rates for NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR exams with test-prep material that covers full pages of information. ~~Full Pages = Full Focus. ~~

Working to the same goal, students, novice and veteran reporters benefit from building full, core support with the “Purple Books” from www.CRRbooks.com

Only Test Once! ~~BE DONE IN ONE for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSRs.

Look at what we offer: www.CRRbooks.com – “Purple Books” detailed material, cross-referencing, terms, topics.

Structured prep material that improves skills. Test-Taking Tips; Legal, Latin, and Court Terminology; Court Reporting Rules; English and Grammar; Frequently Misspelled Words; Grammar Glossary; Frequently Misused Words, Definitions; Medical Prefixes, Suffixes, Fractures, Definitions; Computer Terminology, Technology, NCRA COPE Advisory Opinions; More.

My ‘push-up’ is to continue to help YOU! Online testimonials are included by leaders, teachers, reporters, students …Bring it. ~

Please share this announcement with students, teachers, court reporters, and ‘like’ our FB page, Court Reporter Reference Books, RPR, RDR, CSR, Tutoring, Career Counseling.


Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

01 Jun 2016

Press Release: Plan Now! Prepare Now! 98% Successful Pass

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October’s NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSR written exams are right around the corner. Currently, registration periods are open.

Plan now! Prepare now to become one of the 98% successful pass rate by students, court reporters, and CART Captioners on the RPR, RDR, and State CSR exams.

Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and
proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study

RPR, RDR, and State CSR candidates focus on the popular “Full Test Prep Set” that includes: Textbook, Workbook (*2,002 practice test questions), Companion Study Guide (cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions), and RealTime Vocabulary Workbook.

Questions and multiple choices on exams are not repeated, so don’t try memorizing them. Instead, learn how to take the test!

Study the only textbook and textbook package for the RPR and now the only material available for the RDR exam.

RPR and CSR candidates: “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” are detailed online.

RDR candidates have two choices to earn the most elite certification within our court reporting profession: “Full Test Prep Set” — or the updated, revised Complete Test Prep Textbook, 6th edition, and RealTime Vocabulary Workbook.

Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors,
CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters.

CRRbooks.com is committed to helping you to Get ‘er Done in Just One.

CRR Books released the revised and updated Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR Written Test Prep Textbook, Sixth Edition, 2015.

The text by Monette Benoit, an instructor, tutor, career coach, and CART Captioner, contains updated, expanded chapters covering: Test-Taking Tips, Focus, Grammar, Technology, NCRA COPE Advisory Opinions, and Ethics. Detailed chapters include: Legal and Latin Terminology, Court Reporting Rules, Grammar, Punctuation, Vocabulary, Misused Words, Definitions, Medical Terminology, and Review.

Thousands of students and novice and long-time reporters advance skills with CRR Books Test Prep Material. Students and professionals also seek tutoring and career counseling with Monette Benoit, the Court Reporting Whisperer. No two people are alike. Custom sessions are created. Start today. Plan and prepare now! Monette wants to help you.
www.CRRbooks.com Monette@CRRbooks.com

14 Sep 2015

Press Release NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR Exams

Press Release NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR Exams

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

98% successful pass rate by students and court reporters on NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and on State CSR written exams.

Court Reporter Reference Books has released the revised and updated Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and State CSR Written Test Prep Textbook, Sixth Edition. This textbook is available now on www.CRRbooks.com.

This is the ­most complete written test prep textbook available to students, teachers, and to novice and veteran court reporters.

The textbook by Monette Benoit, an instructor, tutor, career coach, and CART Captioner, has updated and expanded chapters:

Test-Taking Tips, Focus, Grammar, Technology, NCRA COPE Advisory Opinions, and Ethics.

Detailed chapters include: Legal and Latin Terminology, Court Reporting Rules, Grammar, Punctuation, Vocabulary, Misused Words, Definitions, Medical Terminology, and Review.

The popular “Test Prep Set” includes a 4-volume set:
1. Textbook, 6th Edition, Revised, Updated for NCRA’s RPR, RDR, and State CSR;
2. Workbook, (with approximately 2,002 practice test questions and answer key);
3. Companion Study Guide (cross-references every word in the workbook to learn ‘how’ to take a test and specifically ‘how’ to answer a question with multiple choice a-b-c-d);
4. RealTime Vocabulary Workbook (expands vocabulary growth with word recognition and comprehension to help students and reporters know how to identify and how to build words)

*** NCRA’s RDR test candidates successfully use the only textbook and only realtime vocabulary workbook to earn the most elite RDR, Registered, Diplomate Reporter, certification within the court reporting profession.

“Get ‘Er Done In Just One” – Study the “purple books” that are pedagogically sound and cover a wealth of material with facts and information. Testimonials from students, instructors, and court reporters are online for you to review.

All material is time-tested, proven for both the classroom and independent study.

CRRbooks.com lists complete details.

13 Apr 2015

Switched At Birth and Monette’s CART Captioning

Switched At Birth And Monette’s CART Captioning
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Part I of III

Two teenagers discover that they were switched at birth while researching a school assignment. Genetic testing is completed when the students learn “blood types” and when the high school students learn that they do not match their family.

Marlee Matlin plays a basketball coach and guidance counselor in a deaf school.

She communicates through sign language and (some) voicing. Marlee was raised Big D (Deaf) using sign as her only communication. She did not speak until 1986 when she appeared in “Children Of A Lesser God.”

I remember when Marlee made the choice to learn to speak. I stayed “quiet” during all Deaf/sign interpreter conversations as I watched from my “hearing” chair within the Deaf community where I have been embraced.

I have also CARTed many heated discussions to large screens about her choice – many heated discussions by Deaf and from sign interpreters.

Marlee’s TV character, Melody Bledsoe, has a deaf teen in the show.

One teen, actor Sean Berdy, is Deaf.

The character, Emmett, signs ASL, American Sign Language, speaks a little, and is expanding a relationship with a “hearing” teen.

When Emmett enrolls in “voice class” another (big) storyline is developed.

Sean is a role model within the Deaf community. Deaf blogs detail Sean’s “nuances” as Sean’s signs are unique to Sean. Blogs by deaf teens note that Sean’s “cool signs” display subtleties that voicing cannot share. (Long ago, I learned that sign language is able to communicate “much more than just words.”)

One teen, actress Katie Leclerc, has Meniere’s (inner ear disease) and speaks as Daphne Vasquez. Many Deaf and HOH, Hard of Hearing, individuals live with Meniere’s. This teen makes choices in her role as Daphne that are unique to her character.

One parent left a wife and small child when he had a DNA test, which confirmed the daughter was not his – long before the high school blood type assignment.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

Switched At Birth began as a one-hour show. It was such a success that ABCFM, ABC Family network, expanded the show to 22 episodes, August 1, 2011. The show continues to develop with storylines and character development that is rich and very true to the nuances within each culture – deaf, hard-of-hearing, oral deaf, and hearing choices.

If you desire to step into the Little D (typically sign language and mainstreamed with some voicing) and Big D (typically sign language and no voicing) culture, this is a wonderful opportunity.

The show has hit sensitive areas. I admire their truths.

Switched At Birth does not duck sensitive areas and episodes are powerful.

Deaf blogs discuss why Deaf actors are “voicing” words.

They write that if Deaf individuals were signing, their voice (“voice-box” is the term used by Deaf and interpreters) “would be off” (turned off), and no one would hear.

They ask: “Why do Deaf actors need to sign and voice? We don’t.”

Open captions in large white font are displayed when signs are used within scenes where words are not spoken. Yes, the show is closed captioned.

Switched At Birth And Monette’s CART Captioning, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

In 1993 I was accepted into San Antonio’s Big D world. What I have learned remains timeless.

In the trench, I was taught cultural differences and (im)possibilities by Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, early deafened, late deafened, and by hard of hearing.

It is an honor to be accepted into the Big D world if you are hearing, do not have a deaf family member and are not a sign interpreter.

Months after CARTing the weekly mass at St. Francesco Di Paola church, one day deaf friends insisted “you must have a sign.” A vote was called.

I was voted “in” on the church steps within Piazza Italia next to the Christopher Columbus Knights of Columbus historic building.

“You have earned this,” I was told.

A “sign name” must be given/gifted by a deaf person.

A hearing person does not create their own sign name. Never. Never.

Sign interpreters frequently commented that I would never, never, never be given a sign as an outsider. Never.

I remember I smiled each time and softly shared that I would earn my name; I would be accepted.

The terps, interpreters, vehemently disagreed.

Yet in 1993, I stayed in the saddle fascinated by their world, their culture, as I CARTed the mass dedicated to deaf and Deaf culture with interpreters and priests who signed.

While CARTing on Sundays I continued to teach, and to CART and caption local, state, and national events in the trench – often next to sign interpreters.

The Sunday my friends insisted “you must have a name” a respected, wise elder was called to the church steps.

Signs for names are unique to each person (personality, facial features, work).

“She will give you a name! This is our thanking you. Come! Stand here! Come!”

Quietly, I stood hands folded, head down, and waited while this wise lady approached.

Interpreters approached to sign and Deaf gathered to “listen.”

The wise elder touched her chin, tipped her head upward. She folded her arms, standing pensive for approximately two minutes.

Everyone was quiet.

I remember listening to the many birds in the trees overhead waiting for my Deaf friends to gift me my sign name.

Then the wise elder “declared my sign with two versions” (it is unique to have two sign names, yet if gifted by Big D, it is so).

Whenever I sign my “name sign” (two names) Deaf and interpreters always know it was gifted.

Traveling the United States, when I show my sign name, the two versions, initially, people have a startled reaction.

“Two? You have two? Wow.”

When I explain why I have two sign names as explained to me by the wise elder while she proclaimed my signs, each person always laughs and says, “Ahhhhh, I understand now.”

And I learned boundaries after I stepped over many during my learning curve. (Indeed.)

Deaf adults and teens taught me about acceptance, lack of acceptance, ignorance, and the very frequent comment from hearing individuals, “I knew a deaf person once.”

Multiple times when I was out with Deaf friends they insisted I “be deaf.”

No voicing. Zip.

When I was “the hearing person” people spoke only to me and not to the Deaf people.

“What do they want to eat? What do they want to drink?”

I would sigh and reply each time, “They’re deaf. Why don’t ‘you’ ask them?”

And when hearing people spoke to Deaf individuals – far too many hearing would speak slowly and (over)pronounce every syllable with exacting diligence.

My deaf friends and interpreters were always insulted. Always.

When I was “be deaf” (their term) for the event or the meal, I was able to experience the world from their seat, from their ears. Eye-opening memories are still fresh.

Once accepted into the Deaf world they shared true moments with me when their “Deaf hands” were tied together to prevent students from communicating and as punishment in (public and private) school.

Deaf who were enrolled in schools where oral communication was the first mode of communication (signing often was not permitted) shared stories that still raise my eyebrows.

They insisted I CART the true stories and “put our words into your computer, so you know our world. We want you to know!”

And Deaf discussed not receiving textbooks in mainstream schools “since the teachers knew – and told us – we would not do well on tests or graduate! The teachers that told us those words did not sign. They were not speaking our words, our language.”

A deaf person who marries a sign interpreter may experience discrimination.

A sign interpreter who marries a deaf person will “always have our hands working just so ‘you’ can hear, and that’s not fair to us!”

A Deaf person who signs, does not voice and dates or marries a deaf (little D) person who voices and signs may experience discrimination.

A Big D or Little D person who marries a hearing person?

That is a whole nuther topic. A big whole nuther topic.

Once I was welcome to ask my questions, I did.

Adults wiped crocodile tears and insisted that if I wanted to be part of their world I needed to know their truth.

Until I was able to understand basic signs and to understand fingerspelling as their “token hearing girl” the moments were pure Deaf.

Alone, I drove to a Deaf Block Party just as the local animal shelter arrived with deaf dogs that “will be put down if you don’t adopt them.” This is common, I learned.

Yes, the deaf dogs at the deaf block party found new homes that night.

As I walked alone for long periods of time, finally an interpreter approached, “You have got to be dumber than dirt to want to go through all this. Just tell me why you really are here.”

Oh, yes, she did.

I shared my reason for attending and for wanting inclusion.

She listened and asked a few questions. Any deaf in your family? Any interpreters in your family? None? And you really want to do this because … (reason I shared…)

I nodded watching the balloons and colorful ribbons that were tied to the street lights that night.

Standing with her left hand on her hip, this sign interpreter quickly made a sweeping motion with her right hand.

Deaf approached. I remained quiet. I knew something important had just happened.

Then she said, “OK. Now you’re in.” I remember raising my eyebrows.

Several Deaf crossed the street to hug me, and immediately took me by the hand into the throng of people, laughing, signing, and singing.

Oh, and they played practical jokes while I was an outsider. Yes, they did.

Later, at Deaf camp (a weekend retreat in the Hill Country) I remember when they wanted “something” (I could not understand the signs and no one would voice the words for me) late one night around a campfire.

Deaf sat with flashlights around the huge campfire.

When a person spoke, signed, each would hold the flashlight toward their face with the light on.

Then the person who signed would point their flashlight down.

When a person responded that person would turn their flashlight toward their own face while they signed.

Holding the flashlight in one hand and signing with two hands while speaking was a first for me.

Fascinated, I sat on the top of the hill with the large group. There was no electricity. I was chilled to the bone. I sat on a cold, hard rock watching and listening.

Deaf voiced, to me, “We need ….” and gestured wildly to me – motioning off into the dark.

I remember wincing a lot before they stood and pointed to the brush over and over. “We need …”

And off I went – alone.

Each time I came back alone, more confused with what I was looking for, their laughter was louder and louder.

Yet while they motioned for me to go “look for …” I did. I sure did.

Only later did I learn (after many trips up and down the hill that had no path) that what I was “to go find” was a UFO. Indeed.

I got ’em back.

The next day there was a time set aside for private confessions with the signing priest.

I told them that I “had” to CART their confessions if they wanted confession that evening.

They were so proud of me for “getting us back – and we believed you for hours, too!”

The priest “outed” me as he giggled and agreed that we were all becoming a team together.

That night, I agreed that I would not CART their confessions if they would agree not to send me off into the dark brush looking for anything ever again. We had us a deal.

My favorite memory of the confession with the signing priest?

I had not planned to participate.

When everyone was finished he came out of the room and looked to me. I smiled and ever so slowly shook my head.

The priest smiled and motioned to me. He pointed to the empty room and he went in.

My friends were insistent that I “You have to go. Go. GO!”

When I did go in, two chairs were turned to face each other in the middle of the large room.

This signing priest, smiled, and gestured to the chair facing him.

I remember pausing for a moment. He said, “The lights have to be turned on so we can see the signs and communicate. This is how all Deaf go to confession.”

I said, “This room has more lights than high noon.”

When I sat in the chair facing him there was a long, awkward silence.

He paused and said, “I want to ask you something. May I?” I nodded.

Then the dear man asked, “How does that machine work?”

I threw my head back and laughed and laughed. The question we always “get.”

He said, “No! really! How does it work? I am fascinated by it and what you do.”

I sighed, and gave him a mini-version of the machine, theory, and our work.

He said, “Fascinating! Now tell me about …”

I asked if there was a time limit by saying, “Surely there must be someone else who needs to meet with you.”

He laughed, “No, you’re the last. I wanted to speak to you last, so I could have this conversation.”

Me, “Great.” He laughed and then asked me many, many, many questions.

About twenty-five minutes later we were both laughing and enjoying our “confessional” moment.

I said, “The others are going to wonder … Oh, by the way, should I participate in confession now?”

The priest again laughed. “No, you are good. Let’s not tell the others, though. I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you, listening, learning, and sharing. I thank you.”

We stood and he hugged me.

I remember I said, “Well, this is the most unusual confession in my life – to include the one time in St. Peters in the Vatican where the man ‘heard’ my confession, and then I learned that he did not understand English. I will always remember this confession – that wasn’t a confession at all – with you.”

When we opened the door, everyone (and I mean every-one) was standing there.

I heard, “Wow! You must have been BAD! You were in there forever!!!!”

I looked to the priest. He silent as a lamb, sweet smile on his face.

I said, “No, it wasn’t really like that …” My Deaf friends became more insistent “how bad you were to have been in there that long.”

Another Deaf-moment memory (my term) is the evening I entered a hotel lobby and a Deaf person was playing the piano.

Hotel guests were shocked at how “bad” (their word) the piano player was.

I unpacked my CART equipment, put my hands at my side, and simply walked away. I knew better than to become involved — and it was fun to watch.

I will always remember the Deaf adults who casually leaned on that huge, sparkling, black piano to feel the sound and vibration from the piano notes.

Later, they said, “Wow. ‘That’ was bad! And no one would say a word!? Not one hearing person! Ha! Ha! Ha! And for once they didn’t know we were Deaf. That was Great!”

The television show “Switched At Birth” shares factual events that occur within families, at work, in school, and while dating. A cast member is a soldier as many current events are front and center.

Switched At Birth accurately portrays subtle moments and explores wide-open topics that splits — and unites families, friends, acquaintances, and strangers.

Switched At Birth And Monette’s CART Captioning, Part III of III

Part I began: Two teenagers discover that they were switched at birth while researching a school assignment. Genetic testing is completed when the students learn “blood types” and when the high school students learn that they do not match their family…

Part II began: In 1993 I was accepted into San Antonio’s Big D world. What I learned remains timeless. I was taught cultural differences and (im)possibilities by Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, and hard of hearing. It is an honor to be accepted into the Big D world if you are hearing and do not have a deaf family member.

After CARTing a mass at St. Francis Di Paola church, one day deaf friends insisted I must have a sign…

Part III: The last scene from a January 2012 episode ended with Emmett responding to a police officer speaking to Emmett in Emmett’s garage. The scene ended with Emmett facedown in handcuffs.

Sadly, this is common. Police officers pull over cars with Deaf and interpreters who are signing.

Many officers do not have deaf sensitivity training. Incidents do result that would be different if the occupants of the vehicle were not signing. (This is well documented.)

While traveling to Deaf camp in 1993, the church van was pulled over.

When I learned why they were late and gasped, everyone said, “IT happens ‘all’ the time! Police think we’re drunk and pull us over. Then we have to go through all the drunk tests with people who don’t let us sign and will not call interpreters and do not understand why we have to keep looking at them! They want us to turn around, and we can’t!”

Deaf adults also shared that when police arrive at residents officers may not ring the doorbell. If police knock, Deaf will not hear and may rely on their assistive doorbell.

San Antonio’s Police Department began a campaign to request Deaf to register with SAPD, so they would have a deaf listing.

The Deaf, as explained to me, absolutely did not want to register to be “different” on “another list.”

One oral deaf friend who reads lips (and refuses to learn sign language) shared how his hotel door was “broken down” by firemen who threw him over their shoulder with a blanket, and carried him down stairs within a burning hotel. (The fire alarm did not work in his room; he always registers as deaf.)

CART, captioning, and the ADA have changed deaf and HOH communities.

Court reporters and sign interpreters are serving individuals with mandated equal access.

Yet when sign language is not the person’s first language, we may not be the best “equal access.”

The events, stories, plots, and drama in Switched At Birth come from the perspective of Deaf and hearing teens and their families that are played out in the school events, social gatherings, and within private moments in the series.

A request has been made by cochlear implant teens to include implant stories.

Recently, there was a reference to CART in the classroom. Maybe ABCFM will include a CART provider or display captioning?

Maybe.

Watch. The show truly is wonderful family entertainment.  After you watch, let me know what you think.

Switched At Birth episodes contains multiple venues wherein we can learn together, and we are “equal” moving forward together.

Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

28 Oct 2014

Resting on Laurels… And Rest…

Resting on Laurels…
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

This article was originally published in NCRA’s JCR under my Beyond The Comfort Zone column.

Court reporters listen – a lot.

Recently, with detailed sharing from court reporters, CART providers, broadcast captioners, students, teachers, professionals, clients, consumers, sign interpreters, and family, I am wondering, where does one – in realtime – collect strength and wisdom?

How do we regroup when special moments continue to arrive?

To truly be present when people need full attention is part of our discipline, our training. The passion in our profession is deep and wide.

While tutoring and coaching court reporting students, novice and veteran court reporters, I listen to people who are now concerned about not being paid; individuals in counseling (for bipolar symptoms, anxiety and/or therapy – one person shared that their spouse “fell asleep during a session!”); adults who are moving; adults fretting about how to pay their utility bill or mortgage; fears about children, spouses, partners, and parents.

Many conversations have been shared from students when a speed class is not passed and additional semesters require additional funds.

Within a short period of time, I listened to individuals who contacted me immediately after a family member died. Multiple individuals are receiving chemo (various stages and diagnoses).

Scheduling an international CART, Communication Assistance Realtime Translation, job, I phoned a professional who answered the phone during their chemo treatment.

“No, I’m not busy,” was the person’s reply when I asked if now is a good time.

One woman shared about the death of her mother, then shared she has multiple sclerosis, ‘seated’ in her brain.

Another person shared details about spreading ashes of a loved one.

A friend adopted a baby. She wants to share. I want to hear happy details.

Privately, my parents were using multiple words to describe their multiple health conditions.

A client phoned the office, “Just send the information. We’re not even dealing with it now. We’ll stick it in the file, but we need it today, okay?”

Another client – after finalizing their job with me phoned to say, “We’ve gone with someone who is cheaper. But we’ll be in touch. You do great work. Okay?”

My favorite?

A reporter, who is a leader and assisted officials to realtime in courtrooms, is reaching for advanced NCRA, National Court Reporter Association, certification and contacted me. Thus, I replied as requested.

The leader, court reporter’s, reply to my genteel inquiry? “Yeah, right, as if you really care.”

I wrote back, “I care. I really care.”

The official, “I’m doing the best I can. I’ll just go and wing it.”

I responded, “Ah, the spirit of a person working full-time, seeking to advance skills. Never again will I open your e-mails while eating. I laughed so hard I almost spit on my computer.”

Then he added, “And I better not read about this in your JCR (Journal of Court Reporting) column!”

I waited to reply, “If I were to quote this (here) I promise not to ‘out’ you.”

Immediately, he responded, “Deal! Okay. Then you may.”

When we continue to hear that every moment, every stroke, every brief (or not-to-brief) form counts in our world, we may feel the wind around us.

How does this relate here?

One can turn to prayer, exercise, meditation, work.

Perhaps one may sleep more – or burn midnight oil to catch up.

Why reference laurels?

When I completed the CSR, NCRA RPR, RMR, RDR Written Knowledge Test Court Reporter Reference Textbook, I was teaching full-time with a 225 wpm (words per minute) homeroom. (I was also working to finish my B.B.A. degree.)

When I finished that first textbook, I swore that I would “never, never, ever do this again. Never.”

I used words “that almost killed me … doing ‘that’ and working full-time and finishing ‘that’ degree.”

When the new work product (the first textbook printing) was delivered, I put the textbook on the counter.

I had so many hours of work (and sweat) into this book that I wanted to remember (people reminded me to “celebrate”) this moment.

Mid-afternoon, before anyone arrived home, I called my cat, placed an open can of tuna fish on the floor, and poured a glass of wine.

Then my parents phoned. I shared that the text was finished, and my (then) mantra, “I will never do this again.”

My father, educator, psychologist, social worker, master of adult education, said, “Of course you will! You can’t rest on your laurels! You need to immediately begin on a workbook. This will be expected from you!”

In dramatic pose, wearing work clothes, high heels, and holding my mid-afternoon celebration glass of wine, I almost fell to the floor.

Voice pitched, I stammered, “Laurels? Laurels!? Where can I find me a laurel? I really want a laurel — now. Put Mom on.”

Mr. Emmett, as he is known in the court reporting industry, discussed advancing one’s skills and not resting as “people will expect you to continue …”

I discussed the laurel as in a sweet bay leaf or mountain laurel tree.

How does this relate?

As I tutor and coach listening to individual’s innermost thoughts and actions, I may share the “you can’t rest on your laurels” metaphor.

Sometimes it receives the same reaction I tossed overhand into the universe.

Yet often, the person listening says, “Oh, right …”

Then we design new, customized goals.

Speaking with my accountant yesterday, he said, “Some agencies swallow an elephant and strain the gnat.”

His point? “Get over it, Monette. Keep going.”

Later, I listened to a fraught (their word) person share emotional news; I listened with full heart and silently pondered that laurel and rest. Silent rest without phones, computers, without texting or IMs, long sentences, multiple words. Rest.

Later, I drove to the ranchers’ feed store.

I refer to the feed store as “my people” right now. Their history, knowledge, and strong spirit is refreshing and comforting.

The man at the register looked troubled; I asked if he was okay.

He replied, “Yes, but at the end of the day I’m a tired pup.”

I asked what he does to rest; he perked up, “I sit on the porch swing with a cold, long neck beer, and my dog!” Then he beamed.

When you read this, you may be prepping for recess; your family may have busy summer schedules, camp; maybe you are attending a state or national NCRA, National Court Reporting Association, convention with your peers. Perhaps you will be vacationing, taking a breath from daily details.

Last summer I wrote an e-mail to a dear friend (a pillar in our profession) asking when might be a good time to troll a question past him.

Instantly, he replied, “I’m on a beach in the Bahamas in my bathing suit with my laptop. Now’s a good time! Really! My family is in the water. They understand. How can I help you, Monette?”

I am determined that when the student is ready the teacher appears.

The teacher may be stranger, friend, foe, or four-legged creature.

Lessons are gifted when we least suspect new possibilities.

My foster child in the Philippines is attending a university.

I know she’s on a bus 1.5s hour one-way.

Foster children I have assisted have earned diplomas to become a teacher, a seamstress, and have continued their education.

There are also children that vanish with their families; I never hear if that child fulfilled their dreams.(When a family leaves without notice one never knows …)

I desired to know this young lady’s choice.

Seychelle’s letter in today’s mail contained the wisdom I needed to remain in the calm eye of hurricane in which I live.

“Recently, you were asking what I am taking. Presently, I’m a student with the university earning a BS in accountancy. This is really hard, but I’m trying to make sure I also deserve to be in the accountancy department.

“This summer vacation, I think I won’t have time painting the town red. I’ll have summer classes and give my attention in studying.

“But, of course, to relieve the stressful things that I do, I find time for me to be relaxed or read my books or take a nap regarding my condition. I’m doing good in a healthy body…”

Yes, from a pencil on the other side of the world the message is gently gifted.

She always writes, “Monette, take care of yourself, rest, and have fun.”

From her lips to our ears (and fingers while at our work), may this be so.

Resting on laurels? Yes, rest.

Today I put ‘rest’ on my “to-do list.”

Bring it. And a porch swing sounds delightful – sweet bay laurel leaf and mountain laurels are optional.

—-Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

 

18 Jul 2014

Harder Is Not Better, Part III of III

Harder is Not Better, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part III:

As I continue to work captioning jobs, to tutor and coach court reporters, CART (Communication Assistance Realtime Translation) students, and captioners, I have shared this memory moment when appropriate.

I have been (pleasantly) reassured that others also have felt that they too were pounding their computer keyboard and perhaps their steno keyboard.

Many students, working court reporters, CART providers, broadcast captioners, and professionals outside our field have made a ‘touch shift’ on their keyboards or added tweaking(s) and modifications.

Voila – they had (much) different results, too.

My lesson and their lesson as related back to me each time, “Harder is not better.”

Students and court reporters are now extending my “harder is not better” lesson into practice time.

Students and court reporters are now passing speed tests in school and online.

Professional court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast captioners are now reaching for new certifications, and now cruising through their day with a wider view of this drawing attention to one little detail.

One detail does make a huge difference in our steno world.

It works, folks. It does indeed.

A new focus is a gift for any day, any evening – and for any long event when the speaker (witness and/or captioned event) goes on and on and on.

A new focus can be good when we are mentally waiting for the job, the assignment to come to a close.

With your focus – wherever you focus – my wish is that you have creative moments with your choices, your goals, and your “knowing” awareness.

Part I of III is posted June 4, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted June 18, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted June 30, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

30 Jun 2014

Harder is Not Better, Part II of III

Harder is Not Better, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part II:

Several days later, when I needed to quickly reply to a work e-mail, his computer was on a desk sitting unused while he was online with another job.

Silently, he gestured to his chair. I slipped into the chair and quickly composed the “asap-needed reply” on his computer.

Mr. IT Man quickly crossed the room, “Stop pounding on my computer! You are banging on that keyboard, and you are pounding the mouse on my desk!”

I finished my e-mail, stood, and smiled.

No words appeared to be necessary at that moment.

Later that afternoon, I wondered if the small pain in an arm (or two) might be related.

With the possible pain-related focus, I zipped up the road.

I raced into a store (every second counts, right?), placed a new keyboard under my arm, went straight to the counter, and purchased another keyboard with another wireless mouse. Then I hurried back to the office.

Once I plugged that puppy in, I was shocked to discover that I was pounding the keyboard. I was banging the mouse and had to adjust my touch to work with the new keyboard and new wireless mouse.

When I next saw the IT person, I noticed him watching me type.

He viewed the older keyboard on the floor leaning against the
wall.

Then he gestured to the new keyboard and said, “So, you finally got it, right?”

I did not sigh. I sat tall.

I paused before replying, “Yes.” Again, additional words were not necessary.

Why am I sharing this?

Part II of III is posted June 18, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted June 30, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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 & Empowerment Life Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry,
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

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: www.CRRbooks.com has material to help you advance skills for NCRA exams and state certifications?

Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and empowerment coaching?

Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Empowerment coaching and tutoring 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment coaching?

• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, to create new possibilities, to advance their career, to author their book, and to develop the dream within,
• Veteran and novice court reporters, CART 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 exam and career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast 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 Empowerment Coaching
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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?

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, 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 providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped 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.

18 Jun 2014

Harder is Not Better, Part I of III

Harder Is Not Better, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I:

January brings new possibilities, new choices. Additional focus (my opinion) and words (discussions) are shared each January regarding new goals and new resolutions.

New (revised, expanded, and perhaps reduced) choices may have our focus for a temporary or fixed period of time.

This year, as a possibility with new focus, I want to ask: have you been working harder?

Does it take someone else, (perhaps outside our court reporting, broadcast captioning and CART, Computer Assisted Realtime Translation, field), to point this out to us?

Is it possible another person, unfamiliar with our skills and our technology, might notice a court reporter is working harder
than needed?

Some of us might say, “Not possible.”

Yet when the student is ready, the teacher appears – even when the teacher is sharing a message that appears to be untimely (due to deadlines and finding time to eat lunch before 3 p.m., right?).

As professionals, we are exact – with honed, polished skills – and focused on exacting details from each minute in our world.

One casual comment, one suggestion, to change one thing in our world, might be disregarded. A comment, a suggestion, might fall into a future action (task) and goal – one that might be filed for future digestion, yes?

Herein, I want to share “Harder is not better.”

Several months ago, I purchased a new(er) computer keyboard with a wireless mouse. I plugged that puppy in and went to work.

Yes, I noticed a difference, but there were deadlines to be met, and work to be completed.

I put my head down. I completed the jobs while juggling several flaming batons.

In short, I moved forward as court reporters do (and are expected to) when we have multiple “fixed” dates and tax deadlines approaching, which require and invite our focused attention.

Several weeks after I purchased the wireless device, a technical person stood in my office to discuss a phone message. He watched as I typed on my computer keyboard.

Then Mr. IT Man assuredly stated, “You sure are pounding on that thing!”

Slowly, I counted to “two” and slowly said, “I’m a court reporter. We don’t pound. We accurately stroke, type and write.”

The man tilted his head, pursed his lips. He remained silent. We maintained eye contact. Neither he or I blinked – or continued the conversation.

The moment passed when he was called to another project and left the office.

Me? I went back to work.

Part II of III is posted June 18, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted June 30, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

04 Jun 2014

Our Words Are Our O.R., Part III of III

Our Words Are Our O.R., Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part III:

In response to my words and to my father’s words about my “listening”, Ms. D.O.N. then said, “I still don’t like the look on her face,” and left the room.

I thought about Frazier Crane’s, “I’m listening, Seattle…” and watched her backside exit the doorway as each person counted down, in unison.

Together, the professionals raised all equipment and my father.

They called to me, and I followed their brisk steps.

In realtime, my eyebrows are permanently raised; my breath controlled as I seek to avoid upsetting my father (as I continue to do with Mom’s dire health issues).

Later, in ER, as I hunted for water and pudding (any food), Dad weakly asked, “What are you thinking about?”

I shrugged, “Maybe an article.”

He giggled, “I thought so. You have my permission. I need to rest now.” His head immediately slumped to his chest.

When I returned with crackers and peanut butter on two plastic spoons, Dad said, “This is not your playground.” Then he smiled.

I put a cracker and some peanut butter into my mouth and chewing I said, “Sure it is. I can’t make lemonade here, now can I? I’m doing the best I can right now. And I still can listen while chewing this stale food. This ‘is’ awful.” Again, he smiled.

The ER doctor entered the room, read the lab results, and confirmed “we are in dangerous territory right now.”

Within 48 hours, we were back in O.R. for the second attempt to surgically place the feeding tube.

(Dad was too weak for the first attempt. The anesthesiologist pulled him from the O.R. table after he had been cleared by all the other doctors.)

After hours of waiting, I stood in another small area.

A blanket was draped over my shoulders. I was proofing work from a multi-event CART, Communication Access Realtime Translation, job.

Standing, I was rubbing my back on the wall to warm my body as I held work in my hands, head down, proofing.

Another surgeon came in the room and began to speak as he opened the door.

I said, “Here, let me put this down.”

Yet again, I saw that look and yet again heard a sigh.

He exhaled, sat down, and (I swear) said, “Okay, I’ll wait for you then.”

I pursed my lips, did not engage, and asked, “How is my father?”

The surgeon sat there and (I swear) asked if I was ready to listen to him.

I thought, “Oh, for the love of God. Just one calm moment. Just one helpful person, please.”

Instead, I smiled at the dude, kept the blanket around my shoulders, sat in a chair, and listened to his words and (dire) medical terms.

I maintained the court reporter posture that we all know – expressionless.

Yes, I realtimed his conversation in my head, with punctuation, to avoid having a response other than as a court reporter.

I focused the way I used to when a full jury was listening to a witness or the judge.

We do not have reactions in court or during litigation.

My focus was to display the expressionless posture and features from the moment he began to rattle on — oh, at approximately 260 words per minute.

(Yes, we do that, too.

We think about the speed of the words, known as ‘words per minute’, to us, as in a speed test.)

When he finished, I walked to my car, placed my forehead on my blistering hot steering wheel – inside my hot car that felt oh so good.

I kept my sweater on under the surgical blanket as I warmed my body in my car. I also focused on focusing.

I focused on the bigger picture at that moment.

The bigger picture was not me crying, banging the steering wheel, or venting my frustrations and grief for what I have been witnessing. I focused on focus.

The focus was simple as I sat remembering to breathe in, then breathe out. Then repeat.

Why am I writing this?

Nurses and staff have again (it happened with Mom in ICU multiple times, too) made additional comments, which I have not included here.

I am deliberately focused on staying in the moment.

I have not kicked any walls or thrown anything. I have not whined.

I have not sniffled.

I have listened.

I am not willing to discuss what others (perhaps the word is “outsiders”) think about our court reporting work and our working with my work while a parent -or two- is in ER, ICU, O.R., or within any hospital setting.

Now when individuals meet me, as the RN today, she approached saying, “Yes, I’ve heard about you…”

Now a generation of family members under me narrow their eyes, pursing their lips as they look to me and to the person who voiced those words. Listening, they frown more now.

When you read this essay, it may be 103 degrees. Time will tell where I think my family is headed.

I believe that I will still be listening and proofing my articles.

I will still proof my CART work and ensuring (technical events) my clients receive customized results for their unique requests.

I will continue to proof work as I update the “NCRA RPR, CSR, CBC, CCP Written Knowledge Test” textbook, workbook, and companion study guide.

This is my passion. This is my work.

This is why we are keepers of the records, yes?

My opinion is we become disciplined with our listening skills – as it should be.

I hope no one travels my path for the past four years.

I wish you all great health and wonderful adventures.

I know we will continue to be ‘the’ listeners in each group.

This is what I have learned. Words are our O.R.

Part I of III is posted May 2, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted May 14, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted May 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

29 May 2014

Our Words Are Our O.R., Part II of III

Our Words Are Our O.R., Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part II:

I was determined not to rise to what I saw as potential baiting – several nurses spoke about it, too. Many professionals (within multiple facilities) said, “I’ve never seen, heard, or read anything in our medical training books with case studies like the manner people speak to you. And you sit and listen to all of them. You do not interrupt. You do not argue. You listen.”

Each time I bowed my head and stared at my shoes focusing on what is best for the patient – not me. I thought it would work to help us ease through this chapter.

Yes?

Nope.

The next time and each time after that moment the good doc, surgeon, would enter the room, “Now a good time?” with flat-lined look. Each time I let it go.

One morning Dad shared, “My daughter processes words. She is always processing words when you speak.”

The doctor sighed and looked out the window.

I did not blink (or sigh) as Dad looked to me and shrugged his shoulders.

The second time a significant event occurred was when Dad was in stat emergency; individuals were drawing his blood and urine.

The director of nursing was speaking – vaguely – (I had Power of Attorney) about “what might be happening.”

I listened.

Suddenly she snapped, “I don’t like the look on your face.”

My father and all individuals in the room looked startled.

I said, “Excuse me?”

She repeated her words, hands on her hips.

Slowly, I said, “Ma’am, I’m listening to you.”

She, “Well, I just don’t like that look, okay?”

More slowly (Dad was being placed on the gurney and now was not the time to focus on what she thought was happening), I said,

“Ma’am I am focusing on what you’re saying.”

Dad, the man with a master of education degree, said, “She’s a court reporter. I’ve told you. She has a college degree in listening.”

The woman puckered her lips.

Dad, “She is translating what you are saying. Always has. She always will.”

Me, “These are new words to me regarding my father.”

Dad, “She has at least three languages in her head translating what you are saying.”

I looked to Dad and said, “With punctuation. And I am listening.”

Dad, wincing in pain, weakly smiled, and said, “And I paid good money for her to possess these skills.”

The levity that I believe Dad, also a social worker with psych background, was seeking at that moment was not acknowledged by this snarky D.O.N.

(Others did look to Dad and to me with a small smile before each bowed their head, each returning back to work on the ER stat run.)

Yes, in hindsight I could have taken a different response with the woman.

That day, I was able to listen to multiple conversations between the people now working at a feverish pace due to an emergency.

Again, this is what we do each day in our work. We listen.

The ambulance medics had Dad belted. Four people held bags, wires, IV poles, and additional medical equipment. They stood waiting for me to follow them.

I chose not to argue at that moment because I knew Dad and I could wind up back in the same room that afternoon and did not want to alienate that woman.

Part I of III is posted May 2, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted May 14, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted May 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

14 May 2014

Our Words Are Our O.R., Part I of III

Our Words Are Our O.R., Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Three times I saw complete changes when I was doing what it is ‘we’ do best – proofing verbatim work and listening.

I was called out on it – twice by doctors, once by a D.O.N. She instructed me, “D.O.N. means “Director of Nursing.”

(Listening, I thought, “Yes, I know.”)

Yet I saw complete, lasting changes. I have written about ill parents in my National Court Reporters Association, Journal of Court Reporting, JCR, column, and on my blog, Monette’s Musings.

My father was hospitalized March to August. As I wrote this, he was in a small room with a feeding tube. He was unable to drink, to swallow, sit up, and roll over on his own. His head was on the metal bed rail with a towel against his forehead, so he did not hurt himself. Yet he wanted to live and would not permit hospice to enter.

Through this winding path, I traveled multiple venues as a daughter, as a court reporter, CART provider, captioner, author, teacher, and as a stunned witness. The roles frequently changed as I worked to sort the endless drama and expanded cast of characters.

The first event I am documenting here: As usual, I was seated on an O.R. stool in a spot for the size of hamsters (I am tall).

My knees were drawn up, within yet another freezing room, waiting for yet another doctor to give me Dad’s O.R. update.

My head was down; I was proofing an article; I was rubbing my arms to circulate blood.

As I froze, San Antonio and surrounding areas were 103 degrees. (On breaks, I went to my hot car wearing a sweater, windows rolled up, to warm my body.)

When the surgeon came into my area, I had just found a typo. I heard his step. Quickly, I marked my spot on the line. When I looked back up, I saw his flat-lined face; I heard his sigh.

Startled, I softly said, “That was really important (pointing to my paperwork). Any news?”

He looked away and waited. I felt the shift immediately. When the good man finished, he commented about my working “all the time on court reporting paperwork.” (I had not commented on my work or court reporting.)

I softly said, “Words are our O.R. – our operating room.” He sighed, turned sharply, and abruptly left.

Part I of III is posted May 2, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted May 14, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted May 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

02 May 2014

Thumb Wrestling and Smoken; Ask The Coach, Part III of III

Thumb Wrestling and Smoken; Ask The Coach, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: Did you know there is a Thumb Wrestling Federation, TWF, and the United Kingdom has World Thumb Wrestling Championships? This is serious business for a sport originally called “thumb-a-war.”

How does this relate to court reporters, CART – Communication Access Realtime Translation – providers, broadcast captioners, and students? …

Years ago, I wrote “CART FAQ, Falling On Deaf Ears” a series of articles posted on my blog, Monette’s Musings, and online by NCRA.

I have CARTed college-level Latin for an oral deaf honors student. I did not know Latin. I stroked sounds, which tranned, translated, as Latin.

I spent many years CARTing church services to a large screen for a Catholic mass devoted to people who are Deaf. A sign interpreter was always present, and we worked side by side.

Additionally, I have CARTed funeral services, baptisms, retirement parties, large conventions, technical meetings, medical events, Quinceanera celebrations, the McGruff Dog, puppets, a mime (yes, a deaf mime), plays, musicals, clairvoyants, Girl Scout groups, Knights of Columbus, and multiple intimate settings.

Part II began: My thumb wrestling referral above was for the moments when I work with students and professionals who tell me
“I was not able to find my thumbs today.”

Yes, we have a few days like that. If you are outside our profession and are reading this, I want you to know that those
moments are rare. Truly.

While tutoring and coaching students and veteran reporters who are seeking to meet new goals and to create a higher skill set I listen to people share their private moments when fingers just do not go where they “should go.” In short, it happens.

My initial thumb wrestling comment was shared within a tutor/coach setting with an experienced judicial reporter preparing for
advanced NCRA certification. It was said in jest; we both laughed.

Soon, someone called my office for “certifying test prep material.”

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs, www.CRRbooks.com, has a 95 % success pass for candidates testing the first time with our test prep material.

Quickly, I learned that this request for “test prep” had nothing to do with court reporting or with any legal field.

When I stated that I was not able to help him, he began to tell me about his work, his stresses, his frustrations, his needs.

Not wanting to be rude, and needing to create a boundary after I stated multiple times, “I do not have access to the material

you are seeking,” I was brought to his reality when he exhaled, “I just feel like I’m all thumbs. I need to smoke that test. I mean, when I start something I approach it with smoken attitude.”

I sat in my chair staring at the ceiling, hands folded in my lap, waiting for the moment to politely end the call as he picked up speed and energy.

When he referred to “thumbs” and “smoken,” I shared about thumb wresting.

The man said, “I love that! And while I have you, I have always wanted to know how that funny, little back machine works. Did you know it has no letters on the black keys?”

I did not sigh, groan, or exhale.

“Really? I’ll have to research that,” I said softly.

He did not sigh, groan, or exhale.

“You know this. You just want to get off the phone, right?” he said.

“That’s accurate,” I replied.

Then we had us a long silence.

He broke our silence: “Well, since I’m all thumbs, and you do not have anything to help me, I’m going to look into the thumb

wrestling, so when I’m prepared for my test, I’ll smoke my test. And I’ll probably phone you again for tutoring and coaching.

You’ve already helped me, and God knows that I will need more help! I need a life coach now.”

Thumb wrestling, our steno machine, our exacting work, clients and consumers, test prep material, people outside our

profession, all thumbs, advancing credentials, setting new goals, advancing skills, private tutoring, life coaching, and smoken.

In short, there we have it. The end.

Part I of III is posted March 17, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted April 11, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted April 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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 & Empowerment Life Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam? 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: www.CRRbooks.com has material to help you advance skills for NCRA exams and state certifications?

Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and empowerment life coaching?

Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Empowerment life coaching and tutoring 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment life coaching?

• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, to create new possibilities, to advance their career, to 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 exam and career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast 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 Empowerment Life Coaching http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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?

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, 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 providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped 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 life 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.

29 Apr 2014

Thumb Wrestling and Smoken; Ask The Coach, Part II of III

Thumb Wrestling and Smoken; Ask The Coach, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: Did you know there is a Thumb Wrestling Federation, TWF, and the United Kingdom has World Thumb Wrestling Championships? This is serious business for a sport originally called “thumb-a-war.”

Thumb Wrestling Championships begin, “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb-a-war!” To win, opponents must pin the other person’s thumb “as long as it takes to say ‘one, two, three, four, I win a thumb-o-war.’”

A referee determines the winner. Elbows must be on the table. Fingernails must be short. If a winner cannot be determined by the referee in two 60-second rounds, the contest “is settled with a game of sudden death ‘scissors, paper, stone.’”

How does this relate to court reporters, CART – Communication Access Realtime Translation – providers, broadcast captioners, and students? …

Years ago, I wrote “CART FAQ, Falling On Deaf Ears” a series of articles posted on my blog, Monette’s Musings, and online by NCRA.

I have CARTed college-level Latin for an oral deaf honors student. I did not know Latin. I stroked sounds, which tranned, translated, as Latin.

I spent many years CARTing church services to a large screen for a Catholic mass devoted to people who are Deaf. A sign interpreter was always present, and we worked side by side.

Additionally, I have CARTed funeral services, baptisms, retirement parties, large conventions, technical meetings, medical events, Quinceanera celebrations, the McGruff Dog, puppets, a mime (yes, a deaf mime), plays, musicals, clairvoyants, Girl Scout groups, Knights of Columbus, and multiple intimate settings.

Part II: My thumb wrestling referral above was for the moments when I work with students and professionals who tell me “I was not able to find my thumbs today.”

Yes, we have a few days like that. If you are outside our profession and are reading this, I want you to know that those moments are rare. Truly.

While tutoring and coaching students and veteran reporters who are seeking to meet new goals and to create a higher skill set I listen to people share their private moments when fingers just do not go where they “should go.” In short, it happens.

My initial thumb wrestling comment was shared within a tutor/coach setting with an experienced judicial reporter preparing for advanced NCRA certification. It was said in jest; we both laughed.

The veteran reporter soon contacted me: “Your words and homework solved the problem.” In short, we solved her issues.

When next someone said, “I just can’t write anything today. Nothing.” I shared the thumb wrestling concept that had worked so
well with the experienced reporter.

In short, with specific tweaking to the individual, we had a successful solution.

Part I of III is posted March 17, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted April 11, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted April 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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 & Empowerment Life Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam? 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: www.CRRbooks.com has material to help you advance skills for NCRA exams and state certifications?

Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and empowerment life coaching?

Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Empowerment life coaching and tutoring 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment life coaching?

• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, to create new possibilities, to advance their career, to 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 exam and career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast 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 Empowerment Life Coaching http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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?

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, 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 providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped 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 life 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.

11 Apr 2014

Thumb Wrestling and Smoken; Ask The Coach, Part I of III

Thumb Wrestling and Smoken; Ask The Coach, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.

Did you know there is a Thumb Wrestling Federation, TWF, and the United Kingdom has World Thumb Wrestling Championships? This is serious business for a sport originally called “thumb-a-war.”

The TWF has “Thumbs News” for thumb rivalries. “Thumb Warriors” details champions. Currently, the TWF has a fictional sports league on the Cartoon Network. As youngsters, and young-at-heart adults, say, “How cool is that!”

Thumb Wrestling Championships begin, “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb-a-war!” To win, opponents must pin the other person’s thumb “as long as it takes to say ‘one, two, three, four, I win a thumb-o-war.’”

A referee determines the winner. Elbows must be on the table. Fingernails must be short. If a winner cannot be determined by the referee in two 60-second rounds, the contest “is settled with a game of sudden death ‘scissors, paper, stone.’”

How does this relate to court reporters, CART – Communication Access Realtime Translation – providers, broadcast captioners, and students?

Do you ever have days when your fingers have a mind of their own?

Do you have moments when your fingers may not adhere to our diligently honed muscle memory to accurately strike the keys?

Onsite and remote realtime – instant speech-to-text using the Internet and/or a telephone – is now the norm in our profession.

We routinely fingerspell, stitch words together, and stroke keys, creating words on-the-fly.

To further detail our specialized work, we now have a main dictionary and create “job” dictionaries specific to events and jobs. I have a “dog” dictionary from CARTing the International Working Dog conference. I also have a “milk” dictionary for individuals who test milk prior to it being shipped to market.

Realtiming – for instant translation – Roman numerals, ordinals, cardinal numbers, acronyms, homonyms, specific spelling alphabets, all punctuation, and additional unique formatting strokes are customized by the court reporter, captioner, CART provider, and the student.

You still with me? In short, this is all in a day’s work.

People outside our profession are amazed to learn that our basic equipment may easily run well over $10,000 for the steno writer, software, support, laptops, printers, cables, additional equipment, insurance, and specifics we need for a job. Many of us also have backup equipment. As some individuals say on this topic, “Don’t get me started…”

We also have become the “ears” for deaf, oral deaf, late-deafened, hard-of-hearing, and brain-injured individuals whom we call consumers.

The nuances for each type of hearing loss, age of loss, knowledge of sign language when appropriate, and working with sign interpreters when appropriate also enrich the wonderful path wherein we serve.

Years ago, I wrote “CART FAQ, Falling On Deaf Ears” a series of articles posted on my blog, Monette’s Musings, and online by NCRA, National Court Reporters Association.

I have CARTed college-level Latin for an oral deaf honors student. I did not know Latin. I stroked sounds, which tranned, translated, as Latin.

I spent many years CARTing church services to a large screen for a Catholic mass devoted to people who are Deaf. A sign interpreter was always present, and we worked side by side.

Additionally, I have CARTed funeral services, baptisms, retirement parties, large conventions, technical meetings, medical events, Quinceanera celebrations, the McGruff Dog, puppets, a mime (yes, a deaf mime), plays, musicals, clairvoyants, Girl Scout groups, Knights of Columbus, and multiple intimate settings.

Part I of III is posted March 17, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted April 11, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted April 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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 & Empowerment Life Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam? 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: www.CRRbooks.com has material to help you advance skills for NCRA exams and state certifications?

Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and empowerment life coaching?

Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Empowerment life coaching and tutoring 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment life coaching?

• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, to create new possibilities, to advance their career, to 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 exam and career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast 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 Empowerment Life Coaching http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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?

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, 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 providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped 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 life 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.

17 Mar 2014

Spurt-Ability, Part III of III

Spurt-Ability, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: While coaching a novice court reporter, the professional said, “I don’t like to take tests. That’s why I went to court reporting school.”

I said softly, “Now that’s a thing of beauty.” He sincerely replied, “It’s true.” I truly replied, “You will read about this. Trust me.”

How does that happen?

Part II began: When I taught, I shared this spurt-focus with students. Many, many students took to it like a hummingbird to a red feeder. They liked it (my tutoring and coaching students like it, too). Really.

When I began to realtime and CART to a large screen, I had to focus on the spurts, the spurt-ability…

Part III: A spurt is a small marathon with yourself.

A spurt is similar to a sprinter on the track.

A spurt is similar to a pole vaulter. (more…)

28 Feb 2014

Spurt-Ability, Part II of III

Spurt-Ability, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: While coaching a novice court reporter, the professional said, “I don’t like to take tests. That’s why I went to court reporting school.”

I said softly, “Now that’s a thing of beauty.” He sincerely replied, “It’s true.” I truly replied, “You will read about this. Trust me.”

How does that happen?

Part II: When I teach, I share this spurt-focus with students. Many, many students took to it like a hummingbird to a red feeder. They liked it (my tutoring and coaching students like it, too). Really.

When I began to realtime and CART to a large screen, I had to focus on the spurts, the spurt-ability. (Yes, I’m realtime self-taught, 1993. After graduation with an associate degree from S.U.N.Y. Alfred, I learned long and short vowels while working on the job with expert witnesses each morning. Truly. I do not recommend that opportunity or life experience to anyone. No tape backups. No one to help with your paper notes as you prepared carbons for your typewriter. That was then. This is now.)

When I initially CARTed, everyone (as sign interpreters vocalized loudly, verbatim to me) in the entire room would know instantly when I made an error. I cannot make this up (re: interpreters frequent comments in 1993).

As I tutor and coach, I share the spurt-ability on how to push past the few seconds that often develop about three-fourths of the way through the five-minute speed test.

Spurt-ability. Just lean in or focus the wrists forward to think in spurts.

Just write a spurt.

No need to wonder why you picked this field in the first place.

Our tenacious mental abilities do endow many of us with the ability to have five or more conversations “realtiming” in our head while we are realtiming new words to a computer screen for someone who may or may not be near your work product. Truly.

Spurts are small moments making a huge difference.

Spurts occur while writing and processing multiple words that are “popcorning.”

“Popcorn” is a term that Blake Stevens, RPR, in 1988, San Antonio, Texas, then a retired federal court reporter, and I used to say when we dictated rapid-fire Q&A to our students. (As a result of that term with Blake and working with the gifted Blake Stevens, I developed a line of Q&A popcorn dictation material.)

Spurts occur as we think how to accurately write (or build) the word in the backward steno process — then have the stroke successfully translate or not — then we accurately fix the error, in realtime; then we continue to out-process words, audible sounds.

This is our work.
This is our specialty.
This is our pride.

Part I of III is posted February 5, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted February 15, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted February 28, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, 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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

15 Feb 2014

Spurt-Ability, Part I of III

Spurt-Ability, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

While coaching a novice court reporter, the professional said, “I don’t like to take tests. That’s why I went to court reporting school.”

I said softly, “Now that’s a thing of beauty.” He sincerely replied, “It’s true.” I truly replied, “You will read about this. Trust me.”

How does that happen?

We test at a minimum of 95 percent in each class for our stenographic skills. Many programs test higher to 97 – 98 percent. And on the job? Much higher, we all know.

I have found great success working with students, court reporters, CART providers, and captioners and the focus on the “testing angle.”

My opinion is that many of us are focused (we are) on how do I just write it fast, faster, and fastest?

Many have been known to say, “I’ll learn how to write that (word) when I … Just tell me how to pass that test.”

And once individuals, students, CART providers, captioners, and working court reporters pass their tests and their certifications, I hear, “Now what do I do? They’re going to want to look at my notes while I write.”

I listen and softly say, “Yes, that is now pretty much part of the plan.”

Laughter is a frequent response to my “What are you thinking?”

So what is spurt-ability? It is a word I made up. (Just like doctors and expert witnesses make up words and then swear it really is a word.) I use this term I made up to focus upon a mindshift.

When we are in court, providing CART, captioning, testing, and writing any faster-than-heck speaker, we have to have the ability to come up from behind. We do.

We are trained with specific finely tuned skills to “come up from behind” when a speaker picks up speed.

Spurt-ability is my term for the mindshift when the speaker speaks fast — and we are just about to slip behind the cadence of the speaker (think medical terminology, technical terms, fingerspelling, building words on the fly that we know are not in our dictionary, unusual words, acronyms, new “made-up words” and that fast speaker).

As part of my court reporting (survival skills here), I learned to actually lean into the steno machine and would ride the words — similar to a piano player who is simply playing a faster note before the music slows its tempo. That is how I wrote when I was a student and a new court reporter.

As a working court reporter, I learned to avoid the actual leaning-into-the-wind posture (people often asked about it; hence, I worked to stop the physical exertion) and worked to use (only) body movement using wrists to the fingertips. Writing in spurts was how I managed to keep up with fast people, new words, expert witnesses, individuals with accents, and competitors for the fastest-lips-in-the west contest.

Part I of III is posted February 5, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted February 15, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted February 28, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, 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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

05 Feb 2014

The Lesson Behind “You’re Processing; You’re Not Stuck”, Coach’s Corner

The Lesson Behind “You’re Processing; You’re Not Stuck”, Coach’s Corner
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Years ago, I wrote “You’re Processing; You’re Not Stuck.”

My Journal of Court Reporting April 2005 article is posted on my blog “Monette’s Musings” and www.CRRbooks.com.

I detailed how one sentence I shared shifted a student’s focus when she phoned my Court Reporters Reference Books & CDs office to order a product to assist her to advance in her 170 word per minute class.

The student soon graduated and became a court reporter.

Realtime Coach then included “You’re Processing; You’re Not Stuck” from my JCR “Beyond The Comfort Zone” column as one of their dictations.

Over the years, I have been contacted by students, reporters, CART providers, captioners, and instructors to expand on this topic with my tutoring and empowerment coaching.

Frequently, I see students and veteran court reporters, CART providers, and captioners writing “You’re not stuck!! You’re processing!” on forums and on Facebook.

Often, I see students and reporters referencing my article, name, and the Realtime Coach dictation.

Emails continue to ask that I explain the “processing” concept.

The sentence “you’re processing; you’re not stuck” originated began when I was teaching in the late 1980s.

My students asked why they were not progressing in speed classes while putting in the hours, while enrolled in academic classes, while working full time, and while arriving after a long day for a (full) four-hour evening.

I saw their frustration as their expectations were not met.

Students often “flew” through one speed to then “sit” in another speed.

This varied student to student. Students often compared themselves to other students who were “flying” through a speed class. Students also compared themselves to others who “remain” in a speed class semester after semester.

The court reporting students were challenged by speedbuilding classes; by typing Q & A, Jury Charge, and Literary speed tests; by academics; and by academic tests. (A Legal Terminology or Medical Terminology might have a hundred words per test.)

My parents, both degreed instructors, always asked about my students’ progress.

My father particularly enjoyed helping me as he had listened to my challenges when I was a court reporting student (think my “struggles”). Now he was listening as a guidance counselor, social worker, and father.

“My students work so hard. Sometimes I think they’re working too hard. They become frustrated. I think their frustration may be part venting to progress,” I shared one weekend.

Mr. Emmett, as my father was known to the court reporting industry, with an education and teaching background in science, medical arenas, history, and English, replied, “The mind is like a sponge. The human mind has to take time to absorb information. Tell your students that their mind is like a sponge. When you put a sponge into a glass filled with water, the sponge first absorbs the water. This is a process.”
“They came into the court reporting program with an empty slate, learned new skills, and learned thousands of new words with ‘steno language’. Now their brain, like that sponge in the glass with water, has to take time for the new information to be absorbed.”

“If time is not taken for the absorption – or the process is interrupted – there is an overflow of water or a problem.”

“I saw this when you were a student. You phoned upset and frustrated from your dorm room. I listened, encouraged you to go back to work, and told you that it would come to you,” he continued.

(Instantly, I had flashbacks of moments that were like walking on hot coals, barefoot, then convinced that “it was not coming to me.”)

“Your students are learning a new language and new skills. When they fully process the information they will progress. And it happens when a person least expects it. Yet the work has to be put in. Has to with court reporting skills.”

My mother is a degreed elementary special education teacher. I listened to my parents, in a spirited conversation, discuss young children who learn languages.

There is a window of learning, and 4-year olds are able to easily learn multiple languages with little effort. The “window” closes, as my parents explained, a few years later.

“Their sponge is filling their glass,” my dad continued. “Yes, they continue to learn, but probably never at the same pace, and with such ease. Kindergarten is the most challenging year to teach. Children are open slates. They absorb with great ease,” my father explained.

Mom agreed, “The most qualified instructors are kindergarten teachers because the children learn so quickly.” (Her greatest years teaching, per Mom, were when she was a first grade instructor.)

He then detailed the “open window” for children learning to speak while developing accents.

He offered me scientific and historical data that revealed how people develop accents around the world – and also how children who were found to have been raised under harmful conditions may never have been taught to speak. “Windows close, and this is the same for all cultures,” Dad reinforced.

In short, Mr. Emmett’s scientific point: learning continues, but never at the same pace as the “empty slate” that now has information – similar to that dry sponge being placed into an empty glass. The brain now has information. The sponge has absorbed water.

The conversation came back to my court reporting students.

Mom and Dad discussed how people learn steno theory, progress through specific areas, and then perhaps park. “That is when they are processing information. They have to process to move forward,” my dad said.

Mom nodded and said, “Amen.” Thus, my seed was planted.
With my new understanding of sponges and windows, the next time I saw my students expressing their frustration (after I had worked a very long day in the teaching and court reporting saddle myself) I said, “Your mind is like a brain. Your mind has to process information like a sponge in a glass of water. You’re not stuck. You are processing information. Once you fully process the information, you will progress.”

I was proud of myself until the class howled with laughter, “Your mind is like a brain? A brain? Oh, man, we’re going to put that on your tombstone. That was great!”

Okay, maybe not my finest moment behind the teacher’s desk, yet my “window” was working to assist each student that evening. And each student instantly “processed” the sponge in the glass of water and the window concept.

I now share how “you’re not stuck, you’re processing” was gifted to me, and how I then gifted it my students and to thousands of court reporters, instructors, and to students thereafter.

I also share with all my students that Yoga (which I do every day) has a concept comparing stretching to a kitchen cabinet. When a door is stuck, one does not have the greatest result pulling against the door.

The best effort to release a stuck kitchen door is to gently lean into the stuck door. This releases the pressure. Stretch, gently release, then lean into the stretch for greater results. (We used to post students – as guards – outside my classrooms, so I could teach them specific Yoga techniques.)

That night and whenever I have had the teaching, tutoring, and public speaking opportunity after “your mind is like a brain”, I have witnessed shifts in progress and in focus.

Students saw the correlation to a child effortlessly learning multiple languages and to Yoga and that stuck kitchen cabinet door.

They were able to see the comparison to learning steno theory, to advancing in speedbuilding, and to achieving goals in school and on the job.

They embraced the lesson: “You are not stuck; you are processing.”

Perhaps the mind “is” like a brain with windows and opportunities as we then graduate; we seek perfection in our writing translation rates; and we continue to advance our skills – always seeking accuracy, always progressing, always processing.

You’re processing; you’re not stuck.

I wish each of you and your loved ones a “processing” Happy New Year.

— Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:  Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com   * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession

An American RealTime/Captioning Services, LLC: www.ARTCS.com        Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam?  More than once?   Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test.   Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.

Reach Your Goals:  http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29  Where do you want to go? Specific custom-designed guidance will efficiently assist you!

About Monette Benoit:    As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.

In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas.  Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has 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 assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.

02 Jan 2014

Fears, Toughest Part Is Words, Spot On, and Our Normal, Part III of III

Fears, Toughest Part Is Words, Spot On, and Our Normal, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: Part I began: One student, in the 225 wpm (words per minute) exit room in a court reporting program, “is scared to death of passing the state certification test and national certification. Then people will see that I can’t write accurately! I changed almost everything in my theory to brief forms, one strokes, to pass my tests. I was told to do this to advance in my speed classes. Everyone is doing this! I read through all my errors on each test! … Help me.” …

Part II began: Softly, I replied, “Perhaps you do not want to swan dive into the mind games.” …

We each can evolve to a better “spot” when we choose opportunities or when we are given ultimatums, yes?

Perhaps there has never been a better time to expand your skills. Spot on, yes?

Or perhaps you believe there has to be a “secret sauce” to reaching your goal, your desired result.

Where do you want to be in three months? Three weeks? Tomorrow at 3:00?

Part III of III:

Many court reporters are nearing retirement.

This will open new markets for individuals who are intent on shifting with expanding, new opportunities. Big fact.

In short, what might conflict with your goals to meet new opportunities, and what energy might expand your current strengths? This is one of many focus topics within my tutoring and empowerment coaching.

As you discover the specifics to the above-listed details in your private and professional world you will then be able to make choices to propel you to organize your fears.

Perhaps we are struggling too hard. Perhaps we want to know more about our fears.

I believe that organizing fears is a powerful step to moving toward your distinctive goals – whether it is to read your accurate notes in school to transcribe a test, whether it is to train yourself for a better position with your work, or whether a goal is to follow your heart’s desire with a new path that you create.

Fear can be a motivator.

Setbacks can be a motivator, too.

We know this “motivator” with 95 percent accuracy each day that we are required to earn while in school. We know this with the required accuracy on each job. Fact.

Once we have identified the fear(s) then we can focus on what is beckoning with all our resources and with our multi-faceted talents.

For the next two weeks I would like to suggest that you make a list of your goals, a list containing your fears, and a list of what is between the goal(s) and the fear(s).

As you explore your list for two weeks (okay, one week if you desire), I promise you that you will see your path and your challenges from a different lens.

I believe that when you understand what is truly inspiring you, and what is limiting you, you are then the master of your possibilities. Spot on focus.

We know that history has been exacted because we, court reporters, were motivated – with exacting discipline.

We are inspired and encouraged to be our best. Again, this is our normal.

Always we simply reinforce, and always we expand our skills. Always we explore.

Always we simply realign, and always we identify our goals.

Always we seek to identify our resistance to our current goals.

And perhaps we want to focus upon owning our fears.

I wish you wonderful growth, vast professional success, and an awesome, peaceful holiday.

Spot on, and yes, this is our normal. Fact.

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 5, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted December 20, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, 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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

20 Dec 2013

Fears, Toughest Part Is Words, Spot On, and Our Normal, Part II of III

Fears, Toughest Part Is Words, Spot On, and Our Normal, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: One student, in the 225 wpm (words per minute) exit room in a court reporting program, “is scared to death of passing the state certification test and national certification. Then people will see that I can’t write accurately! I changed almost everything in my theory to brief forms, one strokes, to pass my tests. I was told to do this to advance in my speed classes. Everyone is doing this! I read through all my errors on each test! I passed each speed by being lucky, remembering what was said in the 5-minute test, and by hearing a test that I had heard before …. And I learned a good realtime theory! … Help me.”

A nationally certified court reporter now providing CART, Communication Access Realtime Translation …

Part II of III:
Softly, I replied, “Perhaps you do not want to swan dive into the mind games.”

As the holidays approach I want to softly suggest that you can create new opportunities with small steps to energize your focus.

We each can evolve to a better “spot” when we choose opportunities or when we are given ultimatums, yes?

Perhaps there has never been a better time to expand your skills.

Spot on, yes?

Or perhaps you believe there has to be a “secret sauce” to reaching your goal, your desired result.

Where do you want to be in three months? Three weeks? Tomorrow at 3:00?

Yet you know that once you reach your goal your tenacity will instantly focus on the creation of the next hurdle (we often use that word) and then on to the next challenge.

We are not individuals who “rest on laurels…” (See my July 2010 article “Resting on Laurels” posted on www.monettebenoit.com and published in my column “Beyond The Comfort Zone” within the Journal of Court Reporting, JCR.)

Our “normal” is setting goals and expanding our world with new skills. This is our normal. We do this every day. Sometimes we do this realtiming word by word. Fact.

Why am I writing about this now? I want you to know that you are not alone. Fact.

Attorneys are requesting more and expecting more. Consumers and audiences want more, too.

The awareness for unprecedented access by the public to an instant record from court reporters, broadcast captioners, and CART providers has astoundingly changed our profession.

We are taught realtime theories, working with wonderful CAT, computer assisted translation, software on powerful computers with computerized steno writers that have transformed our schools, our training, and our work. Fact.

Perhaps the key to expanding and to growing our skill-set as a student, as a court reporter, instructor, CART provider, and captioner is to know that our journey is dedicated to a gateway wherein we preserve the instant spoken word. How you interact with the gateway, with your expectations, may be a matter of simply refocusing your focus.

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 5, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted December 20, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, 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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Get ‘eR Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Full Test Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

05 Dec 2013

Fears, Toughest Part Is Words, Spot On, and Our Normal, Part I of III

Fears, Toughest Part Is Words, Spot On, and Our Normal, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I of III:

One student, in the 225 wpm (words per minute) exit room in a court reporting program, “is scared to death of passing the state certification test and national certification. Then people will see that I can’t write accurately! I changed almost everything in my theory to brief forms, one strokes, to pass my tests. I was told to do this to advance in my speed classes. Everyone is doing this!

“I read through all my errors on each test! I passed each speed by being lucky, remembering what was said in the 5-minute test, and by hearing a test that I had heard before …. And I learned a good realtime theory! Now I am scared that an employer will see all the mistakes that I am making. I cannot realtime! Not at all as I read through the errors. My dictionary is so messed up with the entries I added and changed. This was just to pass tests! I had to do this to be able to stay in the school and not have my student loans called in. Now what do I do? Who will hire someone who cannot realtime? Help me.”

Another student in the 180 wpm class “recently enrolled in the 100 wpm class to learn how to really write and how to pass tests. I had to go to the owner of the school to do this. The school was not happy. Other students became upset, too, as they are having big problems, too. And my family is not happy! Yet I know what I have to do to be able to read my notes. My theory is a compilation of theories in a notebook given to me by the school, and I have no dictionary!” the student shared. “Where do I start to finish?”

A nationally certified court reporter now providing CART, Communication Access Realtime Translation, “may soon be replaced by a summary service, like Typewell, not a verbatim record. What do I do now? I worked evenings and weekends to assist everyone for years and years. What do I do now?”

Another certified court reporter requested tutoring as she is teaching herself a new theory, teaching herself how to CART, and how to caption while reporting during the day and while teaching in the evening. “I have to do this or I will be replaced …”

One court reporter, now in court, was recently called into the manager’s office while reporting a jury trial and told “you must become certified asap or you will lose your job.” The reporter then asked me, “I’ll have to join NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, to get my certs now, right? Can you help me asap?”

I listen to each with respect. Each person has unique challenges.

Each person has, in my professional opinion, unique opportunities to excel in the direction which will serve their immediate goals and their long-term goals.

Each person serves our profession – as working professionals, as instructors guiding our wonderful profession, and as students seeking to graduate.

Many students privately share with me, “I need to earn the big bucks to pay off my massive student loans. Some students owe over $ 30,000. I know people who owe well over $ 40,000 and stay in school just so their loans won’t be called in. Then we pay thousands more per semester, and we are not passing tests!”

One of my favorite sentences was voiced by a professional sharing “professional” frustrations, after receiving NCRA results. The judicial court reporter said, “The toughest part is the words. It’s that simple, Monette.”

This is the same court reporter who while working to pass the national RPR, Register Professional Reporter, then the CCP, Certified CART Provider, and then CRR, Certified Realtime Reporter, asked me each time as we worked together, “What should I work on? Should I just read Webster’s dictionary?”

The reporter wrote recently, “Thanks for my Buck-Up Speech each time. I needed that. I know I passed each test. Yet it really wasn’t as bad as I tried to make it out each time after working with you. Now what should I work toward? What is next on my list, Monette?”

I know this court reporter likes a busy plate. Do you?

One student wrote, “I am writing cleaner. I feel a pass coming soon. I shouldn’t be focusing on what other everyone else is doing, right? When someone passes a test in my class sometimes I get mad at them. They are not working as hard as I am – I think. Then I am upset with myself for thinking that. Like you say, it’s all about me, right? Focus on me.” That week this student passed her two certifying exit speed tests.

Working with another student, the student said, “Wow, Monette, you sure took the saddle off that elephant, and I now have to choose a better path, right?”

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 5, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted December 20, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, 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

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

  • Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?

“Done in Just One” – as evidenced by the many students and professionals who study Court Reporter Reference Books to pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials are online — from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information, the Purple Books from CRRbooks.com are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 7th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabulary, medical, technology and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The Workbook contains **2,002 practice test questions; the Companion Study Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice text practice questions.

The “Complete Prep Set” and “Trio Test Prep” – 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

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
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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, and an instructor, 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!

14 Nov 2013

Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Expert Witness, Part III of III

Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Expert Witness, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit,
All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: Dr. Vincent Di Maio recently testified as a forensic pathologist for the defense in the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman. He is consistently described “as a legend.” Watching Dr. Di Maio on CNN’s live coverage, he detailed his background, and his work as Chief Medical Examiner, M.E., for Bexar County, Texas.

For the court reporter, he said, “It is spelled B-e-x-a-r and pronounced ‘bear’ ” …

Dr. Di Maio is recognized in San Antonio for his forensic work as our M.E., his testimony in court, for teaching at UTSA, and for his many professional and personal contributions…

Part II began: Technology then was color photographs on art easels; a school teacher’s pointer was used by attorneys.

During a prolonged off-the-record discussion, Dr. Di Maio leaned over to speak to me.

He paused, and said, “It’s nice to work with you, Miss Reporter. You can call me Vinnie.”

I blinked hard. He repeated his words, “Please. Call me Vinnie when you can.” Solemnly, I watched the judge. I did not respond or react.

It was a day that continued to stun me…

Walking to lunch, the judge and I walked ahead of my parents. They followed behind us on the narrow sidewalk. Suddenly, my father reached forward to speak to the judge, touching him on the left shoulder.

The judge quickly reached for his shoulder with his right hand, and perhaps, raised his voice, “Monette, tell your father never touch a criminal judge from behind on the shoulder!” I watched the bailiffs that followed moving quickly and knew the left shoulder held a firearm, due to multiple threats. Again, I hung my head (as I explained to Dad, on the sidewalk, why he could not touch this man).

Part III of III

Bailiffs then sat at a table near us while we ate specially prepared food brought to the table by the owner of the Mexican cafe. I spoke little during lunch, listening, watching, watching, listening.

We enjoyed lunch; promptly returned to court. The jury re-entered precisely on schedule. Immediately, and with purpose, Dr. Di Maio entered with quick strides, testimony resumed.

That day, Dr. Di Maio testified for the first of multiple trials wherein I reported his testimony.

Leaving the stand for the murder trial, he leaned over, and extended his right hand. I froze. He leaned further to shake my hand. Dr. Di Maio remained standing, hand extended, while in the witness box. I looked to the judge before I moved.

As I reached up to Dr. Di Maio, knowing the jury, with alternates, was inches to my right, he softly said, “Remember, it’s Vinnie.”

I blinked hard, said, “Yes, sir.” He exited the witness box and the courtroom, again with purposeful-stride.

Whenever I saw Dr. Di Maio, in court or in restaurants, he would approach me, extend his hand, “Hello! How are you? It’s Vinnie. You remember, right?”

I continued to be stunned each time, always replying, “Yes, sir.” I never could bring myself to call him Vinnie in public.

As years passed, and he remembered me, very softly I called him Dr. Vinnie.

I will always remember the graciousness at which he worked to ensure that the record was always preserved.

He was zippy; he clearly knew his facts and details.

Dr. Di Maio methodically spelled words for the court reporter when he thought I might not be familiar with the word, acronym, term, or phrase.

When I watched Dr. Vincent Di Maio enter the Florida courtroom, I smiled when he gave San Antonio “a plug as the seventh largest city in the U.S. …” and spelled multiple terms for the reporter, televised live on CNN.

This gentleman will always be remembered by people who have read his books and his professional articles, listened to his lectures and to his expert testimony.

I am honored to have worked with Dr. Vincent Di Maio and will always remember him, too.

I will always know that Dr. Di Maio, expert witness, is truly on Team Court Reporter as he consistently has ensured reporters preserve his words, events, records, and history. Indeed. Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Di Maio.

Part I of III is posted October 5, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted October 15, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted October 30, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, 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 & Empowerment Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?
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: www.CRRbooks.com has material to help you advance skills for NCRA exams and state certifications?

Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and empowerment coaching?
Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Empowerment coaching and tutoring 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, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment coaching?

• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, to create new possibilities, to advance their career, to author their book, and to develop the dream within,
• Veteran and novice court reporters, CART 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 exam and career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast 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 Empowerment Coaching
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

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?

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, 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 providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped 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.

30 Oct 2013