Real-Time Rules And The Good Old Days, Part I

Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days, Part I

By Monette Benoit
Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I in IV

My series on “Realtime Rules” touched a nerve. Professionals and students have written how this column’s thread “spoke to me” and “motivated me.” When someone has been spoken to and motivated, that is a good moment for me. Each time I am humbled as a court reporter, CART provider, instructor and coach.

The students and court reporters I work with know well my quote, “Huge steps are taken one at a time.”

Now I want to explore Realtime Rules and reach out, then up. Many reporters speak about the ‘good old days’ during coaching. Students comment upon this during tutoring.

Here’s the way I see it – my opinion – when reminiscing about reporting good old days: That was then, this is now.

Though students believe our schooling was shorter (not entirely accurate), easier (not entirely accurate), and cheaper (okay, maybe that’s true), the fact is the education of court reporting students often was shorter. Many states, including Texas, had a graduation long ago of 175 words per minute. Oh, I can just hear “What!!?” from here as many states, including Texas, now graduate and test graduates at 225 words per minute.

Students enrolling in school were different, too, and were often dedicated to full-time attendance (not working part-time and fulfilling family responsibilities). In short, many attended school, then returned to a dorm or home. That was our job.

Equipment was manual, not computerized; pricing was different (lower). My first machine, which was new: $150.00.

Looking back to the good old days before computers, when the prices of mainframes were above $30,000 and firm owners rented time to reporters to produce the official record, we see typewriters.

We remember carbons and painstakingly – page by page – correcting errors and then praying we did not make another error on that page. Pages were occasionally tossed into the air. Then we retyped that entire page with carbons, building the transcript page by page. We’re talking title, appearance, exhibit, certification and all Q&A pages. Then we bound the transcript. I was instructed to use a hammer to secure the staples, so people did not get staple-cuts. It worked, and hammering the transcripts was a favorite part of the final job as we worked on a hard wood table and swung that hammer overhand as instructed.

“Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days” is continued on

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

Books, CDs, private tutoring, mentoring services and articles may be referenced

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist. She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.:

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