Simple Silence, Part II of III

Simple Silence

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Simple Silent, Part I was posted 12/8/09, and

Part II of III:

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, “Um, 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.

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 bird feeders 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.

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 “headquarters” within a sign interpreter’s business, I feng shui-ed my office 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.

Part III will be posted 12/29/09 on and

Monette Benoit may be reached at:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Coach, Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the
Court Reporting
& Captioning Industry

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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