Balancing And Rocco’s Neck On The Line, Part II of III

Balancing And Rocco’s Neck On The Line, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I began: The chair, with foldout bed, was delivered for Mom’s recuperation.

Once Mom was discharged from nine days in ICU, doctors advised me “to have a bed” here. “You may need it.”

Mom spent 57 days in multiple hospitals.

When she was discharged from her quarantined room in the third hospital with acquired hospital infections – to include the MRSA, C-Diff and other hospital bacteria – (mere days before her 60-day insurance lapsed), my 6’ 4” brother carried Mom to his car and to her bed in his arms. She was too ill and weak to sit up.

Her goals then and now? To sit up and walk.

Part II: Moments later I asked, “Why did you have your mother and sister’s name tattooed on your neck?”

Rocco said, “My dad taught me family always comes first. Always.”

I said, “Wow, that’s some commitment.” Another silence.

The chair made it through the door; the men were panting.

Rocco said, “Lots of people do their mother’s names on their necks.”

I thought before saying softly, “Not that I’ve met.”

Rocco said, “We do in my Hispanic culture.”

Respectfully (in Texas), I said, “My white culture doesn’t have many with tattoos like that.”

Rocco turned to me, “My mother is white.”

Great. And my reply? “Just slap me silly.”

How does this relate to this month’s column?

As I tipped each for their delivery service that evening, I said, “You really put your neck on the line for them, yes?”

Rocco beamed, “They are everything to me.”

I could not forget the vision of Rocco’s tattoos after they left.

I continued to think about the (tattoo) “neck commitments” and wondered what I would put on my neck?

What might a person put on his or her neck, in such colorful, large print?

Yet, I saw a connection with the students, CART providers, captioners, and court reporters with whom I work.

Many individuals have wonderful goals with solid commitments.

One reporter I am coaching is taking multiple state court reporting certifications, then sitting for NCRA’s RPR. She is going to pass each – this I know.

When I asked what time her tests started, she hadn’t “looked” – the first state test to be given in four days.

She just laughed, “Oh, I know to look that detail up before I go.” Okay.

What would you commit to if it was written on your neck?

Omitting religion and political views here, for the sake of this column, what might that be?

As I continued to tutor and coach I trolled this question. Each person was fascinated with the question. (And I asked Hispanic students and court reporters.)

Not one person in our field has commented or joked about a name on his or her neck

Maybe court reporters view tattooing the side – or two sides – of their necks to be different?

I then thought maybe ‘we’ view this commitment differently since we are tested at such high pass rates, 99-100 percent at work, and 95-98 percent in school each day.

Might that daily “I have to get this” discipline we work with have correlation?

I trolled that to see if that might have a causal relationship.

Some thought it might be a possibility. Many said, “Nope.”

Monette Benoit may be reached for tutoring and coaching: and

Part I of III is posted June 1, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part III of III is posted June 23, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
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Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry
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As a 25+year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material and an instructor, 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, 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.

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