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, and

Part II of III is posted April 11, 2014, Monette’s Musings, and

Part III of III is posted April 29, 2014, Monette’s Musings, and

Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: and

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

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Blog: Monette’s Musings,

* 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.

Did You Know: 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

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.

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