Ouch. That Hurt My Ears! Part III of III

Ouch. That Hurt My Ears! Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
June 2013

Part I began: Another errand. Another task to be completed.

My mother has been hospitalized for a while now. We have serious issues – to include ICU and MRSA isolation (multiple hospital bacteria, each gifted to Mom – again).

Yesterday Mom’s twin brother died.

When he was a Marine (enlisting ‘underage’ without telling his mother) Mom’s twin brother served on the front lines in Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Gudalcanal, and numerous other battles.

When her twin brother was shot, Mom woke, crying at 4:30 a.m. …

… Each time the double doors opened the cashier gasped.

She lowered her head, placing one hand over each ear as she winced. Stunned, I watched.

Then the woman said, “It is so windy outside! Every time the doors open it hurts my ears. Ouch!” …

Part II began:

Faith, “Mom resisted for so long… Mom didn’t think it would work. This is the funny part. Just as the lady turned on the sound machine to test her hearing the air conditioning unit went off. That pressure hurt Mom’s ears. She said, ‘Ouch! That hurts!’ Then Mom was angry at the noise. My step-dad and I laughed. Then Mom was angry with us for laughing. So we laughed harder until she ‘finally’ understood that she was angry at our laughing and ‘that’ was sound. Her first sound in 30 years. Then she laughed.”

I smiled. Faith continued, “Now my son has a hearing loss, too. He has the gene, I guess. He just finished a tour in Afghanistan. He missed the hearing test! And he wanted to serve so bad! So he wrote his quartermaster a letter telling him how much it would mean to serve. And his letter worked! They took him! He served, though failing the hearing test was not shared with others … He’s just come home. That’s why I agreed to get the implant. I may have grandchildren soon. I want to hear everything! Everything!”

Part III:

I asked, “Your mother has nine siblings with hearing loss? You and your son have a hearing loss?”

She laughed, “Yes! And it’s been perfectly normal for us. Mom didn’t want to hear all of us when we were kids – she used to tease us. It’s all been perfectly normal. Now she can hear perfect! Soon I will, too. And I have tinnitus and that hurts, too. Ouch, the doors just opened again.”

The woman behind me wore dark eyeglasses, a large hat.

She shoved a bag onto the counter, and chin down said, “This doesn’t work. Here!”

Watching the rude woman I paused before taking two steps away from the counter. Faith was beaming with a huge smile. She winked at me, took the bag and asked the woman, “How may I help you?” The frowning woman never looked Faith in the eye. She snarked and barked at Faith.

Yet Faith smiled at me for the longest time. When the doors next opened, Faith winced. She did not cover her ears.

Dramatically, she pointed to one ear, slowly mouthing “cochlear implant.” Then she laughed.

I held my bag of sympathy cards for my mother’s twin brother’s family, headed to the door and tried to exit opening one door just a little (to avoid pressure on Faith’s ears).

The wind gusts grabbed the door from my hand and flew wide open.

Frozen, I looked back at Faith. Her beaming smile remained and Faith said, loudly, “Thank you. Thank you for telling me about the successes! Two weeks! Can’t wait!”

Oh, this lady touched my heart.

Her hope and enthusiasm will serve her well as she welcomes ‘sound’ back into her world.

Had it not been for the need for sympathy cards for my mom (which Mom cannot select due to her hospitalization), traveling a new road on an abnormally windy day – I would have missed this opportunity to meet Faith. And I am grateful she shared.

Faith and her son – each choosing to receive cochlear implants – will have opportunities and choices that many people with hearing loss previously were not afforded.

And the Deaf community’s reaction?

Oh, that’s a whole nuther kettle of fish.

Cochlear implants are not for everyone; this I know from CARTing and captioning many seminars where individuals shared from podiums (and privately to me).

Yet, for Faith, per Faith, this is going to change everything for Faith.

And isn’t that grand? She has choices.
“And three generations with implants,” Faith repeatedly emphasized.

As I stood, bag in hand with the sympathy cards, Faith shared that when her first mother heard the air conditioning noise voicing her first ‘sound’ sentence, “Ouch, that hurts” – her mother’s second sentence was “Isn’t Jesus great?”

Faith shared “Isn’t Jesus great?” is now their family motto when it comes to loss of hearing and to increasing their hearing.

One of my personally challenging days turned into a sweet, memorable day gifted by an enthusiastic woman “waiting to hear again.” And “isn’t that great?” I now ask you?

Part I of III is posted June 3, 2013 on the blog Monette’s Musings
Part II of III is posted June 14, 2013 on the blog Monette’s Musings
Part III of III is posted June 25, 2013 on the blog Monette’s Musings

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 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.

Exactly Why Am I Doing This Now? Part I of III

Exactly Why Am I Doing This Now? Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
May 1, 2013

The requested tutor and empowerment coaching appointment began with a simple question.

My question to the court reporter was simply, “How are you?”

There was a loud sigh. The answer began, “I am so tired of …” I watched the clock. How long? Over five minutes. I did not peep one word as I listened. After a noticeable silence, the court reporter asked me what I was thinking.

Soflty, I said, “Wow, that was almost a five-minute literary test. Now please tell me what you really think.” She howled with laughter.

Ah, court reporters and court reporting students.

When someone asks us what we think, and the question is posed by someone (my opinion here) related to our field, we can really let the words fly, yes? Yes.

This individual and I have worked together in the past. She emailed with a question requesting numerous sessions.

Again, I found it interesting that the tenacity and goals that were set by this person while enrolled in court reporting school (her words) “who would never make it out of school fast enough” were now similar to today’s scheduled session.

“I’m not going to spend another dime to improve my skills when I have paid so much to get where I am.” (I remained silent.)

“I know people can do what I am trying to do now. If they can do it, why can’t I? I want – No, I need to earn more money. I didn’t go to court reporting school to be at the bottom of a seniority list with working court reporters after this period of time, did I?” (I remained silent.)

The sentence I truly enjoyed (professionally and personally here), “I’ll just get there and take it from there when I do get there, okay?”

I listened to this gainfully employed court reporter.

“The support on my software is about to expire. I have to pay for that, too. And the support on my new writer is about to expire. More money there! All that adds up to a lot of money and it is due very, very soon!”

The reporter summed it up, “I just am wondering exactly why I am doing this now …”

And there we had it. The dancing zebra in the room was bowing and exiting.

Now that the energy had been expelled in a healthy manner – and we were clear that we would focus together – we began an open dialog for the goals.

Part II of III is posted May 15, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted May 24, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at 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 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.

There’s A Lot Going On In The Circus, Part III of III

There’s A Lot Going On In The Circus, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Part I: Privately working with students and experienced court reporters a theme appears with each person. A desire is born. A wanting is experienced. Boundaries are removed. Fences (insecurities) are lowered. …

Part II: Students and court reporters know how to work and how to write ineffectively.

In short, we know what does not work.

When the circus is loud and stomping around your home and/or work place, it can be colorful.

Yet when we permit the circus to remain at the forefront in our daily and weekly schedule we witness shifts in our empowering moments. …

Part III: Our circus may have colorful connections; yet we know that every word, and every new skill, every new goal, and every new item added on our to-do list will change the whole enchilada.

And this can be a good thing when we are the masters at the circus gate, and when we are the one who remembers to set aside time to reach our personal and professional enrichment.

When we have the tools to know how to successfully write each word, how to succinctly respond and react to each action which may have power over our journey, we are one step toward mastering our crossroads.

We can be the conductor in “that there” three-ring circus.

Oh so true, many of us have been inside the circus so long that the circus feels comfy and familiar.

Coaching, I frequently comment to students, reporters, and to court reporting instructors, “There’s a whole lot you got going on in that there circus.”

Each person responds with sincere, honest replies.

Every student, every reporter and every instructor, shares full and complete accountings to their circus. I’m talking sustained, detailed descriptions. Many, just listening to their own words, laugh saying, “Did I really just say that?”

When we step back and look around, many of us are amazed at what we are actually accomplishing while in the circus each and every day.

Thus I ask you to listen to your words containing “should, could, need, want” and to then listen to your circus.

I am not requesting a complicated flowchart with systematic details and annotated exhibits.

I am suggesting that you (me, too) may be permitting exterior people and exterior energy to divert you away from your true “expansions.”

Do you have a lot going on in your circus?

Ask yourself this question three times a day, and you will know the answer.

You will know where you are headed and where you want to be.

The circus then becomes a focused mindset enabling each of us to transform our world moment by moment.

“Monette’s Circus Survivor Manual” is a simple yet powerful tool when you are the chef to your whole enchilada – and you are not on autopilot.

Part I of III is posted March 2, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted March 20, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at 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 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.

My Village Chief is HOH, Part III of III

My Village Chief is HOH, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I: My village chief sprinted into a parent’s hospital room wearing shorts, sandals (no socks), and a NCAA basketball T-shirt, Saturday morning.

He was all business, dressed casually. When he spoke his first two sentences, I knew. I listened and focused on the voice I know well.

When he turned his head, I saw the aid. Then, I saw the second hearing aid. …

Part II: He paused, “Can any court reporter do that?” pointing to flawless live captions.

I ducked my head, thinking … thinking. He leaned in to hear my answer.

“May I ask you something first?” I asked softly.

He nodded. Slowly, I asked, “Can any GP, general practicioner, any doctor, do what you just did?”

The doctor looked puzzled.

I asked, “Can any doctor go into an organ, one bleeding for months from cancer radiation not knowing what the doctor will find, eliminate multiple blood clots, clean the organ, and assist the patient – all in realtime – as you just did?”

He shot back in his chair, “No!”

I leaned into my village chief, “That’s my answer to you.” …

Part III: A nurse ran into the room with a phone. She said slowly, loudly, “HERE! When it rings, you answer, okay? The cardiologist will phone, okay!?”

My village chief paused before he looked away. I saw it.

Everyone could hear that nurse.

When the phone rang in my village chief’s hand, the nurse loudly said, “It’s ringing!!” He looked to the floor and said nothing before he placed that phone to his ear.

Soon, he departed without looking back, “We have to do this before this patient leaves Recovery. We only have minutes.” I thanked his back as he exited. Yes, he heard me.

A cardiologist appeared.

Soon, I answered my parent’s questions, and chose not to volunteer details while anesthesia and specialists were flowing in and nearby – all in realtime.

Then I drove to the one parent, recuperating after 57 days in hospitals now able to sit up.

I left out “Really bad. Could die …”

I focused on, “The doctors are wonderful.”

I checked meds, fed my parent, took out the trash, drove home.

That night a package arrived. (I receive a JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, for my library due to this column.) I was surprised to see the March 2010 JCR, not a current edition.

The cover detailed court reporters reporting veterans’ stories. My column that month was “A Number Of Firsts” profiling Karen Sadler, Ph.D., self-described “severely hard of hearing,” and Karen’s path to doctoral studies.

The next day I took the NCRA JCR, within envelope (to avoid others seeing my magazine), and waited for my village chief.

In IM-ICU I said, “I think this is a sign that I’m supposed to give this to you. I circled HOH and veterans articles you might enjoy.”

The proud WW II vet said, “I have multiple surgeries, and I’m helping doctors tonight. I’ll read this before I go to bed. Promise!”

He patted my arm; my JCR was tucked under his left elbow. Then, he ran down the hall to his next surgery.

We see each other often now with two parents hospitalized for seven-plus months.

Recently, a parent was re-admitted through ER, then moved to the surgical floor.

Married 57 years, my parents were 500 feet apart before an ambulance transported one parent to another hospital without letting them see each other.

When I see my chief, I call to his back (he hears), “Hey, Village Chief!”

He always turns around, “Hi! I have a patient …”

I smile, “I know. You have a patient waiting in surgery.” “Yes,” then sprints off.

When he has a moment, I share a hug.

Privately, I share events that baffle me.

“There’s too much blood – on the floor, the patient, in a cup on a shelf, in the cath; the patient does not know where the door is. Still the hospital is working to discharge this ICU patient today.”

He listens, sharing private opinions. Private opinions.

The hospital did discharge the patient hours later. I insisted that my concerned “are charted” for this patient.

The patient, my parent, was readmitted approximately 7 hours later with a 103 degree fever.

The ER staff was adamant that the hospital never should have discharged this patient, and the patient would have died that night if the patient had not returned to the ER.

I immediately requested my village chief.

He stepped back in, again this man saved my parent’s life – again – and I am listening to this wise doctor who has a passion for his work – again.

My village chief is hard of hearing, and I would have it no other way. He has saved my parent’s life so many times I have lost count.

This is perfect in my world right now.

And now I thank each of you, court reporters, broadcast captioners and CART providers for all that you do to help others – to include my village chief. Thank you, mon amis.

Part I of III is posted September 2, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted September 12, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted September 23, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at 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 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.

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part III of III

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
November/December 2010

Part I began: This November/December column was prompted after listening to an experienced court reporter express their “current mindset” during private coaching and tutoring.

The reporter, with vast experience, said, “I can’t do that. There can’t be no opportunities.” I was unclear if this was a comical statement or personal observation.

When the sentence was defined, at my request, the court reporter stated, “That’s really my opinion. But I really believe I can’t!” My reply was a simple, “Hmm. How’s that?”

This professional then listed a bucket of reasons and detailed explanations. Sentence after sentence began “I can’t …”

Due to “precise listening” in our court reporting field, we know there are high-frequency words and phrases. We know that all court reporting students are taught the phrase “I can’t” in a brief form.

As the holidays approach, I invite you to focus on the number of times you (I will include myself here) use the “I can’t” phrase.

What does this have to do with our work, our path? …

PART II began: I did not know the man, though I knew the national corporation.

Rather than discuss my shoe size with a list of questions clearly being trolled with multiple captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) offices (he confirmed this trolling, upon my request), I asked that he print the list and send the questions to me. Mr. IT Man quickly said, “I can’t.”

I paused and said softly, “Sir, you are clearly reading from a list. You are clearly asking me proprietary questions about my business. I’d like to clearly see your name on letterhead due to the nature of your specific questions, which you are entering into a computer.” (I could hear him typing. Yes, he confirmed that he was entering my information into a company database.) Again the IT Man said, “I can’t.”

I thanked him for the opportunity to work with the national company and assured him that he would find competent help with this service request. …

PART III: When we turn the “I can’t” phrase around and define our moments and our events with words that are powerful, we note differences in our world, our work, and our schooling. We do.

I want to invite you to note the frequency in which you (and perhaps individuals you work and live with) use this phrase.

My opinion is the focus in the phrase is similar to a focus with red cars (as an example).

When someone points out a specific red car, and we make a mental note of the red car, there ‘seem’ to be red cars everywhere.

Recently, while coaching and tutoring two individuals, I listened to the high-frequency “I can’t” phrase – a lot.

When I drew attention to the phrase, each stated, “It would be impossible to not use the wording.” Hmm.

I invited each, a professional, court reporter, CART provider, captioner, instructor, and a student, to place a dollar in a jar every time they avoided the phrase “I can’t” and to reward the moment for each opportunity where there was a focus and a shift.

Was this successful? Yes.

Each shared that their personal and professional world changed – within a short period of time – from this one simple focus.

One individual donated the money from the “I Can’t Dollar Jar” to a charity; the other purchased a coveted item as a reward.

Words have power. Words define who we are at the moment.

Court reporters, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) providers and captioners are word people.

We are really, really good word people with sophisticated (finely-trained) disciplines.

“De-can’t the I can’t” and note the new moments and resourceful experiences that will begin to appear in realtime.

We have limitless choices with ‘huge’ potential.

Our choices then develop and unfold when we revise, amend, and modify our wording and our focus.

And what might you do with a “I Can’t Dollar Jar?” Oh, the possibilities … Happy Holidays.

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 2, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 15, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at 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!

CART: Up-Skills For The Job, And Confidence For The Future, Part 3 of 3

CART: Up-Skills For The Job, And Confidence For The Future,
Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I was posted on Monette’s Musings: www.monettebenoit.com 2/8/10.
Part II was posted on www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com 2/25/10.

Michelle Coffey, Premier Captioning & Realtime Ltd., entered reporting in 1992. She earned her RPR in 1996, and her CRI in 2001.

Michelle also holds a degree in criminal psychology and diploma in counseling from the University College Dublin in Ireland.

Michelle Coffey and I met in Australia in 2000 when I was keynote speaker for the Shorthand Reporter Association of Australia, SRAA.

In Fremantle, I spoke about reporting to the Internet and also working with deaf/Deaf, oral deaf and hard of hearing, HOH.

My seminars were real-timed to a large screen and sign interpreted in Australian sign language, a first.

Our friendship began the day we spoke on a captioning panel. She has the brightest spirit. Michelle truly enhanced the session with her wisdom and humor. Several days later, we bumped into each other – deep within the Australian Bush. A small world indeed.

Michelle Coffey has been a true leader in Ireland.

She has a wonderful can-do attitude. When I see her name in my e-mails, I smile knowing “this is going to be entertaining and good.”

Michelle was the first captioner in Ireland.

No surprise here that she has led another first in her country.

I am honored to share Michelle Coffey’s first CART path within Ireland.

Part III

Michelle Coffey: We spoke to Irish Sign Language interpreters, to Speedtexters, and to note-takers, and in the process we all learned a lot about the pros and cons of all the services.

Next, we spent some time talking to different interest groups, from the National Association for the Deaf, to DeafHear (a hard-of-hearing association), to Irish Deaf Kids, all the way through to the access officers at educational institutions.

And at each point, when we did our “show and tell” the response was always the same, “This is fantastic, why haven’t we heard of it before?”

But the most important people we met were the students who were with us on this new road of discovery.

And it was never far from our minds as we prepared for the beginning of term, that the weight of expectation on us was enormous; from the students that they would get a service appropriate to their needs; from the colleges that we would provide a suitable access solution for their students; and from ourselves and the up-and-coming CART reporters, that we prove that CART services can, and should, be an integral part of accessibility services for all educational establishments in Ireland.

However, much more telling and – proof that this service is necessary and will be a success is a statement from Emma, the first student to take up the service.

After having only two sessions with a CART provider, she had this to say, “I can’t believe the difference CART has made to my life.

Did you know that I began this degree course four years ago but had to drop out because I couldn’t participate in my PBL (peer-based learning) lectures?”

Well, we didn’t know that, but it certainly makes it much easier to study and up-skill for the job when you hear that what you do can has such a profound effect on someone else’s life!

Another fan of the newly available Irish CART services is Caroline Carswell, founder of Irish Deaf Kids, a charity supporting inclusive mainstream education for deaf children in Ireland.

Caroline was new to CART, and its simplicity blew her away.

She said, “For the first time in my life, I could follow a group discussion word for word and contribute without risking a non sequitur. For lip-readers, the law of multiples applies: the more speakers in a group, the harder a discussion topic becomes to follow. It’s like, Chinese whispers, anyone?”

Now, as we look back on our journey to get CART recognized in Ireland, we think “How did we do it?”

Well, did you ever have the feeling that being a member of an organization, whether it’s CARTWheel or the NCRA, is like being a Musketeer? You know, “One for all and all for one”?

Well, that’s exactly how I felt, but the Athos, Porthos and Aramis to my d’Artagnan were some of the most experienced and supremely talented people in our profession. They each gave of their time, expertise and encouragement, instantly and unstintingly when I needed it.

My eternal thanks, and admiration to Dayette Zampolin, Gayl Hardeman and Monette Benoit for their help, advice, vision, encouragement, and even offers to jump in and help out (remotely of course) if we needed it!

Does that not speak volumes about our profession?

Even though our work can be a solitary job, we know that we will never be alone when there are still so many passionate and generous colleagues out there.

And that gives me confidence for the future of our profession!

Michelle Coffey may be reached: www.pcri.ie and michelle@pcr.ie

Monette may be reached for private tutoring and coaching: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE
Coach, Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting & 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/Coaching
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR or a state court reporting exam? I want to help you and others to pass your test and to exceed 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 coaching?
Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Coaching and tutoring topics include:

• Motivation skills to keep you moving forward,
• Time-management skills,
• Process learning for more effective retention,
• Communication skills and daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and coaching?

• Veteran court reporters, CART providers and captioners brushing up on their skills for test-taking requirements,
• In-class students who feel they’re falling behind or aren’t ready for the required tests,
• Students or 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 and captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
• Students and veterans alike who find they’re struggling with one or two key areas of daily practice,
• Students or veterans who have begun to question their career or whether they’re on the “right track” …

Check It Out: Reach Your Goals! Tutoring and Coaching
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

Monette Benoit 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, 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.

Her one-on-one tutoring has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.

CART: Up-Skills For The Job, And Confidence For The Future, Part 2 of 3

CART: Up-Skills For The Job, And Confidence For The Future,
Part 2 of 3

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I was posted www.monettebenoit.com, 2/8/10.

Michelle Coffey, Premier Captioning & Realtime Ltd., entered reporting in 1992. She earned her RPR in 1996, and her CRI in 2001.

Michelle also holds a degree in criminal psychology and diploma in counseling from the University College Dublin in Ireland.

Michelle Coffey and I met in Australia in 2000 when I was keynote speaker for the Shorthand Reporter Association of Australia, SRAA.

In Fremantle, I spoke about reporting to the Internet and also working with deaf/Deaf, oral deaf and hard of hearing, HOH.

My seminars were real-timed to a large screen and sign interpreted in Australian sign language, a first.

Our friendship began the day we spoke on a captioning panel. She has the brightest spirit. Michelle truly enhanced the session with her wisdom and humor.

Several days later, we bumped into each other – deep within the Australian Bush. A small world indeed.

Michelle Coffey has been a true leader in Ireland. She has a wonderful can-do attitude. When I see her name in my e-mails, I smile knowing “this is going to be entertaining and good.” Michelle was the first captioner in Ireland. No surprise here that she has led another first in her country. I am honored to share Michelle Coffey’s first CART path within Ireland.

Part II of III

Michelle Coffey: We spoke to Irish Sign Language interpreters, to Speedtexters, and to note-takers, and in the process we all learned a lot about the pros and cons of all the services.

Next, we spent some time talking to different interest groups, from the National Association for the Deaf, to DeafHear (a hard-of-hearing association), to Irish Deaf Kids, all the way through to the access officers at educational institutions.

And at each point, when we did our “show and tell” the response was always the same, “This is fantastic, why haven’t we heard of it before?”

But the most important people we met were the students who were with us on this new road of discovery. And it was never far from our minds as we prepared for the beginning of term, that the weight of expectation on us was enormous; from the students that they would get a service appropriate to their needs; from the colleges that we would provide a suitable access solution for their students; and from ourselves and the up-and-coming CART reporters, that we prove that CART services can, and should, be an integral part of accessibility services for all educational establishments in Ireland.

However, much more telling and – proof that this service is necessary and will be a success is a statement from Emma, the first student to take up the service.

After having only two sessions with a CART provider, she had this to say, “I can’t believe the difference CART has made to my life.

Did you know that I began this degree course four years ago but had to drop out because I couldn’t participate in my PBL (peer-based learning) lectures?”

Well, we didn’t know that, but it certainly makes it much easier to study and up-skill for the job when you hear that what you do can has such a profound effect on someone else’s life!

Part 3 of 3 will be posted 3/8/10.

Michelle Coffey may be reached: www.pcri.ie and michelle@pcr.ie

Monette Benoit may be reached for private tutoring and coaching at Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE
Coach, Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting & 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/Coaching
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR or a state court reporting exam? I want to help you and others to pass your test and to exceed 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 coaching?
Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Coaching and tutoring topics include:

• Motivation skills to keep you moving forward,
• Time-management skills,
• Process learning for more effective retention,
• Communication skills and daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and coaching?

• Veteran court reporters, CART providers and captioners brushing up on their skills for test-taking requirements,
• In-class students who feel they’re falling behind or aren’t ready for the required tests,
• Students or 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 and captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
• Students and veterans alike who find they’re struggling with one or two key areas of daily practice,
• Students or veterans who have begun to question their career or whether they’re on the “right track” …

Check It Out: Reach Your Goals! Tutoring and Coaching
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

Monette Benoit 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, 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.

Her one-on-one tutoring has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.

On A Journey, Coaching, Goals & CART, Part III

On A Journey, Coaching, Goals & CART, Part III

By Monette Benoit, All rights reserved.

Part I and Part II are posted www.monettebenoit.com


During my second year, I had a health problem that stemmed from my previous illness and required surgery. I continued with academic homework and drills on my steno machine, but for several months my speedbuilding was “air steno” and visualization. I was in the hospital again six months later; so I practiced more “air steno” and visualization.

My husband was always there to encourage me to do what I could,

but also to ensure I did not do too much.

Monette Benoit played a huge role in my mental healing.

She helped me look beyond the pain and distress.

Monette encouraged me to put it all behind me,

so I could continue my journey and make the most of every day.

Each morning, I took small steps; I continued getting closer to my goal. One of the biggest motivators was my desire to see my first CART client.

When I get a smile, it will make it all worthwhile. I will know I am finally doing something that makes a difference in people’s lives.

It is now three and a half years since I started my journey. I am healthy. I graduated with honors, and I am working on my certifications. I know it is only a short time before I will see my first CART client smile, my second, and then my third, fourth, fifth, and more.


Monette: When Deborah and I first spoke about the possibility of private tutoring and coaching, I told her (my opinion) she would be a leader among court reporters. She touches your soul. Her professional contributions will enhance our occupation.

Welcome, Deborah – and each student and reporter – on your journey – wherein we preserve moments for CART consumers, captioning viewers, judicial settings, litigants and anyone needing verbatim realtime. Many court reporters and students have new goals. Do you?

Are you moving toward your goals and expanding your journey today?

What do you need? I’ll help, if I may.


Deborah Osborne may be reached: osbornerro@msn.com

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 www.crrbooks.com/

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: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

On A Journey, Coaching, Goals & CART, Part II

On A Journey, Coaching, Goals & CART, Part II


By Monette Benoit, All rights reserved.

Part I is posted www.monettebenoit.com


My parents demonstrated strong work ethics. Dad always said, “Never take a paycheck if you don’t feel you earned it.” When young, I thought that was dumb – turn down money? Not me! As I matured, his words remained. Maybe that’s why people call me an overachiever.

Court reporting school tested that work ethic. Quitting never crossed my mind. I focused on my vision of providing CART. I knew the work and time would be worth it. My goal of providing CART seemed a long way off. Machine shorthand skill requires hard work, perseverance and faith. I focused on all three.

I started out in a brick-and-mortar school. I learned theory, but my experience was frustrating. I studied, practiced at home expecting to learn writing techniques, concepts and rules behind my theory while at school. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

It did not take long to realize I knew my theory better than my instructor. I knew there had to be more. I finished theory with a feeling that I was missing something.

When I started speed classes, the frustration became unbearable when I realized there was not a solid speedbuilding curriculum. I spoke to a member of the school administration. She told me that if I wasn’t happy, maybe I should get my education online.

When you are in school, you can easily forget that you are still in control of your life. You have choices. If something doesn’t feel right, you should research and seek advice; don’t be afraid of change.

Do the faculty and staff members really love what they are doing or is it just a job? Is the speedbuilding program a proven methodology, or do instructors have a hard time deciding what to dictate. Are instructors certified? Are instructors teaching you how to be a good court reporter, or do they focus on building speed?

When you ask a question, do you get a solid answer?

Is a private instructor a better fit than a school?

When in doubt, look for alternatives.

When I enrolled, I was coming off a serious illness that had me in the hospital and then my bed, almost a year. During my first week, I was too ill to realize why my pastor visited every day. Healing was slow.


I took on the challenge of court reporting school anyway. I regained strength as I continued to heal.

Part III is published August 24, 2009, www.monettebenoit.com

What do you need? I’ll help, if I may.

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 www.crrbooks.com/

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: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

On A Journey, Coaching, Goals & CART, Part I

On A Journey, Coaching, Goals & CART, Part I of III


By Monette Benoit, All rights reserved.

Deborah Osborne reached out to me, early in her schooling, for tutoring to fulfill her goal to become a court reporter. Her spirit is bright. Frequently, I prepped strategic plans with processing for effective retention. Then, frequently, I would listen to Deborah and laugh so hard I had to put the phone down. Soon, she’d laugh, too. Then we’d get back to business, moving forward.

Deborah started realtiming during her sixth week of theory in the court reporting program. As we worked together I strongly encouraged Deborah attend NCRA’s 2007 convention.

I suggested seminars and people she should meet. Deborah, “I went to all the seminars related to CART and captioning.” Deborah shared the names of NCRA pioneers and leaders whom “I actually met!”

I softly teased, “You sat at the feet of the masters.” She laughed, sharing funny moments.

When dog died I also encouraged Deborah to get a puppy to help her advance in school – and to relieve stress. It worked. (Oh, it’s true. Just ask Deborah and her husband.)

Deborah passed NCRA’s RPR, WKT, written knowledge test, the first time using CRR Books material from www.CRRbooks.com and uses the CATapult CD every day to expand her skills.

I am so proud of this woman. When she graduated I wrote: “Welcome, Deborah. You are now in the adult section of the swimming pool. It’s a whole new world here.” Her reply was funny.

Deborah Osborne: When I turned down contracts in the high-tech consulting field I had worked in for over 20 years, people asked why. It was time to do something that made me feel like I was making a difference in people’s lives. I didn’t know what that was going to be or where I was headed. I simply knew I needed something different.

After leaving my job, I started a photography business. Soon, my first photograph was published in a national magazine, and more followed. I enjoyed photographing scenery and animals. Photography was not going to make the kind of difference in people’s lives I was looking for. I love photography. People tell me I’m gifted in that area, so I continued producing memorable images.

My husband asked what I thought about court reporting. I laughed. I had never thought about it. But it piqued my interest. After research, I found this intriguing aspect of reporting: CART. Now there was something that got me excited! I could utilize my technology background and make a difference in people’s lives. This sounded like the right direction. I enrolled in school and was instantly hooked.

The only times I got discouraged were the times when I waited too long to reach out for help. I struggled when I thought I needed to practice more to make progress.

Then I realized I was practicing more and accomplishing less, so I finally reached out to Monette Benoit, a real-time court reporter, tutor and motivational coach, and a new instructor at my school. My only regret is I did not reach out sooner.


Part II is published on August 19, 2009, www.monettebenoit.com


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 www.crrbooks.com/

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: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

Yes, Real-Time Rules, Part II

Yes, Real-Time Rules, Part II

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

Continued from last week: When I was a speaker at a state court reporting association, I addressed this issue. I asked, “Are we embracing the ability to color our hair at home without expenses and blocked time at a beauty parlor?” (The audience roared, “Parlor? You haven’t been to one in a long time, have you? They’re salons now!”) I smiled and asked, “Are we embracing new cameras that capture instant pictures, avoiding a photo shop for printing?”

I watched as people thought about this possibility. I paused and asked softly, “Are others expecting us to change? Are they embracing and expecting more from us? If we have expectations from others, perhaps others seek new possibilities from us?”

Conversations that ensued that weekend revealed, to me, that many did have a ‘shift’ moment – wherein they tilted their thoughts toward the scary (their word), the unknown. Court reporters and students continue to write me about that moment when I respectfully stepped out onto the branch.

This is what we do each day. We step out and reach up. Realtime rules. When youngsters, another new breed, text message with one finger without looking at their gadget (my word) in a pocket, with one finger, ‘we’ are in a different place. Realtime rules.

Court reporters and students who prepare for this reality will exceed those who are “working on it” or “waiting for [fill in blank].”

I strongly believe this: Realtime rules when we have no resistance to this reality.

Our current national, state and international economic events have professionals in many occupations who are questioning what they can do to secure their work, their specialty, and job.

Specifically, I am listening to professionals share that they are scared. I develop custom plans to (re)move fear and progress for(ward to) a new goal.

Realtime rules for court reporters. Yes, I believe (my opinion) alternative technologies will continue to move near our occupation. Have we (not) expanded out to share our skills? We have, and this is a fact.

I often comment, “Anywhere sounds are spoken or muttered, we preserve and record language for history. This is where we excel. Always have. Always will.”

Realtime rules in any situation where we maintain our high accuracy, high skill set, and instant translation rates.

One young professional howled with laughter when I shared my “Realtime Rules” and responded, “Rules? Realtime Rocks! Thank you for sharing. Now I can put that on my dashboard and computer monitor! And I will!”

Next I will share details to personally prepare you for another essential toward this commitment.

Each person I work with shares their wisdom.

The student becomes the teacher; the teacher always learns from the student. This mantra is a firm belief, (my opinion) that I hear every day in my world.

What are your dreams, your goals?

What are (we have multiple from which to choose) your career options? What is your motivation? What is your passion?

Yes, realtime rules for me and for you.

Monette may be contacted: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

About the Author:

Yikes … It’s Hurricane Ike!

Yikes … It’s Hurricane Ike!

By Monette Benoit

Copyright 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.

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), white and black children, 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 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 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.”

Sheryl may be reached at ssdepo@aol.com.

1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW

1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Sheryl E. Stapp, RPR, CSR, CART provider is multi-talented, a dear friend. I profiled her in a prior article ‘Love, Signs, God and Numerology’ available on my web site, www.CRRbooks.com which prepares students and court reporters for NCRA and state written knowledge tests, expanding their skills. Sheryl and I continue to receive comments about the article – since 1998.

Sheryl’s wonderful attitude and approach to events is admirable and sometimes, folks, I continue to share with her that she “just cracks me up.” She has moments and events in her life where she chooses to look ‘up’ in her world, and this makes a difference in her world and to those who are blessed to share with Sheryl Stapp, RPR, CSR.

This day started out as a usual CART, communication access realtime technology, request to All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc., www.ARTCS.com.

Request: Go, do it, drive home. Not technical, not unusual — a request that many of us look forward to receiving. I scheduled Sheryl for this CART request.

When Sheryl phoned later that a.m., I listened and thanked my lucky stars that she is ‘in’ my world. Here’s Sheryl’s story:

THE PLAN: Up at 4:00 a.m.; gone by 5:00. One and one-half hours to CART job, arrive at 7:00 for 8:00 job.

REALITY: Up at 4:00; gone by 5:30. Heading out the door, I tell myself, “Make the call!” “Good morning, Lord. Please get me there safely on time.”

Major construction on interstate. Immediately I get over for my exit, I’m ready to merge. A little car zooms by. Heart rate accelerates; automobile decelerates! I noticed major crunch in bumper; he’s done this before! “Lord, keep the nerves in check, please!”

I have to pass my exit – it’s under construction — and remain on highway. No problem; I’ll take next exit, U-turn back. Wrong! Immediately, there’s a traffic standstill. What’s up with this? It’s 5:45 in the morning! Radio announces, “Major accident” at my exit.

And there we have it … My exit, easy U-turn, easy merge onto interstate …not anymore!

“Lord, this is three ‘bumps in the road’ already — late leaving house, missed exit, crawling in traffic and I’m not outside city limits. I know you’re testing me. I’m going to pass this test, you’ll see! Stay with me, Lord.”

Thirty minutes later, I can exit! Now I can make up time. I’m doing 80 mph on the interstate for 15 minutes when I see a patrol car on the highway, ahead of me. I hit brakes, look at speedometer. I’m doing 70 when I’m parallel with him. Whew! Besides, they can’t clock you on radar unless you’re heading towards them, right? Wrong!

I look in rearview mirror; here he comes!! I get into exit lane; there go ‘whirly-birdy’ lights. “Okay, Lord, bring it on!!” I’m thinking: not a ticket, not an insurance increase, not an out-of-county hassle, not today, not now! I decide I’ll take the ticket, send in fine, and keep all hassles to a minimum.

Officer asks if there’s a problem or emergency.

“Well, yes to both, but maybe not technically.” I explain about the bad wreck in city, concerned about timely arrival to job. I share topic, location.

“And you’re an attendee?” he asks.

“No, sir. I’m a court reporter; I’ll be assisting a hard-of-hearing attendee.”

“Oh, I see. License, please.”

Darn, just when I was thinking ‘court reporter’ title would get me by! It’s worked before! One officer told me once, “We’re all in this together, aren’t we? I’ve been a witness more often than I care to remember.

Then officer asks: “How do you work that little machine?”

Great, now he wants to chat about infamous little machine! H-e-l-l-o … I told him I was late!!

Minutes later, officer hands me a warning. “You are listening to me, Lord!”

Officer then explains I was speeding in a 65 mph zone.

“My misunderstanding; I thought interstates were 70. I’ll keep it at 65.”

He wants to chat, explaining how speed limits were lowered to 55 a few years back because of EPA regulations.

Officer asks, “Did you know you couldn’t do 55 until you were out of the county until a year ago?”

“Nope, didn’t know.” Gotta get to work, kind sir!!

Then he asks for my directions. I show him mapquest printout on dashboard. He wants to see them.

Officer shares, “The building is new. Mapquest usually has old directions.”

I do not share that I printed directions yesterday. Nod, listen, nod, smile. “Yes, sir.”

Ironic, huh? I’m running late, get stopped! Cruel twist of fate, officer was handsome!! Blond hair, blue eyes, deep voice!

If I wasn’t in hurry to get to CART job, I would’ve chatted with him, for days!! After I say good-bye, my thank you for ‘warning’ and no ticket, and merge back onto freeway, I’m hearing my personal theme song in my head, “Someday my prince will come!” But not today.

Get to building, 25 minutes to set up. Plenty of time. “Thank you, my upstairs neighbor, good Lord above!”

I explain that I’m a court reporter, here to provide CART at 8:00 a.m.

Registrations representative looks at brochure, sends me to first room on list. I set up, do quick check, good to go; ten minutes to spare. All is right within my world.

Since I’d worked with client before; I knew who to look for, and boy was I looking!

The seminar started promptly, but no client. I wrote as if he were there, so he’d have file to refer to later. Surely, he was just running late from same traffic. Still 15 minutes into seminar, no client. I try to exit room, continue search. Not happening. They were packed like sardines, chairs everywhere; I was stuck!

We broke 15 minutes early, I dashed to registration, asked where client was!

The woman walks across hall, returns ten minutes later, says, “He’s in that room.”

Bingo!! Why couldn’t they have gotten it right at 7:35?

I go into the room; there’s my consumer, listening as intently as possible; this seminar hadn’t broken early. I explain I was sent to wrong room, “I’m so sorry.”

He smiled, “It’s okay. Not your fault. I’m glad you’re here.”

Ever had an attorney say that to you? No way! CART work…what a treat.

After shutting down, relocating, setting up again, testing all is A-OK, I go outside to call Monette Benoit with update: “I’m here, good to go, but…GET THIS …”

After answering Monette’s “boss-service-provider to consumer” questions and business details, then I begin the traffic ‘patrol’ story. We both laugh till we’re about in tears!! Per her instructions, I immediately jot down notes about my “ordeal” for a future JCR article. “It’s a must have; we must share this one!” Monette said.

The rest of the day was as smooth as silk. I learned about current events, to include ‘in the event’ of hurricanes.

Many people require special assistance in any emergency situation: nursing home residents, hospital patients, homeless, prisoners, state school residents. And there’s pets — a major discussion. Gotta keep Fido, Fluffy safe, too!! In Texas there’s talk about horses, livestock.

Our consumer had his full attention on my screen. He was appreciative of my services and being able to help was a personal blessing to me, as it always is.

As I packed to leave, I had to ask for God’s ear yet again.

“Thank you for a great day, albeit a challenging start! Thank you for my skills. I’ve got plenty of gas in the tank and am in NO rush to get home, so you’re officially off the hook for now, Lord! I’ll check in when I get home and will use speed-control this time. I promise, Sheryl E. Stapp here.”

Monette: So you may ask me why did we name this article: 1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW?

Did you notice that the phone listing has additional numbers for a long distance call? Well, as we figure it, a direct call to God is out-of-this-world. Sheryl Stapp may be reached at ssdepo@aol.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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

Deaf Smith, The Texas Spy, History, Alamo, Captioning, CART, and Laney Fox

Deaf Smith, The Texas Spy, History, Alamo, Captioning, CART, and Laney Fox
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

I first learned about Deaf Smith in 1993 when I entered Deaf culture as a realtime court reporter, CARTing, captioning to large screens for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

I was stunned I did not know about this daring, bold hero of the Alamo. My Deaf friends simply shrugged, “It’s because you’re hearing.” As an educator, CART Captioner, and private tutor with strong roots within Texas, I immediately phoned my mother when I could to ask, “How did I miss that?”

Many people in Texas trace their family lines back to the Texas Revolution.

The Alamo (which means “cottonwood” in Spanish) was surrounded by General Santa Anna with 3,000 troops. Colonial Travis sent an appeal to help 188 patriots inside the fortress. Thirty-two men and boys from Gonzales, Texas, marched 90 miles, crossing Mexican Army lines to enter the besieged Alamo.

I am a descendant of a “Gonzales Fighter.”

Dolphin Ward Floyd left a nine-month pregnant wife and four-year old son – knowing he would not come back.

He was murdered within the Alamo on March 6, 1836, on his thirty-second birthday. Floyd County is named after his sacrifice; his widow received a land grant. My longhorn-ranching Gonzales, cousins Rufus and Raquet Floyd, shared facts, stories and lore that have passed from generations, as did my mother.

Yet I never knew about Deaf Smith until 1993.

As a court reporter, while providing CART (communication access realtime translation) at a Deaf banquet at the Lone Star Brewery, downtown San Antonio, with the sun setting, wind blowing, children playing cowboys and Indians (in full costume) around my one-legged large screen and my husband kneeling to hold that screen with two hands – there – I learned about a fearless Deaf soldier who crossed enemy lines to read lips changing history as we know it.

Erastus Smith was born in New York on April 19, 1787.

Born hearing, Smith became deaf as a child; later he was called Deaf Smith. In 1821, Deaf Smith moved near San Antonio. He married Mexican widow Guadalupe Ruiz Duran in 1822; they had four daughters.

Smith first joined Stephen F. Austin’s Texas Republican Army in Gonzales after a Mexican soldier denied Smith permission to visit his wife and family near the start of the Texas Revolution.

Smith used his deafness to gather intelligence as a courier and military spy. In October 1835, Smith was wounded in battle. General Sam Houston soon promoted Smith to captain.

The Texas army retreated with Santa Anna in pursuit after the 11-day Alamo battle. All the bodies at the Alamo were burned by Santa Anna’s 1,300 man-army. Three weeks later in Goliad, Santa Anna ordered the massacre of 300 prisoners from the Battle of Coleto Creek.

San Jacinto’s battle was forty-six days after the Alamo. (My dad took my mother to the San Jacinto battlefield on their first date. I still tease my mother, “And you went on a second date?”)

Deaf Smith, soldier, scout, guide, was instrumental in the defeat of Santa Anna and the Mexican Army when Deaf Smith informed General Houston about Vince’s Bridge – the path of retreat or support for both sides near San Jacinto. Smith was ordered to destroy Vince’s Bridge. The Mexican army, unable to retreat, was trapped after Vince’s Bridge burned. Houston led 800 volunteers against Santa Anna’s 1300-man Mexican Army.

Shouting “Remember The Alamo! Remember Goliad!” Texans killed 630 Mexican soldiers, captured Santa Anna and ended the war. Texas lost eight volunteers and was liberated from Mexico at San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. Texas won independence from Mexico to become an independent republic, October 22, 1836.

After the war, Deaf Smith remained active and led a company of Texas Rangers.

Mrs. Deaf Smith was profiled in my NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, JCR ‘Beyond The Comfort Zone’ column when Laney Fox-Smith wrote about her performance in the Ms. Deaf Texas pageant. Laney shares how she researched the role.

Laney Fox-Smith:

When I started thinking what to do for my talent for the 2001 Ms. Deaf Texas, I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t sing or dance! I wanted something special that was originally from Texas. I researched Deaf Culture to see if there was anything related to Texas. Then I came across Erastus “Deaf” Smith, a Deaf hero from Texas. While researching history for Erastus ‘Deaf’ Smith, I learned that a county in Texas is named after Deaf Smith.

As I studied history, I learned about Deaf Smith’s family. He married a Mexican widow, and they had four children. That was when I decided to dress as his wife with traditional Mexican clothing. I went downtown to San Antonio’s El Mercado and bought a green Mexican skirt and white top. My hair was braided so I looked like a Mexican woman from the 1800s! I had an excellent tutor, Brain Barwise, who helped me prepare my presentation in ASL, American Sign Language.

During Miss Deaf Texas for my talent, I performed a factual story, a poem I wrote, on how Deaf Smith was brave to infiltrate within the Mexican camp to determine military strategies and to help Texas win the battle. Deaf Smith had a keen sense of what was happening, so he was able to learn where the Mexicans were going to move next.

I learned that Deaf Smith became deaf after birth due to childhood disease. I became deaf around 9 months old. My parents think that it was due to a 103 degree fever; my father put me into a tub of ice to get my fever down. I am profoundly deaf; I wonder if I would have any hearing if he had not put me into the tub.

I learned Smith initially did not want to get involved with the wars; he didn’t want to pick sides. Unfortunately, he was forced to pick a side after the Mexicans refused to let him enter San Antonio to visit his wife and daughters. Then Smith joined forces with General Sam Houston.

Researching historical records, Deaf Smith seems to be a fair and neutral person. When I spoke to people originally from Mexico about the Texan Revolution, they tell me Texas was stolen from them. I can understand from their perspective; it was originally Mexico. I learned Deaf Smith was an excellent scout. He knew shortcuts, which later helped him to defeat the Mexican forces. He died November 30, 1837; his Richmond monument says “Deaf Smith, The Texas Spy.”

I think that once someone loses a sense, his other senses become stronger. Even though I do not hear well, I am able to see better in my peripheral vision and be more observant of my surroundings. Erastus Smith mastered lip reading in both English and Spanish. This is quite a feat! I am still learning to master English with lip-reading skills!

Many people aren’t aware that English has a lot of phonemes, which represents sound. A Lamar University professor stated English itself is 80 percent phonemical, which is very difficult on deaf people. We rely on content to see the difference between moat and boat, which looks identical on the lips. Many English words appear similar on the lips. I have heard that an effective lip-reader understands only 40 percent of what is said. I believe that statistic because if I had to rely on lip reading alone (without my hearing aid), I would be more lost.

It is really important for me to use my hearing aid to hear the difference between moat and boat. So, I was very impressed when I learned Deaf Smith lip-read two languages!

My husband is currently a Spanish instructor. When I have seen him speak Spanish, I am lost. I understand only basic Spanish words (hola, como estas? and muy bien). I have watched the actors and actresses in Spanish soap operas; their lips are moving so fast! It seems like Spanish is a fast language!

Erastus “Deaf” Smith is truly a chameleon to learn dual languages and to become a hero for the Deaf!

Monette adds: And for the hearing, too.

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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

Your Dream Is Your Goal

Your Dream Is Your Goal
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Have you shared a thought, an opinion, and later discovered a seed has been planted? Seeds then grow. And one day, we hear something we said has changed a path.

NCRA’s 2005 Teachers Workshop held in McLean, Virginia, for court reporting teachers resulted in a seed; many hearts and “ears” were involved in this seeding.

My topic for the workshop October 15th, 2005 was “Dictionary Maintenance And What Teachers and Students Need To Know To Assist CART Consumers.”

I brought my ten-year-old nephew. Thomas attended the 2005 Texas annual convention, and he’s accompanied me on CART jobs where Tom has guarded my equipment. Thomas uses sign language and is comfortable with Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

Thomas sat in the front of the room as I spoke – this shy child working to overcome stage-fright so severe he has problems each Sunday at the altar. He assisted Gayl Hardeman in her seminar by handling the PowerPoint presentation as her assistant. I watched from the back of the room.

I discussed activism, one of four topics I also shared with the 2005 Iowa Court Reporters Association. Teachers are activists assisting students in reaching goals. As activists we draw attention, we focus, and we make noise.

An activist never relinquishes dedication, focused focus – in this instance, working on a dictionary, how to write words, how to focus on transcribing words, if in the dictionary – or not – transcribing, reading back that word, accurately. Activism is in classrooms, I believe, and the workplace as wordsmiths diligently labor to capture words, to record events, history.

I shared specifics on how we motivate and assist students and reporters with daily and weekly dictionary maintenance.

As I began the CART section of this workshop, Thomas rose from his seat at my left and stood to my right with his hands crossed in front of him.

I shared with the audience that sign interpreters translate a foreign language. The National Center for Health Statistics under U.S. Department of Health, Human Services notes, “Approximately 34 million Americans have significant hearing loss – almost six million are profoundly deaf.”

I shared differences between cultures. A deaf person usually has not heard sound. Deaf may be considered legally deaf or proficient in hearing a few sounds, but not able to ‘tie’ sounds together. There’s a huge culture with the Deaf community – many do not want to be “fixed.” Their first language often is sign language, not English.

In many instances, CART is not the best accommodation. There are 22 sign languages; American Sign Language, ASL, is most common. Reading levels differ among cultures. Captioning is improving reading, but ASL, a conceptual language, may still be the person’s first language – not CART.

The key question: What’s the first language, sign or English?

Deaf babies are not typically born to deaf parents. Ninety percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Children may become deaf through illness or injury. Many Deaf parents pray that their child is born Deaf. When a hearing child is born to Deaf parents, that child will have a life and a culture that is usually “away” from Deaf culture.

I still remember one deaf couple I met; one parent uses ASL, the other Signed Exact English, SEE, which are different languages. Together they are learning signs, a new language. Their 17-month-old hearing baby communicates with ASL and SEE.

The child has never had a tantrum.

I asked, “Why?”

They replied, “The baby knows ‘crying’ won’t receive a response and signs complete sentences with requests, comments.”

People who are hard of hearing usually have heard sound, may wear hearing aids to enhance sounds, and may choose a cochlear implant, which requires relearning how to hear sounds. Oral deaf usually do not sign; they read lips and communicate without sign language.

Deaf and HOH use lights and vibrators, for alarms, doorbells, smoke detectors and phones. Many now use beepers, BlackBerries, text messaging, computers, communicating via computer keyboard without assistance from hearing. TTY relay state services are experiencing fewer calls because of computer technology.

To receive a sign name, one must be gifted by Deaf. My sign name is a dancing ‘M’ in each hand at waist level. This is unusual as most signs are displayed at neck or face level.

CART may be one-to-one, one reporter writing on one computer for one viewer or one-to-many, which is writing for multiple viewers.

I shared my belief with the teachers: Students should not practice on people who need CART at work or request class transcripts.

Why should a student provide a record for someone who needs a verbatim transcript?

Students do not practice as court officials. Students intern with a trained reporter. My belief evolved after working with people who are Deaf and HOH, 13 years, listening. We have much to learn from people who need our ears.

What is necessary before a CART request? We need to understand differences among cultures. CART is not the first language for a person with ‘sign’ as main communication.

First, I shared we have dreams and then goals. We work to achieve a goal. Working toward a verbatim text is a goal students and reporters always strive to achieve.

I watched teachers laugh at the end of my seminar and looked to my right. Thomas was solemnly nodding as I shared about CART and consumers, which are topics he’s known since he was four.

Now I share “your dream is your goal.”

After we flew home, Tom wrote the following project for his computer class:

One day a cat, Steno, was sleeping. When he woke, Steno realized he had the same dream he had before. So, Steno asked his friends about this dream. They said, “Go to a cataulligist.” So Steno asked a cataulligist.

The cataulligist said, “You have a goal. That’s why you have that dream.”

Steno asked, “I have a goal? What is my goal?”

“Your goal is your dream.”

“My goal is my dream?”

The cataulligist, “Yes, your dream is your goal.”

“So, what do I do with my dream?”

“You do what your dream is.”

“So, you’re saying I should do my dream? What if my dream is a bad dream like a nightmare?”

The cataulligist, “Then don’t do it.”

“But you just told me to do my dream.”

“That was before. What is your dream about?”

“My dream is to become a court reporter.”

The cataulligist asked: “So, that’s your goal?”

Steno answered, “Yes! My dream is my goal, to become a court reporter!”

Thomas’s green project cover “The Dream” has a cat sleeping with a bubble above its head. Inside the bubble a small person is seated on a large chair, reaching out to a large steno machine on a tripod. The cat has a large smile on his face. The End.

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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

Greater Expectations And Chasing Rabbits

Greater Expectations And Chasing Rabbits
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Replies continue to arrive and percolate from my NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, JCR column “Great Expectations.” Each day I listen, process and filter information from students, court reporters, CART providers and broadcast captioners regarding court reporting and my tutoring services.

Much current discussion is now at-hand concerning how others view our work. We are experiencing changes in expectations – shifts – from large companies working with captioners and CART providers and ER (electronic recording) companies working in courthouses (and other locations). And we have shifts in contracting, each affecting all areas — as I see it.

Recently, I returned the call from a student. She has been in school for over four years. With much emotion (my phrase, passion), she shared her world. I asked a few questions, including whether she read back.

She replied, “I do not like to read back or see my errors. I do not like to focus on my errors; I have to move forward.”

I howled with laughter. When I could speak I softly said, “You might see yourself profiled in my JCR column.”

She paused for only a moment before assertively replying, “That’s fine. So are you going to tell me how to do this or not?” Immediate laughter exploded, in realtime, from moi.

When we ended the call, a very different conversation had evolved. We had what I call an “accountable dialogue.”

I wished her all the best in her court reporting studies; I did not think I would hear back.

But the next morning I received an e-mail, “I’m ready to begin! Let’s get started! I realized although I’ve been in school a long time, I have much to learn. I want to be a success in this field and will do whatever you suggest to make that happen. What am I mainly looking for?”

I replied, “…Accuracy.”

She sent a lengthy e-mail ending, “What am I looking for when grading my tests?”

I replied, “…No errors.”

Her motivation now is “graduation, employment!”

She is a successful and a wise person; I hear it, see it in her e-mails.

As an afterthought, she casually shared she has a bachelor degree when we next spoke. In Texas we might say, “That dog can hunt.”

That same day, I spoke with an official realtime court reporter who has worked more than 25 years with technical daily events within her courtroom.

Then she purchased every book “out there” and attended “every seminar out there.” After attending a seminar, which changed her “entire” theory, currently she is unable to realtime. Her quest is now “to undo all I’ve changed, so I can realtime in court again.” Her motivation now is “fear of ER in our area!”

I have great respect for each of these ladies, their stories and their reaching out. Reaching out takes courage. While I worked with the student and the official, we focused on details and moved forward with new goals – a new vision – to ensure arrival where each truly desires to be.

I see similarities working with this student and experienced official court reporter. Each is sharing facts that I have heard multiple times. Each one feels ‘bad’ about where they are now.

When I shared with them that I might write this article because it continues to nudge me as a CART provider, court reporter, instructor, and tutor, each stated that she felt “bad” for the other (the student for the official; the official for the student). And each said, “If this helps others, sure, go for it.” So I am.

From my seat I see a student who does not want to look back to see her errors while an experienced successful court reporter is reaching out everywhere to perfect her writing.

I opined with the reporter that she’s like an eager individual in an ice cream factory with too many choices since she has each book, works with each book, then moves to a different book.

The reporter replied, “Too many flavors. I don’t have that problem with shoes or clothes! I’m a train with the switch broke. I’m frozen. I know once you put me on the right track moving forward I’ll be like the Little Engine that Could. I think I can. I know I can…… even if uphill!!”

We selected a book of her choice, moved her away from an entire new theory while working on the job. We are also creating a custom CAT dictionary, so she can real-time – at work and in her court again.

This lady is a success. With years on the job as an official court reporter, her goal to perfect skills determine this to be a fact. And, yes, she is nationally certified. I believe, “That dog can hunt.”

How does this relate to greater expectations? The student desires “good” notes (or “notes just to pass that test”) now and admits she has far from perfect notes. And yet she wants and needs to forge ahead.

The official, in an attempt to write perfect notes, began darting in multiple directions before she settled down to learn a new theory?

Can one learn a new theory in court, full-time, each day after having a dictionary completely changed to achieve that established goal?

All court reporters understand that transcripts must continue to be produced while advancing skills for his/her future with a multitude of valid reasons for the courthouse, judge, attorneys, all involved parties.

Can a student move forward without and unable to transcribe accurately? All court reporters, students and instructors understand when students say, “I have to get out of school.”

While writing this article, I took a call to my office. The caller defined herself as a “former educator.” She asked me questions “about court reporting training, time-on-task hooked at the hip to that machine 24/7.”

She added, “At the school, I think they are chasing a lot of rabbits.”

I thought about the student writing (4+ years), not wanting to correct errors. I also thought about the experienced official (25+ years), darting through multiple books and a new theory.

And I saw a tie-in for the student(s) and court reporter(s) and many of us.

Are we chasing a lot of rabbits to achieve our goals?

Or are we focused on specifics with realistic deadlines while fearful of changes – shifts – that have come or will be here if we don’t achieve that goal?

I listened to the former educator, and gently replied, in part, “This skill is unlike any other. It requires mastering to be successful. Individuals entering this profession and this schooling with knowledge that the pass rate is 95% (or above) in court reporting for each speed class must know this schooling and occupation have a bar of excellence very different from other professions.”

Then I shared this topic with a sign interpreter after she expressed stress and frustrations within the interpreting world. The interpreter encouraged me to stay away from stress while working.

I e-mailed back, “From your lips to God’s ears – and God’s sign interpreters – may it be so.”

Regarding the tie-in and you? Could someone say, “That court reporter or court reporting student can hunt?” Are you chasing rabbits with greater expectations?

I see a surefire path that this shift topic and the expectations are percolating with students, instructors and judicial and freelance court reporters. We have great passions and great skills. Communication is a powerful tool, and I am honored to be among you.

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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

She’s the CARTographer; She Does CARTography!

She’s the CARTographer; She Does CARTography!
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 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” 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 called me over, and I stepped forward in one step. After introductions I said softly, “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.

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 the rest of his 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, still gripped in this 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 nods of approval were shared among this entire gathering.

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” and hoped initially it translated correctly. It did. 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, 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.”

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. 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 define my CART description.

As I prepped to leave, a sibling 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 brother any more.”

I gasped. Those were the exact words I said 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 the brother 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 brother of the deceased 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?”

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!

Take That CART And Shove It? and "Dad, Your Ears Are Dirty!"

Take That CART And Shove It? and “Dad, Your Ears Are Dirty!”
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Years ago, thousands chanted: “Take this job and ….”

Has anyone here diligently worked with new technology, new boundaries?

Have you, too, worked multiple uncompensated hours to prepare, organized the event, CARTed to a large screen with new names, words, acronyms?

Have you ever felt it all uncoil in an instant, in public? Ever felt verbally slapped? I’m grateful that I live in a country where people are free to express themselves. Yet I have “a dream,” many.

While flying to CART a job, I was reading the airline magazine. A note was penned: “Dad has the following in his ears: (a) wax; (b) blackheads; (c) dirt; (d) puss; (e) all the above.” Below in all caps: “Dad, your ears are dirty; it’s number (e)!” What does a man do when a child has written him a note like this, in an airplane? I giggled, wondered, and what were those ears like?

What’s my point here?

I know CART, communication access real-time technology, is still new to some. I’ve spent hours, months, years (as others), educating, sharing, explaining.

When I remember incidents where I felt verbally slapped, the comments came from hearing people who did not need, want and/or utilize the CART services upon which they’re commenting. Their words were loudly tossed across a room, often with the hearing person laughing, opining.

Two recent events leave me stunned. Those who know what ‘should have been said and/or done’ have the benefit of knowing from your chair, not in realtime, and I humbly share.

At the end of a week-long convention, just before the finale, everyone took a break.

I had been arriving and departing the hotel in the dark. I hadn’t seen the sun in days. I had not eaten a full meal since the start of the CART job.

After months of prepping; I saw a light at the end of that tunnel. I was proud of the work, my job and pleased with the responses from the audience.

On that break on the last day, a woman approached in the large hotel lobby, one finger pointed, and raised her voice. She said, quote, “Man, I would never want you on my murder trial!” (Those were her exact words — honest.)

I froze and turned around. Then I realized she was speaking to me!

I tipped my head, asking, “Hmmm, why is that?”

She said louder, “Because you don’t get it word for word!”

I giggled, then saw she had placed one hand on each hip and put her chin forward, thrown her shoulders back. Everyone froze; people held elevators, employees stood still.

She continued, “And you substitute some words. And you spell words you don’t have in that computer. And I wouldn’t want you as my court reporter!”

The gauntlet was tossed.

I stood tall, replying slowly, “Let me share about my services, my skills; what I’ve been doing this past week.” (I had been projecting instant verbatim text to a large screen. This convention had international speakers with foreign accents. Their topics changed almost every hour. New speakers arrived, at the last moment, to fill in or to share the topic. Yes, there were open mics on the floor from which the group asked questions to the speakers and to multiple panels on a variety of topics.)

After I briefly explained CART, communication access real-time technology, people leaned in to listen.

Finally the woman, wearing a bright red suit, laughed, raising her voice, “Wow, I’m so glad I told you. Now I can get a good night’s sleep!”

I blinked hard, smiled and said, “Thank you for permitting me to share.”

She stepped into a fully populated elevator, which had been held waiting for her; I returned to work.

Yes, individuals who had scheduled CART did appear somewhat horrified.

When the convention ended, I was still gritting my teeth. Later she re-entered the room, dramatically waved, pointed at me to her companions. The consumers who needed CART services, shook their heads. Later consumers shared their daily frustrations. Later I received my hugs as I packed my equipment.

Again consumers reminded me why I do this; why I arrived at the convention before dark, missing more than my share of food that week, why I work so hard. My sacrifices, commitment, to completion of the job paid off when individuals from this group promised they would request CART for all future events, locally and nationally.

What could I have done to prevent that? If one is writing for a ‘crowd’ to a large screen, we don’t always have an opportunity to address the audience. What should have been different? I’m still thinking on it.

Shortly thereafter, I was asked to accompany a court reporter to present in a large university. They specifically requested their guest speakers to “focus on technology.”

The court reporter specifically requested I share about CART as a guest speaker to the students, academicians and university administration.

I specifically prepped to share a history of CAT (computer-assisted technology), broadcast captioning, CART and to methodically launch into technology. Adults were seated as we entered.

Directed to the front of the room, I dragged another chair, another table, unpacked my equipment – again, while others sat and watched – to demo the technology to this audience, per their request. Just another day at the office for me. I smiled at a few adults who watched all my bending(s). I noted that the professor, her associates, were seated with superiors and administration.

It was smooth sailing. Students listened intently; professors nodded and took notes on their clipboards.

At the end of my presentation, the professor asked: “Can they see your equipment and screen?” where I had been CARTing earlier.

“Sure,” I replied.

Students leaped toward me. They asked (as people often do) for their name (and many asked for cuss words) to be written. And they asked, “Can we touch that machine?”

When the class ended, students stood and began to race to the door.

Suddenly, swiftly, the professor, waving one arm, laughing, loudly said, “Now do you see the difference? Our first speaker, the court reporter, gets the record word for word. Monette, the court reporter and CART provider, only summarizes! That’s the difference. Monette’s just summarizing it up there.”

Everyone exploded with laughter. I thought I’d been slapped.

Should I correct the instructor, as everyone exited? Should I comment while she’s standing and chatting with her peers and supervisors?

I quickly assessed this scenario in realtime, looked up and everyone was gone. It was as if they’d gone up in smoke. I was furious. I had clearly explained what we do, how we do it (a word she used), how ‘we’ CART, working with court reporters, consumers, Deaf, HOH (hard of hearing) individuals and the public.

Yet a loud, public comment about “Monette just summarizing” ended our presentations.

I know thigh-by-thigh reporting (my term) in the trenches is the best.

I know I’ll need to continue educating, sharing. I know I’ll need to return another long distance call to explain again to hearing people ‘what it is I really do’.

Yet I do yearn for a time when people are as familiar with CART as they are with court, depositions and now television captioning.

We are blessed to have choices so many never have had. Take that CART and shove it? No, not yet. “Dad, has the following in his ears …” What a great country.

PS: After this was written, my family gathered for a wedding. During dinner, a relative arrived from a large U.S. city.

She leaned down the long table: “I know a court reporter who takes notes in a college for a student.”

Monette (me) paused cautiously and smiled: “That’s great.”

She: “She’s not in court or anything. She’s ‘just’ taking notes.” Everyone had stopped eating and waited, looking down the table from her to me.

Monette cautiously: “If she’s a court reporter in a college with a student, she’s probably CARTing and providing a verbatim transcript.”

Relative laughing, loudly, “Oh, no. She’s not technical like you;” whereupon, I froze.

Relative: “The court reporter says she just takes her ‘stuff’ to the college and does notes. Those are ‘her’ exact words!

I blinked hard, smiled, looked down the long table to all the relatives and said, “That’s nice.”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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part VI of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part VI of VII
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

CART’s FAQ Parts I through V and many articles I’ve written about my experiences since 1993 as an experienced CART provider, college instructor and tutor with CART and deaf, HOH (hard of hearing) topics are posted on http://www.catapultdix.com/ and Monette’s Musings, http://www.monettebenoit.com/

This CART FAQ series is being digested by thousands of consumers, professionals, court reporters, captioners, captionists, teachers, students. My goal is to serve you and help all.

37. “When am I ready to CART? As a student? Can I CART while in school or should I wait?”

Through the years of my court reporting, teaching, CARTing and writing for the JCR, this question percolates.

I ask # 37 in return: Is the consumer consulted?

The majority of students enrolled within court reporting schools train toward freelance or official positions. As captioning programs expand, this will shift. Yet these same students would not be permitted to sit in court or depositions providing a public “record” prior to graduation (think “real transcript”).

Our world is technical and litigious; more so than when students long ago graduated at 175 wpm, words per minute, and produced a record post-event.

CART necessitates producing a record live one-on-one, one-to-many and remote CART is an option now. Providing the CART record post-event is not permissible if a consumer or job request needs CART and needs it — now.

Within the litigation arenas, not many legal scholars desire to have a student “practicing” while creating a record. In fact, it is illegal in many areas.

Shouldn’t we ask why a student can “practice” CART producing a product, an ASCII, as a service?

Are they interning or practicing? An intern does not share their skill with judges, lawyers or deponents.

Captioners do not practice on-air, do they?

Should a court reporting student practice with a consumer?

Is this a slippery slope? Yes.

Are students able to write “sustained” 180–240 wpm, 98–99 percent?

Can the student fingerspell in real-time, stitch words, produce a “record” for the person needing this instant verbatim skill?

Just because a student passes one jury charge or one literary five-minute test at 140–160 wpm, words per minute, does this mean he or she writes sustained speeds accurately?

Is the student actually charging for CART while in school at 160 wpm? Unbelievable, but true.

Is the student undercutting the experienced CART providers who earned the right to provide a service without “practicing”?

Do they give, sell, share an ASCII to the consumer and to fellow students? Does the college know this?

How technical is the class? Do they CART videos (another high set of skills)?

Perhaps I would not want my child to rely upon a court reporting student, one not trained for this wonderful field, who “practices” while my child earns a degree or diploma.

I have spoken to many people practicing to CART.

I have asked each if they would want their child to receive the transcript they are producing while a student is enrolled online or in class in a court reporting program. Their honest answers are “no, I would want an experienced person.”

Is the college, school district, university setting, whoever permits a court reporting student to “practice,” doing so to save money, stating they’re complying with the ADA? Many are, and state money, funding, is the reason for their decision to hire someone who is not qualified – yet. Will that person then raise their fee once they are experienced? And will the college, school district, university then find another CART student who is willing ‘to practice’ to save more money?

Is the student who is deaf or hard-of-hearing fearful to speak up, knowing words are “dropped” and dashed out, while the reporting student practices? Is the student missing part of the class with words that are unreadable? What will the student do when this material is on the next quiz or test? (This happens.)

Shouldn’t we be concerned that consumers are fearful, believing “something is better than nothing.” (Another article I authored and have posted regarding CART.)

If a court reporting graduate prepares, works toward the goal of CART, yes, he or she should be able to CART — as long as the graduate trains, and, additionally, learns about Deaf and hard-of-hearing sensitivity and cultures.

Is English the consumer’s language or “sign?” This question is essential to the service we provide.

38. “Should I practice in church?”

Oh, my. Does anyone think “practicing” should be done in a home, classroom, some private location?

People attending church deserve the same privileges as someone in a class or meeting. Many live with daily frustrations from physical or emotional challenges.

I learned to CART writing church services for a Deaf mass. In 1993, I practiced six months, seven days a week at home and in church while I was teaching two shifts. When I was practicing at St. Francesco di Paola (St. Francis), my screen was turned down until I had terms for a large screen in their Deaf mass. I did not project to a large screen until I had prepared.

How can a person “hear” the Word of God if the reporter is practicing and displaying untranslates?

Sadly, I “hear” about this too often, in church and classrooms. Those sharing “how can I hear the word of God” are the consumers.

The people practicing write — repeatedly –, “How do I …” and “When should I …?” (Which is why this CART FAQ is being shared.)

39. “Should I practice on a student?” Please see my “Something Is Better Than Nothing?” article, posting.

40. “And what if an experienced CART provider isn’t available? Is something better than nothing?”

See my previous answer.

Several years ago, I lost a large national client when they decided “something is better than nothing.” I could not, would not participate with their opinion knowing how this was affecting everyone.

The company traveled the United States. They were selling medical services. And doctors, audiologists and medical professionals presented detailed information that may result in a surgical procedure.

The voiced discussions needed to be projected to a large screen to assist people in the audience who were attending the meeting. I scheduled CART providers.

One location did not have experienced CART providers. (Many were CRRs, certified realtime writers, realtiming depositions or in court, which requires different professional skills.)

I phoned 30 court reporters. Not one had experience or the equipment needed to project to a large screen. This was not an event for a person who had never CARTed to a large screen.

When I phoned my client to tell them I could not serve their request with a “local reporter,” they were angry.

Due to the location they had selected remote services were not an option. I shared that I could provide an experienced person to travel; the reporter would need lodging for the one evening due to the length of the drive and their meeting.

The company hiring the CART services said, quote, “Something is better than nothing.”

I replied that my company, my ethics, my reputation, could not agree “to that.”

They (hearing) were adamant stating: “Even if ‘they’ (audience) get 80 percent, it’s better than nothing.” (A number “they” -hearing- created and deemed sufficient.)

I knew people attending that evening would need much more than 80 percent. I knew potential clients to this company would need 99 percent – all discussions would be technical and medical topics, if clients were going to, perhaps, accept the medical services this company was selling.

In realtime I apologized to the company representative I had helped with many meetings after listening to the individual instruct me to “just find someone.” I stated that I could not assist this location per their requests.

So the national company (later they shared they “paid lots of money”) hired a typist, a person to type on a laptop, hooked to a projector, in realtime. A typist? Someone with no training? A typist was paid?

The large national company was not upset a CART provider wasn’t realtiming. They were upset: “You, Monette, don’t believe 80 percent is good enough!”

Well, it’s not! As accuracy rates lower and “practicing” expands with consumers or students, we are enabling avenues in communication to justify “their” lower rates. Alternative providers are more cost-effective for schools requesting and accepting lower accuracies. We are opening the door for others.

If we continue to lower the bar of our services, the verbatim skills we worked decades to raise, alternative resources will come forward to compete with us. In fact, they already are. Some are now “practicing” in the back of the room while the CART provider now “works.”

I am contacted about these topics almost every day. I share where I may; I help where I can.

Yet I ask again: Has anyone asked consumers which accuracy they prefer? And do we really want to justify lower accuracy rates by and for people who are practicing — with steno machines or alternative methods?

This is a CART slippery slope for students, schools and consumers. We can make a difference with interns. Do we really need to create precedents that lower our skills with “practicing” CART providers on-the-job providing a verbatim record?

P.S.: After I finished this article, an experienced court reporter phoned my office. She was asked to demo university-level CART. Years ago, court reporting students had “practiced” while charging very low rates. The university hired the students to save the college money. The students went in the university classrooms to “practice” for when they can provide CART.

The students’ transcripts were so bad, all the Deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers requested notetakers or sign interpreters. Consumers requested the student CART providers not continue to help them. (The court reporter said, “consumers were too frustrated to view the screens.”)

The experienced CART providers, court reporters, then were asked to meet the students’ (very low) price. They could not.

Now reporters were being asked to demo, to share professional skills and to prove they (experienced CART providers) could provide the service.

Her question to me today: “Where and how do I begin, and how do I begin to pick up all the pieces here to help the consumers who want us back in the classroom?”

The saddest part to me: This will not be the last time I am contacted with this scenario. So sad, indeed.

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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

“Great Expectations”

Great Expectations
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

I would like to begin a conversation. I will compile replies and share them in a future article. Versions of this conversation float on various forums and message boards. I hope only to expand on that conversation as we explore facts and opinions.

Our work is historical; our professionals are spectacular in commitment to task. This is a wonderful time to master our path – together with new goals, new conversations.

We are witnessing changes within our profession. Changes are occurring because of opportunities and technology. Large and small companies are expanding, shifting, even folding areas. Some have long-term contracts; others fill requests. Many are affected by changes and technology – and perhaps by our own actions during a national shortage of qualified people?

Let’s talk facts. Litigation was narrowed by tort reform. Many companies now bid jobs by lowest page rate. ER, electronic recording, is replacing some official reporters in courtrooms. Caption companies have laid off experienced captioners.

Students in schools are vocal on forums about expectations on the basis of what was shared when they entered school. Students who entered training due to specific marketing to earn a high income from home “in two years” are not happy. Meanwhile, some near graduation will work for less to gain experience.

Experienced court reporters who want to caption or provide CART have expectations for what they will do and when. Both experienced reporters and high-speed students contact me – and others I know – saying, “I do this work because I’m able to make demands, pick and choose, and I do this for my pleasure. I have to earn a decent living and have good hours. I’m the breadwinner.”

I wrote a friend on NCRA committees to get a reality check if she sees differences in tone and expectations: “Some are leaving the profession. Frankly, it has gotten slow, and due to contracting – call it what you want – underbidding, firms are losing clients. Many want to hop on the CART/captioning bandwagon without training.”

One respected leader wrote, “I know new captioners who won’t work weekends or nights, want prime shows or only want hockey. Normally, with hockey you only write the score and play approaching the score. Who wouldn’t want that?”

That day I also received this note: “A teacher finally shared it the first night. He told them it’s not easy. It’s not all glory. Initially you won’t make gobs of money. Equipment’s costly. You need to join professional associations to remain involved. Don’t expect to immediately work in PJs. You need to master words, grammar and punctuation. That night several dropped. How’d that happen, Monette?”

I’ve noticed a shift in requests for my CART and captioning services, national and state written knowledge test textbook, workbooks, CATapult CDs, tutoring, consulting services. Initial e-mails may be tart. When I return a tutoring request, I may hear, “If you don’t help me, I’m leaving the field.”

One person phoned for tutoring and yelled at me. I listened. I’ve learned, “The upset is never the upset.” (Landmark Education after Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly, my youngest brother’s death, August 2000. Thank you, Diane Emery, CMRS.)

As I listened, the upset person finally focused on her upset and expectations – what she had been told (interpreted) she could expect and what she is able to do now. As a court reporter and instructor, I calmly guide what I believe is realistic and perhaps unrealistic, based on what is shared. The person reaching out often feels their future is at stake. To not share would be a disservice, I believe.

Another unique factor to a person’s path is motivation. When I speak to reporters and students at state and national seminars, I ask the group why they were attracted to this profession. My opinion is that people attracted solely for money will struggle and many will burn out. If you ask a person or group what motivated them to enter this field, often the answer is multi-faceted to include independence, job security, income, and learning within multiple venues.

Even organizations are not immune. My office receives calls from national groups and organizations with one question, “What are your rates? E-mail them.” I’m talking large companies, huge organizations who tell me “we’re too busy to share details until you send rates.”
As I finished this article, I returned a call to a national company regarding services. Their representative said (kid you not), “Send us all your rates. I’m to take them to my supervisor. If she approves, then we talk availability, specifics.”

I asked, “Are you phoning the country to get low rates?”
She replied, “Yes.”

Softly I shared I would not send all our rates to have an opportunity to service a job request, details not included yet. I ended the call, “I know there are qualified people out there; I’m sure someone will take good care of you.” Leslie, the company representative, was stunned. Monette, I, went back to work.

Reporters now work from home with little social interaction as in days of old when we drove to a courthouse, office, interacting with people every day. Forums have created niches of reporting, judicial, freelance, captioning, CART, students and instructors.

Students and reporters who enroll in a curriculum where there is possibly a 90 percent failure rate and required testing pass-rates of 95 percent or higher must know this marker is different from other schooling, careers.

Our profession, I believe, is honored to have students and working professionals dedicated to fulfilling and expanding their goals and their dreams.

Finishing this article I drove to a job on I-35 and saw an office supply truck. In cursive pink letters on both sides, the black truck carried their marketing slogan: “If we can’t get it, you don’t need it.” Do you think their tone and expectations are changing? I do.

Monette Benoit may be reached at: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

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 to include the NCRA Written Knowledge Test and state RPR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, a companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, ‘Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook’ and ‘CATapult’ Dictionary CD Software Program series.

Books, CDs, private tutoring, mentoring services and articles may be referenced http://www.crrbooks.com/

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, CART provider, coach, 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: http://www.crrbooks.com/, http://www.catapultdix.com/ and http://www.artcs.com/

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

CART And The $10,000 Spaghetti Dinner
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 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 to shake my hand, then 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?”

Later when he handed me his business card, I saw his title Monsignor Janacek. He shrugged, “Balty – really.” Balty was the “jolly” man who arrived with his peace sign.

One Sunday, Balty asked my 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.) My 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 and 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. 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 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. (He 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. 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 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.

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; neither wanted the evening to end. 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.”

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 family; nuns looked the other way.” 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, 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, RMR, 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 listed online, www.CRRbooks.com.

** Pedagogically sound covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.

The “Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Test Prep Textbook, 6th Edition” has greatly expanded testing tips, testing focus, NCRA COPE Ethics specific details, grammar sections, plus — legal, Latin, court, English, grammar, vocabularly, medical, and computer chapters. www.CRRbooks.com

The “Test Prep Set” includes four volumes – 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. * Bring it today!

CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin

CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 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 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.

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 and court reporters (to include 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 of Hepatitis C Support Forums and proved that the 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 – the gravediggers went to lunch.)

I humbly share that it was the comfort of mentors, court reporters, NCRA, National Court Reporters Assocation, 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. They helped me to go, stand tall, listen, fly home, then find sense of my world.

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 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 often are entitled to information the jury may not receive.

I still remember the divorce law firm that nailed everything down – stapler, sofa cushions, books, etc. I did not judge others when my skills were used then. Was this different?

I thought about seven years of CARTing 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. 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, 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 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 request for a telephonic medical intuitive. Their appointment had been scheduled two years earlier. This was a medical doctor with a Ph.D. 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 providers can bring comfort to people who are grieving. When CARTing funerals for individuals who are hard-of-hearing and/or deaf, 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.

Kevin will never send a funny or informative email which 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 with an open mind and an open heart.

My work is still private. My life forever changed due to my CART skills, the death of my brother and the hope I desire to share with each of you.

Further information about Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly is included: 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!