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.

Wheels Slowing Spinning? What’s Your Motivation? Part III of III

Wheels Slowing Spinning? What’s Your Motivation?
Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
October 2012

Part I began: If you could do anything with your life what would it be?

What would you ‘really’ do with your time, your heart, your ears, and your hands?

Would you share your court reporting skills with individuals who are waiting to ‘hear’ from you?

Would you work in court? Would you focus on specialty freelance reporting? Would you really work with attorneys? (Yes, I asked that question.) Many of us have enjoyed the thrill of working with attorneys and many still do now.

Would you provide CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)?

Would you learn sign language to have the ability to share your top-shelf skills to communicate with all your consumers? Would you learn about the Little D world, Big D, oral deaf, late-deafened, and hard-of-hearing children and adults?

Would you caption? Would you be able and willing to caption during the evenings, weekends, and holidays? It goes with the territory for many broadcast captioners. I know captioners who have shared with me that they spent years writing “down the hall” or “in the basement” or “upstairs” away from their family, yet were able to hear family laughter and loud voices. Would they do it all again? Many state they would.

And there will be individuals who will read this column, tilt their heads and think, “I am doing what I really want to do. I am.”

To that I say, “Bravo.”

Part II began: Yet if you could do anything with your skills, have you made a list to find out what “that anything” is? Have you listed what you would have to learn, what you would need to finish, to accomplish that list? I know people like the term “bucket list.” If those words for you, great.

If your heart is almost full after working, or you believe it would be “fuller if …” then perhaps now is the time for you to peek up from that desk. Now may be the time to move away from some of the daily drama that we “know” fills our busy world.

When we know a commute will require a longer drive-time on a particular road, we make different choices, yes? We find another road or perhaps we leave at another time, if that is possible. Often, we will do our darnest to avoid sitting in that darn traffic.

We avoid sitting with the wheels slowly spinning.

Are your wheels slowly spinning? What is your motivation?

Part III: What would motivate you to act on your motivation once you define specifics?

Is money again at the top of the list? When was the last time you left a job, onsite or remote, as a court reporter, captioner, CART provider, or student and felt that you had pitched your best? When did you last know you accomplished what you had planned and had worked toward?

Perhaps you want to raise your expectations for your world and to believe that you do have the coping skills to live the life you planned.

When I listen to individuals sharing their dreams, their hopes, their expectations, their fears, and yes, their successes, I am honored at what is shared straight-up, no excuses given. Court reporters tell it like it is. Really straight-up.

As we prep to roll into the holidays many of us will spend time helping others. We will schedule our time around other people’s schedules, personally and professionally, adding to the expectations of others with our hearts, our ears, our hands, and our time.

I want to suggest that you remember you are an investment that will multiple into grand, new paths when you are truly making the best choices for you.

What is your motivation to get up each day? For what are you grateful each evening and within your quiet moments?

My wish is that your goals, your dreams, will begin to whisper to you.

I wish that your whispers will become dreams, then goals.

Your goals will become committed statements.

Your statements will become reality.

You are what motivates me as I finish this article late in the evening on another extended deadline.

So many reporters and students have crossed my path as a result of my years of court reporting, publishing books and CDs, learning how to provide and then sharing CART, captioning, teaching, tutoring, coaching, public speaking, and sixteen years writing this JCR (Journal of Court Reporting) “Beyond The Comfort Zone” column.

Tonight I am working with eyeglasses that are broken (yes, we just move forward, don’t we?). I am helping my mother continue to deal with serious health issues as she grieves the death of her husband (my dad) of fifty-eight years. Then I read an email or receive a message wherein you share. The spark(s), and sparkle, in many of you is what motivates me, and I thank you.

Part I of III is posted October 4, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted October 18, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted October 30, 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.

We Must Remember Phyllis Beck

We Must Remember Phyllis Beck
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Phyllis Beck will always have a special place within my heart, my world.
Phyllis and my brother, Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly, met online in 1998 when each sought answers to their hepatitis C diagnosis.

Phyllis and Kevin forged a wonderful friendship based on respect and integrity.
They created a team with mutual goals and a desire to seek answers to help others on this path.

I am just a sibling. Phyllis helped me when I most needed her help, so I could move forward in my world – to honor the work Kevin had created alone – and working with Phyllis Beck.

Kevin learned (and documented) he was gifted the hepatitis C virus from military vaccinations.
My father now has the virus from a hospital blood transfusion.

Phyllis helped me, as a sibling and a daughter, to digest this information. Phyllis returned every e-mail, every phone call. She truly cared.

Kevin’s medical and scientific research was an asset and combined with Phyllis Beck’s nursing and research skills, each was detail oriented to the max.

Each had a gift for seeking answers and for finding wisdom in bleak moments – often with a smile and a determined resolve.

I first heard about Phyllis Beck from my youngest brother prior to his death.
I learned how special Phyllis was after Kevin’s death.

Phyllis Beck, in Oregon, was the last person within the hepatitis C community to speak to my brother the night of his death August 5th, 2000.

They were working to fulfill Phyllis Beck’s goal toward creating information for prisoners and an online forum for prisoners and their families.
After Kevin’s funeral, I learned Kevin and Phyllis spoke that evening and were focused on creating a venue for Dr. Ben Cecil, a veteran, to assist in this specific goal.

After Kevin’s sudden death, I stood tall and faced the wind to listen, if I could, per my brother’s request.
When I learned Phyllis had spoken to my brother that evening, I reached out to Phyllis to help me with answers and questions as they arose.

Phyllis Beck rose to the occasion.
She honored my brother Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly sharing, with me, his work, his world – personal and professional. I learned they truly did have a special friendship.

When Kevin’s widow, Justine Velocchi Lomonte Donnelly, a veteran and nurse, refused to share Kevin’s research, his address book or any information, Phyllis Beck stepped forward for the hepatitis C community.

Phyllis phoned the number she had phoned so often to speak with Kevin and phoned Kevin’s widow. Phyllis politely, respectfully spoke to Michelle Lomonte, stepdaughter, and Tina, widow. Each request by Phyllis Beck was refused.

Phyllis was a trained nurse. While requesting Kevin’s work, she listened – at length- to members within Kevin’s residence immediately following his death – to honor Kevin and to pursue the goal Kevin had asked of Phyllis prior to his death.

Kevin had asked Phyllis (and a handful of close friends) to ask for Kevin’s work, his research — to ensure the hepatitis community did have information from Kevin’s research, his address book.

Once her request was refused, Phyllis phoned Kevin’s residence and offered to purchase the information related specifically to Kevin’s work (which he had dedicated the last 2+ years of his life). That offer was refused, too, by Kevin’s widow.

Professionals, veterans and patients have deliberately documented that Kevin’s work would have helped the entire hepatitis C community.

Due to the refusal to share any – any – of Kevin’s research and hepatitis information, Phyllis and I continued to chat.

Perhaps had the information been shared, we might have parted paths, gone our separate way.

Phyllis’ respect for Kevin and her devoted integrity to her path, kept Phyllis focused.
And she shared many details from her world and Kevin’s personal world with me.
(She knew the brand of cigarettes Kevin smoked and how much coffee he drank each day — a true friend.)

In short, I became her friend. I learned about Phyllis, her family, her work and enjoyed listening to her laughter. I will always remember Phyllis Beck’s laughter.

Phyllis also shared a song Kevin used to sing to her. Kevin loved to sing and to whistle.

As we worked to move forward, one day Phyllis phoned and sang their song to me, laughing.
She shared how she and Kevin used to giggle in their light moments. Then they would focus back on their target — helping others. I treasure that sharing knowing how hard each worked to assist veterans, their families and prisoners. Phyllis Beck focused on information and treatment for veterans and prisoners with hep C.

Two years to the night of my brother Kevin’s death, when I learned Phyllis Beck’s goal with the online prisoner forum was not yet fulfilled, I came in overhand, as Kevin and Phyllis would have wanted.

August 5th, 2002, in Memory of Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly, Dr. Ben Cecil went online with Phyllis Beck to answer questions from prisoners and their families relating to hepatitis C and multiple issues.

We need to remember this dedicated lady.

We need to know Phyllis labored and laughed and achieved goals many only dream about — all to help others to find answers to the hepatitis island where many find themselves upon diagnosis.

When I learned Phyllis Beck had died, it was after I reached out to Phyllis to help me with a request. A hospitalized man needed help. I e-mailed Phyllis as I had for eight years.

I reached up to Phyllis Beck – again.

It seemed odd to not receive an e-mail, “Hey, HOW are YOU?” included with her reply.
But this time there was silence. Then I received an e-mail from a member of Phyllis Beck’s family sharing she died March 21, 2008.

Tears filled my eyes; I did not know she was ill. I did not know.

After communicating, sharing, laughing and listening for eights years since Kevin Drue Donnelly’s death, I did not know.

And I felt pain not knowing Phyllis Beck was so ill.

Head bowed, I immediately prayed for Phyllis and felt a warm feeling. In my heart, as close as Kevin and Phyllis were to each other in their commitment to helping others, I believe Kevin met Phyllis when she arrived in heaven.
I have learned: this group sticks together, and it is to comfort and to help each other.

Phyllis Beck, you were so wise.
Thank you for teaching me, for laughing with me, for singing ‘your’ song and for the personal moments we privately shared.
I have so much information, knowledge – personal and professional – because you shared – and you cared so much.

May God Bless you and all those who now follow in your footsteps, Phyllis.

“Why? Because I gave my brother my Word.”

Phyllis Beck would want me to write that Kevin Drue Donnelly is the author of “The Panama Story” – a gifted novel on the true origins of hepatitis and virus testing – combined with a novel setting by Kevin to keep the readers interested. This free story is posted: http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/PanamaTitle.html

I know Phyllis enjoyed Kevin’s story, written one chapter a night, many moons ago.
Kevin’s web site, Veterans Helping Veterans, http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/index.html, is now run by LeighAnn Vogel and may be referenced for multiple facts and details for veterans and their families: http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/

We are where we are now because of our ability to look back and to embrace each other.

Please share this posting with others. Please remember Phyllis Beck.

You are at peace now, my friend.

Your work is done. And we will miss you and your laughter, Phyllis Beck.

Much love, much respect,
Monette Benoit
Kevin’s Sister
Monette@CRRbooks.com and www.ARTCS.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 national and state RPR, RMR, 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, 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 http://www.artcs.com/

"My Solitary Travels" by Monette Benoit

My Solitary Travels
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

My Solitary Travels

Sitting alone in my solitary spot,
I am at peace for awhile
where I can dream of sailing in my yacht
while my spirit travels and smiles.

I leave not the spot in my body,
but alas where few can see.
I fly and soar in my mind
and land far away where I can be me.

While flying, always return do I,
for I am but a woman
who yearns to fly
and to not yet die.

Monette Benoit: I dedicate my poem to my sister-in-law. Cynthy Ellinger Walters died 2-12-04; her Memorial was on Valentine’s Day.

After her diagnosis with pancreatic, liver cancer, I volunteered to step into a role to ‘listen’ and to ‘ask hard questions’ as she faced new challenges. For two-and-a-half years, Cynthy lived with intense medical care and memories of a trip gifted by the Make A Wish Foundation. She demonstrated dignity as a pillar of strength to her family, Michael, Jared, Noelle, and to me, as her world changed.

Cynthy Walters taught me how brave one can be to face each new day and dark night.
She did not want to die, astounding her ‘team’ and Hospice with her deep inner strength.
I bow my head; heaven is brighter since Cynthy’s arrival.

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/

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

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* 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!