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 email@example.com.
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Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry
Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings
Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.
Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.
98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.
Purple Books Complete Set – Purple Books Trio Set
Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.
Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!
Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.
Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.
Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.
Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: firstname.lastname@example.org and Monette@CRRbooks.com
30 Dec 2008
Author: monette | Category: captioning, CART FAQ, Coach, court reporting tests, Deaf, HOH, NCRA RPR Test Prep, Written Exam, written test
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, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached: Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com and Monette@ARTCS.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Realtime Court Reporter, CART Captioner, Instructor, Columnist, Career Coach, Tutor
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
** Purple Books: www.CRRbooks.com ** Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com
Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on NCRA and State exams with Purple Books Complete Set (4 books) or Purple Books Trio Set (3 books) as evidenced by thousands of court reporting students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters: www.CRRbooks.com.
Purple Books are pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information. Since 1990, Purple Books are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.
Revised, Updated Purple Books Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Prep Textbook has testing tips, and sections covering legal, Latin, court, English -multiple grammar, vocabulary sections, medical, computer technology, NCRA COPE Ethics, and review. *Learn the foundation of material.
Purple Books Workbook contains **2,002 practice questions. Purple Books Companion Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions -explaining why words are correct, incorrect, and may be used as distracting answers. *Reinforce your knowledge and expand your skills to pass the first time.
Monette will help you to pass your test and to exceed schooling and career goals. No two are alike. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!
Tutoring and career coaching topics include: Motivational skills to keep you moving forward; Time-management; Process learning for more effective retention.
Who comes to Monette for tutoring and career coaching?
• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, 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.
Check out: Reach Your Goals with Tutoring and Career Coaching http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29
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.
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 seek to reach higher. Reach up. Bring it. * Bring it today!
14 Jul 2008