Ouch. That Hurt My Ears! Part I of III

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

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.

Mom told her mother, “He’s been shot!” pointing to specific areas on her body.

Mom’s mother (court stenographer and a piano prodigy) told my mom that it was a bad dream, hugged her, and gently told Mom, then a teen, to go back to sleep.

The next morning, Corpus Christi’s Western Union delivered the news.

Yes, Mom’s twin brother was shot and injured exactly where Mom had described to her mother at 4:30 a.m. with her twin brother stationed in an undisclosed location with the Marines in the Pacific.

With her twin’s death yesterday, and my concerns about my mom and her failing health, I left her hospital room to purchase sympathy cards.

Today we have a wind advisory day with 40-50 mile per hour winds. I raced in, selected several cards, sprinted to one of many cashiers.

I placed the sympathy cards on the counter.

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!”

Softly I said, “Maybe chewing gum might help – like pressure in a plane?” (I did not know what to say – was running late. I needed to head off.)

The woman smiled, “No, it’s the pressure inside my hearing aid in each ear. But in two weeks I get my cochlear implant! Then I won’t have this problem. And that will be wonderful. Then my ears won’t hurt from any pressure.”

I smiled.

She did not know that I have worked within the Deaf and HOH, hard of hearing, communities since 1993 providing CART, Communication Access Real Time, and captioning to large and small screens for many, many public and private events.

She did not know that I am very familiar with cochlear implant technology, individuals, and children.

Faith said, “I have needed a cochlear implant for so long. I have not wanted one. My mother got one. She loves hers! She raised us children without being able to hear most of our life. But now she can hear.”

I remained silent.

Faith said, “Most people don’t know what they are. But it will help me with the pressure, and I won’t have to worry about winds and this excruciating pain!”

Softly I said, “I am familiar with cochlear implants.”

She beamed.

“You are? Well, my mother is one of 13 children. Nine have cochlear implants. Now my generation is losing our hearing. When Mom got her implant it was so funny!”

I turned to see if anyone was standing behind me in the busy store. Nope. I was “all ears” as I turned back to listen to this cheerful lady.

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.

How’d That Happen? And Real-Time Captioners, Part III of III

How’d That Happen? And Real-Time Captioners, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
April 2013

Part I began: As we listen, as we scan and troll, now and then a moment may stop us in our tracks. Each track depends on where we are at that moment. Each track when viewed over one’s shoulder, as hindsight, may appear to be very different.

And this is why I am still tilting my head asking “How’d that happen?”

Recently a mail list shared by court reporters, captioners, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) providers, instructors, and students, someone posted a link “Appendix A, Hourly Pay for Real-Time Captioners.” Levels were identified with hourly rates. Each level states, “a minimum captioning speed of … and recommendation by the Director.” Appendix A ends: …

Part II began: Yet I know in 1993 when I began to CART in San Antonio, Texas, the sign interpreters negotiated (they used that word) for me “since you arrive with all your equipment and work solo.”

Back then there was no word for CART.

Part III: We became a team, all working together. Why? To provide the best service we could together is my humble reply. And we have had a lot of fun in “our” trench together, and the interpreters continue to be my friends and my advocates.

They tease me that that the only equipment they purchase is the one-color outfit. (Interpreters usually wear one color, so individuals needing their skills watch hand motions and facial expressions without distractions of colors and designs.)

And they teased me, “You? George Carlin has a routine about packing, then packing with less to then pack with less. Have you heard Carlin’s routine?” Their teasing was not mean spirited. Oh, I listened.

I listened to their teasing, their wisdom, their teaching how I should structure my rates. They taught me when there was no one to ask.

Remote interpreting has changed their world, even as it has changed for CART providers.

Now we are where are. We knew then that the MTV generation would change the world. We knew then that cochlear implants would change their world. We knew then that our technology “captioning without video” (as many referenced CART after my work) would change the world.

Now we have the ability to look over our shoulders and to reflect from whence we have come, where we are now, and where we seek to direct our paths.

Yet I am still pondering, how is it that a college posted qualifications and rates for “Real-Time Captioners” that might stun many who completed court reporting school and purchased equipment to provide this CART service?

I also wonder too, if hourly rates will decrease the way broadcast captioning rates did years ago?

Once the requested lower fee was met, there was a free-fall as contracts were pulled. Rates fell astoundingly until a new low was met. (Rates have since fallen.)

Sign interpreters who learned about the decrease(s) – when our equipment costs to provide services was well documented as not for the faint of heart – were amazed. They murmured to me, “And with your expenses …”

Frequently, I softly asked my friends, “How much – you two now?”

I learn(ed) two interpreters often working 20 minutes each reflects higher than my amount.

Then I am softly reminded, “And our clock starts when we leave home – with mileage. Have you ever thought about sign interpreting? It pays better.”

September 2012, I wrote in my JCR (Journal of Court Reporting) column “Beyond The Comfort Zone,” and blog “Monette’s Musings,” the article “You All Start In CART Now, Right?” That was almost six months before reading about the college’s requirements. Will we ask ”Disabled Students Programs and Services” we are being justly compensated for the skill set and for the equipment we provide, alone, hour after hour?

Working to preserve the record – wordsmiths that we are – we rise to each request. Thus, looking ahead and not over my shoulder working yet another late evening, I have to ask, “How’d that happen?”

Part I of III is posted April 7, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted April 11, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted April 27, 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.

Game-Changer … Will He Make It?, Part III of III

Game-Changer … Will He Make It?, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
March 2013

Part I began: During an errand to a home improvement center, I witnessed a “game-changing moment,” in my opinion. It unfolded before my ears – and my eyes. Then I was gifted with an opportunity.

I needed a tool. I walked with purpose. After seeing me repeatedly strolling the same aisle, an employee asked me what I was seeking.

He said, “That’s not here! It’s the only tool in our department that’s way, way over there!” I asked for the aisle number. He said, “Follow me.” He was accurate with “follow me.”

We briskly strolled from one end of the large store to the other. I followed; he walked three steps ahead of me.

That was when I noticed a frowning employee approaching in a sprint, lips pursed. I stepped back. Yet my radar was up; I thought I saw it. I watched the frowning employee’s intense focus.

The frowning employee never took his eyes off the young employee’s face who responded, speaking into the air away from the frowning man.

Part II began: The employee shrugged. Then that dude increased his walk until he was two steps in front of me.

I touched his right arm, startling him.

I asked if he knew the employee that he had assisted. “Nope. Started today. He’s just some new guy. Okay?”

I believe I smiled for the first time. To his back I said, “He is deaf. And he is way smarter than you.”

This news brought the employee to an abrupt stop. He stopped so suddenly that I almost walked smack into his back. Stunned, he made eye contact.

Part III: His eyes were soft. He stood only inches away from me when he softly asked, “What does he need?” He had stopped touching his store beeper. He removed the earpod within each ear. (That was when I knew I had his attention.)

I shared, “I have worked with and have been embraced by deaf adults and deaf children. He will need someone he can trust – especially if this is his first day, and there is no one to help him.”

The employee smiled. “I will keep an eye out for him today. That’s not my area. It’s way over there. I’m supposed to stay way over here.”

Then he said the words that meant much to me. This young man who had been so rude to me said, “Thank you. I never would have known. No one here knows. Thank you for taking your time to share with me.”

I asked what the probationary period is for new employees. (Court reporter focus here.) When he shared, “30 days,” I nodded and turned to walk away.

From behind he touched my right arm. When I turned back to him, he extended his right hand. I respectfully shook his hand. We closed the deal.

Recently, I was in the same store and saw an employee I have known for years. I strolled up, “I need to ask you something.” We both looked left and right – for supervisors.

I asked, “Just over a month ago I was in here, and it was the first day for a deaf employee. Do you know the man?” I did not wince; I waited while he thought.

Then he said, “Yes! I know the man. Do you need something from him? I can help you.” I paused – before I asked, “If I need something from him – I could have him help me? Yes?” (My code for “Does he still work here?”)

The man said, “Today’s his day off. What do you need?”

Softly I said, “I have what I need now. Thank you.”

What opportunity was I gifted with as I wrote at the beginning of my article here?

Ah, grasshoppers: quietly advocating to someone who could (then would) make a difference in a person’s new job. In so doing, that person then stepped ‘up’ the center to now become an advocate for others.

Moments unfold into experiences. Experiences then become game-changers.

My opinion is that I viewed a game-changing moment to quietly, respectfully advocate (in a home improvement center). That advocating assisted another person to assist a new employee to “make it on the job.”

You, too, have these moments. Of this I am sure. Indeed you do. Game-changing moments.

Part I of III is posted March 2, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted March 17, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted March 29, 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.

You All Start In CART Now, Right? Part I of III

You All Start In CART Now, Right? Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Part I: An invitation to join friends (each working in college student services) for lunch with their colleagues began with introductions. I selected the restaurant, away from busy “spots” as many were new to this city.

While chewing my sandwich, a college disability coordinator, asked, “Monette, you’re a court reporter, right?” I nodded.

“Monette, you’ve provided CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) a long time, right?”
I nodded, still chewing my food.

The third question was the stun-err-roo when a woman seated at our crowded table asked, “Monette, (long pause) all court reporters start in CART, right?”

I blinked hard and looked to my friends. They gave me a blank look, and I sensed this topic had already been discussed prior to this gathering.

I did not nod. I sipped my tea, tipped my head. Thinking. Thinking.

The professional then said, “All court reporters start in CART now, right? That’s where they get their training, so they can then go into court and get other good work, right? It’s a simple question.”

Oh, Lord! My simple lunch was now halted as each person awaited my reply.

I worked to not appear stunned.

I replied with a question – asking if each person is familiar with CART.

I was thinking how to answer a simple question that did not appear to be simple to the individuals waiting for my words.

And I felt they knew it was not a simple question, too, due to the manner it was asked, and the complete silence at the table.

“We want to know if this is where all court reporters now begin their work? It’s the place to start now, right?”

Again, I looked to my friends.

Not one person offered any words to assist me. Nope. I was clearly on my own.

Slowly, I shared, “Our realtime skills now afford court reporters, CART providers, and captioners multiple opportunities. Many professionals work in multiple venues. We are trained with specific skills, earn certifications, attend conventions …” No one was eating now.

Part I of III is posted September 1, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted September 17, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted September 29, 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.

Thriving In Five – Or Less, Part III of III

Thriving In Five – Or Less, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I: Why thrive in five? Why thrive with less?

I believe the majority of individuals in the court reporting profession think of the number ‘five’ as a take, a 5-minute take.

Thriving in five? Yes.

Thriving in less than five? Yes, this relates, too.

Recently, I read that the average person thinks 50,000+ thoughts a day.

I smiled immediately thinking (adding to my average number of thoughts that day) that court reporters must have many more than 50,000 thoughts a day.

Our tenacious personalities, our “word” work and our “word” schooling, in my opinion, would add up to many more than the average person, yes? …

Part II: Is steno a new language? Yes. Do we learn new skills every day? Oh, yes.

Do we learn new words each day?

Yes, each and every day.

And that thrive in five mindset is a frequent flier program in our court reporting world.

We do earn frequent flier points and note skill advancement once we decide to focus on this concept.

The mindset is doable and assists us to measure our progress and our goals. It is.

Often I may ask where a court reporter is (spending time) advancing their skills?

Many professionals share that they practice after a full work day, “At home in my office.”

I may ask students, “Where do you attend school?”

A common answer, “Online in my room alone.” Hm. …

Part III: Thriving in five is a simplistic approach to find some fun (their words) – court reporting students and court reporters shared with me – when I trotted it into my tutoring and coaching time.

“Might as well try this,” some said. “It seems worth a go.”

My reply, “Now that’s the true spirit.”

I also suggest that individuals embrace their discomfort – momentarily – to isolate what is stopping or halting the advancement of skills and goals.

Thriving in five includes finding your interruption(s) focus, to isolate an interruption in your strength, and in your confidence.

Remember when you struggled on the steno machine in your new theory, your new language, writing “a cat sat on the hat?” Did you just smile?

We huffed and puffed writing those words, yes?

As a court reporter, “I absolutely can do this,” is one thought I have when the mojo is flowing.

I may also think, “This will never happen again.” Why? Because my head may be on a table or the steering wheel.

And the action that created that thought is one I truly do not ever want repeated. Not ever.

We earn many of the thoughts that cross our mind – remember I quoted the stat above for 50,000+ per day for the average person.

What are your favorite five word thrive in five possibilities?

Multiple individuals have shared this focus “is like scrabble, and I can use vowels and consonants.”

Each day we collect data in our personal and professional world.

We trust the method and the process that has successfully set us apart from the “average” person with our skills, our thoughts, and our focus.

Refine, define, and know that you are the expert.

Part I of III is posted July 13, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted July 31, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted August 8, 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.

Weeding, Inner Landscapes, Nuclear Implants, Part III of III

Weeding, Inner Landscapes, Nuclear Implants, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I: The sun is shining; it is almost 80 degrees in Texas as I write this column in March.

Winter was mild here and after months and months with severe drought and watering restrictions, we have rain. We have much rain. …

Part II: Many court reporters and court reporting students share they are overwhelmed.

As I help each person, I hear conversations where individuals want to “cram” (my word) years of schooling and work into an extremely short period of time with “extreme changes” (their words).

Perhaps “inner landscaping” needs to be defined.

Where does one begin?

As this varies with each person’s goals and commitments I advise starting with a position we clearly define to advance forward into a steady adventure.

Steady strength building (my term), in my opinion, prevents burn out with goals that may be(come) challenging.

Again, this will change with each person.

Inner landscaping involves weeding out what is not working and planting seeds for growth that will now organize your skills and your desired skills. …

Part III: Individuals in our field desire to improve and to advance management techniques.

Where are you stuck?

Where do you think you are stuck?

What weeds do you want to eliminate to avoid frustration and wasting time (words often shared with me)?

So where does the “nuclear implants” from the title come into this month’s column?

Simply put, I thought you would enjoy this true event.

As I was “weeding” this article, my office received a phone call.

I was informed I needed to promptly return the call as “they need help for someone with a nuclear implant.”

Yes, I promptly returned the call.

Yes, the individual has a (long) job title specific to assisting consumers and individuals with specific requests.

The person making the request then stated, “The reason for phoning is to have you translate the language for nuclear implant people.”

Yes, I am sure the request was for a cochlear implant – not nuclear implant – and translation of a language is not necessary.

As a court reporter I listened and was then informed by this individual what “all we really need is your lowest price to translate the language for those nuclear implant people? That’s all we want to know.” Imagine that.

Weeding, inner landscapes, and nuclear transplants.

Our work and our world is changing.

I believe that you deserve to remove the weeds (this may include people, too) in your world.

You deserve to customize your inner landscape and to enjoy the process.

And I wish you persistence on your path.

As I finished this article, the mail was delivered.

The postal lady said, I kid you not, “Here you go. I spent the last several days weeding my yard and my mother’s yard. She’s too old, 96, to do it by herself. It sure is soothing to weed, isn’t it?”

I blinked hard and tipped my head.

She said, “At the end of my busy day I actually look forward to going out there and just ripping those weeds up out of the ground – roots and all!”

I bowed my head, smiling.

“Yes indeed,” was my only reply.

She wiped the sweat off her forehead with her elbow and upper arm.

She laughed, “I work hard all day outdoors, too, to then go out there and go get ‘em. That’s how I’m relaxing now. And I find it soothing. I get to think and plan my next day and my world. Whoever thought I’d actually look forward to that?”

I smiled and watched her depart. Yes indeed.

Weeding helps her to sort the details and to plan her world.

And you? What helps you?

Part I of III is posted June 1, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted June 21, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted June 29, 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 I of III

My Village Chief is HOH, Part I 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.

He scheduled surgery, shook our hands, left to return to (his words), “What else? NCAA playoffs. You can phone my home; here’s my number. Nothing by mouth after midnight, okay?”

My parent said, “I like him.”

The nurses, “The doctor can’t hear very well. Everyone knows he has problems on the phone.”

I had been quiet. “He has high coping skills. His hearing aids greatly assist him.”

A nurse with IVs and a bleeding cath line, “If you want to speak to him you have to speak loud.”

I said softly, “He is highly trained. Wearing two hearing aids, I have great faith in this man.”

Another nurse, “People have trouble understanding him.”

I did not roll my eyes. My parent asked (knowing I have worked with hard of hearing, HOH, and Deaf since 1993), “Do you think he can hear me, others, and operate with hearing aids?”

I smiled, “Very much so. He will do an excellent job.” The nurses remained silent.

The next morning at 7 a.m. we rolled into pre-op.

I said I would wait in the room for updates.

O.R. staff insisted that I wait in the designated surgical area.

I looked to the surgeon, “No. I’ll wait in the room for your updates.” He nodded; off they went.

Post-op the doctor sprinted into the room, “It’s much quieter in here. Thank you. Now let me tell you what happened.”

I asked if I could write medical terms he was sharing – technical terms – including “this is very bad – could kill … We have a cacophony of bad events …”

He nodded, “I know you’re a court reporter. Sure.”

I wrote new medical words. He gently corrected my spelling. I felt guided.

Then I said, “I need a village chief right now. It’s been so many months with two very ill parents. There’s so many doctors I can’t count. Many do not speak to each other as they ‘round’ giving different orders and meds. If you guide me, I’ll follow. Would you be my village chief?”

He beamed, nodded, and touched my left elbow.

Then he lowered his voice, “May I ask ‘you’ something?”

I nodded.

My village chief pointed to the TV (I had turned captions on), “I know you’re a court reporter, teacher and author; you do that.” (I had not spoken about my work.)

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.

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.

She Never Speaks; She Spoke To You; Why Can’t She Just Learn English?

She Never Speaks; She Spoke To You; Why Can’t She Just Learn English?

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

One morning in June, I got an early start. The store was near empty. I had me a 2007 Christmas gift certificate. My mission: new dish towels. I went to the kitchen area. This was easier than I thought.

Avoiding clearance racks, I saw the perfect T-shirt on a shelf. I debated must I? Ahead of schedule I stepped to my left just to look. I spotted a woman who had her head down and was folding a mountain of clothes scattered over a metal table. And I’m talking marine-inspection folding.

The woman looked up; I smiled politely. She nodded and continued folding. I paused long and deliberately before I decided to see if she was the person I thought she might be.

With one motion I made a gesture potentially only Deaf recognize. (It works very well, folks, Big D.) She tilted her head and smiled. Then her eyes sparkled. She did a small dance, head down, hands high in the air, before launching herself over that table to me.

I have not seen Stephie in ten years. Stephie is deaf, lives within the Big D-Deaf world.

I shook out my hands, signing, “Need put down purse. Signing rusty.” Placing my purse, towels on the table, planting my feet on the floor, standing tall, shoulders back, I began to (silently) talk with Stephie.

When I paused to sign or fingerspell, she signed with me, waiting while I struggled or correcting me (so very nice) as needed. This woman, who does not speak, began to laugh. Signing, she began to voice (words) and have sudden outbursts of sounds (words).

As I turned, I spotted employees watching. Customers approached, smiled at me (but not us), and then turned away. I asked Stephie if she might get in trouble for speaking to me. She laughed, “Nope.”

I asked if anyone in the store spoke or signed to her. “No,” she replied.

I asked how she communicates with her co-workers. Only her manager does – and only as needed. Then he ‘writes’ details on a small pad. I asked how she communicates with customers.

Stephie said that she tries to help, but “customers turn away, not responding.”

I winced. But Stephie beamed, stroking my face and hand, “I found you!”

In my rush that morning, I did not put on my wedding ring. She knows my husband from the years he was my “roadie” (his term) every Sunday when I CARTed to St. Frances Di Paola’s large screen for the Deaf mass. Stephie reached for my ringless hand, holding my ringless finger.

She shrugged and with hands in the air, she voiced loudly, “Sorry. It happens.”

I doubled over with laughter. Stephie then voiced, “Oops.”

This Deaf community is tight. When a hearing person is embraced into the Deaf world, it is an honor. In 1993, an elder within the Deaf community, gifted me with a sign name and named me “Our Token Hearing Girl” sharing my CART skills, learning from their culture. Oh, we have funny moments and memories.

Our conversation lasted 20 minutes. Now I was late. We exchanged information.

I signed, “Late. Must go.” She understood. Good-bye lasted 10 minutes with hugs, she touching my arm, my hand.

One employee who watched Stephie and I pointed to her register. I’m still holding only dish towels. Easy, right?

Anna looks like Priscilla Presley, early 1960s. She takes my towels and said, “She spoke to you.”

I blinked and looked at her hair and eye makeup.

Anna, “She spoke to you.”

I smiled, “We’re old friends.”

Anna paused, then leaned on her register, “She spoke to you. I heard her. She said words ‘to’ you.”

I smiled, “Stephie’s deaf. She communicates with sign language. How much do I owe?”

Anna, “She never speaks; she spoke to you. I don’t understand her. I’d like to …”

I almost put my forehead on that register counter. I’m thinking, “Please, God, don’t let this be a mini-deaf sensitivity seminar. I need to head to my office. I have court reporters and court reporting students confirmed for tutoring this morning and afternoon. Peter Rabbit here must run.”

Anna whispered, “You spoke to her. She understood you. She ‘heard’ you. How does that happen?”

I exhaled slowly without sighing. I looked to the people behind me and asked, “Anyone in a hurry?”

Each person (a first) shook their head.

Customers replied, “I have all the time in the world.”

“I’ve always wanted to learn about sign language — those deaf mutes.”

When I looked up — as I knew would be — Stephie watched, head down. She understood. I made eye contact with Stephie and smiled.

I slowly began my mini-seminar. “Stephie is an intelligent woman to work in a place where no one speaks her language – or will try.”

Anna asked, “But why do her words come up in wrong places?”

Me, “Well, Anna, her language ASL, American Sign Language, is a conceptual language created by hearing people long ago in France.”

Anna, “Why can’t she read lips? She stays to herself. She seems nice.”

I asked, “Has anyone here ever sat with her in the break room?” Anna shook her head. “Stephie wants to communicate,” I said.


Anna earnestly, “But sometimes her words don’t sound like English, yet you understood what she was saying. I watched. You two had a real conversation. Some words are louder than they should be. Can’t she just learn English?”

I winced. Calmly, I took a deep breath, shared tips about Big D, Deaf, sign language. “Stephie does know English. Her first language is ASL.”

Placing my towels in a store bag, I asked for the total. Customers leaned forward to listen when Anna whispered, “I wish I was brave enough to do what you did with her.”

Slowly counting to myself, I softly replied, “Start with one word. When you see her on break, coming into work or leaving, start with one word.”

I showed Anna several signs (and a few funny slang signs) to encourage and motivate her. I added, “And it’s fun.”

Anna finally totaled those dang towels and said, “Thank you for helping deaf people and for taking time to help us – who wish we could understand them.”

Me, “But you can.”

Anna, “No, no, I wish I could, but I can’t. Thank you for helping me and for helping us to understand.”

With one quick, shy motion, Anna raced around the counter and hugged me. Then she sprinted back to her register. Customers then thanked me “for helping those people.” I avoided sighing.


I closed the seminar, “Deaf have a wonderful culture with a beautiful language. We must learn from each other.”

I slowly looked down the aisle; I knew she was watching. Stephie nodded. She understood. I signed good-bye to Anna. Overhand I signed (the personal) “I love you” to Stephie. I took my towels and departed with my head down. I wondered what I could have or should have said to her coworkers to have had a more positive result.

Then a large UPS truck flew past me. Stopping on a dime, the driver leaned out the doorless truck and waved overhand. I blinked. Last year, he was stung by a bee at his previous delivery. He’s allergic to bees. After I signed for my delivery I treated his neck ‘timing’ to see if his bee reaction would need hospitalization.

While watching this UPS shorts-wearing dude with dark eyeglasses, energetically waving overhand to me, I thought about Anna and how wonderful it was to have found Stephie. I thanked God for life’s grand memory-moments.

Then like the little Peter Rabbit, this bunny went back to her world – thankful for Stephie’s friendship and her laughter that morning.

I phoned the sign interpreter Stephie requested, sharing Stephie’s message.


My friend howled with laughter, “Dish towels with a 2007 Christmas certificate? Oh, Monette, you need to shop for better things. What ya doing tomorrow? Let’s meet there, see Stephie. Let’s go have us some real fun over there.”

Perhaps we did; perhaps we did. Stephie and I wish Happy Holidays to each of you and your families.

Cracking The Code To Testing and Court Reporting Certifications, Part Two

Cracking The Code To Testing and Court Reporting Certifications, Part Two
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Within the previous Monette’s Musings post, www.monettebenoit.com, I wrote, “Cracking the code to tests and certifications is more than a metaphor. Expanding our goals is part of our path as keeper of the record. As a tutor, coach, court reporter and CART provider, I believe one creates goals.” I shared tips to deliberately observe your conscious and unconscious thoughts and actions.

Now that you are focused on your journey, your quest, we need a formula to succeed.

Each of us has talents. What attracted you to this profession? Did (do) you have passion for your work? If your passion is tired, overworked or irritable, now is a good time to reevaluate and to set new goals.

Here I share code tips on what to deliberately eliminate.

Eliminate Negative Self-Talk Code Tip: Listen to self-talk – that dialog that runs and sprints chattering in the back of your mind. Is your chatter overwhelmed with deadlines and challenges?

Is your mantra, “I can’t do it; I’ll never be fast enough; How do I memorize every word in the English language?” As you work, practice and study, are you thinking about laundry, errands and fuel prices?

Five minutes is not a long time until you are writing dictation and self-talk chatters, “When is that person going to stop (or shut up)?” Banish this negative chatter from your path. Detach, observe and deliberately listen to yourself. Then fix it (the issue).

Complaints Code Tip: Eliminate (reduce) complaining. Much of our self-talk may be perceived as complaining. Listen to yourself. Court reporters and students I work with share, “I do that! Thanks for pointing that out. Now I’ll focus and eliminate that – self-talk.”

Avoid Trying-To-Get-It Code Tip: Don’t try, do. Years ago I met a wise woman who listened to a comment I shared. She said, “You cannot try; you can only do.” That sounded coded to me.

My memory-moment occurred when she stated, “You cannot try to sit in a chair. You either do or don’t.” She then attempted a half-sit, froze, looked at me saying, “See? You cannot try to sit.”

Part of her work was preparing people to walk on hot coals. (You know who you are. I’m surprised how many court reporters – and teachers – have done this. Some of you walked on coals with your mother. You proudly shared this with me.)

No, I don’t think hot coals are necessary for passing any certification test.

The woman’s comment imprinted a marked difference in what I took from a passing comment. As this (issue) relates to you, don’t try to get that take, don’t try to get every word or try to memorize every definition.

Don’t try to make time to study, to practice. You cannot try. Your deliberate focus is to eliminate trying and to only do.

What Am I Doing? Code Tip: Eliminate “What do I do?” moments when you study and practice. Establish a goal for that day and for that hour. A set structure of tasks will assist you to accomplish more each time you prepare. And expect a few surprises as your deliberate focus expands. Once you expect, you (re)solve.

Why Am I Doing This? Code Tip: Eliminate “Why am I doing this?” (a.k.a. “Why waste my time?”) This question is huge in our profession.

Tenacious personalities enabling individuals to excel through court reporting school (with daily pass rates of 95% or higher) and to excel (a.k.a. survive) daily technical work may, on occasion, seem overwhelming. Sometimes it is. Prep first. Don’t question why. Just do.

Repeated Mistakes Code Tip: Eliminate (reduce) mistakes. Seek to find your patterns, your mistakes. Then meticulously and deliberately go get ‘em. Eliminate one error at a time, then another error. Each error is only one point, right?

Unstructured Hours of Practicing Code Tip: Eliminate long periods of time without breaks, readbacks, or change of material. One cannot practice 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and find refreshing progress.

A court reporting student I’m tutoring said this is what she was told she needed to do to pass school and certification tests. I sighed and then systematically broke that advice into multiple pieces.

Many experienced reporters and captioners believe that long hours of work and practice require breaks to maintain strong muscles and a sharp mind. Many people who have back, arm, and wrist problems wish they knew then what they know now. They do.

Often we choose to live and work with our computers, steno machine and few breaks to fundamentally rest. Much (more) can be accomplished with structured practice, study, and rest.

Distractions: Eliminate e-mails, IMs (instant messaging), and phones when you set aside precious time for yourself. Don’t try. Just do.

Inefficiency Code Tip: Eliminate practicing at speeds over your speed without a review and without a connection to your fingers and your brain as to how a word is defined.

Without a connection, this (you) creates repetitive errors. Focus on each stroke, word, each definition. Work to find the reason(s) why you are being challenged.

What Is Not Working? Code Tip: Eliminate what you know is not working. If you work full-time, attend school, and practice when you are hungry or tired, your progress is affected. When I shared this tip with an experienced official court reporter I am tutoring, she howled with laughter, “Oh, you bet, that’s me!”

Stress, Anxiety Elimination Code Tip: I know, again, this tip is easier said than done. But this is your journey, your quest.

As I’m writing, it’s late. My Maine Coon (18-pound rescued cat) is asleep, crashed with his head down inside my sneaker. The house is dark and quiet; I worked a full day. A (rescued, abused) purring cat is on my knee while soothing music is playing. I have a deadline with my editor. To squeeze more into my day (and night) this is how I meet a goal I created to become more productive. What works for you? Do that.

Use your time wisely, fix mistakes, rest, learn what works for you, and then combine your formula to succeed.

What works for you one day or one week, will need alterations. Change is good when you have a plan, are prepared, rested, and deliberately focused in your current moment.

When you focus your path and are aware of insights with what works for you and what does not, your progression is greater. Success is more noticeable as you deliberately connect to focused intentions, conscious actions and your positive chatter.

Your goal is to perform at your peak and to focus on your success.

With awareness, you achieve greater results with less stress, which result in greater success. Your internal compass, your code, will guide you. It will.

Within my previous post I shared nutrition code tips; body, toes, fingertips code tips; radar code tips; inspiration code tips; common sense code tips; oxygen code tips; nest code tips; toxic decoding code tips; realtime focus code tips; entrance code tips; and people red-alert code tips.

Musicians play all the chords. Athletes work all the muscles for one sport.

You are the master of your path. Deliberately reduce and eliminate distractions. Invest in yourself.

The court reporters, broadcast captioners and CART providers I work with share an important lesson from my tutoring and coaching is: “Clearly define your boundaries.” Check your boundaries, observe your talents, align your goals.

This power-full quest to your code and passing tests can be (more) effort-less. Don’t try, do.

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!

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!

Hear’s Laney: 2007 CART and Captioning Update


Hear’s Laney: 2007 CART and Captioning Update
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.


May 2000, my NCRA
JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, column ran Mark Cuss Said to the Nymphs, “The phone rang Friday, 2:30. ‘Would you realtime a class? We need you Monday. It started two months ago. Oh, it’s Latin.’ Monday morning, the university student arrived, looked at me, my equipment near her seat, and stopped. I wrote, ‘My name is Monette. I’ve been asked to help you. Today will be the worst day. We’ll work as a team. I promise I’ll get better.’ I began Latin; Callisto and nymphs were having a metamorphosis over the birth of Arcas, Juno and constellations …”

June 2000, I detailed Laney’s Latin: Hearing Not Required about Laney’s experiences as an oral deaf college student, learning sign language, receiving CART. Born hearing, Laney became deaf at 13 months. She mainstreamed in fourth grade after nine years of oral education. I knew more sign language, deaf culture than she when we met. Oh, how I enjoyed watching Laney’s world expand; her responses receiving CART. I also introduced Laney to deaf in San Antonio, my friends, companions. They loved her!

March 2002, Laney’s Luminous Life profiled Laney becoming Miss Deaf Texas First Runner-Up. I was in Florida, a sign interpreter in San Antonio phoned, reading text messages from deaf onsite, all realtime updates, as Laney competed in Austin. We ooh-ed and ahhh-ed as a team while she competed. Laney portrayed the wife of Deaf Smith, who lived in San Antonio, assisted Sam Houston in his victory with in Battle of San Jacinto, immediately after Alamo battle.

June 2003, Laney: Always An Adventure featured Laney as she graduated, volunteering with DeafWay, the zoo, observing primates and goals become a veterinarian. Each article is listed www.CRRbooks.com per Laney.

‘Hear’ we are, 2007. One Monday morning, here in Texas, there was an email from Laney. I just knew this email would be entertaining.

“Hi, Monette! I often wonder how you are! I’m married to a wonderful man, Tim Smith. I have so much to tell you; we bought a house. I’m learning about remodeling. I learned how to take laminated floor off and how to add them.

I’m working as a teacher, completing my second year! I’m hoping to become a school counselor, but I must teach three years. I will teach another year, then head to Gallaudet University to get an Educational Counseling degree. That may be my second masters! That’s my plan.

I have a Masters in Deaf Education from Lamar University. My husband has a Masters in Modern Language. I’m actually using sign now since I’m a teacher at a school for the deaf.

I met Tim at Camp Summit. Tim oversaw all male unit leaders/counselors. He wanted to learn sign language; I was happy to be his tutor.

I found you, Monette, when I Googled myself. I was surprised to see my name on an ASL university site talking about Deaf Smith. The author discovered I performed a poem on Deaf Smith for my Ms. Deaf Texas talent. This was pretty ironic because I dressed up to be Mrs. Deaf Smith. Now my last name is Fox-Smith. Who would have thought I would have Smith in my name? Then, I came across your articles. I realized how much I missed talking to you!

Here is my update: We married May 26, 2006; we eloped. Monday we decided to marry that Friday. We called our families about date, time. My family drove Friday afternoon to see us married in a courthouse. We loved the stress-free environment!

Let me rewind and give you an update since Trinity University. I graduated May 2003. (Laney and I wrote an update after her graduation.)

A friend encouraged me to go to Camp Summit. I was hired as “unit leader.” I met Tim there. I fell in love, moving to Dallas with him. I looked for a job, worked as a substitute teacher.

I received a job offer from Texas School for the Deaf, TSD (Austin), to work as a teacher aide. I decided this would be a good experience for me, so we began a long-distance relationship.

I lived in Austin with a friend. There I worked with an amazing teacher in the Special Needs Department! I decided I wanted to become a teacher.

I was accepted by Lamar University. I attended Lamar for about one year and a half taking as many courses as I could. I got lucky, received a rare summer internship! I worked at the National Deaf Academy in Mount Dora, Florida! What an amazing experience working with special children for ten weeks.

Tim visited; he fell in love with that town. I received a possible job offer, but there wasn’t any university nearby. Tim wanted to continue teaching. Instead we went back to Austin; I graduated August 2005.

I went back to TSD to work as a teacher! It was a good year for me. I was with Tim, seeing old faces at TSD. I met teacher aids who told me they wanted to become teachers. I told them they could become certified teachers within a year and half! In fact, I encouraged one deaf teacher aide now attending Lamar. We always need more deaf teachers, so that was really cool! To share my story and experience with another and inspire them to go back to school was really rewarding.

Tim and I moved to be close to his work (college instructor). We bought a house.

Tim proposed Christmas Eve. I kinda knew right before he proposed because he got all formal. He was like “when I first met you …” I knew instantly. I couldn’t wait until he finished. I wanted him to finish what he was saying, so I felt I had to pretend I didn’t know what he was doing! I got all nervous! I was sorta in shock. “Wow, he proposed to me …” Of course, the answer was yes. He proposed while hiking at a park. We love the outdoors.

Now I work at a charter school. I teach 4th/5th math, 7th math, 8th math, 3rd/6th/7th Language Arts (LA), 10th LA, and 9th LA. It is really nice to work with deaf. I have hearing students, as well.

I am getting more and more involved with the deaf community. My main communication now is usually sign. I talk to Tim with my voice; Tim signs back, which is pretty funny!

People watching get confused who is deaf or hearing! Recently, a cashier thought I was hearing, Tim was deaf. She talked to me, so I would interpret to Tim. I turned to my husband asking him what she said. Tim interpreted for me. It was really funny to see her expression!

I also tutor, teaching sign. One student decided to quit work, return to college to become an interpreter! I told her about CART; she hasn’t seen CART in action yet. But I hope that she will be open-minded about interpreters and CART like you are! It is important to have everyone working together as a family!

Monette: Next we’ll share more with another article and add Erastus Smith, aka, Deaf Smith, huge hero in deaf culture – especially in Texas. We’re family, and Laney is off to the library tonight, Monday, after work, to ensure we have all details correct.

Monette may be contacted: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

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
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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.

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