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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would you provide CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)?

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

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

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

To that I say, “Bravo.”

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

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

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

We avoid sitting with the wheels slowly spinning.

Are your wheels slowly spinning? What is your motivation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your goals will become committed statements.

Your statements will become reality.

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

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

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

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

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

Part II of III is posted October 30, 2012, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal

Tutor, Motivational Management & Empowerment Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?
Monette will help you to pass your test and to exceed schooling and career goals. http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=61

Did You Know: www.CRRbooks.com has material to help you advance skills for NCRA exams and state certifications?

Did You Know: You can accelerate your career with private tutoring and empowerment coaching?
Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Empowerment coaching and tutoring topics include:

• Motivational skills to keep you moving forward,
• Time-management skills,
• Process learning for more effective retention,
• Development of skills to author your book, your blog, and how to publish,
• Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment coaching?

• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, to create new possibilities, to advance their career, to author their book, and to develop the dream within,
• Veteran and novice court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast captioners brushing up on their skills for test-taking requirements,
• In-class students who feel they’re “stuck” and falling behind, or aren’t ready for the required tests,
• Students and veterans who struggle with focus, goal-setting, time-management or other life skills that might be interfering in their upward success,
• At-home students who want to ensure they’re on track for their exam and career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART providers, and broadcast captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
• Students and veterans alike who find they’re struggling with key areas of daily practice,
• Students or veterans who have begun to question their career or whether they’re on the “right track” …

Check out: Reach Your Goals with Tutoring and Empowerment Coaching
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

Monette Benoit, the Court Reporting Whisperer, can help you achieve at much high levels.

Where do you want to go? What have you really wanted to do with your career, and ultimately, your life?

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.

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

Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students, and individuals who are fearless and seek to create their success each day.

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.

Test Power Prep The Final Week

Test Power Prep The Final Week
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

If you are taking a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, or state court reporting test this weekend, you are now in the fast lane to reach, to grasp forward onto your goals.

I have received so many emails on how to prep, I blocked time in my schedule today, this final week for many test takers, to gift each of you with information, which has successfully assisted people in 20 years I have worked with adults taking certification tests.

Thousands of students and court reporters have accomplished huge goals – one step at a time, one step, one step, sometimes only in one tiny step — then a wobble. The one step at a time awareness is where you find the greatest progress.

Each of you now has an opportunity to reach and to stretch, and I want to remind each of you to be gentle with yourself and to remain focused this final week. Many of you can see and taste this last lap.

Here’s some tips I have found to help many, many in your shoes this week.

This week make sure you are eating full meals. Eat meals and snack; focus on your blood sugar. Carbohydrates will give you long-term energy. Meals with pasta and rice are great for ensuring your body functions at peak performance. Proteins are geared for short-term energy. Balance the two, and you are in athletic training.

Drink water. You want to make sure you hydrate your body with water, perhaps green tea, Gatorade-type drinks. The soda may taste good, but soda dehydrates the body. Stress will contribute to depleting fluids from your body and warm temperatures also reduce your hydration. Drink water, fluids.

If you are taking a machine portion of the test, make sure your fingernails are at a level where you function at peak performance. Many students and reporters will have a manicure, and I quietly share that now is not the time to test those new acrylic tips. Go with what works best for you. You can reward yourself next week with a ‘new venture’.

As you move closer to the scheduled time, I want to remind you to notice your energy-awareness. You may become more sensitive at work and school, with your family and with yourself. Some call this ‘cranky’ — I prefer ‘sensitive’. This is normal. Once you are aware this is part of your preparation, you can acknowledge the awareness and let this test power prep work for you.

Make sure you are taking time out for you. Have you listened to your favorite CD? Is there a song or movie where you find inspiration? Have you remembered to laugh? When we are focused on a long-term goal, sometimes it is the little moments in our world that are the most effective.

Pack your equipment, and you, the night before the test. Gas the car. Make sure there are no road closures to the test site. I teach and advise you should be packed by mid-afternoon the day before. This will ensure the possibility of reducing the ‘oh, dang, where did I put …?’ moment.

Stretch and breathe. When we are stressed, we sit, shoulders hunched ‘up’ and breathe in shallow breaths. Breathe in, breathe out, slowly and regularly, in and out. Focus on regulating your breath. If you find your voice is higher than it normally is, you probably are shallow breathing.
The more oxygen your brain and body receives, the better you will function.

Ah, yes, sleep. The final two nights, I suggest taking a warm bath, shower, curling up with a loved one (human and/or pet) and being quiet. In your quiet moments, you will find great comfort.

Avoid people who are high maintenance – really. You want to be comforted and focused. If there are multiple pulls for your energy, your attention, you may want to remember you have earned the right to this peaceful, focused last week preparing for your goal.

The morning of your test, be careful on the high-test coffee-type drinks, colas. Caffeine will take you up in an energy burst and — will drop you down when the burst has bust.

I suggest each person should pack little packets of red grapes, non-salted peanuts, pretzels, nuts. There is an amazing abundance of energy to be found in red grapes and carb snacks.

As you enter the test premises, throw your shoulders back, chin up.
If this is a return walk into the premises, focus on ‘now’.
If this is your first virgin stroll, a click of your fingers or a moment in prayer may serve you ‘now’.

As you enter the room, if you find people in groups, avoid the chatting. You should specifically avoid anyone who is asking “What does this mean?” or “How do you write…?” This is your time.

You want to remain focused, flexible and focused on your test power prep awareness.

I wish each of you a blessed week. When you perform at your peak and focus on your success, you truly will remember why it is you chose this occupation.

And please know, we need you, too — really.

Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal

Tutor, Motivational Management & Career Coach,
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

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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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