Real-Time Rules

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.

01 May 2013

You, Ken-Tu, And The Mockingbird, Part III of III

You, Ken-Tu, And The Mockingbird, Part III of III

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I in this series was posted October 9, 2009, link: http://www.monettebenoit.com/2009_10_08_archive.html

Part II was posted October 13, 2009, link: http://www.monettebenoit.com/2009_10_13_archive.html

Later, I heard the garage open; my husband does not immediately enter. When he did, this husband was ‘not’ happy.

He slowly (perhaps to contain anger?) asked, “Did you know the mockingbird was in the garage when I pulled my car in?”

Me: “WHAT!?”

Husband: “Yes, dear, it was in, flying all over the garage.”

Me: “That can’t be. I left the garage door just cracked.”


He: “Then that bird followed Ken-Tu. Ken-Tu was lying on his towel licking himself. The bird was flying into the walls and the ceiling. When I opened the door, it became trapped within the small space between the garage door and ceiling.”

Me: “WHAT!?”


He: “Yes, then – I had to get a broom.”

Me: “WHAT!?” (I could not keep a straight face.)


He: “The bird was frantic. It was throwing itself around, hurting itself.”

Me: “Really???”


He: “So, I had to use the broom, open the door to the side yard, move the mower and yard equipment, and sweep that bird out the side door – not an easy job – as it became more frantic.”

Me: “Maybe that bird will move? Where’s Ken-Tu?”


He: “Asleep in the garage. What the hell were you thinking?”

Ken-Tu moved to the dining room and began pre-emptive screaming. If something looked at him, Ken-Tu screamed.

And the dog? You don’t want to know.

Soon Ken-Tu moved into the bedroom. Woah, daddy! Did spit and hair fly.

But as life rolled itself forward, events calmed down. Ken-Tu now spends his time in the dead armadillo pose under our CD player.

As we prepare for the holidays, I wish you great peace and the ability to laugh at some of your/our silliness. I know ‘you-ken-tu’ grow from life’s lessons.

The day before I submitted this series, Chicos died in my arms. I desire to share with you that I continue to learn multiple lessons from this one question: “Is my life better from this experience?”

My answer today is ‘yes’ regarding Chicos and Ken-Tu.

And the mockingbird? It’s back – singing, perched on our garage roof.

Now I ask you, “What makes your experiences and your life lessons better?”

Part I and Part II were posted www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com


21 Oct 2009

You, Ken-Tu, And The Mockingbird, Part II of III

You, Ken-Tu, And The Mockingbird, Part II of III

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I was posted October 8, 2009, and linked: http://www.monettebenoit.com/2009_10_08_archive.html


That afternoon – just prior to bringing the cat ‘in’ from the outdoors – my husband went to the store. Upon each return, I know he usually rushes in with the groceries. In my worry that my husband would trip over Ken-Tu (who was passionately vaulting head first into the laundry door to get back into the garage) – I opened the laundry room door to avoid a collision with my husband and this cat.

Thus, silliness begins.

Ken-Tu sprinted through the garage to the front yard. My husband stopped, his arms loaded with groceries. I immediately went after Ken-Tu, but I’m not as fast as the mockingbird living in our front yard. (Within the garage, Ken-Tu stood on a car roof looking through the window at that bird.)

Immediately, the mockingbird began diving Ken-Tu’s head with its beak first. I headed for ‘escaped’ cat, avoiding all eye contact with my husband.

The cat darts for cover – in the neighbor’s large hedges. Husband was cussing. It’s Texas hot; he immediately departed for Lowe’s – “to return later.” Husband simply drove off and did not look back.

With my arms outstretched, I call Ken-Tu. The mockingbird never dove for me but flushed the cat out of hedges. The cat scampered, low to the ground – crossing into my yard, and went under our hedges. As I tried to retrieve this cat, Ken-Tu accurately swatted me.

In realtime, I remember that the neighbors might be watching – I’m in my short shorts bent over this cat in my front yard. I can just imagine someone saying, “Yes, and she hit that kitty.” (No one could see the scratches ‘leaking’ small amounts of blood.)

I refrained from hitting the cat, which was swinging overhand with two paws after he rolled in dirt around all hedges.

I refocused on trying to coax cat back into our garage – until my meter goes off – and then I’m done.

I lowered the garage door to the height a cat could return to his food. Done. I returned into house. The kung-fu kitty was on its own.

Soon, I feel guilty; I sit in a chair within garage, reading my JCR, NCRA, Journal of Court Reporting, calling Ken-Tu until ‘that’ becomes silly. I can tell exactly where Ken-Tu was because of the mockingbird shrieks. That bird was working to injure that cat – feathers flew.

Part II and Part III will be posted 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.

13 Oct 2009

You, Ken-Tu, And The Mockingbird, Part I of III

You, Ken-Tu, And The Mockingbird, Part I of III

By Monette Benoit, All rights reserved.


Well, some days are not dull. I swear my life could be a sitcom. This is only one gem when silliness seemed to unfold at record pace.

I view many life lessons as I read forums and e-mails from court reporters and students. Respectfully, I share my life lesson below.

My sister-in-law appeared with nephews and skateboarding teens. She needed help closing her car’s trunk because the key had broken inside the lock. (Schools were closed for the swine flu.

Locally, skateboarding kids gathered in ‘teen pods’ [my term] – pretending to cough on each other, while laughing at adults.) That is the moment a cat appeared from the heavens on her car roof as we worked to help her close the trunk, so she could drive home.

In the driveway, a nephew gasped and pointed, “Hey! Where did that cat come from? It catapulted from the sky!”

The cat was bleeding with multiple fresh wounds on both sides of its neck and back.

Then the cat raced into our garage. It parked and sat with its front paws pointed ‘to’ the spot where my husband said a few hours earlier, had said, quote, “I wish I could do something about that mouse in the garage!”

That night, the cat placed a warm, dead mouse near my feet. How do I know? I picked it up.

I named the cat Ken-Tu. He did not understand any words except “stop that.”

I spoke to him saying, “You-ken-tu” and “He-ken-tu” as I observed the cat, considered adopting this wounded animal. Perhaps someone was missing their pet?

The vet shared Ken-Tu is eight years old and had been “homeless at least one year – possibly more, based upon deformed ears, ear mites and bulbous tumor that exploded, creating a cauliflower ear.” Ken-Tu ‘healed’ in the garage (post a huge vet bill).

Years ago, I volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, SVDP, as a caseworker. I also volunteered to assist in the initial organization of a new animal shelter (rescuing wild and abandoned animals) and a new women’s shelter. I learned many lessons.

Each event was a teacher, to me. I filled my car many times for families, children, rest homes and hospitals. We helped a wide area. I then delivered donations and offerings to individuals and churches.

The weekend I’m documenting, I was assisting my cat Chicos, a special spirit, who was in kidney failure for eight months. I softly teased people that I was the hand-maiden who shared food in syringes and “closed the deal.” (We have rituals; cats love rituals.) I administered IV subcu fluids, as needed; Chicos and I were rounding another one-way corner.

The court reporters and students whom I privately tutor and coach reached out to me. I know Chicos’ life was extended as others shared their experiences and their wisdom.

Soon on a Sunday, we decided to bring Ken-Tu into our humble house, which already had two cats and one 70-pound, two-year old dog (all rescued animals). Ken-Tu was in the laundry room, snarling as needed. At 17 pounds – our ‘starving kitty’ was a force. (Because of abuse – with little provocation – he swung overhand.)

Part II and Part III will be posted 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.

08 Oct 2009

Real-Time Rules And The Good Old Days, Part IV

Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days, Part IV

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

Part IV in IV

Some of us have felt the realtime technical squeeze, holding our breath, as those of you who graduate realtime-ready – geared to go – may step right into a spot we could not envision.

Yet experienced and beginning realtime court reporting professionals are making their mark, producing verbatim records, recording history.

Court reporters, CART providers, broadcast captioners, and end-users with the savvy to stay on top of technical advances have guided (okay, dragged a few of us) many into a new era.

Deaf were the first to use pagers as hand-held tools. This astounded me in 1993 when I began realtiming to a large screen for St. Francis Di Paola’s Catholic deaf mass in San Antonio, Texas (praying to get better “quicker”).

We – early realtime writers – invented conflict-free strokes, phoned friends long distance (remember ‘long distance’?) to ask, “What about this …?”

I was routinely told consumers who are Deaf (not hard-of-hearing) led the paths for much of our communication equipment.

We, wordsmiths, are goal-focused and busy. We may simply look up and wonder what the fuss is about. Yet Deaf individuals were communicating in realtime much earlier than ‘hearing’.

How does this relate to Realtime Rules?

Techs, consumers, end-users and information managers know technology will continue. They remind me their goals are to push forward.

Individuals in global one-room apartments and garages are working on becoming the next huge company.

Court reporters and captioners remember specific events as memories; others read or listen to history. We now have a seat together – listening and preparing for future moments.

If you’re feeling Realtime Rules pressure, perhaps it’s time to look up and see how far this profession has come in the past few decades. Boy, howdy, have we evolved. I ended my June column, the third article in this “Realtime Rules” series, with “Lemonade, anyone?”

Court reporters continue to master the skill of thriving where excellence is requested and needed. We are powerful.

Realtime Rules means taking advantage of our technology and preserving huge opportunities. The bottom line is that we are essential in today’s economy.

Perhaps it is up to us to calculate the top-of-the-line, realtime-rules readiness, and deliverance in a national shortage.

I want you to remember that you are important. Realtime is now the good old days. Professionals will continue to motor forward. Others will take bite-sized pieces. The choice is yours.

So how will you reach out, then up? Focus your court reporting compass; concentrate and harness your strengths. You are the master of your path and our future.

Part I, II and III in “Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days” may be found on www.Monettebenoit.com

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

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

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist. She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

27 Jul 2009

Real-Time Rules And The Good Old Days, Part III

Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days, Part III

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

Part III in IV

Realtime rules: we now have organizations, companies, sign interpreters, and deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers who routinely consider us as part of a team, requesting to work with us.

Reporters who currently take equipment to a job, set up without real-time and produce records, post event, often are requested less (and paid less). Why should someone wait ten days to receive any record when professionals hand a rough ASCII, deliver a realtime transcript or captioning file at the end of the job, on air, or after any class instruction?

In 1999 I realtimed Latin classes for a university student. There were moments when I paused, as each class ended, prior to handing an instant verbatim copy of the class to the consumer. This was university Latin. Yet this was my job. Some days I handed the ASCII overhand with a smile. Other days I simply handed the ASCII without comment (or smile) as we advanced into Latin studies. We were a great team. Clear communication was the focus and thus, we did.

“Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days” is continued on www.Monettebenoit.com

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

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

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist. She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

20 Jul 2009

Real-Time Rules And The Good Old Days, Part II

Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days, Part II

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

Part II in IV

The good old days some people chat about is when court reporters were paid more. Really? Maybe. Maybe.

There were (limited) ‘x’ number of courts, ‘x’ number of positions for reporters in jurisdictions, courthouses, venues and firms (run by court reporters). When numbers were met (typically by males in really old days) we often were wait-listed.

Remote work was not a conceivable idea. Traveling (on the road by car) was typical for beginners. Many court reporters worked to avoid traveling. (I did travel – never a dull moment – without cell phones, a challenge for single women.)

The good old days stenotype of work typically was court, freelance depositions, FBI, CIA, United Nations, government or state agencies. The plethora of categories we now see were not possibilities. Captioning, CART, TTY, remote financial calls? What’s that?

No tape backup was another standard. Many states outlawed tape recorders. I was warned, “If you have it on you, you will be arrested. Why would you need it?”

When I relocated to Miami and was instructed to purchase a tape recorder for my first assignment, a federal magistrate and international maritime appeal with multiple lawyers and multiple expert witnesses (oh joy), I thought they were joking. I had never been permitted to use a tape recorder in any other venue (many). Prior to court, I was accompanied to a store to ‘buy’ a $79.99 General Electric recorder – a huge dent in my food budget.

Remarkable moments also include numbering steno pads for the steno machine. (We documented flap numbers when witnesses began and finished.) We had to handwrite ‘flap’ number on the top of each page of each steno pad (300 turns to a pad), so we readback “faster without taking up time” to do our job. This was required. Mornings were spent flipping pages, pen in hand, before work began.

Research? Not by Internet. We used large books and telephone. We became very good friends with telephone operators, research university librarians, and pharmacists in teaching hospitals.

We learned to juggle the telephone with long cord in one hand (no headsets back then), book on one knee, slim steno pad on other knee, to accurately produce a verbatim record. Case files, documents and exhibits (which varied) were additional items for the desk or chair on which we sat.

We now access information by pushing buttons, work with IMs, instant messaging (another wonder tool) sharing information and real-time with consumers and peers. We display text to large screens, small screens or to straw huts across the globe.

“Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days” is continued on www.Monettebenoit.com

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

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

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist. She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

08 Jul 2009

Real-Time Rules And The Good Old Days, Part I

Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days, Part I

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

Part I in IV

My series on “Realtime Rules” touched a nerve. Professionals and students have written how this column’s thread “spoke to me” and “motivated me.” When someone has been spoken to and motivated, that is a good moment for me. Each time I am humbled as a court reporter, CART provider, instructor and coach.

The students and court reporters I work with know well my quote, “Huge steps are taken one at a time.”

Now I want to explore Realtime Rules and reach out, then up. Many reporters speak about the ‘good old days’ during coaching. Students comment upon this during tutoring.

Here’s the way I see it – my opinion – when reminiscing about reporting good old days: That was then, this is now.

Though students believe our schooling was shorter (not entirely accurate), easier (not entirely accurate), and cheaper (okay, maybe that’s true), the fact is the education of court reporting students often was shorter. Many states, including Texas, had a graduation long ago of 175 words per minute. Oh, I can just hear “What!!?” from here as many states, including Texas, now graduate and test graduates at 225 words per minute.

Students enrolling in school were different, too, and were often dedicated to full-time attendance (not working part-time and fulfilling family responsibilities). In short, many attended school, then returned to a dorm or home. That was our job.

Equipment was manual, not computerized; pricing was different (lower). My first machine, which was new: $150.00.

Looking back to the good old days before computers, when the prices of mainframes were above $30,000 and firm owners rented time to reporters to produce the official record, we see typewriters.

We remember carbons and painstakingly – page by page – correcting errors and then praying we did not make another error on that page. Pages were occasionally tossed into the air. Then we retyped that entire page with carbons, building the transcript page by page. We’re talking title, appearance, exhibit, certification and all Q&A pages. Then we bound the transcript. I was instructed to use a hammer to secure the staples, so people did not get staple-cuts. It worked, and hammering the transcripts was a favorite part of the final job as we worked on a hard wood table and swung that hammer overhand as instructed.

“Realtime Rules And The Good Old Days” is continued on www.Monettebenoit.com

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

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

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist. She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: http://www.artcs.com/

03 Jul 2009