SHHH

Titanium Technology and Glaucoma Effects, Part III of III

Titanium Technology and Glaucoma Effects, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
August 11, 2013

Part I and II began: The nurse, RN, was speaking to me about my mother’s recent ICU, intensive care unit, discharge when overhead speakers broadcast a doctor’s page. He cupped one hand over the back of each ear. I watched, sans comment.

I am witnessing many medical professionals with hearing loss…

He said softly, “Don’t tell anyone. I have hearing loss.”

I nodded, “I see that you have coping skills to assist you.”

“You noticed?” he replied. Me, “Yes, sir. Due to my work.”

Mom tells everyone, every shift, “My daughter is a court reporter, a teacher, and she’s an author …”

I was prepared to not pursue this topic. However, I find 99 percent of people who have hearing loss do want to detail their world with me. I listen, humbled, learning from each.

He said, “Most people don’t notice. My wife’s worse! She’s the one I worry about. I’ll tell you tomorrow, okay?” I nodded.

We returned to our task – “required gowning with gloves and mask in the hall before entering.”

He asked how I was familiar with hearing loss. I shared “court reporter, CART provider, captioner, consultant.”

This nurse said, “My wife and children have serious issues. I just have hearing loss. But I know what I want before I lose my hearing.”

“My wife has glaucoma. When she was a teen she took glaucoma medicine to decrease her eye pressure. The medicine also decreases inner ear pressure and damages nerves. Her hearing loss now is from medicine long ago. What’s worse than that?”

“Each generation then has hearing loss from the parent’s medicine.”

My eyes were as big as saucers as I listened to this man talk about the glaucoma medicine and generational effects.

He summed it up, “Tomorrow I’ll tell you what I want. I probably won’t get it. Yet I have to have hopes. Right?”

The next day, this nurse sprang from his chair as I entered to visit Mom isolated with MRSA, pseudomonosis, and additional ICU sterile lung bacteria.

“I’ve been waiting for you. I told my wife about you and court reporters. We know all about your work. We thank you and your profession for helping us. Once I tell you what I really want, could you tell me how to help my 12-year old?” I nodded.

I whipped out my iPad, asked permission to write notes.

He said, “Sure! Let’s go look at the latest and greatest. It’s not well known, but it could be once the price comes down. And with glaucoma patients and their children’s children – and their children – they’re all going to need your help.”

Part III of III

Since English is each son’s first language I shared about the Alexander Graham Bell Association. I shared AGB techniques. Children work with balloons voicing sounds. Balloons bounce and have specific reactions to vocal sounds and exhalations of breath. Older children (and adults) often work with lit candles. If the flame is extinguished, the exhalation was not appropriate for that sound.

“Fascinating!,” he said.

Now he took notes saying, “My wife insisted I ask you. Insisted!”

I detailed the Hearing Loss Association, HLA, and other groups. I shared that each association has chapters; chapters are wonderful resources for children and adults.

We shared information each time I visited Mom. The nurse expressed his gratitude for being able to share his dreams, his hopes with me, and said each time, “I have to help my wife and children before I help myself. It’s the right thing to do. I know my time is limited here on the floor.”

Looking left and right, he said, “I have problems with phones when there are overhead announcements. External noises are hard to work around. Yet I know if I get that titanium device before I have another hearing drop, I’ll be able to hear. I do not have the absolute fear of going blind and also losing my hearing. That is the fear, you know.”

I softly replied, “Yes, I know the deep fear for many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals is to lose vision.”

This nurse truly enjoyed helping me learn about glaucoma patients who will then pass their decreased hearing down to their children – and then to their children.

He exacted a promise that I share. (Mom also told him I would write an article …)

He shook my hand, “Great! Now if I can get that electronic stethoscope – that’s what I call it – I can help others. I’ll do my darndest to help my family, myself, and to help others. Good deal, right?”

“And you promise to write about this? (I nodded.) Maybe I’ll get my titanium surgery when others know how important this is. And my wife and children need help, too. You promise?”

“Yes, dear,” I softly replied.

Then he quoted, verbatim, a lengthy Monty Python skit (with accents). The nurse bowed, “We’ve walked barbed wire fences together you and me.”

He sprinted down the hall.

Again, I was tired, cold, and hungry. I was charmed by this man’s energy, his hopes, and his goals. Mom’s overhead light went off (in isolation – not many rush to her room). And I headed back in to help Mom.

Suddenly, the gentleman called my name.

He put his hand over his heart and paused.

Watching him, slowly, I placed my hand over my heart.

Slowly, we nodded once in unison together, and exacted a moment together, bonding my promise to him.

And now I fulfill my promise sharing with each of you – together. We are together.

Part I is posted July 11, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Part II is posted July 28, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com
Part III is posted August 11, 2013, www.monettebenoit.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 (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 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.

11 Aug 2013

Titanium Technology and Glaucoma Effects, Part I of III

Titanium Technology and Glaucoma Effects
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
July 11, 2013

Part I of III

The nurse, RN, was speaking to me about my mother’s recent ICU discharge when overhead speakers broadcast a doctor’s page. He cupped one hand over the back of each ear. I watched, sans comment.

I am witnessing many medical professionals with hearing loss.

Yet these moments are far more frequent than years ago – especially during the past two years deep in the medical trenches as I viewed my father’s care prior to his death.

Perhaps it is my antenna as I view Mom’s challenges to “avoid death’s door” (a termed given to Mom) wherein I see many people now working with hearing loss.

He said softly, “Don’t tell anyone. I have hearing loss.”

I nodded, “I see that you have coping skills to assist you.”

“You noticed?” he replied.

Me, “Yes, sir. Due to my work.”

Mom tells everyone, every shift, “My daughter is a court reporter, a teacher, and she’s an author …”

I simply bow my head. On many occasions I have been so happy Mom is alive that I avoid the “daughter sigh.”

I was prepared to not pursue this topic. However, I find 99 percent of people who have hearing loss do want to detail their world with me. I listen, humbled, learning from each.

He said, “Most people don’t notice. My wife’s worse! She’s the one I worry about. I’ll tell you tomorrow, okay?” I nodded.

We returned to our task – “required gowning with gloves and mask in the hall before entering.”

The next day the nurse met me. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

He asked how I was familiar with hearing loss. I shared “court reporter, CART provider, captioner, consultant.”

This nurse said, “My wife and children have serious issues. I just have hearing loss. But I know what I want before I lose my hearing.”

“My wife has glaucoma. When she was a teen she took glaucoma medicine to decrease her eye pressure. The medicine also decreases inner ear pressure and damages nerves. Her hearing loss now is from medicine long ago. What’s worse than that?”

“Each generation then has hearing loss from the parent’s medicine.”

“Our children have decreased hearing and so will their children. One son is 12. He has huge decreased hearing. I worry about our children.”

He paused before continuing.

“Since their hearing loss is more severe, their treatments come first. I’ve studied genetics about this. The fear of losing eyesight and hearing is devastating to my wife and to our children. That’s why we’re not going to have any more children. And my work …” his voice trailed off.

He beamed, “But I know exactly what I want. It’s state-of-the-art.”

Part I is posted July 11, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com
Part II is posted July 28, 2013, www.monettebenoit.com
Part III is posted August 11, 2013, www.monettebenoit.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 (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 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.

11 Jul 2013

Ouch. That Hurt My Ears! Part III of III

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

Part I began: 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. …

… 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!” …

Part II began:

Faith, “Mom resisted for so long… Mom didn’t think it would work. This is the funny part. Just as the lady turned on the sound machine to test her hearing the air conditioning unit went off. That pressure hurt Mom’s ears. She said, ‘Ouch! That hurts!’ Then Mom was angry at the noise. My step-dad and I laughed. Then Mom was angry with us for laughing. So we laughed harder until she ‘finally’ understood that she was angry at our laughing and ‘that’ was sound. Her first sound in 30 years. Then she laughed.”

I smiled. Faith continued, “Now my son has a hearing loss, too. He has the gene, I guess. He just finished a tour in Afghanistan. He missed the hearing test! And he wanted to serve so bad! So he wrote his quartermaster a letter telling him how much it would mean to serve. And his letter worked! They took him! He served, though failing the hearing test was not shared with others … He’s just come home. That’s why I agreed to get the implant. I may have grandchildren soon. I want to hear everything! Everything!”

Part III:

I asked, “Your mother has nine siblings with hearing loss? You and your son have a hearing loss?”

She laughed, “Yes! And it’s been perfectly normal for us. Mom didn’t want to hear all of us when we were kids – she used to tease us. It’s all been perfectly normal. Now she can hear perfect! Soon I will, too. And I have tinnitus and that hurts, too. Ouch, the doors just opened again.”

The woman behind me wore dark eyeglasses, a large hat.

She shoved a bag onto the counter, and chin down said, “This doesn’t work. Here!”

Watching the rude woman I paused before taking two steps away from the counter. Faith was beaming with a huge smile. She winked at me, took the bag and asked the woman, “How may I help you?” The frowning woman never looked Faith in the eye. She snarked and barked at Faith.

Yet Faith smiled at me for the longest time. When the doors next opened, Faith winced. She did not cover her ears.

Dramatically, she pointed to one ear, slowly mouthing “cochlear implant.” Then she laughed.

I held my bag of sympathy cards for my mother’s twin brother’s family, headed to the door and tried to exit opening one door just a little (to avoid pressure on Faith’s ears).

The wind gusts grabbed the door from my hand and flew wide open.

Frozen, I looked back at Faith. Her beaming smile remained and Faith said, loudly, “Thank you. Thank you for telling me about the successes! Two weeks! Can’t wait!”

Oh, this lady touched my heart.

Her hope and enthusiasm will serve her well as she welcomes ‘sound’ back into her world.

Had it not been for the need for sympathy cards for my mom (which Mom cannot select due to her hospitalization), traveling a new road on an abnormally windy day – I would have missed this opportunity to meet Faith. And I am grateful she shared.

Faith and her son – each choosing to receive cochlear implants – will have opportunities and choices that many people with hearing loss previously were not afforded.

And the Deaf community’s reaction?

Oh, that’s a whole nuther kettle of fish.

Cochlear implants are not for everyone; this I know from CARTing and captioning many seminars where individuals shared from podiums (and privately to me).

Yet, for Faith, per Faith, this is going to change everything for Faith.

And isn’t that grand? She has choices.
“And three generations with implants,” Faith repeatedly emphasized.

As I stood, bag in hand with the sympathy cards, Faith shared that when her first mother heard the air conditioning noise voicing her first ‘sound’ sentence, “Ouch, that hurts” – her mother’s second sentence was “Isn’t Jesus great?”

Faith shared “Isn’t Jesus great?” is now their family motto when it comes to loss of hearing and to increasing their hearing.

One of my personally challenging days turned into a sweet, memorable day gifted by an enthusiastic woman “waiting to hear again.” And “isn’t that great?” I now ask you?

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.

27 Jun 2013

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.

27 Apr 2013

“I Love You,” He Squealed, Part III of III

“I Love You,” He Squealed, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I: He squealed, “I love you!” at the top of his lungs, multiple times, before he was physically removed, gently and lovingly.

How did that happen? The morning began quietly. …

For three months I had been looking for a robe for my hospitalized father and thought perhaps this national store might have one.

Men’s robes are hard to find – outside of Christmas, I am learning. Within the store that did not have men’s robe I saw huge signs. I selected three items, and with two coupons, I went to the intimates counter. (Lines are always shorter.) …

The youngster said, loudly, “Papa chair!” The couple near the child gasped. …

Part II: Then he blew a loud, large raspberry on my arm. That’s when the couple accompanying the child stepped in. They were mortified. Me? Not at all.

The man said, “I’m so sorry! We’re taking him out to be around people. His parents are getting a divorce – six long months! – both are deaf.

“They can’t find interpreters to help them in court. The case continues to be delayed. We’re helping our daughter. She’s deaf.”

Part III: Many professionals now wonder if the lack of words by the young child is due to marital conflicts (“awful things” they said) and “that divorce that is dragging on and on and on.”

“We are taking him with us now to help him to learn to speak.”

I listened, softly sharing what I felt was appropriate.

The grandmother commented that she was impressed I knew sign. She said, “I never learned.”

I did not blink; I did not judge.

She continued, “I never learned because sign interpreters in my daughter’s schools were always changing. Each did a different sign language. There are many.”

I replied, “Yes, 22, as I understand.”

She continued, “Each day my daughter’s signs changed, and I couldn’t keep up … working and raising my children.”

She looked away. She looked so sad.

The grandfather had stepped away, down the aisle. I signed to the youngster; he didn’t sign back.

His grandmother, “I’m so sorry for what he’s done to you. We are going to correct that.”

Again, I repeated that I was fine.

I touched her arm and looked to the young boy.

Then I signed the ASL “I love you” sign.

The child gasped, opened his mouth wide and squealed, “I LOVE YOU!! I love you! I love you!!”

His grandfather scooped him up in his arms while the child loudly repeated his words. He waved the sign overhead with his right hand.

Then I signed the private, family ASL “I love you” sign.

He promptly wiggled out of his grandfather’s arms, solemnly stood on the floor facing me, feet apart, and with sincere emotion, signed a sentence to me and ended the sentence with the formal “I love you” and a salute.

His grandmother now had a pen.

Would I write down the name of the sign interpreting company and details that would help her? “Yes, ma’am.”

I asked if they were members of CODA, Children of Deaf Adults with a national association, state and local chapters?

No, they had never heard of that group.

I maintained my court reporter posture, no facial emotion.

I wrote the name of groups, words, information, and phone numbers that I knew would benefit this family.

When I finished, the grandmother hugged me.

The child was still holding the formal “I love you” sign.
The grandfather was mouthing “thank you” over and over.

Again, he scooped up his grandson and began to walk away.

I could hear the child with his loud, louder and then still louder, “I love you!” as they left the department and entire area of the store.

When I slowly looked back to the register, customers and staff were frozen in posture.

The cashier said, “I knew a deaf person once.”

I did not roll my eyes or exhale.

I listened to the young voice shrieking “I love you!” which could be heard throughout the entire store as he was carried to the front doors.

And I wondered, “What do others think is happening right now?”

My path may never cross this young child or grandparents again.

When I least expect it my path is changed.

The messenger that day was a 4-year old who squealed with delight and grandparents who hugged me for helping their family.

Returning to my office, I placed calls to referrals, adding details, if the grandparents phoned. Each promised to do all they could to help.

I never learned the youngster’s name, yet I will always remember his bright spirit and his signed words.

I wish only the best for the young child who kissed my arm twice, then blew a raspberry. That day, in Intimates, he truly touched my heart, and I left without the robe for my father.

Telling Dad about the event later as a patient in Warm Springs Hospital, Dad smiled a sweet smile and giggled.

Robeless, Dad was ‘working’ to walk again.

He continued to repeat, his mantra, “I still have things I want to do. Busy. Busy. Busy. That’s me!”

And I walked, ever so slowly with Dad, nurses on his left and right, as he pushed himself with each step, holding machines, wires, IVs.

He did not want anyone’s help. “No! “I can do this by myself!” Each time, the nurses would raise their eyebrows and look to me. Each time, I would smile and say, “That’s ‘my’ dad …”

After a walk, we both rested.

Dad smiled a sweet smile as I described details that I am unable to share here.

That day, Dad, the teacher, social worker, guidance counselor, husband and father, agreed with me that the messenger was a 4-year old child learning to speak who clearly has buckets of love he wants to share. Buckets of pure love and grandparents who wish a better world for their family. Amen. May it be so for all of us.

Monette Benoit may be reached for tutoring and coaching: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

Part I of III is posted October 5, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted October 17, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted October 28, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Motivation Management & Life Coach,
Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting & 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
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR or a state court reporting exam?

Monette wants to help you and others to pass your test and to exceed 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 coaching?

Court reporting veteran Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Coaching and tutoring topics include:

• Motivation skills to keep you moving forward,
• Time-management skills,
• Process learning for more effective retention,
• Communication skills and daily interaction improvement skills, and much more.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and coaching?

• Veteran court reporters, CART providers and broadcast captioners brushing up on their skills for test-taking requirements,
• In-class students who feel they’re falling behind or aren’t ready for the required tests,
• Students or 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 and broadcast captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
• Students and veterans alike who find they’re struggling with one or two key areas of daily practice,
• Students or veterans who have begun to question their career or whether they’re on the “right track” …

Check It Out: Reach Your Goals! Tutoring and Coaching
http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=29

Monette Benoit 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, 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, 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, remote, students.

Her one-on-one tutoring 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.

28 Oct 2011

“I Love You,” He Squealed, Part I of III

“I Love You,” He Squealed, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

He squealed, “I love you!” at the top of his lungs, multiple times, before he was physically removed, gently and lovingly.

How did that happen?

The morning began quietly.

While running errands I had a store coupon for 20 percent off everything in a store. At the door, I was handed another 10 percent coupon.

For three months I had been looking for a robe for my hospitalized father and thought perhaps this national store might have one.

Men’s robes are hard to find – outside of Christmas, I am learning.

Within the store that did not have men’s robe I saw huge signs. I selected three items, and with two coupons, I went to the intimates counter. (Lines are always shorter.)

A couple was at the register; a youngster played with a small, yellow truck on the carpet.

A high-back wood chair sits near the counter.

I sat in the chair for a moment with the hangers in my left hand.

The youngster said, loudly, “Papa chair!” The couple near the child gasped.

I nodded gently and said, “I’m good.” I looked to the child and in ASL, American Sign Language, I signed, “Now Baby Bear chair.”

Raised the daughter of two educators, (mother with a degree in special elementary education, brother born “special needs”), I am comfortable and often entertained by such moments.

The boy repeated “NO!!! Papa chair!”

Me, voicing softly and signing, “Was Papa chair. Now Baby Bear chair.”

He gasped, picked up his truck (put it in his mouth). Then he walked to me.

He took the truck out of his mouth and kissed my left arm – a big, messy kiss.

I paused before wiping my very wet arm. I removed the items to my right hand. The items I was holding (on sale 20 percent without the two coupons) now were suspended in the air.

Then he blew a loud, large raspberry on my arm.

That’s when the couple accompanying the child stepped in.

They were mortified. Me? Not at all.

The man said, “I’m so sorry! We’re taking him out to be around people. His parents are getting a divorce – six long months! – both are deaf. They can’t find interpreters to help them in court. The case continues to be delayed. We’re helping our daughter. She’s deaf.”

Part I of III is posted October 5, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted October 17, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted October 28, 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.

05 Oct 2011

My Village Chief is HOH, Part III of III

My Village Chief is HOH, Part III 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. …

Part II: 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.

He nodded. Slowly, I asked, “Can any GP, general practicioner, any doctor, do what you just did?”

The doctor looked puzzled.

I asked, “Can any doctor go into an organ, one bleeding for months from cancer radiation not knowing what the doctor will find, eliminate multiple blood clots, clean the organ, and assist the patient – all in realtime – as you just did?”

He shot back in his chair, “No!”

I leaned into my village chief, “That’s my answer to you.” …

Part III: A nurse ran into the room with a phone. She said slowly, loudly, “HERE! When it rings, you answer, okay? The cardiologist will phone, okay!?”

My village chief paused before he looked away. I saw it.

Everyone could hear that nurse.

When the phone rang in my village chief’s hand, the nurse loudly said, “It’s ringing!!” He looked to the floor and said nothing before he placed that phone to his ear.

Soon, he departed without looking back, “We have to do this before this patient leaves Recovery. We only have minutes.” I thanked his back as he exited. Yes, he heard me.

A cardiologist appeared.

Soon, I answered my parent’s questions, and chose not to volunteer details while anesthesia and specialists were flowing in and nearby – all in realtime.

Then I drove to the one parent, recuperating after 57 days in hospitals now able to sit up.

I left out “Really bad. Could die …”

I focused on, “The doctors are wonderful.”

I checked meds, fed my parent, took out the trash, drove home.

That night a package arrived. (I receive a JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, for my library due to this column.) I was surprised to see the March 2010 JCR, not a current edition.

The cover detailed court reporters reporting veterans’ stories. My column that month was “A Number Of Firsts” profiling Karen Sadler, Ph.D., self-described “severely hard of hearing,” and Karen’s path to doctoral studies.

The next day I took the NCRA JCR, within envelope (to avoid others seeing my magazine), and waited for my village chief.

In IM-ICU I said, “I think this is a sign that I’m supposed to give this to you. I circled HOH and veterans articles you might enjoy.”

The proud WW II vet said, “I have multiple surgeries, and I’m helping doctors tonight. I’ll read this before I go to bed. Promise!”

He patted my arm; my JCR was tucked under his left elbow. Then, he ran down the hall to his next surgery.

We see each other often now with two parents hospitalized for seven-plus months.

Recently, a parent was re-admitted through ER, then moved to the surgical floor.

Married 57 years, my parents were 500 feet apart before an ambulance transported one parent to another hospital without letting them see each other.

When I see my chief, I call to his back (he hears), “Hey, Village Chief!”

He always turns around, “Hi! I have a patient …”

I smile, “I know. You have a patient waiting in surgery.” “Yes,” then sprints off.

When he has a moment, I share a hug.

Privately, I share events that baffle me.

“There’s too much blood – on the floor, the patient, in a cup on a shelf, in the cath; the patient does not know where the door is. Still the hospital is working to discharge this ICU patient today.”

He listens, sharing private opinions. Private opinions.

The hospital did discharge the patient hours later. I insisted that my concerned “are charted” for this patient.

The patient, my parent, was readmitted approximately 7 hours later with a 103 degree fever.

The ER staff was adamant that the hospital never should have discharged this patient, and the patient would have died that night if the patient had not returned to the ER.

I immediately requested my village chief.

He stepped back in, again this man saved my parent’s life – again – and I am listening to this wise doctor who has a passion for his work – again.

My village chief is hard of hearing, and I would have it no other way. He has saved my parent’s life so many times I have lost count.

This is perfect in my world right now.

And now I thank each of you, court reporters, broadcast captioners and CART providers for all that you do to help others – to include my village chief. Thank you, mon amis.

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.

23 Sep 2011

Yes, Real-Time Rules, Part II

Yes, Real-Time Rules, Part II

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

Continued from last week: When I was a speaker at a state court reporting association, I addressed this issue. I asked, “Are we embracing the ability to color our hair at home without expenses and blocked time at a beauty parlor?” (The audience roared, “Parlor? You haven’t been to one in a long time, have you? They’re salons now!”) I smiled and asked, “Are we embracing new cameras that capture instant pictures, avoiding a photo shop for printing?”

I watched as people thought about this possibility. I paused and asked softly, “Are others expecting us to change? Are they embracing and expecting more from us? If we have expectations from others, perhaps others seek new possibilities from us?”

Conversations that ensued that weekend revealed, to me, that many did have a ‘shift’ moment – wherein they tilted their thoughts toward the scary (their word), the unknown. Court reporters and students continue to write me about that moment when I respectfully stepped out onto the branch.

This is what we do each day. We step out and reach up. Realtime rules. When youngsters, another new breed, text message with one finger without looking at their gadget (my word) in a pocket, with one finger, ‘we’ are in a different place. Realtime rules.

Court reporters and students who prepare for this reality will exceed those who are “working on it” or “waiting for [fill in blank].”

I strongly believe this: Realtime rules when we have no resistance to this reality.

Our current national, state and international economic events have professionals in many occupations who are questioning what they can do to secure their work, their specialty, and job.

Specifically, I am listening to professionals share that they are scared. I develop custom plans to (re)move fear and progress for(ward to) a new goal.

Realtime rules for court reporters. Yes, I believe (my opinion) alternative technologies will continue to move near our occupation. Have we (not) expanded out to share our skills? We have, and this is a fact.

I often comment, “Anywhere sounds are spoken or muttered, we preserve and record language for history. This is where we excel. Always have. Always will.”

Realtime rules in any situation where we maintain our high accuracy, high skill set, and instant translation rates.

One young professional howled with laughter when I shared my “Realtime Rules” and responded, “Rules? Realtime Rocks! Thank you for sharing. Now I can put that on my dashboard and computer monitor! And I will!”

Next I will share details to personally prepare you for another essential toward this commitment.

Each person I work with shares their wisdom.

The student becomes the teacher; the teacher always learns from the student. This mantra is a firm belief, (my opinion) that I hear every day in my world.

What are your dreams, your goals?

What are (we have multiple from which to choose) your career options? What is your motivation? What is your passion?

Yes, realtime rules for me and for you.

Monette may be contacted: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

About the Author:

15 Apr 2009

Yes, Real-Time Rules, Part I

Yes, Real-Time Rules, Part I

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

Each day, as a court reporter, CART provider, instructor, consultant, tutor and coach, I serve people within this great court reporting profession. A typical morning begins as I return phone calls and balance times zones from east to west. Official reporters, students, broadcast captioners, as well as those who want to be a CART provider, request coaching and tutoring. Each one is very specific about what each is seeking.

I have permission from each professional and student to share what I consistently hear when new conversations begin.

“When will I know I’m ready to [fill in blank]?”

“What should I focus on first?”

“I want to realtime someday, but I know I’m not ready now.”

“What if my job is eliminated; they go to voice, tape or electronic recording?”

“How do I keep my job where I’ve worked days, nights, and weekends?”

“How do I pass a speed test when no one in my class is passing tests?”

People get right down to it these days. In my opinion, verbal-steno is a positive trait. When I reply, I will share either, “This is my opinion” or “This is a fact.”

Had I ever listened to “words” individuals shared when I enrolled in a NCRA-approved court reporting program or if I had listened to what others said when I entered the profession or if I had taken to heart what peers have shared, I would be on a (very) different path.

One professional sent an (unsolicited) opinion, which had a powerful impact on my world until I isolated and identified the motivation. I framed that letter when I shifted my awareness to always remember my lesson. Words are powerful, whether they are spoken or written.

My opinion is that passion is essential when sticking to our dreams or our goals. Yes, easier said than done, I know, will be read by a few. Yet I know when passion for a goal is huge, one can deliberately shift fears; this is my opinion.

Thus far, every person has laughed and agreed when I say, “Realtime Rules.” Realtime, with instant accurate translations rates, is what distinguishes us from other professions.

All agree, “Not realtiming? Good luck with that.”

In days of old, court reporters worked in courtrooms, parliament or other officially recorded proceedings, or freelance settings. The career options were pretty simple (my opinion) and respected by those requesting our skills.

Now with changing technology we may arrive, – onsite or remote – at a particular event or job, which had a result different from what was requested. Some of us have experience and hear the words, “Just send us your rates. …”

Yet when individuals need, instant and accurate translation, they contact court reporters. And our profession is experiencing a shortage of professionals with these talents; this is a fact.

Pioneers and leaders paved roadways for people, companies and institutions to expect great results from our work. We are providing and proudly sharing that realtime with a trained reporter will not be summarized or include edited transcripts. When there are realtime requests, court reporters quickly step up to the plate and provide verbatim products.

We know that the college students of yesteryear have changed. Law students, who are now highly competent in text messaging and instant messaging, IMs, excel in sending very fast, brief messages using two thumbs. New lawyers – a new breed (my opinion) – expect instant translation since they are skilled using ‘fast’ technology.

See Part II next week.

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!

09 Apr 2009

Accepting Lessons, Teaching Lessons, Seeking Challenges To Be The Best I Can Be


“Accepting Lessons, Teaching Lessons, And Seeking Challenges To Be The Best I Can Be”

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

Court reporting has professionals who truly rise to challenges. In 1995, after CARTing the national SHHH, Self-Help For Hard of Hearing, (now HLAA, Hearing Loss Association of America) convention with Deanna Baker and CART providers, my path changed. A doctor insisted on a procedure, which I postponed until after SHHH. (Then the doctor said she would close her office to take me by the hand if I did not go. Thus, I prepped.) I was adamant about details since I was scheduled to caption and CART an international convention with 28,000 teenagers for multiple days. Wakening in recovery, my world shook.

Head down, I phoned the person who scheduled my work. Humbly, I was clear that I needed help. He listened, replying, “Let me spin some plates in the air.”

Seeking assistance, I contacted professionals locally, then around the U.S. When Carol’s name was shared I phoned her home. Confidentially, I shared my situation.

We agreed that since I was a religious realtime court reporter I would caption/CART biblical classes and sermons. Carol would caption/CART performances and skits.

Carol arrived first-class. (All coach seats were booked.) When I could not find her in the airport, I had her paged. With gratitude I introduced myself to the smiling woman with her steno machine and tripod inside a beach bag. Immediately we focused to become a team serving others to accomplish this first-time event.

I desire to share Carol’s world. Carol Hill Williams, RPR, RMR, CRR, CMRS, CRI, CPE, is an inspiration, a true professional. Oh, we have the funniest memories. When I sought needed help, Carol accepted a new challenge.

Together we were unstoppable and delivered needed ‘words’ for deaf, HOH (hard of hearing), and legally blind who watched our open captions.

Carol: I love court reporting. In 1978 my mother told me about her jury service, and the person with the little machine. School was my first challenge. I learned to practice, finishing in two years.

How we made money then I will never know. We had no computers. We had an electric typewriter, electric note-puller, Dictaphone, carbons. After lining up papers, if you made errors, you yanked all papers out, started all over. If you weren’t typing your transcripts, you dictated or hired a scopist. My first computer was $20,000 – edit station only. We worked until 5 or 6 a.m., slept little.

I have a strong faith. God teaches me lessons for areas I am weak, surrounding me with people to help me. Initially, I worked for a wonderful woman, Jeanne Wiley of Cook & Wiley. Jeanne, having been president of Virginia’s association, encouraged reporters to achieve certifications, to get involved in state associations.

We need to become active in state associations. You meet court reporters, exchange ideas, associations grow. I worked as editor, secretary, treasurer, vice president, then Virginia president.

I passed my RPR and RMR. After two NCRA CRR attempts, I learned about beta blockers. With a prescription, gushing water from my palms and forehead subdued, I passed. Later I passed the CMRS and CPE.

I love challenges. I still break into a sweat and pace the floor until I arrive. My confidence has increased. I love being a freelancer: every day is different, every place is different, everybody has a story. Life is different faces with different stories, different speeds. I’ve also learned not to worry what tomorrow may bring. The more focused we are in the present moment, the more we appreciate what today is about.

In 1995 I was flown to San Antonio to work alongside Monette Benoit to provide captioning and CART for an international religious teen convention filling the Alamodome. I learned how to quickly add theological entries for instant translation.

I have always been a freelance writer, so 4 to 5 p.m. is the bewitching hour; your fate is sealed for the next day. You may be called to realtime an accident depo or weeks-on-end realtime trial with translators and expedited delivery.

I’ve had my own firm. It takes a lot to keep eccentric people happy. I also learned my values are not necessarily someone else’s values. Focusing on providing the best service I can is what really matters.

After two years in my business and both parents passing away, I needed a change. I wanted to move to a litigious city, one with beautiful weather, palm trees.

I moved to Miami five years ago – knowing no one. I searched for a firm that shared my values. I have been working for Tom Kresse of Kresse & Associates since. It’s a wonderful feeling to work for someone with a stellar reputation, who acknowledges hard work and goes to bat for the reporters.

Consumed with never having enough work, I balanced work and a healthy lifestyle. Then I visited South Beach wearing a one-piece suit, wraparound skirt, weighing 190 pounds. In an awakening moment, viewing women clad in less than almost nothing, I realized I had come to a fork in the road of my life; I had to change directions. The week after South Beach I found a gym. I laboriously dedicated myself to a rigorous exercise regimen, following a nutritionist’s diet.

After three years, I lost 50 pounds. My trainer’s wife asked if I would like to walk or run a 5 K, 3.1 miles. I decided to challenge myself. After the gun went off, I ran – finding a new love of life.

God puts the right people in my life at the right time. I found a running group I run with several times a week and lost 65 pounds. January 2008 I turned 50; I completed my first marathon, 26.2 miles.

Upon completion, I wanted another challenge. Athletes gather to compete in triathlons. My initial reaction was no way could I accomplish this feat, nor risk getting injured. After contemplation, I decided to try it.

I am blessed to have a four-time Olympic inline skater coach, KC Boutiette. He taught me how to swim and bike, run efficiently and how to push yourself out of my comfort zone.

This year I challenged myself. I completed two marathons, Miami and Chicago, a 120-mile running relay, Hood to Coast in Oregon, three sprint triathlons: .47-mile swim, 12.4 bike and 3.1 run; and an international triathlon: .6-mile swim, 26 bike, and 6.2 run. Next year I am slated to do two marathons, sprint triathlons, two half Ironmans, 1.2-mile swim, 56 bike and 13.2 run. And now I am a leader to new runners prepping each for their first marathon.

What have I learned through this madness?

Any goal is obtainable with the right training, dedication. My compulsiveness for never having enough work has never changed; I learned a balance is what really brings happiness.

I never would have made it without my Christian faith and letting those around me give me encouragement. I believe we have to share what we have been so graciously given. Even though what you may be facing seems like a giant obstacle, this too shall pass, and you will have grown even stronger because of it.

Instead of focusing on how I possibly can do what seems impossible, I focus on what I am doing now to become the best I can.

Monette: Often we are challenged, learning lessons.

Then we are blessed to meet new professionals, new life-friends. I continue to thank you, Carol, for ‘Stepping Into The Light’ in 1995 accepting new lessons, seeking challenges to be the best you (we) can be. Carol may be reached: chwmiami@bellsouth.net

About the Author:

19 Feb 2009

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.

18 Nov 2008

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!

26 Aug 2008

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

21 Aug 2008

Mark Cuss Said To The Nymphs – CARTing Latin Classes

Mark Cuss Said To The Nymphs – CARTing Latin Classes
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

The phone rang Friday at 2:30.
“Would you realtime, CART, a class? We need you Monday morning. It started two months ago. Oh, it’s Latin.”

As an experienced court reporter, instructor, tutor, I’m not lucky enough to get math or physics.
The university request was for two semesters. I’d get a textbook Monday. I gulped, accepting the opportunity in 1999.

On Monday morning the student arrived, looked at me and my equipment near her seat, and stopped.
I wrote on my computer, “My name is Monette. I’ve been asked to help you. Today will be the worst day I write. I don’t have a textbook yet. We’ll work as a team. I promise I’ll get better.”

The teacher began class.
I began Latin.

I kid you not, my first day, the start of my first class: Callisto and the nymphs were having a metamorphosis over the birth of Arcas, Juno and the constellations and Mark Cuss (sic) said to the nymphs …

I’ve receive so many requests for information on how to write, how to CART, Latin. I tease: one prefix, root word, suffix at a time, and lots of fingerspelling. And somehow it translates – well, almost.

That day as each student read, translating sentences, learning declensions and tenses, I stroked sounds.
When each student spoke Latin, I wrote, “Student Speaking Latin.”

Later I heard a gasp, and my consumer pointed to my realtime screen.
I’d written: “Speaking Spanish.” (I had just finished CARTing to two large screens in one large room, five days for a large international Latino convention.)

I shook my head and wrote, “No, I just drifted.
It’s still Latin.”

Immediately, in realtime, mortified, I erased those words from the screen.

But she and I got the giggles. Having begun our team building, we were now in the trenches together.

Writing this article, I asked the consumer’s permission to share how I (try to) realtime Latin.

Laney Fox, toes tapping and filled with energy, insisted on sharing.
Laney is deaf, raised oral deaf, and is now learning sign language.

We communicate with realtime, lipreading, sign language and gestures. Somehow it works. At the end of class I give her a rough ASCII disk (verbatim translation) of the entire class. Sometimes I’m reluctant to share it, but we’ve built a strong team communicating with each other and working with the university, instructor.

To provide CART (communication access realtime translation – voice-to-text)
in this Latin class, I sit next to Laney with my computer on her desk. We share her text. I point to a selection if a student’s reading. If someone says a word I don’t know, I make a signed hand gesture (usually ASL), and Laney pushes the book to me (we’re sharing a desk for right-handed people; both of us are left-handed). I search for the word, fingerspell it and keep writing.

If the student’s reading from the book, I write, “Reading Latin” and point in the book as the student reads each word. (She likes to follow the class; this is her preference.)

If the student asks a question, I realtime each word to appear on the computer screen. When the professor gives explanations or references, I realtime each word.

Laney makes notes in the text and a notebook and reads my computer screen.
As I learn more Latin (actually, sounds), I’m stitching words together. When she’s called upon, Laney translates Latin to English. She answers and asks questions. I stroke Latin phrases.

Sometimes Laney asks, “How do you pronounce that?”

The professor answers in Latin.

I phonetically stroke the word with spaces between sounds.
She watches my phonetic translation and reads the word. (I always hold my breath.)

Initially I’d entered sounds in my dictionary when I was preparing to realtime. (I have CARTed to a large screen for St. Francis Di Paola, a Catholic Deaf mass, and various religious, interesting events since 1993.)

Preparing for religious events, I placed sounds with my asterick key, globaling strokes, so when I hit specific keys, they appear as phonetic, English sounds. I now can fingerspell a word faster than stroking it, but when it’s Latin, I have to rely on phonetics.

Sounds help me to help Laney in a Latin university setting at Trinity University.

Laney Fox shares, “Many people think it’s rude to correct a deaf person’s speech. It may be rude for strangers to do that, but after forming a relationship, I think it’s perfectly nice for someone to try to help out a deaf person’s speech. I know many vocabulary words. I simply don’t know how to pronounce them; English is one odd language. The words pronounced do not look the way they are written.”

One weekend I traveled to speak to a state court reporting convention. On my way back, Sunday afternoon, the airplane was canceled. I traveled all night to arrive in San Antonio with only minutes to get to class straight from the airport. I had on yesterday’s clothes.

I wrote, “This is not gonna be pretty; I’ve not slept in two days.”

Laney said, “You don’t have to be good today. It’s OK.”

My heart sang. This is why I do this. I worked so hard to “be good” for Laney.

After class, she said, “You were much better than I thought you were going to be.
You were ‘good’ today.”

I sighed and placed my forehead down on the tiny desk on top of my warm computer.

Laney says, “I was so surprised to see Monette come in, telling me she was traveling all night.
I would have stayed home and let her go through a class, clueless. After that, I learned her dedication to my involvement in Latin.”

If you want to provide this service, make sure you have a phonetic dictionary you can stroke.
Become a confident fingerspeller. Build a rapport with the consumer and teacher. We’ve had challenges. But we’ve worked with gestures, signals and me asking, “Does this make sense?”

Listen for vents that open and close.
External sounds interfere when students answer around your seat. Make sure you can hear everyone – front, back and to the side.

Don’t be afraid to tell the class when you have problems.
If you can’t hear, others probably can’t hear.

Insist on faculty parking (since we haul heavy equipment, wear and tear dragging our equipment that is bumping over pavement may affect your computer, steno machine). You must have a text and all handouts.

I write all external sounds – sneezing, coughing, birds, stomachs grumbling. I am her ears. If I hear it, I write it.

Keep a sense of humor.
Two months into the course, I phoned my dad. Emmett was raised in Jesuit schools, was an altar boy and graduated from Fordham University. He loves Latin.

When I told him about this assignment, he said, “You are in way over your head.”


I laughed and said, “Nope.
Gonna do this one, do it well. I’m going to work hard, but I’m going to do this.”

So when I phoned to ask, “What is Ovid, Ovidian?”
He howled.

Emmett said, “That’s the author of the huge orange text you’re carrying around.
Haven’t you even looked at the cover?”

I laughed, “Nope, been everywhere else, but not the cover.”

After each class I look to Laney. She’s so forgiving and understanding.
You must explain how and why words do not translate; why “funnies” pop up. She smirks and giggles when “stuff” appears.

Laney, “I love when we translate Latin stories in class.
It’s fun to watch Monette. She frantically waves her arms when she can’t hear. I just love the energy to get me into class discussion.”

If I’d been told I’d be CARTing, realtiming, Latin and giving a rough ASCII verbatim disk to someone in a university classroom, I’d have never believed it.
Not in a million years.

But now Marcus, those nymphs, the etymology of Latin with dative, conjugative, ablative, pluperfect, passive prosody applying to dactylic hexameter with basic rules of syntax trans – well, almost.


And it was just my luck to get a Latin honors students with whom I could expand my skills and learn so much about her world.

Today someone asked me how I was doing.
I said, “I feel like a character on the I Love Lucy shows.”

The lady replied, “Without the soundtrack?”


Yeah – without the “sound-track”.
But I’m looking forward to the final exam. After all, this is Latin.

And Laney Fox was first runner-up in the Deaf Texas Beauty Pageant. Yes, I am honored to be embraced within the deaf and HOH world. She and I are excited to share our passion for this technology with each of you.

Next we write Laney’s experiences and thoughts about receiving CART. Laney, “I want to share to help others. I really do.” Laney insists on sharing – as do I.

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!

18 Aug 2008

Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting – Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part III

Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting
– Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part III

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Hurricane Katrina continues to dominate the news. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Kay Chiodo, Deaf Link personnel, and I kept our heads down as facts were initially broadcast 24/7.

We listened, working to help others, incorporating new technology, working with emergency national, state, local agencies and volunteer organizations – all grouped overnight in numerous locations – to include abandoned facilities.

Sometimes the only thing one can do before jumping into a new trench is listen – unless that person is deaf or hard of hearing.

As 2006 began, writing this article in February, we continued to sort facts with what was shared, what could be shared …

I am still humbled by what we learned — what could have, should have and might have ‘been’ done – to help more, to do more.

Now we know. Now we know. Yes?

Deaf Link installed remote sign interpreting setups within multiple San Antonio, Houston and Dallas shelters – sometimes without cooperation of all people involved.

In some cases, no one seemed to be in charge; many ‘real-time’ decisions were precedents.

Sometimes, after Deaf Link had worked with people in charge explaining the need and technology, a new group or person was in charge only hours later, and we would be back to square one.

Deaf Link created 24-hour remote sign interpreting as approximately 750,000 people arrived in Texas. Many of us watched TV late at night to see what was unfolding – what was being shared. Many of us were on the phone with each other to ‘hear’ and document what was unfolding.

(Part I and II may be found at www.CRRbooks.com and www.monettebenoit.com with direct links included below.)

Kay and Deaf Link were on the road six days, “Your own time; your own dime.”

Converged Technology Application Partners assisted Deaf Link’s installations. CTAP, Deaf Link’s tech support, met Kay, installing Deaf Link’s equipment. Yet Kay still wishes she could have done more.

Kay Chiodo, Deaf Link’s CEO, is the consummate person to drop, roll and run.

Deaf Link helped HOH, hard-of-hearing, who lost hearing aids.

Many HOH lost their hearing aids when batteries became wet or ran down. Often HOH sat alone, waiting, not asking for help. They sat, waiting.

Announcements blared: “If your social security numbers ends in –, go to –.”

Hard-of-hearing individuals (with good aids) heard garbled announcements.

Those who are deaf, of course, didn’t hear the messages at all and did not know information was being shared within each facility.

Deaf individuals volunteered to help deaf evacuees communicate, and deaf volunteers used Deaf Link’s technology to talk to (hearing) people in charge.

When Kay hit Dallas, Deaf Link’s lines initially were in medical areas. Then FEMA requested a location near Deaf Link. FEMA realized deaf were not receiving housing and social security services.

“There were many other services people needed access to other, in addition to medical.”

Security also utilized Deaf Link, 24/7.

In a few instances, after lines were dropped and Deaf Link had helped people and continued to serve new arrivals, without notice – deaf were moved, relocated.

Each time, deaf and HOH (hard-of-hearing individuals) would have to be found and the process had to begin again.

One day, deaf were organized to be sent to another facility where higher medical care was needed.

Deaf, however, wanted to stay in public arenas to be near children, families and – their quote – “normal” people. Deaf didn’t need higher care or want to be segregated.

Within the KellyUSA facility, some thought it would be great to have deaf only in one area. Many of the deaf adults and children had endured traumatic experiences with hearing during the storm and travels – people they became attached to – and they requested to remain with those new friends.

Deaf evacuees, already traumatized, were often separated from family or friends prior to arriving at shelters.

Facts shared, too, that that blind with working dogs were separated from their ‘ears’ when the dogs were not allowed on the bus after mandatory evacuations. (One incident documents, fact, that a working dog was shot when the blind person would not leave the dog.)

Kay went to KellyUSA’s security, explaining their communication mode is here.

“It’s important they remain with people they bonded with. KellyUSA understood. Whoever was trying to move deaf, dropped it.”

“At the Astrodome, some felt deaf should be gathered and herded.”

Kay can see how that “may be logical to some, but unless they could take hearing people deaf were attached to with them, it would be a challenge. They did move deaf – to another location away …”

“Everyone had good intentions, but it came down to asking the person. No one can make a group decision like that; it’s an individual preference. People were giving their best to everybody. Once services were established and deaf knew where everything was – all deaf had to do was sign they were deaf – using our technology, they instantly had equal access!”

“Deaf, HOH, deaf/blind, people non-English-proficient taught us to be prepared. Through their suffering, they paved the way for a nation to be better prepared. We learned, and Monette, sometimes the hardest lessons are the best learned.”

“Deaf Link was communication accessible alerting Texas deaf and HOH, a first in the nation, for Hurricane Rita, almost three weeks after Katrina.”

Writing these articles on Hurricane Katrina and Texas volunteers, I confirmed Deaf Link never received compensation for their services in any Texas shelter. Reluctantly, after three months, they removed all equipment in December 2005.

When Hurricane Katrina yellow buses originally rolled into Texas, I assisted with information-coordination.

Many court reporters, professionals, HOH (hard of hearing) contacted me asking what they could do.

I worked with sign interpreters gathering facts, stats, listing new shelters within Texas as they were created in real-time.

I continued to phone Deaf Link’s San Antonio office asking, “Now what? What’s next?”

Hours were devoted to which mayor was having a press conference, which group, company, church or agency would or would not be assisting – Who was really in charge?

Sometimes we heard things we could not repeat – (and still can’t).

Often we kept our head down, just as we started, working to help. Sometimes we just listened to each other.

Volunteers were having nightmares. Many felt guilty for not being able to do more. We were having sleepless nights; we needed to eat before accepting new Katrina assignments.

We did not discuss each was turning down ‘real work’ (compensated jobs) to help – many were passionate in their need to volunteer.

After weeks, sometimes numb and stunned, we continued to volunteer, listening, sharing time with each other – while thousands continued to stand in lines seeking food, their family and their loved pets.

After listening and sharing, we would focus back to our task, moving forward with our next Katrina request.

One night Kay phoned, “We’re having a sleepover. Bring your pillow, Monette. Really.”

Running remote services in each shelter, volunteers slept on the floor in her office. Not one complained; each person was thankful to put in more hours.

I gathered detailed information to send donations to deaf/HOH in each Texas city including shelters, churches, deaf volunteers, HOH, special-needs patients.

Most requested items were Bibles, toys, batteries and shampoo (in that order). Socks, underwear and bras sold out in San Antonio, the 8th largest city in the United States.

Eleanor Mitchell, RPR, of Washington emailed me, then typed a sheet asking for donations, which she distributed in her neighborhood. Eleanor mailed her neighbor’s donations to Texas.

Jean Melone of New Jersey wrote asking how she could help. Students in her school, Steno Tech Career Institute, gathered items, then shipped their donations to Texas.

Jeff Hutchins (the man who helped to invent broadcast captioning, and in my opinion, did more to tip our entire occupation) sent an email to me, “How can we best help?”

Jeff forwarded my reply to Accessible Media Industry Coalition.

Jennifer Tiziani of SHHH, now HLA (Hearing Loss Assocation) in Northwoods, Wisconsin, and many SHHH members responded, mailing items “from their closets and homes.”

One deaf woman responded to an email I wrote Jeff. She wrote me offering to share her small New York City apartment with a deaf family.

Many, many emailed me that sitting in their dry home, dry town, listening, they had to do something.

Some wrote me that all they could offer was prayers.

You need to know: You did make a huge difference. Deaf Link did pave a new path. Our work is not yet done. Bless each of you who donated your time, your passion, your hearts and your ears.

“There but for the grace of God go I.”

Kay Chiodo may be reached through www.Deaflink.com, 210-590-7446.

‘Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpeting; Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part I,’ March 2006 may be accessed on http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=53

‘Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpeting; Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part II,’ April 2006 may be accessed on http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=54

Monette, 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!

25 Jul 2008

Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting – Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part II of III

Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting
– Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part II of III

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

After Hurricane Katrina, Deaf Link and Kay Chiodo provided 24-hour onsite and remote sign interpreting in Texas shelters.

Part I posted on www.CRRbooks.com and www.monettebenoit.com began:

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or do not understand English, you didn’t hear Katrina warnings. You didn’t see captioning on TV. Your world was very different.”

Part I ended: “Next we share more.” Amen: May it be so.

As Dan Heller, VP of Business Development loaded equipment, Kay called Polycom. Robert Hughes, Director Operations Video in Austin, and George Kawahara partnered with Deaf Link.

Succinctly, Kay stated, “We don’t have enough equipment; we can’t pay for it.” They asked, “What do you need?”

Kay replied with specifics; Hughes said, “You got it.” Equipment was drop-shipped, more than she requested, all donated.

Kay then phoned Jack Colley, Texas Director of Emergency Management. Jack was in meetings within Texas SOS, State Operations Center.

Kay spoke to Amanda, requesting Jack Colley receive this message: “Tell him we’re heading in; I really need to do this.”

Jack called Kay, “Whose nickel are you going to put this on?”

Slowly, Kay said, “Well, I guess ours.”

Jack replied, “That’s the right answer.”

Kay asked, “Can I use your name?” Jack, “Yes.”

Again, Kay was ready to drop, roll and run forward to help thousands of deaf and non-English proficient people through multiple Katrina-related emergencies.

When Kay ‘hit’ KellyUSA (our closed San Antonio Air Force Base), she declared, “We’re here to provide access for deaf.”

Monette, you couldn’t find who was in charge. KellyUSA was so busy; people asked, “By whose authority are you here?”

Kay answered: “Well, the State would like to see us provide access for deaf.”

Kay wasn’t lying; she wasn’t stretching the truth.

Prior to providing remote sign interpreting services, Deaf Link needed computers, cameras, high-speed internet connections, lines dropped. Until then, Kay walked the crowds looking for deaf and deaf/blind evacuees.

Communication was a huge problem for everyone, including deaf. Everything in each shelter needed access. Lack of communication resulted in people struggling without information, food, medicine, essentials necessary for survival. Later, when interpreters arrived, onsite sign interpreters were invaluable. Unfortunately, interpreters couldn’t be there 24/7 each day for processing, counseling or full communication.

Before Kay finished installing their first site, KellyUSA, a doctor pulled Kay Chiodo to interpret for a deaf person who had been there several days. The deaf man had cuts on his feet; he was in the water; he didn’t know tetanus shots were available.

One deaf man fainted from lack of food, not knowing food was free.

Police surrounded the halls; he didn’t want to go to jail for stealing and did not eat for three days. They discovered he was diabetic. He had not received medications because could he not hear public announcements.

Counseling was offered for adults and children. Without interpreter access, deaf children missed out. Hearing children of deaf adults could not participate when parents did not have access to announcements.

One woman communicated with puppets to children; Kay worked to have those puppets accessible.

Deaf Link learned “what it takes to hit the ground running” to provide access for people with disabilities and people without English proficiency.

Texas was the first state in the nation to provide these services, and Deaf Link launched the precedent. Tech Trans from Houston partnered with Deaf Link to provide foreign language translation.

Doctors needed access to multiple languages. Tech Trans and Deaf Link provided language access and with one click, individuals received their foreign language.

Kay shared KellyUSA was a breeze with Time Warner dropping lines. Time Warner jumped through hoops; they and SBC dropped cables. They helped Kay find chairs for many individuals and for a pregnant deaf mother. “Their teamwork was a labor of love.”

As Kay Chiodo drove to Houston, SBC’s Southwest Director of Homeland Security, Adam Cavazos shared names, contacts and numbers. Kay learned the politics of getting into a center. Kay received an introduction to Smart City who dropped lines for Deaf Link in Houston and Dallas.

Kay said, “Sometimes you would think we were family.”

Kay walked in the door, used Jack Colley’s (Texas Director of Emergency Management) name and the State saying they want this access for evacuees, and Texas wants to ensure evacuees receive the best services.

In Dallas, Kay and Dan spotted a Toys-R-Us truck outside the Reunion Plaza Center.

She knew they would distribute toys, but deaf parents wouldn’t let children take toys if they didn’t know the toys were free.

Kay experienced this within the Dome: When children were bored, volunteers distributed donated coloring books, but deaf parents took the items from children, returning them because they didn’t know the items were free.

Kay walked around, signing “free, free” to deaf parents.

Leaving, dead tired, Kay strolled over to the Toys-R-Us staff, her voice raised, “Okay. Hands in the air; here’s what you’re going to run into with parents who are deaf.”

Kay taught each the sign for ‘free’, so they would hand out toys to “all the children.” Once each person could sign ‘free’, with their hands in the air, Kay left for her next site.

Kay emphasized how access to information is critical and life-altering in emergencies.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was one of the few to seek out deaf. Through Deaf Link, deaf communicated directly to the Mayor.

One lady described ‘losing’ her son. She begged Nagin to find his body.

This deaf mother evacuated into flooding New Orleans streets with her three-year old son hanging onto her neck. She had a set of twins, one child in each hand.

Each arm raised high, she firmly held a child and struggled to keep their heads above rising water. As the sky darkened, snakes and objects floated as she worked to rescue her family.

It was dark when she discovered that her three-year had slipped off her back into the water.

She tried to find her son, one child still in each hand, struggling to keep their heads above the fast-moving, high water. Each time she picked up a floating shirt, she held a dead body.

The mother’s body shook while she signed, speaking to New Orleans Mayor Nagin.

Kay interpreted: “Please help me find my son, so I can bury him.”

Then the mother thanked Nagin for listening. Kay believes Nagin felt the hurt of everyone he talked to.

“Monette, there was plenty of hurt in the shelters.”

Mayor Ray Nagin’s eyes teared as the mother signed to him that she felt she was punished for being deaf because she couldn’t hear her son’s cries.

The mayor sat next to Kay, shoulders slumped, Nagin’s hands folded in his lap.

And Kay softly said to Mayor Nagin: “The stories are right there on their hands. They just need an interpreter to help them share what they are saying to you and to each person.”

Kay Chiodo and Dan Heller, www.DeafLink.com, may be reached 210-590-7446.

‘Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpeting; Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part I,’ March 2006 may be accessed on http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=53

‘Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpeting; Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part III,’ May 2006 may be accessed on http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=55

Monette, 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!

24 Jul 2008

Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part I of III

Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting
– Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part I of III

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or do not understand English, you didn’t hear Katrina warnings. You didn’t see captioned crawlers on TV.

You didn’t hear messages as vehicles moved through the streets notifying residents to evacuate. Your world was very different.

As chaotic, unorganized evacuations began, Kay Chiodo, CEO and president of her company Deaf Link (www.DeafLink.com), rolled out to implement 24-hour remote sign interpreting in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Texas – all pro bono.

The task was enormous; Kay’s actions, those around Deaf Link, changed the world of children and adults. We want to learn from Kay and Deaf Link. We want to understand.

On Friday, August 26, 2005, Louisiana’s governor declared a state of emergency. On Monday, Katrina made landfall. Wednesday, August 31, plans were initiated to bring evacuees to Texas. On Saturday, September 3, buses arrived in Houston.

As people scrambled to escape, many rushed forward. I have worked with Kay and her companies Vital Signs and Deaf Link for 15 years providing CART, helping where I may.

In 1993, Kay embraced me into the deaf community at a Deaf Block Party, as I stood alone.

On November 23, 2005, Kay acquired a new son-in-law, Mike Houston, whom I met October 2004 at the NCRA Phoenix teaching convention. (Articles: “Serendipity and Fate of Mike Houston,” January 2006, and “Driving Miss Monette,” January 2005 may be assessed at www.CRRbooks.com. Direct links are included below.)

We tease Kay when there’s an event, not only does she drop and roll, Kay drops, rolls, runs forward. Kay Chiodo was raised in an orphanage; there seeds were planted for her passion of communicating with deaf.

After Hurricane Katrina, I helped offsite with communications, sharing facts, details.

We cried; we had nightmares from what we heard. Had Deaf Link not been inside Texas evacuation sites, events would have been very different.

Technology, Kay and remote services changed access. They changed the world we know. They did.

To get this story, I waited, phoning Kay’s home: “Just talk to me. Tell me, so I can share.” I typed, coaxing Kay to share.

As I fact-checked December 2005, people around us were out Christmas shopping.

Kay emailed, “Monette, remember we also gave doctors and police the ability to communicate with persons who were not English-proficient. They asked for Spanish, Cajun French and Vietnamese language interpreters. We helped there too. Oh, and I also tap dance with a flower in my ear.”

This is Kay’s story:

When Deaf Link knew Texas shelters were opening, Kay conferenced her Board of Directors: “Will you back me? We’re going to hit the shelters because we need to. There was a plain old need to do it because we can; we can make each accessible.”

“Ten percent of the American population is deaf; we knew they would be there. Who would be the ones who wouldn’t know to evacuate? It’s going to be deaf, blind. When the TV broadcasts ‘beep, beep,’ and there’s an emergency, you’re out of luck if you can’t hear or see it.”

Prior to providing remote interpreting, Deaf Link needed computers, Internet connections and cameras. Until lines were dropped, Kay walked the crowds, looking for people who are deaf and deaf/blind.

Several Astrodome volunteers posted signs on boards they stuck in one trash can. Other shelters taped signs, hung on a few walls.

At the KellyUSA shelter in San Antonio, as Kay unpacked next to In-Take, doctors brought deaf people to Deaf Link. Volunteers and emergency workers were processing “endless lines of evacuees asking names, addresses, who were you separated from – putting information into a national database to locate other evacuees. Data helped reunite deaf family members who became lost in the shuffle.”

Whenever we spoke, Kay shared shocking, stunning, horrifying facts and events.

The first time, Kay was climbing up a stairwell in Houston’s Astrodome, prepping to leave for Dallas. We spoke multiple times that day as she was working.

Four days later, Kay was still in Houston. I continued to phone, asking how she was, how could I help? Kay was on the road for six days.

When we spoke, Kay’s voice was hoarse; I heard tears.

Then Kay would say, “I’ve got to go, Monette. I need to go back.”

I listened on her phone as Kay sought people who needed assistance.

Kay spoke to technicians, volunteers, requesting, arguing, insisting how to install equipment in a new place, sight unseen, prior to her arrival. Often there were problems. Kay took it all in, collected names, amassed knowledge.

And Kay Chiodo met unforgettable, grateful individuals – who would have had very different Katrina experiences had Deaf Link not been onsite and offsite, providing remote services 24/7.

Kay met Felix in the KellyUSA shelter after Louisiana nursing home staff abandoned residents. Felix is afraid of the dark.

“If you’re deaf and in the dark, you can’t see others.” Felix always carries “an itty-bitty” flashlight in his pants pocket.

When electricity failed, water was rising. Felix didn’t know where his two elderly friends were, one wheelchair-bound, the other using a walker. Without his flashlight, Felix wouldn’t have found them as they screamed.

Felix carried one woman from her wheelchair; the other lady hung on his back, across his shoulders as Felix went down the stairs. Felix waded through high water, toward a rooftop.

They arrived together. Felix wanted to introduce Kay to the two ladies. The ladies had just showered and sat on cots when Kay approached.

Kay asked, “Would you like for me to interpret anything before I leave for Houston?”

One lady said, “Sweetie, we don’t need you to do that. He can read our eyes. He’s our silent hero; we love him.”

Felix crying, dropped on one knee, kissed the lady’s hand, signing, “I love you.”

The lady voiced, “Sweetie, we know he does.” Felix was their hero.

Inside Houston’s Astrodome, a deaf/blind lady sat rocking on a cot, signing, “Help me, help me.”

Kay signed into her hand, “Okay, okay.”

The lady grabbed Kay’s torn shirt; she hung so tight, Kay couldn’t communicate. The woman wouldn’t let go.

Kay said, “You couldn’t help but cry.”

Kay kept signing, “OK, stay, will.”

Kay’s leg had to touch the woman; she clung to Kay. She’d flail out to ensure Kay’s face was there.

“To live in darkness, to be thrown into water, then to be separated – – ”

After the lady’s information was entered into the database, she found the sister she had been separated from during evacuation.

Kay softly shared: “It’s funny, Monette, hours, days went by so fast because you’re caught up in this emotional turmoil. You forget you haven’t slept, eaten. It’s like a wave from each person. It renews you. You have something you have to do. You do it because that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Kay may be reached at Kaychiodo@DeafLink.com and 210-590-7446.

Part II: We share more.

‘Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpreting, Drop, Roll, Run Forward Part II’ may be accessed on http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=54

‘Hurricane Katrina – Deaf Link, Remote Sign Interpeting; Drop, Roll, Run Forward, Part III,’ May 2006 may be accessed on http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=55

“Serendipity and Fate of Mike Houston,” January 2006:
http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=42

“Driving Miss Monette,” February 2005: http://crrbooks.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=19

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!

23 Jul 2008

"Still Processing And Snowglobes"

“Still Processing And Snowglobes”
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2006 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

“You’re processing; you’re not stuck,” began my correspondence with Janet Tilly, a student who contacted me. She had written, “I am currently stuck trying to attain 170 words per minute.”

My April 2005 ‘Beyond The Comfort Zone’ article and Monette’s Musings Blog, www.monettebenoit.com, detailed how one sentence I shared shifted had changed Janet’s processing. Less than one year later (after being ‘stuck’), Janet entered our profession with determination, processing and captioning, court reporting CATapult CD material.

Janet recently emailed, “Still processing! I completed school. I discovered I have something new to process. After reading your words about processing, I never looked at school the same way. You took the time to go beyond my questions about your CATapult CD product. You took the time to address the root of my problem, which turned out to be a problem of perception and mindset.”

Janet shares: “I thought most of the ‘processing’ would be in court reporting school. I knew transitioning from school to work would be taxing, but I didn’t realize I would process now more than ever.

“My second deposition reflected my processing had just begun. I can’t express how grateful I am that you, Monette, pointed out the mentality of processing. I don’t think I could get up every morning, facing unknowns without having it all in perspective. Life is one big learning experience; court reporting is part of my life, so I shouldn’t expect this to be different than other things I learn each day.

“To all students: Finishing school is not the end of learning, it’s the beginning. Prepare on the front end; don’t be surprised by opportunities to process once you graduate! Like Monette’s sister-in-law Wenny wrote, whenever we are down, we have to get up, ‘try harder; each time you try harder.’ Your sister-in-law Wenny blessed me with a mantra from the January 2005 ‘Beyond The Comfort Zone’ article, “Try Harder; Each Time ‘You’ Try Harder!” (This article about Wenny, January 2005, and Janet’s April 2005 article may be accessed on http://www.crrbooks.com/ http://www.catapultdix.com/ and blog Monette’s Musings)

“I‘m now out of school; sometimes it feels like I’m in a snowglobe that keeps getting shaken. Working was exciting, but scary. I had interned as often as I could. The reporters I interned with were fantastic. Reporters answered any questions, pointing out things I didn’t know to ask about. And I was nervous! I can’t remember praying as hard as I prayed before my first deposition. (My prayers were answered when I held it together during readback.) After, I was walking on clouds; you would have thought I had orchestrated world peace.

“The next day, I was confident, still walking on clouds. This is the first time my snowglobe was shaken. The doctor specialized in otolaryngology; I know this because everyone said it as often as possible. He detailed thyroidectomy, parathyroid, cricothyroid fascia, isthmus and thyroplasty. My saving grace: The witness spoke slowly, enunciating well; attorneys took notes, pausing between answers and questions. This wasn’t the scary part — that happened when the deposition ended.

“I was realtiming for myself, recording audio on my laptop. The firm owner proofs my work. Because I am new and paranoid, I also had a digital recorder. Into the deposition, I realized I had not turned on the laptop audio. At first pause, I turned it on. I started obsessing: “Did I drop?” I knew the recorder was on, but couldn’t stop the mental process. Then someone mentioned otolaryngology snapping me back into the moment. I stopped the panic, sure I’d written well, worked to continue doing so.

“Long story short, there were several minutes when the attorneys stopped the depo, then needed to go back on the record where I had no audio. No audiosync, plus no digital recording! I pressed the wrong button on the digital recorder, twice! “Once I saw the recorder had not recorded, I thought about the depo, still confident I’d written well, verbatim. Days later, I started worrying.

“Editing, I remembered, while packing at the end, the attorneys were talking to one another; I overhead their conversations. Editing, I remembered things I knew were said, but were not in my transcript. Since I was new, I started obsessing. What if statements I were remembered were ‘on the record’ and not conversations? I couldn’t have dropped all that. No way. Wait a minute; what about in school when I knew I’d passed that test, but didn’t? Here I knew I’d written well on the job.

“This argument went through my head all night; the next morning I was throwing up. I was sure I’d never report again. Mentally, I turned an ant hill into Mount Everest. I don’t have words to describe how far out of proportion this had been blown. I called the firm owner. She calmed me saying this was going to be okay. She said she’d help me; we would look at the transcript, see what we thought. After talking with her, I began to think rationally.

“Thinking clearly, instead of worse-case-scenario, I realized I was borrowing trouble. I had concentrated so hard on writing, my head hurt, I ached all over. I had felt good until I let my imagination run away with me. I printed the transcript; it was good. Well, it was good after it had been proofed by someone else and corrections were made. Who knew commas would challenge me at age 36?

“This story can be picked apart backwards, forwards. You bet I haven’t made those mistakes again; there have been others, but not those. This is somewhat embarrassing, but maybe someone will benefit from it. I have more days where I left jobs walking on clouds than I have feeling like I was in the snowglobe. I’ve made mistakes; I’ve beat myself up over them, but when finished, I filed them, taking what I learned, leaving negativity behind. And the next day, I processed, tried harder.

“I’ve been so lucky; my instructors, fellow students were the best. I interned with experienced reporters who, I’m sure, had better things to do than answer my questions.

“To the people who shared in forums and have written JCR (NCRA Journal of Court Reporting) articles, thank you! Several times I encountered situations and knew what to do because I’d read about it. I wish I could thank everyone who helped me. The only things I know to do to begin thanking them are to continue improving and to one day help new reporters. Bless you all!”

Monette: Spoken like a veteran, Janet. We are never stuck unless we choose to be.

We process, building experiences and wisdom from within, sometimes alone, sometimes with others. Yet when we process, “trying harder each time,” perhaps our snowglobe is not blurry. Perhaps it is a remarkable globe we may view with sparkle and wonder.

The snowglobe on my desk, gifted by a student, now court reporter, is a ballerina atop pink heart-shaped flakes, arms folded in prayer. Large print reads: “Lord, Keep Me On My Toes.” Still processing, Janet, you have helped thousands, seated and on your toes.

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!

29 Sep 2007