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

Laney’s Latin; Hearing Not Required, CART, Captioning

Laney’s Latin; Hearing Not Required, CART, Captioning
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Laney Fox and I became a team, in the trenches, during her first semester in Latin. Previously, I wrote how I’m CARTing
(communication access real-time translation), realtiming, her classes. I am a court reporter, instructor and tutor translating verbatim voice-to-text upon request for Laney.

I’ve watched Laney blossom in Latin! Her deafness may be viewed by others. Limitations may be viewed by others, but not to Laney. Her world is full of life and possibilities.

We hope our articles inspire others to step onto the branch, to feel the breeze – to create a new dream, to see it grow. Laney has a zest for life and has many dreams. Sharing her world and life, to help others, is important to her. As Laney repeatedly says (toes tapping), “I ‘want’ to help others. I really ‘want’ to help others.”

Laney was born healthy; she had her hearing. She became deaf approximately near 13 months old, possibly from a 24-hour virus/fever. They are not “entirely positive.” Laney was mainstreamed into her first “hearing school” during fourth grade after nine years of oral education at C.I.C., Central Institute of the Deaf, in St. Louis.

Her parents relocated the family to Baltimore after a job promotion. “So it was decided that I remain in the C.I.C. dorms for another year to continue my education to speak,” says Laney. “However, I was not happy at the dorms. So I left to join my family. My parents told me that they decided to raise me orally first to see if this was the best method for me to grow up with. They said if I wasn’t happy being orally raised, they would have taken me out of C.I.C. and enrolled me in a signing school. My parents were not trying to make me ‘hearing,’ as some people assume. My parents just wanted to see what was the best way to go.”

“When they saw that I was living a happy childhood with many other children, they decided to continue with this method. They simply did not see the need to teach me sign language when they saw that I was doing well in school and sports.”

“I chose to learn sign language in my senior year of high school. I wanted to see what it was like to communicate through sign language.
My parents didn’t hold me back; they were totally supportive, but still to this day my parents don’t know sign language. This doesn’t bother me. It just allows me to participate in both worlds.”

“If I had a choice, I would have gone a slightly different way. I would have chosen to teach a deaf child sign language when the child is in middle school (after the language acquisition period closes … to ensure that the child’s speech doesn’t deteriorate) to allow the child to communicate the best way that a child can. At least the child would know how to communicate through the hearing world and the deaf world.”

“I think children should learn both ways for total communication. Parents should not let the child place more emphasis on sign language. Parents should work more on oral speaking throughout childhood. It’s important that children are able to speak, so they have a choice in their communication when they enter the real world.”

I asked Laney to describe her Latin experiences with a CART provider. When I first appeared, she walked in, took one look at my equipment, stopped in her tracks.

“Let’s say I wasn’t expecting a captioner who was so dedicated to help me learn and ‘hear’ Latin,” she says.

“Some high school teachers knew that it was hard for me to understand them in lecture tone. When I was in high school, I took Latin for three years. But I always felt that I was missing out something (which I did because I failed the Latin placement test after three years of Latin!). I’d come into the class prepared with my version of the story and try to gather all corrections from other students. The teacher never corrected my versions.”

“However, I had many questions for the teacher after class. I think sometimes they were the same questions asked in class because he seemed frustrated when I kept asking questions about the translations or the lecture. I don’t think he ever truly understood my deafness. Anyway, I always depended on the students to tell me whether mine was right or wrong. In fact, I had a student, David; I would give him my translations. Then he would correct mine, and return my translations with all kinds of errors marked. He helped me for one year in (high school) Latin. I am grateful for his generosity.”

Laney had to deal with another problem. “I never heard the other students’ questions, translations or the professor’s corrections,” she explains. All of my learning relied on my own translations for three years. Throughout this time I didn’t know sign language; I didn’t have anyone to sign to me.”

“In my first semester at this university, Trinity, I’d write out translations before I went to class and have someone look over them. I was rather lucky in this class; there’s an excellent book that contains all the information lectured by the professor. I also had a notetaker, so I had more help than I was accustomed to.”

Laney took Latin for two months before I was asked to CART (Communication Access Real Time Translation) for her (on a Friday afternoon) and give her a rough ASCII disk at the end of each class (beginning the following Monday morning).

The CART assistance has been a boon. Laney says, “Now I enjoy class tremendously when we’re translating stories (instead of lecture days). It’s more fun to watch Monette trying to get everything. When she can’t hear, she flaps her arms around. She also taps my shoulder to grab my attention for her corrections on her screen. I just love her energy to get me into class discussion.”

And when I could not hear, we changed rooms. And when the students could hear doors loudly squeaking, and I had to keep writing “doors squeaking,” the doors were oiled, per my request. The university, professor and students have all become part of this CART team.

As I sweated and struggled to realtime Latin, I talked to her about my work, explained why ‘stuff’ popped up correctly – or not. Laney appreciated the information about my experiences in court reporting.

“I didn’t know what to really expect from a captioner. But when Monette Benoit told me that ‘all’ court reporters want to strive to be the best, I was very impressed. When she would get upset with the CART equipment, computer screen, at first I didn’t understand why she would get so frustrated.

“I was so happy that I could at least have an idea of what everyone else was talking about. It didn’t matter whether you mistyped ‘declension’ or whatever. I now knew what was going on. I am entirely grateful for Monette’s help in showing the pronunciations of the words I was unfamiliar with.”

Laney is enrolled full-time at Trinity University and attends sign language classes once a week in the evening. She volunteers with Best Buddies (a program for people who are mentally retarded). “I just take my Best Buddy out to have some fun,” she says.

And what does Laney want to do with her life? “My plans for the future are to become a veterinarian. I would love to be able to understand animals and be able to communicate with them. I am amazed how animals and humans can still communicate through body language, even without speaking. I would love to learn many more things about animals and perhaps help the world understand more about the animals we know so little about.” So, do you want to help others? Our wish is that you will want to help others – and yourself. This is a great time to be a court reporter and work with deaf, hard-of-hearing people. Life is good! Hearing, sound, is not required to expand your life, to blossom and to grow. Just ask Laney Fox. She’d really like to “hear” from you.

Monette may be contacted: PrivateTutoring@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 & 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!

14 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

Your Dream Is Your Goal

Your Dream Is Your Goal
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Have you shared a thought, an opinion, and later discovered a seed has been planted? Seeds then grow. And one day, we hear something we said has changed a path.

NCRA’s 2005 Teachers Workshop held in McLean, Virginia, for court reporting teachers resulted in a seed; many hearts and “ears” were involved in this seeding.

My topic for the workshop October 15th, 2005 was “Dictionary Maintenance And What Teachers and Students Need To Know To Assist CART Consumers.”

I brought my ten-year-old nephew. Thomas attended the 2005 Texas annual convention, and he’s accompanied me on CART jobs where Tom has guarded my equipment. Thomas uses sign language and is comfortable with Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

Thomas sat in the front of the room as I spoke – this shy child working to overcome stage-fright so severe he has problems each Sunday at the altar. He assisted Gayl Hardeman in her seminar by handling the PowerPoint presentation as her assistant. I watched from the back of the room.

I discussed activism, one of four topics I also shared with the 2005 Iowa Court Reporters Association. Teachers are activists assisting students in reaching goals. As activists we draw attention, we focus, and we make noise.

An activist never relinquishes dedication, focused focus – in this instance, working on a dictionary, how to write words, how to focus on transcribing words, if in the dictionary – or not – transcribing, reading back that word, accurately. Activism is in classrooms, I believe, and the workplace as wordsmiths diligently labor to capture words, to record events, history.

I shared specifics on how we motivate and assist students and reporters with daily and weekly dictionary maintenance.

As I began the CART section of this workshop, Thomas rose from his seat at my left and stood to my right with his hands crossed in front of him.

I shared with the audience that sign interpreters translate a foreign language. The National Center for Health Statistics under U.S. Department of Health, Human Services notes, “Approximately 34 million Americans have significant hearing loss – almost six million are profoundly deaf.”

I shared differences between cultures. A deaf person usually has not heard sound. Deaf may be considered legally deaf or proficient in hearing a few sounds, but not able to ‘tie’ sounds together. There’s a huge culture with the Deaf community – many do not want to be “fixed.” Their first language often is sign language, not English.

In many instances, CART is not the best accommodation. There are 22 sign languages; American Sign Language, ASL, is most common. Reading levels differ among cultures. Captioning is improving reading, but ASL, a conceptual language, may still be the person’s first language – not CART.

The key question: What’s the first language, sign or English?

Deaf babies are not typically born to deaf parents. Ninety percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Children may become deaf through illness or injury. Many Deaf parents pray that their child is born Deaf. When a hearing child is born to Deaf parents, that child will have a life and a culture that is usually “away” from Deaf culture.

I still remember one deaf couple I met; one parent uses ASL, the other Signed Exact English, SEE, which are different languages. Together they are learning signs, a new language. Their 17-month-old hearing baby communicates with ASL and SEE.

The child has never had a tantrum.

I asked, “Why?”

They replied, “The baby knows ‘crying’ won’t receive a response and signs complete sentences with requests, comments.”

People who are hard of hearing usually have heard sound, may wear hearing aids to enhance sounds, and may choose a cochlear implant, which requires relearning how to hear sounds. Oral deaf usually do not sign; they read lips and communicate without sign language.

Deaf and HOH use lights and vibrators, for alarms, doorbells, smoke detectors and phones. Many now use beepers, BlackBerries, text messaging, computers, communicating via computer keyboard without assistance from hearing. TTY relay state services are experiencing fewer calls because of computer technology.

To receive a sign name, one must be gifted by Deaf. My sign name is a dancing ‘M’ in each hand at waist level. This is unusual as most signs are displayed at neck or face level.

CART may be one-to-one, one reporter writing on one computer for one viewer or one-to-many, which is writing for multiple viewers.

I shared my belief with the teachers: Students should not practice on people who need CART at work or request class transcripts.

Why should a student provide a record for someone who needs a verbatim transcript?

Students do not practice as court officials. Students intern with a trained reporter. My belief evolved after working with people who are Deaf and HOH, 13 years, listening. We have much to learn from people who need our ears.

What is necessary before a CART request? We need to understand differences among cultures. CART is not the first language for a person with ‘sign’ as main communication.

First, I shared we have dreams and then goals. We work to achieve a goal. Working toward a verbatim text is a goal students and reporters always strive to achieve.

I watched teachers laugh at the end of my seminar and looked to my right. Thomas was solemnly nodding as I shared about CART and consumers, which are topics he’s known since he was four.

Now I share “your dream is your goal.”

After we flew home, Tom wrote the following project for his computer class:

One day a cat, Steno, was sleeping. When he woke, Steno realized he had the same dream he had before. So, Steno asked his friends about this dream. They said, “Go to a cataulligist.” So Steno asked a cataulligist.

The cataulligist said, “You have a goal. That’s why you have that dream.”

Steno asked, “I have a goal? What is my goal?”

“Your goal is your dream.”

“My goal is my dream?”

The cataulligist, “Yes, your dream is your goal.”

“So, what do I do with my dream?”

“You do what your dream is.”

“So, you’re saying I should do my dream? What if my dream is a bad dream like a nightmare?”

The cataulligist, “Then don’t do it.”

“But you just told me to do my dream.”

“That was before. What is your dream about?”

“My dream is to become a court reporter.”

The cataulligist asked: “So, that’s your goal?”

Steno answered, “Yes! My dream is my goal, to become a court reporter!”

Thomas’s green project cover “The Dream” has a cat sleeping with a bubble above its head. Inside the bubble a small person is seated on a large chair, reaching out to a large steno machine on a tripod. The cat has a large smile on his face. The End.

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

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

Tutor, Motivational Management & Career Coach,
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
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!

21 Jul 2008

Greater Expectations And Chasing Rabbits

Greater Expectations And Chasing Rabbits
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Replies continue to arrive and percolate from my NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, JCR column “Great Expectations.” Each day I listen, process and filter information from students, court reporters, CART providers and broadcast captioners regarding court reporting and my tutoring services.

Much current discussion is now at-hand concerning how others view our work. We are experiencing changes in expectations – shifts – from large companies working with captioners and CART providers and ER (electronic recording) companies working in courthouses (and other locations). And we have shifts in contracting, each affecting all areas — as I see it.

Recently, I returned the call from a student. She has been in school for over four years. With much emotion (my phrase, passion), she shared her world. I asked a few questions, including whether she read back.

She replied, “I do not like to read back or see my errors. I do not like to focus on my errors; I have to move forward.”

I howled with laughter. When I could speak I softly said, “You might see yourself profiled in my JCR column.”

She paused for only a moment before assertively replying, “That’s fine. So are you going to tell me how to do this or not?” Immediate laughter exploded, in realtime, from moi.

When we ended the call, a very different conversation had evolved. We had what I call an “accountable dialogue.”

I wished her all the best in her court reporting studies; I did not think I would hear back.

But the next morning I received an e-mail, “I’m ready to begin! Let’s get started! I realized although I’ve been in school a long time, I have much to learn. I want to be a success in this field and will do whatever you suggest to make that happen. What am I mainly looking for?”

I replied, “…Accuracy.”

She sent a lengthy e-mail ending, “What am I looking for when grading my tests?”

I replied, “…No errors.”

Her motivation now is “graduation, employment!”

She is a successful and a wise person; I hear it, see it in her e-mails.

As an afterthought, she casually shared she has a bachelor degree when we next spoke. In Texas we might say, “That dog can hunt.”

That same day, I spoke with an official realtime court reporter who has worked more than 25 years with technical daily events within her courtroom.

Then she purchased every book “out there” and attended “every seminar out there.” After attending a seminar, which changed her “entire” theory, currently she is unable to realtime. Her quest is now “to undo all I’ve changed, so I can realtime in court again.” Her motivation now is “fear of ER in our area!”

I have great respect for each of these ladies, their stories and their reaching out. Reaching out takes courage. While I worked with the student and the official, we focused on details and moved forward with new goals – a new vision – to ensure arrival where each truly desires to be.

I see similarities working with this student and experienced official court reporter. Each is sharing facts that I have heard multiple times. Each one feels ‘bad’ about where they are now.

When I shared with them that I might write this article because it continues to nudge me as a CART provider, court reporter, instructor, and tutor, each stated that she felt “bad” for the other (the student for the official; the official for the student). And each said, “If this helps others, sure, go for it.” So I am.

From my seat I see a student who does not want to look back to see her errors while an experienced successful court reporter is reaching out everywhere to perfect her writing.

I opined with the reporter that she’s like an eager individual in an ice cream factory with too many choices since she has each book, works with each book, then moves to a different book.

The reporter replied, “Too many flavors. I don’t have that problem with shoes or clothes! I’m a train with the switch broke. I’m frozen. I know once you put me on the right track moving forward I’ll be like the Little Engine that Could. I think I can. I know I can…… even if uphill!!”

We selected a book of her choice, moved her away from an entire new theory while working on the job. We are also creating a custom CAT dictionary, so she can real-time – at work and in her court again.

This lady is a success. With years on the job as an official court reporter, her goal to perfect skills determine this to be a fact. And, yes, she is nationally certified. I believe, “That dog can hunt.”

How does this relate to greater expectations? The student desires “good” notes (or “notes just to pass that test”) now and admits she has far from perfect notes. And yet she wants and needs to forge ahead.

The official, in an attempt to write perfect notes, began darting in multiple directions before she settled down to learn a new theory?

Can one learn a new theory in court, full-time, each day after having a dictionary completely changed to achieve that established goal?

All court reporters understand that transcripts must continue to be produced while advancing skills for his/her future with a multitude of valid reasons for the courthouse, judge, attorneys, all involved parties.

Can a student move forward without and unable to transcribe accurately? All court reporters, students and instructors understand when students say, “I have to get out of school.”

While writing this article, I took a call to my office. The caller defined herself as a “former educator.” She asked me questions “about court reporting training, time-on-task hooked at the hip to that machine 24/7.”

She added, “At the school, I think they are chasing a lot of rabbits.”

I thought about the student writing (4+ years), not wanting to correct errors. I also thought about the experienced official (25+ years), darting through multiple books and a new theory.

And I saw a tie-in for the student(s) and court reporter(s) and many of us.

Are we chasing a lot of rabbits to achieve our goals?

Or are we focused on specifics with realistic deadlines while fearful of changes – shifts – that have come or will be here if we don’t achieve that goal?

I listened to the former educator, and gently replied, in part, “This skill is unlike any other. It requires mastering to be successful. Individuals entering this profession and this schooling with knowledge that the pass rate is 95% (or above) in court reporting for each speed class must know this schooling and occupation have a bar of excellence very different from other professions.”

Then I shared this topic with a sign interpreter after she expressed stress and frustrations within the interpreting world. The interpreter encouraged me to stay away from stress while working.

I e-mailed back, “From your lips to God’s ears – and God’s sign interpreters – may it be so.”

Regarding the tie-in and you? Could someone say, “That court reporter or court reporting student can hunt?” Are you chasing rabbits with greater expectations?

I see a surefire path that this shift topic and the expectations are percolating with students, instructors and judicial and freelance court reporters. We have great passions and great skills. Communication is a powerful tool, and I am honored to be among you.

Monette, 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!

14 Jul 2008

Fingers, Ears, and Heart Wide Open

Fingers, Ears, and Heart Wide Open

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Court reporters and court reporting instructors are fascinating!

Court reporting students have wonderful stories to share with detailed triumphs and challenges each has overcome. And I believe this is what makes this profession so wonderful.

During the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) Teachers’ Workshop, I was enjoying dinner in a fine restaurant. My companions shared thoughts and ideas. While Cecilee Wilson spoke, Gayl Hardeman, Laura Taylor and I listened intently.

As we dined and I listened to Cecilee, I knew court reporting students and working court reporters, CART providers and broadcast captioners would want to know this true story.

Each day as I tutor experienced court reporters and court reporting students, I affirm that we are each talented in our unique way. Cecilee Wilson expanded my world and now here I share with you.

Cecilee Wilson, RMR, CRR, is a captioner and CART provider. She is inspirational. Cecilee finished school in Bountiful, Utah, and married her high school sweetheart. Her husband told her about co-workers attending reporting school. They were going to work a little and retire early because of the money.

“Then he said, ‘Bet you can’t do that,’” recalls Cecilee.

Cecilee enrolled. “I didn’t do well; others were better. I’d rather go to the dentist and get teeth drilled without Novocain than go to (court reporting) class.”

She and her husband joined the Air Force. They were stationed in New Jersey. She enrolled in Harris School of Business. Cecilee discharged after her daughter’s birth. They were transferred to England, then Salt Lake. She transferred to Abilene and enrolled in the Stenograph Institute of Texas.

She worked hard, passing a test each week until December, took time off to have her third baby girl, returned in January and passed the RPR in May 1977. Cecilee moved back to Salt Lake City and continued reporting.

She split with her husband after 14 years and five children, including a four-month-old son. On her baby’s six-month birthday, Cecilee’s neighbor asked if she wanted a ride on his Harley.

A car pulled out. “I heard the boom and blacked out.” She remembers saying, “Well, I’m not dead, that’s good.”

She gave herself a physical. “I needed a Band-Aid on my hand. If my feet would get the feeling back, I’d go to work tomorrow.” It was dark. She couldn’t see the bones sticking out of her hand and didn’t know both feet were broken.

Her right hand was pinned and casts were put on both legs. The pins were removed and “my divorce was final the same week. A friend offered to line me up with some guy.”

Cecilee was readmitted with an infection in her arm. “MY friend wanted me to meet him. My blind date consisted of her and her husband bringing him to the hospital. He joked I was a cheap date. We got married in three months.”

Within two years, they had a baby. “Eight kids: five mine, two his and one ours,” she says.

She was out of work nine months with three surgeries and physical therapy. Cecilee recovered “almost all of my hand. I was a reporter again.”

She wanted to caption in 1989 but hit dead ends.

“When my mother died in ’92, I used my inheritance for everything—captioning software, encoder,” she explains.

“I called a station and told them I’d caption pro bono the governor’s state of the state address. The station decided to caption a script, but kept my card. In March, Easter Seals was looking to caption their telethon. The station gave them my card. I captioned 14 hours in two days. Soon I captioned the University of Utah’s football games, which led to Utah Jazz and University of Utah basketball. And I was still working in court.”

During her second Jazz season, the Utah Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing phoned.

“They had seen my blurb at the end of games.”

She met with the council. They took her to meet the TV station general managers. Nobody was interested then. Later she was contacted by a general manager who wanted to caption—the next week.

“I was walking out the door for a trip to Hawaii.” She negotiated from her hotel and started the next week. Six months later she took on another station.

She worked all day in court, wrote the 5:30 news from her office, drove home and wrote the 9 and 10 p.m. news or a three-hour game. She finished at 11:45 p.m. one night with a game in overtime and trial the next morning.

“Clearly this was killing me,” says Cecilee. “I had to quit court; the rest is history.”

Cecilee now has six grandchildren, three girls, three boys.

She spends her free time knitting, crocheting, spinning, and quilting.

They raise sheep. “As lawn mowers for pasture; in the spring we shear them. I spin the wool, as time allows. We put some in the freezer. When my kids want to know what the name is of the new lamb, we say, ‘Dinner’. It keeps the in-laws from visiting, especially when they know the Thanksgiving turkey is grown in our yard.”

Her husband, Leroy, has a degree in ceramic art and currently is earning a degree in education. He wants to teach. “He does all the cooking,” she says. “Sometimes he brings me food while I’m captioning.” During a Salt Lake City tornado, she was on-air four hours with no commercials. He brought sodas with a straw and held them for her.

One year, she “thought it would be cool to make an NCRA centennial quilt and donate it to the NCRF auction.” NCRF sent past logos.

“That became the main design. I have quilt frames behind my chair. During commercials, I have a hard time doing nothing for two minutes. I turn around, quilt, drop the needle and caption again.”

As she recounted these details, my Pittsburgh dining companions and I listened. You could’ve heard a pin drop at our table. I slowly sipped my glass of wine, wide-eyed as she spoke.

I asked Cecilee what motivates her.

“The only thing remarkable about me is that I am very unremarkable. People have supported and helped me. I am continually thankful.”

What keeps her smiling?

“I think my life is a reflection of love of God and Jesus Christ—God for allowing me trials and giving me strength to overcome them; Jesus Christ for giving me His example and being my savior. That’s really the truth.”

I’ll always remember her gracious big smile and gentle laugh.

Cecilee Wilson is way beyond any comfort zone. Ears, fingers, heart and wise soul, wide open, sharing truly and purely.

Monette Benoit may be reached at: Tutoring@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 & 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!

11 Jul 2008

We Must Remember Phyllis Beck

We Must Remember Phyllis Beck
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Phyllis Beck will always have a special place within my heart, my world.
Phyllis and my brother, Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly, met online in 1998 when each sought answers to their hepatitis C diagnosis.

Phyllis and Kevin forged a wonderful friendship based on respect and integrity.
They created a team with mutual goals and a desire to seek answers to help others on this path.

I am just a sibling. Phyllis helped me when I most needed her help, so I could move forward in my world – to honor the work Kevin had created alone – and working with Phyllis Beck.

Kevin learned (and documented) he was gifted the hepatitis C virus from military vaccinations.
My father now has the virus from a hospital blood transfusion.

Phyllis helped me, as a sibling and a daughter, to digest this information. Phyllis returned every e-mail, every phone call. She truly cared.

Kevin’s medical and scientific research was an asset and combined with Phyllis Beck’s nursing and research skills, each was detail oriented to the max.

Each had a gift for seeking answers and for finding wisdom in bleak moments – often with a smile and a determined resolve.

I first heard about Phyllis Beck from my youngest brother prior to his death.
I learned how special Phyllis was after Kevin’s death.

Phyllis Beck, in Oregon, was the last person within the hepatitis C community to speak to my brother the night of his death August 5th, 2000.

They were working to fulfill Phyllis Beck’s goal toward creating information for prisoners and an online forum for prisoners and their families.
After Kevin’s funeral, I learned Kevin and Phyllis spoke that evening and were focused on creating a venue for Dr. Ben Cecil, a veteran, to assist in this specific goal.

After Kevin’s sudden death, I stood tall and faced the wind to listen, if I could, per my brother’s request.
When I learned Phyllis had spoken to my brother that evening, I reached out to Phyllis to help me with answers and questions as they arose.

Phyllis Beck rose to the occasion.
She honored my brother Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly sharing, with me, his work, his world – personal and professional. I learned they truly did have a special friendship.

When Kevin’s widow, Justine Velocchi Lomonte Donnelly, a veteran and nurse, refused to share Kevin’s research, his address book or any information, Phyllis Beck stepped forward for the hepatitis C community.

Phyllis phoned the number she had phoned so often to speak with Kevin and phoned Kevin’s widow. Phyllis politely, respectfully spoke to Michelle Lomonte, stepdaughter, and Tina, widow. Each request by Phyllis Beck was refused.

Phyllis was a trained nurse. While requesting Kevin’s work, she listened – at length- to members within Kevin’s residence immediately following his death – to honor Kevin and to pursue the goal Kevin had asked of Phyllis prior to his death.

Kevin had asked Phyllis (and a handful of close friends) to ask for Kevin’s work, his research — to ensure the hepatitis community did have information from Kevin’s research, his address book.

Once her request was refused, Phyllis phoned Kevin’s residence and offered to purchase the information related specifically to Kevin’s work (which he had dedicated the last 2+ years of his life). That offer was refused, too, by Kevin’s widow.

Professionals, veterans and patients have deliberately documented that Kevin’s work would have helped the entire hepatitis C community.

Due to the refusal to share any – any – of Kevin’s research and hepatitis information, Phyllis and I continued to chat.

Perhaps had the information been shared, we might have parted paths, gone our separate way.

Phyllis’ respect for Kevin and her devoted integrity to her path, kept Phyllis focused.
And she shared many details from her world and Kevin’s personal world with me.
(She knew the brand of cigarettes Kevin smoked and how much coffee he drank each day — a true friend.)

In short, I became her friend. I learned about Phyllis, her family, her work and enjoyed listening to her laughter. I will always remember Phyllis Beck’s laughter.

Phyllis also shared a song Kevin used to sing to her. Kevin loved to sing and to whistle.

As we worked to move forward, one day Phyllis phoned and sang their song to me, laughing.
She shared how she and Kevin used to giggle in their light moments. Then they would focus back on their target — helping others. I treasure that sharing knowing how hard each worked to assist veterans, their families and prisoners. Phyllis Beck focused on information and treatment for veterans and prisoners with hep C.

Two years to the night of my brother Kevin’s death, when I learned Phyllis Beck’s goal with the online prisoner forum was not yet fulfilled, I came in overhand, as Kevin and Phyllis would have wanted.

August 5th, 2002, in Memory of Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly, Dr. Ben Cecil went online with Phyllis Beck to answer questions from prisoners and their families relating to hepatitis C and multiple issues.

We need to remember this dedicated lady.

We need to know Phyllis labored and laughed and achieved goals many only dream about — all to help others to find answers to the hepatitis island where many find themselves upon diagnosis.

When I learned Phyllis Beck had died, it was after I reached out to Phyllis to help me with a request. A hospitalized man needed help. I e-mailed Phyllis as I had for eight years.

I reached up to Phyllis Beck – again.

It seemed odd to not receive an e-mail, “Hey, HOW are YOU?” included with her reply.
But this time there was silence. Then I received an e-mail from a member of Phyllis Beck’s family sharing she died March 21, 2008.

Tears filled my eyes; I did not know she was ill. I did not know.

After communicating, sharing, laughing and listening for eights years since Kevin Drue Donnelly’s death, I did not know.

And I felt pain not knowing Phyllis Beck was so ill.

Head bowed, I immediately prayed for Phyllis and felt a warm feeling. In my heart, as close as Kevin and Phyllis were to each other in their commitment to helping others, I believe Kevin met Phyllis when she arrived in heaven.
I have learned: this group sticks together, and it is to comfort and to help each other.

Phyllis Beck, you were so wise.
Thank you for teaching me, for laughing with me, for singing ‘your’ song and for the personal moments we privately shared.
I have so much information, knowledge – personal and professional – because you shared – and you cared so much.

May God Bless you and all those who now follow in your footsteps, Phyllis.

“Why? Because I gave my brother my Word.”

Phyllis Beck would want me to write that Kevin Drue Donnelly is the author of “The Panama Story” – a gifted novel on the true origins of hepatitis and virus testing – combined with a novel setting by Kevin to keep the readers interested. This free story is posted: http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/PanamaTitle.html

I know Phyllis enjoyed Kevin’s story, written one chapter a night, many moons ago.
Kevin’s web site, Veterans Helping Veterans, http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/index.html, is now run by LeighAnn Vogel and may be referenced for multiple facts and details for veterans and their families: http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/

We are where we are now because of our ability to look back and to embrace each other.

Please share this posting with others. Please remember Phyllis Beck.

You are at peace now, my friend.

Your work is done. And we will miss you and your laughter, Phyllis Beck.

Much love, much respect,
Monette Benoit
Kevin’s Sister
Monette@CRRbooks.com and www.ARTCS.com

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA. She is the author of multiple books to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, a companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Dictionary CD Software Program series.


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

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist.

She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

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

20 May 2008

She’s the CARTographer; She Does CARTography!

She’s the CARTographer; She Does CARTography!
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Arriving home Christmas evening, we received the call that a friend’s father had died. “The wake is tomorrow. Could you attend?” While my family checked funeral attire, I pulled the obituary for specifics. I had first met the deceased gentleman and family 25 years ago.

The next evening, we walked into the crowded funeral parlor. The main lobby split off into a separate room, which then extended to a smaller room. Immediate family members and the casket were in this smallest room.

We were hugged by people we had not seen in a long time. People approached saying, “Hey, I know you.” I giggled each time. I spoke to an “ex” who attended; we caught up on events, families. Soon the “ex” said, “I really should be going – you know.” I giggled. Yes, I knew.

The man who died had a wonderful family. His 92-year old mother was in the smallest room with his widow, children, grandchildren, friends and co-workers. People approached to view photographs, then spoke to the family to say good-bye before departing the wake. Alone for a moment, I sat in the chair by the door. (As court reporters we are trained to be master observers.)

Multiple mini-groups gathered. People were consoling family, politely bumping into others within this smallest room. Men and women held hands and offered tissues. My husband spoke to a small group. I saw a woman gesture –– and then stop her gesture with her other arm. I smiled. (My February 2007 column “CART, Signs and The Library,” describes a typical day in my world.) She looked familiar. I hoped I was not staring.

My husband called me over, and I stepped forward in one step. After introductions I said softly, “It’s been a while; I believe we know each other.” She laughed; again I saw a hand and wrist gesture.

I asked, “Are you a sign interpreter?” As we stood together, she turned her head. And when she turned, I saw her profile –– at the same angle I remember as I CARTed her work and projected realtime voiced text to large screens. We had worked multiple large events together.

I softly asked, “You’re the sign interpreter who drove the crappy car and lived in the country, aren’t you?”

She shrieked, “YES! I can’t believe you remember that! I did drive a crappy car. You’re the CARTographer!” She launched into my lungs; she threw herself at me in a long-lost friendship hug. She screamed into my right ear, “You’re Moe-net!”

While gripped in this realtime hug two feet from my left elbow was the open casket of the man whose funeral we were attending. I winced, frowned and looked to the adult children.

The person who invited us froze, then said to his grandmother, mother and the rest of his family: “It’s okay, everybody. They’re old friends who just found each other! That’s why they’re hugging, laughing.” A long silence, a pause, hung in the air. My head down, still gripped in this realtime hug, I peeked over to the 92-year old mother, widow, his family.

Soon, in unison, a collective sigh, “oh,” floated from each person. I heard, “They’re old friends” drift into the larger room and then lobby. Startled looks now were replaced with bright smiles. Large nods of approval were shared among this entire gathering.

My head still respectfully down, I looked to the interpreter softly saying, “You complained about your crappy car. I had to write the word ‘crappy’ on large screens a lot. I remember you.” (In 1993, I wrote “crap [delete space] y” and hoped initially it translated correctly. It did. Thank you, God.) She howled with laughter. Everyone, to include people, kneeling, praying at the casket, smiled.

I said softly, “This does seem surreal, doesn’t it?”

She said, “I never forgot you after all the jobs we worked together. Has it been 14 years? I always remember you as the CARTographer. You were the first.”

Still cautious of this event, where we were ––surrounded by large funeral wreaths, an open casket –– I smiled. She began introducing me to people saying, “She’s my friend, the CARTographer. She does CARTography.”

Each person smiled; some tilted their heads. I said not a word until the fourth introduction. I quietly asked, “May I?” Everyone nodded.

I softly said, “CART –– court reporting – like captioning –”

But the interpreter, “No, she’s the CARTographer. Trust me. I found my old friend. This is wonderful!” Head down, I watched the family. She and I exchanged private information and promised to keep in touch.

After the interpreter (ASL Master Level 5) departed, I stepped back to my chair and sat. I was watching the 92-year old mother. She sat alone. I stood, stepped to my right in one step; I put my hand on her shoulder. She smiled up at me. Slowly, I began to rub her shoulder, her back. Then I leaned over, and without a word, I hugged her.

She looked up to me saying, “I can’t see very well.” After a long pause with continued eye contact, I asked why not. She said, “I’ve cried so many tears today, my eyeglasses are filthy. I can’t see from all tears I’ve shed today.”

I raised my voice and called to her great-granddaughter, Kathy. Within seconds, I addressed the adult (whom I’ve known 18 years), “Here. These eyeglasses need to be washed. Do you want to do that for her?” Kathy took the glasses, ran off.

I looked back to the woman and softly said, “Oh, she’ll feel so good helping you. Now we just had to do that for her, didn’t we?” We both burst into loud laughter.

When the sparkling eyeglasses were returned, she beamed, “I can see now. I can see everyone and my son (in casket). Oh, I have lived to see so many miracles. Thank you. You’re the CARTographer, aren’t you?”

I looked to this sweet woman, “Yes, I am.” I added, “I’m also a court reporter.”

She said, “Oh, but this CARTography sounds so much more interesting. Thank you for coming to my son’s funeral and for bringing laughter. I’m so glad to meet you. And now I can see.”

The court reporter in me was proud and humbled to experience this event culminated by a 25-year friendship and my CART services 14 years ago into a special memory-moment (deaf phrase). That evening I chose to decline the opportunity to accurately define my CART description.

As I prepped to leave, a sibling I did not know approached to say good-bye. He looked tired and sad. He leaned on the doorframe saying to me, “I don’t have a brother any more.”

I gasped. Those were the exact words I said when I was told my brother was dead. (I had gasped and looked to my husband saying, “I don’t have a baby brother any more.” Kevin hated the word baby.)

Hesitating, I looked to the brother that evening. Everyone in the room had paused and waited. I slowly, softly – voice cracking, said, “The hardest part is learning to get past ‘I have’ to ‘I had.’ It’s the ‘a’ in each word,” and I paused.

As I paused, the brother of the deceased gentleman leaned over to rub my shoulder.

He said “I hear you’re the CARTographer. It’s like Camelot. Your work is CART-a-lot, right?”

I nodded while he rubbed my shoulders. When I glanced up, his eyes were red, moist; his mother’s eyes were crystal clear. She sparkled.

It is an honor to share what we do each day. I listened, laughed, hugged, rubbed shoulders and had my shoulders rubbed in consolation. That evening confirmed again how grateful I am for possibilities that appear each day, each evening within each gathering of people.

And now I ask you: “Can you see?”

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!

08 May 2008

Take That CART And Shove It? and "Dad, Your Ears Are Dirty!"

Take That CART And Shove It? and “Dad, Your Ears Are Dirty!”
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Years ago, thousands chanted: “Take this job and ….”

Has anyone here diligently worked with new technology, new boundaries?

Have you, too, worked multiple uncompensated hours to prepare, organized the event, CARTed to a large screen with new names, words, acronyms?

Have you ever felt it all uncoil in an instant, in public? Ever felt verbally slapped? I’m grateful that I live in a country where people are free to express themselves. Yet I have “a dream,” many.

While flying to CART a job, I was reading the airline magazine. A note was penned: “Dad has the following in his ears: (a) wax; (b) blackheads; (c) dirt; (d) puss; (e) all the above.” Below in all caps: “Dad, your ears are dirty; it’s number (e)!” What does a man do when a child has written him a note like this, in an airplane? I giggled, wondered, and what were those ears like?

What’s my point here?

I know CART, communication access real-time technology, is still new to some. I’ve spent hours, months, years (as others), educating, sharing, explaining.

When I remember incidents where I felt verbally slapped, the comments came from hearing people who did not need, want and/or utilize the CART services upon which they’re commenting. Their words were loudly tossed across a room, often with the hearing person laughing, opining.

Two recent events leave me stunned. Those who know what ‘should have been said and/or done’ have the benefit of knowing from your chair, not in realtime, and I humbly share.

At the end of a week-long convention, just before the finale, everyone took a break.

I had been arriving and departing the hotel in the dark. I hadn’t seen the sun in days. I had not eaten a full meal since the start of the CART job.

After months of prepping; I saw a light at the end of that tunnel. I was proud of the work, my job and pleased with the responses from the audience.

On that break on the last day, a woman approached in the large hotel lobby, one finger pointed, and raised her voice. She said, quote, “Man, I would never want you on my murder trial!” (Those were her exact words — honest.)

I froze and turned around. Then I realized she was speaking to me!

I tipped my head, asking, “Hmmm, why is that?”

She said louder, “Because you don’t get it word for word!”

I giggled, then saw she had placed one hand on each hip and put her chin forward, thrown her shoulders back. Everyone froze; people held elevators, employees stood still.

She continued, “And you substitute some words. And you spell words you don’t have in that computer. And I wouldn’t want you as my court reporter!”

The gauntlet was tossed.

I stood tall, replying slowly, “Let me share about my services, my skills; what I’ve been doing this past week.” (I had been projecting instant verbatim text to a large screen. This convention had international speakers with foreign accents. Their topics changed almost every hour. New speakers arrived, at the last moment, to fill in or to share the topic. Yes, there were open mics on the floor from which the group asked questions to the speakers and to multiple panels on a variety of topics.)

After I briefly explained CART, communication access real-time technology, people leaned in to listen.

Finally the woman, wearing a bright red suit, laughed, raising her voice, “Wow, I’m so glad I told you. Now I can get a good night’s sleep!”

I blinked hard, smiled and said, “Thank you for permitting me to share.”

She stepped into a fully populated elevator, which had been held waiting for her; I returned to work.

Yes, individuals who had scheduled CART did appear somewhat horrified.

When the convention ended, I was still gritting my teeth. Later she re-entered the room, dramatically waved, pointed at me to her companions. The consumers who needed CART services, shook their heads. Later consumers shared their daily frustrations. Later I received my hugs as I packed my equipment.

Again consumers reminded me why I do this; why I arrived at the convention before dark, missing more than my share of food that week, why I work so hard. My sacrifices, commitment, to completion of the job paid off when individuals from this group promised they would request CART for all future events, locally and nationally.

What could I have done to prevent that? If one is writing for a ‘crowd’ to a large screen, we don’t always have an opportunity to address the audience. What should have been different? I’m still thinking on it.

Shortly thereafter, I was asked to accompany a court reporter to present in a large university. They specifically requested their guest speakers to “focus on technology.”

The court reporter specifically requested I share about CART as a guest speaker to the students, academicians and university administration.

I specifically prepped to share a history of CAT (computer-assisted technology), broadcast captioning, CART and to methodically launch into technology. Adults were seated as we entered.

Directed to the front of the room, I dragged another chair, another table, unpacked my equipment – again, while others sat and watched – to demo the technology to this audience, per their request. Just another day at the office for me. I smiled at a few adults who watched all my bending(s). I noted that the professor, her associates, were seated with superiors and administration.

It was smooth sailing. Students listened intently; professors nodded and took notes on their clipboards.

At the end of my presentation, the professor asked: “Can they see your equipment and screen?” where I had been CARTing earlier.

“Sure,” I replied.

Students leaped toward me. They asked (as people often do) for their name (and many asked for cuss words) to be written. And they asked, “Can we touch that machine?”

When the class ended, students stood and began to race to the door.

Suddenly, swiftly, the professor, waving one arm, laughing, loudly said, “Now do you see the difference? Our first speaker, the court reporter, gets the record word for word. Monette, the court reporter and CART provider, only summarizes! That’s the difference. Monette’s just summarizing it up there.”

Everyone exploded with laughter. I thought I’d been slapped.

Should I correct the instructor, as everyone exited? Should I comment while she’s standing and chatting with her peers and supervisors?

I quickly assessed this scenario in realtime, looked up and everyone was gone. It was as if they’d gone up in smoke. I was furious. I had clearly explained what we do, how we do it (a word she used), how ‘we’ CART, working with court reporters, consumers, Deaf, HOH (hard of hearing) individuals and the public.

Yet a loud, public comment about “Monette just summarizing” ended our presentations.

I know thigh-by-thigh reporting (my term) in the trenches is the best.

I know I’ll need to continue educating, sharing. I know I’ll need to return another long distance call to explain again to hearing people ‘what it is I really do’.

Yet I do yearn for a time when people are as familiar with CART as they are with court, depositions and now television captioning.

We are blessed to have choices so many never have had. Take that CART and shove it? No, not yet. “Dad, has the following in his ears …” What a great country.

PS: After this was written, my family gathered for a wedding. During dinner, a relative arrived from a large U.S. city.

She leaned down the long table: “I know a court reporter who takes notes in a college for a student.”

Monette (me) paused cautiously and smiled: “That’s great.”

She: “She’s not in court or anything. She’s ‘just’ taking notes.” Everyone had stopped eating and waited, looking down the table from her to me.

Monette cautiously: “If she’s a court reporter in a college with a student, she’s probably CARTing and providing a verbatim transcript.”

Relative laughing, loudly, “Oh, no. She’s not technical like you;” whereupon, I froze.

Relative: “The court reporter says she just takes her ‘stuff’ to the college and does notes. Those are ‘her’ exact words!

I blinked hard, smiled, looked down the long table to all the relatives and said, “That’s nice.”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!

13 Apr 2008

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part VI of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part VI of VII
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

CART’s FAQ Parts I through V and many articles I’ve written about my experiences since 1993 as an experienced CART provider, college instructor and tutor with CART and deaf, HOH (hard of hearing) topics are posted on http://www.catapultdix.com/ and Monette’s Musings, http://www.monettebenoit.com/

This CART FAQ series is being digested by thousands of consumers, professionals, court reporters, captioners, captionists, teachers, students. My goal is to serve you and help all.

37. “When am I ready to CART? As a student? Can I CART while in school or should I wait?”

Through the years of my court reporting, teaching, CARTing and writing for the JCR, this question percolates.

I ask # 37 in return: Is the consumer consulted?

The majority of students enrolled within court reporting schools train toward freelance or official positions. As captioning programs expand, this will shift. Yet these same students would not be permitted to sit in court or depositions providing a public “record” prior to graduation (think “real transcript”).

Our world is technical and litigious; more so than when students long ago graduated at 175 wpm, words per minute, and produced a record post-event.

CART necessitates producing a record live one-on-one, one-to-many and remote CART is an option now. Providing the CART record post-event is not permissible if a consumer or job request needs CART and needs it — now.

Within the litigation arenas, not many legal scholars desire to have a student “practicing” while creating a record. In fact, it is illegal in many areas.

Shouldn’t we ask why a student can “practice” CART producing a product, an ASCII, as a service?

Are they interning or practicing? An intern does not share their skill with judges, lawyers or deponents.

Captioners do not practice on-air, do they?

Should a court reporting student practice with a consumer?

Is this a slippery slope? Yes.

Are students able to write “sustained” 180–240 wpm, 98–99 percent?

Can the student fingerspell in real-time, stitch words, produce a “record” for the person needing this instant verbatim skill?

Just because a student passes one jury charge or one literary five-minute test at 140–160 wpm, words per minute, does this mean he or she writes sustained speeds accurately?

Is the student actually charging for CART while in school at 160 wpm? Unbelievable, but true.

Is the student undercutting the experienced CART providers who earned the right to provide a service without “practicing”?

Do they give, sell, share an ASCII to the consumer and to fellow students? Does the college know this?

How technical is the class? Do they CART videos (another high set of skills)?

Perhaps I would not want my child to rely upon a court reporting student, one not trained for this wonderful field, who “practices” while my child earns a degree or diploma.

I have spoken to many people practicing to CART.

I have asked each if they would want their child to receive the transcript they are producing while a student is enrolled online or in class in a court reporting program. Their honest answers are “no, I would want an experienced person.”

Is the college, school district, university setting, whoever permits a court reporting student to “practice,” doing so to save money, stating they’re complying with the ADA? Many are, and state money, funding, is the reason for their decision to hire someone who is not qualified – yet. Will that person then raise their fee once they are experienced? And will the college, school district, university then find another CART student who is willing ‘to practice’ to save more money?

Is the student who is deaf or hard-of-hearing fearful to speak up, knowing words are “dropped” and dashed out, while the reporting student practices? Is the student missing part of the class with words that are unreadable? What will the student do when this material is on the next quiz or test? (This happens.)

Shouldn’t we be concerned that consumers are fearful, believing “something is better than nothing.” (Another article I authored and have posted regarding CART.)

If a court reporting graduate prepares, works toward the goal of CART, yes, he or she should be able to CART — as long as the graduate trains, and, additionally, learns about Deaf and hard-of-hearing sensitivity and cultures.

Is English the consumer’s language or “sign?” This question is essential to the service we provide.

38. “Should I practice in church?”

Oh, my. Does anyone think “practicing” should be done in a home, classroom, some private location?

People attending church deserve the same privileges as someone in a class or meeting. Many live with daily frustrations from physical or emotional challenges.

I learned to CART writing church services for a Deaf mass. In 1993, I practiced six months, seven days a week at home and in church while I was teaching two shifts. When I was practicing at St. Francesco di Paola (St. Francis), my screen was turned down until I had terms for a large screen in their Deaf mass. I did not project to a large screen until I had prepared.

How can a person “hear” the Word of God if the reporter is practicing and displaying untranslates?

Sadly, I “hear” about this too often, in church and classrooms. Those sharing “how can I hear the word of God” are the consumers.

The people practicing write — repeatedly –, “How do I …” and “When should I …?” (Which is why this CART FAQ is being shared.)

39. “Should I practice on a student?” Please see my “Something Is Better Than Nothing?” article, posting.

40. “And what if an experienced CART provider isn’t available? Is something better than nothing?”

See my previous answer.

Several years ago, I lost a large national client when they decided “something is better than nothing.” I could not, would not participate with their opinion knowing how this was affecting everyone.

The company traveled the United States. They were selling medical services. And doctors, audiologists and medical professionals presented detailed information that may result in a surgical procedure.

The voiced discussions needed to be projected to a large screen to assist people in the audience who were attending the meeting. I scheduled CART providers.

One location did not have experienced CART providers. (Many were CRRs, certified realtime writers, realtiming depositions or in court, which requires different professional skills.)

I phoned 30 court reporters. Not one had experience or the equipment needed to project to a large screen. This was not an event for a person who had never CARTed to a large screen.

When I phoned my client to tell them I could not serve their request with a “local reporter,” they were angry.

Due to the location they had selected remote services were not an option. I shared that I could provide an experienced person to travel; the reporter would need lodging for the one evening due to the length of the drive and their meeting.

The company hiring the CART services said, quote, “Something is better than nothing.”

I replied that my company, my ethics, my reputation, could not agree “to that.”

They (hearing) were adamant stating: “Even if ‘they’ (audience) get 80 percent, it’s better than nothing.” (A number “they” -hearing- created and deemed sufficient.)

I knew people attending that evening would need much more than 80 percent. I knew potential clients to this company would need 99 percent – all discussions would be technical and medical topics, if clients were going to, perhaps, accept the medical services this company was selling.

In realtime I apologized to the company representative I had helped with many meetings after listening to the individual instruct me to “just find someone.” I stated that I could not assist this location per their requests.

So the national company (later they shared they “paid lots of money”) hired a typist, a person to type on a laptop, hooked to a projector, in realtime. A typist? Someone with no training? A typist was paid?

The large national company was not upset a CART provider wasn’t realtiming. They were upset: “You, Monette, don’t believe 80 percent is good enough!”

Well, it’s not! As accuracy rates lower and “practicing” expands with consumers or students, we are enabling avenues in communication to justify “their” lower rates. Alternative providers are more cost-effective for schools requesting and accepting lower accuracies. We are opening the door for others.

If we continue to lower the bar of our services, the verbatim skills we worked decades to raise, alternative resources will come forward to compete with us. In fact, they already are. Some are now “practicing” in the back of the room while the CART provider now “works.”

I am contacted about these topics almost every day. I share where I may; I help where I can.

Yet I ask again: Has anyone asked consumers which accuracy they prefer? And do we really want to justify lower accuracy rates by and for people who are practicing — with steno machines or alternative methods?

This is a CART slippery slope for students, schools and consumers. We can make a difference with interns. Do we really need to create precedents that lower our skills with “practicing” CART providers on-the-job providing a verbatim record?

P.S.: After I finished this article, an experienced court reporter phoned my office. She was asked to demo university-level CART. Years ago, court reporting students had “practiced” while charging very low rates. The university hired the students to save the college money. The students went in the university classrooms to “practice” for when they can provide CART.

The students’ transcripts were so bad, all the Deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers requested notetakers or sign interpreters. Consumers requested the student CART providers not continue to help them. (The court reporter said, “consumers were too frustrated to view the screens.”)

The experienced CART providers, court reporters, then were asked to meet the students’ (very low) price. They could not.

Now reporters were being asked to demo, to share professional skills and to prove they (experienced CART providers) could provide the service.

Her question to me today: “Where and how do I begin, and how do I begin to pick up all the pieces here to help the consumers who want us back in the classroom?”

The saddest part to me: This will not be the last time I am contacted with this scenario. So sad, indeed.

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!

10 Apr 2008

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part V of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part V of VII

By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.

Every day, like you, I receive e-mails. People contact me each day as a court reporter, CART provider, instructor, tutor, and author of NCRA, written knowledge test, “WKT” test prep material. Like you, I’m working to ensure we have an accurate record and to give back. My goal is to serve others.

Sometimes I receive an e-mail stinger. I may “see” frustration; I may address that.

But there are many e-mails where I giggle. I understand we’re working hard, probably too hard.

Today’s goal: If this article gifts you with new information, a smile, a giggle, ending with my “memory-moment,” I’ll have done my job — today — for tomorrow.

You can embrace this technology, become embraced by a new world; one that expands each day, as we share our skills, listening to those who teach us – our consumers.

Please refer to my NCRA JCR online articles within the CART Special Interest Area (members only, per NCRA) for previous questions and answers.

To further assist you, part I, II, III, IV and V and many articles that I’ve written about my experiences with CART and deaf/Deaf and HOH (hard of hearing) topics are online at http://www.catapultdix.com/ and Monette’s Musings, http://www.monettebenoit.com/

30. “What is oral deaf? Does that mean they talk clearly, but can’t hear?”

The person is deaf and does not sign. A person chooses not to use sign language. If you’re new to CART, it’s not “aural” deaf. While the audience giggles, reporters blush if they were not aware of the phrase beforehand.

31. “Why would they choose not to sign?”

A person with hearing loss may choose to read lips. The age at which hearing loss begins is an important factor in the choice. Some oral deaf may become deaf early in life. A parent helps with the decision, perhaps with a teacher, doctor or audiologist. Most oral deaf that I know made the decision with their mother.

I know a very successful (high profile) businessman who refuses to learn sign or read lips, asking others “to write it down.” (He hands me his paper and pencil each time.)

I asked why he didn’t read lips or sign. He answered, “I don’t want to.”

I threw my head back and laughed.

Others were horrified that I had even asked this question. But I had an opportunity to engage in a wonderful, honest conversation; I learned a lot from the gentleman. And the moment that was missed by almost everyone who was standing there when I initially asked my question was he thanked me for asking. After he shared, he leaned over, shook my hand and thanked me. I tapped his shoulder and gently nodded. I get it.

Many oral deaf make the decision early in their deafness to try to get along without sign.

The Deaf worlds are very different from oral deaf: this culture of individuality and its social and professional settings often help to define the decision. Yet the majority of my oral-deaf friends do not know any sign. Since I can tease them, as they tease me, I may sign, as we chat, “turning voice-box off.” (Voice-box is an important term to know and to have in your vocabulary.)

Again, one’s knowledge and acceptance within deaf culture will enhance and/or halt this truth in communication.

32. “I’m interested in CART. How can I learn?”

Seminars are held at state and national conventions. CARTWheel was organized by Gayl Hardeman to act as a guidepost for families and people with hearing challenges. The site (www.CARTWheel.cc) has grown with a group of leaders, pioneers and professionals who share information among professional members, apprentice members, and within legal, educational, religious and business arenas. NCRA has a CART Special Interest Area at cart.NCRAonline.org.

Read articles, prep, read, and get to know thee consumer.

You will be thanked and will learn buckets of information at the feet of the masters. This community has been wonderful embracing me – the Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, hard of hearing. Truly. Since 1993, from the trenches, I am thanked over and over for simply bearing witness and for serving to their needs, to their requests. I do not work to define what ‘they’ need without consulting with ‘they’ — as it should be.

33. “I have a job just waiting for me to CART. If I can learn how much to charge, the job’s there, so I need you to tell me how much to charge, so I can provide this service.” Another question: “I’m looking to CART/ caption on the side. I need national rates. Break it down by one-on-one or group rates – that’d be good to know, too.”

Each reporter needs to know the community. One CART provider often writes longer periods of time than team sign interpreters, and we may share an ASCII disk, verbatim translation of the job request.

Amounts vary for our services, but I can pick up the phone, learning rates in any region. So should you, after learning the culture(s) in your area.

34. “Help! You need to phone me at (long distance) tomorrow around 9 or 10. I need advice to handle clients and lots of other stuff. I’ve attended many of your sessions on CART when you spoke at the national convention. My e-mail doesn’t work, please call!”

Hmmm. I replied, via e-mail that “doesn’t work,” but was sent via e-mail: I don’t know your time zone, state, full name, qualifications or enough specifics to be helpful.

35. “I’m interested in starting a CART business. Do you own one? I need to pick someone’s brain!” Please see previous 34 questions and answers.

36. “Can you provide me with all your fees, including all marketing plans?”

Gee, I don’t think so.

I end here, in serious times, sharing a Deaf joke. “It’s funny when you get a prank call through TTY (telephone for the Deaf) and try to figure out who the caller is by speed of typing, choice of words and English language.”

Those that understand Deaf culture just smiled. If I need to explain this, it’s not funny.

Come, join us; you’ll smile, promise. My “filled with wonder” memory was gifted from a Big-D friend.

I cherish the honesty, so pure: “Monette, you see why friendship means so much? You know how people say earthly treasures don’t matter cause you can’t have them in heaven? Well, I will get to also have them in heaven.”

“I want to talk with Jesus. I think that will be one cool conversation. Hey, I will get to talk to Him verbally, and He can talk to me normal there, ’cause I will get to hear there. Yup, that will definitely be such a cool thing.”

Thanks for permitting me to share moments that pause my world to sparkle with wonder at what tomorrow may bring.

And I humbly ask each of you: Do you have wonder and excitement in your work?

CART opens new doors and opportunities each day. Truly.

And yes, you have my permission to share my articles. One set of ears, one set of hands at a time. And I still swear learning theory was the hardest thing I ever did. Placing the steno machine on the tiny tripod comes in a close second.

About the Author:

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!

08 Apr 2008

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part IV of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part IV of VII
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Comments to my CART FAQ articles continue to percolate. So shall my responses.

The following are questions I work to address pro bono as we move forward within our careers. To further assist you, Part I, II and III and many articles that I’ve written about my experiences with CART and deaf topics are online at http://www.catapultdix.com/ and Monette’s Musings, http://www.monettebenoit.com/

When I attended the national NCRA convention in New Orleans to learn, to see old buddies, to greet new friends, I listened to many individuals who stated they wanted and needed to share with me as an experienced court reporter, tutor and CART provider.

Many people are motivated, energized and ready to move forward. Some are angry and frustrated. I’m convinced that where you are depends on how you stay up with technology.

Those “frustrated” (their words) admitted they do not have the skills, knowledge or attitude to move forward. Those excited for the future created time to become familiarized with where they want to go. I share questions I received. Numbers 25-28, sadly, I’ve heard many times.

25. “Can I practice on college students? I need to learn how to provide CART.”

I was asked this so often, I picked up the mic during a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, panel seminar, and from the panel seat in front of the room, I replied, “Hell, no,” and dropped the mic on the table. It bounced.

We need to be very careful where we practice. Practicing “on” anyone who is relying upon our professional skills for an education, grade, degree, job or minutes is inappropriate.

We can practice in our home or the back of a room (perhaps at a public meeting or in a church), with the screen down. When people approach to view and/or purchase a transcript, the practicing reporter/student should be very careful.

This is their first impression of you – one long remembered.

Usually, movers and shakers attend meetings to advance their rights. It would be unwise to share work you believe to be inferior to the minutes of any meeting. (Even if they say it’s okay to have untranslates, trust me, they remember.)

Just as theory students wouldn’t think about practicing (sharing a screen or record) in court, CART providers must work toward their goal. Time invested into the goal benefits everyone – you, most of all.

26. “Can I practice in church?”

Again, practice depends on where you are. If you’re practicing within a church, screen down, reach for heaven and the stars. If you’re practicing and learning on a large screen or television, people relying on your skills may not receive “the Word of God.”

I learned in the corner, screen down. After several months, I moved forward with my practice. Skills depend on practice.

Most church terms are not within a court reporter’s dictionary. I was humbled many a time. I excelled in learning how to fingerspell on the fly (in realtime), and I added thousands of words into my dictionary before I went up on the screen.

I built my skills. This assisted everyone dependent upon my large screen during a mass dedicated to Catholic Deaf to “hear” God’s Word.

I received so many requests on this topic from working captioners, we developed a specific tool to assist religious writers. Volume E, Universal Religions Interactive CD has 40,000 terms for the ‘CATapult Your Dictionary’ CD series to assist people preparing for this path. (This CD and others are listed at http://www.catapultdix.com/.)

27. “I’m too busy to read the JCR. I’m only here for CE points. How do I learn CART, then CART remotely to the Net? I may have clients requesting this service soon.”

Everyone has to eat lunch. Everyone sits at traffic lights, in bank parking lots. Time is there. There are many opportunities to learn how to do CART. State and national conventions have CART seminars. To not attend seminars that teach how to provide this service is truly sad in my opinion.

I wouldn’t even consider CARTing to the Internet without extra hands, phone lines, equipment and technical expertise. Yes, there are some who CART remotely without extra hands, but each will share they’ve had problems. Lines go down; equipment problems occur; technical issues arise.

I wouldn’t even consider doing a remote job without technical assistance. Writing to the Internet is a job for advanced CART providers. You will have problems working jobs when you’re not seated next to your consumer/audience. Every captioner has an engineer, so should CART providers. For those who have prepared and have learned the CART remote ropes, the sky’s the limit!

28. “How much does it pay?” Please see my previous answers.

29. “I’m a CART provider and was contacted by someone who may Baker Act (commit) a deaf person. The reporters with the contract do not do CART. I’m concerned about the deaf person, their rights. Someone advised: ‘God takes care of people.’ Should I let them work this out?”

I came to a complete halt in my work and immediately phoned this reporter, saying softly, “God does not want the deaf person to get a poor job.” Then I spoke honestly and thanked this professional for reaching out to me prior to accepting this job.

Oh, my gosh! We’re guardians of the record; professionals that people look to for accuracy.

We must know when to reach out and request guidance and additional help. If someone is going to provide CART for a deaf person in any setting, that reporter must be qualified.

Are they Deaf, deaf, oral, hard-of-hearing or early deafened?

To provide realtime for any deaf or hard-of-hearing person, we must determine if the person needs a sign interpreter and/or CART provider. If the person’s first language is sign language, then it’s usually the interpreter. If the person is asked, we need to honor their choice.

Mike O’Donnell is “a deaf professional involved in the field of communication accessibility services over 13 years.” He’s a gifted man, owning Com Access, Bethesda, MD. His logo: Where Communication Barrier Has No Place.

Mike attends our NCRA conventions, works with CART providers and uses sign interpreters to assist him. He reached out to us. We need to embrace his knowledge and hear about the personal experiences he and others have had. They live with moments we can only read and write about.

We sat next to each other at the New Orleans presidential banquet. During dinner, when I signed, “My brother died one year ago tonight,” Mike took my hands, bowed his head and signed (said) a prayer to God for my brother. My world stood still — again — and I felt blessed for being embraced in this community and the trenches.

Mike has earned my respect for his commitment to all of us working together. May this be so, always.

I wish you a blessed path – in realtime – as you read this. Let’s reach out and share in realtime one set of ears, one set of hands at a time.

And yes, you have my permission to share my articles. My online articles are preserved under the CART Special Interest Group, http://cart.ncraonline.org/, http://www.catapultdix.com/ and http://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 & 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!

06 Apr 2008

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part III of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part III of VII
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part III, Falling On Deaf Ears, continues sharing CART FAQs, comments and facts that consistently cross my path.

Part I and II may be accessed http://www.catapultdix.com/ and www.monettebenoit.com

Responses from my articles continue to arrive.

And, I kindly share, the following are questions I work to address, each pro bono as people move forward with their careers.

To further assist you, many articles that I’ve written about my experiences in the trench with CART and deaf topics are online at http://www.catapultdix.com/

20) “Where do you apply to provide CART?”

That depends on where your skills and goals are. If you want to write for an educational setting, the school administration and disability offices are a great place to begin to advertise services once you are qualified.

Official reporters in courtrooms do not practice, they intern.
Qualified court reporters provide professional services as do qualified CART providers.

I strongly advise people to gather skills before they go out. Please do not go into situations, accepting professional fees for professional services, then begin to practice. Sadly, word spreads (real) fast among our community and others; reporters regretted that decision, in hindsight – always.

21) “What does it pay?”

You need to determine the level of work. How long is the commitment? One day or 12 weeks? Many factors play into the fee that you request.

I encourage people to attend national conventions, meet people and “ask ‘em.” You’d be surprised at what you learn. (And why would someone, your competitor, share with you in your backyard? Good business would be to go and meet new professionals and also new consumers.)

22) “How steady is the work? Yearly average, please.” (Honest, this was the question.)

That depends. See the above questions for this article and past two.

If a CART provider has gathered information, formed liaisons with the communities of Deaf, deaf, hard-of-hearing, etc., they won’t ask questions like that. You learn. I was told. I am still told. Sometimes it’s funny.

Our experiences, as an official and/or freelance reporter, have not leant themselves to our clearing our throats, saying, “I need …”

But in this field, when people discovered what I was earning, I received e-mails, TTY calls (telephones deaf and HOH people use) from people telling me to adjust (raise) my rates.

Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I should be offended that my rates seemed to be posted in kitchens, but if you truly become part of these communities, they become protective.

Consumers (they) do not want you to burn out and get upset you are not able to earn a living.

They’ll do much of the bargaining for you. Hard to believe if you’re still an official and/or depo reporter; this I know.

But the people who sit (my term) ‘thigh-by-thigh,’ truly want you to grow with technology and to remain available “as their ears.”

23) “Why do you do this and not depositions?” See above answer(s).

Has any attorney ever asked you to raise your rates?

Has anyone ever attended a meeting to raise money to ensure that you can provide the professional services you choose to share?

Each time I’m hugged, e-mailed, receive gestures of kindness, I feel the tug in my heart; I have that “ah-ha!” moment. There’s not enough money at this time for me to do a deposition.

I am delighted we have so many professionals providing many great services.

I choose this, working with my consumers (not clients/defendants/plaintiffs), knowing I have to write the correct word within two-seconds — knowing I’ll get that hug, thank you, often teary eye of a child or seasoned professional, who shares deep from within their heart. That’s why.

It’s wonderful to have choices; I intend to take my choices … as they come to me.

24) “What do I tell people who say my skills will not be needed due to voice and or advancing technology?” Great question.

My sincere reply to students, reporters, professionals within and outside our field (to everyone): “Obviously others have not done their research and gathered all the facts that show, in fact, our discipline as reporters ensures we will move with technology, wherever it takes us!” And I really believe that.

Reporters survive a 92 percent flunk rate to graduate from court reporting school.

We are tested each day at rates over 95 percent accuracy to advance in our schooling.

The ability to survive is a challenge, but the tenacity we earn, the orientation to fulfilling our expected tasks, that’s a discipline others do not have.

That’s the difference of a professional who will move ‘with’ technology.

We’re no different than any other profession. We will have challenges, and it’s up to us to address those challenges as a group and individually.

Last night my father was discussing technology and his role in a high school in the 1960s, using punch cards. He said, “Much of the past is similar to buggy-whippers.”

I giggled, “What part’s that? And what’s a buggy-whipper?”

Emmett, my dad said, “That was a full-time job. When there were no buggies or horses, those buggy-whippers were jobless.”

As he continued to discuss how he acted as a “human computer,” holding punch cards up to the light (11 p.m. to 4 a.m. when the school rented blocks of computer time) to see where a student’s classes were and at what level, I had my ‘memory moment’ (deaf phrase).

I thought, “Yeah, I get it.”

Emmett was also the first person to place a high school on computer, then working with IBM. When I ask why he did this, and how he foresaw this possibility, he smiles.

He still replies matter of fact, “I was seeking to keep my job in a field that was filled with an abundance of qualified teachers. I knew I had to do something different, and this was it for me — then.”

His father, my grandfather, delivered milk (he rose from a 4th grade education and became a self-made professional).

My father worked as a teacher and guidance counselor (psychologist, soicial worker, medic), expanding his skills as a (truly) “human computer.”

He’s now relating technology, referring to buggy-whippers, laughing with his daughter, a court reporter, tutor, teacher, realtime CART provider.

We have so much, so very much more to offer.

If we keep our chins up, work together and share, we will amaze — even ourselves.

And yes, you have my permission to share my articles. One set of ears, one set of hands at a time. And I still swear ‘learning theory’ was the hardest thing I ever did.

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!

04 Apr 2008

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part II of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part II of VII
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part II, Falling On Deaf Ears, continues sharing CART FAQs, comments and facts that consistently cross my path. Part I may be accessed http://www.catapultdix.com/ and Monette’s Musings, http://www.monettebenoit.com/

To further assist you, many articles that I’ve written about my experiences with CART and ‘deaf’ topics are online at http://www.catapultdix.com/

10) “How long did it take you to build your dictionary?”

This is a process. When we stop “building,” we retire from the technical world in which we live. When I began the religious realtime in 1993, I devoted six months to writing and globaling terms.

My alarm rang at 4:30 a.m. to squeeze ‘in’ one hour each morning. (I was exhausted, but knew my life was shifting each day. I felt the ‘pull’ and knew it deep within my heart.)

At the time, I was teaching full-time court reporting speed and academic classes (day and night shifts), was finishing my B.B.A., bachelor degree at Northwood University distance learning program and continued to tutor, expanding the products, books and CDs within CRR Books & CDs.

I created an additional goal of 30 minutes each evening … even if that meant staring at my steno machine across the living room. The goal was to incorporate ‘building’ into my structure. Once it became a habit, it was easier to find the time, and the challenge was to improve my skills. The challenge still continues.

11) “What accuracy do you write?”

The best I can each and every time. Learning to fingerspell dramatically improved my skills. I tease people that I spent two semesters fingerspelling university-level Latin. Knowing what is, and is not, in your dictionary, fingerspelling without hesitation, and ‘balancing’ a sense of humor is essential in this work, I believe.

12) “Do you write verbatim?”

Now don’t blast me if you think you know this answer. But this depends on my audience (one-to-one or one-to-many), the technical level of the job, what is or isn’t in my dictionary. I try to always write verbatim, but if there is a word that is used repeatedly, I can fingerspell it or I can modify the word. Having worked in courtrooms and depositions, I know there’s a fine-line to what is not verbatim.

13) “Why would you not write verbatim?”

If my consumer is learning challenged and/or disabled, if their vocabulary comprehension falls short of the level being discussed, I may need to shift my writing. When I write on a screen versus on a laptop and/or TV for one or a few, I assess each situation from the view of the consumer and the job for which I have been hired.

But if the consumer points and asks ‘what is that word,’ I have a responsibility within the role that I am providing to assist that person. If a person is Big D (Big Deaf), their English syntax is different. Often they have sign interpreters, but if the group doesn’t want to pay for an interpreter and a CART provider, you will find yourself in a role where you may need to shift how you write.

To prevent problems, I inquire about the consumer, speakers and topics before the ‘event’ to gain insight as to what may ‘pop’ up during the course of a job. And if I’m ‘up’ on a screen, the role is very different. Often I ask the person to write the word on a piece of paper; I answer their question(s) after the speakers are finished. (I prefer to answer their question on paper, if I can, to avoid embarrassing the consumer.)

14) “I keep hearing about writing environmental sounds. How much should a CART provider write?”

I have taken the stance that if I can hear it, and can get it on the screen without altering the message, I write it. I am ‘their’ ears. Samples: dogs barking (“hearing dogs” at work), stomach gurgling (if everyone is laughing, consumers should share in that moment also), rain hitting window, birds chirping (that one still draws tears), garbage truck dumping trash, baby hiccupping and crying, helicopter overhead, etc. If people comment and/or make eye gestures regarding any sounds, I try to include the description with parenthesis around the word(s).

15) “Do you think CART will grow?” Yes.

16) “How do you handle working with sign interpreters?”

Become a team. Feed them. More teams are created around food … truly. It’s a common joke that if you want deaf people to come to an event, feed them. The same is true for interpreters and CART providers.

17) “How do you know what the consumers need?”

This answer is similar to “location, location, location.” Ask. Ask. Ask them.

Recently I was in a room with hard-of-hearing and deaf people. CART was going to be provided. A sign interpreter approached, asking me if I wanted her to sign the presentation, which was being realtimed to a large screen. I paused, saying, “Gee, I don’t know. CART has been prepared as ‘the’ communication; I wouldn’t be able to pay for it myself.” The interpreter said, “That’s okay. If someone wants it, I’d be happy to sign.”

I approached the experienced CART provider, explaining the request. The verbatim reply, “No, not now…” I gasped – standing in front of a large room with an audience already seated.

As I slowly turned to the interpreter who heard the verbatim reply, the interpreter signed to the deaf, asking the consumer directly.

The request was accepted by the consumer, the person needing the communication. The interpreter then placed her chair next to the realtime monitor. The interpreter signed; more than one deaf person watched both the monitor and the interpreter.

What did I learn (again)? Ask. Ask. Ask ‘them’. And the CART provider who had said, “No, not now,” – I bowed my head because I did not agree – at all, but was not in a position to change the direct request to the consumer by the sign interpreter.

The matter was handled with the consumer’s needs addressed by the interpreter. Hard-of-hearing who had come to the event watched the screen. This consumer watched the sign interpreter and the screen.

18) “Who should I look at when I’m speaking to a deaf person and an interpreter is signing?”

Great question. I still have to concentrate and focus on the face of the deaf person. When I forget or continue to watch the interpreter, I am (nicely) refocused. The interpreter is speaking, signing for the deaf person; they ‘are in role’.

19) “What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?”

Well, that continues to evolve. This is just a sampling of a small comical moment – they occur all the time when you are truly in the trench.

During the NCRA midyear convention in San Antonio, I attended the NCRF Fundraiser. My guest was Laney Fox, a deaf teen for whom I have realtimed. I hired an interpreter, Molly Sheridan, (Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, TCDHH, Level IV) to interpret the Saturday evening with Wayne Lee, a certified hypnotist.

As we were standing in line, a person approached from behind saying, “excuse me,” several times to Laney’s back. (She wanted a napkin from the counter.) I smiled, watched. Eventually, I said, “She’s deaf (pointing to Laney). The person said, “I’m soooo sorry.” I tapped Laney and Molly’s shoulder. They asked, “What’s so funny?” I said, “She’s sorry you’re deaf.” We ‘all’ laughed. This happens a lot. Hearing people often talk to the back of a deaf or HOH person … not knowing.

Interpreters approach new clients from behind, saying the name of the person they are seeking. When one person doesn’t turn around, bingo, that’s the client.

Remember I said ‘the’ sense of humor ‘is’ important. I have a deaf friend who will go to hotel lobbies and play the piano. No-one knows he is deaf. He smiles and nods as people speak ‘to’ him. The first time I saw this, I held my ribs to stop from howling. His sincerity, eye contact, was so ‘pure,’ as each person ‘spoke’ to him. We have much to learn from each deaf and HOH person … much indeed.

You have my permission to photo, add, delete, share. And there will be a Part III. Maybe this series could be renamed to “Falling on Hearing Ears” one day. With your involvement, we can make ‘this’ a possibility. One set of ears, one set of hands at a time. And I still swear ‘learning theory’ was the hardest thing I ever did.

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!

03 Apr 2008

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part I of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part I of VII
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

As a CART provider, teacher, tutor, coach, and author, I receive many e-mails that are enlightening, sincere and detailed. Many contain paragraphs with question after question.
Many contain the same questions week after week.

I respond as best as I can, then another arrives: “How do I …?” “Where can I learn quickly …?” Many request specific information with statistics to be included, and “Can I have it before the close of business today? Do you have any forms from your business that we can use. You can e-mail or fax them to us. We really need it.”

Today I received: “How do I learn to CART and write numbers without the number bar?” “Can I attend a CART seminar if I’m not real-timing?” “If I move, how do I continue to earn money when only 50 percent of the transcripts will be ordered. I’ll earn less, but have more free time. I do real-time and have clean notes, so I’m considering CART or closed captioning if I really can’t earn enough to live on.”

Then I received this: “Regarding CART, it’s like a beehive. Everyone is protective of their own territory. Someone is going to come in with a can of Raid and kill them all off if you don’t band together, get organized.” I sent that person a thank-you note for giving me the big laugh for the day.

The continuing “how do I do it quickly” reminds me of the Dalai Lama.

One day a person asked, “How do I achieve enlightenment quickly?” The Dalai Lama responded silently. He cried.

So I’ve put together a FAQ list. Parts II-VII will follow and is posted on http://www.catapultdix.com/ and Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

As technology expands, we need to be more fluid with our skills. Here’s a sampling in the order in which I usually receive requests for information.

1. “I’m not happy with the work, long hours and deadlines.” Also: “I don’t want to work with attorneys anymore. What do you suggest?”

There are many opportunities for reporters. If someone wants to work in legal settings, or not, there now are many choices; this creates options.

2. “How do I get started?”

I strongly suggest joining your national and state organizations. They’re founts of information. State and national representatives continually attend seminars geared to helping and leading others. Many seminars are created from their seminars. You need to read your state and national magazines. Each NCRA Journal is varied and informative on all topics. (No, they didn’t ask me to say this. I’m in the trenches, like almost every other author.)

3. “Where do I get started?”

If you receive state and national magazines, they often list seminars, publications, Web sites and other information. Only you know where your skills truly are. When you read the entire magazine, become familiar with terms, products, names, presenters, speakers or associations, you will be a better judge of where your “where” is.

4. “How do I learn the most in the quickest time?”

Improving skills is a lifelong process. Preparation and education are key. Those who learn the quickest usually were the best prepared; they didn’t do it overnight.

5. “What can I do that will save me money now so I can learn?”

Also: “I know I’ll lose speed if I change my writing style. How do I prevent that?”

The answer lies in where each person is when he or she asks. Incremental changes can be made. Massive changes might be avoided. But if you want to real-time, you need to tweak your writing. I suggest that people not look at this as losing money, but as a shift to a bigger arena of income that becomes available – one that may not be there now if they are unhappy with their current writing skills.

6. “How do I get work? How do I meet clients?”

Work is anyplace where the English language is spoken and/or muttered (I tease). In many locations, “clients” are called “consumers.” After prepping, to get work you need to find someone who knows consumers, or you need to meet them to create your work. You need to become familiar with their culture, sensitivities and needs.

7. “How do I learn about clients, cultures, sensitivities?”

State and national associations are a wonderful starting ground. Most have their own Web sites. The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, AGB; the Registry of Interpreters (sign interpreters), RID; Self-Help for Hard of Hearing People, SHHH – renamed to Hearing Loss Association of America; the National Association of the Deaf, NAD – each association is different. Look them up.

Many national associations have state and local chapters. The key is to be prepared with your knowledge, then arrive with your equipment. Many groups now are very familiar with CART. They have an understanding of the needs in their backyard and who might need services. The Yellow Pages, United Way, sign interpreters, audiologists, school districts, universities – the list is endless – have information where services might be needed.

Unfortunately, most people ask some of these questions (or worse, they don’t) believing that if they can rea-ltime in depositions or court, they can “do this,” and they head out into the CART field.

This is a different ballgame. It is no different than real-timing on someone else’s software with his or her personal dictionary. The key to being successful when learning about CART is to do your homework before you go out. “Something is better than nothing” is not good for you or the consumer. You need to know this.

And when that “something is better than nothing” is discussed with me by someone seeking CART services, I decline the work. I choose not to work with companies that want the cheapest writer.

Many companies and educational institutions will ask, “Can’t you just find someone who needs an internship? This helps them to learn and helps us to save money.” I’m still amazed when that question is asked by people requesting our services (they often do not want to be sued). They do not want to compensate qualified reporters for their training, equipment and technical skills. The consumer deserves qualified services. His or her job and/or education may rely upon what that person receives – or does not receive – on the computer screen.

Knowing where the boundaries are in this field with your skills and the needs of the consumers is vital before you step out. Some may want to pay you a lower fee to “learn”; be careful.

Often qualified CART providers must go in after the fact to pick up where the person who was not prepared left off. That’s not pretty no matter where or how that happens.

8. “Should I learn sign language?”

I believe that each person who works with deaf individuals should know some signs. Is English their first language? Many, not all, deaf people communicate by signs. The more you know, the more flexible you are. If a person is deaf or hard-of-hearing, he or she may not sign. This is the key to the culture and sensitivity. From where I stand now, I simply ask, “What do you prefer?”

9. “How do I meet sign interpreters?”

Go where they go. Interpreters are experiencing national shortages. I went to places where they were. I waited for many to come to me. I was later told that it meant I really wanted to learn. I listed the information in the order in which I receive the requests. This is the beginning of a discussion, the first in a series with seven parts.
The complete series is posted http://www.catapultdix.com/ and www.monettebenoit.com

Falling on Deaf Ears … the sad part, to me, about writing this article?

Many people who request that these questions ‘be’ answered quickly, so they can learn quickly, may not be members of our national and their state association. Remote CART is expanding our possibilities. Now we have to expand our skills. The market has never been so varied, so wide.

And I still swear “learning theory” was the hardest thing I ever did.

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!

02 Apr 2008

How’d You Get Here? Part Two

“How’d You Get Here?”
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Last month I wrote that, as a tutor and court reporter, I am persistently asked, “How’d you get through it? How’d you get here?”

I e-mailed four questions to leaders: How were you attracted to court reporting? How did you pick your school? What work did you do? What are you doing now? Each has a grand story. We are always a court reporting student – always– expanding our skills, work and goals.

Gayl Hardeman: I was attracted to court reporting because I thought it would be a great summer job between academic years as a school teacher. I picked the only night class around (vo-tech). I graduated by way of Leo Zoffness, a tutor and former New York court reporting instructor. I studied weekends at his house; he made me study tapes, graded my notes. I became a freelancer in 1970. I worked 12 years, and then took off nine years to be a mom. I dabbled in acting and church work. Currently, I provide CART and captioning and have a remote, on-site CART business specializing in litigation realtime for professionals who call for help. I love this profession. It is perfect job for ex-English teacher who minored in business!
Gayl Hardeman, RDR, CCP, FAPR, Pinellas Park, Florida

Gayl’s husband, Michael J. Klutzow, A.S., C.L.V.S., is owner, principal videographer, Rockwater Technical Services, audio, video services, years of experience, professionalism in technology fields.

Lynne Marie Zakrzewski: I wanted to work in the sheriff’s department with my father. He said the department was no place for me and suggested court reporting. He’d seen the reporter in court. He thought it might be a good fit since I hit 95 wpm on a manual typewriter in 7th grade. I also played piano, flute. Selecting a college while not having a car, I looked at the business school because it was closest. Court reporting was on the list! Two years later I received my A.B.A. and began working as a freelance reporter. It was the end of the recession; wanting more work, I found myself at a second freelance firm two and a half years later. The second firm told me I wasn’t “cut out for reporting.” I sat for my certificate of merit that week and passed all four legs in one sitting. I was hired as an official, where I worked for eight years before re-entering the freelance arena. I wanted to be home for my kids; freelancing was on an obvious decline here due to contracting. Wanting to challenge myself, and in an effort to “move forward,” I entered the captioning arena. It is here where I found my true passion and can’t imagine doing anything else. It brings sheer pleasure!
Lynne Marie Zakrzewski, RMR, CRR, CBC, CPE, CSR, Willis, Michigan, President-Elect

Karen Finkelstein: I had gone to college to get a degree in speech therapy/audiology/communicative disorders. By the end of my second year, I wasn’t positive if that was what I wanted to do. I took a year off, traveled with a girlfriend, lived with my aunt and uncle, eventually ended back at mom and dad’s. Mom was the office manager for three orthopedic surgeons; she knew court reporters who reported surgeon’s depositions. Mom rushed home one day, “This is right up your alley! You’ve played piano since you were little, earned excellent grades in English, have good keyboarding skills.” Although I had no idea what reporters really did or what training entailed, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and saw an ad in the paper for Madison Business College. I called, signed up for court reporting classes. I fell in love with the machine!

I graduated after two years with an Associate’s Degree. We had class five days per week. I worked in an office every afternoon. I practiced during the evenings and loved writing on the machine. I’d usually pull it out anytime I watched TV. I had an opportunity to be “official reporter” for mock trials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, UW-Madison. No magic powders, Monette – just hours on the machine!

My first job was for the State of Wisconsin Department of Hearings and Rules. I traveled the state with hearing examiners taking testimony at probation and parole revocation hearings. (Whoever thought I’d be hanging out in county jails and the segregation building of state prison? I dressed conservatively when I walked the cell block! One inmate was so dangerous that he and the hearing examiner were inside the cell while I sat outside bars to record testimony. Oh, hearings at the psychiatric hospital to determine if sex offenders were sufficiently rehabilitated were interesting.) After two years, I moved to Washington, D.C., accepting a freelance position. I loved freelance (except for nasty Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hearings). One week I was in West Virginia doing black lung hearings, and the next week I’d be in Boston taking testimony of M.I.T. professors, then back to Washington for depos on cases involving the Smithsonian to the sinking of a Norwegian tanker ship. Never a dull moment.

Two years later, there was an opening at D.C. Superior Court, where I accepted an officialship. That was a social environment – mingling every day with judges, U.S. attorneys, public defenders, marshals, court clerks. We rotated from judge to judge each month, so I was exposed to civil matters, criminal felonies, misdemeanors, preliminary hearings, and family court in an extremely high-volume courthouse.

I then spent 22 years at the National Captioning Institute, first as staff captioner, then supervisor/trainer, and then as a manager. My last two years, I managed recruitment, screening, and hiring of live captioners. Now I’m Director of Education and School Development for NCRA, sharing my love of the profession. Working with students and schools was always one of my favorite things. Now I get to focus on it full time! I couldn’t be in a more perfect job. Karen Finkelstein, Director, Education and School Development, NCRA, Vienna, Virginia

CART Provider: Nothing remarkable. I graduated from Princeton, utterly without distinction, majoring in Germanic philology. I did not get into the military. (I was rejected due to a refractive error.) I stayed out of the Army draft (I passed over by one number in draft lottery). I had multiple jobs, including flying my father around in the family plane to French West Indies investment properties (we lived in St. Croix then; I happened to speak French), keeping books in a marina, operating a 10-ton IBM computer in an oil refinery, and teaching Latin.

Mom played the cello in a piano trio in which I occasionally participated. The violinist was the late Clayton Muise of New York, court reporter. He suggested I consider court reporter. He received a catalog from the (late) great McMahon College, the only school I ever heard of, so off I went. I then worked as a freelancer in the Boston area and was able to pursue musical interests as well. I’ve been doing educational and conference CART for well over a decade now, along with freelance legal work for twelve years. Not very fascinating. I hope this helps. Anonymity requested.

Monette Benoit: I ended my column last month: “Did you see similarities?
This court reporter is still learning, still loving it. And you?”
The similarities I saw then are here, too.

How’d we get here? Family and friends were the common referral. It was a parent or a friend who suggested court reporting. It was not recruitment or media campaigns – Many are not working for large salaries, sans shoes, from home. That’s how we got here.
We listened to a referral and sought details.

How’d we get through it? By tenaciously working to pursue our goals, passions. We often lived and breathed steno schooling, practicing and learning for two years.

The replies I received are from distinguished leaders who progressed through court reporting school, graduated – and then each excelled throughout multiple venues, embraced, accepted, technology, change. Someone we knew thought we might like this profession.

In Part One, last month, and Part Two, here, we’ve read about determination, hard work, family, music and language talents, love of the machine, and consistent work to improve skills after graduation.

We each arrived separately to now stand together.

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 Mar 2008

Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly

17 Mar 2008

How’d You Get Here? Part One

How’d You Get Here? Part One
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Each person is a story. As I tutor and coach court reporters and students, I am continually asked: “How’d you get through it? How’d you get here?” I sent four questions to leaders – freelance reporters, officials, CART providers, captioners: How were you attracted to court reporting? How did you pick your school? What work did you do? What are you doing now?

I continue to learn, affirming: silent people recording history – court reporters – are fascinating individuals. I firmly believe we are all court reporting students – always– as we expand skills and goals.

Below is the first part of the responses I received.

Diane Emery: My dad was a vice detective and appeared in court. I was a Spanish major at US, University of South Florida, trying to earn a living with a Spanish degree. My dad said you should be a court reporter; it is a good career for a woman. I listened to my dad, went to court with him, talked with the official, Betty Lauria. I figured for a two-year program, I couldn’t go wrong. I loved the idea of being able to work anywhere in the world. The school was in my town. I was typing for the official in federal court when I was at 225 (wpm, word per minute) tests. There was an emergency hearing; I was the only person at the courthouse. The judge told me I was ready to be a reporter according to him, so I started working. Meanwhile, the school went out of business.

I worked in London at Old Bailey criminal court. I worked for a Bradenton freelance firm mainly covering administrative hearings. Then one of the attorneys I worked with saw me crying at a bar on a Friday night and asked why I was crying. I told him I had just quit and didn’t know what I was going to do. He told me to open a firm. I had a manual typewriter and one client. I started my agency in 1982. Diane T. Emery, CMRS, FPR, Executive Reporting Service, St. Petersburg, Florida, Serving Florida with five offices

Jeanette Blalock: I worked as a legal secretary in Texas. An attorney talked to me about reporting; his wife was a court reporter. Soon, I was a student. While in school, I wanted to be an official in court. I rushed through school, as I was going broke quickly. I spent all day at school, then another four to five hours each night on my machine, working on speed.

In a need to finish school faster, I followed my mentor, Monette, to Dallas and had her administer the qualifying exams I needed for Texas state testing. (Monette Benoit one of my beloved teachers from the early days of court reporting school. Here I am, almost 20 years later, still following her across the world. You see, good teachers never go away, they just become close friends)

So I finished school. Too broke to hang around for the next certification exam, I moved to Massachusetts, which was then a state with no certification. I flew back to Texas to take my test.

After being certified, I worked for freelance agencies. I loved the flexibility freelance work affords and managed a Corpus Christi firm. I now own my court reporting business in Alaska.

For years, I lived in the Interior of Alaska, in Delta Junction. I would drive 100 miles to Fairbanks for depositions. During summer months, I welcomed the drive. During winter it would fall to 50 or 60 below zero. Depositions don’t cancel in the extreme cold. Often when you reached your deposition, there was not a place to plug in your vehicle. When this happens, you take breaks every couple of hours to head out and start your car; otherwise, your car will not start at the end of the day.

I now live in Kodiak. The weather is better, so people don’t plug in their vehicles. There’s not an abundance of work, so I help Alaska’s reporters. There are fewer than 20 reporters in the state. Reporters tend to be overworked; I also help with scoping and proofreading.

Opportunities for travel can be interesting. Sometimes reporters are flown to remote villages where they sleep in the school or someone’s cabin. In villages, you are treated to Alaskan delicacies, seal soup, black bear and eggs for breakfast.

Court reporting has opened many fields. As a wordsmith, there are opportunities for variance. I have reported depositions, court, conventions, public meetings and I have provided CART (communication access realtime translation). I’ve followed groups around outdoor construction sites 20 below zero, capturing every word and taking breaks to warm my fingers. I even took a job for a couple of years for the Army as a technical editor.

How’d I get here? Through hard work, determination. And I guess this is where I will stay. For all its wackiness, court reporting seems to be just right for me. Jeanette Blalock, Blue Lake Reporting, Kodiak, Alaska

Kathy Robson: When I was in high school, my dad was on jury duty and came home talking about the court reporter and how interesting that job must be. So I checked into it. The community college nearby had a one-year theory program, so I started there. Then I transferred to another community college with a full program: West Valley College, Saratoga, CA. I believed in using “free” education rather than paying for private schooling. And they do a great job there. I graduated with a great deal of hard work and stick-to-it-iveness. You have to eat, breathe and taste that certification in the final year or so.

I worked as a freelancer for 10 years, then founded Cheetah Systems with my husband, Gary Robson. We became involved in producing captioning software, and so now I’ve been captioning for 15 years.

I have captioned the Oklahoma City bombing, earthquakes, floods and 9/11. One day while I was captioning a game, one of my cows gave birth less than 50 feet from my office window.

CART has allowed privileges. Probably I had the most fun when Deanna Baker married Scott Smith. I realtimed their ceremony to the CompuServe reporters group before anyone realtimed on the Internet. I editorialized what was said, writing who was there, what they were wearing, what Deanna and Scott were wearing, how they were acting, etc. Kathy Robson, RPR, CRR, Red Lodge, Montana

CART provider, official reporter who requested (insisted upon) anonymity: Right out of high school, I answered a computer school advertisement. I met the sales rep at a motel and paid a $100 deposit. The ‘school’ was one room with a few computer manuals and no computer(s) in sight. I’d been duped. When my check came back, it was cashed at a liquor store.

I then enrolled in a school that had mortuary science. (The richest dude in the entire area was the undertaker.) On the first day, they showed us cadavers; half of us dropped and lost our deposits.

In court reporting school, teachers told us about a rich court reporter in a mansion with sweeping staircases and a pool house. The day I graduated from court reporting school, we moved towing a U-haul with my spouse, and children (in cloth diapers). We drove by that mansion of this rich court reporter we always heard about while we were in school. I drove out of my way to see that house. We discovered that house was in a typical government housing tract built after WW II. Reporters in other cities confirmed similar mansion stories they heard when they were court reporting students.

Monette: The last professional is a pillar in our court reporting history. Oh, I begged to have permission to share that story. Trust me, I did.

Each person has a unique story how we got here – how we became involved in the court reporting profession. Did you see the similarities­? I never would have guessed. But they’re here. This court reporter is still learning, still loving it. And you? Next month I share more.

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!

10 Mar 2008

"My Solitary Travels" by Monette Benoit

My Solitary Travels
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

My Solitary Travels

Sitting alone in my solitary spot,
I am at peace for awhile
where I can dream of sailing in my yacht
while my spirit travels and smiles.

I leave not the spot in my body,
but alas where few can see.
I fly and soar in my mind
and land far away where I can be me.

While flying, always return do I,
for I am but a woman
who yearns to fly
and to not yet die.

Monette Benoit: I dedicate my poem to my sister-in-law. Cynthy Ellinger Walters died 2-12-04; her Memorial was on Valentine’s Day.

After her diagnosis with pancreatic, liver cancer, I volunteered to step into a role to ‘listen’ and to ‘ask hard questions’ as she faced new challenges. For two-and-a-half years, Cynthy lived with intense medical care and memories of a trip gifted by the Make A Wish Foundation. She demonstrated dignity as a pillar of strength to her family, Michael, Jared, Noelle, and to me, as her world changed.

Cynthy Walters taught me how brave one can be to face each new day and dark night.
She did not want to die, astounding her ‘team’ and Hospice with her deep inner strength.
I bow my head; heaven is brighter since Cynthy’s arrival.

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 Feb 2008

"Heart And Soul" and Dr. Bruno Cortis

Heart And Soul
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

The alarm rang at 4:30 a.m.; too soon I stood within the San Antonio airport. I traveled all day, changing planes after a lengthy layover. Walking to the luggage carousel, I first spotted the well-dressed man, wearing a light cream-colored suit. He did not appear to be tired, hot or stressed like everyone else.

My sweater was tied around my waist, my sleeves rolled up, and I wore my hat. I did not look comfortable or relaxed like this gentleman. I retrieved my luggage, headed to the hotel shuttle. Sternly, I was instructed to “stand over there.”

Then I was led outside, to wait under the hot sun and inhale exhaust fumes. Perched on the small cement island, each person hovered protectively near his or her luggage as cars, vans and buses sped past.

No hat, no sweat and smiling, this man calmly observed the world around him. I thought, “He looks like a modern-day Gandhi. And he looks happy.”

He was the only person not sweating and not frowning. I climbed into the shuttle. I politely nodded and smiled as he passed my seat.

I dragged my luggage into the hotel and stood on one of many lines. I scanned the lobby, and yes, this gentleman was two people behind me. I smiled; he nodded, smiled. Again I thought of Gandhi observing his posture and dignity.

As I departed the counter, I looked at him, tilted my head while I tipped the brim of my hat. He slowly bowed saying, “I really am not following you. I hope you have a pleasant stay.” I smiled and hurried to follow the bellman, five steps ahead of me, who was briskly pushing my luggage.

The next day this gentleman, wearing a light gray suit, flew past me. Seeing me, he stopped (on a dime), smiled and bowed dramatically; then off he went.

Later I attended a seminar and was standing at the back of the room. Alone I leaned against the wall, foot perched on the wall, sipping a glass of cold water. Then I saw the gentleman from inside the room; he stood and walked towards me to fetch a glass of water.

I looked into his eyes, calmly saying, “Okay, enough.”

I extended my hand introducing myself. He slowly repeated my name a few times and said, “Bruno Cortis.” He handed me his card which said, “Bruno Cortis, M.C., F.A.C.C., Cardiologist, Author, Speaker.”

I softly teased, “I thought your card might say ‘Modern-Day Gandhi’ because of your suit and the way you appear to look directly into people’s souls.” Bruno laughed. He explained his accent; he was born and raised in Italy. He shared about his mother – how wonderful she was, her cooking, health, his family, and how he came to this country. He shared he had written two books. I listened, sipping water.

Then Bruno asked, “May I send you a copy of my books? They detail how to prevent and heal heart disease.”

I replied, “I would be honored.”

The speaker began. I asked Bruno if he would like to sit with me. He said, “As a court reporter you will take excellent notes. My English is slower than my Italian. I would love to sit with you!” He ran up to his chair, retrieved his material and sprinted back to my chair.

During the seminar I leaned over and whispered, “I saw you in the airport yesterday. You stood out in your cream suit, not looking hot or stressed.” He smiled, “I saw you, too, wearing your hat.” We giggled. I took notes; he copied what I shared. Together we focused on our seminar.

After the seminar, Bruno spoke to me about food, health and the spirit. He was passionate and centered; I was charmed by this gentleman.

When two books arrived at my office on Valentine’s Day, one book was inscribed “To Monette, Creative Spirit …” The other book also had a personal inscription. What blew me away was his credentials and the people who endorsed his books – none of which he mentioned while we spoke.

Dr. Bruno Cortis is a Diplomat and fellow of the American Board of Cardiology. He trained at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

The cover flap of Heart and Soul reads “Bruno Cortis, M.D., F.A.C.C., is a board-certified internist and practicing cardiologist and a pioneer in angioplasty and laser applications. A native of Italy, Dr. Cortis now lives and works in the Chicago area.”

“He is the author of the best-selling Heart and Soul: A Psychological and Spiritual Guide to Preventing and Healing Heart Disease and over seventy-five published articles. Dr. Cortis has been interviewed on the Phil Donahue Show and shows across the U.S. and Canada and has spoken to audiences on five continents.”

The cover has a prominent endorsement by Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Spiritual Heart, Meditations for Health and Happiness has an endorsement by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

The inside flap shares, “Dr. Cortis believes the spiritual power of healing is as real and important as medication and surgery. Dr. Cortis teaches all of us how to preserve the quality of life by exploring spiritual benefits that ground our lives and give us meaning and purpose, as well as peace and comfort. This book has essays, exercises, and meditations. Dr. Cortis leads readers on a reflective journey that will help all of us enjoy happier, healthier lives.”

The back flap continues, “Dr. Cortis is the Founder of the Exceptional Heart Patient Program, an organization dedicated to the prevention and healing of heart disease. He is also the CEO of Mind Your Health, a health strategy and management consulting firm.”

His resume states: “In addition to pioneering research in angioscopy and laser angioplasty, Dr. Cortis has done in-depth interviews of heart transplant recipients and has learned how their persona could be influenced by the donor. His mission is to promote wellness and spiritual values for successful living. Dr. Cortis reaches into the heart and mind. He inspires people to create true change.”

I read his personal inscriptions on the books, his bio, and his busy public speaking schedule around the United States. I immediately phoned Bruno, my friend. He took my call.

I remember saying, “Hmmm, you did not share details of your work or your books.”

He laughed, “Monette, I want you to have my books. I planned them to arrive today – Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you will learn from them and help others. This is my reason for sharing.”

As I prepped this article, I wrote Bruno. I was not sure if he would remember me (because of his work and public speaking schedule). I asked for an update. Bruno replied, “I remember … The AHA statistics report 2,600 cardiovascular deaths per day, one million two hundred heart attacks per year, 700,000 new infarcts (heart attacks), 500,000 recurrent ones.”

Dr. Bruno Cortis has a wonderful web site, http://www.brunocortis.com/.

He has written articles, including “On-site Emergency Strategies for Heart Attack,” “Talk Yourself Out of Stress,” “Find Your Inner Strength”, “Exceptional Heart Patients Do Not Always Obey Doctor’s Orders,” “Win With Your Heart Intelligence,” and “Your Heart is a Spiritual Organ.”

Each day is a blessing – even days involving lengthy travel, perhaps. I desire to share Bruno’s talents; unique spirit; wisdom; humor; and to me, Gandhi-like qualities.

Heart disease can be cured and prevented, according to Dr. Cortis. I believe we all know people who will benefit from his spiritual writings, documented healings.

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you from my heart to your soul.

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!

14 Feb 2008

Will You Accept My Invitation?

Will You Accept My Invitation?
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

I began my 2005 National Court Reporters Association, NCRA, seminar in Phoenix introducing Robert McCormick, teacher of 32 years, National Court Reporters Association, NCRA, 2004 Teacher of the Year, CATapult’s CD programmer, and Sheryl Stapp, RPR, realtime writer. Bob, a professor at State University Of New York, SUNY, At Alfred, Deacon and Counselor, was playing with the word “y’all.”

As the audience laughed, applauded, I began: “Sign language applause is like this (indicating). And people who are blind and deaf — do you know how they applaud? They pound the floor and/or a table with their hands and/or feet. You can feel the vibration, applause, through your hands, feet.” I jumped from my position, pounding my open hands onto the floor.

Then I asked, “Did you just learn something new?”

The audience voiced, “Yes!” I replied, “Good, we’re still in the first minute; you already learned something. Remember that.”

“Now I’m going to extend an invitation. I ask that you consider accepting this invitation. Can you do that for me?”

The audience nodded. I shared, “Every day, we have choices, we make decisions. I don’t know what you’re going to learn within this room, but I’m going to give you as much as I can. I hope you take as much as you can, and realize you’re going to process.”

When you read my articles, or have heard you me speak, you know I believe people process information at different intervals. The phrase ‘see Spot run’ may not mean anything now, not a darn thing. But later with additional information that phrase may be insightful, leading you to a new goal.

You may be thinking, “Hey, I’m just here to get points, is there a door prize? I read an article where you gifted a pearl necklace …”

The audience roared with spontaneous laughter.

I said, “Come on, guys. It’s 4:30 on Friday afternoon. I have friends who are getting a massage right now. They said, ‘I love you, Monette, but I’m not coming.’ For you to be here, I want to be respectful of your time; I also want to tell you what I expect from you.”

I expect you to listen to what we’re sharing here. I invite you to ‘check-out’— you will mentally check-out of this seminar. You will hear the little voice in your head: Can I do it, should I do it, why am I doing it? Look at all the money this is costing — that ‘mental’ list is still running when you check back, to continue listening here today.

I invite you to accept that your ‘court reporter retention’ will permit you to check-back, placing all information from this seminar into a little ‘court reporter processor’. It happens. This drives our families crazy. They say, “You weren’t listening; what did I say?” Then we respond, ‘I was.’” We quickly look away for a moment, re-channel our listening. We all do it.

So I’m asking you to give yourself permission that what you’re taking in here is not overwhelming. I don’t expect people to leave saying, “I’m going to …”

But I’d love for you to leave here saying: “I have goals. My goal is to do more than when I walked into this room, sat in this chair.” Even if your goal is to never come and listen to that woman again, it’s a goal.

The deal is to make goals with you. Give yourself permission to accept and reject what you hear today because even if you reject a message, you still heard a message you didn’t have before. You still have information from what you ‘reject’ to perhaps lead you to a new goal.

So if you’re a student, a teacher, a court reporter, what do you really want to be doing with your life?

The common answer from the audience that day: “Making it easier.” I replied: If your goal is to grow or to stay where you are, then you are familiar with a goal. You are willing to challenge yourself.

Even if your goal is to stay where you are, you must know that goal is a challenge because with current technology, ‘staying where you are’ is going to take more energy than moving forward. It will. Sometimes we think we are going uphill, sometimes we are.

If you’re going uphill, there’s a point where you can coast, but you have to make that decision based on the goals you make, the goals you create.

Quyen N. Do, from California, won the white pearl necklace my Vietnamese sister-in-law, Wenny, made from her store Tong Sing Jewelry, located at 615 Grant Ave, San Francisco. Quyen jumped up, bounced. She ran to the front, hands in the air, threw herself at me. I told the audience I felt like Bob Parker’s ‘Price is Right’.

DyeAnne Littlejohn, from Michigan, won the peach pearl necklace from the captioning and court reporters’ ‘CATapult Your Dictionary Software Program’ exhibit booth drawing.

When I phoned, DyeAnne screamed into the phone, then shared she attended my seminar in Chicago last year during the 2004 National Court Reporters Association on “How, When And Where To Publish Your Creative Ideas, Skills and Stories.”

DyeAnne had been praying to God and believes my phone call was an answer to prayers. DyeAnne now has new goals. How do I know? I asked.

As I write this, it’s August, 99 degrees hot tar, Texas weather.

When you read this, you may be preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I now ask you to extend invitations, such as here, to those around you, and to create new goals.

And now I’m off to my cousin’s.

Uncle Joe served in WW II and carried “treaty” papers for General Eisenhower in Potsdam, handcuffed to his body.

Joe, a “lowly second lieutenant” was a German interrogator, working under the rules of the Geneva Convention. I am asking questions, listening.

I’m going to Joe’s house because I extended an invitation to myself after meeting a mature man who cleared the land in Iwo Jima for “those soldiers to raise the American flag.”

The Marine I met was wearing a WW II hat, a red windbreaker, and he had a small medal on the necklace around his neck.

He volunteered, “I share respectfully, the boys in the picture were not the heroes. The heroes were the Marines who cleared the path, then that picture was taken. Many boys died for that picture, and the real heroes were the boys who cleared the path before the boys were able to raise our American flag.”

I am preserving Uncle Joe’s story — the family member right in my backyard. Joe’s wife was my grandmother’s brother.

My maternal grandmother, Monnie Rae Floyd, a piano prodigy at four years old, was his first music teacher — also a court stenographer— in Corpus Christi, Texas. (She had her own orchestra where each person was required to play four instruments. My grandmother was the first music teacher in Corpus Christi volunteering to teach music to the students enrolled in public school.) And my grandmother’s father, Adolphus Floyd enlisted in the Civil War in 1861 as a ‘flutist in the band’.

My great-grandfather, Adolphus Ward Floyd was named after his uncle who died fighting within the walls of the Alamo, March 6th, 1836.

His 32-year old uncle walked from Gonzales, Texas, answering the call for volunteers that spread throughout the countryside while they were waiting for reinforcements to arrive.

This volunteer arrived behind the enemy line in 1836, moving through the gunfights to join the Alamo fighters within the fort. Dolphin Ward Floyd died on his 32nd birthday, leaving a wife, pregnant at nine months, and a four-year old son, knowing he would never see them again.

During the Civil War, Adolphus was a soldier in the 7th Regiment Texas Infantry was a Prisoner of War twice from 1861 to 1865. He was captured and released ‘for exchange’ from POW camps — the notorious— Fort Donelson, Illinois, and also Camp Douglas (‘received from’ Louisville, Kentucky and sent to Vicksburg ‘to be exchanged) in Franklin, Tennessee, before walking back to his home in Corpus.

We were always told that his having been a musician and being of strong-stock, kept Adolphus Floyd alive – having been a POW in the Civil War twice – to return home to his family and cotton farm, Adolphus walked home.

After the war, he married and with family and stagecoaches, moved the family, walking down to Corpus after he had tested the soil for cotton. (Tales of fighting bandits and Indians are still shared — how my great-grandmother loaded rifles for the men during battles.) As I grew up, my family always told me: You come from strong stock: Yes, you do.

My cousin, also a professional musician, who rarely spoke of WW II, is now answering my questions. He’s talking, crying, laughing and sharing mischievousness of “the boys.” Uncle Joe is saying, “Others have better stories; you should take their stories.”

When I reassure Joe, ‘I really want your stories; we’ll make sure the others share, too,” he says, “Sure you can have my stories! Come and get them while I can remember. Can you come tomorrow?”

Uncle Joe is 92, planning a trip to Africa this fall “because I’ve never been there!”

This afternoon I’m going into the Texas heat to complete a goal I made to myself, to preserve a goal Uncle Joe made when he raised his right hand, entering WW II.

Will you accept my invitation? What will you do?

Happy Holidays. Happy New Years to each of you.

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!

28 Jan 2008

“Great Expectations”

Great Expectations
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

I would like to begin a conversation. I will compile replies and share them in a future article. Versions of this conversation float on various forums and message boards. I hope only to expand on that conversation as we explore facts and opinions.

Our work is historical; our professionals are spectacular in commitment to task. This is a wonderful time to master our path – together with new goals, new conversations.

We are witnessing changes within our profession. Changes are occurring because of opportunities and technology. Large and small companies are expanding, shifting, even folding areas. Some have long-term contracts; others fill requests. Many are affected by changes and technology – and perhaps by our own actions during a national shortage of qualified people?

Let’s talk facts. Litigation was narrowed by tort reform. Many companies now bid jobs by lowest page rate. ER, electronic recording, is replacing some official reporters in courtrooms. Caption companies have laid off experienced captioners.

Students in schools are vocal on forums about expectations on the basis of what was shared when they entered school. Students who entered training due to specific marketing to earn a high income from home “in two years” are not happy. Meanwhile, some near graduation will work for less to gain experience.

Experienced court reporters who want to caption or provide CART have expectations for what they will do and when. Both experienced reporters and high-speed students contact me – and others I know – saying, “I do this work because I’m able to make demands, pick and choose, and I do this for my pleasure. I have to earn a decent living and have good hours. I’m the breadwinner.”

I wrote a friend on NCRA committees to get a reality check if she sees differences in tone and expectations: “Some are leaving the profession. Frankly, it has gotten slow, and due to contracting – call it what you want – underbidding, firms are losing clients. Many want to hop on the CART/captioning bandwagon without training.”

One respected leader wrote, “I know new captioners who won’t work weekends or nights, want prime shows or only want hockey. Normally, with hockey you only write the score and play approaching the score. Who wouldn’t want that?”

That day I also received this note: “A teacher finally shared it the first night. He told them it’s not easy. It’s not all glory. Initially you won’t make gobs of money. Equipment’s costly. You need to join professional associations to remain involved. Don’t expect to immediately work in PJs. You need to master words, grammar and punctuation. That night several dropped. How’d that happen, Monette?”

I’ve noticed a shift in requests for my CART and captioning services, national and state written knowledge test textbook, workbooks, CATapult CDs, tutoring, consulting services. Initial e-mails may be tart. When I return a tutoring request, I may hear, “If you don’t help me, I’m leaving the field.”

One person phoned for tutoring and yelled at me. I listened. I’ve learned, “The upset is never the upset.” (Landmark Education after Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly, my youngest brother’s death, August 2000. Thank you, Diane Emery, CMRS.)

As I listened, the upset person finally focused on her upset and expectations – what she had been told (interpreted) she could expect and what she is able to do now. As a court reporter and instructor, I calmly guide what I believe is realistic and perhaps unrealistic, based on what is shared. The person reaching out often feels their future is at stake. To not share would be a disservice, I believe.

Another unique factor to a person’s path is motivation. When I speak to reporters and students at state and national seminars, I ask the group why they were attracted to this profession. My opinion is that people attracted solely for money will struggle and many will burn out. If you ask a person or group what motivated them to enter this field, often the answer is multi-faceted to include independence, job security, income, and learning within multiple venues.

Even organizations are not immune. My office receives calls from national groups and organizations with one question, “What are your rates? E-mail them.” I’m talking large companies, huge organizations who tell me “we’re too busy to share details until you send rates.”
As I finished this article, I returned a call to a national company regarding services. Their representative said (kid you not), “Send us all your rates. I’m to take them to my supervisor. If she approves, then we talk availability, specifics.”

I asked, “Are you phoning the country to get low rates?”
She replied, “Yes.”

Softly I shared I would not send all our rates to have an opportunity to service a job request, details not included yet. I ended the call, “I know there are qualified people out there; I’m sure someone will take good care of you.” Leslie, the company representative, was stunned. Monette, I, went back to work.

Reporters now work from home with little social interaction as in days of old when we drove to a courthouse, office, interacting with people every day. Forums have created niches of reporting, judicial, freelance, captioning, CART, students and instructors.

Students and reporters who enroll in a curriculum where there is possibly a 90 percent failure rate and required testing pass-rates of 95 percent or higher must know this marker is different from other schooling, careers.

Our profession, I believe, is honored to have students and working professionals dedicated to fulfilling and expanding their goals and their dreams.

Finishing this article I drove to a job on I-35 and saw an office supply truck. In cursive pink letters on both sides, the black truck carried their marketing slogan: “If we can’t get it, you don’t need it.” Do you think their tone and expectations are changing? I do.

Monette Benoit may be reached at: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

About the Author:

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

She is the author of multiple books to include the NCRA Written Knowledge Test and state RPR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, a companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, ‘Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook’ and ‘CATapult’ Dictionary CD Software Program series.

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

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, CART provider, coach, columnist.

She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals.

Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

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

14 Jan 2008

“Homeland” and Jeff Hutchins

“Homeland” and Jeff Hutchins
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

In my opinion, Jeff Hutchins, more than any person, tipped our court reporting profession. I have always believed that more court reporters, captioners, and students need to know Jeff’s involvement in captioning technology and our profession.

In 1972, The Caption Center began captioning The French Chef. Jeff Hutchins and five individuals were hired to learn how to transcribe the PBS news four and one-half hours after it originated on ABC. The show recorded live 6 p.m. EST, was transcribed by five people.

They heavily edited programs, rewriting portions, to produce a steady reading rate of 120 words per minute at a fourth-grade reading level because experts on deafness, deaf and hearing, felt few deaf people would be able to follow verbatim captioned news. The show was broadcast with integrated captions to PBS at 11 p.m. with “live-display captioning,” a term coined by Jeff Hutchins.

In 1979, NCI, the National Captioning Institute, a private nonprofit corporation, was created using a $6 million grant to the U.S. Department of Education to develop captioning technology. Arrangements were made with Texas Instruments to produce 10 integrated circuits (“chips”) that were placed inside decoders that consumers purchased. Sanyo contracted to make “TeleCaption” decoders; Sears was given exclusive rights to sell. Once closed captioning of pre-recorded programs were under way, attention turned to development of realtime captioning of live programs. NCI hired Jeff Hutchins to oversee systems development.

In 1981, the first sports captioning was developed by Jeff Hutchins when he generated his own commentary programming of 200–300 sentences. Sentences were set with a blank space at the end of each line. The typist (often Jeff) sent a sentence filling in blanks with players’ name and facts. The displayed captions were not verbatim to commentators; facts were “called up” to replace sports running commentary. Deaf and hard-of- hearing people still desired announcers’ verbatim translation; realtime continued to be developed.

That same year, Jeff tested a prototype by Translation Systems, Inc (TSI) for captioning live TV programs. NCI hired Martin H. Block.

In 1982, Jeff Hutchins selected Marty Block to become the first realtime court reporter to be a captioner. Mr. Block became a member of the team that developed live closed captioning with Jeff at NCI in 1981 in order to caption the 1982 Academy Awards Presentation. This is the first live telecast with realtime closed captions that displayed realtime captioning of unscripted dialogue with Johnny Carson as host. Source: A.D.A. Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, Business and Convention Handbook and CATapult CD, Volume B.

I learned this history from Jeff Hutchins in 1995 when I was seeking captioning history as I prepared The History of the A.D.A. and Captioning.

Jeff and I became friends when I phoned VITAC seeking captioning history. He took my phone call and offered to fax me information. Within minutes a 13-page fax arrived in my office. My cat Brutus used to stand on my fax machine, playfully batting paper as it arrived. That cat became so entangled in Jeff’s multipage fax that I immediately phoned Jeff immediately sharing he’d darn near killed my cat. Thereafter, Brutus never ventured near any fax machine.

Jeff and I kept in touch. I loved to listen to his stories on how he worked, how captioning was created. Jeff is the nicest gentleman; he has pulled more bunnies out of his hat when I need help or advice. When I visited VITAC, I asked Jeff for my tour. He and Gary Robson privately showed me their technology. I cherish memories of their pure joy describing their world – their work.

When captioning companies discussed forming a coalition, Jeff Hutchins was their choice. Throughout the years, I receive e-mails from Jeff traveling the United States and France. While I wrote this article in August, Jeff’s on a driving vacation.

When I received Jeff’s e-mail about his CD, I laughed. This was one side of Jeff that I had not seen – or heard.

In 2006, Jeff Hutchins retired as chairman of the Accessible Media Industry Coalition, a trade association of companies that provides services such as captioning and video description so he could make media programs accessible to people with hearing and/or vision impairments.

Prior to this, Jeff was owner and executive vice president, Planning and Development, of VITAC, a Pittsburgh-based company providing complete captioning services nationwide. He also was director of Systems Development at NCI (1980-86); and from 1973-1980 was producer of “The Captioned ABC News” and an executive for The Caption Center, WGBH-TV, in Boston.

Jeff has been honored as one of the Pioneers who helped implement closed captioning. He was the author of the closed-captioning specifications adopted by the FCC in 1992, and the principal author of EIA-608. Mr. Hutchins currently is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (Pittsburgh, PA) and the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcasting and Film from Boston University.

Here’s the June 8, 2007 e-mail prompting this holiday column:

Dear Friends, I am very excited to tell you about a four-year project, and I hope you’ll be excited, too. I’ve been producing a CD of original songs I’ve written over the past 35 years or so. I always wanted to know what they’d sound like if a full band played them, instead of just me on a guitar or me in my head. I thought some of the songs would sound pretty good if they were well produced.

Four years ago, I started working with Korel Tunador, a talented man who moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. Between gigs, he composed and arranged songs for which I’d written melodies and lyrics. Then in early 2006, he joined the Goo Goo Dolls for their international tour, and he remains with that famous, popular band. (They’ll be on Jay Leno for the umpteenth time Friday night!) He asked their drummer, Mike Malinin, to lay down drum tracks for five of my songs. Mike agreed; together he and Korel provide nearly all instrumentation.

Korel finished the twelfth song last December; since then I’ve been doing final mixes in Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls Studio. There, I met Liz Berlin, a singer with Rusted Root, a popular band that went double-platinum in the ’90s. She agreed to do lead vocals on my song “No Shame.” Liz designed the CD package, which looks like a “gallery” wall in my home might look.

So, at long last, the CD is finished. It’s called “Homeland,” because that song appears twice on the CD: once in generic version, once in a special bonus track with lyrics written for the Aramco Brats with whom I grew up in Saudi Arabia.

You can preview 2:00 minutes worth of each song or buy the complete Homeland CD by going to www.cdbaby.com/hutchinsjeff. To purchase individual songs for iTunes, just go to iTunes and search for Jeff Hutchins. (CD Baby has great independent artists!)

You can also visit Jeff’s website to hear several Homeland complete songs (http://www.jeffhutchins.com/), or go to Jeff’s MySpace account: www.myspace.com/jeffhutchinshomeland.

It’s all professionally done in spite of the fact that I sing all but two songs. Then let me know what you think. If you like it, please tell others. I need to sell a LOT of CDs to pay for this thing! Thanks for letting me tell you about “Homeland.”

Monette: This is great music, folks! As the holidays approach, a perfect gift for our CD players, friends and family should be Jeff’s CD. Jeff has shared so much with us. Check out “Homeland,” put your feet up, rest your hands – then tip back and enjoy Jeff Hutchins’ brilliant creations.

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!

07 Nov 2007

CART And The $10,000 Spaghetti Dinner – Monsignor Balty Janacek

CART And The $10,000 Spaghetti Dinner
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

The CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) community and all court reporters lost a devoted friend on April 30th, 2007. My life and our profession were improved by this gentleman.

I had been CARTing San Antonio’s St. Francis Di Paola Deaf Mass for many years. One Sunday morning before a mass, privately a new priest introduced himself, spelling his name B-a-l-t-y. He waited to shake my hand, then walked to the altar, and introduced himself to the Deaf community, “I’m the new priest and will learn sign.” We welcomed him with deaf applause.

Balty was proud of his Czech background. He had a deep love of cultures and languages. He often spoke Spanish while I realtimed – writing verbatim text projected to a large screen on the altar from my steno machine. I’d sigh; he’d smile and then translate.

As we became friends, I learned Balty was ordained in 1950. Serving multiple roles he was devoted to causes close to his heart. Balty remained involved with Native Americans and tirelessly worked to mediate retrieval of their remains, bones, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, UTSA. I am not surprised that he donated his body to UTSA.

Balty was parochial vicar at San Fernando Cathedral (where Davy Crockett is buried). Since 1967, he was director of four 18th-century Old Spanish Missions for the Archdiocese (the active parishes of Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada Missions). Balty established the San Antonio Mission National Historical Park and a historic cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, which the NPS is working to model around the United States.

His picture was in our newspaper so often that I’d phone Balty teasing him that he was my “Where’s Waldo?” Balty was absolutely devoted to his extended family, organizing Schulenburg, Texas, reunions with nieces and nephews. I extended multiple holiday invitations, but he’d say, “I want to spend time with the girls (nuns). I’ve known many for 50 years; they’re good cooks. Can you understand?”

Later when he handed me his business card, I saw his title Monsignor Janacek. He shrugged, “Balty – really.” Balty was the “jolly” man who arrived with his peace sign.

One Sunday, Balty asked my husband and me to lunch. He asked me what I needed to CART for the Deaf. (CART is communication access realtime translation. I used my equipment writing to a large screen with instant translation for the Deaf mass.) My husband did not hesitate, “Her equipment is seven years older since she began to volunteer. She has wear and tear on her equipment.”

I blinked, immediately swallowing warm Black Eyed Pea cornbread. Balty smiled, “How much would it cost for the church to purchase new equipment? Monette, could you use our equipment?”

Balty and my husband wrote numbers on paper napkins as I watched. Then Balty turned to me, “How about $10,000? Would that work, Monette? What do you need? The Christopher Columbus Society is having their spaghetti dinner. I’ll ask them.” Lunch was wonderful, and we never ventured back to the topic as we laughed and enjoyed our time together that sunny day.

Church members were accustomed to me rushing up aisles 15 minutes before our Deaf mass. To prep equipment, I darted around people praying, families posing for pictures after baptisms and other church events. Parents and parishioners prevented small children from playing with my equipment, understanding my frantic movements each Sunday.

Soon Balty called, “They agreed!” This event is famous. Politicians and judges arrive to shake hands. Spaghetti is homemade and all you can eat. I attended and was thanked by lines of volunteers serving family recipes. Balty waved at me as I stood in line. Then, he sat at our long table as we ate our spaghetti. He was busy laughing and listening and enjoying the event.

Balty purchased all my hardware and court reporting software. I prepared paperwork; he cut checks. We were a good team, and Deaf were thrilled everyone supported their community.

I have wonderful memories of Balty. I fondly remember when Balty casually commented that women should have rights to become priests. (His predecessor preferred Latin masses and fasting.)

I paused before stroking “those” words. Parishioners paused, too – looking to my large screen, narrowing their eyes. My hands poised above my steno keyboard, Balty looked at me and slowly nodded.

As I realtimed his words, Balty paused, too. After a long silence, people coughed, looked to one another, and then looked up to my (large) screen at the (large) all upper cap text. Then, small groups stood and ever so slowly side-stepped to the center aisle. They gave him one slow final look before each quietly and politely exiting the church that morning.

Later I teased Balty, “Well, you won’t be seeing the front of their faces any time soon. Before you arrived, standing room only – now – wide open spaces.” He smiled, eyes soft.

I phoned Balty when remarkable events occurred. I was honored how he shared his life – on and off the record. I became protective of Balty as he detailed his world, expanding mine.

In 2000, I moved away from San Antonio. (I returned 2002.) The National Court Reporters Association’s, NCRA, 2001 mid-year was in San Antonio, so when I flew in, I went to my room and immediately called Balty, “I’m up the road.” Balty instantly recognized my voice, “Monette, hi; I’ll hurry this wedding rehearsal and be right there!”

The hotel lobby had open seating. He ordered “two glasses of your finest wine.” He raised his glass and began singing to me. Balty had a deep melodic voice; he sang in Spanish. (He did not lower his voice; crystal wine glass held high, he sang.) Stunned, I watched others watch me before I relaxed, listening. When Balty finished, he raised his glass higher and toasted me.

I whispered, “I don’t understand what you just sang. It sounded beautiful.”

Balty laughed, “Monette, I sang a love song to you.” I blinked hard. Balty smiled, “I sang this song to thank you for all you’ve done. I sang so you will always remember this moment.”

As we dined, court reporters trolled and stopped to chat at our table. (Balty wore a solid black shirt. I watched Balty remove his white collar the moment he entered the hotel. I teased him about being off-duty.) Bill Weber was incoming NCRA president. His board of directors had driven into the Hill Country to film a movie for his induction. I proudly introduced directors, many wearing country overalls, to “the man who raised $10,000 with spaghetti to purchase CART equipment.” Every court reporter thanked him. Oh, how Balty laughed and smiled. His eyes twinkled, and he enjoyed every moment.

Hours later, court reporters stood at the elevators waving good-bye to my friend.

Balty waved – waiting for me to get into an elevator. I waved – waiting for him to leave. And we met more people at those elevators. He and I waited for the other to turn; neither wanted the evening to end. We spent hours at the elevators talking, laughing and having great fun as I introduced Balty to many friends. Court reporters still comment on that moment when they see me.

When diagnosed with leukemia, Balty was optimistic. I’d phone his private cell phone; he’d answer, “Hi, Moe-net!” I could hear Spanish in the background, and he was frequently in a southside clinic “waiting to be seen.” Once I joked that he’d spent more than 50 years visiting hospitals – perhaps he could get an appointment. Softly Balty said, “Monette, I’m with my people; this is where I want to be.”

I encouraged Balty to record his memoirs. I wanted one tape for the church and another detailed version for his family, describing historic, momentous events he transformed. I teased him that he should have a glass of red wine and sit and talk. I knew his family would want these tapes.

We kept in touch as Balty rounded the last corner of his life. I would phone his cell phone, and we would laugh and listen to the other. I always had his name on my to-call list. Each Monday, I put his name on my list.

His last Sunday, April 30, 2007, I had phone in hand dialing his number that afternoon when I was distracted to a family moment. I put the phone down. I knew I would find the time to phone him. His name remained on my list.

I did not know that Balty recently left his archdiocese apartment. Alone, he checked into hospice. I did not know he had few visitors. That Sunday he “snuck out to a Mexican restaurant with family; nuns looked the other way.” He watched Spurs basketball on TV – they won.

Monsignor Balthasar Janacek died that night at 80 years of age. I learned from his family, “When the nurse checked on him at 3 a.m., he was cold, talking in Czech. A little while later he was speaking in English to his mother. He said, ‘Mom, I don’t think I am going to make it.’”

Balty’s card remains in my wallet. I haven’t been able remove it. I now live with mindful regrets that I’ll never be able to write his name on another call list. Oh, he was proud of CART providers and captioners, our skills, how we help people. Balty was our biggest fan.

I want you to know this about Balty. He was special to so many people for so long. And I believe that Balty Janacek is greeting his family, friends, and strangers with a peace sign, kind words, laughter, and beautiful song.

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!

31 Oct 2007

"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

Certify This …

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.

Certify This …
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

If you registered for a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, or a state court reporting examination take a deep breath and think big.

Write your name with your initials of the certification on a piece of paper. Make two copies. Post one on your bathroom mirror; this will be the first and last thing you see each day.

Put the piece of paper with your certification on your fridge. I want you to prepare a blueprint in success to prioritize this event. Prepare as an athlete.

Proper nutrition enables individuals to persevere. And competing is what you’re doing. (You’re competing with skills that enabled you to join the professionals in our occupation.) People who do not eat properly, work long hours, and worry about money become overwhelmed.

When I speak to groups, tutor, coach students and court reporters, I share the mind/body approach. Many do not understand why they need to eat breakfast. Eat breakfast. Physical exercise is important; nutritional preparation is essential.

Proteins and carbohydrates sustain elevated blood sugar levels during work, tests and stressful situations. Bananas, peanuts and dried fruit are healthy, enabling a person to focus and improve concentration. Pack a small bag with non-salted pretzels, carbohydrates; include non-salted peanuts for protein. Snacking on this combo improves your attention to detail and your stamina. I have snacks in my desk, briefcase, car, CART realtime case and usually in my hand as I race through life.

Two nights before your test, eat a protein dinner to build energy. I recommend fish with vegetables. The evening prior to the examination, dine on complex carbohydrates. Carbs remain in the blood longer, building stamina. Athletes eat whole wheat spaghetti the night before competition. They understand the importance of nutrition. (I eat yams.)

Vitamins are important. Include amino acids, Vitamin C, E, and B complexes. Sublingual B-12 can be placed under your tongue before any test. Hatha Yoga improves concentration, building strong back and arm muscles; great for people hunched most of their day. Learn exercises which permit you to quickly send fresh blood into your spine and brain. And this ‘fresh blood’ calms nervous energy.

Court reporters understand that there are two parts to many national and state certification tests – a written and a skills portion. Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs has a textbook, a workbook and a study guide — plus a ‘CRRT’ CD Software Program, Court Reporter Reference Tutorial, to assist you to prepare for the written portion of your court reporting certification examinations.

The books and CD will teach you how to take a test. You will learn about the ‘d/a’ – distracting answer. Currently, there is only one textbook on the market to assist individuals to pass national NCRA RPR, RDR and state CSR, CCR written tests.

The ‘CRRT’ CD, Court Reporter Reference Tutorial, combines three books and has mock tests preparing individuals to study in realtime. The ‘CRRT’ also assists NCRA CBC, CCP preparation as does the ‘CATapult’ CD Series, which will hone your writing skills to assist you to pass your goal toward certification.

The link for the ‘CRRT CD’ is http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=52
The link for the test prep books is http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=26

Individuals using CRR Books & CDs material have a 95% successful pass rate on national and certification written exams passing the WKT, written certification test, the first time. If you are studying alone for the test or working to improve your skills, www.CRRbooks.com would be honored to assist you with the written portion of your state and national certification.

The second portion of the test concerns speed and accuracy.

Reporters and students building speed want material to be faster, faster, faster. But accuracy is built on the ability to write with control.

The push for higher speeds, in my opinion, should be in short spurts, not long practice periods. Start with material that’s comfortable. Build your speed while reading back and writing slower speeds for control. Your goal is to write comfortably 10-wpm, words per minute, to 20-wpm above the test speeds.

All reporters experience reading bad notes. When you’re struggling, I highly recommend reading those notes. Fingers have patterns. Many students and reporters have a finger that drags or slips. Study finger patterns. Adjust your steno machine on that specific key for a lighter or heavier touch.

Analyze your bad notes, enjoy your good notes, but focus on finger patterns. Many students and reporters do not want to type tests. You learn more from bad notes than good notes. With a positive attitude and focus, you will learn something you did not know about your fingers, your dictionary and your work. You’ve taken the time to prepare; you shouldn’t walk from any test.

NCRA national speed contenders do not write perfect notes. They compile and complete exceptional tests; a skill perfected over years.

Listen to tapes 20-wpm higher than scheduled speeds while you drive to work or school. (One of my students listened to a tape 40-wpm higher than her speed; she “got” lost on the way to school — Honest.) Increase your ability to listen, “carrying information.” When you carry for spurts, you’ll gain confidence.

I believe listening is more essential than writing, especially for tests where we have to “recall” verbatim material.

When practicing, remember numbers are important. Witnesses state his/her address, zip code, phone numbers (cell, home, office), social security numbers. Numbers often are included in tests.
Should you use briefs or should you learn to write every word, sound by sound? Use what works best for you. NCRA has a great book, “61+Ways to Write Faster, Speedbuilding Tips.”

After someone types, I study their notes. They always have words they wrote during dictation that they did not type accurately. Enhance your transcription skills; your test scores will improve.

Here’s my suggestions:

First, type from steno notes. Leave blanks on the computer screen or typing paper for “problem” areas. Valuable time is lost staring at a word or a flap. Often the word is repeated or reworded within the dictation.

Second, mark each flap or computer screen with an ‘x’ or pen as you transcribe to ensure you didn’t fold skip words or fold two flaps. (It’s happened in national speed championships.)

Third, check your typed notes for accuracy and punctuation.

Fourth, check steno notes to the typed material to find missed words. Too many people incur errors when they “had it” in their notes.

Fifth, go back and proof each page, each sentence, in a right to left pattern. This is where you proof each word for spelling. After you have completed steps one through five, then go back and stare at the problem spots and look for each ‘x’ on the computer screen to see each word was transcribed from steno.

Let’s address the nerve factor.

My opinion is that candidates who “initially mess up,” experience lack of confidence in their ability for write that particular speed. Those who “struggle” in the middle of a test or a take may suffer from lack of self-confidence and/or lack of ability for write that speed. Problems towards the end of dictation indicate that the person does not have stamina at that speed. Study your notes. Discover where you’re struggling; then build that area.

Gelsenium, homeopathy, and Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower Remedy) assists people with anxiety associated with public speaking and performance, test-taking, situations. Health food stores carry these items. They work wonders calming butterflies.

I recommend practicing 20 minutes. Readback, get up, stretch, sit down and get back to work. Maintain a schedule. Chart your progress.

Having problems with specific prefixes, suffixes? How about finger combinations? Finger drills are great. Robert McCormick, MBA, CRI, NCRA’s 2004 Teacher of The Year, created a CD, ‘CATapult BEEDs’ Software Program to specifically address issues individuals face when practicing for certification exams.

This ‘BEEDs CD’ will change the way you practice and advance in your schooling and career. BEEDs has finger exercises, numbers, essential words, names, and multiple free features to assist you to pass your certification skills portion of each examination.

The link for the ‘BEEDs CD’ is http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=35

Results and testimonials from individuals may viewed at http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=28

Practice when you’re most alert. Write during your anticipated test time to peak your mental and physical skills.

Act on your goals; know that you deserve to pass the test. After you’ve studied and honed your skills, relax and go play.

Train as an athlete. Concentrate on nutrition; focus on skills preparations. And when you surrender your state or national test, you should be able to say, “Here, certify this.”

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!oday!

08 Sep 2007

Well, That Woke Me Up; Did It You?

Well, That Woke Me Up; Did It You?
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit. All rights reserved.

One Saturday morning, reviewing work from online students and court reporters I tutor, I read posts on an e-mail group. I came across three questions from students.

1: Why should students belong to professional court reporting associations?

2: Should students focus on realtime in school or focus on speed, then learn realtime later?

3: Are students taking longer to get out of school?

Then, within minutes, I read an e-mail that some students are being advised there’s no need to belong to NCRA or to read their JCR. I replied, “Gasp! Well, that woke me up.”

Each day, students I privately tutor forward emails: “What do you think? If he/she can’t do it, can I? Should I stay in school?”

My schedule may not permit me to answer all e-mails inquiring, “How do I do this?” Many reporting students who write share that they are looking for magic (as one wrote).

I reply to all my students holding each accountable for our word, our actions – an understanding we have from the first contact. (They share accountability is high in my Team-Tutoring.)

That Saturday morning, as I read responses and strong opinions, I winced.

I tried to sit on my hands, but soon I replied to their questions:

“Should I join my state and national associations?”

You need to know NCRA has a main focus ‘in’ students, schools, and instructors. NCRA lobbies for education; distributes grants; shares information with students, schools, and teachers. NCRA has a student newsletter (wherein this article was printed, April 2007) and a student forum, and it also organizes student seminars. Many court reporters sponsor students at conventions. Teachers have a private venue, too.

NCRA creates seminars for reporters, CART providers, captioners, students, and instructors per requests from membership. And it has liaisons with judicial groups, groups who are hard-of-hearing, deaf, lawyers, broadcast professionals and engineers.

NCRA, if requested, will advocate for a court reporter who may be replaced by alternative technology. One person or a small group cannot undertake what a national or state group is accomplishing.

All serving on NCRA task forces and committees serve pro bono. NCRA staff members are wonderful. They work diligently to assist each request. I cannot share how many ‘magical’ requests I’ve sent their way from students and myself. Staff shines each time.

NCRA has a mission and a focus of leading, sharing. Reporters and students need a professional organization, just as nurses, lawyers, and other professionals have national groups to educate, share, and advocate. Each NCRA convention works with the state association in which the convention is held, thereby involving more input, opinions, cooperation, further communication, and sharing. NCRA works with a boat-load of people, each freely giving time.

“Should I work on my realtime while still in school?”

When a judge or an employer seeks to hire court reporters, the question most asked is: “Do you realtime?” If a student waited to learn realtime this question will haunt you.Those students who do not realtime or are “workin’ on it” find jobs with less pay. Some find their job given to a voicewriter who will, for less money, tape the job, and then turn in the transcript. Judges and employers consumers are informed consumers.

Years ago I CARTed (communication access realtime) the national American Bar Association Judicial Division. Every judicial office within the ABA was represented save the U.S. Supreme Court. They were well informed about realtime.

Judges, courthouses, administrators, and lawyers are courted by huge electronic recording companies who will, for less, take the job of the nonrealtime reporter. During many conventions NCRA exhibits shows our unique, custom technology to explain how court reporters differ from ER, electronic recording, and voicewriters.

“Are students taking longer to get out of school?”

Students need high vocabulary and high spelling skills. Statistics reflect that many students enrolling in court reporting do not have these skills; high schools also reflect this statistic. The average newspaper is now written to a 14-year old’s vocabulary. Instant messaging, IMs, and e-mails, many say, have lowered vocabulary and spelling accuracy.

Students, in my opinion, do not practice structured hours – many because of work or family obligations – and free-thinkers, say, “I just don’t need that.”

Perhaps these issues are why I’m receiving so many requests to tutor students, especially home-study students.

Students I tutor reinforce these reasons each day sharing about their “brick and mortar” classmates and online students.

Many students practice while instant messaging, IMs, e-mails are arriving or their family is bustling nearby. Then they “throw their notes in the trash.” Many students will test and transcribe when convenient, later, permitting additional transcription time.

When I was a student, NCRA membership was mandatory. We were required to stand, giving reports from JCR articles with no notice. If you were not prepared that day – zero.

In days of old, we went to school all day, had hours of homework, to include additional hours (plural) each evening. We read nonfiction and history, as well as compiled reports using specific vocabulary — in addition to learning steno.

(Do I think this was good? Some days it felt as if I was, alone, barefoot on broken glass — yet I saw results. Results reinforced students who prepared graduated with rock-solid skills.)

Students not learning realtime have a different path – maybe a longer path. Many are inventing their theory on-the-fly, analyzing each word, and then working, in realtime, to “write it in one stroke.”

As an instructor, program evaluator, tutor, CART provider, author, and speaker, I’ve been in many a trench – hot and cold.

Students who focus on realtime early in school and stick to a proven well-tested theory will have smoother, easier transitions toward employment. Regarding students who do not belong to NCRA, might I suggest students contact peers – enlightenment is powerful – when “it’s at your fingertips.” We need you, trained and prepared.

Our future will depend on our ability to meet growing demands for our services. If we are unable to meet this demand, necessity may become the ‘mother’ to deliver our skills. Yet we now have savvy tools to maintain our leadership in schools with students and with people who rely upon our verbatim skills.

The reason I wrote, “Well, That Woke Me Up” – perhaps if more students were aware of benefits and how NCRA and state associations aid and abet students and court reporters, it would be more evident how NCRA has a mission to make us stronger against technology which seeks to replace us.

Oh, and another plus side, NCRA and your state association are wonderful ‘yards’ in which to make connections and contacts for future work. Great new friends will change the path on which you tread.

My hand is extended out to you — come, join. Let us help you.

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!

21 Aug 2007

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

What would you do if someone you love is charged with an alleged crime? What if a family member is handcuffed and quickly removed from your home? What would you do if you are unable to hear? What would you do if equal communication offered late in events is not what you need? Would you raise your voice, scream – or would you bow your head, not wanting to upset anyone?

This story is true. As I write in December 2006, many individuals are unsure where the allegation, legal process will end.

Let’s say charges are read to the parent after the minor has been arrested, handcuffed, removed from the home, seated in a squad car and charged with an alleged offense. As police explain details, the parent has to get the hearing aid, off-duty that late hour. The hearing dog had alerted the parent to heavy knocking on the door. The child is driven off into the night, then incarcerated.

Stunned and shocked as the parent, your world has now changed. If you are unable to hear, will you stomp to defend your loved one or will you make nice to avoid upsetting anyone – anyone who may bring your loved one home – one day or one moment sooner?

Let’s say this experience is your first one within the legal system. You never visited anyone in jail. Now you have to be cleared through security, counselors. Now your hearing aid is on-duty; you focus to understand each word, which is a struggle at best. You hope for early release – a new term. Also new: Will your minor be tried as child or adult?

Most likely you will not qualify for free attorney aid; legal counsel is required. Your reaction could be “This can’t be happening!” It can. Attorneys requiring compensation, often substantial fees, will need to defend a minor incarcerated without bail. Also new: Minors are not granted bail. What will you now do for attorney’s fees for an alleged offense?

Let’s say there’s no prior history to prepare this family. If this is not your family, perhaps one could think “this is our legal system; it protects all of us.”

But what if your child is placed behind secure walls, visits are limited. No physical contact is permitted. Detainees are required to earn points to earn rights.

All communication is shared behind a wall with a small metal circle, thick dark screen. If you rely on hearing aids and read lips, your opportunity to hear is drastically reduced. As you struggle to understand words, learn details, to check on your minor, and to learn about the legal process and allegations, what would you do if you could not see the lips of your loved one or hear each word?

As court reporters we know that fact-finding trials are held. But when a person is held behind a wall, what then? I know deaf prisoners in San Antonio – ‘Deaf’ and all prisoners often live within a horrible world called a jail.

Deaf prisoners cannot be mainstreamed. They cannot hear anyone behind them, so they lose the ability to defend themselves. Deaf are typically mandated to infirmaries. This may appear fine for hearing, but deaf are now constrained to a tiny area. Social contact is limited. One of the greatest gifts people can give deaf (and deaf community) is to visit deaf prisoners. Deaf are isolated, alone.

If your loved minor is detained, they could be placed into foster care – an option decided by the court. If the parent is deaf or hearing-impaired, trust me, the parent worries about losing rights to their child because of the parent’s deafness. Yes, it does happen. Is it fair? No. Deaf parents have lost “in the best interest of the child.”

If that child is not able to fully communicate with their parent, then that child experiences further trauma. This CODA child (named after an international group called Children of Deaf Adults) will know the parent’s visit is approaching and that communication is limited prior, during, and after each limited noncontact visit. CODA children grow up fast – they say.

Legal facts will unfold with time – but not fast enough for the parent and loved one – in a country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Stress will ripple to others involved and excaberated because of the hearing impairment. Powerless, frustrated, scared may now describe you. Scarred may describe the minor. How will these events affect the minor’s future life?

Limited visitors, who are approved in advance, can be removed at the discretion of parole employees and counselors. Only attorneys and clergy are exempt. Visits are limited to two a week. Detainees have new rules, regulations.

If the parent is hearing-impaired, how does the child share this new bewildering world that has few privileges, mandatory lights out, few books and pencils (if any), and permits only limited communication?

During visits, if you are hearing-impaired (self-described term) contact is further limited. You also notice that everyone else, including the hearing, is finding communication a challenge with the screened circle.

And if a hearing is held for your loved one – perhaps an odd word for the parent not hearing – and if the room does not have assistive listening devices, communication is again limited. When this parent questioned assistance, the parent was informed only “a sign interpreter could be supplied.” Great, but this adult does not use sign language.

Since no law states a parent need be present for legal proceedings of his or her child or police interrogation, this will be a huge shock, too. Will your loved one know when to volunteer information – or – perhaps will your child simply shut down, alone, isolated, and in fear?

If the fact-finding trial has evidence to move forward, perhaps the next phase is a jury trial, or will a plea bargain be accepted because of earlier facts? Attorneys cost money, incarceration is bleak. Decisions are often made on these factors. Trials take time; trials are pricey. I was a court reporter in Miami’s juvenile public defender’s office many years ago, and I am still amazed by the information I reported and witnessed.

So, are you at the mercy of the legal system, the court? Would you “bite your tongue” to avoid stirring any problems, hoping your loved one comes home one second sooner?

Will you struggle to remain unangry knowing that if any person involved in the legal process takes a holiday or sick day during the process, this will cause further delays, postponing justice. And if an experienced juvenile lawyer says this “is a zoo,” what would you do?

I wrote to the parent that I was outraged CART (communication access realtime) was not being shared. I requested permission to write this article. The parent, in response to “how are you,” replied with details and “Thank God for warm furry things that sleep in your arms and purr.”

As I finish writing this article, the hearing was delayed – again. Facts surrounding the alleged incident were shared again, claiming this was a “minor event” – a repeated fact officially shared for many weeks now while the minor remained incarcerated.

And if your child was incarcerated well over one month, including Thanksgiving Day with no visit and Christmas without the ability to fully communicate with his or her parent, and the hearing-impaired parent is praying, praying, praying, I ask you, What would you do?

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!

13 Jun 2007

Test Power Prep The Final Week

Test Power Prep The Final Week
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2007 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 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!

02 May 2007

Try Harder; Each Time You Try Harder

Try Harder; Each Time You Try Harder
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday afternoon, I taxied to ‘Tong Sing’. I sprinted towards 615 Grant Avenue.
My sister-in-law owns a jewelry store in San Francisco’s China Town.

I darted around people selling sunglasses and picture frames on the sidewalk, launched into the store. I had looked forward to this moment for a long time. I viewed pearls of every color, rings, diamonds, bracelets, earrings, necklaces. The sign over the doorway: ‘SALE! 70% Off Everything!” I saw my sister-in-law, called her name. She ran into my arms. Wenny did not know I was in San Francisco; here I stood, arms out, waiting for her hug.

I had just spent days attending, sharing and exhibiting my products and services within Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs, www.CRRbooks.com, during the National Court Reporters Association midyear convention.

There, I laughed and listened to judicial and free-lance court reporters, captioners, CART providers, students and teachers.

Wenny was excited to see me. I followed her to the back private area; she poured hot jasmine tea for me. As people entered, Wenny ran to the front, “How are you? Everything 70% off!” I was seated next to a large statue with oranges and incense. Wenny was busy, showing customers leather coats, purses, luggage, gifts, jewelry, silks, merchandise.

I waited for a time, then quietly slipped to an area where I took a seat in front of a jewelry case. I listened to people speaking Chinese and English; many pointed to jewelry on shelves or deep within cases. Between customers, Wenny said to me, “I’ll make you a pearl necklace.” Wenny removed pearls from multiple ‘strings’ to design a necklace. When she was busy, I sat by the long pearl strings.

Wenny greeted each customer personally and answered the phone. She built the necklace, as I tease her with her teeth. She strung one pearl, tied a knot, used her teeth to tighten each knot, then added another pearl.

Wenny kept saying, “I’ll make a pearl necklace for when you speak, when you attend conventions.” She handed me a custom-made necklace and hugged me.

People continued to shop in her store and make purchases. I watched her in action. I had not known Wenny since she entered the Benoit family, my in-laws.

We gathered at formal family gatherings, but never had time to know each other. I knew she arrived in our country, working hard, earning everything she now has.

Wenny Hoang Bui left Vietnam in 1978. She traveled to Hong Kong, arriving in San Francisco, 1980. She’s worked seven days a week, three jobs each day, to open Tong Sing. When we met, this was her goal. She saved everything to open ‘Tong Sing Fine Jewelry’.

I watched, listened. Wenny answered my questions, sharing her world. As I touched jewelry, she’d giggle, “Go ahead; try it on.”

Soon, I was trying on rings, bracelets; it reminded me of visiting my granny’s as a child, playing with her jewelry.

When the store became busy, people looked at me asking ‘how much is that’ or ‘can I see that’? Raising my eyebrows to Wenny, she nodded.

Off I went behind the counters to begin selling jewelry in China Town.

I couldn’t open glass counters, remove velvet trays, confidently placing each on the counter. With shoulders back, chin up, I worked to assist customers. And what fun I had.

As soon as I placed trays on counters, customers would ask “So how much will you take?” I’d laugh, replying, “I don’t know, ask her; I’m just the sister-in-law.” Customers frowned and did ‘double-takes’ looking at my Vietnamese sister-in-law then me. Many questioned how I ‘really’ knew her – in my opinion, due to the obvious that I knew squat about working a jewelry counter.

One family asked how much ‘70% off’ was for a necklace. I pushed the calculator forward, teasing, “I don’t know; why don’t you figure it out?”

As I finished my first sale, I was ecstatic, yelling to Wenny, “I did it; I made my first sale!” I couldn’t work the cash register or wrap the jewelry. So I placed the necklace on the lady, handing Wenny the money.

The store seemed to ebb and flow with families, people, shopping, viewing, touching. Each time, Wenny ran to the front, “Hi, how are you? Everything 70% off!”

Wenny shared how she discounts 70%: She and two sisters each have a store; they bulk purchase. Wenny’s specialty is pearls: “Pearls always maintain value, always timeless.”

One customer asked to see a bracelet, requesting the price. As Wenny worked, the woman was testy (some might even say ‘rude’). I pursed my lips, listening as this customer worked to have the price greatly reduced.

Wenny smiled, respectfully answering questions, never showing impatience. The customer departed with a tart remark after a lengthy stay; I was offended for Wenny. Wenny smiled, never missed a beat. She ran to the back and poured another cup of hot tea for me.

Wenny opens her store each morning. It requires one hour to open, one hour to close — closing “when the last customer leaves” – seven days a week.

Three hours later, we sipped tea in the few moments the store was quiet. Again, Wenny darted to the door. I viewed the back of her high heels as she ran to greet customers. When they quickly departed, almost in a u-turn, I asked, “How do you do it? ‘Each time’ you run greeting ‘everyone’ with a smile. You greet everyone with such energy. ‘How’ do you do it?”

Wenny instantly smiled, replying: “Try harder. ‘Each’ time ‘you’ try harder!” Then she ran to the front of the store to greet the new arrivals.

I thought back to the NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, convention. Many of us were enthused to gather. I met handfuls of reporters who shared they were not realtiming, did not want to improve their skills and meant it. The first time, I laughed, sure this was a joke. Nope. They were serious.

I joked, “And let me guess, you’re against voice-writers, technology, and you have a tape when you work.” Though numbers were small, this stuck with me.

The moment Wenny beamed, sharing ‘try harder; each time you try harder’, I sighed.

That was exactly what I needed to hear that day. Sitting in China Town, embraced within another culture, I experienced ‘peace’.

When I asked Wenny what ‘Tong Sing’ means, she said it’s Chinese, translating: “Go up. You want to go up all the time; make more. Go up, big business.”

I helped Wenny close Tong Sing that evening, pack jewelry, cover jewelry cases. I left with a pearl necklace, earrings and two pearl necklaces for my mother. “You’re family; we only have one mother,” she kept saying.

The best gift: Wenny Hoang Bui, my sister-in-law, shared her love, culture, enthusiasm and work ethic. Now girlfriends, Wenny drove me back to The Argent Hotel. I leaped out of her car when she could not find the correct street, and we were circling the same streets.

I hugged her, grabbed my bag, sprinted up the street.
San Francisco, with crisp air, beautiful buildings, seemed different.
The city hadn’t changed, I had.

Entering the hotel, smiling court reporters approached, “Will you be at the national in Chicago? I can’t wait; see you then!”

I went to my room remembering: “Try harder. Each time you try harder.”

When I phoned ‘fact-checking’ this article, Wenny shared that she had just rented the sidewalk in front of her store to film a movie. Yes, ‘Tong Sing’.

Wenny can be reached seven days a week at 415-392-0838. With boundless energy, she ships jewelry all over the world. May we all “go up … all the time.” Happy New Years to each of you. Tong Sing.

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!

25 Apr 2007

CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin

CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Now and then we’re granted special events we remember for a long, long time. Some can be confidential. The jobs I’m writing about here were not your typical day at the office.

Originally I wanted special CART (communication access realtime translation, instant voice to text) moments to remain private. Then my life shifted; it was altered.

Two weeks after the San Diego installation of NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, president Mike Brentano, my world changed forever. I received the call no one wants.

My terminally ill youngest (he hated the word ‘baby’) brother died August 5th, 2000.
Two years prior, 12/23/97, Kevin was privately diagnosed with hepatitis C, HCV.

After his diagnosis, Kevin learned that in 1976 he was infected during experiment vaccinations in the military.

Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly passionately spent day and night researching, assisting veterans, their families and medical researchers. He died suddenly, tragically alone.

Many court reporters knew of my brother’s illness and his work. At my request, Kevin also helped veterans, family members, deaf, hard-of-hearing and court reporters (to include members of their families) each diagnosed with HCV. Kevin encouraged everyone, researched information specific for each person, so they could move forward with hope and facts.

Kevin also worked to develop the first of Hepatitis C Support Forums and proved that the virus and other viruses are shared by pneumatic guns, which routinely shared the same needles with multiple soldiers and individuals. Depression is a side of effect of Hep C, and as many know, depression is an often misunderstood illness.

Kevin designed a website that he and LeighAnn Vogel built to assist veterans, families, professionals and children of diagnosed individuals. Some of Kevin’s work may be accessed at http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/index.html

Their web site was the first private web site to be attached by the VA, Veterans Administration, sharing information Kevin gathered to specifically veterans and their families.

The afternoon of his death, prior to the call, my family gathered with my dad to help his recovery from cancer surgery. Due to dad’s surgery and recuperation, I flew alone to Kevin’s funeral.
(August 10th, 2000, in Calverton Cemetery, a military graveyard, I waited in the noon sun for his casket to be delivered to the empty hole in the ground – the gravediggers went to lunch.)

I humbly share that it was the comfort of mentors, court reporters, NCRA, National Court Reporters Assocation, staff and kind strangers who strengthened me.

I canceled my JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, “Beyond The Comfort Zone” column from one airport, stood on long lines alone.

Stunned, I phoned a few friends as I waited to board planes. They helped me to go, stand tall, listen, fly home, then find sense of my world.

During the quiet time, I experienced many incidents that spurred me to write this article. I am honoring those moments. And now I have a special message to share.

Traditionally, my CART, communication access real-time translation (instant voice-to-text display on a computer) request assists deaf, hard-of-hearing, people learning English, etc.
But I received a unique request many moons ago. They wanted CART and a verbatim disk immediately thereafter. Fine. The consumer was not deaf or hearing challenged. Fine. I was requested because “sometimes high energy field surges blow out electricity recording the event.” Excuse me?

I needed more information. The person scheduling the event was a medium, a clairvoyant. The client wanted to speak to a dead relative. (Yes, like you, I paused a little there too.)
They requested CART for an instant verbatim text record. Could I write on battery to prevent electrical blips?

In court I wrote hearings, motions. Was the plaintiff really injured?

I wrote jury trials. Was the defendant, alleged criminal, in fact, innocent? I know they are innocent until proven guilty, but officers of the court often are entitled to information the jury may not receive.

I still remember the divorce law firm that nailed everything down – stapler, sofa cushions, books, etc. I did not judge others when my skills were used then. Was this different?

I thought about seven years of CARTing deaf masses, PTA/school meetings, religious events, university Latin classes, the McGruff Dog (he had paw surgery, so he could sign to the deaf children), country dancing lessons, funerals, conventions, where I felt privileged to share CART. They required instant verbatim text delivery.

I thought about friends who would scream if they knew. I envisioned my mom smiling, praying; my Jesuit-schooled father sighing, glancing skyward.

With an open mind, lots of prayer, I accepted. I entered terms in my job dictionary to include psychics, mediums, shamans, metaphysical, tarot, clairvoyants, mystics and yes, ghostbusters. I realtimed with the screen turned down, charged batteries to avoid electrical problems.

The ‘reading’ began with prayer, moved quickly into personal information. Pets, nicknames, childhood memories, favorite foods were shared before communication began. I remember holding my breath – concerned sudden inhales could invade their privacy. I ended with wonder (and some shock). Everyone was so thankful I shared my CART skills. I’d been part of something very personal. I received other calls. Each different; each adhered to a Code of Ethics. And, yes, I continued to pray and attend church.

As a result of that work, I received a CART request for a telephonic medical intuitive. Their appointment had been scheduled two years earlier. This was a medical doctor with a Ph.D. using psychic abilities to ‘read’ problems from the past and future for someone’s heath.
Again, I charged batteries, globaled, moved forward. Later, I CARTed a homicide detective sharing a file report.

I am convinced that when someone asks for any verbatim record, a court reporter is the necessary professional. I tease that as an experienced court reporter I can write anything spoken and/or mumbled.

CART providers can bring comfort to people who are grieving. When CARTing funerals for individuals who are hard-of-hearing and/or deaf, I experienced peace while sharing so others could participate. We can assist with closure involving people close to the center. I feel privileged to sit at the edge of the circle, to hear what I did.

Faith is personal. Messages are private.

My brother died young and sadly, much too fast. He is no longer here to share laughter, to guide me with his courage, wisdom, friendship and wicked sense of humor.

Kevin will never send a funny or informative email which I could keep or could choose to share with friend, court reporters and mentors. I draw comfort from my quiet moments, from those with insights, loving guidance.

We can instantly realtime anything … verbal, spiritual and, now I know, even spirits. I’m grateful for spiritual moments, for hearing ‘Up and Out’ utilizing CART with an open mind and an open heart.

My work is still private. My life forever changed due to my CART skills, the death of my brother and the hope I desire to share with each of you.

Further information about Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly is included: 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 & 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!

20 Apr 2007

One Lost Sheep And What If …

One Lost Sheep And What If …
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Do you have the skills to realtime for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person? You won’t know if you don’t try. What if you could find a comfortable environment to become realtime proficient?

What if you could nurture your realtime skills, build your confidence and attract new clients outside legal arenas. You can expand your skills by growing into the technology. You can realtime for people that appreciate you and your talents. The hardest part will be not taking yourself too seriously.

As a CART, communication access realtime translation, provider writing to large screens, I’ve realtimed unique events, assisting people who wouldn’t have participated if I wasn’t there: McGruff the Crime Dog who signs to children, religious gatherings, baptisms, funerals, voter forums, cochlear implant meetings for tots and children, theatrical plays, large conventions, banquets and much more.

I realtimed a deaf mime acting skits of Mr. Ed meets Batman. The audience joked that they always knew that horse wasn’t speaking because they knew how to read lips. The humor in this community just floors me. I’ve been the victim of more practical jokes than I care to admit, but I’m grateful for inclusion in their world.

Recently, I wrote a child singing “Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O” in the middle of a technical presentation. And yes, I’ve asked: The Deaf Society I work with prefers to be known as the Deaf World; not people who are deaf. When in doubt, ask. They don’t want us to define their world. They’ll be honored that you cared enough to ask how they describe themselves.

Where do you start? What if you wanted to begin, and someone said you had to become a certified court reporter, RMR and CRR, and have zero percent untrans? Where do you start to practice? That answer differs for each person, group, even and upon your skills.

Evaluate where you are. If you edit much of your work and haven’t purchased a laptop, you’re in for a bigger learning curve. But this is where the goal is created. Seek a group, arena or person. Ask if you can practice to expand your vocabulary. Knowledge of their culture and (to me) a sense of confidence develops to be able to write on a screen as a room watches — or laughs. Yet you have to keep writing. The earth will not swallow you, no matter how much you wish for it.

Study the group. Go slowly, but go forward. Where do people meet that might want this service? Call HLA (formerly SHHH), AGB, ALDA, United Way, the American Association of Retired Persons and sign interpreters.Why do they need you to provide this service?

I keep explanations simple. Our wires, equipment, plugs and technology are foreign to people.

Prepare answers to questions that you think you’ll be asked. The rest will flow from your heart.

I prepare flyers in several colors. Each is targeted to the event or educational level of the group: elementary/high school, adults, educators, hard-of-hearing, oral deaf, etc. When someone asks for information (usually as I’m writing in real-time on my steno machine), I point to flyers. When a person calls, I ask for the color of their handout. This saves me time.

Learn about their world. Reporters ask me: How do I write with a sign interpreter? Interpreters sign when people voice (speak). I call it “thigh-by-thigh” reporting. Interpreters, thigh by thigh, whisper words, interpreting signed discussions, so I can write on a screen.

Find one place – a church, class, organization open to the public – and attend regularly. Call ahead and explain what you’d like to do. Ask if you can take your equipment, sit in the back and practice. Tell the group you need their help. Once I offer my “deer in the headlights” look, they share information and speak so I can write their words into my dictionary. This is empowering to people you want to assist. Every person has thanked me for allowing them to help me. They tell me it makes them feel good to contribute. And I’m told the misconceptions I need to avoid. They tease, laugh and enjoy my struggles. Don’t be offended.

Expand your vocabulary. Write the news. Rent Robin Williams videos. Create a dictionary with terms other than legal terms and preponderance of the evidence. Check out the ‘CATapult Your Real-Time Dictionary CD’ series at www.CATapultdix.com

Ask to be included. A group will become protective of you. Teach them to be protective of your equipment. As your skills and friends expand, you become more confident. Get the details. How long is the meeting or event? Is the content technical? If someone is reading your screen, should there be two court reporters to ensure an accurate job? How long will they need the writer to write? When ‘they’ take a lunch break, are you given a lunch break? What speed do I need? Can a student do this? Always define “this.” Each group and situation will differ. Prepare as best as you can, then get into that saddle and just write.

After they’ve embraced you, your professional dictionary’s expanded, your confidence has grown, you’re realtiming live on a screen/laptop, then think about local meetings and state and national groups.

Consider your fees. How much do I charge? They can’t fire a pro bono writer in the corner with her shoulders at her ears. Earn your wings, then consider by the hours, level of difficulty, ASCII, day/evening rates and long-term commitments.

Think ahead. How do I handle multiple speakers when I’m used to stopping people? You can’t rely on a tape recorder when you CART in a public setting. Learn to fingerspell. I began by writing the alphabet with my left hand and then the right. I did this over and over until I could realtime the alphabet without hesitation.

If you’re unable to interrupt speakers (in a large setting and this is not a legal proceeding) and you are unable to write verbatim, analyze your group. Are you on a large screen or laptop? On a laptop, I’ll write, “fastest set of lips in the west.” On the large screen, I avoid editing, but if I have to get the message, I drop false starts and repetitions. At first it feels illegal to drop a word. I think this is an art – to write, keep it clean and understandable. One wise reporter said, “When you’re struggling, give ’em the Reader’s Digest version.” I gasped. But if I’m unable to get it all, I know the message is more important than incorrect trans with dashes.

When I’m struggling with a fast speaker or technical material, I focus on writing prefix, root word, suffix, punctuating, hoping my body language doesn’t reveal how much I may be struggling or how much I want to be perfect. Reporters I know browbeat themselves for what didn’t translate. But the audience remembers what enabled them to understand the event. The same personality that drives a person to become a qualified reporter can be hard on the reporter.

Get over your fears. Many reporters tell me they’re certified – a CRR and RMR, they realtime in court or in depositions and are too afraid to begin to realtime on a large screen. Prepare, prepare, prepare. There are so many wonderful resources available now; reach up and out and make the commitment. Understanding that fear is a natural emotion when approaching a new path, you can harness your fear, channeling it as you focus, focus, focus.

Stop hanging around with reporters. Many reporters can be negative about their limitations. Cultivate people who don’t quote 100 percent translation. Look for positive feedback. Be prepared to work for your goal.

As I write, I’m hugged, rubbed, tapped, thanked. They will open their hearts and kitchens to you. If you want to realtime, the work will be serious; so is my commitment. But I’m determined to enjoy some of this while I’m sweating bullets.

So what if you could find one place? What if you wanted to expand your life and skills? What if there was one lost sheep?

I realtime a mass for the Catholic Deaf Community to a large screen, which may be viewed by all who attend the service. There’s a signing priest who voices and signs ASL, American Sign Language (ASL syntax differs) during the mass.

One Sunday I wrote about leaders and Pharisees. The priest’s ASL voiced-words, as he signed were:

“Jesus doesn’t understand about these people. If He knew really who was the sinner, He would avoid them. Jesus gave them a story. He said, what if you have 100 sheep, but lose one? What do you do?“Do you ignore that one and take care of 99 or do you leave 99 and go out and search for that lost sheep until you find him? And you find it, pick it up and put it on your shoulders. Go back, and you announce, ‘Come, rejoice with me! Because my lost sheep, I have found.’

“How many sheep were in that story? The story said 100; 99 stayed home. Maybe that sheep was deaf. He was calling, ‘Come back. Come back.’ God said, ‘Go, look. Find him. Don’t ignore him. Go, look, find him. That one is precious, bring it back.’ Every day, pray, smile, help others. God bless you.”

Parishioners immediately voiced, signed, “Yeah, what if that sheep was deaf? That’s it. Maybe he was deaf.”

And now I ask you: What about that one lost sheep? What if you made a difference to one person? What if you extended your hands and heart one step, one event, one realtimed word at a time? What if you are the one lost sheep?

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 Apr 2007

“You’re Processing; You’re Not Stuck”

“You’re Processing; You’re Not Stuck”
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

The first email to Monette@CATapultdix.com began as an information-specific request.

I replied to Janet Tilley and offered ‘up’ a firm opinion, which I have ‘owned’ for many years. Her response was so sincere, I asked Janet to permit me to share with you. In my heart, I know students, court reporters, captioners, CART providers and instructors will find what they ‘need to know’ below.

Janet: “I am currently a court reporting student. I am stuck at 170 wpm and am looking for something to help me identify ‘hesitations’. I am enrolled in Chattanooga State’s Realtime Program and starting my fifth semester. I am currently stuck trying to attain 170 wpm.

“Would your products be of assistance to a student? I ordered the ‘CATapult Your Dictionary’ CD Software Program today, and I am looking forward to using it! A reporter returned from the NCRA National Convention this summer and told me about your products. She was very excited about using them and thought the CATapult CD would be helpful for me.”

I read her email and replied, … As a court reporter, private tutor/coach and instructor, may I suggest you avoid the “I’m stuck” thinking. I teach and share when I speak to individuals and to groups that ‘the brain needs to absorb’ what we have ‘in-put’ (a new steno language) ‘as’ we develop skills to work ‘a’ new machine.

“In short, the two new tasks need time to work together, to flow, together, as one. I compare it to: ‘Your mind is like a sponge,’ Teaching 101. You will absorb the tasks needed, as you ‘process.’

“If you’re stuck, ‘stuck’ delays the ‘process,’ in my opinion. When you are processing, time is refocused.”

Janet replied: “Hallelujah and Praise the Lord! That is probably the single most encouraging, sensible piece of advice I have gotten since starting court reporting school. I have always felt my brain and fingers were trying to learn to work together in a totally new way that involved learning a new language, new computer system, keyboard, and putting the two together in a nanosecond! Logically, this would take the brain and motor impulses time to learn and coordinate.

I have heard the ‘stuck’ warnings and stories, and I bought into them. Viewing myself as ‘stuck’ rendered me aimless and helpless, in a mental sense.

‘Processing,’ on the other hand, is a productive place to be. And the truth is, no matter how few speeds gains I have made over the last three months, I have improved in many areas, and my theory has become easier for me. I also seem to have a better understanding of the whole ‘realtime picture’. Thank you for your time and advice. I feel so fortunate to be entering a career so full of caring and helpful people.

Also, I just realized you wrote the wonderful article, ‘Try Harder; Each Time You Try Harder’ in the NCRA January JCR. Your sister-in-law, Wenny, (Tong Sing Jewelry) is an inspiration! I don’t know how she does it every day with a smile, but God bless her!

After I read the article, I thought about trying harder and not being content to plateau. It made me realize how easy it would be to finish school, get comfortable with a system and just stay there.

I realized that to continually try harder and to become better, I need to be on top of industry and technological changes. I need to be willing to continue to learn and change with the industry and customer demands. It makes me feel good to think that even after I am out of school, I will still learn. And process!

I received my CATapult CD. It looks great!!! I think this is going to be exactly the practice aid I have been dreaming of! I love the common words drill! I look forward to getting into the ‘meat and potatoes’ of CATapult CD today. Once again, thank you so much for your advice and encouragement! You are an angel!”

I asked Janet to share her world. “Let’s see, I am 35 years old, and I began my first Realtime Theory semester, August 2003. I attended college when I was younger. I became interested in court reporting in 1994. I fell into a job that I loved, but it offered no opportunity for promotion or change. I became burned out and bored after a few years. During this time I had gotten married.

My husband worked with two men, each married to a reporter. He would tell me about what the wives of these men were doing. So that got me thinking, and before long, we developed a plan that allowed me to quit my job and go to school. It was hard to leave my job. The people were like family, money and benefits were good; but I did it and haven’t looked back! What initially interested me in court reporting was the writer; how could anyone make words by those blank, black keys??? I love to read; I love words. I love hard crosswords, word games. When I learned more about the writer and theory itself, I thought, ‘This is the ultimate puzzle!’ As I learned about the career, the more intrigued I became.

I wanted a job that would allow me to work in different settings, with different people and would always challenge me. This was it!

What really sealed it for me though, was that I could provide other services with court reporting skills. I had been at a job that required a definite set of skills; I couldn’t take those skills and move into another area. With court reporting, I had the option of providing CART or captioning, should I need a change. I have long said that I would love to be a professional student and providing CART would kind of be like that, plus a paycheck! I plan to freelance when I finish school. I would like to get into CART, but that would be on down the road. I like the flexibility of freelancing and varied work settings. I also believe freelancing will offer me the greatest opportunities and challenges to become the best ‘realtimer’ I can be.

I had the privilege of working at a court reporting firm here in Chattanooga, Angel & Associates Court Reporters, the first year I was in court reporting school. I viewed the ‘other side’ of the career. That experience was invaluable! I learned about the daily requirements and job demands, the good and the not so good. I am very grateful for my time there; it has made me even more determined and more resolved to stick to my practice schedule and to keep pressing forward.

My husband is the most supportive, encouraging man in the world. I could never have done this without his help. He has assumed household responsibilities; he’s very understanding during my times of frustration. We have no children, so that does make it a lot easier. However, we have a parrot, the center of the household and our lives, two finches who disregard us until feeding time, and a cat who stays outside during the waking hours of our birds, but comes in at night to sleep on her personal heated mattress (me). I hope this is helpful! Thanks, Monette!”

Yes, Janet, “this is helpful.” You have just ‘helped’ many, many court reporters, students and instructors. You have ‘gifted’ your processing and your world into the universe; I thank you.

An update of Janet’s ‘processing’ and graduation into the court reporting profession – under 12 months from this ‘processing and sharing‘ – may be read in “Still Processing And Snowglobes.”

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!

23 Apr 2005

Then Al Weinstein Asked, “Did I Help You?” Chief Reporter, United Nations

Then Al Weinstein Asked, “Did I Help You?” Chief Reporter, United Nations
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Al wanted this story. Al asked for this story. My intent was to surprise Al Weinstein in this JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, July 1999 special collector’s edition. When Al died, I felt it. No one told me. I knew. I bowed my head and prayed.

In prayer, I apologized for the delay with my promise to share what Al had requested. I had been waiting for the special edition of NCRA’s JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, the special anniversary edition. I knew Al would want his story preserved in the historical publication.

Sadly, I must share: I waited too long. As I’ve written this article, I smell flowers — often. This ‘is’ Al’s article, per Al’s request.

One snowy day long ago, I attended my first convention. I drove a long distance; I didn’t know anyone — not one person.

As I picked up my handouts and registration, I still remember turning around in the large foyer bustling with activity and being a little overwhelmed by the large numbers of people — everyone seemed to be in groups, clusters — not alone, as I.

At noon, timidly, I entered the luncheon banquet. Approaching large round tables, I was promptly informed all seats were reserved, as people guarded empty chairs. After my fourth attempt, I started backing out of the room, too shy to stay. (After the fourth attempt, I made a plan: I would grab a bite to eat up the street; then return to the seminars after lunch. I would avoid the large round tables with formal plate settings.)

As I was backing up, someone firmly held my right elbow. A man in a gray suit, gray eyeglasses, gray hair said, “The lady will dine with me.” We walked to the front of the room. He started up the stairs to the dais.

I pulled back, he pulled forward.

Slowly he leaned over and said, “There are 600 people in this room. And they’re all watching you.”

I pleaded, whispered and begged, “no.”

He held my hand; we walked onto the podium to a round table. He pulled out a chair, pointed. He sat across from me at the large table. Each chair soon was occupied; a man approached the table where I sat, the only female. Al jumped up, threw his white napkin down, pointed to me, talking to the man. I tried to get up and to give him my chair. Al waved his hand in the air. That man left the podium.

Each person introduced himself. I was sitting with head court reporters of distinguished courts.

I lifted my water glass; the ice cubes shook. Buttering bread, the knife clinked against the plate. I remembered my granny used to say, “When in doubt, sit tall, hands folded, smile.”

My voice shook as I introduced myself, smiling. I whispered that I was a court reporter in Buffalo, New York, of just one year and sat tall. Al laughed, instructed me to speak up.

I looked across the table and finally inquired, “What is your name, sir?” He proclaimed, “I’m Al Weinstein, Chief Parliamentary Verbatim Reporter, United Nations.” I gasped. The men asked, “You didn’t know?” My gasp and big brown eyes answered each.

During lunch, attention was turned to me by Al. Where do you work? How do you like it? He pried until I opened up.

I had a job where we reported chemical/gas inhalations, medical testimony all day. The CDC, Center for Disease Control, arrived to record the correlation with Love Canal, the large factories and the many illnesses.

On many a day, I’d write 40 doctors each morning. (The doctors all wanted to be first and would line the walls, waiting to hurry in, hurry out.) My supervisor was tough.

The men at the round table on the dais were impressed that a court reporter straight out of college could do this. I told them: That’s my point — I was struggling. Tapes weren’t allowed. I had to type my own notes to prove I could write accurately. When I had problems, each day I was told I’d be fired by 4:00. On my first day, my supervisor pulled a chair next to me, watching my paper as it rolled out of my steno machine, while I wrote. She did this often, to see if I was ‘getting it’.

I softly, slowly shared with Al and the men at the table – now all focused on me- how I was so nervous during technical work that sweat appeared on the tips of my fingers and a few times my fingers had slipped between the keys on my steno machine, as my supervisor hovered next to me.

I spoke slowly, bright red, head down.

Their comments, conversations during that lunch changed my life. I didn’t eat. I couldn’t get the pasta around the fork or spoon; my hands shook. I listened to the mentoring, their wisdom.

After lunch, Al thanked me for joining them. Thanked me?

I left a new person. Someone believed in me. I made changes in my life, enrolled in paralegal school, moved to Miami, Florida. I reported in the federal and state courts, then relocated to San Antonio, Texas, continued my education.

I never forgot this man. I dedicated my second book, The Court Reporter Reference CSR, RPR, RMR, RDR Written Knowledge Test Workbook to Al Weinstein.

When I next attended an NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, convention I asked, “Where is the man who works in the U.N.”

Someone pointed to a petite man, white hair, white pants, white shoes, gold glasses.

“No. I want the U.N. man.”

I was firmly told, “That’s him!”

One hand holding his NCRA packet at his left hip, his right hand circled high above his head as he spoke. I waited until many had finished speaking to this important man. I waited by the elevator to introduce myself.

Softly, slowly I recounted how we met. Puzzled, he listened, head tilted.

I continued to fill in details – waiting for recognition. When we were done, tenderly this man, Al Weinstein, Chief Reporter of the United Nations, held my hands asking, “Did I help you?”

I gasped. I told him, “You changed my life. You don’t remember the incident? How many people do you drag up podiums?”

Al Weinstein’s eyes filled with tears. He hugged me like a long-lost friend.

Then I shared, I’d dedicated a book to him. Al smiled, holding my hands to his chest and said, “I still don’t remember you, but I did help you; right?”

Softly crying, Al’s eyes filled with tears; he asked me to write about this.

That moment and each thereafter, Al Weinstein would introduce me saying, “I don’t remember Monette, but see the difference someone can have!”

Thus began our friendship. Each year, he’d ask, “Do you have someone to sit with? Want to sit with us? Need a ticket? I’ll get you one.”

I did sit with Al. At every banquet, he’d tease me about getting us seats on the dais.

Across large convention rooms and restaurants, Al would yell, “If you need a ticket, just let me know …”

Oh, I enjoyed watching him. He never stood still. Approaching those who stood alone, always introducing himself, Al Weinstein was perfection in motion; our consummate diplomat.

The last time I saw him, Al moved slower. Still dressed as a golfer … right hand on his hip, the other grasping his forehead as Al talked and listened.

Al Weinstein, I’ve finally written your article. It is now preserved in the special anniversary edition of the National Court Reporters Association JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, under my column Beyond The Comfort Zone.

Al, my life is graced because of you. And yes, I will dine with you again … promise.

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!

16 Apr 2004