Tag Archives: Court Reporting Whisperer

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part III of III

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
November/December 2010

Part I began: This November/December column was prompted after listening to an experienced court reporter express their “current mindset” during private coaching and tutoring.

The reporter, with vast experience, said, “I can’t do that. There can’t be no opportunities.” I was unclear if this was a comical statement or personal observation.

When the sentence was defined, at my request, the court reporter stated, “That’s really my opinion. But I really believe I can’t!” My reply was a simple, “Hmm. How’s that?”

This professional then listed a bucket of reasons and detailed explanations. Sentence after sentence began “I can’t …”

Due to “precise listening” in our court reporting field, we know there are high-frequency words and phrases. We know that all court reporting students are taught the phrase “I can’t” in a brief form.

As the holidays approach, I invite you to focus on the number of times you (I will include myself here) use the “I can’t” phrase.

What does this have to do with our work, our path? …

PART II began: I did not know the man, though I knew the national corporation.

Rather than discuss my shoe size with a list of questions clearly being trolled with multiple captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) offices (he confirmed this trolling, upon my request), I asked that he print the list and send the questions to me. Mr. IT Man quickly said, “I can’t.”

I paused and said softly, “Sir, you are clearly reading from a list. You are clearly asking me proprietary questions about my business. I’d like to clearly see your name on letterhead due to the nature of your specific questions, which you are entering into a computer.” (I could hear him typing. Yes, he confirmed that he was entering my information into a company database.) Again the IT Man said, “I can’t.”

I thanked him for the opportunity to work with the national company and assured him that he would find competent help with this service request. …

PART III: When we turn the “I can’t” phrase around and define our moments and our events with words that are powerful, we note differences in our world, our work, and our schooling. We do.

I want to invite you to note the frequency in which you (and perhaps individuals you work and live with) use this phrase.

My opinion is the focus in the phrase is similar to a focus with red cars (as an example).

When someone points out a specific red car, and we make a mental note of the red car, there ‘seem’ to be red cars everywhere.

Recently, while coaching and tutoring two individuals, I listened to the high-frequency “I can’t” phrase – a lot.

When I drew attention to the phrase, each stated, “It would be impossible to not use the wording.” Hmm.

I invited each, a professional, court reporter, CART provider, captioner, instructor, and a student, to place a dollar in a jar every time they avoided the phrase “I can’t” and to reward the moment for each opportunity where there was a focus and a shift.

Was this successful? Yes.

Each shared that their personal and professional world changed – within a short period of time – from this one simple focus.

One individual donated the money from the “I Can’t Dollar Jar” to a charity; the other purchased a coveted item as a reward.

Words have power. Words define who we are at the moment.

Court reporters, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) providers and captioners are word people.

We are really, really good word people with sophisticated (finely-trained) disciplines.

“De-can’t the I can’t” and note the new moments and resourceful experiences that will begin to appear in realtime.

We have limitless choices with ‘huge’ potential.

Our choices then develop and unfold when we revise, amend, and modify our wording and our focus.

And what might you do with a “I Can’t Dollar Jar?” Oh, the possibilities … Happy Holidays.

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 2, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 15, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

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

Tutor, Motivational Management & 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!

15 Dec 2010

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part II of III

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
November/December 2010

Part I began: This November/December column was prompted after listening to an experienced court reporter express their “current mindset” during private coaching and tutoring.

The reporter, with vast experience, said, “I can’t do that. There can’t be no opportunities.” I was unclear if this was a comical statement or personal observation.

When the sentence was defined, at my request, the court reporter stated, “That’s really my opinion. But I really believe I can’t!” My reply was a simple, “Hmm. How’s that?”

This professional then listed a bucket of reasons and detailed explanations. Sentence after sentence began “I can’t …”

Due to “precise listening” in our court reporting field, we know there are high-frequency words and phrases. We know that all court reporting students are taught the phrase “I can’t” in a brief form.

As the holidays approach, I invite you to focus on the number of times you (I will include myself here) use the “I can’t” phrase.

What does this have to do with our work, our path? …

PART II: I did not know the man, though I knew the national corporation.

Rather than discuss my shoe size with a list of questions clearly being trolled with multiple captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) offices (he confirmed this trolling, upon my request), I asked that he print the list and send the questions to me.

Mr. IT Man quickly said, “I can’t.”

I paused and said softly, “Sir, you are clearly reading from a list. You are clearly asking me proprietary questions about my business. I’d like to clearly see your name on letterhead due to the nature of your specific questions, which you are entering into a computer.”

(I could hear him typing. Yes, he confirmed that he was entering my information into a company database.)

Again the IT Man said, “I can’t.”

I thanked him for the opportunity to work with the national company and assured him that he would find competent help with this service request.

Approximately three minutes later, my office received two pages with very specific questions (and large blank spaces for answers) from the gentleman who had just said, “I can’t,” twice.

Students share the “I can’t” phrase often.

We know the bar of excellence for all court reporting training and programs is high.

We know that the profession graduates approximately 8 percent of students who enroll in school. (This is a statistic shared from reliable sources.)

Currently, court reporters, CART providers and broadcast captioners are facing the high-frequency question, “How low (as in cheap) can you go?” when we receive requests for work.

I have been prompted to begin sentences with “I can’t lose money to produce your work.”

Yet I have transformed that sentence into, “That timeframe is fully booked in our offices.”

Good business? This answer ‘clearly’ will change with each person, each request; this we know.

The art of avoiding losing money while producing a work product is a good lesson to remember once learned. Yes?

Pro bono work is a completely different kettle of fish and pot of coffee.

Yet, producing work based on “How low can you go?” is not a mission many professionals can maintain. Yes?

Our profession has opportunities to produce the spoken (and I softly tease “the muttered”) word within many powerful, unique, verbatim formats.

We provide instant translation for daily current historical events, educational settings, foreign languages, remote and onsite webinars and seminars transmitted around the world and down the hall. Our list of opportunities to share our professional skills is endless.

I have provided CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) on small and large screens for church services; funerals; baptisms; educational classes; gatherings for businesses and families, technical events, children, teens, and adults; clairvoyants; puppets (really); the McGruff Dog; and a Deaf mime (who physically lifted me onto the stage to become part of his performance). All in a good day and evening’s work, yes?

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 2, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 15, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

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

Tutor, Motivational Management & 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 Dec 2010

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part I of III

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
November/December 2010

Part I: This November/December column was prompted after listening to an experienced court reporter express their “current mindset” during private coaching and tutoring.

The court reporter, with vast experience, said, “I can’t do that. There can’t be no opportunities.”

I was unclear if this was a comical statement or personal observation.

When the sentence was defined, at my request, the court reporter stated, “That’s really my opinion. But I really believe I can’t!”

My reply was a simple, “Hmm. How’s that?”

This professional then listed a bucket of reasons and detailed explanations. Sentence after sentence began “I can’t …”

Due to “precise listening” in our court reporting field, we know there are high-frequency words and phrases.

We know that all court reporting students are taught the phrase “I can’t” in a brief form.

As the holidays approach, I invite you to focus on the number of times you (I will include myself here) use the “I can’t” phrase.

What does this have to do with our work, our path?

The “I can’t” phrase is used with technology (yes, we are experiencing rapid changes). And we incorporate “I can’t” into our work, schooling, and personal life.

Why does this phrase matter now? My professional and personal opinion is that when we focus on the words we frequently verbalize, we discover roadmaps into our world. A roadmap into our world will often define our goals, too.

I am not suggesting that we avoid the words “I can’t.”

I am simplifying a possibility wherein we open a new focus into our verbal programming.

I am suggesting an opportunity to retune the wording.

Within my world, there have been moments when individuals ask “What do you do?”

I have been known to answer, “I have a degree in listening.” (This question is not asked by court reporters.)

Individuals who listened to my answer often finish the sentence for me with their words, and their opinions, while I listen.

Today, a gentleman phoned my office.

He defined his position as “IT” and said, “I need to ask you questions about All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc. I’ve researched you on the net. I have a two-page list here.”

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 2, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted December 15, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

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

Tutor, Motivational Management & 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!

14 Nov 2010

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

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

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

Me: “WHAT!?”

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

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


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

Me: “WHAT!?”


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

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


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

Me: “Really???”


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

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


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

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

And the dog? You don’t want to know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


21 Oct 2009

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

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

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

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


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

Thus, silliness begins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part II and Part III will be posted www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

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

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

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

Empowerment coaching and tutoring topics include:

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

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment coaching?

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

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

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

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

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

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

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

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

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

13 Oct 2009

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

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

By Monette Benoit, All rights reserved.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part II and Part III will be posted www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching

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

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

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

Empowerment coaching and tutoring topics include:

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

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and empowerment coaching?

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

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

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

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

Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

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

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

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

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

08 Oct 2009

CART, Signs, And The Library

CART, Signs, And The Library

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

This sunny, cool Saturday in January involved a trip to the San Antonio library. My father, with cancer, enjoys listening to books. He rents audio books and purchases library cards to expand the selection, so he can listen to books. This man will not dwell on his illness and now volunteers in the local E.R. assisting triage nurses admit E.R. patients. (“I like helping people,” Emmett frequently shares. “And I want to help others who are less fortunate or in need. I have to get on with my life.”)

Doctors recently told Emmett Donnelly they are unable to explain why or how he is here since 2002. He was told, quote, “Go on, live your life; we can not explain this.” The doctor then shook his hand. We, his family, live white-knuckled, moment to moment; Emmett lives adventure to adventure. The library trip was way up on his list, so he could borrow my card tapping a larger audio selection. Who says no to this request? Not moi.

After lunch, we drove to the library, updated records; I handed Emmett a card for his key ring. (I acquired specs on dad borrowing my card; we were good to go.) Emmett’s eyes lit up; you would have thought he’d won the lottery. Immediately, he headed to the computers. During lunch, daughter answered father-questions to include books daughter is reading; father wanted to share an author he thought daughter should read. Hang in here, comrades, I’m getting to the fate, luck, serendipity, blessings.

Emmett knelt on the floor in front of computer; I sat on a child’s seat as father typed John Dos Passos for daughter. Daughter typed Nigel Tranter for father. The computer displayed ‘author unknown’. I gasped. Nigel Tranter has written over 90 historical novels; I was sure I had mistyped. The lady to my right leaned over, “excuse me” – knowledgeably sharing how to access the city terminal. “Oh,” was father and daughter communed response.

Emmett and I politely listened; then she volunteered, “I come here all the time. I’m finishing my degree online.” I stepped back one step knowing Emmett, guidance counselor, social worker, historian, medic, grammarian, master’s degree in education would bite the hook. He did – quickly.

The lady volunteered, “I come here because I have a visual problem.” We nodded, listening; she shared more information – then she included her child has special needs. (My mother has a master’s degree in special education; I grew up with a sibling with special needs. We know code.) I asked if she was familiar with Jaws (software assisting blind), she nodded, ducked her head, smiling. As she spoke, I thought I saw itmotion; I watched as she placed her right wrist over the left wrist. Yes, I have seen that before.

Sonya (not real name) is new to Texas, her daughter is deaf-blind. Once she shared this information, I asked a question about sign language – watching her wrists. Sonya replied, “Yes, I sign.” Then I went for the answer to the big question, “ASL certified?” Sonya ducked her head, smiled, replying softly, “Yes, Level 5.” (5 is considered ‘master’ ASL level in many areas.)

In one fluid motion, I stepped forward, extended my hand, introducing myself as a court reporter and CART provider who work with onsite and remote sign interpreters. She burst into laughter; I too busted-out. (Another realtime deaf-moment within my world.) Everyone in the library turned and stared – until we stopped our outburst of laughter.

Emmett stepped back two steps (for privacy). I asked if Sonya needed assistance, contacts; did she need people to help her family? Sonya shared personal facts; I listened, then detailed people with whom I have worked in places she mentioned, and we laughed. Again, librarians and others stared. Together we stopped laughing, blinked in unison, smiling.

I asked about her deaf-blind daughter; Sonya shared daily multiple challenges. Sonya and I covered a lot of ground – fast. I gave her my business card for All ARTCS, Inc., All American Real-Time Captioning Services, Inc., volunteering to email names, services I knew would help Sonya’s family.

Sonya giggled then shared her knowledge and skills of ASL (American Sign Language), HandSpeak (www.handspeak.com) and Cued Speed (www.cuedspeech.com).

We breezed through multiple methods to communicate, CART (voice to text), sign interpreters, transliterators (sign to voice), how she handles hospitalizations with her child admitted into pediatrics – communicating with medical professionals and parents with children admitted on her child’s floor – where once one hears there’s a deaf parent or deaf child in the ward, deaf and hearing children quickly sit together on one bed signing away, happy, content, communicating. Softly we giggled together.

A librarian soon hovered four steps away; I frowned at him. Sonya stated her computer time was up; we had to “step away from the computer”. We laughed softer, and I listened as Sonya shared specific needs. In realtime, I was able to further digest, filter, network and share information to help with sign, deaf-blind and CART information, relevant facts – due to many blessings of this occupation and my passion.

I gave Sonya the name of Deaf Link, Inc. (they helped Texas Katrina evacuees with onsite, remote interpreting for six months) for her interpreting needs or possible future employment (herself Level 5). I shared how I met a deaf PGA hotel employee in Phoenix now living here, working with Deaf Link, married to an employee within Deaf Link. Mike Houston, Deaf, is expanding his goal to open international children’s deaf golf camps. Sonya giggled; she ‘got it’ (that instant deaf-connection).

I told Sonya about Frances Dobson, CARTWheel member (www.CARTWheel.cc) within the United Kingdom who has the most accomplished resume and skills of anyone I’ve ever met with reporting and deaf-blind talents. I shared articles I had written for my column.

Sonya asked if I would email all information to her home, so she could use assistive software, adding, “My daughter will be so excited! She loves computers, too!”

Then I commented about her ‘wrist holding the other wrist’ when she first spoke. Sonya smiled, “Yes, I have to do that – otherwise I just sign.” I nodded and thought about the court reporters who find fingers tapping on their lap or steering wheel. Together we stood within the library and giggled softly.

As I said good-bye to Sonya I knew this moment, with my new friend, would benefit both she and her deaf-blind daughter. I welcomed her to Texas. My father had his new library card; Sonya had new facts, information.

I am never, never surprised where or how our skills, knowledge of facts involving CART, sign language, deaf and deaf-blind information can open vast new paths for so many.

Leaving, Emmett quipped, “Well, just another typical day for you, right?” We laughed, and I looked to Sonya – standing in the library alone, waving. Eyes bright, her smile big, I signed my departing message to Sonya, so I would not disturb anyone within the San Antonio library on a Saturday afternoon.

Fate? Luck? Serendipity? Blessings? I know. Now you decide.

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

23 Mar 2009

1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW

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1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Sheryl E. Stapp, RPR, CSR, CART provider is multi-talented, a dear friend. I profiled her in a prior article ‘Love, Signs, God and Numerology’ available on my web site, www.CRRbooks.com which prepares students and court reporters for NCRA and state written knowledge tests, expanding their skills. Sheryl and I continue to receive comments about the article – since 1998.

Sheryl’s wonderful attitude and approach to events is admirable and sometimes, folks, I continue to share with her that she “just cracks me up.” She has moments and events in her life where she chooses to look ‘up’ in her world, and this makes a difference in her world and to those who are blessed to share with Sheryl Stapp, RPR, CSR.

This day started out as a usual CART, communication access realtime technology, request to All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc., www.ARTCS.com.

Request: Go, do it, drive home. Not technical, not unusual — a request that many of us look forward to receiving. I scheduled Sheryl for this CART request.

When Sheryl phoned later that a.m., I listened and thanked my lucky stars that she is ‘in’ my world. Here’s Sheryl’s story:

THE PLAN: Up at 4:00 a.m.; gone by 5:00. One and one-half hours to CART job, arrive at 7:00 for 8:00 job.

REALITY: Up at 4:00; gone by 5:30. Heading out the door, I tell myself, “Make the call!” “Good morning, Lord. Please get me there safely on time.”

Major construction on interstate. Immediately I get over for my exit, I’m ready to merge. A little car zooms by. Heart rate accelerates; automobile decelerates! I noticed major crunch in bumper; he’s done this before! “Lord, keep the nerves in check, please!”

I have to pass my exit – it’s under construction — and remain on highway. No problem; I’ll take next exit, U-turn back. Wrong! Immediately, there’s a traffic standstill. What’s up with this? It’s 5:45 in the morning! Radio announces, “Major accident” at my exit.

And there we have it … My exit, easy U-turn, easy merge onto interstate …not anymore!

“Lord, this is three ‘bumps in the road’ already — late leaving house, missed exit, crawling in traffic and I’m not outside city limits. I know you’re testing me. I’m going to pass this test, you’ll see! Stay with me, Lord.”

Thirty minutes later, I can exit! Now I can make up time. I’m doing 80 mph on the interstate for 15 minutes when I see a patrol car on the highway, ahead of me. I hit brakes, look at speedometer. I’m doing 70 when I’m parallel with him. Whew! Besides, they can’t clock you on radar unless you’re heading towards them, right? Wrong!

I look in rearview mirror; here he comes!! I get into exit lane; there go ‘whirly-birdy’ lights. “Okay, Lord, bring it on!!” I’m thinking: not a ticket, not an insurance increase, not an out-of-county hassle, not today, not now! I decide I’ll take the ticket, send in fine, and keep all hassles to a minimum.

Officer asks if there’s a problem or emergency.

“Well, yes to both, but maybe not technically.” I explain about the bad wreck in city, concerned about timely arrival to job. I share topic, location.

“And you’re an attendee?” he asks.

“No, sir. I’m a court reporter; I’ll be assisting a hard-of-hearing attendee.”

“Oh, I see. License, please.”

Darn, just when I was thinking ‘court reporter’ title would get me by! It’s worked before! One officer told me once, “We’re all in this together, aren’t we? I’ve been a witness more often than I care to remember.

Then officer asks: “How do you work that little machine?”

Great, now he wants to chat about infamous little machine! H-e-l-l-o … I told him I was late!!

Minutes later, officer hands me a warning. “You are listening to me, Lord!”

Officer then explains I was speeding in a 65 mph zone.

“My misunderstanding; I thought interstates were 70. I’ll keep it at 65.”

He wants to chat, explaining how speed limits were lowered to 55 a few years back because of EPA regulations.

Officer asks, “Did you know you couldn’t do 55 until you were out of the county until a year ago?”

“Nope, didn’t know.” Gotta get to work, kind sir!!

Then he asks for my directions. I show him mapquest printout on dashboard. He wants to see them.

Officer shares, “The building is new. Mapquest usually has old directions.”

I do not share that I printed directions yesterday. Nod, listen, nod, smile. “Yes, sir.”

Ironic, huh? I’m running late, get stopped! Cruel twist of fate, officer was handsome!! Blond hair, blue eyes, deep voice!

If I wasn’t in hurry to get to CART job, I would’ve chatted with him, for days!! After I say good-bye, my thank you for ‘warning’ and no ticket, and merge back onto freeway, I’m hearing my personal theme song in my head, “Someday my prince will come!” But not today.

Get to building, 25 minutes to set up. Plenty of time. “Thank you, my upstairs neighbor, good Lord above!”

I explain that I’m a court reporter, here to provide CART at 8:00 a.m.

Registrations representative looks at brochure, sends me to first room on list. I set up, do quick check, good to go; ten minutes to spare. All is right within my world.

Since I’d worked with client before; I knew who to look for, and boy was I looking!

The seminar started promptly, but no client. I wrote as if he were there, so he’d have file to refer to later. Surely, he was just running late from same traffic. Still 15 minutes into seminar, no client. I try to exit room, continue search. Not happening. They were packed like sardines, chairs everywhere; I was stuck!

We broke 15 minutes early, I dashed to registration, asked where client was!

The woman walks across hall, returns ten minutes later, says, “He’s in that room.”

Bingo!! Why couldn’t they have gotten it right at 7:35?

I go into the room; there’s my consumer, listening as intently as possible; this seminar hadn’t broken early. I explain I was sent to wrong room, “I’m so sorry.”

He smiled, “It’s okay. Not your fault. I’m glad you’re here.”

Ever had an attorney say that to you? No way! CART work…what a treat.

After shutting down, relocating, setting up again, testing all is A-OK, I go outside to call Monette Benoit with update: “I’m here, good to go, but…GET THIS …”

After answering Monette’s “boss-service-provider to consumer” questions and business details, then I begin the traffic ‘patrol’ story. We both laugh till we’re about in tears!! Per her instructions, I immediately jot down notes about my “ordeal” for a future JCR article. “It’s a must have; we must share this one!” Monette said.

The rest of the day was as smooth as silk. I learned about current events, to include ‘in the event’ of hurricanes.

Many people require special assistance in any emergency situation: nursing home residents, hospital patients, homeless, prisoners, state school residents. And there’s pets — a major discussion. Gotta keep Fido, Fluffy safe, too!! In Texas there’s talk about horses, livestock.

Our consumer had his full attention on my screen. He was appreciative of my services and being able to help was a personal blessing to me, as it always is.

As I packed to leave, I had to ask for God’s ear yet again.

“Thank you for a great day, albeit a challenging start! Thank you for my skills. I’ve got plenty of gas in the tank and am in NO rush to get home, so you’re officially off the hook for now, Lord! I’ll check in when I get home and will use speed-control this time. I promise, Sheryl E. Stapp here.”

Monette: So you may ask me why did we name this article: 1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW?

Did you notice that the phone listing has additional numbers for a long distance call? Well, as we figure it, a direct call to God is out-of-this-world. Sheryl Stapp may be reached at ssdepo@aol.com.

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About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

30 Dec 2008

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

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

By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I blinked and looked at her hair and eye makeup.

Anna, “She spoke to you.”

I smiled, “We’re old friends.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each person (a first) shook their head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Me, “But you can.”

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Realtime Court Reporter, CART Captioner, Instructor, Columnist, Career Coach, Tutor
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry

** Purple Books: www.CRRbooks.com ** Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on NCRA and State exams with Purple Books Complete Set (4 books) or Purple Books Trio Set (3 books) as evidenced by thousands of court reporting students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters: www.CRRbooks.com.

Purple Books are pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information. Since 1990, Purple Books are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

Revised, Updated Purple Books Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Prep Textbook has testing tips, and sections covering legal, Latin, court, English -multiple grammar, vocabulary sections, medical, computer technology, NCRA COPE Ethics, and review. *Learn the foundation of material.

Purple Books Workbook contains **2,002 practice questions. Purple Books Companion Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions -explaining why words are correct, incorrect, and may be used as distracting answers. *Reinforce your knowledge and expand your skills to pass the first time.

Monette will help you to pass your test and to exceed schooling and career goals. No two are alike. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

Tutoring and career coaching topics include: Motivational skills to keep you moving forward; Time-management; Process learning for more effective retention.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and career coaching?
• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, 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.

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

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.

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 seek to reach higher. Reach up. Bring it. * Bring it today!

18 Nov 2008

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

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

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

 

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

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

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

Here I share code tips on what to deliberately eliminate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

10 Oct 2008

Cracking The Code To Testing And Passing Court Reporting Certifications, Part One

 

Cracking The Code To Testing And Passing Court Reporting Certifications, Part One

By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Cracking the code to tests and certifications is more than a metaphor.

Expanding our vision and our goals are part of our path as court reporters, the keeper of the record, historical conservator, and protector of spoken words.

If you are focused on changing your life, you are having internal conversations. As an experienced court reporter, tutor, coach and CART provider, I truly believe one can create and transform his or her goals.

For 20 years, I have been honored to assist students (to include home-study individuals), broadcast captioners and court reporters to earn their national, NCRA, and state certification tests.

My students have been my greatest teachers, my leaders. Your success is my goal.

I have authored a textbook, workbooks and a companion study guide to assist individuals to pass their NCRA and state court reporting certification exams the first time they register. We also assist students, captioners and court reporters to build and to expand their realtime and captioning dictionary with ‘CATapult Your Dictionary CDs’.

Thousands of students and court reporters have worked with CRR Books and CDs (Court Reporter Reference Books And CDs, www.CRRbooks.com).

CRR Books And CDs has organized focused information on how to pass a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, RPR, RMR, RDR, written knowledge examination – known as the ‘WKT’ since 1990.

States also have CSR, CCR certification examinations for court reporters. CRR Books And CDs has successfully assisted individuals there, too.

So you want to pass a test? My desire is to help you to shift your awareness.

If you want to pass a test in a court reporting program or a national certification test, ‘wanting’ is not enough. You need to prep with deliberate, focused intentions, conscious actions.

Recently, I received requests on how to prep from applicant test-takers for NCRA, California, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona state examinations.

I desire to gift you with tips, information to focus your internal compass.

Thousands of students and reporters have accomplished huge goals – one step at a time, one step, one step – sometimes only in one tiny step – then there’s a wobble.

Now is the time to prepare your stimulus plan.

Now is the time to hone your conscious and unconscious thoughts and actions to crack the code to pass your test.

I firmly believe one-step-at-a-time awareness is where you find greatest progress. Even a step back is a step. This awareness is essential to your code, your internal compass.

Okay. So you registered to take a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, or a state court reporting certification test? Or maybe not yet, but soon?

Are you enrolled in a court reporting school or home study program?

You now have an opportunity to stretch your boundaries. Stretching is good. Be gentle and remain focused on this goal, which is easier said than done – I know.

Many students and working court reporters can see and taste this lap while pedaling with an already busy schedule.

Below are tips to successfully crack your code — tips I coach to help many, many in your (busy) shoes. Part II will be added to assist you.

Nutrition Code Tips: Consciously focus on your blood sugar with smart eating, snacking. Vitamins are essential to preparing physical and mental compass charting of your code.

Carbohydrates create long-term energy while pasta and rice ensure your body functions at peak performance.

Proteins create short-term energy and if (when) you balance carbohydrates and proteins, you’re in athletic training. Hydrate ‘you’ (yourself) with water, perhaps green tea, Gatorade-type drinks. Sodas taste good, but many cause dehydration with additives and sugar. Stress contributes to depleting fluids. Avoid dehydrating your body; instead drink water and other helpful fluids.

Body, Toes, Fingertips Code Tips:Wear comfortable clothes, footwear. This awareness tip should be incorporated into your daily routine to prep for a court reporting (or any) test.

If you are taking a machine portion of any test, your fingertips (nails) must function at peak performance. Many students and reporters have manicures. I softly share that now is not the time to test a new length or style. What works best for you? Use that.

Radar Code Tips: As you move closer to your scheduled test, I want you to specifically notice your energy-awareness.

Code-cracking includes becoming aware that you may be more sensitive at work and school with family and yourself. Some call this “cranky,” but I prefer “sensitive.” This is normal. Once you are aware this energy is part of your preparation, you can acknowledge the awareness, and then let these test prep code tips work for you. I know you can learn a lot about yourself as you hone and fine-tune your radar, your sensitivity meter.

Inspiration Code Tips: Take time for you. Have you listened to a favorite CD? Is there a movie where you find inspiration? Have you laughed recently? When we focus on a long-term goal, I firmly believe it is the little moments (note it’s plural) in our world wherein we most effectively gain momentum toward our goal.

Common Sense Code Tips: Pack equipment – and you – before the test. Avoid gassing the car en route. Make sure there is no construction near the site. I coach that you should be packed by mid-afternoon the day before. This ensures reducing, “Dang, where did I put …?”

Oxygen Code Tips:
Stretch and breathe. When stressed, we sit with our shoulders hunched up and breathe shallowly. (Every time I proofed this sentence I noticed I was not breathing evenly.)

Consciously focus on a steady rhythm of evenly breathing in and breathing out to maximize your body’s ability to work for you.

Focus on regulating your breath. If your voice is higher than normal, you are shallow breathing. Become aware of your breath. Your body will respond with a good-sized release of stressed energy. Tip: The more oxygen your brain receives, the better you function.

Nest Code Tips: Ah, sleep. Focus on your nesting routine. The final two nights before the test, I suggest taking a warm bath or shower, curling up with a human, pet, or book, and being quiet. In your quiet moments and quiet rituals, you will find great focus, comfort. This is how you recharge.

Toxic Decoding – Code Tips: Avoid high maintenance people – really. We all know people who have toxic moments. If someone has multiple toxic moments, focus on removing your energy (you). You want to be comforted and remain focused. When there are multiple pulls (drains) for your energy, your internal compass will recognize the problem. It does. Please remember you earned the right to this peaceful, focused prep toward your goal.

Realtime Focus Code Tips: The morning of your test, consciously monitor fluids. Caffeine takes you up in an energy burst; then drops you when the burst has bust.

I coach that each person should pack red grapes and a packet of non-salted pretzels and nuts. There is an amazing abundance of energy in red grapes and snacks. (The last time I went to the movies my mother whispered, “Want some?” I tilted my head, looked to her hand in my ribs. She held a small bag of red grapes and two paper towels. Mom, “They are so good, and quiet, too.” I softly groaned and looked to where my dad sat. He shrugged, slowly shaking his head as my mother handed me red grapes in a paper towel. Mom added, “And I washed them.”) Red grapes are portable and good for you – at the movies or within a test site. Yes, I know food is not allowed. But you can snack at appropriate times. You can.

Entrance Code Tips: When you enter your testing site, consciously arrive with your shoulders back and chin up. If this is a return walk, focus on the now. If this is your virgin stroll, a click of your fingers or a sacred moment in prayer may serve you to focus. Now is where you need to be.

People Red-Alert Code Tips: Avoid huddled groups and agitated chatting. Specifically avoid anyone who asks: “What does this mean?” “How do you write…?” “How many times did it take you to …?” Now is your time. You need to consciously remain focused on your code, your test prep awareness.

Understanding Code Awareness: When you consciously perform at your peak and focus on your success, with step-by-step awareness, you can achieve greater results with less effort – with less stress, resulting in greater success. You will. Your internal compass will guide you. It will.

This month I shared tips to add for deliberate, conscious thoughts and actions. Next month, I share tips on what to eliminate with part two of Cracking The Code To Testing and Court Reporting Certifications.

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

 

23 Sep 2008

Laney’s Universe; Always An Adventure, CART, Captioning

Laney’s Universe; Always An Adventure, CART, Captioning – 2003
By Monette Benoit

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Each year, for three years, I’ve written about Laney Fox. I am a court reporter, CART provider, instructor, private tutor, coach, who has had the honor of working and laughing with Laney Fox.

We met “in the trenches” when Trinity University requested classroom CART services, communication access realtime translation (voice-to-text) services for Latin. (Many people also refer to serve this classroom CART as ‘captioning’ by captionists.)

Laney entered her class after I had arrived. I am a court reporter, instructor and tutor. I introduced myself on my laptop screen, using my steno machine.

No, I did not know Latin.

The only Spanish I knew (working in criminal court as a court reporter) was: “Guilty or Not Guilty? Have a seat over there.”

Prior to receiving CART, Laney attended all her classes as ‘oral deaf’, reading teachers’, students’ lips.

As a college student, she lived in the dorm for three years, sharing many experiences with me. Her roommates were not deaf.

Some events are comical, as she ‘is’ deaf. Others are typically normal. My favorites? I can’t share, but I’ve had lots of giggles, listening.

When we first met, though, deaf since childhood, Laney had enrolled in a sign language class to ‘better understand’ deaf culture.

She spoke during NCRA’s (National Court Reporters Association) San Antonio convention. Laney was my guest at the NCRF fundraiser when Laurel Eiler, NCRA president, arranged for a hypnotist to entertain guests. Reporters graciously moved away from the center, first row, so Molly Sheridan could interpret. (Laney could not read lips when ‘backs’ were turned to the audience; Laney’s ‘choice’ was an ASL interpreter.)

She’s volunteered to help children, elderly, deaf, HOH (Hard of Hearing), and Laney’s love for animals initially directed her towards pre-med vet studies.

Laney Fox competed in the Miss Deaf Texas Beauty Pageant and was first runner-up.

As I tease her, no dust collects on Laney’s sneakers.

We keep in touch via email, data beepers, friends, interpreters, special events.

We had not seen other in a while, and we met for lunch. When I arrived, Laney was outside, arms extended, gesturing. A mature man was to her left. Two men wearing faded cowboy hats, dusty blue jeans and mud-caked boots, stood near Laney. I parked, sprinted to Laney.

She pointed to the man: “He hit my car!”

I looked to the two men, tilting my head.

Laney said, “I want to know what they’re staring at!”

I roared with laughter; they departed.

The man who ‘hit’ her car was attempting to leave, without stopping. He repeated: “I didn’t do any damage.”

Laney, red-faced, clearly upset, clearly did not share his opinion. I ‘signed’ (ASL) to her, spoke to him.

He did not want to write his name, address.

Finally, I said to the man wearing a hearing aid in each ear: “She’s deaf. Let’s let her parents decide what needs to be done here.”

His reply, “Oh, I didn’t know ‘that’!” He complied with my request. Then he exited, in his car, via the ‘entrance’.

Laney and I rolled our eyes, entered the restaurant, arm-in-arm.

After a wonderful lunch, Laney stood first.

A man approached behind her saying, “excuse me”, several times. Then he exhaled loudly.

I remembered not to roll my eyes, smiled, softly said, “She’s deaf.”

He replied, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

I answered, “That’s okay. It’s not your fault.” Laney and I howled.

I told Laney I was going to put the ‘stupid zone’ comments in this article; she agreed.

At our cars, the waitress ran toward Laney: “Here’s your keys! You won’t get far without these!” She held Laney’s car keys high into the air.

I shook my head, teasingly slapped Laney. As usual, ‘moments’, any occasion, and lunching with Laney is never boring.

I am eagerly looking forward to your graduation party, Laney. I know it won’t be dull or uneventful.

Thank you for sharing with NCRA. Thank you for permitting me to ‘collect’ memories, moments, I can hold close to my heart. I am so proud of you.

And you still owe me money for all the parking meters when you did not bring ‘change’.

It’s truly been a privilege to have provided CART for you and also to have been befriended by you, Laney Fox, my adventurous friend.

Laney’s 2003 update:

“I recently saw Monette. We chatted, dined and laughed. It was wonderful to see her. We had not seen each other for months. But I felt honored that Monette asked me to type up something for her national NCRA JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, column, article. I just dyed/trimmed my hair tonight and I feel ‘new!’

“This past summer I had a volunteer internship at DeafWay (an international conference), which was such an enriching experience! I flew to Washington D.C. and stayed with friends for two weeks.

“I opted to volunteer 40-something hours, which meant that I had to get up at 6 A.M. to get on the subway, to arrive to the location at 7 A.M. I stayed up every night, meeting new people from all over the world! I learned how to communicate with other people who did not speak English. I gestured, motioned and pointed to try to get my points clearly.

“It is amazing on how two people from differing cultures are able to find something in common with each other by conversing for several minutes. I attended multiple panels. I learned such an array of diverse information. I also watched international plays, which gave me opportunities to see their own ‘world’ from their performances. I attended museums. This afforded me a greater knowledge of deaf history.

“However, one of my best experiences at DeafWay is when I volunteered all day to help people to ‘know their way around’. I realized that nearly 10,000 deaf people had come across the world to ‘bond’ with others, and I am proud that I was part of this unique experience.

“Now I am taking 15 hours at Trinity University (and night classes at SAC, San Antonio College, for sign language and I’m learning Spanish!).

“I have remote CART for most of my university classes. I have onsite CART for Greek. Wow, I must have given the CARTers a run for their money when they had to CART for Latin (for my first three years) and now Greek (for my senior year).

“It was a challenge for each of us, Monette and I, to work together as a team for Latin. When I enrolled in Greek, I was fortunate, since the CARTer for my class had already worked with a student in a Greek class. It always helps when the CARTer is familiar with the language!

“I am currently volunteering at the San Antonio Southwest Biomedical Center. I am with the Enrichment Program. We are constantly trying to find ways to improve the quality of the primates’ lives. I aid by observating, building enrichment items and analyzing the data. This volunteer position has been very educational because I am able to determine whether I want to work in this field.

“Last year, I worked in the San Antonio Zoo as an aid to the zookeepers. These volunteering internships are always helpful to me; each allows me to experience their jobs temporarily.

“After I graduate, I am planning to take the GRE and to volunteer part-time. I will probably take a couple classes at a community college. I am thinking about taking carpentry! I need to know how to build a birdhouse (or a bathouse?), so I may take the class. I’ll let you know if the birds accept my birdhouse. (smile)

“Now, after all these volunteering experiences, I am planning to apply to the Peace Corps and Americorps for two years. I have always loved volunteering. I would be thrilled if I could head down to Africa for two years, but we’ll see how everything goes. Wish me luck!”

Monette — PS: Two days after I submitted this article to my NCRA JCR editor, I ‘beeped’ Laney to remind her that “Survivor” would be televised one evening prior to its usual schedule. We have been watching Christy Smith, the oral deaf contestant.

Laney responded immediately: “Thanks for letting me know, Monette. I locked myself out of my car … but it is such a wonderful day. Are you taking a break now? Go for a walk. Hugs.”

This young lady often reminds me to stop my ‘busy-world’, to eat properly and to not work so hard. With the Iraq war starting today and the state of events around the world, I believe we all need a person like Laney Fox who can share such pure moments in realtime. And, yes, I did go that walk. Thanks for the reminder, Laney.

Monette may be contacted: 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!

22 Aug 2008

Hear’s Laney: 2007 CART and Captioning Update


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

Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monette may be contacted: Tutoring@CRRbooks.com

21 Aug 2008

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

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?”

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

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 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

"All Heart And Soul" and Dr. Bruno Cortis

All Heart And Soul; Dr. Bruno Cortis
By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

My 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 black sweater was tied around my waist, my sleeves rolled up, and I wore my black 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 while I inhaled 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, wearing a beige suit, 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 ‘very warm’ shuttle. I politely nodded and smiled as he passed my seat.

I dragged my luggage into the hotel; stood on one of many lines. I scanned lobby.  Yes, with many lines at the front desk, he was on the same line… this gentleman stood 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 went to the back of the room to “fetch me some” water.  Alone, I leaned against the wall, one foot perched on the wall, I sipped a glass of cold water. Then I saw the gentleman from inside the room; he stood and walked towards me to “fetch him” 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 beige-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 second 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 many 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.

Here, 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, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached: Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com and Monette@ARTCS.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART/captioner, Instructor, Columnist, Tutor

Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books:  www.CRRbooks.com       Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on NCRA and State exams with Purple Books Complete Set or Purple Books Trio Set as evidenced by thousands of court reporting students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials from students, instructors, program directors, CART/captioners, novice and senior court reporters: www.CRRbooks.com.

Purple Books are pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information.  Since 1990, Purple Books are time-tested and proven in classrooms with educators and with independent study.

Updated Purple Books Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Prep Textbook has testing tips, and sections covering legal, Latin, court, English -multiple grammar, vocabulary, medical, computer technology, NCRA COPE Ethics, and review. *Learn the foundation of material.

Purple Books Workbook contains 2,000 practice questions.   Purple Books Companion Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s multiple-choice questions -explaining why words are correct, incorrect, and may be used as distracting answers.  *Reinforce your knowledge and expand your skills to pass the first time.

Monette will help you.  No two are alike. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!  Plus, tutoring and career coaching topics include: Skills to keep you moving forward; Time-management; Process learning for more effective retention.

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

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.

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 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 seek to reach higher.  Reach up. * Bring it today!

 

14 Feb 2008

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

CART/Captioning 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.

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

31 Oct 2007

"Still Processing And Snowglobes… Court Reporting and The Path"

This article was originally published in NCRA’s, Journal of Court Reporting, JCR, under my Beyond The Comfort Zone column.

“Still Processing And Snowglobes… Court Reporting and The Path”
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 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.

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

29 Sep 2007

Certify This! … Court Reporting Students and Court Reporters

 

Certify This! … Court Reporting Students and Court Reporters
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 has an updated/revised Purple Books textbook, workbook, companion study guide, and a realtime vocabulary workbook to assist you to prepare for the written portion of your court reporting certification examinations.

Purple Books sets teach you ‘how’ to take a test. Currently, there is only one textbook on the market to assist individuals to pass national NCRA RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service written tests. The link for Purple test-prep books is http://crrbooks.com/index.php?cPath=26

Individuals using Purple Books material have a 98% successful pass rate with Purple Books Sets (Complete Set and Trio Set) 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.

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!”

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

08 Sep 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.

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

02 May 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?

MAbout Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

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

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Realtime Court Reporter, CART Captioner, Instructor, Columnist, Career Coach, Tutor
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry

** Purple Books: www.CRRbooks.com ** Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on NCRA and State exams with Purple Books Complete Set (4 books) or Purple Books Trio Set (3 books) as evidenced by thousands of court reporting students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters: www.CRRbooks.com.

Purple Books are pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information. Since 1990, Purple Books are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

Revised, Updated Purple Books Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Prep Textbook has testing tips, and sections covering legal, Latin, court, English -multiple grammar, vocabulary sections, medical, computer technology, NCRA COPE Ethics, and review. *Learn the foundation of material.

Purple Books Workbook contains **2,002 practice questions. Purple Books Companion Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions -explaining why words are correct, incorrect, and may be used as distracting answers. *Reinforce your knowledge and expand your skills to pass the first time.

Monette will help you to pass your test and to exceed schooling and career goals. No two are alike. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

Tutoring and career coaching topics include: Motivational skills to keep you moving forward; Time-management; Process learning for more effective retention.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and career coaching?
• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, 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.

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

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.

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 seek to reach higher. Reach up. Bring it. * Bring it today!

23 Apr 2005

Then Chief Reporter, United Nations, Al Weinstein Asked, “Did I Help You?”

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.

About Monette:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A.,
Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, Columnist
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test-Prep for the Court Reporting, CART/Captioning Industry

Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com

Blog: Monette’s Musings, Monette’s Musings

Court reporting veteran, author, instructor, publisher, public speaker, Monette Benoit can help you achieve your goals.

Customized information; test-prep for the court reporting, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning industry; tutoring, coaching; articles; academic books; and CATapult dictionary building lexica.

98% successful pass – 29 years, counting – with Purple Books. Prepared by Experienced Educators & Working CART Captioners, Court Reporters. Purple Books has the largest test-prep for NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs; and NY’s Civil Service exams.

Purple Books Complete SetPurple Books Trio Set

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, companion guide used by schools & candidates, covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Thousands of students and reporters “Purple-Up” and continue to pass NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, and NY’s Civil Service exams the first time with Purple Books sets. Test prep with actual guided instruction and testing strategies!

Coaching and tutoring topics include: Motivational and time-management skills; Process learning for more effective retention; Communication skills, daily interaction improvement skills; and much more.

Purple Books updated textbook, workbook, and companion guide are used by schools and testing candidates. Material covers all elements tested by NCRA’s RPR, RDR; State CSRs, NY’s Civil Service exams.

Monette Benoit assists court reporting students and reporters to earn new certifications and to advance careers.

Named the ‘Court Reporting Whisperer’ by students, she may be reached: monette.purplebooks@crrbooks.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

16 Apr 2004