How To Get Out Of School With Your Sanity Intact. Audience Question

email.jpgIf you've been reading my blog, you'll note that I as a court reporting agency like to go around to the various court reporting schools and pump up the students. This past weekend was the CSR test and I find it's particularly helpful for me to get out there right before the students face down that final hurdle on their way to becoming a licensed court reporter.

Well, after my court reporting school speeches I typically get inquiries from audience members both during the live Q & A and also subsequently via email. Here is a great question that I got asked via email:

Thanks for the encouragement the other day.... It does get a bit discouraging when one is kind of 'stuck' in a speed. I sometimes write decently at 180 or 190, but other times I am not quite there. I am married, have grandkids, three houses to tend to and work teaching some exercise classes, so I am quite busy. I find that the energy level has a lot to do with the accuracy... I am doing part of my work online due to the distance I have to drive for maybe 90 minutes of dictation... I tend to write flat fingered at times and I think that messes with my accuracy. Any tips you have to give are appreciated.
-N. from northern California
Dear N. from northern California:
As a formerly stuck court reporting student, I know all too well that feeling of discouragement being in school so long. So many times I wished I could quit, but I had no escape plan -- no Plan B. So my mantra during that time was if I don't quit, I'll make it.

And if you don't quit, you will make it.

What a wonderful blessing you have in your marriage, your grandkids and what sounds like a full, rich life. However, with so much going on, no wonder your energy level can be drained for other tasks like finishing court reporting school.

My Tips:
  • Have reasonable expectations about how quickly you will master any given speed.
  • Remove any non-essential distractions from your life for the time being. (I would have to say your husband and your grandkids do NOT fall into this category!)
  • Set practice and dictation goals that you can follow on your own time.
  • Get as much live dictation as possible.
  • Read your notes.
  • Review your theory.
  • Get an accountability partner to hold you accountable for maintaining your goals.
All of the above tips are helpful and probably no single one is the silver bullet. However, if you persist and chip away at it, there is no way the goal of becoming a court reporter will elude you. Lastly, remember my motto: If Todd can, anyone can!
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Linda | Monday, April 13, 2009

Help!! I`m 58 and thinking about changing careers from Real Estate to Court Reporting/Captioning. I have researched two schools in my area of Orlando, Fl. One is cheap by the state and the other is expensive as it is a private school. I know I can do this, but am worried about my age and dexterity. I have no physical problems now, but expect to work at least 10 - 15 more years (thanks to the economy).

Do you think that could be a problem in getting work or in aquiring top speed. Do you know of others my age just starting school? I wanted to go in the direction of captioning. Is there a lot of work in that?

  Comment by Denise Flores | Thursday, October 29, 2009
I am a court reporting student having a very difficult time concentrating on the five minute test dictations. I am in 180 speed and I seem to repeat every single word spoken, no matter the speed! I don`t know how I picked this habbit up, but it is affecting my progress. If anyone can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

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