Last Saturday, I took the CBC exam. I’m feeling hopeful about it, just have to wait forever and a day to find out if I really passed it or not.
But I digress.
The testing site was at my old alma mater, the Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville. It’s in a snazzy new building, a far cry from the cramped classrooms that filled up an L-shaped hallway on the top floor of an office building when I went there. Now they’ve got classrooms out the ying yang. It almost makes me wish I was back in school.
I got to thinking how far I’ve come in the past 11 years. Back then when I was struggling to make it through theory, let alone speed, the idea of actually being a reporter seemed impossible.
There were a few students that were there Saturday pointing us nervous test takers (some things will never change) where we needed to go, and I just wanted to tell them to hang in there. It’s hard work, but being a reporter, CART provider, or captioner is worth it. It’s hard to see that when your whole world hinges on getting that last 120 or 180 or 225.
So, students, I want to dedicate this post to you. When you’re in your first semester and you’re staring down at that strange typewriter between your legs and wondering why the heck there’s no letters painted on the keys, trust me, one day in the not too distant future you’ll be writing in your head.
Maybe you’re in speed and you swear that your teacher is dictating way too fast, or using material that’s way too hard, or thinking “who the heck talks like that in real life?” Take a deep breath, stare at that spot on the floor, and hang on. It’s child’s play compared to what you’ll be hearing when you’re out in the work force. Can you write “three-lead differential muscle electromyography sensor” when it’s said every other word by a Russian doctor who’s had too much coffee and a rushed attorney who’s trying to fit in a two hour depo into one hour? Um, yeah, that happens.
And for those of you who are ready to tell the person next to you in 225 where to stick their machine if they do that annoying thing ONE MORE TIME that breaks your concentration and makes you blow that test, just breathe. You wouldn’t believe what goes on in real depositions sometimes. You’ll be able to write a book one day.
I happened to find this video, and I just had to share it with you. I could just watch it over and over. it just sums up what only court reporting students can know. So sit back, relax, and be prepared to say, “I know, right?”
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