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Posted by on in CCR Articles

  1. Where do you currently reside?

    Brandon, South Dakota
  2. Why did you decide to come to court reporting school?

    I had a representative of the local court reporting school come and visit my business class in 7th grade. My business teacher always said to me “there’s my court reporter." She saw something in me that I didn’t. Then when the representative came, I saw what she saw and since the 7th grade I knew I would be a court reporter.
  3. What did you do before court reporting school?

    I worked for the clerk of courts office in the circuit in which I still work.
  4. What date did you start court reporting school?

    I actually started court reporting school twice. You don’t want to do that…hear me out… I started the first time right out of high school. When I was in the 200s class, my school closed. I transferred to another school that was going to complete a teach out, only never followed through with their plans. I was young, a newlywed, and dumb. I sold all of my court reporting equipment which became the leather furniture in my living room (because that seemed more important at the time). I got a job at the Clerk of Courts Office in my local county . Although I liked it, it wasn’t my dream that I had since the 7th grade. Five years later, there was a court reporting position open in my county. The court administrator asked me what it would take me to go back. I advised him it wouldn’t take much and it’s always been in the back of my head. He had found CCR online and suggested I check it out. I went home and talked to my husband and was enrolled at CCR the next day in 2007.
  5. What made you choose CCR?

    As noted above, the court administrator in my circuit was the one who found CCR. Evidently, he must have seen it in me that I was meant to be a court reporter as well.
  6. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

    I think my biggest weakness turned into my biggest strength. When I was “young and dumb” I let it all slip away. Five years later, I completed the same amount of credits in half of the time I did the first time around of schooling and this time I was married, had two kids, and worked a full-time job. =)
  7. What was your biggest challenge?

    I’m not going to lie, school wasn’t easy. You know that as well as I do. The second time around, I was married, worked full-time, went to school full-time, and was a parent to two kids (and those of you who are parents know that’s also a full-time job). Together, those things were a challenge, but with the help of my husband who became the husband, wife, mom, and dad, I was able to accomplish my goal.
  8. What motivated you to complete the program?

    My mom was my biggest cheerleader. She kept me going through everything. There were a few times she needed to give me the nudge that I COULD do this.

    My husband was also amazing. Without him, I could have never finished.

    My kids also kept me going. I knew that when we got through this and Mom graduated, that I would earn a better living and be able to provide better for them.
  9. What advice would you give to other court reporting students?

    DON’T GIVE UP!!! You may think every door has closed, when in actuality, there’s no such thing. CCR has an incredible support system and if you had this dream of being a court reporter once-upon-a-time, you should NEVER let it go.
  10. Do you currently have a job? If yes, what do you do?

    I am an official court reporter for the Second Judicial Circuit in South Dakota.
  11. How did you find your current job?

    I worked in the clerk’s office for the county in which I am now a reporter. I slipped right into my current position upon graduation.
  12. What are your future plans? What certifications do you plan on earning?

    My mom always said “education is never a waste." I am a firm believer in that. I wish to continue to take and pass as many NCRA accredited exams as I possibly can. I would LOVE to teach as well. There were so many people to support me on the way, now it’s my turn to support them!!
  13. Are you a member of any associations? If so, which associations?

    I am member of NCRA as well as SDCRA. I just finished my term as President-Elect and was sworn in as president last month at our convention. I will serve as president for 2013-2015 and past president for the term of 2015-2017.
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Posted by on in CCR Articles

1. Where do you currently reside?

Tampa, Florida.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

1. Why did you decide to come to court reporting school?

I saw commercials for the Court Reporting Institute of Dallas on TV. I liked the idea of having a flexible schedule and the ability to be your own boss. I also liked the fact that I wouldn’t have to take two years of basics like I would in university.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

Jade started with CCR in Theory learning the Moody Method in September 2009. Jade graduated in February 2013 after 10 semesters. She currently works as an Official Court Reporter in Illinois.

  1. Why did you decide to come to court reporting school?
    I decided to pursue court reporting school after a high school teacher recommended the profession. I exceled with typing on the computer keyboard, and she thought this would be a great career path for me. She arranged for a representative from a local court reporting college to meet with me, and it was after this meeting that I was confident with my career choice.
  2. What did you do before court reporting school? (other jobs, schools, etc.)
    Throughout my high school years, I waitressed at a small restaurant and worked as a receptionist at a tanning salon. I continued waitressing throughout my attendance at CCR. Towards the end of my court reporting education, I accepted a job as a legal secretary at law firm.
  3. What date did you start court reporting school?
    I began court reporting school during the start of the College of Court Reporting’s fall semester in 2009. I believe this was in September.
  4. What made you choose CCR?
    I was enrolled and planned to start at Sparks Business College in Shelbyville, Illinois in August of 2009. A week before I was scheduled to begin my classes, I received a phone call informing me that the school was closing. However, they were kind enough to offer recommendations to other court reporting schools. After reviewing two online programs, I decided to choose CCR.
  5. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
    I believe one of my strengths is my tenacity. Although there were several times that I wanted to give up, I would never allow myself to do so. Also, I am a positive person. This optimism helped to get me through the rough patches in my education. To get a little more steno specific, I believe I am good with briefs. I can make connections quickly and easily, which is very helpful when making briefs on the fly. My weakness throughout school was completing enough practice hours. Now that I am a working reporter, I have found that my biggest weakness is speaking up. Judges and attorneys are very intimidating, and this makes interruptions very difficult.
  6. What was your biggest challenge?
    Without a doubt, my biggest challenge was definitely making myself practice. As an online student, I believe this became an even bigger issue. No one really knew if I spent the required amount of time on my machine. I was completely liable for my practice schedule. I was not very good with practicing in the beginning of my schooling. However, I am proud to say that I am better with this now. There is absolutely no way around this; court reporters must practice. What we learn is a skill and must be used often.
  7. What motivated you to complete the program?
    While I give those closest to me a lot of credit for their support during my education, I believe my biggest form of motivation came from within myself. I struggled more towards the beginning of the program than towards the end. Once I realized that I was the only one responsible for my lack of improvement, I was able to buckle down and get serious about speedbuilding. I knew what I wanted, and I knew what I had to do to get it done in the quickest time possible: practice, practice, practice! People often say that court reporters all share common personality traits. I believe this is what sets us apart from everyone else. We possess the determination and drive it takes to complete such a demanding program.
  8. What advice would you give to other court reporting students?
    The best piece of advice I can offer is to stick with it. No one really knows what a court reporter goes through unless he/she is a reporter or is training to be a reporter. There were many times during my schooling that I literally could not see myself accomplishing my goal. Although it is tough to work at something that seems so far away, the feelings of accomplishment and success at the end justify all of the long hours spent on the machine.
  9. Do you currently have a job? If yes, what do you do?
    Yes, I do. I am an Official Court Reporter for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Illinois. I work in Decatur, Macon County. For the first six months of my career, I have been assigned to a control room and am in charge of monitoring the digital recording system throughout the ten courtrooms. After I am well acquainted with the court procedures and my six months are up, I will be put in a rotation with the other court reporters.
  10. How did you find your current job?
    In my state, Illinois, it is possible to work as an official reporter before passing the CSR. This becomes possible after the reporter passes the A Exam, which is dictated at slower speeds than the CSR. The reporter can only take the A Exam once he/she has been offered a position as an official reporter. Once the reporter has passed this exam, he/she works with a restricted license. This means that he/she can report for any courthouse that utilizes a digital recording system as a form of back up. I was unaware of this procedure until my mentor made the suggestion during my internship. She thought it would be a good idea for me to apply to several courthouses in our area that were hiring. At my first interview, I ended up meeting a nice girl named Jaclyn. She later advised me that her courthouse, Macon County, was looking to hire a new reporter. I applied for the position, interviewed, and then passed my A Exam before beginning my new job on October 1, 2012.
  11. What are your future plans? What certifications do you plan on earning?
    Since the beginning of my education, I have viewed the position of an official reporter as my ultimate goal. I was and still am completely astounded that this happened so quickly for me. I plan to work as an official until my retirement. Because there are pay raises for realtime certification, I would like to obtain this as well. I have not yet passed the skills portions of the CSR, so that is first on my list. I am scheduled for the April exam, so I hope to see positive results then! In addition to the CSR, I plan on acquiring the RPR. After the RPR, I want to try for the CRR.
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  • Lisa Morton
    Lisa Morton says #
    I am so proud of you, Jade! You finished school in 10 semesters. That is just outstanding! And, you jumped right into your new

Posted by on in CCR Articles

College of Court Reporting would like to congratulate nine alumni who are Professional Scholarship recipients. The funds were made available through a grant from the US Department of Education's Training for Realtime Writers (TRTW) program. Way to go grads!

Here’s how some of them are going to use the money:

...
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  • Lisa Morton
    Lisa Morton says #
    Way to go, graduates! May you continue to improve your skill and stay on top of technology!!!

Posted by on in CCR Articles

CCR students (onsite AND online), faculty, and staff - DON'T FORGET SPIRIT WEEK STARTING MONDAY!!!!

Take a picture of yourself and post it here on our CCR Facebook page. Whoever gets the most likes each day for their themed costume, gets a prize!!! The days are as follows:

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  • Ronin Athletics
    Ronin Athletics says #
    Good stuff. I will recommend your blog to all my students.

Posted by on in CCR Articles

Since I’ve been at CCR, I have overcome many challenges. The most important and significant challenges I’ve overcome are my stagnant speed, inadequate motivation, and limited skill set. I was at another school and struggling in each of these areas, but within a very short amount of time, I started seeing noticeable differences manifesting in each.

First, I was experiencing a plateau while working on my 100s. After I started at CCR, attended live speedbuilding classes, listened to recorded speedbuilding classes, and used ev360, my speed increased considerably. I passed 19 SAPs the first month, 7 SAPs the second month, and 4 SAPs the third month. I suddenly found myself writing at 140 words per minute. Shortly thereafter, I passed another SAP at 160 words per minute. Not only did I break through that plateau, I exploded through it!

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

Moodle makes it easy to keep track of your course’s online discussions by using email notifications.  However, improper settings can result in too many emails.  This handout will show you how to control these notifications, and keep your inbox uncluttered.

There are two places where you need to keep track of your settings: your personal profile settings that control settings for all of your classes and individual forums you want to follow.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

People frequently ask: How did I start a school with three students in my home, and how did it become the best court reporting program in the country? The answer is that it was not planned, it just happened. Although the College of Court Reporting officially became a school in 1984, the beginning goes back a few years before that.

When I was in high school, my dad insisted that I learn Gregg shorthand. I was so fascinated with it that I decided to work as secretary when I graduated; but after a year, I felt I wanted more education and went to Indiana University where I graduated with a bachelor's degree, majoring in vocational education and English. I taught high school for a few years while my husband was in law school. After he finished school and began practicing, I stayed home until 1976 when our youngest child went to school. I didn't want to return to teach high school; and my husband, a state court judge at that time, brought home a little machine -- something his court reporter used that was a form of shorthand. Wow! I was impressed. I had always loved shorthand and typing and "machine steno" looked fascinating; therefore, I immediately enrolled in a local court reporting school.

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  • Sue Harrison
    Sue Harrison says #
    Kay, what an incredible career you've had. I just assumed you were a court reporter who decided to teach. I didn't realize the e
  • Rachelle Cahoon
    Rachelle Cahoon says #
    Kay, I enjoyed reading this history of my school! Thank you for sharing. This article just shows what I have already learned thr

Posted by on in CCR Articles

I feel quite fortunate to have attended the NCRA convention in Philadelphia this past August. This year’s theme of “Dream. Believe. Inspire” were quite apropos. The wonderful experiences that I enjoyed were many. There were two things that I came away with that helped to not only clarify, but electrify my insatiable desire to become a court reporter, and I found both in my “favorite seminar” and my “favorite highlight” of the convention.

My favorite seminar was “Your Professional Career in Realtime Reporting.” This presentation opened up the possibilities of entering different arenas of court reporting that are available to me. I have always been a proponent (for myself)of becoming a freelance reporter, but I didn’t realize that there is such a demand for realtime reporters. Being the sports fanatic that I am, by becoming a realtime reporter I could parlay my court reporting talents into captioning various sporting events, allowing me to combine my enjoyment of sports with the incredible career of court reporting that awaits me at the end of this journey.

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The National Court Reporters Association Convention in Philadelphia was beneficial as both a student and future reporter. There were obvious highlights, including getting test advice from speed champions and seeing the scoreboard room at the Phillies baseball game. However, the entire convention experience was extremely motivating and peppered with lessons along the way.

Listening to speed champions really was the most useful session as student. For better or worse, progressing in school is based on tests. So often we know that we have a speed under out belt but test anxiety gets the better of us. Each speaker had different advice, which I greatly appreciated. I will try it all and leave behind what doesn’t work for me. I am also reading a book that was recommended during the session called The Mental Edge by Kenneth Baum.

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We are typically led to believe that being “nervous” is a bad thing. Indeed, most of the advice I’ve ever heard has been aimed at reducing anxiety. Over the years, I tried everything I could to get rid of the unpleasant feelings associated with performance anxiety. I tried eating bananas, drinking chamomile tea, imagining the audience in their underwear, sleep deprivation, practicing more, taking various supplements, and even trying to convince myself that it didn’t matter how I played. None of this, of course, took the anxiety away or did much to help me perform any better.

The big question, of course, is how do you transform anxiety from a liability to an advantage? Before we talk about this, we first need to understand some basics about what happens to our mind under stress.

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    Clarity of mind and focus are especially important in the practice of martial arts. The disciplin helps you to harness the power o

Confidently, we can say that court reporting--having a human court reporter preserve the spoken word in a courtroom, classroom, or elsewhere--is in fact a thriving field.  Yes, technology has made incredible advances in speech to text technology, but there are still no signs of an electronic device that can perform every necessary task that a human reporter can. There are a few prime reasons that we cite for the necessity of court reporters.

First, if you have ever been in a crowded area like an airport, mall, or bus station, you know that it is impossible to hear and comprehend everyone's conversations all at once.  However, the human ear accomplishes a feat that no machine is yet capable of.  You have the ability to home in on just one conversation out of the entire crowd.  Your magnificient ears can pick out one voice out of hundreds.  In court or a classroom, there are many times when multiple speakers will attempt to speak at one time.  Court reporters are able to distinguish between voices and even request that the speakers proceed one at a time.  This is one advantage over electronic recording devices.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles
 

I would like to expand a little on the "learning opportunity" approach to testing/evaluation, as I strongly believe that every evaluation (SAP or SE) must be an opportunity to learn what your weaknesses are in your writing AND transcription. I would like to write specifically about how every SAP CAN become a learning opportunity. I like to call it the "Four-Step Process" of taking an SAP. If you omit any one step, the learning cannot occur.

Step 1: Listen to the audio of the SAP entirely from beginning to end. So often I learn that students will hesitate during an SAP and choose not to write the SAP all the way to the end because they know they did not get it. "Getting" an SAP should not be the objective, as this is a pass/fail approach. Progressing on one's percentage of transcription accuracy from one SAP to the next should always be the objective—progressing, progressing, progressing.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

My Scottish friend is endlessly annoyed by the liberties Americans take with the English language. He claims we are always adding prefixes and suffixes to words that have no business being added. We are forever using our American brashness and independence to sully his language. I thought of him when I came across Norman Vincent Peale’s made-up word of possibilitarian. Now, this word cannot be found in any dictionary, but we all know what it means. It brings forth thoughts of optimism, enthusiasm, and a belief in the impossible. It’s an empowering word even if it is made up. Just being able to say the seven-syllable word feels empowering!

Norman Vincent Peale, an American, of course, and author of Power of Positive Thinking, offered us this gem of a word in a quote that speaks perfectly to court reporting students (“Norman Vincent Peale”). “Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities—always see them, for they’re always there” (“Become a Possibilitarian”). Notice he didn’t say “Become an impossibilitarian,” or “See the impossibilities.” That would be an easy thing to do considering that traditional court reporting schools have an attrition rate of 85 to 90 percent (“Court Reporting Schools”). However, as a court reporting student, I have learned to ignore trifles like that and instead have learned to see the possibilities in my future career, in the next week or month, and even in my failures.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

In a reverent homage to David Letterman, I offer up my Top Ten Steps to Steno Success.

Number 10: Just keep trying.
It's regular and steady effort that wins the steno race. Identify the weaknesses in your writing, and then work to conquer them. Have a daily plan that moves you one day closer to completing your training or meeting your steno goal. Remember that Mount Everest is climbed one step at a time. Make and keep a balanced practice plan. Work it! Even the best of plans will go awry. If you have a "bad day," then jump right back in the very next day. Hold yourself accountable for your progress.

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My time at the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Indiana, ends at the Anoka County Courthouse in Anoka, Minnesota; seems strange. I came to Anoka County in March to start my first experience following an official reporter. One of my instructors, Janet Noel, set me up with a dear friend of hers who just happens to work there.

Honestly, it seems like I have waited forever for this opportunity. And now that it is here, I just want to turn my car around and drive back home to the comfort of my own home and announce that I have changed my mind, that I have decided a career in accounting would suit me better.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles

When called on to complete a task or engage in an activity, there are various things that can affect our performance. First of all, there is the difficulty of that task. Is it something that you’ve done before? Can it be done within a time period that’s short enough to hold your attention? Is it a high-priority task or can it wait until tomorrow? Then there is the motivation factor, which probably has the greatest impact on performance. Having no motivation to complete a task will almost certainly rear negative results. However, if you decide that you are motivated to engage in that activity, you must ask yourself: Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated?

To help me make my point, visualize the following scenario:
Betty, who is an avid bowler, bowls once a week in a semi-competitive league with her friends and family. Everyone has a good time, and she always leaves feeling satisfied. Her league night begins, and she kicks off the first frame with a strike. Cheers, laughter, and trash-talk ensue. To Betty’s surprise, the second ball she throws hits home, and she now has two strikes in a row. The aforementioned celebration resumes. The same routine continues for the next five frames—the cheers becoming louder with each crash of the pins. Suddenly, the game becomes serious. Betty knows that bowling a strike in every frame results in a perfect score and instant celebrity status among her peers in the Thursday night league. Her mind begins to race with notions of recognition, cash prizes, and perfect-game memorabilia. The pressure is mounting as she steps up to throw the ball for the eighth time. As she performs her approach, her clammy hands release the ball entirely too soon. With her eyes closed, Betty hears the solemn sound of the ball rolling down the gutter—her perfect game rolling with it.

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Posted by on in CCR Articles
 

We get it. You don’t like text practice.

There are good reasons for why ALL court reporting students should spend time working on it, though. It is more difficult than listening to dictation, and there’s a reason for that too.

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  • Hannah_Musgrave_May_2019_NewSize.jpg

    Alumni Spotlight - Hannah J. Musgrave

        College of Court Reporting (CCR) loves to share alumni stories because we are so proud of their accomplishments. Completing court reporting school can be a challenge.  Our alumni not only succeed in that endeavor but move ...

    by Mindi Billings
    Friday, 31 May 2019
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