Copyright © 2017-19, Christine Bartizal-Smith
I’m now two weeks into NCRA A to Z classes, and my third class will be tomorrow. As I’ve been thinking, practicing, and researching, I’ve noticed that I’m the kind of person who habitually thinks of why I can succeed at something rather than why I can’t. I took this same approach with proofreading training as well as scoping training. It’s not that I never look at the negatives in a situation; I do! However, I don’t talk myself out of things because of my perceived shortcomings. Instead, I’m more likely to think about whether something would be a good match for my interests or whether it’s the kind of work I could see myself doing. For example, I’m a “mature” student for court reporting, and maybe some people would think that means it’s too late! But to me, it means I bring decades of knowledge, experience, and vocabulary to the table. Maybe I don’t have what it takes, but it won’t be a negative attitude that brings me down. In fact, I think my determination and positive attitude are going to be critical in this venture!
In terms of practicing at my steno machine, I am cementing in the habit of prioritizing practice by beginning each day at my machine—after coffee, of course! I had a similar routine for proofing and scoping training, and it’s magical! I’ve looked at some YouTube videos about succeeding in court reporting school, and this is a common theme, so I’ll be sure to keep it up.
This week I’ve worked on creating some of my own dictation exercises of the steno keys and some beginning words in addition to using what was provided by the NCRA class plus what I’ve found on YouTube. These custom dictations allow me to revisit problem areas, which has been very helpful. I know all the keys now, and I’m pretty excited about that! I’ve been working beyond the NCRA class and will probably continue to do that because my motivation is high. At this point in the NCRA class, we’ve covered the vowels, B (on the left and right side of the keyboard), number 5 (created with the number bar and the letter A on the keyboard), and the asterisk.
I took delivery on my own writer (refurbished) on Tuesday and was a bit dismayed to find out that the little screen on it does NOT show steno. I should have read the description a bit better! I did get it hooked up to my computer and display the steno through the student version of CaseCAT, but I don’t recommend going this route unless you already really know that software! After getting the steno to display, I also had to get used to the writer because it feels a bit different than the one I’m borrowing from school. I like it, though! I love that it’s my very own little magic machine!
This week, I’ve also been haunting around several Facebook communities and picking up information on different kinds of training, steno theory, and equipment. I also bought a used copy of StenEd Realtime Theory Volume I to get an idea of what a steno textbook looks like. It’s relatively familiar since I learned to read notes in scoping school, but I can see there will be many, many hours of practice in my future. My goal will be to practice for four Pomodoro sessions per day this week! I’ll let you know next time how I did.