Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Blog Started

I started my new blog and will be abandoning this one. This one didn't have a whole lot of focus, but more on just random thoughts. This new blog, which is called Nev'a-After Theory, will be focusing more on how to live a healthier lifestyle as a court reporting student. I've been really neglecting my health, since I was so focused on theory, so I'm going to start posting what I'm doing to improve my well being and strength. Being a court reporter requires a very healthy body and lifestyle. Not focusing on keeping your arms strong, and good posture, is how people get carpal tunnel and have to drop out. I'll also be focusing on my practice techniques and updates on how my speed building is going. 

I hope those who are following me will also head to my new blog, but if not I understand. I moved my dictation and flashcard sets over there though, and if you want to stay up-to-date on them you may want to head over there. Besides, my new blog looks way cooler. I really put in some effort to make it look more me. Its lovely and unique, at least I think.

See you there! (Clicky)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thinking of starting a new blog.

So I'm finally out of theory, which was about a 6 month course, and I'm looking forward to about 2-3 years of speed building and studying for the CSR and RPR. I've been trying to find ways to avoid burning myself out. A lot of my family members, none of them court reporters, are concerned about perhaps I'm studying too hard. I'm figuring I need to find new ways to study without being on the machine all the time. I get told my machine is becoming more of an extension of my arm because I take it with me everywhere.

After watching this video (click here) on MSN I decided I wanted to start a new blog with a totally new system of not only building speed, but also building a bit more of self-confidence in myself and my abilities. I also need to work on strengthening my wrists, because during takes I don't feel pain but the aftereffects of writing a lot, and perhaps pressing too hard on the machine buttons are starting to get to me.

I'll probably keel over and die though before giving up. I really love everything that has to do with my machine, I just need to avoid burning myself out. That video mentions five ways of preventing burnout, and I think it applies to us too.

"You know how good it feels when you devote your energy to the things you care about, but in order to keep doing everything that matters to you its essential that you care for yourself first." ~ Anna Lappe
"The first key is recognition: Check in with your body. How are you feeling? How is your stomach, are there butterflies? How is your anxiety level, do you feel peaceful? If you say no, that you're off the edge, you better do something about it right away. The first step is to check your priorities. Are you giving away time to things that don't matter? Have you left time for things that are important?" ~ Joan Borysenko

"The second thing is friendship. Most of the data on stress reduction shows that we are the medicine for each other...or pets. I've got a couple of dogs even when friends are no where to be found if I pet them those dogs my brain hormones change and the stress level goes down." ~ Joan Borysenko

"...The third thing, its gratitude! Can you imagine if you just got up in the morning and list five things you're grateful for, or before bed you think of one thing you're grateful for that you never really thought much about before. It actually reduces your stress, it improves your immune function, and it makes you more motivated for success. ~ Joan Borysenko

"Centering and Meditation is very important for preventing burnout. Whether you sit and meditate, or do yoga or Qi Gong, it brings you into the present moment so you can let go of fear and worry." ~ Joan Borysenko

"Diet and Exercise, you have to eat right and exercise. Nine servings of fruits and vegetables, and lots of whole grains, will change your body chemistry and put you in a much better mood. And exercise is practically a <unknown>, I can tell you that the Joan who goes out for a bike ride, and the woman who comes back are two totally different people. All my cares disappear." ~ Joan Borysenko

I think these are good keys for success, so I'm going to start a new court reporting student blog based on these keys soon enough. I think they're good hints for getting up there. Who knows, that could also be a key to finally writing a book like I've dreamed of doing. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last Full Day of Theory

Here it is, the day that everyon- I'VE been waiting for! This is my last full day of theory. We're doing a quiz on the last two chapters and probably going to go over review and everything. I'm leaving theory at 80 WPM takes (I have 2 more 80's to go), which is higher than the 50 WPM that we're supposed to graduate at. So basically I'm ahead of the game when it comes to what the class expects from you.

I'll also announce what writer I ended up getting. Theres a lot of hints, especially after the Diamate Tripod topic. I ended up getting the Wave afterall and I absolutely love it. The touch is just perfect, I love the tilting feature, and it was in my price range. I also have, in the next three years, a trade in ammount for if I want to go to the Diamante. No, this is not a welcoming for you to question this decision though. I already have a paper writer, I didn't need another. I did my research and I'm completely content.

I get a week off before I start going into 60-80, which I'm already ahead of the game on. I'll probably be in there for perhaps a week before I go to the next speed class. It'll give me enough time to get used to the new system we'll be going into.

I'm hecka exited. I'll finally be doing official speeds and be able to practice more, since I'm going to be dedicating all my time strictly to my court reporting classes.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Going Absolutely Bonkers Here

Posted on: Depoman -> Arrrrggghh!!! -> Going Absolutely Bonkers

So today is the big day that I'm supposed to get my own realtime machine and Case Catalyst Software. My own; I'll be doing my own realtime practice outside of school on the fantastic Case Catalyst 12, not Case Catalyst 4 from our campus, for the first time. I know its gonna be a while to set things up like installing the software and charging the battery for it, but ugg, I so want to get it over with so I can start learning how to use it. Its only an hour away from where I alive, according to the tracking.

I keep thinking I'm hearing the FedEx coming up to the house, but alas, nothing so far. I'm trying very hard to keep myself busy. I've never felt so anxious, at least not since I was 10. Even when we went to Disney World, clear on the otherside of the country I wasn't this anxious. I've usually been a very calm kid with the mentality "it arrives when it arrives." Even on holidays I was more interested in family members and eating some goodies than opening the gifts.

I think I'm becoming a steno nut... I'm dying here. I'll post an update when it arrives, if i remember. I'll probably be doing cartwheels and backflips through the room.

But yes, by tomorrow I'll be set up and ready to edit my own dictionary, if Stenograph loved me enough to give me the StenEd Starter Dictionary. If not...I have to wait till Monday to get it. I'm praying it won't be so.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flooded in paper!

Posted On: -> Student Bootcamp -> Flooded in paper!

So I have this habit of throwing none of the takes I've taken home, and so today I decided I was going to go through my room and toss takes from last quarter. I basically filled my recycle basket up with paper. Its ridiculous! I had it all over. My computer desk was covered, my book shelf had old takes hidden, I found some under my bed, found some inside an old book, its ridiculous. Basically, I must have had old paper coming out of my ears.

What do some of you do with the old paper? I throw it into the recycling bin personally, but I've heard of people reusing old paper, using them to read back later on, etc. etc.

I probably should have taken a picture, but nobody wants to see my rats' nest. Being an overtime student (I'm taking 16 units vs. the typical 12), I don't have time for anything except takes, homework, sleep, eat, and more takes. My little visits online are usually my only break.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Faster is not always better. Accuracy is key.

My intro from
"I featured a bit of this on my blog. My teacher lately has been mixing it up from what we had been learning. Instead of warming us up slower, and then gradually going faster, she's been doing the opposite. We'll start at an 80 wpm dictation when the real goal may be to only do an 70 WPM dictation later. She always warms us up at least 10 WPM faster than the highest speed level in the class.

While at first this was really irritating, I found once we slowed down to the actual take I was relieved. Less retention, I could keep up with the takes, and instead of elephant stomping around in the dark I was actually keeping up with really good accuracy. Just the other day I actually passed an 80. An 80! They'd really been kicking my kapooty up until she started doing this.

So what I've been doing now is I start my warm up just before homework at the higher speed first, and then work my way back down. Then after the first time around I work myself back up once again, and voila, I find I do a lot better. The extra speed push challenges me to do a bit better, and I fix all the mistakes I did the first time around.

I really hope she keeps doing this in class... Though I probably jinxed it by sharing. "

Everyone knows the big goal is to get to that 255 words-per-minute speed. However, pushing yourself way too quickly can really hurt you in the long run. Accuracy is key, not always speed. If you are going so fast you are misstroking words, or having to guess later what you meant to write down, then you need to stop and slow down. Faster is not the key.

Students should be gaining the accuracy first, and then the speed. Not the other way around. I have an 80 word-per-minute typing certificate myself, and I didn't gain it from madly stomping my fingers around. I used to play a game where it could mock you if you got it wrong. It infuriated me, so accuracy came first. Then I gained the speed like wildfire in my early teens. 80 wpm is the highest level professions using the QWERTY keyboard requires.

However, everyone needs a bit of a push or a challenge sometimes to warm up. So! Instead of starting on the lower speeds first and working your way up do the opposite. Its what we've been doing in our dictation classes at my college and its working. Start 20 words per minute higher than what you are on now. While it will frustrate you a little, it practices retention (holding something in your mind), works your fingers up, and you'll note mistakes. Now, go down to your level on that same dictation. Notice you're a bit more relieved that things have slowed down, better accuracy comes, and you're more relaxed. Then, after doing that do a practice that is 20 words-per minute-lower than where you are now. While its slow and a big agonizing, I know, you'll be able to catch all those errors from the higher speed while also being able to include proper punctuation.

After all that go back to the dictation that was 20 words-per-minute faster than your usual speed. You'll probably find you did a lot better than you did the first time. Viola! You got a speed push, learned from your mistakes from the first time around, and also learned better accuracy.

I really found it weird the first time my teacher did this to us, warming us up for 80 WPM when we were supposed to be doing 70 WPM takes, but that reverse physiology worked great. It really calmed us down for the 70 WPM take because we were relieved at not having to retain so much or stomp our fingers around in the dark. Warm up faster, then work down to the speed you're at.

Before my teacher started doing this the 80 WPM dictation in our class was kicking my kapooty. Yet, just the other day when she did a take I didn't realize it was an 80. When she told the speed to the class I practically jumped in my seat and asked "Are you serious?" ...Yes...I got a weird look from her and she told me she wouldn't lie to me, but I was really excited! I was actually doing better than before.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes being too safe is a mistake...


Boy do I have something to rant about: myself. I wanted to get my check and investment sheet tracked to Stenograph so I knew when they got it. I did the stupid of asking for 'Registered Mail' instead of 'Tracked Mail,' so not only did I waste $13 dollars for something I didn't want, but its also delayed the process of getting my machine ordered. Isn't that just peachy?

I checked my USPS tracking confirmation, which I was reportedly not supposed to get according to the lady I called, and it says that they tried to deliver it on a is in a business center. USPS should be smart enough to realize its not open! So I gave USPS a call, and guess what, I can't ask them to redeliver it. Stenograph has to call for it it, so the check I wrote is reportedly under lock and key until they pick it up. Stenograph has no idea how to fix the situation, and nobody is authorized to make that call.

I'm so happy that Stenograph is so on it and so polite. Not only did they put up with my screaming, irritating bird but they are also putting up with this huge mistake I made. I'm falling in love with Stenograph customer service as we speak. They are fantastic and so understanding.

So! Sometimes being too safe is a mistake. I just wanted to tracked so if anything comes up saying 'Oh we never received the check' I could find out who was responsible, but being as I never send mail any other way except the usual stamp and pop it in the mailbox I didn't know the registered mail details, and being as USPS is broke the guy who was at the counter didn't care to explain. So now my check is being safe guarded like it was from Fort Nox...

This sad panda needs a hug...Sob.