Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Court Reporting: High Heels & Short Fingernails

It's been a long time since I've blogged. This is because my life got crazier than normal. I went back to school, folks! Am I nuts? Yes! But I'll soon be a smarter nut!

COURT REPORTING! I know, I know. You aren't interested in this career. Most people aren't. I've wanted to be a court reporter since I was a little girl. I used to watch my Mamaw type so fast on a typewriter! I would gaze at her in awe. I knew I wanted to type fast too! I used to take her typewriter into a bedroom, and type A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z as fast as I could over and over and over. Once I got that down pat, I started typing my name as fast as I could. It became an obsession of mine.

As the years went on, I enjoyed every typing class throughout school. We used to have to master 20 words per minute in elementary school computer class before we were allowed to move on to playing games. I remember swapping seats with fellow classmates in order to pass their 'words per minute' for them so they could play games. Our computer teacher was mean, so we had to be sneaky little devils - but we never got caught! I made extra friends in the process! ;-)

I landed a job at an attorney's office when I was 15. This was just another chance for me to get to type a lot! This job opportunity gave me the chance to visit the courtroom a WHOLE bunch. Well, guess who I always got to see in the court room? Yep, that's right! THE COURT REPORTER! She would just stare across the room at absolutely nothing, hardly make a movement with her hands and keep up with everything that was being said in the court room. I was absolutely amazed. I WANTED TO BE HER!

I started researching! It didn't take me long to realize that her little machine was NOT A KEYBOARD! It was totally different. Very blank. Very boring. Very intriguing! Looked impossible to learn! But I sure wanted to!
I knew what I had to do! I had to go to court reporting school! This course was taught at Ole Miss! How lucky was I that I could take this in my home state! I graduated High School. Took my preliminary classes at Northeast Mississippi Community College........BUT THEN..........I got bit by the engagement bug, marriage bug, having kids bug, busy life bug - and suddenly things spun out of control and there was no longer a good time to finish college!

Soooo, I did all I knew to do. I made it my mission to be a good wife, a good mother, a good employee for 10 years. I couldn't shake the thought in the back of my mind throughout those years that I was still going to find a way to finish. But when? How? There was never a good time, it seemed!

Well 2013 was our year! Tax refund came through for us! We bit the bullet and signed me up! Unfortunately, Ole Miss did away with the court reporting courses at their school. My preliminary classes I took 9 years ago at Northeast wouldn't transfer! Where was I going to go now? More researching! Well, Prince Institute is in Alabama! They are owned by Stenograph! That sounded close enough! I contacted them, and all of a sudden, I am in their system! Next thing I knew I was receiving textbooks and that mystery typing machine! I felt sick to my stomach. What did I do?  How can I make it go away? I had to fix dinner every night for my family. I had to make sure 2 out of 3 children had completed their homework, got bathed, load backpacks, pack lunches. I had to deal with a 3 year old in the midst of all that chaos as well. I had a husband who still needed me, and now, I had to squeeze in a minimal of 2 extra hours practicing on this steno machine, along with the extra classes that coincide with court reporting. I don't have 2 extra hours + per day! MAJOR ANXIETY! It was too late. I had to figure this out!

But, guess what? It all is working out! My husband never wanted me to  know this, but he was quite capable of being Mr. Mom all these years! He has been a tremendous help in this transition. He has gotten to spend way more quality time with our boys ~ and it has just been a neat change of life for us!

Is court reporting easy? Nope! Do I understand why you are not interested in this career? Yep! But I think it's awesome! Yes, it's kicking my tail right now, but every week we learn something new and it starts to feel less and less foreign to me.

However, if I ever get scheduled to take your deposition, or if I am the court reporter for your court case, please help me out by staying away from speaking contractions and 3-syllable words! ha! ha! Speak very simple! If you could talk very first-gradish, such as "the cat in the hat" that would be fantastic!

Everyone has been so wonderful keeping up with me during this time! It's really a fun career choice! But as my title says - gotta keep those fingernails short! It can make the difference between typing:

                              "You have a great day" versus "You have ate hay!"