Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hooray For Me!

I am proud to say I not only finished my 180s, but I also passed my 200 jury charge! I'm on a roll! Let's hope I can keep this up.

As corny as it sounds, I think the thing that has helped me more than anything is confidence. Lately, I have been feeling so much better about the tests. I have always practiced constantly, but I had convinced myself I could not do it, so therefore, I couldn't. Now, I feel like I have the skills and they're coming together and it's resulting in my writing.

Another thing I'm trying is "writing" books. I like to read novels and I always feel guilty about it because it takes time away from my practice. So, I've been setting up my Nook next to my computer and writing the novel while hooked up to realtime. It's a much slower read but I have added so many words to my dictionary that I never wrote before. Also, I feel like hard copy practice improves accuracy, which has never been my strong suit.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Pay Off!

So, I passed a test! I passed my 180 congressional. That means I only have one, 180 test left, my 4-voice. I have turned in a few that have been really close. So, I hope that means it will be any day now. Then, I'll be done with my 180s forever! I've been practicing more than ever, and working harder than ever, so I know it will pay off soon. I've been going over my briefs and I think it's been helping.

I wish that I had known there were so many awesome briefs when I started school. It's difficult to learn them now, after I've already learned how to write all those things the long way, now I'm trying to go back and break the habit. I hate working harder than I need to, with no additional pay off. Finding out that I'm writing something in four strokes that most people write in one, really irks me. I've been focusing on my accuracy and my briefs and I feel like it's working, slowly but surely. Now, I just need to ride the wave.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So Far, So Good

I'm about a week into the new semester and it's been going pretty well. I've been focusing on my accuracy and I'm watching my untranslated percentage, slowly falling. It's a good feeling. I have also been working on my stamina. I can't tell you how many times (HOUPLTS) I've blown a test at the last second, because I was convinced it had been 5 minutes already. I'm trying to get 15 minutes at a time. It takes a lot of concentration, which is not my strong suit, but I'm really trying.

The best thing about this new semester is that I found another student who lives near me and we're working out a carpool! Her schedule isn't exactly the same as mine, but even if we only carpool a couple days a week, it still helps. Not to sound cliche, but gas prices are crazy.

I'm looking for some practice tips that have worked for other "sloppers" (someone who never drops, but has unreadable nonsense in their notes) I would love any advice people have to offer.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fresh Year, Fresh Start

Here I am back at school, for a fresh new semester (or trimester as my school does it) I had an amazing Christmas and New Year's with my family and friends back in Massachusetts. I also made significant strides with networking on the east coast for a job when I finish school.

I met with Nancy Varallo of the Varallo group who owns an agency in Worcester Massachusetts. She was AWESOME! I went to her business and met the staff and her husband, the famous Ed Varallo. He was the speed champion for a very long time. Nancy set me up with a borrowed machine and had me sit out at a deposition. Well, the deposition didn't really go forward. The witness didn't show up. Oh well, It was still a great experience. I am so glad I did it.

My goal for this trimester is to finish my 180s completely, and to try to relax more. I really need to stop getting so upset when I miss a test by just a tiny number. I am going to try to think of that as a learning experience for next time and pay careful attention to what I missed. Then, I will practice all the misstrokes I made and get them right on the next test, hopefully.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Break

I finished the semester! Woohoo! I am leaving to go visit my family in Massachusetts tomorrow. I'll be gone for almost 3 weeks and I'll get to see my family and celebrate Christmas. I have a bunch of fun things lined up and I am very excited to see all the people I love. It is hard living far away from home. I have some amazing friends that live on the easy coast and I miss them a lot. I don't get to be as much a part of people's lives as I wish I could. Some of my friends have babies that I have never even met. It makes me sad to think about it, but it also makes the time I do get to share with them so much more special.

I don't want to deviate too far from the point of this blog. I sent an email to a fabulous contact I made at the NCRA convention in Las Vegas, Nancy Varallo, who has a court reporting business in Massachusetts and I am going to see if I can sit out on a depo or two while I'm there. I haven't heard back from her yet, but hopefully I will.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Possible Pass?

I turned in a possible pass for my 180 4-voice test today. I don't feel that great about it, though. I found 23 errors myself and I am allowed 23, so, there is no cushion. The mistakes I made were so insignificant they would never matter in real life. For example, I wrote "I spilled mop water on the floor" and it should have read, "I spilled THE mop water on the floor." GRRRRR things like that drive me nuts. They just don't matter, so why should I get penalized for them in school?

I have one more day left after today and then, vacation! I am trying to remain focused. It is hard. I am so burnt out and frustrated. I could use some support from my friends, but they picked now to start completely ignoring me. Are we in high school? What the heck? I'm 30 for Pete's sake! Honestly, I don't have the energy to deal with that. I am leaving on a trip back east to see my family at Christmas and I have a million things to do before I get there.

The school is having a holiday party today. Hopefully it will take my mind off that test that is sitting in the box waiting to be graded. Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Losing It

I have remained very positive this whole semester at my new school. I have not been upset when I miss a test by just a few tiny things, instead, I have been happy that I am so close. I have not let it bother me when a classmate passes a test that I've been trying so hard to get. I've been happy for them....well, now I'm getting mad. What is wrong with me? Why can't I do it? I work harder than most people. I drive farther, I practice more, I transcribe more tests. What's going on???? When is my time? Maybe I'm just burnt out about the end of the semester and I just need a break.

Everybody learns differently, and apparently I take longer to learn court reporting than most people. It's hard for me to accept that because I've always been the type of person who picks up on things easily, and now I'm not. It makes me feel dumb and I hate it.

Any words of encouragement?