Concentration Skills – Court Reporters – Your Future Is Waiting For You

A young court reporter sent me a tweet this week saying she is in the 80s, and concentration skills are holding her back.  She is taking an online court reporting class.

First, I would like to congratulate and offer my utmost respect to anyone going through court reporting school online.  I can only imagine how tough it would be to be super self-disciplined and focused without having a physical place to go to every day for a set amount of time, surrounded by fellow students, and having teachers stand in front of you watching over your progress.   When I went to court reporting school, I used the other students and teachers to get energy. 

I am a super competitive person.  I love, love, love competing.  Back in high school when I took typing and Gregg shorthand, I wanted to be the fastest and the best.  I enjoyed going to class, getting there early, taking off my typewriter cover, and practicing.  To me it is akin to playing Brick Breaker on my BlackBerry or Tetras.  How far could I get?  How fast could I go?  Would I beat the rest of the class?  It was so EXCITING.

I took the same competitive attitude with me to court reporting school.  Going to class every day was like going into a competition, playing my sport.  I was secretly competing against the other students in the class.  Having this feeling of being in a game kept me focused and forced me to concentrate.  I really wanted to win (even if it was all in my mind). 

So I wonder, how can a student who is studying to be a court reporter online have the same sense of competition to help spur them on?  I truly want to help my Twitter friend who is in the 80s and having a tough time.  Concentration skills require discipline.  Discipline equals time and energy.  I’d say at least four – five hours a day MUST be spent writing on the machine to build speed and accuracy.  There is no way around it.  (How about write for 2 hours, a 15-minute break, 2 more hours, a half-hour break, and then two more hours.) 

If a person is lethargic or bored with the process, it is never going to work.   Sometimes we need a kickstart to move forward.  Maybe schools can create an online competition at different speeds.  Maybe schools can create speed teams and compete against each other like the Big 10 college football or NCAA tournaments.    Online students might have to compete with themselves – pushing to be better.

The ultimate prize for the competition is GETTING OUT OF SCHOOL AND BEING A COURT REPORTER!  Being a court reporter is FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL, FUN, INTERESTING, and LUCRATIVE.  So I suggest students find a way to get rid of their lethargy and start competing.  Your future is waiting for you.

@rosaliekramm (Twitter)

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7 replies
  1. Jenni says:

    I love, love, love this post! Where can I sign up? Ha, ha. I can picture us all slamming Gatorade pre-competition and doing finger stretches to warm up.

    I’m pretty much in the same boat, though I do go to face-to-face class once a week. It’s hard to stay motivated, so thanks for the suggestions. I like the the practice schedule idea.


  2. Rosalie Kramm says:

    Thanks for the comment. I am seriously asking schools to create a competition. I wish for you that you stay excited about being a court reporter and you find the energy to practice, practice, practice. Good luck. (Maybe we can get Gatorade to be a sponsor.)

  3. Tabatha B. says:

    I really appeciate this post as I do your entire blog (I’ve read every post). I begin court reporting school as a traditional student Oct. 4th. and I’m both excited and a bit intimidated. The completion rate of the program I’m entering is only 8%! If my only option to become a CR was onliine, I personally would not attempt. Kudos to all online CR students, and I mean that with all sincerity.

  4. Margie says:

    I am currently an online student; however, my situation is a bit different than the student in her 80s. In the early ’90s I attended a brick and mortar school and was working on 210 wpm when I left due to a life-changing family tragedy. Being in school for that time helped to give me the discipline to work hard to achieve my goals, whether it be in court reporting or in other areas of life. After some other life-altering events, I have resumed my online studies for court reporting. I think that having the actual B&M school experience where I know how hard I have to work and what needs to be done has helped me in my current endeavors. Of course a B&M school is optimal, but for many people it simply isn’t an option. However, if one could attend a B&M school for even one semester, I think it would help them immensely in their online endeavors.

  5. Rosalie Kramm says:

    When I talk about 80s, I mean words per minute (writing speed). Margo, I agree that going to court reporting school will teach a person how to concentrate. Court reporting is a concentration skill, period. Good luck with school.

  6. Liz says:

    Your idea about implementing speed teams for online students is great. The extra competition and motivation can really help improve speed.

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