December 16, 2009


Hello, Friends! I'm still here! On Planet Earth, that is. :) I know, I know, I haven't updated in forever. Sorry about that! :P I've been super busy getting ready for THE NEW YEAR!!! Don't you just love that it'll be 2010 so very soon??? I even have a countdown on my laptop! :) So in just 15 more days, we get to say bye bye to 2009 -- with all the good, the bad, the memories -- and say hello to 2010 -- with all the new the good, the bad, the memories! Hehehe. Seriously, though, New Year is probably my most anticipated holiday of the year because that's when we get to start new! That's when we get to make new goals and see how we can reach them! That's when we get a fresh, blank slate! It's exciting to see what 2010 will turn out like! I've already done a bit of a rough draft of my goals for 2010, headed by each month and the following categories:
  1. Work
  2. School
  3. Money
  4. Fitness
Those are four categories that I'll be drastically changing in 2010... and I'll share them with you soon enough! (I didn't add Spiritual, Family, Friends, etc. in there, but you're more than welcome to... and I encourage that you do actually! It's just that right now, I know for me those categories won't change much in 2010, but the above four definitely will.) For now, I just wanted to say...
THINKING OF YOU & MISSING YOU!!! I'll be back with more updates, I promise!
Celebrating the best GIFT of all -- JESUS!
HAPPY 2010!!! May it be an even better year than the last because we are all striving to become better in every area of our lives!

November 10, 2009


Warranties are just wonderful and oh-so-useful! Any chance you get to buy warranty, I say get it! Usually we'll really need to use that warranty down the road... and you'd rather be WITH it than WITHOUT it then, for sure! Just yesterday I went into Macy's to exchange my luggage roller (read about why I purchased a regular luggage roller rather than a "specialized" steno machine roller by clicking here) with a brand new one! My beautiful blue Ricardo luggage roller handle broke off completely after only 3 short months of use. I guess I was putting way too much stuff in it? (I'm sure I was because the roller would bend toward the floor! Oops!) Well, lesson learned. I won't overstuff my roller anymore, and I'm so glad that this luggage roller came with 6 months of warranty! WHEW! Also, just yesterday, my Dell laptop came back from the "laptop doctor" (my technical term for saying that it came back from the manufacturer after a little bit of fixing! :P). The caps key was coming loose and messing up not only that one very important key, but other keys around it! It was very annoying, especially since to even get onto my laptop, I need to key in my password, which is case sensitive... of course. On top of the caps lock problem, the fan in my laptop was sounding so loud. By the time it was sounding like a helicopter (ok, maybe not quite, but, really, loud enough!), my boyfriend sent in the pink Dell laptop he had bought for me back to the manufacturer to get it fixed. He bought 3 years' worth of warranty for my laptop. I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND getting warranties for laptops because these on-the-go computers have a much shorter lifespan than a desktop computer. Plus we're always banging our laptops around, carrying it from here to there. They go through a lot of beating! So the warranty you buy for your laptop is well worth the money! TRUST ME! Better to be safe than sorry!
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November 6, 2009


Hi, Everyone!
LONG TIME NO SEE! :) Sorry I haven't been updating as frequently as before. Got a little busy there. :( But I finally found a spare moment to say HELLO! And to let you know that I'VE MISSED YOU! :) Thanks, by the way, for voting on Steno Nerd's sidebar area about court reporting school. It's interesting to know that most students have gone to only one court reporting school as opposed to two, three, or even four. If you haven't voted yet, please do so. 20 more days to go! It'll be great to see the final verdict. I've been busy mostly doing transcription jobs on the side... because I gotta save up as much as I can for my transfer to Downey's Court Reporting Program in January 2010. So that's been keeping me extremely busy. I'm grateful to have the work! But it's draining since now I have to add this onto my already full plate of full-time school and part-time work, Monday-Saturday. No pain, no gain, right?! Besides being busy, let me share with you an amazing Amazon video about court reporting tips for us students. Well, first let me credit the source of how I came about this super helpful video. I got it through Downy Adult School (DAS) Court Reporting Director Cindy Grafton's mass email she sent last week. Yup, I'm not in their program officially yet, but I asked to be signed onto the mass email! And Cindy GRACIOUSLY agreed to include me. YAY! :) Every email message Cindy sends keeps you up to date with the happenings of DAS and includes an encouraging story and/or motivational quote for us court reporting students. The one she sent last week had the link to this video, which is Court Reporting Instructor Mary Gallagher speaking to the students at last year's DRA (Deposition Reporters Association of California) Conference. She talked about her ""secret techniques used by the most successful court reporting students."
The video is 45 minutes long, and you have the option to buy it outright or rent it for a few days for $1.99. I decided to rent the video and watched it on my laptop right then and there. I WAS SO GLAD I DID SO! This video has a wealth of good tips for us! Dr. Gallagher includes her "10 Silly Things Students Do To Mess Up Their Speed" and "10 Super Things Students Do To Improve Their Speed." The video is well worth the $1.99, I assure you! :) Also, check out Humphrey's newsletter here. Page 7 has Dr. Gallagher's Top 10 lists of both "Silly Things" and "Super Things" all spelled out for you. Browse around this newsletter as well. Lots of great info for us court reporting students here! :) P.S. If this was helpful to you, please spread the word about Steno Nerd! We court reporting students need all the motivation and "insider" tips we can get! ;)
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October 26, 2009


17 SUCCESS PRINCIPLES By: John Maxwell 1) A positive mental attitude (PMA) 2) Definiteness of purpose 3) Going the extra mile 4) Accurate thinking 5) Self-discipline 6) The master mind 7) Applied faith 8) A pleasing personality 9) Personal initiative 10) Enthusiasm 11) Controlled attention 12) Teamwork13) Learning from defeat 14) Creative vision 15) Budgeting time and money 16) Maintaining sound physical and mental health 17) Using cosmic habit force (universal law)
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October 25, 2009


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it. 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. 13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks. 16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying. 17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today. 18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write. 19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow. 23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. 24. The most important sex organ is the brain. 25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?" 27. Always choose life. 28. Forgive everyone everything. 29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch. 33. Believe in miracles. 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. 35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young. 37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable. 38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion. 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. 41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 45. The best is yet to come. 46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 48. If you don't ask, you don't get. 49. Yield. 50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
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October 18, 2009


I'm about 99.9% sure that I'll be transferring over to Downey College of Court Reporting in January 2010. Currently I go to Tri-Community in Covina, but I'm ready for the switch... and I'm very excited about it (except for the drive on the 5 Freeway of course!) One of the biggest reasons I'm switching is the amount of tests they give at Downey versus at Tri. At Downy, they give you one test per class hour -- THAT'S FIVE TESTS IN ONE DAY! That's FIVE NEW OPPORTUNITIES to test out! That's FIVE MORE CHANCES for us court reporting students to inch closer and closer to our goal speed of 225 wpm! SOLD!!! Also, the way they score your tests at Downey is by listening to the dictated tape whereas at Tri it's via hard copy, which I hate! Everyone has their personalized styles, yet you get marked for not agreeing with the way a 10-year-old transcript punctuates here and there. FRUSTRATING!!! Downey is open many more hours than Tri. Doors open at 7:00 a.m. and close by 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Steno classes are from 8:00-1:00, Academics are from 1:00-3:00, and Lab is from 3:00-5:00. At Tri they open at 8:00 a.m. and close by 12:30 p.m. with optional Lab till 3:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday. At Tri, Friday is open for Lab only. Lots of other students have switched from Tri to Downey, and it looks like I'll be joining them. I made my decision by checking out Downey's campus myself instead of just word of mouth. Downey allows you to sit-in or audit their campus for one week for FREE and with no obligation whatsoever. This one week sit-in is so much better than just a one or two hour orientation meeting that almost all the other schools offer (they go above and beyond at Downey!). My visit to Downey a few weeks back totally sealed the deal for me. Cindy Grafton, DAS (Downey Adult School) Court Reporting Director, was so professional, kind, and always on top of things... and I really appreciate that! She even has a FANTABULOUS (thanks to Cecy of CSR Nation for that wonderful new word!) site and blog. Click here for Downey Court Reporting School's website and click here for their awesome blog, which is full of so many helpful dictations that you can listen to on the site and/or download onto your own computer! Especially check out the "1400 Most Common Words" Dictation Part 1 and Part 2! LOVE LOVE LOVE! :) Downey has an updated computer lab with so many resources at your disposal. Every updated computer has several court reporting tutorials literally at your fingertips. Their lab has a vast array of CDs for you to practice with, and they sell them for only $5.00 apiece if you want to take them home. Awesome deal! Gonna stock up! I was really excited about Downey because my boyfriend works only 5 minutes away from the campus! I thought we could carpool together every day! But alas, it is not meant to be, the carpooling that is. Because he and I have different schedules, and to get the optimal use of Downey's facilities (opening at 7:00 a.m. and closing by 5:00 p.m.), I really need to take my own car to get to school earlier... as soon as it opens in fact! But it'll be nice to know that he's only 5 minutes away, and occasionally I'm sure we'll grab lunch together. ;) Lastly, I wanted to let you all know that this is not a blog post full of hate for Tri-Community. Tri has been VERY GOOD to me these past years, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the VERY LOW TUITION they offer! But I've found that Downey is my next step in my court reporting journey. It just makes more sense for me to go this way, so I'm gonna take it!
To Tri-Community...
To Downey Court Reporting, I can't wait to join you in January...
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October 12, 2009


Great video! Forward this to your friends who constantly ask, "How do you use that thing?" Meaning your steno machine.

October 7, 2009


Hi, Everyone! I was just thinking, we court reporting students need to take a break every now and then from being on the steno machine, from learning new briefs, from trying to understand new theory concepts, from trying to take down every word that spits out of someone's mouth (writing verbatim isn't easy!). If we don't take a little breather, like in all things, we'll go crazy. Balance is key. So I just wanted to share with you guys the websites that I go to for fun... where it has nothing to do with steno anything... where I can relax, feel happy, refresh, and come back ready for more! RECHARGE, PEOPLE, RECHARGE! ;) Website #1... JCPenney has a runway show for the women's department. So fun to look at... because I, as a full-time student, can actually afford these prices! Woo hoo! Hehehe. Thus, watching all the clothing eye candy doesn't leave me more depressed (as it usually would if I can't afford the goodies!), but happy that there are great deals out there for beautiful, functional, comfortable clothes for half the bucks you get from designer tags. No luck, however, on any other department in JCPenney. They only have these runway shows for the ladies. Website #2... I love every show on HGTV, and I also love everything on its website! It's so fun to look at your favorite designers' portfolios or look up a project you can easily do yourself at home. Also, if you're like me and don't have a lot of time to watch TV (which is 99.9% of the court reporting students out there, I'm sure!), you can watch full episodes here. HGTV archives their shows for you for free! We don't have to program anything or register onto their site to view the shows at all! All we gotta do is point, click, and watch at your leisure! :) Website #3... I saved the best for last! Go to this website when you need a good laugh! The website is (drum roll please) It's literally, ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) + paparazzi. They basically take celeb photos and place funny captions by them. It's hilarious! You can make your own pics too and share them with everyone on the site. Loads of fun! Also, if you're not so big on celebrities, you can browse their "Lolcats," "Loldogs," or "Look-Alikes" tabs they have on this site. Here are some of my favorite pics from this site... You can NEVER go wrong with a Chuck Norris joke! HAHAHA! Click here for some very cool Steno Chuck Norris jokes submitted by Kathryn A. Thomas at CSR Nation. Too funny! ;D Lastly, to have fun and take a steno break, I'm not at all suggesting only going to a fun website for this. Go out! See your friends! Have a meal with your family! Go to the beach! Go to the movies! Or simply take a much needed nap! Hehehe. Whatever it is you need to do to recharge, do it. On that note, I gotta share awesome news with you! Tonight I'm going to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party in California Adventure! So excited! On Saturday, I called into 104.3 MYfm's radio station and was Caller #20... and I WON FOUR FREE TICKETS TO MICKEY'S TRICK-OR-TREAT PARTY AT CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE!!! I've been wanting to go to a theme park in forever... and now I get to... with three other lovely people (I'm taking my boyfriend and two friends -- double date!)... FOR FREE!!! What a blessing! Thank You, LORD! So psyched! ;) In the meantime, happy practicing on your steno machine! And happy recharging when you need to take a break! ;) Talk to you later, Christine (Steno Nerd)
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October 1, 2009


Chapter 14 of "Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter" by Hal Urban Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it, establish your priorities, and go to work! - H. Lamar Hunt
Motivating yourself, setting goals, and working hard will take you a long way. Add self-discipline, and you'll go even farther. It's part of the formula for personal achievement. It may be the most essential part, because every successful person I've ever known or read about says it's the absolute key to getting things done. Without it, you'll accomplish little. With it, you'll accomplish more than yo0u ever dreamed possible. Real self-discipline is one of the most positive attributes a person can have. I like the way Webster's defines discipline: "Training that corrects, molds, strengthens, or perfects." What could be more positive than that? Self-discipline means training yourself to get things done. It means developing your own plan of achievement, committing yourself to it, and then following through. Self-discipline might also be looked upon as self-determination. When you practice it, you realize that you're in control of your own life. You alone determine what you'll accomplish, and when. And you alone decide what you'll make of your life. Ultimately, self-discipline means being in charge of yourself. My own definition of self-discipline is this: "getting yourself to do something, even though you don't feel like it, because the reward for getting it done far exceeds the temporary unpleasantness of the task itself." Let's say you want to get into the best possible physical condition. You can do it, but not without giving up something. It requires hard work, sacrifice, pain, and a whole lot of self-discipline. Ask any runner, swimmer, weight lifter, or triathlete is always enjoyable. You'll get a resounding NO for an answer. Ask if it means giving up something pleasant to do something that hurts, and the answer is YES. That seems like a pretty thing to do, but there must be a reason. Is it worth all the time, pain, and sacrifice? YES! The reward is greater than what you give up, and it lasts a lot longer. An important part of our personal development is learning to take responsibility for ourselves. That's what self-discipline is. It means accepting the fact that life is hard, and that nothing worthwhile ever comes easily or without a price. It means being willing to give up some temporary enjoyment in order to work at something that has a more lasting reward.
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September 30, 2009


I've been meaning to do a plug about Depoman... and here it finally is! If you haven't joined this steno forum yet, you just gotta! Depoman has been around long before my other very, very favorite steno website, CSR Nation. Depoman is essentially a forum for the court reporting profession, whereas I consider CSR Nation more of a social network like Facebook or MySpace. Depoman is straight-up forums... clean, easy, and full of great information on all things steno! Here's a sampling of what's in Depoman's index page:
  • Student Boot Camp
  • Forum Theory
  • Officially Officials
  • CART & Captioning
So join... ASAP! Thankfully, it's free, and you'll instantly have the benefit of mining tons and tons of golden nuggets of all steno information and all steno inspiration! Now, that's a deal you can't afford to pass by! ;) Lastly, here's a warm, friendly note I got from "klt" (used with her permission) a few months ago when I first started to post at Depoman (my user name at Depoman is also "Steno Nerd." Find me!). This is a GREAT example of how super friendly the court reporting community is. I really appreciate all the working reporters out there who lend their listening ears, who dole out their tried and true tips, and who are always ready to encourage us court reporting students. THANK YOU! We court reporting students are VERY GRATEFUL for our mentors... whether they even know they're mentoring us or not! Hehehe. ;)
Stenonerd, Just went to your blog -- with that kind of energy, you will be finished in less than two years, no doubt -- do you ever sleep? That is some kind of positive reinforcement you have placed around you, and I commend you for it. Just keep after it -- where do you find all that great stuff? And your personal goal statements are great!! Keep us all informed. Look regularly on the student thread here and the forum theory. Always great advice and great briefs!! klt
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September 29, 2009


Dear Friends: On Saturday, September 26, 2009, my native home country, the Philippines, was slammed with a catastrophe -- Tropical Storm Ketsana (AKA Ondoy) dumped a month's worth of rain in just 12 short hours! It was the worst flooding the Philippines had seen in decades. The hardest hit place was Manila, which is the capital and has a population of about 19 million people. The death toll is at about 240 people. Let's hope and pray it doesn't continue to rise, or that water-borne diseases spread. I e-mailed my family in the Philippines. Thankfully, only two of my many relatives were really affected (they live east of Manila). One said their whole first floor is flooded. On top of trying to recover from Typhoon Ketsana (which is comparable to Hurricane Katrina), there are 1-2 storms set to hit the Philippines AGAIN by the end of this week. Relief workers are asking for donations to help the Filipinos prepare for the storm, clean up after the storm, care for the injured because of the storm, and then help the displaced people rebuild their lives. Would you please consider donating a small/large monetary gift to help the Philippines? I know that if I were in their shoes, I would desperately need the help that others could readily provide. Won't you be that person that helps another... all across the world, from America to the Philippines? We can provide the comfort, the help, and the resources they need to make it through this. Please give. Thank you for your consideration! Also, please continue to keep all that were affected by Ketsana, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, in your prayers! THANK YOU! ~ Christine (Steno Nerd) Here are four different organizations through whom you can donate...
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