June 30, 2009


Even though I make To Do Lists, I don't always follow them perfectly. Who does?! Life happens, and we're only human! Well, this post is a reminder to myself (and you too, if you need it) that I need to manage my time well because time is very, very important. Like they say, if you waste money, you only lose money, and you are able to recover it. But if you waste time, you lose a part of your life, and you can never recover the seconds/minutes/hours/days that pass by. So let's make sure we're using our time wisely! The following excerpt is taken from one of my favorite authors and pastors, Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries, from his book Success God’s Way: Achieving True Contentment and Purpose, Chapter 11: “The Successful Use of Your Time.”
Key #7: Review Your Day At the close of a day, review the way in which you have spent your time. Evaluate your schedule. Compare what you did with what you intended to do. Ask yourself:
  • Did I make good use of my time?
  • Did I procrastinate?
  • Was I able to maintain my concentration?
  • Did I engage in activities that truly were priorities?
  • Did I make progress (even a little) toward the accomplishment of my God-given goals?
As you see yourself doing things you desire to do in order to be successful in God’s eyes, give thanks and praise to God for his guidance, help, and encouragement. If you recognize that you have made mistakes or have fallen short of the ideal schedule you set for yourself, ask the Lord’s forgiveness for any sins you have committed in wasting time, and then ask for His help to do better the next day. Don’t give up on the pursuit of your goals! Make adjustments, learn from your mistakes, and begin the next day with fresh enthusiasm and courage. As you put these seven principles* into action on a daily, consistent basis, you are going to discover that you are not only growing in self-esteem, but also moving closer and closer to the fulfillment of God’s purpose for your life. You will be doing what the Lord has set before you to do, and you will be in the process of becoming the person the Lord desires for you to be. The wise use of time is the mark of discipline. And discipline is essential for success. *Seven Keys to Good Time Management
  1. Assume Responsibility
  2. Seek God’s Guidance
  3. Plan Your Schedule
  4. Stay Organized
  5. Rely on God’s Wisdom
  6. Eliminate the Unimportant
  7. Review Your Day

June 29, 2009


Just wanted to share some inspirational pics for my readers, especially my fellow court reporter students! Most of these pics are taken from the slideshow I have on my CSRnation page. *Add me if you're on there! I'd love to have another friend!* Also, I just posted a poll on my site asking: "How long does it typically take you to pass a speed level?" I answered the 3-4 months time period. At my school, Tri-Community, we have to pass 3 tests before we're bumped up to the next speed level: a Jury Charge, a Literary, and a Testimony. I usually pass my JC first because there's a ton of briefs in there that I already know. Next, is Lit since I strive to write short, write fast. Last, is my dreaded Testimony. I hesitate a lot on the symbols! Grr! Hehehe! Oh well, practice makes... MUCH, MUCH BETTER!!! ;) We'll get there! And now for the pics...

June 26, 2009


From time to time, we court reporter students need a little boost. It's difficult going through the court reporting program because you have to fail SO MANY TESTS before you can reach a 98% or higher accuracy to pass through speed levels. For my fellow court reporter students, this post is especially for you! Enjoy these inspiring words of determination by Jo Ryan, which she penned in her little hardcover book Go For It! Whenever I need to remind myself that I CAN get to 225 WPM, I always reach for this mini book filled with amazing photography of animals and these awesome, inspiring quotes!
Hope you like this! And remember: STAY MOTIVATED! ;)
People can because they think they can.
Waste your money and you've only wasted money... Waste your time and you've lost part of your life. All that stands between the graduate and the top of the ladder is the ladder. *This is my FAVORITE quote from this book! :) Many people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could. Don't ask for a light load: ask instead for a strong back. If you look for rest, you'll find boredom... If you look for work, you'll find rest. The only real mistake is not learning from your mistakes. It's not because things are difficult that we don't dare... It's because we don't dare that things are difficult. Obstacles: those things you see when you take your eyes off your goals. If you're not sure where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else. The way to do more is not to think of things as impossible. A big shot is a little shot who kept shooting. *I remember when I first started to learn my theory in court reporting school. I thought I could NEVER write 80 WPM on this crazy steno machine! But you just keep trying, trying, trying... and before you know it, you can write 225 WPM! Happiness is dreaming dreams, and working to make them come true. When opportunity meets preparation, success is the result. Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more wisely. "I can't" never accomplished anything... "I will try" has worked wonders. The greater the difficulty, the more glory in overcoming it. Achieving is easiest when we work the hardest, and hardest when we work the easiest. Success is open to everyone who chooses his goal and goes for it. People become great by doing what they don't want to do when they don't want to do it. *This is also known as DISCIPLINE!!! :)

June 25, 2009


Just want to give a quick update since today is exactly one week from the time my left hand started to tingle and feel numb... from the time I had my CARPAL TUNNEL SCARE!!! dun-dun-dun! (See my original blog post here.)
What did I do?! Basically, I took a break from the computer as much as I could. I tried to not be on the computer (my favorite tech toy!) unless it was absolutely necessary, and when I would have to get on, I'd make sure my posture was correct -- elbows/wrists aligned to the keyboard, no wrist dipping onto the keyboard, straight back, and no straining of the neck to view the monitor. It helped a lot! I posted a blog question in the Main Page of my favorite court reporting website/social network, CSRnation.com. A really big THANK YOU to all 20 of the members who posted so generously to my question. It's GREAT to know that there are professional court reporters out there who have been reporting for 15-20+ years and that they too experience elbow/wrist pain from time-to-time BUT are able to remedy these health issues and CONTINUE TO WORK!!! To know this gave me so much hope. BIG THANK YOU TO CSRnation!!! To see my blog and the 20 comments from CSRnation regarding my carpal tunnel question, click here. So glad that my hands are feeling much better. I think I just needed some R&R, some reassurance from professionals who have "been there, done that" and that I too can beat this as they have, and lastly some knowledge on preventative measures so I will NOT aggravate any CTS syndrome, if any. WHEW!!! I'm relieved, thank GOD!!!

June 23, 2009


I firmly believe in setting goals and creating a To Do List. I can't live without some organization in my life. I need to know on paper what I'm setting out to do... so I can make the conscious effort to attain those goals... and then feel so proud of myself when I get to cross each one as DONE!!! Don't you love that feeling yourself?! Yesterday was the start of our Summer Session at my school, Tri-Community Adult Education Center. It's a six-week session. They say goals are dreams with deadlines. Well, my goal's deadline is the end of this six-week Summer Session. By that time, I want to have passed all three of my 160 WPM tests, so I can officially be in the 180 WPM speed group!!! With lots of practice, practice, practice... and GOD's help, I know I can do this!!! I love referring to this piece Hal Urban wrote from his book Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter. This section is taken out of Chapter 12 of that book, "Goals Are Dreams With Deadlines." Enjoy! And remember to set goals (with deadlines!) and have fun attaining them! :)

Cover of Cover via Amazon

"The Benefits of Setting Goals" By: Hal Urban Having goals can enrich our lives in a number of ways: MOTIVATION -- Goals are the starting blocks of motivation. They give us a reason to get off our duffs and get going. INDEPENDENCE -- Goals help us take charge of our own lives. Instead of following the crowd or wandering through life, we choose our own path, the one that leads to fulfillment of our ambitions. DIRECTION -- Goals give us a destination. We're far more likely to get someplace when we know where we're going. MEANING -- Goals give us a sense of purpose. Life has more meaning when we're clear on what we want. Instead of merely existing from one day to the next, our goals give us reasons to start really living. ENJOYMENT -- Goals are the antidote to the most dreaded of all social diseases: boredom. How can you be bored when you've got exciting things to do? Goals make our lives more fun, more interesting, and more challenging. FULFILLMENT -- Goals, more than anything else, help us reach our potential. Setting goals helps us see what's possible. Each successful step toward attaining them builds confidence. Each goal completed helps us see more of what's possible and leads to new goals and more success.

June 21, 2009


I think I have carpal tunnel syndrome. :|
I'm writing this post on Sunday night. Late last Thur

CarpusImage via Wikipedia

sday night, my left hand started to tingle and feel numb. All day Friday it was the same, but I brushed it off, thinking that I was probably just feeling tired because of sleeping very late the past few nights. But then Saturday came, and my left hand was still tingling and numb. I finally researched online Saturday morning... and all the symptoms point to CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME!!! At first, I admit... I panicked. I got scared. I cried. I thought of the worst possible scenario... that I'd actually lose my hand!!! Then what would I do with a court reporting career, right?! But I really doubt that would happen!!! The articles I researched on the Internet all say that carpal tunnel is very common actually. And it's a great thing that I'm catching it early to do as much damage control as possible! I found this article to be especially helpful -- http://www.ehow.com/how_5046401_treat-hand-tingling-numbness.html That Saturday morning, I sent an email to my employer notifying them that I believe I've developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I asked that they please help me by purchasing the following for my workstation: - A SMALLER MONITOR, so I can push the keyboard away from me and actually be able to rest my forearms on the desk. I currently have a ginormous monitor, and my forearms are dangling mid-air! (BTW, I do billing! Therefore, I'm constantly on the computer doing data entry!) - AN ERGONOMIC KEYBOARD. I already bought myself an ergonomic mouse that I use. Now I obviously need the keyboard as well.

A splint can keep the wrist straight.Image via Wikipedia

- A WRIST SPLINT. This would be the cheapest item on the list, but I'm sure would also help a great deal in helping my wrist, hand, and forearm stay as straight as possible. - A NEW CHAIR, so I can pull it more upward and to be more parallel to my desk. The chair I currently have inches its way down every time I sit on it. On Saturday night, I rested my left hand on an ice pack. It was so cold, but I kept my hand there for 2-3 hours. The next morning (today), I woke up and my wrist was NOT tingling anymore! But throughout the day, especially as I was driving and on my computer, my left hand would start to tingle again. PRAY FOR ME!!! I'm doing all I can for now to prevent or do as much damage control to this presumptive carpal tunnel syndrome I have. Next Step: See a doctor! I'll update again when i know more! (Jeremiah 29:11)

June 19, 2009


1. Become a certified court reporter as soon as possible! 2. Become an excellent realtime reporter! 3. Get as many certifications as I can! 4. Share the wealth by giving back to the court reporting community who has so kindly given much to me! I especially want to be a mentor to court reporting students since that's the kind of love I've received! :) 5. Take vacations... FINALLY! When I'm a licensed reporter, my time will be freed up tremendously since I won't be going to school full-time, studying full-time, and working part-time! I'll get to come back to my world of family, friends, fun, and a lot more cash flow! Woo hoo! I'm so looking forward to this, Goal #5.
But it all starts with first accomplishing Goal #1 on my Court Reporting Bucket List!


CSRnation.com is like the Facebook for court reporters and all else linked to this profession, such as videographers, scopists, proofreaders, agencies, and even transcriptionists. I discovered this awesome website a few months back. A videographer named Monti Majthoub, along with his court reporting friend, Kelli Combs, put up this ingenious networking site in 2007, I believe. I absolutely love this place! Here’s why you should, too! THE PROS:
  • You get to network with court reporters! As a CR student, this is truly a huge plus for me! And the CRs are super duper nice and super duper supportive. You ask them a one-line question, and they’ll reply with paragraphs full of information! I’m truly thankful for all the CRs on this site who take the time to help a CR student like myself. When I’m a licensed CSR, I want to be a great mentor to many others too and return the love!
  • Free classified section! I’m a freelance transcriptionist on the side, so I find this place very useful. You can post available jobs, products you want to sell, or make it known that you’re available to take jobs.
  • Awesome groups! CSRnation.com has an array of useful, fun, interactive groups! There’s Magnum Steno Fan Club, Court Reporting Students, Brief Club, Case Catalyst, Court Reporting Agencies, Weight Watchers, Name That Website, Inspirational Messages, Realtime Reporters… the list goes on!
  • There’s also specified groups called Cover Depos, depending on location, where you can freely post jobs that need to be taken ASAP. This is where court reporting agencies, law offices, or anyone else who needs a court reporter to cover a job immediately gets responses… immediately! If I were a licensed CSR, I’d definitely be checking this group every day.
  • Other things that CSRnation.com has -- Forums, Blogs, Events, News, Videos, Photos, Upcoming Birthday Notifications, Toolbar, a Profile Page you can totally make your own, and lots, lots more!
  • Seriously, none that I know of. If you know of any, let me know. Or better yet, drop Monti a line, and maybe he could tweak whatever the issue is to make CSRnation.com even better! ;)
I log onto my CSRnation.com account every day and learn something new and do my best to post to others as well. I recommend you get involved and do it, too! You won’t regret it!

June 18, 2009


I passed my last 140 WPM test, a Testimony, and I am officially in the 160 speed!!! FINALLY!!! That last 140 Testimony was the hardest one I’ve had to pass so far. It was seriously blood, sweat, and tears for that one! That’s why I’m super elated about finally beating it! I was getting so frustrated with myself and the whole process. But i knew that I'd pass one day IF I DIDN'T GIVE UP!!!
I’m so optimistic now! I’d love to pass 1, 2, or even all 3 of my 160 tests before we’re let out for the summer! To be in 180 in 6 weeks seems doable, right?!
*Special thanks to my man for always believing in me! ;)


I graduated high school in 1999. I took the summer off, and in the fall, I enrolled in a community college, even though I was accepted to a four-year university. I wanted to save money and transfer out. When the time came for my transfer, I was an English major, and I really didn’t know if I wanted to fully pursue the career of the inevitable English teaching career. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE English (and by the way, just as passionately, I HATE math! Hehehe)! But I just felt very hesitant about going “full out” into the English career path. So, in the summer of 2003, I prayed… A LOT!!! I sought GOD, I sought people, I even sought personality quizzes to try and figure out what it is I am truly passionate about. Why do something unless you’re passionate about it, right? Especially when it comes to your career! I was looking to not “work,” as Confucius said it: “If you enjoy what you do, you will never work another day in your life.” As I was seeking, seeking, seeking, little things just started to come together, and I KNOW it was GOD pointing me to the court reporting career. Here are some “coincidences” that sealed the deal for me:
  • My family and I had dinner with some distant relatives we hadn’t seen in a while. My aunt asked me what I was doing in regards to school and career. I told her that I was an English major, but I didn’t know if I wanted to become an English teacher. I was at a crossroads. My mom, as any parent would do, pointed my strengths and not my apparent weakness at that time of not knowing what I wanted to do as a career. My mom proudly said, “She’s a very fast typist.” My aunt, who worked in the court system, suggested I look into court reporting. She was excited in telling me that court reporters were highly skilled, very distinguished professionals, they make lots of money, and they are always in need because the court system couldn’t function without them.
  • I found out that my personality type was ENTP -- Extraverted Intuition Thinking Perceiving. http://www.personalitypage.com/ENTP_car.html The suggested career list had attorney on there. I knew I didn’t want to be an attorney, but it intrigued me to no end that the law field was brought up for my personality type. This got me thinking more and more about what my aunt had said about court reporters.
  • I researched about the court reporting career. I found great info on http://www.bestfuture.com/ All the pros of being a court reporter totally outweighed the cons. To be honest, I didn’t even see the cons. Everything that court reporters do -- their direct help in the justice system, their daily intimate work with words, their ever changing subject matters, the gratification of knowing you are recording history as you know it, the flexible schedules offered, the versatility of working as an official reporter, deposition reporter, CART reporter, closed captioner, and the in-demand occupation as it is -- all just helped cement the deal more so for me.
  • Reading through several online articles about court reporting, I was brought back to a childhood memory that I had long forgotten. I remember visiting our local courthouse for a fieldtrip. Our tour guide set up a mock trial for us. He asked for volunteers to be the judge, jury, plaintiff attorney, defense attorney, witness, bailiff, clerk, and lo and behold! The court reporter! Guess which one I was chosen to be?! Yup! The court reporter! I totally forgot about this seemingly small incident and remembered it instantly as I was going through my thorough court reporting research. I couldn’t help but smile at the “coincidence.” ;)
  • Another childhood dream of mine was to become a reporter. I remember playing “The News” with my little brother. I would be the anchorwoman, and he would be the person I’d interview. I have loved books, words, asking questions, and “reporting” since I was a little girl. It was truly icing on the cake that I could be a “reporter” if I chose to become a “court reporter.” How perfect is that, right?!
  • The final confirmation that wholeheartedly sold me to pursue court reporting happened on a night when my friends and I attended a debate at Biola University. It was held at their gymnasium, and we got there pretty late. We were seated high in the bleachers and were about ¼ of the way into it. Looking around, I noticed that there was a court reporter on the floor taking down the whole debate with her steno machine! I couldn’t believe my eyes! At intermission, I made a beeline toward her. I introduced myself and told her that I was looking into the court reporting field. I told her that I was specifically looking into Bryan College. She could not stop praising the profession enough! She was so encouraging and told me to “Hurry with school! There’s so many jobs waiting for you!” She told me that she absolutely loved being a reporter, and surprise, surprise. She too went to Bryan College! Another huge “coincidence” was that her name was Christine, just like me! I knew this was no chance meeting at all. I really believe GOD was saying, “Yes, you are to pursue court reporting.” I was so happy, I had to take a picture with her!
That is how I got here today, pursuing court reporting. Like I said, I really believe GOD has placed this career in my heart, and I want to do so much good with it. SOME ARE:
  • Provide realtime translation for the hard-of-hearing at my church.
  • Provide CART work to hard-of-hearing students at their functions.
  • Provide closed captioning to hard-of-hearing viewers all across the nation.
  • Provide an accurate transcript for a case and do my part in helping justice be met.
I’m really glad GOD pointed me faithfully to this career. Now, it’s my turn to be faithful to this calling and pursue being a CSR with excellence.

By: VintageVerses of Etsy.com