Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog and really appreciate your point of view. I currently attend a private college for CR program, but I am having second thoughts. The financial benefit is my motivating factor in considering other options- to switch to another school. I'm trying to do as much research as possible to get adequate information about DAS program before I visit. Can I ask, how long you've been in school as DAS? :) M
Here is my response. Just wanted to make sure "M" read this since the Recent Comments is finicky.
Sorry for my delayed response. Glad you stumbled upon my blog. :)
Thanks for your question. I LOVE DAS!!! I believe I've been attending for 2 years now, but off and on throughout those 2 years and always part-time. Last semester was my first time to go full-time. Since coming full-time I've been progressing much faster than ever before, so that's good. I'm at the 180/200 WPM level right now and want to finish next year.
I totally recommend DAS! It is very affordable compared to the other court reporting programs out there, and DAS gives you so much! Their labs are open M-F, they give a test each period (there are 5 periods), and the teachers and resources here are great! Please seriously consider it... and if you do decide to enroll, please let them know I referred you (I could get $25 off my next tuition for each referral).
I need to be a uni-tasker, not a multi-tasker. At least when it comes to stenography. I need to think of one thing at a time, not a million things a second while attempting to write at 180/200 WPM with four voices shooting off at any time!
Unfortunately, I haven't been writing my best lately because I've been dong the exact opposite of what I should be doing during test time. I over-think too much. In fact, so much that I'm repeating in my head, which is such a bad habit to acquire in speed-building. You want to just hear the word, write the word, hear the word, write the word. I need to shut off my wandering thoughts, not second-guess myself on how to stroke this or that, and let my fingers do their thing.
Last week we had a guest speaker at school. She is an alumnus of Downey Adult School and now works as a freelance reporter at Hutchings Court Reporters. She passed the CSR in three attempts. The first time, she passed the machine portion (which is usually the last section people pass; she said she was always good on the machine), the second time she passed the codes/ethics portions, and the third time she passed the English portion. She jokingly said that she thinks she has a one track mind and needs to concentrate on one task at a time. I think that's great! I want to be like her! You set a goal and work toward that goal until it becomes an ACCOMPLISHED goal.
Our guest speaker was so focused on the CSR test that she didn't hear of another test-taker literally run and scream out of the room as soon as the 10-minute test was done (poor lady!). She only heard of this through another test-taker after the test was done. Our guest speaker didn't hear anything because she was SO FOCUSED during the test! She was actively waiting to hear what the speakers would say next. A natural disaster could have struck that room, and she said she probably would not have noticed. Oh, to get to that level of focused concentration, of uni-tasking purposefully.
I looked up the definition of focus on dictionary.com. Focus means to aim attention at. Some synonyms of focus are such words as centralize, fasten, fixate, hone in, pinpoint, bull's eye, core, focal point, heart, limelight, locus, zero in, spotlight, and target. Two antonyms of focus are ignore and neglect. This hits home for me... because I do NOT want to ignore or neglect my speed-building. I want to discipline my mind to focus and write at my goal speed (and higher), so that I can move closer and closer to passing my next test. I need to get back to the basics of zoning out when I write. For me that means focusing on one object in front of me, which is usually a spot on the floor, a pen, the chair in front of me -- whatever. I want to focus so much on that object and hear the speaker's words so clearly that my eyes become blurry but my fingers are keeping up with the speaker as they stroke out syllable by syllable on the steno machine.
Anyway, that's my rant for today, hehe. Hope you guys are all doing well and focusing better than me whether that is at school or out on the job. May we all learn to become better uni-taskers as we speed-build!
P.S. Here is another blog post about staying in the zone, focusing, or having "no mind."
Today was the first day back to school. We had a 2 week summer vacation. I used most of my vacay time racking up my required freelance intern hours. I still need to transcribe all the hours of depo I sat out on and submit all the paperwork. I'll do this slowly and surely each passing day (there's no due date).
I admit that during the break, besides going to the depos, I did not practice on my machine as much as I had planned to. I felt that I was getting enough strenuous practice in the "real world." It felt GREAT! On one of the depos, the witness had a very thick accent. It was really good practice trying to understand her and write correctly.
Unfortunately, there's nothing more dramatic to report other than the thick accent, haha. Oh, except this tidbit from one freelance reporter. I asked her if it's true that most freelance reporters go shopping when their job finishes early... and she said "YES!" Well, at least she does (as do several others that I know)! How awesome! Can't wait for that, haha!
I went to TimeAndDate.com to calculate how many days there are between today, the first day of school, and the last day of school, which is December 16th. We have 101 days for our Fall 2011 term at DAS. 101 days breaks down to 3 months and 10 days... 8,726,400 seconds... 145,440 minutes... 2424 hours... 14 weeks (rounded down)... to get our goals completed!!!
This is the first time that I've gone to school full-time without working (thank you, hubby!). This is also the first time that I've clearly written and defined my goals for each school term. Using this combo of focused schoolwork (full-time with no job) and accountability with my handy dandy dry erase board in our kitchen (I LOVE the feeling of accomplishment I get each time I cross out a test I've just passed!) has helped me progress like never before... and I will not slow down now!
My specific goals to finish by the end of these 101 upcoming days are to:
Pass my 180 4-Voice Q&A at 5 minutes
Pass my 200 4-Voice Q&A at 5 minutes
Pass my 200 4-Voice Q&A at 10 minutes
Get into Qualifiers and pass that too!
If I don't cross off all of the above items as "DONE" by the end of the 101 days, that's okay. At least I'm striving for the moon to land among the stars. Once the Fall terms ends, next comes the Winter term... and I'll keep chugging away at court reporting school until I am officially done and I take and pass my CSR and RPR exams with flying colors! All things are possible through GOD who gives me the strength!
All the best to you all, fellow Court Reporting Students! May you all reach your goals in 101 days... or whatever time frame you are setting for yourself! We can do this!!! BELIEVE!!!