July 17, 2013


I just want to wish GOOD LUCK to all the CSR candidates, especially the lovely ladies that I recently graduated with.  BEST WISHES to Joanne, Caryn, Michelle, Mindee, and Allison!!!

I know you'll all do great!  WE CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D

Dear Readers, please wish us luck too... and a prayer or two wouldn't hurt either!  Pray that we will have nerves of steel, all our equipment will work properly, and that we all will give 125% effort... so that whatever happens, we'll be satisfied that we indeed did our best... and that's enough. :) THANK YOU!!!

July 10, 2013


Yesterday we had our graduation celebration at DAS (Downey Adult School).  It was awesome to finally graduate!!! :)

BIG CONGRATS to my fellow grads and CSR exam candidates.  I'm really happy to be surrounded with a great bunch of positive, kind, and smart court reporters! :)

My hubby was able to attend and show his support.  I'm so glad he was there since he's my biggest fan! :)

Certificate of Accomplishment!

Proud Smile!

Celebration Cake!

I made little gifts for our teachers to show my appreciation.  I'm really grateful that I came to DAS and learned under their guidance.  

I also made goodie bags for my fellow grads.  By graduating the court reporting program, they have accomplished a feat that 90% or so of those who first start the program, never achieve.  So kudos to us!!! :)

It was so fun putting these presents together.  Here are some pics:

A BIG THANK YOU to my husband, family, and dear friends who have cheered me on and prayed for me throughout my court reporting journey in school.  This phase in my life will soon come to an end, thankfully, and my new phase as a working licensed reporter is just around the corner.  ALL GLORY TO GOD!!!  YAY!!!  I'M SO EXCITED!!! :) :) :)

Lastly, let me encourage those who are in court reporting school.  I know how frustrating and difficult this program is... BELIEVE ME, I DO!!!

  • I urge you never to quit.  If you never quit, you'll eventually get to your destination!  
  • Keep a positive attitude.  You can't go far with negativity, but when you're positive, open, and humble, wonderful things happen.  
  • Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on.  Stay away from those who gossip, malign, or refuse to truly support you in your court reporting journey.  
  • Set mini goals, meet them, and get an instant boost of confidence.  You should have goals for the day, week, month, and quarter.
  • Learn more and more briefs.  They'll only help you gain more speed, if you use them without hesitation.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your teachers for help.  They want you to succeed and they've been in the field for a number of years.  They know a tip or two to share with you, if you'll just ask.
  • Reach out to fellow students and court reporting mentors who are an invaluable source of inspiration, guidance, and resource.  We're truly the only ones who understand one another, so keep in touch.
  • Track your achievements and count them.  Pat yourself on the back if you raised your accuracy rate by 5% instead of beating yourself up because you didn't pass today's test.  You're inching your way toward passing that test, so you're going in the right direction.  It's only a matter of time till you pass, if you never quit trying.
  • Have a life outside of court reporting.  Sometimes we can get so focused and overwhelmed with passing a speed, that we have too much tunnel vision and then suffer from it.  What kept me sane was going out to movies with my hubby, getting creative with photos, cakes, and presents, and hanging out with good friends.  Find your balance.  Often when I'm relaxed, I do much better in class. 

Anyway, those are some tips I can think of offhand.  If you ever need more specific encouragement, please never hesitate to email me at StenoNerd@gmail.com.  One of the biggest reasons I have this blog is to help fellow court reporters out there... because I've been helped by others, too.  Let's keep this wheel of court reporting love turning. :)

July 9, 2013


Coffee works a little too well for me!  Yesterday, Monday, I didn't stay in school very long at all.  As soon as the Qualifier was given, I packed my things to go home because I had a tummy ache.  I think it was something I ate at my mom's little birthday party on Sunday.  Maybe the food had been sitting out too long, and it was super hot.  Perhaps the culprit was my own homemade birthday cakes that I had made for my mom and my good friend, both July babies.

Check out my first attempt at baking a cake!  Haha!  Seriously, it was my very first time ever to bake a cake... and I went ahead and did two! :P Why?  Because I wanted... needed (!) to do something creative since I've been practicing like a madwoman and thinking of the CSR exam... um, almost every single second of every single day!  I needed a break in my one-track mind! :)

Anyway, as I was saying, I left school early yesterday and didn't practice very well at home because of my tummy ache.  Finally, around 4:00 p.m., I felt better.  Because I hadn't been practicing very well, I made myself some homemade iced coffee (just brewed a regular cup at home and immediately put it in the fridge to cool) to help me stay alert to practice well.  Um... it worked... too well!  I practiced at home, then tried to sleep around 10:00 p.m... and it is just not happening!  I finally got up at 2:00 a.m. and practiced some more on my steno machine!  Now, I'm on here posting this. :)

I thought... why not just get up and practice?  I'll probably be this anxious the night before the CSR exam anyway, so why not just practice as though the CSR exam is tomorrow and see how I do.  That's what a good friend of mine did when she passed the CSR exam on her first attempt.  She was so excited and anxious for the CSR exam that she hardly slept at all the night before... but she didn't let that lack of sleep get in her way at all!  She managed to get in a few winks of rest, woke up super early, practiced a bit, got dressed as if she was going on a job, and then killed the CSR exam!  I would love to follow in her amazing footsteps!

This not being able to sleep also reminds me of Michael Phelps and what happened to him during the 200-meter butterfly at the 2008 Olympics.  He had a "wardrobe malfunction" with his goggles and they started to fill up with water.  He couldn't see a thing!  Check this out...

Phelps' coach had been training Michael to fight for his wins no matter what crazy thing happened... whether Phelps wasn't feeling well, whether his goggles filled with water, whether a competitor tried to play mind games... through anything and everything, Phelps was trained to remain focus and swim to win.  And he definitely did!

That's how I believe we CSR candidates should be going into the CSR exam.  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.  Push through no matter what happens!  There's bound to be a chair we're not comfortable with, a person whose machine is too rattly, a speaker with an awkward accent, an AC vent blasting in your direction, a fire engine blaring down the street, a sneeze.  Through anything and everything, we have to remain calm... focused.... and write to pass.

July 8, 2013


I have good news to share... and a lesson learned to share...

The Good News:  I passed a 3rd Qualifier on June 24th... and a 4th Qualifier on July 2nd!!!  WOO HOO!!! :D :D :D THANK GOD!!! :D :D :D 

I'm very happy with the passes!!!  I'm just hoping and praying that these mock CSR exams (what Qualifiers are, essentially) will also translate into a pass at the actual CSR exam on July 19th.  Yikes!  Only 11 more days away!  As my husband has encouraged me to say... BRING IT!!!

I think I've prepared my butt off for the fateful day, so whatever happens... happens.  I'm ready.  I won't have any regrets because I know I've prepared myself as best as I can.  I've given myself my best opportunity for a pass.  If I don't pass it on my first attempt, that's okay.  There's another opportunity waiting for me in November.  I won't look at myself as a failure at all... because I, along with my fellow CSR candidates, have done what very few can say... completed court reporting school, passed Qualifier, and made it all the way to the CSR exam.  It's now all just a matter of time on when I get that coveted California Certified Shorthand Reporter license.  I'll keep digging till I hit gold!!!  AKA I'll keep testing till I pass that exam!!!  No worries. :) I shall...

Now for the Lesson Learned: I could have passed a 5th Qualifier in the last week of June!!! :( The problem was my proofreading skills were seriously lacking... and honestly, I got sloppy and perhaps overly confident.  I always print a rough draft before turning in my final transcript for a re-grade.  In my attempt to save paper, though, I only re-printed the pages that I had marked up on my rough draft and then collated those into the original pages I had printed earlier.  Well, something screwy happened with my CAT software and it duplicated a whole entire line... and I didn't catch it... and it cost me 9 errors... putting me over a 52 total errors... which is not a pass at 97.4% accuracy. :( A pass is 50 errors at 97.5% accuracy.  I missed it by only 2 points and 0.1%.  Talk about frustration!!!

So what I've learned: Always, always print out everything and always, always go over the final hard copy one more time before submitting it.  I'll never make that mistake again!!!  My husband told me that it's a good thing that this happened during school and not at the CSR exam... and he's right.  Perspective.  So I'm grateful that this lesson has been learned on this side of my first CSR exam attempt.

Tomorrow is the day we get our diplomas!!!  So excited!!!  I'll share with you all about it soon!  Till then...

Thanks for reading... :)

By: VintageVerses of Etsy.com