The experts say that if you experience an event with emotion, you will remember that event forever. Taking the California Certified Shorthand Reporter speed test was an event I will never forget. I took the test in May of 1981 in Sacramento and traveled there from San Diego by car with four other students. We all shared a room. I brought a sleeping bag and slept on the floor. We were on a budget. Becoming a court reporter was my dream, my goal, and the excitement was almost tangible.
This morning I am sitting in the Westin LAX lobby waiting for the CR Board meeting to begin, and there are court reporting students everywhere carrying their steno machine. I know how they are feeling and what is going through their minds. If I could give them any advice for today it would be:
1 Don’t feel you have to chat today with fellow students to be polite.
2 Don’t feel you need to impress anyone.
3 Be grateful that you have the natural talent to have passed the qualifier.
4 Go inside yourself and be peaceful.
5 Take deep, deep breaths before you go into the room to get oxygen flowing throughout your body.
6 Envision what you want and focus on that for at least a three-minute span of time
7 Be a little arrogant. Know you can pass the test because you are ready.
8 Don’t listen to any negativity or let anyone throw fear at you. If necessary, wear earphones and listen to your theme song or positive playlist of music.
9 Be excited. I liken taking the CSR to going to the Olympics. Now it’s time to WIN!
I wish all of the test takers good luck. Being a court reporter is truly wonderful and exciting. People will look at you with amazement when you tell them what you do. It is difficult to get out of school, and it takes a tremendous amount of commitment and time, as well as talent. In the long run, being a court reporter is worth every minute of school and practicing on the steno machine. I promise.