An Open Letter to Court Reporting Students

Dear Students,

We don’t deserve a day; we deserve a week!  Whether you have been a student for five months or ten years, take this week to soak up all of the events that your local reporters will be hosting.  If you don’t have anything local, take this week to pamper your fingers and to remind yourself that your future IS worth the tears and stress that goes hand in hand with court reporting school.  Honestly, I have cried or wanted to cry SO many times this past weekend.  The pressure on me is enormous to get out of school.  We want to get married and have a few kids, but we are waiting until I’m out of school.  I turn 29 in 10 days and Andy will be 35 next month.  We are ready.

Will that enormous pressure help succeed through school?  Are you the kind of person that does well with constructive criticism or do you flinch at the thought of someone correcting you, not because what you are doing is wrong but because you are a people pleaser?  I’m the latter.  I don’t do well with constructive criticism.  Yes, I know it is important.  I just hate disappointing people which flows over to when I tell the select few if I have failed a test.  I cringe at the thought of having to tell Andy or a member of my “steno squad” if I received a 93% on a test instead of a 96%.

As court reporting students, we will disappoint ourselves more than we will disappointment others.  We will fail more tests than we will pass.  We might have to take the state test 16 times (that is about taking it for 4 years straight) and pass it right after we mentally, not physically, give up.

Guess what?  In court reporting, a pass is a pass.  You just need a certificate saying you can write at 225 words per minute for five minutes at 95% accuracy.  That’s all okay.  You are normal.  I am normal.  Strangely, at the same time, there is no “normal” in court reporting school.   Once we are out of school. if you are in an area that needs reporters, you, more than likely, won’t even need a resume.  They won’t care if it took you 13 years to get those 3 coveted letters after your name.  As long as you have them, you will also have a new boss.  In San Antonio, you WILL have a job as a freelancer.  There are multiple openings in courthouses in South Texas.

My biggest “complaint” about court reporting school is that some schools advertise their program to be a two-three year program.  I know at least 150 students (nationwide) personally and out of those students, about 5 students have gotten out in less than 3 years.  (This is a *very* scientific study.  haha.)  That number is much different than it was 7-10 years ago, even five years ago.  When our parents and “more experienced” family members complain to us that school is taking too long, please remember that the standards are higher than they used to be.  We have more to learn.  The schools are different.  Technology is everchanging.  I know that in Texas the state test has been near impossible recently.  There was one test that nobody passed.  Some girls have been sitting for the test for over a year.  (If that is you, I just want to give you a hug.  DO NOT QUIT until I quit.  And guess what?  I’m not quitting.  *WE*  can do it.)

Oh, friend, we will do it.  We will finish school.  We won’t throw our machines out the window.  We will celebrate with those who were emotionally there for us when we finish.  (My favorite story is The Little Red Hen.)  I already know that I’m taking Andy, my mom, my dad, my mentor, and maybe a friend or two out for steak and some champagne.

We are blessed.  We are blessed to be surrounded by people who love us.  You don’t get this kind of love and care in other fields.  As students, we must fight.  This training we are going through is a master at playing with our feelings.  Let’s band together and find the silver lining.  Let’s enjoy our time in the classroom until we are in the courtroom.

I’ll see you soon with those three letters and four numbers after my name.

-KV

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