It is now the beginning of August. So I have officially been in the program for 3 months. Time has went by fast so far. I just started Lesson 12, So an average of a lesson a week. My goal was to complete theory in 6 months, and at this point, that seems realistic. Well, my thoughts on the program are still positive. I watched my sister at a Depo, and I watched her write lesson 11 audio drill. It is amazing to see how different our theories are, but yet very similar in ways. After seeing how she writes certain words, I understand the CRAH theory better, or rather, understand the thought put into making it easier to learn. She learned Phoenix, which is "stroke intensive." When I first started out on this journey, I thought stroke intensive was a bad thing. Now I am see how trying to shorten writing can actually slow you down, when in fact, you are trying to do the opposite. When you start looking into your future career and see you have to reach a steady speed of 225 wpm, you think that you will have to brief everything in order to reach those speeds. And, in part, that is true. However, I watched my sister write out words, even as a working and successful reporter. I talked to Linda Bland about this, as well as my sister. It is faster to write some words that do not come automatically to you.
I get a lot of emails and comments from current CRAH students or future Court Reporting students. I get to chat with all these great supportive people, but some of the conversations never make my blog. Or they are in the comments portion and some people miss some great advice and tips. I have decided to add a forum for those folks who want to connect with other students. I love talking to other people who are either ahead of me or just starting out. In this type of school, you need encouragement. Since we cannot interact with Linda on a daily basis, I thought it could serve as a gathering place for help, support and a place to complain when you are having that kind of a day. I find that doing this blog and meeting people is motivating for me to keep going everyday. We will all get discouraged, instead of trying to explain EBGS vs KP to your husband or sister. You can voice your opinion here. Where we all understand and have been there too.
The forum is up and running. This is my first website, so I am not well versed in this type of thing. I hope everyone finds it helpful. I will be adding to it daily.
My only request for those who may want to post on the forum, is to be nice. This isn't Twitter. Complain all you want, but I do not "do" mean. Thanks.
I received another email from a follower... Cool right? I now have 3 followers!
She asked If this program was something I felt I could finish. Good question. There is a super high dropout rate in court reporting school. Online or brick and mortar, It doesn't matter. Lots of folks have great intentions at the start, but ultimately decide to stop for one reason or another.
My answer to her was yes, I do think I will finish this program. Not because this is the best and only program for me, but because I am determined to make it work. There are many great schools online or in a classroom setting. But the success stories come from those who despite frustrations kept moving forward. Everything I read about becoming a court reporter said that the school is tough. I was warned. I was warned that at multiple points I will want to quit. This doesn't scare me, It tells me that it will be normal to get mad and frustrated and want to throw machine down the stairs(I won't:)) But everyone goes through it. Isn't that reassuring? Everyone plateaus during speed building. I will too. At least I know it is coming.
I have been emailing with another CRAH student who has been in the program for 5 months.
She is working on lesson 15. Being that she is farther along than myself, I should take note as to what she does to complete each lesson and keep moving towards speed building. This is from an email exchange:
--I try to focus on one lesson at a time. I get overwhelmed if I think
too much about all the work ahead of me.
--I (grudgingly) read back ALL of my notes. I am using a manual
machine, so I circle my errors, write them in a notebook and practice
those strokes/words before each practice session.
--When I am struggling with a lesson, I go back to lesson 2 or 3 and
write those drills out. I feel better knowing how fast and accurate I
am with the lessons that I once struggled with. It gives me a mini
--Sometimes I just read through the lessons without using my machine.
It gives me a different perspective.
I thought these where great tips. Everyone learns differently but seeing how someone else is completing theory, can help me when I get stuck.
She also commented:
The first five or six lessons were probably the hardest for me! In
time, the letter combinations became second nature and now I feel
comfortable enough to think that I can actually finish this thing!
Totally motivating for me to keep moving forward. Even in small steps, it is progress.
"Nothing Worth Having, Was Ever Achieved Without Effort"
Theodore Roosevelt (my favorite president)
Today I was working in my yard while the kids played, It is sunny in Washington, so I had to take advantage.
When we came in for lunch, I checked my phone and I had an email from Linda Bland. For those who have been to the CRAH site, you know who Linda is. She developed this theory and has so many credentials, I can't even name them all.
She was checking in to make sure I didn't have any questions. To be honest, I thought this was probably an automatic email sent by an assistant. It asked that I call her. I called the number and It was to CRAH, I told Steven who I was and he asked if I could hold, then Linda picked up. I was talking to Linda Bland. She was super nice and personable. She gave great advice and reminded me to stay in contact with support. She also said I could reach her if needed. We talked for awhile actually until my phone died...
But I did ask about life after theory and the academic portion. She said that as you progress through the program, support will send everything you need for grammar, punctuation, etc. It is based on your needs. I may need help in that area whereas some folks may not. They could send a massive box full of manuals, books, discs and a machine and say email us with questions, or they could work with you through the program. As you reach milestones, they are going to find your weak spots and help you fix them. And once you are ready, they will help you with CAT software etc. It doesn't make a lot of sense to throw everything at a beginner and overwhelm them. Us beginners have enough information and unknowns. If we tackle theory one step at a time and day by day, it won't be as scary. But if you thumb through the manual and look ahead, you'll probably want a refund. It is intimidating because it is so unfamiliar.
I am a person who wants to peak at Christmas gifts a month in advance, but I actually haven't looked ahead at future lessons. I just want to take one lesson at a time. My best friend always says "Slow and Steady Wins the race" That is me. I am way more of a tortoise than hare. And that is fine by me!
Again, I want say that I am just a mom. I don't get paid to write anything. All the information and opinions are mine. Do not buy this program without doing all your research. I am an imperfect person who makes mistakes, but I would never purposefully mislead someone or purposefully give false information. Call CRAH and talk to the staff (I did twice) or visit the website.
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