After weeks of planning, the second semiannual student seminar that I was in charge of organizing was held today. The event was held at the Federal Courthouse where I work and It was called the Basics of Writing Multivoice Dictation. I came up with the topic as a result of students writing to me saying that the schools weren't doing enough to give them multivoice dictation. Again, no fee was charged to any of the 63 students that attended. 93 students registered for the event in total.

So, I enlisted the help of fellow court reporters and instructors to help me with the dictation for the event. We also had representation from Stenograph, Eclipse, and Realtime Coach. Marybeth Everhart came up from Maryland to give her presentation. In addition to three hours of dictation, the students got free breakfast and we had a pizza lunch for five bucks apiece.

The biggest homerun came when one student's husband volunteered to video record the entire three hours of dictation for free which will then be edited down and sold at a reasonable cost to all students. He also took a ton of pictures.

First of all, I want to thank the Chief Clerk of my court, Bob Heinemann, for allowing this to happen. Second, I want to than Hon. Nicholas Garaufis for allowing us to use his courtroom for the presentations and the dictation practice. Third, and not last, I want to thank Chief of Security Joe Francis for making all the security arrangements so that everyone got in the building without a problem.

The following persons should also be recognized for their efforts and assistance, because without them, none of this would be possible.

Dictators:
Michelle Houston, instructor
Fran Magarelli, instructor
Karen Santucci, instructor
Audrey Summer, instructor
Eric Pollyea, Official Court Reporter, NYS Supreme Court

Software Vendors:
Geoff Sandvik, Stenograph
Mike Starkman, Eclipse
Marybeth Everhart, Realtime Coach

Student Volunteers:
Marci Glotzer
Kathleen Trinidad
Ida Rivera

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

Let's do this again soon!!!!

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Comment by Kathleen Trinidad on November 16, 2008 at 18:20
Anthony,
I wanted to thank you so much for yesterday. I had a great time at the seminar and, as always, I learned a ton from everyone who came to speak.
I look forward to future seminars, and if I'm not a student by the next seminar (God help me if I am!), you can always call me to help out.
Comment by Mary Ann Payonk on November 16, 2008 at 14:57
Anthony, I'm just wondering. I've thrown out the suggestion a time or two that the learning experience, even for CE points, doesn't have to have a cost associated with it. Seminars are just grand, but there's a lot to be learned from seasoned professionals in the field, AND from the reporter sitting right next to someone in a users group. Understandably, those who make their living from putting on seminars don't really want to see the "free" part. Others have said that, just as with realtime (for which I am a great advocate IF the reporter has the talent to deliver a readable service ...), that it's not a good idea to give it away for free. You didn't charge these students one cent. You're selling dictation at a reasonable cost, which I read to mean no one's in it for gain or profit. Do you think the students who attended thought any less of the seminar because it was free? Do you think the profession as a whole would benefit from reporters putting on free seminars. One comment I heard was (my read) it's a waste of time, because you can lead a horse to water, but ...

Thanks for your comments.

Mary Ann
Comment by Kyung on November 16, 2008 at 6:55
That's awesome Anthonty. Glad things went so well.
Comment by Judy on November 15, 2008 at 19:22
Anthony,

FIrst off, trying to type with 1.5 hands, so excuse typos (phew, that took a while to type).

Not commenting on your blog at all, I'm glad to see you didn't get disgusted and forget about us. I'm glad to see you're still here!

Judy

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