Promoting ourselves to students and other thoughts

Posted on the NCRA forum by me follows:

I've always been an advodcate to student reporters when I had the chance. By that, what I mean is that when I worked in San Antonio, there was two court reporting schools there and I always tried to hire students to be my scopist. I was always very pleased to see them progress through the time they were with me and, for the most part, a lot of them went on to become reporters. It felt good to think that perhaps I had a part in helping them see what exactly they were getting into.
That being said, I didn't have that opportunity when I went down to Brownsville, TX, as the closest school was about 3 hours away in Corpus Christ, TX. That was just too far, although I did visit the school and offer up encouragement and tried to inspire the students when I visited the school.
Now that I'm in El Paso, I have the privilege to have another school here at El Paso Community College and also have sat and chaired their Advisory Committee for the last two sessions.
I have gained some insight over the last couple of years in some of the problems the school faces as well as the problems that students face. One big problem is that for most students that are able to obtain grants or financing to attend school, those programs normally don't understand that the students may be taking, for instance, the high-speed dictation class more than once and up to even three or four times. The financing companies and, I guess, the "Education Department" views the reporting program as any other program in that one should take the class once and they should move on up. This has been a problem for quite a long time. Also, until recently, El Paso was having to charge the three-peat students an additional fee of $40, I believe. Well, that is a direct cost to the students and many have to drop the class or have had to drop the program.

Where is all of this going? Well, I have accepted a positon on the Student Committee in NCRA and am looking forward to seeing what I can do for the students out there to try to get them out of school and into the market. That is what I'm going to do.

What can you-all do? For starters, I started a group called Encouraging Court Reporting Students that many of you have joined and for that, I am truly thankful. Please do your best to try to jump in there when you can and offer encouraging words or answer any questions that you feel are something you'd like to contribute to.

Secondly, find students in your area, if possible, and try to provide the support you are able to provide to them and encourage them to want to do this and make it through the school.

What else can we do? Well, I think it is time that NCRA put up a student section on here.....unless I'm blind and have missed it. I think that if we are going to promote NCRA, one place to start is with the students. We need to show them that realtime is the way to go. That they need to be on the top of their game and be prepared for all opportunities when called upon and that to not do that is a disservice to the profession.

We need to encourage them that they should strive to get into the mode of writing realtime on all of their jobs and have a complete knowledge of how to set up the different outputs to attorneys.

We need to show them how to work with scopists and how to find scopists. Also, we need to encourage them that they need to pull on the full knowledge base that is contained in NCRA as well as the full knowledge base of what is contained in each of our heads. We all have a lot to offer them, but we need to make them feel comfortable in coming to all of us, either personally, publically, or through NCRA.

We've talked a lot about students and have implemented a Total Immersion program, but let's give the students a place to come to here where they can be comfortable chatting, asking questions, etc.

Maybe we need to have Open Chat Nights for the students every now and then for them to come in and chat with us.

We are all gonna move on and retire as we become more "seasoned" and if we don't leave this profession in good hands, we all might was well step aside and give this over to ER/DAR. I'm not ready to do that.

We need to lead my example, which means that each one of us steps up our game. If we are just gonna sit back on our laurels, whether working in court or freelance, and don't do what we know we should do......again, let's just give this profession over to ER/DAR.

I personally am not ready to do that. Are you?

A very dear friend of mine is leaving the profession because of some of my brutal remarks about if we are going to sit in court and not be able to provide realtime or the services that we are paid to do, then we are doing a disservice to the profession.

Sure, some of us may never ever ever have to provide this service to clients, but, we owe it to ourselves as well as the profession to be prepared. Not be prepared to call me when, at the last minute, you've been asked to do a realtime job and you need to call me, or your friend in the area who does realtime, and say, "Breck, I've got a realtime job coming up tomorrow......can you tell me how to set up the output to attorneys????" That day has come and gone, my friends.

This is a profession and it consists of's time that we act like that and quit the whining and quit the complaining and step up to the plate. Please. Not for me.....for the profession.

John Madden, a famous commentator, as well as a Super Bowl winning coach has just retired from being a commentator for television.

When asked why he decided to retire, he put his remarks into two words: "It's time." (Okay, technically, that's three."

Well, in the words of John Madden, "It's time." Time to move ahead, inspired each other, draw from each other, promote this profession, help the students and be encouraging and respectful to one another.

We've just had a rather interesting convention with a very heated topic of discussion regarding testing ER/DAR. It's been very heated over the months, it's been eye-opening to some, it's been frustrating for others, it's been good for others.

Regardless of how we all feel about the subject: It's Time! It's time to move forward, protect our professions, protect our jobs, protect each other's livelihood.

The Motion to Rescind is behind us now. It was a lot closer to passing than it was to failing; so, I feel that those of us that were there have made it known to the Board that we are not going to go quietly into the night. We still love what we do, we believe in what we do and that if we continue to fight for what we believe in, then, all should be good. I'm not ready to give up. Are you?

Whether you decide to leave NCRA because you don't like what is happening or has happened, you are all still court reporters and that should weigh a lot more in your conscience than belong to an association. We need the association to have those that have the time to fight for us and represent us. Be if we don't also represent ourselves in our own communities, then we all might as well crawl under our own little rocks and just give up.

I'm not ready to do that and neither should any one of you.

Lastly, I will close with this.........IT'S TIME!!!!

(Tipping hat and grateful for what I have in this profession.)

P.S. Please come along for the ride.

Breck Record, CSR (TX, MS), RPR, CCR (NM)

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