Yes, you know who you are! You went to the California College of Court Reporting in San Francisco in the 70s, survived being berated and humiliated, and dare we say disciplined, by the one and only Cody Carroll, who it turns out was so right about a lot of things. Anybody out there?

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This I've got to hear about!
Oh, my God -- Cody Carrol! He was an old-fashioned teacher who was as hard as he could be on you. I rememeber when I went in to talk to him when I was thinking about going to court reporting school, he said something like: "The only thing I can promise you from court reporting school is blood, sweat and tears." And he delivered on all of them!

He was also somewhat ahead of his time in that he was one of the first to offer a "computer-compatible" theory. It was somewhat like Mark Kislingbury's notion that the fewer strokes you write, the faster you write. Cody Carroll's theory was almost all briefs.

Did you ever master all those briefs? I still use a lot of them, but I found when I got into the real world that I just couldn't keep them all straight and had to learn to start writing things out more. It did make me into an incredible briefer. I can brief anything, and do most of my creating on the fly.

I've never met anyone else who went to that school, except for one friend who I started with. What a blast from the past! Did he call us "Pig Reporters"??? I don't remember that, but it doesn't surprise me.


When were you there? I was there in the 70s after dropping out of grad school, thinking court reporting school would be easy, like "fast typing"! (snort! hehehe, little did I know!)

PARDON ME!!! but he never called your class pig reporters? Remember doing a 15 minute take, then he would collect our notes, only to pull them out 2 weeks later, expecting flawless readback? And if you stumbled just once, omg, the heavy sighs and tsk, tsk, tsks and the thundering "Pardon me!" I still use that expression when I have to interrupt the proceedings, albeit not in his icy tone.

Yes, I still use those briefs and love making them up on the fly, the shorter and cleaner the outline the better.
I was there starting in '78. I just finished my teaching credential, taught 5th grade for six months, and they passed Prop.13 and layed off every teacher in my district with five years tenure or less. Forget that! I think I lasted a year there and then moved up to Novato and went to Indian Valley for a year. Back down to SF to the Bay Area Institute with Arlene Howell, and ended up with David Hirani (not sure of that spelling) at The Academy of Court Reporting (the 2nd or 3rd incarnation).

You must have been there a lot earlier than I was. I think he used to conduct the higher speed classes. I just got through theory and to about 120 at that school and spent most of my time with a woman -- I want to say her name was Betty, but I'm not sure. I very rarely had him for dictation, but I was still scared to death of him. He used to come into that practice room and bellow at us for one reason or another.

Did you go all the way through with him? Did you ever work for him? I know he had a reporting firm, too, but for some reason, I think it was in Santa Rosa.


I was there in the late 70s. Are you working as a reporter? I took a hiatus and all my equipment was lost in the 2017 Tubbs fires in Sonoma County. I just purchased a Luminex II. The dictionary is an issue as I have nothing. Do you recall the Theory?

Thanks for the flood of Cody Carroll memories and possibly some theory dictionary information!


Cody Carrol sounds likes a wonderful character and a great teacher.
Oh, but you weren't THERE! IT WAS AGONY!!! We all hated him at the time, and he was sarcastic and caustic to us. You never ever ever wanted his wrath to come down upon you. I don't know about your court reporting school, but this one was in the SF financial district just around the corner from what was then the Pacific Stock Exchange and somehow attracted an assortment of loonies and social misfits who thought they would give court reporting school a whirl. There were quite a few moments of unplanned hilarity there, I'll tell you, and we made up little nicknames for the more colorful characters.

"A wonderful character" -- I can't help but laugh at that one! A cruel taskmaster is more like it!
Yeah, I don't know if I'd call him a "colorful character." But he WAS of another era.

But there certainly were TONS of real colorful characters in that school. It was like no other school that I went to in San Francisco -- and I went to them all at one point or another. Everyone and his cat thought they would be a court reporter and get rich. I don't mean this to be judgmental in any way, but I've never seen so many transgender/transvestites in my life as I saw at that school. It was during the very, very early stages of sexual reassignment surgery and I remember vividly a couple of "ladies" who were trying so hard to make it, and just could barely hold their lives together, let alone learn and progress in court reporting. It was actually very sad to see, but a real eye-opener for me.
You made me think back to the Academy of Stenographic Arts on Potrero, 1972. I do believe all the male teachers were gay, though it wasn't an issue. There was Mr. Hedman. The first day in theory, he said, "You will be married to your machine," at which point his false teeth clicked together as sort of a punctuation mark. From then on he would dictate endlessly, click, period, paragraph. So, I'm sitting out in the lobby at one of the picnic tables one day, and the headmaster says, "We've got a job up north for you," and I say, "But gee, I'm only in the 160 class." He says, "That's okay. Go get your feet wet!" And I flew up there, got into court and nearly drowned, but was at least freed from ever having to return to school where they had been reading the S.A.L.T. talks to us for months, not to mention the shipping news, and a cute story about people living on some island outside of Seattle.

I can remember people falling asleep over their machines, wiping their noses with steno paper, parking their cigarettes in the pen holders on the writers, manual steno writers and manual typewriters.

Oftentimes, those insane consonant compounds come back into my head, like "She leaves hopes and dreams, or "A dreadnought is a battleship. "
One thing that was very good about CA College of CR was that Cody believed in LIVE dictation with real people. There was no light board or the ridiculous raising one's hand or changing their voice to read 2-part dictation. Once in the 200 class, you got real live 4-voice dictation with 4 people up there reading. He also jumped right on the video bandwagon back in the Sony Beta days and would tape takes for us to practice to later.
I'll never forget a couple of student readers we had and the funny names they gave each other -- Sue Coleman (Snoo) and Marge Bergman (Joo).


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