Advice Column

Lost for an answer to one of life's pesky situations? Get it here!

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Mac Compatible? 4 Replies

Started by Octavia Brice. Last reply by Glen Warner Jan 8, 2010.

Arbitration Aggravation 1 Reply

Started by Karen Goldstein. Last reply by Chris Renegar Jun 26, 2009.

Netbook v. Webbook v. Notebook computer 4 Replies

Started by Michelle. Last reply by Michelle Jun 20, 2009.

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Comment by Chris Renegar on June 26, 2009 at 14:14
Just a reminder, you guys, this group was created for NON-court reporting-related advice, as we ALL have lives OUTSIDE of court reporting or court reporting-related careers.

The sort of question that Jane asked is perfect for this forum and exactly what I had in mind when I started this group. (But if questions like Virginia's and Karen's keep the group going then that's just fine too.)

Comment by Jane McGill on June 26, 2009 at 13:49
I wish I could say it was a summer thing. Happened a lot before Christmas, usually on a weeknight, and then quit for a couple of months in the early part of this year, now back at it full swing. Police say they will "patrol the area more," but you know they are never able to be around when the kids are doing it. We live in a relatively quiet neighborhood behind an elementary school. Haven't thought about renting equipment, though.
Comment by Jane McGill on June 26, 2009 at 8:36
We keep getting egged! Not just us, but our entire street, about every week and a half, no pattern of days, no idea who is doing it. From the spray pattern, it's as if they are going along and randomly throwing eggs out of a vehicle. Here's my question: Anyone got any ideas on how we can videotape INEXPENSIVELY? I've seen lots of gadgets, etc., but they are quite expensive. One of our neighbors may go in with us to video, but I need ideas.
Comment by Chris Renegar on June 24, 2009 at 20:25

Since this appears to be a "dead" group (my fault since I'm the founder and haven't done much this year to keep it going), I would say that filling in your free time (such as while in transit or walking) listening to vocabulary builders and speed tapes is a good thing because training your ear is every bit as important as training your fingers.

Although this isn't the question you asked, I think primarily, since you are at a plateau, the only thing that's going to get you into your 160s and beyond at this point is to increase daily the time spent on your machine. (I'm talking like three to four hours OUTSIDE of the time you spend at school.)

Look at it this way: For every minute you spend on that machine, that's one minute closer you are to becoming a CSR.

There are many different ways to practice, some more effective than others. If I were you, I might suggest canvassing the members of CSRnation to inquire as to their former practice methodologies and how they were able to break out of plateaus. Or you might ask your fellow students how they go about it. I would bet my last dollar that your problem is that you just don't practice enough.

You may be wondering how or why a lowly proofreader is qualified to give advice. ;-) I was a court reporting student, too, but unfortunately I am part of the 98 percent dropout rate. I didn't have what it takes. So do as I say and not as I do! :-)

Comment by Chris Renegar on June 18, 2009 at 10:12
One more dieting one loses weight by dieting "a little bit." :-) Now get on that machine! LOL.
Comment by Chris Renegar on June 18, 2009 at 9:35
Hey, Virginia.

Speaking as someone who works from home, I can tell you that it requires an abundance of self-discipline, first of all, and I personally struggle with that daily. You might ask yourself first, do you have that in you? I don't know what the online course would offer you versus an academic setting but if you're not seeing much progress after almost six years then that says to me that *something* isn't working in your present situation. So maybe a change is just what you need!

Alternatively, and I say this from a perspective of total ignorance about you and your situation, but are YOU putting in YOUR 100 percent? That's a tough, soul-searching question to ask yourself and please don't take offense to my asking it. If your answer is even a little bit on the "no" side, then I'd say that switching from "real-life" school to online may not accomplish what you're hoping it might accomplish. If that is the case, kick it up a notch, kid! :-) Think of it in terms of dieting. ANY sensible diet will work, Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, it doesn't really matter, as long as you have the drive, desire and dedication inside you to make it happen.

I have the utmost respect for you that you're keeping sight of your dream and not letting your frustration make you throw in the towel. Keep us posted and keep those fingers flying!

Comment by Yvette LaRochelle on January 1, 2009 at 15:31
Hi Dawn and Chris. What I did was create a business name and list it with the state you live in and with the federal government listed as dba. An example would be Dawn Scoping dba. This way you just keep track of the money you bring in, keep your invoices that you send your customers and file your 1099 tax form bi annually. This keeps things simple, easy and I believe the cost for a Federal ID number is 12 dollars. This way you do not have to pay taxes for your paper, ink, office supplies etc. I hope this helps.
Comment by Chris Renegar on January 1, 2009 at 13:06
Anyone want to take this one? Although it's not really the *ideal* sort of topic I envisioned for this group, it's still a good question.

Dawn asks:

This may not be what you are looking for, but it is what I am wrestling with. I have always been an employee. I now work full-time as a med trans at a hospital. I have finished my scoping course and want to work full-time as a scopist, which means being self-employed. I have never done that. What with having to pay my own insurance, my own Social Security, etc., how do I get from employee to self-employed? What do I need to do, figure out, plan for? Sorry, but I don't know who else to ask. Thanks, Dawn Scott
Comment by Jeannie Wright on December 29, 2008 at 11:51
This is a great forum and a much needed one, too. Thanks for inviting me!
Comment by Chris Renegar on December 21, 2008 at 15:46
Jeanese, I think your idea of the garden sign is a good one. It would be a passive yet effective way of getting your message across. Another idea might be to ask her at an opportune moment if she's had the same problem that you're having, and leave it at that. That way you're not accusing her directly and not causing a rift between neighbors, but getting your point across at the same time.

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