Happy Court Reporting and Captioning Week, everyone! There is no better time to celebrate the accomplishments of all the talented and hardworking captioners, reporters, students, instructors, and everyone behind the scenes. Stenography is not for the faint of heart and can sometimes be downright infuriating, but the self-satisfaction and sense of accomplishment one gains from pushing through those difficult times makes it all worth it. I would like to share a little about my journey as a current student and how this amazing community has played a huge part in helping me get where I am today.
I have been in the Captioning and Court Reporting program with NAIT since the fall of 2020. To say that it has been a roller coaster ride would be an understatement. Let’s face it: We need to learn a brand-new language and, in a way, rewire our brains within a very short time. I recall being overwhelmed and truly believed there was no possible way to achieve the goal of 225 WPM by the end of my final semester. Here, in my final semester, I have accomplished more than I ever thought I could. I am currently writing my 200 WPM speed tests and have passed one so far, which has always been a personal goal that I knew would feel incredible to achieve. And it did. Apart from that, I have learned so much about the software we use, English and grammar, and recently much about what it takes to be a professional working reporter. I didn’t do everything all on my own, however. I have had amazing support from friends and family, classmates, my instructors, and Stenograph the entire way.
Stenograph, along with NCRF, generously formed the Milton H. Wright Memorial Scholarship, and I was fortunate enough to be selected as recipient in 2021. The encouragement I have received from this honour has continuously provided me with the motivation to keep pushing through the emotional and financial struggle that school has thrust upon me. I have been so incredibly grateful to be able to take time off work to devote myself to my studies and to truly learn to be the best reporter I can be. Inevitably, there are still those days filled with pure frustration where my fingers haven’t quite woken up or my mind wanders during a speed test – struggles that we students know all too well. During those times, I remind myself of the incredible support we have from Stenograph and our amazing court reporting community. I don’t think I can ever express the immense thanks I have for the continuous kindness and encouragement I have been given as it has truly gotten me through some rough moments throughout this program.
I would like to take a moment to address my fellow students, as well as any individuals looking into court reporting or captioning as a career. In my opinion, this is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, careers that one can pursue. Yes, we have our days where the finish line seems to disappear further into the distance, and it seems impossible not to feel down on ourselves; but those are the moments when we need to dig deep and remember how important our rolls are. We are the keepers of the record. We are aids to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to help deliver information and enjoyment of life. We can do this, and we have all the support in the world behind us.
I am so proud to be a part of this community, and I cannot wait to see what else is to come, who I will meet, and the people I will help. Thank you, once again, to Stenograph and everyone else who has helped me over the last couple of years. It means more than words can express.