I shadowed another court reporter today. Yay! I’ve actually shadowed her before too, Lisa Lamberti, so it was quite nice when she came into the room and said, “Hi Karen! Good to see you again!” This was another examination for discovery and was very relaxed and short! We started at 11 am, took a 10 minute break in between, and then ended at 1 pm. Less than two hours. Lisa got 66 pages and I got __. There were 3 people in the room, so the speakers were easy to keep track of. Lisa said they were going at an average of 150 wpm which was a very comfortable speed for the both of us. The case didn’t have any over-the-top complicated terms or names either. I had shadowed Lisa back in November, and she is a very easy-going reporter with 15 years of reporting experience. What’s exciting is that she is pregnant with her first child and due in September. 🙂
We chatted a little bit before and after the case. For speedbuilding tips, Lisa says she just practices finger drills for accuracy and for me to practice at 190 wpm since I’m currently at 160. When she has names that she needs to check the spellings for afterwards, she stenos a ‘check’ next to the names, so that all she has to do is search for them in the transcript and then ask the witness afterwards. This is different from how Teresa does it by quickly jotting down the name on a neighbouring notepad. For speaker designations, she uses the first letter of their name, followed by the consonant. These are all really good tips, and by collecting all of them, I can know what to apply to my own reporting when the time comes. For writing, she D-defines her misstrokes if they come up often enough. For example, when she used to write ‘The Court’, the outline would be all of the upper and lower banks. But since this stroke is hard to execute sometimes, she’s redefined it so that many versions of it show up on her dictionary. She said as long as it doesn’t interfere with another stroke, it is a good way to have clean notes and be realtime ready. I’ve actually been contemplating this myself too. I stroke Q. for Question with all 8 keys on the left hand and A. for Answer with all of the keys on the right hand. I’ve found myself missing some of the keys sometimes so that it shows up as an untranslate, but I can still tell that it was supposed to be the Q. or the A. I should define those misstrokes as well.
Lisa used to use a backpack to carry all of her equipment but now uses a Samsonite luggage carrier to carry her machine, tripod, etc. I’m still using the hand carrier I got from Stenograph from when I bought my Diamante and am thinking about either using a backpack as well or a rolling bag/luggage as well.
All in all, another shadowing experience with lots of learning. I realise that I do need to work on my accuracy still so that I can keep up and increase my speed. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! 🙂