How did March come so fast?! I was just celebrating Christmas like last week! Only one short article in this edition, but LOTS of freebies! As always, please don't email me about spelling or punctuation errors. I appreciate it, but I'm writing this for content, not an English class.
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1 - "The Stages of Passing Speeds "
I've worked with over 1,000 steno students over the last 15 years. You don't encounter that many people trying to achieve the same goal without spotting a few patterns here and there. I'll start by saying that progress in speed is a VERY individual thing. Some students will zip through a speed in court reporting school, while others will hobble along for some time. You can't compare your progress to the person sitting next to you. It's not fair to you...or them. That said, most students go through the same steps as they progress through a speed - some faster than others.
1 - As you enter a new speed, it may sound unachievable - totally out of reach. "There's no way I will ever be able to write that fast." And you're right - you can't :) At least not right away. If you could, you'd already be on the next speed! But you toil away and your brain starts to relate to the speed and understand what it's fighting for - it starts to gain a clear focus of what the enemy/goal is.
2 - You have glimpses of light - brief moments when you're actually on top of the speed. "Surely this must be a mistake." But there is no denying it - there are flashes of brilliance when you can keep up. Could it be?
3 - The speed as a whole starts to sound gettable. You start to think that perhaps you CAN get this new speed. It's exhilarating!
4 - Then you find yourself just behind things - an arm's reach away. It's frustrating, because every time you reach out, it moves just another inch away, tempting and teasing you at the same time.
5 - Things start clicking in as your brain and fingers start catching up. But they're not quite in sync yet, so there's some awkwardness. It's like newborn calf - it has the legs - knows how to walk - but it has to figure out how all the moving parts work together to make it happen.
6 - Click! The mechanics start to work in unison, creating a writing flow that keeps your fingers in time with your brain. And that's when you know it's about time to start pushing for the NEXT speed...so you can start the process all over again :)
Steno Pendant Contest! (back to top)
A court reporter friend of mine, Eva, creates some awesome jewelry! So I asked her if she could whip something up for a contest giveaway. And she didn't disappoint, creating the pendant you see below. Want it? This is a drawing contest. To enter, just drop me an email at Marc@Stenolife.com with the answer to this question -
Where does Eva live?
To get the answer, just visit her website - http://www.artbyevagirl.com/ - go to the shopping page and check out Eva's info on the right side of the page. And while you're there, check out Eva's jewelry. Some really unique stuff from a really unique court reporter! April 1st is the last day to enter - a winner will be selected on April 8th.
1,000 Free Practice Dictations! (back to top)
I see it on the message boards at least once every couple weeks - "Does anyone know where I can get some free dictation?" Well, I have an answer for ya - www.SimplySteno.com! We are in the process of uploading over 1,000 free dictation files. Yes...over 1,000! Granted, they are not all awesome :) These are NOT the dictations you would hear if you were enrolled in the SimplySteno program. The SimplySteno program dictations are much, much better - I think the best around. The freebie dictations are pretty good - good enough to practice with. The speeds range from 60 to 180, but the speeds are not marked. The durations are from 1 minute to 5 minutes, but again, are not marked.
To access the free practice dictations, just head over to SimplySteno and click on the Free Dictations link. There are currently 3 categories of dictations - Restaurant Chats, At Work and Daily Living. I have 12 other categories that I will be uploading over the next few months, so check back often.
I do ask one favor...if you use these dictations, please visit www.StenoWatchdog.com and leave a review for ANY item you may have used in your steno experience. StenoWatchdog really helps students and reporters, so every review you leave makes a difference.
SimplySteno Special Offer - Save $100 Now! (back to top)
Thinking of joining the SimplySteno online program? Now's the time! Join our online program before April 1st and you'll get $100 OFF your starting fee. Once you join you have 3 months to actually start, so if you're sure you'll be starting in the next 3 months, now's the time to sign up! Studying at home is no longer just a second option - it's the first choice for many. This special may not be used in conjunction with any other offer. I invite you to read my testimonials and ask me about our successful students.
Free Steno Paper - 30 Packs - and Battery Packs! (back to top)
One of my students, Sherry Lacker, has kindly offered to donate some steno paper and battery packs she no longer needs. Thanks, Sherry! So there are 30 packs of steno paper that she is willing to ship to a student - you would just have to pay the shipping cost. Even with the shipping costs, you should save a lot of money on this! The first person to email me wanting the paper gets it. Marc@StenoLife.com
Sherry also has 2 steno machine batteries she was using on her Stentura 400 SRT. These batteries should work in all older Stentura models. One is BRAND NEW - never used! The other is semi-used. They're about $80 each new, so this is an awesome deal for some lucky student...or students. You would just pay $5 for shipping.
These items are for STUDENTS ONLY. And if you would like to win the batteries, you must own a steno machine that uses them. Again, just email me at Marc@StenoLife.com to win these - first email wins.