I am 24 years old and just recently passed all legs of the RPR in 1 year and 10 months, from start to finish! I would like to thank Mark for his incredible theory, which has helped me and other students across the country in their journey of court reporting. Mark asked that I share my story, and I hope that it can provide encouragement to other students and maybe provide some best practices!
I began theory with Mark's online courses in June 2016. I finished 6 months of the 9-month theory in January 2017. From January 2017 on, I began my own speed building by utilizing the Magnum Steno club, YouTube dictation, and listening to audio books. For about the first 8 months of my journey, I worked as a scopist for court reporters, editing their transcripts (while living in Mexico). An average day consisted of 6 hours of scoping and another 6-8 hours of practicing theory. As my funds became lower than I wished, it was time for me to move back to the States.
My new schedule between work and my own independent studying was extremely demanding. I would practice from 4 am to 7 am and work from 8 am to 5:30 pm. During my 30-minute lunches, I would use this time to take my writer out and practice. During my practice time, I would work on speed building and the continuance of building a strong foundation of theory. At home, I would practice for another 1-2 hours. Of course, there were days or even weekends when I needed a mental break from work or writing; but when I knew there was a time I should be practicing on my writer, I forced myself to be on it.
The best advice that I could offer to any student would be this: if it's your goal to be a court reporter, or even just to achieve any goal you set for yourself, GIVE IT YOUR ALL. Be positive and keep the negative thoughts/people at a distance. But of most things, believe in yourself and trust the process. Write on, students; the profession needs us!
It became clear to me when I first sat in court with an official reporter that I needed to shorten my writing drastically, not only to pass tests for certification but for the sake of my own sanity. Every other word was three or four strokes for me, and I was mystified as to how anyone could do this job.
By drastically shortening my writing, practicing in the Magnum Steno Club, and setting goals with Mark I was able to pass the RPR. I've experienced success early in my career because I spent extra time with the medical and auto accident brief families and have been able to swiftly produce testimony from expert witnesses.
And what excites me most is that I know I can shorten my writing even further and pass the RMR, and after that I'll turn my focus to the CRR. All the doors of the court reporting world are open to me thanks to my experience with the Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting.
Mark, I want to thank you for the incredible gift that you have given to me and my family through your theory. I started by learning Phoenix Theory up to 120 words per minute and I knew I needed to make a change. I had heard a lot about not changing theory once you get past 100, but for me, it was weird at first, but it never really caused a problem. I was a student in my 30's, and after changing to your school, I had a first and then second baby. I was certainly not the fastest student to finish, but 4years later I had a one and three year old and an amazing new career. I want others to know that this is an attainable career, especially with your theory and instruction and daily practice. My favorite video of all time is instant, instant, instant, that one was ground breaking for me. I love writing your theory with about 6 months now under my belt, and I'm so excited to see where I am in the coming years. Thank you a million times!!
Having the opportunity to attend Mark's online classes has been like finding a gold mine for me! I'm still employed full-time at a regular job here in Maryland while I'm working toward my court reporting dream. Every day, instead of wasting time listening to music on my desktop computer, I actually log in to the MK Academy online website and play the different sessions all day long while I'm... um, "working." I'm constantly picking up new briefs that shorten my writing. Just think about it.
* First, I'm learning from "the Michael Jordan of Court Reporting!"
* Second, I've got one-on-one communication with him through the live classes.
* And third, I have access to all of the archived videos of any recorded classes that I've missed (even those that occurred prior to my signing up!). I can go back and review anything I missed. (I'm still kicking myself for not enrolling in the first month that he started offering the online participation.)
* Oh, and fourth, with the Dropbox, I've got access to the whole Theory book (for free!) -- I almost want to whisper that one because I don't want Mark to realize what a bonus it is that he's letting leak out.
* Wait, there's a fifth: Mark's got a refreshing sense of humor and his classes are always a pleasure to attend. Wait till you see the stretching exercises that he leads during class.
I could go on, but class is starting in a bit and Mark doesn't like it when you're late. Hey, that's a sixth one! He's teaching professionalism, work ethics, and court reporting etiquette and knowledge to his students who will graduate and become stellar reporters.