I grew up in Montana
, earned my BA in Liberal
Arts from St. John's College
subsequently moved to New York City. Over the years, I had
a number of different jobs, including dishwasher, pit musician, habilitation
aide, bookseller, personal care attendant, and transcriptionist.
It was while working as a transcriptionist that I first became interested in
stenography. I had been accepted into the MA Literature program at
but I wasn't sure how I would manage to go to school while supporting
myself, and I didn't know what I'd do with the degree once I got it.
The summer before I was due to start the program, I was doing freelance
transcription to make ends meet, and found it fun but frustrating.
I could type up to 110 words per minute on an ordinary keyboard,
but that was far too slow to keep up with the average rate
of speech, which is usually around 180 words per minute.
"There has to be a more efficient way to do this," I said to myself.
I did some research and wound up on Wikipedia, reading the entry on
I had heard of court reporting before, but hadn't thought
to pursue it, because I wasn't interested in being in the middle of
legal disputes all day. But this entry also talked about CART, and
as soon as I learned it existed, I knew it was the job for me.
I loved the idea of letting words fly into my ears, through my
fingers, and out onto a computer screen as quickly as they were
spoken, giving me the chance to assist all sorts of different people
in getting their educations, communicating with their clients and colleagues,
enjoying public entertainment, and participating in their communities.
It also meant that I would get to continue my own education while making
a living at the same time. I had finally discovered my dream job.
I sent my regrets to Hunter and enrolled in the court reporting
program at the New York Career
Institute (formerly Stenotype Academy).
I found a job as an offline closed captioner and worked my way through school
in a year and a half, starting on the regular keyboard and switching to steno
when I got fast enough. After graduating, I interned for six
months and worked closely with an experienced CART provider for a
year. Then I set out on my own, started StenoKnight CART Services,
and earned my CCP
Certification. I never stop working to perfect my skills
and improve the quality of my services, but I no longer wonder
what to do with my life. I've found it.