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NCRA PROFILE: Cindy J. Shearman, RDR, CRR, CRC

Currently resides in: Tucson, Ariz.

Employment type: Official

Member since: 1978

Graduated from: American Institute of Court Reporting/Lamson Business College

Theory: One made up by the owners of the school/former official reporters

What are your favorite briefs?

Briefs have to make sense and be able to stick. Just because a brief can be made doesn’t mean it will come to the front of your brain when you’re in the middle of 300 WPM.

Why did you decide to enter this profession and how did you learn about the career?

I kind of fell into it. My mom was exploring reporting but never followed through. I figured I could become a reporter and, if I didn’t like it, at least it would pay my way to go to school for something I did want to do. And here we are 39 years later.

What has been your best work experience so far in your career?

I’ve loved being part of firsts. I loved being part of the first team to caption the news in Denver, Colo., in 1989-90. It was a fun time and gave me a real feeling of accomplishment.

And I loved being part of the first distance learning program in North Dakota at Minot State University. We received a grant to create a distance program where my realtime would be sent via the internet around the state to students. It was great being part of that kind of accommodation.

What was your biggest hurdle to overcome and how did you do so?

Removing all the conflicts in my writing that I’d been taught in school. Remember, this was almost 40 years ago; conflicts were the norm.

What surprised you about your career and why?

How versatile it’s been. My husband was in the Air Force and I was able to work in a variety of different settings everywhere we were transferred. I’ve been able to caption for individuals at church, large groups at meetings, and for people needing captioning at rehab meetings, besides all the regular reporting I’ve done.

Is there something else you would like to share?

I have been able to work with the most amazing people throughout my career. It’s funny but I never thought I had a “career” until about three or four years ago; I just had a job. Reporting has been perfect for me in my life. I’ve enjoyed it, it’s made me feel like a professional, and that I was very good at something. It most importantly allowed me the freedom to be home with my kids most of the time and be there for them and yet help augment my husband’s Air Force salary. I couldn’t have chosen a better career than this!