By Geanell C. Adams
Oftentimes when reading and researching court reporting schools, students see articles, posts, and reports offering advice on how to practice for speed, techniques for writing, suggestions for briefs and phrases, and selection of schools. There is very little towards keeping a positive outlook and mindset. There are many social media sites that are replete with negative and disparaging comments, but they come up short on optimism and encouragement. During my first quarter of school in the late 90s, students were required to take a course titled Positive Mental Attitude. The concepts of this course have remained with me throughout every aspect of life.
On the first day of class we were greeted by a scripture, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” The point is, if you think negatively, you will have negative outcomes; if your thoughts are positive, you will reap positive rewards. Students were taught techniques on setting short- and long-term goals that followed the SMART model (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based). Each Sunday evening we were tasked with creating a list of goals for the upcoming week. On Fridays we were required to reflect and reward ourselves on those items we accomplished. In addition, the practice of “do a good deed daily” was implemented. It could have been passing a positive note of affirmation to a classmate, leaving an uplifting anonymous note card in a classmate’s seat, or bringing a snack for the student lounge to share during break time to create a positive learning environment.
Negative comments were not allowed to be made in the classroom. Students were charged a fee for every negative statement made. It must be realized that while each student may be struggling in their own way, one never knows how down their fellow classmate may be. One negative comment may be the last thing they need to hear before finally making the decision to walk away – a permanent decision that can’t be reversed. In addition, students realizing others are suffering in silence with them were encouraged to build a bond and form an accountability group to keep each other moving forward as opposed to turning each other away. Out of this came practice session parties that included food and the formation of lifelong friendships. After all, who else really understood the commitment to court reporting school?
Other concepts learned included engaging in positive meditation and sending positive thoughts. Volunteering with community and nonprofit organizations helping others also gives a sense of joy to oneself. Keep a journal of “Awe Moments”. Record insights or moments that you find extraordinary – a rainbow, a kind act, even fresh baked cookies. These can be drawings, poems, or simple descriptions. Share positive experiences with others. This includes a hug, a laugh, and even undivided attention to make someone feel special. Develop new skills. If there’s something you always wanted to try, do it! Why put it off?
And finally, reward yourself with positive affirmations. When rewarding yourself for weekly accomplishments, give yourself a small bite of chocolate, buy yourself a single stem rose, or bank your rewards for something bigger you’ve been wishing for and reward yourself when the term is over. These are skills and talents that can carry you beyond school. They will become timeless and never-ending pieces of the person you are and will strive to be!
Geanell C. Adams, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, is a CART captioner from Raymond, Miss., and a member of the NCRA Student-Teacher Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com.