“I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. . . . It is almost always a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period. The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.” –Lewis Thomas
I haven’t been this excited (or this nerdy) about something in a very, VERY long time.
Today I registered for an online training course to become a digital legal transcriptionist. Yes, its a real thing, even though as I typed the word “transcriptionist” it was automatically underlined in red as a misspelled word. I do NOT misspell words. That is why this is the perfect job for me.
Let me tell you how I came to find this potential career of mine.
After a long fight with myself, I finally decided that it would be best if I visited a therapist. My emotions have been so up and down for a while but around Thanksgiving is when it got really bad. I was feeling hopeless and useless and just ready to throw in the towel. It scared me because I’d never felt THAT bad before. So I made an appointment. I owed it to my family to try to find some sanity in this crazy season of my life.
So far I’ve been to visit him 3 times now and during the last visit we talked about the importance of me finding something in my life that could give me a little perspective. He suggested getting a part time job and asked me what my skills were and what I may like to do. Hmm…well let me think. I worked as a hostess at 4 different restaurants, a line cook at a Subway-style Mexican restaurant (“Welcome to Moe’s!”), a checker at a grocery store, and then I started having kids. And kept having kids. Do I want to go back to work with a bunch of teenagers who may or may not have dropped out of high school yet as a 30 year old woman? Let’s keep thinking.
This week I racked my brain for something I could put to good use (besides dance) and suddenly as we were binge watching the show Suits, it hit me. I need to be a Court Reporter. I love typing and drama. The next day I called an attorney friend of mine and clumsily asked him if he had an opening like that. He explained that they didn’t actually employ their own reporter but gave me the name of someone to call. Well, to be brief, the 7th Judicial district (the court district that I live in) houses 10 counties and employs ONE court reporter. But that’s beside the point. To be a Certified Court Reporter, I’d need to be CERTIFIED. So I started looking into it.
In my search I came across a job opening that was hiring for Legal Transcriptionists who want to work from home, can type 70+ wpm (oh please, I’ve got this in the bag), and have an AAERT certificate. Huh?
I looked up AAERT: American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers. Apparently there is a whole association of nerds like me. I contacted their membership liaison, Sherry, and had a very nice conversation with her about the joys of a career in the field legal and medical transcription, which she’s been a part of for over 30 years. After learning about my “situation” she encouraged me to check out a certain website that offered a great training course to prepare you to take the AAERT’s certification exam.
And here we are. I am now enrolled in the International Institute for Transcribers and Court Reporters’ Legal Transcriptionist course. For the next 6 weeks, I will be learning all about secure, organized file storage, homonyms, ei vs ie words and their exceptions, the proper uses of the comma, colon, semicolon, hyphen, italics, and dashes, as well as medical and legal terminology and so much more. I just want to say, you had me at organized file storage.
Is it possible that thinking about learning more about the proper use of the English language and then getting to type it out really fast is actually make me love my children more? I feel like a real adult! I may not be able to sleep tonight thinking about my foot pedal and headset arriving in the mail next week. Maybe my shrink was right about getting some perspective.