June 2 2016

I Love Steno The Student Edition: How Relaxation Helps Your Memory

When your body feels stress, it releases the hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels are high, your memory is adversely affected. High stress levels are accompanied by lowered concentration levels, and a lowered ability to retain and recall information. Therefore, take a deep breath and try to be as relaxed as possible while you are testing and practicing. This will help to get your brain working for you instead of against you. Relaxation is key.

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January 14 2016

Theory Thursday: Words Ending in -TH- Part 1

To denote words ending with -th, I use an *T.

Here are some briefs:

bath= BA*T
beneath= BAO*ENT or NAOE*TH
bequeath= QAO*ET
berth= B*ERT
billionth= B_LT
birth= B*IRT
births= B*IRTS
birthed= B*IRTD
Bluetooth= BL*UT or BLAO*T
tooth= TAO*TH
booth= BAO*TH
both= BO*T or BO*ET
breadth= BRED/*T or BRA*ED
breath= BR*ET
broth= BRO*T
cheth= KH*ET
cloth= KLO*T
cometh= KO*MT
couth= KO*UT or KAO*UT
cruth= KRAO*UT

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September 3 2015

I Love Steno: The Student Edition- Great Practice For Theory Students!

A great way for theory and low-speed students to practice is to write to “Learn to Speak English” audio recordings and videos. This is such a great way to practice because the speakers are usually speaking at a fairly slow and steady pace due to the fact that they are trying to teach someone to speak a new language (just like us learning steno). Also, the speakers are usually using vocabulary that is on the basic or intermediate level- just what you need as a newcomer to steno.

There are also great “Learn English” videos that contain conversations between people. This is a great resource for students who are just becoming acquainted with Q & A.

You Tube is my favorite place to access “Learn English” videos. Here are some channel names and links you can visit:

Learn English Conversation: https://www.youtube.com/user/englishlearnspeak/videos

Learn English Fast 1: https://www.youtube.com/user/LearnEnglishFast1/videos

BBC Learning English: https://www.youtube.com/user/bbclearningenglish/videos

Pod English: https://www.youtube.com/user/podEnglish/videos

Speak English With Mister Duncan: https://www.youtube.com/user/duncaninchina

Simple English Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/vickihollettvideo/videos

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August 13 2015

I Love Steno: The Student Edition: The Earlier You Figure Out How To Write “And,” The Better

The sooner you figure out how you will write the word “and” on your machine, the better. Like most high frequency words, it is beneficial to be able to phrase, “and.” [NOTE: An Oxford study has "and" listed as the 5th most frequently used word.]

When I was taught theory, I was taught to write the word “and” on the machine as AND. In countless hours of practice, I wrote AND without being able to phrase it, due to its being comprised of the final -D stroke. It wasn’t until I finished 8 months of theory and a number of months in low-level speed classes that I discovered writing “and,” SKP-. This method allows for phrasing of the oft-heard word.

It was difficult for me to change the way I wrote “and” after being accustomed to stroking the word out as a lone word. As it is said, “practice makes permanent.” However, I saw a great benefit in amending the way I wrote the word. Phrasing would allow me to eliminate a stroke and quicken my writing.

Due to the immense effort that it takes to amend a mentally solidified stroke, the sooner you figure out how to write your words, particulary high-frequency words, the better off you will be in terms of speed advancement.

Check back tomorrow for Friday Phrases, part 1 of “and phrases.” I currently have over 500 “and phrases” in my dictionary I would like to share. Also, please note that you should use phrasing as you see fit.

Love, Speed and Accuracy,

Starface

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July 17 2015

I Love Steno The Student Edition: The Importance Of Practicing The Right Way

Here’s a quote from Michael Jordan regarding basketball; however, this quote can also easily be applied to stenography too:

“You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.” -Michael Jordan

Love, Speed & Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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July 7 2015

I Love Steno The Student Edition: Practice Your Read Back From A Tablet, Smart Phone, etc.

With computer-aided transcription, gone are the days when court reporters have to read back from paper notes. When I first started court reporting school, I used an Stentura Protégé. In transit, I would read back from my paper notes for practice. More than a couple of times I dropped my accordion-like arrangements of notes. I won’t even get into the horrors of seeing my notes flying in the wind. LOL.

I still incorporate steno read back into my daily practice routine. However, I’ve found an easier way to carry my notes with me for my quick, in-transit study sessions.

I now save my steno notes as PDF files on my tablet for easier transport and manageability. If you save your files as PDFs you can drop them into any one of your devices that contain an PDF file reader.

Below are instructions for converting your steno files into PDFs.

Happy practicing.

How To Convert Steno Notes To PDF:
1. From the Manage Notes function, press Ctrl + p (or, the Print icon). The Print dialog box displays.

2. In the Printer Name field, select Stenograph PDF Printer.

3. Check the box Print to file. NOTE: If you don’t check this box, an error message will appear when you attempt to print the file.

4. Press Enter. The Print to File dialog box will display.

5. Select the location to where you want to save the PDF file. Then type a file name.

6. Press Enter (Save).

Love, Speed & Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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December 24 2014

I Love Steno The Student Edition: Things To Know Before You Enroll In A For-Profit School

New York City’s website offers advice for citizens who are considering enrolling in for-profit schools. (Note: This advice is great for students who reside in any locality.) The site states: “As the number of enrollees continues to grow, there is concern about these schools’ high cost and aggressive marketing, especially when few students are graduating and few graduates are finding jobs. For-profit schools widely market their services on subways and buses, TV and radio, and in community and ethnic newspapers, but many students are unaware of the potential implications of enrolling in a for-profit school or of the free and low-cost education and training programs that are available.”

NYC.gov also offers the following 10 tips to consider before enrolling in a for-profit school:

“(1) Free and low-cost education and training options are available.
There are many free and low-cost options for adult education and training.

(2) If a school or training program sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

(3) Research, research, research.
Consider multiple schools before deciding which one is right for you. Ask for information on graduation and completion rates, student loan debt, and whether or not the credits you get will transfer to other schools. Sit in on a class, ask to speak to former students who have completed the program, and read reviews from real students in the NYC Training Guide. Ask to see a list of employers that hire graduates, and call those businesses to ask their opinion of the school. You should also research the general field you’re interested in to make sure it’s the right fit and there’s potential for job availability and growth.

(4) Avoid unlicensed schools.
Some schools are operating illegally. Remember, even if a school has a license, it might not be well-run, so research the school before you sign up.

(5) Don’t sign up the day you visit a school.
Before you sign up, you need to understand how much the program will cost and how you will pay for it. Do not make such an important decision on the spot! Take your time, and research the school. Use our online resources below to learn more about specific schools and programs.

(6) Never sign anything you don’t understand.
If a school pressures you to sign a contract or agreement on the spot, walk away. You have the right to bring home important forms so you can read them more carefully and review them with people you trust.

(7) Ask for the school’s tuition cancellation policy in writing.
The policy should describe how you can get a refund if you need to cancel or withdraw. However, once you have signed up, it can be tough to get your money back.

(8) Be careful of taking on a lot of debt.
Some schools charge tens of thousands of dollars. Often, the “financial aid” that is available isn’t free money, but rather loans you have to pay back – with interest. School loans last a long time, and there’s a limit on how much money you can borrow. Loans can also lower your credit score if you don’t pay them back on time. Make sure you understand the terms and will be able to make the payments.

(9) Avoid schools that “guarantee employment” after you graduate.
A school can’t guarantee that you’ll get a job when you graduate. Many times, the schools that make these types of promises don’t actually place you in a job.

(10) You have the right to file a complaint.
Did you enroll in a school or training program but didn’t get what you were promised? You can file a complaint…In New York City, call 311, or contact 311 online.” In other jurisdictions, research your complaint options.

This is awesome advice!

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August 22 2014

I Love Steno: The Student Edition: Helpful Anxiety vs. Harmful Anxiety

As a student, the cycle of peaks, plateaus, and valleys can cause an emergence of nervousness and anxiety. This can be beneficial, or it could be detrimental. According to studies, there is “helpful anxiety” and “harmful anxiety.”

In “How The Brain Learns,” the author David A. Sousa states the following: “[The] level of concern refers to how much the student cares about the learning. We used to think that if students had anxiety about learning, then little or no learning occurred. But there is helpful anxiety (desire to do well) and there is harmful anxiety (feeling threatened). Having anxiety about your job performance will usually get you to put forth more effort to obtain positive results. When you are concerned about being more effective (helpful anxiety), you are likely to learn and try new strategies. This is an example of how emotions can increase learning…

As the level of concern increases, so does the degree of learning. If the stress level gets too high, our focus shifts to the emotions and the consequences generated by the stress, and learning fades. Students need a certain level of concern to stimulate their efforts to learn. When there is no concern, there is little or no learning. But if there is too much concern, anxiety shuts down the learning process and adverse emotions take over.”

Remember, keep an appropriate level of concern but RELAX and HAVE FUN!

Love, Speed & Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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