Tuesday, July 16, 2013
My RMR certificate
So I'm a little late with blogging about it, but if you've checked my resume or FAQ page recently, you'll know that I am now Mirabai Knight, CCP, CBC, CRR, RPR, RMR! Yep, after several false starts, I finally passed that last pesky 260 WPM Testimony exam and got to add "Registered Merit Reporter" to my roster of certifications. I have to say it feels pretty good. While I'm disappointed that there aren't any merit-speed realtime certifications, which would be more directly relevant to showcasing my professional skills, the RMR shows that I've got at least a certain amount of speed, even if it doesn't speak much to my realtime accuracy. I'll be taking the RDR written exam this fall, just to collect the whole set of certifications offered by the NCRA, and then I guess there's nowhere else to go but the annual conference realtime and speed competitions. Still haven't decided about those. I don't tend to do my best under test-taking conditions. If they had a test with guaranteed medical subject matter I think I'd do pretty well, but since most of it is full of legal vocabulary, I'd be starting from a disadvantage. I did promise myself that I'd get to go to the NCRA convention if I passed the RMR, though, which is very exciting. It'll be my first national convention since I was a 120 student back in 2006. I wish I could be there for the world record attempt so I could root for my main man Stan Sakai, but sadly I have to work until Friday afternoon, so I won't be getting in until Friday night. That also probably means that I'll be missing the CART and Captioning dessert reception, though I'm gonna hustle from the airport as fast as I can, in hopes of catching the tail end of it. But if any readers of this blog are there, please feel free to flag me down in the hallway and say hi! I'll also be presenting a very short demo of how to use Google Glass for Captioning at the "CART: The Tech Connection" seminar on Saturday at 10:00. (Oh, and I'll be trying to do small informal demos of Plover throughout the weekend. Have you seen our latest release, complete with a video demonstrating our hot new on-the-fly dictionary update system?)
So anyway, I'm really looking forward to putting that RMR ribbon on my name tag. Lord knows it took long enough to get there; I had to take the thing five times, all told. But that's what steno is all about. You keep failing and failing and failing, and then finally you wake up and realize that not only do you have the speed, but you're so much faster than you need to be, and somehow that fact has made those test nerves just magically melt away.
This is my practice graph for the RMR. As you can see, I stopped practicing while waiting for results, which is not recommended, but I just couldn't bring myself to do yet another take when it might turn out that I'd passed.
My RMR practice graph
And I have to give big props to Ann Plainos Record, for our competition. She won hands down (and I sent her a basket of gourmet New York-made munchies as a prize), but just having that extra push helped hugely with my motivation in those last crucial weeks of practice.
But there's one more component of my success. On my next-to-last attempt at the RMR, my old portable printer (which had seen me through the RPR and both the Jury Charge and Literary portions of the RMR) suddenly gave up the ghost, and I wound up unceremoniously dumping it in a garbage can next to the subway entrance before heading home. So for the attempt in May, I actually bought a printer solely for the purpose of getting this one last take.
It's an HP Deskjet 1000, and it cost me about $40. It's certainly not the best printer you'll ever use; these low-end machines tend to be made of cheap components and sold for rock bottom prices so that people will spend lots of money on ink. It's not a patch on the giant, sleek double-sided printer I keep in my home office, but then again, it's far more portable, and it's totally serviceable for low stakes, low volume printing jobs. I really don't see myself getting much use out of it, now that I've passed all the available NCRA speed tests (yeah, sorry, I just enjoy typing that sentence way too much), so I've decided to give it away. After all, it turned out to be lucky for me. Maybe it'll be lucky for you too! The box is a bit ripped up from when I opened it, but it's otherwise in near mint condition; only about 15 pages have been printed on it.
I'm going to be completely arbitrary and subjective about this give-away. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header "Printer Giveaway" and give me your most persuasive argument about why I should give it to you. Make it interesting! Tell me your story! The person whose email makes the most compelling case will get the printer shipped to them, and hopefully some of that good old test passing magic will come along with it.