I recently heard this phrase at a life celebration of a beloved teacher of young children. She opened a nursery school years ago where it was her mission to provide her students with roots and wings, and I thought it was a wonderful expression of her life’s work.
The same philosophy applies to all of you pursuing a career in court reporting. Think of your education as forming the foundation, or roots, for your future success. All the courses you are taking are preparing you for what lies ahead. They are the tools you will call upon every day when you are on the job writing and then editing your work.
Your primary responsibility as a reporter is to produce a timely verbatim transcript using your best judgment and experience. This skill set is constantly evolving. A good reporter will learn something new with every assignment. A good reporter, ever present and mindful, will be enriched from each experience. Over time, these experiences will become part of an ever expanding repertoire from which you can draw. The young root system that began in school, if nurtured, will mature and grow stronger. It will be the foundation upon which to build an enduring and rewarding career.
Once in the working world, good reporters have the potential to spread their wings and become great reporters. It doesn’t happen overnight — it is a deliberate process years in the making — but if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and trust the solid roots beneath you, the rewards in store are many.
Great reporters constantly try to “up” their game, outdo their personal bests. They have a strong work ethic which means that they meet their deadlines without fail. Because of the deference they hold for the process, every matter is treated with respect and held in confidence. They accommodate every client request to the best of their ability, paying attention to the smallest of details. They take on the most arduous of assignments, even volunteer for them. In short, they are the accomplished peers we all respect and the sought-after professionals whom lawyers can trust.
So make the most of your time in school. Take this opportunity to challenge yourself to the max. Set high expectations for yourself. Cultivate your root system! The roots you are putting in place now will allow you to spread your wings and become the very best reporter you can be.