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2016 Conference Recap Part 2
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Blazing Sessions
AAERT 2016 Conference Recap, Part 2

by Valori Weber, CET

The Saturday session, June 25, started off with a delicious breakfast of considerable variety. At precisely 8:30 a.m. we all buckled down for an intense yet fun session with teacher extraordinaire, Margie Wakeman Wells. Margie of Margie Holds Court always keeps her audience fully engaged when discussing grammar and punctuation rules for transcripts. While she spoke, we all sat on the edge of our seats, fully engaged and wanting more of her practical advice and humor. The first session was entitled "Is It Time For A Semicolon?" The semicolon serves a vital role in punctuating sentences and creating readability when some of those 14-line sentences pop up in a transcript.

As a secondary session, Margie discussed "What Do I Do About All Those Fragments." Sentence fragments abound in transcripts, as we all know. Questions and answers went back and forth at a blazing pace. Margie explained the OWCATS principle for Court Reporters and Transcribers. What exactly was she talking about? Only We Care About This Stuff. Only reporters and transcribers obsess and linger over punctuation because we are determined to create a verbatim transcript that will make the reader feel as though he or she was actually present in the room during the trial, hearing, or deposition.

I especially enjoyed the two sessions with Margie as I attended Bryan College of Court Reporting in Los Angeles in 2001 and 2002 before discovering and transitioning to electronic reporting. She was the English teacher at Bryan. It was truly amazing to watch her unique style of interacting with our group and to see her in action again.

Saturday afternoon featured Cherri Brown with "How Voice Recognition Changed My Business." Cherri showcased the use of voice recognition including providing tips and tools for digital reporters and transcribers. As voice recognition continues to evolve and improve by the month, those who embrace the use of technology to produce their transcripts will reap the benefits by producing near real-time transcripts from digital recording.

The last session on Saturday was presented by Lisa Dees and was entitled "Guardian of the Record." Lisa's extensive experience in the court reporting and transcribing fields means that her presentation is always focused and relevant for digital court reporters. Lisa demonstrated how to choose the proper digital recording equipment for your work venue, how to function in a mobile environment, how to create professional log notes and handle exhibits.

At end of day, we were all happy to have made the effort to attend AAERT 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. New contacts were made, our brains were fully engaged, and we came away with information that will be useful and practical in the job market where we work. Please look forward with me to AAERT 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Start your planning now. The trip and attendance at sessions is worth your effort, time, and every penny spent.

Valori Weber, holds her CET designation through AAERT. She operates Weber Reporting Corporation, a reporting/transcription firm based in Salem, Oregon.



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