Stenonymous Suite: Early Version

I wrote some time ago about how I wanted to combine all my steno-related computer coding into one thing so that I could troubleshoot one thing instead of keeping track of multiple projects. This early version of the  Stenonymous Suite contains the WKT test generator, the finger drill generator, something I call a streamer, that streams the text you tell it to stream at the rate you tell it to stream, and it also automatically marks .txt files for dictation. As those of you who have manually marked dictation know, it can take upwards of 10 minutes per marking. This program will mark it in about one second, and has saved me over 15 hours of manually marking dictations.

If you are a stenographic educator or dictation enthusiast, this program is totally free and has no strings attached, but I am also willing to put it through the marker program for you at a rate of 25 cents per marking, $5 minimum.

Windows users, easy download exe here. Unzip the folder, click the StenonymousSuite.exe.

The code for the program is slapped up on here.

 

How Many Errors Allowed?

Saw a post by a current student and steno star, Cristina Ameel, who took the time to make a table and spreadsheet to show how many errors you get at all the different speed levels. I thought that this was a worthy tool to have, so I used my computer to calculate all the different errors for a wide range of speeds and minutes. I’ll keep the spreadsheet for my results linked here. Just note that if you are using this as a guide, Cristina’s, correctly and in accordance with NCRA guidelines, rounds the errors up. Mine incorrectly rounds the errors down.

If what you’re looking for isn’t in either of our tables, just remember that to get the amount of errors allowed, five percent, you take the words per minute and multiply that by the minutes of dictation to get the number of words, then multiply the number of words by .05. This way, no matter how your school grades, you never have to be in the dark about how many errors you can make.

Practice, Finger Drill, WKT, Dictation Marker Update

I don’t have a lot of volunteers helping me test the things I put out, and I had inadvertently put out the wrong link to my three programs. I have updated the links at the top of all of these pages to go to a .zip download. You unzip the folder, double click the .exe inside, and it will run the program without installation. Note that most computers will pop up with something saying this program may harm your computer. The code to these programs is public, you can read it for yourself and ask your computer people, it will not harm your computer.

Transcript Marker  – This will take a .txt transcript and mark it for speed. Note that it has been updated so that it will not count Q., A., COURT:, or WITNESS: as a word.

Finger Drill Generator – This program can create finger drills for you. You can also save and load custom lists of words. Note that if you share your saved lists with me, I can include them with future versions. Also note that you should not ask the generator to make files larger than 500 WPM for 300 minutes. That’s 150,000 words. It’s more than enough. I am cautioning you because if you tell it to do 1 million words for 1 million minutes, it’ll happily sit there and generate a text file that large, take a long time to do that, and possibly eat all the space on your computer.

WKT Randomizer – Creates a random written knowledge test. Note that there are small errors in this program and additions that will be made when I finish the Stenonymous Suite.

Also know that I am continuing to try to provide quality dictation on my Youtube. The QA Mario dictation is a little slower than the marked speed because of a previous error where the program counted the Q and A as a word. All future dictations should not have this problem. If you’d like to contribute dictation, I am budgeting about $5 to $10 a month to pay for guest dictators right now, and we should talk. Think along the lines of $5 for a five-minute take.

Stenonymous Suite and Q&A Generator (Concept)

I have previously written about free computer programs I’ve created, like the transcript marker, finger drill generator, and written knowledge test randomizer. Please be aware they are all now programmed to be download and double click programs with no installation required on Windows. These are simple creations with an eye towards making the work that educators have to do to create material go down. As quick examples, the transcript marker, like Todd Olivas’s marker, can automatically mark very large dictations instantly for any speed. The finger drill generator can give you instant randomized text files of words, as well as create and load your own custom finger drill lists. The written knowledge test randomizer creates random written knowledge tests with a focus on helping people with the New York court test, which has portions dedicated to spelling, grammar, medical, legal, and technical terms.

So I had come to a very somber realization. I can continue to create these programs and leave them piecemeal on the blog, but that can make for a very confusing experience, and any time that I update them, I have to manually go in and fix all of the links that link back to them. So then it occurred to me, perhaps the best thing to do is to combine all of these simple programs into one master program that a person can run and use at will, and when I update, it can be seamlessly through that one program.

Truth be told, that’s the direction I’m headed with that, and there’s very little that’ll dissuade me there. That said, before I release such a thing, I am planning to add a new program to the mix. I want to design a Q&A Generator. One major issue we come into when designing dictation is that often stenographers are unwilling or obligated not to give up their transcripts. Another issue is that edited or otherwise fictionalized transcripts are protected by copyright as expressive matter, even though original verbatim transcripts are often without any protection. For example, if you create an awesome Q&A, I technically don’t have the rights to take that and republish it — and if I do, I am risking you taking action against me. Most of us aren’t that litigious, but the reality I find is that there’s always “that person.”

That’s where this new program can come in. I think I can create a computer program that will randomly choose traits of different people involved in the case, or descriptions of items or witnesses, and then create a narrative around that. Think about your average 5-minute take. Let’s assume that’s in the ballpark of 10 pages or 125 questions, 125 answers. Now imagine if every time you run the program, it might say something different. Is it a car accident? Maybe the vehicle was a Honda, a Toyota, A Buick? Maybe the light was red, or yellow, or green. Maybe the witness was hit in the front or the back of the vehicle. You may be able to picture it in your mind: If there are 250 random lines, and every line has a few different things it could be every time, you’re looking at potentially millions of variations of Q&A. How many dictations, realistically, does a student need to become a stenographer? Is it 10,000? 20,000? 30,000? This is the opportunity to create random dictation at every educator and student’s fingertips, and enough of it that one would never run out of material. The only work that’ll be left to do is the marking and voicing of the dictation.

Succinctly, I always look for feedback from my stenographer, educator, and anonymous friends. I am interested in hearing what you have to say, things that you’ve done in the past to challenge students, or things that you would insert into a good Q&A or think is useful in this endeavor. So as I quietly continue this work behind the scenes, I encourage you to reach out with your thoughts to me at ChristopherDay227@gmail.com.

Thank you, as always, to the hundreds of readers that come through every month. Your participation in the field, awareness, and willingness to be in the picture makes all the difference. So many around the country are taking part in serious initiatives, educating the legal field and its leaders about stenography, seizing moments to come together and educate students and fellow reporters, reinforcing the field through projects like NCRA STRONG, and generally standing up for your fellow professionals. It’s the combined efforts of everyone, from dedicated blogs like Cheap & Sleazy to Steno Stars like Rich Germosen or Matt Moss that’ll make sure that stenography remains the preferred modality for taking the record, and that stenographers continue to be the premier choice for the legal community in taking down proceedings. Between the leaders leading and the workers making this skill shine every day, we have all but guaranteed a bright future for steno, and can make steps to recover lost ground in the industry. It is impossible to properly thank everyone at work in preserving this field, but know that its continued vibrancy is because of you.

Written Knowledge Test Randomizer

ATTENTION WINDOWS USERS: Click and play version here. NO installation required. Download the zip, unzip it, and double click the .exe.

If you support projects like this, feel free to show it by buying a Sad Iron Stenographer Mug, donating, sharing this post, or suggesting questions to increase the variation in mock tests.

I’ve created a computer program that chooses preselected questions at random and creates a WKT-style test. It also creates an answer key. It uses .txt format so pretty much every computer since Windows 95 can run it. Note that for all of this stuff you should use a laptop or desktop. Using a mobile phone will make using these materials much harder. The program will change the numeral of each question every time, as well as randomize whether its answer is A, B, C, or D.

Basically, take a practice test or two, see how well you do, and if you see things you don’t know, look them up. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor for your next written-knowledge style test.

See my previous comments on studying for legal and medical terminology.

If you hate computers, you can get 26 randomized tests here in a .zip folder.

If you want to use the program for yourself but don’t know how it works, check out my video tutorial here.

If you don’t like video tutorials, try the following:

  1. Download and install Python 3. It probably won’t matter if it’s 3.6, or 3.7.
  2. Go to the code for my computer program. Copy and paste it into a notepad file. If you are confused, the computer program is the text labeled 001 WKT Generator v1.py.
  3. Save the notepad file and close it. You can name it anything. I suggest you call it ChrisDayIsAnnoying.
  4. Change the .txt that you just saved to a .py. Read this if you do not know how to show file extensions or do not see .txt.
  5. Now you have a .py file. It’ll look something like ChrisDayIsAnnoying.py. Take that .py file and stick it in a folder by itself. You don’t have to, but it’ll make your life easier.
  6. Double click the .py file, or right click it and run/open it. It’s going to come up with a black box, say some words, and then you’re going to press enter, and the box is going to go away.
  7. When the box goes away, in the folder with your .py file will be two files, Mock Test.txt and Answer Key.txt. You now have a random mock test and its answer key,
  8. Special note, if you intend to run the program again, you must change the name of the Mock Test and Answer Key. The program creates a new Mock Test.txt and Answer Key.txt every time, and it will overwrite any files that have the same exact name as Mock Test..txt and Answer Key.txt.

NYSCRA Test Prep Opens To All

As many know, NYSCRA is conducting prep classes for the upcoming court exam. It has reaffirmed its commitment to stenographers in and around New York State by opening up the classes to nonmembers for a nominal fee of $50.00. Even further, according to President-Elect Joshua Edwards, the classes will not be canceled regardless of the registrant numbers.

There are lots of ways to show gratitude for such a move. Shoot them an email saying thanks, sign up for the class, sign up for a membership — do whatever you’ve got the time to do. But don’t let this kind of thing go unnoticed. For a long time, many of us have felt a need for associations to reach out, to show they care about nonmember reporters too before the nonmember reporters make that leap to become members. Here’s our sign.

We’ve had a lot to say about engagement here. But one thing holds true throughout: The engagement starts with us, as professionals, reaching out, giving feedback, and pushing for our associations and fellow stenographers to continue to thrive. It is never too late to start that process, express approval, or suggest how things might be better. So for today, great job NYSCRA, its ED, and all the board! Continue to be a force for every reporter to turn to.

Tips for the Stenographer in Training

We started as a blog discussing issues for newbie reporters. In more recent times we’ve pushed this thing to encompass all kinds of issues, questions, and even political ideas. Perhaps it’s fitting to return, briefly, to the things that students can do to make their time in school more productive, less stressful, or even shorter. After all, the field needs new people, so logic tells us that efficiency in preparing and producing stenographers for the workforce is paramount.

Right out of the gate, let’s get one thing clear, respect perspectives. You will read things online and see things in the world that directly contradict what your teachers tell you. You will meet people that tell you that your teacher is wrong, or Stenonymous is wrong, or the world is wrong. Your newness to stenography may lead you to the conclusion that the most authoritative voice is correct. That way of thinking is an offshoot of the Might Makes Right logical fallacy, and may lead you down a hard road. Succinctly, take in opinions and asserted facts, but don’t draw too many conclusions. Everyone’s perspective is colored by their experience, and though our experiences may be similar, they are often quite different and can lead to wildly different advice.

With respect for what we just said, don’t be afraid to act. If you are so busy respecting other people’s perspectives that you never make any decisions, your progress will suffer. As an easy example, some reporters believe we must always use the number bar. Some reporters believe we must never use the number bar. You can respect both opinions. But in the end it is better for you to “pick a side” or develop your own method instead of trying to please everyone. Hesitation can make your job much harder than it needs to be.

Now for the good stuff. You want writing tips. That’s why you came. Here’s a look inside some common perspectives. Brief things you hear often. You may very well reach a point in your career where you are making 40,000 strokes a day with briefs. If everything takes two strokes, that’s more like 80,000 strokes. The amount of stress and strain on your hands is not a joke. Shorter writing can make you a faster writer.

Funny briefs work. You’ll remember them. It’s memorable. Just make them funny for you. It doesn’t matter if anyone else gets it. At one point in my own career every proceeding would start with the sections of law 240.30, 250.20. How long before they became TWAOEFT? Just to drive this point home, an old friend made up a brief for casino when we were in school a decade ago, SKWAOEPB. To this day, I remember it, and it doesn’t come up all that often at all in New York.

It’s better to write than lose. We’re expected to get pretty much everything in the working world. So if you have to make a choice between making a silly outline and dropping, write the silly outline. This can come in the form of condensed words (pseudo briefs) or even half words. For example, perhaps someone briefs “persuasive.” Finally, persuasive comes up — and someone doesn’t remember their brief. It’s okay to write “PER SWAEUF.” In some cases, it’s okay to write “PER.” For example, if the sentence is “The salesman was very persuasive when he sold me the car”, the only time you wouldn’t transcribe your PER as persuasive is if you don’t care or you’re not paying attention.

Testing with tactical drops. Most programs I’ve heard of count a missed word as an error, specifically one error. It doesn’t matter if the word is “Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia” or “hi.” So what happens, often, is students lock up or trip up on small words, and then a big word pops up, and all of it gets dropped or jumbled. So let’s analyze the fake test statement, “hi, my name is Joe, and I have had Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia since I was age 24 in 2018.” All things being equal, on test day, drop the big word and get all the little stuff. Those small words before the big one are potentially 9 errors. 9 errors versus 1. No contest. Please note, in the working world, you need the big words, but you also have the power to ask people to repeat themselves. Also, as a rider to the tactical drop, if you have to drop a word or punctuation while writing, drop the punctuation.

Practice fast. The whole point of speed building is being able to hear, process, and take down what you heard. Some practice slow and work on accuracy, and I hope that that works for them, but ultimately we are training our brains to hear the words and write with what educators call an “automatic response.” You want to be practicing at 10 to 20 words above your target speed. On that note, at least some of this has to do with muscle memory. Repetition is the name of the game. Don’t be afraid to take the same fast take over and over until you get it. Do that with enough takes, and your muscle memory becomes varied and fast over a wider variety of words. My take on slow practice? It’s working against you and training you to be slower. The only thing it might be good for is a confidence booster.

Know your numbers. It doesn’t matter if you use the number bar or not, you need to be very ready to hit numbers. Some of the most common numbers are years, and you should have easy ways to get those out. You can do funky things with the asterisk and lower letter keys to create creative number bar outlines, or you can create short forms. Everyone’s brain is different. Many people brief 2019 in one stroke. I do TWOEUPB TPHAOEPB. Yet with the 90s I do TPHAOEPB TPHAOEPB TPHAOEUPB, which translates literally to 19199, but because I defined it, comes up 1999. Three-stroke outlines are generally a no-no, but if you’re hitting it seamlessly, it hardly matters.

Try to practice interrupting. Worry about this one close to graduation. A lot of the tips so far have been about trying to get it or the tactical drop. Let’s touch on a working skill a lot of reporters don’t have practice with. The interrupt. In the working world there are folks out there that say just let the audio catch it. If you didn’t hear it, it may not be as clear as you think on that audio. So being able to interrupt is a valuable skill. If you have a family member or friend, see if they have time once a week or once a month to read to you. Ask them to read way fast every few pages so you can get a little practice with varying speeds and interrupting. Take note that how you ask can change outcomes. “I’m sorry, please repeat what you said” usually gets people to repeat exactly what they said. “What?” usually makes people expound on what they said or define what they said. Also note that interrupting is situational. Sometimes it makes sense to interrupt on the spot, and other times it makes sense to wait for a break to clarify names or spellings. No matter which way you shake it, how you do it matters. Be polite and professional.

Build your dictionary. There are two major schools of thought here. The first school is methodically go through and add outlines for stuff proactively from the dictionary or news. Another school of thought is to build your dictionary to the work that you do. Some people even maintain different dictionaries for different types of work. Succinctly, it doesn’t really matter what school you’re from, but you should always be adding stuff, with the understanding that anybody who’s taking the time to add stuff from Merriam Webster will have a larger and more complete dictionary.

Analyze misstrokes. If you have the same misstroke commonly enough, it’s either you or the machine. If you can’t get splits or stacks out of your writing, but they don’t conflict with anything else, just put it in. That misstroke that you fix manually every time just became a dictionary feature. In this same vein, if you have a close friend at school, maybe once every couple of months try transcribing each other’s notes. For one, it’ll teach you to read through “rough notes.” On the other hand, your friend may give you ideas that you wouldn’t have had by yourself.

Read back. Practice reading back out loud whether or not you have to do it alone. Practice reading back off notes and transcription. Read back is one of our important skills that we don’t get a lot of practice with. Speaking clearly is surprisingly helpful in matters of business, employment, and stenography. Your ability to speak well may not only affect on-the-job performance, but also whether or not you get a job at all.

Practice writing. At the very least, make sure you know how to compose polite, professional emails, a cover letter, a resume, and a rate sheet. We often like to assume we don’t need any help in this area, but as you have probably seen on this blog and from your fellow students, everyone makes mistakes, and practicing these functions before graduation will make you more employable.

Practice accents. A great deal of our training revolves around perfectly clear speakers at very high speeds. In the real world you may meet people that don’t speak particularly fast, but are not very clear speakers. The more time you get in school or training practicing this, the less difficult it will be during your work and the less likely you will make a critical mistake, such as misunderstanding testimony.

Create your own dictation. Are you having problems with a specific type of word? You can actually create a dictation tailored to the fingering problems you’re having. Get your creative writing on and take a few minutes to compose something, anything. Then you can even mark the thing for the speed you want. The manual way to mark for speed is to take your target speed and divide it by 4. That tells you how many words you need every 15 seconds. So 100 wpm goal divided by 4, you need 25 words every 15 seconds. Count 25 words, make a line. Then you time yourself reading with a stopwatch and hit your lines every 15 seconds. The automatic way to mark for speed is to use Todd Olivas’s Slasher. Alternatively, if you know anything about Python code, you can use my computer program. There are low barriers to creating your own dictation. Google has a stopwatch app and digital recorders can be as low as $50. Explained in more detail here.

Three chances to get it right. Our need to get it right is inviolable. A wise teacher said you’ve got three chances to get it correct, the writing, the transcription, and the proofreading. Countless working reporters skip that proofreading phase, and you may one day find yourself doing just that. That acknowledged, in your formative years and as you are learning, it will make you a better reporter to take that time to proofread your tests and early jobs. We make mistakes. It happens. We are new. The best way to identify mistakes is to take advantage of all the chances to get it right.

You are in charge of your destiny. We have been told by the arrogant that certain people are not fit to be a reporter, or that people over 30 cannot achieve high speeds. For some, this became truth. For others, this became a challenge. Determined reporters across the country have trained to do this. Whatever your issue, whether it be something you feel about yourself, or whether it be an inadequacy in your training, you can compensate and beat it. This is not meant to call anyone’s struggle illegitimate, but to point out that in the end the most likely descriptors of any endeavor are success or failure. Be a success. Everyone wants you to be a success and go on to help other people succeed, but it’s your action or inaction that’ll decide the outcome.

July 10, 2019 Update:

I came across this Doris Wong Blog and the Student Corner. Skimming it, it seems to talk about all kinds of things, and I agree with the writer on a lot of what they say.

Legal Terms Refresher For Test Takers

As I said in the medical refresher, there are times we as reporters must take written knowledge tests to show that we know a little about what we are reporting. This differentiates us from zombies!

Anyway, I was looking for something helpful for the June 29 test and the legal terminology likely to be on there. I learned that New York State’s Unified Court System publishes a very expansive legal glossary. You do not need to memorize this whole glossary, but it might be worthwhile to familiarize yourself with some terms that may very well appear on an employment test or RPR. Save up these links and make sure you take a glance at some of these before your test in June! Just note that because it’s a New York resource some things may be specific to New York.

Again, veterans may laugh, but there are certainly new reporters out there who won’t know at least one of the things on that glossary. Today isn’t about the veterans, it’s about people getting their dream job or cert!

From my past experiences in testing in this country, some things that may come up:

Voir dire – Means to speak the truth. Think jury selection. Sometimes voir dire examination is also used to question the authenticity of a document.

Venue – where a case can be heard.

Vacate – to cancel or end a court order.

Pro se – someone representing themselves

Quid pro quo – Latin, something for something.

Subpoena duces tecum – court order for someone to bring documents or evidence to court. Think of duces as documents. They’re takin’ ’em documents.

Subpoena ad testificandum – court order for someone to testify.

Trustee – Person who controls a trust or money, usually they’re doing this for a beneficiary, someone receiving that money or the benefits of the trust.

Direct examination is the questioning of a witness by the party that’s putting on the witness. This type of examination is typically always first.

Cross examination is the questioning of a witness by the party or parties not putting on the witness. This type of examination typically always comes after direct examination. Cross is not necessarily limited to the scope of direct. Scope generally means what the questioning was about.

Redirect examination is questioning of a witness by the party putting on the witness after cross examination. Redirect is often limited to the scope of cross. Meaning if the cross examination is one question about the witness’s shoes, the redirect probably can’t have any questions not somewhat related to the shoes.

Recross examination is questioning of a witness by the party or parties not putting on the witness after redirect examination. The recross is often limited to the scope of the redirect.

Third party – a party that is not the plaintiff or defendant in the original action.

Testimony is statements made by witnesses under oath.

Testate is having a will. Intestate is not having a will.

Surety bond – think bail bond.

Suppress – preventing something from being seen or heard. Think suppression hearing to get evidence thrown out.

Summons – notice to come to court. Often lawsuits start with a summons and complaint. The complaint is the document that initiated the lawsuit and presents the allegations.

Summation – closing arguments by lawyers at the end of a trial.

Sua sponte – of one’s own accord. Sometimes when something must be lawfully done the court will act sua sponte, meaning neither party made a motion for an action but the court is taking the action anyway.

Stipulation – agreement between or among parties.

Statute of limitations – time period by which a case must be started. For example, in most personal injury cases the statute of limitations in New York is three years. The statute of limitations for defamation is one year. Succinctly, people that wish to bring a case for those actions have to bring them within that time frame. The clock starts ticking from when the event occurs.

That’s all for now! I may add to this when I have more time to go through the glossary.

Medical Terms Refresher For Test Takers

Occasionally in the testing world, we as court reporters are called upon to take multiple-choice examinations to demonstrate a basic understanding of the words and terms we might hear on the job. There have been a great many debates about whether this is necessary, but for the time being, studying some of these terms and being ready for them can enhance your chance at success and make you a more knowledgeable person. Important note: The next court reporter test for the NY courts is coming up June 29, and it often has a section devoted to medical terminology.

I picked up a quick reference guide, which at the time of writing is $0.99. I have reviewed the guide. It is short. It is a good material to have for anyone seeking to take a test that might have medical terminology on it. Also, as a stopgap measure, if you’re looking for RPR help, I have heard amazing things about Monette Benoit’s Purple Books, but we haven’t gotten a chance to review those on Stenonymous yet. Lastly there’s the Nathaniel Weiss Medical Terms Guide. Pricier than the 99-cent guide but surely more content.

Edit. After posting, Eric Allen found and linked this resource on social media. It is a great resource.

For those that cannot afford the reference guide, a brief reminder on the most common concepts that have come up in testing memory is below in bold. Go ahead and make fun of it, but I know there are test takers that will walk in there, sit down, get to the medical portion, and go completely blank. It’s time to make a stand and help those people get the job or cert of their dreams. Whether or not you buy the reference guide or take a class, make sure you familiarize yourself with the stuff that sounds most alike, because that is the stuff that will jam you up.

Anterior – front or closest in time. (Up the ante — placing a bet before getting cards.)

Posterior – back or further in time. (May help to think after. Postmortem, postscript, after death, after writing.)
Notably dorsal, dorsi, also usually related to the backside or upper side.

Arterio, that’s all about your arteries. angio or angi is all about blood vessels.

Brachio, that’s all about your arms. You don’t want to breaky-yo arm.  Not to be confused with the bronchi in your lungs.

Cephal is head, encephal (in head, en head) or cranio is brain.

Ostomy is an opening. Otomy is an incision.

scope or scopy is an examination. Think microscope to stethoscope, doctor examining you.

aden or adeno has to do with glands. ren, renal, or reno has to do with your kidneys.

gastro is stomach, stoma is mouth.

thromb is talking about a blood clot.

osis is talking about a condition.

sten has to do with narrowing. A stenosis is a narrowing passage or condition in your body.

hist is talking about tissue, hyster is talking about the uterus.

cutane is talking about skin. Subcutaneous, under the skin.

rhino has to do with the nose. Just think of a rhino’s horn nose thing.

myo and muscul has to do with muscles. Myel has to do with spine or bone marrow. myringo has to do with ears, my ringing ears.

phalang has to do with fingers and toes, and pharynx has to do with your throat.

And just in case there’s a little trivia on there, plant cells have cell walls and chloroplasts. Animal cells don’t have those.

Good News About NCRA’s Retention Policy

Well, credit where it’s due. People who had legs outstanding will get to keep them until November 2021. Honestly, I was mad at the change in retention policy and the decision that certification legs would now expire. I felt, I still feel, that it was an unnecessary extra burden in a profession where everything is already pretty hard. I feel like the more barriers added, the worse off we are. We need to be inclusive and help people along. Most of my career I’ve been an advocate for tearing the barriers down, and my feelings on the matter were so strong that I was openly considering walking away from the NCRA. That says a lot. I’ve been an advocate for organization, and I tell any person I mentor that they can get more deeply involved with the profession through state and national association membership. I even wrote them a letter saying I’d give up my RPR legs for them to not do what they were planning to do!

That said, my previous understanding was that the NCRA was having legs expire now, in October 2018. With this new understanding that the expiration is three years off, I find the entire thing much more fair. If I had this misunderstanding, it’s not unreasonable to think others may have, so just let it be known that if you had legs outstanding, you’ve got this email, and you have three years to earn your RPR.