Happy 2021 to you! I started writing this message on New Year’s Day. As I sat, watched, and listened to Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest, I pondered the video footage of 2019’s year-end celebration in comparison. We had no idea back on December 31, 2019, what awaited us. I for one sure was looking forward to VCRA’s Roaring 2020 convention and getting a lot of wear out of my flapper dress during the year. It was to be the year of celebration and excitement. And it turned out to be a year of learning a lot of new things and FAST. The phrase “new normal” was in our daily speech. We all have had to overcome a lot of challenges, but we did it, and we still will continue to do it because there is no other option.
And now I pick up writing on Saturday the 9th. What a week it’s been. I’ve talked to a few reporters this week who have shared that though they are enjoying being remote, they are mentally exhausted from all the screen time, the sad news coming from our nation’s Capitol, the COVID numbers rising, tired of feeling isolated, tired of not being able to go where they want and when they want, tired of the mask.
As your president, I’ll admit: Personally, I’ve had my days of feeling over-whelmed and tired of not being able to be with family and friends freely. As your president, I’ll admit: It’s exciting to work with the board and plan events and keep us moving forward in positive momentum.
The board has planned our first Virtual Spring Education Day for March 20, and at the request of the members, not having it be all day. You can find details in the newsletter. We’re going to have some fantastically useful items up for raffle as well. We will be holding our annual election of board members electronically the week of March 14 and announcing results on Education Day. We are also working on presenting other virtual opportunities throughout the year with another half day and software-specific training. With COVID still among us and slow rollout of vaccine, it’s just best to accept that this is the safest alternative for earning CEUs and being together. We’re hoping, fingers crossed, we can have an in-person social in September.
We have quite a few things planned for Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which is February 6 through 13. We’re going to “kick” it off with a Super Bowl Half Time raffle. Be watchful of your emails for how you can participate in this week of recognition of you!
We’ve noticed a lot of discussion about recording the video at attorneys’ request. Reporters are an impartial party doing their reporting job and it’s always best to direct counsel to hiring a professional videographer for quality and usable video, especially to be synched. In today’s Town Hall, NCRA President Phipps said they are working on a best-practices guideline for that.
We want to give a shout out to the reporters working on the Hill January 6th. You worked until the wee hours the following morning with what looked like nerves of steel. Professionalism for us all to work by.
At first glance, things may not appear to be what they really are. I was shocked to find out I misread this. Why did I misread this? Was it the photograph I was more fixated on? Was it my jumping to conclusions of just seeing the first couple of words with the photograph as to what the full message was about? And why did I do that? What did you first read it as?
We all can admit we have done it. We probably are surprised when we get an errata sheet back that we missed that word, glossed over that word. It could have been just a bad day or we just need to slow our brains down, take a break, go back to it before sending out.
We all have our own opinions and feelings. That’s what makes us unique. We all have our own paces with which we work or how we perform tasks. This year, let’s make it a goal, a resolution, to have empathy and respect for each reporter's preferences for remote versus in person, good days versus bad days, likes and dislikes.
We have each other and a great profession. It’s a gift. Let’s hold onto that as we move forward through 2021.
Donna Linton, RMR,CCR,CLR