President Jean Gonzalez of South Coast College answers the question:  “How long does it really take to become a court reporter?” (Please read these questions in order 1-10.)


My previous blog explores the concept that the capacity for boredom is directly related to one’s success in court reporting or any other field.  Continuing along these lines, if a test can be developed that would measure the quality to endure boredom in a person, then the task for counseling people who wish to enter the field of court reporting would be easier.  You would be able to give a test and on a scale of 1-10 determine how long it would take a person to finish the program. 


If the prospective student scores a 1 on the scale, that score would mean that the person would be known as a “lifer” in court reporting school.  If the person scores an 8, that would mean that the person would probably finish in three years.  If the person scores a 9, that would mean that the person would probably finish in two years.  If the person scores a 10, that person would probably finish in 12-14 months. 


Candice Guerra finished the court reporting program at South Coast College in 13 months.  She attended school from 8 to 1 or 2 p.m. and spent the rest of the day practicing on her machine.  When anyone asks me how Candice Guerra finished so quickly, I tell them the truth.  She is the Tiger Woods of Court Reporting.  She has the greatest capacity of any prior student at South Coast College for enduring boredom.  Court reporting students, however, prefer to think of her as talented. 


I am using Candice Guerra as an example because she set the record for the shortest completion time ever at South Coast College.  That is not to say that she is unique in her capacity for boredom.  Recently, to name a few — Andrea Rinker, Dustin Huffer, Stephanie Leslie, Whitney Valadez, Rachael Moore, Vanessa Graves, Vienna Nguyen, Stephanie Leslie, Jamie Ply, Angela Carithers, Kaleigh Sargeant, Candace Galvan, Jamie Matlock, Tracy Brown, Kathy Haytack, Eunyoung Kim, Krystal Curry-Emrick all have finished the court reporting skill portion in record times.  That tells me that my message to new students is becoming heard.  New court reporting students are receiving the message that to be successful in completing the program, one has to have that capacity for boredom or develop it.


If that test to determine boredom capacity were developed, that same test could be given to anybody entering any academic field.  I recently had the opportunity of meeting a distinguished surgeon, Dr. Christopher Zachary from UC Irvine, and was told that he was one of the foremost surgeons in his area of expertise.  After reading pages of his resume and articles, it was evident that the same criterion applies to the skill that he developed as to the skill that anyone has to develop to achieve greatness.  He developed his high level of skill as a result of repetition – the capacity to repeat the same task over and over.