I am really learning . . .

I went into this field just this semester, after starting off in speech therapy in the fall of 11.  I was a legal secretary and legal transcriptionist from 1988 – 2011, and am a parent of 3 and wife of my husband for 25 years (this summer!).  So, after I entered speech therapy, which was about the 6th decision I’d made on a major in the 25 years since I graduated college the first time, I was told by our Phonetics teacher that of our group of about 150 students in the class (yes, it was in an auditorium) that probably only about 10-15 of us would actually make it into the speech therapy program, which really starts as a master (you cannot get a job as a speech therapist with a bachelor’s degree).  The competition is that stiff, and you have to really have a 3.7-3.8 average.

I always held between a 3.35, 3.5 throughout college, even in the 80’s, so I felt a little uncomfortable about that.  I spoke to a counselor and she is also a friend, our oldest, Chris’s speech therapist from a center he went to in elementary school (Chris is now 21).  She advised me that perhaps I would like to do what she did, that she decided to obtain her special education teacher degree first, and then go back and get the master’s in speech therapy.  So I did change majors then, also to my surprise receiving a generous TEACH grant, which I didn’t know existed and SHOULD enable me to keep going without loans (I had unfortunately taken loans for about 2 years, the only loans I’d ever gotten in college).  So that was an unknown blessing and a great one!  I just have to keep my average above a 3.2 and the TEACH grant will not have to be repaid.

I have another blog at www.criscollrj.com, but I wanted to start a blog specifically for teaching and autism and deafness, and other comorbidity topics, and hope to start discussions on items in this educational field.  I am taking a democracy and education class right now where I am learning things about education that I never knew before, some of which are very negative.  I plan to periodically blog about these things, as I read them.  I suppose the first thing I will mention is how appalled I was in learning just how uneven the schools in the United States are, and how ill equipped and unprepared, both for typical learning students and special education students.  It seems a revolution is necessary in many areas, where it seems we’re going backwards in how students are learning, how they’re tracked, and what options they truly have after they graduate.  How will we handle covering everything for both typical students and special needs students?  How do we help close the gap between rich and poor?  Minority and non-minority?  I have only read a few books so far, for this class, but I will keep my eyes and ears open, and try and look at both sides of the issues.

Blessings, dori


The beginning – 1993

Those beginning in transcription today have a world of details and information at their fingertips. Sites like http://www.transcriptionessentials.com/forum/index.php lead the way, and there are transcription forums also at such sites as http://www.wahm.com/forum/transcription-services-55/ and http://www.workplacelikehome.com/forum/.

However, when I first began to have the idea of “typing at home,” it began as it begins with a lot of would-be work-at-home moms. I was pregnant with my second child, and had a vision of typing (not really all transcription; I had a more mixed picture in my head) for area attorneys and being able to bring some of their work home with me to do.

I did do just that, but on a very limited scale. In 1994, 4-5 months away from our daughter Colleen being born, I bought a Brother Word Processor, and by late 1994/early 1995 I had already typed numerous documents for my former law firm, and was typing documents for a local community college for 2 clients. I felt like I’d “MADE it.”

more to come —


As I reload an FTP file —

I thought this was a good time, as I’m waiting, to remind everyone it’s a good idea to check your audio before you’re starting a job! As a general rule, I load up my audio right after I download it, and check the length of the file, and make sure it’s audible, and that all the parts of the file are there in the packet, as well as any documentation expected.

I did not do this with this file, and now find myself in the evening hoping the re-downloading of the audio off the FTP will solve the problem. If it does not, I’ll have to wait until morning when the transcription company opens and have them resend me the file. I will still meet my deadline, but was planning to type tonight while my son was here playing with his dad and get a lot done. Because I missed taking 5 minutes to check my downloaded audio this week, I am missing an opportunity to get a head start on my file.

UNLESS it downloads this time. We’ll see.

So today’s lesson — after you download your work, write down the length, make sure it’s audible, and that it is the items that you were expecting. Listen to a few seconds of the file to make sure it’s the right case. And don’t get sloppy like me and skip that step “just for now.”

Blessings —


Deadlines —

I’ll start out with the most important thing first!

I think probably the most important thing to remember, as you think, oh, I want to work at home, and I can fit it all around everything, and be real flexible, and everything will be real easy (if anyone actually thinks that, I know I kinda did, at first) —– no.

First, start here and read to learn more about the business, http://www.transcriptionessentials.com/forum/index.php?board=3.0 . I highly recommend visiting this site and reading A LOT before making a decision to be a transcriptionist. And I will repeat this often — LOL! — this is the transcription guidebook site for me!

Anyway, deadlines. You get a job of an hour audio, due in 1 week. A newbie may think, oh that may take a few hours, I’ll do it the day it’s due.


First of all, it takes at LEAST 4 hours to type an hour of audio. Then you really need to proof everything to audio, which can take another 2-4 hours. Then you have to spell check, reread for dumb errors (which don’t always show up to your tired eyes right away!) AND check all your formatting which must be exactly as the company gives you. You also have to research everything. This means Googling, etc., terms you don’t know, double checking your company’s documentation, etc. I’ll get more into this later.

I try and start my work early on when I first get it, and even still have to do some late hours/early mornings to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. Companies are not highly forgiving, and they don’t like missed deadlines. Check right away when the deadlines are. Even if something says, due July 15th, ask them, what TIME is it due? Most of my companies are due anytime on the due date, but I have differences where some may be due at 9 a.m., some due at noon, some due at five, some due at 11 p.m., and many actually due anytime on that date even if it’s 11:59 p.m. before the next date OR EVEN 4 in the morning the next morning as long as it’s before the open of business.

But check check check. And arrange your life around the deadline — don’t arrange and rearrange (asking for numerous extensions) from your job. Stay up until 3, get up 4, whatever you need to do — as getting a reputation for missed deadlines is not a good plan.

soon — dori