So I told you all that I'd try to get some posts together about what I've been up to these past four months. First off, the whole FUN stuff thing.
I've posted before about how working as a court reporter can be a very lonely thing; we're the only one of US in the room when we're working. We're alone when we edit our transcripts. When we are together, though, is convention and, increasingly, on the Internet. Facebook has been an incredible boon for the court reporters that I know. It's allowed us to keep in touch with reporters we usually only see once a year at convention. It's allowed us the ability to "meet" new reporter "friends" in Facebook groups (Court Reporters Vent Here, Encouraging Court Reporting Students, Punctuation for Court Reporters... the list is HUGE!) and develop THOSE new relationships.
I had a cyber meet-up with a reporter in California about two years ago. Not sure exactly how we ended up "friends" on FB, but we are. Then I started seeing her posts and she mine (I'm profligate in my posting... I just have WAY TOO MUCH FUN with my life, be it work, vacation, life stories, or just silly observations and have to share!). Turns out that her husband is a semi-pro cyclist. We were commenting a LOT on Tour de France happenings and cyclists. One thing led to another and she posted in the fall (or maybe early spring?) that the Tour of California was coming through her home town and if we wanted to see something up close, we should come visit her. Remember, we've NEVER MET IN PERSON. We accepted her invitation.
Who does that? Invites people they've never met into their home for four nights? Turns out the four of us were completely simpatico - they're foodies and like a nice wine, not to mention the bike thing. It was a GREAT four days that included a start at Crissy Field in San Francisco, a roadside view of a mountain stage in Danville (Mount Diablo), and a finish in Livermore. For my husband and me, it was a bucket-list experience. For them, I don't know, but...
Anyway. What I'm trying to say is that when you get out and MEET PEOPLE, whether in real life or online, you have a chance to find people who have similar interests and you can really expand your experiences. Don't let this "solitary" work type that we have make you a hermit. Get out and MEET your fellow reporters. Each of us has a passion or two (or more) outside of court reporting. Find those reporters who share your passions and develop an even stronger bond than the language of steno.
Don't be afraid to spread your wings on the Internet, be it in message boards, Facebook, or professional networking sites. You'll be amazed at the relationships that can develop.