Combat Stenography — Sacrificing a Pawn

Situation:  You are in danger of dropping a ton of words.  You are behind, and you must catch up Toot!immediately.  The next words spoken are “At that exact time, I didn’t really have a lot of options.”

Solution:  Drop “exact,” “really,” and “options.”  This leaves you with the three easy phrases “at that time,” “I didn’t have” and “a lot of.”

Result:  You lose three points instead of a large amount.  You gain nine points with three easy strokes.  You are no longer behind.

It would be wonderful if these exact circumstances showed up each time we fall behind.  Sadly, they won’t.  But if we keep our eyes open, we can minimize the damage caused by falling behind.


Inspiration for your Perspiration (and New Year’s Resolutions)


This poem acquired its name when it was included in a book of poems.  Before that time, it was Victory is mineuntitled.  Even when the author published it in a book of his poems, it remained unchristened.  In the table of contents, the first line of the poem was used in place of a name.

Editor Arthur Quiller-Couch put a stop to that foolishness when he republished the poem.  He named it “Invictus,” which is perfect.  It means “unconquered,” and it describes the poem to a T.  The author thanks the gods for the pure will to succeed.

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley 1875

A little bit of that kind of determination will go a long way in your stenography classes.  Not everything about court reporting will be easy to learn.  There will be times when you need that extra push.

You can do it.  You are the master of your fate.  You are the captain of your soul.