You’re Never Too Old To Practice

Brett SchatzleReporter Corner

By Donna M. Urlaub –

Lately, even I find myself wondering how, at the age of 73, I continue to win speed and realtime contests, most recently having a perfect paper on the 280 wpm Testimony leg of the National contest. I mean, am I not in cognitive decline? (Although I will confess that I was looking for my phone while talking on it last night.) The answer is: I practice. To many things: World News Tonight, podcast interviews of experts, 60 Minutes, Smithsonian channel, How It’s Made. I learn a lot from all of the above, and continue to come across words that are not in my dictionary. I practice not only on my machine, but in my mind. I can’t hear a word without converting it to steno in my brain.

A while ago I tired of having the conflict stain/sustain, so I opted to use STAIN for stain/STAEN for sustain. Listening to the radio the other day, heard “sustainable” “sustainability.” Hmm. I could write sustainable STAEBL, sustainability STAEBLT. At my deposition yesterday, the expert witness (SW-NS) owned a company called Sustainability Solutions. It’s crazy how excited that made me.