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I was born the eldest of four in 1959 in a sparsely populated island town in Northwestern Vermont. My father passed away in 1965, leaving four children under the age of six. Times were tough, but I believe it has made me a more interesting, and interested, person.

The educational system failed me. Although I was a great student, nobody ever bothered to tell me I could go to college until it was almost too late. I fell into a junior college and majored in court reporting because, in my senior year at high school, after everyone else's applications and acceptances had been completed and the deadlines were past, my guidance counselor suddenly thought to stop me in the hallway and ask, "So Norma, where are YOU going to college?" Um, nowhere. He urged that I apply somewhere, ANYwhere. At that point it was too late to take the SATs. There was a little college down the road a piece that didn't require SATs, and he applied "for" me. They accepted me, and, based on my academic record, they urged me to major in court reporting.

I'd never heard of it.

Anyway, it turned out I was good at it, and that little turn of fate has opened quite a few doors for me. My favorite one was the opportunity to work for BBC Television in London as a captioner (subtitler, they call it) for live News and Current Affairs Programmes. That means writing steno on my steno machine as fast as newsreaders read news (up to 270 words per minute, to be exact) at 98% or greater accuracy, and have it translated instantly by a computer, then broadcast across the bottom of the screen with a one-or-two-second delay. I'd probably still be there today, except that I had a wonderful husband and daughter patiently waiting for me to come back home across the pond.

After spending a decade doing depositions, I've found a new niche in CART - Communication Access Realtime Translation -- mostly at UVM -- and it's rejuvenated my life in more ways than I can say.


travel, knitting, humor, organic gardening, lifelong learning, locavore, 50 is the new 30