Seven Questions: Jason Kapcala
We continue our series of 7 Questions, in which we interview transcribers and coordinators who are part of the TypeWell community.
This month we meet with Jason "Kap" Kapcala, a TypeWell transcriber and the Coordinator of Auxiliary Aids at West Virginia University in Morgantown.
If you had to describe your job to someone with no knowledge of TypeWell — in 30 seconds or less — what would you say?
I always say it’s like closed captioning for life. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it gives people a pretty good idea of how TypeWell works for our clients.
What I liked about learning to type was that it was simply faster and more artful than writing by hand.
What did you study in college, or what were your favorite subjects in school?
I studied English in college — specifically, fiction writing. As an undergrad, I went to Penn State. After that, I earned my Masters in English from Ohio University and my Master of Fine Arts from West Virginia University in Creative Writing. I think all the time spent paying attention to language use, reading, processing, critical thinking, and (of course) editing has helped me be a better transcriber and coordinator.
What do you believe are the most important skills or traits for a TypeWell coordinator to have?
This is kind of a tough question because I find it changes from day to day, scenario to scenario. So maybe that’s my answer: flexibility and versatility.
If you could change anything about your work, what would it be?
Because I spend most of my day behind a desk, I don’t get as much physical activity throughout the day as I should. That’s something I’m hoping to change.
What's the weirdest thing we might find on your desk or in your roller bag?
I have like three staplers on my desk, but I rarely, if ever, staple anything. Not sure what that’s about.
Kap (right) transcribing during a meeting of the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
How and at what age did you learn to type, or what did you enjoy about learning to type?
I started learning to type in 5th grade as part of my classroom education. What I liked about it was that it was simply faster and more artful than writing by hand; you had more freedom to easily delete, alter, and move what you had written. (I don’t think students coming up really know what a pain it was before word processing programs existed.)
Who inspires you, and why?
There are a lot of people who inspire me: friends and family, my co-workers, my writing colleagues, the people I provide transcription for . . . the list is never-ending. Mostly, if a person has something interesting or smart to say, that inspires me.