So here I go, feeling good and ready to climb the stairs of Freemasonry, and soon become a Master Mason. Whoooaah...hold on there, pilgrim. Before advancing to the 2nd degree or Fellowcraft degree I must demonstrate my First Degree Proficiency, and do it...of course, in front of my fellow Brothers in open Lodge. So, I say to myself..."No problem, just give me the books and I'll study them." No sir. I must learn them verbally from my coach E. which I have been rehearsing with in person inside a lodge room for the past three days this week. I am freaked out! There are a lot of questions and some of the answers are about as long as up to where I have typed thus far! There is no book. These questions and answers have been passed down from Mason to Mason for decades by mouth to ear, which makes this experience much more valuable, intriguing and satisfying.
Today's coaching session took place at the El Paso Scottish Rite Temple. A very special place indeed, making today's session very rewarding. I got there at 8AM and had the privilege of having coffee and doughnuts with a few 33rd degree Scottish Rite Masons.
After breakfast, E. and I went to the Scottish Rite lodge room which is also used by Fraternity Lodge #1111. I've got to admit that I love this lodge room, I think it's the most elegant and beautiful one I've been to so far. I would like to find out if I could possibly recieve one of my remaining Blue Lodge degrees there. So we got into some pretty long answer questions which we had to spend some additional time on. So far, I feel like this is a lot to learn. E. told me that some EA's like to break it up into sections and spread out their proficiency examinations throughout different sessions. I told him that I think I would like to go that route, and he looked astonished and asked me why? He said he thought I was smart and that I was picking it up a lot faster than other EA's he's coached. Well, we'll see how it goes. I feel pretty confident, even though I don't remember almost anything when I return home at night, the following morning when I meet with E. and he asks me the questions, they seem to just come out. Sometimes with some words thrown in that don't belong there or are syonyms. The thing is, syonyms and an extra word here and there don't count! It must be perfect....VERBATIM!