[Square & Compasses]

Method of Measure?

Message-ID: <BAY101-F2533816D69C8EF798E00DDE0DD0@phx.gbl>
From: "Dan Tice" <tice_dan@hotmail.com>
To: masonry-ask@mit.edu
Subject: One day classes
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 02:49:05 +0000

I am a FC at Unity #48 in Geneva, IL, surfing the net to avoid studying my catechism...

I was made an EA on August 24, 2006, and passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on August 1, 2007. I probably actually exemplify the "too-busy" and "stretched" demographic to which the "one-day classes" are aimed. After about 6 months, I was actually approached by a couple of officers about attending such a class. I refused this offer, saying that I understood that these rituals, through the process of experience, would help make me a better person for going through them. Since I always see room for self-improvement, why would I want to skip that?

Fortunately, our lodge normally meets on the first degree (some sort of dispensation, which I do not know the details of...), so I've been a very regular attender, even if a slow learner!

Others in my lodge have attended such classes, and they seem happy with them. My (admittedly poorly informed) view is that the worth of such a one-day class is based on what the candidate wants from freemasonry: I am very interested in the ritual and moral lessons of freemasonry, so I think I would have been unhappy with the one-day class. Others seem more interested in getting involved and the social aspects of freemasonry, and they might be happier with the one-day route.

It might seem that my email is an attempt to say yes to both side of this debate, but it is not meant to. It is actually an attempt to address the question of the method of measure. I wrote because I wanted to give my answer to why I chose the path I did -- that is, I articulated why I am more interested in the traditional method, and that was due to a belief in the power of a ritual to make a difference. That belief makes me something of an anachronism in this day and age, so I don't think I can safely apply that to all masons. When the set of officers in my lodge told me about the one-day class, they mentioned that they had found that masons who went through that class were just as likely to remain members and be active in masonry as masons who had followed the traditional method. That was their method of measure. I think it would help clarify the question and make clearer what we mean by "better" if we answered the question, "What are the methods of measure by which we determing the worth of one-day classes vs. the traditional method?"

Thank you for your time and consideration!

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