Sunday, August 28, 2011
I finished part one of the Master Craftsman II (MC2) course after months of delay. I answered the multiple-choice questions the same day the test arrived in the mail, but I have been delaying the essay. The MC2 course requires both multiple-choice questions and an essay for each degree and the essays are 500-1000 words, each.
My motivation for completing part one, finally, was something I heard in the Des Moines Scottish Rite's One Day Summer Reunion held August 27. The Reunion was held in honor of Ivan L. Johnson 32° KCCH and Richard J. Noyce, 32° KCCH and conferred eight degrees: 4th, 6th, 13th, 14th, 18th, 23rd, 30th, and 32nd. As I was listening to the degrees on Saturday morning, one phrase stuck in my mind: loitering by the wayside. Well, I am loitering no more. Part one of MC2 will be in the mail early Monday morning and I am already anticipating the questions for part two.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Specialis Procer #678 held their festive board Friday night at the Scottish Rite Temple in Des Moines. The menu featured Beef Wellington and it was delicious! This was only the second SP 678 festive board I've attended and I hope to attend more in the future. My first festive board was back in early 2010 before I had been raised to the Third degree. A brother of the lodge made a presentation on Freemasonry in Turkey. I was impressed both with the presentation and with the concept of gathering with brothers to eat, enjoy each others company, and talk about Masonry. Too often it seems like our meetings focus on the business details of the Lodge, but festive boards highlight the social aspects of our fraternity- and good food!
Last night at SP 678 I made the presentation. I have been working on a paper about symbolism and the Perfect Ashlar. I started work on the project over a year ago, in part to fulfill the requirements for the Ashlar Award. The Ashlar Award is a program from the Grand Lodge of Iowa in which a first year Mason accumulates points for active participation in Freemasonry. Points are earned by learning speaking parts in degrees, being a mentor, attending a Lodge of Instruction, and for writing a paper.
Parts of my presentation have been posted on this blog and can be found by clicking on the "Ashlar" topic on the right side of the screen. I enjoyed researching my "innocent little catalog" of different ways to interpret the Ashlar and hope to continue to learn more about Masonic symbolism with additional research in the future.
Jay Simser has some pictures of the festive board at his blog Bailey's Buddy.