Sunday, November 30, 2008

One Stone at a Time

Not too long ago I appealed to all the Masters and Past Masters out there for tips on how one might go about memorizing all that ritual.

The answer, as gently provided to me by Bro. Tom Accuosti was (and I paraphrase), "Just work on a little bit at a time, all the time."

I just memorized first large paragraph of the Middle Chamber lecture. I am Junior Deacon this year, but I figure there is no time like the present to start working on one of the longer bits of ritual that will fall to me as Senior Deacon next year. It took me a little more than half an hour and I know I will have to keep repeating it to myself for a while to make it stick, but as the saying goes: well begun is half done.

It is surprisingly exciting to have started down this path; what little ritual I have learned so far has sunk in mostly through osmosis, rather than by my actively having to work at it. I have to stop myself from moving to the next paragraph and give my brain a chance to catch up.

How did I do it? A little bit at a time. Duh. I feel a bit sheepish, like someone who asks a trim and fit friend how they stay healthy and keep their weight down and receive the obvious answer, "Eat less and exercise more."

1 comment:

Tom Accuosti said...


I've lost 20 pounds over the last year, and some people have asked me what my "secret" has been.

I'm very careful about what I eat, I've cut out almost all processed carbs, I eat simply - grilled meets, steamed veggies - and watch the portion size. I do free weights two or three days a week for 20 to 30 minutes, and I try to get in 20 minutes of cardio (usually biking) twice, maybe three times a week.

I've been very bad this week, but I know that Monday I'll be back to my South Beach plan until the week of Christmas. So if I just maintain my weight until after the holidays, then I'm still ahead of the game. Then, in January it won't be like I'm starting over.

In other words, I eat less and exercise more.

"what little ritual I have learned so far has sunk in mostly through osmosis, rather than by my actively having to work at it."

And this is where most officers screw up - they know the work by hearing it, but they screw up without the cues that often go with hearing - especially when they need to be in a different chair than the one they are used to.

And look, after being an officer all year, that's 20 meetings - you should be able to do the various parts because you've heard them so often. But again, committing yourself to actively memorizing the work is the only way that it's going to stick for most of us.

And congrats on taking that initiative.