Tips or advise

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by nixxon2000, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    I just had my ea night and was given the work to learn and memorize.

    I'm ok with the short answers however the obligation scares me. I was never good at reading and memorizing from a page. I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks to help me remember it.

    I also tend to freeze when I speak in front of people. :-(

    Thanks in advance.


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  2. j_gimpy

    j_gimpy Registered User

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    You sound like me, but don't worry. Take it in parts. Break the obligation into pieces and pay strict attention to the cadence as it helps the words flow better, thereby making it easier to remember. Once you have it down repeat it to yourself as often as you can. And make sure to practice in the lodge with your coach if you can so that it feels more familiar the night you prove up. State-dependent learning plays a big part in memorization and recall. So being in an environment that you're comfortable in and familiar with will help immensely.

    As for speaking in front of people, don't look anywhere but in your coach's eyes as you recite the work. I also found that coming up with slightly 'theatrical' gesturing/reenacting helps the mind focus on the words better and occupies it as well.

    Good luck with your work, and remember that it isn't a race; take as much time as you need to memorize it and practice your delivery.





    Master Mason
    Phoenix Lodge #154
    Sumner, Washington
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  3. Bro Darren

    Bro Darren Premium Member

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    Even the best public speakers get nervous before speaking in public but they learn to use this to their advantage. I'm not sure that their is a simple way to over come the fear except with practice and assurance in what your are saying. The more you practice the more confidence you will muster when it comes to speaking it out. All the best, but remember that EVERYONE in the lodge has gone through the exact same feelings as you feel right now.


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  4. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    I just passed my EA exam this evening. I had 2 weeks to learn it.

    For me, the beginning and end was a breeze, but the middle was difficult. I disagree with simply reading it over and over in your head, though. Saying it aloud is a very good way to practice because hearing yourself say the words makes it easy to commit to memory.
     
  5. mrm113

    mrm113 Registered User

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    to help you out a little.

    i became a mater mason February past and i also was extremely nervous about my exam. i have a slight stutter and I've struggled with that my whole life. i can tell you that this has improved my public speaking skills quite a bit. the beauty of it is that everyone in your lodge is your brother and they've gone through the same thing. we all meet on the level and thats something to really take in pride as a man. Study, but don't over do it is my true advice. allow everything you read to soak in like a sponge naturally. i really hope this helps

    S & F Yours,
    Bro. Marvin E. Williams Jr.


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  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Memory works different ways for different activities. Go to a location where no one will hear you and speak it out in a regular voice at regular volume. This will make a huge difference compared to visual reading.

    As top speaking in front of groups that's something we have all been through. It's one of the many ways that Masonry makes good men better - We are required to practice public speaking until it looks nature to others (whether we remain nervous inside our own minds or not). Practice speaking out in the regular voice also helps with this as well.
     
  7. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    Recite it in an undertone you get it three times and do not just recite the words listen while see and speak !!!


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  8. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    1) Get to the point to where you can read through it out loud without pausing or struggling. 2) Make sure you understand what the obligation means. This is not something you do once and forget and it will help you remember it. 3) Now that you are this far, read one sentence out loud. 4) Look away and repeat that sentence out loud until you think you have it. 5)Look back at the work and read the sentence out loud again. String it to the next sentence. Then read just the next sentence until you have it. Eventually you will be able to string the sentences together. Once you have it down, practice with your coach. The motions and physical contact will throw you. Try to practice in the lodge room. You can do a google search for the best time frame for your mind to absorb information. Anything over 20 minutes for me without a break had me regressing. Once I figured out my learning curve, the work went fast.
     
  9. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    Thank you for all of the great suggestions!! I am going to start trying them now and see which one works the best for me.

    I am going to take my time and learn and understand it.


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  10. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    So just a quick update for those interested. I feel I have a good grasp on everything prior to the obligation, however, I'm still getting tripped up. I can get the first few sentences down but in the middle of the first paragraph my brain checks out. Any more tips for memorizing the obligation?

    Also it looks like the 2nd paragraph and last are ok too just that one section. I've recorded it and played it on and endless loop in the car to and from work.



    BTW before someone asks, yes the file and phone are encrypted so one one but me can access the audio or even the phone. :)

    TIA
    -somewhat frustrated :-(


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  11. Bro Darren

    Bro Darren Premium Member

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    In my book from the UGL "Masonic Knowledge - Entered Apprentice" it suggested the following for aiding you in your degrees:

    Take a deep breath.
    Look up when speaking, do not look at the floor.
    Take your time and speak slowly - much slower than you would speak in a normal conversation. The recital of your obligation is not a race, its all about knowing your stuff.
    Speak loudly so that everyone in the room can hear you.
    Practice, practice and more practice.
     
  12. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Here in Ohio, we are given the option to do the full or short version of our exams. My mentor said that he was obligated to tell me that, but he would be disappointed if I chose the short version. There was never a question in my mind anyway, and I chose the full version. Here's why: Yes, Freemasonry has been home to some of the greatest minds in history. But those are the ones we read about. They're the 1%. Everyone else, all the Average Joes who came before you managed to get through it...and you can too. Men from all walks of life have done this for over 300 years, and it's probably a safe bet to say that the vast majority of them fumbled their words or forgot certain parts.

    Don't psyche yourself out. You're not going to get it perfect, and you don't have to.
     
  13. Bro Darren

    Bro Darren Premium Member

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    Thank you for adding that part in.. I guess we EA's are under the assumption that we need to prove out proficiency as this shows the dedication and commitment of time that we have placed on our work. It's reassuring that it does not need to be 100% but 100% is great to aim for :)
     
  14. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Yeah, 100% is great to aim for. But there can be a difference between what is swimming around in our heads versus what comes out of our mouths, and our Brothers recognize that. They'll know if you really made an attempt to learn the material, or if you're just trying to skirt your way through it...and I think that's what they consider important.

    Personally, I had 2 weeks to learn it. I received my degree one Wednesday night, and told that I would be asked if I wanted to present my exam at the very next meeting. I met with my mentor twice to go over it, and had to call him on the phone one evening for help with a part that I struggled with. I set aside some quiet time 3 times each day to recite it out loud (which in a house full of 6 people is a feat in itself). On my night, I nailed it, and received applause for my efforts. It felt even better that my mentor was proud, and that several Brothers came up to me afterwards and said that they couldn't remember anyone doing better. I stumbled once because there was an alarm at the door. A visitor had showed up late, right in the middle of me reciting the obligation, and it threw me off.

    Good luck to you, I'm sure you'll do great!
     
  15. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I'd suggest you try the method mandated here in Texas- find another Brother who has the time to work with you & get him to teach you the work "mouth-to-ear". (He can use the book if necessary). Work with him on a regular basis & use the book when practicing on your own. Between the two methods, it ought to "click" pretty quickly.
     
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Neither was I. :)
     
  17. BrinkJ

    BrinkJ Registered User

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    Bro John
    MM, Elmore Lodge #30


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  18. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    It is well to remember/know that there is a huge gap between learning the words and learning the work. Especially for the new initiate.


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  19. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    I think part of my issues is that my brain tends to analyze the meaning of what I am reading/saying while I am doing it. Since the way it's worded here in Wisconsin (I'd bet its close to the same everywhere but even my mentor said some of the words are different) has come odd grammatical placement my brain goes nuts.

    I do truly understand what I'm reading but my brain says "nope that would should not got there" and exits stage left.

    I like the idea of going slower I will have to give that a try.

    As always all suggestions are appreciated.


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  20. FlBrother324

    FlBrother324 Registered User

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    My Brother,

    Just a few things:

    When giving it back to your mentor, just speak to him as if you were the only people in the room. Just have a conversation like you would if you were talking in your living room at home.

    Practice at the same speed you would normally speak at. Don' t think ahead of where you are, and just answer his questions.

    Lastly for the obligation, create an acronym using the first letters of each paragraph, this will put them in order for you.

    Good luck, and remember they are all your Brothers.

    Your Florida Brother


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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

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