Long Form v. Short Form Exams

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Sk3tchNinja, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Sk3tchNinja

    Sk3tchNinja Registered User

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    How many of your GLs use short form for candidate proficiency exams?

    What are your feelings towards the shortened version? Do you think it diminishes or cheapens the masonic experience?
     
  2. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    My jurisdiction went from the long form to short form in 2008.

    I am studying the long form. I was given an older cipher that contains them. Our newer ciphers do not contain the long form.

    Our long form exams were short though. Your mentor tested you with another brother and the WM would be informed. When you went upstairs you would start your proficiency and then the WM would gavel you at a certain point and you'd be done.

    Now with the shorter version you must recite the entire exam.

    It contains the obligation, what you observed, how someone approached and the exchange for the grip(s) and word(s).

    Unfortunately when we return our MM exam it does not contain the obligation. Out of all the Furthermores out there, these are the ones our brethren seem to forget (or never learn)
     
  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    We only have one form for proficiencies here so I guess you'd call it long form..
     
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  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    UGLE is most short form: about 11 questions with the deacon in your ear to help. Utah is long, and even requires proficiency for the Master. I've never had the sense that English Masons feel short changed, unless it is the Scots buying the next round.
     
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  5. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I have a great proficiency story for you. One night when I was nine years old I saw my dad sitting at his desk reading a small book. I went over and asked him what he was doing. He showed me the book and it was all letters and spaces. (I now understand that it was a one letter key) He explained that each letter represented a word. Then he pointed to a line and said "this line reads, Where were you first prepared to be made a Mason?". Then he pointed to the next line and said "this is the answer, do you know what it says?" I looked, and the line was I M H. I thought a moment and then guessed, "In My Home". "No" he said, "try again". Then I said, "In Masonic Hall?" He was smiling now. "No, try again" Then, as I looked at the letters, I suddenly knew what they meant and I told him. "Yes" he said, "that's right". This moment is one of my favorite memories of my father.

    When I became a Mason my jurisdiction was already using the short form. After I had been through all my degrees I pulled my father aside and asked "When are they going to ask me where I was first prepared to be made a Mason?" "Oh, they don't do that anymore" was his reply. 'Cheated' is the word I would use to describe how I felt.

    So I got one of the full text rituals from Grand Lodge and I asked my dad for his old one letter key. I began comparing them until I found a string of letters that I recognized. I worked forwards and backwards from that point until I had pieced together most of the old question and answer catechism. I spoke with many of the older Masons who helped me fill in the blanks. Then I proposed that we perform the old style catechism in Lodge as an entertainment. I was surprised when I was told that the old catechism was an outlawed ritual and that it was a Masonic offense to perform it in open Lodge. (In defense of the G.L. I understand why they outlawed the old ritual, they didn't want to create the appearance that there were two classes of Masons; old style and new style.)

    Do I think that this cheapens Masonry? I guess my answer depends on whether you are talking about cost or value. It is certainly less costly in terms of time and level of commitment. Today we live in a more fearful world than our fathers did. In a fearful world people tend to desire low cost over good quality. I find it disappointing to see Masonry following this trend.
     
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  6. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Long Form only.
    The long form catechisms are the building blocks for the rest of the rituals. If one chooses not to participate in further in ritual nothing is lost by knowing the long forms.
     
  7. jwardl

    jwardl Registered User

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    Though there is a part in the EA that used to be required, but is no longer. Pretty short though, so leaving it out doesn't significantly affect the length.
     
  8. CloseYetFar

    CloseYetFar Registered User

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    Our EA is something like 56ish questions/answers. FC is probably a few questions shorter. Still working on my MM so I can't comment on that. I know they did add some to the end of it a few years ago. I don't know if these would be considered short or long form though as I am still new to the fraternity.
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Under GLoTX, the only parts of the esoteric work that have a "short" v. "long" form are the Lectures of the 3 Degrees.
     
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  10. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    In regards to the TX lectures, I've begun referring to them as "lecture" vs "full form lecture". I feel like calling the regular lectures "short" does them an injustice, something I did not fully appreciate until testing for my A Esoteric Certificate. Plus, I've also found that by giving the normal lectures their due, many of the old timers have a more open mind to hearing the "full form" lectures (the first few times I did the full EA lecture, I got plenty of earfuls about it making the degree too long).
     
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  11. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Brother Bill. I really don't know how you have the time for all those "ears full."

    Especially after the rebuttal ensues. :)

    Fact is, I'm smart enough to not fire you up again.
     
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  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Speaking of which, Wharton Lodge will host a forum & exam on Sat., Feb. 21st- all Master Masons are cordially invited to attend. We have a good time with it!
     
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  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Same here.
     
  14. Nick22

    Nick22 Registered User

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
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  15. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    In Oregon we still give a full proficiency. Took me close tip a month memorize all the MM Furthermores
     
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  16. Sk3tchNinja

    Sk3tchNinja Registered User

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    Upon installation of the new Grand Master, NJ will go back to doing the long form for examinations. I believe it'll start in May.
     
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  17. Nick22

    Nick22 Registered User

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
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  18. Sk3tchNinja

    Sk3tchNinja Registered User

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    We refer to them as "furthermores" as well. Seems a bit over complicated to call them anything else, IMO.
     
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  19. Nick22

    Nick22 Registered User

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  20. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I was in Indiana, some years ago, and I visited several lodges in Fort Wayne. The masons there, told me, that they did not conduct traditional examinations on Masons, for proficiency. Each man was assigned a coach to teach him the degree lessons. When the coach was satisfied that the candidate had learned the material, then the man was permitted to continue to the next degree.
     

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