Just last Friday, I conferred the Entered Apprentice degree on three worthy candidates. This was my second time getting to do this and I am really enjoying it. I would be telling a lie if I claimed to have gotten all the words right but at least I know where I messed up. If you have never committed a long string of words to memory before, I can tell you with all certainty that it is a difficult thing to do.
Actually, committing them to memory is not even the hard part. The hard part is speaking them and trying to get them exactly right in front of an audience. I can recite the words and get them just right when practicing in the shower or in the car to and from work, but it’s a different thing to get them just right in front of people – past masters, past district deputy grand masters, new brethren you want to set a good example for – and feel comfortable doing it.
Our treasurer, also a PDDGM, asked me how I thought it went at the end of the evening. “Better than last time,” I said. “Well, progress is a good sign,” he answered. “That’s what you want.”
The elder members of the lodge (elder in terms of experience and time in the fraternity) have been extremely supportive and have given me the encouragement I have needed to feel more comfortable delivering these speeches. I am now working on learning the FC and MM obligations and really appreciate this support.