The musings of a previously unemployed Jewish Freemason. I write about the job search, about Judaism, and about Freemasonry.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My business suit is getting a workout

I had another job interview today at a recruiter's office. This was a new experience for me. Five candidates were interviewed by the employer in the recruiter's office. I was second or third. When I got home, they called me and told me that the employer wanted to give me a second interview. They also told me that at least one other candidate was also called back for another interview.

Tomorrow, I have a second interview with a health care company for a contract position. While it's only for 6-8 months, there's opportunity for the contract to be extended, or to get a permanent position with the company. The office is the next town over from mine, the pay will probably be very generous, and the corporate culture seems very livable and pleasant.

Wednesday is the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts' Grand Communication. I'm going by special permission of the leadership of my lodge. A disclaimer: any masonic awards I'm working on I will earn at the will of the Worshipful Master of my lodge, and at the will of the Grand Lodge. Even if I complete every requirement, it is up to the Worshipful Master of my lodge as to whether or not he will approve me for the award, and then up to Grand Lodge as to whether they will award me the award.

That said, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has a new award this year called the Master Mason Rookie Award (warning: link is a PDF file). I've completed every item on the list except two (#7 and #12), and the item I will discuss is an optional substitute for any one item on the list.

The Master Mason Rookie Award is only available to a mason for the first year after he is raised. I was raised in June, 2008, so I have until June, 2009 to complete the items on the list. I like this award, and think it's an excellent idea. The candidate for the award must complete a list of tasks:

  1. Attend each of the blue lodge degrees at least once.
  2. Attend at least one visit of the lodge’s District Deputy Grand Master to another lodge in the district OR attend a communication of another lodge in the district.
  3. Attend at least seven stated lodge communications over the course of the one year.
  4. Work on at least one lodge social activity OR lodge charitable event.
  5. Sponsor at least one candidate into the lodge.
  6. Attend one Masonic Funeral.
  7. Serve on one investigation committee.
  8. Assist at least once with the preparation of candidates.
  9. Assist at least once with the officers setting up of the lodge room.
  10. Attend at least three additional Lodge of Instruction communications beyond what is required.
  11. Attend one meeting of the Building/Temple Association.
  12. (Alternate requirement that can be done in lieu of not completing one of the first 11) Attend at least 1 Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge or the Feast of Saint John.
I've wanted to see a Grand Communication since I first visited the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts building, but my lodge has allowed me to be a proxy for my lodge at the Grand Communication to help me complete the Master Mason Rookie Award requirements. After Wednesday, I can submit the paperwork for the award. I've learned an enormous amount about masonry in completing the tasks. I found out about the award months after I was raised, and it turned out that I had already completed a few of the items on the list, so it just seemed natural to continue to complete them all.

I think this award is a brilliant way to revitalize Freemasonry. While it's not a panacea, it inspires new masons, in their first year, to participate in so many different aspects of being a mason that they might otherwise not know about. The kind of mason who would earn this award is the kind of mason who would do these things anyway, with or without the award, but the award gives some structure, and lets a new mason know that such experiences exist. One would hope that this journey would inspire them to participate more in their lodge, to become good officer material someday, and to be well-educated masons who have depth and range in their Freemasonry.

And finally, on Thursday, Boston Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Boston, is having a dinner, and I am attending. There will be another Scottish Rite one-day class on April 4th, and I want to take the degrees I haven't yet taken, and participate in ritual. Unfortunately, Lodge of Perfection rehearses the same day that my blue lodge meets, so for now, I'll have to settle for just attending the dinner this week.

That means my business suit will be worn four days in a row without time to dry clean it in the middle. Here's hoping it holds up, and here's holding that I hold up, too.

Oh, and tonight is Purim. Chag sameach, everyone. I drove my friend to synagogue, and they read the megillah out loud in Hebrew, and it was very raucous and fun. I found a wolf mask in my trunk that my students gave me when I taught at a boarding school a few years ago. The kids were all jacked up on white sugar, and the adults were drunk, but a good time was had by all. My friend is a widow in an assisted living facility, and she sometimes has trouble getting to synagogue, so I drive her whenever I can. I really enjoy her company, and it's no trouble to help her out. It would not be appropriate to dress in costume for my job interview, but I'd like to perform the mitzvah of mishloach manot if I can (the only Purim mitzvah I haven't done yet). Maybe I'll bring Dunkin' Donuts to my girlfriend's work tomorrow.

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