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Should I ask for a new coach
Posted: 24 April 2017 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I was initiate as an EA back in October of 2015.  I was assigned a coach soon after.  After several time conflicts we were able to get together and started on the catechisms in late October.  I informed my coach about my eagerness to learn and let him know that I would be available at any time he had available.  I know that he had a new job and three young children at home and wanted him to know that I would make myself available to fit within his schedule.  Now I truly like my coach and proud to call him my brother, however every time we got together he would always go off on tangents and we would end up talking for two to three hours about everything but Masonry.  I would estimate that for every two or three hour coaching session, the actual time learning the catechism was anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, and that time was broken up with various other stories about other thing, so there was no real continuity, rhyme or reason with learning.  With his schedule and the limited time we spent on training, it took 8 months before I gave back my EA.  I was passed to FC in Sept of 2016 and since then I have only been able to get 5 coaching sessions, all of them following the same pattern as above.  I really want to finish this catechism and was hoping someone could give me advise on how to get my coach better focused, or how I can get someone else to help.  I am coming on close to 2 years since I started my Masonic journey and still have not been raised.  I am trying to be patient, but I am getting frustrated.  I don’t want to hurt my coach’s feelings, but besides letting him know I am available for more light whenever he can fit me into his schedule I don’t know what else I can do, or if there is a protocol to rectify this situation.  I have even considered looking to transfer to another lodge if that is possible so I can complete my Masonic training.  Thanks for any help or insight you can give me.

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Posted: 24 April 2017 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Without knowing anything about you, where you live, and/or your lodge name…  It will be difficult to point you in any direction other than advising you to talk to your current coach/instructor FIRST. 

If the discussion does not lend itself to soothing the situation, you can always talk to your lodge Education Director or lodge Secretary.  Truly, I would shy away from wording any concern other than “it is going a little slower than I anticipated”, and gently go from there if asked.  Remember, we all VOLUNTEER as we are able.

Keep in mind, some lodges take YEARS (on purpose) to go from start to finish.  Patience is a strong lesson to learn in Masonry.

All of this said, are you invited to different events at your lodge?  Do you talk to the other Brothers at all?  Has any of them asked about how your studies are going? (see comments above)

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
MM 3/15/17
Signed By-Laws 5/17/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Posted: 24 April 2017 11:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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It sounds extremely frustrating. I would be upset too if this had been my experience. With all due respect brother, you probably should have spoken to your coach sooner to express your concerns. It doesn’t seem like your lodge has a long mandatory waiting period between degrees, which means that your coach has taken his sweet time, or maybe he senses that you’re not too eager to get more done during your meetings, especially if you allow hours of getting sidetracked with other conversation. Most coaches aren’t pushy, but will go at the pace you set.

Just be up-front and honest with him about your concerns and don’t fall back into a pattern of getting sidetracked. If he doesn’t respond well to your concerns or he doesn’t make the needed changes, I would go to the WM. Your Masonic journey shouldn’t be hindered because of him, but be as kind as possible so that peace and harmony can prevail.

I would not suggest looking into another lodge. Even if you were able to change lodges, it would prove to be an enormous headache and you will have lost even more time. Best of luck brother, let us know how it goes.

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P. Cassidy

Initiated: 11/5/16
Passed: 12/28/16
Raised:  1/25/17

St George Lodge #33

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Posted: 25 April 2017 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I would suggest that you contact and speak with the Secretary of your Lodge to find out what is happening.

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Mike Martin
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Posted: 25 April 2017 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Mike Martin - 25 April 2017 10:31 AM

I would suggest that you contact and speak with the Secretary of your Lodge to find out what is happening.

I agree.  You should also talk with the Worshipful Master.

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Bro.Ed Pickett Jr.
Worshipful Master 2017
La Belle Vallee Lodge No 232 F&AM;
Jersey Shore, Pa.
Initiated 1-14-13, Passed 2-11-13, Raised 3-11-13

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Lafayette RAC No. 163
Lock Haven, Pa.
Mark Master 1-16-14,Most Excellent Master 2-20-14, Royal Arch Mason 3-20-14

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Posted: 25 April 2017 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Thanks to all that have replied.  I will talk to my coach and WM and see if the delay is a fault of mine, or if it is simply a time management issue.  I have very good friends in other lodges that have offered to help, but I felt uneasy about that, wanting my coach from my lodge to share light with me.  One other thing I didn’t mention is that I am his first candidate and sometimes he may feel a little unsure.

And to answer a few questions that were brought up. 
I have been to all the lodge functions and other lodge functions, at least those that fall within the extent of the degree.  I attend the EA/FC ceremonies, the dinners, and community functions.  Still with all this I feel a little like I am on the outside looking in.  I talk to few members of the lodge when I go to the functions, they always ask how the training is going and I mention that it is going okay, maybe not as quick as I like and how I would prefer to have a more structured training schedule and environment.

The lodge has gone through some changes in the last 6 months, too much to share on the forum, but suffice it say that some members have splintered off.

Again, thanks - hopefully it wont be too much longer before I am enjoying the fellowship of the craft with each of you.

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Posted: 25 April 2017 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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My coaches do help. But mostly my time with them seems to consist of us going over what I have been studying thus far. They are sort of gauging my progress, and helping me work through sections of difficulty.

Mostly I study on my own, go to the weekly coaching / check in, say good night and go back to my own routine.

Speaking of which, I should probably be studying now instead of browsing this forum lol!

I am the only student that continues to come to these meetings / coaching sessions.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 30 April 2017 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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This is the very reason that in our lodge we assign a primary and secondary coach/instructor. The primary is responsible for the instruction, but we all have to live life and sometimes things just don’t pan out to give the best attention toward teaching. That is when the secondary instructor comes in.

We also leave it up to the student to push for instruction. What do I mean by this? Well, we ask our instructors to set up the first session, but after that it is the responsibility of the student EA/FC to contact the instructor and set up the remaining sessions. This puts the responsibility of learning mostly on the shoulders of the student and demonstrates how eager or not he is for learning.

I am the main instructor for our lodge. And I am usually the first choice for primary UNLESS I already have a student or if another brother really wants to teach. Then I am the secondary or backup.

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Bro. David Howard
Jr Grand Deacon - GL of Alabama F & AM
Sr. Warden - Howard E. Palmes Lodge #917, Mobile, Alabama

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Posted: 02 May 2017 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Speak to the Worshipful Master or lodge Secretary. They can give you the proper advice.

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Posted: 03 May 2017 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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By all means, you should ask for a new coach.
Your Brothers want you to be successful, and I am sure there is someone who can direct you to a coach that will get your through the work.

WB Jeff Pietila
Whitman 49, Pullman, WA
PM Quincy 161, Quincy, WA
PM Waitsburg 16, Waitsburrg, WA

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Posted: 05 June 2017 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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UPDATE !!!

The secretary of the lodge contacted me and graciously offered to help me with my catechism work.  In four short meetings with him, I am almost ready to give back my 2nd degree.  He has even scheduled it for one week from today !!!  Hopefully if all goes well, I will be raised before the end of the month.

Thanks to all my brothers for you encouraging words, advice, and support to this distressed brother Fellow Craft.  I sure we will meet again on the level.

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Posted: 05 June 2017 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Excellent news. You should try to keep the friendship you have developed with the other coach, too. I’m sure you have already developed a bond.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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