Memorizing has never been one of my strengths, and as I got involved in Masonry and started learning some ritual, I found early on it didn't come naturally--it was something I've had to work very hard at. The trick with me is getting it in my head--once it's in there, it's in there for a good long time. But very often as I'm learning a new part, it feels like I'm trying to cram a twelve-pack into a six-pack cooler. I've learned a lot of parts, and every time I take on a new one, I'm afraid I'm going to use up what little space I have left up there, and start forgetting more important things--like how to get to work, or my computer passwords. As a matter of fact, because of the last long part I learned, I totally forgot the date of my wedding anniversary. She didn't believe me, but I'm convinced that's what it was.
I have to go over parts again and again and again. I do some of my best learning on my mower (I've got a big yard). My neighbors over the years have gotten used to the crazy guy who talks to himself on his mower. I also do the same thing each day in my car. I spend about an hour in my car driving back and forth to work, and more often than not, I'm working on something. Every once in awhile, while I'm reciting some new bit of ritual I'm learning, I'll notice somebody giving me a strange look as they pass me on the interstate. They probably think I'm nuts sitting in the car driving down the road talking to myself. Sometimes if there's a lot of cars on the road, I'll actually tap on the steering wheel and bob my head a little as I'm doing it, so they think I'm singing along to the radio. Probably makes me look even more like a raving lunatic.
I've gotten better at learning ritual. I've seldom ever needed a prompt, but I'd have to admit, the first time I opened my lodge as the Master . . . well, it looked kind of like this.
Like Barney said, "I got it . . . You learn something, you learn it."