I am attaching a copy of the paper that we will be discussing at our May 1st meeting. Please notice the date! I misread my calendar when creating our meeting schedule and have listed May 8 as our meeting date. This is the 2nd Tuesday and wit would be incorrect. May 1st is the first Tuesday of the month which is when our meetings are schedule. My apologies for the confusion.
Back to the paper, the paper I have chosen is a short read (4 pages) and is presented at a relaxed level of complexity. I have read some research papers and found smoke coming from my ears by the end of the paper due to the level of topic, sentence structure and vocabulary. I hope everyone finds this paper to be interesting and enjoyable however.
We will plan on discussing the paper with the idea of addressing the format, content, topic, and any other relevant material. I urge you to do a little research (Google search for example) on the symbol of the Seven Stars looking at the historical as well as any possible link to Masonry. This will help when addressing the content and merit of the paper. Also, while doing your searches, take note of the papers/articles that you may run across. Note the type of paper (opinion or based on facts with citations). Note the complexity of the research and also the complexity of the writing. Most people are accustomed at reading every day documents that have been written at a 6th to 8th grade level. While working in managed health care we were required by federal law to rewrite all of our documents at the 6th grade reading level. As such, when I run across papers written at higher, more advanced levels, I for one experience that sensation of smoke pouring from my ears as my brain overheats. Keep this in mind when reading articles as well as writing your own papers in the future. As a research lodge, and when doing our own writing, we may want to consider identifying our target audience and what the objective is when writing our papers and presenting our research. It would make no sense to write a paper of such complexity that only a few read it, thus missing our target audience. Certainly, there are occasions when more advanced research writing is appropriate such as when the target audience is within an academic setting or when the presentations are intended to be more on a scholarly level. As a research lodge I hope that we will have a nice cross section of for all to enjoy.
The evening will be a casual evening of open discussion and the objective is not necessarily to address this particular topic (The Symbol of the Seven Stars), but more of an opportunity to break into masonic research and discuss conducting research and the writing of papers in general. This article will simply serve as a point of discussion, although I do hope that you find the topic interesting.
I hope to see everyone at the May 1st meeting. We open lodge at 7PM, will conduct our business, and after closing lodge we will reconvene in the small dining room for dinner and discussion. As usual, feel free to bring a bottle of wine or other libation to share over dinner if you prefer, although it will be less formal without having a festive board. Also, to keep it less formal I plan of bringing in some pizza and side salads for dinner (not suggesting that deli sandwiches were formal).
Remember, in August we will have our first paper presentation by Brother Mike Perry and for November I am currently in discussion with Worshipful Freidson to co-present a paper together that we have been informally discussing for a few years.
As soon as I have more details regarding our July dinner event I will pass the information around.
Please feel free to invite other Masons to our meeting so spread the word.
Have a great weekend and I hope that you enjoy reading and researching the topic of discussion for May.
David Lagala, PM
Master, Golden Compasses Research Lodge