Friday, June 5, 2009


My days have begun to bleed together. There are no weekends - every day is the same. It's Friday today but to me it might as well be a Tuesday.

Every day, I follow the same routine:

1. Wake up.
2. Drive to the Scottish Rite Masonic Center for bar prep class.
3. Listen to hours of lectures and take notes.
4. Drive to the school library.
5. Study for 5-8 hours in the same spot.
6. Drive home and go to bed.

I'm not complaining - just setting up the facts. Anyway, I wanted to describe the weirdness that is the Scottish Rite Masonic Center. ( The building houses the San Diego chapter of the Freemasonry Fraternity ( In my mind, it's really just my personal slice of Hogwarts.

This gigantic symbol is the first cue that you've stumbled onto the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

The giant parking lot features reserved parking spots. There are signs designating that only the "Venerable Master" or "Honorable Warden" can park there. This is the second cue that there is something strange in the air.

The large entrance is carpeted in maroon. There's an ancient gift shop on one side, an office on the other, and a security guard and information booth in the front. Sloping railings lead to the giant auditorium, where class is held.

During my breaks, I've wandered down the halls and stared at all the glass displays of secret rituals, talismans, and oddly shaped caps. Ornate photographs of dead white men line the walls. Sometimes I peek into the Ionic Banquet Room and see remnants of breakfast left on white tablecloth. Strange old men shuffle down the halls and disappear into dark offices filled with amulets.

I know my imagination is probably working into overdrive. The sloping railing isn't just for effect - it works as handicap access. The "secret rituals" actually involve philanthropies, not human sacrifice and wizardry. The strange old men are just old-timers who keep everything running smoothly. In fact, the entire place feels more like a senior citizen hangout than a secret society. Oh well, at least I can dream.

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