News & Notes

The dark, dismal year of 2020 is slowly coming to an end. Can we all take a moment or two to reflect upon what has almost become history? After all, it is good to reflect upon past events to discover what they are worth and what we might be able to take with us into the new days ahead. If this web editor has learned anything about Mid-America Mensa in 2020, it is this: MAM is something to let everyone talk over and enjoy. It addresses new developments (maybe even those which divide us) original, recent, and those having operational longevity – not unlike those that each of us as individuals have. Let’s try to enjoy what we have and where we find ourselves as a gift!

It is the start of the holiday season, packed with holidays to bring friends and family together. This year we may not be able to travel or gather in person as we would like, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect and have some fun! So, please join with us for Mid-America Mensa’s first ever Zoom Holiday Party on Saturday, December 19th, 2020, at 7:00 pm. (Check out your December Mension for details.) Come spend an evening with your Mensa family and friends old and new and share what makes the holidays special for you. We’ll have a laugh or three, get to know each other a little better, and maybe learn something new along the way.

Believe it or not, it is already time to start thinking about who will serve on the 2021-2022 MAM Board. The Nominating Committee is responsible for submitting a slate of officers at the Nominating Meeting to be held no later than January 15th. There is also an option to make nominations from the floor, but some stipulations apply, so it is important to review the requirements in the MAM Bylaws. If there is only one nominee for any position, the Election Committee will announce the nominee to be elected ‘by acclamation’. If there is more than one nominee for any position, the Election Committee will be responsible for conducting an election in accordance with the group Bylaws.

Finally, in order to make Mid-America Mensa a more welcoming place for all, we are developing a program to encourage more persons of color to consider joining Mensa. If you have any ideas on this topic, the MAM Board members would like to hear what you have to say. Contact us!

News & Notes

November normally is a month for giving thanks. We have a scheduled election day, Veterans Day for remembering those who have served this country, and of course Thanksgiving Day for being thankful. Still, the Mensa experience continues to change because of the social and economic disruptions resulting from this most recent pandemic. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what’s happening around Mid-America Mensa.

MAM’s new members are invited as our special guests for a casual and informative Zoom Room Party emceed by Local Secretary (& Master of Ceremony) Kim Jackowski. New MAM members can join us for this unique opportunity to:  meet other local members, introduce yourself, learn about what’s happening around Mid-America Mensa, and simply have conversation and fun. This virtual event is scheduled for Saturday, November 7th, 2020 at 7:00 pm and will last an hour or two. You can email any questions about our New Member Party, and please RSVP, to Jean Plumb at [email protected]. MAM looks forward to seeing all of our new members!

MAM’s Nominating Committee is working hard to select a slate of candidates for the 2021-2022 MAM Board. Please contact any of the committee members if you are interested in serving on the board. See the November Mension for additional notes about this topic. The proposed slate of candidates will be published in the December 2020 Mension.

Finally, private (or electronic) testing is a new, convenient way to take the Mensa Admission Test. In addition to Local Group testing and Prior Evidence submission, candidates for Mensa membership will soon be able to schedule a private test session at one of the more than 600 nationwide testing facilities available through a new partner, Prometric. Candidates will still sign up and pay for test sessions – both Local Group and private sessions – by paying a visit to: us.mensa.org/testing. The fee for private testing is $99 and will not be subject to any of the standard discounts offered on Local Group testing. However, electronic testing does offer some candidates the flexibility to schedule admission testing when it’s convenient for them. Follow this link for more information about private (electronic) testing:  https://www.us.mensa.org/featured-content/announcing-private-testing/

News & Notes

October can be a month that is full of surprises, and this year things are perhaps even more uncertain in the way they’re going. By now most of us understand the pandemic aspects which have fallen upon us – but, what else is planned in a cultural and social way for this October around Mid-America Mensa?

1) Walkabout KC is hitting its stride with yet another event scheduled for Leawood Park, 10601 Lee Blvd., Leawood, KS, on Saturday, October 3rd at 10:00 am. To reach the park you have to take 103rd Street to Lee Blvd., which is halfway between State Line Road and Mission Road. From there go south on Lee Blvd. and across the bridge over I-435. Get more of the details for this event, like contact info, from the October Mension.

How about something a lot more frightening towards the end of October, like spooking our Halloween Full Moon Walkabout? Come in costume if you wish to Line Creek Trail, off NW 85th Street and one block north of Barry Road at Line Creek Parkway, Kansas City, MO, on Saturday, October 31st at 7:30 pm.

2) CultureQuest XXXI will take place this year on October 18th. Teams have been given an option to participate virtually where the quiz will be completely digital. Based on the local, state, and national guidelines, teams can choose how they complete the quiz. If all of the team members feel safe, they can meet in-person to complete the quiz. However, if the teams prefer, they can meet virtually to complete the quiz using the online meeting platform of their choice. Since this is a virtual event, the usual limitation of geography does not apply this year. Team members can be on a team with any other members across the country if they’d like. Does this event sound like an interesting use of Mensan brain cells and other resources to you?

3) Finally, please mark your calendars! Since we have been unable to hold an in-person New Member event this year, we are going to host a New Member Meet & Greet via Zoom on November 7th. If you are new to Mensa this year, we hope that you will join us! If you are not-so-new to the group but you would like to help us welcome our newest members, please be sure to add this event to your calendar. Zoom login details will be in the November Mension.

Dealing with Problem Members

Fellow Mensa members:  Attend the upcoming online Leadership Development Workshop, “Being Assertive in Dealing with Problem Members”, which is scheduled for October 7th, 2020, at 8 pm CT.

In every group of humans, be it a Mensa group or a church congregation, the ‘difficult member’ issue can be a challenge to group leadership. So, Chicago Area Mensa’s Heather Booton has collected some strategies and tactics that can help; and, she will lead this LDW session. Heather is the WeeM Chair, and she has served on the Board of Chicago Area Mensa for over 10 years. She explained recently in a short conversation: “This program was developed to help the WeeM TeaM have a consistent and documented plan to deal with issues that might arise.”

In addition, Heather was able and kind enough to answer a few short questions with her candid responses:

Q1/ It seems like there is a degree of ‘problem’ among people which is inappropriate. How is ‘problem’ defined for this workshop?

Heather/ I go over a lot of scenarios and encourage people to determine for themselves what behavior they define as problematic and what is acceptable.

Q2/ Values like courtesy and manners seem important to this topic. What other good habits will we discuss?

Heather/ I would say that dealing with problematic behavior consistently and effectively is a good habit that we’ll discuss.

Q3/ Many times we may think that problems can solve themselves if ignored. Why is being ‘active’ here important?

Heather/ Hopefully with the help of the workshop, people will be able to realize that if they take active steps, difficult members are a solvable issue.

Q4/ How should interested Mensa members (who want to sharpen this ‘soft’ skill) register for this LDW?

Heather/ I’m not sure about this. Editor’s note: The link for more information and registration is: https://www.us.mensa.org/attend/calendar/ldw-being-assertive-in-dealing-with-problem-members/

Q5/ What might be a few points that you will want us to take away from this workshop?

Heather/ I think the two most important points are a clear definition of assertive behavior and how to enact it, and having a plan to deal with problem behavior.

RVC-4 Jon Gruebele has made available an earlier version of this LDW (which he presented at the Phoenix AG) as a PowerPoint deck here: https://www.us.mensa.org/lead/leadership-workshops/2019-annual-gathering-ldws/being-assertive-in-dealing-with-problem-members/

News & Notes

TRANSITION TIME EDITION

Have you noticed that the weather is starting to turn cool again? Well, the Autumn Equinox and the fall months – not to mention anything about the start of local hybrid school options — approach and are starting to fall upon us perhaps sooner than we may want. Be ready for it if you are smart!

Let’s take a look at what is happening around Mid-America Mensa in September:

First, Walkabout KC is getting up and going around to some of the various wonderful parks in the Kansas City area. Next, we’ll make a visit to Porter Park at the SE corner of Roe Avenue and Tomahawk Road in Prairie Village, KS, on September 5th, 2020. Look for more of the details, including contact information, about this event in the September Mension. Hopefully, weather permitting, there’ll be much more to see and appreciate while walking around KC-area parks in the coming month(s).

Mensans:  Join us in an Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) online meeting via Zoom – if you are inclined to do so in September. Ad Astra Mensa has not had a lot of success with our Zoom meetings. Participation has been less than attendance at the in-person meetings at the Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant. As of this writing, another Ad Astra Mensa meeting is scheduled via Zoom for September 14th at 7:00 pm. Please contact John Scheirman via email if you are interested in attending and he will send a Zoom link to you (or to anyone who you think might be interested).

Finally, have you heard about the new Mensa membership ‘badges’? American Mensa has partnered with an online credentialing platform, Credly, to provide digital badges for easily sharing across other digital platforms. This service is intended to quickly provide demonstration and verification of membership in American Mensa. Also, this service is free and totally up to acceptance, or not, by every individual American Mensa member. Does this service look like a good deal to you as a current or maybe potential American Mensa member? Either way, look for this featured benefit of Mensa membership to gradually show up around various digital platforms in the near future.