It is often stated that intelligence is simply defined as ‘the ability of a person to adapt to change’. If this is so for you (at a high level) then you may want to learn more about joining up with a high IQ society like American Mensa and Mid-America Mensa. Do you think you have what it takes to belong where brilliance belongs and especially here in the heart of America?
Do you know that there are often discounts on American Mensa’s practice test, our Local Group testing, and even the Prior Evidence review by American Mensa? In June, for example, American Mensa is offering a $1 Mensa Practice Test as a month-long promotion for candidate lead generation. Leveraging this is a great way for Mid-America Mensa to grow our local group’s prospect pool and eventually convert would-be members to members through immediacy and additional financial incentive. In addition, besides a national promotions calendar of the year’s scheduled promotions, please note that there may be unplanned flash promotions throughout the year based on external causes and/or opportunities.
If you think you are interested in and qualified for admission to Mensa, would you accept this offer and opportunity? Are you Mensa material?
We closed out May activities with our very first lecture in MAM’s new Theodore Talks series. Dr. John Laudun <johnlaudun.org> gave a very interesting, thorough, and complete discussion of Vernacular Knowledge: Looking for Intelligence in Unexpected Places with his speech based upon the concept of genius loci, or the spirit of a place. He explained how folklore has evolved from a philosophical matter to something more akin to anthropology in its study. We looked at examples of this trend by exploring: 1) the amazing crawfish boat of Louisiana; 2) a country Mardi gras near Mermentau Cove (in Louisiana); and, 3) the pirate and treasure legends which still exist today. He concluded his remarks and storytelling with a very helpful summary and some practical advice. First, folklore opens up our minds and helps us to learn about our place in the world. In this way, storytelling creates community, it gives us a thrill in the acquisition of knowledge, and assists in the documentation of history. Finally, stories have the power to connect all of us and they teach us to practice listening to others. Our oral traditions and the preservation of memories offer a creditable and confident variable for a high level of curiosity and change in our lives.
Ad Astra Mensa Zoom Meeting
Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom on Monday, May 10th. Topics discussed included books we have read or plan to read, TV shows we have watched, what else people have been doing, what the new normal is going to be, education, liberal arts, humanities and what “humanities” means to different people, engineering, mathematics, computer science, connections between computer science and musical abilities, connections between computer science and mathematics, people who have both developmental disabilities and phenomenal memories, puns, travel plans, the Bible as literature, the fact that the King James version of the Bible was written by poets, the differences between different versions of the Bible, vaccinations, language, and possible formats for future Ad Astra meetings. If you would like to discuss these topics, or others that interest you, please join us virtually on Monday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m. Look in the June Mension for all of the details about this event.
In June, we are meeting in person. Bonito Michoacan, 1229 E Santa Fe, in Olathe, KS, has an outdoor dining area and we have reservations for six. If more want to attend, we can add to the number, but six-tops is the largest ‘together’ seating. Please RSVP if you’re interested.
Something to look forward to – MAM’s Paul Hough has volunteered to host Games at his home in August. He intends to host four times per year — in August, November, February, and May.
Have you gotten the jab? May is the unofficial start of summer and new seasonal activities and changes to our schedule(s) are gradually ramping up. If you have gotten your COVID-19 vaccination and/or you will be graduating in May, oh the places you’ll go! Likewise, Mid-America Mensa is seeing an uptick in its activities & events as well.
First, Walkabout KC in May heads out to Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Rd., Merriam, KS, on Saturday, May 1st at 10:00 am. We had a big turnout enjoy the MAM comradery, warmer weather, and light exercise last month at Leawood Park. Hopefully more MAM members and friends will meet up with us in May for another casual & enjoyable walk about a local park.
Ad Astra Mensa (via Zoom)
Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom on Monday, April 12. Topics discussed included Covid-19, places we would like to visit when travel restrictions are lifted, vaccinations, masks, the freedom to see people in person for those who have received their shots, movies, TV shows, books, Genghis Khan, the evolution of warfare, awareness (or lack thereof) of consequences of one’s actions, gardening, and haircuts. If you would like to discuss these topics, or others that interest you, please join us virtually on Monday, May 10 at 7:00 pm. Please check out the May Mension if you are interested in learning more about this upcoming MAM event.
Salon with a Double Twist — Saturday, May 15th, at 2:00 pm via Zoom
The usual way to have a salon is to select a topic and ask that everyone be prepared to offer their two cents’ worth on the subject. Well, that’s still true, but the first twist is this: In order to allow everyone time to speak and not have the salon be dominated by a particularly lengthy speaker, comments will be limited to one minute at a time. Everyone will have multiple opportunities, in turn with everyone else, to offer their wisdom and insights. The second twist is having a Salon via Zoom instead of in-person. The focus will continue to be intelligent, witty, insightful dialog. The Salon topic: What will be your new normal in life after Coronavirus?
Theodore Talks – Sunday, May 23rd, from 2:00-3:00 pm via Zoom
Vernacular Knowledge: Looking for Intelligence in Unexpected Places — Dr. John Laudun
Join us for this MAM event (which is the very first lecture in MAM’s new speaker/talk series). Please look in the May Mension for more information about this MAM speaker event and how to make your reservation to attend!
April is when MAM members traditionally have to answer the following question: Who cares? First, it is the traditional time for Mensa Cares (which is Mensa’s annual local community service projects). But with living in the current pandemic, perhaps members of Mid-America Mensa rather need to move closer toward a ‘new normal’ in what we may do daily and how we spend our time. Also, it is the start of a new fiscal and membership year in Mensa. So, let’s take a look at how some of MAM’s activities can now maybe exist in a more stable environment and world.
Ad Astra Mensa via Zoom
On March 8th, Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom. Topics discussed included legal aspects of travel company contracts during Covid-19, Covid-19 generally, vaccines, when travel will be safe again, where people would like to travel to (Peru, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, India, Greece, Vietnam, Thailand, Jordan, Australia), the humanities (KU is dropping its humanities program), Classical Latin and Greek, the influence of ancient philosophers on the Founding Fathers, TV shows, movies, French cave art, books, culinary traditions of St. Patrick’s Day, how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day during Covid-19, Egyptian pyramids, camels, petroglyphs, Nazca lines, astronomy, ancient architecture, Australian dream states, primitive drawings in Colombia, and other subjects. Ad Astra Mensa will meet virtually by Zoom again on Monday, April 12th at 7:00 pm.
Spring has either sprung or sprang, depending on your preferred colloquialism. What’s your favorite ethnic spring-like dish? Lamb? Dandelions? Spring rolls? Bring a dish that makes you think of Spring. We hope to see MAM members via Zoom on Saturday, April 10th at 1:00 pm.
2021 Mensa Elections & Portal
April is especially important for American Mensa because it includes the start of the national election period. If you have an email address on file with the National Office, look for your electronic ballot in your Inbox on or soon after April 15. If the office doesn’t have an email address for you, they’ll mail you a paper ballot. Marked ballots need to be returned by May 15. You can see the list of candidates and access their candidacy materials after logging onto American Mensa’s website and going to: us.mensa.org/lead/amc/elections/2021-election-portal/. You may see that we have contests going for four of the five national offices, one referendum for a Bylaws amendment, and several active races for RVC posts. There’s no RVC contest in our Heartland Region, because Beth Anne Demeter is running unopposed and, therefore, she will be declared elected.
Editor’s Note: Portions of the April 2021 Mid-America Mensa Mension were used in this article.
March, named for Mars by the Romans who highly valued their military might, breathes life back into the world. It’s the month when we observe the vernal equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere and when we begin to see the leaves start to bud. Also, it’s sort of like a renewed quest for culture here in the heart of America where we’ve learned that MAM’s CultureQuest® team (2020) placed 13th and well within the top 20 of all other teams. Congratulations!
Ad Astra Mensa via Zoom
Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom on February 8th. Topics discussed included Covid-19, availability of vaccines, effectiveness of vaccines, prevention and curing, Super Bowl, halftime show, history and evolution of computers, cookies, toolmaking function of humans and animals, education, tendency of different people to see things differently, language, weather, QAnon, cults and conspiracies, politics, ghost hunting, and other matters, some controversial, some not.
If you are interested in discussing these or other topics, please join Ad Astra Mensa when we meet again virtually via Zoom on Monday, March 8 at 7:00 pm.
Mensa Foundation Scholarship Judges Needed for Region 7
Regional Judges are needed for the 2020–2021 Mensa Education and Research Foundation Scholarship Essay Contest in Region 7. Judging involves reading essays submitted by scholarship applicants and scoring them for points to determine the winners. Regional judging will be conducted online over email and will take place between February 23, 2021 and March 30, 2021.
We are looking for people who have not been judges for any of the local groups in Region 7 for the 2020–2021 competition. Judges may judge at either the local or regional level but may not do both in the same region.
We’re experimenting with another new twist on an old favorite. The old favorite is a Salon where everyone gets together to share their thoughts and ideas on a particular subject. The first new twist was to add a time-keeper to keep the conversation flowing and on its toes. The next generation twist is to take it virtual instead of in person.
MAMs have never been known to be boring and this is the place to show it. Send along your ideas and time and date preferences. We’ll see how many people we can accommodate.