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I Can Fly!

Mary Ekholm

In 1973 or 1974 I read an article about Mensa in an issue of Reader's Digest. At the end of the article was a short, timed test. People with high scores were advised to contact Mensa for an at-home test to return to them to be scored. My test score was high enough that Mensa notified me when supervised tests were going to be given in my area. I didn't go because I really didn't believe that I was highly intelligent.

Mensa was tucked in the back of my mind for the next fifteen years. Last August, I decided that it was time to do something about this Mensa thing. I made a phone call and was invited to attend the next First Friday. I was scared silly at the prospect of driving for 45 minutes to get to a strange place where I would spend the evening with intelligent strangers, but I went. It was glorious to be involved with people who could think quickly and play with words and challenge me to keep up mentally! They were satisfying a hunger I have had for as long as I can remember.

I spent a snowy February morning in the Edina library taking IQ tests to find out if I qualified for membership in Mensa. I hate tests! I was so relieved when I had finished the testing that I hardly remember walking back to the car.

For the next five weeks I tried not to think about the test, and failed miserably. Finally I received good news from Mensa.

It was wonderful to know for sure what has been wrong with me for all these years and it is even more wonderful to know that it isn't something "wrong" at all. It is special and exciting.

The assurance that I am intelligent has created a new feeling within me a beautiful sense of wholeness. It is not easy to establish "highly intelligent" as part of my self-concept, but l am working on it. Right now I am going through the wonder stage: Wow! I have wings! I can fly!

Flying with other Mensan minds is fantastic. Ordinary topics of conversation take odd turns, bad jokes are given indecent burials, and the various meanings of one word can provoke a lengthy, good-humored discussion. Serious thoughts also have wings. The quickness of the Mensan mind Is special and exciting. Mensans can fly.

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