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Comments From an Outstate Mensan

Mike Kneeland,
Deerwood, Minnesota

During my almost 25 years of membership I have attended about ten meetings. That should qualify me for designation as an "armchair Mensan." First Fridays are about a three-hour drive from here. I do get many benefits from Mensa and plan on continuing my membership.

In 1972, I returned to my hometown of Deerwood after spending four years at college and six years in the Navy. Returning to this area was quite a letdown from the intellectual stimulation of my life elsewhere. In 1973, I joined Mensa and this became a turning point for me. I had, for many years, thought of myself as quite different and not able to fit in with most groups. For a time in my life I even thought that I was of below-average intelligence.

Through Mensa, I learned that I was quite similar to other gifted individuals. I found that we even have experienced similar treatment in the public education system. I also learned that my insatiable curiosity about so many subjects was not that abnormal. I even learned the designation for my situation: polymath. Mensa showed me that I was not that abnormal. I now have an association of people who help me deal with my differences.

I gain something each time I read a Mensa publication. Gordy Andersen helped me sharpen my communication skills. I hope that he will continue (in the Mensa Bulletin) SOTS (Save Our Tongue Society). Dave Norman helped me feel better about a career change from a profession reserved for the college educated to a more practical-oriented vocation. Lin Rockler explained that intelligent people are often more sensual. I even answered a "flesh ad", which resulted in meeting another pilot/Mensan at Oshkosh for the airshow. We carried on an interesting phone and mail relationship for several months before going to Oshkosh. I belong to several SIGs and get something from each one. I could write several paragraphs about all the good I have realized from belonging to Mensa.

The few meetings that I have attended have been inspiring. Whenever I can, I arrange to be in Minneapolis during some function you have down there. My lifestyle as a "high tech hippie" up here in Deerwood does not allow me the time to get to many meetings. I feel a part of your group from reading your contributions each month. I always look forward to the rare trip down there, when I can meet a few more of you.

All of you who contribute to the publications help me function more successfully up here where "it don't make much difference if you got past high school" and "your" going to have to split lots of wood to keep warm this winter.

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