Linda in Northfield, Mensagenda Editor

About Mensagenda

Minnesota Mensa published Vol. I, No. 1 of our newsletter, then called the Minnesota Mensa, in June of 1965. Approaching six decades later and winning awards along the way, we continue to provide a monthly publication, now called Mensagenda.

As expected in a newsletter, we inform our local membership with organizational updates and provide details about our events. The real benefit is that, just like our events, Mensagenda is for our members, by our members.

The love of learning in Mensa is not just about supporting our scholarship but in enriching your own mind and sharing your knowledge, skills, and interests. Read articles and regular columns ranging from scientific explanations to humor in everyday life. Check out our members’ photography, drawing, painting, knitting and quilting, and crafting skills.

What would you like to share? Do you have expertise in a particular field of study or hobby? Want to express your opinion? Have you traveled recently? Do you write poetry? Can you create word games, numerical puzzles, or trivia questions? What could you say about…well, you get the picture.

Mensagenda is another way that Minnesota Mensa provides “a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.” What could you contribute if you joined Mensa?

 

There’s More to Read

Mensa membership provides access to the publications from other chapters, American Mensa, and Mensa International. Click here to learn more.

 

Featured Cover Art

Brave Little May Flowers. Photo by Linda in Northfield.

These May flowers grew on my patio last year, and I saved them for you. Since I couldn’t identify them, I asked Lawrence Meade (from Ann Althouse’s blog), who’s a landscape gardener, what they were, and he said “probably violets.”

They kept spreading along that narrow crack in the concrete for nearly the whole month. Too early to know whether they’ll come back. But the mallards are house-hunting in my courtyard!

Vantage Point: Haircut by James in Saint Paul.

I sometimes joke that May 17 is the anniversary of my most expensive haircut. Only my closest friends and family get the punchline— until now, that is. After some reflection, I decided that this might be a good year to write about the events surrounding that fateful day. I should preface by saying that, despite some drama, everything turned out OK in the end.

The story actually began in March 2006. I was in my mid-30s and often went on long walks after work for exercise. On my way home one Friday night, two men jumped me about a block from my apartment in Minneapolis. They knocked me down on the sidewalk and kicked my head multiple times. One of them searched my pockets but didn’t reach far enough to find my wallet. With my head pounding, I realized that I had been mugged by the world’s most incompetent hoodlums: They fled the scene empty-handed. Neighbors called 911 and an ambulance brought me to the hospital. I sported my first black eye and felt fine after a few days.

Weeks later, I began experiencing persistent headaches. Then things got worse. While reading, I sometimes was unable to recognize words that I knew I should know. I chalked up these symptoms to job-related stress. A thoughtful coworker named Arlene noticed that I seemed physically weaker one day and insisted I go to the emergency room. Arlene was right. As a result of the attack in March, a blood clot had formed under my skull and required immediate surgery. May 17, 2006, was the day of my most expensive haircut as the doctors shaved my head to prepare me for brain surgery.

The operation was a success and I went home from the Hennepin County Medical Center two days earlier than expected. Physical therapy lasted only one session, which determined that I didn’t need physical therapy. Out-patient therapy proceeded for the next two months, however, as I met with occupational therapists, speech therapists, and a psychometrist. They issued a battery of memory tests, writing assignments, and logic puzzles before letting me return to work.

The doctors later told me that traumatic brain injury often causes anger-management issues, as patients grow frustrated during recovery. That hadn’t been the case for me. While I had my sardonic moments, I secretly enjoyed feeling like I was in school again. Also, I was fortunate in having accrued enough sick time and vacation time so that I did not require an official medical leave of absence.

I returned to work part-time during the summer, gradually increasing my hours until I was working full-time again in the fall. By all metrics, I made a complete recovery, with no evidence of brain damage. My hair grew back and pretty much covers the two dents that surgery left on the side of my head. I am not sure to what degree my values changed as a result of what happened, but for the past 18 years I have taken extra time on May 17 to stay grateful for my physical health and mental acuity.