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

Foggy Lake in Winter. Photo by Doug in Hastings.

 

Vantage Point: Comic Books by James in St. Paul.

I started reading comic books at a young age and considered myself a collector by the sixth grade. In my youth, I wondered if I would grow up to continue frequenting comic book shops as an adult. As it turns out, I did.

About a decade ago, I stopped storing my comics in cardboard boxes on the floor of my closet and instead began displaying them in a barrister bookcase in my den. My collection consists almost exclusively of superhero comics, but lately I’ve expanded my horizons and acquired many early issues of Patsy Walker. During the mid-20th century, Patsy and her pals appeared in teen romance comics similar in tone to Archie Comics of that era. (Fans of the Netflix series Jessica Jones might recognize a grittier, adult version of Patsy by the name of Trish Walker.)

Other Mensans might understand my particular interest in Patsy Walker #42 (published September 1952, just a few years after Mensa International formed). In that issue, Centerville High School administered IQ tests to the student body. When the results came in, school officials proudly announced that one of the students was a genius with an IQ of 160. That student was Patsy Walker!

After a teacher remarked that Patsy had always been an average student, the school principal concluded that Patsy had probably just been bored with her classes. The principal then informed Patsy that she mustn’t fritter away her time on childish activities; people with her intelligence had a mission in life to work for the good of humanity. To put Patsy’s mind to better use, the principal assigned her a large stack of books on advanced subjects. The demanding coursework went well over Patsy’s head and left her with no time to socialize.

In a dramatic twist of fate, Patsy’s friend and classmate Nan effortlessly solved a math problem that had left Patsy stumped. In response, school officials rechecked the IQ tests and discovered that a mixup had occurred: Nan was in fact the genius! Patsy was more than happy to return to her previous life as a typical teenager. Meanwhile, the principal gave Nan an earful about her intellectual obligation to the world, along with a predictably intimidating reading load.

The message of the story was disheartening, depicting high intelligence as a burden rather than a blessing. Although the comic book did not mention Mensa, the principal (or more specifically, the comic’s author) espoused the organization’s goal to identify and foster human intelligence. Yet the story seemed oblivious to Mensa’s priority to provide intellectual and social activities. The result left Patsy—and then Nan—in the unenviable position of sacrificing their social lives in the pursuit of knowledge. I am very glad that my IQ score was high enough for entrance into Mensa, and I understand the importance of working for the good of others. All the same, I have learned to take no shame in spending my leisure time reading comic books intended for a young audience several decades ago.