November’s RVC Column

November’s our month for giving thanks. I am very grateful that my grandkids and their parents have successfully traversed the Valley of Covid. They’re still in quarantine as I write this but I am so looking forward to real-life hugs once they’re certified virus-free. May everyone who reads this escape the bug entirely or at worst suffer only a mild case with no after-effects.

While I’m being grateful, a big “Thank you” to the 126 people who’ve volunteered for 176 roles in our dozen Local Groups. Back in June I tipped my hat to our steadfast Editors, the linchpins who keep our members informed of local events and personalities. Standing behind each there’s an unsung hero, the Publisher or Circulation Manager (different groups use different titles). Sometimes the hardworking Editor fills that role, too. Whichever, there is an important behind-the-scenes person who oversees printing, addressing and mailing the hardcopy newsletters to the roughly half our members who prefer that medium. Thanks, folks, your faithful service deserves recognition, too.

Thanks also to our thirty-one Proctors and Proctors-In-Training who haven’t had much to do since March. As Milton wrote, “they also serve who only stand in wait.” Your friendly introduction to American Mensa is our best gateway for new members. Unfortunately, state and local health regulations have virtually shut down most of our testing sessions. The good news is that at last, after years of effort, we’re able to begin electronic testing as a supplement to what our Proctors have been doing and will do in our future.

This will not be “online testing” like our practice test. No low-security testing from someone’s living room sofa. Instead, candidates will sit for what we’re calling “a private test” at a secured (and cleaned) professionally-run testing center. They’ll find that center and make an appointment using the same “Test sessions near your ZIP code” online search facility they now use on our website to find the (considerably less expensive) Local Group tests. By the time you read this, we’ll have had the benefit of a couple of weeks of shake-down and Q&A via Mensa Connect’s Proctor Officers Community.
Details are evolving. Check the latest in the article and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page at us.mensa.org/featured-content/announcing-private-testing/.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the texture of the Mensa experience is changing because of our perfect storm of pandemic, social and economic disruption. One indicator – I’m getting notifications of nation-wide video conference “speaker meetings” hosted by Local Groups as distant as San Francisco Region Mensa and Central Florida Mensa. I sat in on a SFRM presentation by one of my favorite science-fiction authors. Watch for announcements on Mensa Connect.

~~ Rich

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