“Q: How many Mensans does it take to change a light bulb?

“A: None. They’re so bright you don’t need another bulb.”mensa

Mensa, as you probably know, is the organization for top two-percenters IQ-wise. They’ve got a reputation for geekiness, and tons of smarts, if not necessarily accomplishment to accompany those smarts. A friend invited me to a Mensa social event and I decided I ought to check and see if I am Mensa material.

The Mensa home page contains a link to the “Mensa Workout”, a thirty-minute test with thirty questions. It’s not an official test, just a quickie quiz. Twenty or more right and you could be a good candidate.

In the last couple years I’ve swung on the flying trapeze, ridden my bicycle 100 miles, tried indoor skydiving and any number of other crazy things. Taking a little online quiz, no bigee.

I clicked the “Start Quiz” button.

Remember the old SAT test? It’s kinda like that. Logic. Math. A combo of math and logic. A couple of the questions, seemed to me flat out easy. “Which vowel comes midway between J and T?”

But have I mentioned that I’ve got this competitiveness defect?

Thought I’d just look at the questions, but then realized I was really doing it. And wanted to do well. I always went to do well. Some of the questions are easy, but not all. There’s a Sudoku-like puzzle with fruit. Had my pencil out for that. And I know algebra when I see it, even if it’s presented in words.

What time did I start?

How much time have I got left?

I know the Fibonacci Series of numbers, so that question was easy. But anagrams? “Only one other word can be made from all the letters of ‘Insatiable.’ Can you find it?”

Not right now. Skipped to the next question. Spent far too much time on another one.

“Two men, starting at the same point, walk in opposite direction for 4 meters, turn left and walk another 3 meters. What is the distance between them?”

My dad the math teacher would be proud of me on that one. And also the one about squares and the other one about primes.

How much more time have I got?

And then it froze up.

Done or not, I was done. Thirty minutes.

I got 19 right. At first I actually thought there was another acceptable answer to one of the questions, so spent too much time looking at that. Would I have done better if I was paying attention from the start? Am I just making excuses?

Cusp of greatness is still an okay place to sit.

About Karen Ray

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