The new documentary Spelling the Dream – A Netflix Original follows four students as they vie for the top prize at the National Spelling Bee. One of them, Tejas Muthusamy, is a student of local Mensan Deb Gribben, and she had the honor of accompanying him all four years that he qualified for the annual National Spelling Bee event, held in Washington, D.C.
Both she and Tejas are featured in this family friendly movie, which was filmed three years ago when Tejas was an eighth grader and in his final year of eligibility. Director Sam Rega wonderfully captured the hard work and dedication that these students and their families put into the “sport of spelling,” as well as the tension and stress of participating on stage!
You can watch Spelling the Dream - a Netflix Original on Netflix.
Is your home now a classroom? Home school is potentially rewarding, but it can be challenging at the bests of times, even if you had time to plan and prepare for it. For those of us who find ourselves with kids home due to school closures, and perhaps holding down a job at the same time, it's a whole new bewildering adventure.
We want the best for our kids, and we value education, but there are only so many hours in the day, and only so many episodes of shows on Netflix we can convince ourselves are legitimately educational.
Well some help is at hand, from the Mensa Foundation. Mensa Kids has collected together a curated list of free and low-cost educational resources to help keep them learning and engaged with education.
You'll find Lesson and Activity Plans, TED Connections, and even ways to explore academic principles using kids games you may already have in the house.
Take a look at www.mensaforkids.org today. What are you finding useful for your home-classroom? Let us know in the comments below, via the contact page or - for members - on the Facebook group.
In light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Richmond Area Mensa has taken the decision to postpone or cancel all in-person activities until we hear that gatherings are safe and responsible again.
Life goes on, however, and for many of us it's important to maintain social connections. Some of our events offer a sense of community that's important to our members. We encourage you to stay in touch with one another electronically, and take advantage of online forums including our own Facebook group.
Let us know if there are particular events you want to see because many of us will be itching to get out again at the end of this... until then, best wishes to you and your loved ones.
A guest article by Andrew Grant White.
Age of Irrationality
I like The Lord of the Rings. One of the reasons, I think, that it resonates so well is not just the films’ pioneering CGI nor J.R.R. Tolkien’s superb storytelling, but that source material is an overtly cautionary tale for modern times. That it was written almost 75 years ago and still pertinent today says something. We live in an Age of Irrationality. Never have humans been more organized yet have less sense.
We’ve all had giggles and outrages at the hypocrisy, beliefs, and actions in many segments of society. It’s our sad attempt to rebel without power against things we have bluntly little control over. So, we express passive-aggressive. However, even when “logical discussion” is attempted, it is too little beneficial end anymore. Contrary to convention though, a logic system does NOT imply rationality.
Everyone is logical; NOT everyone is rational. Few to any walk around consistently thinking, “Hey, I’m a terribly stupid person doing all the wrong things in life.” That’s a recipe for insanity. People do however walk around effectively thinking, “1+1=3.” They’re right too, to them. Truth though is not a relative concept. Truth is objective. Otherwise, it is not truth – merely opinion based on mercurial emotion.
Critical Thinking – Not WHAT to feel but HOW to think…and the WHY
If we live in an age absent rationality, how are we to know what to do? Critical Thinking. Objective analysis to form a sound judgement. Not what to feel, but rather how to think and why of the matter. That’s it. So easy to say; so hard to practice in society today. Simply improving quality of our thought via the critical thinking process; there is, for lack of a better descriptor, no critical depth to our thought.
Why can’t we…IMPEACHMENT! …
To read the entire article, see https://andrewgrantwhite.com/articles/f/on-the-importance-of-critical-thinking
The deadline for entering the RAM Writing Contest has been extended to January 4, 2020!
We’ll award prizes for the best stories at the Annual Gathering. So, gather your words and give us your fiction, your non-fiction, anything you’d like to share in the Richmond Area Mensa Writing Contest. Send in your best 1,500 words, but be sure to follow these guidelines:
Our annual gathering will be on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 11am to 4pm in the Brunswick Room on the 3rd floor of the Madison Building at the Virginia Crossings Hotel.
There will be snacks and non-alcoholic drinks in the Brunswick Room throughout the event and we will break from 12 noon to 1pm for a buffet lunch at the Glen Restaurant (1st floor of the Madison Building). If we have more attendees than allowed in the Brunswick Room, we will be moved to a larger room, possibly in the Jefferson Building (this will be communicated as we get closer to the event date).
After lunch, member Andrew W. will present a talk titled The Importance of Critical Thinking.
Possible additional activities are in the works and will be communicated on Facebook, the website and via email as they are finalized.
RSVPs are due via email to RichmondAreaMensa@gmail.com by January 4th, 2020.
The Virginia Crossings Hotel
The hotel address is:
Virginia Crossings Hotel,
1000 Virginia Center Parkway,
Glen Allen, VA 23059
Each year, the Mensa Foundation invests in society by investing in deserving students. Its Scholarship Program, which awards more than $140,000 in assistance annually to Mensans and nonmembers alike, has launched with an improved online experience. Spread the word and help college-bound students around the globe.
Learn more and apply
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If you’ve been thinking about testing, but haven’t taken the plunge, now is the time. During October, our standardized testing is half off – $30 instead of the regular $60 fee.
We have two upcoming test sessions:
The RAM Writing Contest has been extended to November 20, 2019! Gather your words and give us your fiction, your non-fiction, anything you’d like to share in the Richmond Area Mensa Writing Contest. Send in your best 1,500 words, but be sure to follow these guidelines:
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