The Savannah Morning News ran a humorous column called "Mommy I don't want to be a child prodigy" a few weeks ago. Columnist and new mom Anne Hart made fun of the British family that had their 2-year-old child (Georgia Brown) take the Mensa test. She passed and got in, which in theory could set off a lot of dithering among other parents. After all, we all want to believe our children are brilliant.
But personally, I've never understood the appeal of Mensa. It's so easily mocked (the Washington Post once put a note in the paper asking people to send in stories of Mensa members doing something really dumb -- the phrase "the wise man knows himself to be a fool" comes to mind). There's obviously something to be said for being around smart people socially. That's one of the reasons ability grouping is so important for kids. But with some careful career planning as an adult, you can work in an office of very smart people. With some careful social planning, your group of friends will share your intelligence. Kids can't choose their lives and choose who they spend their time with. Adults can. Which makes Mensa seem less necessary.
But I could be wrong! I'm curious if any readers of this blog have joined Mensa, thought about it, joined and quit, or what have you. Have your children ever expressed interest? Is there a place for a social organization made up of intelligent people? Or in this era of "bowling alone" is this another group that will lose clout?