New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for January/February 2009

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


Lauren Alsop

I知 diving in head-first and blind here, so please grant me some understanding as I work my way through these first few issues of La Plume.

I知 taking over the role of editor with the guidance and encouragement of Anne O担teen Stringer, whose shoes I strive to fill well. I知 stealing her column name for my own use not as an easy way out, but as an homage to her years of editing this publication.

I知 originally from Pensacola, Florida, but have been in New Orleans for more than nine years now. I知 new to Mensa and thought this would be a good way to jumpstart my involvement. I was asked to include a photograph of myself - this is the last issue in which you will find one.

I知 excited about this new project. I must admit, however, that it痴 rather intimidating to write for a group of people who I know can and will edit me silently from their living rooms. Be kind! I知 looking forward to receiving submissions for upcoming editions. Although according to the disclaimer to the left, 溺ensa has no opinions, I致e been assured that Mensans themselves do.

I hope to continue Anne痴 tradition of providing relevant news, articles that pique your interest and encourage discussion, and local artwork from members and others. If anyone has questions, feedback, or suggestions for ways to make La Plume de NOM better, feel free to email me at

Loc Sec Report

Gerry Ward

As you know, we did not have a newsletter in December when our editor retired. It was the month for the postcard calendar reminder. So now I would like to thank her for her many years of excellent service to La Plume de NOM. She has been with us through thick and thin, the AG and hurricane Katrina. I also valued her input on the Ex. Comm. very much. So thank you very much, Anne Osteen Stringer.

The New Year is a time for new beginnings, and we have several staff changes. First, welcome to our new editor, Lauren Alsop who has the distinction of being the first Gen-Y member to volunteer and hold office. We also welcome our new Gifted Children痴 Coordinator, Kitty Haydel; the new Assistant North Shore coordinator, Margaret McCullough; and the new Gen-X SIG coordinator, Machelle Lee Hall. Machelle is recently married. Congratulations.

Thank you to B & L for the lovely Christmas party. We had 28 members attending, and 2 members from San Francisco . I invited these ladies to thank them for giving up their vacation days to come here and volunteer their time building homes for Habitat for Humanity.

We had a fine time laughing over the antics and jokes in Scrooge in Rouge with our member Yvette Hargis playing Scrooge. This was an old-fashioned British music hall version of A Christmas Carol. She told me that they are reviving a new updated version of their popular Renew Revue on New Year痴 Eve and throughout January. I have heard that some of our members may get up a group to go.

With all of the new volunteers working on activities I hope to see many more of you attending. We have 13 Young Mensans, and our total membership is 224.

Northshore News

Rebecca Pharr

At the November NorthShore Dinner at the Thai Taste Restaurant, I had announced that I would resign as Northshore Coordinator and asked Margaret Mc- Cullough to take my place. However, that did not happen. I will continue in the office of NS Coordinator and Margaret has graciously agreed to be my assistant. You may have received the emails that she sent out for me while my computer was on the blink. By the way, Margaret is a starving artist who is job-hunting, so if you know of anyone to refer her to, please let her know.

As of this writing, the Christmas Dinner at La Provence in Lacombe is still about a week away, on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. I hope to be writing about the good time we will have in the Febuary-March newsletter. This will be our Northshore Christmas dinner. I am also currently trying to decide whether to change the week on which the Northshore dinner is to be held, as the third Thursday is inconvenient for the south shore members as it is back-to-back with the Dinner Club south of the lake. I took a vote by email and will schedule January and February accordingly.

Margaret and I, and anyone else from New Orleans Mensa who can make it, are going to meet Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at the Mandeville library at 6:00 p.m. to attend their Scrabble Club meeting and discuss the possibility of starting a monthly game night activity, probably the 3rd or 4th Tuesday of each month. I will notify the membership of the results of that meeting by email when that occurs, and hopefully get something into the Plume calendar in the March-April issue.

As most of the gifted children are living on the Northshore since Saint Tammany Parish has become part of New Orleans Mensa, I have spoken with Kitty Haydel, our new Gifted Children Coordinator, about possibly a monthly children痴 activity on the Northshore. However, she will not be able to make a decision about this until after the beginning of the New Year.

If you have any feedback that you would like to give me, please email me at I would like to accommodate as many of our members as possible to make New Orleans Mensa membership, especially on the Northshore, an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

RVC 6 Report

Ralph Rudolph

There has been no change in my status as of this date. I remain off the AMC list but am informed by friendly AMCers that nothing is being discussed; folks are too busy with the holidays. As such, I知 being 田ollegial and letting matters be.

My RVC funds expire in April, so if any of you have a worthwhile project that needs a few hundred dollars, please let me know why you need the funds. Please also let me know what the state of your treasury is because I知 not about to award funds to a group that already has too much money and is not spending the money to help improve their group!

Along these lines, national testing day was flat, with fewer testing sites but more people at those sites that did test. I壇 have to guess that our economy has had an effect on this, so a 吐lat result could actually be viewed as quite good. Thanks for the effort. The economy presents us with a real challenge in growing Mensa until this recession is over. And, of course, we could lose some members this renewal season if Mensa is seen as an unnecessary expense.

I壇 like to suggest that each group sit down and have a brainstorming session about how they can improve their attractiveness to their members, whether in-person or on an on-line forum. How can we get younger members involved, what additional or better events can be staged, how communications can be improved, how recruiting can be improved. A little surge of enthusiasm can do wonders. And, I壇 like to hear your ideas so I can share them with all of our groups.

Other than this, have a great holiday, hopefully sharing some good cheers with your Mensa friends!
Ralph Rudolph

Judges Needed!

Patti Armatis


The New Orleans Science and Engineering fair will be held at the UNO Human Performance Center on Wed., March 4, 2009. This is a part of the UNO arena . If all goes as in previous years, judges must be present by Noon and the judging of exhibits will start about 12:30. Judging of the exhibits will take about 3 hours to complete. Lunch (sandwich) is usually provided. More details will follow.

NOMensa recognizes a first and second place winner in both the Jr. [Grades 7 & 8] and Sr. [Grades 9 - 12] Divisions. Awards will be given to those projects showing creativity backed by rigorous scientific reasoning.

If you possess an interest in, knowledge of, or training in the areas listed below, please join your fellow NOMensans as a Science Fair Judge.

Call Patti Armatis to volunteer or for more information. email

Run For National Office By Petition

Interested in running for a national office such as RVC? It痴 not too late!

In accordance with Art. VI, Sec. (4) of the Bylaws of American Mensa, Ltd.,nominations for candidacy for office in American Mensa may be made by petition. Each petition must contain the signatures of 50 members of American Mensa in good standing as of Dec. 1, 2008.

Petitions must be submitted on official petition forms or via the online petition process. In addition to the Petition Form, each petition candidate must submit a completed Acceptance of Nomination form and a completed Candidate Information Form. These documents may be downloaded in PDF format, or you can start a members-only online petition; all petition information is available at

Forms may also be obtained by contacting Howard Prince at the National Office addressed to electionchair@

All petition forms must be received by Feb. 1, 2009. Send completed forms and petitions to Election Committee Chair Deborah Henry at: Deborah Henry, 1182 Wildflower Ln., Maineville, OH 45039. Legible scans of forms may be emailed to

Petition candidates should review the 2009 Code of Election Procedures before beginning the petition process; the code is available in PDF format at .

Any questions regarding the election or the election pro process should be addressed to

Introducing Gen Y!

Were you born between 1976 and 1990? You should totally check out the Gen Y SIG!

Inspired by the success of Gen X, the Gen Y SIG has been growing by leaps and bounds in the past few months. While our yahoo group ( YMs) has remained our main gathering place, we致e expanded to Facebook, and several local groups are enjoying monthly Gen Y get togethers. We壇 love to see Gen Y events flourish in your local group!

In the coming months, we will be launching a web site and sending a newsletter to every Gen Y aged member in American Mensa! You too can join in the fun! Join the yahoo group, and chime in! We壇 love to hear from you! If you would like to write something for the upcoming newsletter (anything, really!), email it to euro_4ever@yahoo. com. Fame has never come so easily!

We would love to have a Gen Y coordinator in every local group. New Orleans Mensa currently does not have a Gen Y coordinator. The duties of being a Gen Y rep aren稚 really hard, labor intensive, or even that time consuming.


If you池e interested, email your loc sec, Gerry Ward at and let her know!

New Web-Based Career Center

American Mensa announces its newest member benefit - a Web-based career center that connects job seekers with prospective employers. Don稚 get lost on the commercial job boards; American Mensa痴 CareerLink is tailored just for you.

CareerLink is available to Mensa members and nonmembers alike. However,current members can post r駸um駸 and apply for jobs at no charge; they can also post job opportunities at discounted rates.

Ricky Graham痴 Renew Revue

It痴 an original cabaret show starring Ricky Graham and friends Yvette Hargis, Amanda Zirkenbach and Matthew Mickal with musical director, Jefferson Turner.

Join us for this very funny 迭enew Redux as we once again look (with music and song) at New Orleans struggle back to life. This company of actors laughs through it all and you池e in on the joke.

的致e never laughed so hard! Bob Carr (of Bob & Jan)

Special New Year痴 Eve Opening Night:
Ricky Graham痴 Renew Year痴 Eve Revue
Performances Continue: January 2nd 18th Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 6pm
Tickets: $32 (include a $5 drink credit)
Reservations: Call 504.581.5812
Box office hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 2-6pm & Sunday, 2- 4pm)
Parking: next door for $2 if you pay inside venue

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These pages and all content Copyright (c) 2008 by New Orleans Mensa, all rights reserved. Mensa ® and the Mensa logo (as depicted for example in U.S. TM Reg. No. 1,405,381) are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by American Mensa, Ltd., and are registered in other countries by Mensa International  Limited and/or affiliated national Mensa organizations. Mensa does not hold any opinion or have, or express, any political or religious views.
Last edited: 15-Mar-2009 . Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at