Attention, all you smarty-pants out there: Starting today you can qualify for Mensa, the international high IQ society, at a reduced rate.
To take the admissions test, would-be Mensans are required to buy a voucher for a testing session. That voucher usually costs $60.
But fortunately for us, it's a holiday, and even better, the Mensa Annual Gathering 2019 is starting today at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix.
If you just can't wait, you can buy a voucher here for a reduced fee of $30, then take the test today, Wednesday, July 3, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand (ages 14 and up only; bring a photo ID).
But wait just one more day, and the price for the voucher drops to $17.76 on Thursday, July 4, only. Then, you can take the test at the conference from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, or check the Greater Phoenix Mensa page to find the dates of future tests. (If you miss the July 4 offer, you can still take the test on Saturday for $30.)
If you take the test at an AG session, you get to experience the conference for free that day. Today's sessions include "Harry Potter and Rational Rebellion," "Dance, Human Rights, and Social Justice," and "So You Think You Know DNA Testing." Saturday's offerings include "Leadership for Geniuses," "Three Unexpected Words That Can Change Your Life," and "Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security."
The conference also offers a hospitality suite with free food and beverages, and a game room with dozens of games to choose from.
Test results won't be immediately available, but if you pass, you can then pay the membership fee to join Mensa, and although the conference only runs through Sunday, July 7, there are plenty of other things to do through the local chapter, Greater Phoenix Mensa.
Phoenix President Richard Morris points to monthly game nights and forums, along with dining groups, member appreciation days, and the Regional Gathering, a four-day event held annually over Thanksgiving weekend.
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It may seem a little self-aggrandizing to join a group just for smart people (Mensa accepts the top 2 percent on its admission tests), but Morris says that the true purpose of Mensa isn't what it says to the outside world about its members, but what its members derive from each other.
"It's a sandbox for smart people," he says. "You don't have to explain your jokes, you don't have think about your audience quite so much, or choose your words carefully because you might blow past somebody. Having people who are interested in the kinds of things you're interested in, and at the same level, is enormously gratifying.
"It's like going home.You're there with your kindred spirits even though you come from every conceivable walk of life. The entire range of human experience is found in Mensa."
(Full disclosure: The writer is a member of Mensa.)