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April 2007 RVC Column

(Written and posted 3/1/07)

Northwest Passages

RVC Column for April Newsletters in Region 8
by John Recht, Region 8 RVC

This month I am in hurry-up mode to file my column, as I am booked to fly early tomorrow morning on my first-ever trip to Japan. When I get to Tokyo, I will catch a train north to be with my daughter, Josie, in Ojiya-shi. Before my Mensan daughter and I ride the rails south to visit Hiroshima, Kobe, and Tokyo, I will have had the rare opportunity to experience an enkai, a singular event which is very much a part of Japanese culture; you will find a description of it on my blog at www.johnrecht.com. When you check my Web site, you'll probably find my photos posted as well.

Not long after my return from Japan, my long March will continue with a visit to my home town, Chicago, where Colloquium 2007 awaits. I'll share my impressions of that event, and the American Mensa Committee meeting immediately following, in my May column. This will be the last meeting of the current AMC term, and I would like to take the opportunity to comment on the past two years, and to look ahead at some things I would like to see in the coming term, in which I will have the honor to represent Region 8 once more as your RVC.

Although my election is over, I urge you all to vote in April in both the national and international elections. Please read the candidates' statements, and help all of Mensa by choosing those you think will do the job the way it ought to be done. In the last heavily contested international election, American Mensa was outvoted by British Mensa, even though our membership outnumbers theirs by 2 to 1. Our votes can make a difference.

In closing, I should first note that the Region 8 Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) in Portland was a solid success, judging by the evaluations of the attendees. The LDW session most often cited as most useful was "Getting People Involved," presented by Debra Reiger. I was delighted and gratified to have had the opportunity to spend the weekend with such a great group of Mensans, and I expect that the energy and enthusiasm that was so evident at the LDW will continue to pay dividends for all of our Local Groups in the region in the years to come.

Lastly, if you would like to make the most of your Mensa membership, I can think of no better way than to come to a gathering, and there is a superb one right around the corner. Now is the time for all good Mensans to come to the Oregon Mensa RG, May 11-13, 2007, in Portland, OR. Time is running short, so don't delay - go to http://www.oregon.us.mensa.org/rg/index.php today, and register for what promises to be a sheer delight. Hope to see you there....