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September 2007 RVC Column

(Written and posted 8/7/07)

Northwest Passages

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

Ah, September again. It is a great time to go places, if you can; camp sites are available, both in the mountains and at the beach. Nights are crisp but not too cold, days warm and inviting, with increasing hints of the rougher weather ahead.

Last year in September, Linda and I were on a merry jaunt in England, on our way to the British Mensa Annual Gathering. This year we are staying in Portland, but we will be embarking on a much more significant journey together, as we will be getting married at the Unitarian Universalist Church on September 23. Many of our Mensa friends will be there, and I wish we could invite everyone. With unlimited funds and unlimited space, we would!

As it is, we will have quite a few friends and family on hand for our joyous occasion. It will be sort of like a Regional Gathering, I think, though light on the program and heavy on the hospitality. With any luck, there will be wedding pictures up on my Web site at www.johnrecht.com by early October...no, not those pictures, pictures FROM the wedding.

In a bit of bad timing for the wedding preparations, two weeks prior to our wedding I will be off to Arlington, TX, for the American Mensa Committee (AMC) meeting. This is the meeting that is traditionally held at the National Office, and it is extremely important. It is at this meeting that the AMC participates in a day-long planning session that determines the short-term and long-term goals that we will be working on during this two-year term, and the plan for accomplishing these goals. I am firmly committed to the success of the AMC's planning process. Along with my colleagues, I will do all I can to ensure that this year's planning session improves upon the results of prior sessions. I'll report on my impressions of our accomplishments in my next column.

The AMC meeting at the National Office will also be notable for other reasons. There are a couple of motions up for consideration that will give us the opportunity to discuss concerns that some very vocal members have brought forward. Their concerns surfaced in the wake of the decision by the AMC's Executive Committee to take away the responsibility for hospitality at the Birmingham Annual Gathering from Central Alabama Mensa and the 2007 AG Committee. There were definitely problems in communication on all sides that led to the difficult decision to disenfranchise the AG Committee from the responsibilities for hospitality, but we need to learn our lessons from what happened, and go on to a better understanding of what is needed in the future, with apologies to those whose hopes for an Old Time AG were dashed as a result.

Now that it's September, if you haven't already, it is high time to register for the two superb Regional Gatherings coming up in the next couple of months here in Region 8. Sacramento Regional Mensa is once again hosting the Gold Country RG, California Dreamin', on Oct. 26-28. To register, or for information, check their Web site at http://sacramento.us.mensa.org/normal/rg.html. In addition, San Francisco Regional Mensa is hosting their RG, Brilliance by the Bay, on Nov. 23-25; a registration form is available at www.sfmensa.org/rgreg.html.

In closing, I would like to thank Erinn Height for all her efforts as LocSec of San Francisco Regional Mensa. Erinn worked incredibly hard on some very difficult issues right from the beginning of her term, and her steadfastness and her compassion for her fellow Mensans were perfect complements to her astute and upbeat approach to the job. I will miss working with her, and wish her the best as she focuses on her education. Please join me in welcoming Alan Winson, as he takes on the position of LocSec, and I'll look forward to working with Alan on behalf of our fellow Mensans. Hope to see you all at the upcoming RGs...have a great September!