As a child I was in a Southern California Cold War experimental gifted program within a public school from first grade through 12th grade. It was a wonderful opportunity academically and personally. The school called us the Blue Group, but we knew we were the “smart kids.” Our curriculum included enrichment such as science and research techniques as early as third grade and studying philosophy in high school.
Heading off to college I had the opportunity to work with special needs children. Back then, special education included gifted children as well as all kinds of special physical and educational needs.
Pre-med was pretty hostile to women back then and I switched to interdisciplinary studies. I worked in special education activities throughout college. I got married young and moved back to California. Looking for community I found Mensa. Gifted education was so much a part of my identity, joining Mensa seemed like an extension of my early life. Most of my participation in Mensa has been working with families with gifted children and youth. That has been a volunteer extension of my professional practice in psychology and educational consulting. My favorite moments in Mensa are being able to help families find the right resources for their children.
Years ago SFRM held monthly activities such as touring the Academy of Sciences behind the scenes, picnics and multicultural holiday parties. Elena Vega led some lovely gifted child activities for a while. However as the Bay Area offered more and more enrichment activities suitable for gifted children attendance at Mensa youth events were less well attended. I reconfigured my role to provide resources and referrals for SFRM families.
I also had the opportunity to represent SFRM and gifted child needs on radio and television. My role today continues to be responding to questions families have regarding everything from understanding definitions of gifted and twice-exceptionality, finding schools suitable for gifted children, psychologists for testing, and connecting with gifted organizations such as giftedandtalented.com, Center for Talented Youth and Davidson. Today MensaforKids is providing enrichment for Mensa families as well as others searching for enrichment during Shelter in Place.
Professionally I am a Behavioral and Educational Consultant with an active practice of throughout the Bay Area.
Personally, I am a widow with two adult children. My daughter was fortunate to participate in a public school gifted program. Currently she is a clinical director of a child and family counseling group. My son attended a private Montessori school that my husband and I helped to found and develop. He is now an archaeologist who teaches at two universities. A few years ago he presented at a Monthly Gathering.
Something SFRM doesn’t know about me? Probably a lot, because I mostly work with families regarding their children. I guess the most surprising thing about me is that I am a 74 year old competitive sabre fencer. I hit other old ladies with swords. By the way, fencing is routinely recommended as an excellent sport for gifted children because it incorporates strategic thinking.
The best way to find me is on my website at melodymlowmanma.com
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