This post is by Jesse Galef
I‘m taking today off work after having been on the road for nine of the past ten days. For you, that just means I have the time to write up a quick post about the Secular Student Alliance Conference!
Highlights of the trip:
- Seeing 50 people turn out to hear my new boss, Sean Faircloth, speak in Cincinnati. I had expected closer to 20, so the crowd was exciting.
- Visiting the Creation Museum. I was stunned that they made no secret about their hostility toward human reason.
Sorry this picture is a bit blurry, but smoke would rise from my camera every time I used flash. No joke. I need a new camera.
- Having my lobbying training workshop go well. I’ve never given this particular presentation, but I’m hoping to get more practice.
- Looking around the room and seeing the current leaders of the movement, and then reflecting on the fact that I was sitting with the future leaders as well.
- Meeting various internet personalities in person. I’d met Hemant before, but not Ashley (healthyaddict), Jen (BlagHag), or PZ Myers (Pharyngula). If I’m missing some, let me know! I know a lot of the students have blogs, and I would love to see what everyone else thought of the conference.
- Going out drinking with the fellow conference-goers. I feel so at home in a dive bar discussing morality while finishing off the fourth pitcher of beer.
- Sleeping in dorms again. It’s a sparse, Spartan existence.
- Listening to Sean give a passionate speech and seeing the students fired up. Some even gave him a standing ovation.
- Hearing Dan Barker (of FFRF) talk about how lucky he is to be one of the few “professional atheists” in the country – and realizing that I’m one, too.
- PZ Myers’ talk. More on it later, but when you get a positive shout-out from PZ Myers – by name, no less – it’s strangely satisfying.
- More drinking and partying. I enjoyed talking to PZ about his family and his background in computer programming. I have never been more willing to share my Cap’n Morgan than when it’s PZ asking.
- Going back to the dorms at 2:30 AM – and hearing later that my boss was out later than I was. Way to make me feel lame, Sean.
I had a blast and encourage everyone to sign up for conferences like this.