Skepticon-ing this Weekend!

SinkI need to get back into writing regularly again. For starters, it’s good for me – I need a creative outlet, and I need some place to get my random thoughts out. I also have some clear head space now, and feel that I can really articulate my ideas and express myself.  I’m finding myself in a much more supportive community than I’ve experienced before (I’m talking about you, Omaha Atheists), which helps give me some confidence to expand my writing.

I’m headed to Skepticon 8 in Springfield, MO this weekend, and I can’t think of a better place to restart my process of routinely creating and contributing content. Last year was my first Skepticon, and it left quite an impression on me in terms of creating a welcoming, inclusive space. The organizers have really gone all out this year, and I am so happy to see all the additions that have been made in terms of accessibility. I hope that more conference organizers take notes and strive towards this level of inclusiveness; I know I certainly will.

Atheist and freethought conferences always tend to give me a much needed boost that helps me be a better activist. There’s something about being in the same physical space as so many people that are working for the same cause that breathes life back into my efforts and re-energizes me. Each conference has a different vibe and fulfills a different part of me. I know so many people that ask why I go to conferences and share that they don’t because they “don’t need to hear people talking about why they don’t believe in God all day.” That couldn’t be further from what I get out of a conference; I get activism, social justice, socializing, networking, friends, silliness, knowledge, and so much more.

I’m looking forward to the speakers, although I am sad that we’ll be missing the Friday afternoon workshops. I tend to like workshops better because it’s a smaller group where you can ask questions of the presenter, and you learn skills and information that you can take back and apply to your local efforts. Alas, responsibilities win out, so my Skepticon Friday will mostly consist of Heathen Roadtripping, a couple of speakers in the evening, and I may join in the scheduled game night. Most importantly, it will consist of catching up with people that I don’t get to see nearly enough, staying up way too late having stimulating conversations, and checking to see if the hotel has realized that the sinks are borderline non-functional (#SinkGate). Saturday is a full day of speakers, but with down time to check out the swag tables, catch up with old friends, and make plenty of new ones. Saturday night is Skeptiprom – I’m still trying to decide between going all out in formal dress or rocking a tuxedo t-shirt. Sunday will consist of Red Bull, a greasy-hangover-food brunch, speakers, and more Red Bull before the drive home.

It’s good stuff, with good people, and a dinosaur theme to boot – I cannot wait!