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May 08 2011

I love Canada

I had a blast at the Imagine No Religion conference in Kamloops, BC. The organizers did a fabulous job, especially considering it was the first time this area tried to organize a conference. There were over a hundred attendees and the talks were very high quality. I was particularly moved by Nate Phelps‘s talk about what it was like growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church, how hard it was to leave, and how it affected the rest of his life. Absolutely stunning – you could have heard a pin drop.
Thankfully there were some funny talks in the afternoon, since the WBC is alwa
ys a bit of a downer. Brian Dalton (aka, Mr. Deity) had a fun presentation about his show (which I love) and being a Formon (Former Mormon), and PZ Myers gave a great talk about the benefits of laughing off religious craziness. More impressively, he didn’t get lynched for starting his talk near the end of the Canucks hockey game. Though not everyone was totally attentive…It’s still a little surreal being a speaker at these conferences. It’s odd having people want to get a photo with me or have them sign their shirt, when I’m still squeeing over getting to have dinner with PZ and Mr. Deity. You’re fangirling over a fangirl!But it’s still pretty awesome, and I’m so thankful for all the people who approached me after my talk to share some kind words. I had a hard time even refilling my coffee or going to the bathroom because I was stopped so much, haha.

Thanks for the great conference!

11 comments

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  1. 1
    rrlane

    I have the exact same shirt that PZ is wearing.

  2. 2
    Mike Brownstein

    You need to be a hockey fan now…

  3. 3
    SuperHappyJen

    For some reason your first pic wouldn’t load. I’m not surprised you like Canada. It is the greatest country on Earth after all. :)

  4. 4
    Craig Smith

    Why wouldn’t you? That shirt is classy as hell.

  5. 5
    Lars Martin

    I’m totally paying attention, I’m just aiming my left ear at PZ for some reason.

  6. 6
    Guyking

    Your presentation was great Jen, as were all of them. I hope to see you at another event. A fantastic time and the food was amazing too!

  7. 7
    Donna Williams

    Okay, I’ll admit that I’m one of the fangirls who got a photo with you and had you sign the shirt. :-) This was my first atheist conference and absolutely not my last. The whole day was amazing. I was also very excited to return to my table at one point to find PZ was sitting and chatting with my 16 year old son and my new table friends. He was telling us about his Zebra fish and Salamander experiments. Definitely a ‘squee’ moment. Thank you for coming to Canada!

  8. 8
    Cathy

    Great to see you in Canada, Jen. You are a top quality speaker! I drove three hours to get to the conference and it was so worth it. Thanks!

  9. 9
    KAMATHEIST

    Hey Jen…. As the organizer of the conference I can’t tell you how much we appreciated your talk and just having you at the event. Your words resonated with all of us and your sense of humor made the words even more powerful. A great talk from a great speaker ! If we do it again I would love to have you back again, along with a few more women of course.

  10. 10
    RePete02

    Great fun. Really liked your presentation and had a great time at the conference. Let’s do it again.

  11. 11
    Mark Cunningham

    Thanks for attending Jen and making yourself avalible to chat to. Great talk too.

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