I staggered home last night at about 2am, fresh from Eschaton 2012. It was a very good conference from my perspective (and probably everyone else’s, too!). There was a familiar mix of good friends from Freethoughtblogs — Natalie Reed, who was given a well-deserved award from CFI for her social justice work, Hank “Beta Culture” Fox, Ian “Zombie Slayer” Cromwell, Ophelia “God Hates Women” Benson, and me, who bored everyone to tears with a primer on some very basic principles in population genetics (why do these people keep inviting me?). Then there were some familiar big names: Larry Moran, Chris DiCarlo, and Eugenie Scott. And then what I really look forward to: meeting new people who either are, ought to be, or will be big names: Veronica Abbass (why haven’t I been following Canadian Atheist before?), Dear Ania, and of course people like Heina, Eric MacDonald, Udo Schuklenk, Vyckie Garrison, and Jeff Shallit. There were others I missed; it was a surprisingly diverse and ambitious conference with two parallel tracks so you couldn’t see everything. That was a cunning ploy, I think, to whet our appetites for more so we’ll come to the next one. I learned stuff and had good conversations and that’s all I really ask of a conference.
Now, unfortunately, while I’m physically back in Morris for a good long while, I have to warn you that this is the last week of the semester and the chronic distractions of a heavy workload are about to flare into acute intensity: this is the week I have to give and grade the last unit exams of the term, grade term papers, advise worried students on their status in my courses, and do a bit of essential committee work, too, so I’m not going to be able to do much blog writing for a bit, despite positively aching to get a bunch of science and atheism stuff hammered down in words. The blog has to wait a bit longer while I deal with my top priority teaching.
But the end is in sight! These demands on my time (really, I’m looking at staying up much of tonight trying to get a stack of exams graded promptly) will begin to ebb around mid-week, and then finals aren’t that bad — they’re like the last paroxysm before the fever breaks. I shall persevere. You’ll have to bear with my boringness for a bit longer.