Here it is, the last day of Imagine No Religion 4; the conference is over for another year. And the worst thing to happen to me today was losing the lens cap to my camera. Oh, well–shit happens. I’m sure I can live without it.
Another fun-filled, enlightening day, another day of taking careful notes from all of the speakers–one of whom I completely forgot to photograph, before or during his talk, but there’s no point in crying over spilled almond milk. One of the presenters, near the end of her presentation, showed a photograph of Earth, shot from behind Saturn–she had to zoom in to show us this little blue dot that is our planet; I honestly thought I was going to cry at the sight of it, and the thought that we live on a planet no bigger than the point of a ballpoint pen relative to the universe as a whole–and to Saturn, whose image took up most of the left part of the photograph. And I got my books signed by their respective authors, one of whom seemed to really appreciate meeting me as well as my buying his book.
I did miss some opportunities this year–chiefly the chance to interact with one of the speakers–but this year was an improvement over last year in terms of me rustling up the nerve to talk to people I want to talk to. Overall, though, I’m glad I came to this year’s conference, and have every intention of going to next year’s conference if there is one. Hopefully by then, I’ll have a thing or two to say to people I want to talk to, and I won’t let as many opportunities pass me by out of sheer nervousness.
After an earlier-than-expected start to the day (for reasons I won’t go into), I had a very long, informative day at the conference. I even sat next to two of the speakers for most of the day! I spoke to them only a couple of times so far, but even from that, I can safely say they’re very nice. Also, I bought a book, and have plans to purchase another, and to get the authors to sign them. Not to mention I got some excellent photos–even if they do need touching up so they look professional; unfortunately, I had to run out of one of this afternoon’s talks to get fresh batteries for my camera, because I didn’t think to purchase a package before this weekend. Stupid, I know. (Christopher diCarlo, if you ever read this, I’m so sorry.)
We had an hour and a half free before the banquet and movie scheduled for this evening, followed by a question-and-answer period–which I just returned from, by the way. I would definitely see the movie, The Unbelievers, again, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to buy it from iTunes or wait until it comes to Netflix; at least I’ll have a couple of weeks to make that decision.
I returned, not ten minutes ago, from a panel discussion, which is part of the Imagine No Religion conference. I only got one photo of the panel, and participated in a group conversation with the panel’s host at the subsequent reception. Not a great start from where I sit–mostly because I don’t like to initiate or even join conversations, especially with complete strangers, unless I feel I have a reason to, and what I feel is the drastic shortage of photos–but a good night out over all, especially when you take into consideration that I learned some valuable lessons–even if my iPod’s battery did run out near the beginning of the panel discussion–and even developed at least one essay idea, which I hope I’ll develop more fully and then write in the not-too-distant future.
Now, I really should get some shut-eye, as I feel the need to get up early tomorrow.