So, yes, i have been very quiet in the world of WordPress lately. This is mostly due to working on my novel for NaNoWriMo. i’m right at about 35,000 words thus far, which is something like three days ahead of the nominal curve, after losing three whole days over the weekend. So i’m in pretty good shape, but trying to get my momentum worked back up after taking three days off is a bear!
In other news, i spent the past weekend at Skepticon 6 in Springfield. It was an amazing time, just like every other Skepticon i’ve been to, and (just like every other Skepticon) it just keeps getting better and better every year! i had a great time meeting some new friends, reconnecting with some old friends from Springfield, Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and other places. i also got to talk to several of the speakers, re-introduce myself to a couple, introduce myself for the first time to others, and put the idea in their mind of having them come talk to the Branson Freethinkers if they wind up coming through the area for any reason. My friend and organization president got to do some of that, too, and between the two of us, i think we made some pretty good contacts. My only regret was that i completely missed my opportunity to talk to Greta Christina this year. i had some things i wanted to share with her, and a couple of questions i wanted to ask after she gave her talk. Maybe i’ll shoot her an e-mail or something instead… when i can find some time to sit down and write.
Leaving Skepticon always feels like leaving a really cool summer camp, where you’ve spent a bunch of time meeting cool people from all over the place and learning neat stuff in an open environment. Coming back to real life sucks, and i’ve definitely got some Post-Skepticon Doldrums going right now. Somebody at the con said that they wished it was Skepticon all year. i can’t decide if that would be really fucking awesome or just make it less special somehow…
Aside from that, life is still a big ball of stress. i have an EEG on Wednesday to check on some of the recent epilepsy issues i’ve had, and they want me to spend the entire 24 hours beforehand not drinking either alcohol or caffeine. Work is going to suck in a huge way without my coffee and Diet Coke that i usually intersperse throughout the day. Hopefully ibuprofen isn’t out of the question… As to work, i’m still stressing like crazy there. My regular school day job isn’t too bad, really. The afterschool program is giving me fits, though. i think it’s safe to say that i am full-on burned out on that ever since this new school year started and they changed up a bunch of the structure (for the worse). i find myself hitting the hour or so before the school day ends and dreading having to walk over to the elementary and fend off the screaming hordes of pre-pubescent insanity for three more hours. i’m also behind on my online class in a big way. i have until May to finish it, but i want to finish by the end of the semester, and i may have… strongly indicated to my parents… that i would, so… fuck.
And i’ve been feeling pretty depressed lately. Not over the weekend, of course, the weekend was unbelievably awesome. But it’s creeping back already just 24ish hours later. Joy.
i do have one other thing to report. At Skepticon i came to a couple of decisions about how i present myself to the rest of the world. For one thing, i went to a training for the Secular Student Alliance’s Secular Safezone program, and i am now a registered Safezone Ally… which basically means i’m listed as someone who can listen and talk impartially to students about their issues with religion or other general life things without being all Christian-judgy and “turn back to Jesus” about it. Basically providing a safe area for them to talk about whatever they want without fearing rejection. Part of that is putting up a “Secular Safezone” sign somewhere visible in the area where i work. So i’ve decided to be (slightly) less closeted about who i am. i put the Secular Safezone sign up over the table that marks “my area” in the main classroom i’m in. We only get a limited number of students in that room, so it’s not really getting big coverage there, and no one’s asked me a single question about it yet, so i don’t know that anyone’s really noticed it. i’m considering putting the other sign that i got up somewhere more noticeable, but i haven’t made up my mind about that yet.
i left a couple of the “offensive” buttons on my bag today when i went to work. (My Secular Safezone button, a “Science” Evolvefish, and one i got from the Skepchick booth that just says “Geek” on it. All fairly innocuous.) i also wore my new Surlyramic necklace (it’s pretty blue and purple and says “Humanist” on it) at work today, albeit under my clothes. They’re small steps, but they’re something. i intend to continue documenting my experiences with the Secular Safezone thing as i decide exactly what to do and find out how people will react as the word spreads about my having done this. i’m kind of worried about my mom, because she’s been one of the main instigators of my fear of outing myself as an atheist at work, i think because she thinks it will reflect badly on her as well, because that’s more important than me being true to myself, right?
Anyway, this is getting close to my 1,000 word cut-off, and it’s in danger of becoming a legitimate journal entry instead of just a Quickie, so i should probably quit writing and go to bed. i am pretty tired…