Where was I?
It’s been a hectic, packed, chaotically wonderful couple of months. There’s my teaching, of course, with some really thoughtful and productive engagement in critical thinking on the part of my students. I, for one, have learned a lot this semester. But one or two other things have happened recently as well.
Back in February, I was astonished and unspeakably proud to learn that I had been given the Freethinker of the Year award by Center For Inquiry-NYC. I’ve received my share of various sorts of public recognition over the years, but honestly nothing that’s meant as much as this lovely acknowledgment from such a valuable secular organization. Two weeks later, I celebrated a warm and stimulating Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers (February 26) with members of CFI-Harlem/Harlem Humanists, African Americans for Humanism, and Black Atheists of America.
The big event of the last few months, of course, was the March 24 Reason Rally in the National Mall in Washington, DC, which I attended with six members of the Bronx Community College Secular Humanist Club. (Arriving insanely early in the morning, we ended up very close to the stage and had an amazing day despite the nearly continuous rain.) Three of us stuck around for the American Atheists National Convention in Bethesda, Maryland from March 25-26, which I struggled valiantly to live-tweet in the face of a very slow wi-fi signal and, frankly, having a fabulous time. Highlights for me included talking with Jamila Bey, Ayanna Watson, and Debbie Goddard, all of whom will be participating in the SHC-sponsored “Freethought in Black History and Culture” panel at BCC on May 7. Bizarrely, I was recognized and excitedly chatted up by a number of people, including two who asked me to pose with them for photographs. (Thus begins my inevitable descent into decadent celebrity.) But these conversations, and so many others that weekend, were fun and friendly and so chock full of humanistic goodness that my face actually hurt from smiling by the end of the first day.
Things are no less busy now. In among teaching, rehearsing and performing with my Americana band, setting up April 25′s “What Do Atheists, Agnostics and Humanists Believe?: A Dialogue with the Secular Humanist Club,” providing quotes and information for an upcoming article on the SHC in the campus newspaper, working on CFI-NYC’s Volunteer Advisory Board, and helping coordinate participation in its ongoing series of community service projects, I somehow got tapped to appear at NECSS 2012 along with several other educators to discuss the teaching of critical thinking. (Poor Randi will be following me.)
There are a couple of other projects on the horizon that I can’t discuss just yet. Stay tuned.