June 18, 2013 by kittynh
TAM, The Amazing Meeting, is in a few weeks. Each year I meet people I never imagined I would meet. I have been to many conferences, but I’ve never been to one where the speakers and ‘stars” just hang out with the people attending.
My daughter ate lunch with Jamie and Kari from Mythbusters, she just went up and asked if she could sit at their table. Jamie and my daughter talked almost the entire time. He picked up on the fact that she is rather shy, and they ignored the rest of the table as he sensed she would do better with quiet conversation.
I met Matt and Trey, creators of “South Park” and my daughter has a magazine signed by them. I’ve eaten lunch with Harriet Hall, she just said “hey who wants to come with me and we can use the buffet coupons we got!” It was an incredibly interesting lunch, where I was in awe the entire time. She didn’t know who I was, she just open to meeting new people.
I could go on and on. Randi, yes The Amazing Randi, has become family over the years. I started out at the first TAM afraid to even shake his hand. The second TAM I volunteered to help out. I then learned if you volunteer you get to know the wonderful JREF staff. Randi always goes out of his way to thank the volunteers. My daughter, Evelyn, later was an intern with Randi twice. When my daughter graduated from MIT with her PhD, she dedicated her thesis to Randi. She credits him with her success. Yes, going to TAM and meeting your heroes can change your life.
I can not even begin to name all the skeptics that I knew only through their podcasts and books and articles, and I now consider friends. I’m not just talking about the more well known.
Sharon Hill is a new friend I got to know through being on a panel with her. For some reason there was mistake and I wasn’t asked to be on any panels this year! (It’s fine, I’m not very important, but it was an incredible honor to actually be a part of a workshop at TAM last year).
I would need a whole other blog post to focus on the good close friends I met at TAM, people that have become my real life best friends. These are just regular skeptics like myself, people with real jobs and families that believe in promoting critical thinking, and are at TAM to be inspired.
You never know who you will meet at TAM. But I have yet to attend and not come home without at least
one new friend.
- Don’t be a Dick, unless your name is William, or why I often don’t read the comments (yankeeskeptic.com)
- Six Reasons Not to Miss TAM 2013 (randi.org)
- See You at The Amazing Meeting 2013! (skepticblog.org)
- Penn Jillette Loses, Local Charity Wins (lasvegas.cbslocal.com)
- Even Though the Scenes Were Eventually Cut, Penn Jillette Tried to Get Atheist Donors on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice (patheos.com)