Tonight at OCON I'm taking a break to get in my required alone time - it's room service and a book for me. If I'm around people too much, I seem to lose my mind - even when they are some of the greatest people in the world!
I am having the best time at this conference. I promised myself that I'd try to focus my socializing around the education folks - the teachers, homeschoolers, and other parents concerned with their kids' education. I've had so many illuminating conversations already, and it's only Monday! The optional courses that I'm taking are all things that apply directly to my life and work: Ray Girn's course on Moral Development in Education, Keith Lockitch's course Writing Objectively, and Lisa VanDamme's course on Making Poetry Part of Your Life. I'll report on them some time after I return, but I know already that I'm pleased with this strategy, rather than the one I used in the past of picking speakers that I like or some subject that I have a general curiosity about. I mean, those are fine strategies for other purposes, but now that I'm finally honing my interests and developing a Central Purpose, this is exactly what I need.
I've reconnected with many friends that I see rarely, and I'm hoping that I'll come away with a few new friends as well.
Yaron Brook gave a talk on Defending Capitalism this morning that was so inspiring. I mean, it was not only inspiring in the sense of giving spiritual fuel, but it gave me a specific idea for a new project that could unite two of my greatest values. I won't write about it until I flesh it out more, though.
On top of that, both Leonard Peikoff and David Harriman have included education as major parts of their lectures. My mind is doing its thing as an integrating machine and I feel about to burst with insights, practical ideas, and new challenges to think about.
Last night, for Independence Day, among other things, we were treated to a reading of Thomas Jefferson's last letter by John Ridpath. If you've ever heard John Ridpath speak of the Founders, you can imagine how moving it was, and what an incredible way to celebrate this secular holy day.
Ta-ta for now. I'm off to enjoy some solitude.