My Talk at Skepchicamp 2010 June 4, 2010

My Talk at Skepchicamp 2010

Back in March, Skepchicamp 2010 happened in Chicago. A whole bunch of local skeptics spoke for about 20 minutes each on a subject of their choice. It was an awesome event and I’m sure it’ll happen again next year.

I decided to talk about the time last summer when a conservative “family” group outed me to my bosses at work and told parents to remove their children from my classroom.

$#&%, I hate watching myself. I counted about 329423 things I would say/do differently. I’m sure you can find more.

Anyway, more videos from the event are being uploaded this week, but there is already one up featuring a plethora of skepchicks! Check them out.

(Thanks to Bruce Critelli for the videos!)

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  • Silent Service

    I’m glad my current boss is an atheist too. It’s one less thing to worry about in my life. I’ve always hated when I get stuck working for a god-botherer. The first one I worked for tried to screw me over on my performance reports because I wasn’t right with god.

  • Carol B

    Hemant, you’re too hard on yourself! I didn’t count anything that you could have said/done differently. You were well-spoken, entertaining, interesting, on-topic — good job!!! 🙂

  • Hitch

    Was a great story well told. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’ve never listened or watched one of your videos before (though I’ve been around for like a freaking year now), and you sound nothing like I expected. Where’s the Chicago accent I expected!

    Overall, it’s a pretty good run of speaking for someone who is a math teacher, which isn’t exactly about telling great stories!

  • You should have done some traditional Indian dancing at the end since you are so good at it. But besides that omission, great job!

  • LKL

    Good talk. You’re living up to your ‘friendly’ moniker, even in the face of some pretty silly provocation.
    I’m curious about that last question – couldn’t hear it, but it must have been funny based on the reactions.

  • Hey this was a very engaging story you told. I think about that too with my blog as I am a social worker. Thanks a ton for this video.

  • I second Veritas — you sound completely different from what I expected 0.0 Nice talk, though. I can see how you might have wanted to do some parts differently, but the main idea was expressed, so it’s not terrible or anything.

  • HP

    I thought you were great. But then, I can’t think of a public talk that isn’t improved by having an accordionist standing around in the background. Someone should composite that guy into all the TEDtalks.

  • I get the self-loathing, because I’m nothing but self-critical when reviewing what I’ve said in a public sense. But you shouldn’t get too down on yourself. You’re quite the raconteur, Hemant. Good talk.

  • So uh, what is the square root of -1? Pretty sure it isn’t jesus but my math skills end at 1+1 so I could be wrong. I hate listening to myself on voicemail, nevermind watching a video of myself…

  • The square root of negative one is imaginary, just like Jesus

    ..and my keyboard and my coffee meet in glorious, sticky harmony.

  • Miki

    Well, I thought it was great, more effective than a formal speech.

  • RBH

    Um, I thought skepchicks come in coveys. Pundits come in plethoras.

  • japanther


    AWWWWW. You look so cute! You seem to be very genuine and nice. Maybe I missed the post, but are you gay/bi/straight?

    I understand why you might not have specifically said so, I am active duty, military (male), and I hate labels, so that makes me BI


  • @japanther Thanks 🙂

    I’m straight.

    And single.

    Got that, ladies…? *wink wink nudge nudge*

  • ckitching

    The only critique I’d leave is that you “um” a lot. That, and the sound from the microphone was a little distorted from time to time.

  • Sean

    Someone should make an animated gif of him nodding repeatedly at 18:55

  • Bekii

    I really enjoyed this video, it was amusing and personable and I felt I could relate. I just graduated from Highschool last month, and I was the only atheist in my Philosphy II class. We talked about various different topics, and it was probably one of my favourite classes, but when we got to the religion unit it suddenly became a lot more intimidating to share my opinions. If my teacher hadn’t been such a good impartial mediator, I might of stayed mute.

    sorry about the long post! and thank you for the story, please keep posting!

  • chuckles

    square root of -1 is imaginary, just like jesus…

    lol, thanks for the laugh

  • Travis


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