UNF Conference

by Jason Stotts

The UNF (University of North Florida) Conference just ended as I write this – it was last night and all day today. It’s been an interesting time down here, mostly because this is the first time I’ve ever presented a philosophy paper at a conference. I must confess that I was rather nervous going into the talk and I probably spoke just a little too quickly, but I didn’t trip over many words and I got done right at 30mins, so I didn’t go long. There were a couple good questions, but the paper stood sturdy and somehow so did I.

The conference wasn’t precisely what I was expecting (although really I didn’t know what to expect), but it was a lot of fun. Dr. Ellen Wagner chaired the conference and she kept things running pretty well on schedule – this seems to be how things run at UNF too as the grad students affectionately referred to her at their Matriarch. It was kinda weird, because I was expecting something more like the Objectivist Conferences (which are the only conferences I’ve been to) that are more formalistic and professional. Although it does make sense that since this is a student conference that it should be more relaxed.

Everyone was really nice and the topics were interesting – there were a couple papers on epistemology, a couple on ethics, and more on metaphysics. After the lectures today we all went out to dinner together and sat around talking for awhile, which was nice. I was introduced to Macallan (scotch), which was a lovely way to watch a Florida sunset out on the patio with a glass of scotch and good conversation.

It’s kinda weird though because M. is also here in Jacksonville…although she did not come down to hear me speak, rather she came to visit her ex-boyfriend Ryan who also happens to be a student here at UNF.

All in all I had a great time and it’s nice to have a mini vacation (even if it is a working one) before I have to go back to Ohio and work hardcore to finish my senior research on time. What makes it even better though is that Denison graciously offered to pay for me to do this, which is the only way it was feasible for me since otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to come.

So a big thanks to UNF, DU, and everyone who supported me doing this!

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