By Nick Schifani
How's it going, everybody!? Last night many of us Memphis nerds made history. We attended the first ever Nerd Nite Memphis. If you didn't know, Nerd Nite has been going on for some time around the country. It's been held in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Austin. Those are some big cities, so for us to be a part of a growing community is incredible! We should be overly proud of ourselves for the turn out we had at Rec Room. Hell, I know I am super proud of everyone that showed up and the three wonderful speakers who kicked off this event. If you didn't attend this time no worries, there will be more in the following months. Allow me to give you a small peak into what you missed out on last night. Whether you went or not, and want to reach out to me to talk about it hit me up over on the Twitter. You can get at me with either @Nerd_901 or @WebHeadNick86. Hope you enjoy what I cover for you here today, and hope to see everyone again next time. All the best!
Let me kick this off with a huge thank you to Dr. Stephanie Madden. She worked so hard to get Nerd Nite to this city. It's because of her we have this outstanding event where all Memphis nerds can come and well…nerd out. It was her perseverance and determination that allowed this to happen. Not to mention, she doubled as the host last night, and she freaking nailed it! She was funny, engaged the audience, and was equipped with funny quips to tackle this inspiring evening. I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve next for us in the coming months.
When she started the presentation she surprised me with a "thank you" slide, and wouldn't you know it we were on there. I was overrunning with excitement. I was so excited that it brought me to tears. No joke. I had to excuse myself from a conversation to have a moment outside. Stephanie and I shared some cool moments from both our respective Twitter pages, but I would have never guessed she would have featured us on one of her slides. I know I can speak for the rest of the Nerd901 crew when I say from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, Stephanie!
First up we had Aaron Brame or @mr_brame on Twitter. His presentation was about the Paul McCartney "death hoax" of 1969. Dressed to impress Aaron captivated the audience with controversy and myths of what may have happened to Paul McCartney. He provided a fun and witty speech the showed evidence of all the Beatle members in on this hoax. From eerie photos to subtle album covers, Aaron depicted how the Paul McCartney we know today could possibly be an impostor. Aaron's "alternative facts" helped us start to question if we even knew the truth about the beloved Beatle member. The truth is out folks. Who is up to the task to dive deeper into Mr. Brame's presentation? Or is he on a one-man journey from Abbey Road to a deeper and darker rabbit hole. Either way, thank you, Aaron, for starting off the night with a mind trip we may never forget!
Up next was the high energy of Dr. Michael Steudeman, who can be found on Twitter @mjsteudeman. Right out of the gates, we could tell we were going to get an extremely passionate presentation from the Doctor. Paired with slides of the Magic School Bus and endless amounts of Parks and Recs references, Michael talked about the Heroic Teacher Myth. As a teacher himself, Michael knew how to make this an important topic for all of us. He not only showed us the history of how teachers became important, but how it continues to be a need for our country. Education truly is the key to our future. If we continue to let teaching become something we deem unimportant, then what could happen to our young students and future minds of the world. If I picked up anything from Dr. Steudeman, it's we need to do more to care for our educators. Oh and also, his last name spelled backward is "names duets".
The final speaker of the evening was our pal, Shannon Merritt from 901 Comics. You can also check them out on Twitter @901comics. You should give them a follow. Shannon's topic was creating nerd culture in Memphis. We all know with the rise of Marvel and DC movies, it's made it easier for us nerds to leave our gaming chairs and venture out into the world. Shannon's message was clear. It's up to us to keep the movement going strong into the future. He states that those movies demand will take a dip. Much like the Western movies of old, the phenomenon can't last forever. Shannon wonders what are we going to do when that happens? Will we stand tall and continue to show our nerdy pride? Or will we cower back to our computer screens and comics without a peep? Shannon's speech felt more like a call to action, one that he knocked out of the park. You could tell the way that Shannon spoke about this topic that he was passionate about this movement. It's a movement we should all be proud of and continue to fulfill. So, I along with Shannon call upon you other nerds! Nerd culture is here! We shall not let it die!
Last night was one of the best nights I have had in a long time. I felt at home sitting in Rec Room with my fellow nerds. I was in terrific company as well. Hunkered down with my best buds from @2Player_CoOP, @PixelAndPapers, and of course my brother, Adam, it was one hell of a night. Which leads me to one last thank you.
Thank you to everyone that came out last night. It's because of you last night was amazing. Without all my fellow nerds and geeks last night would not have been such a success. We made history last night, folks. Let's not let this be a one and done event. Let's continue to show up and support Stephanie and Nerd Nite. I hope to see you all again in the upcoming months. Nerd Nite will be held on the last Wednesday of every month. Join me, nerds! Let's make each time bigger and bigger. Together we will show this beloved city of ours that nerds are here! And we are here to stay!!