Monday update

Exciting news! Yesterday I submitted a story to Age of Awareness, an online publication with more than 35,000 followers that features stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the education system.

The author of the course I am taking encouraged students to submit to online publications early, and get used to being rejected a few times. I had an article about my experience skipping first grade in school, and searched for an education publication. I found AoA Saturday, and yesterday I submitted my story and had it accepted about 3 hours later. Not sure when it will appear on AoA’s home page; my stats indicate it has not been on there yet.

Hard to believe a guy who carries a troll around and who featured Tube Top Month in his blog for 9 years has an article being read by professors, teachers, principals, and other prominent folks in the education system… technically I guess I do have the street cred, though, having taught at the U of M and worked for the city schools back when they were still a thing.

I got the news about 5:30 PM. My first instinct was to go out and have a beer or two to celebrate… but the stupid rules would have required me to order a food item with those beers, and I had just eaten. COVID RUINS EVERYTHING.

Well, maybe not everything. The Memphis Tigers had a bye week due to Purdue canceling their scheduled matchup, and following a COVID-19 outbreak among football personnel, they had to cancel this coming Saturday’s game against Houston. Yet they entered the AP poll, debuting this week at number 16. Memphis is the third-highest-ranked non-Power 5 team, behind AAC rivals Cincinnati (13) and UCF (14).

The Tennessee Vols are 15th. This season is their best chance to go undefeated in a long time, especially if COVID-19 spikes in the southeastern states and cancels the SEC season in the next two weeks.

North Carolina FC came from behind to hand Memphis 901 FC a 3-2 road loss last night. Although still mathematically possible, for all intents and purposes Memphis is too far behind in Group G to make the playoffs this year.

Next match is another away match at Louisville FC 6:30 Saturday. Matches are televised on CW30.

The virtual version of Memphis’ 2020 Latin Fest kicks off tomorrow and lasts through the end of the month. There will be dance classes, artistic presentations, and discussions with experts on community topics.

Breaking news: Domino’s Pizza has pledged $100 million to St. Jude, the largest-ever gift to the children’s cancer research hospital.

Shelby County Commission will discuss police tactics at Monday meeting. Insider tip: For up-to-the-minute coverage of Commission meetings, follow @bdriesdm on Twitter. CAN YOU FEEL IT?

Since this is a slow news day, I want to talk a little bit more about the website I write for, Medium. Remember your first trip to a mall? The possibilities seemed endless. There was a Spencer’s and there was a Gadzooks and there was a Limited and Waldenbooks and Banana Republic and American Eagle and on and on… and then there was the food court. You could have pizza or ice cream or a Philly cheese steak or Chinese or a pretzel.

Medium is like that. It’s kind of a shopping mall full of really excellent writing. They have a list of 104 topics in which you can dig as deep as you want. If there’s any subject you’d like to read about that’s not in the topics list, type it into the search box and you’ll probably find plenty.

Medium also has publications built on its platform, including Age of Awareness where I recently got published. A few publications I think many of my readers would like include

  • P.S. I Love You – this pub is all about relationships and relationship advice.
  • The Startup – Medium’s largest publication with 700,000 followers. Entrepreneurs, techies, and those who are naturally curious will find plenty to read here.
  • Better Humans – writing on human potential and self-improvement.
  • The Ascent – storytellers documenting the search for happiness and fulfillment. I have been accepted as a writer to this one and am working on an article.
  • The Post-Grad Survival Guide – life advice, financial advice, stories of successes and failures aimed mainly at those between college graduation and age 30.

I first got into Medium when I still wanted a career in IT. Their stuff in that field is top-notch, particularly data science, Javascript, programming, software engineering, and UX. If you’re thinking about changing jobs, Medium is a particularly good investment: You’ll find plenty of questions asked in technical interviews at some of America’s best-known companies.

Things you can do if you really enjoy a post on Medium:

  • Follow the writer – this tells Medium you’d like to see more of what this author wrote on your news feed.
  • Clap for the article – this tells Medium that this article should be shown more frequently in people’s news feeds. Click the clapping hands icon next to/below the article to clap. You can clap up to 50 times for an article.
  • Highlight sections of the article – these highlights will appear when your followers read the same article.
  • Subscribe to the author’s email list, or to the publication’s – you’ll get notified when there are similar articles of interest. I’m thinking about starting an email list once I get my follower count in the 500-1000 range.

I’m not trying to make this sound like a commercial for a company that pays me money (just a teeny tiny bit so far, but I’m hoping that changes). I have only been a writer for Medium for half a month. I’ve been a paid subscriber on and off for the past two years.

I consider the quality and quantity of good articles to more than justify the $5 expense. That’s especially true during COVID-19, when “bored at home” is our status a lot more than we’d like it to be.

Put it this way, if I were forced to give up my Medium subscription or my WWE Network subscription, I’d give up WWE. Those of you who know me well know what a strong statement that is.

That’ll do it. Time to get to work. I don’t anticipate getting out until Wednesday unless fate intervenes. Back tomorrow with more news.