Learn About Eating for Better Night's Sleep


1. Hi Karman! You are introducing a new and unique class to Nashville Community Education, can you tell us more about your upcoming class?

 I'm thrilled to be teaching a class through Nashville Community Education focused on how nutrition impacts our sleep. We often overlook diet as having a role in sleeping well at night, but there are certain nutrients in food that play a vital part in healthy sleeping habits! In this class, we will cover some key nutrients to consider for improved sleep, and then we'll make an easy recipe that incorporates those sleep-beneficial foods!

2.  How did you get into this type of work?  

I've been a practicing dietitian for ten years now and have worked in a variety of settings during that time. It was while doing group counseling in a behavioral health hospital with patients experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses that I became more interested in the connection between sleep, diet, and stress management. Lack of sleep was a common issue for patients in this setting, and along with poor sleep often came poor nutrition and diet. Sleep, diet, and mental health are all interconnected, and if we can help people make small improvements in each of these areas, over time, the impact will be significant and even life-changing. As a dietitian, my primary focus is to help people better understand nutrition and how it impacts our overall well-being. 

3. How do the foods we eat affect our sleep?

Sleep is regulated by a series of chemical reactions, and if we can nourish our bodies with the right foods, we can help keep those processes working appropriately. There are foods that can negatively affect our sleep and foods that can positively affect sleep. Unfortunately, the typical American diet tends to be more abundant in the foods that are detrimental to sleep, like high-fat foods and excess sugar throughout the day. Not only are we eating more of the foods that can interfere with sleep, most Americans are not getting enough of the important nutrients that play a role in sleep, like magnesium. The food we eat can deliver the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need in order to do the best job they can do!  

4.  What is one of your favorite recipes that helps you catch some zzz's?  

I have several recipes in the book that I love and make often, but one easy breakfast recipe I enjoy weekly is the Egg on Avocado Toast with Salsa. It's as simple as it sounds too! Toasted whole-grain bread topped with mashed avocado and an over-easy egg, then salsa on top. It has the protein, fat, carbohydrate trio that is satisfying and provides vitamin B6, which is necessary for the production of melatonin (the sleep-promoting hormone). You won't fall asleep immediately after eating this breakfast; rather, it gives the body the necessary tools to do what it needs to do at the appropriate time. 

better nights sleep

5.  When you think about the foods for a better night's sleep, what are some foods we should be keeping in our pantry and fridge? 

Two foods I always suggest first are tart cherry juice and raw, hulled pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas. Tart cherry juice is one of the few foods that has been studied for its direct impact on sleep, and the results were positive! Tart cherry juice was found to help prolong sleep by 84 minutes in a group of participants who reported suffering from insomnia. They drank two 8-ounce glasses of the juice in the morning and about an hour before bedtime for two weeks during the study. Tart cherry juice also has anti-inflammatory properties. Pepitas are one of the best food sources of magnesium, a nutrient that many Americans are lacking. Magnesium is involved in 600 chemical reactions in the body and plays a key role in getting a good night's sleep. 

6. You wrote a book about this subject, can you tell us more about your book?

 The book includes 50 foods we should be enjoying more of for better sleep, along with 25 recipes to help implement those foods into your diet. I also share the basics about sleep, other factors to consider for improved sleep, and how lack of sleep over time can lead to serious health complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poor immune health. Sleep is truly a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, and I hope this book can help people understand how sleep and diet are integrated. 

Better Night's Sleep

7.  What are some takeaways you want people to have when they leave your class? 

 After this class, I hope that people are more in tune with what they choose to eat during the day and how food choices may impact the sleep they get at night. Class attendees will leave with an understanding of certain nutrients that are important for sleep and how to include more of the sleep-beneficial foods into their daily routine. 

Karman’s class is on December 11th! You can register HERE. To learn more about Karman and her book make sure you follow her online. Instagram/Facebook/ and Purchase her book!

Create Your Life Story Through Music


1.      Share with us what your class; Music as Memoir is all about. 

First and foremost, this class doesn’t require any experience with making music. We’ll see how some folks have used music in different ways to talk about their lives; then, we’ll think and write about the music that has shaped our own stories. 

2.      Why do you feel music is such a great way to tell a life memory? 

Music, like our sense of smell or taste, can evoke visceral memories. Inevitably a song or band leads to a story and a window into who we were then and have become since. 

George Harrison

3.      What are some songs that are personal to you and a special memory? 

I remember the first time I heard The Best of George Harrison. I apparently so wanted the album that my sister’s best friend’s cousin took it off the turntable and gave it to me. Last year, after the hurricane, I gave myself a player, unpacked all of my vinyl, and played that record first.  

4.      What styles of writing is this class great for? 

I’ve chosen readings and created prompts for a wide range of writers. Because we all have something to say, and no single template works for everyone, we have the opportunity to explore new-to-us styles. 

5.      Tell us more about yourself! 

Oh, golly. What do you want to know? 


6.      What is your favorite thing about teaching this class? 

I especially like seeing students connect with a part of themselves that they may have tucked away and forgotten; discover the freedom that comes with putting words to their experience and embrace the accomplishment of a story well told. 

7.      What do you find are popular memories people love to share in this class?  

Stories revolve around everything from first concerts and first kisses to family vacations and college spring breaks to memories of loved ones no longer with us. 

Sheri’s Class, Music as Memoir starts on November 18th- December 9th! You can register for the class Here!

Why You Need to Tell Your Life Story

Amy L

1. We are very excited about having this class for the fall, what inspired you to create this class? 

I was inspired to create a class devoted to writing one’s life story when spending time with my mother in her later years. She lived to be ninety-four, and although I got a lot of my questions answered about my family and our history along the way, I still don’t know much about a cousin named Roxie Malinda, buried in the corner of a family cemetery plot in Oxford, Mississippi, for example. I also had the pleasure of listening to the stories of my mother’s friends as they aged, and they took such delight in having someone listen, and I felt lucky to be hearing them. So, I want to encourage others to write while they can for those left behind to know them better. Just as important, though, I’m finding that the process of writing one’s life story, in one’s own words, is a valuable exercise in and of itself. For it allows us to look back on what we’ve accomplished and taken some satisfaction; it encourages us to honor our relationships and mourn our losses, and it invites us to address parts of our life that still need some attention.

2. Tell us more about yourself?

I was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and I moved to Nashville in 1993 to work for a publishing company. By then, I had lived in Knoxville and Washington, DC., and earned degrees in English and journalism. I consider Nashville home, and I love this city: its people, its energy, its creativity, its natural beauty. About ten years ago, I went back to school and got a graduate degree in theology at Vanderbilt. I believe creativity and spirituality are integrally linked, and the divinity school experience allowed me to expand the development of my work devoted to helping people claim and celebrate their authentic voices. I’ve led workshops on creativity, spirituality, and SoulCollage® throughout the Southeast and at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. In addition to writing and reading, I enjoy volunteering, wandering around Radnor Lake, hanging out with my husband and our dog named Norval, and listening to people’s stories.

3. What type of stories will students focus on telling in this class? 

Instead of outlining our lives based solely on chronology, we’ll explore memorable events, major milestones, and important relationships. We’ll also celebrate our accomplishments and acknowledge our regrets.

4. What are some stories that are important to you that you’ve had a chance to compose?

I’ve written a good deal about the deaths of my parents, marrying later in life, and aging. Such writing has allowed me to better process these major life events and inspired me to keep going, keep questioning, keep writing my way through. I also wrote about helping my mother adapt to life after my father died in a piece that aired on National Public Radio. That was a great experience for both Mother and me.

5. Why do you believe telling your life story is important?

I believe it’s the sharing of our stories that saves us: as individuals, as corporate entities, as community advocates, as fellow pilgrims. Through the simple act of saying to someone, ‘This is what happened to me,’ we open connection to others. It reminds us that we are all in this thing called life together and that even when it seems we are all alone, we’re not.


Amy Lyles Wilson, M.A., M.T.S., is a published writer, experienced editor, and longtime workshop leader. A co-author or contributor to eight books, her work has been published in a variety of magazines and journals and on National Public Radio. She is trained in facilitating Amherst Writers and Artists and SoulCollage® workshops and holds a certificate in spiritual direction from the Haden Institute. More at www.amylyleswilson.com.

You can register for her new class: Telling Your Life Story, Oct 15-Nov 5, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Black Women in History


Black Women in History is a new class taking place at Inglewood Elementary. We interviewed the instructor Karyn Johnson about the upcoming class and what students will learn throughout the class.

  1. Welcome to Nashville Community Education! Tell our students more about yourself. My name is Karyn Johnson, and I'm originally from the Midwest (Chicago & Indianapolis). I have lived in Nashville for 14 years now, so I guess that makes me an official Southern Belle! I am the mother of two adult sons, ages 27 and 20 and one grandson. I am a writer and spoken word artist. You can usually find me reading a good book, working on my next writing project, or doing something fun like traveling, going to comedy shows, and trying to conquer the world!

  2. What interested you in teaching with Nashville Community Education? I want to teach with Nashville Community Education because they are so versatile in all of the classes they allow to be taught. You can meet such interesting people. I also have thought about teaching at a university, and this is a great way to get my feet wet.

  3. You are teaching "Black Women in History" why do you feel this is an important class? Black Women in History is such an important topic because we miss out on these amazing women who have done so much for our society. Black women have negative labels and negative connotations placed on us, such as the angry black woman, that we do not get a chance to be celebrated. This class gives us a chance to view Black women from a different place. 

  4. 4.    What are some things students will learn about in this upcoming class? We are going to look at 3-4 different Black women who have left their marks in history. We'll discuss what contributions they made, the lives they lived, and the struggles they survived. I'll also ask each student to research and present a Black woman of their choice for the last class. 

  5. Why did you pick the book, "Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America" for this class? I thought this would be a great discussion piece on how we must be one way in our professional lives and different in our personal lives as well as outside of our community or comfort zone. The way we act, speak and interact varies depending on where we are and who we are with, which is very much different from how our white female friends and coworkers must be. 

  6. Who are some of your favorite black women in history? Sally Hemings, Sarah Baartman, Florynce Kennedy, and Ruth Dunbar are some of my favorite women in history. 

  7. What are some topics about black culture and the black community that will be discussed? Besides some of our favorite Black women in history, we'll discuss how the Black woman of today is living and dealing with society, the community, etc.

  8. Why did you structure it as a research class? This was structured more as a research class for students to do their own discovery. It makes a class more interactive and exciting along with learning the subject better if the student can find information out for themselves and not just be told facts. 

  9.  When you are not teaching what are some hobbies you enjoy? I'm usually working out, going out to eat with friends, writing short stories or poems, reading, traveling, jumping double Dutch, hula hooping, watching Netflix, and getting in naps as much as I can!

  10. What are some of your favorite Nashville places to visit? Just when you think you have a favorite place in Nashville, something new pops up! I like going to the Casa de Montecristo in the Gulch, St. Anejo, also in the Gulch, Monell's in Germantown, Zanies Comedy Club on 8th Avenue South, Centennial Park off West End and the Pedestrian Bridge downtown. 

  11. What are two fun facts people may not know about you? My uncle was an Oscar-nominated actor, and I attended high school with comedian/actor Mike Epps and college with neo-soul singer, Erykah Badu. 

 Register for Black Women in History (October 15th- November 5th) at Inglewood Elementary.

Finding Your Passion & Purpose with Jazzmin Rodgers

Jazzmin Rodgers is teaching our Find Your Career with Passion & Purpose class that starts on September 11th! This class teaches students personal development to land a career you find purposeful.

We interviewed Jazzmin about her upcoming class.


1.      Tell us more about yourself!

My name is Jazzmin, and I am an HR Professional and Career Coach! I am the owner of the Millennial Success Coach, where we offer career services and coaching for high school and undergraduate students.

2.      Tell us more about your upcoming class?

My class is the MSC coaching program broken up into four sessions. Each class I will teach about the subject that day, then have an activity portion for the students. Class one is the intro where we introduce you to coaching and help students identify what their passions are. Class two is the personality test, class three is all about creating your career development plan, and class four is career tips on interviewing, resumes, LinkedIn, cover letter, etc.

3.      What inspired you to create this class about passion and purpose?

I feel that everyone should be doing something they enjoy doing. Work has ups and downs, but overall, you should feel passionate about your industry and position. If you don't, it can affect your overall happiness and health. I was inspired to create this coaching program on my journey, and if I had someone like me on my path to finding my passion, I would have jumped right on it!

4.      Why do you think it’s hard for people to find what they are passionate about?

It is hard because we can get caught up in what society says is the right path for us. School is amazing; however, school did not teach us to learn ourselves, learn the curriculum. Once you learn yourself, it is easier to identify what you find most passionate. We are forced to make life-changing decisions at a young age after graduating high school. During this age, we are still figuring out exactly who we are and what we like. Most times, we make the decision that is not best for us and correct that decision later in life. This program is tailored to prevent that from happening and fix it for those who are ready for a change.

5.      How will your class help people navigate into a career that they are passionate about?

First, I will help identify what it is the students are passionate about, then narrow those passions down to one. Then we focus on that one passion and create a strategic career plan around it.

6.      How does one find purpose in their career?

Someone finds purpose in their career by believing in what they do every day. If you can see the impact your role has in the organization, and believe in the values of what you do, you will find purpose in that. 

7.      What information should students gather about themselves, passion, or purpose before the class starts?

Before the class, students should be mentally ready and open. Your mindset is so important in this process. Students must be ready to do the work it takes to find your passion and being consistent with the choice you make.

8.      What other information do you believe students should know about your class?

I look forward to teaching this class. I love to help others solve career issues they are facing, and no one should ever feel like they are stuck in their current situation. You can find joy in what you do and make money from it! 

Register: https://nce.asapconnected.com/CourseDetail.aspx?CourseId=204351, September 11- October 2, Wednesday 6:30pm-7:30pm.

Meet Nicole La Bailarina Salsa Basics Instructor


We interviewed our new instructor Nicole La Bailarina. She is teaching Salsa Basics.

We are excited to have you here with us to teach Salsa Basics this fall! Yay Me too!

1.     Tell our students more about you?! I'm a Nashville Native (#unicorn), and I've been teaching Salsa and Bachata for the past six years.

2.     When did you get interested in Salsa? After I graduated from college. I had a background in Modern dance and was looking for a way to keep dancing.

3.     Do you enjoy other forms of dancing? I do! Contemporary and Modern will always have my heart. I also enjoy Bachata, Kizomba, Zouk, and ChaChaCha!

4.     Why is Salsa a great activity to participate in? Salsa is a fun way to work out and socialize! It helps relieve some stress and boost your confidence.

5.     Why do you think people believe Salsa is hard to learn? They watch too much Dancing With The Stars. I'm not teaching acrobatics, lol


6.     Do you always need to have a partner when joining a Salsa class? No! It’s a great way to meet new people. I have everyone rotate in class so they can get to know one another and feel how different people dance.

7.     What do you think is the most challenging aspect of teaching Salsa? Timing to the music. I once had someone tell me that when they first started Salsa music was “an incomprehensible wall of sound” Yikes!

8.     What are some benefits of Salsa dancing? So many! Beyond the physical and emotional things like wellness and having fun, the most significant benefit is being part of a community of some of the most amazing souls in Nashville.

9.     What advice would you give anyone who wants to learn Salsa? Try it today. Don’t second guess it. You’ll wish you had started sooner.


Register today for Salsa Basics, September 9th-30th, Inglewood Elementary, 6:00pm-7:00pm.

7 Questions About Gut Health with Laura Rodriguez


Laura has taught our Nashville Farmer’s Market, Seasonal Cooking Class for several sessions and now she is here to offer another new class to our students, Cooking for Gut Health. Laura has shared some information with us regarding gut health and ways to heal it.

1.      Tell us more about your class.

This class is going to be a two-hour cooking demo showcasing how to make delicious composed dishes that help promote gut health. I will start with a lecture and then I will show you how to make a gut healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then we will eat together!

2.      Why is Gut Health an important topic?

Current medical research is showing that gut health is synonymous with overall health. Poor gut health is directly connected to several chronic conditions plaguing Americans today: fatigue, anxiety, depression, memory loss, chronic inflammation, digestive issues, etc. If I can help just one person learn how to eat to lessen the effects of a gut related condition, that's important work in my opinion. 

3.      When a person does not have a healthy gut microbiome, what other illnesses can be affected?

According to lead functional medical doctors that specialize in gut health, too little good bacteria in the gut and a buildup of too much bad bacteria can lead to a wide range of illnesses such as candida, SIBO, IBS, leaky gut, heart disease and even cancer. 

4.      In this class you will be teaching about foods that heal the gut, can you share with our audience what foods you recommend people start with?

Fiber rich foods like whole fruits and vegetables are number one for feeding good gut bacteria. I also recommend people increase their intake of probiotic rich foods like good quality yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. 

5.      What are some tips you will go over in class?

I will share tips on what to eat during cravings for sugar and carbs, give students healthy snack ideas, and of course share tips on how to make cooking from scratch quick and easy.

6.      How does someone know that their issues are gut related?

Read as much as you can. Listen to podcasts. Take the Amy Myers Leaky Gut Quiz. Research your symptoms and present them to your doctor. Be your own advocate. As Dr. Dates Kharrazian said, " Educate yourself. You need to be smarter than any doctor you’ll see. This is about your health, this is about your life, and no one knows you better than you.”  

7.      If someone is wanting to make some chances to their gut health, what are some steps they need to start with?

Come to the class and you'll learn where to start. Basically, you must clean up your diet, reduce your stress level, and repair the lining of the gut.

Register for the class Cooking for Gut Health

Dining with Diabetes

Dining with Diabetes



1Q. What is Diabetes?

1A. Diabetes is a condition where the body has issues regulating or producing insulin which is essential in allowing glucose or sugar to enter the bloodstream.

2Q. Besides your doctor, what are some ways people with Diabetes can know they are doing well?

2A. The best way to tell if your diabetes is being regulated well is to monitor your glucose levels.  Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes should have received a glucose monitor and should check their glucose levels at least once a day at the same time each day.  Effective management can be recognized if one’s results are within the same range each day and remain between 80-130 before meals as below 180 two hours after meals.

3Q. When someone is first diagnosed with Diabetes, it’s a scary time for them, what would you tell someone about the first steps to take when it comes to food?

3A. Take a log of your food for a few days.  Make sure to record a log on the weekends as well to get a better idea of what kinds of foods you’re eating and when you’re eating them.  Even this can help you realize positive and negative eating habits and food selections.

4Q. What are some of the most important information they need to know about food and diabetes?

4A. No food is off limits or bad. Moderation is key when it comes to managing diabetes.  Diabetes is manageable, but one must be disciplined and intentional with the foods they select to fuel their body.  It is also important to be physically active to help keep glucose levels regular. 

5Q. For your upcoming class students will have hands-on learning training, what are some things you go over in the class?

5A. We will talk about new ways to cook some of their favorite dishes without the compromise on flavor.  Each class students will have an opportunity to taste and see firsthand that making health-conscious food is not has difficult as it may seem. 

6Q. What foods should someone with Diabetes avoid and are there any types of food that can be a benefit for them?

6A. Increasing vegetable intake can be beneficial to maintaining healthy glucose levels.  It’s all about balance.  If one can’t give up a slice of their favorite cheesecake, they can go for a smaller portion and reduce the number of calories consumed during that meal.  Also, protein consumption can aid the body when metabolizing sugars to prevent sugar spikes and crashes.

7Q. What do you believe people wish they knew about diabetes and food?

7A. I believe people wish they had a black and white list of good and bad foods, but it is more complex than that.  Each individual is different and their bodies respond to sugar differently. Not to mention, one’s lifestyle can drastically impact how their body processes sugar.  Being physically active is a great way to regulate blood sugar and weight.  Diabetes can be scary, but with medication, being dedicated to monitoring food choices and building healthy habits, diabetes can be managed effectively. 

8Q. What should be with diabetes know about their food?

8A. Food is there to fuel your body, not destroy it.  Moderation and informed choices are necessary to keep the body and mind healthy.  Food and exercise is a friend, not a foe. 

9Q. What are some good breakfast/lunch/dinner options?

9A. Breakfasts that are high in protein, low in sugar is a great way to start the day.  Including low sugar fruits and colorful vegetables in breakfast can prevent sugar spikes and keep energy levels steady.  Lunch and dinner should especially consist of half a plate of vegetables, one-fourth protein, and one-fourth grain.  Following the My Plate method can remove the intimidation of preparing healthy meals at home. 

Learning Basic QuickBooks with Rick Hayes


Basic QuickBooks Online seems to be a popular topic and class interest here at Nashville Community Education. Our instructor Ricky Hayes shared some information with us about Accurate Financial Information and answered a few questions about using QuickBooks.

They say the devil is in the details. And that is oh so true when reviewing a business' financial information. While the bottom line profitability is important, other issues require attention. Cash management: will there be enough cash available to cover future expenses? Inventory management: How fast is inventory turning over? Is there stale inventory, meaning a product that does not sell, Does the business have enough internal controls to prevent theft? These and many other areas require attention. Areas that business owners may not be aware of.

Business owners have a reputation for being hard workers. One Gallup poll indicates that 39% of small business owners work at least 60 hours per week.

However, that also means that business owners tend to overwork—particularly because they’re always setting moving targets for themselves. They tell themselves that if they just get a little more done or make a little more money, then they’ll finally celebrate their success.

It’s a big part of the reason why a reported 25% of small business owners have fallen ill due to stress and overwork.

Setting and then sticking to your goals is motivating. But, don’t neglect to take the time to celebrate when you achieve them—rather than continuing to move the finish line a little further forward.

Overworking is an easy trap to fall into, which is why you need to set boundaries (in the form of literal time limits). For example, perhaps you’ll no longer allow yourself to work when it’s past 6 PM. Another example would be to leverage technology to improve bookkeeping and maintain timely, accurate financial information. Once you’ve established that limit, enlist the help of others to stick to it. Your colleagues or even your family members will probably be more than happy to hold you accountable.

  1. Tell our students more about yourself and your upcoming class Basic QuickBooks Online?


I am a former Controller and CFO who brings over 25 years of finance and accounting experience. I have helped business owners make sense of their financial data and advised them on a course of action to maximize profitability.

  1. What is QuickBooks?


QuickBooks or more specifically QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a small business accounting cloud-based platform business use to manage sales and expenses and keep track of daily transactions. You can use it to invoice customers, pay bills, generate reports for planning, tax filing, and more. 

  1. Why do you believe small business owners should embrace QuickBooks?


Bookkeeping and accounting software platforms are migrating to the cloud.  QBO has the capability to effectively and efficiently track income and expenses from virtually anywhere there is an internet connection.  It won't be long before CD's and software downloads to a personal computer will go by way of the 8-track tape. Cloud-based applications are here to stay.

  1. What are the features of QuickBooks that are beneficial for small businesses?


1.    Better shared access to data with employees and your accountant

2.    No software or local data to manage – no upgrades or release updates

3.    Robust assistance center with online chat

4.    Easier app sync with nightly automatic downloads

5.    No backups and your data are secure on Intuit servers

6.    You can automatically send invoices and statements

7.    You can automatically send reports

8.    Bank and credit card transactions download nightly

9.    Track inventory first-in-first-out (FIFO)

10.    You can have multiple windows open at the same time

11.    iPad and iPhone apps are free with automatic sync

12.    Option to receive payments by credit card and ACH electronic payments

  1. What type of reports can you create with QuickBooks?


•  Income statement

•  Balance Sheet

•  Cashflow statement

•  Vendor lists

•  Customer lists

•  Receivables and Payable reports

  1. What are the most important features that business owners should use on QuickBooks?

The ability to access financial information virtually, AND in real time.  Once all transactions are posted, Reports are available. QBO also can grow and your business grows.

We’ve added a new daytime Basic QuickBooks online class! Register here to take the class!

Start Your Own Business with Paris Love


Ready to Start Your Own Business?


Our new class, Start Your Own Business will take place on July 18th and help new and inspired entrepreneurs get organized and develop strategies that help their brand grow! We took some

time to learn a little more about the upcoming class and three tips you will leave this class with

more knowledge on as a new business owner.


1. Tell our audience more about yourself and your new class, Start Your Own Business!

My name is Paris Love CEO of the Paris Love Productivity Institute. I’ve been in business for 16 years and have established my business in GA, AL, and TN. I started my business from a passion I have with the organization. In the years that I’ve had my business, I realized mindset is an important piece of the puzzle and I love helping new entrepreneurs start and grow their business.


2. What are the top 3 things people will leave your class knowing?

•    How to have and create an entrepreneur’s mindset

•    Creating a solid foundation for business growth

•    Helpful tools for think outside the box marketing strategies


3. Why do you believe marketing is important for small business owners to learn?

Without the right marketing strategies, you won’t have a sustainable business. Small business owners have to be creative and inventive in how they market their business. What’s going to set you apart from the competition?


4. When someone is looking to start their own business, what are the first important steps to make?

The first step is getting a laser focus on what products or service they want to provide.

Having a clear and defined plan is essential to the success of the business.

Surrounding themselves with like-minded people, mentors and/or coaches.


5. What are some things you wish someone would have told you about being an entrepreneur?

I wish someone would have taught me how to build, maintain and sustain a team. Success is not a road you pursue alone and having the right people by your side and on your team is vital.


6. What are some daily habits that can help your business be profitable?

I believe business owners should have a consistent routine; such as daily prayer, self-care, time management, goal-setting, and a consistent method to track and analyze progress.


Learn more about starting your own business in the new class that takes place on July 18th! Register Here: https://nce.asapconnected.com/CourseDetail.aspx?CourseId=199177.

Suicide Prevention with Simone


I interviewed Instructor Simone from the Suicide Prevention class. She shared some tips on how to help someone suicidal thoughts.

How will you calm them down and get them to feel like they shouldn't do it?

Listening is key, and reminding them they are not alone. People don’t want to die, they simply want to end the pain. Being empathetic and not trying to “understand” how they got to the point of suicide, but simply being there is very important.


How do you know when a person is fully recovered?

Mental health is just like physical health, it must be managed daily. People who have gotten to the point of suicide will have to take care of their mental health practicing self-care, and being consistent with whatever treatment or lifestyle changes have been recommended by a mental health professional.


What is one advice you have for everyone out there with friends or children who had/ have suicidal thoughts?

Listen to your loved one without judgement, assure them that you are there for them (even if you don’t know exactly what to say), and support them while seeking professional help.

Creating Art and Journals with Ashley

We have two new classes this summer with Ashley, Accordion Books and Art Journaling with Old Books. She shared with us why she loves to journal and how she incorporates art into her journal exercises.

1. You are teaching two classes with NCE this summer; can you tell us more about your upcoming classes?

I am teaching Art Journaling with Old Books and Mixed Media Accordion Books.

The Art Journaling class is a 4-week class. In this class, we will be painting and writing in old books. We will work with writing prompts and I will teach different techniques that I use with my own paintings while letting each person incorporate their own unique creativity. There will be different themes for each week so that we can be sure to get well-rounded information and ideas. Using books is a unique way to do this because it’s easy and if you can’t afford a journal and want to be resourceful, all you need is paint and paintbrushes. Anyone can do it! The reason that I started doing this is because I incorporate writing into my paintings and I began doing smaller versions in sketchbooks and journals. At one point, I had a bunch of older books that I had read and didn’t want to keep and after trying to sell them back to places that wouldn’t take them; I was going to throw them away. But I thought, “I could paint in these and make them into journals!” And that’s what I started doing. That is how I got the idea to teach the content for this class. I taught a few classes at an art store a couple of years ago where we painted in old books and I wanted to teach it again but in a slightly different way, with more structure and by bringing writing into the mix.

With the Mixed Media Accordion Books class, it is a one day class. We will create simple fold-out booklets that will be painted and will have mixed media/collage elements. We will also add little pockets where pictures or little notes can be placed. I like to create small mixed media cards, sometimes with quotes, and we will do that as well. Those can also be placed in the pockets. Little pages can also be added in certain areas on the book so that it can be like a journal as well. I saw a version of these types of books at an art gallery and I wanted to try creating some. I usually keep pictures in some of mine and I like to make them as gifts for other artistic friends. They can make great gifts too!

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2. When did you know you loved creating art and journaling?

I have always been into art in some form. In middle school and high school, I was more into dance and choir, so it was more about being creative with my body itself. Since moving to Nashville, I have fallen in love with Visual Art and Book Arts. And while I am obviously still using my body (hands) to create, I like painting and writing because I have a tangible thing that I can look at and feel when I’m finished. I really knew that I loved art after moving to Nashville and being immersed in it more than I had before. It inspired me to create and still does. I have enjoyed journaling since I was about 8 years old, although then; I only wrote maybe two sentences every few weeks about…probably my cat and my toys. I first really knew that I loved journaling in my late teens when I just had an urge to write and felt better after doing so. I try to keep up more often now, daily or every other day.

3. You have created both classes to focus on art journaling, why do you feel it’s important to have both elements in your particular class?

Both writing and painting are great ways to release and express emotions, whether good or bad. Either one would do the job, but to have both can make what you are creating more powerful. With the writing, I still like to keep it simple and not write too much because that can overwhelm the painting and make it fell contrived. But by adding words to paintings, it sort of solidifies the message that the artist is trying to portray, even if it’s just for them to see. It makes more real whatever it is that they are trying to say or heal. It also looks really cool! The way that I began incorporating the two is that I love writing song lyrics and I play the piano but I have sometimes had a hard time with songwriting. So when I began painting, I wanted to incorporate writing into the paintings as a way to not let my words go to waste, so to speak.

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4. What’s your favorite thing about journaling?

When I journal daily, I feel balanced and peaceful in my life, even if the content is about difficult things that I might be dealing with. I also come up with ideas for writing without trying. I will be free writing and suddenly I will write something that makes me think, “That could be a poem or a song,” and I write it somewhere else to go back to later, and I continue writing in my journal. I love the feeling of writing. I was a nerdy kid who used to ask for extra homework just so I could be writing something.

5. What inspired you to keep a daily journal?

I wanted to be able to remember things and to have a place to express things that I am going through without feeling like someone might judge me or laugh at me. I wanted to have something that was just for me. As a visual artist and writer, I try to exhibit art and read poetry a few times a year and so in that sense, I am literally putting myself out there for critique. And I love that; it can start interesting conversations and debates. But I also need some kind of balance where I can be myself completely, and have that be okay. My journal is always there; open with a fresh new page, welcoming me to just be me. It’s a great way to have a good relationship with yourself and to have compassion for yourself and your journey.

6. If you were to pass your journal down to someone else to see read it, what do you hope they would learn about you?

That I am so many different things. We all are. I sometimes find myself ruminating over things that I have said to other people or things I did that I felt dumb or regretful about and I write it all down. The good stuff and the bad, the funny and the scary, it all goes in my journal. So I would hope that someone would learn that even if I was difficult at times (and I can be) or too excitable, or whatever it is that others try to shame us for being, at least I was trying to live authentically and that all of my quirks and stubbornness and mistakes were making me who I am. Also, and I DO mean to sound cliché, I would want anyone reading my journal to see that as proof that no one is perfect. We all wear masks in different settings, around different people and that’s why journals are so important because if we are willing to be completely open, we can learn about ourselves on a deeper level. And maybe that would inspire someone reading it afterward to accept every part of themselves and to be open.

Also, I would hope that they might learn from my mistakes with men, ha-ha…

7. What can students expect from your classes once it’s over?

• Accordion Books:

To have the tools to create accordion books of different sizes and how to make the book longer, if desired. They can expect to know some techniques to add textures to their art pieces. They will have an accordion book to use as a small journal, photo album or even a travel journal.

• Art Journaling with Old Books:

Students can expect to know how to approach a small painting meant for a journal. They will have painted and written based on different themes and will leave with ideas for future-creating. They can expect to understand how to build a painting and to add writing and materials in a way that doesn’t clutter the page. I hope that they will be encouraged to continue art journaling after the class ends.

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8. How can you encourage some who may be afraid of the “Writing exercises” of this class?

I would tell them, “Don’t think about it.” That is something I find myself saying to at least one person in almost every class I have taught, whether it be just painting or just writing or a mixture of the two. We have jobs, some people have families, a lot of us have several side hustles and so we are often thinking all day long. I try to encourage more feeling. With the writing exercises, I would encourage students to release all pre-judgment because that’s all it is; judging something that hasn’t even made it to the piece of paper or sketchbook. So simply saying, “Don’t think about it,” seems to work. Sadly, “Just Do It” was already taken.

9. Describe your favorite piece of Art Journal or Accordion Book you created?

As far as my favorite art journal piece, I have two pictures from an art journal that were essentially sketches for a bigger painting. On one page, there is a boy who is crying and has a blank look on his face. I have another picture on the page next to that one of a man who is crying and the words, “Boys are taught to cry while strong men remember how” written around him. This turned into a big painting which looks almost exactly the same as the sketches.

And my favorite accordion book….that one is hard. I have a lot, different sizes and mediums (watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, etc.) One of my favorites is one that is about 7 inches tall and about 22 inches wide. On one side, the dominant color is blue and other the other, lime green. There are different color shapes and textures. There are also a few pockets. I have quotes on little cards and I put them in this particular book. I think I like it so much because of its size. There was more to do on this one because I had so much room.

You can register for Art Journaling with Old Books that start on June 6 and Accordion Books starts on July 11.

Dancing and Working Out with Melissa Croushorn

We are so excited to have you with us this summer and to feature you on our blog!


1. Tell our students more about yourself!

I relocated to the Nashville area last summer to be closer to family, after spending the last decade in the Northeast working in performing arts education at The Joyce Theater in NYC, Boston Ballet, and Penn State. I grew up in Southwestern Virginia and have always stayed connected to my southern roots. My family has a strong affinity for athletics, so I was constantly moving as a child - soccer, softball, basketball, dance, gymnastics, swimming. In high school, I got serious about my dance studies and dropped all my sports commitments. Post-college, I shifted from a performer to an educator and really enjoy getting to live “multiple” lives as an artist.

2. You are teaching both Swing Dancing and Basic Principles of Pilates with NCE, is this something you also do professionally?

I completed my initial teaching certifications in Pilates through STOTT PILATES/Merrithew International after experiencing some health issues. I wanted to reconnect with my body in a healthy way and since then have had the opportunity to continue teaching at Pilates Franklin in Cool Springs. In college, I would teach a quick swing dance lesson at wedding receptions to entertain guests while the bridal party was taking photos as well as get people going on the dance floor. Later, I taught Swing as a general education course while a grad student at Florida State - it was really fun to guide undergraduates in building body and relational awareness. I’ve taught it off and on wherever I’ve lived.

3. How did you get started in both Swing Dancing and Pilates?

Some friends in college were really into swing dancing and we had a big student organization hosting dances and training. It was a fun way to spend a Friday night without being out at bars all the time. In high school, one of my teachers suggested I start doing Pilates to build core strength and flexibility without additional impact. My Pilates practice kept me strong and safe as I moved through different dance training and spending a year performing with Florida State’s Flying High Circus.

4. What inspired you to share your passion with the local Nashville community?

I love teaching and being part of an individual’s journey to achieving new things for their health. Pilates is good for everyone and can be modified at any level of fitness, which is why I’m so passionate about increasing exposure and opportunity.

5. When it comes to Swing Dance, what’s your favorite thing about it?

Swing is really fun and a great exercise in effective communication. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone but the rewards come pretty quickly once you build a rapport with your partner and move together. Swing dance has a significant place in history; and is a great opportunity to understand socio-political practices regarding the body, gender, and race. Swing dancing releases joy and builds community wherever it is shared.

6. I love Pilates; I had to take it in High School in dance class and learned how such a great workout it is, what are some of the benefits you see in Pilates?

Pilates has a long life span; it is good for everyone from athletes in peak condition to individual’s post-natal recovery. The focus is on achieving the essence of each exercise in a way that balances the individual’s muscle systems, builds strength and mobility. Everyone can find a way to incorporate it into their lifestyle in a way that works for them. 

7.  What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Any kind of spinal rotation always feels good and helps get the body going as it activates nerve pathways in the spine and increases circulation.

8.  What advice do you have for someone who may be a little fearful of trying Pilates for the first time?

It’s about what works for YOUR body; everybody is different and every lifestyle has different stresses on the body. Give yourself permission to drop comparison and find a tension-free way of working. Pilates takes several sessions for its impact to be fully felt and understood. It’s like learning a new language; after one class you wouldn’t expect yourself to be fully fluent. Practice makes progress.

9. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not teaching?

When I’m not in the studio, I love being outside or trying out new healthy recipes.

10. What is your favorite thing about Nashville?

I love that there are so many parks and outdoor recreation options. The creative energy is so strong and diverse which is really exciting to be around.

Register for Melissa’s Basic Principles of Pilates class or get a the wait list for Swing Dancing.

Learning About Collecting & Selling Vintage Costume Jewelry

We interviewed instructor Carol Solow about her upcoming spring class, Collect & Sell Vintage Costume Jewelry. Carol stopped by the NCE office to show us some amazing tools she use to learn more about the pieces that she finds, her favorite places to shop and why she love collecting vintage jewelry.

If you are interested in learning more about collecting and selling vintage jewelry, you can sign up now!

1.    Tell our students more about you and how you got into collecting and selling vintage jewelry?

I’ve always loved finding and wearing vintage jewelry and accessories; when I was a child my mother took me too many estates and rummage sales, and “’back in the day” I frequented the vintage shops in New York City’s East Village. I started seriously collecting more recently, after many years as a grant writer and instructor.  I’ve always had a passion for research, and I’ve discovered that research is a vital part of collecting older costume jewelry.

Vintage Jewelry

2.    How does someone go from making this a hobby to a full-time career?

Very carefully!  I do it part-time, but full-timers in the collector Facebook groups I belong to usually start gradually and build up their sales.  To make a living doing this requires lots of time not to the only source (find, buy) jewelry but to also list online dozens of pieces a week on eBay, Etsy, and other venues. It's important to price competitively and use the right selling platform for different pieces. Also, being aware of current jewelry trends and resisting the urge to keep the fantastic pieces you find!

3.    People love collecting vintage jewelry, but how do you start to learn the background information about the jewelry?

Research, research, research! Read books on the subject (the Nashville Public Library has several), look at YouTube videos, join Facebook groups for collectors, and get out there to look at jewelry pieces -try to apply your knowledge.  Also, use online databases to help identify marks (signatures, symbols, initials) of significant designers and companies.  It is important to know the difference between costume and fine jewelry – in a nutshell, costume jewelry is jewelry made with non-precious metals and stones, while fine jewelry is made with precious metals such as gold and silver and precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies or pearls.

4.    What was your first piece of vintage jewelry that you collected?

My first in Nashville was a carved Bakelite bangle that I found for $1.99 at a local thrift store.  Bakelite is a very collectible early plastic material, and I was advised that the one I have could be sold for $100 to $125.  But I’ll never sell!!

5.    What’s your most prized piece of vintage jewelry that you will never sell?

A pair of faux pearl and rhinestone earrings that I got from my mother’s jewelry box after she passed away.

6.    What are the top tools for people if they want to start learning more about the value of their jewelry?

A jewelry loupe (magnifier) with an LED lamp, to look for and identify designer marks and signatures, a magnet to rule out that the metal on a piece is gold or silver, and an acid testing kit to test metals to see if they are gold, silver or plated. If you think you might own a piece with diamonds, an inexpensive diamond tester.  They are not fooling proof but a good first step.

Vintage Jewelry

7.    Does Nashville have any hidden gems to collect vintage jewelry?

 I’ve found great stuff at garage sales and church rummage sales. I’ve had good luck at thrift stores but be aware that Goodwill stores no longer sell jewelry; that is now sold at shopgoodwill.com. The Salvation Army thrift store in Madison sometimes sell “jewelry jars” – vases full of jewelry for you to sort through.  Not all will be vintage.  There are lots of “jewelry jar haul” videos on YouTube, also a good way to learn.  Estate sales are hit or miss; I suggest either going right when it opens for the best pieces or the last few hours of the sale for the best bargains.  The hunt is part of the fun! 

8.    How old does a piece of jewelry need to be in order to be considered vintage?

Vintage jewelry is 50 years old or older; antique jewelry is 100 years or older.  Jewelry that is less than fifty years old but not too recent is considered “retro” – for example, the 1980s – and is also collectible.

Vintage Jewelry

9.    What are 3 things people should come to your class expecting to learn about collect & sell vintage costume jewelry?

·        The most collectible types of costume jewelry and designers are from the 1920s through the 1950s, and the importance of collecting the types of jewelry that you are most passionate about.  For me, that is plastic bangles and glass beaded necklaces; for someone else, it might be cocktail rings or animal figure brooches (pins).

·        How to properly use essential tools for identifying the materials, styles, and designers of vintage costume jewelry that you own or are thinking about purchasing.

·        Where on the internet to find reputable information and research resources, how to use eBay and other sites to price and list jewelry, and tips for avoiding buying fake pieces.

You can register for Collect & Sell Vintage Costume Jewelry. The class is at Cohn School, June 5-June 19.

Learn Podcasting Basics with Christopher Taylor


I hope you’re ready for our Podcasting Basics course, because I know that I am! Podcasting has grown exponentially over the last 10-15 years and is only getting bigger. Numbers show that 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, and I’m almost certain that number has increased since this poll was taken. I believe podcasting is a great way to put your message out to the world, whether you do a formal show, an informal show, a how-to show or a litany of other things. So, I say if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I’ve got something to say,” or “I could teach people about this,” or even “I always wanted to be on the radio,” podcasting is for you! I want everyone that has ever had the itch to podcast or those that don’t even know what a podcast is, to join our Podcasting Basics class starting January 24th at 6:30p.m. at the Cohn School. I hope to see you there! -Christopher Taylor

5 questions with Podcasting Instructor

1. Why do you believe Podcasts have been so popular lately? I believe they’ve gained more popularity because the world is changing and the way we receive information is changing as well.

2. What would you say makes a great podcast show? I believe that having authentic content and your own sound.

3. What is the one thing you have learned over the last year doing your own podcast that has really made a difference in your show? I have learned that you must be willing to change and/or adapt to different audiences but always stay true to yourself.

4. What are some of your favorite podcasts shows? Brilliant Idiot’s Podcast, The Joe Budden Podcast and The Right, with Bomani Jones.

5.  What is one thing you believe every student will walk away understanding after taking Podcasting Basics? I want people to walk away understanding that a podcast is whatever you want it to be and much more. It’s not something that has to be too complicating and to remember that this is supposed to not be WORK but FUN as well.

Register for the Podcasting Basics class that starts on October 23rd.

Fencing at Nashville Community Education by Donovan Grimwood, Fencing instructor


The Princess Bride, Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars… the idea of wielding a sword has captured imaginations and led to many a backyard duel with sticks. Some people never quite grow out of that. And why should we? As part of the Nashville Community Education program, fencing has been offered for many years so that people can experience the thrill of wielding a sword. But even more so, learn the skills in a safe and inexpensive manner on their way to becoming a fencer.

Yes, I said safe. Because with the proper gear, fencing is one of the safest sports that you or your children can become involved in. And we make sure to provide that gear as part of the class (keeping it relatively inexpensive). There was research done some time ago that showed that fencing was as safe as golf. So… if you are willing to go out on the golf course, how about trying something that may be more exciting? At least fencing is for me. And considering that we’ve had students ranging from age 8 (when we had a youth fencing class) up to 70+ (and they are still a competitive fencer in the area), signing up for the class is your chance to try out something new, different, and exciting. Are you ready to come en garde?

Learning more about fencing and Donovan Grimwood

In addition to the skills necessary to be able to fence (attack, parry, footwork), it also teaches quick thinking and sharpens the mind as much as the body. -Donovan Grimwood
— https://app.asapconnected.com/ClassesEvents.aspx?s=fencing

1.      As the instructor what’s your favorite part about fencing and coaching fencing?

I enjoy introducing new people to the sport and helping them develop their skills. It is also great to get to know the fencers over the years as they continue to come back.

2.      How would you describe fencing to someone who has never fenced before?

Fencing is the safe, but exciting sport of swordsmanship. It's a great and unique workout and sport to learn.

3.      What skills will students learn in your fencing class?

In addition to the skills necessary to be able to fence (attack, parry, footwork), it also teaches quick thinking and sharpens the mind as much as the body.

4.      What is one thing you can highlight about the industry that people don’t know about?

The Modern Olympics were founded by a fencer and it has been featured in every Olympics. Currently there are over 25,000 competitive fencers in the U.S. with the sport growing. It is also one of the few martial arts that doesn't have weight classes and is one of the most inclusive of sports. Fencers in most competitions can range from age 13 to 80+, and there are age groups for fencers as young as 7. 

Practicing Kung Fu with Chris


1. Tell our students more about yourself and how long you’ve been teaching Kung Fu?

I have been teaching Kung Fu for over 7 years now.  My full-time profession is teaching 7th grade.  I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, running, and traveling.

2.  For people that are not familiar with this form of martial art, what is Kung Fu?

Kung Fu is a Chinese based martial arts.  Its focus is more self-defense oriented and differs from other martial arts with a focus on low kicks and close up striking.

3. Kung Fu is an ancient Chinese martial art, how did it end up in American wellness practice?

Chinese immigrants brought the art with them.  Buck Sam Kong brought Hung Kuen to Hawaii, and Dr. Wing Lok Ng brought the art to Kentucky when he was a college student there, for example. There are many other examples as well.  Bruce Lee's popularity in the early 70’s definitely made the art popular in American society.

4.  What are some of the benefits of Kung Fu?

It helps physically in regards to endurance, balance, and self-defense skills.  More importantly, it helps develop patience, awareness, and confidence.

5.  Kung Fu is known to improve self-defense skills?

Yes, it can help with those skills, but I like to emphasize the benefit of self-awareness and awareness of one's surrounding to hopefully avoid such a need for those skills.

6. Why do you believe Kung Fu is a great fitness to improve health and attitude? 

Different aspects of training can help one's overall physical health.  Strength and cardiovascular improvement are a part of training along with flexibility.  Also, when a person is feeling better they have a better attitude. Plus, a student's attitude can improve by surrounding themselves with positive people, which Kung Fu can help in cultivating.

7. In this particular class students will learn how to do a Praying Mantis form; can you give a brief explanation of what this is?

Many Kung Fu forms are animal based.  It makes them interesting to learn and fun.  Certain movements of this form will recreate movements from this particular animal, or more accurately, insect.  This set will emphasize continuous attacks and elbow strikes among other techniques.

8. Is there anything else you would like to share with our students?

Kung Fu is becoming a bit of a lost art in the Nashville area, and much of Tennessee. I hope the community will come out and give it a try.  I hope to make the class fun, informative, and beneficial to participants.

You can register to take Kung Fu Basics with NCE!

Dan Harrell, The Garden Guru

Dan Harrell

Dan Harrell, from the UT/TSU Extension, will be leading our From Seed to Table Gardening series this summer. We can’t wait to learn more about raised beds, vegetables, pests, the Richland Park Libraryseed catalog and more! Our Executive Director will be leading the last class – a cooking demonstration using ingredients from our garden or local farmers! The class filled within days, but make sure to get on the wait list!

Let’s learn a little more about Dan before the class starts:

What neighborhood or area of town do you live in?
West Meade

Profession: Agriculture Extension Agent

Why do you teach at Nashville Community Education?
Nashville is a vibrant city with a forward thinking population and I am privileged to serve in this community.

Although you are teaching a class, what have you learned through students or others?
Everything I teach I have learned from others.

What is one thing you wish people knew about NCE?
What a wonderful opportunity it is.

When you aren’t teaching a class with us, how are you spending your time?
I am at one of my children’s sporting events.

What’s the last book, podcast, or blog you read or listened to?
“The Eye Of The Needle” by Ken Follett

Plan your meals with Lindsey Joe!

Lindsey Joe

Lindsey is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from Nashville, TN.  She graduated from the Dietetic Internship program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and prior to this, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She is a weight management expert, meal planning master, and TN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nashville Media spokesperson.  Lindsey is passionate about helping people ignite the healthy that makes them happy and you can follow all her food-filled adventures at @themealplanningmethod!  Learn more about Lindsey below:

Why do you teach at NCE?
I wanted to teach a community class because I’m passionate about helping people overcome their most frustrating food problems.  And what I found working with clients one-on-one, is that for many, their pain points with food always come back to meal planning.  So as a health professional who teaches people what to eat, I also want to teach you how to eat to feel like your best self.

If you weren’t teaching a class, what class would you be taking?
If I wasn’t teaching this semester, I would absolutely take “Online Self-Publishing”.  I’d love to publish several recipe or nutrition-related ebooks!

What’s one thing we would be surprised to learn about you?
One thing you might be surprised to learn about me is that I am also a Lifestyle Coach for the Diabetes Prevention Program.  I love helping people live happier, healthier lives!

When you aren’t teaching a class with us, how are you spending your time?
When I’m not teaching “Master Meal Planning,” I am taking yoga at the Y, checking out a new restaurant in town, or blogging.  I’m so fortunate that my passion for food is not only a hobby, but my career.

What’s one thing that transplants would be surprised to know about the city?
One thing transplants would be surprised to know about Nashville is that we are actually very diverse.  Take a trip down Nolensville and you’ll find Ethiopian food, Kurdish cuisine, Thai restaurants, Turkish delights, Mexican ice cream shops… what more can your stomach want!?

A Cosmic Journey with Duncan Davis

Cosmic Journey

Duncan Davis teaches our A Cosmic Journey class. A study through the galaxy and our solar system from its formation. Students will learn about the planets, how stars are born, how they die, and the supernovae corpses they leave behind.

We had the opportunity to interview Duncan about his class and his love for the Cosmic Journey!

What interests you in the Cosmic Journey?

Every aspect of the Cosmic Journey interests me. It’s fascinating, from the seen & unseen. From the beautiful to the scary and has expanded our knowledge & technology.

What are 3 things you hope people learn from your class?

I would like for people to learn that within our solar system & far beyond, the universe has in the past, does now, & will in the future affects us.

The Universe is huge, what in particular will your class focus on?

  • Birth & Death of stars

  • Formation of our solar system

  • Why is our moon so important to us?

  • Our location in the galaxy & why is it important

  • Exoplanets

  • Habitable Zone: More than liquid water

  • And, Are we alone?

Are there any new fascinating studies going on about the Solar System today?          

New studies:

  • New Horizons probe out past Pluto.

  • Insight probe to Mars.

  • Parker probe to study the sun.

Why do you think it’s important for people to study the Solar System?

Because Everything’s Related!

What intrigues you the most about our Solar System?

What intrigues me most about the solar system: No other solar system found so far is set up like ours. Why is our solar system the oddball?

Anything else you would love our readers to know about you or your upcoming class?

The class is informative, interesting, fun, & has great visuals. It makes the unimaginable (sizes, distances, phenomena) relatable.

A Cosmic Journey class starts Oct 1- Oct 29, from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Inglewood Elementary. Use the code “COSMIC” for $5 off this class.