Today’s post is guest written by Jennifer Johnston.
Make some resolutions you can keep!
Here’s a cringe-worthy question: How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? Have you purged, organized, cleansed, meditated, exercised? Or did you (like me) once again skid through the holidays, getting everything done in the “nick” of time? It’s mid-January and my loftiest goal so far is to write “12” instead of “11” on my checks consistently. Can you relate to that?
All I can seem to think about is resolving to catch up on Mad Men episodes before the new season starts. I can’t get too excited about resolving to fit into my skinny jeans. I was reaching for a stale Christmas cookie when it occurred to me that maybe I should make some resolutions to do something completely different and out of the box. Get out of this rut and improve my mind, body and spirit!
That’s when I decided to check out the listings for USN Evening Classes, now in its 19th year of offering educational opportunities for life-long learners. I found that Harpeth Hall, MBA and Ensworth are providing some offerings as well. Why not explore some mind-expanding opportunities this year that just might stave off the Alzheimer’s, at least for a few more years?
USN has more than 180 classes in 10 categories. (Are these people overachievers or what?) So check out the full catalog at www.usneveningclasses.org to see which ones will get you out of your sweatpants and Hello Kitty house slippers.
There’s an assortment of cooking classes, including gluten-free, vegetarian and one called “The Street Food of India. Or try a tequila tasting, learn how to do a wedding on a shoestring, or create felted wool bags. Idea: Bottles of good tequila in felted wool bags as a truly appreciated bridesmaid present.
For something completely different and challenging, a certified fly fishing instructor is offering an afternoon workshop for women only at Shelby Park. If you’d rather toss off one-liners than cast a line, veteran comic Rik Roberts will teach the core concepts behind developing strong stand-up comedy material.
Frustrated and confused by the way people tend to draw lines in the sand about certain pieces of art? Join a discussion with Vanderbilt associate professor Steven Tepper, author of Not Here, Not Now, Not That! Protest Over Art and Culture in America. With your new knowledge, you’ll be the hit of the next art crawl.
With passions about the presidential election sure to raise hackles during cocktail party banter, it might help to polish up our abilities to reconcile differences. You can join a salon-style class on moral reasoning and ethical decision-making with Vanderbilt professor Bruce Barry and City Council member Megan Barry, vice president of ethics for a healthcare company.
Have you resolved to start a blog in 2012? StyleBlueprint’s own Liza Graves and her tech-savvy husband, Jay, will teach a class as part of Harpeth Hall’s Adult Winterim class on successful blog writing, including using a blog to enhance a business, the social media aspects of blogging, building an audience and creating topics.
Liza’s blogging class is part of Harpeth Hall’s “An Uncommon Collection for the Wintertime Blues, Cabin Fever and the Curious.” You can try to understand “What’s Happening in Myanmar,” learn how to curb sugar and salt cravings, or start writing those memoirs. Click here for more information or to register.
There is also a really intriguing slate of offerings from the Nashville Community Education Commission. You can learn fencing, make handmade soap, or take up bird watching (my husband’s new obsession) just in time for the spring migration. Here’s a link to their catalog of offerings: click here.
Ensworth is offering six classes, including “Acting for Grownups.” (There are a few people I’d like to sign up for “Act Like a Grownup,” but I haven’t found that class anywhere just yet). To register, click here.
Check out MBA’s website as well. The link wasn’t up when this post was written, but they are offering a few classes this spring as well.
There are so many interesting possibilities all over Nashville, too numerous to mention in one post. I see that the Nashville Library Foundation, for example, is again offering Salon@615, including an appearance on January 26 from Erin Morgenstern, author of the new hot book, The Night Circus. Reading more books and taking advantage of Nashville’s rich offerings of stimulating lectures, concerts and theater are always good resolutions. For more information, click here.
Every year around the end of November, I have this friend who cheerfully asks me, “Are you ready for Christmas?” That’s because she is completely ready, presents wrapped and gorgeous holiday cards in the mail. This year, I’ll probably give my usual answer (“NO, I’m not ready.”) But maybe this year I can add, “However, I’m ready to go fly fishing, do some stand-up comedy and cook the street food of India, and then blog about it. And I’m caught up on Mad Men. What about you?”