Instructor Spotlight: Chris Whitsett


sifu chris tai chi

I have admired the work of Nashville Community Education for years. It’s exciting to see all of the original and interesting classes offered to the community. When I moved closer to Nashville this past summer, I knew I wanted to be a part of that excitement. I submitted the paperwork to begin a Tai Chi program, and was honored to have the opportunity to share this ancient exercise to the community.

My favorite part of teaching is seeing students enjoying the process of learning, and feeling the health benefits of Tai Chi. It’s simply wonderful to see someone feel better after a class than they did before.

My interest in Tai Chi began 10 years ago when I started learning from my Kung Fu teacher. Later, I began to learn a little more from different instructors and sources. Personally, I noticed Tai Chi helped me recover from running more effectively as well as increasing my overall well-being and attitude. Eventually, I earned certifications to teach Tai Chi as well as Kung Fu. My appreciation for Tai Chi grows each and every day. It’s definitely a lifelong journey. I still have a ton to learn myself.

I’m very excited about the upcoming Kung Fu classes. This is a fun way to improve fitness levels and self-defense skills. Also, students will have the opportunity to learn an ancient, historic, and beautiful art form. Most people think of Kung Fu as punching and kicking. That is part of the process, but our focus is on self cultivation and improving the quality of life for ourselves as well as those around us.

Instructor Spotlight: Judy Jacobs

Judy Jacobs spotlightI found my first chickens in 2006, posted as needing homes by a rescuer who specializes in pigs and dogs.  These two bantam birds, a rooster and a hen, had been in a cardboard carton in someone’s laundry room their entire lives, were removed by a well-meaning person who surrendered them to the rescue. My daughter named the hen “Peckie” and the rooster “Crower.” Not terribly original, but apt.  We still have Crower, and he lives up to his name.

Some of the members of my flock came from “chick day” sales at farm stores, some were hatched at home in a table-top incubator, others were donated  by staff at  the horse barn at Ellington Agriculture Center. Others are the natural result of having hens and roosters. One year my daughter got 4H chicks from the County Extension Service. They arrived right in the middle of the 2010 flood, and finding roads that were open so I could pick them up was quite a challenge.

Chickens are photogenic. My birds have been featured on the front page of the newspaper, have been in music videos, have attended local fairs, farmers’ markets, other events. They are entertaining, colorful, and undemanding, and what other pet can you have that gives you breakfast?

My husband teaches at NCE, and after I participated in the UCAN movement to clarify the law regarding backyard hens in Davidson County it seemed like a natural progression to share some of what I’ve learned, taught to friends, and posted on my facebook page about keeping them safe, healthy, and happy. Take the workshop I’m offering, learn some basic and some esoteric information, and go home with a nest-box, feeder, or drinker of your own and the know-how to make more.  What a deal!

Be sure to register for Judy’s Raising Backyard Chickens class starting April 6th!

Student Spotlight: Casimir Grabowski

Casimir comes from Detroit, Michigan. However, before coming to Nashville he made a brief stop in Los Angeles where he found out what it’s really like to be a broke, literally starving artist. A great opportunity at a local TV station has introduced Casimir to some wonderful people and has given him a crash-course on everything Middle Tennessee. A job in news has introduced new ingredients to his writing recipes. Casimir became a student at NCE to meet other local writers who he can turn bounce ideas off and turn to for feedback, and so far so great, everyone in his creative writing class has been absolutely fantastic. NCE has introduced Casimir to some very talented Nashville writers, who he hopes will continue to join him in NCE classes this summer.


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