Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Bacon at USN: Evening Classes for the Free Range Adult


One idea for 2016 is to play it safe.  Keep on doing the same things you’ve always done well.  Eat at the same restaurants.  Hang out with the same people.  Maybe even re-read a few of your favorite books.

Or NOT!  Mix it up in the evenings January through March with one or several intriguing classes offered at USN.  The school has been offering an exceptional variety of evening classes, taught by volunteers and and offered at a minimal cost, for over twenty years.  Unless you’re a member of the USN community, you might have not have heard of them.  Those who’ve attended know that the cult status of these Evening Classes is well-deserved!

Here are just a few of the offerings:


Join EUGENE ROBINSON, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, for a 45 minute political discussion, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session.  Mr. Robinson is known coast to coast for his insightful commentary, using twice-weekly columns in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and put it back together again in unexpected and revelatory new ways.  His remarkable storytelling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African-American president….

Date(s): Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Time(s): 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Fee: $25
Materials Fee: $0
Location: USN


The untold, unacceptable misconduct of Scottish Golf Societies: Sand Traps, Dueling, Fighting, Drinking, Gambling, and Rabbit Wars.  Master golf-club maker, novelist and teller of strange tales DR. JOHN WALTER MILLER gives you a spellbinding peek under the plaid.

Date(s): Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time(s): 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Fee: $25
Materials Fee: $0
Location: USN


Just in time for Valentine’s Day… Have you ever wished you could craft a poem of love for someone in your life, whether that be a partner, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend?  Come to this one-night writing workshop where you’ll write and revise a love poem of your own under the guidance of award-winning poet and USN alumnus parent KELLY CASS FALZONE.  In a safe (and not-too-sappy) circle of would-be-bards, participants will read examples of great love poems and playfully approach writing their own.

Date(s): Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Time(s): 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Fee: $35
Materials Fee: $0
Location: USN


O, cursed be Cupid, candy hearts and greeting cards!  For those called to commemorate heartache, betrayal and unrequited love, or to celebrate singlehood, this is the writing class for you.  Students will work on crafting anti-love poems in a supportive (and sassy) circle under the guidance of award-winning poet and USN alumnus parent KELLY CASS FALZONE.  Designed to incorporate a mix of amusement, acerbity and self love, this could be THE anti-date night of the year.

Date(s): Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Time(s): 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Fee: $35
Materials Fee: $0
Location: USN


This snob-free approach to wine delves into the chemistry and biology behind fermentation, tannins, acidity, alcohol, and how all elements come together to create a memorable sensory experience in a glass.  LAURA CYPRESS, USN alumna and Assistant Winemaker at City Winery, Nashville, will take participants on an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at their cellar, to learn more about the journey from grape to glass.  She will answer your questions, debunk myths, and guide you in an educational tasting that will encourage you to review your old AP Chemistry notes.  Age 21 and up.  

Date(s): Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Time(s): 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Fee: $40
Materials Fee: $35
Location: City Winery, 609 Lafayette Street, Nashville TN 37203


A first-hand look at the rescue of art and cultural treasures during World War II presented by DEANIE HANCOCK FRENCH, daughter of one of the original Monuments Men, famed American sculptor Walker Hancock.  Deanie will share her story and show some extraordinary footage from the National Geographic film, Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures (completed just in time for the release of George Clooney’s Hollywood production, The Monuments Men) that provides authentic historical background and a context for understanding how so many thousands of works of art were saved from destruction.

Date(s): Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time(s): 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fee: $25
Materials Fee: $0
Location: USN


Enjoy a night with the GRAMMY-winning Nashville Symphony, including a behind-the-scenes tour of Schermerhorn Symphony Center and a performance of Mussorgsky’s classic Pictures at an Exhibition.  VP of Communications JONATHAN MARX will lead the festivities as you find out why our Nashville Symphony is celebrated around the world, learn about the unique features of the concert hall, learn about the orchestra’s history (including its recovery from the devastating 2010 flood), and enjoy a fascinating, fun-filled pre-concert talk about the music you’ll hear performed live onstage by 84 phenomenal musicians.

Nashville Symphony Date(s): Thursday, February 18, 2016
Time(s): 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Fee: $20
Materials Fee: $25
Location: Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 1 Symphony Place, Nashville, TN 37201

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As a quick clarification:  I am not opposed to re-reading books.  And I love my old friends.  Just being provocative in that opening paragraph.  xo



  1. Makes me wish I lived in Nashville

  2. Jennifer, thanks so much for the shout-out about my classes and others coming up at USN! I have been teaching for Evening Classes (as well as attending the classes) for over twelve years and it’s always fun, fruitful and friendly. I meet great folks and am inspired by their writing, both playful and potent. This is the first time I’m offering the Love Poem Lab and Anti-Love Poem… should be a hoot! Thanks for spreading the word!

    • Hi Kelly! I just love your idea for Love (and Anti-Love) Poem Labs! And there are so many other great offerings in the Evening Class Catalogue. I’m happy to help spread the good word! Xo

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