OLLI E-News #4-09 of January 30, 2009
Print a condensed pdf copy of this newsletter, two Web pages per sheet of paper

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> ALERT: Fairfax County is holding a special election on Tue, Feb 3, for Chair of the Board of Supervisors. Whatever your political affiliation, exercise your right to vote! Read more.
OLLI "SPIRIT WEAR" orders are due in the office by Fri, Feb 6. Read more.
OLLI IS CLOSED DUE TO WEATHER when public schools are closed but opens on schedule when public schools have delayed openings. Read more.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: FRI, JAN 30, 2009   Read about OLLI E-News
> A REPORT TO BE PROUD OF, PART 3. From the executive director. By Thom Clement
> AUDITING COURSES AT MASON. Another learning option for OLLI members.
  BECOMING A STUDENT AT MASON. Free tuition, free parking, student ID. By Stan Schretter
  ANOTHER EXPERIENCE. Twists in the road. By Susanne Zumbro
> OLLI HISTORY CLUB. Presentation by Phil True on two World War II books.
DISPLAYS IN THE SOCIAL ROOM ANNEX. An update on annex exhibits.
> EYE ON RESTON. Chili Luncheon is first Reston social of the year. By Sharon Gilman
MASON ARTS AND MUSIC. Upcoming Mason performances. By Jan Bohall
. Other Mason events. By Barbara Kyriakakis
> COMING ATTRACTIONS. Non-class events at OLLI for the next two weeks.

From the executive director
By Thom Clement, Executive Director
FOLLOWING IS THE THIRD INSTALLMENT in this four-part series that showcases segments of our 2008 Annual Endowment Report submitted to The Bernard Osher Foundation.

     The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University is proud of its 228 course offerings, 93 special events, 12 continuously active clubs and other activities for the 2008 term. Services to members increase in quality each year. Here are some examples:
     Program: Within our 2008 program are a number of offerings of note:
  • National Park Service: The OLLI Board of Directors approved a resolution this year honoring the National Park Service for consistently offering high-quality programs to our members for eight consecutive years. Since 2001, they have offered 20 courses, 10 special events, and eight field trips. Topics in 2008 included "An Approaching Storm: The United States 1840-1860" and "'…the Union is perpetual': Abraham Lincoln & United States History, 1860-1865."
  • "Sampler" and "Potpourri" courses: Some of our most popular course offerings come from ongoing partnerships with the music and economics departments at Mason. In recognition of the mutual benefits for Mason students and faculty as well as OLLI members, the chairs of these departments have taken "ownership" of the content for eight courses: The Music Sampler course features different talented students and faculty each week, and the Economics Potpourri course consists of eight economists presenting highlights of their individual research. The course description for the latter encouraged OLLI participants to "prepare to be challenged, dazzled and enlightened."
  • Study groups: We diversified our course offerings this year with three classes that were conducted in a study-group format, which required participants to become actively engaged in both learning and teaching. Two of our members offered a training session in the spring, and we subsequently had a reading course, a poetry course, and a course on Russia facilitated by OLLI members
  • Online Registration: In fall 2007, we launched a custom-developed online registration portal (www.OLLIatgmu.org). As members have become more comfortable with the system, the proportion of members registering online has increased to 56%. The new OLLI-Mason program in Loudoun County is now fully integrated into the online catalog and registration process so that full members can choose courses at any of the three locations.
  • Publications: The OLLI E-News provides timely information and stimulating articles via e-mail to almost 1,000 recipients each week. Copies of the OLLI E-News are archived on the Web: most recent 12 issues at http://www.OLLI.gmu.edu/pubs.htm#enews and all issues since July 2005 at http://www.olligmu.org/docstore/Enews.html. Each year, the Fairfax Ink features original writings by OLLI members and the Poets of Tallwood that showcase a wide variety of members’ poems. To expedite weekly announcements and updates when we are in session, the OLLI Communicator is e-mailed to volunteer class "liaisons" who share the announcements at the beginning of each class. A sample of each of these publications is enclosed.

Another learning option for OLLI members 
INTRODUCTION. A few OLLI members have wanted to take classes in subjects not offered by OLLI and have explored the option of auditing courses at Mason under the Virginia law that allows seniors to audit courses at no cost. Two such members have written below about their experiences and frustrations and ultimate success in working through the process.
     If you have had experiences concerning auditing courses at Mason, feel free to submit them as a letter to the editor, and we'll publish them so that others can benefit from the information.
-- Rod Zumbro, OLLI E-News Editor

Free tuition, free parking, student ID
By Stan Schretter, OLLI member
RECENTLY I BECAME A REGULAR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AT MASON. As you may know, citizens of Virginia over 60 can audit classes at any Virginia institution of higher education for free. In the Fairfax area these institutions include not only Mason but also NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College) and the Northern Virginia extension schools of UVA (University of Virginia) and Virginia Tech.
     Information about auditing classes by seniors can be found on the Web sites of these schools, but doing so can be a challenge. In fact, good Internet skills are useful in navigating the entire process, which includes the online admission form, online request of transcripts from previous schools (yes, Mason requires them even though they may be 50 years ago), and registration for specific classes. However, to get the free tuition and free parking (if a parking space is available when you look), you must actually find the appropriate campus offices (e.g., Registrar's office, ID office, Parking office) and personally provide paper forms!
     The Mason process is described in this pdf document. During the process, I discovered that the Mason computer had a flaw – it would not create a student ID if you already have a GMU ID card based on your OLLI membership. Maria in the OLLI office helped by getting my OLLI GMU ID card deleted, and then I was finally able to obtain the regular GMU student ID card
– which does come with a wide variety of free or reduced-fee services. Once you go through all this once, the next time is a lot easier. When I registered for more classes, I received a bill on my student account, but a phone call to the Registrar's office took it off since they knew I had a senior exemption.
     Even with this slightly rocky path, I am convinced that this is a worthwhile option for OLLI members to consider.

Twists in the road 
By Susanne Zumbro, OLLI member
I HAD BEEN WANTING TO AUDIT A COURSE AT MASON for some time but had been put off by a registration process that I feared might be a bit of a hassle. This year, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. After all, how bad could it be? Actually, it turned out to be worse than I had anticipated.
     Navigating the Mason Web site was the first challenge. Things did not seem to be where they should be. The online application for admission required that I pay a $50.00 application fee and have sealed copies of all previous college transcripts sent to Mason. (Now why would Mason care about my academic record from 50 years ago if all I wanted to do was audit a course?)
     The bold letters on the application clearly stated: APPLICATION FEES ARE NOT REFUNDABLE. Now wait a minute, the Senior Citizen Higher Education Act clearly states that seniors auditing courses are not required to pay tuition or fees. That can’t be right, but here it is in bold, no exceptions listed. Several emails later, I did find out that I could apply for a refund after I was registered and accepted as a student. I will spare the reader several additional complications, many of which are mentioned in Stan’s article. Finally I was able to register for a course only to be informed that I had neglected to file an application for domicile. (Now how was I supposed to know I needed to do that?)
     Being an OLLI member disqualified me from receiving a student ID, which is available to other non-OLLI senior citizens. So soon I will be headed off to the OLLI office to enlist Maria’s help in deleting my OLLI card so that I can trudge on back to Mason to request a student ID. I started this registration process in mid-December and hope to be finished with all the associated details by some time in February.
     Final note: I did succeed in registering for a course, and I am enjoying it. Next time, it’s bound to be easier.
By the way, it takes 15 minutes to walk at a good pace from Lot K to my classroom in Thompson Hall.
Back to top
THE OLLI HISTORY CLUB WILL MEET on Wed, Feb 4, at Tallwood from 2:00-3:30 when OLLI’s Phil True will give a presentation on two books, Armageddon and Retribution, by Max Hastings (this is a continuation of an earlier presentation, same subject). These books detail the last months of the war in the Pacific and Europe, respectively.
     Phil, a B-29 navigator in the Pacific, was one of the many people whose interviews provided a basis for Retribution.
     OLLI members and guests are always welcome at any of the club's meetings. Please, bring a friend.
Submitted by History Club Coordinator Bob Persell
Back to top
An update on annex exhibits
THE RECENT TALLWOOD CLEAN-UP DURING THE THANKSGIVING BREAK included re-doing the walls in Tallwood's social room annex, which have been used for various displays of art and photography by OLLI members. The sheetrock wall has been patched and painted and a hanging system added; displays can now be installed without nails or tape, thus maintaining the clean look of the wall (picture frames and large poster boards should be hung from the movable supports using clear fishing line). Additionally, the opposite block wall space has been improved both by repainting and by moving several cabinets. In the past, that wall was used for display of art-class student projects.
     Hopefully, the increased display space in the annex will encourage more and varied displays by OLLI members. Stan Schretter has graciously volunteered to coordinate the displays in this room. If you have an idea for displays or an exhibit, please contact Stan, who is now maintaining the master display schedule.

How to contact OLLI
HERE IS A READY REFERENCE on how to contact OLLI. For email addresses and phone numbers not listed below, please consult the online Membership Directory (log in to Registration Portal).
  • President: Pat Carroll
  • Executive Director: Thom Clement, phone 703-503-7866
  • OLLI Office, phone 703-503-3384
  • Tallwood Administrator/OLLI Registrar: Maria Buczek, phone 703-503-3384
  • Board members: See Organization page (to send an email to the entire Board, send it to the office or the OLLI E-News editor, and your message will be forwarded to all members of the Board)
  • Committee chairs, resource-group chairs: See Organization page
  • Suggestions: Online suggestion box
  • Letters to the editor or letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (etiquette matters): OLLI E-News Editor Rod Zumbro, phone 703-569-2750
Chili Luncheon is first Reston social of the year
By Sharon Gilman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
OLLI MEMBERS HAVE RESPONDED TO OUR CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS. Twenty-one volunteers worked together to provide the winter term programs that are now being presented, with "full houses" at many of them. Their involvement accents the need of all OLLI members to contribute to the success and future of OLLI in Reston. Thanks to all!
     Social programs will also be a highlight for OLLI members this year. The first social is the Chili Luncheon. Come warm up with food and friends: 
  • Date: Fri, Feb 20
  • Time: 12:30 – 3:00
  • Place: Lake Anne Community Center
  • Menu: chili, cornbread, salad, dessert, wine, soft drinks, coffee, tea
  • Fee: $5.00
  • RSVP by Tue, Feb 17
  • Reservations: please call Marie Ordeman or Terry Robinson or sign up at the classrooms at Lake Anne. Please put remittance ($5.00) in an envelope and give it to Ann Youngren.
  • Volunteers are still needed to help at the luncheon; please contact Janet Cochran or sign up on the volunteer sheets available at Lake Anne.
     OLLI members share the goal of making OLLI the best it can be. If you have any comments or suggestions on your experience with OLLI Reston please send to me.
Upcoming Mason performances, Jan 23-Feb 1

By Jan Bohall, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
FOR TICKETS, call 1-888-945-2468 (phone orders are handled by tickets.com) or visit the Center for the Arts Box Office, Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00. More info on tickets at the CFA tickets page.

Sat, Jan 31, 8:00
     The Philadelphia Dance Company, a modern dance troupe, has for more than 30 years been known for its innovative, energetic and exuberant performances.
Admission: $42, $34, $21
Family Friendly: Children 12 and under, half price with an adult
Concert Hall
Come early at 7:15 for a free artistic discussion on Grand Tier III.
Vagina Monologues
Presented by GMU Sexual Assault Services
Women’s and Gender Studies
Alcohol, Drug and Health Education Offices
Fri, Feb 6, Sat, Feb 7, 8:00
Sat, Feb 7, also at 2:00
Admission: $25, $10 Mason faculty/staff, $5 GMU students
Harris Theater
Cirque Éloize
Nebbia: a magical fog
Sat, Feb 7, Sun, Feb 8, 8:00
Sun, Feb 8, also at 2:00
     This Quebec-based company returns with the third part of its sky trilogy. In this fog, anything is possible, and reality becomes dream. The new production combines daring circus feats, acrobatics, theatrics and poetry, with dramatic lighting and an original score of haunting music.
Admission: $46, $38, $23
Family Friendly: Children 12 and under, half price with an adult
Concert Hall
Come 45 minutes early before each performance for a free artistic discussion on Grand Tier III.

Other Mason events
By Barbara Kyriakakis, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
  English Department’s Visiting Writers Series – Reading by Bernardine Evaristo (photo at right), author of one fully-prose novel, Blonde Roots, and three novels-in-verse: Lara, The Emperor's Babe, and Soul Tourists. She has also written for radio and theater and she writes occasional book reviews for national newspapers. Sun, Feb 1, 163 Research I, 7:30. Reception, 163 lobby, prior to reading.
  Krasnow Seminar – "An fMRI Investigation into Gender Differences During Social Interaction," presented by Frank Krueger, Lead Investigator, Warfighter Head Injury Study Cognitive Neuroscience Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH. Mon, Feb 2, 4:00 to 5:00. Krasnow Institute, room 229.
  Astronomy Observing Session – Wed, Feb 11, 6:30, Research I Observatory.
  Vision Series – "The Language of Land Mines: Motivation to Remediation," presented by Kenneth Hintz, Assoc. Prof. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason. Mon, Feb 16, 7:00, Concert Hall. Free but tickets required (can be obtained at box office immediately prior to event). 
  Center for Health Policy and Research and Ethics Spring Speakers Series – "Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense," presented by Jonathon Moreno, Ph.D., UPenn. Thu, Feb 19, 7:00, D3 A&B Mason Hall.
  Human Resources Life-Planning Seminar – "Getting Your Papers in Order: Advance Directives," presented by Robin Remsburg, Ph.D., R.N.,Wed, Feb 25, 12:00 to 1:00, SUB I, Room C.

Non-class events at OLLI for the next two weeks
THE FOLLOWING LIST covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master calendar maintained by the office (see Upcoming Non-Class Events to view the real-time OLLI online calendar used by the office). Note: Board, committee, resource-group and 'membership-type' meetings/events below are highlighted in bold. OLLI members are welcome at all Board, committee and resource-group meetings (except during executive sessions).

Friday    Jan 30    10am    Loudoun Let’s Eat Out - Mimi’s, Dulles Town Center
        10am    Recorder Club - TA-2
        10am    Drama Club - TA-3
        10:30am    New Member Coffee - TA-1
        10:30am    Special Event - 952 Tour - Holocaust Museum
        11am    Homer Group - Social Room Annex

Tuesday    Feb 3    11am    Fiction Writers Club - Kings Park Library
Wednesday    Feb 4    1:30pm    Bridge Club - TA-3
1:30pm    Special Events Resource Group Meeting - Social Room Annex
        2pm    History Club - TA-1
        2pm    Special Event - Aging and Personal Wellness - TA-2
Friday    Feb 6    9:45am    Bus Trip - 954 Pompeii: National Gallery of Art
        10am    Recorder Club - TA-2
        10am    Drama Club - TA-3
        10:30am    Special Event - 953 Loudoun Tour - Holocaust Museum
        11am    Homer Group - Social Room Annex

Wednesday    Feb 11    1:30pm    Bridge Club - TA-3
        1:30pm    Book Club - TA-2
         2pm    Special Event - 955 Rabbi Bruce Aft - TA-1
Friday    Feb 13    10am    Recorder Club - TA-2
        10am    Drama Club - TA-3
        10am    Travel Club - TA-1
        11am    Homer Group - Social Room Annex
        1pm    Valentine Party and Talent Show - TA-1

Rod Zumbro

Karen Hamilton
Deputy Editor
About this newsletter. OLLI's weekly newsletter, OLLI E-News, is emailed to OLLI members with email addresses on Fridays. When classes are in session, printed copies of this newsletter are distributed in classrooms, primarily for members without email. Comments, suggestions or complaints? Please contact Editor Rod Zumbro or Communications Committee Chair Gordon Canyock.
  Submissions. We encourage members to submit news items, articles and photos for this newsletter. The deadline to the editor is 7:00 pm Wed (7:00 pm Mon for letters to the editor for which an OLLI response is appropriate) for that week's issue; earlier submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words. Submit material via email to Editor Rod Zumbro (email rzumbro@gmu.edu).
  Read the Latest Issue Early. The new weekly issue of OLLI E-News is posted to the OLLI Web site Thursday evening. Read it by visiting http://www.olli.gmu.edu/pubs.htm#enews, where you will find a list of the last 12 issues, and clicking the latest issue listed.
  Viewing or searching past issues. Your options for finding items in past issues of OLLI E-News include viewing the last 12 issues; searching the content of ALL issues for any word or words; and searching our archive of all past issues by date or issue number.
Editorial Staff

Backup Editor
John West

Database Manager

Barbara Kyriakakis

Photo Editor Michael Coyne
Updated: January 30, 2009

Copyright © 2009 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University. Materials in this publication subject to OLLI-Mason copyright may be reproduced for noncommercial educational purposes as long as credit is given to OLLI-Mason.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University, 4210 Roberts Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032-1028
Phone: (703) 503-3384; Email: olli@gmu.edu; Fax: (703) 503-2832
Original site design and construction by OLLI-Mason member Rod Zumbro.