OLLI E-News #6-11 of February 11, 2011
Print a condensed pdf copy of this newsletter, two Web pages per sheet of paper

Web Site What's New Catalog DocStore
Bulletin Board Member Portal Contact Us
> BOARD MEETING. 10:00 Fri, Feb 18, Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited.
> LOUDOUN CLASS MAKE-UP. L205, Diversifying your Portfolio – there will be a make-up class on Tue, Feb 22 at 10:00.
CONTENTS FOR FRI, FEB 11, 2011 About OLLI E-News
> REPORT TO THE OSHER FOUNDATION. From the executive director. By Thom Clement
> JOHN WEST: OLLI WEBMASTER. Profile of OLLI's Techie Extraordinaire. By Barbara Kyriakakis

> NEW MEMBER COFFEE. A brand-new member's perspective. By Lois Lightfoot
> TWO NEW WEBSITE PAGES. "Other Useful Links" and "For Our Instructors." By Rod Zumbro
> ITALIAN LUNCH AT LOUDOUN. A special event during the 16th Century lecture series.

> THE TOM SWIFT SQUAD NEEDS YOU! Interested in technology? Learn with us! By Paul Howard
> RELIGIOUS STUDIES. Resource Group meeting on Mon, Feb 28.
> COMPUTER CLUB. Sat, Feb 19 – HD camcorders; Exploring CES, part 2.
> POET'S CORNER. Selected by the OLLI Poetry Workshop.
> MASON ARTS AND MUSIC. Upcoming performances. By Jan Bohall

> MASON HIGHLIGHTS. Other Mason events. By Helen Ackerman

> COMING ATTRACTIONS. Upcoming non-class events at OLLI.


From the executive director
By Thom Clement, Executive Director

EACH JANUARY, WE SUBMIT A REPORT to the Bernard Osher Foundation that includes information about program offerings, our financial status and our relationship with the University. Because Osher's endowment is to the George Mason University Foundation, the Osher Foundation is vitally interested in a healthy and prosperous relationship between our OLLI and George Mason University.
     For the next three weeks, I will include an excerpt from the annual report for your reading pleasure.

     Membership in OLLI-Mason is available to anyone who pays the membership dues. Full membership entitles individuals to take an unlimited number of courses at any of our locations during the four terms of the year. Since the spring of 2007, the annual dues for full membership in OLLI-Mason has been $350, and our Board of Directors has decided to keep the current rate through 2011. In 2008, the Board authorized a "Loudoun-only" membership for members who planned to take courses only at the location in Loudoun County. Annual dues for Loudoun-only members is now $200. We also continue to offer an "Introductory Membership" which allows prospective members to have full benefits for one term for $150. After that term, these members have the option to continue for the subsequent three terms for $250. In addition to courses and other activities detailed in the OLLI-Mason catalogs, members have access to benefits provided by the University as provided for in the Affiliation Agreement. These University privileges were revised in 2010.
     As 2010 drew to a close, OLLI-Mason had 964 members: 865 full members, including 48 introductory members, and 99 Loudoun-only members.
     This year, we asked members to identify a "home campus," primarily for communication purposes. A 2010 registration analysis yielded the following information:
  • Among those identifying Fairfax as their home campus, there was a total of 2,821 registrations – or an average of about 16 courses per member.
  • For those calling Reston their home base, there was a total of 583 registrations – or an average of a little over 11 courses per member.
  • For those primarily attending in Loudoun, there was a total of 259 registrations – or an average of 12 courses per member.
     Overall registration showed that the average OLLI member took 15 courses during 2010.
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John West
Profile of OLLI's Techie Extraordinaire

By Barbara Kyriakakis, OLLI E-News Associate Editor
OLLI CAPTURED A PRIZE the day John West—computer genius, network guru and technical whiz kid—walked through its front door. As OLLI Webmaster, he's in charge of our informative, extensive Website – including updates to the What's New page and DocStore as well as rapid posts of each term's catalog. He's also the brains behind the smooth performance of the OLLI computer network, checking its operation daily for malfunctions, technical difficulties and service needs. In case something should go wrong, no problem: the network files are backed up on his three home computers and an external hard drive.
     Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, John earned a BS in Natural Science at Muhlenberg College in his hometown. He tried medical school before realizing he wasn't suited for a medical career. After bowing out of that, John completed Air Force Officer Training School in 1967 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He met and married his wife Kathie in 1968; they raised two children and now have two grandchildren. Later in his career, he was selected for graduate school and sent to the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he received an MS degree in Logistics Management. John's military career included positions as squadron commander, depot chief of maintenance and R&D/acquisition officer. He retired as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years and started work for defense contractor TRW, where he spent another 17 years before retiring for good in 2004.
     John joined OLLI the year he retired and hasn't stopped contributing to the technological improvements that have helped make our Institute one of the best in the country. Besides his Webmaster job, he helps proof and edit OLLI E-News each week, has done weekly E-News issues as deputy editor in the editor's absence, led the Audiovisual Support Committee for six months and remains active on the Tom Swift Squad. His wife Kathie, another OLLI prize, has been a Board member since 2008 and is now our vice president.
     In his spare time, John enjoys exploring technical and current-events blogs – following many journalists' blogs and reading a variety of opinion blogs. An avid Twitter fan, he has recently been tracking the Egyptian uprising on Twitter and through the blogs.
     John likes the congenial atmosphere and variety of classes at OLLI. He especially likes the history and National Park Service classes. "I am a 'what you see is what you get' kind of guy," he says. That 'kind of guy' is, in this writer's view, an intelligent, computer-savvy, down-to-earth, gentle man ... as well as a gentleman in every sense of the word.
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A brand-new member's perspective
By Lois Lightfoot, OLLI member

From left: Rosemary Reardon (event chair), Nancy Jarvis, Maria Wilson; photo by Dan Feighery. Other contributing Hospitality ladies not shown: Beverly George, Elaine Leonard, Maryann Sheehan, Ann Shell, Eleanor White. To view slideshow of photos by Dan Feighery, click above image or click here.
HAVING RECENTLY JOINED OLLI, I attended the coffee held for new members last Friday. I was impressed before I even arrived: One of the members, Elaine Leonard, had personally called to let me know about the event ... and then called again when it was postponed due to weather. Such attention!
     The meeting was fun, informative and a great way to learn more about OLLI and meet others. People were friendly and made a point to introduce themselves to us new members – a very welcoming environment. And, of course, there were tasty treats!
     The event was well attended, and I recognized several people from my Spanish class and other classes. After some chatting and snacking, we sat down to hear OLLI officials—Executive Director Thom Clement, Vice President Kathie West, Program Committee Chair Kathryn Russell and Members Services Committee Chair Debbie Halverson—describe how OLLI operates, its structure, and the process for adding courses to the OLLI program. All of which was quite interesting. Then there were brief introductions to some of the clubs and groups, including photography, walking, bridge and history – making for a nice overview of the many opportunities that are available.
     It was fun! Muchas gracias to all for putting together such a friendly and useful event.

I thought it would be worth hearing the unique perspective of a brand-new member, so I asked Lois, who recently retired and happens to be a long-time member of my wife Susanne's neighborhood ladies' book group. Lois graciously agreed – thus, the above article. -- Rod Zumbro, OLLI E-News Editor.

"Other Useful Links" and "For Our Instructors"
By Rod Zumbro, OLLI E-News Editor

Left image above – Other Useful Links is under the EXTERNAL menu;
right image above – For Our Instructors is under the OUR PROGRAM menu.

THE OLLI WEBSITE TEAM recently updated the Website's drop-down menu structure to make it simpler and cleaner while fixing some broken links. Two significant changes for OLLI members are the addition of two new pages: "Other Useful Links" and "For Our Instructors."
  • Other Useful Links. This page lists Web links external to OLLI that members might find useful, in eight categories. This greatly expanded list is based on the efforts and suggestions of the following OLLI Communications Committee members – Doris Bloch (subcommittee chair), Barbara Cereghino, Sheri Siesseger and Betty Smith.
    • The new Health section lists trustworthy health sites based on Medical Library Association information originally provided in an OLLI class by Janet Cochran.
    • The Lifelong Learning section includes a link to the University Catalog for members interested in auditing a course at Mason as well as a link to a special E-News section written by OLLI members who have audited courses at Mason.
    • To see "Other Useful Links" now, click here.
  • For Our Instructors. This page was also suggested by Doris Bloch's group and Program Associate Beth Davis. The page lists in one place some important resources and information of possible use to current and prospective instructors and speakers. To see "For Our Instructors" now, click here.
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A special event during the 16th Century lecture series

The sold-out lunch included, second from right in top photo, Dr. Christine Contrada, associate professor of history at Germanna Community College, the instructor of "The Late Renaissance in Italy." Photos by Michael Coyne.
LAST FRIDAY AT LOUDOUN, OLLI members enjoyed a special Italian lunch with their instructor of course L321 on the Italian Renaissance, a completely full class held the same day as part of the series "The 16th Century: A Global Retrospective."
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Interested in technology? Learn with us!

By Paul Howard, Audiovisual Support Committee Chair
OLLI'S AUDIOVISUAL SUPPORT COMMITTEE (a.k.a. The Tom Swift Squad) is looking for additional volunteers to help ensure the smooth employment of OLLI's audiovisual resources. Our primary mission is to help instructors, liaisons and staff with any audiovisual issues that might arise during the classes we attend.
     We'll be meeting in the Tallwood Cottage at 1:45 on Wednesday, February 16 for a training and work session. You'll receive training on our A/V equipment and participate in planning for OLLI's future needs for not only A/V equipment but also computer and networking resources. We promise that you won't have to wear a pocket protector ... unless you want to!
     Please let me know if you're planning to attend or would like to become a "Swiftie" even if you can't attend this meeting – contact me by email or phone (703-860-9246).

For more information on the Audiovisual Support Committee, see its Web page.

Resource Group meeting on Mon, Feb 28
THERE WILL BE A MEETING of the Religious Studies Resource Group at 9:30 at Tallwood on Monday, February 28. We will discuss the program for the fall 2011 term and beyond, with the goal to have a varied and active program at all three OLLI venues.
-- Steve Goldman, Religious Studies Resource Group Chair

Sat, Feb 19 – HD camcorders; Exploring CES, part 2
OLLI'S COMPUTER CLUB will meet at 1:00 (drinks and socializing in the social room at 12:30) on Saturday, February 19 in TA-1. Tallwood Site Assistant Bill Walsh (photo at right) will discuss the joys and challenges of a flash-memory-based, high-definition consumer camcorder, showing some of the pros and cons of this marvelous new technology. Besides the advantages of compact size, reduced weight and long recording time of these camcorders, the new technology of HD video makes for a great video (and still-photo) experience. However, with greater video definition comes requirements for more hard-drive storage space, faster computer processors and HD-capable video-editing software.
     Geof Goodrum will continue his presentation of photos and discussion about the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show; he will describe some of the latest technologies and frivolities on display at the January show, which drew more than 130,000 people to Las Vegas for dozens of acres of tech displays. Bob Rott will offer his impressions of the same event.
     Geof will also discuss another aspect of the Internet of the future, now that the last block of IP addresses was given out last week: How can we survive without more Websites of virulent political speech and videos of wardrobe malfunctions?
     For information about the Computer Club, see the OPCUG Website.

Contributed by Paul Howard, OPCUG Coordinator.


Selected by the OLLI Poetry Workshop 
Where do the birds go in the cold?

Little birds with no cloth of fur or scarf
Or coffee cup to warm their blood
Circle around the feeder
And cheep cheerfully at 15 degrees.

The squirrels have their fluffy fur
And long tails for blankets
And snuggle together in nests made of leaves.

The small rabbits and mice
Burrow down into
Their warm and friendly earth womb
Protected from the frigid blast of winter.

But where do the small birds go
When the mercury drops below freezing?
Their only garment is optimism and feathers
Fluffed to catch pockets of air
To keep out the crushing cold
And no ground burrows in which to hide.

Perhaps the hand of God surrounds them
With loving warmth.
Whoever serves The Least of us serves Him too.

Jack Arthur Underhill

Upcoming performances, Feb 11 - 20 
By Jan Bohall, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
FOR TICKETS, call 1-888-945-2408 (phone orders are handled by tickets.com) or visit the Center for the Arts Box Office, Tue-Sat, 10:00-5:00. More info on tickets at the CFA tickets page.

Aquila Theatre
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Fri, Feb 11, 8:00
     A surrealistic tragicomedy by Nobel Laureate Luigi Pirandello, the play opens with actors in rehearsal for a play, when six nameless characters suddenly appear. They are seeking the author who failed to finish their story, leaving them incomplete as well. The play was first staged in 1921 but is fully relevant today.
Admission: $34, $26, $17 (Limited number of student tickets available)
Concert Hall
Come at 7:15 for a pre-performance artistic discussion on Grand Tier III.
The Vagina Monologues
Fri, Feb 11, 8:00
Sat, Feb 12, 3:00 & 8:00
     The Monologues are part of V-Day, a global effort to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through productions of playwright Eve Ensler.
     In 2011 the focus will be on the high levels of violence against women and girls and the increased rates of sexual violence in Haiti since the devastating earthquake a year ago. All funds raised will be used to address sexual violence there through art, advocacy, safe shelter and legal services.
Admission: $25 General public, $15 per ticket in groups of 10 or more,
$10 faculty & staff, $5 students
Harris Theatre
Opole, Philharmonic of Poland
Boguslaw Dawidow, conductor
Jacek Kortus, piano
Sat, Feb 12, 8:00
     Making its debut at the Center, this orchestra has hosted a growing number of world-class musicians and winners of piano, violin and conducting competitions, and was invited to perform in honor of Pope John Paul II's 80th birthday. The program will feature Mozart's Overture to Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica." Virtuoso Jacek Kortus will join the orchestra for the Piano Concerto in A minor by Polish composer I.J. Paderewski.
Admission: $50, $42, $25 (Limited number of student tickets available)
Concert Hall
Come at 7:15 for a pre-performance artistic discussion on Grand Tier III.
Virginia Opera
The Valkyrie
Fri, Feb 18, 8:00
Sun, Feb 20, 2:00
     The cornerstone of Richard Wagner's majestic "Ring Cycle," The Valkyrie has received much acclaim as an independent work. Based on Norse and Teutonic myths, a powerful god is caught between conflicting loyalties among his mortal and divine children in his desire to own a magical ring that would make him omnipotent. The score includes "The Ride of the Valkyries," one of the most exhilarating pieces in operatic literature. Sung in German with English supertitles. Click here for full info on Virginia Opera Website (synopsis, about the composer, historical background).
Note: The Sun, Feb 20, matinee performance is OLLI Special Event 976.
Admission: Fri, $86, $72, $44 (Limited number of student tickets available)
Sun, $98, $80, $48
Concert Hall
Come at 7:15 for a pre-performance artistic discussion on Grand Tier III.
Hot Tuna Blues
Sat, Feb 19, 8:00
     Jorma Kaukonen, known for his finger-picking guitar, and Jack Casady for his skill on the electric bass, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their blues, jazz, bluegrass and folk music. Now celebrating their band's 40th anniversary, they are joined by blues icon Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica and guitar and Americana and bluegrass guitarist John Lauderdale. Click here for details and two videos.
Admission: $44, $36, $22 (Limited number of student tickets available.)
Family friendly: Youth grade 12 and under, half price with an adult
Concert Hall
Come at 7:15 for a pre-performance artistic discussion on Grand Tier III.
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Other Mason events, next two weeks
By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
  • Center for Global Islamic Studies Spring 2011 Lecture Series: Jonathan Brown, Assistant Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, discusses "Abiding Stereotypes about the Prophet Muhammad in the Medieval and Modern West." Tue, Feb 15 from 12:00 to 1:30. Mason Hall, Edwin Meese III Conference Room. Free.
  • Black Heritage Month Movie Special: When We Were Kings. Muhammad Ali and George Foreman travel to Zaire for the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight title fight in director Leon Gast's Oscar-winning documentary. Tue, Feb 15 from 5:00 to 7:00. Student Union Building I, Room 1400. Free.
  • Lecture: Journalist Mark Hertsgaard discusses "Generation HOT and the New Era of Global Warming." The reduction of global warning remains critical, but according to Hertsgaard humans must adapt to the impacts that are already in the pipeline. He will discuss his new book, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. Wed, Feb 16 at 11:00. Johnson Center, Cinema. Free.
  • Preview Event for the Sojourner Truth Lecture. A documentary film on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas will be followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Yevette Richards Jordan. Wed, Feb 16, 2:00. Johnson Center, Cinema. Free.
  • Black Heritage Month Movie Special. The documentary Paul Robeson: Here I Stand is an evocative portrait of a groundbreaker who transcended the racism of the 1930s by achieving success without passing for white. Thu, Feb 24, 1:00 to 3:00. Student Union Building I, Room 1400. Free.

Upcoming non-class events at OLLI
THE FOLLOWING LIST covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master calendar maintained by the office, with direct Web links added when available. OLLI members are welcome at all Board, committee and resource group meetings. For more activities specifically related to the Loudoun site, see Roberta Sherman's latest Loudoun Notes (a pdf document, updated periodically when classes are in session). For more activities specifically related to the Reston site, see Sharon Gilman's latest Eye on Reston (a Microsoft Word document).
     Note: The below list is accurate as of mid-week but for the very latest information, please see Upcoming Non-Class Events to view the real-time OLLI online calendar maintained by the office.
Fri Feb 11   9am   Recorder Consort - TA-2
     9:30am   Photography Club - TA-1
     11am   Homer Club - Annex

     12pm   Reston Program Meeting - Calypso Restaurant at Lake Anne Plaza
Wed Feb 16   11:15am   Soup Pot Wednesday - Cottage
     1:45pm   Tallwood Bridge Club - TA-3

     1:45pm   Audiovisual Support Committee training/work session - Cottage

Fri Feb 18   Winter Term ends
     9am   Recorder Consort - TA-2
     9:30am   French Book Club - Annex
9:30am   Travel Club - TA-1
     10am   Board of Directors Meeting - TA-3
     11am   Homer Club - Annex
     1pm   OLLI Valentine's Party - TA-1
Sat Feb 19   1pm   OLLI Personal Computer User Group - TA-1
Mon Feb 21   OLLI Office Closed for President's Day
Tue Feb 22   Spring Registration Begins
     1pm   Grand Camp Meeting - Annex
Wed Feb 23   10am   
Tallwood Bridge Club - TA-3
Fri Feb 25   9am   
Recorder Consort - TA-2
     9:30am   French Book Club - Annex
     10:30am   Loudoun Book Club - Cascades Library, Loudoun
     11am   Homer Club - Annex
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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 Member Portal).

About OLLI E-News and the member/volunteers who produce it

Rod Zumbro

Barbara Kyriakakis
Associate Editor
Review Team: Gordon Canyock, Barbara Kyriakakis, John West
Database Manager: Barbara Kyriakakis
  • About this newsletter. OLLI's weekly newsletter, OLLI E-News, is emailed to current OLLI members with email addresses on Fridays. When classes are in session, printed copies of this newsletter are distributed in classrooms. 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; submissions earlier in the week are strongly encouraged and 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; click 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 the DocStore archive of all past issues by date or issue number.
Updated: February 11, 2011

Copyright © 2011 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.