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2018 Spring Catalog

Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing Spring 2018 activities at all three locations (Fairfax, Reston and NOVA-Loudoun). Unless otherwise noted, classes beginning with an F are held at Tallwood in Fairfax, an R at United Christian Parish in Reston, and an L at Mason’s Loudoun County location in Sterling. To view non-course information in the catalog, click the following links for the Schedule of Classes (pdf) and Registration Form (pdf). If you plan to print the catalog rather than read it on your computer screen, you may prefer to print the Spring 2018 Catalog (pdf) in its normal two-column format.
Class hours are 9:40–11:05, 11:50–1:15, and 2:15–3:40, unless otherwise noted.


100 Art and Music

F101 Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor Art

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructors: Suzanne Goldstein, Susann Hamilton
Class limit: 12
This class is for beginners who want to learn basic skills in sketching and watercolor art. We will discuss pencil types, pastels, charcoal, and papers used to produce lines, shapes, and textures in perspective, as well as appropriate brushes, paints, and paper for watercolor painting. Artwork often will be finished outside of class. Participants will be emailed a supply list. If you register for this class, please do not register for F105 Drawing and Sketching Workshop, or F110 Watercolor Painting.
Suzanne Goldstein is a retired math teacher and a longtime attendee of OLLI sketching and watercolor classes and facilitator of the Annex Art Club.
Susann Hamilton is a retired association executive who has been an OLLI instructor of “Beginning Sketching.”


F102 Music Sampler

Tuesdays, 9:30–10:55, Mar. 27–May 15
Note time
Fairfax Lord of Life Sanctuary
Coordinator: Kathryn Hearden
This course highlights examples of the musical talent that abounds at Mason. Each week knowledgeable and enthusiastic professors from the Mason School of Music, often accompanied by their most promising students, will generously share their musical gifts in presentations that are varied, lively, informative, and entertaining.
Dr. Kathryn Hearden is associate director of vocal studies at the Mason School of Music. She is a soprano and teaches voice, diction, and education. She completed a DMA degree at the Eastman School of Music.

F103 DSLR Camera: Follow-on

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Dan Feighery
Class limit: 12
This course is intended as a follow-on from our fall 2017 Basic Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) class. A prerequisite is that attendees understand the basic operation of their DSLR camera. Expanding from the rule of thirds in composition, we’ll consider and apply elements of art as they apply to photography. We will also explore the topic of lighting in more detail, including use of natural light, artificial lighting for table-top photography, and on- and off-camera flash. Through weekly shooting assignments and in-class peer review, we’ll focus on improving the arrangement of subjects within the picture space and how we light that subject matter.
Dan Feighery holds a BS in physics from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Photography has been one of his hobbies for the past seven decades.


F104 Trends in American Art, 1840-1950

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–Apr. 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Susan Rudy
Class limit: 60
Explore major trends in American art in this series of four illustrated lectures:

  • 27: Landscape Painting: Reality, Myth, and Symbol. Trace the development of American landscape painting as it recorded the beauty of the Hudson River Valley, highlighted the confrontation between wilderness and civilization during the westward expansion, and symbolized the trauma of the Civil War.
  • 3: American Art Comes of Age. Follow the American Impressionists and artists of the Gilded Age, and consider how art at the end of the 19th century reflected social and political trends.
  • 10: The New Century. Discover how art of the early 20th century depicted modernity and the issues of the new urban America.
  • 17: The American Century. Examine the role of art in shaping and expressing our national identity.

Instructor Susan Rudy recommends signing up for one of the corresponding trips: 1012 or 1015 Trends in American Art: Gallery Trip. Registration in this course does not guarantee a place on the bus trip, nor does registration for the bus trip guarantee registration in this course.
Susan Rudy holds an MA in French from Middlebury College’s graduate program at the Sorbonne. Following a 26-year career with the CIA, she has been a docent at the National Gallery of Art. During the summer, she gives tours of the Winslow Homer Studio at Prouts Neck, Maine.


F105 Drawing and Sketching Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–May 15
Fairfax Lord of Life, Conference Room
Instructor: Bill Parsons
Class limit: 14
Leave your rational and analytic left brain at home, and tap into your creative right brain as we draw a variety of subjects, exploring the visual effects and relationships of light, value, forms, dimension, and perspective. We’ll encourage free expression and will use many different media to create work that reflects the personal interest of each student. Projects will be started in class but usually finished outside of class. Weekly class discussions of finished work will help students further develop their talents. Basic drawing supplies needed are pencils, charcoal, Conté crayons, ink pens, pastels, and paper appropriate to the medium. The course is intended for students who are experienced in drawing or painting. If you register for this class, please do not register for F101 Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor Arts or F110 Watercolor Painting.
Bill Parsons earned an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1978 and has worked as a furniture maker and designer, jeweler, silversmith, and ceramic artist.


F106 Virtual Museum Tour

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, April 25–May 16
Four sessions
Coordinator: Angie Talaber
Join representatives from the National Building Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Workhouse Arts Center, and the National Gallery for a virtual tour through their buildings. We will look at highlights of the buildings and discuss their importance, as well as “visit” some of the exhibits that are currently on display.


F107 Dabbling Artists

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 28–May 16
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructors: Sue Goldstein, Susann Hamilton
Class limit: 12
Come meet and work alongside fellow OLLI members who dabble in sketching and watercolor painting. You provide your own materials and the picture or sketch you plan to work on each week. There will be plenty of advisory conversation available, along with suggestions for projects you might enjoy. If you have taken “Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor” this course may be for you! Or, if you last picked up a pastel or brush in high school, maybe you’re ready to do it again! This class is not intended for those who have no experience with drawing or painting.
See F101 for instructor information.


F108 Hallelujah! The Music and Life of Leonard Cohen

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 26–May 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Bill Hoyle
“Suzanne,” “So Long Marianne,” and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” are just a few of the songs written by Leonard Cohen. His most famous song, “Hallelujah,” was released in 1984, but it had limited initial success and did not become popular until it was covered by other artists years later. Today there are more than 300 different recorded versions of the song. A French-Canadian Jewish poet, Cohen was also a Buddhist monk, yet he wrote many songs about Christianity. In his twenties he lived on the tiny Greek island of Hydra and later lived in a monastery. After his manager embezzled most of his money, in 2008 at the age of 74 he went back on tour. He toured for the next five years. The course will include music videos of Cohen in concert, as well as renditions of his songs from Judy Collins, k.d. lang, Jennifer Warnes, Roberta Flack, and others. The lyrics will be distributed and singing along is welcome.
Bill Hoyle is a life-long music lover, frequent concert goer, and former choral singer. He saw Leonard Cohen perform in 2009 at Merriweather Post and in 2013 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Hoyle retired in 2014 from his non-musical day job as senior investigator for the US Chemical Safety Board.


F109 Singing for Fun

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Palmer McGrew
As the title says, we gather to have a good time singing songs popular from the ‘30s to today. Class members are encouraged to bring in songs they would like to sing. The only singing talent necessary is the desire to sing. We have a wonderful keyboard accompanist, a percussionist, and an occasional banjo. It’s a lot of fun.
Palmer McGrew, an OLLI member, is a longtime performer in church choirs, barbershop choruses and quartets, and the West Point Alumni Glee Club. He is the director of the Greenspring Choristers


F110 Watercolor Painting

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Leonard Justinian
Class limit: 15

This class will provide an opportunity for watercolor painters at all levels to develop fresh skills while learning new watercolor techniques. Required materials include: #1, #6, and/or #8 round watercolor brushes; a paint palette for mixing colors; 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper (Arches is best, but you can use less expensive paper); a kneaded eraser; a Staedtler white plastic eraser; and tubes of watercolor paint in white, charcoal black, cadmium yellow (medium), cadmium red (medium), and ultramarine blue, or a starter set of watercolors. If you register for this class please do not register for F101 Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor Art and F105 Drawing and Sketching Workshop.
Leonard Justinian has been painting for more than 60 years. Among other honors, he has received the Grumbacher Award. He teaches watercolor painting in his Fairfax City studio and is also seen on Fairfax public access cable TV, Cox cable channel 10, and Verizon FiOS channel 10. He is a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters,


R111 History of Protest Music

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 26–May 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Dunphy
The history of protests in the United States cannot be understood without the soundtrack to those protests. In this course, we will consider the interplay between protests and music. Starting with Billie Holliday and Woody Guthrie in the 1930s, through the music of the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and up to today, we will consider how music affected protest movements and vice versa. We will look at the backgrounds of the singers, view song clips, and then put the songs in historical perspective. Some of the artists we will consider are Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen. We will close the circle and end on a song by Graham Nash from the 1960s commenting on a contemporary issue. Note: the language in the songs is angry and at times profane, and the images disturbing, but they represent the true feelings of the artist in the moment, and what led to these feelings. This class is a repeat of the class presented at Tallwood in the spring 2017 term.
Jim Dunphy, an OLLI member, is a retired federal attorney and retired colonel in the US Army Reserve. When Jim was growing up in Brooklyn, his father put him to bed not with lullabies, but with songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Jim Reeves—sparking an interest in folk music which continues to this day.


R112 Meet the Artists

Thursdays, 2:15–3:30, Mar. 22–May 3
Note dates and time
CenterStage, Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Seven sessions
Coordinator: Rosemary McDonald

  • 22: Evelyn Mo returns to the CenterStage for her fifth performance. Now a sophomore at Harvard, she continues her piano studies with John O’Conor and competes in major international competitions at home and abroad. Mo has been invited to perform at the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, South Carolina, as a featured guest artist this summer.
  • 29: The Tallwood Trio with Nancy Riley, soloist, Alan Wenberg piano, Eric Henderson, bass, and Ron Musselwhite, drums, will perform selections from the Great American Songbook, Broadway hits and others.
  • 5: Pianist George Fu is a graduate of Harvard and the Curtis Institute. He has spent the past year studying at the Royal Academy in London. As a composer, Fu has won awards for his piano compositions. Fu served as music director of the Dunster Opera of Harvard, conducting a production of Massenet’s Cendrillion.
  • 12: A Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award recipient, Oscar Paz-Suaznabar is a 12-year old pianist who has performed on From the Top, an NPR radio show featuring outstanding young gifted musicians. He is a first prize winner in the Asian American Music Society Competition at Carnegie Hall. Paz-Suaznabar attends St. Albans school and is a student of Marjorie Lee.
  • 19: A celebrated cabaret singer in the Washington area, Beverly Cosham will perform songs from the Great American Songbook and other favorites. Cosham has been the recipient of numerous awards for her musical and dramatic performances.
  • 26: Dr. Linda A. Monson is director of the School of Music at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University. Monson, a Steinway Artist, along with her advanced students, will perform selections from the classical repertoire.
  • May 3: Luke Frazier a rapidly rising star in the pops world has proven himself as both a musical conductor and pianist. He founded the American Pops Orchestra in 2015, presenting all-original programming. The program will focus on the life and music of the incomparable Judy Garland, with particular focus on lesser known performances and hidden gems from her career.


L113 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 9, Apr. 23, May 7
Note dates
Three sessions
Instructor: Gloria Sussman
This music listening course has continued to live up to its promising title. We explore with pleasure the many facets of classical music with the help of DVDs and YouTube. You may sample the wide variety of previous terms’ musical offerings by searching for Gloria Sussman on
Gloria Sussman has been teaching at OLLI since 2000 and continues to provide entertaining programs for OLLI at Loudoun.


200 Economics & Finance

F201 Estate Planning

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructors: Sarah Parks, Bob Patton
The instructors will share their experiences with estate planning and retirement living with seniors and their families. Their purpose is to educate seniors about ways to become proactive in planning their estates.

  • 26: An Overview of Estate Planning. Gift and estate taxes, wills and probate, and powers of attorney will be discussed.
  • 2: Trusts. What are trusts and how do they work?
  • 9: Settling an Estate with a Trust versus a Will.
  • 16: Medical Decision Making. What is a healthcare directive, and how does it work? We will also discuss hospice care—what it is and how it operates.

Sarah Parks is an attorney who limits her practice to estate planning. Her firm is Custom Estate Planning, which she has been operating since 1995. She has a JD degree from the Mason School of Law and an LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Bob Patton practices estate planning, probate and trust administration, and maritime consulting. He works with Sarah Parks at Custom Estate Planning on estate planning matters, and is a member of the Virginia Bar and the DC Bar. In 2000 he retired from the US Maritime Administration, where he was deputy chief counsel.


F202 The Federal Debt, Taxes, Spending, and the Bankrupting of America: 2018 and Beyond

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Cantwell
This course will address several aspects of the current $20 trillion federal debt, including how it has grown over time; projected debt levels over the next several decades; and whether tax cuts will increase or decrease deficits through economic growth. Because of their large and growing contributions to federal deficits, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the debt, and military spending will be examined in some depth using Congressional Budget Office data. Questions to be addressed include: Why does the federal debt matter, anyway? How close are we to being bankrupt and are we any different than Greece, a country in fiscal distress? Is there a ratio of US debt to national income where a debt-fueled economic crisis becomes inevitable? What is the trade-off between fiscal austerity and economic growth? Is our grandkids’ future in peril because of the growing debt? How might the debt impact current retirees? The federal budget process will be examined, as well as tax policy and the distribution of income. We will also look briefly at private, state, and local debt. Class discussion may be supplemented with presentations by experts from the Mason faculty or other budget experts.
Jim Cantwell, an OLLI member, retired from the US Senate Joint Economic Committee. He worked as a health economist/budget analyst at the US House of Representatives, Committee on the Budget, and at the Government Accountability Office. He was an assistant professor of economics at Texas A&M University and a health economist with the American Medical Association.


F203 Investing Basics in Retirement

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–Apr. 9
Three sessions
Instructors: Sylvia Auton-Hanvey, Brenda Bloch-Young
Once we retire, our investment goals change, depending on whether our basic expenses are covered by a pension or we need to generate income from our investments. Our time horizon to recover from a major market decline has changed, and this impacts the investments we make.
Brenda Bloch-Young is a retired CPA and tax director with PwC, with a BBA and MBA in public accounting. She has been an active investor for over 30 years.
Sylvia Auton-Hanvey is a retired educator with a PhD in mathematics education. She is a recent investor in the market, and is self-taught


F204 What to Do? Contemporary Debates on Economic Policy

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–May 15
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Stephen Quick
Our present world abounds with economic problems: growth has slowed, despite high debt levels and unprecedented stimulus from monetary policy; inequality is rising at a rapid clip; private investment is weak by historical standards; productivity is static; artificial intelligence threatens jobs; and new business formations are down while industrial concentration is up. Financial crises are happening with increasing frequency, and the institutions created to govern the world economy seem increasingly powerless to affect the course of events. These phenomena are confusing to everybody, including professional economists. They do not fit comfortably into prevailing ways of thinking, and this confusion spills over into the political debate regarding the appropriate course for economic policy. This class will explore eight critical economic issues: growth; income and wealth inequality; monopolies and intellectual property; investment; debt; finance; robots and artificial intelligence; and pensions and retirement security. Each session will be devoted to one of these topics, and will consist of an overview of the subject, a summary of the academic and policy debate on the subject, and a discussion about what to do about these areas of concern. A list of relevant readings will be circulated one week in advance of each session.
Stephen Quick, an OLLI member, holds a PhD in political economy from Stanford University and has been staff director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, chief economist for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, director of evaluation and oversight of the Inter-American Development Bank, and chief risk officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.


F205 Impact of Globalization on China’s Younger Generation

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 25–May 16
Four sessions
Instructors: Confucius Institute at Mason
The rapid pace of economic development in China has created dramatic changes in China’s economy and significantly changed many aspects of daily life. The younger generation in China has been especially influenced by digital technology and western cultural ideas. This four-part series, featuring speakers from China’s younger generations, will discuss some of these trends and the issues of interest to young people in China today.

  • 25: Chinese Philosophy Meets the West, Jing Jin. Ancient Chinese philosophies, such as Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism, and the thoughts of the philosophers Confucius, Mencius, Laozi (Lao Tzu), Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu), Hanfeizi, and Mozi (Mo Tzu) are being impacted today by Western perspectives. We will discuss how this trend is creating a multi-faceted mindset among the younger generation of China.
  • May 2: China’s Younger Generation, Nana Li. Reforms, the opening up of China, and globalization have brought great change to the Chinese people’s view of the world and to their lifestyles. We will present an overview of the younger generation’s views on marriage, family, education and career selection, material consumption, and social connection.
  • May 9: Impact of Technology, Xue Chen. The rapid development of technology in this digital age has also impacted the lifestyle of people in China, especially in their entertainment, shopping, and travel choices. We will discuss some of the most popular mobile apps in the service industry, such as Alibaba, Ctrip, ofo, Meituan, Wechat, Keep, and other O2O (online2offline) apps that are preferred by young people in China.
  • May 16: Tea or Coffee, Nana Li. Chinese food and tea are popular worldwide, with different varieties originating in diverse regions of China. However, in recent decades Western food has been making significant inroads into Chinese diets, especially among young people in China. Chinese traditional food and tea consumption will be compared with the younger generation’s interest in fast food and coffee shops.

F206 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–May 16
Fairfax Lord of Life
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
The Investment Forum, which meets weekly throughout the year, addresses investment topics of particular interest to retirees. A weekly agenda is distributed, and each session begins with an open discussion of recent events in the economy and in financial markets, and their impact on investment decisions. Member presentations typically include such topics as: recent market indicators, stocks, bonds, funds (mutual, exchange-traded, and closed-end), real estate investment trusts (REITs), options, commodities, master limited partnerships, sectors, allocations, and investment strategies. We use analyses and data from the financial press.
Al Smuzynski is a retired bank regulator and real estate developer. He currently serves on the boards of Virginia Community Capital and VCC Bank.


R207 Selling Your Home: A Guide for Mature Sellers and Their Family Members

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 29–Apr. 19
Four sessions
Instructor: Helen Flynn
Selling a house one has lived in for 15 or 20 years is a major event and can be an overwhelming task. There are emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, and social ramifications. It often comes at a point in life when one’s physical and/or emotional strength is depleted. The purpose of this course is to provide information and guidance for individuals and family members facing this major undertaking and life challenge. Topics include knowing when it is time to move; options for where to live; what to do with your “stuff;” legal and financial issues related to selling and estates; dispersion of funds; and how to manage the estate of a parent locally or elsewhere.
Helen Flynn, a realtor and real estate specialist for seniors, has master’s degrees in education and social work. She will be joined by a home care expert, a financial and long-term care expert, and an organizer/move manager. She is affiliated with the Eric Stewart Group of Long and Foster Real Estate.


F208 Don’t Be a Target for Identity Theft

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 26–May 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Vee Johnson

  • 26: How to Minimize Your Risk. Decisions we make can either minimize our risk for identity theft or make us a target. Learn to evaluate your daily routine so you can take actions to protect yourself.
  • May 3: Identity Theft and Financial Crimes in Fairfax County. A member of the Fairfax County Police Department Financial Crimes Squad will provide an overview of identity theft, discuss other financial crimes investigated in the county, and review options for filing a police report.
  • May 10: Credit Reports: Your First Line of Defense. Checking your credit reports regularly can help you defend against identity theft and other fraud. Learn how to review what’s in your credit report and find out how to dispute and remove fraudulent information or errors that may be on your report.
  • May 17: How to Recover from Identity Theft. Laws and resources will be reviewed so you can develop an action plan to recover your good name and limit financial liabilities if you are ever a victim of identity theft or a data breach.

Vee Johnson, a frequent presenter at OLLI, is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BA in sociology and social work. She is a consumer specialist and consumer advocate with the Consumer Affairs Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Cable and Consumer Services.


300 History & International Studies

F301 Reflections on Implementing American Foreign Policy

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 3–April 17
Three sessions
Instructor: John Champagne
In a career spanning more than 45 years as an army officer, career foreign service officer, and government contractor, John Champagne offers his perspective on American foreign policy from the vantage point of a field implementer and program manager. Three presentations will be given covering the period 1966-2010:

  • 3: US Foreign Aid: A Primer.
  • 10: Preventing the Dominos from Falling: A personal perspective on the US military and development role in Thailand from 1966-1979.
  • 17: Creating a Civilian Capacity to Address Political Instability Abroad. The evolution of civilian-military collaboration in crisis response.

John Champagne has a BA in political science and an MA in international relations. He is a retired US Agency for International Development (USAID) foreign service officer with 23 years of overseas tours in Thailand and Panama and various liaison assignments with the Department of State. His final USAID career assignment was director of Middle East Affairs. Post-retirement he helped establish the Office of Civilian-Military Coordination and the Office of Civilian Response at USAID. He also served as civilian development specialist at US Joint Forces Command in designing/testing civilian-military coordination and planning systems for crisis response. Before joining USAID he served as an officer with the US Army Special Forces.


F302 Making It in America: the McClellan Family and the Long Road from Ulster to Alabama

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 24–May 15
Four sessions
Instructor: John Carter
Individuals and families will attempt to find a community in which they can live, with some degree of security, as fully-functioning citizens in that society. Fully-functioning citizens can own land, vote, hold office, worship freely, and participate in government without restrictions. Individuals and families also attempt to maximize their positions within a society or to advance within it to a point where they are “making it.” The McClellan family were 18th century immigrants who went on to make it in America over the course of four generations. Their story will be covered from Northern Ireland to Pennsylvania; Hunterdon County, New Jersey; Loudoun County, Virginia; Rockingham County, North Carolina; Lincoln County, Tennessee; and Limestone County, Alabama.
John C. Carter has spent over 40 years in college admissions work. He is a graduate of George Mason University with an MA in history and MA in psychology. He has expertise as a historical researcher, lecturer, and author (Welcome the Hour of Conflict: William Cowan McClellan and the 9th Alabama). He has taught at OLLI for over 20 years and is the assistant curator at the Stuart-Mosby Museum in Centreville.

F303 The Water World of Ancient Egypt

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–Apr. 3
Two sessions
Instructor: John Gaudet
Coordinator: John Joseph
Ten thousand years ago, the Sahara and Egypt were extraordinarily verdant, lush places with water in excess. Large lakes, interlinked with waterways and thousands of rivers, produced aquatic conditions. The swamps along the Nile River and in the delta were important wet refuges that served man and made up a “water world” in Egypt. The early inhabitants of this region developed rich agricultural land along the river floodplain in tune with the cycle of annual inundations until 5000-3000 BC. Then the climate changed as the earth tilted, rains stopped, deserts formed, and man moved on as the Sahara dried out. This course will discuss and illustrate this water world and how it acted as a great natural buffer, a sustainable reserve that was later cleared and developed to make way for the irrigated world of Pharonic times.
John Gaudet is a writer, lecturer, and ecologist whose writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, and Huffington Post. He authored The Iron Snake, a historical novel about a railroad that affected millions in Africa. His most recent book, Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World, is available on

F304 Superhighways into the Confederacy: How Western Rivers Supported Union Offensives in the Civil War

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 24–May 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Patrick Diehl
This course addresses the role of those western river systems that facilitated Union offensives deep into the heart of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Beginning very early in the war, in winter 1862, Union forces were able to penetrate deep into the western states of the Confederacy by using certain river systems. The Union employed these inland rivers by moving assault troops and supplies to seize and occupy strategic areas in the Confederate States of America. Some examples of sites covered in our course are Forts Henry and Donelson; Island No. 10 and Memphis; New Orleans; Port Hudson; and of course, parts of the Vicksburg operation, as well as other offensive campaigns.
Patrick Diehl served for 36 years as an officer in the Clandestine Service of the CIA, working mostly overseas. He has always had an interest in the Civil War, is familiar with most of the major battles of the war, and has visited those battlefields. He has taught many courses at OLLI related to Civil War military and political history.

F305 A Tour of the Service Academies

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 24–May 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Dunphy
There are five US military service academies where young men and women receive not only a college degree, but also a commission in that particular service. In this class, we will discuss these academies and look at their histories.

  • 24: Introduction and USCGA and USMMA. This session is an overview of the admissions process for all academies, tuition and fees, demographics, and the commitment upon graduation. We will also look in depth at two of the smaller academies, the Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy.
  • May 1: We will head out to the Rockies to tour the US Air Force Academy and its starkly modern campuses. The relationship of USAFA and the US Military Academy will be explored, along with current USAFA issues.
  • May 8: The US Naval Academy is in Annapolis. Their motto is “From Knowledge, Seapower.” In addition to taking a virtual campus tour, we will look at the 150+ year history of the Naval Academy and some of its more famous grads.
  • May 15: The US Military Academy traces its history back to the Revolutionary War, and many of the buildings, no matter how new, appear to be from that period. One of their slogans is “Much of the history we teach was made by people we taught.” We will also discuss famous grads and non-grads.
    Jim Dunphy is a 1975 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. He served five years on active duty and 25 years in the US Army Reserve, retiring in 2005 as a colonel. He is also a graduate of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force War Colleges. Previously, he has taught classes at OLLI on protest music, union history, and baseball.

F306 The Great War: A Long Shadow Over the 20th Century, Part 1

Wednesdays, 11:30–1:30 (film presentations)
11:30–12:55 (lecture presentations), Mar. 28–May 16
Note time
Instructor: Bernie Oppel
World War I ended 100 years ago in November 1918. Its unresolved issues and the imperfect peace that followed reverberated throughout Europe, East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the remainder of the 20th century. The war marked the emergence of the United States on the world stage, yet has been strangely forgotten in America, despite the wide impact of two of President Wilson’s most seductive sound bites—“democracy” and “self-determination”—on world politics. After a brief overview of the origins and conduct of the war, the course will focus on the long-term consequences and complex legacies of World War I. The course will be held in two parts: both the spring and fall terms of 2018, concluding close to Armistice Day, 2018. To complement your experience, the course will include a number of films about the war at selected intervals. Chosen for their artistic merit, historical accuracy, and realism, the films explore various areas and topics. There will be four films shown. The film presentations will meet from 11:30 to 1:30 to enable each film to be shown in one session. The lecture presentations will start at 11:30 and last 85 minutes. Dates when films will be shown will be announced at least a week in advance so participants can plan accordingly.
OLLI member Bernie Oppel is a retired foreign service officer and retired Air Force colonel. He holds a PhD in modern European/Russian history from Duke University and has taught history at the USAF Academy, as well as teaching several history and history film courses at OLLI.


F307 Populism and Progressivism: the Beginning of Modern American Politics

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, May 10–May 17
Two sessions|
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
The Populist and Progressive movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were both efforts to limit the excesses of free market capitalism and political corruption. The explosive growth of the American economy in the late 19th century was accompanied by serious problems of corruption, economic inequality, inhumane working conditions, urban squalor, major depressions, and rural poverty. There were strong demands for government action by two political movements. The Populists, a grassroots movement centered in the West and South, embodied a politics of resentment: they believed that farmers and industrial workers were the victims of powerful elites, including railroads, banks ,and an uncaring government. The Progressives, a nationwide movement led by middle and upper class professionals, saw many of the same problems and urged the application of expertise and efficiency to develop policies serving the needs of all, furthering the “public interest.” As characterized by journalist George Packer, Populists were motivated by “anger upward” and Progressives by “sympathy downward.” Although the issues have changed since the 1890s, the differing approaches of populism and progressivism have continued to be important in our political discourse, most recently in the “populists” Trump and Sanders and the “progressives” Obama and Clinton.
David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, was a congressional professional staffer for 35 years. He has taught several OLLI courses on history and is a volunteer guide for the Newseum.


F308 The American Civil War

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–May 17
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructors: National Park Service rangers
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Emmett Fenlon
Bitter sectional differences based around the institution of slavery were not solved in the halls of government. Abraham Lincoln’s “house divided” statement proved prophetic, as the greatest test ever faced by the United States came to bear on April 12, 1861. On that day, Southern forces launched an attack on Fort Sumter, which was occupied by federal troops in the Charleston harbor. It took four years of fierce fighting, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, to decide the course of our nation’s story. Eight park rangers will present weekly classes throughout this course.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in scores of thematic courses, special events, and trips since 2001.


R309 The Water World of Ancient Egypt

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 9–Apr. 16
Two sessions
Instructor: John Gaudet
Coordinator: John Joseph
This course is a repeat of F303.


R310 Oddball Russian Aircraft

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–Apr. 23
Five sessions
Instructor: Michael S. Moore
This review of unusual Russian aircraft designs starts with the pre-October Revolution period, followed by Soviet aviation through World War II, then the Cold War, to modern times. The presentations include information on the designers, development issues, performance, and service history.
Michael S. Moore is a US Air Force vet, having served as a Russian intercept operator, and a retired CIA officer with extensive time overseas in his 33-year career. He has also worked for the Air Force Association as a policy analyst, and volunteered with the National Air and Space Museum as a Russian-speaking behind-the-scenes assistant to the Russian aviation curator. He worked for 13 years as a contractor with the CIA World Factbook, analyzing ground, naval, and air forces of the world.


R311 The American West

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 24–May 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Richard Stillson
The past and present of the American West have captured the imagination of people throughout the world like no other region of the country. The cowboy herding cattle across dusty plains and the Indian fighting to maintain traditional lands and ancient cultures are but two iconic symbols of the West. But what is the West? Where does the West begin? Who are westerners? How did this region acquire such an impact on the imagination, economy, society, and culture of the country? Focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, this course explores the diverse geography, cultures, and economies of the region throughout its history. In addition to cowboys and Indians, we will examine how the environment, the federal government, agriculture, mining, movies, and the military influenced diversity, conflict, and change in the West. We will also look at both the historical record and fictional accounts through film and literature.
Richard Stillson has a PhD in economics from Stanford University. After a 25-year career at the International Monetary Fund, he retired to indulge his passion for history. He earned his PhD in history from Johns Hopkins University and has taught history as an adjunct professor at George Mason University. Stillson is the author of Spreading the News: A History of Information in the California Gold Rush.


R312 The Golden Twenties in Berlin

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 10–Apr. 17
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Two sessions
Instructor: Vera Wentworth
The “Golden Twenties” marked the beginning of modernity. After the devastation of World War I, cultural life blossomed and old traditions gave way to a new age. Everything seemed possible: there were advances in technology and radical new movements in all aspects of the arts and literature, fashion, and life style. Although often called the “Age of Excess,” the twenties produced lasting achievements and ushered in modern society. We will examine how this first truly modern decade manifested itself in Berlin.
Vera Wentworth holds a PhD in English and has taught at the college level for 30 years, mostly at the University of Maryland and Prince George’s Community College. She has taught a variety of literature courses at OLLI.


R313 Rangers’ Choice: A Different Topic Every Week!

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 24–May 15
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Four sessions
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Emmett Fenlon
Mystery topics abound! There is no common thread that binds these lectures week to week. A National Park Service ranger will speak on a new topic at each session. We will explore obscure local connections to people, places, or events that few rarely, if ever, associate with either Washington, DC, or the expertise of National Mall park rangers.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in scores of thematic courses, special events, and trips since 2001.

R314 The Missing Einstein Manuscript: One Family’s Journey

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 18–Apr. 25
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Two sessions
Instructor: Jeff Metzger
The instructor’s maternal family played a pivotal role in scientific publishing in Germany in the early 20th century. The family firm was the publisher for a number of the world’s most important scientists, including Nobel laureates Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Werner Heisenberg, among others. Follow Metzger’s fascinating story of the creation of the earliest existing manuscript on the special theory of relativity, considered lost for many years; the rediscovery of the manuscript years later; and the subsequent sale and history of the document through the present day. We will also learn about his family’s late escape from Nazi Germany on a very unlikely route through Japan to the United States. This is a very interesting, albeit non-technical, discussion of a key Einstein manuscript. The instructor will also show artifacts related to the manuscript.
Jeff Metzger is an attorney who worked for the Department of Justice, in private practice, and, most recently, for a Fortune 500 company, where he headed the worldwide litigation and federal government legal and contracts groups. Metzger has particular interests in history and politics and anything composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. He is also an avid collector of original Audubon prints.


R315 Japan: A Safe Haven for Jews in World War Two

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, May 2–May 9
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Two sessions
Instructor: Ben Gold
Shortly prior to and during World War II, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees were resettled in the Japanese empire. But wasn’t Japan an ally of Nazi Germany? Didn’t Hitler want the Japanese to round up their Jewish population? Why did the Japanese refuse? And why was Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as vice-consul for the empire of Japan in Lithuania, officially recognized by Israel and given the honor of being named “Righteous Among the Nations”?
Ben Gold, an OLLI member, has a BA in political science from Stanford University and also holds an MS in computer science. He served for 21 years in the US Navy and now is in his 14th year as a docent at the Supreme Court.


R316 The Frontiersmen, Part 2

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–Apr. 18
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Anderson
From the earliest New World settlements, the proximity of those vast, wild spaces in North America has had a significant impact on the history of our nation. It also has influenced our character as a people, distinct from our European roots. This is part 2 of the series (which began in the fall 2017 term), and this part will consist of four lectures. We will continue to examine Turner’s “Frontier Thesis” through the biographies of individuals who were on the leading edge of our national expansion westward, and who exemplified many of the traits that have come to be associated with the American character. These will include Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and Kit Carson.
A final lecture will compare media treatment of these frontiersmen.
Jim Anderson spent 27 years with the CIA, including tours in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Far East. He holds degrees in history from Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. For 12 years after retirement, he conducted corporate leadership training seminars featuring Civil War battlefield visits. He has been an instructor at OLLI for the past eight years, teaching courses and leading tours focusing on American history.


R317 Jerusalem’s Holy Sites: History and Controversy

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, April 25–May 9
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Three sessions
Instructor: Allan H. Goodman
This course will review the history of Jerusalem, emphasizing the origins of, and the competing rights to, the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will focus on the most controversial religious site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. This is the location of the Jewish Temples, the Western Wall, the Muslim Dome of the Rock, and the al–Aqsa Mosque. We will also discuss the complicated administration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (where Jesus was crucified and buried) and the evolution of the Via Dolorosa (Jesus’ route to the crucifixion). Additional topics will include recent controversies concerning demolition under the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary by the Muslim Authority, the issue of who will control the archaeological excavations of the “City of David” in East Jerusalem, and the political/religious movement to rebuild the Jewish Temple.
Allan H. Goodman is a judge, mediator, arbitrator, and author of the novel Father, Son, Stone, a historical mystery that takes place in Israel. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the University of Toledo College of Law, and a member of the bars of Virginia, Maryland, and DC. He has also been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.


R318 World War I Potpourri

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Patrick McGinty
Countless studies have been written about “The Great War,” and because we are currently in the centennial years of this earth-shattering struggle, we can expect to see the publication of many more. Broad historical surveys provide us with the overall description of principal politicians, generals, admirals and battles, but unfortunately leave out the “sidebars”—the tangential stories—that aid us in understanding complex historical events. The emphasis in this course will be on seven sidebars that seriously affected Americans before, during and after the war. The frame upon which these topics will be discussed is the life, times, and administration of Woodrow Wilson. The sidebars will be discussed chronologically as they were addressed by the president:

  • Pershing’s punitive expedition into Mexico (1916)
  • German espionage and sabotage prior to the United States’ entry into the war
  • Recruiting and training the armed forces
  • Advancements in technology and weapons
  • Administering to the casualties of war
  • American propaganda to sell the war (and the subsequent suppression of civil rights)
  • American intervention in Russia (1918–1920)

Patrick McGinty, an OLLI member, is a retired naval officer with an MA and PhD in history from Georgetown University. He has taught various history, political science, and psychology courses in Texas, Maryland, and Virginia. His areas of specialization at the University of Maryland University College were the history of terrorism, the history of violence in America, and the history of substance abuse in America.


L319 History and Politics of Selected Latin American Countries: Chile, Peru, and Venezuela

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Roland G. Estrada
Chile, Peru, and Venezuela have undergone rapid and radical changes in the last 50 years. They started from democratic, traditional bases and went in different political directions. The course summarizes the forces at play developing and modernizing each political system and focuses on the political leaders and the political parties of each country. In addition to discussing cultural similarities including language and economic interests, the class will discuss how they relate to US policies in the hemisphere. The final session addresses the current political scene with a new US president and a new secretary of state.
Roland G. Estrada is a retired Foreign Service officer who has lived in all three countries covered by this course. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Catholic University of America.


L320 Intelligence in the Civil War, Part 2

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–Apr. 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Anderson
Against the backdrop of the Civil War, we continue our examination of the efforts of the two warring governments to establish effective intelligence organizations. In Part 1, we discussed the use of tradecraft techniques, such as code-breaking, deception, and covert surveillance. We also saw how both sides experimented with technologies, such as the telegraph and reconnaissance balloons. In Part 2, the first lecture will discuss the history and impact of Mosby’s Rangers on the local area. The following three lectures will examine the intelligence contributions of both sides during the Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg campaigns. As in Part 1, the focus will be less on the battlefield, and more on the battle of wits. Note that enrollment in Part 1 is not required to participate in Part 2.
See R316 for instructor information.


L321 Early French Aviation: How the French Challenged the Wrights for Early Prominence

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–Apr. 4
Two sessions
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
The Wright Brothers flew the first powered aircraft in 1903, but the French were flying on their tail. The French put up the first balloons in the late 1790s and began funding research for the first military aircraft in 1890. They were not successful then, but continued funding research and invited the Wright brothers to France in 1908 to demonstrate their aircraft and negotiate a construction contract. From 1908 on, the French continued to work with aircraft manufacturers with varying success. By the start of World War I, the French had the world’s largest air force with 263 aircraft. The Europeans abandoned most Wright aircraft features and quickly developed the designs, aviation terms, shapes, and controls of what we now consider the modern airplane. The presentation will trace many early French aviation pioneers and their research, designs, models, and aircraft production.
Mark Weinstein is a retired electrical engineer and a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space Museums. He started building models when he was 10 and continued his avid interest in aviation and intelligence through a career in the active and reserve Air Force, and then as part of the military-industrial complex. In his wild youth and single days he flew a Piper Tri-Pacer. Weinstein has been an OLLI member for 10 years.


L322 Louis XVI, the Unknown and Misunderstood King of Versailles

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 25–May 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Elisabeth Wolpert
French history books described Louis XVI as a simple-minded, cowardly ruler. This image, created by the Revolutionaries, discredited a hard-working, conscientious king who was a skilled diplomat trying to hold the nation together, as well as a family man trying to protect his wife and children. Louis XVI found himself trapped in a revolutionary nation. This course will show his tragic struggles and concern for his people’s welfare. It will also depict the private life of the young king, his avoidance of court life, his problems in the bedroom, and his hobbies and interests. We will finally look at his death, that of Marie Antoinette, and the fate of his jailed children.
Elisabeth Wolpert was born and educated in France. Her doctoral thesis dealt with 16th-century French literature. She enjoys being a member at OLLI, where she has taught several courses.


400 Literature, Theater, & Writing

F401 OLLI Players Workshop

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
St. Peter’s in the Woods
Instructor: Kathie West
This is a continuing acting and producing workshop for serious theater-minded participants, conducted by the OLLI Players, an amateur theater group affiliated with Mason. In our repertoire we incorporate lyrics, short scenes, monologues, and original plays, and perform them at various local venues such as senior centers. We will also be creating a murder mystery that will be performed three times in June 2018. You must be willing to travel during the day, most often on Fridays. If you have a scene or a play you would like to see put on, bring it along, and we will try it. Come, join, and be willing to tout OLLI and your talents!
Kathie West, an OLLI member, is a former theater teacher at Robert E. Lee High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.


F402 Readers’ Theater

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
St. Peter’s in the Woods
Coordinators: Michelle Blandburg, Paulette Miller, Pati Rainey
Class limit: 28
OLLI’s Readers’ Theater is great fun for the “secret actor” in all of us! Scripts are usually monologues, poetry, short skits, or scenes from longer plays. A fresh variety of theatrical materials is provided by our creative coordinators. Parts may be handed out in advance or read cold. No memorization is ever required. Even if you’ve tried Readers’ Theater before, come back. We are always trying something new!

F403 Beneath the Hood: Secrets of Making Theatre

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 16–May 14
Five sessions
Instructors: Chip Rome, Richard Washer
Coordinator: Kathie West
What goes on behind the scenes and even before there is a scene to be behind? How do actors learn to do what they do? When directors direct a play, what are they actually doing? What makes live theatre such a special experience? This class will explore the process of creating a theatre production from concept to curtain call. Topics will include:

  • Where Ideas Come From—improvisation, playwriting, and publishers
  • From the Book to the Look—auditions, casting, and those behind the scenes
  • Using Play to Make a Play—theatre games and exercises
  • What I Really Want to Do is Direct—blocking, pacing, and theatre magic
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business—when a production becomes a performance

Hands-on participation will be encouraged, but not required.
Chip Rome is a theatre consultant with Educational Stages and co-founder of, bringing drama activities and events to older adults. Over the past 40 years he has directed more than 150 productions of all types, taught classes to all age groups, and presented workshops at theatre conferences. His textbook, Real-World Theatre Education, is in use at Mason and in other theatre education programs.
Richard Washer has a BA in music and anthropology and an MFA in creative writing from American University. He is a playwright, educator, and director. He was a founding member of Charter Theatre, where he served as dramaturge, director, and playwright, and currently serves as associate artistic director at First Draft at The Rose Theatre in Virginia. He is the author of 14 plays and has directed productions of musicals, classics, and other plays. Washer teaches creative writing and playwriting workshops at numerous institutions.


F404 Memoir Writing

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 15
Class limit: 24
Instructor: Dianne Hennessy King
Learn to write about your individual and shared history in ways that will clarify your vision, whether you are looking into your past, documenting your present, or contemplating your future. During class there will be some writing exercises in response to prompts, such as quotations, music, and video clips. The class is open to all who want to write about their life stories in any form, including traditional narrative, essays, letters, poetry, short stories, or whatever suits your needs.
Dianne Hennessy King is a cultural anthropologist, writing instructor, editor, and television producer. For many years she was the coordinator of the annual “Writing Your Personal History” symposium in Vienna and has helped plan the Virginia Writers Club symposium in Charlottesville. She is the coauthor of Memoir Your Way: Tell Your Story through Writing, Recipes, Quilts, Graphic Novels, and More.


F405 Dark Stars: Celebrating Legendary Black Actors

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Michelle Blandburg
Class limit: 60
Incredibly talented black performers have always shared their talents with Hollywood and the world of entertainment. The documentary Celebrating Legendary Black Actors showcases the groundbreaking work of African-American actors during the early years of black cinema. Featuring footage from the 1920s to the 1950s, we will begin by viewing this priceless collection of unique performances by black legends such as Paul Robeson, Wallace Ford, and Ossie Davis. Our celebration will continue by viewing film clips of today’s most renowned and popular black actor and director, two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. Movies shown will include Training Day (for which he won an Oscar in 2001), The Pelican Brief (with Julia Roberts), Inside Man (with Clive Owen and Jodie Foster), American Gangster, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (with John Travolta), The Hurricane, and Man on Fire.
Michelle Blandburg is an OLLI Board member, a movie lover, and an active member of the OLLI Players. She enjoys coordinating Readers’ Theater, performing in OLLI’s murder mysteries, and all things theatrical.

F406 Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–May 15
Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall
Class limit: 16

This workshop allows both novice and experienced poets the opportunity to share their work and receive suggestions for improvement. Workshop members should bring an original poem in draft or in revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the Tallwood office for duplication one week before the first class meeting and a third poem brought to the first session. The moderators will email students after registration to let them know exactly when and where to send their poems for the first class.
Mike McNamara, an OLLI member, has been published in several literary journals and magazines and has received awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Jan Bohall, also an OLLI member, has had poems published in various periodicals and has won awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.


F407 Unreliable Narration: Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–Apr. 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Nancy Scheeler
Class limit: 30

In Julian Barnes’ novel, British retiree Tony Webster reexamines his life after receiving an unexpected legacy from the mother of his first girlfriend. He finds his memories unreliable, the truth elusive, and himself not who he thought he was. Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, The Sense of an Ending is a compelling page-turner with a surprise ending. Once the reader finishes, the immediate instinct is to reread Tony Webster’s highly wrought, unreliable narration. Watching the 2017 film of the same name, starring Jim Broadbent, may not help clarify the unraveling of the story because it features ambiguous cinematic narration, an interesting contrast with the novel. This course combines lecture, group discussion, and close reading to highlight Barnes’ skills as a storyteller. The instructor recommends reading the entire book before the first class. The book is available in a Vintage paperback edition as well as an e-book.
Nancy Scheeler completed a master’s degree and the coursework for a PhD in English and American literature at the University of Maryland. She has taught a series of OLLI classes on contemporary British writers, including Rose Tremain and Penelope Lively. She is a co-leader of the Reston Book Club, which focuses on literary fiction which merits recognition on major prize lists.


F408 Diaries, Letters, and Family History: The Challenge of Creating a Compelling Story

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–Apr. 4
Two sessions
Instructor: Carrie Meyer
Old family diaries, letters, pictures, and other memorabilia often fascinate family members, but the difficulty is deciding what to do with them. The instructor has produced two published books (one based on diaries and farm ledgers and another based on World War I letters) as well as four distinct family histories done in PowerPoint. This two-session course will help generate ideas and starting points for those who may be interested in similar projects.
Carrie Meyer is associate professor of economics at George Mason University. She is author of Days on the Family Farm and Letters from the Boys: Wisconsin World War I Soldiers Write Home.


F409 Introduction to Creative Writing

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–May 16
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Ron Shapiro
Class limit: 20
This course is designed to give practical techniques and strategies, along with constructive peer and teacher encouragement, as participants practice expressing themselves in a variety of genres. In using writing as a means to reconnect with one’s imagination, writers will enjoy this risk-free chance to express themselves in a community that fosters creativity and self-confidence.
Ron Shapiro, a 41-year veteran of teaching English in both Delaware and Fairfax County, holds a BA from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in the teaching of writing from Northeastern University. He was recognized with an outstanding teacher award from Cornell University, and he serves as a teacher consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project. Shapiro has facilitated writing workshops at Goodwin House West and Bard’s Alley, and will teach R421, a memoir writing course for OLLI.


F410 Sexual and Marital Politics in Anthony Trollope

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 11–May 16
Six sessions
Instructor: Ellen Moody
Class limit: 35

In this course we will read one of Trollope’s most powerful long novels, He Knew He Was Right, a candid and contemporary analysis of sex and marriage, as well as of custody and women’s rights. The novel depicts seven couples, with themes that explore sexual anxiety over adultery, male possessiveness, and companionate marriage as an ideal or veiled business transaction. Issues such as child custody, alimony and separation disputes, and insanity will also be addressed. It contains tragedy, farce, comedy, and romance, and has been brilliantly adapted in a BBC miniseries scripted by Andrew Davies. We’ll also read Trollope’s short story “Journey to Panama,” about a woman sailing to marry a man she’s never met, and the relationship she forms on board with a single male tourist traveler.
Ellen Moody has a PhD in English literature and was a lecturer in senior colleges for over 30 years. She has written two books, including Trollope on the ‘Net, as well as essays on early modern through 20th century literature. As an independent scholar, she maintains three blogs and a website, attends conferences where she regularly presents papers, and joins in with others in reading and discussing books and movies.


F411 Dante’s Purgatorio

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–Apr. 18
Four sessions
Instructor: Kristina Olson
Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, an epic poem that was written at the beginning of the 14th century in the Florentine vernacular, has been read and taught for over seven centuries. It tells the journey of Dante the pilgrim into an afterlife created by Dante the poet. Though based upon ancient and contemporary literature, his poem also imagined Hell, Purgatory and Paradise in original ways, describing visions of life after death. This course will give students an introduction to Dante’s greatest work, with a reading of selections from the second canticle of this three-part poem, the Purgatorio. Dante invented the topography of Purgatory as a structure of terraces that purged specific sins as souls ascended to heaven. This course is a continuation of the spring 2017 course on Dante’s Inferno, however, students need not have taken that course to enjoy this one. Ideally, participants should come to the first class having read Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio in their entirety, using the translations by Allen Mandelbaum (published by Bantam Books). A guide such as Guy Raffa’s The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader’s Guide to the Divine Comedy (University of Chicago Press, 2009) is also helpful.
Kristina Olson received her PhD in Italian from Columbia University. She is currently an associate professor of Italian at George Mason University and vice president of the Dante Society of America. She is a professional Dantist with several book and article publications in the field. Her first monograph, Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio and the Literature of History explores Dante’s literary and political influence on Boccaccio in the contexts of social, political, and economic transformations in the 14th century.


F412 Proof that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Ages Well

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 12–May 17
Six sessions
Instructor: Elizabeth Lambert
In recent times, a form of fiction has emerged called “fan fiction.” Put simply, it is the modern adaption of an original work. In Jane Austen’s case, adaptations have run the gamut from zombies to sea monsters. Extreme adaptations aside, one of the best, if not the best, has been written with our generation in mind: Jane Austen in Boca by Paula Marantz Cohen. To see just how cleverly Cohen has adapted Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we will read a portion of Cohen’s book, then turn our attention to the ever-popular Pride and Prejudice. Finally, we will return to Jane Austen in Boca and put all the pieces together. Whether this is your first reading of Pride and Prejudice or your return to an old favorite, you will delight in seeing the ways that Austen’s masterpiece never ceases to be relevant. Jane Austen in Boca is available in book or Kindle form; the Barnes and Noble Classics edition of Pride and Prejudice is recommended.
Beth Lambert is the coordinator of the Reston OLLI program and the History Club. In 2008 she retired from Gettysburg College, where she taught courses on all aspects of 18th-century Britain. At OLLI she teaches some of her favorite subjects (with Jane Austen’s novels ranking high among them), and she loves sharing them with OLLI members.


F413 More Movies from Across the Pond

Thursdays, 11:30–1:30, Mar. 29–May 17
Note time
Coordinator: Martha Powers
If you enjoyed “Movies from Across the Pond” in previous terms, then you’ll be glad to see that there are eight more great English films coming your way! They’ll be screened in the order shown.

  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939): An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades. Robert Donat, Greer Garson
  • To Sir with Love (1967): An idealistic engineer teaches a group of rambunctious high school students from the slums of London’s East End. Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson
  • Educating Rita (1983): An English working-class girl wants to better herself by studying literature, and meets a disillusioned, alcoholic professor. Michael Caine, Julie Walters
  • A Room with a View (1985): A young Englishwoman visiting Florence, Italy, in the early 1900s meets an eccentric but charming young man. Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter
  • Shirley Valentine (1989): A middle-aged Liverpool housewife takes a vacation in Greece and begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light. Pauline Collins, Tom Conti
  • Finding Neverland (2004): The heartwarming story of J.M. Barrie’s friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. Johnnie Depp, Kate Winslet
  • Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008): A dowdy, middle-aged London governess is catapulted into the glamorous world of an American actress and singer. Frances McDormand, Amy Adams
  • The Young Victoria (2009): A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend

Martha Powers is an OLLI member who enjoys studying great movies and sharing them with others.


F414 So You Wanna Write Poetry, but Don’t Think You Can

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructors: Ed Sadtler, Carolyn Wyatt
Class limit: 10

This is a class for those who aspire to writing poetry but fear there’s some mysterious secret behind this written art form. Perhaps you just need encouragement and an impetus to give it a try, so sign up and find the support you need! Each session will be divided into three segments: a discussion of craft, a time to write, and a time to share what’s been written. Come and surprise yourself!
Ed Sadtler, a graduate of Shippensburg State College in Pennsylvania, has conducted many writing workshops at OLLI.
Carolyn Wyatt is a retired federal information officer who traveled widely in that position. She has an MA in Spanish from Indiana University and aspires to be a poet and a wise woman.


F415 Pick a Card, Any Card: Storytelling

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–May 3
Six sessions
Instructor: Skip Bromley
The magic begins with the card. Pick a card, any card at all, and a story is told. The card might say: “Birthday Saga.” Skip Bromley, your instructor, will tell his own engaging story about the subject. You will then have an opportunity to create another story and share, either singularly or as part of a group effort. You also have the option to simply be an audience member, enjoying the stories shared by others. This course is designed to allow participants to analyze, construct, and critique stories, learning the most effective way to tell a story. No matter your level of involvement, you will ultimately appreciate the elements and evolution of storytelling and be highly entertained during the process.
Skip Bromley is an award-winning teacher who worked for Fairfax County Public Schools for 37 years. He was recognized for his tenure at Oakton High School with the naming of the school auditorium in his honor. He was grateful this was not a posthumous recognition. He studied theatre at Catholic University, and has produced and directed hundreds of plays and musicals throughout his career. He has been deeply influenced by Greek mythology and history, weaving his knowledge into the development of a modern-day curriculum appealing to all ages. His love of storytelling has earned him accolades from students, parents, and colleagues. He continues this practice in retirement.


F416 Two Catholic Novels

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Kay Menchel
“Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass-world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly.” —Evelyn Waugh, 1949
“Mr. Greene, some parts of your books are certain to offend some Catholics, but you should pay no attention to that.” —Pope Paul VI, 1965
In this course we will read Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Graham Greene’s The End of The Affair, celebrated novels that have also been filmed to great acclaim. We will take a look at these onscreen adaptations and consider how Waugh and Greene’s Catholicism shaped them as authors. Their religious faith sets them apart from some of their English contemporaries and informs many of the moral struggles and thematic preoccupations found in their work.
Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from Mason. She has taught numerous literature classes and always enjoys sharing her passion for English literature with OLLI members.


R417 T wo Catholic Novels

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Kay Menchel
This is a repeat of F416.


R418 and R419 Shakespeare’s History Plays: Henry IV Part Two and Henry V

Overview of Series: The four plays Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V were written over several years from 1595 to 1599 and have usually been produced as single plays. However, they also comprise a single, two-generational story from the failures of Richard II through the triumphs of Henry V, a story that is part history, part invention, and one that Shakespeare used to draw lessons about monarchy and society in England. Henry IV, Part Two and Henry V are being offered as two separate courses. Members are free to enroll in one or both of these courses; participation in the previous courses on Richard II and Henry IV Part One in fall 2017 is not a prerequisite for either course. Each course will begin by watching the production of the play from the BBC series The Hollow Crown, which reduces each play to about two and a half hours, but the discussion will require the full text. The Folger Shakespeare Library edition by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine is recommended as it is very readable and informative.


R418 Henry IV, Part Two

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–April 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Karen Miles
As the play opens, Henry IV once again faces insurrection from nobles, this time led by the clergy. Prince Hal continues to keep company with Falstaff; the king is sick and dying; and the mood in the country is very dark. The discussion will focus on the following issues: the matters which drive the continued challenges to Henry IV’s reign; final lessons that Prince Hal learns from Falstaff and his companions; and the significance of Hal’s public repudiation of Falstaff just after his coronation. We will also note liberties that Shakespeare took with the historical facts.
Karen Miles holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in French literature. She taught at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin–Parkside before becoming a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since retiring, she has taught courses on Shakespeare for OLLI.

R419 Henry V

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 24–May 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Karen Miles
With Henry V, Shakespeare creates a character that embodies, as closely as humanly possible, the perfect king. Following his poor initial prospects and his long, unorthodox education, Henry V deals masterfully with all of the issues that bedeviled his father: continuing challenges from independent-minded and powerful nobles; lack of legitimization from the clergy; and the desire of the commons for freedom from all constraints of law and morality. The discussion will focus on the qualities of character that enable Henry V to unite the classes and the countries of Great Britain on the domestic front and to regain Britain’s territories and stature abroad.
See R418 for instructor information.

R420 Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15 Mar. 28–May 16
Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne
Moderator: Ben Gold
Class limit: 21

This short-story discussion class will use a new anthology, The Best American Short Stories 2017, edited by Meg Wolitzer. Some of these 20 stories are gripping, some are very funny, but all were chosen with great care for language and nuance and they form an eclectic mix of short fiction from contemporary authors. You will be familiar with several of the authors, but many may be new to you. The anthology, published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is available in paperback and Kindle format. See R315 for instructor information.

R421 Memoir Writing: Preserving Your Life Stories

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Ron Shapiro
Class limit: 20
In a supportive and comfortable setting, you will discover the power of the written word to preserve your memorable experiences. Working with a variety of prompts, participants will sow the seeds of memory, ultimately harvesting a wondrous garden of personal history flourishes for others to admire and appreciate.
See F409 for instructor information.


R422 Meet the Team Behind the Staging of Thoroughly Modern Millie

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 19–May 10
Four sessions
Optional play attendance: Sunday, 2:00, May 6
CenterStage, Reston Community Center, (purchase your own tickets)
Coordinator: Norma Reck
Ever wonder what it takes to create an entire show? In just four classes, we will meet the experts from Reston Community Players who will tell us how they work their magic behind the scenes to bring Thoroughly Modern Millie roaring to life at CenterStage in the Reston Community Center. Get the inside scoop from the show’s producers, choreographer, and musical director, and learn about the lighting and sound, props, and costumes. You’ll see why staging a musical is unique. Thoroughly Modern Millie, which earned six Tony Awards, takes us on a high-spirited romp through the Roaring Twenties with its snappy music, flappers, and tappers. What happens to the girl from a small mid-western town as she comes face-to-face with the realities of making it in New York City? What about her grandiose plans to marry the “modern way”—for money, forget love? Participants are encouraged but not required to attend the Sunday, May 6, 2:00 matinee performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie at CenterStage. If you decide to attend the May 6 matinee, please purchase your own ticket for $23 from the Reston Players box office at You don’t want to miss this truly unforgettable theater experience!


L423 The New Yorker Magazine Round Table

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Coordinator: Cathy Faraj
Class limit: 20
This course will consist of informal discussions of material from the New Yorker magazine or its website It is an interactive class, and material for discussion will be provided by class members. In past sessions, discussions have been based on articles, profiles, fiction, poetry, and cartoons. Before each class, the coordinator will email the material assigned for discussion to class members. Discussions usually extend beyond the printed material to include personal knowledge or experiences class members may have had relevant to the topic.


L424 Ooh La La: Vive le Cinéma Français!

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Josh Pachter
Let’s spend a term watching an assortment of fabulous films from France!
Josh Pachter is the assistant dean for communication studies and theater at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus. He has been teaching for OLLI for the last four years and is very popular with OLLI members.


L425 Writers’ Workshop

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–May 16
Instructor: Ed Sadtler
Class limit: 10

This class uses a roundtable format to foster an environment for writers of all levels to give and receive encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism. All genres of writing are welcome, including poetry, fiction, memoirs, and historical pieces. To each of these categories we apply the same underlying commitment: to write a compelling work that fully conveys the author’s intentions.
See F414 for instructor information.


L426 Readers’ Theater in Loudoun

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 28–May 16
Coordinator: Kathie West
Class limit: 24

If you love the theater and are intrigued by the idea of stepping into someone else’s shoes, please join our group. Develop your reading and acting skills, and learn more about plays and how to perform them. Practice play-reading and creating characters, and enjoy interacting with other “hams.” Each week members of the class either perform or are part of the audience. Participants should plan to allow time to rehearse with other performers before presenting to the class.
See F401 for instructor information.

L427 The Shakespearean Soliloquy

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 29–Apr. 19
Four sessions
Instructor: Richard Wilan
Class limit: 25
This course will focus on the use of the soliloquy in Shakespearean drama, from Richard III’s opening address to the audience to Juliet’s thoughts of love and fear to, of course, “To be, or not to be.” We will end with what may possibly be Shakespeare’s own soliloquy, his farewell to the theater in The Tempest. Copies of the soliloquies will be provided. The format of the class will be lecture and discussion.
Richard Wilan received a PhD from the University of Maryland, where his dissertation was on Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. He is professor emeritus at Northern Virginia Community College, where he taught writing and Shakespearean literature. He is the co-author of Prentice-Hall’s Introduction to Literature.


500 Languages

F501 ¡Hablemos Español! Spanish Conversation, Part 2

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 30
Six sessions
Instructors: Ligia Glass, Tom Black
This course will continue with emphasis on class participation and interaction as students discuss several topics of interest. Discussions on literature, art, and language idioms, as well as reading magazines and newspapers and viewing films, will give the students the opportunity to continue with the study of the language in different informal and informative settings. Students will have the opportunity to present short talks on topics such as travel, language, cuisine, and other personal experiences. Students will share with each other their knowledge of the Spanish world as they have experienced it. ¡Hablemos Espanol! promises to be informal, informative, but most of all fun! You will not be disappointed.
Ligia Glass is a native of Panama and retired from the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has over 20 years of experience teaching Latin American literature and all levels of Spanish. She has also taught Spanish with Fairfax County Adult and Continuing Education, and has been an OLLI instructor for several years. Glass holds an MA in foreign languages, an MA in Latin American area studies, and has had post-graduate studies in Latin American literature.
Tom Black is a retired federal prosecutor with extensive experience working in Latin America. During his tenure in the US Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, Black served as the associate director for South America, and later for Mexico, Central America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, until he left government service in 2013. Since retiring, Black has continued his interest in Spanish language and cultures by attending classes at OLLI.


F502 Spanish Conversation Forum

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–May 16
Instructors: Bernardo Vargas Giraldo, Elizabeth Trent Hammer
Class limit: 16

The objectives of this class are to practice the Spanish language and learn about Spanish/Latino culture through articles, photographs, videos, and speakers. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish. English will be used only occasionally to explain grammar and idiomatic expressions. A prerequisite for this class is an ability to converse in Spanish at the high intermediate to advanced level. Students are encouraged to make presentations in Spanish on timely topics of their choosing. Come join us and improve your Spanish.
Bernardo Vargas Giraldo received his PhD in legal science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He specialized in public administration and international business at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a writer and analyst of economic and political subjects.
Elizabeth Trent Hammer received her doctorate in community college education with a specialty in linguistics and the teaching of writing from Mason. She was a professor of English as a second language at NOVA for 20 years, and received professor emerita standing upon retirement. She also worked as a Spanish and French translator for the FBI. Spanish and French languages and cultures are her passions.


F503 Japanese for Travelers

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 25–May 16
Four sessions
Instructors: Yoko Thakur, Sumiko Limbocker, Spence Limbocker, Michiko Sprester, Taiko Kimura
Class limit: 25
This course is for anyone who is interested in learning Japanese conversation. It is primarily for beginners, but also for experienced learners who want to brush up their Japanese. The participants learn situation-based conversations so that they will be able to use them in various situations when traveling to Japan. Participants learn not only Japanese language but also Japanese culture, because linguistic and cultural competency makes the trip more enjoyable and meaningful. The instructor will introduce basic Japanese expressions and other useful expressions relating to making hotel reservations, eating out, and shopping. Also, participants will learn the geography of Japan, transportation systems, places to visit, culture, customs, and cuisine, to deepen their understanding of Japanese society. In addition, participants will have opportunities to listen as experienced travelers to Japan give firsthand accounts of their trips.
Yoko Thakur received a PhD from the University of Maryland, an MA from the University of Minnesota, and a BA from a Japanese university. She taught Japanese language, culture, and history at George Mason University, Georgetown University, and other universities. She also taught in the Fairfax County Public Schools.
Sumiko Limbocker was born and raised in Tokyo Japan, and taught in the Fairfax County Public Schools Japanese partial immersion program. Her husband Spence Limbocker is a retired non-profit association director and has traveled to Japan many times over the past several years.
Michiko Sprester is president of the Japanese Americans’ Care Fund.
Taiko Kimura is a former Japanese instructor at George Washington University.


F504 Beginning Spanish Conversation

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–Apr. 18
Four sessions
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Mirtha King
Class limit: 25
Beginning Spanish Conversation is designed for those who have minimal conversational fluency or have had a brief exposure to the Spanish language. ¡Bienvenidos! This course will place emphasis on pronunciation to develop an accent similar to a native speaker. The course includes basic introductions and greetings, phrases and common expressions for everyday situations, simple questions and responses, dates and numbers, likes and dislikes, cognates, and basic verbs. This course will apply the four language skills: to listen first, then to speak, then to read, and finally to write. There will be active participation, with numerous exercises for practice using technology for visual and auditory learning. This conversational course is an interactive and lively introduction to el idioma Español. Handouts will be provided.
Mirtha King, a native Spanish speaker, worked as a school teacher and as a translator for the Office of the Prime Minister of Peru. King’s language certification was granted by the Pontifical Catholic University, Peru. She actively volunteered for over fifteen years as an interpreter-translator during her employment with Fairfax County. She is a returning OLLI Instructor.


F505 Latin III

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Alana Lukes
Class limit: 16
This continuing course is for Latin students with knowledge of the six indicative verb tenses as well as the five noun declensions. We take a modern reading approach to learning this ancient language. The course explores Latin grammar and vocabulary, and ancient Roman/British culture in first century CE Roman Britain. This session will look closely at the role the town of Bath played as well as the Roman military presence. Class meetings will use the Cambridge Latin Course, Unit Three, North American Fourth Edition as the required text. (Note: Some copies of this textbook may be available from instructor.)
Alana Lukes, an OLLI member, has taught Latin for over 25 years at the middle school, high school, and college levels.


R506 French Conversation and Culture

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Marge Hogarty
This course will explore daily life and culture in France. Interesting videos will offer topics for our conversations and study of aspects of French: pronunciation, phonetics, vocabulary, and other characteristics and quirks of the language.
Marge Hogarty, a Chicago native, has been teaching, tutoring, and reading French for over 50 years. She has been to France many times, as well as to French-speaking West Africa and Quebec province. She has an MA in French from Middlebury College and has taught in high schools in Illinois, New York, and Connecticut. She has also worked as a travel agent and a realtor.


600 Religious Studies

F601 Introduction to Islam

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Mohamed Hassan
Does religion represent a genuine need of humanity? We will discuss the definition of Islam as a harmonious whole that includes a just economic system, a well-balanced social organization, and codes of civil and criminal law. Other topics to be addressed include the role of women in Islam, including their rights and equality, and freedom of thought in Islam.
Mohamed E. Hassan has been the Imam of the Prince William Islamic Center for 15 years. He is a professional engineer and earned his PhD in civil, environmental, and infrastructure engineering from George Mason University. He is also a licensed mediator.


F602 Hunting the Divine Fox: God’s Footprints in Literature’s Great Characters

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Laurence K. “Larry” Packard
Come join the hunt for God’s footprints left in the characters of great literature. We will embark into a survey of renowned novels to look for places where God leaves clues in critical choices and turning points for the hero. Why is it that Jean Valjean in Les Miserables can turn himself in to the law? How is it that Gandalf in Tolkien’s trilogy sacrifices himself to the Balrog, or Frodo the meek takes on the mighty of Mordor? Ride with Graham Green’s Whiskey Priest in The Power and the Glory as he gets to the border and final safety, yet heads his donkey south into a military state and certain death. Listen to Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor relentlessly question the Jesus figure, and watch for the response that says everything without words. Walk the trial of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and watch his own personal trial. A. J. Cronin’s characters in The Citadel and The Keys of the Kingdom are unforgettable witnesses to a world long gone, yet true characters of hope never lost. A list of reference materials will be provided before each class.
The Rev. Dr. Laurence K. “Larry” Packard is a newly retired Episcopal priest who labors to raise questions from many disciplines without pushing religious answers. His lively teaching style, with multiple media, comes from being a student who learns and discovers with the class. He still hunts the divine fox! Packard graduated from Wake Forest University and Virginia Theological Seminary before receiving his doctorate from Princeton.


F603 Controversial Teachings of the Bible

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Steve Goldman
Numerous texts in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament pose challenges for those who consider the Bible to be a unified, divinely-inspired guidebook for humankind’s relationships with God and each other. In this course we will examine a range of controversial texts and explore the various interpretations that believers, skeptics, and those who reject the divine inspiration of these texts have offered. Some categories for analysis include the following:

  • Difficulty understanding the meaning of the author.
  • Difficulty understanding how to apply the teaching in a modern context.
  • Different interpretations by different faith traditions.
  • Conflict with ethical precepts and teachings of faith traditions.
  • Conflict with universally accepted standards of justice.
  • Appearance of being factually untrue.

Steven C. Goldman is the chair of OLLI’s Religious Studies Program Planning Group, and has taught numerous courses on alternative understandings of Biblical doctrine.


F604 Abraham Heschel and the God of the Prophets

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–Apr. 18
Four sessions
Instructor: John Rybicki
Abraham Heschel was a 20th century Jewish religious philosopher. During his life, he came to the conclusion that the god of the philosophers was not the God of the Hebrew scriptures—the God of the prophets. Heschel’s understanding of God is based on a “theology of pathos,” in which God is “revealed in a personal and intimate relation to the world…He is also moved and affected by what happens in the world and reacts accordingly.” Heschel’s book, The Prophets, is a fascinating exploration of a God of emotion: love and anger as well as compassion and chastisement.
John Rybicki retired as a pastoral associate at the Riderwood retirement community in Maryland, where he was responsible for religious education and facilitating Jewish-Christian dialogue.


R605 The Church in Nazi Germany

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–Apr. 23, May 7–May 14
Note dates–there is no class on Apr. 30
Seven sessions
Instructor: Reverend Elisabeth Williams
We know the history of Germany and the Nazi movement leading up to and during World War II. We are all aware of the atrocities of the Holocaust, and we can’t help but ask, where were the church leaders, and what were they doing or not doing in the midst of these horrors? In this class we will explore these questions, not just for the purpose of remembering history but to learn from it.
Reverend Beth Williams is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently serving as a co-pastor at the United Christian Parish in Reston, VA. She is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary with a specialty in biblical studies.


L606 The Dead Sea Scrolls

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Gilah Goldsmith
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been a source of excitement and controversy and the subject of much speculation and outright misinformation since the first scrolls were discovered in 1947. We will address such questions as the following: Where did they come from? Who wrote them? What do they say? What do they mean? Although this course will address these subjects, it may not answer them.

  • 23: Discovery, ownership, and publication—a twisty tale.
  • 30: What the scrolls include—a wide ranging library.
  • May 7: What the scrolls tell us about the history of the Hebrew Bible—surprises and confirmations.
  • May 14: What the scrolls tell us about Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity—commonalities and competition.

Gilah Goldsmith is a graduate of Harvard University and The George Washington University Law School. She is a retired government attorney who, for 20 years, has led the weekly Torah study group at Beth El Hebrew Congregation.


L607 St. Paul and the First Christians

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–Apr. 17
Four sessions
Instructor: Jack Dalby
St. Paul never knew the earthly Jesus. But as New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman notes, “next to Jesus himself, the most important figure for the development of earliest Christianity was the apostle Paul.” In these four scholarly lectures, we will discuss our sources for knowing the historical Paul, their strengths and limitations, and the impact of Paul’s singular theology on the early Christian movement. Questions we will cover include: How did Paul go from being a persecutor of early Christians to becoming their leading proponent? What was Paul’s mission to the gentiles? How does Paul’s theology compare with the theology of Jesus and his followers? What was the purpose of Paul’s letters? Was Paul the author of all of his 13 letters, and did Paul intend to found a new religion? Questions during class are encouraged. Bringing a copy of the New Testament to class, while not required, would be helpful.
Jack Dalby, president of White Oak Communications, is an OLLI member and has taught previous classes on the historical Jesus and the first Christians. He holds a BS in communication arts from James Madison University and has taken graduate classes with the history department at George Mason University.


L608 Personal Experience of the Ineffable (Divine)

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–May 1
Six sessions
Instructor: Martin Walsh
Class limit: 20

Over 40% of adult Americans report having had some type of “mystical experience” beyond the realms of ordinary consciousness. The course will combine lecture with personal experience. We’ll review the research and share examples from different faith traditions, as well from those who doubt or do not believe. Participants can share their own experiences of awe, wonder, insight, and illumination or they can describe a deeply spiritual person they know. We will also discuss what makes a spiritual experience authentic.
Martin Walsh is a former Jesuit, a nonprofit executive, and a spiritual director, who will lead you on an exciting, reflective journey into the moments of awe, wonder and mystery in life.


650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 Ethics: Philosophical Approaches

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–Apr. 30
Six sessions
Coordinator: Rachel Jones
In this course, we will explore a range of different philosophical approaches to ethical and moral problems. We will examine some of the most influential ethical theories, such as virtue ethics, Kantian rule-based approaches, consequentialist approaches, and feminist ethics of care. We will also address specific ethical problems arising from contemporary technologies. The course will conclude with a discussion session where we will debate the relative merits of the different theories and approaches examined.

  • 26: Introduction to the course; Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Dr. Chris DiTeresi, assistant professor in philosophy and director of undergraduate programs for philosophy at Mason. His research and teaching expertise is in Aristotle, philosophy of science (especially biology), and American pragmatism. DiTeresi has a PhD in conceptual and historical studies in science from the University of Chicago.
  • 2: Kantian deontological ethics vs. ethics of care approaches. Dr. Rachel Jones, associate professor in philosophy and chair of the Philosophy Department at Mason. Her research and teaching interests are Kant, post-Kantian continental philosophy, philosophy of art, and feminist philosophy. She holds a PhD in philosophy and literature from the University of Warwick, UK.
  • 9: Consequentialism and the ethical problems arising from emerging technologies. Dr. Jesse Kirkpatrick, assistant director, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at Mason. His area of expertise is in the ethical and social implications of emerging technologies, especially military technology. He has a PhD in political theory and public policy from the University of Maryland.
  • 16: Brain injury, consciousness and bioethics. Dr. Andrew Peterson, research assistant professor, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at Mason, with expertise in bioethics, consciousness, and the ethics of neuroimaging after severe brain injury. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.
  • 23: Nicomachean ethics and Alain Locke’s “The Ethics of Culture.” Dr. Rose Cherubin, associate professor of philosophy and director of graduate programs for philosophy at Mason. Her research interests include the relationships between inquiry, justice, beauty, and good in the works of Aristotle and Alain Locke.
  • 30: Concluding discussion. Doctors Jones, Kirkpatrick, and Peterson will return.


F652 Events of Profound Influence

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 27–May 15
Fairfax Lord of Life
Coordinators: Steve Canner, Camille Hodges
Over the past 100 years, a wide range of events—foreign and domestic, political and scientific, military and legal—have profoundly impacted our lives. They have forever changed the way we live and how we relate and interact with the world. Eight key events have been selected for this course, presented by experts in their fields.

  • 27: Carving out Countries in the Modern Middle East. Border decisions made a century ago may be unraveling as ethnic, tribal, and religious groups seek to define their own national boundaries. Johnnie Hicks, OLLI member and former educator at Fairfax County Public Schools and George Mason University
  • 3: The Breakup of the Soviet Union. On Dec. 26, 1991, Declaration #142-H announced the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and the creation of a new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Amb. (ret.) Kenneth Yalowitz, US Department of State.
  • 10: Civil Rights Revisited. While significant progress has been made since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, much remains to be done. Kofi Annan, president of the Fairfax County branch of the NAACP.
  • 17: Modern Physics: Einstein’s Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity displaced Newtonian physics and, along with work by other scientists, led to the development of quantum theory. Dr. Steve Greenhouse, OLLI member and former electrical engineer and space communications specialist.
  • 24: US Supreme Court Decision on Citizens United. The 2010 decision “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission” dramatically altered how outside money can be used in federal elections. Bob Zener, OLLI member and former lawyer with the US Department of Justice and other federal and civil agencies.
  • May 1: LBJ’s Great Society. This is a look at how one man sought to correct the injustices of American history and lift millions out of poverty. Glenn Kamber, OLLI member and former senior executive with US Department of Health and Human Services.
  • May 8: The United States Before and After 9/11. The 9/11 events altered both the course of foreign and domestic policies, as well as the attitudes many Americans assumed toward Muslims and the Middle East. Peter Stearns, provost emeritus and professor of history at Mason..
  • May 15: Decision to Drop the Bomb on Hiroshima. The decision that accelerated the conclusion of WWII also ignited the nuclear age in which we live. Martin Sherwin, professor of history at Mason and nationally recognized scholar and prolific writer, whose honors include (with Kai Bird) winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.


F653 Hate Crimes

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–Apr. 3, Apr. 17–May 15
Note dates–there is no class on Apr. 10
Seven sessions
Instructor: Kevin Fornshill
This course will examine the history and evolution of hate crimes in this country and consider its current relevance. What is the legislative definition of a “hate crime?” What is the difference between “hate speech” and First Amendment protected rights? What individual or group determines the classification of a “hate group?” Finally, attention will be given to understanding the nature of hate groups and their social and political motivations for conducting demonstrations on college campuses. This course will offer opportunities for class participation and dialogue on these topics.
Kevin Fornshill was a detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the US Park Police for 24 years. His investigative work included a two-year assignment with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Since retirement, he has remained involved in law enforcement research and training, including an instructor’s role at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at the Department of Homeland Security. Fornshill is currently an adjunct instructor at Mason.


F654 The Nature of Art: Truth or Taste?

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–May 16
Instructor: Irmgard Scherer
Philosophical aesthetics is an examination of the mind and emotions relating to a sense of beauty. On the one hand, we tend to believe that there is no disputing taste; it is a personal matter up to us. On the other hand, we believe there are absolute standards of beauty by which we can assess the worth of an artwork. In this course we will address whether it’s possible to reconcile our subjective feelings and passions with an objective or conceptual understanding of the nature of art. We will begin by asking: What is philosophical aesthetics anyway? Does art have standards? We will cover a range of themes: art and nature; art and literature; philosophy of music; the Apollonian and Dionysian art drives; humor as art; beauty and love; the human being as artwork. We will draw on a number of classical writers on the subject: Plato, Aristophanes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Tolstoy, Schiller, and Goethe.
Irmgard Scherer, a US citizen born in Germany, is associate professor of philosophy emerita at Loyola University, Maryland. She taught core and honors ethics courses, topics in the history and philosophy of science, and upper level courses in her area of specialization: Kant and 18th century aesthetic theory. She has published on Kant and related issues. Since retiring, she has taught philosophy courses for OLLI, both at Mason and American University.


F655 The Nature of Art: Truth or Taste?

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–May 16
Instructor: Irmgard Scherer
Philosophical aesthetics is an examination of the mind and emotions relating to a sense of beauty. On the one hand, we tend to believe that there is no disputing taste; it is a personal matter up to us. On the other hand, we believe there are absolute standards of beauty by which we can assess the worth of an artwork. In this course we will address whether it’s possible to reconcile our subjective feelings and passions with an objective or conceptual understanding of the nature of art. We will begin by asking: What is philosophical aesthetics anyway? Does art have standards? We will cover a range of themes: art and nature; art and literature; philosophy of music; the Apollonian and Dionysian art drives; humor as art; beauty and love; the human being as artwork. We will draw on a number of classical writers on the subject: Plato, Aristophanes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Tolstoy, Schiller, and Goethe.
Irmgard Scherer, a US citizen born in Germany, is associate professor of philosophy emerita at Loyola University, Maryland. She taught core and honors ethics courses, topics in the history and philosophy of science, and upper level courses in her area of specialization: Kant and 18th century aesthetic theory. She has published on Kant and related issues. Since retiring, she has taught philosophy courses for OLLI, both at Mason and American University.


F656 The Road to Authoritarian Dictatorship

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 29–May 17
Coordinators: Johnnie Hicks, Jeff Milstein, Peg O’Brien, Bernie Oppel, Gary Parish, Bonnie Nelson
Following the end of the Cold War, the world experienced a rise in the number of countries leaning toward democratic governance. In recent years, however, this trend has reversed as authoritarian leaders are challenging western democracies to strengthen their own dictatorial regimes. This course focuses on better understanding this change while considering its implications for current and future governance. Each presenter will discuss factors such as historical references, societal circumstances, and key policy indicators that move a country toward authoritarian dictatorship.

  • Mar. 29: Locating Sources of Authoritarian Governance in Myanmar’s Struggle for Democracy, 1948-2018. Dr. John Dale, associate professor of sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Mason. Political, economic, and cultural forces have contributed to Burma’s contentious politics of development.
  • Apr. 5: Turkey’s Path toward Authoritarianism. Dr. Ahmet S. Yayla, adjunct professor of criminology, law, and society, Mason; former chair of Sociology Department, Harran University, Turkey; and chief of counterterrorism operations department of the Turkish National Police, Sanliurfa, Turkey. There have been consistent efforts over years to transform Turkey from a secular western democracy into a political Islamist and authoritarian state.
  • Apr. 12: What Went Wrong? Crisis, Authoritarian-ism, and War in 1930s Japan. Dr. Brian W. Platt, associate professor of history and department chair, History and Art History Department, Mason. Japan withdrew from its commitments to democracy and cooperative international arrangements in the aftermath of global economic crisis and its own military aggression.
  • Apr. 19: Irreconcilable Differences: Cultural Polarization and the Descent into State Terror in Argentina. Dr. Matthew Karush, professor of history and editor-in-chief of Journal of Social History, Mason. Argentina’s 1976-’83 dictatorship was one of many anti-communist states that emerged during the 1960’s and ’70’s; yet its particular high level of violence reflected the countries distinctive political history and deep socio-cultural divisions.
  • Apr. 26: Vladimir Putin and Authoritarianism in Russia. Dr. Steven Barnes, Russian history professor, Mason. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Russia experienced a wave of democratic optimism culminating in the end of Communist dictatorship. How did we get from that to wide public support for the relentless authoritarianism of Vladimir Putin?
  • May 3: Napoleon: Charting the Course to Authoritarianism. Jack Censer, former chair of the department of History and Art History and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mason. From a global perspective, the French Revolution and subsequent rule of Napoleon introduced new principles of governance that continue to define and shape Western thinking today.
  • May 10: Nicaragua: From Revolution to Authoritarianism. Roland G. Estrada, US State Department (ret.); served in Nicaragua prior to the fall of the Somoza government and shortly after its downfall. The 1978-79 revolution in Nicaragua marked a significant period in Nicaraguan history and became one of the major proxy battlegrounds of the Cold War.
  • May 17: Leninist Party Structures in the 1920s and Ongoing Legacies in China’s Post-1949 Period. Michael Chang, specialist in the history of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Department of History and Art History, Mason. The authoritarian nature of the Peoples Republic of China, which is dominated by the Chinese Communist Party, must be understood within the context of China’s long imperial history and with special reference to the 1920s Leninist party structures.

R657 Big Issues, Complex Challenges, and No Simple Solutions

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructors: Glenn Kamber, Diane Thompson
Class limit: 30

The moderators will facilitate eight focused discussions on topics that both unite and divide us within families, communities, societies and nations. The goal will be to expand everyone’s thinking and perspectives, but not necessarily to arrive at answers. Examples of discussion topics include: Race and Politics; Aging—to what end?; Individualism; Recreating Life after Retirement; Sharing Utopia; and New Tribalism.
Glenn Kamber is an OLLI member and instructor. Over the past six years he has taught many courses at Reston that focus on current events and political and social issues. He is a retired senior executive from the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he managed policy and program development for eight HHS secretaries.
Diane Thompson has a PhD from CUNY in comparative literature. She is a professor emerita from Northern Virginia Community College, where she taught English and world literature for more than 30 years. She still teaches several world literature classes online for NOVA, has taught several OLLI courses on world literature, and co-taught one previous course on current issues.

L658 Current Issues in Nuclear Weapons Command and Control

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–April 2
Two sessions
Instructor: John Weinstein
After their use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, nuclear weapons have never again been used, in part because they are considered by many to be the ultimate weapon. Others fear that once used, nuclear weapons will escalate without control. How do they work and what are their capabilities? What are their effects? Do different nuclear weapons have different capabilities? How are they targeted? Could escalation be controlled? How do we ensure the weapons remain safe and secure? These are just a few of the issues that will be addressed by a former senior government official who worked these issues for over 25 years.
Lt. John Weinstein, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, is a NOVA Police Department commander, overseeing strategic planning and community outreach. He is a certified instructor in verbal judo, firearms, and active shooter tactical response, and he teaches communications, firearms, officer survival, active incident response, and patrol techniques at local police academies. Weinstein holds a PhD in international politics and is a nationally recognized expert in nuclear weapons command and control. He regularly contributes to Campus Safety magazine and serves on its editorial board. In his spare time, he is a cross-country motorcyclist.


L659 What Drives Key Politicians: A Psychoanalytic Perspective

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Gary Parish
Class limit: 35
This course will apply principles and concepts of psychoanalysis to help understand the deeper motivations and behavior of key political actors and other people in our lives. The psychoanalytic principles and concepts are explained and illustrated using incidents and examples from the lives of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Students will be asked to bring examples from contemporary events for discussion in class. This course will provide a set of guidelines that will be useful to increase your sensitivity to manifestations of unconscious motivation in everyday life.
Gary Parish is a retired CIA analyst with master’s degrees in electrical engineering and systems analysis, and a PhD in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate Institute (now the Pardee RAND Graduate School). He has worked as a program/budget analyst, a decision analyst, and a leadership analyst for the US Air Force, the CIA, and the intelligence community. He was trained in psychoanalysis by the late Dr. Nathan Leites of the RAND Corporation. He is writing a book documenting Leites’ techniques and case studies entitled The Psychoanalytic Theory of Decision.


700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Mar. 26–May 14
Note time
Moderators: Dorsey Chescavage, Mel Axilbund, Caroline Cochran
Class limit: 38
Do you have an opinion about what is happening in the world today? Would you like to express and share your views with others? Join other news junkies each week to discuss, debate, and yes, sometimes disagree, as to the significance and meaning of events—both great and small. All views are welcomed in a spirit of give-and-take. The moderators are OLLI members.
Dorsey Chescavage retired from the Jefferson Consulting Group, where she was a registered lobbyist, specializing in military and veterans’ health care.
Mel Axilbund was engaged in criminal justice reform activities at the Department of Justice and the American Bar Association from 1965 through 1980. He spent the next 15 years in a private general law practice in Northern Virginia. He then spent 18 years on the trademarks side of the Patent and Trademark Office.
Caroline Cochran has taught current events and English classes to foreign students at NOVA.


F702 Great Decisions 2018

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Moderators: Gordon Canyock, Ted Parker
Class limit: 32
Fee: $29
This is the same course as L707 Great Decision 2018, but offered in Fairfax. For over 50 years the Foreign Policy Association has sponsored discussion groups throughout the United States to investigate some of the greatest challenges affecting our lives. This year’s eight topics are: The Waning of Pax Americana?; Russia’s Foreign Policy; China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation; Media and Foreign Policy; Turkey: A Partner in Crisis; US Global Engagement and the Military; South Africa’s Fragile Democracy; and Global Health: Progress and Challenges. A briefing book and video related to each topic will set the framework for eight weekly class conversations. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $29 materials fee payable to OLLI at registration.
Gordon Canyock is a retired military intelligence officer, former State Department consultant and longtime member of OLLI.
Ted Parker, a retiree from the US Department of Education, had a 40-year career in education that included teaching and managing at local, state and college levels. He is a longtime member of OLLI.

F703 American Law in a Time of Turmoil

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, March 26–April 30
Six sessions
Instructors: Bob Zener, Anthony Steinmeyer
The course will identify areas in which our society is undergoing rapid change with associated turmoil: the growing perception of inequality, both economic and racial; continuing conflict on social issues; partisan gridlock; big data and the internet; and the gig economy. For each area, we will describe how the law is (or is not) responding.
Bob Zener, an OLLI member, was a lawyer with the US Department of Justice who handled a large number of cases involving constitutional law, religion, discrimination, and other contentious issues before the federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court.
Tony Steinmeyer, an OLLI member, recently retired as a lawyer with the US Department of Justice where, like Zener, he served in the civil appellate staff. His final position was deputy director of that office. Throughout his 45-year career, he had responsibility for a wide range of federal appellate cases and also worked on numerous Supreme Court cases. In addition, he often taught appellate litigation classes at the department’s National Advocacy Center.

R704 Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) for Criminal Investigations

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 29–Apr. 12
Three sessions
Instructor: Wes Clark
This course will focus on Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (as amended), in particular the portions that address electronic surveillance (ELSUR) for criminal investigations. The different electronic surveillance types and methods to be discussed include bugs, wiretaps, pen registers, trap and trace devices, trackers/beepers, pole cameras, and the tracking of cell phones. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) plays an important role. We’ll examine the functions of DOJ and those of the local Assistant US Attorney.
Wes Clark is an attorney who retired from the federal government in 2015 with over 38 years of experience. He began his civilian legal career at DOJ reviewing applications to conduct wiretaps and bugs. Later, as a federal prosecutor, he made judicial applications to conduct ELSUR. For the last 19+ years of his federal service, he worked in the Office of Chief Counsel, Drug Enforcement Administration. He has taught “Surveillance and Privacy” as an adjunct at George Mason University and has published ELSUR-related articles in the Valparaiso University Law Review and the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

R705 All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 29–May 17
Moderator: Dick Kennedy
This is your chance to discuss news and current events with other OLLI members who are trying to understand and evaluate our changing world. More than ever, we need to question information that comes to us from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, and newspapers. We will examine and discuss some of the day’s hot topics in world, national, and local news. In order to have time to explore issues and get various insights, we usually focus on a small number of topics. This is an interactive class, and all viewpoints and opinions are respected, needed, and welcomed. In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.
Dick Kennedy, an OLLI member, retired from the senior executive service at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He enjoys analyzing the news from multiple sources and engaging in lively discussions with colleagues.


L706 What’s in the News, Loudoun Section

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Moderator: Ray Beery
This is a companion course to the current events courses always popular at Tallwood and Reston. The purpose is to bring together thoughtful people for stimulating and civic-minded conversations. Triggered by daily news stories, we discuss a wide range of topics, including culture, design, philosophy and religion, science and technology, psychology, politics, and economics. The format encourages participants to speak up and be heard, to listen and exchange ideas, to explore optional resources and questions prepared by the discussion leaders, to raise questions, and to share experiences and knowledge. We value life experiences, informal education, and diverse points of view.
Ray Beery’s professional career spanned the military, international relations, business management in a large corporation, and teaching at OLLI. His undergraduate degree is in international relations and he holds a diploma from the National Defense University. A member of the OLLI Board of Directors, he teaches frequently.

L707 Great Decisions 2018

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–May 16
Moderator: Barbara Wilan
Class limit: 20

Fee: $29
This is the same course as F702 Great Decisions 2018, but offered at Loudon. For over 50 years, the Foreign Policy Association has sponsored discussion groups throughout the United States to investigate some of the world’s greatest challenges affecting our lives. This year’s eight topics are: The Waning of Pax Americana?; Russia’s Foreign Policy; China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation; Media and Foreign Policy; Turkey: A Partner in Crisis; US Global Engagement and the Military; South Africa’s fragile Democracy; and Global Health: Progress and Challenges. A briefing book and video related to each topic will set the framework for eight weekly class conversations. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $29 materials fee payable to OLLI at registration.
Barbara Wilan retired as a full-time English teacher at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College but is currently an adjunct there. She has also taught at the University of Maryland and for the University of Maryland’s European Division


800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Aging and Physical Activity: Building Physical and Functional Capabilities

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 23–May 7
Three sessions
Instructors: Jeffrey Herrick, Lisa Chin, Clint Wutzke
This lecture series will present and discuss evidence-based approaches to improving strength, fitness, and agility that can be blended into any older adult’s lifestyle. Faculty members from Mason’s department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health and Human Services, will present each lecture. Participants will learn both the “what” and “how” of exercise for health, and will have an opportunity to ask questions. Note: there will be NO actual exercising during the lecture series.

  • 23: Aerobic Exercise and Aging, Dr. Lisa Chin.
  • 30: Resistance Training and Aging, Dr. Jeffrey Herrick, exercise physiologist at George Mason University. Herrick is an international sleep research scholar and is presently studying the relationships between sleep and physical performance, and exercise and healthy aging.
  • May 7: Balance and Agility and Aging, Clint Wutzke.


F802 Demystifying Dementia

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 10–May 15
Six sessions
Instructor: Christi Clark
Currently, one in nine people over 65 has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but what can you expect after the diagnosis? This class will give you an understanding of the disease, enable you to start planning for the future, or give you ways to adjust to a new life with someone who has dementia. The course will cover the basics of dementia, distinguishing types, the typical path of progression, communication techniques, the reasons for troubling behaviors, and ways to engage with a person with dementia. Services available to caregivers will also be discussed.

  • 10: Normal Aging versus Dementia: Know the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 17: Diagnosis Dementia… Now What?
  • 24: Path of Progression in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • May 1: Are They Doing That on Purpose? Understanding behaviors and effective communication strategies.
  • May 8: Person-Centered Dementia Care.
  • May 15: I Need Help: Where to turn for support services.

Christi Clark, director of education and support services at Insight Memory Care Center, has over 15 years of experience providing long-term care.


F803 Decision Making Tools for Your Health, Part 2

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–Apr. 18
Four sessions
Instructor: Dr. Michele Romano
This is a continuation of the course given in fall 2017 term. You do not need to have taken Part 1 to benefit from this course, which will help you become proactive about your own health. The lectures will address:

  • 28: Women’s health—breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer, as well as diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis.
  • 4: Vaccinations, common over the counter medications, vitamins, herbals, supplements, and the opioid epidemic.
  • 11: Aging, caregiver tips, elder driving, and how to get the most out of the a doctor’s visit.
  • 18: Hearing loss, choosing a health care provider, sleep hygiene and insomnia, and radiation exposure from medical diagnostics. If there is time we will also discuss on congestive heart failure.

Michele Romano is a family physician who retired in 2015, and she was a nurse for 12 years before going to medical school. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and was elected into the AOA National Medical School Honor Society in her junior year. She held a faculty appointment as an associate professor of clinical medicine at VCU and served on both the VCU Board of Trustees and the VCU Health System Board. She was regularly listed as a Top Doc in the Washingtonian magazine.


F804 Medical Updates from the Health Professionals at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 29–Apr. 19
Four sessions
Coordinator: Cathey Weir

  • 29: Urinary Issues and New Treatments. Dr. Janice Arnold, board certified urologist.
  • 5: Foot and Ankle Problems (plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, sports injuries). Dr. Zakee Shabazz, board certified podiatrist.
  • 12: Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes. Dr. Patricia McClendon, board certified bariatrician and family medicine physician.
  • 19: Benign Colorectal Disease (diverticulitis, colitis, volvulus, rectal prolapse, constipation, incontinence). Dr. Kimberly Matzie, board certified colon and rectal surgeon.

F805 Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi

Thursdays, 2:15–3:15, Apr. 5–May 17
Note time
Seven sessions
Instructor: Jerry Cheng
Class limit: 35
Tai chi, a form of martial arts practiced for centuries, is meditation in motion that emphasizes balance, posture, and concentration. This beginning class will focus on Chen-style tai chi, which promotes health and fitness, strengthens the immune system, relieves neck and back pain, and corrects digestive problems. It also aids emotional and psychological well-being, relieves stress, and builds character. Please wear loose clothing and plan to work in stocking feet or in soft, flexible shoes.
Jerry Cheng was born in China and started his martial arts training when he was six years old. He studied under several famous Chinese martial arts masters, including grandmaster Sha Guo Zheng, and won four gold medals at the 1997 Atlanta International Martial Arts Championship. He taught tai chi at the University of Georgia and at the University of Texas.


R806 The Opioid Crisis and America’s Long Battle with Addiction

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 24–May 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Glenn Kamber
In 2015, more than 15,000 people died from opioid overdose, and many thousands more suffer from opioid abuse and addiction. The opioid crisis affects a broad cross section of the American population in every region of the nation—all ages, socio-economic levels, and racial and ethnic groups. The instructor will discuss the origins of the crisis, what is being done to address it, and how it fits into our long history of dealing with addictions of all kinds.
Glenn Kamber is a retired senior executive from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Between 1987-1992, he served as associate administrator of the HHS Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, the federal agency that is responsible for funding behavioral health research, prevention, and treatment services across the nation. Currently, he serves as a consultant to the government on mental health and substance abuse policy and programs.


R807 Viniyoga (Formerly Gentle Yoga)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00–12:15, Mar. 20–May 17
18 Sessions
Note dates and times
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class limit: 5 (55 years and older)
Fee $80
Viniyoga is a slow moving practice designed to increase strength, stability, balance, and vitality. Participants will move gently into and out of basic yoga postures while utilizing breathing patterns used to calm the nervous system and increase alertness. This practice helps to increase flexibility and range of motion through the use of static and dynamic stretching, and by repeating and holding postures. The fee of $80 payable to OLLI is due at the time of registration. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Those registering will also need to complete a Reston Community Center registration waiver form and bring it to class on the first day. The form can be found at


R808 History of Life on Earth, Part 1

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–May 16
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Steve Greenhouse
We will discuss evolution and its explanatory mechanism, natural selection. Evolution is the driving force behind the history of all organisms that have ever lived, from the origin of life four billion years ago to the rise of mammals after the mass extinction that occurred 65 million years ago. All major evolutionary transitions will be presented, starting with single-celled organisms without a nucleus. Factors affecting evolution will be discussed, together with an example illustrating how natural selection works. Questions such as “What is life?” will be answered and myths about evolution will be evaluated. Part 2 of this course, tentatively scheduled for the fall term, will follow the rise of mammals and early primates through the evolution of humans.
Steve Greenhouse, a retired electrical engineer, worked in the space communications field for 35 years. He has long been fascinated by paleontology and especially paleoanthropology, the evolution of humans. With no formal training in this field, Greenhouse has read extensively, traveled to the Galapagos Islands, and participated in a dinosaur fossil dig. He looks at presenting this course as both a challenge and an educational experience for himself. Greenhouse believes teachers can learn along with their students.


L809 The History of Mathematics from 3300 BCE to 1200 CE

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 1
Six sessions
Instructor: Michael Flicker
Class limit: 25
The written record of mathematics started during the period 3300-1500 BCE, with Babylonian cuneiform tablets and Egyptian papyri. These mathematics included number systems, the area and volume of simple figures, and the solution of linear and quadratic equations. Jumping forward 1,000 years to the period from 600 BCE-300 CE, we find the astounding flowering of mathematics under the Greeks and the Chinese. These lectures will address the mathematics of the Greek period through the work of some of the key contributors: Thales, the Pythagorean School, Eudoxus, Euclid, Archimedes, Apollonous, and Diophantus. The lecture on China covers the period from about 1000 BCE to 300 CE, ending with The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art by Liu Hui. At this point we will skip to 1200 CE to study the impact of Fibonacci on our number system and European mathematics. Along the way we will discuss zero.
Michael Flicker has a PhD in physics and has had an interest in the history of mathematics since high school.


L810 Human and Animal Migration

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 29–May 17
Instructor: Barbara Crain
Much of the history of the world is the story of migration. For example, terns fly thousands of miles; whales swim long distances from their breeding grounds to feeding grounds; and humans have spread to the four corners of the world from their cradle in Eastern Africa. How do animals navigate these thousands of miles? What are the economic and biological drivers of animal and human migration? How has the migration of modern times created problems of disease, political turmoil, and human trafficking? This course explores the causes and means of migration, and many of the consequences human migration has had and will have on the natural world.
Barbara Crain holds an MA in geography from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and an MS in environmental science from Johns Hopkins University and currently is an associate professor at NOVA. She has always been fascinated with people, their way of life, biology, and geography.


900 Other Topics

F901 Mason Faculty Club Series, Part 1

Monday, 9:30–11:00, March 26–April 9
Three sessions
Note time
Fee: $33
This course will take place at the Mason Faculty Club (Pilot House on the Main Campus) and will include breakfast and parking. The fee includes a three-hour parking pass for the Rappahannock parking deck in the designated visitor parking area, and a continental breakfast consisting of fruit, yogurt, granola, bagels and pastries, coffee, tea, and juice. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information see the description for this event in the online catalog.

26: I Survived: My Name Is Yitzkhak. Dr. Harry A. Butowsky. When World War II began in 1939, more than 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland. By 1945, 90% of them would be dead. I Survived: My Name Is Yitzkhak presents the remarkable story of one man who made it out alive. Born in 1912, Yitzkhak (Isadore) Neiman began life as a handyman’s son in the rural village of Czuczewicze, on the eastern border of Poland. The town’s Jewish and non-Jewish community lived together in relative harmony until 1941. One year later, almost every member of the Neiman family was dead, and only Yitzkhak’s conscription into the Russian Army saved his life. Interviewed by Dr. Butowsky in the 1970s, Neiman described his imprisonment in a Soviet work camp and his escape to the United States in stunning, heartbreaking detail. At every turn Neiman’s memories reveal the struggles and small kindnesses of everyday life under total war as he crisscrossed borders, battled hunger, and escaped violence. His story represents an invaluable addition to the oral history of World War II and honors the grit, determination, and intelligence of regular people in extraordinary circumstances.
Dr. Harry A. Butowsky retired in 2012 from the National Park Service in Washington DC, where he worked as a historian and manager for the National Park Service history e-library web site. He is the author of “World War II in the Pacific National Historic Landmark Study,” as well as numerous articles on military, labor, science, and constitutional history. Butowsky teaches history of World War I and World War II at Mason. His PhD is from the University of Illinois.

  • 2: The Economic and Social Effects of the Black Death. Noel Johnson.
    Between 1347 and 1352, approximately 40% of the population of Europe was killed by the bacterial epidemic known as the Black Death. This had profound effects on the economy and on political and social institutions. This course will focus on the massive scapegoating and persecution of Jews that accompanied the Black Death, and the demographic shock to the urban network.
    Noel Johnson is an economic historian in the Economics Department at Mason. He is also a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and a faculty member in the Center for the Study of Public Choice. His research focuses on late medieval and early-modern Europe. Most recently, he has been writing on the economic and social impacts of the Black Death. He wrote, with Mark Koyama, Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, to be published by Cambridge University Press in summer 2018.
  • 9: Facing the Dragon: Learning about Aging from Beowulf. Dr. Joyce P. Johnston, professor of English, Mason. He was young, handsome, and charismatic. Then he was mature, successful, respected. And then one day, he wasn’t. With his life goals accomplished, there was no future to build toward. With his accomplishments fading into the past, young people stopped listening to him. His family died or disappeared. All alone, he faced an evil dragon and with it, the specter of pain, disability, and tortured death—the embodiment of the fate that every aging person dreads. Across 2,000 years, Beowulf dramatizes issues confronting senior citizens in any era. Note: No knowledge of Anglo-Saxon or the Beowulf poem is required for this session.
    Joyce Johnston was trained as a medievalist who reads Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse and Medieval French. These days, she specializes in online civility, digital intellectual property and advanced researched writing, but she has never ceased to marvel at the intensity and excitement of early epics.

F902 Mason Faculty Club Series, Part 2

Monday, 9:30–11:00, April 23–May 7
Three sessions
Note time
Cost: $33
This course will take place at the Mason Faculty Club (Pilot House on the Main Campus) and will include breakfast and parking. The fee includes a three-hour parking pass for the Rappahannock parking deck in the designated visitor parking area, and a continental breakfast consisting of fruit, yogurt, granola, bagels and pastries, coffee, tea, and juice. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information see the description for this event in the online catalog.
Apr. 23: The Rise of the Internet of Things. Christine Pommerening. Unmanned drones and autonomous vehicles, smart meters and artificial intelligence: the next generation of so-called cyber-physical systems has arrived. Many expect it will change the way we live and work in the 21st century just as fundamentally as computers did in the 20th century. This seminar will look at the application and implication of these systems for health care, energy, transportation, and communication.
Christine Pommerening has taught at Mason since 2004. Her areas of expertise include infrastructure and cyber-physical systems security, risk management and resilience, as well as national and international governance. She was a senior research associate at the Center for Infrastructure Protection at the Mason School of Law, focusing on public and private sector responses to industrial accidents, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. She is currently a managing director at novaturient, a consultancy specializing in organizational change and risk management. Pommerening holds a PhD in public policy from Mason.
Apr. 30: Megacities. Dr. Michael Hieb. The twenty first century continues to see an accelerating trend toward urbanization. By 2030 it is projected that almost 40 cities around the world will have populations in excess of twelve million. Many of these “Megacities” will be located in countries and regions of the world that are both of critical strategic national security interest to the United States and unstable enough to likely require future intervention to preserve those interests. The magnitude of this challenge is exacerbated by the proliferation of inexpensive advanced technology to unsatisfied revisionist actors. A key technology is to be able to simulate a Megacity environment sufficient to plan and execute complex operations (disaster relief, military, etc). The GMU C4I and Cyber center has performed a recent study to perform an extensive Gap Analysis on the current state-of-the-art in large scale simulation and its limitations. GMU identified three concepts that characterize the Megacities environment– Scalability, Complexity and Agility. Metrics were developed in the areas of Simulation Frameworks, Environmental Representation and Social Modeling.
Dr. Michael Hieb is a Research Associate Professor at George Mason University’s Center for Excellence in C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) and Cyber. He has worked with large US DoD and DARPA simulation programs to improve C2 (Command and Control) modeling and has led NATO and IEEE working groups in this area. Hieb has more than 120 publications and has presented his C2 research on military, civil and non-governmental organizations to many international forums.
May 7: Culture and Psychology. Dr. Sadia Saleem. Psychology is embedded in a cultural context due to a combination of factors such as tradition, religion, language, and socio-political identity. This presentation highlights the cultural influence in the organization of family and its effect on the psycho-social and emotional functioning of an individual. This talk will provide a comparative view of individualistic and collectivistic cultures on family functioning and parental practices, based on findings from Pakistan and a comparison with the West.
Dr. Sadia Saleem is a Fulbright scholar at Mason. She has more than 13 years of teaching and research experience. She has carried out studies on the assessment and measurement of different mental health domains of Pakistani school children, including parent-child relationships, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, resilience, temperament, self-esteem, and identity.
measurement of different mental health domains of Pakistani school children, including parent-child relationships, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, resilience, temperament, self-esteem, and identity.

F903 Trip Tales

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Coordinator: Tom Hady

  • Mar. 26: Lowell Tonnessen describes a trip through the lower Danube, from Vienna to Bucharest, including a post-cruise excursion to Transylvania. He visited Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
  • Apr. 2: Lou Coglianese toured the Norwegian fjords.
  • Apr. 9: Tom Hady joined a group of fellow photographers for several days of photo shooting in Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Apr. 16: Don and Lisa Ferrett tell of Two Nephews, Two Weddings, and Two Countries, in Two Months: Mexico City and Portland, OR.
  • Apr. 23: Travel with Jean Klaus and share game drive experiences in national parks in southern Africa.
  • Apr. 30: Roz Schanzer. On November 6, 2016,world-famous sailor (and Schanzer’s good friend) Rich Wilson set sail in the Vendée Globe, a single-handed, non-stop, round-the-world sailboat race that is run every four years, beginning in the beautiful beach town of Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Join Schanzer and more than 680,000 fans as they cheer on the 29 competitors at the start of this 25,000-mile race—a race so difficult that only 70 skippers have ever completed it.
  • May 7: Alana Lukes took a 2007 trip to Greece; parts of Italy including Pisa, Florence, Tarquinia, and Ostia; and a visit to an archaeological dig.
  • May 14: Join Sandy and Tom Hoch for a kaleidoscope of Poland: a tour through the cultural center—Krakow; the spiritual center—Czescochowa; the center for industry, culture and science—Lublin; and the city that encapsulates Poland’s extraordinary history— (This is a repeat of their program from a year ago that was badly marred by computer problems.)


F904 Introduction to Chess

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28–May 16
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Jay Ryan
Class limit: 16
Learn the ancient strategy game of chess. The first two classes will be devoted to learning the rules and how the pieces move, and so is aimed at beginners or those looking for a refresher. Subsequent classes will be divided between play between classmates and lectures on rules, strategy, tactics, and classic games. Chess sets and boards will be provided; just bring your brain.
Jay Ryan retired after a 35-year career as an economist and program manager at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ryan played tournament chess in his youth and reached the rank of Expert, one level below Master. He continues his interest in chess, playing on-line and running a club for children at a local library.


L905 Trip Tales: A Visit to France

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 28–May 16
Coordinator: Ray Beery
A trip to France would be an exciting experience for most of us. Highlights are the fabulous art and architecture, the ancient ruins, the wonderful museums, and, of course, some of the world’s best food and wine. Come and enjoy traveling through this amazing country through the eyes of your fellow OLLI members. A list of presenters and the destinations they cover will be posted online before the first session.


950 Special Events

Reston Community Center 2018 Professional Touring Artists Series

OLLI is collaborating with the Reston Community Center by promoting several of their 2018 Professional Touring Artists Series events scheduled for CenterStage at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. In return, OLLI members are provided a discounted rate to attend. Please register for the select events below using the OLLI member portal. Check out the rest of the Reston Community Center Professional Touring Artists Series events under the CenterStage schedule at:


R951 RCC Professional Touring Artist Series: Anthony de Mare presents Liaisons:
Re-imagining Sondheim from the Piano

Saturday, 8:00 pm, Apr. 7
Note time and date
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Event limit: 20
Fee: $15
Liaisons is a landmark commissioning and concert project, conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare. The project has brought together 36 of the world’s foremost contemporary composers to reimagine Stephen Sondheim songs as solo piano pieces. Liaisons affirms Sondheim as one of the 20th century’s most influential composers—his music is as at home in the concert hall as on the Broadway stage. “Not just inventive piano arrangements of songs but new compositions written in the composers’ own styles—it was fascinating to hear how each composer approached the song—I loved it.” wrote Anthony Tommasini, classical music critic for The New York Times. A fee of $15 payable to OLLI is due at time of registration. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be reserved in your name and available for pickup at the Reston Community Center Box Office. OLLI cannot guarantee a refund for this event once you have paid for your reservation.


R952 RCC Professional Touring Artist Series: PROJECT Trio: Greg Pattillo, Flute/Eric Stephenson, Cello/Peter Seymour, Double Bass

Sunday, 3:00, Apr. 22
Note time and date
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Event limit: 20
Fee: $15
Blending classical training with their eclectic taste in musical styles, PROJECT Trio has made an impact on audiences of all ages. Bursting onto the scene with landmark videos right out of the Internet generation, PROJECT Trio is a not-to-be-missed musical experience. Gramophone magazine recently singled out the group as “an ensemble willing and able to touch on the gamut of musical bases ranging from Baroque to nu-Metal and taking in pretty much every stylism in between,” while The New York Times has called beatboxing flutist Greg Pattillo “the best in the world at what he does.” He has “wide appeal, subversive humor and first rate playing” according to The Wall Street Journal. A fee of $15 payable to OLLI is due at time of registration. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be reserved in your name and available for pickup at the Reston Community Center Box Office. OLLI cannot guarantee a refund for this event once you have paid for your reservation.


R953 RCC Professional Touring Artist Series: Robert Krulwich presents “Saddam Hussein’s Secret Octopus” and Other Stories

Saturday, 8:00 pm, June 2
Note time and date
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Event limit: 20
Fee: $20
Co-host of NPR’s Radiolab, Robert Krulwich is one of the most widely listened-to broadcasters in the world. His boundless curiosity and ability to explain complex subjects in compelling, entertaining ways has made him, as The New York Times said, “a storied figure in public radio history.” According to Michigan State University, “Robert Krulwich was a delight! His curiosity, creativity, vast experience, and storytelling skills combined to make an entertaining evening for everyone!” A fee of $20 payable to OLLI is due at time of registration. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be reserved in your name and available for pick-up at the Reston Community Center Box Office. OLLI cannot guarantee a refund for this event once you have paid for your reservation.


F955 The History of Immigration and Contemporary Politics

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, Mar 27
Instructor: Justin Gest
Coordinator: Sally Burdick
This presentation will address the history of immigration over time and examine key global trends today. Using a seminar format, we will then address a number of pressing questions: Why do people migrate? What benefits do migrants bring? What challenges do migrants pose? Do migrants have rights? We will also discuss the recent European migrant crisis as a recent application of contemporary ideas.
Justin Gest is an assistant professor of public policy at Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His teaching and research interests include comparative politics, minority political behavior, and immigration policy. He is the author of four books in these fields, including the forthcoming Crossroads of Migration: A Global Approach to National Policy Differences. He has authored peer-reviewed articles in journals and has also contributed commentary and analysis to the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Politico, Reuters, The Times, and The Washington Post.


R956 Lenin, Hitler, and Me Book Discussion

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 28
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Vera Kochanowsky
Dr. Vera Kochanowsky will present a talk about her father, Boris J. Kochanowsky (1905-1992) which will include readings from his recently published memoir, Lenin, Hitler, and Me. A discussion and Q&A period will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase. The book highlights her father’s youth in pre- and post-revolutionary Russia, his early career in Germany, and his subsequent five-year flight from Nazi persecution through Holland, Belgium, and France. Born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Boris Kochanowsky grew up as the son of a successful industrial tycoon. With the coming of the Russian Revolution, his family lost everything they owned. At the age of 16, he made his way to Germany, where he studied at the Freiberg School of Mines. After graduation he held various posts, including advisor to the chief minister of mines under Hitler. Suddenly condemned as a Jew, he spent months trying to escape Germany. After almost five years on the run, he reached Switzerland in late 1943 with the help of the French Resistance. Kochanowsky’s later career took him to Argentina, and finally in 1953 to the United States, where he was professor of mining at The Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State and after retirement, he continued to build a reputation as a blasting and open-pit extraction specialist, traveling to many major mining operations throughout the world.
Vera Kochanowsky, daughter of the author, resides in Falls Church. She holds a doctorate degree in music from Stanford University and has studied in Europe as a Fulbright scholar. A specialist in early music, she is active in the Washington DC area as a harpsichordist, private teacher, and choral director.


F957 Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know: Part 3

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 28
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Ed Weiner
Coordinator: Thelma Weiner
You’ll be surprised to learn what you didn’t know about our laws in Virginia. Ed Weiner convenes an impressive panel of lawyers and judges to present a fast-paced discussion covering new and interesting little-known gems of Virginia Law. You will be certain to know some new law by the end of the presentation. Here’s a sample of the practical questions that will be covered:

  • If I get injured in a store while shopping, is the store responsible for my injury?
  • If I die without a will, what happens?
  • If my spouse dies, can I collect his/her Social Security benefits?
  • It is a nuisance to keep taking the handicap placard on and off my rearview mirror. Can I just drive with it on?
  • If I have health insurance, do I need additional medical expense benefits on my car insurance?

Edward L. Weiner is a past president of the Fairfax Bar Association and Virginia State Bar.


R958 Artificial Intelligence: Great Applications for Daily Living

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 28
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Cherie Lejeune
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming integrated into everyone’s life. Will it be useful for your daily needs? You can speak to a digital device like Siri on an iPhone or Alexa on Amazon’s Echo, Tap, or Dot. All have online capabilities to source information and can even control your home systems, like the thermostat. For seniors who have diminished eyesight or not-so-nimble fingers for typing on a phone or computer keyboard, these new voice-activated tools are wonderful. The class will explore the benefits of verbal commands for devices and will get a chance to try out some of the products. The emerging virtual reality of AI as the next big improvement in therapy, education, and entertainment will also be discussed.
Cherie Lejeune found a third act career as a champion for technology awareness and best-use practices for older users. She has taught workshops, been a panelist for seminars, and works one-on-one with cognitively challenged adults and their caregivers. She consults for cutting edge gaming companies who are focusing on health applications, especially in the emerging voice recognition industry. She is chairman and co-author of Fairfax County’s Neighbor to Neighbor 50+ Initiative and is the Human Services chair for Fairfax Federation Citizens Association. She was part of AARP’s Leadership “Aging 2.0’s: 2025 Workshop” to help integrate new tools into the fabric of older users’ everyday lives.


F959 Breath of Heaven: The Poetry and Music of Amy Grant

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 29
Instructor: Steve Goldman
Amy Grant is well known as a gospel and popular music singer. But Amy Grant is also one of the most important Christian poets of our time. She speaks about complex and sensitive subjects with elegant prose that comes alive in music that can be powerful, haunting, and often sublime. We will explore the multifaceted theological subjects that Amy Grant addresses and how she provides insights and challenging answers to questions that religious communities and other seekers have grappled with for ages. One need not be a Christian to appreciate much of her diverse work, composed over several decades. The instructor will introduce each composition, to be followed by active class discussion. Topics include:

  • Mysticism: encountering the divine in daily life.
  • Overcoming low self-esteem without becoming self-important.
  • Seeking the light in every person through grace and humility.
  • Understanding and navigating through the problems of pain and suffering.
  • How does it feel to be Mary, mother of Jesus?

See F603 for instructor information.


L960 What Medicare Doesn’t Cover

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 29
Instructors: Kristian Sheils, Michelle Washington
Even when original Medicare covers your health care costs, you generally still have to pay a share of your medical expenses. Deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, outpatient services, and more can leave you exposed to significant out-of-pocket costs related to your health care needs. Medicare supplement insurance can help you pay for the health care costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of various options available today to help you choose what’s right for you.
Kristian “Krissy” Sheils is an insurance agent who joined Bankers Life in 2017. Prior to joining Bankers Life, Sheils worked as a certified medical biller and practice director in the healthcare industry for over 20 years.
Michelle Washington is an insurance agent and financial adviser. Michelle has worked in the financial services industry since 2000, with the last 10 years at Bankers Life.


L961 Biblical Heroes and Villains: A Closer Look at Good and Evil

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 2
Instructors: Steve Goldman, Stephen Ruth
Many Biblical figures are generally considered to be either heroes or villains. However, on closer examination, these dualistic categories may not be appropriate. Some “heroes” did wicked deeds, not only due to their own frailties, but also at God’s supposed command. Is it possible that God directed or condoned what the civilized world now considers evil, or do we need to reconsider our own values in light of Biblical teachings? Are persons we think of as “villains” the personification of pure evil, or do we need a more nuanced evaluation of their actions and intents? In this session, we will examine a number of heroes and villains in an effort to better understand our own concepts of good and evil.
See F603 for Steven C. Goldman information.
Stephen Ruth is a professor of public policy at Mason, specializing in technology issues associated with globalization. He is also the director of the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology. His book, One Year Trip through the Bible: A Layman’s Fresh View of the Complete Old and New Testaments, examines 73 books of the Hebrew Tanakh and the New Testament.


R962 Crazy Airline Rules Can Make Some Sense!

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 4
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Ben Baldanza
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This class covers the history of the US airline industry, focusing on the economics driving deregulation in 1978, and the major innovations since. It also addresses the major economic basis of airline pricing, and other decisions that often look unrealistic and confusing to customers. This class was offered in Fairfax in fall 2017 and was very well received.
Ben Baldanza has a 30+ year career in the US airline industry and has held senior level positions with multiple airlines. From 2005-2016, he was the CEO of Spirit Airlines and created North America’s first “ultra low cost” carrier. He now lives in Northern Virginia and stays active in the industry with board and consulting work. Ben is an adjunct professor of economics at Mason where he teaches a class called “Airline Economics.”


R963 Astronomy and the Modern Social Concept of Time

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 4
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Jeffrey L. Kretsch
Coordinator: Mary Kornreich
Limit: 35
Today we routinely look at our watch or a phone for the time and to plan our activities. This course covers how time was originally determined by the sun, moon, and stars. Time was very local and every town and city had its own time. With the rise of communication through the telegraph and telephone and fast travel by train, suddenly the issue of which time to use arose. The need for train schedules led to the implementation of standard time zones. Time further became more central to our lives with the rise of the industrial revolution and the necessity of adopting a measure to determine how employees are paid. The apparent motion of the sun over the year, the seasons, lunar and planetary cycles, and the stars during the year will also be covered. This lecture is followed by an optional nighttime visit by carpool to view the stars on Friday, April 20. See special event 1014.
Dr. Jeffrey L Kretsch is a retired federal employee who worked in research and development. He has a PhD from Purdue University and MS and BA degrees in astronomy and physics.


F964 Astronomy and the Modern Social Concept of Time

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 4
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Jeffrey L. Kretsch
Coordinator: Mary Kornreich
Limit: 35
Today we routinely look at our watch or a phone for the time and to plan our activities. This course covers how time was originally determined by the sun, moon, and stars. Time was very local and every town and city had its own time. With the rise of communication through the telegraph and telephone and fast travel by train, suddenly the issue of which time to use arose. The need for train schedules led to the implementation of standard time zones. Time further became more central to our lives with the rise of the industrial revolution and the necessity of adopting a measure to determine how employees are paid. The apparent motion of the sun over the year, the seasons, lunar and planetary cycles, and the stars during the year will also be covered. This lecture is followed by an optional nighttime visit by carpool to view the stars on Friday, April 20. See special event 1014.
Dr. Jeffrey L Kretsch is a retired federal employee who worked in research and development. He has a PhD from Purdue University and MS and BA degrees in astronomy and physics.


L965 The Normans

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 9
Instructor: Stephanie Campbell
Coordinator: Barbara Wilan
During the 10th and 11th centuries, Normandy was Western Europe’s medieval melting pot, combining Viking, Frankish, and Saxon peoples. The Normans were known for their religious and military zeal, conquering territories throughout the Mediterranean and, perhaps most famously, their neighbors across the English Channel. This lecture will explore the Normans’ Viking roots, their conquests, and their role in the Crusades, along with their contributions to medieval culture and religion, many of which can still be felt today.
Stephanie Campbell attended the College of William and Mary, where she earned a BA in history and a second BA in medieval and Renaissance studies. She then attended Catholic University where she earned an MA in history with a concentration in medieval history. Her special interests include the history of persecution, the Black Death, and the Carolingian Empire. She currently works as a full-time instructor at Northern Virginia Community College where she teaches western civilization and world civilization classes, and is the acting faculty advisor to the Loudoun Campus History Club.


F966 Artificial Intelligence

Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 10
Instructor: Sean Luke
Coordinator: Russell Stone
This lecture will provide an overview of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a general field that includes systems which can do tasks that we as humans require intelligence to perform. AI is a broad area, encompassing machine learning, problem solving, multi-agent systems, autonomous robotics, human communication, and computer vision.
Sean Luke is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University. He received his PhD at the University of Maryland, and has authored over a hundred publications and widely-used open-source software in artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, multi-agent systems, and other topics.


R967 Japan’s Biggest Secret During World War II

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 11
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Jim Lewis
Through an unbelievable series of coincidences and luck, the story you will hear came to light after being shrouded in mystery for more than half a century. The attack on Pearl Harbor had gone better than planned, although Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto had not destroyed any aircraft carriers. Yet he had succeeded in knocking the United States out of the Pacific for six months, buying precious time for Japan to conquer those nations with the most vital commodities and consolidate the gains behind a strong southern defensive perimeter. Yamamoto knew a protracted war against the United States would definitely not be in Japan’s interest. Therefore, he needed to find a way to take the war directly to the US mainland and, hopefully, deliver a knockout punch. The question: how? Japan’s fascinating response was fully developed and ready to be implemented before the end of the war, however the war’s events prevented its usage. Numerous diabolical plots were planned and the results could have been devastating.
Jim Lewis is a noted Civil War and WWII historian, lecturer, and local Civil War site tour guide. His WWII presentations include, “What Our Boys Faced on D-Day,” “D-Day +1 thru the Bulge,” and “The Japanese Empire’s Last Stand.” He has recently released another American Civil War era presentation, “The Consummate Citizen-Soldier—Charles Russell Lowell, Jr.”


F968 On-site Visit to Congregation Adat Reyim with Rabbi Aft

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 11
Congregation Adat Reyim, 6500 Westbury Oaks Ct, Springfield, VA
Instructor: Rabbi Bruce Aft
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
Carpool; Note location
Rabbi Aft will host this program at Congregation Adat Reyim, providing the opportunity to explain the Torah, the eternal light, and the Jewish prayer book. He will also discuss the Torah from Sedlcany in the Czech Republic that was rescued from the Holocaust. The evolution of prayer from sacrifice to words will also be addressed. With Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) beginning at sundown on April 11, Rabbi Aft will speak about this holiday that commemorates the lives of the Jewish people who died in the Holocaust during World War ll. In addition, Rabbi Aft will discuss Holocaust denial and make references to the story told in the movie Denial, which he recommends you watch, if possible, in anticipation of his presentation.
Rabbi Aft is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, and has been the spiritual leader at Congregation Adat Reyim in Springfield for 26 years. In addition to his congregational responsibilities, he spent 29 years working at the BBYO International Kallah, a Jewish leadership program for teenagers. Feeding his passion for improving race relations, Rabbi Aft has served on the board of Operation Understanding DC for almost 20 years, promoting dialogue between black and Jewish teens. He has been an adjunct professor at Marymount University, Mason, and the University of Mary Washington.


R969 The Blues: Where It Came from and How We Got Here

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 11
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Walter Todenhoft
Everybody knows about the blues, right? Well, maybe not. What is this musical form? Who invented it? Where did it start? Come along as we find out the answers to these questions and listen to a wide range of music that we call “the blues.” You may discover that the blues is much more prevalent in music than you may think.
Walter Todenhoft has a bachelor of music education from Indiana University and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the University of Maryland. He was a clarinetist, saxophonist, and drum major with the United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” from 1982-2012. He has performed professionally since 1972 in many classical, jazz, and rock ensembles including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony, and the Arlington Symphony. He also performed with Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, Hal Linden, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, and many more.


L970 Treaties of Paris

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 12
Instructor: Ray Beery
This talk presents one facet of the Loudoun theme for this term: France. The Paris Climate Accord of 2015 is the latest in a long line of diplomatic conferences held in Paris during modern times. The City of Light is, like Geneva and Vienna, a city widely regarded as a truly international center. We will focus on just three meetings: the Treaty of Paris in 1783 that laid out the terms of independence for the United States, the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that structured the post-war world, and the recent Climate Accord.
See L706 for instructor information.


F971 Whispers from Beyond: International Search and Rescue Demonstration

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Apr. 13
Coordinator: Stephanie Trachtenberg
This presentation about Fairfax County’s International Urban Search and Rescue Team will build on a previous presentation. It will include additional detail on search methodology and tools, including cameras and listening devices. Fairfax County sponsors an international urban search and rescue task force that is recognized throughout the United States and the world as a leader in catastrophic event mitigation, readiness, response, and recovery techniques. Join us to learn about the history and mission of Virginia Task Force 1. Since 1986, task force members have been at the forefront in assisting in the development of response systems both domestically and internationally. This assistance, supplied to the US Agency for International Development’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the United Nations, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ensures that the world’s first-responder community is prepared for its arduous duties.


F972 You’ve Got to Have a Dream: Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein

Saturday, 9:30–12:00, Apr. 14
Instructor: Dan Sherman
Coordinator: Marianne Metz

Note date and time
This presentation will cover the 40-year career of Oscar Hammerstein and his contributions to American musical theatre. Although well known as a lyricist, Hammerstein made major contributions to the form of the American musical as a writer of the musicals’ books. The presentation will include video clips from Hammerstein’s plays, along with rare interview clips.
Dan Sherman has taught nearly 20 OLLI courses over the past seven years, including many on American musical theatre. Dan holds a PhD in economics from Cornell and is managing director at the American Institutes for Research.


L973 It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over: The Life and Times of Yogi Berra

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 16
Instructor: Jim Dunphy
Yogi Berra was probably the most beloved baseball player in history. But there is a lot more to Yogi than his Yogi-isms. He was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, and has been called the greatest catcher in baseball history. He had twelve rings as a World Series champion, and is one of only a few managers in history to win pennants in both the American and National Leagues. He also served in landings at Omaha Beach on D-Day. In this illustrated lecture, we will learn about Yogi the ballplayer, Yogi the pitch man in commercials, Yogi the philosopher, and Yogi the family man.
Jim Dunphy was born in Brooklyn shortly before the Dodgers left, had the misfortune of first being a Mets fan when he grew up, and then moved to the DC area shortly after the Senators decamped for Texas. He has been a partial season ticket holder for the Nationals since 2012 and , six years later, is still waiting for the first postseason series win. He has taught and plans to continue to teach a series of classes about both the Nationals and baseball.


F974 Abe vs. Jeff: The Civil War as Seen From Both Sides

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 18
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Roz Schanzer
Coordinator: Rita Way
Was Abraham Lincoln a kind and honest political genius and the best president the country ever had? His supporters said so. Was Jefferson Davis a dashing, patriotic gentleman who loved America? His supporters raved that there was “none more worthy.” What convinced Abe and Jeff to go to war in the first place? And why did three million soldiers rush out to fight against their own countrymen? To find out, we explore the real words of Abe and Jeff and more; here too are the powerful statements of free and enslaved black people, slave owners, soldiers, spies, abolitionists, music makers, and ordinary men and women who lived and fought and died during the war. Which versions of this tale will they tell?
Rosalyn Schanzer is the author and illustrator of 17 award-winning books for children and young adults about history’s greatest adventures. She speaks to audiences all over America and has taught many classes at OLLI as well, weaving her remarkable artwork into the mix. She is also a world traveler, nationally ranked Masters swimmer, avid photographer, and chocolate connoisseur. You can visit her website at


R975 The Empire State Building Dirigible Mooring Mast

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 18
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Peter Ansoff
The spire on top of the Empire State Building was originally designed to be a mooring mast for passenger dirigibles. It was never actually used for that purpose—but what if it had been? This course will discuss the historical background of the concept, followed by a description of how it might have worked, some of the problems that would have been involved, and the reasons why it never came to pass. A 1/700 scale model of the Empire State Building and a representative dirigible will be used to illustrate some aspects of the concept.
Peter Ansoff is retired from a career as an acquisition support contractor for the US Navy. He is a former president of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), an organization dedicated to the study of flags, and has published several research papers dealing with early flags of the United States. His other research interests include maritime history and lighter-than-air aviation history. He joined OLLI in December 2016.


L976 A Conversation with a World War II Fighter Pilot

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 19
Instructor: Col. Robert A. Shawn (Ret.)
Coordinator: Barbara Wilan
Colonel Robert A. Shawn (Ret.), who will turn 98 years old on May 6, was a fighter pilot during World War II in the 9th Air Force. He flew the P-47 Thunderbolt, nicknamed the Jug, and the Mustang P-51. He served in the Air Force for 30 years, flying during the wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War era. He flew 37 different planes on 323 missions. He is a great story-teller, and will happily share his wartime experiences in this interactive session. You will be surprised at how much humor he found in the midst of war.
Col. Robert A. Shawn (Ret.) received an MS from Cornell University and spent the last five years of his 30-year military service as an acting Brigadier General, evaluating and inspecting the Air Force food service all over the world. After retirement, Shawn became the general manager of various country clubs.


R977 Hollywood’s Very Best Songwriter: the Harry Warren Legacy

Thursday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 19
United Christian Parish
Instructor: Daniel B. Moskowitz
Not interested in personal publicity and toiling as a contract composer in the movie studio factory system, Harry Warren never achieved the level of fame of some of his contemporaries. But his catalogue of 800 tunes included more songs on the Hit Parade—42—than either Irving Berlin or Richard Rodgers, and he had 11 Best Song Oscar nominations, with three wins. His songs provided the music of our (and our parents’) lives from Forty-Second Street in 1933 through An Affair to Remember in 1956. In this class we’ll listen to many of his songs, including “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “I Had the Craziest Dream,” “On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe,” and “That’s Amore.” We’ll discuss his career and how musicals changed as he moved from Warner Brothers to 20th Century Fox to M-G-M.
Veteran journalist Daniel Moskowitz leads courses in American popular music at the American University OLLI, and he previously conducted a GMU OLLI course on songs cut from Broadway musicals.


F978 Twisted Whiskers: Cat History and Behavior

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Apr. 20
Instructors: Martha Powers, Wanda Prather
They sit on our laps, barf on our rugs, demand food at all hours, and delicately swipe objects off flat surfaces with the grace of Pavlova. After centuries of so-called domestication, why haven’t people figured out cats? This lighthearted class examines the history of cats and humans, and the issues created by our trying to live together. We’ll review recent archeological and genetic discoveries (did the Vikings bring cats to America?) as well as real-life concerns, including caterwauling, claws, hairballs, and thinking outside the box. There will be plenty of time for a Q&A session following the slide show.
Martha Powers is an OLLI member who worked with animal welfare organizations and founded Operation Happy Sock, which benefits homeless cats. She was certified as a veterinary assistant by Fairfax County in 2010.
Wanda Prather is a member with OLLI at Johns Hopkins University in Columbia, MD, and has lived with, and learned from, 17 cats over her lifetime. She is especially familiar with geriatric cat issues. Both women deny being crazy cat ladies.


L979 Microsoft Windows 10 Made Simple

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 23
Instructor: John Redmond
Microsoft Windows 10 was released in July 2015. Currently, many people still use Windows 7. But that will change, because computers that are running Windows 7 today will eventually be replaced. Sooner or later, all our machines will succumb to wear and tear or technical obsolescence. This presentation will cover what’s new with Windows 10 in terms of web browsing, “cloud” integration, applications, security settings, email; and Microsoft Office programs such as Word.
John Redmond is owner of Keystone Computer in Arlington, which has been serving clients for over 30 years. He understands and resolves the problems and frustrations of computer users, from hardware problems to software problems to network problems to user problems.


F980 Eye Care for Adults over 50

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 25
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Richard Katz
Coordinator: Stephanie Trachtenberg
Limit: 50
This presentation will address various eye issues that can affect all of us as we get older. It will also provide strategies on how to cope with and determine the best course of action for a variety of eye diseases.
Dr. Richard S. Katz graduated from Towson State University with a BS in biology, and from Pennsylvania College of Optometry with a BS and an OD in optometry. He is now an optometrist at My Eye Dr., in Burke, Virginia, where he has practiced since 1984.


R981 The True Mystery of Nancy Drew

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 25
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructors: Margaret Bercher, Catherine Noonan
Limit: 80
Learn all about the history and development of everybody’s favorite girl sleuth. The course will cover the story of the 20th century’s most popular girl detective, her originator, and the authors responsible for keeping her alive for nearly 90 years.
Margaret Bercher graduated with an master of library science from Texas Woman’s University. She began her career with Fairfax County Public Library as a children’s librarian. She is currently responsible for selecting adult fiction for FCPL and is certain that her love of mysteries began when she met her friend, Nancy Drew.
Catherine Noonan graduated with an MLS from Drexel University. She is the branch manager at the Martha Washington Branch of the Fairfax County Public Library. Reading Nancy Drew mysteries has helped her solve many a puzzling and sometimes mysterious reference question.


L982 Rudy Robot for Assisted Living

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 26
Instructor: Anthony Nunez
Coordinator: Ray Beery
INF Robotics has developed an in-home automated care companion named RUDY that is both a personal assistant and friend to seniors. This affordable solution will provide features to allow seniors to maintain their independence and age in place. RUDY is easy to use, affordable, and designed specifically for older adults.
Anthony ‘Mr. Roboto’ Nunez founded INF Robotics, Inc., and serves as CEO. His interest in developing robotics for seniors is based on his personal experiences as a child watching his mother care for his ailing grandmother.


F983 A Day in the Life of a News Anchor

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Apr. 27
Instructor: David Culver
Coordinator: Stephanie Trachtenberg
What does the average life of a news anchor look like? Get an exclusive peek into a typical work day of David Culver, a reporter with News4’s Northern Virginia bureau who anchors the Saturday edition of News4 Today. He will also share his insights on reporting in Cuba, where he has visited six times.
David Culver was born and raised in Fairfax County, and most of his family still lives there. He attended Gonzaga College High School, and graduated from William and Mary with a degree in Hispanic studies. Culver always knew he wanted to be a journalist and spent a few summers at NBC in Washington. He interned at News4 and wrote a blog for while studying abroad. He was also an intern for the NBC News investigative unit in Washington. He joined News4 in December 2012.


L984 German POW Camps in the DC Area During WW II

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 30
Instructor: Ann Shields
Coordinator: Joyce Simmons
This lecture will address prisoner of war camps in the United States during World War II. Special emphasis will be placed on local POW camps, especially the one that was located in Fairfax.
Ann Shields is a nurse for the Department of Defense at Fort Belvoir. Her interest in German POWs culminated in an oral history project in 2010 documenting the WWII use of POW labor in her Indiana hometown. Over 70 interviews with German ex-POWs, guards, Army vets, and civilians were conducted both in the United States and in Germany, where she lived for two decades. Further research and interviews in the Washington area were conducted to update the topic.


R985 Okay, Your Home Has an Offer… Now What?

Monday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 30
United Christian Parish
Instructor: Ellen Moyer
This is a follow-on to Ellen Moyer’s presentation, “Downsizing Your Home,” offered in the fall term 2017. This presentation will address what to do after you get a ratified contract on your home, such as understanding the contract, disclosures, and addenda. What if the appraisal on your home is low? What if you’re not ready to move by closing date? How long does it take to close on a home?
Ellen Moyer has been a full time residential realtor for 10 years in the Northern Virginia area. She lives in Reston, where she grew up. She’s very involved in the Reston Chamber of Commerce. She also does charitable work for Cornerstones in Reston and loves selling homes in Northern Virginia.


F986 Entries from a Jewish Admiral’s Log Book: a View of the Navy from an Aircraft Carrier Captain’s Chair

Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, May 1
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax
Instructor: Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
Every day the US Navy is ready to fight at sea to deter aggression, peacefully resolve conflicts, and to protect America, our allies, and our partners from attack. The Navy does its mission on the surface of the water, in the depths of the ocean, in the air, with our special forces, and with the Marine Corps. We have amazing technology in our ships, aircraft, and advanced weapons systems. However, the real capability of our Navy, our secret weapon, is in the diversity of sailors and those who lead them. This lecture will discuss the life of the sailors and give a perspective of the leadership that serves them.
Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, the Navy Nuclear Power School, the Naval Reactors Commanding Officer Nuclear Engineer Course, and the Naval War College. He became the 40th Naval Inspector General in 2015. At sea, he served as assistant navigator aboard USS Independence, and completed several deployments in the E-2C Hawkeye. He commanded the “Bluetails” aboard USS John C. Stennis, and the US 6th Fleet’s fighting command ship, USS La Salle. He commanded Carrier Strike Group 10 and the USS Harry S Truman. Ashore, Shelanski served as a NFO flight instructor; as an action officer on the Joint Staff, J6 Directorate for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers in Washington, DC; and as the air operations officer for the Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet in Bahrain. He most recently served on the OPNAV staff as the division director for assessments.


F987 The Importance of Trees and Forests in Fairfax County

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 2
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Joan Allen
Coordinator: Fred Kaiser
Trees and forests provide significant social and environmental benefits to our community, and for over 30 years the Fairfax County Urban Forest program has been raising awareness about their importance. For this presentation, a Fairfax County urban forester will discuss how Fairfax County is promoting compatibility between developed and natural communities through science, education, and partnerships. Topics will include tree preservation, vegetation mapping and surveys, and monitoring and suppression of insect and pest infestations like gypsy moths and fall cankerworms.
Joan Allen is an urban forester for the Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division. She has worked for Fairfax County for 10 years, having earned a BS in environmental forest biology from the SUNY and a master’s of natural resources from Virginia Tech.


R988 Dispelling the Vampire Stereotype

Wednesday, 2:15–3:15, May 2
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Mary Kipps
Note time
Even if you’re not a fan of vampires, you won’t want to miss this entertaining event. Along with amusing lore about vampires’ ethnicity, author and poet Mary Kipps will present a reading of her paranormal satire All in Vein, a series of witty vignettes about a lovable vampire named Victor who must attack in the nude, and the luscious and arresting policewoman who may (or may not) be stalking him.
Mary Kipps is a senior information security consultant and former IT executive who loves to write, particularly poetry, and was a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared regularly in journals and anthologies across the United States and abroad since 2005. All in Vein was her first Kindle eBook, followed in the summer of 2017 by a relationship parody Bitten: A Practical Guide to Dating a Vampire. Although not a lover of vampires, Mary is fond of humorous reads. A Sucker for Heels, the eBook sequel to All in Vein and Victor’s misadventures, was published in the fall of 2017.


L989 Ed Sullivan’s The Best of Broadway Musicals

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, May 3
Instructor: Michelle Blandburg
The family ritual of gathering around the television set to watch The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings was an American cultural staple from 1948 to 1971. The musical, vaudeville, and variety show included a wide spectrum of popular entertainment. In this class we will celebrate unforgettable Broadway musical performances from that show by such classic stars as Richard Kiley (The Man of La Mancha), Pearl Bailey (Hello Dolly), Carol Channing (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Gwen Verdon (Sweet Charity), and many others. We will also enjoy behind-the-scenes interviews with songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as Lerner and Lowe. This rare DVD, narrated by legendary Broadway star John Raitt, is a time capsule of TV’s golden age.
Michelle Blandburg is an OLLI Board member and officer, a music and movie lover, and a repeat instructor. She enjoys all things theatrical.


R991 Tricksters, Sages, and Other Colorful Archetypes in Broadway Musicals

Saturday, 1:00–3:00, May 5
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Barry Bortnick
Dramatic reader: Sharon Newman
Coordinator: Marianne Metz
Note date and time
Like other forms of culture, musicals often draw for their appeal on underlying and enduring kinds of characters and stories, giving audiences the chance to respond on some deeper level, and at the same time—since these are, after all, “musicals”—to be entertained, inspired, invigorated by the stories of which these “archetypes” are a part and the songs they get to sing. Utilizing a wide range of video selections , this class provides a delightfully fresh perspective on the breath, power, and variety of musicals by looking at the role certain archetypes play and how they are brought to life in song, word, and performance. Focus is especially on:

  • Tricksters, beguilers and bamboozlers

Including the likes of Pseudolus, J. Pierpont Finch, Dolly Levi, PT Barnum, Bloody Mary, Max Bialystock, and the “Music Man”himself, “Professsor” Harold Hill, this archetype touches on the age-old fascination with those who shake things up, turn things upside down, become playful ,mischievous, or downright subversive , often against a backdrop of an order so conventional or stuck or stifling.that something in us wants to see it shaken up. What are the different forms this fascination has taken and why does it seem to have such a special place in musicals?.

  • “Sages,” mentors, practical voices of wisdom and experience—particularly as displayed by older characters in relation to the journeys taken by the young. Dispensing encouragement, perspective, cautionary wisdom, or humor , this archetype too comes in many shapes and sizes– from Oklahoma’s earthy Aunt Ella to Guys and Dolls ‘ shrewd Uncle Arvide to Pippin’s life-embracing grandmother to Evan Hansen’s initially beleaguered but ultimately comforting mother to George Washington’s mentor -like role in

Gain new insights about favorite shows , moments,and characters or make the acquaintance of new ones in this intriguing class.
Instructor: Barry Bortnick,
Guest dramatic reader: Sharon Newman, director, acting teacher & coach, talent manager
(For instructor credit on BB: use same descriptions as in fall 2017 OLLI GMU class.)
Barry Bortnick, PhD, is a composer, lyricist, and book writer of musicals performed on both coasts and in London. He is the former program director for humanities at UCLA Extension and founding director of the UCLA OLLI. He received his PhD from Harvard University where he did research on creativity and the development of interest in the arts. He has taught courses on the American musical at various OLLIs around the country.
Sharon Newman has been an acting teacher, audition coach, talent manager and stage director. She is a former director of the American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory, has taught at a number of professional acting schools in California, and helped seniors fulfill their lifelong dreams of performing. She holds an MFA from the University of Utah and BFA from the University of Miami.


F992 Zing Went the Strings of My Heart

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 7
Instructor: Luke Frazier
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Note time

Enjoy an exciting journey through the life and music of the incomparable Judy Garland. This class will include an overview of Garland’s life and work with particular focus on lesser known performances and hidden gems form her career.
Luke Frazier is the founder and conductor of The American Pops Orchestra. He holds an MM in conducting from Ohio University and a BM in piano performance from West Virginia University. He and his colleagues have given some of the most popular classes ever offered at OLLI.


L993 Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Skeptic’s View

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 7
Instructor: Raoul Drapeau
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard, evidence-based medical care. Some are centuries old, some seemingly work, some are scams. Extraordinary claims and pseudoscientific terms abound. In this presentation, you’ll learn to be an informed consumer so that you will know what’s safe and whether you’re getting value for your money.
Raoul Drapeau is a high-tech entrepreneur, lecturer on the history of technology, author, commercial arbitrator, and an inventor of consumer and commercial products. He holds electrical engineering degrees from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has published numerous articles in technical and historical journals focusing on World War II.


F994 Buff Bones

Monday, 2:15–3:40, May 7
Instructor: Kristen Shaffer
Coordinator: Lesley Bubenhofer
Limit: 12
Learn Pilates and get Buff Bones! Buff Bones is a full body workout for bone strengthening and balance using Pilates, strength training, functional movement, and rehabilitative exercise. Learn to tone your arms, hips, back, and abdominal muscles, and improve your posture and balance. This class will teach Pilates safely to those who want to age actively and move well. The course is safe for those with osteopenia and osteoporosis. Students should expect to have fun, have an interest in exploring mind/body movement, and be able to get up and down off of the floor. A Pilates mat is required. Comfortable leisure clothing and bare feet or toe socks are recommended.
Kristen Shaffer is a certified Pilates teacher and certified Buff Bones instructor teaching at local studios in Northern Virginia and abroad for over 10 years. Her philosophy and motivational teaching style embrace her own mantra to “Live well, be fit, and enjoy life.” When teaching Pilates, Shaffer challenges and engages her students to move well on the mat.


R995 Travel Photography

Monday, 2:15–3:40, May 7
United Christian Parish
Instructor: Stan Schretter
Everyone wants to bring back great pictures from their trips, but they often cannot take photographs in the best light or must quickly snap them as the group is moving on. We see beautiful scenery or unusual photo opportunities but cannot stop, so we try to take them from a moving vehicle. This course will address these situations and many more to help you create a wonderful photographic story of your travels. The ability to achieve this lies mostly with the photographer, so it can be accomplished with a wide variety of cameras including those on the newer cell phones.
Stan Schretter, an OLLI member, is an avid amateur photographer and has taught courses at OLLI for many years.


L996 Airline Regulations: Do They Really Help Consumers?

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, May 8
Instructor: Ben Baldanza
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
While the US airline industry’s prices and schedules were deregulated in 1978, there is still a very active regulatory approach taken by the Department of Transportation, aimed at consumer advocacy. Many of the regulations passed in the last 15 years have, however, raised costs for consumers and provided little benefit in return. This class reviews the major regulations made, their background and impact, and then discusses how these regulations come into being and whether there is a better way to manage our air transportation policy.
See R962 for instructor information.


F997 Right Hand Man? Alexander Hamilton’s Relationship with George Washington: The Musical vs. the Reality

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 9
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Dr. Peter Henriques
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
The collaboration between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton was one of the most important in the founding of our nation. What was the nature of their relationship? Were they intimate friends? What caused Hamilton to resign from Washington’s staff in a huff during the war and how did Washington respond? How influential was Hamilton on Washington’s decisions as president? And what was their relationship after Washington’s term in office? How accurate is the portrayal of their relationship in the musical, Hamilton?
Peter R. Henriques received his PhD in history from the University of Virginia and is professor of history, emeritus, at George Mason University. He taught American and Virginia history with an emphasis on the Virginia founding fathers, especially George Washington. He is the author of,Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington.,


R998 Controversies Regarding the Holocaust

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 9
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Marion Deshmukh
Coordinator: Luci Martel
This course is a discussion of explanations of the Third Reich and the Holocaust by historians and others. Over the past half century, there have been numerous descriptions and analyses of the momentous events under Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s, from biographical and psychological investigations to structural, economic, and cultural descriptions. The lecture will present some of the most well-known accounts, ranging from memoirs to secondary literature.
Marion Deshmukh, Robert T. Hawkes Professor of History emerita, taught German and European cultural history and German art history at George Mason University, including courses on 19th and 20th century Germany, 19th and 20th century German and Austrian art, the Third Reich and the Holocaust, metropolitan Europe, and western civilization. She served as chair of the history and art history department between 1984-1995 and 2006-2007.


L999 The Continental Colors in Philadelphia in 1754?

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, May 10
Instructor: Peter Ansoff
Historians of the American flag have long been puzzled by an engraving of the Philadelphia waterfront made in 1754. It depicts a ship at anchor in the Delaware River, flying a flag that resembles the “Continental Colors” or “Grand Union” flag of the American Revolutionary War navy. But that flag, and the Continental Navy itself, were not created until 1775, when the Americans began their struggle for independence. What was the flag doing in Philadelphia 21 years earlier? This course will propose a surprising answer with events on three continents, including some maritime history, some art history, and even an excursion into the history of beer.
See R975 for instructor information.


F1000 Nigerian Culture and Food

Friday, 1:00–2:30, May 11
Instructor: Gbemi Disu
Coordinator: Doris Weisman
Although the borders of Nigeria weren’t officially created until the British consolidated the region in 1914, archeological studies show that societies have been living in the area of modern day Nigeria for more than 2,500 years. Now one of the most populous and economically significant nations in Africa, it is often called the Giant of Africa. With over 250 ethnic tribes, this country is rich in culture with an innate diversity. We will explore its culture and heritage, specifically looking into the importance of food culture in Nigeria as a unifying aspect of the country. This course promises to be a gastronomical delight and you can sample some of the cuisine, listen to some of the local music and walk away feeling like you have gotten a taste of what it would be like to visit!
Gbemi Disu is the executive director for strategic initiatives and adjunct faculty in the Mason School of Business. Since joining Mason in 2013 she has also held the position of chief operating officer for Mason’s Korea campus and is a special assistant to the president. A passionate supporter of global prosperity, Disu has participated in programs that address the plight of women and children globally. She also founded the award-winning philanthropy program called ThunderCares and sits on several non-profit boards.


F1001 Federal Law of Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) for Criminal Investigations, Part 3

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 14
Instructor: Wes Clark
This course is a continuation of topics discussed in two previous presentations on the Federal Law of Electronic Surveillance for Criminal Investigations (ELSUR). This third and final lecture will address the use of pole cameras and the tracking of cell phones. It is not necessary to have attended the previous courses to benefit from this class.
See R704 for instructor information.


F1002 An Afternoon Wasted With Tom Lehrer

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 14
Instructors: Bob Coffin
Join us for a musical sampler with commentary and pictures from the turbulent 1960s—if anyone remembers that far back. The somewhat “subversive” songs of Tom Lehrer, the sardonic piano-wielding fugitive from Harvard, proudly corrupted generations of Americans. As Lehrer said, “most of my songs were takeoffs on song types of the day, particularly the more sentimental species, or commentaries on current events. I regarded them as fugacious ephemera which by now should have been of artefactual interest only to scholars (although in what field I cannot imagine).” Check out classics like “Fight Fiercely Harvard,” “The Elements,” “The Vatican Rag,” and “New Math,” plus many more examples of his unique wit and ever-trenchant observations of the American scene.
Bob Coffin, an OLLI member, is a retired US Army foreign area officer and Fairfax County high school history and special education teacher.


L1003 Book Talk: The French Revolution and Napoleon

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 14
Instructor: Jack Censer
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano

Histories of the French Revolution, begun when the event was barely underway, have continued apace for over two centuries. The historical accounts of the events have been evolving and improving our understanding. A newly published book, The French Revolution and Napoleon: Crucible of the Modern World ,by Lynn Hunt and Jack Censer, benefits from prior syntheses, monographic research, and a deep engagement with the documentary evidence. The book differs with others as it goes beyond the revolutionary decade (1789-1799) to include Napoleon (1800-1815) and also places events in France into a global perspective. This study is Hunt and Censer’s second general survey (the first was published in 2001), and they believe this one is not only distinct, but more adventurous in its interpretations.
Professor emeritus Jack Censer earned his PhD at Johns Hopkins University and spent over 40 years at Mason, where he also served as chair of the department of history and art history and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In retirement, he has continued his interest in revolutions.


F1004 From the License Raj to Free Markets: India’s Road Ahead

Monday, 2:15–3:40, May 14
Instructor: Abigail Devereaux
Coordinator: Brenda Bloch-Young
Independent India was born into five-year-plan-style socialism meant to destroy the caste system and lift India’s impoverished people into prosperity. Instead, socialism prioritized economic control and protectionism over self-determination, opening the door to massive state corruption and economic stagnation. Seventy years post-independence, is India’s economic trajectory freeing up or clamping down?
Abigail Devereaux is a fourth-year PhD student in economics at Mason. She has her MA in mathematics and a BA in physics, both from Boston University. Devereaux endeavors to integrate complex systems and pure science knowledge with her economics research, envisioning institutions like markets and governments as complex adaptive systems.


R1005 Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Monday, 2:15–3:40, May 14
United Christian Parish
Instructor: Robert W. Lazaro, Jr.
There are 21 planning districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia serving their regions for nearly 50 years. The planning district in our area is called the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, and it plays a unique role in working with its partner local governments. It provides programming and services in such areas as HIV/AIDS care, environmental programming, and renewable energy/energy efficiency, to name a few, to help local governments save money.
Robert W. Lazaro, Jr. is the executive director or the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. He graduated from St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York with a BA in public administration.


R1006 Fake News

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, May 16
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Stan Schretter
“Fake: Separating fact from fiction in our internet based world.” It used to be easy. “Fake” news was the purview of supermarket tabloids. “Fake” emails usually asked for us to send someone $1,000, so we could collect a new-found inheritance of $1M. Recent data from September 2017, shows that more than 90% of Americans now consume some news online, and two-thirds read news on social media. For those under 50, digital media has already surpassed TV as a source of news. This class will explore these phenomena and test your skill at detecting what is fake and what is real.
See R995 for instructor information.


F1007 Calling All Bibliophiles: Enjoying Books Not Read

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 16
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Sam Clay
Coordinator: Dr. Barry Berkey
This course will examine the strategies for enjoying the books you own but haven’t made time to read. Techniques on how and why to judge a book by its cover will be explored. Ways to rid yourself of guilt should you not finish a book will be discussed. Best of all, you will learn how to disguise trashy novels so eavesdroppers don’t know you are indulging.
Sam Clay was the director of the Fairfax County Public Library for 34 years until his retirement in 2016. During his tenure he managed a 23-branch system. He received his master’s in library science from the University of North Carolina. The Fairfax Library Foundation has honored. Clay by creating a scholarship in his name to benefit students pursuing MLS degrees.


R1008 The Consummate Citizen Soldier, Charles Russell Lowell, Jr.

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 16
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Jim Lewis
Charles Russell Lowell was born into a life of privilege in the Boston area; however he took a different path. He rejected his youthful self-centered beliefs in favor of a philosophy that found meaning in action. In war, unlike in civilian life, he felt he could determine what needed to be done and could do it. In the American Civil War Lowell found purpose. This presentation follows his trials and tribulations during the war years as he emerged as one of the Union cavalry’s exceptional battlefield commanders. Interwoven throughout the presentation is a beautiful love story as Charles met and eventually married Josephine Shaw, one of the most prominent citizens in New York City. Of note, a portion of their story pertains to his (and her) life in Vienna, Virginia while he commanded the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry during a portion of 1863-64 while he was stationed on Ayr Hill.
See R967 for instructor information.


F1009 Book Talk: MacArthur’s Spies

Friday, 1:00–2:30, May 18
Instructor: Peter Eisner
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
MacArthur’s Spies is a non-fiction account of guerrillas and the American underground in Japanese-occupied Manila during World War II. On January 2, 1942, Japanese troops marched into Manila unopposed by US forces. Manila was a strategic port, a romantic American outpost, and a jewel of a city. Tokyo saw its conquest of the Philippines as the key to its plan to control all of Asia, including Australia. Thousands of soldiers surrendered and were sent on the notorious eighty-mile Bataan Death March. But thousands of other Filipinos and Americans refused to surrender and hid in the Luzon hills above Bataan and Manila. MacArthur’s Spiesis the story of three of them, and how they successfully foiled the Japanese for more than two years, sabotaging Japanese efforts and preparing the way for MacArthur’s return.
Peter Eisner, an award-winning foreign correspondent, has been an editor and reporter at The Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press. Eisner was a correspondent and consulting producer at the PBS programs Newshour Weekend and World Focus and was nominated for a news and documentary Emmy award in 2010. Eisner was the managing director of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based watchdog organization. There he founded an online publication,, which won national investigative reporting awards. He was an early member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. He has written and co-authored many books in addition to MacArthur’s Spies, including co-authoring with Phillip Brenner the forthcoming Cuba’s Quest for Sovereignty: A 500-Year History.


954 Days of Our Lives Performance by the OLLI Players

Monday, 12:15–1:15, Mar. 26
Coordinator: Kathie West
Note time

Have you ever wondered about online dating sites for seniors and what and who they offer? The OLLI Players have your answer. Come visit with Blanche, Sophie, Maddy, Barbara, and Nancy as they search for just the right man and come up with some very strange characters. There is no cost to attend but donations to OLLI Players are always welcome.
See F401 for instructor information.


1010 Backstage at the Hylton Arts Center and Manassas Chorale in Concert

Saturday, 5:15 pm–10:00, Mar. 17
Note date
Bus trip
Coordinator: Mark Dodge
Tour limit: 20

Fee: $54
Enjoy a presentation and backstage tour of the Hylton Performing Arts Center followed by a Manassas Chorale performance, covering a wide variety of musical styles from classical and traditional to country and gospel songs. Watch the Chorale finish its warm-up rehearsal, and meet the director, Rebecca Verner, along with singers and members of the orchestra. The Manassas Chorale is a group of 90 auditioned singers, joined by an orchestra of 20 performers. It has been in existence for 24 years, and is an artist in residence at the Hylton Center, located at the George Mason University satellite campus in Manassas. Last year the Chorale earned the 2017 Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence. Next year members of the Chorale will have an opportunity to sing in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. The bus will leave promptly at 5:30 pm from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of ManTech. Please be on the bus no later than 5:15. The fee of $54, payable to OLLI at time of registration, includes a discounted concert ticket, bus fare, and driver gratuity. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be reserved in your name and available for pickup at the Hylton Center Box Office. OLLI cannot guarantee a refund for this event once you have paid for your reservation.
Mark Dodge is an OLLI member and also serves as president of the Manassas Chorale.


1011 A Visit to the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

Friday, 8:30–4:00, Apr. 13
Facilitator: Robert Barrett
Coordinators: Toni Acton, Florence Adler
Bus trip

Tour limit: 26
Fee: $51
The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) is partnering with the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) to offer OLLI members a guided van tour and briefing that includes wildlife viewing areas .at its 3,200-acre site in Front Royal, VA. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and George Mason University have partnered through SMSC to help address the ever-evolving threats to biodiversity by developing proactive and innovative approaches to conservation biology learning. For more information on SMSC or FONZ, visit and The visit will begin with a guided van tour and animal viewing, followed by lunch on your own in the all-you-can-eat SMSC cafeteria (flat rate of $11.25), capped off with a lecture about SMSC research and a 30-minute walking tour of the campus to see the facilities and labs where the exciting research is conducted. Please wear comfortable shoes. Important note: The van tour lasts approximately two hours and participants cannot leave the van for a restroom break. Also keep in mind that this is a closed research facility so there are no guarantees of the level of wildlife activity you will experience. In addition, SCBI is a closed public facility, and some areas and facilities may not be accessible to all, due to architectural barriers inherent in the historic construction of the original buildings and infrastructure. The guided van tour of SCBI is free; however, the fee of $51, covering bus transportation to Front Royal and bus driver gratuity, is payable to OLLI at time of registration. The bus will leave promptly at 8:45 from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of Mantech Corp. Please be on the bus no later than 8:30. Estimated time of return is 4:00. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1012 Trends in American Art: Gallery Trip

Friday, 8:45–3:00, Apr. 20
Instructor: Susan Rudy
Bus trip
Tour limit 30
Fee: $36
This is the companion trip to the course F104 Trends in American Art, 1840-1950. Special event 1015 is the same trip as this, but offered on April 24. You need not have taken the course to participate in this trip. Registration for this trip does not guarantee a place in the course. You will travel by private coach to the National Gallery of Art, where instructor Susan Rudy will lead a tour of the American collection. The bus will leave promptly at 9:00 from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of ManTech. Please be on the bus no later than 8:45. Lunch will be on your own. The bus will return to Fair Oaks Mall at 3:00. A fee of $36, payable to OLLI at registration, covers bus transportation and driver gratuity. Registration for this trip is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register for only one gallery trip.
See F104 for instructor information.


1013 Carpool to National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg

Friday, 10:15, Apr. 20 (your choice when to leave after the museum tour)Carpool
Coordinator: Doris Bloch
Limit: 50

Fee: $8
The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia, showcases significant sporting books and fine and decorative art. Their focus is on preserving, promoting, and sharing the literature, art, and culture of equestrian, angling, and field sports. Many of their art objects and rare books have been donated by the Mellon family and other generous Hunt Country donors. While their primary emphasis is on research, they welcome visitors to learn about their collections. When our visit takes place, they will be displaying “A Sporting Vision,” a travelling exhibit from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, as well as selected items from their permanent collections. One item of note that they own is a copy of the first edition of Isaak Walton’s “The Compleat Angler,” along with 90 subsequent editions. Please plan to arrive in Middelburg with enough time to meet at the museum lobby by 10:15. Our one-hour docent-led tour of the two-building library and museum begins promptly at 10:30. After our tour we will optionally walk to lunch at any of the restaurants in Middleburg. Those who wish may return to the library and museum after lunch. Directions and a participant roster will be emailed to facilitate carpooling. A fee of $8 is payable to OLLI at time of registration. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1014 Evening Visit to Roll Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park

Friday, 8:30 pm, Apr. 20
The Turner Farm, 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls, Virginia 22066
Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey L. Kretsch
Coordinator: Mary Kornreich
Event limit: 35
The Analemma Society, in conjunction with the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club volunteers, conducts Friday night observing sessions from 7:30 pm to 10 :00 at the Roll Top Observatory. The sessions start with an introduction to the night sky, pointing out major constellations, the planets, and deep-sky objects. These include a description of the daily motions of the sun and the changes of the seasons. When the moon is visible, a close look at its geological surface features is provided. Views of features of the visible bright planets and their satellites are provided. A wide range of deep-sky objects including galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters can be seen in the telescopes on the site, as well as double stars and other peculiar stars of interest. Viewing of the passage of earth orbiting satellites is provided as the opportunity arises. Sky programs providing a description of the night’s viewing will be provided.
See R963 Astronomy and the Modern Social Concept of Time for more information on the lecture.


1015 Trends in American Art: Gallery Trip

Tuesday, 8:45–3:00, Apr. 24
Instructor: Susan Rudy
Bus trip
Tour limit 30
Fee: $36
This is the companion trip to the course F104 Trends in American Art, 1840-1950. Special event 1012 is the same trip as this, but offered on April 20. Please register for only one gallery trip.
See 104 for instructor information.


1016 Boutique Wineries in Virginia

Friday, 9:45–4:30, Apr. 27
Bus trip
Coordinator: Bernie Oppel
Tour limit: 25
Fee: $121

Two boutique wineries in Virginia are the focus of the next in the continuing series of OLLI wine and luncheon trips. We begin with a wine tasting experience in the historic brick farmhouse at Zephaniah Farm Vineyard in Loudoun County. The tour continues with a return visit to Neal Wavro’s Field and Main restaurant in Marshall for a seated lunch. The prix fixe lunch includes three courses, non-alcoholic beverages, tax, and service charge. After a short drive to Delaplane, the trip concludes with an afternoon wine tasting in the 19th century barn and gardens at Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn. A fee of $121, covering bus, lunch, gratuity, wine tastings, and driver lunch and tip, is payable to OLLI at time of registration. registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The bus will leave promptly at 10:00 from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of Mantech Corp. Please be on the bus by 9:45. Estimated time of return is 4:30.


1017 A View From the George Mason Observatory

Friday, 2:00–3:30, May 11
Observatory, Mason Campus, Fairfax
Instructors: Jenna Cann, Joe Renaud
Event limit: 40
Come explore the sky with a private tour of a research-grade observatory! The George Mason University Observatory hosts the most sophisticated astronomical observation equipment in Northern Virginia, all of which is accessible to the local community. The visit will introduce guests to local scientists doing astrophysical research, followed by a guided tour of the day-time sky. These scientists also conduct research related to exoplanet detection, intergalactic distance measurements, and more. Participants, be aware—the tour requires climbing approximately 12 steps to go up to the telescope. Parking is available for a small fee in Shenandoah Parking Deck, a lot adjacent to the observatory. Meet in the lobby of Research Hall. There is no rain date for this event. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Joe Renaud is a physics PhD student at Mason. His research focuses on extra-solar planets. Renaud is the observatory coordinator, and is in charge of events and research conducted at the observatory.
Jenna Cann is also a physics PhD student at Mason. Her research focuses on the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.


1018 Bus Trip to Blooming Hill Lavender Farm: Guided Tour and Full Traditional Tea

Friday, 10:15–3:30, June 15
Note date
Coordinator: Bob Coffin
Tour imit: 30
Bus trip
Fee: $62
Experience a version of “lavender fields forever” as you meander about the 1,000+ lavender plants in 98 varieties. Bathe in the air redolent with their scent. Lavender loves loose rocky lime-laden soil—Blooming Hill in Purcellville provides that environment. Be pampered with a full traditional tea, replete with three savory tea sandwiches, three sweet tea sandwiches, a scone with toppings, lavender ice cream, meringue kisses, and endless pots of hot or iced tea, lemonade, or iced water. Follow that with a guided tour of the gardens in full season. Then wander about the gift shop stocked with teas, potpourris, balms, prints, garden décor, plants—and all things herbal. A fee of $62, covering full traditional tea, lecture and tour, bus, and driver gratuity, is payable to OLLI at time of registration. The bus will leave promptly at 10:30 from Fair Oaks Mall Parking Lot 57, just outside the circular loop in front of ManTech Corporation. Please be on the bus no later than 10:15. Estimated time of return is 3:30. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1201 Movie Screening: My Left Foot

Thursday, 11:00–1:00, Mar. 15
Note time
Coordinator: Martha E. Powers
St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, so let’s enjoy a terrific movie about a legendary Irishman. My Left Foot tells the story of how Christy Brown became an accomplished artist and writer despite crippling cerebral palsy. Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker both won Oscars for their performances in this 1989 film, shot entirely in Ireland.
See F413 for instructor information.


1202 AARP Smart Driver Class

Monday and Tuesday, 9:30–1:30, Mar. 19-20
Note: Class usually finishes early
Instructor: David Hall
Class limit: 55
Fee: $15 for AARP members, $20 for non-members
The goal of this class is to help senior drivers in Northern Virginia drive safely and longer. The class will review the effects of aging on the senior driver as a demographic group. It will cover what one should know and do to drive safely, driving strategies, technology, new laws, and trends. We will address the question: “Should I be thinking about limiting my driving?” The class will include video clips, infographics, lectures, personal experiences, and a Q&A session. An AARP guidebook and the latest DMV Rules of the Road will be provided. This class is approved by the Virginia legislature, which mandates an appropriate auto insurance discount for three years after a completion certificate is presented to the insurance company. The class is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members and is payable at the class. Bring cash or check and your AARP card if you are a member. Feel free to bring a snack.
David Hall is an MIT graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He was with IBM for 30 years as an engineer and project manager on development of military, NASA, and commercial systems. He has taught project management at IBM World Trade Corporation and has conducted over 100 AARP senior driver classes over the last 12 years. His special interests are optical and cognitive functions as they relate to driving.


1301 Reston Spring Term Kick-Off Coffee

Thursday, 1:00–2:00, Mar. 22
Community Room, Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Coordinator: Beth Lambert
Note date and time
Come one, come all, longstanding and recent members, to welcome new members and kick off the spring term at OLLI Reston! Celebrate old friendships and make new ones with coffee, refreshments, and friendly conversation. New members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with staff, OLLI Board members and committee chairs. Enjoy the first fabulous “Meet the Artists” performance following coffee. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for R112 Meet the Artists separately.

1302 Loudoun Spring Term Coffee and Conversation

Monday, 11:15–12:15, Mar. 26
Note time
Coordinator: Judy Sapienza
Come one, come all, longstanding and recent members, to welcome new members and kick off the spring term at OLLI Loudoun! Celebrate old friendships and make new ones with coffee, refreshments, and friendly conversation. New members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with staff, OLLI Board members and committee chairs. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1303 Tastes and Culture of France

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 5
Instructor: Rita Rowand
Coordinator: Judy Sapienza
Fee: $5
You are invited to the kick off of the French-focused semester on the Loudoun campus of OLLI. We will enjoy French desserts and a discussion and photo tour of French regional specialties and culture led by Mason Cultural Tour’s Rita Rowand. Don’t miss this fun class where you can enjoy a taste of French desserts and discuss France with a knowledgeable speaker. A fee of $5 payable to OLLI at time of registration will cover the food for this event. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Though she has a Germanic heritage, Rita Rowand is a Francophile at heart. A former travel agent, Rita has led tours to France on numerous occasions and plans cultural tour programs for George Mason University. Her recent tour of southern France was titled “The Flavors of France.” Her master’s degree in adult education is helpful in creating travel-learning programs.


1304 Fairfax Spring Term Kick-Off Coffee

Friday, 10:00, Apr. 6
Coordinator: Elaine Leonard
Come one, come all, longstanding and recent members, to welcome new members and kick off the spring term at OLLI Fairfax! Celebrate old friendships and make new ones with coffee, refreshments, and friendly conversation. New members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with staff, OLLI Board members, and committee chairs. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1305 Super Salad Social

Friday, 12:30–2:30, Apr. 20
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Coordinator: Beth Lambert
Join us for lunch with fellow OLLI members and an opportunity to meet the candidates for the Board of Directors. Please bring a salad (green salad, pasta salad, grain salad, or fruit salad), fruit, or dessert to share. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1306 Lunch at L’Auberge Chez Francois

Friday, 12:00–2:00, Apr. 27
L’Auberge Chez Francois restaurant
332 Springvale Road, Great Falls.
Coordinator: Judy Sapienza
Event limit: 36
Fee: $45
Oo la la! The best of the best! Lunch in an authentic French farmhouse setting. Award winning Executive Chef Jacques Haeringer will introduce us to French cuisine extraordinaire. We will enjoy a lovely French lunch in the garden room at L’Auberge Chez Francois. It will begin with organic mesclun salad with vinaigrette dressing. Main courses include sautéed fresh trout with toasted almonds, beef bourguignon, grilled organic chicken breast with spaetzle and mushrooms, or grilled vegetables Napoleon with herb tomato coulis. Dessert is a choice of sour cream cheesecake with raspberry coulis or dark chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream. Coffee or tea is included, and a cash bar is available for other beverages. The fee of $45, payable to OLLI at the time of registration, includes food, coffee or tea, and tip. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first served basis.
Jacques Haeringer continues the tradition of his late father Papa Francois, who came from France and opened L’Auberge Chez Francois in 1975. The dining rooms are filled with Haeringer family heirlooms and murals depicting scenes of Haeringer’s birthplace, Obernai, France. Today, L’Auberge Chez Francois is much the same as when it was first opened.


1307 Spring 2018 Annual Business Meeting and Picnic

Friday, 10:00, May 4
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
The annual business meeting starts at 10:00, followed by the picnic at 11:00. You will learn about the programming and operations of OLLI and hear from the candidates for the Board of Directors. Voting for the Board will also begin on this day. Following the meeting, join other members for the annual picnic and enjoy the beautiful gardens and landscaping at Tallwood. Register as you would for a spring term special event. When registering, remember to sign up to bring a salad, side dish, or dessert. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. You must register to attend the picnic.


Ongoing Activites


Annex Art Club

May 22–June 12, 9:30–12:00
Coordinator: Sue Goldstein
All artists, whether you use pencil, ink, pastels, charcoal, or paint, are welcome to finish or to start pictures. The group consists of OLLI members at all skill levels. Join us!


Bridge Club

Mar. 28–May 16, 1:45–3:45 (in term)
May 23– June 13, 10:00–12:00 (out of term)
Coordinators: Susanne Zumbro 703-569-2750
Gordon Canyock 703-425-4607
Drop in and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert. Partnerships are rotated every four hands. The Bridge Club meets in the morning between terms and in the summer, and in the afternoon during the other terms. For details on the club’s rules and bidding system, see its web page on the OLLI website


Chess Club

Fridays (in term)
Mar. 30–May 18 (no meeting May 4) 1:00–2:30
Mondays (out of term)
May 21–June 11, 9:30–11:00
Coordinator: William Lane
or 703-565-4478
Help the Chess Club get its feet on the ground and have fun to boot. Drop in and enjoy a friendly game of chess. Skill levels vary from not quite beginner to aspiring expert. Opponents rotate and W-L-T records are kept, but the main goal is to have fun. BYOB (bring your own board) if you have one, but some will be provided. We also have one chess clock for timed matches.


Classic Literature Club

Fridays during term (no meetings between terms)
April 6-May 18, (no meeting March 30 or May 4)

Coordinator: Bob Zener 703-237-0492
This club was formed to discuss great works of world literature. For the spring term we will focus on the American writer and Nobel prize winner Saul Bellow, starting with his novel The Adventures of Augie March.


Cooking Club

Monthly dates to be determined
Fairfax Lord of Life
Coordinator: Ute Christoph-Hill
This is a club for OLLI members who enjoy preparing food and sharing hands-on, homemade dishes in a small-group setting. We meet during the day, sometimes in members’ homes and other times at Fairfax Lord of Life or alternative sites. We often have a theme for our meetings, but our format is flexible. We also participate in food-related events, such as ethnic cooking demonstrations and restaurant outings. If these activities appeal to you, please contact Ute Christoph-Hill for more Information.


Craft and Conversation Group

Apr. 6–June 15 (no meeting Mar. 30 or May 4)
Coordinators: Doris Bloch
Susan Osborn
We meet weekly to work on our craft projects and to share product sources, expertise, and inspiration. Our ongoing conversations encourage camaraderie, and a group setting motivates us to progress with our current projects. Interested OLLI members are invited to join us to see what we are creating. For more information, please contact Doris Bloch or Susan Osborn.


Dirty Knee Club

As needed during growing season.
Coordinators: Sigrid Carlson
Sally Berman
The OLLI Landscaping Committee, fondly known as the Dirty Knee Club, creates, plants, and maintains the gardens at Tallwood. Gardening expertise is not required, but willingness to get dirty knees is! Members are asked to participate in general garden workdays, primarily in the spring and fall, plus join another member in a team to water, weed, and maintain the gardens during the growing season. Each two-member team serves one week, rotating about every five weeks.


Doctor Who Club

First and third Fridays
Apr. 6, Apr. 20, May 18, June 1, June 15, 1:00–3:00
(no meeting May 4)
Coordinator: Wendy Campbell
This group is for those of you interested in Timey Wimey Stuff. We meet to watch Doctor Who on the “big screen” in a Tallwood classroom. We will follow each presentation with discussion. Some of us are new to Who; some of us are very longtime fans. Everyone is welcome. It’s going to be Fantastic—so Allons-y and may I just say—Geronimo!


Ethnic Eats Lunch Club

Monthly on Wednesdays or Fridays, dates to be determined
Location: Local ethnic restaurants
Coordinator: Leti Labell
Do you love to eat? Are you interested in learning about foods from other cultures? Northern Virginia has an abundance of ethnic restaurants. This new club will meet for lunch on a monthly basis to explore various cuisines. If this sounds like your cup of tea (or chai or té or thé), contact Leti Labell.


Fairfax Theater Lovers’ Group

Generally last Fridays
Mar. 23, Apr. 27, May 25, 10:00–11:30
Coordinators: Norma Reck
Nancy Scheeler
Members of TLG get together to attend plays and other theatrical events performed by various local groups in the many theaters in the DC metro area. We invite theatrical persons, such as directors and actors, to speak at our monthly meeting so we can be better informed about all things theater. We partner with other groups, such as Shillelagh Travel Club, for overnight bus trips to attend theater in New York City. Membership, as well as attendance at TLG events, is open to all OLLI members and their guests. For more information, email Norma Reck at Note that TLG also meets in Reston. See listing below.


History Club

First Wednesdays
Apr. 4, May 2, 2:15–3:40 (in term)
Coordinator: Beth Lambert
We welcome all OLLI members who are interested in discussing historical events or in sharing reviews of articles, books, or other interesting historical topics. Our meetings feature speakers who present on historical topics ranging from the Silk Road through the present crises in the Middle East—and everything in between. To receive emails about History Club meetings, contact Beth Lambert.


Homer, etc.

Mar. 30–June 15, 11:00–12:30 (no meeting May 4)
Coordinator: Jan Bohall
or 703-273-1146
Join us to read aloud a traditional or contemporary classic. Currently we are reading a selection of short stories by Anton Chekhov. Drop in at the Tallwood Annex any Friday morning; new members are always welcome.


Mah Jongg Club

First and third Wednesdays
Apr. 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, 1:30–3:30 (in term)
June 6, 10:00–12:00 (out of term)
Coordinator: Margaret Massey
We welcome all members who want to learn Mah Jongg or already know how to play. Stretch your mind and have fun with a game that is (maybe) easier than bridge, but definitely challenging! For more information, contact Margaret or visit the Mah Jongg Club blog at


Memoir —and More—Writing Group

Wednesdays, usually 2:00–4:30
Coordinator: Betty Smith
We meet twice during the fall and spring terms, and every other week during the rest of the year. In addition to memoir, we write fiction, poetry, and personal essays. At our meetings we gently critique each other’s works. Like most writing groups, we are small. If you’re interested, please email Betty Smith, sign up in the member portal, and we’ll be in touch.


Personal Computer User Group

Generally third Saturdays
Apr. 21–June 16, 1:00–3:00
Coordinator: Mel Goldfarb
In partnership with the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), the OLLI PC User Group (OPCUG) focuses on Windows and Mac computers, and software for enhancing our lives. Members and presenters also discuss smartphone and tablet apps across Android and iDevices, the internet, digital photography, related technology, and open-source software. Our aim is to bring broad expertise about technology and topics of interest to attendees. PC clinics for members are offered twice yearly. Our target audience encompasses all computer users, from complete beginners to intermediate amateurs to experts. Our motto is “users helping users.” Club dues (currently $5 per year) are payable at the first meeting attended in each calendar year. Dues-paying members can view monthly sessions online, via the Zoom cloud meeting service, on a variety of devices from home or anywhere with an internet connection. More details are available on the group’s website,


Photography Club

Second Fridays
Apr. 13–June 8, 9:30–11:30
Fourth Fridays
Apr. 27–May 25, 12:00–2:00
Coordinators: Angie Talaber
Dave Talaber
Meet with experts and others interested in photography and develop skills by participating in theme-based monthly photo submissions. The Photography Club welcomes all members, whether they use a basic camera or specialized equipment, and whether they are novice or experienced photographers. We discuss technical aspects of photography, as well as the artistic aspects of visual design. We have guest speakers on the second Friday of each month, and on the fourth Friday, workshops cover specific topics in detail. We also regularly plan field trips in the local area. Contact Angie or Dave Talaber for further information.


Recorder Consort

Apr. 6–June 15 (no meeting Mar. 30 or May 4)
Coordinator: Helen Ackerman
If you have been part of the consort or have previously played the recorder and would like to expand your abilities, please join us on Fridays. There will be on- and off-campus performances. You may need to purchase music.


Reston Book Club

Mar. 29, Apr. 12, and May 10, 2:15–3:40 pm
United Christian Parish
Coordinators: Luci Martel
Nancy Scheeler
This is a book discussion club for OLLI members who find it convenient to meet on the OLLI Reston campus. Our focus is on serious contemporary fiction. We look for good novels on the long lists, short lists, and winner lists of the US National Book Award, the UK Man Booker prize, and other major prizes. Our March book will be The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, the novel that won her the Booker Prize in 2000. Our April book will be Last Orders by Graham Swift, winner of the Booker Prize in 1996. Our May book will be Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, who in 2017 became the second American to win the Man Booker Prize.


Reston Theater Lovers’ Group

Generally last Thursdays
Mar. 22, April 26, May 24, 2:15–3:40
Coordinators: Norma Reck
Nancy Scheeler
Members of TLG get together to attend plays and other theatrical events performed by various local groups in the many theaters in the DC Metro area. We invite theatrical persons, such as directors and actors, to speak at our monthly meeting so we can be better informed about all things theater. We partner with other groups, such as Shillelagh Travel Club, for overnight bus trips to attend theater in New York City. Membership, as well as attendance at TLG events, is open to any and all OLLI members and their guests. For more information, email Norma Reck at Note that TLG also meets at Tallwood. See listing for Fairfax Theater Lovers’ Group above.


Spanish Club

Second and fourth Tuesdays (out of term)
May 22, June 12, 10:00–11:30
Second and fourth Wednesdays (in term)
Mar. 28, April 11, Apr. 25, May 9, 1:45–3:15
Coordinators: Dick Cheadle
Mark Ramage
This club is designed for those who are in the intermediate stage of understanding and speaking Spanish—further along than 1-2-3 and A-B-C, but not fluent. The club members leading a particular class will choose the subject and prepare the lesson for that class. Members will not have to participate beyond their comfort level.


Tai Chi Club

Apr. 7–June 16, 10:30–11:30
Coordinators: Russell Stone 703-323-4428
Susanne Zumbro 703-569-2750
The Tai Chi Club meets nearly every Saturday, year ‘round. It is open to all OLLI members.


Tallwood Book Club

Second Wednesdays
Apr. 11, 1:30–3:00
May 9, 1:30–3:00
June 13, 10:00–11:30
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew 703-323-9671
These are our spring 2018 selections:
Apr. 11: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
May 9: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
June 13: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly


The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

May 23–June 13, 10:30–12:00
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
For activity description see course F206.


Walking Group

Tallwood/Fairfax Swimming Pool Parking Lot
Coordinator: Jerry Remson
When OLLI is in session, the Walking Group meets one morning each week, generally an hour before the first morning class. We gather in the Fairfax Pool parking lot next to Tallwood and walk for about 45 minutes, arriving back at Tallwood in time for the start of classes. Because our goal is camaraderie as well as exercise, all levels of walking ability and speed are accommodated. The day of the week is determined by our schedules and the weather, so it may change from week to week. Between terms we continue to walk on a weekly basis, but for longer distances and at more varied locations. Contact Jerry Remson for more information.


What’s in the Daily News? Continued

May 21–June 11, 10:00–11:30 (no meeting May 28)
Moderators : Dorsey Chescavage
Mel Axilbund
Caroline Cochran
This is the between-term continuation of the discussion group for news junkies who can’t wait to express their opinions and discuss current events.