Fun Facts for OLLI’s 30-Year Anniversary By Ray Beery, OLLI Member and Former PresidentIn 2021, OLLI celebrates its 30th year of classes for seniors. This feature provides fun facts and interesting milestones about our institute each week that E-News is published throughout the year.January 1 A survey of new members in 1992 showed that most came because they were invited by Learning in Retirement (LRI) members or read about LRI in the news. The one outstanding negative was the lack of space to socialize.
The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, January 16, via Zoom. Program activities begin at 1:00.
Video Editing Fundamentals Plus – Presented by John Krout
This demo will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and methods for editing videos on a personal computer. Compared to the bad old days of editing using videotape machines in the 1970s, computer-based video editing is a pleasure. Video editing with inexpensive software is much like using a word processor to edit text.
You will learn how to create videos including still images or videos, how to include creative transitions between one scene or video and the next, how to create video virtual backgrounds for Zoom, and even how to pan across and zoom into or out of still photos, Ken Burns style.
John Krout has been using the inexpensive Magix Movie Studio version 16 to create the monthly PATACS/OPCUG pre-meeting slide show videos starting with the April 2020 virtual meeting. He shot live video and created 30+ DVDs of high school concerts and Children’s Theater stage performances when his daughters were performing in the public school system.
Attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 1:00. Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/93730244342 and use Passcode 728227 or enter this Meeting ID from ‘Join’ in the Zoom app: 937 3024 4342 Passcode 728227.
By John Olsen and Edward Marion,
Photography Club Coordinators
Guest Speaker for 8 January
The OLLI Photo Club guest speaker for their 8 January meeting, at 09:00, will be Ben Greenberg. Although his initial passion for photography came with the birth of his first son, Ben’s primary goal for this 50-year passion has been capturing the full range of diverse natural beauty in landscape images of his native Virginia and 20 other states, and encouraging preservation of this beauty. Ben has received numerous awards in juried competitions.
His images are represented in many galleries and shops, primarily in central Virginia and West Virginia. Ben’s first book, Natural Virginia, is available in bookstores and gift shops throughout the state. Numerous art consultants in Virginia and Maryland frequently purchase large versions of his color and black and white images for their clients.
Ben has devoted significant time to helping others learn, including teaching classes for UVA OLLI, leading workshops, giving presentations to groups, and providing mentoring in the field. He was a featured speaker for two presentations at the Nature Visions Photo Expo in Northern Virginia in 2016. More recently he has been adding wildlife to his landscapes and is planning a second book to emphasize the importance of preserving national, state, regional and local parks, preserves, and refuges, as shown by the sample images.
History and Current Events Program Planning Group By Bernie Oppel, History and Current Events Program Planning Group Co-ChairHistory traditionally has offered a very extensive and broad array of courses at OLLI. Our program planning group has been fortunate to consistently receive many course suggestions and find instructors to teach them from among our members and outside sources. However, recent OLLI member surveys indicated strong interest, especially from newer members, in further broadening the scope and depth of our History offerings. Suggested possible history topics include China, Russia, Greece and Rome, and the history of infrastructure development. At present we do not know possible instructors for most of such courses.Have a topic that inspires you and would interest OLLI members? Interested in planning for future history courses? Know someone who has unique knowledge of a topic? Best of all, do you want to teach and share your interests? ZOOM instruction with technical support from OLLI makes it possible to teach from home with ease! Planning for 2021 summer and fall terms is now in progress, and we would love to hear from you soonest.
Please send your ideas, instructor suggestions, etc., to me at email@example.com and I will forward the information to the other members of the History and Current Events Program Planning Group. And don’t forget to include yourself as a possible instructor.
Winter 2021 Literature Course (F406) Changes By Shannon Morrow, Program AssociateEllen Moody is changing one of two books required for her winter 2021 literature course. Most simply put, read Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day instead of When We Were Orphans. One of the reasons for the change is that the film adaptation of The Remains of the Day is excellent. The course description is also different, noting (as the catalog did not) the movies we are going to discuss.F406 Winter 2021 Two Novels of Longing Set in an Imperial Age Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 27–Feb. 17Instructor: Ellen Moody
Class limit: 40
The class will read as a diptych E.M. Forster’s Howards End (1910) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (1989). Both examine class, race, war, fascism, and colonialism; in addition, the books treat family, sex, and property relationships from the “empire’s center,” England, from a post-colonial point perspective. The core centers of both novels are the human needs of their characters against capitalist, gender- and class-based backgrounds. On their own people should see either the 1992 Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala film Howards End (w/Thompson & Hopkins) or the 2015 HBO serial, Howards End (Kenneth Lonergan w/Atwell & Macfayden); and the 1993 Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala film The Remains of the Day (also w/Thompson & Hopkins). We can ask how ironic romances can teach us fundamental lessons about how to survive and thrive in today’s worlds.Ellen Moody has been teaching since 1972, 12 years with OLLI. She is a published scholar with specialties in the 18th through the 20th centuries. She has a special love for Bloomsbury novels, Booker Prize books, historical and political novels, and life-writing.
Would You Like to Join the E-News Team of Weekly Editors? By Paul Van Hemel, E-News Chief EditorAfter several years of valued service, Leslie Vandivere, one of the E-News weekly editors, will be taking a break from editing. Accordingly, we have an opening for another editor.The task is relatively light; as a member of a five-person team, you will only be asked to edit every fifth issue. We publish each week when OLLI is in session and every two weeks between terms, so it is less than once a month. Content is supplied, and the weekly editor enters and formats the material for the draft issue, which can usually be done in a total of half a day or so. Then, on Wednesday, you send the draft to the proofreaders, who return comments by Thursday morning. You respond to proofreader comments by entering any needed changes, usually minor, by Thursday afternoon – typically less than an hour of effort.We use MailChimp software to enter and format the material. I will provide information and instruction on MailChimp use, as well as style guidelines. Most of our weekly editors use personal computers with the Windows operating system, but we do have one editor who uses an Apple computer and operating system.If you are interested in becoming an E-News editor, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Meet the Artistic Director of The Little Theater that Could! By Norma Jean Reck, Coordinator, Theater Lovers’ GroupLucky for us, our smaller local theaters (as well as university schools of theater such as George Mason’s) continue to perform in spite of the pandemic.
Please join the Theater Lovers’ Group (TLG) on Friday, January 22, 2021 at 2:00 when Amanda Herman Snellings, Artistic Director for the City of Fairfax Theatre Company (CFTC), will join us in a Zoom session to tell us about how it succeeded in keeping its theater program alive. CFTC focuses its performing-arts experiences on the community and reflects the diversity and uniqueness of Northern Virginia. Its shows are multigenerational. Each year, CFTC produces a fall play for kids with kids, a spring drama for adults, and a summer musical with participants of all ages.Next up at CFTC, from February 5 through 14, is Spellbound, which, according to Amanda, is “an interactive, virtual performance by Lars Klores, a practicing magician.” She adds, “Spellbound is a reality-bending virtual performance featuring astounding acts of magic and mind-reading, with effects that happen in your own home.” Each household will receive a sealed Mystery Package to be opened during the performance. For more information, visit www.fairfaxcitytheatre.org.Amanda is thrilled to help lead the CFTC as its Artistic Director after having been involved in its productions for the past few years. She is a director, performer, and producer. In her non-theatre life, Amanda plans fundraising galas for the National MS Society. She grew up in Herndon, Virginia, and holds a BA in Theatre and Dance from James Madison University.To join the TLG, please go to OLLI’s web site at https://olli.gmu.edu/, click on the Member Portal, then on Register, and add Theater Lovers’ Group as you would a class. Or email the registrar Sue Job at email@example.com and ask Sue to add your name to the TLG Fairfax. Everyone is welcome.
Lou Mazzatenta, treasured OLLI member who loved OLLI in return, died December 25. Retiring in 1994 after a 42-year career as a photographer at National Geographic, among editorial and other roles, he spent another several years in special studio and photographic assignments for the magazine. His work was featured in several US and other international publications, and in exhibitions in New York, Spain, Italy, and other locations. He received a BA in journalism from Kent State University and MS from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Lou photographed many areas of the world, and especially enjoyed the archaeology of China and Italy. Among his achievements are the production and picture editing of articles on the restoration of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. At OLLI, he was a member of the Photography Club and valued presenter among speakers for their meetings.
Lou also loved Latin America and the Spanish language, giving highly-appreciated presentations on his travels throughout Latin America in Spanish conversation classes at OLLI. He will be remembered and greatly missed by his classmates and instructors as a fascinating friend and an extraordinary man.
Because of COVID, there will be a small private service for him, with burial at Fairfax Memorial Park; at a later time, there will be a larger celebration of his life. Memorial contributions in Lou’s name may be made to Capital Caring Health. Further details are available at this link.
For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or Hylton Center, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue’s box office. For more information, see the CFAticket pageor the Hylton Centerticket purchase page.
There are no arts and music events scheduled at Mason for the period January 1 – 18.
Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines. OLLI is conducting its classes and activities online. Refer to the university’s coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI calendar for revised information.
The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office. The list is accurate as of mid-week but for the most up-to-date information, please view the latest forecast of coming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc. (bolded below). The OLLI office has sent (or will send) emails with links and meeting passwords to club members; you may also log in at the member portal and click on ZOOM CLASS LINKS.
Mon Jan 4
What’s in the Daily News?
Tue Jan 5
Tai Chi Club
Wed Jan 6
Mah Jongg Club
Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Memoir and More Writing Group
Thu Jan 7
Program Planning Committee
All the News
Tai Chi Club
Fri Jan 8
Craft & Conversation
Tallwood Book Club
Sat Jan 9
Tai Chi Club
Mon Jan 11
Gentle Yoga Club
What’s in the Daily News?
Tue Jan 12
Tai Chi Club
Wed Jan 13
Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Ethnic Eats Club
Thu Jan 14
All the News
Tai Chi Club
Fri Jan 15
Craft & Conversation Board of Directors Meeting
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: David Gundry, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Linda Randall, Tom Appich, Roz Stark
Marian Drohan, Jane Hassell
Backup Chief Editor: Alice Slayton Clark
Submissions: Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles, and photos. Submit material to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: Tuesday, 6:00, for that week’s issue (Monday, 6:00, for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words. Search E-News: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News at ENews Archives. To search the content within issues, use Search or enter your search term(s) in Google followed by “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.