OLLI Personal Computer User Group (OPCUG) meets Saturday, February 20 (tomorrow), at 1:00 via Zoom; use the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/93730244342 and Passcode 728227 or enter Meeting ID 937 3024 4342 from ‘Join’ in the Zoom app: Passcode 728227.
Priority registration for spring term is February 24 (9:00)–March 3 (noon). The spring-term catalog should have arrived in your mail last week; it is available online at this link.
A few spring-term courses have been added, changed, or canceled since catalog production; click here for a full list.
The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, March 5; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, March 2, at 6:00.
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.February 19
In 2001 Ray Solomon began a campus-wide landscape project for LRI’s 650 members. Ray submitted his landscape plan to the Board of Directors, stating that the purpose “was to develop the LRI campus into an oasis of beauty and pleasure.” In other words, it was to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. (Source, History of the Dirty Knee Club, November 2015, Valerie Braybrooke.)
If you have a feline family member, please join us for class 992 “Does My Cat Have Cataracts?” on Thursday, February 25, at 2:15 – even if you attended the previous OLLI class with this title. This fast-paced slide show includes updated information about feline dietary needs and aging issues, plus we’ll have lots of fresh facts about the impact of the current pandemic on cats in our country, answering questions like:
Can my cat catch COVID-19 from me if I get it?
If my cat sneezes incessantly, could he be a COVID carrier?
Has the virus affected animal adoption rates in the U.S.?
You’ll also hear lots of basic tips for better living with your furry friend, including the simple formula for Martha’s Magic Cat Pee Solution and the name of THE best cat litter scoop. You know your cat well; isn’t it time you found out how many teeth she has?
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate
Come one, come all! Anyone interested in program planning, please join the OLLI Special Events Program Planning Group for its next planning meeting online on Wednesday, March 3, 12:15—1:45. Use the following information to link into the meeting on that date/time:
We will talk about all of the fabulous special events being planned for OLLI for summer term 2021 and beyond. All of these great programs are designed and coordinated by members like you who volunteer their time to shape the OLLI curriculum. You do not need to be an expert in curriculum development or education management, and you can dedicate as much or as little time as you have available. There is no pressure. So, join us; brainstorm on classes; make some new friends; have fun!
By Nancy Scheeler and Luci Martel, Reston Book Club Coordinators
The Reston Book Club will meet via Zoom on Thursday, February 25, at 4:00. The selection will be: The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr.
This book raises the art of a memoir to a new level. It is the story of Karr’s comic childhood in an east-Texas oil town bringing darkly hilarious characters—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can outtalk the sheriff at age twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. It was on the New York Times Best Seller List for more than a year.
One of the benefits of Zoom for members is the opportunity to experience instructors who live elsewhere. During spring term 2021, one of those instructors will be Cate Wnek, an internationally recognized and published fine arts photographer who lives with her family in Harpswell, Maine. She also happens to be my daughter.
Cate’s 4-session course (R113) is titled “The Fine Art Photographer Within You.” Her aim is to help OLLI photographers find their creative voices by seeing the world in a new way though their cameras. She is hoping class members will find “the magic of seeing a bit differently than before, forgetting for a moment the formal elements of photography.” Cate says that “each participant will be encouraged to experiment with making photographs reflective of their curiosity and feelings. We will set aside rules, and just run with the wonder of whims.” Any camera will do, including smartphones.
Working with the images class members show to the group, Cate says that her role as leader will be to “listen, watch, and see how each participant unfurls, gently guiding each into a bit of innate genius.” This workshop approach will allow participants to focus in turn on their own images. Because of the personal attention, Cate has limited active participation to eight OLLI members. Depending on registration numbers, she will consider allowing additional “silent” observers in the class.
Cate’s work has been featured in a number of gallery and museum shows in New England, New York City, Rome, and Colorado, and she’s been recognized in a number of juried competitions. Images and details about her career can be found at catewnek.com.
The image featured here is part of her first published collection “Raising Goosebumps.”
If you like beautiful music, then you’ll want to consider the Music Sampler offered in OLLI’s spring line-up of programs. Created for OLLI many years ago by Dr. Linda Apple Monson, director of the Dewberry School of Music at Mason, the Music Sampler showcases students and faculty from the Dewberry School.
For those who love music, attending the Music Sampler is a wonderful way to begin the week. “I always try to sign up for this program,” said one OLLI member. “I enjoy performances and hear outstanding music that I would expect to pay big bucks for at the Kennedy Center or other professional venues.”
If you have not attended one of these Music Sampler programs, you will be in for a treat. Plan to include the Music Sampler (F102) on your spring term registration list. Normally, the Music Sampler is offered live, but due to the constraints of the COVID-19 virus, musical performances this spring will be offered on Zoom.
The February 2021 Photo of the Month theme was Creative Techniques. We selected Stan Schretter’s photo “The Real GREAT Falls,” which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club’s photo website. — By John Olsen and Ed Marion, Photography Club Coordinators
Baffling, the mystery of the loyal solar lamp—
How does it store the gleaming light of day
To return it to me at nightfall
In gentle shades of white?
I watch it come to life as the sky begins to darken.
Perhaps I’d rather not know the precise workings;
Best keep a bit of awe about how it is done.
Janice Dewire, long-time member, died on February 12. Jan joined the Learning in Retirement Institute (LRI) in the fall term of 1992 and was devoted to OLLI for many years of membership. She was co-moderator (with Carol Henderson) of the Literary Roundtable course in Reston for 15 years. Jan served as president and member of the Board of Directors in the late 1990s. OLLI was a major part of her life, and of the life of her husband George until his death in 2003.
Further information will be provided in a later issue of E-News.
Although Mason’s campus is shut down, online entertainment continues for us to access and enjoy. Dr. Linda Apple Monson produces a periodic “Notes from the Director.” This email is full of interesting online performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music. If you would like to receive these bulletins, just send an email to Brianna Schoen email@example.com. Also, the Center for the Arts has a websiteMason Arts at Home, which has a calendar of online events and access to many past performances. Information can also be found atCFA ticket purchase pageor theHylton ticket purchase page.
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.
Sat Feb 20
Tai Chi Club
Personal Computer User Group
Mon Feb 22
Gentle Yoga Club
Tue Feb 23
Tai Chi Club
Wed Feb 24
Theater Lovers’ Group
Ethnic Eats Club
Thu Feb 25
Reston Book Club
Tai Chi Club
Fri Feb 26
Craft & Conversation
Sat Feb 27
Tai Chi Club
Mon Mar 1
Gentle Yoga Club
What’s in the Daily News
Tue Mar 2
Tai Chi Club
Wed Mar 3
Mah Jongg Club
Tom Crooker Investment Forum Special Events Program Planning Group Meeting
Memoir and More Writing Group
Thu Mar 4
30th Anniversary Committee Meeting Development Committee Meeting
All the News
Tai Chi Club
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.