March means Daylight Saving Time… so spring ahead and share the fun with the Special Events Program Planning Group! Here are a few photos from recent (pre-pandemic) special events. To learn more about joining our dynamic team, email group chair Rita Way at email@example.com.
Fun Facts for OLLI’s 30-Year Anniversary By Ray Beery, OLLI Member and Former President
In 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.
In 1992, LRI was listed in the Elderhostel directory of learning in retirement institutes throughout the country. In early 1993, George Mason University’s new telephone book recognized LRI for the first time.
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate
Calling all longstanding and new OLLI instructors! Please be aware that the deadline for course proposals for fall term 2021 is April 12, 2021. Fall term 2021 runs from September 20-November 12. If you haven’t submitted your proposal yet, please do so soon to ensure we will have space for your offering. Your description does not need to be catalog-ready for you to submit, but your submission allows us to save you a spot on the calendar. The earlier you submit, the more likely we can fit your offering into the term and provide you with your preferred dates for the class. Spaces fill up quickly, so act soon!
If you need more time, the deadline for course proposals for winter term 2022 is July 26, 2021. Winter term 2022 runs from January 24-February 18. We encourage all to send in offerings!
You can find the course proposal form at this link. Please fill it out in its entirety, click “submit,” and the OLLI program planners will be in touch with you soon thereafter about your offering. Thanks for your support for OLLI programming!
Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group
By Mary Kornreich, Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group Co-chair
OLLI’s Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group strives to present stimulating courses in the biological and physical sciences and to presemt informational and instructive lessons about technology.
If you have an interest in science or technology which you would like to share with OLLI members, we would love to hear about it! Or perhaps you know someone who would be a good teacher in one of these areas—we'd be happy to contact them.
Specifically, in the biological sciences we are looking for courses in genetics and epigenetics. For example, during a recent class on evolution, some class members asked whether epigenetic changes that happen in our lifetimes can be passed on to future generations. The discussion showed that class members were eager to learn more about epigenetics.
We could use an update on genetics, and we are also looking for courses on the human microbiome, because our microbiomes apparently can have a great impact on our health.
In technology, we are looking for courses in artificial intelligence. There is also a great deal of interest in the use of, and future developments in, nuclear power.
Please send your ideas for courses, suggestions for instructors, or offers to teach to one of our three co-chairs:
Reston Book Club Meeting By Nancy Scheeler and Luci Martel, Reston Book Club Coordinators
The Reston Book Club will meet on Thursday, April 1, at 4:00, via Zoom. The selection will be: Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler, which was long listed for the 2020 Booker Prize. It concerns second chances, misperception, and the sometimes-elusive power of human connection. One day a man’s mundane and routine life is thrown off kilter and changes him forever.
Basketball Fan? Or Looking for a Happy Hour Chat? OLLI’s Chat Line Will Provide!!!
By Doris Bloch, Program Committee Co-chair
On top of our classes, OLLI gives its members increased social engagement! We are reinstating the 24/7, on-all-the-time Chat Line, which is an unmoderated Zoom meeting. This means that you can chat with other OLLI members any time.
News: We also are instituting a few hours dedicated to specific topics. For example, last Thursday on March 18 from 2–3 pm was dedicated to college basketball. For those who are following the NCAA Big Dance, the basketball tournament of 64 teams now in full swing, the chat was all about the teams, brackets, games, predictions for the Final Four, and the final champion, or the whole 2020-1 season and how it compares to past seasons. Not exclusive to the men’s teams, the women’s tournament also was “fair game” for discussion. We hope to continue that chat each week if members are participating.
On Tuesday, March 23 at 3–4 pm, we will sponsor a time slot to talk about movies that you have seen, want to see, or a movie review that you want to share. Also of value might be sharing any film resources that you have discovered during our time at home.
When our spring term begins, we want to initiate an OLLI Happy Hour Chat, once or twice a week, so members can socialize at a relaxed pace and talk about classes that they are taking or plan to take. They can also share beverage tips.
Links to any and all Chat Line events will be included in the Daily Schedule.
We have lots of ideas for other topics to address in the future, but additional suggestions for topics are always welcome (send to firstname.lastname@example.org.) This is a pilot, so let’s see if it becomes a fixture, depending on your level of interest and support!
New Reston Program Planning Coordinators
By Nancy Scheeler, Program Committee Co-chair
The Program Committee is pleased to announce that OLLI members Sigrid Fishpaw and Anita Lasansky have stepped up to serve as co-coordinators for program planning for the Reston campus. When OLLI returns to in-person classes, Sigrid and Anita will work with other Reston planning volunteers to ensure a robust offering of classes at United Christian Parish Church and the Reston Community Center at both Lake Anne and Hunters Woods.A native of Worms, Germany, Sigrid immigrated to the United States as a young adult and has called Northern Virginia home for more than 30 years. Before her retirement she worked in program management in the private sector and government contracting.
Her passions include opera, and she looks forward to attending live performances once again after her travel to Chicago’s Lyric Opera was cancelled in 2020.
An OLLI member since 2018, she signed up for numerous and often overlapping on-line classes during the past year. She particularly enjoys learning about literature and United States history. She is looking forward to volunteering in a variety of roles and believes that on-line learning is here to stay, even when in-person classes can be resumed.
Anita is also a relatively new member of OLLI, having retired two years ago. Born in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, she grew up in New Jersey where she went to elementary and high school, and to college. She married right after college graduation, and she and her husband had two sons. She taught at a Yeshiva, a court-reporting school, and a school for delinquent boys. She also sold radio time for a year.
When she moved to northern Virginia, she went into real estate, becoming first a broker and then a manager of 119 agents working in the Reston Long and Foster office.
“I love OLLI since I love the halls of learning and enjoy meeting new people.” She finds the level of teaching at OLLI “extraordinary.”
The OLLI Mason Program Committee, sometimes termed the “P4,” consists of Kathryn Russell, Russell Stone, Doris Bloch, and Nancy Scheeler.
The March 2021 Photo of the Month theme was Life during COVID. We selected John Nash's photo "Mask It . . . Quick.," 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 Edward Marion, Photography Club Coordinators
A sandbar exposed by the inlet’s ebbing tide
provides footing for a living mosaic of gulls;
dappled green water sluices around the bar
rushing to the embrace of a welcoming sea;
osprey circle, then plummet
in an explosion of spray;
they surface struggling to subdue a thrashing fish
and lift off laden with success.
The delicate scrabbles of ghost crabs
lead us to dunes thick with sea oats and brush
where we discover two weathered chairs,
an anonymous gift to beach walkers who, with gratitude,
arrange perfect shells and dried seaweed
on a makeshift altar of driftwood.
Sitting in those chairs, bleached holy by the sun,
we rest in the grace of the inlet,
breathing in the calming cadence
of the waves’ rustle and sigh,
while formations of pelicans,
wings spread in silent benediction,
glide across the azure sky.
Upcoming Mason Music and Friends of Music at Mason Events By Linda Harber, President, Friends of Music at Mason and OLLI Member
Happy Musical March, OLLI friends!
I am excited to tell you about some wonderful free concerts and programs from the Reva and Sid Dewberry family School of Music at Mason. If you are already a Friend of Music at Mason (FOMM), thank you for your support. You will be receiving your email invitations to these events. And if you aren’t on our mailing list yet, please email me at email@example.com and I will ensure you get on the list.
What will you receive?
Our monthly virtual newsletter with lots of musical happenings and stories–many written by your fellow OLLI friends.
Our Friday Musical Moments–which bring music to your email every Friday–from the talented students, faculty, and alumni of Mason Music!
A regular calendar with information about the amazing student recitals, all virtual. Our students really appreciate you “sitting” in their virtual audience these days.
Invitations to these and other upcoming special musical events:
April 11 at 4:00: Opera Overtures Reception with some of the student performers in the April 24th Mason Opera Night. Learn about the three Operas, and perhaps some surprise recipes for opera cocktails and mocktails.
April 24 at 8:00 and April 25 at 3:00. Three operas will be presented: The Telephone by Gina Carlo Menotti; Dream Lover by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; and The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
April 30 at 8:00. International Jazz Day Program. Learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact with Mason Jazz students and faculty.
These are just three of the wonderful free (did I say free?) programs brought right to you virtually by the talented Mason Music students. There are no traffic or parking issues this spring, just relaxing and enjoying beautiful music.
Please join the group and enjoy the music. Email me to be included in our mailing list. Remember, life without music would B flat.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Mar 20
Tai Chi Club
Personal Computer User Group
Mon Mar 22
Gentle Yoga Club
What’s in the Daily News?
Tue Mar 23
Annex Art Loudoun Program Planning Group Meeting
Tai Chi Club
Wed Mar 24
Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Attend and Enjoy OLLI Classes (Zoom training)
Theater Lovers’ Groups
Ethnic Eats Club
Thu Mar 25
OLLI Virtual Kick-off Coffee
All the News
Tai Chi Club
Fri Mar 26
Craft & Conversation
Sat Mar 27
Tai Chi Club
Tue Mar 30
Tai Chi Club
Wed Mar 31
Memoir and More Writing Group
Thu Apr 1
Tai Chi Club
Fri Apr 2
Craft & Conversation
Classic Literature 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: email@example.com. 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.