By Gordon Canyock, Director and
Former Chair of the Old Communications Committee
Some of our readers have noticed that we are now using the term OLLI-Mason as an abbreviation for our official title “Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University.” You must admit, it rolls off the tongue a bit easier. The idea—especially for our publications that may be distributed beyond our own membership—is to distinguish us from the 116 other OLLIs in the US, including OLLI-DC (officially OLLI at American University). The term applies to all of our campuses.
By Richard Melanson, Co-Chair,
Humanities and Social Sciences Resource Group
You’ve decided to attend your first program planning group meeting, because you read the notice about it in the OLLI E-News and it piqued your curiosity. But you have no idea what to expect. As you arrive you’re given the meeting agenda by one of the group’s chairs. The first thing you may notice as people introduce themselves is that many of the others are also attending a program planning proup meeting for the first time. You also notice that Beth Davis, OLLI’s Program Associate, is armed with her laptop, sitting at the head of the table, and eager to take notes.
One of the chairs begins the meeting by reviewing the courses that are currently being offered by this particular planning group. Next the discussion shifts to courses that will be offered in the upcoming term at the three OLLI campuses. Perhaps you’re a bit surprised that this schedule seems pretty well set, although the next term doesn’t start for another two months. You ask yourself, “Where did all of these courses come from?”
The answer becomes clear as the discussion moves to the term that won’t begin for several months. One of the chairs announces that she has been contacted by an OLLI member who wants to teach a course at that time and asks for the attendees’ reaction. A lively give and take ensues about the proposed course’s merits. After listening to these various points of view, Beth is asked by the group to contact the member and ask for a fuller course description.
Then your ears really perk up when one of your peers offers an idea for a course that sounds as if it could be very interesting. But who could teach such a course? A Mason professor? Perhaps—but it turns out that someone else in the room knows an OLLI member who is well versed in this subject and might be persuaded to teach it. Another attendee throws a course idea on the table and volunteers to teach it. Wow! That’s a surprise. Is that how OLLI courses originate? The group expresses its gratitude and asks the volunteer to elaborate. The more you hear, the more you like the idea. The next thing you know Beth is tentatively adding the course to the schedule.
The meeting ends after about two hours, and you leave intellectually stimulated and amazed at what transpired. You had assumed that the Board of Directors decided what courses will be offered. How wrong you were! You decide to attend a meeting of another program planning group very soon and come ready with some course ideas of your own.
All Shakespeare fans will be delighted to hear about some exciting events coming up next month. Our OLLI will join LLI-Manassas for “Shakespeare Weekend,” featuring a free lecture and two plays, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Hamlet, performed by The Acting Company.
The events begin on Thursday, February 27, at 1:30, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center with a free lecture by Rick Davis, Executive Director of HPAC and one of OLLI’s favorite Mason instructors for many years. His lecture, “Holding Mirrors Up to Nature: Shakespeare, Stoppard, and the World of Hamlet,” will explore the many problems of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, offering unique insights into the intricacies of the play. He will also probe the parallels to Hamlet of Tom Stoppard’s 20th century existential play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The lecture is free, but we are asked to RSVP by emailing Hylton@gmu.edu. In the subject line, please reference "Shakespeare Weekend."
Then on Saturday, March 1, we can enjoy a performance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at GMU’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax at 8:00. Hamlet will be performed the next afternoon, Sunday, March 2, at Hylton Performing Arts Center at 4:00. LLI-Manassas and GMU-OLLI members will receive a 20% discount for both performances. Use Code: WKND when purchasing your ticket. Three ways to purchase tickets to the performances:
In person at Hylton Center Ticket Office or Center for the Arts Ticket Office
You can read full descriptions of both plays and the lecture on a flyer on OLLI’s bulletin boards in the social room and classrooms. I hope you’ll be able to attend these outstanding events. We have long appreciated Mason’s generous support of OLLI programs, and we have enjoyed the benefits of our partnership with Center for the Arts. Supporting the arts at the university is one way we can show our gratitude. And we wouldn’t want to miss immersing ourselves in a weekend of Shakespeare.
Land of the Sirens:
Art and Music on Italy’s Amalfi Coast!
Editor’s Note: Published as a courtesy to a fellow OLLI affiliate; this is not an OLLI-sponsored event.
Insiders' Tour for Opera Lovers to the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival, Maiori, Italy
Led by Bruce Eisen, instructor of opera appreciation classes and opera aficionado extraordinaire
July 6 - July 14, 2014
During your stay in southern Italy, join opera singers, painters, and renowned professors of music and art to partake of the rich offerings of an international music and arts festival in the incomparable setting of Italy's Amalfi Coast.
Strategic Media Books has published Patriot Priest: The Biography of Monsignor William A. Hemmick, the sixth book by Patricia Daly-Lipe. This OLLI member’s book is a tale of the author’s great uncle whose experiences over several epochs give the reader a new personal perspective on history from WWI and WWII to the post-war era of the '50s and '60s.
During his long life, Msgr. Hemmick interacted with some of the most extraordinary intellectuals of modern times, including Pope Pius X, Pope Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, Marshall Foch, artist Simon Elwes, Sir Shane Leslie, F. Scott Fitzgerald (who was once his student) and other notables of that era, and brought his considerable influence to several pivotal moments in world history, from World Wars I and II to issues during the Cold War. His wartime and post-war experiences helping those traumatized by war resulted in recognition by the US Army and Navy, as well as the Vatican.
Patriot Priest explores the causes of the two world wars, the creativity in Paris between the wars, the correspondence of Sir Winston Churchill, the speeches of President Roosevelt and Hitler, and the plight of Mussolini, as well as the miracle at Fatima and the life of Albert Schweitzer. The book offers insight into understanding and interpreting historical processes.
-- Editor’s Note: More information on Daly-Lipe’s work is available at her website: Literarylady.com.
By Barbara Kyriakakis, Former E-News Associate Editor
Want to start the New Year off with a new, fun and interesting volunteer job at OLLI? Do you like to read? Do you enjoy being the first to know what's going on around the OLLI campuses? Why not try volunteering for the vacant Associate Editor position on the new and revamped OLLI E-News! No experience is necessary. Just a willing spirit and a reasonable knowledge of English grammar and spelling. A bit of enthusiasm for the world of writing, although not necessary, is a plus.
As the Associate Editor of the E-News you will spend an average of about two hours a week soliciting volunteers to write articles, proofing incoming articles, and proofreading the final version of the E-News for errors before it is published. And if you have an affinity for writing as I did...there's a bonus. You can pick and choose which articles you would like to write yourself, if you are so inclined, e.g., a profile of a new Board member or a feature article on one of OLLI's many activities and parties. This job is not difficult; it is extremely satisfying, and what a way to get to know your fellow OLLI members. As his big brother said: Try it, Mikey, you'll like it.
My costume and I are ready to go to the annual OLLI Valentine’s Day Party which, this year, is actually going to be on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Braddock Road. However, we need help with the setting up (and taking down) of decorations, with performing as part of the entertainment and with food preparation and presentation. Of course, if you plan to attend, we need you to sign up in the office at either Tallwood or Loudoun so we’ll know how much ice cream sundae stuff we’ll need to purchase and how many cupcakes must be baked. Contact Sally Burdick at firstname.lastname@example.org (or, alternatively, Wendy Campbell at email@example.com) with offers to help; she’ll pass the word along to the appropriate person. xoxoxo
----- Editor's Note: Any presenters/performers (including OLLI groups planning to perform) for the OLLI Valentine's Day party on Feb 14 should contact Sally Burdick as soon as possible.
A fibonacci* poem, based on the number sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21
the red coat with black
buttons, and each year it comes back
to hang in our closet, wait for Granddaughter shiv’ring
with the wind, to pull it around herself, long brown hair
brushing its black collar as she
matches our strides. Full
* Leonardo Fibonacci was a 13th century Italian mathematician whose number sequence is found often in nature, as a spiral growing pattern (conch shells, sunflowers). Syllables are counted to create a visual poem. To find the next number in the sequence, add the two preceding numbers.
For tickets for either CFA or Hylton, 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 CFA ticket page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: Chamber Works by Elgar, Britten, and Shostakovich
Sat, Jan 18, 8:00, Sun, Jan 19, 2:00.
Christopher Zimmerman conducts; guest artist is tenor William Hite. FSO’s principal horn Eric Moore is featured.
Admission: $60, $45, $25.
Aquila Theatre: Fahrenheit 451
Sun, Jan 19, 7:00.
Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 questions the impacts of technology on literature and society. Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $44, $36, $22.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
Mason Student & Faculty Performances Faculty Artist Series: Anna and Friends
Sat, Jan 25, 8:00.
Anna is Professor Anna Balakerskaia and the program of chamber music includes works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov.
At the Hylton Center
Ann Marie Coolick Art Exhibition
Tue, Dec 17 – Sat, Jan 25.
Buchanan Partners Arts Gallery.
Center for the Arts' Pied Piper Theatre: The Wizard of Oz
Sat, Jan 25, 2:00 and 7:00.
Sun, Jan 26, 4:00.
Admission: Adults, $12; children 12 and under, $10.
Other Mason events, next two weeks
By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
Exhibit: Africans in India. The exhibition examines the roughly 500-year history of Africans in South Asia. Over the centuries, East Africans have distinguished themselves in India as generals, admirals, commanders, prime ministers, and rulers. This history is brought alive through the use of maps, paintings, and photographs that have been borrowed primarily from the Kenneth Robbins collection. Through Tue, Feb 4. Mason Hall, Mason Hall Atrium Gallery. Free.
Exhibit: Black and White and Thread All Over: Work by Sonya Clark. The artist explores issues of identity, race, and culture through the use of textiles, combs and hair, blurring the boundaries between art and craft. Her work has been exhibited in over 250 museums and galleries around the world, and she has received numerous honors and fellowships. Tue, Jan 21, to Fri, Feb 21. Art & Design Building, Fine Art Gallery. Free.
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 to check anytime for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming 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, Kickoff Coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat Jan 18
Tai Chi Club‒TA-3
Personal User Computer Group‒TA-1
Tue Jan 21
Knitting and Needlework Club‒Panera, Herndon
Wed Jan 22
German Club‒Loudoun Rm232
Fri Jan 24
Craft and Conversation Group‒Cottage
Classic Fiction Book Club‒Loudoun Rm205
Sat Jan 25
Tai Chi Club‒TA-3
Tue Jan 28
Knitting and Needlework Club‒Panera, Herndon
Wed Jan 29
German Club‒Loudoun 232
Fri Jan 31
Craft and Conversation‒Cottage Program Committee‒RCC Hunters Woods Rm6
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Current Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor: (Vacant)
Weekly Editorial Team: Paul Van Hemel, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere Proofreaders: John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel
Backup Chief Editor: Sheri Siesseger
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 – 6:00 pm Tuesday for that week's issue (6:00 pm Monday for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words. Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by "site:olli.gmu.edu/" without the quotes.
Notice: You received this newsletter because either you are a current OLLI member or you have been provided a courtesy copy. If you are an OLLI member who did not renew your membership, you can continue to receive our newsletter by emailing the office with your request. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you and you'd like to receive a copy each week, please email the office and ask to be added to the courtesy-copy list.
Copyright 2013 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at GMU, 4210 Roberts Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032-1028
Phone 703-503-3384, Fax 703-503-2832