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Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.

Dr. Len Nichols, Director and Professor of Health Policy at the Mason Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, Addresses Health Reform, Tallwood, April 3

April 12, 2019

Editor of the Week: Leslie Vandivere

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Virginia Senator David Marsden will instruct event 978, Accessing Medical Cannabis in Virginia, Tuesday, April 16, 2:15 to 3:40, in TA‑1.
  • The super salad social and meet the candidates for the OLLI Board event will be Friday, April 26, from 12:30 to 2:30 at United Christian Parish in Reston. This is a new location! Please bring a salad (green salad, pasta salad, grain salad, or fruit salad), fruit, or dessert to share.
  • The annual business meeting and picnic will take place at Tallwood Friday, May 3. The business meeting begins at 10:00 and the picnic follows the meeting. If you register for the picnic (special event 1105), please bring a dish to share based on your last name: salad (A-G), side dish (H-O), or dessert (P-Z).
  • The voting for Board of Directors will take place from noon, Friday, May 3,  through noon Friday, May 17. A notice sent via email explaining the election procedure will also be placed in classrooms.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published April 19; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, April 16, at 6:00.

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OLLI Teachers Recognized for Their Dedication 

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate

Marking another year of academic excellence, OLLI officers, programming chairs, and teachers gathered at the Country Club of Fairfax on Friday for the annual teacher appreciation breakfast.

The event recognized 370 instructors and speakers who conducted 621 classes and events from summer 2018-spring 2019, a record-breaking year. George Mason University Provost David Wu provided the keynote address, thanking OLLI for the work it does to extend Mason’s educational mission into the community.

Three teachers were recognized for their longstanding excellent service to OLLI:

  • OLLI member Beth Lambert (right) not only has taught countless classes on British history and literature but also leads the History Club and program planning for the Reston campus.
  • Art expert Chris With (below) regularly packs OLLI classrooms with captivating lectures on all aspects of art history.
  • Mason History and Art History Department Chair Brian Platt is an expert on Japanese history and OLLI champion within the history department.

All three praised their OLLI classroom experiences, grateful for an audience that learns for the sheer joy of learning, not for a future goal or grade. For them, the curiosity and intelligence OLLI members bring to the classroom is deeply rewarding. Chris With also remarked on the excellent logistical support he has received in the OLLI classroom.

The program included the awarding of OLLI scholarships to 31 students from Mason departments that send teachers to OLLI classrooms. A special Rosemary McDonald award was conferred upon two Mason piano students, Luke Alexander Ratcliffe and Hakyong Kelly Park, who graced attendees with musical performances before and after the event. (Photos by Susan Todenhoft)

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OLLI Volunteer Opportunity

By Toni Acton, Member Services Committee Chair

The OLLI Office Needs You!!

Do you enjoy meeting people and telling them how wonderful OLLI is? Do you want to help new members have a positive experience at OLLI? Can you answer a telephone? If you said “yes,” then OLLI has a perfect volunteer opportunity for you.

Volunteering in the OLLI office at Tallwood is not only a lot of fun, but also immensely helpful to our wonderful staff. Answering the phone, greeting visitors, mailing out catalogs, and calling members when an opening comes available in a class for which they were waitlisted are just some of the many things we do to help staff. Volunteers work three-hour shifts and you can work as often as you wantafter all, our prime reason for joining OLLI is to attend classes.

If this sounds interesting to you, please contact Toni Acton at or 703-250-0404 for more information. We’d love to have you join our team!

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Computer Club                 

By Paul Howard, OPCUG Program Chair

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, April 20, at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for socializing in the Annex. Program activities begin at 1:00 in TA‑1.

Learn in 30: Jason Samenow – Washington D.C. Weather and Climate: Trends and Projections: How is climate change affecting Washington’s weather? What do the latest climate change simulations project for the region? Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow will walk you through the data and discuss the implications for the future.

Jason is The Washington Post’s weather editor and chief meteorologist for the Capital Weather Gang. He also produces forecasts for WAMU, 88.5, Washington’s National Public Radio affiliate. He is a past chairman of the D.C. Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and earned the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.

Experts’ Panel – Bring Your Questions: The April PATACS/OPCUG meeting will offer an extended question-and-answer session hosted by a diverse panel of experts who will either have immediate answers, know where to find them, suggest whom else to ask, tell creative stories about how they once wondered about the questions, or answer entirely different questions at such length that you’ll forget what you asked. More seriously, this is a great opportunity for extended discussion of problems, questions, current technology news and issues, or resources/programs/apps/gadgets you’ve discovered and love (or hate). Come ready to ask, answer, and discuss. Panel members are Tom Gutnick, Ray Parker, and Stan Schretter. Send Email questions for the meeting.

See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2019 will be collected at this meeting.

Can’t make the meeting in person? Dues-paid club members may attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android: (meeting ID 519 103 813).

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The Tom Swift Squad Needs You!
By Paul Howard, Audiovisual Support Committee ChairOLLI’s Audiovisual Support Committee (a.k.a. The Tom Swift Squad) seeks additional volunteers to help ensure the smooth employment of OLLI’s audiovisual resources. Our primary mission is to help instructors, liaisons, and staff with any audiovisual issues that might arise during the classes we attend.We’ll be meeting at 2:00 on Wednesday, April 17, in TA‑1. Our activities for this meeting will be the updating of several pieces of new equipment at Tallwood and training on its use.Please let me know if you’re planning to attend or would like to become a “Swiftie” even if you can’t attend this meeting. Contact me by email (preferred) or phone (703-860-9246).

For more information on the Audiovisual Support Committee, see its web page. Thanks!

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A “Must” Summer Treat: Contemporary American Theater Festival
By Norma Jean Reck, Theater Lovers’ Group CoordinatorA new class was just added for Wednesday, May 8, from 2:15 to 3:40 at Fairfax Lord of Life: 1014 A “Must” Summer Treat: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF). This is brand new, not in the catalog, so register for it today. To register online, go to, then click on Register/Member Portal under Quick Links on the home page. According to the New York Times, the CATF, held in nearby Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in July, is “one of America’s 50 Essential Summer Festivals.”The professional theater festival, which showcases six contemporary plays in rotating repertory, focuses on new works, often world premieres, by American playwrights. A member of CATF staff will travel to OLLI just to tell us all about this exciting festival and what it is offering during the summer 2019 season. We will learn about the history of the festival, upcoming plays, workshops, backstage tours, luncheon discussions with playwrights and CATF staff, and other cultural and recreational activities available in historic Shepherdstown.Stay tuned! The OLLI Theater Lovers’ Group is planning a one-day trip in July to see one of the plays, for example, My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. Her play is based on actual events that lead to an unlikely friendship between Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein. Of course, there will be music, too. If you are interested in attending, please email Norma at Details to follow.

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Class on Slavery in the Middle Atlantic Region
By Rita Way, OLLI Member and Member of the Board

On Tuesday, April 2, OLLI members filled TA‑I to learn about “The Dark History of the Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Middle Atlantic Region.” Stephanie Trachtenberg, coordinator, introduced Chris Sperling, a senior archaeologist at the Fairfax County Park Authority and adjunct instructor at Stevenson University.
Chris gave an illuminating presentation on how, in 1619, the first African slaves arrived in Virginia and how, for the next 250 years, the institution of slavery defined the American economy and culture below the Mason-Dixon Line. With slides and detailed facts, he explained how researchers using archaeology and documents are now beginning to gain an understanding of the everyday lives of the enslaved and, in doing so, attempt to give a voice to those historically silenced.  (Photo by Stephanie Trachtenberg)

Reston Book Club

By Nancy Scheeler and Luci Martel, Reston Book Club Coordinators

The Reston Book Club will have its second meeting of the spring term on Thursday, April 18, at 2:15 at the United Christian Parish Church in Reston. The book selection is Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, a Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction.

The book explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others; it was written in conjunction with Strout’s previous bestseller, My Name Is Lucy Barton, which is the club’s May selection.

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Senator David Marsden to Present on Medical Cannabis         
By Rita Way, OLLI Member and Member of the BoardMembers, please note that there is space in the following class for spring term: 978 Accessing Medical Cannabis in Virginia. The instructor will be Virginia Senator David Marsden. The class will meet Tuesday, April 16, 2:15-3:40, in TA‑1.Course Description: This course addresses the benefits of the Virginia medical cannabis program. Senator Marsden will discuss his five‑year effort to make these oils available to Virginians whose doctors feel that cannabis-derived oils will help a condition or disorder they may have. The oils have remarkable abilities to help children with intractable epilepsy. They are also helpful with glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, neuropathy, and other conditions involving pain. Senator Marsden will review how they can be obtained from the five licensed processors authorized by the General Assembly to deliver these products to your door.Virginia State Senator David W. Marsden represents Virginia’s 37th District and is a longtime resident of Burke. He has a unique perspective on policy matters that affect our economy and day-to-day lives.

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Poet’s Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop
Perennial Living                                                                                                             from “‘’Geezers,’ ‘coots’ or the ‘elderly’:
                   What we call ‘old.The Washington Post, 12/30/17.If I sought a new word to refer to persons
of a certain age, I might first discard senior
as referring to someone ready to graduate…
Geezer remains derogatory and harsh-sounding
Crone does not conjure images of a wise woman,
more someone witchlike and threatening…
Elderly carries a feeling of bent and frail, moving slowly…
Old doesn’t quite describe the age
since we remain so reluctant to admit
we might be approaching that state.What about perennial, introduced last year
by a Maureen Connor who heads a business
meeting needs of older people?
Perennial hints at renewable, blossoming
in each successive year,
with new starts, given nutrients and tending.

jan bohall

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, April 12 through April 22

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

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 CFA ticket page or the Hylton Center ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues 

Pablo Sáinz Villegas
Fri, Apr 12, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $46, $39, $28.

Parsons Dance
Sat, Apr 20, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Mason Student & Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

Spring New Dances
Thu-Sat, Apr 11Apr 13, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: $15, Adult; $10, senior.Chorale Broadway Showcase
Sat, Apr 13, 2:00 and 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $20, Adult; $15, senior.Brass Ensemble Concert
Sun, Apr 14, 1:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.Jazz Workshop Concert
Sun, Apr 14, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.Mason Symphony Orchestra & University Choirs
Wed, Apr 17, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $12, Adult; $8, senior.

Various Chamber Ensemble Concert I
Fri, Apr 19, 7:00
deLaski A323
Admission: Free.

Various Chamber Ensemble Concert II
Sat, Apr 20, 6:00
deLaski A323
Admission: Free.

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibit: David Barr
Apr 2May 18
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery.
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue – Sat, 10:00–6:00.

Asaph Dance Ensemble: New Beginnings
Sun, Apr 14, 4:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $30, $25 Adult; $20, $15, senior.

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For further details on any of the above events, see the CFA event calendar and the Hylton Center event calendar.

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Meetings & Clubs

The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. 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).

Sat Apr 13 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed Apr 17  1:30pm
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
AudioVisual Committee Meeting–TA-1
Fri Apr 19  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Crafts and Conversation–Annex
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc.–Annex
Dr. Who Club–TA-3
Sat Apr 20 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Personal Computer User Group–TA-1
Tue Apr 23  2:15pm Loudoun Non-Fiction Book Club–Room 209
Wed Apr 24  1:45pm
Bridge Club–TA-3
Spanish Club–TA-2
Fri Apr 26  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Crafts and Conversation–Annex
Board of Directors Meeting–Loudoun
Theater Lovers’ Group–TA-1
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc.–Annex
Photography Club–TA-3
Super Salad Social–Room 113-115 Reston UCP
Sat Apr 27 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3

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About OLLI E-News

OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.

Editorial Staff
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,
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:
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.
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 “” without the quotes.

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