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Annual OLLI Picnic, Tallwood, May 2, 2014

May 9, 2014

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Voting continues for the Board of Directors until May 16 at noon. Click on the following link, which will prompt you to log on with your username and password. You will be voting on the Board Election 2014 ballot:

After next week's E-News, we will be taking a break until June 13. Club announcements for the period May 17 to June 13 need to be submitted by Tue, May 13 at 6:00.


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2014 OLLI National Conference

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

The 2014 OLLI National Conference was held at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California from April 28 - 30, 2014. The event is sponsored by the Osher Foundation, which covers registration and lodging costs for two representatives from each OLLI. This year, President Martha Scanlon and I joined over 250 OLLI representatives, including staff from the National OLLI Office, leadership of the Osher Foundation, and Mr. Osher himself!

It was wonderful to meet Osher Institute leaders from around the country to “engage in lively discussions and share ideas on how to manage, develop, and expand programs and to share our best practices in resource development and fundraising, leadership, membership and volunteer management, public relations and publicity, curriculum, faculty and teaching, and many other topics.”
During our stay, I attended conference sessions on OLLI collaborations
campus and beyond, 7 steps to health and wellness, changing technology, two general sessions on strategic planning and fundraising, and an excellent session on the success of Dr. Brad Bechtold in building a "Home for OLLI" at Furman. It was a terrific event overall!
Martha and I enjoyed the three-day invitational conference and believe, as the OLLI National Office states on their website, “One of the greatest benefits of the OLLI National Conference is the exciting dynamic that happens when representatives from Osher Institutes gather together in one place at one time to celebrate cognitive vitality, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute movement, and its undeniable success.”
Please click here to visit the OLLI national office website for more information about the conference, and click this link to see the OLLI Virtual Resource Table for catalogues, brochures and other useful documents that may be of interest.

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Annual OLLI Membership Meeting

By Janet Cochran, Secretary, Board of Directors

On May 2, enthusiastic OLLI members filled TA-1 to meet the candidates for the Board of Directors and hear about the state of our organization. President Martha Scanlon opened the session by reporting that she and Executive Director Jennifer Disano had just returned from the annual national OLLI convention confident that our unit is among the best in the nation.

Nominating Committee Chair Glenn Kamber next introduced the nine candidates who each gave their reasons for running for election. They then responded to questions from members focusing on facility limitations, parking, and how to encourage more Mason faculty to teach.

Jennifer then offered her State of the Institute summary. Membership has grown from 849 in 2006 to the present 1147. The bulk of OLLI income of nearly $450,000 is allotted to salaries and facility rentals. She emphasized that it is the hard work of many volunteers that makes OLLI thrive.

The meeting was followed by a delicious spread of BBQ, side dishes and desserts. Thankfully, the weather permitted members convivial socializing while enjoying the repast.

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Program Idea Week Goes Electronic

By Kathryn Russell and Russell Stone,
Program Committee Co-Chairs

The era of sticky notes and messy billboards is gone. Program Idea Week has now gone digital.
Each spring and fall the Program Planning Groups solicit from all members suggestions for future COURSES and SPECIAL EVENTS which you would like to see happen. This year we are asking that you submit ideas electronically. An e-mail message will be coming to everyone during the last week of classes, but if you have ideas that you wish to share now, feel free to click on (or copy and paste into your web browser) this URL:
It’s quick and easy. Your ideas are welcome. Your voice will be heard!

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Help Wanted–Video Editors

By Paul Howard, Audiovisual Support Committee Chair

OLLI is accumulating raw video recordings of classes and special events that are shared between our campuses via video conferencing. We’d like to make these available for our members to view, via the Internet, on their home computers, tablets, or other electronic device, at their leisure.
The AV Support Committee needs one or more folks with knowledge of video editing to trim the beginning and end of these recordings, add opening and closing OLLI identification slides, and add a couple of slides with information about the subject matter and the presenter.

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OLLI at Mason on Facebook
Become a Friend!

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate

Have you seen the great pictures from the OLLI Annual Picnic last week? Do you know that Mason is celebrating the legacy of Dr. Stearns on May 12? Are you aware that the AARP has issued an important report called "How to Age in Place Safely"? If your answer is "no" to any of these questions, then you are not a member of the OLLI at Mason Facebook page and you are missing out.
OLLI created a Facebook page several years ago as a virtual "gathering place" for members to post pictures, write messages, feature articles and share commentary on events of interest to the general membership. The page offers a unique opportunity for members to communicate and interact exclusively with the OLLI community without being on campus.
Founded in 2004, Facebook has become the largest social media network in the world with 1.19 billion users today. Not surprisingly, the 50-plus crowd is the fastest growing user group because Facebook provides a fast and easy way for families and friends to stay in touch, share photos and join common interest groups without leaving the comforts of home. As stated poignantly and tongue-in-cheek by Entertainment Weekly in its end-of-the-decade "best of" list, where else could we "stalk our exes, remember our co-workers' birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?"
So, catch the wave and e-connect with your OLLI cohorts on Facebook. If you are already a Facebook member you are almost there. All you have to do is log onto Facebook (, search for the "OLLI at Mason" user group, and submit a "join group" request. You will receive a confirmation email shortly from the OLLI group administrator.
If you do not already have a Facebook account, you can sign up following these few simple steps. Go to the Facebook website and fill out the "signup" form. Pick a password and click "Sign Up." Facebook should send you an email to confirm you are registered. Click the confirmation link to complete the process. Then follow the steps above for joining the OLLI group.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get connected and join OLLI at Mason on Facebook!

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Deadline to Register for Fashion Show is Friday, May 16, 2014

By Norma Jean Reck

Now is the time to register for the first-ever Fashion Show and Luncheon to be held Tuesday, May 20 at the Country Club of Fairfax from 10:30 to 2:30. Pick up a registration form at your OLLI office today, complete it, and return it to the office along with a check made out to OLLI for the $55 admission fee or sign up online at and then mail your check to the office. Registrations must be completed no later than Friday, May 16. Feel free to invite family, friends and neighbors, as the event is open to the public.

The admission fee includes a ticket on a chance to win fabulous door prizes such as tickets to the movies, a local theater, Silver Diner, tickets to a family event at Hylton Performing Arts Center, wine, and much, much more. You have to be present to win.

Get your tickets today for a chance to win any of six fantastic Grand Prizes, AND you do not have to be present at the fashion show to win. Grand Prizes include an overnight for two at Ashby Inn, $100 certificate to Bistro L'Hermitage, $100 certificate for Pilates BE Studio, basket of upscale hair and manicure products from Holly at Shears, two tickets for the 2014 season at Hylton Performing Arts Center, and a superduper massage and facial at Shapes. Check your OLLI office for details and to purchase tickets.

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OLLI Book Club

By Ceda McGrew, Book Club Coordinator

The OLLI Book Club will meet at 1:30, Wednesday, May 14 at Tallwood. The book for discussion is History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason. It is the coming-of-age story of a young man who takes a position as a tutor in the home of a prominent Amsterdam family during Europe's "belle epoque," the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. All OLLI members are welcome.
The selection for June is The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

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OLLI Bridge Club

By Gordon Canyock, Bridge Club Coordinator

The OLLI Bridge Club was established at Tallwood in 2000, a time when it was relatively easy for members living in the Reston-Herndon area to attend and before we had a Loudoun campus. We have seen a decline in participation from both areas in recent years.
I know there are members who play bridge, but live farther from Tallwood than they wish to drive, so the obvious solution is to organize additional clubs at Loudoun and/or Reston. All the background information on the Tallwood Club is available on the OLLI website under Clubs and Activities in DocStore. Of course, you may set your own rules on how to organize the club and the bidding system, which Tallwood keeps fairly simple.
We have a lot of fun playing bridge and making new friends, and encourage members from the other campuses to join us, but given traffic issues you might want to start your own club. All you need is a couple people to step up and champion the club by advertising and recruiting members.

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Computer Club
Sat, May 17th – Fairfax County's 911 Center
Celebratory Party!!

By Paul Howard, Computer Club Coordinator

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), Saturday, May 17 at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. Presentations will begin at 1:00.
Party: The clubs will be celebrating the sixth year of their partnership of informative, fun meetings with a light lunch. PATACS will provide a cake recognizing its founding 36 years ago at the dawn of the personal computer age.
Fairfax 911 Call Center–Inside Out
Presentation by Sherrie White
This one-hour presentation will enlighten the citizens of Fairfax County on how their 9-1-1 system works from the inside out. You will learn some history on how 9-1-1 began and hear how a citizen is a vital link to the public safety family. You will see a pictorial view of the McConnell Public Safety Transportation Operations Center from which the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications (Fairfax County 9-1-1) operates. Explanation will be provided on our operating system and what it takes to do the job. You will be given an honest, straightforward view from a person within the center, Communications Operations Supervisor Sherrie White.
Sherrie has been with the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) for 15 years. She has two roles within DPSC, serving as one of the Supervisors on the B Days Operations Squad and assisting the Training and Career Development section.
See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2014 will be collected at this meeting.

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History Club
Your Inputs Needed

By Beth Lambert, History Club Coordinator

As we look back on a great term, culminating with last Wednesday's informative presentation by Barbara Farner on the subject of "Indentured Servants in Colonial America," our focus turns to the future. Specifically, we need your inputs to ensure continued excellence in programs for next year; I'm soliciting suggestions for speakers for next year's meetings. If you have an interest or expertise on any aspect of history and would like to share it, please let me know ( You are guaranteed an appreciative audience.
Don't forget to take advantage of this summer's "free time" (does anyone have any?) to write up a brief review for Tom Hady ( on the history books you have read. Thanks!

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Photography Club

By Dan Feighery, Photography Club Coordinator

The Photography Club invites all OLLI members to join in a field trip to the Joseph Miller Center for the Photographic Arts near the Manassas Battlefield where we’ll visit the Fourth Annual Abstract Photography Exhibit on Friday afternoon, May 16. Only about 27% of the 421 submitted entries were juried into this exposition, including several by OLLI Photo Club members, some receiving special merit awards.

The Center is in a unique stone building with stained glass windows situated in a picturesque rural setting. Bring your camera! Carpools will leave the Tallwood parking lot at 1:00 for the 35-minute drive. Email Tom Simpson for directions:

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Member Announcement: Publication

I have just published a short-short fiction collection (flash fiction), "Spicy Alphabet Soup." It's a short, fun read about romance gone awry, with lots of dogs thrown into the mix. It's available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes&, Nook, and iPad.

        Beth Ticknor

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Poet's Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop
Panic Grass
Panic grass or switchgrass grows in large clumps,

with many persistent, curly leaves. (Native Plant Database)

Walking in winter neighborhoods,
one comes across this six-foot
switchgrass, aged to a cornstalk
yellow but still beyond doubt
ornamental where it edges a drive
or punctuates a corner between
two lots. Dried and lightened, it stirs
in any breeze—any waft or drift
of air—sometimes gently, so that
the high spent seedheads incline                
one way or another, but often,
in a March wind say, furiously,
the whole panic grass flinging itself
right, left, and skyward, while
those many curling leaves flow this
way and that, the sun glancing
off each one and each one catching
the light and flashing, taking on
winter, going it one better.
                                    Caroline McNeil

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next two weeks

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

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 Presents Orff's Carmina Burana
Sat, May 10, 8:00
FSO collaborates with the Fairfax Choral Society. Violinist Guillermo Figueroa will open the program with Piazolla's Brazilian twist on Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
Admission: $60, $45, $25
Center for the Arts Concert Hall

American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Concert
Sun, May 11, 3:00
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $10
Center for the Arts Concert Hall

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances

Brass Ensemble Concert
Fri, May 9, 1:30
Admission: Free
deLaski Room 3001
School of Music Honors Recital
Sun, May 11, 3:00
Admission: Free
Harris Theatre

Provost Stearns Legacy Celebration
Mon, May 12, 3:00
Admission: Free
Center for the Arts

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At the Hylton Center

Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Romantic Masterworks
Sat, May 10, 7:30

Tchaikovsky's Concerto in D major, Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43.
Admission: Adults, $20, seniors and educators, $14; Mason students and children 18 and under, free
Merchant Hall 

Degrees of Insanity--Jimmy Meritt Live
Sat, May 10, 8:30
Comedy show starring Jimmy Meritt with Jamel Johnston and David Blechamn.
Admission: $25
Gregory Family Theater

Manassas Ballet Theatre: Sleeping Beauty
Fri, May 16 and Sat, May 17, 7:30
Sun May 18, 3:00
Admission: $55, $45, $35
Merchant Hall
CAPAC Inc. Presents The Wiz
Sat, May 17 and Sun, May 18, 3:00
Sat, May 17, 8:00
Sat, May 24 and Sun, May 25, 3:00
Sat, May 24, 8:00
In advance, $17; At the door, $22
Gregory Family Theater
Intersections of Art and Life by William
Woodward and Becky Parrish

Tue, Apr 15 through Sat, May 24
Admission: Free
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery

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

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Mason Highlights

Other Mason events, next two weeks

By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
Celebration. Provost Peter Stearns is retiring this summer as provost, and Mason will celebrate his contribution to the university with an afternoon of recognition and performances to mark his legacy. May 12, 3:00 Center for the Arts, Concert Hall. Reception to follow.
Important: RSVP at:

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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 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 May 10 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue May 13 10:00am  Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed May 14   1:30pm
Book Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Program Planning Committee–Cottage
Fri May 16   9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Art & Music Program Planning Group–Annex
Craft and Conversation Club–Cottage
Homer, etc–Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2
Sat May 17 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Computer Club–TA-1
Mon May 19 10:00am What’s in the Daily News cont’d–TA-1
Tue May 20  9:00am
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed May 21 10:00am 10:00am 10:30am
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
A/V Committee/Training–TA-1
Fri May 23  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Classic Fiction Book Club–Loudoun Rm 205
Homer, etc–Annex
Photography Club-TA-1

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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.

Current Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor:
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:
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 "" without the quotes.

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