The OLLI-Mason Board of Directors will meet Fri, June 20 at 10:00 in TA-1. The meeting agenda will be sent to all members via email prior to the meeting.
The summer term kick-off coffee for new and current members will be held Fri, June 27 at 10:00 at Tallwood.
To see open and cancelled courses for the summer term click here
[Editor's Note] We have been asked to publish the agenda for Board of Directors meetings the week before each meeting. This information is for OLLI-Mason members only. Because E-News can be viewed by the general public, it is organization policy not to include the agenda here.
Wait-lists result from two primary causes: (1) class size limits requested by instructors or, especially in the case of trips, constraints resulting from location or vendor limits on group size; and (2) classroom capacity, especially a need to comply with fire code regulations.
In summer 2014, although there are five courses or events having wait-lists due to room capacity, 86 total events/courses are offered, and 69 options are still available for registration. The reduction of wait-lists due to room capacity is the result of changes implemented at the program planning level; to increase availability of choices with strategic placement of events/courses against each other, the addition of an afternoon session in summer and several between-term and weekend events. This combination of expanded space use and deliberate program planning design along with more event/course options has a decided impact on wait-list issues and are excellent tools to execute as we experience increased membership growth.
I’ve been wait-listed. Now what?
When members are wait-listed for courses, more often than not, there is another interesting open course available. Many members turn wait-list disappointment into an opportunity to explore a class outside of their interest or comfort level. This summer we still have 33 one-time presentations, four trips, and 32 multi-session courses open and available to choose from. And, thanks to a great suggestion from our program planners, a highlighted course sheet can be found on the website that lays out by time/location all the open courses/trips/events currently available in an easy visual display of Green and Red. Green for open courses and Red for closed. Take a look! You will find a LOT of Green options. https://olli.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/updated-6-5-14-summer-2014-combined-schedule.pdf
OLLI Thanks Mason Facilities Staff with Annual Luncheon
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate; photos by Stan Schretter
Neither rain, nor mist, nor cold could dampen spirits as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute recognized George Mason University facilities staff for all of the wonderful support they provide the Institute. Director of Facilities Management Larry Spaine, Senior Inspector of Facilities Management Steve Vollmer, Associate Vice President for University Advancement & Alumni Relations Jim Laychak, countless grounds crew, electricians, painters, locksmiths, and others joined OLLI members on the Tallwood campus on May 29 for a celebratory, though wet, barbecue luncheon in their honor.
“Without the support of George Mason and its wonderful staff, OLLI-Mason could not operate,” asserted OLLI Executive Director Jennifer Disano. “These superheroes come to our aid at the drop of a hat, with smiles on their faces, and with extraordinary know-how to ensure our facilities are safe and operational. I don’t know what we would do without them!”
Indeed, Mason support has been invaluable to OLLI. This past year alone, grounds crews came out week after week to remove snow, shovel walkways and salt stairs during the relentless winter of 2014. They stacked sandbags when last summer’s torrential rains soaked through the walls of Tallwood’s largest classroom. And they rescued OLLI from intermittent emergencies involving clogged commodes, uninvited pests and mechanical malfunctions. If that is not enough, some Mason staff attending the barbecue took time out of their revelry to walk around the OLLI campus and inspect fixtures and equipment.
OLLI members were more than happy to volunteer to serve food at the luncheon and thank Mason employees personally for their hard work. “OLLI gets to serve Mason staff only once a year, whereas Mason staff serve us all year round,” remarked OLLI Board Member Manny Pablo as he and other members of the OLLI leadership gladly doled out dozens of Red, Hot and Blue sandwiches to the grateful and hungry invitees. The annual luncheon is so successful it has become an event eagerly anticipated each spring by all in Facilities Management, reported Director Spaine.
So, despite the chill and drizzle, a great time was had by all.
On Wed, June 4, about 80 OLLI members came to the Church of the Good Shepherd to see this year’s Brunch Murder Mystery production, “Murder at the Bellagio.” Set in a palatial Las Vegas casino, this whodunit featured a cast of 14 OLLI members playing a broad range of characters including sleazy casino owners and their staff, assorted illegitimate offspring, a long-lost Turkish cousin, and an estranged wife with a purse full of murder weapons. The show also featured special appearances by 93-year-old OLLI member Chester Myslicki swaying to the strains of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amoré”, and our own Bill Walsh as Mr. Wiggles, the world’s oldest Elvis impersonator. His rendition of “Hound Dog” was worth the price
of admission in itself!
For the first time ever, the OLLI audience did not correctly guess the identity of the murderer. It was Harold Hammer, the hardware honcho from Iowa. A last-minute surprise confession by another cast member provided an unusual twist to the ending. Let it not be said that OLLI’s Murder Mystery is ever predictable!
Kudos to Kathie West and Wendy Campbell for guiding the Murder Mystery group through the creation and development of this unique production during the spring term.
Photos by Kathie West, Beth Davis and Jennifer Disano
Fashion Show is a Big Success, Thanks to Many Volunteers
By Norma Jean Reck; photos by Eleanor Pascale
By all accounts, OLLI’s first-ever fashion show and luncheon, held at the Country Club of Fairfax on May 20, was a huge success. Alan Wenberg’s musical interludes combined with the Capitol Reunion Quartet’s lively harmony interspersed with amusing anecdotes provided the perfect backdrop for Bloomingdale’s fashions modeled by OLLI members. The photo collages show our models, our commentator from Bloomingdale’s Effie Elkorek and many others who contributed to the show.
We are grateful to Maurissa Weiner, who volunteered to do the makeup, and three hair stylists—Emily Dimitri, Ashely Griffin and Amy Jordan—who volunteered to do the models’ hair.
The models, representing all three campuses, were: Joanne Beale, Michelle Blandburg, Maria Buczek, Kevin Deasy, Abbie Edwards, Sandy Lisiewski, Joan Lunsford, Manny Pablo, Carlene Reinhart and Ann Youngren.
Norma Jean Reck and Merrifield Garden Center contributed the centerpieces. Valerie Braybrook and OLLI’s Dirty Knees Club donated lovely plants as a small token of appreciation to the models for their efforts.
A huge thank you to Eleanor Pascale who served as photographer for the show. To see more of her photos, follow this link: OLLI Fashion Show Photos
OLLI Executive Director Jennifer Disano announced the winning raffle ticket numbers. Suzanne Brooks, Lesley Bubenhofer, Norma Jean Reck, Roz Schmidt, and Thelma Weiner collected 18 door prizes and six Grand Prizes from local businesses happy to support OLLI’s causes. Grand Prize winners were: Gail MacDonald, Dorsey Chescavage, Rod Zumbro, Fae Ann Lawson, Holly Hickman and Elaine Sellman.
We were delighted to have David Bulova, delegate from Virginia’s 37th District, which includes our Tallwood campus, join us for lunch and the show.
Proceeds from the fundraiser go into the Friends of OLLI fund to support scholarships for George Mason University students and OLLI programs and activities.
By Doris Bloch, Co-coordinator of the OLLI Walking Group
Twelve members of the OLLI Walking Group recently hiked to George Mason’s Fairfax campus and met our guide for the morning, Danielle Wyman, a member of the Office of Sustainability, and one of the driving forces behind the Mason gardening effort. She acted as our tour leader and gave us information on how Mason is increasing the “green-ness” of its facilities. Several different campus gardens have adopted a concept of permaculture. One definition of permaculture is “a holistic approach to landscape design and human culture. It is an attempt to integrate several disciplines, including biology, ecology, geography, agriculture, architecture, appropriate technology, gardening and community building.”
The Walking Group then toured three of the Mason gardens with Danielle.
The George Mason University Potomac Heights Vegetable Garden was started in April 2009. Much of the produce and herbs grown here are donated to a local food bank, and the volunteer student gardeners are given a share of the bounty. Recently Mason Dining has been purchasing some of the produce as well. Growing in the garden are blueberry bushes, green onions, peas, radishes, and other plants. Some of the plants are being cultivated in order to replenish the soil with nitrogen and/or to amend the soil (typically Virginia clay) for future crops. An example is the sowing of comfrey, which is a nitrogen fixer and also has a deep tap root that breaks up the hard clay.
The Innovation Garden behind Innovation Hall is a good example of using berms and contour gardening to control water runoff and soil erosion.
The third garden that we visited was the School of Art Garden where a plot that had been bare of all vegetation following building construction was planted with indigenous plants to attract native insects and butterflies and to beautify the landscape.
All the Mason gardens have strong tie-ins to support from student groups and to academic classes on sustainability and ecological research.
It was an enjoyable morning and we hope to repeat the tour in the near future.
The OLLI Players are alive and doing well. The group, which changes size from 12-16 performers, has recently completed its first performance outside of OLLI. We presented “Scenes to Amuse” at Woodbridge Senior Center, a performance arranged by Manny Pablo. About 30 residents and drop-ins were there, highlighting our performance with laughter and occasional outbursts. Our next gig is at The Fairfax on Aug 11, organized by Vonnie Herczogh. We will present “Lyrics,” a work that we previously performed at OLLI. After that we are booked at Greenspring in Springfield on Aug 28, where we will again present “Lyrics.” We keep the OLLI Players workshop going during fall and spring terms to come up with new pieces and to hone our skills. If there is ever a need for entertainment, we are your group!
The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), Sat, June 21 at Tallwood. Join us at 1:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. Presentations will begin at 2:00.
Cryptography for the Rest of Us, presented by Lorrin Garson
In an age when governments, corporations, and thieves want to keep tabs on us, sell us goods and services or steal our identity or money, guarding one’s privacy is critical. Most people have a great deal of sensitive information on their computers (and computer-based devices such as tablets and smartphones) that is ripe for the picking unless an effort is made to encrypt these data. Encryption of information has played a pivotal role throughout the millennium in warfare and diplomacy and today it is a crucial issue for individuals. The following will be discussed: (a) examples of some pivotal roles cryptography played in history, (b) how plain text is encrypted and decrypted, and (c) methods individuals can adopt with minimal effort to secure their private information.
Learn 30: Keeping Favorite Web Links Handy and Other Browser Bookmark Tips, presented by Gabe Goldberg
We all use a small set of websites most often, plus many more occasionally. Web browsers allow designating bookmarks (Firefox) or Favorites (Internet Explorer) for quick use. But bookmarks/favorites are most powerful when managed, rather than simply collected and accessed randomly. This talk describes bookmark facilities and suggests ways to best organize and benefit from bookmarks for faster, easier and more productive web use. It emphasizes the Firefox browser but concepts and tips apply equally to other browsers as well: Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome, Safari, etc.
PC Clinic - Get hands-on help with your computer problems from PATACS and OPCUG experts. Bring in your computer, and we'll help you lose the 'blues'—system slowdowns, unwanted programs, virus and malware. We can help install new RAM, optical drives, hard disks, and software. Be sure to read the Clinic Rules - http://patacs.org/clinicpat.html
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.
The Tom Swift Squad Needs You! Interested in technology? Learn with us.
By Paul Howard, Audiovisual Support Committee Chair
OLLI'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. Our team is learning to use the LifeSize videoconferencing systems that offer the ability to share classes and meetings between OLLI locations.
We'll be meeting at 1:45 on Wed, June 18th in TA-1. We'll offer hands-on training on our classroom audiovisual equipment, discuss future activities, and undertake a storage enhancement project.
Please let me know if you're planning to attend, or would like to become a "Swiftie" even if you can't come to this meeting. Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or phone (703-860-9246).
In last month's E-News Jennifer Disano, reporting on other OLLI organizations' collaborative exchanges with their host university, noted that George Mason’s development goal 6 calls out OLLI as a means to "contribute to the cultural vitality of our community...." In this regard Mason goal 6 indicates that one of its initiatives is to achieve Carnegie Engagement Classification.
What is Carnegie Engagement Classification and what opportunities does it present for OLLI?
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching established a voluntary classification system for colleges and universities to assess their community engagement—the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors. Earning the Carnegie Engagement Classification is the "gold standard" of achievement for colleges and universities to demonstrate their commitment and achievement to enrich the communities with which they interface. The classification is not an award but rather an evidence-based documentation of institutional practice to be used by the university in its process of self assessment and self improvement.
Not all colleges and universities who apply for Carnegie Classification achieve it. Those who apply are subject to a three-year evidence-based process to include demonstration of collaboration between the university and its communities (local, regional, state) “for the mutual beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources...." Examples of areas examined include: systemic assessment of the community's perception of the university's engagement, executive leadership, internal and external fund raising to support institutional engagement, systemic tracking of engagement, and more.
At this writing, it is unclear where Mason stands in the process to achieve the Carnegie Classification. Yet it strikes this OLLI member that as individual members and as an organization we have the opportunity to "put back to the Mason community" through collaborative efforts such as mentoring students, OLLI members serving as guest speakers at the invitation of the Mason faculty, enhancing our scholarship opportunities and other ways. I believe that Mason would welcome an OLLI effort to enrich the community in which we participate.
By Wendy Campbell, Member Services Committee Chair
We extend a fervent welcome to our new members for the summer quarter. We know how confusing it may be to try and find your classes when you first come to OLLI. Even though our campuses are small, they can be daunting. At the Tallwood campus, all the courses and their classroom locations are posted on the board outside the social room for your convenience, but at any of the campuses any member will be glad to point the way. Since we are moving to a new Loudoun location directly off Route 7 for classes this term, and into another brand new building in Loudoun in the fall, everyone may be a bit confused. But I think this leaves all of us with ample opportunity to make new friends as we all find our way around.
There are some wonderful classes being offered. I hope to see you all at OLLI. Remember to wear your name tag so we can all learn new names and remember old ones.
A reminder to all members: Please look for the RED DOT on name tags and greet the following new OLLI-Mason members:
Bob Allen, Annandale
Judy Blanchard, Fairfax
Pam Boyle, Leesburg
Liz Brueckmann, Ashburn
Rose Candela, Reston
Marilyn Casey, Fairfax
Christina Dentz, Reston
Julie Kesteloot, Potomac Falls
Tom Manteuffel, Vienna
If sitting is the new smoking of this century
as doctors claim, citing dire effects
on long-term health and longevity
of hours chained to desks,
where does that leave us, cubicle-bound
or office-confined, essentially sedentary
for much of our professional lives and beyond?
We consider only short bursts of determined exercise
a good walk, a jog or run
then a quick return to sitting calmly
justifiably proud that we had stirred
into a bit of aerobic activity.
A drastic change in thinking is called for.
Getting up to walk to the water fountain
or around the kitchen each hour
may not be the best answer
but it’s a start.
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
Alexandria Harmonizers & Ambassadors of Harmony Joint Concert
Sat, Jun 21, 7:00
Admission: Adults, $42; seniors, $37
Center for the Arts
Hylton Performing Arts Center First Annual Juried Exhibit
Continuing through Fri, July 18
For more information about the current exhibit, visit HyltonCenter.org/galleryDance Etc. School of the Arts' 33rd Spring Concert
Sat, Jun 14, 7:00
Sun, Jun 15, 2:00
Adal Ramones 2014 Tour
Sun, Jun 15, 8:00
Admission: $65, $55, $45, $40
South Riding Dance Annual Show
Sat, Jun 21, 2:00 & 7:00
Sun, Jun 22, 11:00
Admission: $30, $25, $20, $15
Global Music Academy's Annual Music and Dance Gala
Sat, Jun 21, 3:00
Gregory Family Theater
Mason Highlights Other Mason events, next two weeks
By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
Dedication Ceremony: Alan and Sally Merten Hall. University Hall becomes the Alan and Sally Merten Hall at a dedication ceremony with reception to follow. Desserts and refreshments will be served on the terrace. Mon, Jun 23, 11:30. University Hall. RSVP to https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1567075.
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 Jun 14
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jun 16
What’s in the Daily News cont’d–TA-1
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Russia Discussion Group–TA-1
Tue Jun 17
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Jun 18
A/V Committee/Training–TA-1 Special Events Committee–Annex
Thu Jun 19
Language, Literature & Theater Program Planning Group–Cottage
Fri Jun 20
Craft and Conversation–Cottage Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Ulysses Book Club-TA-2
Sat Jun 21
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Russia Discussion Group–TA-1
Tue Jun 24
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon Strategic Planning Committee-Annex
Fri Jun 26
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Fiction Book Club–Cascades Library Potomac Falls
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2
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
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: email@example.com. 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.