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Bob Zener and Anthony Steinmeyer Teach Legal Issues in the Trump Era, an Analysis of Issues Prevalent in Current Politics, Spring Term 2019

July 5, 2019

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Reminder: No classes will be held at United Christian Parish in Reston from July 9-12. All other OLLI classes will be held as scheduled.
  • Special event 1102, the OLLI Patriotic Potluck, will be held Friday, July 12 at 12:30 at Tallwood. Food to bring is based on your last name: A-F, salads; G-M, main course; N-S, side dishes; T-Z, desserts. Register for this event at the member portal.
  • OLLI is holding an open house July 22 through August 2. Please invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to attend a class with you. Register your guest at the Tallwood office or with the campus site assistant.
  • Note: The summer Loudoun Newsletter is available here and through the link below the banner at the top of this E-News.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, July 12; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, July 9, at 6:00.

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How to Leave an “OLLI Footprint” at George Mason University

By Camille Hodges, Mason Libraries Advisory Board Member, and Jessica Clark, Development & Communications Officer, University Libraries

Have you ever wondered how to contribute to the George Mason University Libraries in a lasting manner? You may consider the example of OLLI Theater Lovers’ Group Coordinator, Norma Jean Reck. Earlier this year Norma decided to make a contribution to the Mason Libraries in support of graduate study spaces. In recognition of her donation, a graduate study carrel in Fenwick Library was named in her honor. What a way to leave an “OLLI footprint” at Mason!

Mason held its annual Giving Day on April 4, but you may donate at any time and designate where you would like your contribution to make an impact.

If you are interested in donating to the Mason libraries, you may do so at If you are interested in naming opportunities, such as having a graduate study carrel named in your or a loved one’s honor, please contact Kathleen Kehoe at or 703-993-8740. Donations in support of study carrels begin at $1,000.

Tallwood Book Club Meets Monday

By Ceda McGrew, Tallwood Book Club Coordinator

The Tallwood Book Club will meet Monday, July 8, at 10:00 in TA-2. The book for discussion is Where the Crawdads Sing, the first novel of Delia Owens. Set in rural North Carolina in the 1950s, it was described in The New York Times Book Review as a “murder mystery, a coming of age narrative, and a celebration of nature.” All OLLI members are welcome.

The Tallwood Book Club does not meet in August. The reading selection for Wednesday, September 11, is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Notes from the June 26 Olive Tasting Party
By Bob Coffin, Instructor/Chef“Olives—they are not just for martinis!” With this intro, instructor Bob Coffin offered up a history of olives, how folks figured out a way to eat them (raw they are very bitter), and a cornucopia of olive tidbits: Olives have zero sum calories—it takes as much energy to eat one as there are calories in the olive; the northernmost olive groves are on the Isle of Anglesy in northern Wales; and many more fun facts.

Participants tasted 16 kinds of olives in four “flights,” each accompanied by accoutrements including stuffed grape leaves, brie, tzatziki, pickled radish, hummus, smoked almonds, provolone, and a dozen more. Menus were provided to help identify the olives, which ranged from pea-sized arbequinas to colossal, three-bite halkidikis, with colors from Kermit the Frog green castelvetranos, to scarlet-red cerignolas, wine-purple botijas, and wrinkly inky-black Turkish kuru seles. The finale was cups of homemade tapenade and bruschetta for all. Forewarned to skip lunch, OLLI members were provided doggie bags to take home their extras.

A crew of OLLI volunteers spent three hours the day before helping prep all the olives and the goodies that went with them. And they sampled the offerings to ensure they were “OLLI good to go.” They returned the following day to serve their fellow members.

(Photos by Ligia Glass)

Inside OLLI-Mason

Cameron Menchel is Off to Columbia University’s MFA Program

By Nancy Scheeler, Program Committee Co-Chair

OLLI instructor Cameron Menchel will begin study toward a Master of Fine Arts in writing at the Columbia University School of the Arts in late August. He will concentrate in fiction. An English major, Cam received a BA from William & Mary in 2017, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. His honors-winning senior thesis was on Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

While taking time off to decide what graduate work to pursue, Cam taught a series of literature courses at OLLI, including American short stories, the early work of Philip Roth, and happiness (or the lack of it) in literature. With his mother, popular OLLI instructor Kay Menchel, he also taught classes linking music and literature.

Cam reports that “Columbia has a phenomenal program—my hope is simply to get better at what I do with the help of enormously gifted peers and teachers. A two-year program gives one the freedom to be ambitious and potentially undertake a larger project, such as a novel or story collection. My hope is to end up teaching.”

Cam has also been using his time this year to write. As part of his application, he submitted recently completed work. Although it is not yet published, he hopes to work toward that with “new material burnished . . . with the help of professors and peers.”

Teaching at OLLI attracted him right away. It “allowed me to discuss subjects that fascinate me with people who are perceptive, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. I hope, moreover, to do more teaching in the future, so simply being in a classroom with very bright people has been an invaluable experience.”

OLLI members in his class immediately noticed Cam’s skill in presenting literary material. He was extremely articulate, carefully choosing words to empower his comments and soliciting observations and questions from the class. He introduced each class with a short lecture about the author and his or her work, filled with his own insights, without any academic jargon, often quoting the authors’ own comments about their work. Class members said that his close readings of passages enabled them see things they hadn’t seen before.

Cam “would like OLLI members to know how grateful I am for the opportunity they gave me and for how much they’ve taught me.” He sees OLLI members as “exceptionally open-minded and that the breadth of their experiences has brought enormous richness to every discussion.”

Cam may return to OLLI next summer to give a presentation on his work in the MFA program. He will be very welcome.

(Photo by Nancy Scheeler)
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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop


I walked around the campus today
confused, lost, not sure
how to get to Student Union Building #1
Who can I ask?
Young people with eyes glued to phones?
an old geezer, a professor perhaps,
patiently gave me directions

I walked around the campus today
sky brilliant blue,
breeze brisk and fresh
noticing painted benches, robots

I walked around the campus today
found SUB 1 and the Card Office
smiled for the camera and thanked
the young girl who handed me my
George Mason University Student ID card

I walked around the campus today
confidence in my step
a silly grin on my face
and an even broader smile in my heart
73 years old, now
I belonged on the campus today.

Ginge Sivigny

Note to fellow OLLI students: The Mason student ID allows us to get discounts including 35% off at Arena Stage; 50% off at the Folger Theater; Amazon Prime free for six months, then 50% after that; access to Kanopy; and The New York Times online for $4 a month. Those are just the ones I know about. Better than gold!

Arts & Music at George Mason

Events, July 5 through July 19

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 Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibit: Jordann Wine
Continues through July 9
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.

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 Jul 6 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jul 8 9:30am
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tallwood Book Club–TA-2
Fri Jul 12 9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft & Conversation–Annex
Homer, etc.–TA-2
OLLI Patriotic Potluck–TA-1
Sat Jul 13 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jul 15 9:30am
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Wed Jul 17 1:00pm Audiovisual Committee Meeting–TA-1
Fri Jul 19 9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft & Conversation–Annex
Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Homer, etc.–Annex
Sat Jul 20 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Personal Computer User Group–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.

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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