Have you noticed that OLLI catalogs are becoming heftier? The reason: Our course offerings have grown to over 600 per year. Each term we choose from a stunning array of courses, special events, and ongoing activities. As we’re enjoying the fabulous summer term and anticipating the fall catalog in a few weeks, this is a good time to reflect on how all these wonderful courses we’re attending come into being.
We begin with ideas generated by many OLLI members. For example, you may come up with an idea inspired by a class you’re currently taking. You may discover a fascinating idea in the media or some other source. Or perhaps you’re thinking of teaching a class or leading a discussion. When you come up with an idea for future terms, let our program planners know.
The ideas we collect go to Program Planning Groups that meet periodically to transform ideas into courses. Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings. Next comes the process of developing courses:
Many volunteer coordinators contact potential instructors.
Potential teachers submit course proposals and descriptions.
Program planners and staff approve courses.
Class coordinators help develop courses by continuing to work with instructors and staff.
The schedule is developed.
The catalog is compiled by other volunteers.
As you can see, many volunteers are required to help create this program that we cherish. We invite you to come along and join in the process of program making. We are always in need of more program volunteers. There are lots of ways to take part. One easy way to become involved is to attend one of the program planning group meetings that are held periodically. I know you’ll enjoy the camaraderie and exchange of ideas. Look for announcements of these meetings in the E-News. For more information contact one of the program planning leaders listed at the beginning of each subject area of the OLLI catalog. Or let one of the Program Committee co-chairs know about your interest: Kathryn Russell –firstname.lastname@example.org Russell Stone –email@example.com Doris Bloch –firstname.lastname@example.org Nancy Scheeler –email@example.com
Walking into the OLLI Tallwood campus, one can’t avoid noticing the green plantings and the occasional splash of colorful blossoms. Looking closely, one can spot nearly a dozen garden areas as well as potted plants, some in courtyards offering tranquil areas for sitting, reflecting, and socializing. You have probably seen fellow students laboring in these gardens. They are members of the Landscaping Committee, which was founded in 2001. More popularly called the Dirty Knee Club (DKC), there are currently about 12 members (photo of 9 by Sandra Oliver) who are dedicated to building and maintaining the gardens while learning about the plants and sharing gardening tips. Explains long-time member Bill Ackerman, “for DKC members, the gardens are our outdoor classroom.”
For a few days in the spring and fall, referred to as “call-ups,” the DKC’ers work as a team at the gardens. Beds are prepared, weeded, thinned, replanted, fertilized, and mulched in the spring; they are cleaned up and put to bed in late fall. During the summer, members are split into two-member teams, each assigned about one week of every five, to water, weed, and maintain the gardens during the growing season.
Every season is carefully planned, usually at one or two social gatherings where ideas for improving the gardens are shared, along with good food and good cheer. You may have noticed the increase of plant labels that appeared in the gardens this spring, a direct response to the many questions from OLLI members asking DKC’ers the names of various plants. Considering that there are some 150 different plants in the gardens, the labels are also most helpful for the members themselves (photo of Bo-kyung Kim by Bill Ackerman).
The DKC is another example of the volunteerism that makes OLLI possible, and there is always a need for new members. If you enjoy gardening and would like to learn more about pruning, watering, feeding, and the overall care of trees and plants, including which plants thrive in our Northern Virginia climate zone, consider joining. We are a welcoming group of folks who appreciate people who like to get their fingers (and knees) dirty while adding beauty to our learning environment. Contact: Sally Berman–(703)866-4296,firstname.lastname@example.org or Sigrid Carlson–(703)385-8866,email@example.com.
On Friday, June 28, Rita Way and Doris Weisman hosted a wonderful bus trip to the Newseum. The building has seven levels of galleries and special exhibits related to journalism and freedom of the press.
We started our self-guided tour at the top level, which offered a wonderful view of the Capital and a display of daily front pages from the United States and countries around the world. We also had the opportunity to see the 9/11 Gallery, Berlin Wall exhibit, and more notable events that the First Amendment has supported. Since the museum has a self-service food court, we were able to stay in a cool environment and then continue our tour. It was a most enjoyable day and a wonderful way to get to know more OLLI members.
Theater Lovers’ Group Begins 2019-2020 Theater Season with a July Meeting By Norma Jean Reck, Theater Lovers’ Group Coordinator
Every OLLI member is invited to join members of OLLI’s Theater Lovers’ Group (TLG) at its meeting on Friday, July 26, from 10 to 11:30 in TA-1. We will be developing our theater events list for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. Bring a friend and your suggestions for theater events you would like to attend. There has been some interest in dance, also. All suggestions are welcome.
We begin the 2019-2020 season on Sunday, August 4, when TLG members and our guests go to The Little Theatre of Alexandria to attend the 3:00 matinee performance of The Producers. It is an award-winning show-within-a-show. You really must see the show to believe how a scam dreamed up by a bunch of schemers backfires. We’ll go to Tempo for an optional dinner after the theater. If you would like to join us or want more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $34 a person and we carpool.
TLG members and guests will make our first annual trip to the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on Sunday, July 28. We will see two plays: My Lord, What a Night and Support Group for Men. We’ll discuss each play, followed by lunch at the Frank Art Center at Shepherd University. We are currently developing a wait list. If interested, please email email@example.com.
OLLI members who have already been to CATF have given it a positive report. We are looking forward to a fun-filled day.
OLLI Takes Shakespeare to Space! By Alex Bulova, Director, Antony and Cleopatra: In Space!Blast off into the cosmos with the OLLI Players’ interstellar production of Antony and Cleopatra: In Space!
Directed and adapted by Alex Bulova, Antony and Cleopatra: In Space! reimagines Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy as an intergalactic battle for the solar system, presented in the style of a 1930s radio play. The show is replete with space battles, backstage antics, and live Foley sound effects, making for an unforgettable and unique Shakespeare experience.
Performances are August 3 and 4 at 3:30 in George Mason’s Harris Theatre. Tickets and general admission are free.
Antony and Cleopatra: In Space! received its world premiere production at the College of William and Mary, where it was a box-office and critical success. Alex Bulova is pleased to present the Northern Virginia premiere of the show with the incredibly talented OLLI Players.
Alex Bulova is a Fairfax native and a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary. Over the past four years he has directed several hit musicals, including SuperNOVA, The Complete History of Fairfax: The Musical, and The Drowsy Chaperone. He is thrilled to bring Antony and Cleopatra to such a wonderful community.
The July 2019 Photo of the Month theme was Abstracts. We selected Ed Marion’s photo “Big Bang Boom,” which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club’s photo website.
Along ther rode with the compaignye
A maid of yeeres almoot twentye and thre,
Doughter to the oft-wedded wyf
Which had bedded five housbonds thus farre in lyf.
Fro the moder this doughter lerned much riche,
Lyke moder, lyke doughter, methinks it som swich.
Housbond twein was hir fader, riche and olde.
Already of him hir moder has tolde.
Whenne the moder was wed to Jankyn the clerk
Hiren doghter did rede at his boks in the darke.
Into the lot where she slepte she wolde creep,
Light a fyre and rede. Lerned she, be nat meeke.
Heere she stepped in her moderes shoes
And decided in lyf she wolde picke and eek choose.
Now turned the hooste to this doughter of Bath
As alle the folk followed the pilgrimage pathe.
“Nexte, doughter,” seyde he, Wol ye tell us a tale?
I trow that from yow it wol nat be oon stale.
“Yes, certes,” seyde she. “A tale I wol telle,
My story is of the complexe Cinderelle.”
Dr. Cόilίn Owens, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Mason, died on July 9, 2019, at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. With degrees from the University of Notre Dame, University College Dublin, and Kent State University, he published several books and articles on Irish literature. Beginning in 2003 with a class on James Joyce’s Ulysses, he taught numerous well-received literature courses for many years at OLLI.A memorial mass was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church on July 15. More information is available at this link.
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 pageor the Hylton Centerticket purchase page.
At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)
Prince William Little Theatre: Annie
Sat, Jul 20 and Sun, Jul 21, 8:00
Sun, Jul 21, 2:00
Thu, Jul 25 – Sat, Jul 27, 8:00
Sat, Jul 27 and Sun, Jul 28, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $25 Adults; $20 seniors.
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 20
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Personal Computer User Group–TA-1
Mon Jul 22
What’s in the Daily News?–TA-1
Spanish Club–TA-2 Loudoun Program Planning Meeting–Room 208
Tue Jul 23
Loudoun Science and Technology Club–Mason Bldg. Room 209
Loudoun Non-Fiction Book Club–Room 209
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
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,
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.