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The Search for the Smallest Thing, an Introduction to Particle Physics; by Arlington County High School Physics Instructor Mark Dodge, Summer Term 2020

July 17, 2020

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Reminder: Meeting of the OLLI Personal Computer User Group (OPCUG), Saturday, July 18 (tomorrow), 1:00, via Zoom at (webinar ID 937 3024 4342).
  • OLLI will be closed August 3-14. Staff will return to work remotely Monday, August 17.
  • Watch for your fall term catalog to arrive at the end of July. Priority registration will begin August 18 and end August 26.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published July 24. Submissions are due by 6:00 Tuesday, July 21.

OLLI President’s Message July 17

By Paul Howard, President

Fall-Term Membership Promotional Offer—Tell Your Friends!

OLLI Mason will offer a special $300 full membership to new members joining for our fall 2020 term, with the start of registration on August 18. Full, four‑term memberships will be available at the $300 rate to folks who’ve never been OLLI members, are returning to OLLI after more than a year’s hiatus, or have previously been introductory members, and haven’t converted to full membership.

Why are we providing this promotional incentive? Since our peak membership in 2015, we’ve lost 111 full members, resulting in a revenue reduction of about $50,000 at current dues rates. With more revenue from full‑dues members, it is possible the need for future increases in the annual dues fee could be moderated or eliminated. To maintain our outstanding program offerings across our three campuses, we’ve had to increase dues from $375 to $450 since 2015, in large part because of reduction in the number of full‑dues memberships.

Please invite your acquaintances to join the OLLI community—our family of friends—at this special promotional rate. Help us to continue serving experienced adults in Northern Virginia as OLLI Mason continues its 30 years of social opportunities and educational excellence!

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OLLI Players to Perform at the July Grab ‘n’ Gab Coffee Klatch

By Toni Acton, Member Services Committee Chair

Looking for something fun to do? Getting bored with classes and want to do something different? If the answer is “yes,” then join other OLLI members at the coffee klatch on Friday, July 24, from 10:00 to 11:30, for the first Zoom performance by the OLLI Players. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends you haven’t seen since March, plus enjoy some fun and frivolity. Register for event 1103 via the member portal or contact the registrar at

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Special Events Program Planning Group Meeting

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate

Join the OLLI Special Events Program Planning Group at its next planning meeting online on Wednesday, July 22 at 1:15. Use the following information to attend the meeting via Zoom:

  • To join the meeting: click here
  • To call in by phone: 301-715-8592
  • Meeting ID: 897 1963 0398
  • Password: 7222020

We will talk about the fabulous presentations and excursions being planned for OLLI for winter term 2021 and beyond. All of these great programs are designed and coordinated by members like you who volunteer their time to shape the OLLI curriculum. You do not need to be an expert in curriculum development or education management, and you can dedicate as much or as little time as you have available. There is no pressure. So, join us; brainstorm on classes; make some new friends; have fun!

OLLI Volunteers:  From On Campus to Online

By Diane Stanley, Volunteer Committee and Board Member

In every catalog, we make sure to use the slogan, “It’s Your OLLI!” It is a reminder that OLLI isn’t just the courses you take, or the social events that fill your calendar, it says that OLLI is volunteer-run, programmed, and powered. Volunteers take on many jobs that would otherwise require paid staff supported by member dues. Without sustained volunteer commitment, OLLI simply would not exist.

Volunteers develop courses, plan events and social activities, organize clubs, produce publications, staff the office, and serve as Board members. Opportunities abound for all talent levels and skill sets, and you can tailor volunteer time to fit your schedule and area of interest.

Here’s just a sample of what OLLI volunteers accomplished in 2019:

  • The Development Committee and Friends of OLLI (FOLLI) raised $44,390 to support Mason scholarships and fund OLLI initiatives and projects.
  • Member Services planned 19 events, including the annual holiday party, ice cream social, potlucks, and numerous coffee klatches.
  • To recruit new members, Outreach Committee members staffed our booths at community and senior fairs, retirement seminars, and area farmers’ markets.
  • The program planning groups planned more than 630 courses for three campuses.

Now all campus life at OLLI is virtual and as vibrant as ever. As we complete the second online term, we owe a round of applause to our volunteers who made the transition so successful.

Volunteering extends the OLLI experience beyond the classroom. Our team of volunteers is ready to welcome new friends to help plan the upcoming terms and convene our online clubs and committees after the summer break.

Whether you’ve been taking classes this summer or just enjoying some time off, be sure to watch for OLLI E-News on Fridays for club activities, committee meetings, and social events that might be of interest. All these activities are organized by member volunteers. If you’re thinking of joining a club, why not take it a step further and help run the club?

After all, “It’s Your OLLI!” And thank you to all OLLI volunteers.
For information contact:

Outreach Begins with You

By Rosemary Lubinski, Outreach Committee Chair

How many of you enjoyed your Zoom learning this spring and summer? Did you know that learning something new is good for the brain, makes us more curious and creative, and even happier? This is an excellent time to tell your friends and family that our fall catalog of online courses will be available soon. We need you to spread the word that online learning is easy, stimulating, and fun. OLLI also offers numerous social opportunities through Zoom. So, help spread the good news about all the positive benefits of being an OLLI member.

Photo of the Month

The July 2020 Photo of the Month theme was Nearby Old Towns, Our Heritage. We selected Margie Wildblood’s photo “Charles Mercer” (of a replica packet boat near Historic Great Falls Tavern), which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club’s photo website.
        — By John Olsen, Photography Club Coordinator

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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

Fly Like a Bird

There is a relief in the photos of birds
a neighbor posts on our neighborhood blog.
I wonder,
how do these fragile beings survive,
where are they flying to,
and my head, then even my body,
relaxes as I think
about flying with them
through openings in trees,
soaring in the sun,
fast-flitting to shelter when it rains,
taking to the air quickly when
the ground becomes dangerous,
singing to other birds to let
them know what I see going on.

I cannot do that.

My mind can.

Betty Smith

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Arts & Music at George Mason

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Although Mason’s campus is shut down, online entertainment continues for us to access and enjoy. Dr. Linda Apple Monson produces a periodic “Notes from the Director.” This email is full of interesting online performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music. If you would like to receive these bulletins, just send an email to Brianna Schoen at Also, the Center for the Arts has a website Mason Arts at Home which has a calendar of online events.

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Meetings & Clubs

Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines. OLLI is conducting its classes and activities online. Refer to the university’s coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI Calendar for revised information.

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 (online), meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc. (bolded below).

Sat Jul 18 10:30 am
1:00 pm
Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Personal Computer User Group–Zoom (Meeting ID: 937 3024 4342)
Mon Jul 20
 9:30 am
11:00 am
What’s in the Daily News?–Zoom (Meeting ID: 825 1457 5625)
Spanish Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 811 997 392)
Tue Jul 21  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Wed Jul 22

 1:15 pm

2:00 pm
4:00 pm

Special Events Program Planning Group Meeting–Zoom (Meeting ID: 897 1963 0398)
Memoir and More Writing Group–Zoom (Meeting ID: 801 645 074)
Ethnic Eats–Zoom (Meeting ID: 818 8261 0637)
Thu Jul 23  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Fri Jul 24

 9:30 am
10:00 am
11:00 am
12:00 noon
12:00 noon
2:00 pm
2:00 pm
Craft & Conversation–Zoom (Meeting ID: 611 234 196)
1103 Coffee Klatch–Zoom (Meeting ID: 860 7415 2253)
Homer, etc.–Zoom (Meeting ID: 993 949 463)
Photography Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 669 666 340)
Yoga Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 890 2155 1445)
Cooking Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 989 8618 3605)
OLLI Players–Zoom (Meeting ID: 884 4258 2820)
Sat Jul 25 10:30 am Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Mon Jul 27  9:30 am
11:00 am
1:00 pm
What’s in the Daily News?–Zoom (Meeting ID: 825 1457 5625)
Spanish Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 811 997 392)
Website Meeting–Zoom (Meeting ID:  822 4240 3744)
Tue Jul 28  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Thu Jul 30  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Fri Jul 31  9:30 am
11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:00 pm
Craft & Conversation–Zoom (Meeting ID: 611 234 196)
Homer, etc.–Zoom (Meeting ID: 993 949 463)
Cooking Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 989 8618 3605)
OLLI Players–Zoom (Meeting ID: 884 4258 2820)
Sat Aug 1 10:30 am Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)

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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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