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New and Continuing Members at 2019 Fall-Term Kickoff Coffee, Tallwood, September 19

September 27, 2019

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Note: A new Loudoun Newsletter for fall 2019 is now available; it can be accessed through the Loudoun Newsletter link under the OLLI E-News banner at the top of this issue.
  • Dr. Anne Holton, Interim President of George Mason University, will speak at OLLI on October 8, 2019, at 2:15 as part of F653 Education Series; her topic will be Equipping Students for Life Beyond High School. One class in the series (October 22) conflicts with a class in the F703 series, but attendance at Dr. Holton’s presentation is encouraged.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, October 4; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, October 1, at 6:00.

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Board Meeting Highlights: September 20
By Rita Way, Board Member

(in absence of Secretary Marguerite Johnson)

(Photo by Paul Van Hemel, September 20, 2019)

OLLI President Bill Taylor opened the meeting by reviewing highlights of the summer, including:

  • the OLLI Players’ Harris Theatre presentation in August of the comic farce Anthony and Cleopatra: In Space, written by David Bulova;
  • the August 20 Board of Directors retreat at Lord of Life Fairfax, primarily addressing issues that affect the Board’s operation; and
  • Executive Director Jennifer Disano receiving strong positive reviews from the Osher Foundation headquarters for her August 21 presentation on OLLI in the media, as one of three presenters on a national OLLI webinar.

The Outreach Committee, led by Rosemary Lubinski, encouraged members to share OLLI materials with friends and drop flyers off at their local library.

OLLI staff members Jennifer Disano, Alice Slayton Clark, and Shannon Kim Morrow shared their experiences learning about other OLLIs’ structure and management approach at the OLLI Southern Regional Conference for Learning in Retirement in Wilmington, North Carolina, July 29-31.

Executive Director Jennifer Disano reported that as of September 13, 2019 OLLI total membership is 1,145 (annual membership 1,074 and term membership is 71).

In August, an electrical storm damaged equipment throughout the Tallwood campus, as well as flooding in the TA‑1 classroom (quickly dried out and corrected by Mason crews).

The Board approved two funding resolutions, (1) $600 from Friends of OLLI for the publication of 325 copies of OLLI Ink, and (2) $23,500 in scholarships/grants for 2019 from Friends of OLLI funds for various Mason scholarships and support.

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Course Proposals Deadline for Spring Term 2020
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate

Calling all longstanding and new OLLI instructors! Please be aware that the deadline for course proposals for spring term 2020 is October 11. Spring term 2020 runs from March 30-May 22. If you haven’t submitted your proposal yet, please do so soon to ensure we will have space for your offering. Your description does not need to be catalog-ready for you to submit, but your submission allows us to save you a spot on the calendar. The earlier you submit, the more likely we can fit your offering into the term and provide you with your preferred dates for the class. Spaces fill up quickly, so act soon!

If you need more time, the deadline for course proposals for summer term 2020 is January 31, 2020. Summer term 2020 runs from June 22-July 31. We encourage all to send in offerings!

You can find the course proposal form at this link. Please fill it out in its entirety, click “submit,” and the OLLI program planners will be in touch with you soon thereafter about your offering. Thanks for your support for OLLI programming!

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Let’s Reward Our OLLI Teachers
By Kathryn Russell, Program Committee Co-chair

Most members know that all OLLI instructors—OLLI members, professors, speakers from the wider community—are volunteers. They receive neither honoraria nor other monetary payment. They spend countless hours, weeks, and months preparing for their classes—researching topics, organizing lessons, preparing materials, and reviewing their presentations—all this effort solely for the love of teaching and dedication to OLLI.

We know that, because OLLI is largely an all-volunteer organization, monetary recompense is not a choice. Then how can we reward our instructors for their efforts? Here are five easy ways to express our appreciation:

  • Attend the classes for which you enrolled. Nothing is more discouraging to a teacher than to expect 50 students and have only half that number appear. Of course, there are always reasons to miss class (e.g, travel, medical appointments, staying at home for the plumber!). But not ever showing up for class is problematic.
  • Arrive at class on time. Show respect by arriving before the instructor begins speaking.
  • Ask questions or comment appropriately. It’s easy to know if the teacher prefers questions during or after the lesson. Be sensitive to ensure that participation doesn’t dominate the conversation and take away from instruction time.
  • Stay until the end of class. Nothing says disrespect more than getting up before class is finished and slamming the door on the way out.
  • Thank your teacher. A verbal expression of appreciation or an email at the end of the course will be most welcome.

Our teachers will certainly appreciate these simple acts of thoughtfulness and respect. And our volunteer program planners will find their jobs easier when they ask instructors to return to teach again in future terms. We’ll all reap the rewards.

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OLLI’s Shark Week is Coming!
By Doris Bloch, Program Committee Co-chair

Discovery Channel holds its Shark Week every summer. At OLLI, we . . . do NOT have Shark Week (sorry for the disappointment!); instead we provide Idea Week for your enjoyment and entertainment.

For those who don’t know about Idea Week at OLLI, each fall we send out a questionnaire inviting all our members to provide us with their suggestions for courses they would like to see in the future. The Program Committee “devours” those ideas and passes them on to the Program Planning Group chairs who determine where appropriate instructors can be found. So your ideas are the “bait” for our program planning.

We anticipate that the “chumming” will commence in late September, so be sure to submit those ideas then. Alternatively, if you have suggestions, there is no need to wait for Idea Week; suggestions are always welcome! Check the OLLI catalog to spot the appropriate Program Planning Group chairs. Also upcoming: Program Planning Group chairs are in the process of adding identifying stickers to their name tags, so they may be more easily “spotted.” And look out for the Idea Week questionnaire, coming to your email inbox in another week or two. There also will be a link on the home page at the OLLI website.

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Photography Club Speaker: Mason’s Dr. LaNitra Berger–All OLLI Members Invited
By Angela Talaber, Photography Club Co-Coordinator

Dr. LaNitra Berger, member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA) and director of fellowships in the Honors College at George Mason University, will be the featured speaker at the Photography Club meeting on October 11. All OLLI members are invited to attend the meeting at 9:30 in TA‑1.

At Mason, Dr. Berger manages the fellowships application process. From 2005-2010, she was chief of staff and director of leadership and international programs for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), where she specialized in internationalizing historically black college campuses. She has been a freelance contributor to the American Prospect online magazine, writing book reviews and short articles. She has also published book reviews in academic journals.

Can photography help navigate difficult conversations? Dr. Berger’s talk, Monuments, Museums, and Memory in South Africa: Post-apartheid South Africa through Photography, discusses how South African youth view their political and cultural environment through photography. In 2018, Dr. Berger led a group of Mason students in a study‑abroad course to South Africa, where they connected with a local high school photography club. The meeting resulted in a day of discussion, reflection, and dialogue about South Africa’s past, present, and future. We hope you will join us to enjoy this presentation.

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History Club Meeting
By Elizabeth Lambert, History Club Coordinator

The first meeting of the 2019/20 session of the History Club will be this coming Wednesday, October 2, at 2:15 in TA‑2. Don Garrett, long-time member of OLLI and the History Club, will give a presentation on The Alcona County Review in the Gilded Age. Today, rural newspapers have the same kind of internet information that is available to publishers in large urban areas. This was not always the case, and Don is going to take us back to the kind of news that was available to readers in a small town in Michigan in the decades just before the turn of the 20th century. Those who have heard Don’s presentations know how interesting and informative they are, and first-time History Club attendees will learn how much our club offers. All OLLI members are invited to attend History Club meetings; please come and bring a friend.

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Inside OLLI-Mason

Volunteers in OLLI Infrastructure Wars

By Paul Howard, Audiovisual Support
Committee Chair

Do you find wrestling with your smartphone, computer software updates, or the technology of a new car challenging? Consider what the OLLI staff and Audiovisual Support Committee members contend with. OLLI has an inventory of classroom audiovisual resources, laptop and desktop assets, and office administrative technology (e.g., computers, copier/printers, network gear, phone systems, and more) with a combined value in excess of $180,000 – all documented in a spreadsheet more than 230 lines deep. Let’s look at what’s been happening in this area of operations over the last several years – and remember the audiovisual team that supports your OLLI experience.

Loudoun: most of our Loudoun technology is contributed by Mason, with OLLI providing amplifiers and microphones for instructor speech enhancement, two of which were updated this year. A BluRay disc player was recently added there, and a printer/copier for staff support functions.
Reston: In 2018, our audiovisual contractor worked extensively with staff and an instructor to improve sound performance for music classes, two new classroom laptop computers were installed, and a new printer was provided. This year, as at Loudoun, several microphones for instructors were updated, and two new multimedia sound amplifiers were installed, replacing units dating to 2009.

Tallwood: In 2018, six new laptops were acquired and installed for classrooms, off-site locations, and backup emergency use. A new full high-definition projector was installed in TA‑1, and the TA‑2 projector was updated by swapping in the unit previously in TA‑1. Four new wireless access points were installed, replacing old technology and adding multi-band capacity. The administrator’s computer was replaced after a motherboard failure of the previous machine. The Tallwood site assistant’s 2010-era laptop computer was replaced with an All-in-One computer with a 24” touchscreen.

ROME-ing Through the Gardens
By Alana Lukes, Latin Instructor and Liaison for the Presentation

On July 17, 2019, Lee Rodrigues, formerly of Fairfax County Park Authority’s Green Spring Gardens in Annandale, gave a presentation to OLLI about the development over the centuries of ancient Roman gardens. He shared not only the names of the movers and shakers of ancient Rome’s horticultural history (Scipio Africanus, Pliny Elder and Younger, Cato the Censor, and Lucullus, to name a few), but also the herbs, crops, and flowers found in ancient private gardens and farms. The plants ranged from the well-known (roses, olives, grapes) to the extinct (silphium). He also compared the ancient Roman plantings and produce with our modern equivalents.

A discussion of the 1960s and 1970s excavation work of Wilhelmina F. Jashemski in the gardens of Pompeii, buried in Mt. Vesuvius’ 79 A.D. eruption, followed the main presentation. This was supplemented afterwards with additional depictions from various texts on ancient sites which were available for perusal.

Attendees had the opportunity to examine several cookbooks of adapted dishes that have come down to us from the early Roman Empire epicure Apicius. Attendees also received a handout of two ancient recipes to prepare at home.

The talk closed as I gave Lee Rodrigues a collection of translations of ancient Roman writers’ garden verses by English poets as a thanks for sharing his extensive horticultural research with the OLLI community. (Photos courtesy of Alana Lukes)

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Theater Lovers’ Group: Upcoming Events Explore Shared Human Experiences
By Norma Jean Reck, Theater Lovers’ Group (TLG) Coordinator

What does a woman really want from a husband? Can a retired Philadelphia aristocrat and a young Canadian assistant bridge a generational divide and come to understand one another? How can a young Russian immigrant working in New York’s garment district build a life? How does a 15-year-old self-described ‘mathematician with issues’ figure it all out?

Mark Your Calendars:
October 13, Sunday, 2:30 matinee at Undercroft: Candida, a comedy by G.B. Shaw, explores the Victorian notion of love and marriage and what a woman wants from a husband. For details, please email

October 20, Sunday, 2:00 matinee at 1st Stage: Trying, a comic and touching play by Johanna McClelland Glass, explores the author’s real experience with working for Francis Biddle of Nuremburg fame at his home in Washington, D.C. Biddle, now retired and notoriously hard on employees, is trying to cement his legacy with the help of a young Canadian assistant.

November 3, Sunday, 4:00 matinee at Center for the Arts: Mason School of Theater’s talented students will perform Rags, a musical about an immigrant experience in New York in the 1920s.

November 24, Sunday, 2:00 matinee at Roundhouse: The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time is about murder, mystery, mayhem, and math, tells the coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old with issues. To get the group-rate discount, we must have ten people signed up by October 20. Please email ASAP if interested.

All OLLI members and guests are welcome to attend these TLG-sponsored theater events. If you have questions or need more information, please email Norma at

Also, plan to attend the TLG meeting Friday, September 27, in TA‑1 from 10:00 to 11:30. Mack Miller will be on hand to share ways to increase your enjoyment of seeing a play by adding value to your theater experiences.

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Photo of the Month

The September 2019 Photo of the Month theme was Photograph a Stranger. We selected John Nash’s photo “Welcome Home,” 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 Angela Talaber, Photography Club Coordinator

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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

At the Sacred Temple of Quitzquihqueh

A most solemn spectacle
honored to be sacrificed but until such time
reassigned from her long-held position
as High Priestess of Numerology
to teach the departing flocks
in the mystical intricacies of the

self-checkout station

knowing as she does that soon she
and so too
other royal numerologists
will themselves be
permanently checked out
by corporate gods on high.

Tony Rounds

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Obituary: Sandra Dreisslein

Sandra Dreisslein, OLLI member for many years beginning in spring 2001, died September 18, 2019. Through the years, she contributed to OLLI in numerous ways. Many will remember her work as long-time chair of the Hospitality Subcommittee of the Member Services Committee, including more than 10 years of service in planning, preparing, and overseeing virtually everything associated with the annual OLLI holiday party celebrations, including arranging the venue, meals, table decorations, prizes, entertainment, and more, for the enjoyment of OLLI members every December. She will be missed by her many OLLI friends.

Sandra was a retired federal civil servant employed by the Department of Defense for more than 40 years. She and her husband Bill enjoyed extensive travel after retirement.

There will be a visitation Monday, September 30 from 3:00-5:00 at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, October 1 at 11:00 at St. Mary of Sorrows Historic Church, Ox Road and Fairfax Station Road. Burial will follow later at Arlington National Cemetery. More information is available at this link.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, September 27 through October 7

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 Fairfax Campus Venues

ARTS By George! College of the Visual and Performing Arts
Saturday, Sep 28, 5:00
Concert Hall
Includes student performances, dinner, drinks, concert, and post-concert desert reception with Audra McDonald.
Admission: $300.

An Evening with Audra McDonald
Sat, Sep 28, 8:30
Concert Hall
Admission: $100, $75, $50.

Dance of the Two Koreas: Rising Moon
Wed, Oct 2, 7:00
Please RSVP at the link below:

Navy Band Chamber Concert
Fri, Oct 4, 6:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Fri, Oct 4, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $25.

The Four Italian Tenors: Viva Italia!
Sat, Oct 5, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on Monson Grand Tier.
Concert Hall
Admission: $55, $47, $33.

Peter Rabbit Tales
Sun, Oct 6, 1:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $20 Adults; $15 children.

Mason Student and Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

LADAMA Masterclass with Jazz Combos and the Latin American Ensemble
Mon, Sep 30, 1:30
deLaski Performing Arts Building, A327C
Admission: Free.

Symphonic Band & Mason Percussion Concert
Wed, Oct 2, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $12 Adults; $8 seniors.

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibit: Lory Ivey Alexander
Sep 10
Oct 26
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.
Admission: Free.

The Second City
Fri, Oct 4, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion begins one hour prior to the performance in Merchant Hall.
Post-performance, join us at 10:00 in the Gregory Family Theater for a free, lively After Hours Improv session, featuring George Mason University’s premier improv troupe, The Mason Improv Association.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $46, $39, $28.

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Spellbinding Bach
Sat, Oct 5, 2:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26.

Lightwire Theater Company: Moon Mouse, A Space Odyssey
Sun, Oct 6, 1:00 and 4:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $20 Adults; $15 children.

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

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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 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).

Wed Oct 2 11:50am
Annex Art–Annex
Mah Jongg Club–TA-1
Bridge Club–TA-3
History Club–TA-2
Fri Oct 4 9:15am
12:30 pm
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc.–Annex
Dr. Who Club–TA-3
Sat Oct 5 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed Oct 9 1:30pm
Tallwood Book Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Finance Committee Meeting–TA-1
Fri Oct 11 9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc.–Annex
Sat Oct 12 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3

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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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