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OLLI Member Jim Cantwell, Retired from the Staff of the Senate Joint Economic Committee,
Presents an Eight-Session Class on
Comparative Health Care Systems, Fall 2020

October 9, 2020

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Although all current OLLI members are emailed a “Daily Schedule” with a list of the Zoom links and passcodes for all of the classes offered that day, you can also find them by signing in at the member portal and clicking on ZOOM CLASS LINKS.
  • Remember that your best viewing of E-News is obtained by viewing the email in your browser (link near top right of the screen). Also, you can magnify the image by zooming in; on a PC, use Ctrl-mouse scroll wheel to enlarge, and on a Mac, use Command-plus (+) to enlarge.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, October 16; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, October 13, at 6:00.

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Computer Club

3rd Saturday, October 17 via Zoom
Chromebooks: What, Why, and How
Irfanview: Alternative to PowerPoint?

By Paul Howard, OPCUG Program Chair

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, October 17 via Zoom. Program activities begin at 1:00.

Chromebooks: What, Why, and How, presented by Tom Gutnick. Chromebooks are increasingly popular because they are simpler, safer computers. But simplicity doesn’t mean sacrificing productivity. They handle typical activities—email, web surfing, word processing, spreadsheets, and so much more—with ease. This session will help you decide whether you should get one, and if so, you’ll be able to make more-informed purchasing decisions.

Tom Gutnick—technologist, educator, musician—has worked in the computer industry for most of his adult life. As the owner of Sunny Banana IT Consulting, he helps small businesses and home offices use technology more effectively. He also teaches personal technology at Arlington Adult Education and information technology at Northern Virginia Community College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia.

Irfanview: Alternative to PowerPoint? In this Learn in 30 presentation, Bill Walsh notes that doing presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint can be a bit tedious. While it would probably be of some benefit to read the PowerPoint instruction manual, it was nevertheless daunting to find that some features of PowerPoint were not very intuitive. Irfanview is a very versatile image viewer, and it also turns out to be a very handy, easy to use presentation tool. It shows still images of many different formats, and also shows many video formats. What became a game changer for presentations is that Irfanview will show MP4 files.

See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues are $5 for 2020—see for details on making payment.

Attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 1:00. Please click this link to join the webinar and use passcode 794746, or enter this meeting ID 948 9206 8399 from ‘Join’ in the Zoom app and use passcode 794746.

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Sign Up Now for Mason’s School of Theater ‘Taste of the Season’ Course
By Norma Jean Reck, Coordinator, Theater Lovers’ Group

Not only are ‘the shows still going on’ at Mason’s School of Theater (SOT), but their ‘Taste of the Season’ is coming to OLLI from 9:40 to 11:05 each Thursday from October 22 to November 12. When the Fall 2020 Catalog went to press months ago, Mason’s SOT professors were grappling with an unknown future and scrambling to reinvent their courses to go virtual (or not) amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the collapsing economy, and civil unrest. Still, they committed to present a theater course just for OLLI members this fall. Listed below are the four fabulous classes they have created for us and will present this October/November:

October 22—Joe Walsh and Erin Gardner of the Mason Musical Theatre program will offer early glimpses of what goes into creating an online musical revue as Mason prepares to showcase Gaining Ground: A Celebration of Diverse Voices in Musical Theater through Mason Arts at Home on October 23.

October 29—Ed Gero, Performance Area Head for the SOT, will discuss his experiences in the Washington theater scene including his role as Justice Scalia at Arena Stage and in the national tour of John Strand’s play The Originalist. He will talk about Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s support of performing arts in D.C.

November 5—Mimsi Janis, head of the Education program, will discuss her directorial concept and plans for Mason Players’ production of Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus.

November 12—Sherrice Mojgani, head of Design and Technical Theater area, will discuss professional lighting design and mentoring student designers in Mason Players productions.

To register for F416 Taste of the Season, go online to, then click on Register/Member Portal under Quick Links on the home page. You can also email for help.

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Photography Club Supports Mason’s School of Theater
By George Bradshaw, Photo Club Member and Website Manager

The OLLI Photo Club (OPC) has been blessed with the opportunity to photograph students of Mason’s School of Theater during the dress rehearsals of their wonderful plays (we can’t wait to restart after COVID). In addition to interacting with the actors and staff, gaining experience with theatrical photographic techniques, and enjoying the public shows (free tickets for photographers!), OPC members get a real kick from seeing their images on the School of Theater’s brochures, web pages, and lobby monitors at Mason’s theaters.

One of the OPC’s most enjoyable photo shoots was of Rags, produced last autumn by the Mason School of Theater and School of Music. Rags follows the immigration to New York of those living through the times of Fiddler on the Roof. Read the Rags interview with Rick Davis, Mason’s Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Also, available on WETA Arts through October 19, is a program about Rags (timestamp 11:08), its origins, its Mason production, and its production in London. (Photos above by George Bradshaw)

And enjoy this season’s School of Theater performances and the OPC’s gallery of Rags photos.

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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop


This strange oaken bureau,
Once my old Da’s,
Passed on to me you know,
Has, without apparent cause
Begun to spew and stream
Acorn sprouts from every seam.

Now, some will find
This slightly strange, at best,
But who could know the mind,
Much less the soul or rest
Of the magic and  ‘a,
Of my dear old, odd Da?

Mike Mc Namara

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, October 9 through October 19

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Virtual Performances
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. The events are online, and you can find them at Information can also be found at CFA ticket purchase page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues (via Zoom)

Mason School of Theater: Hookman
Fri, Oct 9, 8:00
Registration required
Admission: Free.

Kevin Day, Brass and Composition
Sun, Oct 12, 11:30
Meeting ID: 845 0700 3786
Passcode: Euphonium
Admission: Free.

Alfred Watkins, Conducting
Mon, Oct 13, 4:30
Meeting ID: 949 6868 9029
Passcode: 91008
Admission: Free.

Isaachah Savage, Dramatic Tenor
Thu, Oct 16, 12:30
Meeting ID: 810 9069 2868
Passcode: CFj7VR
Admission: Free.

Third Coast Percussion Virtual Residency with Mason’s Percussion Ensemble 
Mon, Oct 19, and Wed, Oct 21, 12:30
Online (
Admission: Free.

At the Hylton Performing Arts Center (Manassas)

Ranky Tanky
Sun, Oct 11, 4:00
Hylton Performing Arts Center, Science and Technology Campus, West Side Campus Field
Admission: $35.

The Queen’s Cartoonists
Sun, Oct 18, 6:00
Hylton Performing Arts Center, Science and Technology Campus, West Side Campus Field
Admission: $35.

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. 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). The OLLI office has sent (or will send) emails with meeting passwords to club members; you may also log in at the member portal and click on ZOOM CLASS LINKS.

Sat Oct 10 10:30 am Tai Chi Club
Tue Oct 13  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club
Wed Oct 14  2:00 pm
4:00 pm
Memoir and More Writing Group
Spanish Club
Thu Oct 15  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club
Fri Oct 16  9:30 am
10:00 am
11:00 am
11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
Craft & Conversation
Board of Directors Meeting
Classic Literature Club
Homer, etc.
Cooking Club
Tallwood Book Club
Sat Oct 17 10:30 am
1:00 pm
Tai Chi Club
Personal Computer User Group
Mon Oct 19  4:00 pm New Members Advisory Committee
Tue Oct 20  4:00 pm Tai Chi Club
Wed Oct 21  4:00 pm
6:00 pm
Mah Jongg Club
Ethnic Eats Lunch Club
Thu Oct 22  4:00 pm
4:00 pm
Reston Book Club
Tai Chi Club
Fri Oct 23  9:30 am
11:00 am
11:00 am
12:00 noon
Craft & Conversation
Classic Literature Club
Homer, etc.
Photography Club
Sat Oct 24 10:30 am Tai Chi Club

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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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