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Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
Special Event 953: author Sandy Grimes speaks on the book Circle of Treason
Photos by Paul Howard

January 31, 2014

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

All OLLI members are invited to learn about and participate in program planning. Come to one of the upcoming program planning meetings and enjoy the lively exchange of ideas and camaraderie. These groups will meet soon:
  • Art and Music:  Tue, Feb 4, 2:15 at Reston UCP, Room 117
  • Special Events:  Wed, Feb 5, 1:45 at Tallwood
  • Science, Technology and Health:  Fri, Feb 7, 10:00 at Tallwood
  • Religious Studies:  Mon, Feb 10, 2:15 in the Tallwood cottage
  • Loudoun Planning Group:  Fri, Feb 14, 10:30 at Mason at Loudoun
  • Literature, Languages and Theater:  Tue, Feb 18, 10:00 at Tallwood

OLLI and instructors/speakers are working to reschedule courses and special events cancelled due to the weather. Members will be notified if a make-up class will be held.

OLLI Needs Your Help in Producing New Videos

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

OLLI members like you have followed many unique and interesting paths in joining our organization and enjoying all the benefits it has to offer, and the OLLI video team wants to make your stories part of a new set of videos that will appear on the website and be used as promotional materials to outside groups.

To help insure the best content for these films, the general membership is encouraged to share their OLLI stories with the video team via testimonials that answer the following types of questions: How did OLLI become a part of your daily life? Has OLLI changed you as a person? Has OLLI enriched your life? (Some testimonial submitters may be selected for personal appearances on film.)
If a testimonial is not your speed but you still have an interest in offering material for the video, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the following topics related to your OLLI experience:
  • Social
  • Stimulating, challenging, intellectual courses
  • Travel
  • Volunteerism
  • Spending retirement with people who share your outlook on life
  • Value (what you get for what you pay)
Please send your submissions to Outreach Committee Chair Dave Ryan at

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Program Corner: How OLLI Program is Made

By Kathryn Russell, Program Committee Chair

During the fall term an outstanding class liaison gave several “lessons” each week on how the OLLI program is created. At the end of the term, she quizzed the class, “Who is responsible for OLLI program?” Some of the answers I heard: “the staff,” “the executive director,” “the Board.” Not exactly. A little enlightenment about program is needed, I think.

We begin with ideas for courses. These are generated by OLLI members just like you. You may get a good idea from earlier classes you’ve taken, from news articles and other media, from your own interests, or from other OLLI members. The possibilities are endless.

Ideas are then conveyed to OLLI program planners. The best way to share your idea is to attend a program planning group session. These are held regularly, with each one meeting at least 3 times a year. I hope you saw the excellent E-News article ( couple of weeks ago by Richard Melanson, one of the program planners. He painted a vivid picture of the real excitement of these dynamic sessions, where people brainstorm ideas and actually choose topics to develop into courses. If you get a dynamite idea that just can’t wait for the next planning session, though, feel free to contact one of the program planning group chairpersons listed in the front of the OLLI catalog.

Next comes the nitty-gritty of transforming ideas into courses. Volunteers contact potential instructors and communicate possible courses to our Program Associate, Beth Davis. These class coordinators (or program planning leaders) help develop the course by continuing to work with instructors, oversee the collection of course descriptions, and work with the program associate to select time slots.

Finally, the schedule is approved by the executive director, program committee chair, and program associate. After all course descriptions are completed, the catalog goes to the editors (also volunteers) for review, and the completed catalog goes to the webmaster and the printer, soon to appear online and in your mailbox.

So here’s the answer to the question: Program is mostly the responsibility of a lot of very dedicated volunteers who create about 350 courses and special events each year. There’s no magic involved! We invite you to come along and join in the process of program making. For more information contact one of the program planning leaders, program associate, or me:

History Club Examines Steam-Powered Vessels

By Beth Lambert, History Club Coordinator

The History Club will meet at Tallwood on Wed, Feb. 5 at 2:15 in TA-1. Bill Reader will be giving a presentation on the “Impact of the Steam-Powered Vessel on History.” Bill’s popular courses and lectures are always packed full of interesting facts and figures; every time we learn something new about what we thought was a familiar subject. His talk on the impact of steam-powered vessels will be no different.
All OLLI members and guests are welcome.  Come and bring a friend.

Computer Club Explores Brain Health

By Paul Howard, Computer Club Coordinator

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), Sat, Feb 15 at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. Presentations will begin at 1:00.
Learn 30: Gabe Goldberg will offer tips and techniques for more effective use of bookmarking with Internet browsers.
“Save Your Memory and Your Mind: 7 Steps to Better Brain Health”:
Our meeting discussions usually center on hardware and software. In February, our speaker Susan Wranik will talk about 'wetware'—the component truly vital to keeping our technology exploits really on track!
How many times do you say “I don’t know” in the course of a day? Do you go to the store for a specific item, only to return with everything but? Do you go from one room in the house to another and forget what you went there for? Do your thoughts evaporate in mid-sentence? Do you have difficulty finding the right word or recalling names? This program is based on the clinical protocol for treating short-term memory issues and cognitive deficits related to stroke, traumatic brain injury, and dementia…but why wait? If it works clinically, it can work for you, too! Susan explains what’s happening to your memory, why, and what you can do about it. She'll introduce seven helpful strategies for better brain health, including a 60-second trick for recall.
Susan I. Wranik, a Milwaukee native, is a speech-language pathologist, linguist, speaker and writer. She has over 30 years experience in the communication field, initially as an interpreter/translator and then clinically as a speech-language pathologist.
PC Clinic in the Annex: Computer got the blues?  Expert help – see the rules here.
See full details on this meeting by clicking here.  For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website.  OPCUG dues of $5 for 2014 will be collected at this meeting.

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Display Your Talent at Valentine's Party

By Wendy Campbell, Chair of Member Services.   

Friends, members, fellow students: On Fri, Feb 14 OLLI will hold this year's Valentine's Party, an event which many have come to regard as the OLLI Talent Show. If you have a talent, a story to tell or something to share (poetry, jokes, songs, etc.), please contact Wendy Campbell at as soon as possible. We are putting the program together as we speak.  
The Valentine's Day party will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd from 11:30 to 2:30. If you have not yet registered to attend, please sign up in your respective office. For our new members, this is a wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with fellow members, eat ice cream sundaes and enjoy the show. Many of us dress "up" a little in Valentine's clothes (whatever that is). I hope to see you there.  

OLLI Ink 2014 Deadline Extended to Feb 8

By Betty Smith, OLLI Ink Editor
OLLI Ink, OLLI's annual literary journal, is looking for submissions for the 2014 issue. Because we missed almost a week of classes, we're extending the deadline to Sat., Feb 8.  
This year we plan to expand OLLI Ink's offerings with an online version in addition to the usual 56-page print journalFor the paper version, the limit for short stories, memoir, and personal essays is 2,500 words and for poetry, 30 lines. Longer pieces will go online. We expect to print one piece per person in the print version, but again those pieces that aren't in the paper version will go online.
Please email your entries and/or questions to me (

Poet's Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop
"Never take counsel of your fears."
                                    —Thomas Jonathan Jackson

Never singly, but in battalions;
Never in defense, always advancing;
Favoring night assaults by stealth
Here in the faceless dark.
Seldom in frontal attack, but 
Seeking to turn the flank.

Elsewhere, in ambush,
Scattering mines
Opposite from
Their well-dug positions,
To hinder flight from surprise.

They aim to take counsel of your fears,
Defying Stonewall's dictum,
Defeating hope, and
Preventing counterattacks.
Should they somehow fail at first,
They'll fight a long, long,
And exacting insurgency.

Then best be prepared for protracted conflict.
Take your courage from fortitude,
Reinforce success, and
Remember, remember
Another, later general's order:
Keep the right strong.
—Mike Mc Namara
Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, Feb 1 to 10

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either CFA or Hylton, 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 ticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel
Sat, Feb 1, 8:00.
Under the baton of Boguslaw Dawidow, the orchestra brings an evening of music that includes the melodies of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, as well as Israeli composer Uri Bracha’s Melodies for Mount Carmel, with virtuoso violist Avshalom Sarid. The orchestra concludes with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $60, $52, $30.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Walnut Street Theatre: Driving Miss Daisy
Fri, Feb 7, 8:00.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play about race, class, and friendship is set in Atlanta beginning in 1949. This tale is the story of Miss Daisy, an older Jewish woman, and her African-American chauffeur, Hoke. The play follows the pair over the 25 years of their relationship as they develop a close friendship despite their differences.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $44, $36, $22.
Center for the Arts Concert Ha
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Simply Swingin' with Sinatra and Friends
Sat, Feb 8, 8:00.
Modern crooner Steve Lippia joins the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra to present an evening of American pop and jazz classics. Enjoy your all-time Sinatra favorites as well as hits by Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and Barry Manilow. Artistic Director Jim Carroll leads this superb group of musicians from the greater D.C.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $48, $40, $24.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
The King's Singers: The Great American Songbook
Sun, Feb 9, 4:00.
This British a cappella sextet performs songs by Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Etta James and others.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $48, $40, $24.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
Mason Student & Faculty Performances

Faculty Artist Series: Kate Hearden, Soprano
Mon, Feb 3, 12:30.
Admission: free.
Harris Theater. 
East Coast Dhamaka!
Sat, Feb 8, 7:00
The George Mason University Indian Student Association presents its first ever intercollegiate Indian dance competition. The event is a fundraiser for Save our Sisters.
Admission: $15, advance purchase; $20, day of the event.
Harris Theater.
At the Hylton Center

Making Connections through Art
Presented by Prince William County Public Schools
Continues through Sat, Mar 1.
The student work featured in the 2014 display was adjudicated by a team of retired art educators.
Gallery reception: Sat, Feb 8, 12:30. (To attend, RSVP to
Admission: free.
Buchanan Partners Arts Gallery. 

Lyric Opera Virginia: Master Class
Fri, Jan 31 - Sat, Feb 1, 8:00.
Sat, Feb 1 - Sun, Feb 2, 2:00.
Terrence McNally’s award-winning play focuses on Maria Callas during her historical master classes at the Julliard School of Music in the 1970s. Lisa Vroman stars. This production features George Mason University students and staff together with Lyric Opera Virginia’s professionals.
Admission: $25; students and active military, $15.
Gregory Family Theater.

Imago Theatre - FROGZ
Sat, Feb 8, 2:00.
A mix of dance, circus arts, masks and illusions comes to the Hylton Center. A cast of five transports the audience out of their everyday lives in segments that include frogs doing acrobatics, penguins playing musical chairs, lizards wrestling, and a paper bag coming to life.
Admission: Adults: $15; Children: $5.
Merchant Hall.

Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel
Sun, Feb 9, 4:00
Continuing its US tour, the orchestra is conducted by Boguslaw Dawidow. The program includes Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich joins the orchestra for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $60, $52, $44.
Merchant Hall.

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

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Mason Highlights

Other Mason events, next two weeks

By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer
Exhibit: Africans in India. The exhibition examines the roughly 500-year history of Africans in South Asia. Over the centuries, East Africans have distinguished themselves in India as generals, admirals, commanders, prime ministers, and rulers. This history is brought alive through the use of maps, paintings, and photographs that have been borrowed primarily from the Kenneth Robbins collection.  Through Tue, Feb 4. Mason Hall, Mason Hall Atrium Gallery. Free.

Exhibit: Black and White and Thread All Over: Work by Sonya Clark. The artist explores issues of identity, race, and culture through the use of textiles, combs and hair, blurring the boundaries between art and craft. Her work has been exhibited in over 250 museums and galleries around the world, and she has received numerous honors and fellowships. Tue, Jan 21, to Fri, Feb 21. Art & Design Building, Fine Art Gallery. Free.

Vision Series: Footnotes: Creating Contemporary Dances. Director of the School of Dance and choreographer Susan Shields considers why working so hard for an ethereal moment of beauty matters. Her talk explores the choreographic process from the perspective of an artist who wonders why another dance is relevant, but continues to create. Shields is the recipient of the 2006 Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography, and has created dances for several professional companies and universities, including Ballet West, The Juilliard School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the Washington Ballet. Mon, Feb 3, 7:00. Center for the Arts, Concert Hall. Free.
Artist Lecture & Reception: Hear artist Sonya Clark discuss her work, which is currently on exhibit at the Fine Art Gallery at Mason. She explores issues of identity, race, and culture through the use of textiles, combs, and hair, blurring the boundaries between art and craft. Her work has been exhibited in over 250 museums and galleries around the world and has received numerous honors and fellowships. Tue, Feb 4, 1:30. Fairfax Campus, Art and Design Building, Fine Art Gallery. Free.


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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 to check anytime for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming 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, Kickoff Coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat Feb 1 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue Feb 4 10:00am
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Art & Music Program Planning Group–UCP 117
Wed Feb 5   1:30pm
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Special Events Committee–Annex
History Club–TA-1
German Club–Loudoun Rm232
Fri Feb 7   9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Science, Technology and Health Program Planning Group–TA-2
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
iPad User Group–Reston UCP 113/114
Homer, etc–Annex
Sat Feb 8 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Feb 10   2:15pm Religious Studies Program Planning Group–Cottage
Tue Feb 11 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Feb 12   1:30pm
Book Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
German Club–Loudoun 232
Fri Feb 14   9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Loudoun Program Planning Group–Loudoun
Rm 236
Homer, etc–Annex

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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.

Current Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor:
Weekly Editorial Team: Paul Van Hemel,
Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere
Proofreaders:  John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel, Harriet Kaplan
Backup Chief Editor: Sheri Siesseger

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 – 6:00 pm Tuesday for that week's issue (6:00 pm Monday 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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Copyright  2013 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at GMU, 4210 Roberts Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032-1028
Phone 703-503-3384, Fax 703-503-2832