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Dr. Kim Blackwell Discusses Research on Dopamine in Popular Series F801 on Science and Technology Today, October 6

November 6, 2015

Editor of the Week: Paul Van Hemel
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

New Between-Term Event, “Let’s Read a Play Together – A Tuna Christmas,” Thu, Dec 14, 9:40-12:00, Tallwood. Have you seen or heard about the Tuna, Texas plays? Set in a small Texas town named Tuna, they showcase eccentric characters and their very funny predicaments, especially at Christmastime. Each registered attendee will purchase a $10 script from Doris Bloch, the instructor, at the start of class, and will have an opportunity to read at least one role. Register via the member portal (between terms event 1010BT). Class limit 28.

Feeling lucky? Buy a raffle ticket to win a one-year OLLI membership. Use it for a new membership or renewal. Prices: one ticket – $5, three tickets – $10, seven tickets – $20. Purchase tickets from Development Committee members before and after fall-term classes, and at special events such as the Town Hall Meeting and the Holiday Party. Winner will be chosen December 4 at the Holiday Party; you need not be present to win.

Missing something? The Lost & Found box at Tallwood (under the desk near the fridge in the Social Room) contains several articles that are currently unclaimed, and will be donated to a worthy charity when the fall term ends on November 13. If one of these items rings a bell, please go and see if it’s yours.
– Man’s LL Bean windbreaker, black, XL Long
– Ladies’ black straw hat with brim and bow
– Three nice water bottles
– Little (6” x 12”) fuzzy black pillow
– Beige camouflage cap with Defense Logistics Agency logo
– Yellow spiral graph paper notebook

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OLLI Clubs/Ongoing Activities – Registration Now Lasts One Year!

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate/Registrar

To register or not to register? That is the question circulating at OLLI with respect to clubs and ongoing activities. We understand that registering for clubs is new and may seem on the surface superfluous or an added burden. Please be assured; it is not.

We are grateful to all who signed up fall term for clubs and ongoing activities via the member portal. Registration has made it much easier and efficient for coordinators to communicate with members regarding meeting dates, changes in scheduling, topics of interest – whatever helps the club function better. If you are not on the roster in our database, you will miss these notices. Registration also has ensured that coordinators have current emergency contact information in the unfortunate event something happens to a member while attending a meeting on or off campus.

Moreover, in response to your constructive feedback, registration for clubs has just been made simpler. Starting winter term, OLLI members need only sign up for clubs once a year, not every term. Memberships last the entire calendar year and must be renewed every winter term. You can sign up for clubs any time during the year, but if you are currently a member of a club or ongoing activity, please re-register for it when you sign-up for Winter Term 2016 either online or using the paper form.

To paraphrase Shakespeare again, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” and your registration will last the whole year!

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OLLI Members Get Their Brains Examined

By John Acton, Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group Co-ChairMore than 75 OLLI members attended the recent “Science and Technology Today” course where four Mason professors from the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies fascinated them with their cutting edge research into brain functions. The Krasnow Institute conducts multidisciplinary research to expand understanding of the mind, brain, and intelligence. (Ed. Note: The photos at the top of this issue of E-News are from one of the presentations.)

To say that the OLLI members were interested and engaged by the presentations would be a significant understatement. The Mason professors confided to the course coordinator that they wished for this much enthusiasm from their regular students.

Here are just a few of the comments by OLLI members:

  • The presenters were fantastic. Very lucky to have such highly qualified instructors.
  • The interaction between the presenters and the audience was great.
  • The depth of the studies and research presented was impressive and relevant to problems of society today.
  • Knowledgeable instructors made current research accessible without dumbing it down.
  • Knowledgeable scientists – excellent speakers on very complex subjects.
  • They made difficult subjects understandable to the class with different backgrounds.

The Committee is working to have another course in the spring 2016 term that will highlight up to eight research areas of the Department of Rehabilitation Services in Mason’s College of Health and Human Services. We hope OLLI membership will find these presentations equally interesting and informative.

If you would like to collaborate with fellow members to develop other courses in the science, technology, and health fields, please contact John Acton at for information on joining this program planning group.

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Day of the Dead
By Ligia Glass, Spanish Instructor

The OLLI Spanish Intermediate Conversation class celebrated the “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) on November 2. This is a national holiday celebrated throughout Mexico on November 1 and 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Families gather on this day to remember loved ones who have died. Many go to the cemetery and place flowers on the graves.

Other traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased and decorating them using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. Today, the common symbol of the holiday is the skull which is represented in masks, “calacas” (skeletons), and food such as sugar and chocolate skulls, along with “Pan de muerto” (a sweet bread). Even “mariachis” go to the tombs to serenade the dead relatives.

La Senora Glass and her class celebrated with a reading on the history of this day, a film on how the day is celebrated in Mexico, and food and prizes. (Photo above by Kendall Ayers, Mason Work Study Student and OLLI AV Aide)

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Job Opening!  Reston Liaison Coordinator
By Martha Powers, Liaison Chair

After years of hard work, Ann Youngren (photo at right by Dan Feighery) has decided to step down as Liaison Coordinator in Reston. (Thank you for handling it for so long, Ann!) At this point, we are looking for someone who would like to take on this job and pitch in during the liaison assignment days prior to each term, finding liaisons for Reston classes.

The job is pretty straightforward: you look at class rosters, find likely liaisons (especially people who have checked “yes” and volunteered to be liaison), contact them, and confirm that they’ll be liaisons. This can be done by one person or by committee; files are all available electronically (by email) now, making these duties easier to handle.

This is an important volunteer function, and it has a great advantage:  it only happens four times per year, and always during the two weeks just before classes start. Ann Youngren will be happy to help the next coordinator learn the ropes, so if you’d like to learn more, please contact Martha Powers, Liaison Chair, at

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Fun Facts to Celebrate OLLI’s 25th Anniversary

By Ray Beery, Member, Board of Directors

George Mason University offered space in three rooms in the Tallwood Building at 4210 Roberts Road on October 29, 1993 with a five-year lease. At the February 24, 1994 Board meeting it was reported that the contract with Mason had been signed for the use of Tallwood. By the March 17, 1994 Board meeting, LRI had moved to Tallwood and obtained permission to use the Fairfax Swimming Pool parking lot next door to Tallwood.

OLLI will celebrate its 25th year of classes for seniors in 2016.
We’ll be publishing fun facts and interesting milestones about the Institute each week that OLLI E-News is published from now through the end of the fall term, 2016.

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OLLI Book Club
By Ceda McGrew, Book Club Coordinator

The OLLI Book Club will meet on Wednesday, November 11 at 1:30 at Tallwood. The book for discussion is The Sense of an Ending, a novella  by British author Julian Barnes and winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize. It follows the life of a middle-aged man as he reflects with emotional depth and sophistication on his life and his place in the world.

All  OLLI members are welcome.
The book for December is I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron.

Development Committee: Having Fun while Raising Funds for Friends of OLLI!

By Betty Murphy, E-News Staff Writer

When they are not hosting a bake sale, the volunteer members of OLLI’s Development Committee can be found planning a plethora of other fund-raising activities to benefit the Friends of OLLI (FOLLI). Chaired for the past several years by Lesley Bubenhofer, the Development Committee plans short-term and long-range fundraising projects. These benefit various causes including scholarships and special OLLI needs such as A/V equipment as well as on-going projects such as OLLI Ink, an annual art and literary journal, and Fall for the Book, a yearly literary festival held at George Mason.

The Development Committee plans and coordinates many of its fund-raising activities with OLLI’s executive director, along with the Finance and Strategic Planning Committees. Plans for using funds from FOLLI are also presented to OLLI’s Board of Directors.

Further, the Development Committee maintains a relationship with the George Mason University Foundation and with Mason’s Development Office. Using money raised by the Development Committee, FOLLI funds thousands of dollars in scholarships to Mason students.

Examples of past and future projects include:

  • A 2014 fashion show held at the Fairfax Country Club that featured dashing OLLI gentlemen and glamorous OLLI ladies dressed to the nines, an event that encouraged members to have fun in a social setting.
  • This year’s Spirit Wear initiative that offered members a choice of shirts, hats, and tote bags featuring the embroidered OLLI-Mason logo. Additional merchandise and new colors will be available in 2016.
  • A membership raffle at the December Holiday Party that offers participants a chance to win a free OLLI membership.
  • Fundraising activities for OLLI’s 25th-Anniversary gift to George Mason in 2016. One possibility might be a “Let’s Go to the Movies” morning with a brunch to follow, and another might be the sale of commemorative bricks or chair plaques.

According to Lesley, members of the Development Committee aim “to have a good time and get people involved socially while raising funds” for FOLLI—all for a great cause!

Members of the Development Committee as of October 2015:

Florence Adler Martha Powers
Michelle Blandburg Roslyn Schmidt
Suzanne Brooks, Vice Chairperson Diane Stanley
Leslie Bubenhofer, Chairperson Rita Way
Glenn Kamber Thelma Weiner
Peg O’Brien Doris Weisman
Eleanor Pascale

Members of the Development Committee at the
September 17 bake sale
(Photo courtesy of Eleanor Pascale)

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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop


                    I knew I’m aging
                    when a cousin’s thirty-some son
                    asked for candy

                    Not a lozenge or
                    breath mint, mind you, but
                    butterscotch or peppermint

                    In their pocketbooks
                    mothers always have candy
                    for restless children

                    So now I carry candy
                    lest a younger person asks
                    Hey, lady….
                                –Carolyn Wyatt

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next ten days
By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either Center for the Arts (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

Compañia Flamenca José Porcel: Flamenco Fire
Fri, Nov 6, 8:00
Pre-performance Discussion: José Porcel, artistic director
Concert Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Munich Symphony Orchestra with The Romeros
Sat, Nov 7, 8:00
Bizet: Excerpts from Carmen Suites No. 1 and No. 2
Joaquin Rodrigo: Concierto Andaluz
Joaquin Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Massenet: Ballet Music
Pre-performance discussion: Bernd Rose; Munich Symphony Orchestra
Concert Hall
Admission: $70, $60, $42.

Art of Time Ensemble: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sun, Nov 8, 7:00
Pre-performance discussion: Andrew Burashko; pianist and artistic
director + additional member of the company
Concert Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Virginia Opera: La Bohème
Sat, Nov 14, 8:00
Sun, Nov 15, 2:00
Pre-performance discussion: Dr. Glenn Winters
Concert Hall
Admission: $98, $80, $48.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)Dave Porter, Doctoral Brass Recital
Sun, Nov 8, 8:00
deLaski 3001
Admission: Free.

Mason Dance Company: New Dances
Thu, Nov 12 – Sat, Nov 14, 8:00
Fri, Nov 13, 2:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.

Mason Jazz Vocal Night
Sun, Nov 15, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Traditional Jazz/Saxophone Ensemble
Mon, Nov 16, 12:30
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Jazz Workshop Concert, School of Music
Mon, Nov 16, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

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At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Nature Visions Traveling Exhibition
Oct 5 – Nov 15
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 – 6:00, Thu, 10:00 – 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Admission: Free.

Art of Time Ensemble: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Fri, Nov 6, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Andrew Burashko; pianist and artistic director
Merchant Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Manassas Symphony Orchestra: The Americans
Sat, Nov 7, 7:30
Pianist Anthony Michael Cornet joins the Manassas Symphony for an all-American program, including Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Copland’s Rodeo.
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $16.

Jim Tews, Comedian
Sat, Nov 7, 8:30
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $20.

Compañia Flamenca José Porcel: Flamenco Fire
Sun, Nov 8, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: José Porcel; artistic director
Merchant Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Veterans Day 2015 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center
Wed, Nov 11, 1:00
Arts activities for all ages (e.g., instrument petting zoo, papermaking
activity led by veterans who are Mason art students, and more)
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Admission: Free.

Josh Blue, Comedian
Thu, Nov 12, 7:30
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $20.

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”: Salute to Veterans
Thu, Nov 12, 8:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: Free.

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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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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 Nov 8 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue Nov 10 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Nov 11  1:30pm
Book Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Fri Nov 13  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex
Religious Studies Club–Cottage
Spanish Club–TA-2
Sat Nov 14 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Nov 16 10:00am
What’s in the Daily News cont’d–TA-1
Member Services Committee–Annex
Tue Nov 17  9:30am
Cottage Art–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Nov 18 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-2
Paul Howard A/V Committee–TA-1 & Cottage
Fri Nov 20  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Fairfax City Branch of
Fairfax County Public Library
Classic Fiction Book Club–Cascades Library
Homer, etc–Annex
Photography Club–TA-1

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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/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor: Sheri Siesseger
Weekly Editorial Team: John Nash, Paul Van Hemel, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere, Jean Boltz
Proofreaders: Gordon Canyock, Jerry Moore, Marilyn O’Brien, Susan Van Hemel
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 – 6:00 Tuesday for that week’s issue (6:00 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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