The time for Mason Friends of the Theater Holidays Around the World Celebration on Sunday, December 20, is 4:00 to 5:30. The time was incorrectly stated in the November 20 E-News. If interested in attending this holiday event, please RSVP to Alice Magelssen-Green, 703-993-1593 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or alumni.gmu.edu/theaterholiday.
Priority registration for the winter term is in progress, ending at noon Tuesday, December 8. The winter-term catalog is available online at this link. Winter term begins January 25.
The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, December 18. Submissions are due by 6:00, Tuesday, December 15.
From the Desk of the Executive Director:
A Call for Oral Histories
By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director
In chatting with members, one thing we often hear is that many people are interested in collecting oral history documentation of personal experiences. Professional organizations sometimes do this, and OLLI, in cooperation with Mason special collections at the university library, has led efforts to collect members’ stories and remembrances of events like the Vietnam War, the ERA movement, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. For our 25th anniversary, Carol Henderson and her team of editors created a history of OLLI called The Story of OLLI, which was compiled and printed as a special project.
Next year, OLLI Mason will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Charles Silver noted, “Now 30 years doesn’t sound like a long time to most of us, but since we join OLLI somewhat later in our lives, 30 years is a long time in our collective memory; sadly, many of our original members are no longer with us. But we have managed to save some of the memories of our history.”
As we enter our fourth decade as an organization, we want to continue to collect oral history, and we invite you, our members, to contribute your personal memories. These could be stories and recollections of classes that were amusing or inspiring. It could be stories of meeting people and friendships, romances that developed between OLLI members, or perhaps reflections on what OLLI has meant to you. Do you have photographs of OLLI excursions, meetings, or social gatherings that you would like to share?
As part of our 30th anniversary, we plan to create a special webpage. We will post your stories and pictures so that we can share our experiences with one another. We will publish some of these memories in E-News during the anniversary year. This project will also form a repository for future OLLI members to refer to when they celebrate OLLI’s future decennial anniversaries. If you would like to participate, please email OLLI E‑News editor Paul Van Hemel at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Meeting Highlights November 20 By Marguerite Johnson, SecretaryPresident Paul Howard opened the Board meeting with the good news that George Mason University has agreed to make repairs to Tallwood, including providing access to the upper campus from the lower one via a ramp. Paul has yet to receive details of the repairs; however, OLLI will be advised of the repairs to be done, and we will have input. Paul reviewed the partnership OLLI has had with Mason over the past 29 years. He stated that during that period OLLI has had 5,490 members, given $228,000 in scholarships to Mason students, donated $50,363 to Mason’s Office of Military Services, provided $23,000 to Fall for the Book, and, since 2007, has hosted an annual Facility/Staff/Mason Aides OLLI picnic, at a cost of $17,579. Finally, OLLI filed for 501(H) lobbying status in 2000 to allow efforts on behalf of Mason with the Virginia legislature.Mike Sargent of Earthcare (on behalf of Ernestine Meyer, website chair), presented a draft view of the newly revised OLLI website. The home page will have a cleaner look, with larger text; quick links will appear at the top of every page, there are sliders for current events and OLLI action photos, and it will be easier to find contact information. There are many other changes to make the website more user friendly. The Board commended Ernestine Meyer, Dennis VanLangen, Jeannie Callahan, Paul Howard, and George Bradshaw for their dedication to this project.Executive Director Jennifer Disano reported that OLLI’s current membership totals 1,046. Of that, 930 are full annual memberships, 116 are promotional annual memberships, and 25 are introductory memberships. This is a decline of 28 full and 55 introductory memberships from 2019. It is important that all members work towards a goal of increasing membership by emailing or calling a friend or neighbor to speak about their positive experience with OLLI.
OLLI Clubs/Interest Groups – Time to Re-Up for 2021! By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program AssociateIf you are a member of an OLLI club or interest group, you know how much fun it is to explore your hobby or passion while making new friends. Clubs are a great way to enhance your OLLI experience, offering dozens of topics to feed every curiosity. Visit the club page on the OLLI website for a full listing. Almost all are active during and between terms, conducting regular online meetings while we ride out this historic pandemic.What you may not know, however, is that we reconstitute the clubs each calendar year to keep the membership lists as accurate and up-to-date as possible. This is one way OLLI can help safeguard the value of your membership to ensure only those who are current OLLI members participate.So please renew your membership now in your favorite OLLI clubs and interest groups so you remain on the roster in 2021. Once you renew, your club membership lasts the entire calendar year. You can sign up on your own via the member portal (olligmu.augusoft.net) when registering, or you can contact the OLLI registrar (email@example.com) who is happy to assist.
It is important that members sign up because all club coordinators use the member portal to communicate with their members regarding meeting dates, changes in scheduling, and topics of interest. If you don’t register, or forget to renew your membership, you could be missing out. Sign up today and stay connected!
By Kosmo Tatalias, Art and Music Program Planning Group Co‑Chair
A recent OLLI survey indicated that our members wanted more classes and events in the Art and Music category. The Art and Music Program Planning Group would appreciate knowing more specifics about your interests.
For example, are you interested in:
art appreciation, and if so, which periods of art?
participatory classes in drawing, watercolor, or pastels?
photographic techniques or equipment?
classical music appreciation, and if so, at what level of detail?
hearing selections from The Great American Songbook?
jazz, Dixieland, country, folk songs, or world music?
Don’t see a class that fires your passion? Take this opportunity to teach and inspire others. You’ve never taught a class before? Don’t worry, your enthusiasm and subject matter expertise will carry you through. Ask someone you know if they would be interested in teaching at OLLI. With Zoom classes our instructors can live anywhere! Want to make sure your class happens? Join the Art and Music Program Planning Group.
Please send your ideas and suggestions to Marianne Metz, co-chair of the Art and Music Program Planning Group, at firstname.lastname@example.org; she will distribute the information to the other co‑chairs, Angie Talaber and Kosmo Tatalias. Thank you for your interest in the Art and Music program!
Holiday Giving: Put OLLI on Someone’s List By Rosemary Lubinski, Outreach Committee ChairDo your family and friends ask what you’d like for a holiday gift? Many seniors have plenty of scarves, T‑shirts, sweaters, books, and candy. So, how about suggesting the gift of lifelong learning? Friends and family can buy you an OLLI eGift card in any dollar amount to help defray part or all the cost of your OLLI membership. Share the following link to the OLLI website with them, and they are on their way: https://olligmu.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=GiftCard.SendGiftCard.You know how meaningful OLLI is to your intellectual and social life, especially during this time of social distancing. OLLI’s online classes have exposed me to several interesting new topics I might never have explored. So next time you are asked about that holiday gift, suggest an OLLI eGift card in your name. Make every day a “Happy OLLI-day!”
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, December 12 via Zoom. Program activities begin at 1:00.
Importance of New Apple Computers – Presented by Lorrin Garson
On June 22, Apple announced that over a two-year period, the company would switch from Intel-based central processing units to Apple-designed hardware for their computers. On November 10, the company launched three of these new computers, with architecture using the M1 chip. This presentation will provide information on the characteristics of the new Apple computers, the transition process, software issues, performance, and the broad implications of this change.
Lorrin Garson had a long career in technical publishing of chemical information. His presentations to our computer groups are famous for their thorough research and clarity in explaining topics such as cryptography, encryption of personal data, cloud storage and the origins of personal computers.
Learn in 30: Important Nuances of iTunes for Windows – Presented by John Krout
This presentation will show you three important and valuable techniques in iTunes for Windows:
When you install iTunes on a new computer, Apple may say that you have hit the five‑computer limit for use of your Apple ID. You will learn how to overcome that limit;
When Apple reports that your credit card is expired, how to update your iTunes account record; and
How to configure iTunes to export Apple’s M4A format songs as MP3 songs.
None of these how-tos are intuitive, despite Apple’s reputation for that software design approach.
John is a regular speaker at OPCUG/PATACS meetings. He is the author of numerous articles in the PATACS Posts newsletter and many of the Zoom help tips on the PATACS website.
Attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 1:00. Please click the following link to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/93730244342 and use Passcode 728227, or enter this Meeting ID from ‘Join’ in the Zoom app: Meeting ID 937 3024 4342, Passcode 728227.
Tallwood Book Club By Betty Ellerbee, Tallwood Book Club CoordinatorThe Tallwood Book Club will be discussing The Library Book by Susan Orlean at its virtual meeting on Friday, December 11 at 2:30.Our January book choice is Chances Are by Richard Russo.
Photography Club to Feature Noted Photographer Lynn Cates By John Nash, E-News WriterLike many photography subjects, water photos can be tricky. Reflections, movement, and light are just three conditions that photographers—new and experienced—often find challenging when photographing scenes with water. But it’s possible to get stunning water pictures by being aware of a few techniques.At the December 12 OLLI Photography Club meeting, Lynn Cates, an amazing photographer, will discuss some of her approaches in creating good water photos, both in camera and through the use of post-processing. According to Lynn, water often creates its own mood and we, as photographers, must be aware of this environmental dynamic. She will discuss how to capture some of these moods with approaches she uses in the field such as varying shutter speeds and use of filters. She also will discuss techniques she uses in post-processing to accentuate lines, shapes, and textures to help bring out the feelings she wants to evoke. You can see some of her outstanding photographs at www.rdtrpr.com.Plan to attend the OLLI Photography Club meeting at 9:30, December 12 . . . on Zoom, of course (Meeting ID: 669 666 340; Pass Code: 746 862). You can join the OLLI Photography Club and enjoy the wonderful world of photography. It’s a free benefit of your OLLI membership.
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 email@example.com. Also, the Center for the Arts has a websiteMason Arts at Home, which has a calendar of online events and access to many past performances. Information can also be found atCFA ticket purchase pageor theHylton ticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues A Chanticleer Christmas Sat, Dec 5, 8:00 Buy Access PassAt Home with Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas
Sun, Dec 13, 7:00 Buy Access PassStep Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show
Wed, Dec 16, 7:30 Register
Mason School of Theater: Alabaster
Fri, Dec 4, 8:00 RegisterMason School of Dance: Running To and Toward, A Dance Film by Hope Boykin
Thu, Dec 10, 7:00 RegisterReva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music Holiday Concert
Sat, Dec 12, 8:00 Register
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, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc. The OLLI office has sent (or will send) emails with links and meeting passwords to club members; you may also log in at the member portal and click on ZOOM CLASS LINKS.
Sat Dec 5
Tai Chi Club
Mon Dec 7
What’s in the Daily News?
Tue Dec 8
Tai Chi Club
Wed Dec 9
Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Memoir and More Writing Group
Thu Dec 10
All the News
Tai Chi Club
Fri Dec 11
Craft & Conversation
Tallwood Book Club
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
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
Marian Drohan, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.