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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: Weekly Editorial Team: Paul Van Hemel, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere, Proofreaders: John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel 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.

OLLI E-News February 6, 2015
Print a condensed pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
For the popular National Park Service Potpourri Lecture Series: Ranger Heidi Dietze discusses the flu epidemic of 1918

February 6, 2015

Editor of the Week: Gordon Canyock
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Registration for the Valentine's Party on Feb 20th closes on Feb 13th. Register in any OLLI office

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New Registration System

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

The launch of the New OLLI Registration System is planned for February 18th and many hands are working overtime to prepare for this very important date! We’re all excited, but before we can “go live” we’re asking OLLI Members to help with some housekeeping. In order to protect your privacy, passwords were not imported into the new system. Also, some profile information has changed and needs to be updated. Item #1 absolutely must happen. Item #2 is up to you but we’d really like it if you would also do this one. Watch this video to see how to do the updates
  1. MUST DO: Next Monday, February 9th go onto the OLLI website and click on the Member Portal. This will take you directly to the new registration site.  Go to the SIGN IN page, enter your user name and email address (same as old system) and click Forgot Password. This will generate an email to your inbox. Go to your inbox and click the link that takes you back to the reset password page. Please find specific instructions on how to reset your password here:               
  2. OPTIONAL: Once you have reset your password please go to the ‘My Profile’ link on the left hand navigation bar. Here you will be taken to your profile page. Click the ‘Edit’ link at the bottom of the page. This will take you to the personal information page. Please update any information on this page and be sure to complete any fields with a red asterisk which denote a required field.  Please find specific information on how to update your profile information here:

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Program Planning Group Meetings

by Kathryn Russell, Program Committee Chair

Program Planning groups are currently meeting to choose courses for upcoming terms.  If you’d like to offer ideas—or just listen and learn—come along and join in the fun.  All OLLI members are invited to attend.  You’ll definitely enjoy the camaraderie, and you’ll have the chance to see how your program is made. These planning groups are meeting soon:

Special Events – First Wednesday of each month, Tallwood

Loudoun Planning Group – Wednesday, February 11, 1:30 in the conference room at Mason Loudoun

Science, Technology and Health – Friday, February 13, 11:30, Tallwood (rescheduled because of inclement weather)

Language, Literature and Theater - Thursday, Feb. 19, 10:00 - Tallwood

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What Do Black Holes, Flash Gordon’s Ray Gun, Your iPad, and ObamaCare Have In Common?
By John Acton, Co-Chair of the OLLI Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group
The answer will be revealed at the next meeting of the OLLI Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group, to be held on Friday, Feb 13th at the Tallwood Campus, from 11:30 to 1:30. OK — here’s a hint: they’re just a few of the hundreds of ideas submitted by OLLI members in response to recent surveys looking for topics of interest. Please join us as we ponder how to develop courses that will help inform and pique the interest of OLLI members. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your lightsabers.


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Obituary - Arleen Richman

We are sad to report the passing of OLLI member Arleen Richman on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. She joined OLLI in 2005. She enjoyed courses on art, history and religion and served on the Communications Committee and as an E-News staff writer. Arleen’s funeral service was conducted on Thursday, February 5. She will be laid to rest in her father’s family plot in Queens, N.Y. Additional information is available at

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Ask Uncle Olli

By Uncle Olli, Driver Safety Consultant 

Uncle Olli has lived in Northern Virginia most of his lifetime, and has encountered every traffic problem. But sometimes the little problems seem so trivial you are embarrassed to admit them. Easy. Ask Uncle Olli at He is embarrassed by nothing!


The opposite of what your instinct tells you. You start to spin counterclockwise (your trunk swings toward the curb). You instinctively steer left, away from the direction you are heading. Wrong. So you turn the other way. Right. By that time you've hit something.  Instead, turn IN THE SAME DIRECTION you are slipping. This will align your wheels and allow you to slow down and even steer. A little. That's why you should drive slowly in snow.

Why do you spin? Because it is as is if you are spinning the car. When you turn against the spin, you twirl the car. When you turn in the direction of the spin you are making the whole car slide sideways, which it does not want to do.  The only way to learn counterintuitive ways is to practice.  Try this on a snowy Sunday in an empty parking lot. Have a non-relative in the car with you. One of you is going to yell. You can avoid a friend, but not a relative.

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February Book Club Meeting

By Ceda McGrew, Club Coordinator

The OLLI Book Club will meet on Wednesday, February 11 at 1:30 PM at Tallwood. The book for discussion is Elsewhere, Richard Russo's 2012 memoir about growing up in the close-knit upstate New York town of Gloversville. It is also the story of this once prosperous community's decline as the demand for handmade leather goods collapsed due to changes in fashion and competition from less expensive imports. In 2002 Russo won the Pulitzer prize for fiction for his book Empire Falls. In September 2014 he was a featured speaker at the local Fall for the Book Festival and was awarded the Fairfax Prize.
All OLLI members are welcome.
The book for discussion in March is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult


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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

Ode to the Hovering Bird
Hummingbird blasts by gracious gladiolus
towering pillars of billowy petals
nectar whispers its sweet invitation
come in, come in, my ravenous friend
caressing each precious bloom in turn
she deems them each delightful
enlivened by her embrace
petals shiver in the breeze
of the relentless
no hesitation now, no doubts
just hunger and gratification
gladness and delight.
                                            By Susan Bennett

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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 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

Walnut Street Theatre: A Life in the Theatre
Fri, Feb 6, 8:00
A play by David Mamet
Pre-Performance Discussion: Member of the Company.
Concert Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26.
A Sense of Wonder
Fri, Feb 6, 8:00
Based on the life and works of Rachel Carson
Written and performed by Kaiulani Lee
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $25; seniors, $15.
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Sat, Feb 7, 8:00
Dvorák: Symphony No. 8
Bodorová: Symphony No. 1 (U.S. Premiere)
Concert Hall
Admission: $50, $40, $25.
Todd Ellison and Friends: The Romance of Broadway
Sun, Feb 8, 4:00
Pre-Performance Discussion: Todd Ellison.
Concert Hall
Admission: $46, $39, $28.
The Vagina Monologues
Fri, Feb 13 and Sat, Feb 14, 8:00 pm
Harris Theatre
Admission: $25
Virginia Opera: Salome
Sat, Feb 14, 8:00
Pre-Performance Discussion: Glenn Winters.
Concert Hall
Admission: $86, $72, $44.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)

Anna Balakerskaia and Friends
Sun, February 8, 7:00pm
Schubert: Fantasia
George Schumann: Trio
Schubert: “Trout” Quintet
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.
Faculty Artist Series: Voice
Sun, Feb 15, 4:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.


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At the Hylton Center

PWCS Exhibit: Making Connections Through Art
Feb 2 - Mar 8
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 - 6:00, Thur., 10:00 - 8:00 and two hours before performances. Gallery Reception: Sat, Feb 28 from 12:30 to 1:45. For more information about the current exhibit, visit For reception RSVP to
Admission: Free.
Arlo Guthrie: Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour
Fri, Febr 6, 8:00
Pre-Performance Discussion: Dr. Greg Robinson, Assistant Professor of Music.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $50, $43, $30.
Creative and Performing Arts Center (CPAC): Locomotion
Sat, Feb 7 and Sun Feb 8, 3:00 pm
Sun, Feb 7, 7:00
Gregory Family Theater
Tickets: Adults, $15 ($17 at the door); children, $10 ($12 at the door).
American Festival Pops Orchestra: Valentine's Day Pops
Sat, Feb 14, 8:00
Pre-Performance Discussion: Bryan Kidd, Arranger in Residence.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.
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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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Mason Highlights

Other Mason events, next two weeks

By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Lecture: Dr. Wade Henning will discuss “Extreme Exoplanets” showing how ‘out of this world’ planets move around stars other than our sun.  Mon, Feb 9, 5:30 to 7:30. Research Hall, Showcase and Observatory. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be postponed.  Announcements about cancellations are posted to the website ( )  the day of the event.  Wear closed toed shoes, and dress appropriately for being outside for the duration of the observatory tour, which includes a look through the 32" telescope. Free.

Art Exhibit: George Mason University presents “Characters, Language and Design,” an exhibit that explores the interconnectivity between language, culture, art and design in Chinese written characters. This is the first in a series of exhibits sponsored in partnership between Mason's School of Art, the Confucius Institute, and the College of Art of Beijing Language University. The exhibition runs from Thursday, February 4 - Sunday, March 8, 2015, at Founders Hall Gallery, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201.


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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 7 10:30am Tai Chi Club­­–TA-3
Tue Feb 10 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club­­–Panera, Herndon
Wed Feb 11  1:30pm
Book Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Bridge Club Loudoun
Fri Feb 13  9:00am

Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer etc–Annex
Science, Technology and Health Program
Sat Feb 14 10:30am Tai Chi Club­­–TA-3
Tue Feb 17 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club­­–Panera, Herndon
Wed Feb 18 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum
A/V Committee–TA-1
Thu Feb 19 10:00am Literature, Language, Theater Program
Planning Group-TA-2
Fri Feb 21  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Homer etc–Annex

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