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A field trip to Observatory Park
Photo by David Osterman

February 21, 2014

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Reminder: Registration for the spring term ends Fri, Feb 28 at noon.

The server hosting OLLI’s Member Portal will be down for up to an hour on Monday evening, Feb 24, starting at 11 pmImpact on members: During this planned outage, you will not be able to access the Member Portal to register for the spring term, look at the current membership directory, or take other actions for which a login is required.

There will be a three-week break in publication of the E-News starting after the February 28 issue. We will resume weekly publication on March 21. Club announcements for this period should be submitted to by February 25.

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Invitation to a Shakespeare Weekend at George Mason

By Kathryn Russell, Program Committee Chair

The weekend begins with a free lecture:
     “Holding Mirrors Up to Nature: Shakespeare, Stoppard, and the World of Hamlet”
     by Rick Davis, Executive Director, Hylton Center
          Thursday, February 27 at 1:30 pm
          Hylton Performing Arts Center – Manassas, VA
     Please RSVP by emailing
Then enjoy a 20% discount for these performances:
     The Acting Company: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
          Saturday, March 1 at 8 pm
          George Mason University’s Center for the Arts – Fairfax, VA
     The Acting Company: Hamlet
          Sunday, March 2 at 4 pm
          Hylton Performing Arts Center – Manassas, VA
Tickets:  Online at or
        Or phone: 888-945-2468 (Hylton Center Ticket Office/Center for the Arts Ticket Office)
              Use Code: WKND when purchasing your tickets

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Fashion Show Set for May 20

By Norma Jean Reck

OLLI's first fashion show ever will take place on Tue, May 20, at the Country Club of Fairfax from 10:30 to 2:30. The event is a FOLLI Fundraiser. Effie from Bloomingdales will present fashions for both men and women, modeled by our own OLLI ladies and gentlemen. This first-time event and fundraiser will also include a delicious lunch and foot-tapping entertainment by The Capitol Reunion Quartet, four ladies who sing barbershop style. The cost is $55 per person, some of which will go toward fundraising. Registration will start soon. Invite your friends and neighbors—non-members are welcome.

Helping with the show is a wonderful opportunity for OLLI members from all three campuses to meet and have some fun, while catching up on the newest fashion trends. If you are interested in helping out backstage, with wardrobe, communication, promotion, prizes, hospitality, table decorations, modeling, please email Norma Jean Reck We especially need a graphic artist ASAP. Please provide your name, phone number, and what you would like to help with. 

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To Keep Our Heads above Water

By Jan Bohall, E-News Staff Writer

Bill Walsh, OLLI’s Tallwood site assistant, starts his “typical” day admitting that one doesn’t exist for him, as he makes coffee, sets out precious cookies and pretzels, opens classrooms, and hooks instructors up to microphones. When it comes to technological help, Bill shines. His basic approach to OLLI’s array of A/V equipment is, he says, to “expect the unexpected.” Things don’t always work as they should, even if pre-tested—Internet connections slip away, links between systems inexplicably break down. As trouble-shooter extraordinaire, Bill has an uncanny sense of what will bring systems springing back to life. His aim: that the audience not notice the equipment, but only the content of the instructor’s presentation.

He operates within the framework of the class schedule during the term. A recent challenge has been videoconferencing the Loudoun class of instructor John Rybicki to Tallwood, the reverse of the usual channel.
With an increased number of off-site classes around Tallwood, Bill shares the responsibility of seeing that all runs smoothly with a young part-timer, Gregory Hartmann. They tote needed equipment to any of five locations off-campus to tie in with equipment provided there, which may be as unsophisticated as a screen set on a metal stand. We at OLLI have been spoiled, and Bill gives full credit to colleague and OLLI Board member Paul Howard for assembling a first-class A/V system.

A major challenge for Bill is the use of Apple (Macintosh) equipment and its need for adaptors to use with Microsoft equipment. Also, he prefers to do a test run on the actual machine that will be used in the classroom.

Back at his desk in the Tallwood office, Bill can be seen checking his PC for the status of class handouts, making sure each is ready for the instructor and at the proper site. A large poster of roiling sea water around a lighthouse hangs over his desk, with a man awaiting rescue. Bill has added a caption over the art of Jean Guichard which reads, “Why, yes, we have managed to keep our heads above water. Why do you ask?”  
A Lesson for OLLI from the Olympics

By Jane Rosenthal

[Editor’s note: The following presents observations from the perspective of a new OLLI-Mason member. It should serve as a reminder to those of us who have been around for awhile that we may not be taking full advantage of the opportunities provided to us.]

As I watched the Olympics and marveled at the dexterity and drive of the competitors, I admired the journey they undertook to reach their goal. In life and in sports it is not always the end result but the effort to get there that provides the most valuable lessons.

Engaging in learning by taking courses through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute or other community centers, either online or in a traditional classroom, stimulates one’s brain and encourages new connections. Meeting new friends who are also struggling to absorb new ideas provides connections to a community that is no longer confined to a neighborhood or region. Class notes are often posted online, an aid if you can’t takes notes as quickly as the instructor is speaking. A whole new array of clubs and committees are opportunities. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but now I can select the ones that are most interesting and pursue these interests and activities. Active retirees can go on trips and find others who like to do the same activity.

One of the benefits of attending classes is reconnecting with friends and making new ones. Another is trying something you have never done before. I am taking a class in watercolor painting. Each session I learned a new technique and found that I can concentrate longer on painting images and scenes. While I enjoy writing, I am discovering that acquiring a different skill makes me appreciate the artists who can create beautiful landscapes and portraits. I can’t wait to sign up for the next semester.

Poet's Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

The Girl with the Golden Garment

This fall the trees had lost their luster
And a dull brown filled the landscape—
Except for the Girl with the Golden Garment
Up the street.
The tree must have been a girl
Because she was so proud,
Strutting her stuff
And putting on her makeup
For everyone to see.
But now she has shed
Her golden garment.
The yellow leaves
Lie at her feet
Like a robe dropped
At the feet of a young woman
Eager to meet her lover.
Her pride is now subdued:
Nude brown branches
Now blend in with the fall landscape.
But she looks forward to
Another season
Where she can bedazzle
The neighborhood again.

                       Jack A. Underhill
Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, Feb 21 to Mar 3

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

Mark Morris Dance Group
Sat, Feb 22, 8:00 and Sun, Feb 23, 4:00.
This program features Italian Concerto set to Bach; the DC area premiere of A Wooden Tree set to the music and words of Ivor Cutler, a poet and songwriter from Scotland; Jenn and Spencer set to Henry Cowell’s Suite for Violin and Piano; and Crosswalk set to the Grand Duo Concertant for clarinet and piano by Carl Maria von Weber.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $46, $38, $23.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

The Acting Company: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead 
Sat, Mar 1, 8:00. 
John Rando directs The Acting Company in its performance of this witty and engaging tragic comedy which turns Shakespeare's Hamlet on its head by examining the misfortunes and musings of two ill-fated, minor characters.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.
Admission: $44, $36, $22. (20% discount for OLLI members - use promo code WKND)
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester: The Golden Age
Sun, Mar 2, 4:00.
Weimar-era, big band orchestra will transport you to an elegant Berlin nightclub back in the 1920s. Classic dance hall songs, swing and cabaret hits of the 20’s and 30’s.
Pre-performance discussion by Ian Wekwerth, Pianist, Max Raabe & Palast.
Admission: $46, $38, $23.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances

University Singers Concert
Sat, Feb 22, 7:30.
Admission: Free.
Vienna Baptist Church, 541 Marshall Rd. SW Vienna, VA 22180
Korean American Student Association Culture Show
Sat, Feb 22, 6:00.
Admission: Free.
Harris Theater.
Mason Symphony Orchestra & Friends Concert
Mon, Feb 24, 8:00.
Admission: Adults: $10; Seniors: $5.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
Mason Wind Symphony Concert
Thu, Feb 27, 8:00.
Admission: Adults: $10; Seniors: $5.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Mason Players: Hedda Gabler
Thu, Feb 27 - Sat, Mar 1, 8:00.
Sat, Mar 1, and Sun, Mar 2, 2:00.
Written by Henrik Ibsen; directed by Halah Zenhom
Admission: Adults: $15; Seniors: $10.

Faculty Artist Series: Kathy Mulcahy
Mon, Mar 3, 12:30.
Admission: Free.
Harris Theater.

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At the Hylton Center

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel
The Power and Passion of Beethoven
Sat, Feb 22, 8:00.
This program features some of Beethoven’s most beloved works.
Admission: $38, $30, $22.
Merchant Hall.
American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
Sun, Feb 23, 3:00.
The American Youth Symphonic Orchestra with conductor Carl J. Bianchi performs works by Tchaikovsky.
Admission: $20, adults; $10, seniors.
Merchant Hall.

The Peking Acrobats
Wed, Feb 26, 7:30.
Performing an ancient art form dating back thousands of years, the Peking Acrobats' unique acts include juggling, tumbling, magic and much more.
Pre-performance discussion by a member of the company.

Admission: $48, $40, $32.
Merchant Hall.

Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Soundscapes
Sat, Mar 1, 7:30.
Trombonist Scott Shelsta joins the Manassas Symphony Orchestra for Ferdinand David's Concertino for Trombone. The concert also includes the great American classic Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé.
Admission: $20 Adult, $14 Senior.
Merchant Hall.

Scotoma Productions: How Did We Get Here Comedy Special
Sat, Mar 1, 8:30
Featured are local comedians Will Hessler, Jim Pate, Kevin McCarron and Paul Simpson.
Admission: $22.50.
Gregory Family Theater.

The Acting Company: Hamlet
Sun, Mar 2, 4:00.
Pre-performance discussion by Jean Ross, Prince William County Public Librarian.
Admission: $44, $36, $28. (20% discount for OLLI members - use promo code WKND)
Merchant Hall.

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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
Exhibit: Making Connections through Art: Presented by Prince William County Schools. This work by Prince William County students represents just a small number of the young artists in the School Division. Continuing to Sat, Mar 1. Buchanan Partners Gallery. Free.

Art Show: Seeing and Responding to Italy. Twelve School of Art students This group show provides an overview of the completed projects of 12 School of Art students. Continuing to Fri, Mar 7. Mason Hall Atrium Gallery. Free.

Film: Gravity. The Academy Award-nominated movie Gravity involves two people struggling to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. Fri, Feb 21, 6:00 and 9:00; Sat, Feb 22, 6:00. Johnson Center, Cinema. $3.

Speaker: Johnnetta B. Cole. Currently the director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, Dr. Cole was a pioneer of African-American studies and black women's studies. She was formerly president of Spelman College, the oldest historically black women's college in the country. Tue, Feb 25, 7:00 to 8:00. Johnson Center, Bistro. Free.

Film: 12 Years A Slave. In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. See this Academy Awards nominated movie. Sat, Mar 1, 9:00; Thu, Mar 6, 9:00; Fri, Mar 7, 6:00 and 9:00; Sun, Mar 8, 6:00. Johnson Center, Cinema.  $3.

Exhibit: Fixed, Measured, and Leveled.  An exhibit of works by Richard Franklin, Harold Linton, and Peter Winant. Can a line define boundaries of public and shared space, color become physical energy, or shape conjure or describe memory? By using formal elements of line, shape, and color – seemingly simple characteristics of drawing and painting – the artists in this exhibition investigate complex issues of control and perception that move beyond the limits of the ordinary. Mon, Mar 3, to Fri, Mar 28, 6:00 to 8:00. Fine Art Gallery, Art & Design Building.

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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 22 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Feb 24 10:00am What’s in the Daily News? con’d–TA-3
Tue Feb 25 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Feb 26 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Feb 27 11:30am Cooking Club–Cottage
Fri Feb 28   9:00am
  9:30am 10:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Travel Club–TA-2
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Fiction Book Club–Loudoun Rm 205
Homer, etc– Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2
Photography Club–TA-1
Sat Mar 1 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Mar 3 10:00am What’s in the Daily News? cont’d–TA-3
Tue Mar 4 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Mar 5 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–Cottage
Special Events Committee–Annex
History Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Mar 7   9:00am 
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
iPad User Group–Reston UCP 113/114
Homer, etc–Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2

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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
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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