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Meeting of the Board of Directors, Tallwood, February 15
(See Highlights Below)

February 22, 2019

Editor of the Week: Leslie Vandivere

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

  • Spring-term priority registration 9:00 February 21 through noon March 1 (spring term begins Monday, March 25). For online catalog, click here.
  • Grab ‘n’ Gab coffee klatsch for spring term is Thursday, March 7, 10:00, at Tallwood in the Annex. New members encouraged and all members welcome.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published March 8; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, March 5, at 6:00.

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From the Desk of the Executive Director: Keeping Up with OLLI Staff!

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

With spring comes change, and so it is with OLLI staff! Program associate Jennifer McMahon (at right, photo by Paul Van Hemel) is stepping down after two years of outstanding support of the OLLI program. Jennifer will remain on staff in a part-time consultant role to train and transition the new program associate and do special projects as needed. We are grateful for her excellent contributions to OLLI and look forward to reaching out to her from time to time.

I am pleased to announce that our current registrar, Shannon Kim Morrow (at left, photo courtesy of Shannon Morrow), will move into Jennifer’s programming role. Shannon has worked at OLLI since 2015, and many of you know her well. A Canadian by birth, she holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of British Columbia, with minors in language arts and psychology, and she is a former teacher with a master’s degree in international education. As the wife of a US diplomat, Shannon has spent decades traveling the world and serving in myriad volunteer positions. Everyone is delighted that Shannon has stepped up to take Jennifer’s program associate position!

Susan Job (at right, photo by Alice Slayton Clark), current site assistant at Lord of Life Church, will assume the registrar job. Susan worked for 12 years at Western Dental, a dental health maintenance organization in California. In her last position there, as an information technology project manager, she was responsible for the rollout of the patient management and billing system. She has extensive experience in tracking projects, writing training materials, corresponding with internal and external parties, and providing the leadership team with presentations on the status of the project. Susan has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in health education. She will make a terrific registrar!

We are so fortunate at OLLI to have staff of such excellent caliber, both in skills and experience, as well as individual conscientiousness and the collective ability to communicate well, work together, and support the OLLI membership.

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Board Meeting Highlights

  By Rita Way, Secretary, Board of Directors

The Board of Directors met Friday, February 15, 2019, at Tallwood. President Bill Taylor announced that a committee dedicated to honoring OLLI’s volunteers has been created. Diane Stanley and Marguerite Johnson will lead this committee.

Bill congratulated the OLLI Players for their fine performances at venues around the county where they bring joy to residents in retirement and assisted living facilities. He encourages anyone who has not seen them perform to take advantage of the opportunity to do so. These events are also outreach opportunities where OLLI Players distribute OLLI flyers to the audience.

In accordance with the OLLI Bylaws, the chair of the nominating committee, Evan Douple, received the Board’s approval to appoint the following OLLI members to serve on the nominating committee. They are Marguerite Johnson, David Talaber (from the Board of Directors), Bill Ackerman, Mary Coyne, Nancy Scheeler, Angie Talaber, and Tom Urman (from the general OLLI membership). The Board also approved a resolution to issue a lifetime membership to Sharon Bulova in recognition of her service to Fairfax County. A resolution was passed to approve the establishment of a small ad hoc committee to carry out small focus groups on core issues that affect our members.

Executive Director Jennifer Disano reported that, as of February 7, 2019, OLLI total membership is 1,147 (annual membership is 1,122 and term membership is 25). A draft drawing has been provided to OLLI from Mason design officials for the cost and installation of a ramp from the back lot at Tallwood to the upper level classroom and restrooms. The estimated cost is around $50K. More negotiations are being pursued with Mason to reduce this estimate and find alternatives that may be more economical.

Jennifer McMahon is stepping down from her role as program associate. The current registrar, Shannon Morrow, will move into the program associate job. Shannon has worked at OLLI since 2015 and is well qualified to assume this position. Susan Job (current site assistance at Lord of Life Church) will take on the registrar job. Susan’s last position was working for Western Dental in the position as information technology project manager. She is familiar with Microsoft Office suite and her skills and experience to take over the position of registrar.

Jennifer Disano met with City of Fairfax staff and negotiated a low rent rate for the Sherwood Center. The Center has excellent audiovisual system capability and adequate parking to meet our needs. This venue will compensate for the loss of space for certain times at Church of the Good Shepherd.

Spring 2019 Preview

 Kathryn Russell         Russell Stone          Doris Bloch           Nancy Scheeler
                                  Program Committee Co-Chairs
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
– P. B. Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind”

We know it’s too early to plant flowers, but we can “think spring” as we browse through the beautiful new OLLI catalog. The hard part comes now because it’s time to choose among all these enticing courses. Once again, our dedicated program planners have made this a daunting task by giving us so many choices: 111 courses and 63 special events and trips. And don’t forget about the between-term events, social events and clubs. You’ll appreciate the variety of categories in each area. Some challenge the brain, some offer practical life-lessons, others entertain.

Do you have a tried-and-true technique for making selections? If not, consider these: Choose one course from each subject area and then fill in your calendar with one-time events. Or select both multi-instructor and single-instructor classes so that you have a mixture of “mega” courses and some smaller classes. Also think about reaching outside your favorite category of courses to find some that lead to a new area of interest.

As you browse through the catalog, notice that we are welcoming many instructors from Mason and NOVA, as well as speakers from the wider community. For example, Mason Faculty Series and the Inova doctors are returning. Professional musicians are featured in several courses, and you’ll find some prominent names from the political and business worlds. In addition, we are delighted to have many OLLI member instructors who generously share their expertise year after year.

Once again, we’re reaping the benefits of the intense labors of OLLI volunteer program planners, and we look forward to a sensational spring season. Continue to enjoy your tour through the catalog, but remember that priority registration ends March 1 at noon. If you’ve already submitted your selections, you can still add more on the website or in the OLLI office during this registration period.

The Tom Swift Club Needs You!

Interested in technology? Learn with us!

By Paul Howard, Audiovisual Support Committee Chair

OLLI’s Audiovisual Support Committee (a.k.a. The Tom Swift Squad) seeks additional volunteers to help ensure the smooth employment of OLLI’s audiovisual resources. Our primary mission is to help instructors, liaisons, and staff with any audiovisual issues that might arise during the classes we attend.

We’ll be meeting at 1:00 on Wednesday, February 27 in TA‑1. Our activities for this meeting will be training as requested by attendees on Tallwood classrooms and planning for future equipment needs of OLLI.

Please let me know if you’re planning to attend or would like to become a “Swiftie” even if you can’t attend this meeting. Contact me by email (preferred) or phone (703-860-9246).

For more information on the Audiovisual Support Committee, see its web page.

Special Events Program Planning Group

By Rita Way, Special Events Program Planning Group Co-Chair

Everyone is invited to the next meeting of the OLLI Special Events Programming Planning Group meeting, Wednesday, March 6, from 11‑12:30 in the Tallwood Annex. Help us plan one-session presentations, bus trips, performances, and more!

We welcome all to attend and share their creative ideas. Contact me if you have any questions:

ELVIS is DEAD! Who Done It?
ByMichelle Blandburg, OLLI Player and Board MemberOn May 31, join the OLLI Players for a rollicking good time as we perform Sherlock Bones Solves the Unfortunate Demise of Elvis. This uproarious new murder mystery was written by our own Kathie K. West and Skip Bromley.Set in the infamous Hound Dog Bar, the list of suspects is long and hilarious, including DJ Johnny Hideout, Dr. Ferdinand Flotsom, Ms. Lucy Floozy, the Memphis Mafia, Ms. Irene Addled, Colonel Billy Boy Barker, the singing Honey Combs, and many other nefarious characters. The Blue Suede Band (better known as the OLLI Trio featuring vocalist Ms. Nancy Riley) will provide musical background as the mystery builds to a dramatic climax.

The price of your ticket is a mere $25, which includes refreshments. The show will be at the Church of the Good Shepherd and premieres at 10:00, so arrive on time to get all the clues.

To reserve your seat, register and pay with your spring‑term class registration; it is Special Event #1206 in the catalog. Is this your typical murder mystery? Well, not exactly! Come join the fun!

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Music, Music Everywhere!
By Marianne Metz, Art and Music Program Planning Group Co-Chair and Board MemberAs you register for spring-term classes, you may want to fill your schedule with music. You can find several great offerings in the Art and Music section of your catalog. But don’t stop there! Much more music can be found elsewhere in the catalog. Check these out:
Before-Term Classes:

  • 1202 Tricksters, Sages, and Other Colorful Archetypes in Broadway Musicals (March 9)
  • R114 First session of Meet the Artists, featuring Beverly Cosham (March 21)

Classes Within Spring Term:

  • F409 Putting It Together: The Life and Works of Stephen Sondheim (4 sessions)
  • F410 Musicals from Both Sides of the Footlights (8 sessions)
  • 955 Golden Age of Radio (March 26)
  • 986 Teaching Elementary Space Science with Music (April 26)
  • 991 Two Tales of Misia (May 2)
  • 996 Russian Music Performance (Balalaika) (May 9)
  • 999 The Enigma of Shostakovich (May 13)
  • 1003 Music and the Arthurian Legend (May 15)
  • F902 Mason Faculty Club Series, Part 2, particularly the May 6 session on “Why Aren’t Jazz and Classical Music Popular?”

After-Term Classes:

  • 1205 ETHEL with guest artist Robert Mirabal present “The River” (May 26)
  • 1206 The OLLI Players and the Tallwood Trio with Nancy Riley present “Sherlock Bones Solves the Unfortunate Demise of Elvis”

Happy listening!

A Night in Old Havana, With Ice Cream
By Jim Dunphy, Social Committee Chair

After a freezing cold winter, what better way to warm up OLLI members than a night in Old Havana?

For OLLI’s annual ice cream social on February 15, almost 60 members filled TA‑1 as it was transformed to the tropical city. First, they feasted on a variety of ice creams, washed down by hot cider provided by John and Toni Acton. The scooper brigade efficiently moved the participants through the line.

Once they had their ice cream, members walked down to OLLI’s version of Havana. They were treated to videos on music and cars, and of course, Cuban Ricky Ricardo blaring out Babaloo! Both Jim Dunphy and the Actons shared memories and pictures of their visits to Cuba, and other members offered theirs also.

Of course, learning is part of OLLI, so, as always, members were treated to a trivia contest testing their knowledge of Cuba—e.g., the date of the Cuban missile crisis, the name of the battleship blown up in Havana harbor, the best friends of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and other such questions. All left knowing more about Cuba than when they came.

Thanks to the Actons for running the trivia contest and sharing their trip experiences. Credit must also go to the members of the Social Committee for their hard work setting up both TA‑1 and the Annex and providing members with ice cream and hospitality.

Make sure you save the date for the Social Committee’s next event, OLLI’s Got Talent, to be held on July 12. In addition to a pot-luck lunch, we will experience the many talents of OLLI members. Don’t miss it!

(Photos courtesy of Ligia Glass)


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Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

“Surprise like love can catch our                                           
better selves unaware.” Linda Pastan

Like the time I got onto
a crowded Metro car
and a young woman

in a head scarf stood up,
shifting her back pack
to one shoulder, motioning

me to sit, and I just stood
there staring, slow to
see that the older woman

she was offering her seat to
was me. Then others began
to turn and look, and she

began to look uncertain,
embarrassed, and at last
my better self kicked in, and

thank you, that’s very nice
of you, I said, hearing my
grandmother’s voice,

and then, as glad as she’d
have been, I sank into the seat,
and we were both relieved.

   Caroline McNeil

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Ms. Ollie Ettakit

A Gnawing Issue in Classroom Etiquette

 By Ms. Ollie Ettakit,  OLLI E-News Manners Expert

Through several sources, including member comments, personal observation, and an OLLI suggestion box, Ms. Ettakit has become aware that some members have been guilty of classroom eating behaviors that exceed the bounds of good taste. As a result, classes have been disrupted to varying degrees in ways that interfere with classmates’ ability to enjoy what is being presented and reflect a lack of respect for our volunteer instructors.

Certainly, most people are unlikely to be offended by coffee and cookies/pretzels from the social room. However, it is important to be aware of your effect on people seated near you: crunchy snacks (even pretzels) can be a source of distracting noise. Packaged snacks can be disturbing, sometimes especially so when the offender tries to minimize noise by being slow and careful but succeeds only in creating a protracted, lengthy rustling!

Although there may be a microwave oven available, please do not heat up a full meal for consumption during a class. Not only does that impose your dining spread on nearby members, it produces unwelcome aromas such as garlic in the classroom. During a lecture, that is clearly unacceptable.

Eating during class is, of course, okay in cases where food is part of the deal and is provided for everyone in the class. Examples are cooking demonstrations, end‑of‑term parties, or the breakfast lecture series with Mason professors. The key here is that EVERYONE has food.

Ms. Ettakit urges being aware of the effect that in-class snacking can have on fellow OLLI members and our instructors. She would be loath to entertain the possibility of entirely banning food and drink in classrooms, as is done at some sites.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, February 22 through March 11

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or Hylton Center, 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 Center ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues 

Cirque Mechanics: 42 FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels
Fri, Feb 22, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Czech National Symphony Orchestra: 100 Years of Leonard Bernstein
Sat, Feb 23, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $60, $51, $36.

Ellington Sacred Concert
Sat, Feb 23, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: $12, adult; $8, senior.

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: The Exotic Music of the Night
Sun, Feb 24, 7:00
A question & answer session with the audience concludes the program.
Concert Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26.

Mark Morris Dance Group
Fri, Mar 1, and Sat, Mar 2, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: $50, $43, $30.

Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure
Sun, Mar 3, 2019 2:00 and 4:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $15, Adult; $10, children.

TheatreWorks: Henry & Mudge
Tue, Mar 5, 10:30am
Concert Hall
Admission: Call box office.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: Mozart, Gershwin, and Eryilmaz
Sat, Mar 9, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with conductor Christopher Zimmerman and special guests begins at 7:00.
Concert Hall
Admission: $65, $53, $50, $39, $30.

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

Faculty Artist Series: Dr. Glenn Smith, composition
Fri, Feb 22, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.Harp Masterclass
Sun, Feb 24, 10:00
Music Theater Building, Rm 2018
Admission: Free.Mason Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band Concert
Tue, Feb 26, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $12, Adult; $8, senior.Really Really
Thu Feb 28 to Sat, Mar 3, 8:00
Fri, Mar 1 and Sat, Mar 2, 2:00
deLaski Performing Arts Building, A105, TheaterSpace
Admission: $20, Adult; $10, senior.

New Sound Collective Concert
Sat, Mar 2, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Mason Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert
Monday Mar 4, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $20, Adult; $15, senior.

At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Gallery Exhibit: 8th Annual Prince William County Public Schools Student Exhibition
January 22 – March 9
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.

Cirque Mechanics: 42 FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels
Sat, Feb 23, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with a member of the company.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29

Loudon Wainwright III, Suzzy Roche, Lucy Wainwright Roche
Sun, Feb 24, 4:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $40, $30.

The Julian Bliss Septet: Celebrating Gershwin: A Stroll down Tin Pan Alley
Fri, Mar 01, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion with Julian Bliss & Neal Thornton begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $46, $39, $28.

Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Tesoros Hispanos
Sat, Mar 2, 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: $20, Adult; $16, senior.

Ordway Conservatory: Alice in Wonderland
Sunday, Mar 3, 4:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $20, Adult; $15, senior and children.

Manassas Ballet Theatre: A Fantasque Evening
Fri, Mar 8, and Sat, Mar 9, 7:30
Sun, Mar 10, 3:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $65, $55, $45, $35, $25.

Prince William Little Theatre: Anne of Green Gables
Fri, Mar 8, and Sat, Mar 9, 8:00
Sun, Mar 10, 2:00
Fri, Mar 15, and Sat, Mar 16, 8:00
Sun, Mar 17, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $20, Adult; $17, senior.

For further details on any of the above events, 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 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. (bolded below).

Sat Feb 23 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue Feb 26  9:30am
Annex Art–Annex
Spanish Club–TA-2
Wed Feb 27 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Audiovisual Support Committee–TA-1
Fri Mar 1  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Crafts and Conversation–Annex
Homer, etc.–Annex
Dr. Who Club–TA-3
Arts and Music Program Planning Group
Sat Mar 2 10:00am
Photography Club Photo Project–TA-1
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Mar 4 10:00am OLLI Players–TA-3
Tue Mar 5  9:30am Annex Art–Annex
Wed Mar 6 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–Annex
History Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Mar 7 10:00am Grab ‘n’ Gab Coffee Klatsch–Annex
Fri Mar 8  9:15am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Crafts and Conversation–Annex
Homer, etc.–Annex
Cooking Club–TA-1
Sat Mar 9 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3

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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: 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
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:
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 “” without the quotes.

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