Phone:(703) 503-3384


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.

Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
February 10, 2015: Winners Determined in Bruce Mercer’s Course F652 OLLIgopoly—Trivia for Fun  

February 27, 2015

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Save on your auto insurance! F953, a two-day AARP driver safety course, will be offered on Tue, Mar 17 and Thu, Mar 19 from 10:00 to 3:00 in TA-3. The class is limited to 30 students. Please click here for additional information and to register. 
The next E-News will be on March 13, 2015


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More On The Registration System

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

OLLI Registration closes at noon today Friday, February 27th. This week, members learned how to utilize many features of the system including: resetting a password, updating profile information, viewing and requesting lottery classes, adding first come first serve classes to the cart, renewing a membership, accessing the shopping cart and using checkout to make a payment. 
I've received feedback from members on many aspects of the system and their perspective on its functionality. Members gave kudos to the volunteers and staff that produced the system. Members reached out to share personal registration experiences both positive and challenging. Still other members offered great suggestions on improvements to the user experience, with detailed instruction language changes and clearer labeling of links and font size. I've noted all this input and will continue to compile suggestions and concerns throughout the implementation process.

Here are some of my favorite member comments: "So far, so good!"; "I like that that up down arrow is gone."; "I hate wiggly squiggly captcha codes." ; "My husband found the catalog question confusing--however that may not be an indication that the system is flawed."
Finally, one bonus of the new registration system is the LIVE feature. This means the system will give late registrants the ability to make class selections outside the registration window until the lottery runs.  Late registrants will be allowed to 'request class' but without the option to prioritize selections. Late registrants will be entered into the bottom of any lottery pool. The LIVE feature is a nice way to make sure no one is left out and it is more welcoming to potential members that may not have learned about OLLI in time for the registration window. 

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The Nominating Committee Begins Search!

By Martha Scanlon, Nominating Committee Chair

The 2015 Nominating Committee, composed of Martha Scanlon (chair), David Mason, Russell Stone, Toni Acton, Ted Parker, and Paul Van Hemel, was approved by the Board of Directors last Friday and given the task of recruiting qualified candidates to run for positions on the Board of Directors. Elections will be held in May.

The Board consists of 18 members (directors), with 6 elected annually by the membership for three-year terms. It is the responsibility of elected directors to provide the leadership and vision that will guide OLLI growth, maintain its core values, and enhance service to our membership now and in the future. What does it take to make a good director? Most important are a commitment to the mission of the organization and a demonstrated willingness to volunteer energy and time in support of its various committees and functions. Directors find that working with fellow members to strengthen an already outstanding organization provides immense satisfaction.

OLLI has a membership approaching 1,200 people. Many of you have leadership and organizational skills that OLLI needs. Long-time members offer valuable experience and newer members bring fresh talents and skills. We need all of YOU to think about the satisfaction you can get from involvement in OLLI’s leadership.

If any member has an interest in being a candidate to serve on the Board of Directors for the next three years or if you have suggestions regarding members who should be considered as potential directors, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee before March 6. Executive Director, Jennifer Disano, also will be pleased to pass along any of your suggestions to the Committee.

Be prepared, folks! The Nominating Committee may come knocking on your door to persuade you to run for office. If contacted, give it careful thought, ask questions, and then please say YES!
Editors Needed for OLLI Course Catalog!

By Mary Jane Steele, Publications Committee Chair

WANTED: Wordsmiths who are willing to take on the task of editing an issue of our precious OLLI catalog.

Two of our great editors, Luci Martel and Lee Green, who have worked hard for all of us for a number of years, are retiring from the Publications Committee. We have four editions per year, but each of our editors is responsible for just one catalog. The summer edition is set to go into production in the next few weeks. At the moment, we have no editor. If you are willing to come to the rescue of the OLLI catalog, please email me:     
Future Courses Looking for Instructors

By Peg O’Brien

The Program Planning Groups are hard at work throughout the year seeking and developing future courses for all our program sites. OLLI members have submitted a number of good ideas, and we are now searching for instructors who are knowledgeable in these topics and who would be willing to teach them.

Our first need is for presenters for a course titled Military Spouses’ Viewpoint on all the Travel Stateside and Overseas.

We are looking for eight people for Tallwood and eight for Loudoun for this four-week, fall 2015 course. We plan to have two presenters per class.

Contact Kathie West at if you are interested in participating in one of the presentations.
John O'Conor to Perform at Meet the Artist

OLLI’s popular course, Meet the Artist, is back with a lineup of wonderful performers for spring term 2015! 
The series kicks-off Thu, Mar 26, when celebrated Irish musician John O’Conor graces CenterStage with a piano performance at Hunters Woods Community Center in Reston.  This is a world-class concert “not to be missed,” according to event coordinator, Rosemary McDonald.
Mr. O’Conor, a Steinway artist, is famous for his breathtaking performances with some of the most impressive orchestras around the world, including the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, and L'Orchestre National de France. He has given concerts in top performing arts centers such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, and Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, and he is decorated by the Irish, French, Austrian and Japanese governments for outstanding contributions to music, including his devotion to young artists.
John O’Conor currently serves as distinguished artist in residence and chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah University in Virginia, faculty member of the Glen Gould School of Music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, visiting artist at the Royal Irish Academy, and visiting professor at Showa in Japan. He travels the world to provide masterclasses and lectures and to encourage the development of young artists.
“It is truly an honor and such a unique opportunity that John O’Conor will perform free for OLLI members and the public,” said Rosemary McDonald. “His concerts are priceless and celebrated around the world.” 
So why buy a ticket to hear John O’Conor at the Kennedy Center? Sign up for OLLI Spring Term course R114, Meet the Artists, and treat yourself to a musical experience that you will never forget: (click on member portal). Spring registration is open until noon today. After this time, you may be able to register for the class, though only if seats are still available after the lottery is run.
The Popcorn Is Coming! The Popcorn Is Coming!
If you haven’t registered yet for the between-terms screening of The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, don’t wait another day. We’ll start with a half-hour BYO lunch and social session, PLUS we’ll be having free popcorn during the movie. Although this is movie is in English, we WILL be playing it with English subtitles so that you don’t miss a word. Please join us for this fun event.
This event is available on a first come, first served basis. Class size is limited to 65.
Tue, Mar 10, 12:00 – 3:00 in TA-3. Presenter: Martha Powers
History Club to Meet Wed, Mar 4

By Beth Lambert, History Club Coordinator
The History Club will meet on Wed, Mar 4 at 10:00 in TA-2. (Please notice the time; we meet in the morning when OLLI classes are not in session.)
We are proud to announce this month's speaker will be Betty Colette, and her subject is a Victorian lady--Gertrude Bell (1858-1926).  But Bell was not your standard Victorian lady tied up in a corset and stays. She explored the Arabian desert, worked as a spy and policy analyst for British Military intelligence during World War I, and played a major role in establishing the modern state of Iraq.
All History Club members are invited to attend our meetings, and encouraged to bring a guest.  As usual, any OLLI member who is just plain interested in our subject is also welcome.

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Fairfax County Enhances Services for Older Residents

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate/Registrar

Change is in the air! The Fairfax County 50-plus population is exploding, growing at a rate much faster than the general public. Older residents are living longer, healthier lives, and choosing today to “age in place” –retiring on Main Street rather than Margaritaville. This poses new demands on social services provided by the county.

To keep up with this new dynamic, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors teamed up with the Area Commission on Aging and other interested parties to develop and issue last fall recommendations on how to help area seniors remain socially, intellectually and physically engaged. “The Fairfax County 50+ Community Action Plan” offers 31 initiatives in the areas of housing, transit, community engagement, services, safety and health, and long-range planning. They include:
  • expanding the Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver program to help identify and “rescue” those with cognitive disorders and a penchant for wandering;
  • preventing exploitation of older adults through programs and police enforcement;
  • enhancing parks and public library programs and facilities to address the needs of older adults;
  • encouraging the building and sale of “Universal Design” housing that is near transit, affordable, and allows people to age in place;
  • bolstering the Jewish Community Center’s “Northern Virginia Rides” initiative to increase service capacity;
  • encouraging more senior participation in the arts through the Arts Council of Fairfax County;
  • creating new web resources to help older Americans find jobs or become entrepreneurs and developing social media for use by 50 plus groups;
  • expanding the “Venture into Volunteering” program to better recruit and utilize older residents;
  • improving home health care through the promotion of a cooperative of service providers and through the offering of safer housing options; and
  • continuing with long-term planning for evolving needs of the county’s aging population.
(To read the plan in its entirety, go to:

The county invites all interested parties to become involved in the action plan’s implementation. If interested, call 703-324-5720, or email the Fairfax County Department of Family Services (DFS) at
In the interim, DFS has information specialists who can assist older adults with issues relating to day health care, protective services, care management, caregiver support, in-home care services, health insurance counseling, Meals on Wheels, nursing homes and assisted living, senior centers, transportation and much more. Contact DFS at: 703-324-7948.  ​
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!

No, you just activated your ABS, or automated braking system.  It applies the brakes 10-20 times per second (the best you can do manually is about two). You will feel this as a strong vibration on your foot and a loud noise, which is why you should activate your ABS some icy or wet Sunday morning in a deserted parking lot so you know what this sounds and feels like. You don't want to look like a wuss in front of your grandchildren.

Photo of the Month

The February Photo of the Month theme was "Still Life." We selected Susan Van Hemel's photo "Shells," which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club's photo website.
        -- By Dan Feighery, Photography Club Coordinator

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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop
Write On, Socrates
Words set on parchment, Socrates said,
Will dampen the memories of men.
I see yet another grandchild bend
her graceful neck and disappear
                                                                                                — into an
And, yes, Socrates, I understand.
                                                — Betty Smith
Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next 15 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

Mark Morris Dance Group
Sat, Feb 28, 8:00
Sun, Mar 1, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: member of the company.
Concert Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Danú: 20th Anniversary Tour
Fri, Mar 6, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: member of the company.
Concert Hall
Admission: $46, $39, $28.
Tango Buenos Aires: Song of Eva Perón
Sat, Mar 7, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: member of the company.
Concert Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Torment and Triumph – The Romantic Music of Franz Liszt
Sun, Mar 8, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $40, $34, $24.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Sat, Mar 14, 8:00
Mozart: Adagio and Fugue
Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
J.S. Bach: Violin concerto in A minor
Dvorak: Serenade for Strings
Harris Theatre
Admission: $60, $45, $25
The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras: Musical Journey
Sun, Mar 15, 2:00
Symphonic and Chamber Orchestras
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.

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

Faculty Artist Series: Composition
Fri, Feb 27, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

 In the Next Room, or The Vibrator
Sat, Feb 28 - Sun, Mar 1, 2:00
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.

Faculty Artist Series: Jazz Area
Sun, Mar 1, 4:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.
M3E Concert
Sun, Mar 1, 7:00
deLaski 3001
Admission: Free.

Mason Jazz Ensemble Concert
Wed, Mar 4, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $5.
Faculty Artist Series: Brass Area
Thu, Mar 5, 8:00
deLaski 3001
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, Thu, 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

Pushcart Players: Alice in Wonderland
Sat, Feb 28, 11:00 and 2:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors and children, $5.
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond
Sun, Mar 1, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: member of the company.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.

Prince William Little Theatre: Jesus Christ Superstar
Fri and Sat, Mar 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 8:00 
Sun, Mar 8, 15, 22, 2:00 
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adults, $25; seniors, $20.
Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Classicus
Sat, March 7, 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $14.
Tango Buenos Aires: Song of Eva Perón
Sun, Mar 8, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: Lucrecia Laurel, artistic director, and Héctor Falcón, choreographer.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $48, $41, $29.
Mason School of Art Selected Faculty Exhibit
Mar 9 - Apr 20
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
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: Thur, Mar 12, 6:00 to 8:00. For more information about the current exhibit, visit For reception RSVP to
Admission: Free.
Manassas Ballet Theatre: Peter and The Wolf and More
Fri, Mar 13 and Sat, Mar 14, 2015, 7:30
Sun, Mar 15, 3:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $45, $35, $25.

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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

Film: Persepolis. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, it tells the story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl during the Islamic Revolution. Tue, Mar 3, 7:30. Johnson Center, Room F. Free.

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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 28 10:30am Tai Chi Club­­–TA-3
Mon Mar 2 10:00am What’s in the Daily News? Cont’d–TA-1
Tue Mar 3  9:30am
Cottage Art–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club­­–Panera, Herndon
Wed Mar 4 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–Cottage
History Club–TA-2
Special Events Committee–Annex
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Mar 6  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
iPad Users Group–UCP 113/114
Homer etc–Annex
Sat Mar 7 10:30am Tai Chi Club­­–TA-3
Mon Mar 9 10:00am
Liaison Committee Meeting–Annex
What’s in the Daily News con’d–TA-1
Tue Mar 10  9:30am
Cottage Art–Cottage
Knitting and Needlework Club­­–Panera, Herndon
Wed Mar 11 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Book Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Mar 12 10:00am Liaison Committee Meeting–Annex
Fri Mar 13  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Homer etc–Annex

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