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Toni Acton Hosts Coffee Klatch,
Tallwood, March 5

March 20, 2020

Editor of the Week: Leslie Vandivere

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Although following Mason’s lead on canceling activities for the remainder of the term, OLLI is exploring ways to conduct classes and activities online. Watch for updates.

  • Note: The 3rd Saturday meeting of the Computer Club scheduled for March 21 (tomorrow) will be held online via Zoom (see article below).
  • The Literature, Theater, and Language/Writing Program Planning Group meeting, scheduled for Thursday, March 26, has been postponed and will be rescheduled because of the cancellation of activities at Mason and OLLI.
  • The physical meeting of the Loudoun Non-Fiction Book Club scheduled for March 31 has been canceled.
  • The physical meeting of the Reston Book Club scheduled for April 2 has been canceled.
  • The next issue of OLLI E-News will be published Friday, April 3; regular deadline for submission of items is Tuesday, March 31, at 6:00.

OLLI President’s Message March 20

By Bill Taylor, President

As you have no doubt noted from my email message of March 16, in the face of the COVID‑19 virus threat, OLLI in-person classes and activities are closed until we can determine that it is safe to resume in-person operations. This means that physical meetings of classes, clubs, and social activities will be suspended in the coming weeks.

We will be following the lead of George Mason University, which has canceled student events, registered student organization functions, social functions, and gatherings for the remainder of the term. You can check the Mason website at coronavirus website for updates. We will also keep you informed as we work to maintain the OLLI experience for our members and weather this period of unplanned isolation. Thanks.

Course Proposals for Fall Term 2020

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate

Calling all longstanding and new OLLI instructors! Please be aware that the deadline for course proposals for fall term 2020 is
April 13. Fall term 2020 runs from September 21-November 13. If you haven’t submitted your proposal yet, please do so soon to ensure we will have space for your offering. Your description does not need to be catalog ready for you to submit, but your submission allows us to save you a spot on the calendar. The earlier you submit, the more likely we can fit your offering into the term and provide you with your preferred dates for the class. Spaces fill up quickly, so act soon!
If you need more time, the deadline for course proposals for winter term 2021 is July 27, 2020. Winter term 2021 runs from January 25-February 19. We encourage all to send in offerings!You can find the course proposal form at: Please fill it out in its entirety, click “submit,” and the OLLI program planners will be in touch with you soon thereafter about your offering.Thanks for your support for OLLI programming!

Computer Club
3rd Saturday, March 21
Television in the 1920s
SI Units—Who Cares?

By Paul Howard, OPCUG Program Chair

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, March 21. This meeting will be online, via Zoom webinar—see below. Program activities begin at 1:00.

Television in the 1920s–presented by Dr. Brian Belanger (begins about 1:10) Although few Americans viewed television broadcasts before the 1940s or early 1950s, the first published book on the history of television had a copyright date of 1911! There was experimental television in the Washington, DC, area beginning in 1928, using motor-drive spinning discs to create the moving image. This talk describes the fascinating early history of television.

Electrical engineer Brian Belanger had a long career in industry and government before his retirement in 2000. Since then, he has been an active volunteer at the National Capital Radio & Television Museum. One of the museum’s founders, he served as its director for about a decade, and is currently the museum’s curator, a regular docent, and a co-editor of the museum’s journal Dials and Channels.

Learn in 30: SI Units—Who Cares? Presentation by Dr. Lorrin Garson Last year, standards for seven fundamentals (ampere, candela, kelvin, kilogram, meter, mole, and second) were defined based entirely on unchanging fundamental properties of nature; these standards are now immutable. Of course, there are many other SI (International System of Units) standards derived from these seven fundamentals. A brief history of standard setting will be discussed, and a description of these new standards will be given.

See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website.

Dues-paid club members may attend via Zoom’s cloud webinar service beginning at 12:45. Send a message to if you plan to attend in this way. This meeting will be using a new interface for attendees—please enter your First and Last Name—and email address, when prompted for it. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: (Meeting ID: 962 261 210) Note: This is a different number from previous sessions).

Photo of the Month

The March 2020 Photo of the Month theme was Winterscapes. We selected Robert Kelberg’s photo “Winter,” 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 Angela Talaber, Photography Club Coordinator

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Obituary: Nancy N. Larson

Nancy Larson, a who joined OLLI in Reston in fall 1999, died on March 13. She led the Let’s Talk About Books class in Reston in past years and will be missed by her OLLI friends. She was a founding member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Reston. Funeral plans are still to be determined.

Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

On Cruach Phádraig*

In the evening dark and softening rain
The shamrock leaves are shuttered now,
But wait to greet the rising sun.
There to spread themselves once more
And celebrate the loft
Of Patrick’s Triune thought of God.

Mike Mc Namara

*A two-thousand-foot height in northwest County Mayo, Ireland, also known as The Reek. Its summit was the site of St. Patrick’s Lenten fast of forty days in the mid-400s. Today, as part of Lenten observances, Catholics climb the scree-filled slope to reach the chapel atop the height. In the mid-80s our son and I crawled to the summit during our cycling trip around Ireland.

The slope was treacherous, handholds and footholds sliding under pressure. It took us about three hours to make the climb in the late morning, and we were whacked. Those penitential Irish who make the Lenten ascent do so with bare feet, using candles to light their way, timing their arrival at the top to coincide with the Easter dawn. We were told that several thousand participate, most every year!

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Arts & Music at George Mason

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

George Mason University has canceled performances at the Center for the Arts and the Hylton Center until further notice. You can check the Mason website at coronavirus website for updates.

Meetings & Clubs

Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines (the Computer Club meeting tomorrow, 21 March, will be held online). OLLI is exploring ways to conduct its classes and activities online. Refer to the university’s coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI calendar for revised information.

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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