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Fall 2014 Catalog

Fall 2014 Catalog
September 22 – November 14

Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing fall 2014 activities at all three locations (Fairfax, Reston and Loudoun). Unless otherwise noted, classes beginning with an F are held at Tallwood in Fairfax, an R at United Christian Parish in Reston, and an L at Mason’s Loudoun County location in Sterling. To view non-course information in the catalog, click the following links for the Schedule of classes (pdf) and Registration Form (pdf). If there is an instructor for a course that interests you, please check our page of instructor profiles.

If you plan to print the catalog rather than read it on your computer screen, you may prefer to print the Fall 2014 Catalog (pdf) in its normal two-column format.

Class hours are 9:40–11:05, 11:50–1:15, and 2:15–3:40, unless otherwise noted.

100 Art and Music

F101 Understanding Opera, Part I
F102 Music Sampler
F103 Drawing and Sketching 101
F104 Drawing and Sketching 102
F105 Broadway at OLLI
F106 Intermediate DSLR Photography
F107 Hitler and the Arts: 1900-1945
F108 Arts of the Islamic World from the Freer Gallery
F109 Singing for Fun
F110 Film Appreciation: Short Films & Episodes from Film Classics
F111 Watercolor Painting
R112 Poetry in Music
R113 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music
R114 Anger, Magic and Idealism: Art in the Interwar Years: 1917-1945
R115 Meet the Artists
L116 Fred Astaire, Entertainer Extraordinaire

200 Economics & Finance

F201 Navigating Lifestyle Changes Facing Seniors
F202 Federal Deficits and Debt
F203 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
F204 An Economics Potpourri
L205 What Your Adult Children Should Know When You Need Their Help
L206 Retirement Income Strategies

300 History & International Studies

F301 Films of the Great War, Part 3
F302 Issues and Politics in the Civil War
F303 1066, The Norman Conquest
F304 McCarthyism and the Red Scare
F305 Ukraine Since the End of the Cold War: History and Perspective
F306 The China-Burma-India Theatre in World War II
F307 History of California from Here to There: Transportation Innovations that Changed History
F308 Getting from Here to There: Transportation Innovations that Changed History
F309 Loyalism in the American Revolution
F310 “Everyone to battle:” The Collapses of 1918
R311 The Progressive Era
R312 Spies and Espionage
R313 What Is It About Virginia?
R314 The Roaring Twenties
R315 Off the Beaten Path: Lesser-known National Mall Sites
R316 Era of the American Revolution
R317 The War of 1812
L318 The Modern World Since 1760
L319 Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Campaign
L320 History of America in 101 Objects
L321 World War II in Europe and the Atlantic: The Allied “Ultra” Advantage
L322 Perceptions of Nature in Early America
L323 Remembering My Hometown

400 Literature, Theater & Writing

F401 Par Lagerkvist in the Sibyl and Marriage Feast
F402 OLLI Players Workshop
F403 Readers’ Theater
F404 :Public Speaking Tips and Techniques
F405 Chinese Literature
F406 Memoir Writing
F407 Poetry Workshop
F408 The Gothic
F409 Aspects of the Novel
F410 Two Landmarks of Holocaust Literature
R411 Let’s Talk About Books
R412 A Tour of Hardy’s Wessex
R413 Literary Roundtable
R414 Introduction ot Homer’s Odyssey
L415 The New Yorker: A Roundtable Discussion
L416 Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the Sonnets
L417 Writers’ Workshop: Writing the Mind Alive
L418 Readers’ Theater in Loudoun
L419 The 3P’s: Poetry, Plays, Presentation
L420 Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida

500 Languages

F501 Beginning Spanish Conversation
F502 Beginning French
F503 Spanish Conversational Forum
F504 Latin II
F505 Italian for Travel
R506 Basic Spanish Conversation

600 Religious Studies

F601 The First Christians
F602 Faith, Doubt and Tradition: A Teaching and Sharing Seminar
F603 End of Life Decisions in Islam: Medical Ethics and Spiritual Guidance
F604 Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism
R605 Controversial Teachings of the Bible
L606 New Testament Wannabes and Also-Rans: The Non-Canonical Books
L607 Prophetic Messianic Expectation

650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
F652 OLLIgopoly–Trivia for Fun
F653 Philosophy and the Good Life
F654 Cultures and Religions of the Middle East
F655 The Middle East Through Film
FF656 Ontology & Its Use in Human Communications
R657 War on Poverty
R658 Understanding the Inventions That changed the World – Part 3
R659 The Nuremberg Trials

700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?
F702 Great Decisions 2014
F703 Korea: Northa nd South
R704 The Supreme Court: Current Cases
R705 All the News That’s Fit to Print

800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 iPad for Beginners
F802 iPad: Exploring Apps
F803 How is There Something Rather Than Nothing
F804 Topics on Nuclear Power
F805 Advances in Medical Care
F806 Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi
L807 Responses to Climate Change.
L808 Cybercrime and Digital Privacy
L809 Unidentified Flying Objects – A Serious Assessment
R810 The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan
R811 Gentle Yoga

900 Other Topics

F901 Trip Tales
L902 Meditation
L903 Workshop for Planning Your Life after Retirement

Special Events


Additional Special Events

951 Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World
952 Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World
953 The Nature of the County
954 Drones: Our New Toys, Tools and Robot Companions
955 Sogetsu Ikebana
956 How to Boost Your Brain and Combat Aging
957 Papyrus – The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars
958 Grand Parenting with Exceptional Children
959 Motivating Employees in Today’s 24/7 Organizations
960 Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James
961 Taking Steps Toward Sustainability
962 Exploring Angkor Wat: The Art and History of a Khmer God-King
963 American Operettas: The Music of Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg
964 Ten Advantages of Aging for Psychological Health
965 Books! Books! Books!
966 Murder At The Mill: Historian As Detective
967 Minerals Matter
968 A Perspective on Irish History
969 September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill
970 Personal Computer Security
971 Oliver Sacks, MD: His Life and Times
972 Fighting the Cold War from 85,000 Feet
973 The Iraq Estimate: Why and How It Went Wrong
974 Education and Technology
975 Final Chapter? The Future of the Book
976 Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
977 Halloween: History and Traditions
978 (More) Humor in (Mostly) Classical Music
979 Developing Characters and Theatrical Collaboration
980 New York City in the Civil War
981 What’s New in Children’s Picture Books
982 Colonel John S. Mosby and the Civil War
983 Biblical Archaeology
984 The 2014 Elections: What Happened?
985 Grassroots 2.0: Political Advocacy in the Digital Age
986 Caring for a Person with Dementia
987 A Tribute to Liberace, “Mr. Showmanship”
988 Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
989 Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. Steps Toward Sustainability
990 Field Trip to the Observatory at Turner Farm Park
991 The Battle of Second Bull Run/Manassas, August 28-30, 1862
992 Hall of Human Origins Field Trip
993 George Mason’s School of Theater and School of Music presents The Mystery of Edwin Drood

 Ongoing Activities

Book Club
Bridge Club
Classic Fiction Book Club
Cooking Club
Cottage Art
Craft and Conversation Group
History Club
Homer, etc.
iPad Users Group
Knitting and Needlework Club
Mah Jongg Club
Memoir-and More-Writing Group
Moby Dick Club
Personal Computer User Group
Photography Club
Recorder Consort
Tai Chi Club
The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Travel Club
Walking Group
What’s in the Daily News? Continued

100 Art and Music

F101  Understanding Opera, Part I

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Oct. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Glenn Winters
In this term we will discuss the first two productions of Virginia Opera’s 2014-2015 season: Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant musical Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta H.M.S. Pinafore. Comprehensive musical and dramatic analyses will be illustrated with audio and video excerpts. This class is recommended for beginners and aficionados alike. Part 2 will be offered in the Winter 2015 term.
Glenn Winters has been Virginia Opera’s community outreach musical director since 2004 and addresses thousands of Virginians each year for the adult education program Operation Opera. He is the author of The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates. His commissioned operas include The Empress and the Nightingale and The Princess and the Pea, both scheduled to debut in state-wide tours with Virginia Opera this season. Winters holds a DM degree from Northwestern University.


F102  Music Sampler

Tuesdays, 9:30–10:55, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Note time
Coordinators: Kathleen Meyer, Kathryn Hearden
Kathleen Meyer with Kathryn Hearden from the George Mason School of Music will coordinate this course, which will highlight examples of the musical talent that abounds at George Mason. Each week knowledgeable and enthusiastic professors from the George Mason School of Music, often accompanied by their most promising students, will generously share their musical gifts with us in presentations that are varied, lively, informative and entertaining.

F103  Drawing and Sketching 101

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Buchanan House
Instructors: Josie Tucker, Kathie West, Susann Hamilton
Class Limit: 12
Participants with or without previous experience will learn basic techniques for drawing with pencil and ink and will be introduced to materials useful in drawing simple objects, still life and landscapes. Class participation is expected, and homework will be assigned.
Josie Tucker is a retired editor and publications officer whose hobby is sketching and drawing. Kathie West is a retired theater teacher whose hobby is painting and drawing. Susann Hamilton is a retired business executive and interior decorator who also enjoys sketching and drawing. All are OLLI members who have taken or taught several art courses and look forward to sharing their collective knowledge and creativity.

F104 Drawing and Sketching 102

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructors: Susann Hamilton, Josie Tucker, Kathie West
Class limit: 12
Those who have taken a previous sketching/drawing class can continue to learn in a cooperative environment where they will have the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback. Art teachers of various mediums will be instructing in their specialty. The weeks with no guest teachers will be used to complete what was taught in the previous lessons.
See F103 for instructor information.


F105  Broadway at OLLI

Tuesdays, 1:45–3:45, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Note time
Coordinator: Dick Young
Please join our group that immerses itself in memorable hit musicals from Broadway and Hollywood. Our enthusiastic and experienced presenters will describe the backgrounds and histories of the shows, and we will see performances by favorites, including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Meryl Streep and Judy Garland. This term’s shows will be The Lion King, Mamma Mia, Swing Time, Chicago, State Fair, Company, Top Hat and A Star is Born.
Our presenters will be Wendy Campbell (who’s never seen a musical she didn’t love), John Henkel (who loves classic cinema and teaches popular film history classes at OLLI), Marianne Metz (who has led OLLI classes on Gene Kelly and classic American songwriters, among others), Beverley Persell (aka OLLI’s French instructor), Martha Powers (who is delighted to share her enthusiasm with fellow Broadway musical buffs), Alan Rubin (formerly the EPA’s Dr. Sludge), Kathie West (a mainstay of OLLI theatrical activities) and Dick Young (a longtime musical aficionado who, at OLLI, is mostly a history guy.)


F106  Intermediate DSLR Photography

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Instructor: Dan Feighery
Class Limit: 25
This course teaches you ways to improve your picture-taking ability with an adjustable camera. It assumes you understand how to select focus and adjust the exposure. We will depart from the automatic settings and take more manual control of the camera while working with ambient light and flash. Each week we will have a shooting assignment to improve our “seeing” of what is in the picture space and then sharing and discussing our photos with others in the class. Before the course begins, please become familiar with your camera’s user guide. We will briefly introduce “FastStone,” a free downloadable photo-editor, but the focus of the course is “Getting it Right in the Camera (GRC).”
Dan Feighery is a retired Air Force officer who has attended photography courses at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason. He founded the OLLI Photography Club and has taught previous OLLI photography classes.


F107  Hitler and the Arts: 1900-1945

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25–Oct. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Chris With
Paralleling Adolf Hitler’s obsession with racial purity was his preoccupation with aesthetic purity. As the political and cultural leader of his people, Hitler wanted painting and sculpture to carry his racial message and to reflect the Aryan society he was building. Hence, art produced under the Nazis was to express “authentic” German historical, racial and cultural ideals. Any artist who disagreed was vilified as a promoter of evil and a criminal. To comprehend these interlocking concepts, this course will seek to explain the relationship between Hitler’s artistic and political views; investigate the significance of Hitler’s failure to win acceptance as an artist; discuss his linking of modern art with historical decline; and explore the connection of his virulent anti-Semitism with his cultural beliefs.

  • Sept. 25: Artists as politicians in the early 20th century.
  • Oct. 2: Hitler as artist and aesthetic agitator.
  • Oct. 9: 1937: the clash of degenerate and approved art.
  • Oct. 16: The sad and troubled aftermath.

Christopher With has worked in the education department of the National Gallery of Art and has a degree in German history from the University of California, Los Angeles.


F108  Arts of the Islamic World from the Freer Gallery

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23–Nov. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Lawrence Butler
The Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries of Asian Art contain some of the finest works of art from the Islamic world. This four-week class will introduce major principles and regions of Islamic art history, from the medieval Mediterranean to the Silk Roads of Asia, through four selected masterworks from the Freer’s collection. Each illustrated lecture will evoke a special time and place.

  • Oct. 23: A lamp from Mamluk Egypt once illuminated a sultan’s mosque in Cairo, and its calligraphic inscription from the Qur’an illuminates the nature of God.
  • Oct. 30: A basin from medieval Syria combines secular and Christian themes, reflecting the princely culture of the medieval Mediterranean at the time of the Crusades.
  • Nov. 6: A Persian manuscript page, illustrating a crazy love story by Jami, inspired this dazzling depiction of the patterned textiles and human kaleidoscope of the Silk Roads.
  • Nov. 13: A tankard from Ottoman Turkey, embodying all the beauties of the Bosphorus are evoked by this simple, lovely example of Iznik pottery, our gateway to 16th century Istanbul.

Lawrence Butler, a one-time Fulbright scholar in Turkey, teaches medieval, Islamic and Silk Road art history at George Mason.


F109  Singing for Fun

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Instructors: Linda George, Palmer McGrew
Once again OLLI’s choral group, singing in chorus and ensembles, will emphasize popular music, Broadway show tunes and classic American songbook music. A great voice is not required, just a desire to sing for fun. There is no need to read music or even to have ever sung before. Gayle Parsons will accompany the singers on the piano.
Linda George has a degree in music and has taken private lessons in piano and voice for many years. She frequently performs in churches and retirement communities. Palmer McGrew, an OLLI member, has been a longtime performer in Singing for Fun and a substitute instructor/director for the class. He sings in the West Point Alumni Glee Club and in barbershop harmony with the Fairfax Jubil-Aires.


F110  Film Appreciation: Short Films & Episodes from Film Classics

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Instructor: Ted Mosser
Class limit: 50
In this course, participants will have an opportunity to see and discuss some critically acclaimed and entertaining short films and episodes from various renowned film classics. Several genres and themes will be interwoven throughout the course, including music, comedy, war, competition, fame and the power of dreams. We will see among others: Paisan (stories about the Allied invasion of Italy); An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (a Civil War short story); some episodes from Visions of Eight (on the Munich Olympics); Judoka (about an Olympic judo competitor); Lonely Boy (about singer Paul Anka); stories from O. Henry’s Full House; The Immigrant (a Charlie Chaplin film); The Red Balloon; Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams and two selections from the film New York Stories.
Ted Mosserwas a high school English and film appreciation teacher for most of his adult life. He received his master’s degree from Boston University (thesis on teaching film appreciation). Since then he has taught film appreciation to adults and to high school students.


F111  Watercolor Painting

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Instructor: Leonard Justinian
Class Limit: 15
This class will provide an opportunity for watercolor painters at all levels to develop fresh skills while learning new watercolor techniques. Required materials include: #1, #6 and/or #8 round watercolor brushes; a paint palette for mixing colors; watercolor paper, 140 lb. cold press (Arches is best but you can use less expensive paper); a kneaded eraser; a Staedtler white plastic eraser; tubes of watercolor paint in white, charcoal black, cadmium yellow (medium), cadmium red (medium) and ultramarine blue, or a starter set of watercolors.
Leonard Justinian has been painting for more than 60 years. Among other honors, he has received the Grumbacher Award. He teaches watercolor painting in his Fairfax City studio and is also seen on Fairfax Public Access Cable TV, Cox Cable Channel 10 and Verizon FiOS Channel 10. He has produced over 50 television shows on how to paint in watercolor.


R112  Poetry in Music

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Beverly Cosham
Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics (poetry) of the songs that you think you know and understand. Probably very few people really know the lyrics of many of the hits in The Great American Songbook. Video is often used to project a completely different message to keep us from knowing what the lyrics are actually trying to convey e.g., “Sledgehammer.” Many very poignant lyrics have all but been erased from the memory by an over-the-top up-tempo arrangement. We will approach the lyrics as we would poetry to find if anything speaks to us. Let’s also take a closer look at the lyricists (poets) who practiced their craft and infused their ideas and ideals into some of their work.
Beverly Cosham (vocalist) has performed throughout the U.S. and in local venues including the Kennedy Center, National Theatre, The Arts Club, Lyceum, Lisner Auditorium, Blues Alley and The World Bank. As an actress she has appeared on most of the stages in the D.C. area. She has received a Helen Hayes nomination and two WAMA (Washington Area Music Award) nominations. Ms. Cosham, a 47-year resident of Reston, was a founding member of the Reston Chorale and the Reston Community Players. She currently serves as chair of The Reston Community Center Board of Governors and as president of the Reston Community Orchestra


R113  The Ongoing Pleasures of Music

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Gloria Sussman
This music listening course has continued to live up to its promising title. We explore with pleasure the many facets of classical music with the help of DVDs and YouTube. You may sample the wide variety of previous term’s musical offerings by searching for Gloria Sussman on
Gloria Sussman has been teaching at OLLI since 2000 and continues to provide entertaining programs for OLLI at Reston.


R114  Anger, Magic and Idealism: Art in the Interwar Years: 1917-1945

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23–Nov. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Chris With
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Largely overshadowed today by World War II and its far more devastating consequences, the First World War nevertheless was the catalyst for all that came later. Politically, it heralded the end of the old international system and the total reorganization of Europe. A new world order was born. No less disastrous was the chasm that occurred within the world of art. Prewar aesthetic developments were derailed and replaced with a plethora of on-going and ever-changing new ideas that took art in a direction totally unimagined before the outbreak of hostilities. Explaining this new direction, exploring how one artistic style fed into and shaped its successor, and unraveling the long-term consequences of these interwar aesthetic movements, will be the focuses of this four week class.

  • Oct. 23: Dada.
  • Oct. 30: Surrealism.
  • Nov. 6: Soviet and Social Realism.
  • Nov. 13: Bauhaus.

See F107 for instructor information.


R115  Meet the Artists

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 25–Oct. 30
Hunters Woods Community Center, CenterStage
Six sessions
Coordinator: Rosemary McDonald

  • Sept. 25: Favorite singer, actress and entertainer, Beverly Cosham leads off the musical series with new and old favorites sung in her own unique cabaret style that promises to please music lovers.
  • Oct. 2: The world premiere of commissioned work by composer Scott Solak performed by the Chamasyan Sisters will be the featured work in honor of Gloria Sussman’s 90th birthday. A reception will follow the concert.
  • Oct. 9: Fifteen-year-old piano prodigy Evelyn Mo returns to CenterStage to thrill listeners with her incredible pianistic virtuosity, technical skill and musicality.
  • Oct. 16: The Phoenix Winds will play a varied program featuring the Wind Quintet of Carl Nielsen and selections from Haydn, Faure, Washburn, Persichetti and Rimsky-Korsakov.
  • Oct. 23: The Loudoun Quartet will perform an eclectic and exciting program with works by Bach, Ginastera, Jacob and more, all works expressly written for the unique combination of flute, violin, viola and cello. The quartet enjoys bringing these works to life with lively discussion and demonstration and values the opportunity to have questions and comments from the audience.
  • Oct. 30: Miroslav Loncar and Natasa Klasinc, classical guitarists program, will feature music from various periods and styles of music, which will include an original piece, Funky Sonata by Miroslav, arrangements of Croatian folk songs, an Argentinian tango, Spanish music and transcription of the magnificent Toccatta and Fugue by Bach.


L116  Fred Astaire, Entertainer Extraordinaire

Thursdays, 11:30–1:30, Oct. 2–Nov. 13
Seven sessions
Note time
Instructor: Marianne Metz
Choreographer Jerome Robbins was asked by an interviewer, “Which dancers do you think are the greatest, and which dancers influenced you the most?” Robbins replied unhesitatingly, “Oh, well, Fred Astaire.” The reporter looked shocked. Robbins asked what was wrong. The reporter said, “Well, Mr. Balanchine just said the same thing.” In fact, it was a view widely held. Fred Astaire undoubtedly was one of the greatest and most influential dancers ever. But he also excelled at acting, singing, songwriting and playing a variety of musical instruments. In this class we’ll be delightfully reminded of the many talents of this remarkable entertainer. We’ll see seven of his films in their entirety, including three with co-star Ginger Rogers and four with such co-stars as Rita Hayworth, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, Joan Leslie, Red Skelton, Audrey Hepburn, Eleanor Powell and (future US Senator) George Murphy. And, as time allows, we’ll discuss Astaire’s extraordinary life and career, as well as the individual films. What a great way to spend the day!
Marianne Metz, a fan of classic musicals, has previously taught OLLI classes on Gene Kelly and American songwriters. She is co-chair of the Art/Music Program Planning Group.


200 Economics and Finance


F201  Navigating Lifestyle Changes Facing Seniors

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Oct. 15
Four sessions
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This four-part series addresses caregiving options and solutions, legal and financial considerations, and how to organize your life and family to meet these concerns. J. Michael May, financial planner and frequent presenter at OLLI, will moderate panels on caregiving, with legal and financial planning experts focusing on a broad range of problems facing seniors and potential solutions.

  • Sept. 24: Peggy O’Reilly, certified elderlaw attorney, will address the changing kaleidoscope of health care rules and regulations, highlighting some of the issues her clients face. She will also discuss the myths and realities of long-term care coverage as it pertains to Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Oct. 1: Caregiving Concerns. A case study, followed by questions and answers, will address caregiving concerns and a range of options to meet family needs. The panel of experts and their specialties include: Sandra Fields, memory care, of Great Falls Assisted Living; Scott Maguire, non-medical in-home care and assisted living placement; Helen Flynn, seniors’ real estate and Megan Descutner, certified gerontology care manager.
  • Oct. 8: J. Michael May, chartered financial consultant and chartered life underwriter, will address key issues facing his clients while providing a broad range of potential solutions drawn from his daily practice.
  • Oct. 15: This class will be devoted to answering questions from those seeking additional information from a multi-disciplined panel of experts on issues covered in the first three sessions.


F202  Federal Deficits and Debt

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 22–Nov. 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Cantwell
This course will address several aspects of federal deficits, including the current debt level, how it has grown over time and projected debt levels over the next several decades. Because of their large and growing contributions to federal deficits, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the debt will be examined in some depth. Questions to be addressed include: Why does the federal debt matter, anyway? Is there a ratio of US debt to national income where a debt-fueled economic crisis becomes inevitable? What is the trade-off between fiscal austerity and economic growth? Are America’s and our grandkids’ futures in peril because of the growing debt? How might the debt impact current retirees? The federal budget process will be examined. We will also look briefly at private, state and local debt. Class discussion will be supplemented with presentations by experts from the George Mason faculty or National Debt Commission members.
Jim Cantwell, an OLLI member,retired from the US Senate Joint Economic Committee. He worked as a health economist/budget analyst at the US House of Representatives Committee on the Budget and at the Government Accountability Office. He was an assistant professor of economics at Texas A&M University and a health economist with the American Medical Association.


F203  The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
The Investment Forum, which meets weekly throughout the year, addresses investment topics of particular interest to retirees. A weekly agenda is distributed, and each session begins with open discussion of recent events in the economy and in the financial markets and their impact on investment decisions. Member presentations typically include topics such as recent market indicators, stocks, bonds, funds (mutual, exchange-traded and closed-end), REITS, options, commodities, master limited partnerships, sectors, allocations and investment strategies. We use analyses and data from the financial press. The forum website includes agendas and articles of interest submitted by members.
Al Smuzynski is a retired bank regulator and an advocate of affordable housing. He currently serves on the boards of Virginia Community Capital and Community Capital Bank of Virginia.


F204  An Economics Potpourri

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
We are again fortunate to have a talented team of George Mason economists return to OLLI. In the complex global economy of this century, today’s economists delve into a wide array of research topics in both a traditional sense and in areas seldom considered in the past. Dan Houser, Carrie Meyer, Dan Klein and others will challenge your opinions, beliefs and concerns on a variety of subjects, ranging from topics such as: “Reflections on the Great Depression and Great Recession” to “Why People Love Government (As Much as They Do).” Prepare to be intrigued, provoked, dazzled and enlightened on topics that we may seldom consider in economic terms.
Speakers include:

  • Sept. 25: David Levy – “Almost Wholly Negative”: The Ford Foundation’s Appraisal of the Virginia School
  • Oct. 2: John Nye
  • Oct. 9: Robin Hanson
  • Oct. 16: Noel Johnson – A Preference for Poverty? Beliefs and Economic Development in History
  • Oct. 23: Timothy Groseclose – Media bias and its Effects
  • Oct. 30: Carrie Meyer – Reflections on the Great Depression and the Great Recession
  • Nov. 6: Johanna Mollerstrom
  • Nov. 13: Dan Klein – The People’s Romance: Why People Love Government (as Much as They Do) (The paper is here.)

L205  What Your Adult Children Should Know When You Need Their Help

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 2–Oct. 9, Oct. 30–Nov. 6
Four sessions
Note dates
Instructors: Megan Descutner, Susan Balinger, Kate DeWitt, Valerie Geiger
Professional experts in the field of aging will present an interactive course on how to create a roadmap for your children to ensure the continuity of your health care and finances from now until end of life. The roadmap begins with you first making a plan. The presentations will outline the health care decisions that lie ahead; afford direction on how to research, evaluate, discuss and decide health care options; and include a plan to maximize your financial health. What are the must-have legal documents to empower your children to act on your behalf and how are those documents actually used?
The professional experts will include Megan Descutner, a geriatric care manager; Susan Balinger, a senior community specialist; Kate DeWitt, a daily money manager and Valerie Geiger, an elder law attorney.


L206  Retirement Income Strategies

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 25–Oct. 2
Two sessions
Instructor: Linda Black
During retirement, it continues to be vitally important to manage your portfolio and mitigate risks to your investments and income. This two-session course will address investment and retirement income strategies that are practical, relevant and current. Topics will include asset management, Social Security options, taxes and estate planning considerations.
Linda Black, a chartered financial counselor, a chartered retirement planning counselor, and a retirement income chartered professional, has extensive experience counseling clients on portfolio construction, retirement issues, estate planning and asset protection strategies.


300 History and International Studies


F301  Films of the Great War, Part 3

Mondays, 11:50–1:30, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Note time
Instructor: Bernie Oppel
2014 marks the centennial of the beginning of World War I. The Great War arguably set the stage for the remainder of 20th century. Its tumultuous impact even to the present day is significant. This history course concludes our film exploration of the war and complements the concurrent National Park Service World War I course. We will explore various areas and topics in films not seen in previous classes, although an earlier favorite may be repeated. The class goal is to understand how serious films about the war reflected contemporary reality or perceived reality of the war. These films balance the horrifying, the hopeless and the ugly with the humane and the courageous. Classics such as Storm Troop 1917 and more recent productions such as The War Horse, reflect artistic merit, historical accuracy and realism. There will be split sessions. Expect historical background commentary and class discussion.
OLLI member Bernie Oppel is a retired Foreign Service officer and retired Air Force colonel. He holds a PhD in modern European/Russian history from Duke University and taught history at the USAF Academy.


F302  Issues and Politics in the Civil War

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Oct. 20
Five sessions
Instructor: Robert Finkelstein
Many of the political, social, geographical and economic differences considered causes of the Civil War were present prior to the ratification of the Constitution. The history of the differences will be discussed, along with the events between 1846 and 1860 that led to secession and war. The goals of the political and military leaders during the war will be examined and the overall strategies of the Union and Confederacy will be discussed. This course will focus not on describing and diagramming the battles, but on the outcomes and consequences of selected battles, which changed politics at the end of the war.
Robert Finkelstein earned his BS in American government from Columbia University and his MS in computer systems from American University. Over the past five years, he has extensively read about and studied the Civil War.


F303  1066, The Norman Conquest

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructors: Carl Baxter, Judy Baxter, Wendy Campbell
History is often determined by little things. King Edward the Confessor died without an heir and three men wanted the throne: a Saxon, a Viking and a Norman. Who had the best claim to the title? How did William of Normandy become the victor? What does the Bayeux Tapestry tell us? Was it biased? How did England change as a result of the conquest? Why aren’t we speaking French in this class? Were there any contemporary Norman conquests? Explore this period of history with us and enjoy period reenactors as we plunge into historical controversy and attempt to answer these questions.
Wendy Campbell and Judy Baxter taught social studies in Fairfax County Public Schools. Carl Baxter, a retired investigator for the Army Inspector General, has walked the battlefield at Hastings. All have a lifelong love of history.


F304  McCarthyism and the Red Scare

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Oct. 14
Church of the Good Shepherd
Four sessions
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
After World War II, the “Red Scare” led to drastic measures against suspected Communists, including firing thousands of federal employees deemed insufficiently loyal, banning liberal books from libraries, blacklisting actors and screen writers and firing teachers and professors whose patriotism became suspect. The consensus today is that many of these measures went far beyond what was needed. Many of those whose careers were destroyed were guilty, at worst, of poor political judgment during the 1930s and World War II when the Soviet Union was not an enemy. The unsupported accusations of Senator McCarthy were the most extreme of the excesses. The course will include consideration of:

  • Major events of the Red Scare including: the Hiss case, the Rosenberg case, the Oppenheimer case and the Army-McCarthy hearings.
  • The roles of major political figures including Eisenhower, Nixon, McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover.
  • The impact of groups and institutions, including the courts, the Congress, the media, unions, religious leaders and anti-Communist liberals.

David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, served on the professional staff of the House Transportation Committee for 35 years. He has long been interested in modern American history.


F305  Ukraine Since the End of the Cold War: History and Perspective

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 21–Nov. 11
Church of the Good Shepherd
Four sessions
Instructor: Joseph P. Harahan
The Cold War ended amidst three interrelated developments: negotiated international arms control treaties, national revolutions in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ukraine declared its independence before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Following a national referendum, Ukraine became a new nation, inheriting the largest strategic rocket army in the USSR, a state command economic system, a massive military-industrial complex and a weak central government. This course will examine events in Ukraine as it established its new government in the turbulent 1990s, circumstances of the Rose Revolution of 2004 and the most-recent political revolution in 2013-2014. In recent years, Russia and Europe have exerted appeals to different sections of Ukraine, causing new tensions and crises. This class will consist of lectures, discussions, invited experts, historians and selected readings.
Joseph P. Harahan, an OLLI member, was a federal government historian who authored several books on contemporary arms control treaties and the large-scale American Nunn-Lugar assistance program with Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. Research for these books and articles involved travel to the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan for interviews with senior government and military officers.


F306  The China-Burma-India Theatre in World War II

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Oct. 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Donald Bishop
American veterans of the China-Burma-India theatre of operations call it “the forgotten war.” China and Japan fought from 1937 to 1945. The cast of millions included Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, Mao Zedong, FDR, “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, Claire Chennault, Nationalist and Communist armies, Chinese troops in Burma, the Flying Tigers, Doolittle Raiders, Hump pilots, Army engineers and allied troops from five continents–tying down Japanese armies that could not deploy to defend the Pacific islands. Lectures and documentary films will survey Republican China, Japanese expansion and Nationalist retreat, the conquest of Burma and the long Allied campaign to retake it, relations between the Nationalists and the Communists, air power, the final offensives, the Japanese surrender and the war’s aftermath. The long struggle had so weakened the Republic of China that it was defeated four years later by the Chinese Communists.
Donald Bishop is a retired Foreign Service officer whose assignments included 13 years in Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing. Representing the American embassy, he joined China’s observances of V+60 in 2005. He holds degrees in history from Trinity College and Ohio State University. He has taught military history at the US Air Force Academy.


F307  History of California

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 22–Nov. 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Richard Stillson
Picture this: a young screenwriter is pitching a movie idea to a studio head. He enthuses that it takes place in an imaginary land of contrasts and superlatives. The highest mountain in the country would be close to the lowest desert; a gang-scarred ghetto would be in the same city as the most ostentatious mansions in the country; his land would lead the world in the highest tech industries but also lead the nation in agriculture; it would be the symbol of private enterprise but the government would own half the land area. The hopeful writer stops as the movie mogul thunders “Get Out!! You’re just describing my state of California.” How right he is. The reality of California must seem as if it came out of the overwrought imagination of a La La Land writer. In four sessions we will be exposed to a cross section of the diverse geography, cultures and economies of the state through part of its history—the period beginning with the Gold Rush. We will look at how the environment, the federal government, agriculture, mining, movies, high and low-tech industry and transportation impacted the diversity, conflicts and changes in the state.
Richard Stillson grew up in California and has a PhD in economics from Stanford. After a career at the International Monetary Fund, he retired to indulge his passion for history and earned a PhD in history from Johns Hopkins. He teaches history at George Mason. Dr. Stillson is the author of Spreading the News: A History of Information in the California Gold Rush.


F308  Getting from Here to There: Transportation Innovations that Changed History

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Instructor: Bill Reader
Whether it be for trade, pilgrimage, tourism or flight from enemies or the law, people have always been seeking to get from here to there. They have also wanted to send goods and messages from here to there and to get them from there to here. Innovations that make personal travel and the shipment of goods (and mail) cheaper, faster and less onerous have had a great impact on history. This course will look at a few of these innovations–the domesticated horse, the chariot, the wagon, the camel, the ocean-going ship, the steamship, the railroad, the bicycle, the automobile and the airplane—and see how they have affected (and been affected by) trade, war, culture and previously existing modes of transportation and communication.
William Reader, an OLLI member, has a PhD in American social history from the University of Massachusetts. He retired after 37 years with the federal government and has since taught several OLLI courses on American history and politics.


F309  Loyalism in the American Revolution

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23–Nov. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Beth Lambert
The colonists who remained loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution have received short shrift in our history books, if they have been mentioned at all. That has changed a bit in the last few years with the publication of several important works analyzing the number of Loyalists, describing their occupations and exploring the motives compelling them to declare for King George. Interestingly enough, the Loyalists during the American Revolution were not an anomaly. In fact, loyalism to the English crown has a history in this country that dates back to the 17th century English Civil War when the Atlantic colonies were caught between supporting the monarchy-in-exile or Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Loyalty to the crown had its price then, as it did 127 years later in 1776. We will learn the similarities and the differences between the loyalists of the 17th and the 18th centuries and, along the way, how Virginia got its name as the “Old Dominion.”
Beth Lambert is a retired professor of English at Gettysburg College, where she taught courses on all aspect of the 18th century. Her biography of Edmund Burke was published by the University of Delaware Press.


F310  “Everyone to battle:” The Collapses of 1918

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Church of the Good Shepherd
Coordinators: Michael T. Kelly, Paul O’Brian, Emmett Fenlon
Spurred by Marshal Ferdinand Foch’s September 1918 exclamation, “everyone to battle,” Allied forces along the Western Front repeated their performance of fall 1914 when, inspired by Foch’s similar pronouncement, they halted the German offensive. The resulting collapse of German morale and position along the Western Front characterized the collapse of the Central Powers within all the theaters of war. Collapse of the war effort threatened home fronts as well, as civilian unrest produced riots and street battles that destabilized imperial control, industrial output and agricultural production. The Great War truly provoked worldwide collapse, as vast empires long held together by ancient monarchies teetered on the edge of the abyss. The Armistice of November 11th delivered an illusory dream of peace that amounted to nothing but a 20-year reprieve before inauguration of the second, bloodier chapter of a European civil war. As in 1914 through 1917, the tenor of 1918 found expression through the words of politicians, military leaders, soldiers, sailors, doctors, nurses and civilians that continue to inform later generations.
National Park Service Rangers have participated with OLLI in 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.


R311  The Progressive Era

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 22–Oct. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Patrick McGinty
The Progressive Era refers to that period of US domestic history beginning with Theodore Roosevelt’s first term in office in 1901, continuing on through the administration of William H. Taft, and into Woodrow Wilson’s first term—which ended in 1916. The period was marked by unprecedented political, social and economic change and provided a model for FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society. Come join us as we endeavor to determine who the progressives were, how they came about, and why in some circles today the very word “progressive” takes on a pejorative connotation.
Patrick McGinty, an OLLI member, is a retired naval officer who has an MA and PhD from Georgetown University, where his area of concentration was American history.


R312  Spies and Espionage

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Oct. 27
Six sessions
Instructor: Tom Sileo
Have you ever wondered what makes a person spy, or if there are certain personality traits which can predict such actions? This course will discuss a number of high profile spy cases, including former CIA officer Aldrich Ames, World War I spy Mata Hari, former FBI officer Robert Hanssen, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky (The Spy Who Saved The World) and former US naval analyst Jonathan Pollard. Other cases will be discussed as time allows. The course will attempt to answer such questions as why these individuals did what they did, how they got caught and the damage they caused. A portion of each class will also be devoted to the history of espionage, beginning about 2000 BCE with a clay tablet found on the banks of the Euphrates River, through modern times. Informality and class participation will be encouraged.
Tom Sileo spent 31 years in the CIA’s Clandestine Service and is now a contractor for that agency, working on issues such as cover, terrorism and money laundering. He is the author of the book, CIA Humor, as well as a number of published articles dealing with the profession of intelligence and intelligence issues. He has taught at both the high school and university level, and was the CIA Chair at the US Marine Corps University at Quantico, Virginia.


R313  What Is It About Virginia?

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Oct. 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Ken Plum
This is a four-session look at the history, culture, geography and people that make the Commonwealth of Virginia unique. Long-time residents can share their observations, and new-comers may find answers to questions they have about the Old Dominion. An extensive bibliography on Virginia’s history will be provided, as well as discussions on places to visit in the state. Both Virginia’s physical and political landscape will be explored.
Delegate Ken Plum is one of the founders of OLLI and a popular leader of courses on Virginia’s history and government. A native Virginian who holds degrees from Old Dominion University and the University of Virginia, he is currently the longest serving member of the House of Delegates. His weekly commentary appears in a local newspaper and in his electronic newsletter, Virginia eNews.


R314  The Roaring Twenties

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Oct. 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Ben Gold
One of the most dramatic decades in United States history, the 1920s, had it all: the struggle for women’s rights, political scandals, crimes of the century and economic upheaval. A time of hip flasks, jazz, speakeasies and bobbed hair, the Twenties was the first truly modern decade and, for better or worse, created the model for society today.
Ben Gold graduated from Stanford University with a BA in political science. He was commissioned as a surface warfare officer in the US Navy, where he earned an MS in computer science. After retirement from the Navy he worked in the information systems industry. Besides teaching a wide variety of classes at OLLI, Ben has been a docent at the US Supreme Court for 11 years and for the past eight years he has been a featured speaker on cruise ships.


R315  Off the Beaten Path: Lesser-known National Mall Sites

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 23–Nov. 4
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center
Seven sessions
Coordinators: Michael T. Kelly, Paul O’Brian, Emmett Fenlon
Among the familiar, famous and iconic sites of the National Mall, visitors encounter a host of seldom-visited sculptures, fountains, plaques, trees and “secret gardens.” This unique collection of circles, squares and “parklets” (small, triangular parks) are associated with heroic, scandalous, fascinating and intriguing tales. As witnesses to history, these places convey much about the people and events they commemorate as well as those who created them. Join National Mall rangers for discussions about these special sites that millions of people pass, largely unaware of the considerable history they possess.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.


R316  Era of the American Revolution

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 9–Nov. 13
Six sessions
Instructor: Roger Brown
Class limit: 40
During the Era of the Revolution (1760-1789) profound changes occurred in the direction and nature of American life. Independence from the British Crown was achieved and the nation’s sovereignty was internationally recognized. The makeshift state-centered Articles of Confederation, the nation’s first central government, was replaced by a Constitution that laid the basis for a future strong national state. The nation’s founding documents affirmed the claim of all men to such natural rights as life, liberty, happiness, security and property. The political consciousness of ordinary common white men was aroused and their active participation in the political process substantially advanced. But the Revolution also mainly bypassed and even made things worse for women, African American slaves and Eastern Indians. These topics will be explored in six classes through lectures, visuals and class discussion.
Roger Brown has taught for over 40 years at various colleges and universities. He recently taught an expanded version of this course at American University and his book Redeeming the Republic: the Federalists, Taxation, and the Constitution (1993) is still in print and an authority in the field.


R317  The War of 1812

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25–Oct. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Keith Young
This course examines the War of 1812 with Great Britain, a war which neither country wanted but was unable to avoid. Although the war ended in what was realistically a draw, the young American republic learned some very valuable lessons. Andrew Jackson’s decisive victory at New Orleans on January 8, 1815, occurred before news of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent reached America. The official end of the war did not occur until February 16, 1815, when the US Senate approved the treaty. This course commemorates the bicentennial of the war and explains how and why it took place.
Keith Young, a retired naval officer with an interest in military history, lectures on many Civil War and World War II topics.


L318  The Modern World Since 1760

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Moderator: Ray Beery
The source for this course is UVA Prof. Philip Zelikow’s online course in World History, focusing on chronology and individuals. Without examining the consequences of cause and effect and tracing how big changes come from the choices made by particular people, history can turn into just a series of descriptions, a somewhat tiresome recitation of one thing after another. Beyond just offering a set of remarkable stories, this course offers experience in ways to analyze a situation and to think about the problems of change. The eight-week, massive open online course (MOOC) will be viewed in class, with an hour of video instruction each week. There will also be live interaction. The course is from Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world’s top universities, including the University of Virginia, to provide free online courses.
Ray Beery is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and frequent teacher.


L319  Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Campaign

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 21–Nov. 11
Four sessions
Instructor: Patrick Diehl
By early June, 1862, Stonewall Jackson was a household name in both the South and the North. His small army fought six battles that for the most part succeeded in thwarting the ambitions of the much larger Union forces they opposed. His success in the Shenandoah Valley enabled him to lead his army to Richmond where he assisted General Lee in stopping the Union Army of the Potomac. In addition to studying the large impact this brief campaign had on the war strategy, the course will also illustrate the mistakes Jackson made and the hard lessons he had to learn on battlefield tactics.
Patrick Diehl, an OLLI member, spent 36 years in the CIA as an operations officer, mostly overseas, and served as an instructor at the CIA training school. He has visited most of the major battle sites of the Civil War. To prepare for this course he consulted with National Park personnel and trekked through the relevant battlefields.


L320  History of America in 101 Objects

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
History courses often can be dry recitations of persons, events and dates. This course follows a different approach. It presents and reviews the output of the Smithsonian Institute’s extensive distillation of over 10 million objects in their collections that illustrate American history. The Smithsonian’s research is amplified by additional material from an Atlantic Monthly article that discusses 22 of the 50 most significant inventions and discoveries that occurred in America between 1750 and the present. How do these objects fit in in our history? Do they impact the majority of the population, the economy or government? Are they linked to other objects and if so, what is their combined impact? The course will be in two parts, Part 1 this fall (1750s to early 20th century) and Part 2 next winter (mid-20th century to the present). The presentation will contain an overlay of chronological points. An added benefit—many of the objects are displayed in the local Smithsonian museums.
Mark Weinstein,an OLLI member, is a retired electrical engineer (with both career Air Force and civilian positions) and a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space Museums. He has given a number of OLLI courses covering aviation and technology. He is a history buff, a news junky and is intrigued by technology. In his wild, impetuous single days he flew a Piper Tri-Pacer.


L321  World War II in Europe and the Atlantic: The Allied “Ultra” Advantage

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Oct. 29
Six sessions
Instructor: Keith Young
Many factors were involved in the participation of the U.S. and her allies in the European and Atlantic theaters in World War II. However, the contribution of the Allied “Ultra Advantage,” the ability to read German communications, was not revealed until the war was over. We will look at how “Ultra” fit into Allied strategy and planning. For example:

  • Early in the war the British had broken the German codes, so how did the U.S. participate in the cryptologic side of the war against Hitler?
  • What were the extraordinary measures taken to keep the location and timing of the Normandy invasion a secret?
  • Did the Germans ever become aware of their unsecure communications?
  • What were Hitler’s secret weapons and how effective were they?

The course will examine that the Allies’ ability to read German communications, which had a significant impact on the course of the war. Prospective attendees are advised that material from this course may be a useful complement to the instructor’s future OLLI sessions.
See R317 for instructor information.


L322 Perceptions of Nature in Early America

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Instructor: Kathy McGill
Richard White has written that “Americans have defined themselves and their continent in terms of nature while quarreling over what nature contains and what it means.” In this class we will look at varying perceptions of nature (broadly conceived as climate, plants, animals, topography, scenery) in early America. Topics may include Native American and Puritan religious beliefs, Enlightenment scientific thought, theories of aesthetics, agricultural practices, uses of forests, scenic tourism, nature in literature and art, and nature and national identity. The time period covered will include colonial and early republic America.
Kathy McGill received her MA in early modern European history from American University, and then taught history at a small liberal arts college. For most of the next 20 years, she lived overseas with her husband, a Foreign Service officer. After returning to the United States, she earned her PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason. She has been teaching graduate and undergraduate early American history courses at George Mason. She has presented numerous conference papers and authored articles in scholarly journals. Her interests lie in the fields of Atlantic history, travel literature, national identity and perceptions of nature.


L323  Remembering My Hometown

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Coordinator: Ray Beery, Karen Carter
Small towns across this nation are full of hidden gems, complete with their own rich histories and unique characters, and each one has a story to tell. No less exciting are the big cities. In this course we share our stories of growing up, combining “Hometown Pride” and grassroots “American History.” It follows the courses on remembering the 50s and 60s that were recent favorites in Loudoun. Two class members will share each class period, with a 20 to 30 minute talk and plenty of time for discussion.
Karen Carter is from Kansas City, Missouri, and Ray Beeryis from Colby, Kansas. Both are OLLI members.


400 Literature Theater & Writing


F401  Pär Lagerkvist in The Sibyl and Marriage Feast

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Elisabeth Wolpert
This is an introduction to Scandinavian literature. The Sibyl is a thought-provoking short novel in which the author tries to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind. A self-professed atheist, Lagerkvist dealt with the different facets of faith, spiritual torment and the evil of organized religion. The Marriage Feast is a collection of short stories that show the author’s seriousness and astonishing versatility of imagination. Please join in admiring and understanding this Swedish Nobel Prize winner. Copies of the two texts will be available in the OLLI office at the end of the summer session.
Elisabeth Wolpert was born and educated in France. Her doctoral thesis dealt with 16th century French literature. She enjoys being at OLLI where she has taught several courses.


F402  OLLI Players Workshop

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Kathie West
This is a continuing acting and producing workshop for serious theater-minded participants. “The OLLI Players” is known as an amateur theater group affiliated with George Mason. This workshop will involve memorization of short scenes and monologues that will then be presented as community outreach. There will also be un-memorized pieces that we can present. Maybe some of you have a scene or a play you would like to see put on; bring it, and we will try it. You will learn the ins and outs of presentation, memorization skills and acting tricks. If we are asked to present at a hospital, senior center or other venues you must be willing to travel during the day. This workshop will be the embodiment of Readers’ Theater and acting combined. The previous workshop group is invested in the success of this one. Be able and willing to tout OLLI and your talents!
See F103 for instructor information.


F403  Readers’ Theater

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Coordinators: Wendy Campbell, Manuel Pablo
Class limit: 28
OLLI’s unique brand of Readers’ Theater is great fun for the “hams” among us! If the idea of acting appeals to you, come and give it a try. Scripts are usually short skits, acts or scenes from longer plays. Parts are handed out each week for the following week. Occasionally a longer script needs a designated director. We do not memorize parts; instead we rehearse them before class with our fellow actors. Rehearsals often take place between OLLI classes, but also can be done by phone if there are just two characters. Props or costumes are not required, but the actors often dress for the part in some way––perhaps with a hat or scarf. Time between skits allows for kudos, comments and suggestions from the audience.


F404  Public Speaking Tips and Techniques

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructors: Andy Finn, Amy Brener
Do you get nervous speaking in public? Would you like to know the secrets of giving a great presentation? How to offer a toast that’s both touching and funny? Would you like practice putting these techniques to use? Then Public Speaking Tips and Techniques is for you! In eight short sessions you will learn dozens of specific techniques you can use to make your next public appearance more effective and memorable. This class will cover a variety of topics related to speaking in public, including: 1) dealing with anxiety, 2) analyzing your audience, 3) organizing and structuring a speech, and 4) techniques of delivery. There will be a $5 materials fee, payable to OLLI at the time of registration.
Instructors will be Dr. Andy Finn (associate professor, George Mason Department of Communication) and Amy Brener (George Mason Director of Global IT Projects). Between them they have provided public speaking training to more than 1,000 students, Toastmasters, executives and employees in business and non-profit organizations. Both Andy and Amy are also Distinguished Toastmasters, the highest earned designation in Toastmasters International.


F405  Chinese Literature

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Oct. 14
Four sessions
Instructors: Xiao He, Ning Yang, Lihong Wang
This series of lectures on Chinese literature will be given by a team of three lecturers.

  • A Brief Introduction to Traditional Chinese Literature (Xiao He): The dominant literary genres in different historic times and their social/historical significance will be presented.
  • Classical and Modern Chinese Poetry (Dr. Ning Yang): A ten-minute survey of Chinese poetry, followed by the close reading and appreciation of five classical poems and five modern poems so that the audience may sample a taste of Chinese poetry.
  • Traditional Chinese Fiction (Xiao He): An introduction to the origin and development and flourishing of traditional Chinese fiction with appreciation of specific plots/stories in several classic novels.
  • Contemporary Chinese Novels (Dr. Lihong Wang): Introduction to modern and contemporary Chinese novels and one or two Chinese writers’ works which have great influence in world literature.

Ning Yang is an Associate Professor of Linguistics in the College of Foreign Languages at Beijing Language and Culture University. She earned her doctoral degree at Radboud University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and later worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Hong Kong City University. She is currently a faculty member at the Confucius Institute at George Mason University.
Lihong Wang is an Associate Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). She currently serves as resident director of the Confucius Institute at George Mason University. She has her master’s degree in linguistics from Jilin University in China and her PhD in intercultural communication and foreign language education from Durham University in the UK.
Xiao He is an Associate Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU and currently an instructor in ancient Chinese literature at the Confucius Institute at George Mason University. Before coming to the United States, she taught Chinese at the Confucius Institute at McMaster University in Canada, and English as an associate professor at Beijing Language and Culture University. She received her Master’s degree from Sichuan University in China in 1995. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto in 2001, and at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.


F406  Memoir Writing

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Buchanan House
Instructor: Dianne Hennessy King
Class limit: 24
Learn to write about your individual and shared history in ways that will clarify your vision, whether you are looking into your past, documenting your present or contemplating your future. There will be some writing exercises during class in response to prompts, such as quotations, music and video clips. We’ll also share some ideas on memoir techniques.
Dianne Hennessy King is a cultural anthropologist, writing instructor, editor and television producer. For many years she was the coordinator of the annual “Writing Your Personal History” symposium in Vienna and for three years has helped plan the Virginia Writers Club symposium in Charlottesville. This will be her ninth memoir class for OLLI. Dianne is co-authoring a book, Memoir Your Way, to be published in 2014.


F407  Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall
Class Limit: 18
This workshop allows both novice and experienced poets the opportunity to share their work and receive suggestions for improvement. Workshop members should bring an original poem in draft or revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the office for duplication one week before the first workshop and a third poem brought to the first session. Poems can be sent by email ( or mail to the Tallwood Site Assistant.
Mike McNamara, an OLLI member, has been published in several literary journals and magazines and has received awards in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual competitions.
Jan Bohall, also an OLLI member, has had poems published in various periodicals and has won awards in the 2012 and 2013 Poetry Society of Virginia contests.


F408  The Gothic

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Ellen Moody
Class limit: 35
This course explores varieties of gothic and its terrain which conform to recipe format. Take one labyrinthine or partly ruined dwelling, place inside a murderous incestuous father or a chained mother (preferably in a dungeon), heroes and heroines (as wanderers, nuns), stir in a tempest and have on hand blood, night-birds, and supernatural phenomena, with fore-, and back-stories set in the past. We’ll read short stories, three novellas and sample films. We’ll begin with ghosts and witches, move to vampires, werewolves, and end on socially critical mysteries and stories of the paranormal (possession.) We’ll cover terror, horror and male and female gothic. The stories are found online (e.g., Marion Crawford’s “For the Blood is the Life”.) We will watch DVDs (e.g., Wise’s The Haunting.) The novels are Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Suzy McKee Charnas’s Vampire Tapestry, and Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly.
Ellen Moody holds a PhD in English from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and has taught in colleges for over 40 years. Her specialties include the 18th century, from which the gothic emerged. She taught and published on the gothic and did film adaptations, among others, The Nightmare Landscape of Ann Radcliffe and Trollope on TV.


F409  Aspects of the Novel

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Instructor: Kay Menchel
This class will help us understand how novels work. Using excerpts from British and American literature, each class will be devoted to a topic or topics, such as plot, dialogue or characterization, that will allow us to examine novelists’ techniques. The aim is to enhance the enjoyment of novels and illuminate a little of the novelist’s craft. The excerpts will be posted on the OLLI Document Store in advance of each class and copies will be available in the classroom. For those who have taken the class before be assured that there will be some new topics to discuss and lots of new excerpts to analyze and enjoy.
Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from George Mason. She always enjoys sharing her passion for English literature with OLLI members.


F410  Two Landmarks of Holocaust Literature

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Oct. 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Deborah Kaplan
Anne Frank’s Diary and Art Spiegelman’s MAUS (volumes 1 and 2) offer obvious contrasts. She was murdered by the Nazis; he was born after WWII to survivors. Her day-by-day account concerns her experience confined in hiding, for a little more than two years, in Amsterdam; his graphic narrative not only spans the rise of Hitler and the entire war period in Poland but also juxtaposes the war years with many glimpses of his family life in postwar America. But both works convey the artistic process, showing us what astounding talents have been able to create out of catastrophe. Both works have also sparked controversies about how the Holocaust should be represented, which we will discuss as well. Please note about Anne Frank’s Diary: We are going to talk about a different book than you would have read as an adolescent—and not just because you are a different reader now. The version we will study together, The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition (eds. Otto Frank and Mirjam Pressler), was published in the 1990s and is almost one third longer than the edition first published in the U.S. in 1952. So be sure to get a copy of the Definitive Edition. Spiegelman’s MAUS has been published in two separate volumes (I. My Father Bleeds History and II. And Here My Troubles Began) as well as in one “complete” book. Either version is fine.
Deborah Kaplan has been a member of the English Department at George Mason for many years. She teaches and writes about 18th and 19th century British drama and fiction and offers courses as well on comedy, autobiography and Holocaust literature.


R411  Let’s Talk About Books

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Moderators: Sue Schram, Sue Wensell
Class limit: 20
For book lovers this is a chance to talk about books you are reading now, favorites from the past or, perhaps, a special book from your childhood. Or you may want to just listen. Emphasis will not be on formal book reports but on sharing in a relaxed setting.
Sue Schram and Sue Wensell, founders and former owners of Reston’s Used Book Shop, have shared their love of books since meeting in 1966. At Reston’s Used Book Shop they spent 21 years sharing their knowledge of books with customers.


R412  A Tour of Hardy’s Wessex

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Kay Menchel
Thomas Hardy is one of England’s most beloved literary figures. His elegiac works chart the declining rural society of the late Victorian era. In this class we will sample three different expressions of Hardy’s art: short stories in the collection Life’s Little Ironies; a novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge; and some of Hardy’s poetry. Look forward to examining the depth of this master’s expression and its historical context!
See F409 for instructor information.


R413  Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne
Moderators: Janice Dewire, Carol Henderson
Class limit: 23
This short-story discussion class will continue with the anthology: The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, edited by Roberto González Echevarría. This fascinating survey of Latin American story telling begins in the late 15th century and continues through contemporary authors. Discussions this fall will include stories by 20th century authors Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa. Registrants provide their own copies of the book, a 1999 (copyright 1997) Oxford University Press paperback available for $15 from bookshops and online vendors.
Janice Dewire and Carol Henderson are enthusiastic Literary Roundtable participants and former OLLI Board members, some years ago they took on the moderator role for this popular course, one of the longest running in Reston.


R414  Introduction to Homer’s Odyssey

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Oct. 2
Two sessions
Instructor: Diane Thompson
The Odyssey tells of Odysseus’ ten year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. He encounters monsters, seductive goddesses, the shades of the dead in Hades, a benign patron goddess ̶ Athena ̶ and a palace full of dangerous suitors when he finally arrives home. In the first session an overview of the Odyssey enlivened with plenty of images and discussion will be presented. Homer’s vision of the afterlife is especially intriguing, so there will be handouts for books 11 and 24 of the Odyssey. In book 11, Odysseus visits Hades to get instructions on how to get safely home. In book 24, Odysseus kills the suitors and they go grumbling into Hades. This afterlife is fascinating because it makes few distinctions between good and evil deeds and there is no heaven available (nor hell). During the second session we will watch the 30-minute Odyssey segment of Invitation to Literature, a wonderful video series prepared by the Annenberg Corporation and WGBH Boston. Then we will discuss the handouts, consider Homer’s ideas about the afterlife and anything else Homeric class members want to talk about.
Diane Thompson received her PhD in comparative literature at the City University of New York. She has been teaching English and world literature at Northern Virginia Community College ever since.


L415  The New Yorker: A Roundtable Discussion

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Coordinator: Michael Coyne
This class will focus on informal discussions of material from The New Yorker magazine or website. Class members are encouraged to suggest items from any issue of the magazine. In past sessions discussions have included articles, profiles, fiction, poetry and cartoons. Before each class, the coordinator will distribute the material to participants by email. The class is highly interactive. Discussion usually goes beyond the articles themselves to include personal knowledge or experiences of class members relating to the topic.


L416  Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the Sonnets

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Oct. 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Richard Wilan
Romeo and Juliet is an ideal play through which to begin an approach to reading Shakespeare. The plot is already familiar to most, and, though Romeo and Juliet is a fairly early play, it provides good examples of what Shakespeare did with character and language. Along with the play, we will look at a few of the sonnets as a way into that language. When Romeo and Juliet first speak to each other, they do so in the form of a sonnet leading to a kiss. The sonnet device of oxymoron (love hate, light dark) is embedded in the play for both comic and tragic effects. The language of love in the play, from raunchy to romantic, defines both character and theme.
Richard Wilan received a BA from Amherst College, an MAT from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Maryland. His dissertation was on Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. He recently retired from Northern Virginia Community College, where he taught writing and Shakespearean literature for many years.


L417  Writers’ Workshop: Writing the Mind Alive

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Facilitator: Ed Sadtler, Ralph Greenwood
Class Limit: 10
This class uses a roundtable format that fosters an environment for writers of all levels to give and receive encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism. All genres of writing are welcome, including poetry, fiction, memoirs and historical pieces. All of these categories share the same underlying commitment: to write a compelling work that fully conveys the author’s intentions.
Ed Sadtler, an OLLI member, has been writing and occasionally publishing poetry for many years. Ralph Greenwood is a retired project manager with an unusual coming-of-age story to tell. That memoir can soon be found in bookstores everywhere. With the help of a Turkish fortune teller and sorcerer, he is currently penning his afterlife memoir as well.


L418  Readers’ Theater in Loudoun

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Class Limit: 24
If you love the theater and are intrigued by the idea of trying to step into someone else’s shoes, please join our group. Develop your reading and acting skills, and learn more about plays and how to perform them. Practice play-reading and creating characters, and enjoy interacting with other “hams.” Each week members of the class either perform or are part of the audience. Participants should plan to allow time to rehearse with other performers before presenting to the class each week.


L419  The 3 P’s: Poetry, Plays, Presentation

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Instructor: Kathie West
This course will be a collaboration between Loudoun OLLI and the community. Poems taught in 7th grade English classes at Blue Ridge Middle School will be creatively interpreted by the OLLI class. The class members will work the poems into scenes, dances, and readings. Table work, acting and vocal work will be included. The culmination of the class will be joining the students and the parents at an assembly at the middle school. The students will see OLLI’s interpretation of their studied poems, and OLLI will see the students perform their original poems.
See F103 for instructor information. 


500 Languages


F501  Beginning Spanish Conversation

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Oct. 27
Six sessions
Instructor: Ligia Glass
This class will review lessons learned in Basic Spanish I and II. The purpose of this class is to provide the students with functional tools that will help him/her to successfully conduct simple conversations in Spanish. The conversations, explanations, exercises and activities will teach students to recognize the large number of words and expressions that are similar in English and in Spanish. Classes include strategies and rules for converting English words to Spanish, hints for identifying large numbers of new words in Spanish and formulas to help students use Spanish verbs to describe events and situations. Different accents and expressions of the Hispanic world are introduced, along with songs and stories that will increase and enhance vocabulary that will be useful in everyday situations. No text is necessary. “Relax, Enjoy, and Have Fun” with Spanish!
Ligia Glass is a native of Panama who retired from the Securities and Exchange Commission. She had 15 years experience teaching all levels of Spanish at NOVA and she has been a Spanish teacher in Fairfax County Adult Education Program. She has an MA in foreign languages, an MA in Latin American Area Studies and an ABD in Latin American literature. She has taught Basic Spanish I and II at OLLI.


F502  Beginning French

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Beverley Persell
This class is for those who have never studied French or who need to review after many years of not using the language. Basic grammar and French culture will be explained. You will be taught how to compose simple sentences using the verbs “to be” (etre), “to have” (avoir) and “to go” (aller) and to build a vocabulary using adjectives, family members and places. A French film will be shown the seventh week and a French lunch will be served the eighth.
Beverley Persell learned French when she lived in France as a child. She has taught French in five states and locally at Flint Hill Prep School and The Congressional School. She majored in French at Mary Washington College and studied at the Sorbonne, the University of Toulouse, School Year Abroad in Rennes and The French Traveler Program for French teachers in Paris, Strasbourg, Aix-en Provence and Sarlat.


F503  Spanish Conversational Forum

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Instructor: Bernardo Vargas
Limit: 16
This ongoing conversational forum meets regularly during the year. The objectives are to practice the Spanish language and learn about Spanish/Latino culture through articles, photographs, videos and speakers. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish. English will be used only occasionally to explain grammar and idiomatic expressions. A prerequisite for this class is an ability to converse at the high intermediate to advanced level. Students are encouraged to make presentations in Spanish on timely topics of their choosing. Come join us and improve your Spanish while learning and having fun!
Bernardo Vargas, a graduate of the Pontifical Catholic University Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, is an editor of an online Spanish newspaper.


F504  Latin II

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Oct. 9, Oct. 23–Nov. 6, Nov. 20
Seven sessions
Note dates
Instructor: Alana Lukes
Class limit: 20
This continuing course is for beginning Latin students who know the verb endings of the present, imperfect and perfect tenses. We take a modern, non-traditional sight, sound and Internet approach to this ancient language as we continue to explore Latin grammar, vocabulary and restored pronunciation by reading about the adventures of a 1st century CE family living in Roman Britain. Class meetings employ a media version of the text, North American Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 2, 4th edition. Purchase of the text for home study is optional. A fee of $5 for all students, whether or not previously enrolled, will be due at time of registration. The fee offsets e-learning program costs.
Alana Lukes, an OLLI member, has taught Latin for over 25 years at the middle school, high school and college levels. She has published articles and given presentations both locally and nationally on her Latin classroom teaching techniques.


F505  Italian for Travel

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23–Nov. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Sybil Haynes
Each year bella Italy beckons and calls—could this be your year? Are you afraid to make travel plans because you’ve never studied Italian or haven’t spoken Italian in many years? Maybe you’ve already started planning your long awaited, once in a lifetime trip? We’ll learn key Italian phrases for travel and review them using sample train tickets, menus and other travel literature. While we learn those important survival phrases, there will be discussion of other topics including things to consider when selecting locations to visit (i.e., accessibility, climate, local holidays); easiest routes and logistics; best choices for transportation/connections (trains, ferries, drivers, rental cars); different types of Italian accommodations; banking and currency exchange; cell phone use and cultural notes. You’ll end this class confident that you can communicate while on your trip to Italy.
Sybil Haynes is the founder of Dolce Vita Adventures, an Italian Travel Company, and small group travel leader.


R506  Basic Spanish Conversation

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Pamela Garcia
This is a beginning conversation course for people who know very little or no Spanish. The focus of the class will be conversation. The topics will be greeting and describing people, describing pastimes, shopping for clothing and food, and dining out. The primary purpose will be to encourage the participants’ oral use of basic expressions and vocabulary, including asking questions. Structures will be included as they are necessary for communication.
The teacher, Pamela Garcia, recently retired from teaching all levels of Spanish and beginning levels of French in Montgomery County Public schools. She wrote curriculum and exams, and did extensive teacher training during her 34 years in the county, including three years as the supervisor of the county’s foreign language program. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Master’s degrees in Bilingual Multicultural Education and Supervision.


Religious Studies


F601  The First Christians

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Oct. 21
Five sessions
Instructor: Jack Dalby
New Testament scholar Geza Vermes notes, “The creation of the Christian Church is one of the most important stories in the development of the world’s history, but also one of the most enigmatic and little understood, shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding.” In this course, we will explore the first 100 years of the Christian era beginning with the actions of Jesus’ disciples as they recover from his crucifixion and come to believe in his resurrection. In addition, we will discuss how this small group of believers and other early missionaries set forth to spread the word of the risen Jesus and their expectation of his imminent return. Other topics will include:

  • What are our sources for understanding early Christianity?
  • How did the religion of Jesus become a religion about the risen Christ?
  • How did St. Paul evolve from a Christian persecutor to its greatest proponent?
  • How did the teaching of Paul compare to the teachings of Jesus?
  • Was there only one or many early Christianities?

Having a copy of the New Testament is encouraged but not required.
Jack Dalby, president of White Oak Communications, is an OLLI member and has taught classes on the historical Jesus, St. Paul and the first Christians. He holds a BS in Communication Arts from James Madison University and has taken graduate classes in the History Department at George Mason.


F602  Faith, Doubt and Tradition: A Teaching and Sharing Seminar

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
Class Limit: 15
This seminar will explore how people come to faith, why they may doubt their faith and how tradition shapes one’s religious and spiritual expressions. The instructor will begin each class with a 20-minute introduction that frames the issues for discussion. The class size is limited to 15 participants to allow for a lively exchange of ideas and experiences. This seminar welcomes members of all faith traditions, as well as those who doubt or don’t believe. Some of the major topics to be addressed include:

  • Do we practice our religion because of family tradition or because we believe it?
  • Is “Truth” discernible about the nature, character and will of God? If so, how?
  • Is it possible to know what God expects of us regarding our beliefs and conduct?
  • What happens when we have faith and then lose it? Can faith be fully restored or will there always be doubt?
  • Why not be a “spiritual non-believer”–one who lives a life based on high ethical standards without any belief in a deity?

Steven C. Goldman is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and serves as chair of OLLI’s Religious Studies Program Planning Group.


F603  End of Life Decisions in Islam: Medical Ethics and Spiritual Guidance

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Oct. 23
Five sessions
Instructor: Abdulaziz Sachedina
The course will study end of life decisions from bioethical perspectives found within Islamic tradition. In view of current thought re: forms of euthanasia and palliative care, Islamic ethical tradition raises pertinent questions about the right to make a decision regarding imminent death. The course addresses the critical role of the spiritual guide; how to negotiate the space between medical care and family concerns when a patient is at the height of the critical care and explores the intersection between religions and culture in religiously informed bioethics.

  • Sept. 25: Introduction to Islamic tradition and Islamic spirituality through its scriptural texts. Readings: Sachedina: “Islam, Health and Spirituality.”
  • Oct. 2: Islamic Legal and Ethical Traditions. Readings: Sachedina: Chapter Two of Islamic Biomedical Ethics(2009).
  • Oct. 9: Human Suffering and Theological Responses. Readings: Sachedina: Chapter Three of Islamic Biomedical Ethics (2009).
  • Oct. 16: Right to Die? Readings: Sachedina: Chapter Five of Islamic Biomedical Ethic (2009).
  • Oct. 23: Muslim Spiritual Guidance: Challenges and Solutions.

Abdulaziz Sachedina is the Endowed Chair of the International Institute of Islamic Thought at George Mason. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto and has been conducting research and writing in the field of Islamic law, ethics and theology (Sunni and Shiite) for more than two decades.


F604  Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23–Nov. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Gilah Goldsmith
For over a thousand years, Jewish thought and practice have been shaped by the writings of the classical rabbis: the Misnah, Midrash and Talmud. In the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70 C.E., these rabbis transformed a religion based on animal sacrifice and national identity into one based on the sanctification of daily life through prayer, study and ethical conduct. This course will survey the basic beliefs of these rabbis, how they expressed those beliefs and how the beliefs structured the lives and thoughts of the Jewish people.

  • Oct. 23: Scribes, Pharisees and Sages: the origins and sources of Rabbinic Judaism from an historical and literary perspective.
  • Oct. 30: God, Creation and Torah: Rabbinic assumptions about the relationship between the Master of the Universe, humanity and the Jewish people.
  • Nov. 6: The Life of Torah: How the Rabbis structured time, food, money and sex to sanctify daily life.
  • Nov. 13: Reward and Punishment: Rabbinic views on life after death and the coming of the messiah.

Gilah Goldsmith, a graduate of Harvard University and George Washington University Law School, is a retired government attorney who, for 20 years, has led the weekly Torah study group at Beth El Hebrew Congregation.


R605  Controversial Teachings of the Bible

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
Numerous texts in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament pose challenges for those who consider the Bible to be a unified, divinely inspired guidebook for humankind’s relationship with God and each other. In this course, we will examine a range of controversial texts and explore the various interpretations that believers, skeptics and those who reject the divine inspiration of these texts have offered. Some categories for analysis include the following:

  • Difficult to understand the meaning of the author.
  • Difficult to understand how to apply the teaching in a modern context.
  • Interpreted in different ways by different faith traditions.
  • Conflict with ethical precepts and teachings of most/all faith traditions.
  • Conflict with universally accepted standards of justice.
  • Appear to be factually untrue.

See course F602 for instructor information.


L606  New Testament Wannabes and Also-Rans: The Non-Canonical Books

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Instructor: Pete Gustin
Scores of gospels, epistles, acts and apocalypses exist outside the canon of the 27 Books of the New Testament. This seminar will explore a sampling of the so-called “non-canonical” works that were excluded, along with the reasons for their exclusion. This approach will allow us to consider various heresies and assess claims of forgery. Included will be the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Thomas, The Acts of John, the Acts of Peter, the Third Letter to the Corinthians and the Apocalypse of Peter.
Dr. Pete Gustin received his BA (English/Philosophy) from Coppin State College, Baltimore, with a concurrent AB in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary College, also in Baltimore. He received his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary and his DMin from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.


L607  Prophetic Messianic Expectation

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: John Rybicki
In the writings of the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures there is a promise of a messianic period when Israel will be restored in all of its glory. Israel will be the light of the world, and the “first fruits” leading all nations and people to the One True God. As time went on, there was expectation, disappointment and a reinterpretation of the expectation. Is this messianic expectation meant to be understood as an earthly kingdom – here and now – or an apocalyptic kingdom to be established spiritually at the end of time? In this course we will examine the writings of the prophets and later interpreters of the prophets, including the Christian interpretation, in an attempt to understand the meaning of the messianic promise.
John Rybicki, OLLI’s longtime instructor in religious studies, presents lively, informative lectures that encourage participation.


650 Humanities and Social Sciences


F651  The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 22–Oct. 27
Six sessions
Instructor: Claudia Day
Frank Lloyd Wright or Frank Lloyd Wrong? Many people consider Wright to be America’s, if not the world’s, greatest architect. What do you think? Let a guide from Wright’s Pope-Leighey house help you decide. Part academic, part travelogue, this class will take you on a journey through the development and implementation of Wright’s style and ideals spanning his more than 70-year career as an architect. Learn about who and what influenced Wright; his innovations and legacy; his efforts in urban planning; how his works compare to those of contemporaneous architects; and how his principles are being incorporated into architecture today. Presentations will be illustrated with photographs and drawings, but they cannot replace the experience of being inside a Wright building. If you have never been inside a Wright house, you may wish to tour the Pope-Leighey house in Alexandria, VA, before the class starts.
Claudia Day has had a life-long passion for architecture, with Frank Lloyd Wright being among her favorites. Since retiring four years ago she has been a part-time guide at the Pope-Leighey house in Alexandria, VA. She has visited over 100-Wright buildings, some of them multiple times. Her expertise in architecture is self-taught, apart from several years of study in Interior Design at Marymount University.

F652  OLLIgopoly–Trivia for Fun

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 21–Nov. 11
Four sessions
Instructor: Bruce Mercer
Join your fellow OLLI members in a spirited game of team trivia designed just for you. Past participants declare that OLLIgopoly provides the most fun they have ever had in an OLLI course and they keep coming back. The game combines questions, information and strategy with music and enjoyment. Working as teams (you are not alone!), participants ponder, plot and learn, all in an atmosphere of good-natured competition.
Bruce Mercer devises the questions and quirky visuals, and class members add the friendly spontaneity. Who knows? You might take home the coveted Ollivia statuette for your trophy case.


F653  Philosophy and the Good Life

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Irmgard Scherer
This course will examine questions in moral value theory that thoughtful people have pondered time and time again: Why should we live by moral rules when these rules will curtail our self-interest? Do we have free will or are our lives determined by forces that are beyond our control? Do we need God to be moral? Are there universally valid standards of right and wrong and if so can we figure them out? Or, are ethical standards relative to what an individual or a given culture decides is right or wrong? What is the place of caring in feminist moral theory? To answer some (probably not all) of these questions we will consult major figures in the history of ethical theory: Plato and Aristotle present a virtue ethics; Plato’s Euthyphro attempts to sever religion from morality; John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant argue for universally valid moral theories. We have built into this course scenarios from literary works, as it were from the “laboratory of life,” which helps expand our insights into moral dilemmas.
Irmgard Scherer, a US citizen born in Germany, is associate professor of Philosophy Emerita at Loyola University Maryland where she taught core courses, honors ethics seminars and electives in her areas of specialty: Kant, 18th century aesthetic theory, and topics in the history of ideas and science, areas in which she has also published. She has taught courses for OLLI such as Philosophical Aesthetics, Ancient Greek Roots of Modern Science,Introduction to Kant and Existentialism.


F654  Cultures and Religions of the Middle East

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Johnnie Hicks
Class limit: 70
This cultural journey through the Middle East takes us across one of the most fascinating yet least understood regions of our world. Stretching from Morocco in North Africa to the eastern borders of Iran, this ancient area embraces wide ranges of diversity that have contributed to numerous local conflicts while also shaping our own Western societies and religious faiths. Our studies will look at the identities of people, places and politics across the region and how the histories and key experiences have led to many of today’s challenges. We will examine the origins and basic beliefs of the five major western religions, all of which have their roots in these “sacred geographies.” Other topics include discussions of the “Arab Spring,” the “Sunni-Shi’a divide” in Islam, and current political thinking between religious and secular-minded leaders. The impact of foreign influences will also be examined. Note: This course has been offered at OLLI in several previous sessions.
Johnnie Hickshas traveled extensively and twice lived in Iran where she taught at the Teheran American School. She was also a counselor and administrator with Fairfax County Public Schools for more than 20 years and is an adjunct instructor with George Mason. She is also a frequent presenter at schools, churches and other organizations on topics of world cultures and religions.


F655  The Middle East Through Film

Tuesdays, 1:45–3:45, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Note time
Instructor: Johnnie Hicks
Class limit: 70
This film journey will draw from award-winning films that portray the cultures and contemporary lives of people from different regions of the Middle East. Regions for study and discussion include: Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, Golan, Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Kurdistan. Middle Eastern films are particularly noted for their character development and the universal themes set within a specific cultural framework. The selected films also provide insights into the values, traditions and aspirations of people from different areas of the region. Each session will include a brief introduction to the film and suggested questions to invite follow-up personal responses and discussion. Note that a two-hour time period has been allotted for this course in order to allow for a full film viewing per session.
See F654 for instructor information.


F656  Ontology & Its Use in Human Communications

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25–Oct. 16
Four sessions
Instructors: Bradley Morgan, Stephen Marias
Ontology of the Human Observer is a new discipline, emerging from significant developments in philosophy and biology in the latter half of the 20th century. Itis “deceptively simple, yet elegant and dynamic.” Its focus is on providing a clear practical understanding of human beings and the nature of human communication. Join Bradley Morgan and Stephan Marias in workshop discussions to learn more about expanding communication in your relationships, personal and professional, by using ontological techniques.

  • The Four Horsemen. Reasons and ways to avoid the four horsemen behaviors: contempt, blame, defensiveness and stonewalling and how they can undermine your communications.
  • Multi-Generational Communication and Misunderstanding. Every generation is shaped by national events, global crises, cultural upbringing and family interaction. We will examine ways to identify and bridge language gaps with other generations.
  • How to Build Authentic Relationships. Identify how to establish and maintain mutually nurturing relationships. Learn to distinguish how “telling” and “requesting” is interpreted by different individuals and discover the speech elements that foster trust and create synergy.
  • Live Your Life in Boldness. Distinguish between opinions and provable facts about your goals; identify the difference between boldness and recklessness; learn the tools that keep you in action and avoid derailment.

Bradley Morganholds a BS from Georgia Tech and an MS from UCLA. Stephan Mariasholds a BS in production management and an MBA from UNISA in South Africa. Both have extensive business experience, are professionally certified by the Newfield Network program as professional certified coaches in ontology and are members of the International Coach Federation.


R657  War on Poverty

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 20–Nov. 10
Four sessions
Instructor: Glenn Kamber
Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, the “Great Society” program of the late 1960’s, remains one of the boldest and most controversial societal engineering experiments in our nation’s history. Intended to rapidly “equalize” and lift opportunity for millions of poor and disenfranchised people by enriching almost every aspect of their lives, it has become a symbol for all that is good, or bad, about government in today’s highly polarized political environment. This course will explore what remains of Great Society programs, what worked and what didn’t, and why. It will examine the underlying clash of core political philosophies, around since the days of Hamilton and Jefferson, which keep the War on Poverty front and center in our political discourse.
Glenn Kamberis an OLLI member and instructor. He has taught a number of courses at Reston over the past four years that focus on current events, political and social issues that affect our lives. He is a retired senior executive from the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he managed policy and program development in the immediate office of eight HHS secretaries.


R658  Understanding the Inventions That Changed the World–Part 3

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 21–Nov. 11
Four sessions
Facilitator: Abbie Edwards
This course is a continuation (and completion) of the courses offered this past spring and summer; however, all members are welcome to attend. This stunning visual series from The Great Courses, taught by Professor W. Bernard Carlson of the University of Virginia, will investigate the origins of inventions that have changed the course of history from prehistoric times to the 21st century. The current lecture series will cover inventions such as radio and television, household appliances, satellites, cell phones, genetic engineering and more. During this fall term we will view lectures 27-36, which will complete this series started last spring. In each lecture we will consider such questions as: How was it invented? How does it work? Why is it important? Did the invention change the world?
Abbie Edwards, an OLLI member, has taught a variety of classes at OLLI since 2001, including World Religions, Eastern Philosophies, Journey of Man, and History of Mythology and Evolution. She is co-chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Program Planning Group.


R659  The Nuremberg Trials

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Steve Greenhouse
The Nuremberg Trials were the first international war crimes trial in history. This course traces the history of the laws of war, the organization of the Nuremberg Tribunal, and discusses the prosecutors, judges, defense counsel, and especially the defendants (including psychiatric evaluations of some of them), the indictments, verdicts and sentences. Finally, the substantial and far-reaching legacy of Nuremberg is discussed in detail. Emphasis is placed on the Trials as the world’s way of confronting unspeakable evil perpetrated by a civilized nation in modern times. They were described by one historian as “legalism’s greatest moment of glory,” but legal absolutists have characterized them as invalid, partly because of their use of ex post facto law. Despite the criticism, the Trials gave the leaders of a defeated nation the benefit of the rule of law and due process with the presumption of innocence, something they denied their millions of victims. The Trials provided precedents for many international trials to follow including Tokyo after WWII, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Cambodia. They also gave rise to the International Criminal Court.
Steve Greenhouse is a recently retired electrical engineer who worked in the space communications field for the last 35 years of his career. Steve has long held an acute interest in the Nuremberg Trials and the crimes which precipitated them, the perpetrators and their motivations. He looks upon the extensive preparation and presentation of this course as both a challenge and an educational experience. Yes, Steve believes, instructors are students also.


700 Current Events

F701  What’s in the Daily News?

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Note time
Moderators: Peter Van Ryzin, Dorsey Chescavage
Class Limit: 38
Do you have an opinion on what’s happening in the world today? Would you like to express and share your views with others? Join other news junkies each week to discuss, debate and, yes, sometimes disagree as to the significance and meaning of events, both great and small. All views are welcomed in a spirit of give-and-take.
Peter Van Ryzin, an addicted news junky and OLLI member, was a career Marine who served two combat tours in Vietnam before retiring as a colonel in 1990. Dorsey Chescavage, an OLLI member, retired from the Jefferson Consulting Group where she was a registered lobbyist specializing in military and veterans’ health care.


F702  Great Decisions 2014

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Moderators: Gordon Canyock, Ted Parker
Class limit: 20
For over 50 years, the Foreign Policy Association has sponsored discussion groups throughout the United States to investigate some of the world’s greatest challenges affecting our lives. This course is a repeat of the spring term course F703 and covers the same eight topics: Defense Technology, Israel and the U.S., Turkey’s Challenges, Islamic Awakening, Energy Independence, Food and Climate, China’s Foreign Policy and US Trade Policy. A briefing book and video covering each week’s topic will set the stage for class discussion. There is a $20 materials fee, payable with registration.
Gordon Canyock is a retired military intelligence officer, former State Department consultant and long-time member of OLLI. Ted Parker, a retiree from the US Department of Education, had a 40-year career in education, which included teaching and managing at local, state and collegiate levels. He has been a member of OLLI for several years.


F703  Korea: North and South

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25–Oct. 16
Church of the Good Shepherd
Four sessions
Coordinators: Jack Samarias, Carole Richard

  • Sept. 25: The Korean Conflict: The four session Korean War class will begin with a lecture/discussion on the three year combat beginning in 1953. Dr. Gropman intends to put the Korean War in the Cold War context. We will discuss the diplomatic and economic movements by the United States and the Soviet Union, events at the United Nations, the rapid demobilization by United States military forces after World War II, Harry S Truman’s desire to continue Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal (under a new title), and the way each side saw the other’s attitudes. The role of the National Security Council Report 68 will receive proper attention. We will deal with the opening of the war in June 1950, Douglas MacArthur’s successes and failures and ultimate removal, Matthew Ridgway’s successes and the armistice ending the fighting. Dr. Alan Gropman is a Distinguished Professor of National Security Policy, Emeritus, at National Defense University and an adjunct professor at George Mason.
  • Oct. 2: South Korea, Today’s Reality: Short history of progress, economy/financial environment, education, family life and the military. Greg Scarlatoiuis executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).
  • Oct. 9: North Korea, Today’s Reality: Greg Scarlatoiu, see above.
  • Oct. 16: The Future: Reunification, John Merrill is head of The Korea team at the State Department’s Intelligence/Research Bureau (INR).


R704  The Supreme Court: Current Cases

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 24–Nov. 12
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Ben Gold
This is a discussion class addressing cases the Supreme Court will hear, or has heard during its 2014-2015 term. We will use instructor-provided material consisting of the cases’ background, lower-court decisions and edited briefs filed with the Supreme Court, including audio of oral arguments for selected cases. Materials will be available only online, so Internet access is required. Our discussion of each case will look at both sides of every argument, the likely position of each justice and the social and political context of the case.
Ben Gold, an OLLI member, has a BA in political science from Stanford University and earned an MS in computer science as a naval officer. After retirement from the Navy, he worked in the computer industry and has served as a docent at the Supreme Court for the past 11 years.


R705  All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25–Nov. 13 
Moderator: Dick Kennedy
This is a chance to discuss news and current events with other members who are trying to understand our changing world. More than ever we need to question information that comes to us from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, bumper stickers and newspapers. How should we filter these sources? We will examine and discuss some of the day’s hot topics in world and national news, science, business, sports and entertainment. All viewpoints and opinions are respected, needed and welcomed. As Walter Cronkite once said, “In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.”
Dick Kennedy, an OLLI member, is a retiree from the senior executive service at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He enjoys analyzing the news from multiple sources and engaging in good discussions with colleagues.


800 Science, Technology & Health


F801  iPad for Beginners

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Sept. 29
2:15–5:00, Oct. 6
Three sessions
Note time
Instructor: Stan Schretter
Class limit: 40
This class is for both those thinking about getting an iPad or just trying to figure out their new iPad. The basic elements of the iPad will be explained and demonstrated. The setting up of the iPad will be illustrated, including connecting to the WiFi and approving or disapproving the permissions that allow your apps to provide your data to the outside world. The free Apple-provided apps, e.g., mail, photos and Facetime, will be introduced and demonstrated.
Stan Schretter, an OLLI member, is an avid amateur photographer and has taught courses at OLLI for many years.


F802  iPad: Exploring Apps

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 20–Nov. 10
Four sessions
Stan Schretter
Class limit: 40
Students taking this class should be comfortable with the iPad basic functions. The class will focus on downloading and using apps versus a web browser to access and store Internet information. The class will also introduce a wide range of apps, from photo editing to news aggregation to watching movies and TV shows. Connection of your iPad to the OLLI WiFi is desirable for this class.
See F801 for instructor information.


F803  How is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 28, Nov. 11
Two sessions
Note dates
Instructor: Zimri Putney
The answer to this profound question was speculated upon by the Greeks. It is the source of creation myths of most religions. Through the 19th century the most likely response was: created by God. A series of astonishing discoveries in the 20th century in quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology and other fields have presented us with a different plausible answer built entirely on a scientific foundation.

  • In the first session we will follow this query through the natural philosophy of the last 2,500 years and then focus on the discoveries and individuals of the 20th century that conceptualized and experimentally verified the building blocks leading to the big bang theory.
  • In the second session we will continue our quest through the expansion of the universe, inflation, supernovae explosions, the Goldilocks zone and evolution of physical bodies that brought us to the conditions in which life might flourish.

Zimri Putney earned a ScM in physics from Brown University and pursued a career in solid-state microelectronics, photovoltaics, entrepreneurship and venture capital. He most relishes cosmology on clear evenings in the mountains.


F804  Topics on Nuclear Power

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 22–Nov. 12
Four sessions
Coordinators: Palmer McGrew, Paul Murad
Virginia Commonwealth University professors will present a course on nuclear power. The coordinator of the program will be Sama Bilbao y León, assisted by the Virginia chapter of the Health Physics Society. The classes will cover:

  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Event (Part 1): This lecture will provide an update on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear events and the status of the recovery efforts.
  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Event (Part 2): This second part will be focused on the radiation effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear event based on the most recent reports by UNSCEAR and WHO.
  • Mining uranium from seawater. This presentation will explain why mining uranium from seawater has been a part of innovative nuclear research and technology and the current progress, advancements and obstacles in this research area.
  • Thorium use in nuclear power. This presentation will explore positive and negative aspects on ways thorium can be used in nuclear power and explain its important effects on the nuclear fuel cycle and associated technology.

Sama Bilbao y León is an associate professor, director of nuclear engineering programs, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering. She has a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in energy technology from Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, an MS in nuclear engineering and engineering physics, a PhD in nuclear engineering and engineering physics from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Averett University. She received the American Nuclear Society’s Mary Jane Oestmann Women’s Achievement Award in 2011. Phongikaroon is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has over nine years of experience in molten salt systems, especially in the area of pyroprocessing technology of used nuclear fuel. He has led and collaborated on many electrochemical and chemical separation projects for used nuclear fuel reprocessing in molten salt systems since 2004 with several national and international laboratories and leading universities. He has authored and co-authored more than 17 peer-reviewed publications and has made over 30 presentations at national and international conferences and workshops on molten salt systems associating with nuclear fuel cycle R&D.
Carl Tarantino has been employed with Dominion Resources, Inc. for 29 years as a power reactor health physicist, certified by the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists and American Board of Health Physics. He works in the Corporate Nuclear Licensing & Operations Support Department with primary responsibilities for providing technical support/oversight of the fleet’s radiation protection programs, managing the groundwater protection program, and coordinating the company’s nuclear safety review activities. Upon obtaining his BA in Biology from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY, he was commissioned in the US Navy’s Medical Service Corps as a radiation health officer, serving with the Navy’s Environmental Health Center, performing radiological and industrial hazards evaluations for fleet and shore based naval installations. He received his MS in health physics from the University of Florida’s Environmental Engineering Program, and received his MBA from Averett University. An active plenary member of the national Health Physics Society (HPS) since 1981, the local Virginia chapter since 1983, and the Virginia section, American Nuclear Society since 1998, Carl has a passion for teaching nuclear science and promoting career interests in health physics.
Keith Welch has over 30 years of experience in health physics. He is currently the deputy radiation control manager at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Lab, where he has been employed in operational health physics for over 20 years. Prior to working in accelerator radiation safety, he worked as a technician, supervisor and technical trainer in the commercial nuclear power industry. He began his career working as a radiation protection technician supporting overhaul and repair of naval nuclear power plants. He is a registered Radiation Protection Technologist and an associate member of the American Academy of Health Physics. Keith has a BS in technical management, and completed his masters in health physics in 2013.


F805  Advances in Medical Care

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25–Oct. 16
Four sessions
Coordinator: Rala Stone
Join Inova physicians, oncologists, surgeons and medical staff as they present an informative series about the advances in cancer prevention and treatment, the latest recommendations for good joint and bone health plus, wellness recommendations for a healthy lifestyle and aging. With data-driven research and personalized care, Inova is delivering the future of health.

  • Sept. 25: Colorectal Cancer: Advances in Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment, Dr. Lynda Dougherty, colon/rectal surgeon.
  • Oct. 2: Osteoarthritis and the Latest Advances in Joint and Bone Health, Dr. Brad Boyd, orthopedic surgeon, and Inova physical medicine and rehab specialist.
  • Oct. 9: Key to Wellness and Great Health at Any Age, Dr. Terence McCormally, board certified family medicine and geriatric medicine physician.
  • Oct. 16: Advances in Breast Health and Minimally Invasive Treatment Options, Dr. Hernan Vargas, breast surgical oncologist, and Dr. Ashish Chawla, radiation oncologist.


F806  Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi

Thursdays, 2:15–3:05, Sept. 25–Nov. 13
Note time
Instructor: Jerry Cheng
Class Limit: 25
Tai chi, a form of martial arts that has been practiced for centuries, is meditation in motion that emphasizes balance, posture and concentration. This beginning class will focus on chen-style tai chi, which promotes health and fitness, strengthens the immune system, can relieve neck and back pain, corrects digestive problems, aids emotional and psychological well-being, relieves stress and builds character. Please wear loose clothing and plan to work in stocking feet or soft, flexible shoes.
Jerry Cheng was born in China and started his martial arts training when he was six. He studied under several famous Chinese martial arts masters, including grandmaster Sha GuoZheng, and won four gold medals at the 1997 Atlanta International Martial Arts Championship. He taught tai chi at the University of Georgia for six years and the University of Texas for three years.


L807  Responses to Climate Change

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Instructor: Robert Means
The starting points for the course are the propositions: (1) that global temperatures are rising as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and (2) that rising temperatures are, on balance, harmful to humans and to things humans care about. The course examines two dimensions of current and potential actions to slow or stop the temperature rise. The first is technological. Because the principal source of the emissions is the combustion of fossil fuels, the most important technologies are ones that reduce energy consumption or replace fossil fuels with energy sources that produce fewer (or no) emissions. The deployment of these technologies depends mostly on the decisions of private investors. Left to the market, however, their decisions would not produce a deployment that was large enough or rapid enough for climate policy goals. The second dimension examined by the course, therefore, is institutional: the mandates, subsidies and penalties that are intended to broaden and speed their deployment.
Robert Means teaches courses in climate and energy policy at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.


L808  Cybercrime and Digital Privacy

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 16–Oct. 23
Two sessions
Instructor: Dan Venese
Daily there is another major computer intrusion where millions of banking or credit card records have been stolen. Chances are you or, someone you know, has been a victim. We will explore the shadowy actors who commit cybercrime; the ways it is carried out; the vast financial losses incurred; and why it is so hard to stop. The class will demystify techno terms, such as “botnets,” “zero day exploits,” “advanced persistent threats” and “denial of service attacks.” The participants include virtually every Internet site, information brokers and providers of sophisticated collection and analysis software. Information is correlated from a variety of sources to form detailed portfolios. The largely unregulated brokers who collect and correlate this information sell it for use in Ecommerce, government tracking and, unfortunately, to facilitate identity theft. Techniques will be demonstrated to control your personal information and opt-out where possible. These topics will be explored through lectures, videos and audience participation.
Dan Venese, an OLLI member, started working on computer security in the 1970s and has an MS in computer science. He has worked on sensitive computer systems for government and corporate clients.

L809  Unidentified Flying Objects–A Serious Assessment

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23–Nov. 13
Four sessions
Instructors: Paul Murad, Bill Stoney
UFOs have perplexed us for epochs. Are they real or not? The actuality of UFOs would affect our attitudes about exotic science, politics and religion. The four sessions will include:

  • A brief history of classical art showing paintings and statues that look similar to UFOs or astronauts.
  • Unnatural artifacts found in art, jewelry and structures raise questions about extraterrestrial capabilities. Strange rock carvings of unusual figures, distinctive from human beings, found at Carahunge, Armenia, as well as pyramids in Bosnia and in Egypt, raise questions about an early meeting between aliens and mankind.
  • The World War II Nazi science community developed unusual theories on man-made UFOs.
  • Faster than light travel concepts will be discussed in terms of the conventional wisdom. If real, do these objects require discovering “new” physics to solve this capability?

Paul Muradhas presented over 20 technical papers and published numerous peer reviewed journal papers coving faster-than-light travel or altering gravitation. Bill Stoney was involved in many NASA endeavors. He met Wernher Von Braun while working on the Apollo projects. Both have given several courses at OLLI.

R810  The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan

Mondays and Wednesdays. 10:30–11:30, Nov. 3–Nov. 24, Dec. 1–Dec. 15
Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Note dates, no class November 26
Instructor: RCC Staff
Learn eight simple movements derived from the Tai Chi Yang Style Short Form by Master Cheng Man Ch’ing. Each movement is a separate and complete unit that can be practiced by itself, independently of the others, and conveys all the benefits of Tai Chi. Emphasis is on balance, relaxation and ease of movement. A class fee of $20 payable at time of registration. Those registering will also need to fill in a Reston Community Center registration/waiver form, which can be found and return it to the OLLI Office.

R811  Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00–11:00, Nov. 4–Nov. 25, Dec. 2–Dec. 18
Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Note dates, no class November 27
Instructor: RCC Staff
This traditional yoga class, designed for senior adults, incorporates both stretching and strength postures while focusing on balance. Participants will enjoy increased strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and energy in a gently challenging way. Participants should bring a blanket, pillow, or beach towel. A class fee of $20 payable at time of registration. Those registering will also need to fill in a Reston Community Center registration/waiver form, which can be found and return it to the OLLI Office.


900 Other Topics

F901  Trip Tales

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 22–Nov. 10
Coordinator: Tom Hady

  • Sept. 22: Jean and Dan Feigherywent to Seattle for Wagner’s complete Ring and explored the city from atop the Space Needle to the underground of Pioneer Square.
  • Sept. 29: Katie Mitchell visited South America. In part 1, she shows us Santiago, Easter Island, Argentine Lake District, Chilean markets, penguins, stilt houses and parts of Torres del Paine Park.
  • Oct. 6: Lorrin and Ann Garson made more than ten landings during a unique working-expedition-ship-voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.
  • Oct. 13: Katie Mitchell: South America, Part 2. More of Torres del Paine Park, Perito Moreno Glacier, Buenos Aires, the Brazilian jungle and Iguazu Falls (as seen from both Brazil and Argentina) will be presented.
  • Oct. 20: Frank Mertes visited Croatia and Slovenia in 2007. He started in Dubrovnik, continued on to Split and Opatija in Croatia, and he visited Rijeka, Kropa, Lake Bled and Ljubljana in Slovenia.
  • Oct. 27: Sue Roose continues her travels, this time to Hawaii.
  • Nov. 3: Sandy Hoch adventured into some of the remotest spots in North America: the back country of Denali National Park, the undiscovered treasure of Gustavus, flight-seeing McKinley and trekking Canada’s remote Yukon Territory.
  • Nov. 10: Join Bart Kramer on his Po River Cruise as he uncovers the romantic hidden treasures of Northern Italy: Venice, Bologna, Padua, Ravenna and Verona.


L902  Meditation

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 6, Oct. 20–Oct. 27
Note dates
Three sessions
Instructor: Linda Bender
Class Limit: 15
Here’s your chance to learn more about meditation and then try it out. Linda will discuss the various classifications and types of meditation and how meditation can help in your daily life. The focus will be on the processes of meditation itself, rather than on any particular belief system or faith. Class members will have an opportunity to decide on a particular meditation style and then try it out in class and at home. There will be lots of discussion and an opportunity to talk about meditation experiences and issues and how to handle any problems that may arise. The atmosphere of the class will allow us to share our own experiences while still respecting the privacy of others. Each class will include a guided meditation.
Linda Bender, an OLLI member, has been a meditator for over 40 years. She has a degree in mathematics from Cornell. After spending 20 years as the wife of an Army Intelligence officer, she went back into the work place, learned medical billing and eventually managed billing offices for both hospitals and physicians.


L903  Workshop for Planning Your Life after Retirement

Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 23–Nov. 11
Facilitator: Hank Taylor
Class limit: 20
Structure your retirement years to maximize both quality of life and longevity. Each participant will prepare a Life Plan that includes a mission statement and a set of objectives with associated goals, all derived from a determination of true inner values. The workshop does not address the financial aspects of retirement. Expect homework exercises and class discussion.

  • Factors Related to Longevity and Successful Aging
  • Who Am I? An Exploration of True Inner Values
  • What is the Meaning of Life and My Life?
  • Natural Abilities, Lifelong Desires and Dreams
  • Exercise, Diet and Social Interaction
  • Life Plan: Mission Statement, Objectives, Goals
  • Short and Medium Term Plans
  • Life Plan Review

Hank Taylor recently retired from MITRE Corporation, where he supported large-scale government IT projects as an information systems engineer. His academic background is in experimental psychology and electrical engineering. Hank successfully applied the Life Planning Process to his own retirement planning and in prison-mentoring work. Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael is the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling. She will be assisting with Session 3.


Special Events


Fall for the Book

OLLI will join Fall for the Book in their 16th annual festival of literature. A complete list of events may be found at To register for these events please use the special event registration form found online at The form will be available when registration begins on July 30. Alternatively, you may sign up in the office.For events requiring bus transportation, service will be provided from Tallwood 45 minutes prior to the event, and there will also be return service after the event.


Fall for the Book: Mason Award Presentation to Jodi Picoult

Friday, 7:30, Sept. 12
Concert Hall, Center for the Arts, George Mason
A bus will be provided from Tallwood to the Center for the Arts at 6:45, returning after the event.
Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of over 20 novels, including My Sister’s Keeper, The Tenth Circle, Nineteen Minutes, Lone Wolf and The Storyteller. She joins the Fall for the Book festival to accept the Mason Award, an annual award recognizing a single writer who has made extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide-reading public. Picoult will discuss her work and her life as a writer.


Fall for the Book: The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Monday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 15
Charles Belfoure reads from and discusses his debut novel, The Paris Architect. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a Gentile architect who accepts a commission to design hiding spots for Jews during the Nazi occupation of Paris.


Fall for the Book: American Phoenix by Jane Hampton Cook

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 17
Jane Hampton Cook’s book is American Phoenix: John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the Exile that Saved American Independence. She discusses the relationship of John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the beginning of Adams’ political career that would lead him from his first U.S. diplomatic post in Russia to the White House, and the early days of American democracy.


Fall for the Book: Fairfax Prize Presentation to Richard Russo

Wednesday, 7:30, Sept. 17
George Mason’s Harris Theatre
A bus will be provided from Tallwood to the Center for the Arts at 6:45, returning after the event.
Richard Russo appears at Fall for the Book to accept the annual Fairfax Prize, a prize given to an outstanding writer for literary achievement. Russo is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls, as well as the Bridge of Sighs, That Old Cape Magic and Straight Man. His most recent book is Elsewhere, a memoir of his mother. Sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.

AARP Driver Safety Course

Monday and Tuesday, 10:00–3:00, Sept. 15–Sept. 16
Two sessions
Note dates and times
Instructor: Manuel Pablo
Event Limit: 30
Cars have changed. So have traffic rules, driving conditions and the roads you travel. Brush up on driving skills with this driver safety course. Learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques and ways to operate a car more safely. Learn to manage and accommodate common age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time. The class covers blind spots, following distances, changing lanes, turns at intersections, safety belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, new technologies, ways to monitor your own and others’ driving skills and capabilities, effects of medications on driving and distractions such as eating, smoking and cell-phone use. Cost: $15 for AARP members, $20 for non-members. Please bring a check and membership card to the first meeting. Note this is a TWO-DAY course, and attendance both days is necessary to earn certification, which can be used for a three-year discount from your insurance carrier. To register for this use the special event registration form found online at or you sign up in the office. The form will be available when registration begins on July 30.
Manuel Pablo is a volunteer instructor who has taught this course for more than eight years, most recently for the Woodbridge Senior Center and for OLLI.

Additional Special Events


951 Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18
Instructor: Ángel Cabrera
What makes being a global business leader today such a complex task? It’s more than mastering knowledge of various geographies and cultures, though that is essential. To succeed you must also master the complex mind-set and competencies needed to lead in today’s fully globalized world. Not an easy assignment.
Dr. Ángel Cabrera is currently the sixth president of George Mason. Cabrera’s expertise in international business and higher education has been recognized by top international organizations. The World Economic Forum named him a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” in 2002 and a “Young Global Leader” in 2005.


952  Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18
Videoconference to Loudoun
Instructor: Ángel Cabrera
This is a videoconference of special event 951.


953  The Nature of the County

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 22
Instructor: Scott York, Tim Hemstreet
Have you ever been confused about what county government does? Loudoun County is governed by a nine-member Board of Supervisors. The Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is elected by the voters at large. The other supervisors are elected from each of eight election districts in the county. All nine members serve concurrent terms of four years. The Board appoints a county administrator, who manages county operations. In this class Loudoun County Board Chairman Scott K. York and Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet will discuss how county government functions, what services it provides, and how to navigate through government offices and programs. They will also discuss how the county government interacts with Loudoun County’s town governments, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the federal government. The class will also cover the Commonwealth of Virginia and Loudoun County’s election cycles.


954  Drones: Our New Toys, Tools and Robot Companions

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 24
Church of the Good Shepherd
Coordinator: Martha Powers
We have long been fascinated with the ability to see from the sky. Since the development of powered flight, we have made use of balloons, kites, planes and helicopters to get ourselves and payloads like cameras into the sky and get a new perspective on the world. We are now interested in a safer, easier, less expensive way to get this perspective, drones. Today, drones are being used for many creative uses: by winemakers to monitor their vineyards; by civil engineers to inspect structures such as bridges for abnormalities and cracks; by humanitarian relief workers to survey the damage after natural disasters; and by photojournalists to safely deliver timely coverage of a scene. This class will explain the factors that have made this technology so rapidly accessible to us, the design and engineering considerations that are needed to make drones safer and more intelligent, and cutting-edge ideas to integrate them into our lives and use them in socially beneficial ways. It will also feature a live demonstration of drone technology.
Christopher Vo is a roboticist at George Mason and drone technology educator who develops motion planning algorithms for autonomous swarms of drones to fly safely, quickly and robustly. As the Director of Education for the DC Area Drone User Group, he has taught hundreds of everyday users how to build and fly a drone of their own.


955  Sogetsu Ikebana

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 24
Instructor: Tone Olsen
Sogetsu School of Ikebana believes that anyone can arrange ikebana anywhere and with almost anything. It should be part of a lifestyle to be appreciated by many people from all over the world, rather than being considered an exclusive aspect of Japanese culture to be enjoyed by a limited number of people. Just as people are different from each other, Sogetsu School encourages ikebana students to be individual and imaginative.
Tone Olsen lived in Tokyo, Japan, for three years and has studied ikebana for over 20 years. She is certified as a teacher, first-degree, by the Sogetsu School of Ikebana.


956  How to Boost Your Brain and Combat Aging

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 24
Instructor: Ellen Clarke
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a familiar saying, but science has proven that it isn’t true. Our brains grow throughout life, which gives us a great opportunity to offset the negative effects of aging. Just like your body, your mind needs regular maintenance to function at peak performance. This lecture teaches easy ways to boost your brain, without medication. These methods are easy to use and helpful for all ages; the sooner you start, the greater the benefits!
Ellen Clarke holds a PhD in human factors and applied cognition. For more than five years, she has been involved in cutting-edge scientific research on real-world, non-pharmacological, cognitive intervention and cognitive performance enhancement techniques. She also writes articles on gaining and maintaining an optimal brain at any age.


957  PAPYRUS – The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Sept. 26
Coordinator: Florence Adler
Papyrus is a unique plant, one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It floats on water and its stems inspired the fluted columns of the classical Greeks. In ancient Egypt, the papyrus bounty from the Nile Delta provided not only paper for record keeping but food, fuel and boats. Today, papyrus is not just a curious relic of our ancient past, but a rescuing force for modern ecological and societal blight. During the class there will be a demonstration of how to make papyrus paper, an exhibit of replicas of Christian papyrus codex and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
John Gaudet ( is a writer and ecologist, whose work has appeared in The Washington Post. He is the author of The Iron Snake, a novel about a railroad in Africa that affected millions of people. His book PAPYRUS: The Plant That Changed the World, Pegasus Publishing, is being released in June 2014. (


958  Grand Parenting with Exceptional Children

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 29
Instructor: Karen Woodworth
Karen Woodworth, retired Fairfax County teacher of general education, special needs education, and gifted education will present information and strategies on the critical role the grandparent plays in raising children with unique needs. She will speak about the full spectrum of intelligence, addressing the unique needs of gifted learners, those who are disabled learners and learners with emotional disabilities such as autism. She has gathered information from research, firsthand experience and interviews with grandparents who are currently working to meet the needs of this special population. This session will be an extension of her presentation from last fall, but delving deeper into the unique and critical role of grandparents of exceptional children.


959  Motivating Employees in Today’s 24/7 Organizations

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 1
Instructor: Michelle Marks
Restructuring. Empowerment. Commitment. Downsizing. Talent management. Reengineering. Cross-training. Outsourcing. Mentoring. Coaching. Contingency workforce. Telecommuting. Job sharing. Boomers. Gen Y. These are the buzzwords of today’s workplace. In the past two decades work has changed, perhaps more than any other time since mass production. Companies once praised for their “best practices” in forging long-term employment relationships are reducing their permanent workforce and restructuring for leanness and competitiveness. Where is work going, and how are we to make sense of this? Is the promise of increased flexibility an opportunity? Or is the buzz bad news, with lurking threats of job insecurity, longer hours, 24/7 connectivity via technology? Is it even possible for today’s leaders to create a committed, focused workforce? This class will focus on work motivation and ways to engage employees in this new workplace.
Michelle Marks is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at George Mason. She is also a professor of management in Mason’s School of Management. She earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her MS and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from George Mason.


960  Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 3
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
How did ideas about age change over two centuries for novels and their readers, from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to What Maisie Knew by Henry James?Professor Teresa Michals traces the emergence of specifically adult reading in her new book, Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James as she explores why some books originally written for a mixed-age audience, such as Robinson Crusoe, eventually became children’s literature, while others, such as Pamela by Samuel Richardson, became adult novels. Michals’ book argues the idea of psychological development supplanting social status to frame ideas of age. The author states, “I started working on this project because I knew people were thinking about the history of childhood in interesting new ways, but the idea of adulthood still seemed to be pretty much taken for granted. I think that what it means to be an adult has changed quite dramatically, and has become much more important from the 18th century to today.”
Teresa Michals received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her graduate degree from Johns Hopkins. Currently she is an assistant professor in the Department of English at George Mason.


961  Taking Steps Toward Sustainability

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 6
Instructors: Kelly Petrey, Leslie Bartlebaugh
With an ever increasing human population relying on fewer resources, it is critical to approach development through a sustainability lens. This course will describe sustainability practices that can be adopted during development that utilize less energy, produce less waste, and protect our planet’s precious resources. We will focus on built examples that demonstrate a layered and comprehensive approach to sustainability. Specifically, we will describe Low Impact Development (LID) storm water management strategies, including rain gardens, cisterns, green roofs, pervious pavement, as well as sustainable commercial building practices emphasized in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification process, including recycled materials, energy savings, solar energy systems, and life cycle analysis of materials. The course will be presented by Kelly Petrey (PE), an associate engineer, and Leslie Bartlebaugh, a landscape designer, at Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc., a Davey Company.


962  Exploring Angkor Wat: The Art and History of a Khmer God-King

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 8
Instructor: Robert DeCaroli
The early 12th century temple complex of Angkor Wat stands as an enduring testament to the majesty and might of the Khmer empire. Although this World Heritage Site, whose form now graces the Cambodian flag, is often envisioned as being typical of Khmer royal architecture, it is actually a radical departure from the norm. Its sculptural reliefs, architectural plan and religious focus all point to the innovative and grand agendas set by its patron, King Suryavarman II. This lecture will provide a close reading of Angkor Wat’s sculptural program. This analysis will uncover Suryavarman II’s possible goals in building the massive structure, revealing both his religious devotion and the expectations he held for his own eventual apotheosis.
Robert DeCaroli received his PhD in South and Southeast Asian art history from UCLA. He is a specialist in the early history of Buddhism and has conducted fieldwork in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Since 2005 he has served as Director of the Art History Program at George Mason.


963  American Operettas: The Music of Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 8
Instructor: James Keefe
The American operetta is a musical form based on the European prototype that flourished at the beginning of the 20th century. It was preceded by vaudeville and followed by the Broadway musical comedy. The big three of American operetta composers are Victor Herbert, Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg. Our last presentation covered the life and works of Victor Herbert, the most prolific of these composers. This presentation will focus on the lives and works of Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg.
Dr. James W. Keefe is a former choral music teacher, high school principal, university professor of education and a National Educational Association director of research. He has conducted high school and college choruses, as well as church and boys’ choirs. As a current member of the Reston Chorale, he sings tenor and arranges some of the group’s music.


964  Ten Advantages of Aging for Psychological Health

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 13
Instructors: Diane Wagner, Jerome Short
Americans are living longer than ever. In this presentation, we will describe multiple advantages of aging and life experience for maintaining and increasing physical and psychological health. This is an opportunity to learn about the latest research findings on daily and weekly strategies in health behaviors, social relationships, intellectual and cultural activities and emotional well-being.
Diane Wagner is a fifth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Her interests focus on promoting psychological well-being in older adults.
Jerome Short is an associate professor of psychology at George Mason and a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia. His teaching and research focus on promoting mental health and preventing psychological disorders.


965  Books! Books! Books!

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 13
Coordinators: Sigrid Blalock, Kathleen McNamara
Whether you are a lover of classic books or simply can’t wait for the next mystery by your favorite author, this is the class for you. If you like reading family sagas, or realizing how one small event can change history, come and share your love of reading with fellow enthusiasts. Tell us what books grip your imagination, bring a smile to your face, or just keep you company as a best friend should. Join us.


966  Murder At The Mill: Historian As Detective

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 15
Coordinator: Florence Adler
In this slide-lecture Jack Lewis Hiller illustrates the documentary research he undertook to investigate a murder that occurred in West Springfield in 1855. This inquiry led him to learn about the people who lived in this 19th century rural community and how they reacted to the murder. He uncovered the tensions that existed between and among feuding family members and the motives of people involved in deciding the fate of the murderer. He learned how pervasive alcohol was in the lives of many men in antebellum Fairfax County. He discovered how the justice system and the prison operated. Most of all, Hiller’s presentation makes clear that history is an interpretation of the past dependent directly upon the availability of documentation.
Jack Lewis Hiller has been a member of the Fairfax County History Commission since 1981. He chaired the History Commission in 1994-1995 and currently chairs the Historical Marker Committee, which places roadside markers at historic sites in Fairfax County. He taught history for 30 years at Groveton High School, West Potomac High School and Northern Virginia Community College.


967  Minerals Matter

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 15
Instructor: Sue Marcus
This course is an introduction to geology in our daily pursuits. Where do all the rocks we use come from? How do we use them?
Sue Marcus is a retired geologist from the US Geological Survey. She is a docent at the Smithsonian Institution and President of the Northern Virginia Mineral Club.


968  A Perspective on Irish History

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 17
Instructor: Bill Torpey
This presentation is a condensed exploration of the history of Ireland from the Viking incursions to the 21st century. It will help students put in perspective Ireland’s 800-year turbulent relationship with Great Britain from the Norman Invasion in 1169 to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Topics covered will include geography, plantations, penal laws, rebellions and uprisings, Act of the Union, the Great Famine, Catholic Emancipation, Home Rule, WWI-1916 Uprising, War of Independence, 1921 Treaty, Civil War, the Free State, the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement. These are complex issues, but all relevant to how Ireland finally won its independence and helped contribute to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Bill Torpey is a new OLLI member. He is a retired Army colonel with 30 years in the intelligence arena and 13 years serving overseas. He is also a retired corporate executive in the defense industry. He has a BA in English from College of the Holy Cross and an MA from Central Michigan University. He served as the US Defense Attaché to the Republic of Ireland from 1995-1998 and had the opportunity to observe the consummation of the Good Friday Agreement and Ireland’s initial participation in Partnership for Peace.


969  September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill

Saturday, 9:30–12:00, Oct. 18
Instructor: Dan Sherman
Born in Germany and trained as a “classical” musician, Kurt Weill came to the U.S. after writing the Threepenny Opera and went on to write some of the most innovative shows of the American musical theatre. This course will trace Weill’s extraordinary career in terms of music and history.
Dan Sherman has taught many courses on music at OLLI, including courses on Cole Porter, Richard Rogers and Irving Berlin.


970  Personal Computer Security

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 20
Instructor: Daniel Venese
Most home users have heard of many types of security threats, such as viruses, ransomware, browser hijack exploits, spam and other malware. These terms can be mystifying and frightening and leave you feeling powerless. In the event my computer is infected with a virus, is there any recourse? Almost every new computer comes with an installed anti-virus product and subscription service. Should I continue with the vendor-provided product? What other security measures should be taken? How about free security software, and how do I find out what products are best? I am interested in online banking and bill paying, but am concerned about the risk. This session will cover the various types of security software that every home user should know and employ. It will cover how to address email threats, lock down your browser, ensure your firewall settings are correct, use password best practices, avoid dangerous Internet sites and address the overlooked problem of application vulnerabilities. This will not be a hands-on class and a computer is not required. The class is oriented to Windows computers and basic familiarity with computers is assumed. A number of security guides and online resources will be cited.
See L808 for instructor information.


971  Oliver Sacks, MD: His Life and Times

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 22
Instructor: Evans Mandes
This presentation on Oliver Sacks will review all of his major writings identifying major psychological discoveries concerning brain-behavior interactions. Sacks is a neurologist who has treated a large number of interesting and rather disparate patients whose illnesses often open new doors of study of the human brain. For instance, our understanding of the brain’s role in color perception was clarified through the study of one of Sacks’ more illustrious patients, a visual artist, who through a tragic accident lost his color perception. Sacks recently revealed that he suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness), a disease he himself wrote about some 20 years earlier.
Dr. Evans Mandes, an experimental psychologist, is professor of psychology and art at George Mason, where he also serves as the senior associate dean in the College of Science. Dr. Mandes regularly teaches courses in perception and art and in the conceptions of the self.


972  Fighting the Cold War From 85,000 Feet 

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 22
Instructor: Joe Kinego
After WWII ended in 1945, the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. began. The Cold War dominated international affairs for decades and resulted in mutual suspicions, heightened tensions and a series of international incidents (including the Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Wall). Although information about our adversaries was essential, reconnaissance satellites had not yet become fully operational. The dangerous but necessary business of high altitude strategic reconnaissance fell to the U-2 Dragon Lady and the SR-71 Blackbird. This session will focus on the SR-71, discussing the development of the aircraft and the way it supported our nation’s Cold War efforts for more than two decades.
Joe Kinego, a retired Air Force colonel, was an SR-71 pilot who flew over 900 hours and 110 operational missions during the Cold War. He also served as the commander of the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, the Air Force’s only SR-71 squadron and the commander of the 319th Bomb Wing at Grand Forks AFB, ND. Currently, he is a docent at the National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.


973  The Iraq Estimate: Why and How It Went Wrong

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 24
Instructor: Garrett Cochran
The 2002 estimate of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program is one of the greatest failures in the long history of US intelligence collection and analysis. Why and how did so much go wrong? The objective of this talk is to show that the estimate was not an aberration but the consequence of mistakes and destructive politicking stretching over more than a decade.
Garrett Cochranis a longtime OLLI member. He forecast that WMD would not be found in Iraq.


974  Education and Technology

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 27
Instructor: Laura Rahn
Are you curious about what is happening in today’s classrooms with all of this new technology? What happened to chalkboards and pencil and paper? What are today’s students doing besides texting and posting pictures to Instagram? Join Laura Rahn as she shares the many different ways that technology tools are being integrated into the elementary and middle school classrooms in Loudoun County. After attending this session, you will leave with a better understanding of how technology can help our students develop those 21st century skills that they need to become our future leaders. You may also leave with some ideas that you can share with your own children or grandchildren. Come see how technology tools, when integrated into the existing curriculum can change the world of education!
Laura Rahn is recognized as a Microsoft Expert Educator and traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to present her project at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum last March. She was one of 26 US teachers, only two in Virginia, to be chosen to be part of this group. She is an English teacher at Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville.


975  Final Chapter? The Future of the Book

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 29
Coordinator: Dr. Barry Berkey
In the beginning there was the word. Then the words were collected in a neat device known as the book. Now the word and books are transitioning into what? That’s the question Sam Clay will explore as he examines the book as a physical object and predicts its future development as a digital object. The talk will focus on the events that led to the creation of the book in its present form and argue that the definition of “book” is going through a radical change. Underlying this change is the assumption that words in a book have to be confined to a surface. As this is no longer the case, given e-book development, what does this change portend for the book?
Sam Clay has been director of the Fairfax County Public Library since 1982. For more than three decades, he has managed all aspects of this 23-branch system, which has a budget of over $24 million, over 400 employees and more than two million books and materials.


976  Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 29
Instructor: Cheryl Harlan
This one-day session will introduce you to various mindfulness meditation techniques, which you will be able to incorporate immediately into your everyday lifestyle. These practices include gentle movements and breathing techniques that will increase focus and concentration, ease anxiety, enhance energy and help you relax. Come dressed in comfortable clothes with an open mind.
Cheryl Harlan, is an adjunct professor of meditation at George Mason, an affiliate teacher of the Insight Meditation Society of Washington, DC, registered Yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance and creator of the Fairfax County KM Sitting Group. Formally trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction through the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, she has practiced yoga and meditation for close to 40 years.


977  Halloween: History and Traditions

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 31
Instructor: Doris Bitler Davis
From its pagan roots to current commercialization, this talk covers the history of the holiday and its unique evolution in North America, including Halloween celebrations and similar traditions around the world.
Doris Bitler Davis is an associate professor at George Mason affiliated with cognitive and behavioral neuroscience in the Psychology Department. She has a background in experimental psychology, with a specialization in animal learning and memory.


978  (More) Humor in (Mostly) Classical Music

Saturday, 10:00–12:30, Nov. 1
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Dan Sherman
This course follows up an earlier OLLI class, Humor in Classical Music, to provide more examples of classical music humor, based in part on suggestions of participants in the earlier class. The instructor will offer many instances of humor from the classical repertoire, including presentations by Anna Russell and Professor Peter Schickele, along with excerpts from the country-western version of the Ring Cycle (no kidding!).
For instructor information see 969.


979  Developing Characters and Theatrical Collaboration

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Nov. 3
Instructor: Jocelyn Rappaport
This class focuses on the process of theatre and not the end product. Have fun playing theatre games that develop ensemble awareness, creative instinct, vocal and physical dynamics. Using these skills, you’ll create characters as we explore improvisations and dramatic scenes. Participants will play active roles as observers offering constructive feedback and, at other times, as performers—no matter which role—each has the opportunity to experience the distinctive energy shared in the give and take of live theatre. This class is for those who have the curiosity to experiment with multiple methods (analytical, emotional, physical and instinctual) of approaching character development. Come to class with the willingness to try new approaches, to work collaboratively, and to laugh as we discover the joy of creating theatre.
Jocelyn Rappaport is a theatre artist who encourages all ages with various levels of knowledge and abilities to participate in exploring new and classic theatre. She has a BA in theatre from UVA and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught, directed and been an assistant director in NY, NJ, MD and VA.


980  New York City in the Civil War

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 5
Instructor: Jim Anderson
In 1861 New York City was the largest city in the nation and the financial center of the country. Controlled by the Democratic Tammany Hall political machine, it was home to thousands of immigrants and a growing black population. This combination made the city critical to Union success but politically and socially explosive. We will examine the role and influence of New York City by focusing on three seminal events: 1) the secession crisis of March-May 1861; 2) the riots of July 1863 in reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Draft Act and 3) the desperate attempts by the Confederate Secret Service to stave off defeat through widespread and dramatic acts of terror.
Jim Anderson spent 27 years with the CIA, which included six overseas tours in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. He holds degrees in history from Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. For the past several years, he has conducted corporate leadership training seminars featuring Civil War battlefield visits.


981  What’s New in Children’s Picture Books

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Nov. 7
Coordinator: Carolyn Kramer
It has been said that adults who are avid readers have fond memories of being read to as children. Class members will be introduced to some new works in the field of children’s literature and may even leave with ideas for holiday gift-giving for the youngsters on their lists. This presentation will highlight recently published children’s picture books and suggest ways to read them to children ages 2–5. This interactive workshop will highlight literacy elements, discuss authors and illustrators and explain how to use supplemental materials for enrichment.
Renee Edwards is the early literacy outreach manager for Fairfax County Public Library and has worked for 18 years with children ages 3-12. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and master degrees in Library and Information Science and Curriculum and Instruction.


982  Colonel John S. Mosby and the Civil War

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Nov. 10
Instructor: Bill Sprecher
During the tumultuous war years of 1863-1865, Confederate cavalry forces under the command of Colonel John S. Mosby skirmished often with Union Army units garrisoned in Loudoun and Fauquier counties. Loudoun County was a hotbed of conflict due to the conflicting views about secession expressed by county residents. Mosby’s forces engaged Union cavalry and infantry around Leesburg, Aldie and other nearby towns. Colonel Mosby disbanded his unit some weeks after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in early 1865. Mosby was subsequently captured by Union troops, but Union Army General U.S. Grant paroled him. Grant often expressed his admiration of Mosby, but the colonel’s friendship with Grant aroused controversy in many parts of Virginia. Mosby died in Washington, DC in 1916. He is buried in Warrenton Cemetery, Warrenton, Virginia.
Bill Sprecher retired from the federal government after 34 years of service. He held a variety of positions in the field of international affairs. He has a keen interest in the history of Northern Virginia.


983  Biblical Archaeology

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, Nov. 11
Instructor: Mark Sweberg
Class limit: 40
Was King David a real person? Did the Hittites actually exist? How about the Hapiru, were they desert marauders or the Hebrews of the Old Testament? The Bible remains the most significant document ever written al-though it is frequently a football tossed between those who consider all the words written in it factual and those who believe it is anything but. This course will discuss a number of recent archaeological discoveries that purport to show evidence of the historicity of people and peoples who heretofore were only found in the Bible. A PowerPoint presentation will be used and questions and discussion will be encouraged.
Mark Sweberg, an OLLI guest lecturer, is a retired Army officer, a Middle East foreign area expert and a retired senior planner for peacekeeping operations at the US Department of State. He is a PhD candidate at Trinity Southwest University, he holds two masters degrees, one in international relations from USC and an MBA from the University of Puget Sound. He has a BS in engineering from the US Military Academy at West Point.


984  The 2014 Elections: What Happened?

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 12
Coordinator: Florence Adler
This lecture will provide a fresh, off-the-press analysis of the historic 2014 mid-term elections, which took place November 4. Results will be examined and predictions will be evaluated. We will also discuss the implications of this election for the rest of President Obama’s agenda, as well as the fortunes of political parties on the Left and on the Right and those of would-be presidential nominees in 2016. Professor Desfosses will reevaluate her long-held pledge never again to make election predictions.
Dr. Helen R. Desfosses is a former elected official, tenured university professor and international development consultant. She has taught several courses on politics and policy at OLLI.


985  Grassroots 2.0: Political Advocacy in the Digital Age

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 12
Instructor: Kate Kamber
Social media has played a formative role in strengthening the public sphere through the mediation of political debate and thus it continues to expand the political space. It is the extensive reach of social media, and the possibility of information becoming extremely viral in a short period of time (both of which are not so easily accomplished through offline activism), that make it a vital catalyst for advocacy and campaigns. While civic participation in politics was traditionally only prevalent during election season and dictated by the stages of candidates’ campaign cycles, civic engagement is no longer seasonal, thanks to social media. This session will explore the ways in which advocacy groups and organizations today are leveraging technologies to encourage people to participate in the political process year-round.
Kate Kamber currently serves as a project manager for DDC Advocacy, a full service advocacy firm that pioneered the use of technology for issue campaigns and PAC operations. Offering industry-leading technology tools and services, DDC enables its clients to plan, execute and optimize advocacy programs at all levels of government. Prior to DDC, Kate managed digital advertising programs on behalf of corporate interests, commercial businesses and most prominently, political campaigns– providing strategic guidance and account support to 21 Senate campaigns and 54 House races throughout the 2012 election. Kate has a passion for deriving strategy from data analytics and has received certifications in both Google AdWords and Google Analytics.


986  Caring for a Person with Dementia

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, Nov. 13
Instructor: Christi Clark
Currently, one in nine people over the age of 65 has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As work continues towards a cure, family caregivers are of vital importance in providing the necessary care and support. However, it can be very difficult to adjust to a new life with someone who has dementia. This course will increase your knowledge of the disease, while also improving your own caregiving skills. We will discuss the basics of dementia, including distinguishing different types and understanding a typical path of progression. To build your caregiving skills, we will address communication techniques, the reasons for troubling behaviors, how to engage with a person with dementia, and how to provide personal care. Since the disease affects the entire family, we will also cover services available for caregivers to support you in your caregiving role.
Christi Clark, education and outreach coordinator at Insight Memory Care Center, has over 15 years of experience in the field of long-term care. As a Certified Memory Impairment Specialist, she has dedicated the last eight years to working specifically with those affected with various forms of memory impairment, their caregivers, families, and the community.


987  A Tribute to Liberace, “Mr. Showmanship”

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Nov. 14
Coordinator: Florence Adler
He singlehandedly took classical music into the living rooms of America and made it more fun and palatable for everyone. As he so aptly put it: “I don’t give concerts, I put on a show.” In this session, we’ll watch clips from Liberace’s TV shows and movies, view photos of the now defunct Liberace Museum in Las Vegas and take time to share memories about this amazing and charismatic musician. BONUS: A life-sized cardboard Liberace will be available for this event, in case you’d like to have your photo taken with him! (Please note: we will most emphatically not be viewing any of the recently produced HBO movie, “Behind the Candelabra,” which dealt with the raunchier aspects of Liberace’s personal life.)
Martha Powers ,a recently retired marketing professional and writer, is in her second year of OLLI membership. She has always admired Liberace and other “popularizers” who helped make classical music less daunting to the general public.


988  Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

Friday, 9:00–3:30, Sept. 26
Bus trip, Fair Oaks Mall
Coordinator: Mary Coyne
Event limit: 54
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester has six acres of beautiful gardens and galleries telling the story of the Valley with fine and decorative arts, and miniature houses and furnishings. Also Included is the historic Glen Burnie House built by James Wood in 1738, which has just reopened after extensive renovations. We will tour the museum, house and gardens until 1:00, when we will take the bus to the pedestrian mall in downtown Winchester for lunch on our own. The bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 9:00. Please be on the bus no later than 8:45. We will leave Winchester at 2:30 for the one hour return drive. The fee of $30, payable to OLLI with your registration, includes the bus, driver gratuity and entry to the museum, house and gardens.


989  Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. Steps Toward Sustainability

Friday, 10:00, Oct. 10
Coordinator: Maria Buczek
The campus of the natural and cultural resource consulting firm Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI), a Davey Company, located in Gainesville, Virginia, is an in-place demonstration of a layered and comprehensive approach to sustainability. The design of the grounds focuses on Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management strategies, including rain gardens, cisterns, green roofs, native plantings and pervious pavement, while the building, which, in 2005, became the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified building in Virginia, focuses on energy savings, solar energy systems and life cycle analysis of materials. The tour of WSSI will allow interaction with all parts of the building and campus, including a climb onto the main roof to view the extensive solar panel system, a walk on the nature trail, a visit to the dog kennel and employee gym and a demonstration of the functionality of the four previous pavement systems. The tour will be led by Kelly Petrey (PE), an associate engineer, and Leslie Bartlebaugh, a landscape designer, at WSSI, a Davey Company. Directions and a registration roster will be emailed in advance so that those who wish to carpool can contact one another.


990  Field Trip to the Observatory at Turner Farm Park

Friday, 7:30–10:00, Oct. 10
Carpool to 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls, VA
Coordinator: Mary Kornreich
Analemma Society, in conjunction with Northern Virginia Astronomy Club volunteers, conducts Friday night observing sessions from 7:30 to 10:00. Our group will join others to enjoy the session, starting with an introduction to the night sky, pointing out major constellations, the planets and deep sky objects. Included are a description of the daily motions of the celestial sphere and the changes of the seasons. When the moon is visible, a close look at its geological surface features is provided. A wide range of deep sky objects, including galaxies, nebula and star clusters, can be seen in telescopes set up on the site. The passage of earth-orbiting satellites is observed as the opportunity arises. Programs that include a description of the night’s viewing will be available. This is an outdoor event, so please dress appropriately. If this session is cancelled due to inclement weather, we will try again on October 24.


991  The Battle of Second Bull Run/Manassas, August 28-30, 1862

Friday, 8:30–4:30, Oct. 17
Bus Trip
Coordinator: Jim Anderson             703-431-6245
Event Limit: 30
The Second Battle of Bull Run or Manassas was fought over three days (August 28-30, 1862), involving over 120,000 troops and resulting in 25,000 casualties. Yet frequently its significance is overlooked or discounted, leading some historians to label it “the Rodney Dangerfield of Civil War battles.” In fact, this was one of Robert E. Lee’s most impressive tactical victories. Strategically, it shifted the focus of the conflict 180 degrees from the outskirts of Richmond to the doorstep of Washington, and opened the way for the first Confederate invasion of Northern territory—the Maryland Campaign. This tour of the battlefield will introduce the participants to the strategic issues and tactical movements of the Bull Run Campaign and battle. Plan to do some hiking to sites best appreciated on foot. There will be several stops on the battlefield, with multiple bus dismounts and walking on uneven ground for distances ranging from 200 yards to ½ mile. There will be a lunch stop (self-pay) at a nearby restaurant. The bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 8:30. Please be at the bus no later than 8:15. The fee of $38, payable to OLLI at the time of registration, includes bus fare and driver gratuity.


992 Hall of Human Origins Field Trip

Friday, 9:00–3:30, Oct. 24
Bus from Lake Anne, Reston
Coordinator: Mary Kornreich
Event limit: 30
Dr. Briana Pobiner, research scientist and museum educator in the Human Origins Program at the National Museum of Natural History, will give an in-depth tour of the Hall of Human Origins from 10:30 to 11:30, discussing the scientific evidence on display for human evolution and curatorial decisions made during the exhibition development process. Attendees may participate in the free, public HOT (Human Origins Today) topic discussion that will take place in the Hall of Human Origins from 12:00 to 1:00. We will have time from 1:00 to 2:30 for lunch, further exploring the interactive experiences in the Human Origins exhibit or browsing in the rest of the Museum of Natural History. The bus will leave promptly at 9:00 from the Lake Anne parking lot in Reston. Please be at the bus by 8:45. The entrance to the Lake Anne Parking lot is opposite the Exxon Station (11410 North Shore Drive, Reston, VA 20190). If using an electronic map, set destination as the Reston Exxon. The bus will pull up to the red brick sidewalk inside the parking lot. We will leave the Museum at 2:30. The cost will be $32 for the bus and driver gratuity, payable to OLLI at registration.


993  George Mason’s School of Theater and School of Music presents The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Saturday, 2:00, Oct. 25
Concert Hall
Coordinator: Florence Adler
Book, Music and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes
Directed by Ken Elston
Musical Direction by Dennis Layendecker
This wildly warm-hearted theatrical experience kicks off when the Music Hall Royale “puts on” its flamboyant rendition of an unfinished Dickens mystery. The giddy playfulness of this play-within-a-play pulls the audience toward one of the musical’s most talked-about features, which allows the audience to vote on the solution as prelude to the most unusual and hilarious finale! Tickets are $15, payable to OLLI at the time of registration.
Ongoing Activities


Book Club

Wednesdays, Sept. 10, Dec. 10, 10:00–11:30
Wednesdays, Oct. 8, Nov. 12, 1:30–3:00
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew              703-323-9671
On September 10 we plan to discuss Yellow Star by Jennifer Rozines Roy. The October 8 selection will be The Light between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. On November 12 we will discuss The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett and on December 10 we will discuss Book by Book by Michael Dirda. All OLLI members are welcome.


Bridge Club

Sept. 3–Sept. 10, Nov. 19, Dec. 3–Dec. 17, 10:00–12:00
Sept. 17–Nov. 12, 1:45–3:45
Coordinators: Susanne Zumbro             703-569-2750
              Gordon Canyock             703-425-4607
Drop in and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert. Partnerships are rotated every four hands.


Classic Fiction Book Club

Fourth Fridays
Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 21
Coordinator: Sigrid Blalock                                   703-723-6825

The book selection for September 26 is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. On October 24 the book selection is Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding and for November 21 the book is A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. The book club welcomes new members. Note that the November date is the Friday before Thanksgiving week.


Cooking Club

Monthly dates to be determined
Coordinator: Ute Christoph-Hill
This is a club for OLLI members who enjoy preparing food and sharing hands-on, homemade dishes in a small-group setting during the day, sometimes in members’ homes and other times at Tallwood or alternative sites. We often have a theme for our meetings, but our format is flexible. We also participate in other food-related events, such as ethnic cooking demonstrations and restaurant outings. If these activities appeal to you, please contact Ute at for more information. All OLLI members are welcome.


Cottage Art

Aug. 19–Sept. 16, Nov. 18, Dec. 2–Dec. 16, 9:30–12:00
Coordinator: Sue Goldstein
All artists, whether you use pencil, ink, pastels, charcoal, or water color, are welcome to finish or start pictures. The group consists of OLLI members who have taken a variety of OLLI art classes. Skill levels range from beginner to advanced. The only way to improve is to practice. Come join us.


Craft and Conversation Group

Dates and times to be determined
Coordinators:  Doris Bloch            703-591-3344
 Pam Cooper-Smuzynski                                   703-455-2716
The meeting schedule is flexible, but we plan to meet weekly to work on our craft projects and to share product sources, expertise and inspiration. The date, time and place of our meetings can be found on the OLLI website in the OLLI Ongoing Events calendar for the week. We cordially invite any interested OLLI members to drop in andjoin us, or just see what we are creating. For further information, contact Doris Bloch at or Pam Cooper-Smuzynski at


History Club

First Wednesdays
Oct. 1, Nov. 5, 2:15–3:40
Coordinator: Beth Lambert             703-624-6356
The club welcomes OLLI members who are interested in discussing historical events and sharing reviews of articles, books or interesting topics. The club maintains a list of books that members have found worthwhile, which can be viewed at If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming History Club meetings, contact


Homer, etc.

Aug. 22–Oct. 31, Nov. 14–Nov. 21, Dec. 5–Dec. 19, 11:00–12:30
Coordinator: Jan Bohall                703-273-1146
Join us to read aloud a traditional or contemporary classic. We are now reading George Eliot’s Middlemarch and will soon be choosing our next book. Drop in at the Tallwood Annex any Friday morning—new members are always welcome. For more information email the coordinator at


iPad Users Group

Generally First Fridays
Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Dec. 5, Feb. 6, 10:00–12:00 
Coordinator: Stan Schretter
We welcome all members interested in using the iPad, from beginners to seasoned users. Each meeting will address both technical and how-to topics of interest to our members. Time will be allocated at each meeting to address questions on any iPad-related topic. More details are available on the club section of the OLLI website. Contact Stan Schretter for further information.


Knitting and Needlework Club

Sept. 16–Dec. 16, 10:00
Coordinator: Sheila Gold                        703-860-8798
Do you love to knit, crochet or needlepoint? Do you want to learn? We welcome both beginners and more advanced needleworkers. There is always someone who is happy to teach the new student. Come and join us on Tuesday mornings at the Panera in Herndon. For more information please contact Sheila at


Mah Jongg Club

First and Third Wednesdays
Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 17, 10:00–12:00
Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Nov. 5, 1:30–3:30
Coordinator: Liz Bateman
We welcome all members who want to learn the game of mah jongg or already know how to play. Stretch your mind and have fun with a game that is (maybe) easier than bridge, but definitely challenging! For more information, contact Liz at


Memoir—and More—Writing Group

Coordinator: Betty Smith
We meet Wednesdays, except during the fall and spring terms when the Memoir Writing class is in session. We bring copies of our writing and gently discuss each other’s work. Our focus is memoir, but we also include fiction, poetry and personal essay. We’re a small group, mostly students from Dianne Hennessy King’s Memoir Writing class. Any level is welcome, including beginner—all we ask is that you want to improve your writing and help us improve ours. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact Betty (e-mail listed in member directory) for more information.


Moby Dick Club

Fridays Sept. 26–Nov. 14
Coordinator: Bob Zener
This is a club formed to read and discuss the great American classic, Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. Our discussions will be supplemented by four lectures on the novel given by Prof. Arnold Weinstein of Brown University, as part of the Teaching Company’s series on Classics of American Literature. In preparation for our first meeting, we ask club participants to read the first 12 chapters of the novel. (Melville’s chapters are quite short, averaging about five pages each.) We anticipate completing the novel over the course of eight weeks, covering the entire fall term. Any available edition of Moby Dick will be sufficient. The Norton Critical Edition would be a good choice as it contains a significant amount of helpful background material, including critical essays, contemporary reviews and letters written by Melville while writing the book. However, Norton uses very small type; if that is an issue, you might want a different edition.


Personal Computer User Group

Third Saturdays
Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. 13 (note this is the 2nd Saturday), 1:00–3:30
Coordinator: Paul Howard                                   
In partnership with Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), we focus on Windows computers and software, the Internet, smart phones and tablet apps, digital photography, related technology, Android and Linux operating systems and Open Source software. Our aim is to bring broad subject-matter expertise about technology and topics of interest to both groups. PC Clinics are offered twice yearly. Our target audience encompasses beginners to intermediate amateurs and our methodology is “users helping users.” Club dues of $5 are payable at the first meeting attended in each calendar year. More details are available on the group’s website,


Photography Club

Second Fridays
Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12, 9:30–11:30
Fourth Fridays
Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, 12:00–2:00
Coordinator: Dan Feighery
Meet with others interested in photography and develop skills by participating in the monthly theme photo submissions. Be informed, and perhaps inspired, by expert speakers. The Photography Club welcomes all members, whether they use a basic camera or specialized equipment, and whether they are new to photo-graphy or have had years of experience. We discuss technical aspects of photography as well as the artistic aspects of visual design. On the fourth Friday of the month, workshops will cover specific topics in more detail. Contact Dan Feighery at for further information.


Recorder Consort

Aug. 22–Oct. 31, Nov. 14–Nov. 21, Dec. 5–Dec. 19, 9:00–11:30
Coordinator: Helen Ackerman
If you have been a part of the Consort or have previously played the recorder and would like to expand your abilities, join us on Fridays. There will be some on-and-off-campus performances and music may need to be purchased.


Tai Chi Club

Coordinators: Russell Stone         703-323-4428
    Susanne Zumbro         703-569-2750
The Tai Chi Club meets every Saturday in TA-3. It is open to all OLLI members on a first come-first served basis.

The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Aug. 20–Sept. 17, Nov. 19, Dec. 3–17, 10:30–12:00
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
See course F203 for activity description.


Travel Club

Fourth Fridays
Sept. 26, 9:00
Oct. 24, 9:30
Coordinator: Shelly Gersten                 703-385-2638
The club welcomes any and all who are interested in domestic or international travel. OLLI members have a vast wealth of experience in both traveling and living in other parts of the United States and the world. Come share your experiences and learn from others. We also try to identify common interests so that members can plan to travel together. In addition, we organize occasional local trips where we carpool to sites within a drive of 60 to 90 minutes, including historic homes and museums.


Walking Group

Tallwood/Fairfax Swimming Pool Parking Lot
Coordinators: Doris Bloch               703-591-3344
  Sherry Hart         703-978-0848
When OLLI is in session, the Walking Group meets one morning a week, generally an hour before the first morning class. We gather in the Fairfax Pool parking lot next to Tallwood and walk for about 45 minutes, arriving back in time for the start of classes. All levels of walking ability and speed are accommodated—our goal is camaraderie as well as exercise. Based on which day is most convenient for the majority of participants, we set the day of the week for our walks during the first week of the term. Between terms we continue to walk on a weekly basis, but for longer distances and at more varied locations. Contact Sherry Hart at or Doris Bloch at dbloch50@hotmail.comfor information.


What’s in the Daily News? Continued

Aug. 18–Sept. 15, Nov. 17, Dec. 1–Dec. 15, 10:00–11:30
Facilitator: Don Allen                          703-830-3060
This is an out-of-term continuation of What’s in the Daily News? for news junkies who can’t wait for the next term to express their opinions and discuss current events. It’s a small group and the facilitator expects it to be self-moderating.