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Fall Catalog 2017

Fall 2017 Catalog
September 18 – November 10

Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing fall 2016 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 2017 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 Introduction to Sketching and
Watercolor Art

F102 Understanding Opera, Part 1
F103 Music Sampler
F104 Basic DSLR Photography
F105 Advanced Smartphone

F106 Why Musicals
F107 Drawing and Sketching

F108 Musical Treats from Radio

F109 Dabbling Artists
F110 Singing for Fun
F111 Watercolor Painting
R112 Words, Words, Words
R113 The Ongoing Pleasures
of Music

R114 The Four Greatest Sculptors:
From the Renaissance to the Modern Era 

R115 Meet the Artists
L116 Introduction to Drawing and

200 Economics & Finance

F201 China’s Economy and Business

F202 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
F203 Economics Potpourri

300 History; International Studies

F301 The Plot to Kill Lincoln: Did Mary
Deserve her Fate?

F302 Role of the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment in the Civil War
F303 The Lion’s Final Roar: Winston

F304 Civil War Press: Resisting Censorship to
Print Secrets

F305 Airlift Evacuation of Kham Duc
F306 The Fight to Protect the Right to Vote: A History of the Voting Rights Act
F307 Historically Fairfax: A Celebration
of Fairfax County’s
275th Birthday

F308 Henry Kissinger and the American
Approach to Foreign Policy

F309 Comparing the French and Russian Revolutions
F310 The History of Unions
F311 A Fire Bell in the Night
R312 The Frontiersmen, Part 1
R313 National Park Rangers’ Choice: A Different Topic Every Week! 
L314 Seventy Five Years Ago
L315 Roman Emperors Behaving Badly
L316 Private Military Companies, Then
and Now

L317 Comparing the French and Russian

L318 Loyalists in the American Revolution

400 Literature, Theater & Writing

F401 OLLI Players Workshop
F402 Readers’ Theater
F403 Shakespeare in Twilight: The Great

F404 Memoir Writing
F405 Inside the Actors Studio: Ladies
and Gentlemen

F406 Poetry Workshop
F407 Two Catholic Novels
F408 19th Century Women of Letters
F409 A Novel for All Seasons: Hemingway’s
The  Old Man and the Sea

F410 OLLI Actor’s Studio
F411 Literary Potpourri
F412 The Perfect Story
R413 Write a Better Research Report
R414 Two by Virginia Woolf
R415 Big People on the Big Screen
R416 Two Catholic Novels
R417 The History of Animation
R418 Literary Roundtable
R419 and R420 Shakespeare’s History Plays: Richard II and Henry IV, Part One
R419 Richard II
R420 Henry IV, Part One
L421 The New Yorker Roundtable
L422 Italian Film
L423 A Taste of Theater
L424 Writers’ Workshop
L425 Detective Zen, “He is Venetian,
you know.”

L426 A Discussion of Romeo and Juliet
and  Shakespeare in Love

500 Languages

F501 !Hablemos Español! Improve your Spanish Conversation Skills 
F502 Spanish Conversation Forum
F503 Latin III
R504 Beginning French 

600 Religious Studies

F601 The Dead Sea Scrolls
F602 Survey of Non-Traditional Beliefs
F603 The Great Christian Schism: East and West
F604 Faith, Doubt, and Tradition: A
Personal Journey to Understand Your Own Beliefs

F605 The Gospel According to Paul the Apostle
R606 The Jesus of History
R607  Hunting the Divine Fox: God’s Footprints in Literature’s Great Characters
L608 From Peter to Pope: The Development of the Roman Catholic Papacy from St. Peter Onward, Part 1

650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651A  True Colors: Discover Why We
Do the Things We Do in our Relationships with Family, Friends, and Community.

F651B True Colors: Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships
F651C True Colors: Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships
F651D True Colors: Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships
F652 The Enterprise of Philosophy: What is it and
What is it Good For?

F653 Culture Wars in Modern America
F654 Contemporary Criminology and
Public Safety

F655 What Drives Key Politicians: A Psychoanalytic Perspective
F656 Reason, Science, and Natural Religion
in the Modern Age

F657 Aspects of Japanese Culture and Society
F658 ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the T
errorist Organization

L659 ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Organization

700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?
F702 Great Decisions 2017 
F703 The Changing Middle East: Syria’s Uncertain

F704 Changing Roles of Media in the
Trump Era

R705 Big Issues, Complex Challenges, and
No Simple Solutions

R706 All the News That’s Fit to Print
L707 What’s in the News, Loudoun Section

800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Artificial Intelligence in Your Future:
Urban Life in 2030

F802 Keeping Your Computer Safe
F803 How Do We Think and Solve Problems?
F804 Decision Making Tools for Your Health
F805 Medical Updates from the Health Professionals at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
F806 Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi
R807 Japanese A-Bomb Survivors 70 Years Later: The Health Consequences
R808 Memory Errors
R809 Revisiting Prehistory Nuclear Explosions on Mars
R810 Radon and Public Health: How “hot” is the Air?
R811 Reston Hospital Series
R812 Gentle Yoga
R813 Gentle Yoga
L814 How Do We Think and Solve Problems?
L815 History of Life on Earth, Part 2
L816 Physical Geology
L817 500 Years of Italian Aviation: From Leonardo
Da Vinci to the Leonardo F-35

L818 History of Medicine, Part 2

900 Other Topics

F901 Mason Faculty Club Breakfast Series 1
F902 Mason Faculty Club Breakfast Series 2
F903 Trip Tales
F904 Basic Information for Travelers to Italy
F905 Italian Trip Tales

Fall for the Book

Full Day of Free Events, Saturday October 14
at Fall for the Book (Click here for more information.)

Volunteer at Fall for the Book

951 Fall for the Book: Investigating the Self through Poetry, Science, and History
952 Fall for the Book: The Underground Railroad
953 Fall for the Book: Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs: Unemployment in the Gilded Age by Jerry Prout
954 Fall for the Book: 200 Years of Jane Austen: A Teatime Celebration
955 Fall for the Book: Bestselling Pakistani Novelist Mohsin Hamid discusses Exit West

Additional Special Events

956  Why Get a G#? The Perks of OLLI

957 Tomato and Salsa Tasting with Heirloom
Tomatoes and Peppers

958 Learn to Fest with Washington West
959 Frank Lloyd Wright: Creating the World Anew
960 How to Combat Identity Theft
961  The Legacy of Elie Wiesel
962 The Kent State Killings Revisited
963 Discoveries from the Forteplano
964 Antiques Road Show
965  Safe Surfing: How to Be Safe on the Internet
966 Researching the History of your Fairfax County House
967 BYO Lunch and a Movie: Moonstruck
968 Downsizing Your Home
969 Earthquake Hazards in the Central and Eastern United States: A Poorly Understood but Growing Problem
970 Luray Caverns Preservation of Place and History
971 Viennese Operetta: Johann Strauss II
972 How the Role of Art and Design Have Been Influenced by Industrialization, WWI and The Technology Revolution
973 Collecting Italian Renaissance Art: Andrew
Mellon, Joseph Duveen, and the National Gallery of Art

974 Older Patient-Doctor Interactions, and the
Role of a Third Person in the Medical Encounter

975 Rollicking Reconciliations: Foods and Feasting in Shakespeare’s Festive Comedies
976 The Organ: The King of Instruments
977 Fine Jewelry, Silver, and Coins: What Do We Do
with Them?

978 Beethoven’s Symphonic Legacy: Brahms,
Mahler and Sibelius

979 Is Greed Good?
980 Hamilton: The Man and the Musical
981 Search Like a Librarian: Introduction to
Research Resources

982 You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost Book Discussion
983 An Unexpected Path to Martyrdom: A New
Look at Alexander Hamilton’s Duel with Aaron Burr

984 Does Human Trafficking Really Happen in Northern Virginia?
985 President Trump’s Foreign Policy: Reconciling Competing Priorities
986 Entries from a Jewish Admiral’s Log Book: the View of the Navy from an Aircraft Carrier Captain’s Chair
987 Premier Military Bands in the Washington, DC, Area
988 Grat Films/Great Directors
989 OLLI’s Third Annual Veterans Day Celebration Featuring the Movie Fly Girls
990 A View from the Mason Observatory
991 Your Library and You! Tour the Thomas Balch Library and Learn to Research Your Genealogy!
992 Return to Loudoun County for Wining and
Dining in the Virginia Countryside

993 Bus Trip to Luray Caverns and Luray Valley Museum with Lunch at the Mimslyn Inn
994 A Tour of the US Capitol
995 Lipstick Brigade: The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government Girls
1001BT Grab ‘n’ Gab Coffee Klatch
1002BT Vaudeville Acts
1003BT Tolerance in World History
1004BT Tolerance in World History
1005BT Bake Sale, BYO Lunch, and a Holiday
Movie: Love Actually

1101 Caffe e Dolci Italiani (Italian Delights and

1102 Fairfax Fall Term Kick-Off Coffee
1103 Loudoun Fall Term Kick-Off Coffee
1104 Reston Fall Term Kick-Off Coffee
1105 Chili Cook-Off
1106 Italian Lunch at Piero’s Corner
1107 Annual OLLI Holiday Party

Ongoing Activities

Annex Art Club
Bridge Club
Classic Literature Club
Cooking Club
Craft and Conversation Group
Dirty Knee Club
Doctor Who Club
History Club
Homer, etc.
Mah Jongg Club
Memoir-and More-Writing Group
Personal Computer User Group
Photography Club
Recorder Consort
Reston Book Club
Spanish Club
Tai Chi Club
Tallwood Book Club
The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Theater Lovers’ Club 
Walking Group

What’s in the Daily News? Continued

100 Art and Music

F101 Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor Art

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Instructors: Suzanne Goldstein, Susann Hamilton
Class limit: 12
This class is for beginners who want to learn some basic skills in sketching and watercolor art. We will discuss pencil types, pastels, charcoal, and papers used to produce lines, shapes, and textures in perspective, as well as appropriate brushes, paints, and paper for watercolor painting. Artwork often will be finished outside of class. Participants will be emailed a supply list. If you register for this class, please do not register for F107, Drawing and Sketching Workshop.
Suzanne Goldstein is a retired math teacher and a longtime attendee of OLLI sketching and watercolor classes, as well as facilitator of the Annex Art Club.
Susann Hamilton is a retired association executive who has been an OLLI instructor of “Beginning Sketching.”


F102 Understanding Opera, Part 1

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 18–Oct. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: Glenn Winters
Many people are mystified by the art form of opera. Bombarded with images of obese singers wearing horns, strident voices, improbable plots, language barriers, and the general aura of elitism, the obstacles to opera appreciation may appear insurmountable. The truth is that opera, at its best, employs drama, music, dance, and visual arts to produce compelling art and entertainment. This course is designed to clear away stereotypes and provide a pathway to understanding and even love. We will have in-depth discussions and analysis of the first two productions of Virginia Opera’s 2017-2018 season: Camille Saint-Saëns’ exotic biblical epic Samson and Delilah and Giacomo Puccini’s American romance The Girl of the Golden West. Lectures will be illustrated with audio and video excerpts. The goal is to explain in layman’s terms how operatic music functions using narration, character development, and literary devices such as point of view, symbolism, and foreshadowing. Confirmed opera aficionados and curious beginners alike will find their enjoyment of the opera world enhanced.
Glenn Winters has been Virginia Opera’s community outreach musical director since 2004. His adult education program, “Operation Opera,” reaches thousands of Virginians each season at numerous Lifelong Learning Institutes around the state. Winters’ book, The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates, is available from Kendall Hunt Publishing. Winters is a composer as well, and his commissioned operas include works for adults and children.


F103 Music Sampler

Tuesdays, 9:30–10:55, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Fairfax Lord of Life Sanctuary
Note time
Coordinator: Kathryn Hearden
Kathryn Hearden will coordinate this course, highlighting examples of the musical talent that abounds at Mason. Each week knowledgeable and enthusiastic professors from the Mason School of Music, often accompanied by their most promising students, will generously share their musical gifts in presentations that are varied, lively, informative, and entertaining.
Dr. Kathryn Hearden is associate director of vocal studies at the Mason School of Music. She is a soprano, and teaches voice, diction, and education. She completed a DMA degree at the Eastman School of Music.


F104 Basic DSLR Photography

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Dan Feighery
Class limit: 16
This basic photography course starts with an overview of photography as a retirement hobby and helps you to understand your digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. We will introduce a basic photo review and editing computer application (Freestone) that can be downloaded free and used for the course. After introducing composition concepts, we’ll explore how light and shadows contribute to the image. Attendees should know how to find the controls for adjusting shutter, aperture, and ISO in their particular cameras. In class, we’ll explore the interrelationships of these adjustments, and situations where you might want to select the manual setting, rather than using completely automatic camera settings. Weekly shooting assignments allow for practicing the concepts covered during the class.
Dan Feighery holds a BS in physics from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Photography has been one of his hobbies for the past seven decades.


F105 Advanced Smartphone Photography

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Oct. 3
Three sessions
Instructor: Stan Schretter
This class is intended for people already familiar with taking photographs with their smartphones, e.g., those who attended the previous class on Smartphone Photography. The previous class covered the basics of how to use your smartphone to take and share photographs. This class will cover the exposure triangle and how it applies to smartphone photography, how to achieve correct focus in your pictures, an introduction to creating raw images using your smartphone, capturing unique compositions using your smartphone, and using some advanced apps to enhance sharing your images.
Stan Schretter, an OLLI member, is an avid amateur photographer and has taught courses at OLLI for many years.


F106 Why Musicals?

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Nov. 7–Nov. 14
Fairfax Lord of Life
Two sessions
Note dates
Instructor: Barry Bortnick
This course looks at the multifaceted role musicals play in our lives and at some of the reasons for their perennial appeal. Richly illustrated with video and audio clips, the course explores such topics as: how musicals expand the imagination; the nature of the multisensory experience they offer; and how musicals can make things larger than life or make life itself larger. In addition, special attention is given to the way musicals can appeal to two seemingly contradictory sets of needs: (1) the need to pursue hopes and dreams, listen to one’s inner voice, risk opening one’s heart, and believe once more in possibility, and (2) the need to shake things up, turn things upside down, become playful, mischievous, or downright subversive, especially if the order that is to be subverted is too conventional or stifling. How does this odd blend of theme, words, music, story, and stagecraft work to create the experience that makes people come out of musicals happily diverted, deeply touched, or both? Join us for a delightfully fresh perspective on the diverse and recurring rewards that musicals have to offer.
Barry Bortnick, PhD, is a composer, lyricist, and book writer of musicals performed on both coasts and in London. He is the former program director, humanities, UCLA Extension and founding director of the UCLA OLLI. He received his PhD from Harvard University where he did research on creativity and the development of interest in the arts. He has taught courses on the American musical at various OLLIs around the country.


F107 Drawing and Sketching Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Fairfax Lord of Life, Conference Room
Instructor: Bill Parsons
Class limit: 14
Leave your rational and analytic left brain at home, and tap into your creative right brain as we draw a variety of subjects, exploring the visual effects and relationships of light, value, forms, dimension, and perspective. We’ll encourage free expression and will use many different media to create work that reflects the personal interest of each student. Projects will be started in class but usually finished outside of class. Weekly class discussions of finished work will help students further develop their talents. Basic drawing supplies needed are pencils, charcoal, conté crayons, ink pens, pastels, and paper appropriate to the medium. The course is intended for students who are experienced in drawing or painting. If you register for this class, please do not register for F101, Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor Arts.
Bill Parsons earned an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1978 and has worked as a furniture maker and designer, jeweler, silversmith, and ceramic artist.


F108 Musical Treats from Radio Fairfax

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Oct. 24
Six sessions
Coordinator: Marianne Metz
Based right here in Fairfax County, Radio Fairfax is a free-form, non-commercial, public access station offering listeners an eclectic mix of music and talk. For this class we’re zeroing in on the music. Get to know some of the producers and hosts who, week in and week out, prepare musical treats for their Radio Fairfax listeners. Each producer specializes in a particular style of music, and many have become authorities in their fields. In this class you’ll meet a different producer each week, as he or she creates a typical radio show just for OLLI, including fascinating background on the particular genre. One week you’ll hear reggae music. Another week will feature urban vocal groups from the 1950s (so much more than Doo-Wop!). Another week, the classic American Songbook created in the first half of the 20th century. Another week, early rock ’n’ roll and its post-World War II roots. Another week, modern jazz from the 1950s to the present. Another week, the Beatles. One host describes her music simply as “chicken soup – all the right ingredients to heal the soul.” Come taste!
All presenters are Radio Fairfax producers and hosts who love sharing their music. Far from being “radio robots,” these local individuals conceive, create, and cablecast their varied radio shows to listeners via cable channels and the Internet – and now at OLLI.


F109  Dabbling Artists

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Coordinators: Sue Goldstein, Susann Hamilton
Class limit: 15
Come meet and greet OLLI members who dabble in sketching and watercolor painting. You provide your own materials and picture or sketch you plan to work on each week. There will be plenty of advisory conversation available, along with suggestions for projects you might enjoy! This class is not intended for those who have no experience with drawing or painting. If you have taken “Introduction to Sketching and Watercolor” this may be for you! Or, if you last picked up a pastel or brush in high school, maybe you’re ready to do it again!


F110 Singing for Fun

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Instructor: Palmer McGrew
As the name says, we gather to have a good time singing songs popular from the ‘30s to today. Class members are encouraged to bring in songs they would like to sing. The only singing talent necessary is the desire to sing. We have a wonderful keyboard accompanist, a percussionist, and an occasional banjo. It’s a lot of fun.
Palmer McGrew, an OLLI member, is a longtime performer in church choirs, barbershop choruses and quartets, and the West Point Alumni Glee Club. He is the director of the Greenspring Choristers.


F111 Watercolor Painting

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
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; 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper (Arches is best, but you can use less expensive paper); a kneaded eraser; a Staedtler white plastic eraser; and 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 is a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters,


R112 Words, Words, Words

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Instructor: Beverly Cosham
How often have you actually listened to the words of a song? And if and when you did, how did they make you feel? Is it just “all about the bass” or the beat? Let’s listen again to some old familiar tunes, and some new ones that are destined to become favorites, and really hear them. Then, we can discuss the message in the lyrics. Let us rediscover the songs we have loved for years through recordings of some of the greatest exponents of the Great American Songbook including Ella, Frank, Barbra, and Sarah, as well as some newer artists.
Vocalist Beverly Cosham has performed throughout the United States and in local venues including the Kennedy Center, National Theatre, The Arts Club, the 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 and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Two of her recordings were nominated for WAMAs (Washington Area Music Award). Cosham, a 51-year resident of Reston, is 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. 18–Nov. 6
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 through the use of DVDs and YouTube. You may sample the wide variety of musical offerings from previous terms 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 The Four Greatest Sculptors: From the Renaissance to the Modern Era

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Christopher With
The period under consideration produced the greatest sculptors in the canon of Western art. Their celebrity now is such that it is easy to lose sight of what was really new and challenging in their achievements. Their insights and determination set new aesthetic standards, and their creations, in turn, established the bar for future generations to meet and to exceed. But we cannot grasp the full extent of their genius and the power of their output until we understand how each of them dealt with the social and economic conditions in which they worked, as well as the political and religious contexts with which they had to cope. Only against the backdrop of their times can the extent of their accomplishments fully be appreciated and their significance within the canon of Western sculpture be understood.

  • Sept. 21: Michelangelo–The Poetics of the Nude
  • Sept. 28: Gian Lorenzo Bernini–The Ecstasy of the Flesh
  • Oct. 5: Auguste Rodin–Rethinking Sculpture’s Narrative
  • Oct. 12: Marcel Duchamp–Sailing Off into Uncharted Seas

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.


R115 Meet the Artists

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 5–Nov. 9
Six sessions
CenterStage, Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Coordinator: Rosemary McDonald

  • Oct. 5: Mark Irchai. A solo pianist and chamber musician, Irchai is from Gainesville, Florida. He was first prize winner of the XIV International Orfeo Music Competition, and a competitor at the San Jose International Piano Competition in 2015. He is currently pursuing a BM degree in piano performance at George Mason University under Dr. Anna Balakerskaia.
  • Oct. 12: Beverly Cosham and Friends. A favorite repeat artist will again entertain the audience with her cabaret selections accompanied by a fine pianist. Cosham continues to win many awards for her performances throughout the Washington area.
  • Oct. 19: Phoenix Woodwind Quintet. The quintet returns by popular demand to perform selections from the woodwind repertoire. Rosalie Morrow, flute; Jane Hughes, oboe; Allen Howe, clarinet; Bill Jokela, bassoon; and Ako Shiffer, horn. All are professional musicians.
  • Oct. 26: Marion Baker, cellist. Baker studied with Janos Starker at the Curtis Institute. He has performed as principal cellist with the Washington Bach Consort, Washington Concert Opera, the National Gallery Orchestra, and is currently principal cellist with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto and the Haydn Concertante under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.
  • Nov. 2: Chamasayan Sisters. The Chamasayan sisters will perform selections from the violin and piano repertoire. Monika Chamasayan, an Armenian-born Reston resident, has been guest soloist at the Dumbarton House, Strathmore, Schlesinger Hall, and Hylton Performing Arts Center. Marina Chamasayan is educated in the Russian, European, and American systems. She has performed at Strathmore and at Carnegie Weill Hall in New York, and her recent recording of the Schubert Impromptus has received rave reviews from critics.
  • Nov. 9: Rich Kleinfeldt. Kleinfeldt, a member of the Washington Saxophone Quartet (WSAXQ), is well known in Washington and far beyond for his musicianship. He is a professional musician, teacher, and a fill-in announcer at WETA. WSAXQ is the most widely heard saxophone quartet in the United States. Yuniko Rogers, pianist and accompanist, has accompanied Kleinfeldt on multiple occasions, bringing out the “human voice” of the saxophone.


L116 Introduction to Drawing and Watercolor

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Instructor: Cathy Faraj
This class is for beginners who want to learn some basic skills in sketching, drawing, and watercolor. We will discuss and practice drawing and painting techniques, as well as some tricks of the trade emphasizing proportion and perspective. We will also discuss various kinds of paints, brushes, and paper for watercolor painting. This class should be fun and relaxing for everyone. Some projects may have to be completed at home. A supply list will be mailed to each class participant. If you are beyond the beginner stage, please sign up for Drawing and Sketching Workshop F107 and/or Watercolor Painting F111.
Cathy Faraj is a retired Fairfax County Public Schools teacher who has taken many OLLI art classes and continues to do so. She wants to pass on her enjoyment to as many people as possible in each class.


200 Economics and Finance

F201 China’s Economy and Business Development

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 16–Nov. 6
Four sessions
Instructor: Jing Jin
This four-part lecture series will describe China’s changing macro-environment and conceptual framework since that country’s political and economic reform. It will also take into account the role played by China’s geography, history, and demographics, and China’s foreign investment and trade. Discussions will include the evolution and development of China’s economy and business, as well as the relationship between China’s government and industry. In general, the business environment and culture in contemporary China are affected by cultural concepts such as collectivism, social hierarchy, and relationships. Specific examples will be given of Chinese business negotiation and management styles, including those that take place during business meals and banquets. A comparison of business practices in Chinese and American markets will include case studies of multinational companies with business experience in the Chinese market, such as Jack Ma and, BestBuy, Home Depot, Starbucks, and Walmart.
Jing Jin is an associate professor at Beijing Language and Culture University and resident director of the Confucius Institute at George Mason University. She received her PhD in management science from China University of Mining and Technology. Jin also has a master’s degree in English literature from Northeast Normal University and in international business from University of Wolverhampton, England.


F202 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Fairfax Lord of Life
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 an open discussion of recent events in the economy and in financial markets, and their impact on investment decisions. Member presentations typically include such topics as: recent market indicators, stocks, bonds, funds (mutual, exchange-traded, and closed-end), real estate investment trusts (REITs), options, commodities, master limited partnerships, sectors, allocations, and investment strategies. We use analyses and data from the financial press.
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.


F203 Economics Potpourri

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Church of the Good Shepherd
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
We are again fortunate to have a talented team of George Mason economists inform and challenge OLLI members with their latest economic research. This series, presented each fall, allows OLLI members to learn, interact, and clarify some of the profound economic thoughts that are evolving from our history and from current events. This year we have a blend of some of the sharpest minds, both professors and PhD candidates, sharing their real-time studies of the complex global economy of this and previous centuries. Prepare to be intrigued, provoked, dazzled, and enlightened on topics that we may seldom consider in economic terms.

  • Sept. 21: Ben Baldanza, adjunct professor. Crazy Airline Rules Can Make Sense if You Know the Economic Background.
  • Sept. 28: Robert Hazel, PhD student. Privacy Economics: How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
  • Oct. 5: Dan Klein, professor. Liberalism 1.0: The Genealogy of Classical Liberalism.
  • Oct. 12: Erik Matson, PhD student. Justice, Prudence, and the Practical Economics of David Hume
  • Oct. 19: Abby Devereaux, PhD student. China’s Transition from Maoism to the Market Mechanism.
  • Oct. 26: Tim Cox, PhD student. Boundaries between Market Entrepreneurship and Political Entrepreneurship.
  • Nov. 2: Noel Johnson, associate professor. Economic Development: Top Down or Bottom Up?
  • Nov. 9: Carrie Meyer, associate professor. Why is the Dominican Republic the Top Food Producer in the Caribbean?


300 History and International Studies

F301  The Plot to Kill Lincoln: Did Mary Surratt Deserve her Fate?

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18–Oct. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: Patrick Diehl
Even today the trial and execution of Mary Surratt as a conspirator to assassinate President Lincoln is one of the most controversial events in our history. Was she unaware of Booth’s plan to kill the President at Ford’s Theatre, or was she a willing member of the gang that carried out this deed? The question of her guilt and the appropriateness of her sentence have been debated over the years. We will evaluate the evidence on both sides, including trial testimony. In addition to the officially recorded testimony, the class will examine the various letters and notes from the principals before, during, and after the trial. Finally, we will discuss the question of whether President Andrew Johnson ever saw the military tribunal’s recommendation for clemency. Johnson steadfastly maintained he never saw this particular document.
Patrick Diehl spent 36 years in the CIA as an operations officer overseas. He has had a lifelong interest in the Civil War and has taught courses at OLLI on Civil War political and military history.


F302  Role of the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment in the Civil War

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 16–Nov. 6
Four sessions
Instructor: Philip Massey
The 1st Minnesota is famous for their service during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Their charge against a much larger force stopped a possible breakthrough of the Union line, but they suffered 82% casualties. We will follow the 1st from muster in April 1861 and the First Battle of Bull Run through its various campaigns and battles as part of the Army of the Potomac. The emphasis will be on the role the 1st Minnesota played  in each battle. Additionally, we will look at a variety of issues that affected the 1st Minnesota. Some of these are: camp life, leisure times, role of the regimental surgeon, life as a POW, the role of “embedded” journalists, and fraternization. We will hear about attitudes and controversies concerning regimental officers and army commanders, the three-year enlistment requirement, alcohol, poor food, blacks, and slavery.
Philip Massey is a member of OLLI. He is a retired radiologist with a long-time interest in American history and the Civil War.


F303  The Lion’s Final Roar: Winston Churchill, 1945-1965

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 17–Oct. 31
Three sessions
Instructor: Douglas Hottel
This course is a follow-up to Doug Hottel’s earlier offering on Winston Churchill, which presented his life from birth until his defeat in the national elections in 1945. This course continues his story until his death in 1965. Although beset by failing health and family tragedy, Churchill refused to quietly fade away into obscurity when he was defeated in the 1945 elections. His political rebirth and multi-faceted life continued to impact Britain and the world until his death.
Douglas W. Hottel has been an OLLI member since 2010. This is his eighth OLLI course. Previous topics have included Margaret Thatcher, the Rockefellers, the intelligence community, and the Battle of Britain, as well as his previous course on Winston Churchill. Hottel received a BA in history/political science from Bethany College in West Virginia, an MA in international affairs from the Catholic University of America, and an MA in national security and strategic studies from the US Naval War College. His careers include service as a US Navy officer, a Department of Defense employee, and a federal contractor with Northrop-Grumman Corporation.


F304  Civil War Press: Resisting Censorship to Print Secrets

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Sept. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Randy Ferryman
This course covers a rarely treated topic: the critical role the American press played during the Civil War to inform the public about political, social, and military developments. We begin with an analysis of the booming newspaper industry that had become a powerful political force in America and which, by the end of the war, had established the foundation of modern journalism. The course then focuses on the duel between the press and the government that was triggered by a large number of field reporters who aggressively probed for stories, and, throughout the war, often disclosed sensitive military information, despite censorship by national leaders and commanders to suppress such disclosures.
Randy Ferryman is a retired CIA senior officer and is still actively training analysts in national security. During his career, Ferryman analyzed or directed the analysis of foreign military capabilities and developments in the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, and Africa. He began his career as a uniformed intelligence analyst in the USAF Strategic Air Command. He has a BA in history and an MA in administration. He is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable, and for 23 years has studied the fighting at Gettysburg, where he has conducted 40 tours for national security professionals.


F305  Airlift Evacuation of Kham Duc

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 24–Oct. 31
Two sessions
Instructor: Alan Gropman
Alan Gropman will present a two-part discussion on the airlift evacuation of Kham Duc on May 12, 1968. This rescue of more than 1,500 people is a microcosm of the American combat during the Vietnam War. Not all of the Americans moving through the events recounted in this operation acted heroically, but most did, and it was their heroism that gave the evacuation the success it had.
Alan Gropman, a retired Air Force colonel, has a PhD in black military history and was chairman of the Grand Strategy Department at the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has written four books and numerous other publications.


F306  The Fight to Protect the Right to Vote: A History of the Voting Rights Act

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 17–Oct. 31, Nov. 14
Fairfax Lord of Life
Four sessions
Note dates
Instructor: Burton Wides
In 1970, the heart of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA), enacted after Selma, was about to expire. The instructor will describe his work writing and managing the extension of the VRA at that time. In addition, he will review the battles to expand the VRA to Latino voters in 1975; its extension and revision in order to overcome an adverse Supreme Court decision in 1982; and the extension in 2006. We also will review the Supreme Court opinion in the 2013 Shelby County case, gutting the core of the Act, the “Crown Jewel of our Civil Rights Laws.” We will learn about coalitions combatting the endless stream of voter suppression schemes and exposing baseless “voter fraud” propaganda spewed to justify those schemes. We will examine the myths that cloud public debate on this issue.
Burton Wides was chief counsel for Senators Philip Hart and Ted Kennedy, deputy chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and chief of staff to House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers. As a pro bono civil rights advocate since 1984, he has explained to the media the issues in those fights and lectured on them at universities.


F307  Historically Fairfax: A Celebration of Fairfax County’s 275th Birthday

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Fairfax Lord of Life Church
Coordinator: Bernie Oppel
Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, recently noted that “Fairfax County was founded in 1742 and has been where the action is ever since.” The county was formed from the original 17th century land grant from King Charles II to Lord Fairfax, which encompassed 5.2 million acres between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. More recently, Fairfax County has experienced tremendous growth and change as it evolved from farms to suburbs to engine for regional economic growth. This course is OLLI’s contribution to Fairfax County’s 275th birthday celebration in 2017. It consists of a series of lectures on Fairfax County topics presented by a distinguished group of outside experts. Topics range from colonial Fairfax and Fairfax in the Civil War, to archeology, civil rights, and urbanization. The course is open to OLLI members and to the general public.

  • 20: Urbanization and Regional Economic Growth; Stephen S. Fuller, director, Stephen S. Fuller Institute, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University
  • 27: Social Change in Fairfax County; Delegate Kenneth R. Plum, Virginia House of Delegates
  • 4: History of the Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton Prison, and the Suffragists; Ava Spence, president and CEO, Workhouse Arts Foundation
  • 11: Fairfax Archeology and Architecture; Dr. Eleanor Breen, archeologist, Office of Historic Alexandria
  • 18: History of Fairfax County’s African American Communities; Spencer Crew, Robinson Professor, Department of History and Art History, George Mason University
  • 25: George Mason and the Bill of Rights; Scott M. Stroh III, executive director, George Mason’s Gunston Hall
  • 1: The Fairfax Family and the Colonial History of Fairfax County; Jenee Lindner, president, Friends of the Historic Fairfax Courthouse
  • 8: Fairfax County in the Civil War; Kellen Allen, Interpretation and Education, National Parks Service


F308  Henry Kissinger and the American Approach to Foreign Policy

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Oct. 11
Four sessions
Instructor: Gregory Cleva
More than 40 years have passed since Henry Kissinger served as America’s Secretary of State, yet he continues to enjoy prominence in our public life and throughout the global community. His views are sought by congressional committees and foreign policy groups, and his articles on international issues appear in distinguished journals and newspapers. The major focus of this class is the historical philosophy that Kissinger developed as a Harvard undergraduate in the late 1940s. He drew on such thinkers as Immanuel Kant, Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee, and the German historicists. It was this historical philosophy that he later applied to studying and understanding world politics, particularly the period culminating in the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) and the actions of such statesmen as Metternich, Talleyrand, and Castlereagh. This was the philosophy that informed Kissinger’s criticism of the American approach to foreign policy in the 1950s and 1960s, prior to his assuming the office of National Security Advisor in the first Nixon presidency, and that supported his diplomatic work in that position.
Greg Cleva has a PhD in international politics from the Catholic University of America and is a retired foreign affairs analyst with the Department of Defense.


F309  Comparing the French and Russian Revolutions

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Note: Oct. 12 session at Sherwood Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
Four sessions
Instructors: Jack Censer, Rex Wade
There have been several revolutions in European history since the 17th century, but the French and Russian revolutions have been the most consequential. Despite much scholarly work, historians seldom compare these twin upheavals in Europe. Two specialists in the field will consider four separate questions: Why did each revolution occur, and why did it take a radical turn? What role did the two most visible leaders—Robespierre and Lenin—play? And why did these revolutions eventually lead to bloody civil wars? Each class will take up one of these queries, first with short lectures by the two instructors, followed by a conversation calculated to spark class discussion.
Professor emeritus Jack Censer earned his PhD at Johns Hopkins University and spent over 40 years at George Mason University, where he also served as chair of the department of history and art history, and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In retirement, he has continued his interest in revolutions generally and has most recently authored, with Lynn Hunt, The French Revolution and Napoleon in Global Perspective (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Press, October 2017).
Rex A. Wade is professor of history, emeritus, at George Mason University. Before coming to George Mason 30 years ago Wade was at the University of Hawaii for 18 years, where he was chair of the department of history, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and acting vice president for Academic Affairs. Before that he taught at the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. He is the author of multiple books, most recently The Russian Revolution, 1917 (Cambridge University Press, Third Edition, 2017), as well as many scholarly articles.


F310  The History of Unions

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 19–Nov. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Dunphy
Labor unions have brought us the eight-hour workday, weekends off, and sick leave; their history is a rich one. We will look at the tumultuous history of unions in the United States, from the beginning of collective action in the Lowell mills in the 1830s to the protests in Wisconsin in the 2010s. It is a history of both successes and failures, and of larger-than-life figures, such as Big Bill Haywood, Joe Hill, and Mother Jones. We will look at unions in both the private and public sectors. Each class will start with a selection from the union songbook. After this class, Labor Day will mean more than the day when community pools close!
Jim Dunphy is a retired member of Local 17, American Federation of Government Employees. After retiring from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), he served as the director of education and training for the National VA Council, the AFGE bargaining council, representing over 200,000 VA bargaining unit employees. His family history represents almost 100 years of union membership, as his father was a member of the Uniformed Firefighters Association and then the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, and his grandfather was a member of the Transit Workers Union.


F311 A Fire Bell in the Night

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Fairfax Lord of Life Sanctuary
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Emmett Fenlon
In 1820, Thomas Jefferson said of slavery, “this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union.” Join us as National Park Service rangers discuss how national leaders in Washington, and those in individual states, continued to wrestle with the slavery issue. Decades later, uneasy compromises had left that question unanswered, and divisions had deepened. Little would anyone, let alone Thomas Jefferson himself, believe that the beginning of the solution would come with the arrival in Washington of a tall, amiable lawyer from Illinois.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in over 80 thematic courses, special events, and trips since 2001.


R312  The Frontiersmen, Part 1

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 9–Nov. 6
Five sessions
Instructor: Jim Anderson
From the earliest New World settlements, the proximity of vast, wild, and unsettled spaces in North America has had a significant impact on the history of our nation. It also has influenced our character as a people. This series will be in two parts of five lectures each, in the fall 2017 and the spring 2018 sessions. In the first five lectures, we will outline the academic origins of the “frontier thesis,” discuss the frontier concept in popular literature and media, and examine the concept through the biographies of individuals who were on the leading edge of our national expansion westward. These individuals include Robert Rogers, Daniel Morgan, Simon Kenton, and Tecumseh, who exemplified many of the traits that have come to be associated with the “American character.”
Jim Anderson spent 27 years with the CIA, including 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 12 years he has conducted corporate leadership training seminars featuring Civil War battlefield visits. He has been an instructor at OLLI for the past eight years, teaching courses and leading tours focusing on American history.


R313   National Park Ranger’s Choice: A Different Topic Every Week!

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Oct. 31
Seven sessions
Rose Gallery, Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Emmett Fenlon
Mystery topics abound! There is no thread that binds these lectures week to week. A National Park Service ranger will speak on a new topic at each session. We will explore obscure local connections to people, places, or events that few rarely, if ever, associate with either Washington, DC, or the expertise of National Mall park rangers.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in over 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.


L314 Seventy Five Years Ago

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Oct. 11
Four sessions
Instructor: Jim Kelly
Seventy five years ago the United States had just entered World War II. It was a traumatic period that brought rapid change to America’s politics, culture, economy, society, and the personal lives of its citizens. This course will offer four classes on that period; each class will use personal insights and observations drawn from diaries, biographies, and contemporary press coverage. In addition, class members will be asked to contribute their own remembrances of the period.

  • 20: The home front in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor—mobilization, rationing, fear of invasion, and the internment of Japanese-Americans.
  • 27: The military situation in the Pacific—the “Winter of Disaster,” the Doolittle Raid, Midway, Coral Sea, and Guadalcanal.
  • 4: Political and military developments in Europe and the Russian Front—including the period leading up to the United States’ entry into the war.
  • 11: A special treat—two of our own OLLI colleagues. Almuth Payne and Edward Janusz will share with us their personal experiences as children in war-torn Germany.

Jim Kelly is a retired CIA intelligence officer. He has an MA from the American University School of International Service.
Almuth Payne is a retired teacher and journalist. She has a BA in German literature and a minor in history from the University of California, Berkeley. As a young eye-witness to World War II in Germany, she has read extensively on the subject and translated family memoirs.
Edward Janusz is an engineer retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the aerospace and computer services industries. He has an MS in industrial engineering from Arizona State University. Janusz is a childhood survivor of World War II Germany.


L315  Roman Emperors Behaving Badly

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 18–Oct. 25
Two sessions
Instructor: Stephanie Campbell
Rome had its share of well-respected emperors who propelled the empire to greatness and were beloved by its citizens; Augustus, Trajan, and Marcus Aurelius come to mind. However, this lecture series is not about them. We will explore the worst of the worst in Roman leadership, from the unfathomably incompetent to the borderline psychopathic. Among other things, they fed people to lions, made horses into consuls, and murdered family members with reckless abandon (when they weren’t sleeping with them.) These were some of the most notorious emperors to ever wear the famed purple robes, and among them were Caligula, Nero, and Commodus. Many more will be covered in this lecture series.
Stephanie Campbell received a BA in history and a BA in medieval and renaissance studies from the College of William and Mary. She earned her MA in history at Catholic University. She is a history instructor at Northern Virginia Community College; her expertise is in medieval history.


L316  Private Military Companies, Then and Now

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Nov. 1–Nov. 8
Two sessions
Instructor: Michael J. Kastle
When one hears the term “private military company” (PMC), one’s thoughts naturally turn to organizations like Blackwater. But PMCs, in one form or another, have been around for centuries. This course will provide a short and concise history of PMCs from their earliest recorded use through the wars that plagued much of Europe’s history, their re-emergence in war-torn Africa of the 1960s and 1970s, and a brief mention of the role of PMCs in today’s military-industrial corporations. This course will not be a political discussion on the pros and cons of PMCs.
Michael Kastle is an OLLI member. He has an engineering degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Illinois. He retired from US government service in 2007, having spent over half of his 25 years of service in overseas locations.


L317  Comparing the French and Russian Revolutions

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Four sessions
Instructors: Jack Censer, Rex Wade
This is a videoconference of F309.


L318  Loyalists in the American Revolution

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 19–Nov. 9
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, when they have been mentioned at all. That has changed in the last few years with the publication of several important works establishing their numbers and discussing their motives for supporting the crown. 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 later in 1776. We will learn the history of Loyalism in America, as well as the stories of various colonists who chose to align themselves with the British during the American Revolution. Who knows, perhaps you may find a Loyalist in your family attic.
Beth Lambert is coordinator of the Reston OLLI program and the History Club. She is professor emerita of English at Gettysburg College, where she taught courses on all aspects of the 18th century in Britain. Her biography of Edmund Burke was published by the University of Delaware Press.



400 Literature Theater & Writing

F401  OLLI Players Workshop

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Clifton Lord of Life
Instructor: Kathie West
This is a continuing acting and producing workshop for serious theater-minded participants, conducted by the OLLI Players, an amateur theater group affiliated with Mason. In our repertoire we incorporate lyrics, short scenes, monologues, and original plays and perform them at various local venues such as senior centers. We will also be creating a murder mystery that will be performed three times in June 2018. You must be willing to travel during the day, mostly on Fridays. If you have a scene or a play you would like to see put on, bring it along, and we will try it. Come, join, and be willing to tout OLLI and your talents!
Kathie West, an OLLI member, is a former theater teacher at Robert E. Lee High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.


F402  Readers’ Theater

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Clifton Lord of Life
Coordinators: Michelle Blandburg, Marcella Fruchter, Paulette Miller, Bob Osborn, Pati Rainey, Russell Stone
Class limit: 28

OLLI’s Readers’ Theater is great fun for the “secret actor” in all of us! Scripts are usually monologues, poetry, short skits, or scenes from longer plays. A fresh variety of theatrical materials is provided by our creative coordinators. Parts may be handed out in advance or read cold. No memorization is ever required. So even if you’ve tried Readers’ Theater before, come back. We are always trying new things!



F403  Shakespeare in Twilight: The Great Romances

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 16–Nov. 6
Four sessions
Instructor: Rick Davis
Toward the end of his career, William Shakespeare became interested in bringing together many of the themes that he had explored throughout his works, uniting tragedy and comedy, life and death, and the fantastical and the pragmatic. This series of plays we now call the romances: Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. In these works, Shakespeare lets loose of some of the restraints of conventional plotting, turning to a world of pure, exuberant imagination. His language, always poetic, reaches for and achieves the sublime. His perspective, always deeply humane, turns to transcendence. We will explore this major shift in the work of our greatest playwright, and watch excerpts in performance, as well as significant examples on film.
Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and professor of theater, joined George Mason University in 1991 as artistic director of the Theater of the First Amendment. Since then he has worked in the provost’s office, served as artistic director of the Center for the Arts, and as executive director of the Hylton Center (a position he still maintains). All the while, he has continued to teach theater and arts management while directing, writing, and occasionally performing on and off campus. He has directed several Shakespeare plays for the Mason Players: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Measure for Measure, and Pericles. Davis was educated at Lawrence University and the Yale School of Drama.

F404 Memoir Writing

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
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. During class there will be some writing exercises in response to prompts such as quotations, music, and video clips. We’ll also share some ideas on memoir writing 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 has helped plan the Virginia Writers Club symposium in Charlottesville. She is the coauthor of Memoir Your Way: Tell Your Story through Writing, Recipes, Quilts, Graphic Novels, and More.


F405  Inside The Actors Studio: Ladies and Gentlemen

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Michelle Blandburg
On the popular television series “Inside the Actors Studio,” host James Lipton interviewed Hollywood’s top actors, directors, musicians, and comedians. In the third class in this series, we will view some rare episodes: the incomparable Sir Anthony Hopkins, the legendary Liza Minelli, comedic actress Teri Hatcher, comedian Dave Chappelle, heroic Michael J. Fox, and multi-talented Mike Myers. We will also revisit two of the most popular episodes from prior classes: the extraordinary Barbra Streisand and the comic genius Robin Williams. Extras include introductions and previously unseen portions of the original interviews. Join us and enjoy these intelligent, thought-provoking interviews that delve into the artists’ lives, works, and creative processes.
Michelle Blandburg is an OLLI Board member and a movie lover. She enjoys coordinating Readers’ Theater and all things theatrical.


F406  Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall
Class limit: 16

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 in revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the Tallwood office for duplication one week before the first class meeting and a third poem brought to the first session. The moderators will email students after registration to let them know exactly when and where to send their poems for the first class.
Mike McNamara, an OLLI member, has been published in several literary journals and magazines and has received awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Jan Bohall, also an OLLI member, has had poems published in various periodicals and has won awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.


F407  Two Catholic Novels

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Instructor: Kay Menchel
“Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly.” —Evelyn Waugh, 1949
“Mr. Greene, some parts of your books are certain to offend some Catholics, but you should pay no attention to that.” —Pope Paul VI, 1965
In this course we will read Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Graham Greene’s The End of The Affair, celebrated novels that have also been filmed to great acclaim. We will take a look at these onscreen adaptations and consider how Waugh and Greene’s Catholicism shaped them as authors. Their religious faith sets them apart from some of their English contemporaries and informs many of the moral struggles and thematic preoccupations found in their work.
Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from Mason. She has taught numerous literature classes and always enjoys sharing her passion for English literature with OLLI members.


F408  19th Century Women of Letters

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Sept. 27
Oct. 11–Nov. 8
Seven sessions
Note dates
Instructor: Ellen Moody
Class limit: 35
We will discuss important aspects of a woman writer’s career in the 19th century and compare them with the experiences of a modern woman writer. In what genres did women publish and were any of them journalists? What were the obstacles women faced and the advantages they had? We’ll read Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, George Eliot’s Janet’s Repentance, and Margaret Oliphant’s Kirsteen and The Library Window. We’ll also read brief on-line excerpts from Harriet Martineau’s Autobiography, Caroline Norton’s English Laws for Women in the Nineteenth Century, Emmeline Pankhurst’s Freedom or Death, and Virginia Woolf’s Professions for Women.
Ellen Moody holds a PhD in English literature from the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY). A lecturer for over 30 years, her last position was at George Mason University. She has published numerous essays, reviews, and editions of four texts on 18th century literature, women’s studies, and film adaptations.


F409  A Novel for All Seasons: Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Instructor: Donna Macurdy
The Old Man and the Sea is considered to be Hemingway’s finest novel. Written in direct response to his critics, the old man is a reflection of Hemingway himself. Published in 1952 in Life Magazine, the story resulted in the sale of over five million issues in 48 hours. Released in hardcover, it remained on the best seller list for six months. Join us on the journey to “catch the one” that almost got away. Sail the waters of the Cuban coast with the old man and then decide if Hemingway achieved what he set out to do, i.e., “to succeed when others believed he would fail.” Lecture and small group discussion will be a part of each class. In order to capture the mood of the journey, we will also be viewing Spencer Tracy’s highly acclaimed portrayal of the old man in the 1958 movie.
Donna Macurdy is a retired Fairfax County high school English teacher. Donna has a MEd in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University and a BA in English and speech communications from the University of Denver. She has taught a number of literature classes at OLLI, including The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird.


F410  OLLI Actor’s Studio

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Clifton Lord of Life
Instructors: Wendy Campbell, Manny Pablo
This is an acting class for those actors among us who want to hone their acting skills by working seriously on a script until they truly understand the character they are portraying. Over time, and with constructive criticism and input from our fellow thespians, we will work to improve our inflection, voice projection, physicality, focus, and blocking—while retaining spontaneity and the making of fearless choices. We will also decide what kinds of props are necessary for the understanding of the action. In short, we would like to gather a few actors together who want to upgrade their acting skills. All participants should come prepared with at least one monologue to work on through the course of the eight-week session, with the help of the other participants.
Wendy Campbell graduated from Marymount University with an MEd. She taught in the gifted program in Fairfax County public schools for 20 years, introducing 10-to-12-year olds to the wonders of Shakespeare, Plautus, and Sophocles.
Manuel Pablo is a longtime OLLI member who dabbles in many areas, from music, to history, to art, and even poetry, hoping to find something he is good at. He is getting a fine education along the way.


F411  Literary Potpourri

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 19–Nov. 9
Four sessions
Coordinators: Jackie Gropman, Katie Mitchell
Broaden your bookish horizons with discussions on a variety of literary topics that inform, inspire, and entertain.

  • Oct. 19: eBooks and Mobile Devices. Bring your smartphones and tablets for a hands-on demonstration in accessing, downloading, and enjoying the Fairfax County Public Library’s free collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks. Mohammed Esslami is the branch coordinator for Fairfax County Public Library and member of the Library Board of Virginia.
  • Oct. 26: Poetic Inspirations. A local poet will read from her work, discuss what inspires her, and how the process of writing and reading poetry can be healing.
    Sherri Waas Shunfenthal is a former speech therapist and the author of three volumes of poetry: Journey into Healing, Sacred Voices: Women of Genesis Speak, and Seasons of Prayer.
  • Nov.2: Books that Bridge the Generation Gap. A discussion of young adult books with adult appeal and adult books with young adult appeal. We will be looking at the reading interests of both age groups and the ways they mirror each other. Edie Ching, a children’s literature specialist, teaches at the College of Information Science at the University of Maryland, writes reviews for Booklist, and is a frequent guest on the Kojo Nnamdi radio show.
  • Nov. 9: Politics of Pictures, a History of Political Cartoons. Political and editorial cartoons use humor and exaggeration to report news, share ideas, and express opinions. This class will give a history of cartoons and provide additional context when reading contemporary cartoons. Matthew Moffat is the assistant branch manager of the Burke Centre Library.


F412  The Perfect Story

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 21–Oct. 26
Six sessions
Coordinator: Kathie West
A modern interpretation of ancient Greek forms and symbols will forever change the way you understand a play or a movie. By examining the components of “The Perfect Story” with respect to Greek storytelling, we will connect the past and present by identifying the threads of Greek ideas that are woven into modern storytelling. We will see and appreciate many of the patterns and perceptions of the ancient Greeks that remain as powerful and relevant today. The course will open your eyes and touch your hearts. “It’s all Greek to me” will have contemporary meaning once you have experienced “The Perfect Story.”
Skip Bromley is an award-winning teacher who worked for Fairfax County Public Schools for 37 years and studied theatre at the Catholic University. He was recognized for his tenure at Oakton High School with the naming of the school auditorium in his honor. He has been deeply influenced by Greek mythology and history, weaving his knowledge into the development of a modern day curriculum. His love of storytelling has earned him accolades from students, parents, and colleagues. He continues this practice in retirement as a substitute teacher.
Chip Rome is a theater educator and director who has worked in Los Angeles, New York, London, Scotland, and the DC area for over 35 years. He has extensive experience in curriculum development, and has co-authored manuals on a variety of theatrical issues. He also created the FCPS Drama website and the FCPS Blackboard site. Rome has presented at numerous conferences and is co-author of Real-World Theatre Education.
Richard Washer has a BA in music and anthropology and a MFA in creative writing from The American University. Currently he is a playwright, educator, and director. He was a founding member of Charter Theatre where he served as dramaturge, director, and playwright from 1997 to 2008, and currently serves as associate artistic director at First Draft at The Rose Theatre in Virginia. He is the author of 14 plays and has directed productions of musicals, classics, new plays, and dozens of new play readings at many significant venues. Washer teaches creative writing and playwriting workshops at numerous institutions, including First Draft and The Writer’s Center.


R413  Write a Better Research Report

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18–Oct. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: James Cooper
Whether for a hobby, a class paper, or a thesis, many people spend a lot of time gathering and analyzing information on one subject. Too often, their valuable results are shared with only a few people. Why not write and share your findings more widely in a journal or newsletter? This short course provides tips for writing your report in a way that increases its chance for publication. Topics include formatting for journal style; the process of submitting a manuscript; avoiding common errors; and developing an effective plain language style. A former editor of an international journal will be a guest lecturer. Before the last meeting students are expected to bring to class a draft copy of their report for discussion.
James Cooper is a professor emeritus at The George Washington University.


R414 Two by Virginia Woolf

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 16–Nov. 6
Four sessions
Instructor: Linda Blair
One of the most enigmatic and powerful female writers of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf focused on two significant issues: women and the unconscious self. In order to understand her position as a woman in a male-dominated literary world, we will study in detail A Room of One’s Own for one session. In the following three sessions we will discuss To the Lighthouse, a stream of consciousness novel spanning approximately 10 years, during which time WorldWar I began and ended. Through close textual readings of both works, along with clips from the film version of To the Lighthouse, we will evaluate the juxtaposition of aspects of feminism with the life of the imagination.
Linda Blair, a retired Fairfax County high school English teacher, English department chair, and International Baccalaureate diploma program coordinator, earned her doctorate in American literature at The George Washington University.


R415  Big People on the Big Screen

Mondays, 1:30–4:00, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Note time
Instructor: Glenn Kamber
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, some destined to greatness, others thrust into it by time and circumstance. The instructor has chosen eight movies about famous and not-so-famous figures throughout history whose stories will stir your mind and touch your heart.
Glenn Kamber is a retired senior executive with the Department of Health and Human Services. He holds degrees from Virginia Tech in family and child development (marriage and family counseling). He has presented other movie classes at OLLI.


R416  Two Catholic Novels

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Kay Menchel
This is a repeat of F407.


R417  The History of Animation

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Josh Pachter
There’s a lot more to cartoons than Walt Disney—and a lot more to animation than cartoons! In this class, Josh Pachter will guide us through the history of animated film from its beginnings in 1906 all the way up to today, with stops along the way in Russia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Canada, Japan, and more. (And, yes, we’ll certainly spend some of our time on Uncle Walt!)
Josh Pachter is the assistant dean for communication studies and theater at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus His BA and MA from the University of Michigan were both in speech communication, with an emphasis on film study.


R418  Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne
Moderator: Ben Gold
Class limit: 21

This short-story discussion class will use the book Adaptations: From Short Story to Big Screen: 35 Great Stories That Have Inspired Great Films. Some of the well-known and much-loved movies that began their lives as short stories include Memento, All About Eve, Rear Window, Rashomon, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Decide for yourself whether the short story was better than the movie, or was it the other way around? The book is available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Ben Gold has a BA in political science from Stanford University and also holds an MS degree in computer science. He acts as moderator after many years as a class participant.


R419 and R420  Shakespeare’s History Plays: Richard II and Henry IV, Part One

Instructor: Karen Miles
Overview of Series: The four plays Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V were written over several years from 1595 to 1599 and have usually been produced as single plays. However, they also comprise a single, two-generational story from the failures of Richard II through the triumphs of Henry V, a story that is part history, part invention, and one that Shakespeare uses to draw lessons about monarchy and society in England. Richard II and Henry IV, Part One are being offered as two separate four-week courses this fall; Henry IV, Part Two and Henry V will be offered in the spring term of 2018. People are free to enroll in one or both of these courses, and neither course is a prerequisite for the courses to be offered next spring. We will begin each course by watching the production of the play from the BBC series The Hollow Crown, which reduces each play to about two hours. In many cases the discussion will need to draw on the full text. I recommend the Folger Shakespeare Library edition by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine as very readable and informative.


R419  Richard II

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Karen Miles
This course will examine Richard II’s troubled relations with the nobility and the commoners in England, as well as with Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The discussion will focus on the following issues: Richard’s concept of kingship; his own reasons to abdicate the throne vs. pressures on him to abdicate; the arguments of the clergy, the nobility, and the commons supporting and opposing abdication; signs of future troubles for the reign of King Henry IV; and important liberties that Shakespeare took with the historical facts in writing his play.
Karen Miles holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in French literature. She taught at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin–Parkside before becoming a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since retiring, she has taught a course on Shakespeare’s sonnets for OLLI.


R420  Henry IV, Part One

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 19–Nov. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: Karen Miles
This course will examine the challenges to King Henry’s reign from the English nobility as well as the differences between his and Richard II’s approaches to ruling. The discussion will focus on the following issues: the reasons for the failure of Hotspur’s challenge to Henry’s rule; the potential harm and benefits of Prince Hal’s decision to consort with Falstaff rather than with his noble family and peers; and the role of this completely fictional episode in the development of Prince Hal’s character in the play.
See R419 for instructor information.


L421  The New Yorker Round Table

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Coordinator: Cathy Faraj
Class limit: 20
This course will consist of informal discussions of material from The New Yorker magazine or its website It is an interactive class, and material for discussion will be provided by class members. In past sessions, discussions have been based on articles, profiles, fiction, poetry, and cartoons. Before each class, the coordinator will email the material assigned for discussion to class members. Discussions usually extend beyond the printed material to include personal knowledge or experiences class members may have had relevant to the topic.


L422  Italian Film

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Josh Pachter
In the spring, tour guide Josh Pachter showed us half a dozen movies made in the 1920s during the influential German Expressionist period. This fall, our international film series takes us to La Bella Italia for a look at some of Italy’s finest contributions to the art of the cinema, with a concentration on the Italian neorealist style.
See R417 for instructor information.


L423  A Taste of Theater

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Kathie West
Come and partake in a delicious potpourri of theater dishes: acting, improvisation, makeup, and costume design. This will include class participation in the form of acting out a scene using body language, facial expressions, diction and characterization, all of which you will learn. Improvisation will include acting on the spur of the moment. You will learn the difference between theater makeup and regular makeup, and one or two volunteers will be made up. We will see various costume designs, and you will participate in designing costumes for a character in a scene that you will be given. This will be a class for the creative and unafraid OLLI member. Bring your joy of life and creative choices with you.
See F401 for instructor information.


L424  Writers’ Workshop

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Instructor: Ed Sadtler
Class limit: 10

This class uses a roundtable format to foster 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. To each of these categories we apply the same underlying commitment: to write a compelling work that fully conveys the author’s intentions.
Ed Sadtler is a retired salesman, turned daring, if almost-never-published, poet who nevertheless insists on continuing to read, write, and talk about poetry to anyone foolish enough to listen.


L425  Detective Zen, “He is Venetian, you know.”

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 18–Nov. 1
Three sessions
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
Aurelio Zen is a fictional Italian detective created by the British crime writer Michael Dibdin. This is a three-part video viewing series based on these books. Zen is assigned to the Rome Homicide Bureau, but he is an outsider, erratic, emotional, and all too human. Zen negotiates the constantly-shifting political terrain of both his job and his country through the 1990s and into the new century. Middle aged and already somewhat jaded when we first meet him, he has had a long career in the State Police and is in a relatively senior position. Unafraid to employ radical and even downright underhanded methods when he feels them appropriate, Zen struggles to manage the competing demands of his aged mother, his girlfriend, and his job, sometimes accepting an assignment simply to escape from domestic pressures. Nevertheless, he does his best to make sense of whatever confronts him.
Mark Weinstein, a 10-year OLLI member, is a retired electrical engineer and a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space Museums. He started building models when he was 10 and continued his avid interest in aviation and intelligence through a career in the active and reserve Air Force and continuing on as part of the military-industrial complex.


L426  A Discussion of Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare in Love

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Oct. 18
Five sessions
Instructor: Richard Wilan
In this course we will examine and discuss the interaction between two great dramatists, William Shakespeare and Tom Stoppard, which merges the play with the film. The first two sessions will focus on Shakespeare’s rejection of the conventions of late 16th century sonnets in Romeo and Juliet, leading to the different forms of love language in the play. The final three sessions will each feature a showing of about a third of the film, along with discussion of how the film is built around actual situations in the London theater of Shakespeare’s day, the language of Shakespeare’s plays, and the nature of “love” in the film, as compared to the play. Having a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet would be helpful.
Richard Wilan received a PhD from the University of Maryland, where his dissertation was on Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. He is professor emeritus at Northern Virginia Community College, where he taught writing and Shakespearean literature. He is the co-author of Prentice-Hall’s Introduction to Literature.


500 Languages

F501  !Hablemos Español! Improve your Spanish Conversation Skills

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Instructors: Ligia Glass, Tom Black
This class aims to improve Spanish conversational skills by class interaction on several topics. Students will use vocabulary and grammar structures that will be acquired through reading short literary pieces, viewing films, observing art works, and reading magazines and newspapers. All of these will enhance vocabulary and enrich linguistic knowledge. Students will be encouraged to talk one-on-one, or as part of a group, so sharing ideas will benefit each student. There will be grammar reviews based on students’ interests and needs, and Spanish culture will continue to be an integral part of the course. No need to have taken previous conversation classes; just come with a desire to “let loose your tongue” and speak Spanish. Be prepared to have fun!
Ligia Glass is a native of Panama and retired from the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has over 20 years’ experience teaching all levels of Spanish and Latin American literature. She has also taught Spanish with the Fairfax County Adult and Community Education program, and has been an OLLI instructor for several years. Glass holds an MA in foreign languages, MA in Latin American area studies, and is ABD in Latin American literature.
Tom Black is a retired federal prosecutor with extensive experience working in Latin America. During his tenure in the US Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, Tom served as the associate director for South America, and later for Mexico, Central America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, until he left government service in 2013. Since retiring, Tom has continued his interest in the Spanish language and cultures by attending classes at OLLI.


F502  Spanish Conversation Forum

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Instructors: Bernardo Vargas Giraldo, Elizabeth Trent Hammer
Class limit: 16

The objectives of this class 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 in Spanish 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.
Bernardo Vargas Giraldo received his PhD in legal science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He specialized in public administration and international business at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a writer and analyst of economic and political subjects.
Elizabeth Trent Hammer received her PhD from Mason in community college education with a specialty in linguistics and the teaching of writing. She was a professor of English as a second language at NOVA for 20 years, and received professor emerita standing upon retirement. She also worked as a Spanish and French translator for the FBI. Spanish and French language and culture are her passions.


F503  Latin III

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Instructor: Alana Lukes
Class limit: 16
This continuing course is for beginning Latin students with knowledge of the six indicative verb tenses, as well as the five noun declensions. We take a modern reading approach to learning this ancient language. The course explores Latin grammar, vocabulary, and ancient Roman/British culture in first century CE Roman Britain. This session will look closely at the role the town of Bath played, as well as the Roman military presence in Britain. Class meetings will use the North American Cambridge Latin Course, Unit Three, 4th edition as the required text. (Note: Some texts are available from instructor.)
Alana Lukes, an OLLI member, has taught Latin for over 25 years at the middle school, high school, and college levels.


R504 Beginning French

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Instructor: Marge Hogarty
Class limit: 15

This class is appropriate for students who are beginning or reviewing basic French. It will introduce various concepts of French language and grammar, including gender, use of articles, simple verb forms in present and past tenses, basic sentence structure, question formation, negative statements, money and other numerical ideas, use and position of descriptive and possessive adjectives, prepositions, and useful common idioms and vocabulary. Emphasis will be on an oral approach to learning and will include Lessons 1-8 of the Pimsleur Language CD Series.
Marge Hogarty, a Chicago native, has been teaching, tutoring, and reading French for over 50 years. She has been to France many times, as well as to French-speaking West Africa and Quebec Province. She has an MA in French from Middlebury College and has taught in high schools in Illinois, New York, and Connecticut. She has also worked as a travel agent and a realtor.



600 Religious Studies

F601  The Dead Sea Scrolls

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 16–Nov. 6
Four sessions
Instructor: Gilah Goldsmith
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been a source of excitement and controversy and the subject of much speculation and outright misinformation since the first scrolls were discovered in 1947. We will address such questions as the following: Where did they come from? Who wrote them? What do they say? What do they mean? Although this course will address these subjects, it may not answer them.

  • 16: Discovery, ownership, and publication—a twisty tale.
  • 23: What the scrolls include—a wide ranging library.
  • 30: What the scrolls tell us about the history of the Hebrew Bible—surprises and confirmations.
  • 6: What the scrolls tell us about Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity—commonalities and competition.

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


F602  Survey of Non-Traditional Beliefs

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Oct. 25  
Six sessions
Instructor: Linda Bender
Class limit: 25

During the class we will explore non-traditional concepts such as karma; reincarnation; the chakras; mystics and mystical sects; non-medical healing systems like Reiki or therapeutic touch; the implications of free will and being responsible for the results of our choices; the alchemist’s physical elements; and the layers of energy in the body. By way of examples and discussion questions, our focus will be on understanding the concepts and their implications, including how to recognize them in actual day-to-day situations. We will talk about how facets of these beliefs might be used as effective tools, should you be interested in doing so. There will be handouts for each class with a list of resources relating to the topics discussed, and there will be time for questions.
Linda Bender earned a BA in mathematics from Cornell, spent 20 years as an Army intelligence officer’s wife, and another 30 years managing billing offices for hospital and physician practices. She has continued her interest in non-traditional beliefs and has also taught meditation systems for OLLI. Please see for more information about her background and experience.


F603  The Great Christian Schism: East and West

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 18–Nov. 8
Four sessions
Instructor: John Rybicki
The Great East-West Schism was the break between what has become the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. The usual dating of the Great Christian Schism is 1054; however, the seeds of that schism are almost as old as the Church itself. From the early patriarchal structure of the Church, through the ecumenical councils and the emergence and resolution of numerous doctrinal issues, the Church was diverse, but it was one. Eventually, in the mid-to-late first millennium, the doctrine and meaning of the Church itself, its role and authority, became problematic. From this issue, divisions began. This, together with the realities inherent in the disintegration of the Roman Empire, eventually resulted in schism. In our discussions, we will investigate the seeds of the problem, earlier schisms and their resolutions, the incident of 1054, and the subsequent failed attempts at reunion.
John Rybicki retired as a pastoral associate at the Riderwood retirement community in Maryland, where he was responsible for religious education and facilitating Jewish-Christian dialogue.


F604  Faith, Doubt, and Tradition: A Personal Journey to Understand Your Own Beliefs

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
Class size limit: 15

This seminar is designed to help you explore and better understand your own spiritual and religious beliefs and examine the reasons for them. What do you believe, doubt, disbelieve, and why? What do you observe because of tradition, regardless of any specific religious or spiritual beliefs? The seminar is structured to introduce questions for discussion. These questions begin with the general and proceed to the specific. We welcome members of all faith traditions, as well as those who doubt or who do not believe. The instructor will begin each class with a 20-minute introduction by way of framing the issues to be examined. In order to encourage a lively exchange of ideas and experiences, the class is limited to 15 participants.
Steven C. Goldman is the chair of OLLI’s Religious Studies program planning group, and has taught numerous courses on alternative understandings of Biblical doctrine.


F605  The Gospel According to Paul the Apostle

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
Of the 27 books of the New Testament, 13 are letters that claim to be written by Paul the Apostle. Furthermore, the Book of Acts devotes significant attention to Paul’s conversion to Christianity (after being one of its major opponents), his missionary activities, and his theological teachings. This course will focus on the major doctrines that Paul taught and how they are understood and implemented in the various manifestations of Christianity, often in very different ways. We will also compare and contrast Paul’s message with the teachings attributed to Jesus in the four canonical Gospels and with the doctrines set forth by other writers of the New Testament. Specific issues to be addressed include: the meaning of salvation and how it is obtained; the status of the Hebrew Scriptures in Christianity; lawsuits among Christians; marriage, divorce, and family relations; homosexuality; the role of women in the church; slavery; the “Lord’s Supper” and how it is to be observed; the Resurrection and “Second Coming” of Christ.
See F604 for instructor information.


R606  The Jesus of History

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19, Oct. 3–Oct. 24
Five sessions
Note dates
Instructor: Jack Dalby
New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan once said, “It is impossible to avoid the suspicion that historical Jesus research is a very safe place to do theology and call it history, to do autobiography and call it biography.” So just who was the Jesus of history? Was he a Cynic philosopher, a magician, the messiah, a revolutionary zealot, an apocalyptic prophet, the son of God, or God? In this course we will attempt to reconstruct the Jesus of history by examining what modern historians have to say about this enigmatic 1st century Palestinian Jew. Topics for discussion will include: sources for the historical Jesus, the critical methods historians use to evaluate these sources, and how human memory affects the stories told about Jesus. We will address the questions: Did Jesus intend to start a new religion? What claims did he make about himself? We will also examine what historians have written about the major events in the life of Jesus. A copy of the New Testament to use in class will be useful, but is not mandatory.
Jack Dalby, president of White Oak Communications, is an OLLI member who has taught classes on the historical Jesus, St. Paul, and early Christianity. He holds a BS in communication arts from James Madison University, and has taken graduate history classes at George Mason University.


L607  Hunting the Divine Fox: God’s Footprints in Literature’s Great Characters

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Oct. 18
Five sessions
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Laurence K. Packard
Come join the hunt for God’s footprints left in the characters of great literature, including lesser-known novels.

  • Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean (Les Miserables)
  • Dostoyevsky’s The Grand Inquisitor (Brothers Karamazov)
  • Graham Greene’s Whiskey Priest (The Power and the Glory)
  • Walker Percy’s Binx Boling (The Moviegoer)
  • R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf and Frodo (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy)
  • J. Cronin’s Father Francis (The Keys of the Kingdom)

All of these characters share the same trait: they make decisions which they know will not serve their best interests. Why is it that Jean Valjean turns himself in to the law? How is it that Gandalf sacrifices himself to the Balrog, or Frodo the meek takes on the mighty of Mordor? Not as well known in literature, Father Francis embodies the very freedom which the Grand Inquisitor claims that humanity never wants, and he rejects it for slavery. The class will consist of a mixture of readings, PowerPoint presentations, and DVD illustrations.
The Rev. Dr. Laurence K. “Larry” Packard is a newly retired Episcopal priest who raises questions from many disciplines without insisting on religious answers to them. His lively teaching style comes from being a student who learns and discovers with the class. Larry graduated from Wake Forest University and Virginia Theological Seminary before receiving his doctorate from Princeton.


L608  From Peter to Pope: The Development of the Roman Catholic Papacy from St. Peter Onward, Part 1

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Instructor: Pete Gustin
Ever wonder how an illiterate fisherman from the ancient Near East established a model of leadership that would include words like “pope,” “Vatican,” “Lateran,” and “sovereign pontiff”? Ever wonder how cathedrals, basilicas, and monasteries came to be formed and amass great wealth and, at one time in history, significant political power? This series will trace the history of the papacy from its Petrine roots. Part 1 will explore the primitive Church from St. Peter onward. It will follow the various councils of the Church and demonstrate how the Bishop of Rome began to emerge as “first among equals.” Part 1 of the course will go as far as Constantine’s influence (300 CE) through the Council of Nicea.
The Rev. Dr. Pete Gustin is very happy to be back in OLLI after a hiatus. He is currently the priest-in-charge at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Catlett (Fauquier County, between Warrenton and Gainesville). Ordained in 1987, he has studied at seminaries in Baltimore, Alexandria, and Chicago. He is currently living in Falls Church.


650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651A   True Colors: Discover Why We Do the Things We Do in our Relationships with Family, Friends, and Community.

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Sept. 25
Two sessions
Instructor: Eduardo S. Rodela
Class limit: 20
Our successful relationships and the satisfaction we receive from them can largely depend on how well we understand ourselves and those with whom we interact. People skills are among the critical skills we can develop to bring a high degree of satisfaction and well-being to our lives. Our identity is based on our self-awareness and the feedback and support we receive from others. Does our identity change in retirement, and how does it impact the way we get along with others? In this two-session course we will use an assessment tool called “The Birkman Method,” which integrates behavior and motivational data to understand ourselves better and to improve relationships. It assess two major dimensions: (1) how we behave in our relationships, and (2) what kind of social environment we need to maximize our relationships. A brief Birkman assessment and feedback will be available for you during the course. This class will be offered four times during this term. Please register for only one class.
Eduardo S. Rodela, PhD, MS, retired from federal service with the US Environmental Protection Agency where he served as a management consultant. He earned a doctorate in organizational psychology and social work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and owns his own practice, Rodela and Associates Consulting, LLC.


F651B  True Colors: Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 2–Oct. 9
Two sessions
Instructor: Eduardo S. Rodela
Class limit: 20
This is a repeat of class F651A. This class will be offered four times during this term. Please register for only one class.


F651C  True Colors: Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 19–Oct. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Eduardo S. Rodela
Class limit: 20
This is a repeat of class F651A. This class will be offered four times during this term. Please register for only one class.


F651D  True Colors: Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Nov. 2–Nov. 9
Two sessions
Instructor: Eduardo S. Rodela
Class limit: 20
This is a repeat of class F651A. This class will be offered four times during this term. Please register for only one class.


F652  The Enterprise of Philosophy: What is it and What is it Good For?

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18–Oct. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: Irmgard Scherer
This four-week course is an introduction to “the love of wisdom” as it is studied in academia. With logic and/or practical reasoning we study how to reason more effectively. When we ask “what can I know?”, we pursue a question in epistemology, or the theory of knowledge. When we ask “what ought I to do?”, we study ethics, and pose questions such as why we should be moral in the first place. The question “what may I hope?” moves us into metaphysics (what reality is, both physical and non-physical). We will cover selected topics in each of these areas in order to give students a broad overview of philosophy’s enterprise.
Irmgard Scherer, a US citizen born in Germany, is associate professor of philosophy emerita at Loyola University Maryland. She taught core and honors ethics courses, topics in the history and philosophy of science, and upper level courses in her area of specialization: Kant and 18th century aesthetic theory. She has published on Kant and related issues. Since retiring, she has taught philosophy courses for OLLI, both at George Mason University and American University.


F653  Culture Wars in Modern America

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Oct. 10
Four sessions
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
Since the 1970s, America has been consumed by debates over basic social and cultural values. This course will focus on the disputes over abortion, women’s rights, gay rights, religion in schools, sex education, evolution, and American history. The culture wars began as a reaction to the challenges posed to traditional values by the permissiveness of the 1960s. On the one side are the religious right and secular conservatives who believe that traditional values embody eternal truths. On the other side are those who believe that values and institutions should evolve to meet new needs. As Patrick Buchanan said in his 1992 speech to the Republican Convention: “There is a religious war going on in the country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war as critical to the kind of nation we will be as was the Cold War itself.”
David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, was a congressional professional staffer for 35 years. He has taught several OLLI courses on history and is a volunteer guide for the Newseum.


F654  Contemporary Criminology and Public Safety

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 3–Nov. 7
Six sessions
Coordinators: Lillian Brooks, Cynthia Lum
In this six-week course, experts from the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University will give presentations on contemporary issues in criminology. Facilitated by Professor Cynthia Lum, director of Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, and OLLI member and adjunct Mason professor Lillian Brooks, the course will cover major topics, including human trafficking, gangs and gang prevention, firearms and crime, police technology, and crime prevention. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the impact of current research findings from members of one of Mason’s most active departments.


F655 What Drives Key Politicians: A Psychoanalytic Perspective

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Instructor: Anson Gary Parish
Class limit: 30
This course will apply principles and concepts of psychoanalysis to help understand the deeper motivations and behavior of key political actors and other people in our lives. The psychoanalytic principles and concepts are explained and illustrated using incidents and examples from the lives of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush. Students will be asked to bring examples from contemporary events for discussion in class. The course will give you a set of guides that will be useful to increase your sensitivity to manifestations of unconscious motivation in everyday life.
Gary Parish is a retired CIA analyst with master’s degrees in electrical engineering and systems analysis, and a PhD in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate Institute (RGI). He has worked as a program/budget analyst, a decision analyst, and a leadership analyst for the US Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the intelligence community. He was trained in psychoanalytic methods by the late Dr. Nathan Leites of the RAND Corporation. Parish is now writing a book documenting Leites’ techniques and case studies which is titled The Psychoanalytic Theory of Decision.


F656  Reason, Science, and Natural Religion in the Modern Age

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 20–Nov. 8
Instructor: Emmett Holman
Today the scientific community in particular and the intellectual community in general do not hold religious belief in high repute. A survey taken repeatedly throughout the 20th century showed that only 40% of American scientists believe in a personal God, and there is no reason to think that things have changed in the 21st century. Anecdotal evidence suggests that comparable figures hold for other intellectuals. Still, there are two ways one might argue that the religious skeptics have underestimated the evidence for religious belief: (1) The way of natural religion, by which religious belief can be validated using scientific reasoning and evidence from the natural world, and (2) The way of postulating a special religious way of knowing which uses different cognitive resources from those used by the natural sciences and gives us access to religious/spiritual knowledge. In this course we will be examining the pros and cons of the first strategy. We will use readings written over the past 500 years by a variety of scientific and philosophical notables, such as Galileo, Newton, Richard Dawkins, and David Hume. Recommended text: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume.
Emmett L. Holman earned his BS in physics from Penn State. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Maryland and taught philosophy at George Mason University for 45 years. While at Mason, he taught upper level undergraduate and graduate courses on the sometimes vexed relation between science and religion as well as other topics, and published numerous articles on various topics .


F657  Aspects of Japanese Culture and Society

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 20–Oct. 25
Six sessions
Coordinator: Yoko Thakur
Class limit: 40
The course will introduce several aspects of Japanese culture such as language, literature, customs, etiquette, music, the arts, food, and current issues. Specialists in the field will share their expertise. The class will consist of lectures, videos, internet clips, demonstrations, and hands-on experience. The instructor will briefly explain the Japanese language systems—spoken and written—and participants will learn frequently used expressions and Japanese writing systems. In addition, they will explore the role of nature and seasons in the Japanese literary tradition. Current topics in Japanese society, such as life-long learning, youth culture, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be covered.

  • Sept 20: Language—Introduction to the Japanese language: Yoko Thakur, some challenges translating Japanese to English. Margaret Breer, Japan America Society of Washington, DC/Japan Bowl Committee.
  • 27: Music—Koto demonstration: Sachiko Smith and Maiko Dozen, Washington Toho Koto society. Cultural Activities: Michiko Sprester, Japanese American’s Care Fund.
  • Oct 4: Literature—Haiku: Ichiro Hanami, The George Washington University. Calligraphy: Suigetsu Matsumoto, certified calligraphy instructor.
  • Oct 11: Tea ceremony: Yumi Yamasaki, Urasenke School of Tea.
  • Oct 18: Society—current topics: Energy Issues, Phyllis Yoshida: former US Department of Energy.
  • Oct 25: Family—Pop Culture: Kathryn Hemmann, George Mason University.
  • Late October: Optional field trip to Urasenke Tankokai Tea room in Washington, DC for tea ceremony.

Yoko Thakur received a PhD from the University of Maryland, an MA from the University of Minnesota, and a BA from a Japanese university. She taught Japanese language, culture, and history at George Mason University, Georgetown University, and other universities. She also taught in the Fairfax County Public Schools.


F658 ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Organization

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Ahmet S.Yayla
This course offers a compelling view of ISIS from men, women, and teens who escaped from the most brutal terrorist group in recent history and are now in hiding. They were fighters and commanders, wives of fighters living and dead, female enforcers, and members of the so-called “Cubs of the Caliphate” that indoctrinates children. We will delve into news-making topics: coercing children to become suicide bombers; brides of ISIS and the brutal female morality police; Yazidi and Sunni slaves held in massive compounds where fighters use them at will; privileges bestowed on foreign fighters; and prisoners kept for the sole purpose of beheading by new inductees. The main objective of this course is understanding ISIS terrorism, its origins and history, not by theory alone but by providing real life examples and narratives. Modules will also be supported by actual case studies.
Ahmet S. Yayla, PhD, is an adjunct professor of criminology, law, and society at George Mason University. He is also senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). He formerly served as a professor and the chair of the sociology department at Harran University in Turkey. He also served as the chief of counterterrorism and operations department of the Turkish National Police in Sanliurfa between 2010 and 2013. He is the co-author of the newly released book ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate.


L659  ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Organization

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Ahmet S.Yayla
This is a videoconference of class F658.


700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Note time
Moderators: Dorsey Chescavage, Mel Axilbund, Caroline Cochran
Class limit: 38
Do you have an opinion about what is 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. The moderators are OLLI members.
Dorsey Chescavage retired from the Jefferson Consulting Group, where she was a registered lobbyist, specializing in military and veterans’ health care.
Mel Axilbund was engaged in criminal justice reform activities at the Department of Justice and the American Bar Association from 1965 through 1980. He spent the next 15 years in a private general law practice in Northern Virginia. He then spent 18 years on the trademarks side of the Patent and Trademark Office.
Caroline Cochran has taught current events and English classes to foreign students at NOVA.


F702 Great Decisions 2017

Mondays 11:50-1:15, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Moderators: Gordon Canyock, Ted Parker
Class limit: 30
Fee: $24
For over 50 years the Foreign Policy Association has sponsored discussion groups throughout the United States to examine 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: the future of Europe; trade and politics; conflict in the South China Sea; Saudi Arabia in transition; US foreign policy and petroleum; Latin America’s political pendulum; prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan; and nuclear security. A briefing book and video covering each week’s topic will set the stage for class discussion. There is a $24 materials fee payable to OLLI at time of 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 college levels. He has been a member of OLLI for several years.


F703 The Changing Middle East: Syria’s Uncertain Future

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Oct.17
Five sessions
Fairfax Lord of Life
Coordinator and Instructor: Patrick Walsh
Over the past six years, turmoil has spread across the Middle East. The Arab Spring has failed to upend most of the autocrats in the region. Iraq is retaking territory from ISIS while trying to unify three semi-autonomous regions. As the Assad regime hangs on to all the territory it can, Syria has descended into civil war and factional chaos, producing millions of refugees and internally displaced persons. And the policy direction of the United States is uncertain. Will Syria with its current borders, a legacy of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, survive this domestic upheaval and ongoing external interference, or will it fragment into new geopolitical units?

  • Sept. 19: What are the roots of the civil war and factional chaos in Syria and what are some alternative futures for the state of Syria? Patrick Walsh, former chief of analysis for Syria-Lebanon, CIA/Office of Near East and South Asian Analysis (NESA).
  • Sept. 26: What are Iran’s goals in the Syrian civil war and across the region? Dr. Shaul Bakhash, Clarence Robinson Professor of History Emeritus, Mason; specialist in history of Iran; former Guggenheim fellow.
  • Oct. 3: What are the goals of Turkey and the Gulf States in the Syrian civil war and across the region?  Dr. Mahmut Cengiz, visiting scholar and professor of theory and politics of terrorism at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, Schar School of Policy and Government, Mason.
  • Oct 10: What are Russia’s goals in the Syrian civil war and across the region? General Michael V. Hayden (ret.), distinguished visiting professor, Mason; principal at Chertoff Group; past director of CIA and NSA.
  • Oct 17: What options should the US consider for dealing with sectarian conflict in Syria and across the Middle East? Peter Mandaville, professor of international affairs, Schar School of Policy and Government, Mason; nonresident senior fellow at Brookings; former senior adviser to the Secretary of State.

Patrick Walsh is an OLLI member. He spent 34 years with the CIA, including assignments as senior Syria analyst and chief of the Syria-Lebanon Branch, NESA. He holds degrees in political science from Le Moyne College and in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.


F704  Changing Roles of Media in the Trump Era

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 19–Oct. 10
Fairfax Lord of Life
Four sessions
Coordinator: Kathleen Burns
Since January 20, 2017, the once-steady path of journalism and political coverage in the media has been turned on its ear. If you wait to get your news until 6 or 7 pm, you may be caught in an avalanche of “breaking news.” It comes minute by minute and encompasses radio, TV, cable, magazines, and newsletters, as well as the gamut of social media outlets. How can one deal with this onslaught and not be overwhelmed? Is there a happy medium between knowing too much and knowing too little? Join us for help in navigating this minefield, with input from some experts. Historian and author Tom Allen will cover the history of media’s relationship with rulers, dating from medieval times. He’ll focus on “From the Tories to Trump,” talking about government-controlled access to the media as a weapon, along with “false facts” and secrecy. Fellow author Michael Pope will note that so much time, talent, and resources are being spent to cover Trump and his entourage that other important news is not being covered. Journalist, data scientist, and scholar at the Columbia School of Journalism, Jonathan Stray will talk about the differences between propaganda, public relations, and press releases. The final speaker will be a top Washington journalist who covers the media (but the date was not confirmed at press time).
Kathleen Burns, a long-time OLLI instructor, is the 2016-17 president of the DC chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She was a foreign correspondent in Australia and has taught at seven universities in the United States and overseas.


R705  Big Issues, Complex Challenges, and No Simple Solutions

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Moderators: Glenn Kamber, Diane Thompson
Class limit: 30

The moderators will facilitate eight focused discussions on the kinds of topics that both unite and divide us within families, communities, societies, and nations. The goal will be to expand everyone’s thinking and perspectives but not to arrive at answers. Examples of discussion topics include: 1) Inequality–as the rich grow richer and the middle class shrinks, will American capitalism and a free-market still work for us as a core institution, and if not, what ought to be done, if anything, to preserve the economic wellbeing of most of our citizens? 2) Community—what binds us together? What, if any, are the responsibilities of one individual to another, or of one group to another; and how do the concepts “community” and “individual responsibility” relate? 3) Globalism—what does it mean? Is it something worth working toward; how realistic is it, and on what basis can, or should, globalism be achieved? Background readings and videos will be posted to help participants prepare.
Glenn Kamber is an OLLI member and instructor. Over the past six years, he has taught many courses at Reston that focus on current events and political and social issues. He is a retired senior executive from the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he managed policy and program development in the offices of eight HHS secretaries.
Diane Thompson has a PhD from the City University of New York (CUNY) in comparative literature. She is a professor emerita from Northern Virginia Community College where she taught English and world literature for about 30 years. She teaches world literature courses online and has taught several OLLI courses on world literature.


R706  All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Moderator: Dick Kennedy
This is your chance to discuss news and current events with other OLLI members who are trying to understand and evaluate our changing world. More than ever, we need to question information that comes to us from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, and newspapers. We will examine and discuss some of the day’s hot topics in world, national, and local news. In order to have time to explore issues and get various insights, we usually focus on a small number of topics. This is an interactive class, and all viewpoints and opinions are respected, needed, and welcomed. In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.
Dick Kennedy, an OLLI member, retired 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.


L707  What’s in the News, Loudoun Section

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Moderator: Ray Beery
This is a companion course to the current events courses always popular at Tallwood and Reston. The purpose is to bring together thoughtful people for stimulating and civic-minded conversations. Triggered by daily news stories, we discuss a wide range of topics, including culture, design, philosophy and religion, science and technology, psychology, politics, and economics. The format encourages participants to speak up and be heard, to listen and exchange ideas, to explore optional resources and questions prepared by the discussion leaders, to raise your own questions, and to share your own experiences and knowledge. We value life experiences, informal education, and diverse points of view.
Ray Beery is the discussion leader. His professional career spanned the military, international relations, business management in a large corporation, and teaching at OLLI. He is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors.


800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Artificial Intelligence in Your Future: Urban Life in 2030

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 18–Oct. 23
Six sessions
Instructor: Russell Stone
We will examine a Stanford University-hosted study, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Life in 2030, released in 2016, which looks at the likely effects of AI technology on urban life. This report covers how predictable and known advances in AI will impact life in cities by the year 2030. Our course begins with a video lecture by the chair of the study, Peter Stone, who will explain the background and origin of the study and outline the report. We will then consider eight topics that will affect our daily lives in the near future: transportation, home-service robots, healthcare, education, public safety and security, low-resource communities, entertainment, and employment and the workplace. The course will provide a forum for discussing the desirability of anticipated AI applications, the impacts they may have, and the ethical/moral implications of adopting AI technology. Lectures from recent TED talks may be included. For further information, please consult: This document will be the “text” for our course. You may read it online, bring your computer or other device to class, or print it out (52 pages). This document has links to two related studies. for background on Peter Stone.
Russell Stone retired from a 40-year career as a professor of sociology, most recently at American University in DC, and before that at SUNY Buffalo. He taught “Sociology of the Future” for many years, before realizing that the future isn’t what it used to be! He now relies on the next generations to supply up-to-date information. He is a co-chair of the OLLI Program Committee.


F802  Keeping Your Computer Safe

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 30–Nov. 6
Two sessions
Instructor: Tom Appich
The course will cover ways to keep your computer safe at home or on the go and how to surf the Internet safely.
OLLI member Tom Appich was a computer system administrator for the Mitre Corporation for 15 years before retiring at the end of 2016. During that time he set up and supported a large number of computers for both internal and external use and dealt with quite a few cases of virus and malware infection. He also volunteered at Goodwin House in Bailey’s Crossroad where he provided computer support to the residents.


F803 How Do We Think and Solve Problems?

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Oct. 10
Four sessions
Instructor: James Sanford
This course will explore how we think and solve problems by focusing on three broad issues: (1) what are concepts and how we form them, (2) how we represent and solve problems, and (3) how we make decisions. Our mental concepts are more than the sum of a set of features. For example, our concept of “apple” is more than the combination of “red,” “edible,” “grows on trees,” etc. There are central and peripheral members of concepts and categories (e.g., “apple” is more central to the “fruit” category than is “pomegranate.”) Also, we tend to think using a basic, or middle level (“apple” rather than a general “fruit”) or a specific level (“red delicious apple”). Concepts can also be metaphorical (“moving up” implies improvement; “moving down” implies the opposite). Problem representation refers to how we mentally map the elements of a problem, while problem solution refers to our mental manipulations of the elements. Decision-making often involves using mental shortcuts. We will end by discussing how thinking processes change with age.
Jim Sanford is an OLLI member and a professor emeritus at George Mason University, from which he retired in 2014 after 41 years teaching in the Department of Psychology. His research dealt with issues in memory. He earned his PhD from Kansas State University.


F804  Decision Making Tools for Your Health

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 17–Nov. 7
Four sessions
Instructor: Michele Romano
This course will help you become more informed and proactive about your own health. We will discuss guidelines, tips, and recommendations designed to help you stay well. Among these are food choices, exercise, and tips for maintaining a healthy weight. We will learn how to calculate ideal body weight and metabolic rate, as well as determine our risk for heart disease and various cancers. We will review high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and what the test results for each mean. There are health issues you may want to discuss with your own health care provider, such as blood tests, X-rays, exams, and other procedures. You will learn what documents you should always keep with you and share with your providers and hospitals. The course will end with suggestions on how to choose a health care provider, which immunizations you should get, and the vitamins important to take.
Michele Romano is a family physician based in Fairfax County who retired in 2015. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and was elected into the AOA National Medical School Honor Society in her junior year. She held a faculty appointment as an associate professor of clinical medicine at VCU and served on both the VCU Board of Trustees and the VCU Health System Board. She was regularly listed as a Top Doc in the Washingtonian magazine. She was a nurse for 12 years before starting medical school.


F805  Medical Updates from the Health Professionals at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 21–Oct. 12
Four sessions
Coordinator: Cathey Weir

  • Sept. 21: Repetitive stress injuries/joints. Dr. Zachary Weidner, board certified orthopedic surgeon with a clinical interest in partial and total joint replacement.
  • Sept. 28: Prostate cancer and urinary problems. Dr. Eric Choe, board certified urologist with a special interest in prostate and urologic cancers.
  • Oct. 5: Depression and other mental illnesses impacting older adults. Dr. Barbara Yosaitis, board certified in internal medicine.
  • Oct. 12: Neuro-degenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and MS. Dr. Richard Ospina, board certified neurologist.


F806  Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi

Thursdays, 2:15–3:15, Sept. 28–Nov. 9
Note times and dates
Seven sessions
Instructor: Jerry Cheng
Class limit: 35
Tai chi, a form of martial arts 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, relieves 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 in soft, flexible shoes.
Jerry Cheng was born in China and started his martial arts training when he was six years old. He studied under several famous Chinese martial arts masters, including grandmaster Sha Guo Zheng, 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 at the University of Texas for three years.

R807  Japanese A-Bomb Survivors 70 Years Later: The Health Consequences

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 31–Nov. 7
Two sessions
Instructor: Evan Douple
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) which was formed in Japan by the United States to study the long-term biomedical effects to the survivors of the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Using a cohort of approximately 120,000 survivors, of which approximately 20,000 are still alive, the results of this unique and longest longitudinal epidemiology study in history are utilized around the world by scientific bodies responsible for setting radiation protective standards. In 1975, the ABCC was reorganized to permit more input from the Japanese and was renamed the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). This two-session course will review the strengths and limitations of the studies, including the reconstructions of the radiation doses received by each of the survivors. We will discuss the health effects which have been elevated in the cohorts, including leukemias and solid cancers; damage to normal tissues, including cardiovascular diseases; and the absence to date of elevated health effects in the children of parents who were radiation survivors.
Evan Douple, an OLLI member, was a professor at Dartmouth Medical School before directing the Board on Radiation Effects Research at the National Academy of Sciences. He spent five years living in Hiroshima, Japan as RERF’s associate chief of research.


R808  Memory Errors

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 17–Nov. 7
Four sessions
Instructor: James Sanford
This class will examine errors in memory we commonly make. We will begin with a discussion of the development of a cognitive approach to psychology, followed by a discussion of Daniel Schacter’s The Seven Sins of Memory. The remainder of the class sessions will go into greater detail regarding some of the specific sins that Schacter identifies. Topics include a research paradigm showing that people are absolutely certain they were presented particular words when, in reality, only a group of related words was given to them. Other areas to examine are the existence of recovered memories from early childhood; and the existence of “flashbulb” memories, such as having perfect recall in answer to the question, “Where were you and what were you doing when President Kennedy was shot?”
See F803 for instructor information.


R809 Revisiting Prehistory Nuclear Explosions on Mars

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Sept. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Paul Murad
NASA looks at Mars as an ecological tragedy. Recently several unusual isotopes were found on the surface of Mars. The isotope mass spectrum of the Martian atmosphere matches open-air nuclear testing on the earth. Based on thorium and radioactive potassium gamma radiation patterns, possible explosions were centered in the northern plains near archeological artifacts. The absence of large craters at these sites suggests the centers of two extremely large anomalous nuclear explosions that occurred above ground. Moreover, modeling the isotope components implies a fast neutron fission reaction resulted in a planet-wide debris layer. Hypotheses about the explosions range from natural nuclear reactors which exploded millions of years ago spreading residues over the planet’s surface, to explosions similar to modern fission-fusion-fission nuclear weapons but large enough to create a global catastrophe changing Martian global climate. Thus, the Mars tragedy may foreshadow the future existence of our Earth. The first class will cover Mars artifacts and the second class will concentrate upon nuclear effects.
Paul Murad worked on the Apollo program, numerous missile developments, and studied foreign technology developments with DIA. He has presented numerous peer-reviewed papers covering faster-than-light travel or gravitation. His interests include methods of creating unusual propulsion and UFO science/technology.


R810  Radon and Public Health: How “Hot” is the Air?

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 25–Nov. 1
Two sessions
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Evan Douple
The Virginia Department of Health has estimated that 20-25% of Virginia homes may meet or exceed the recommended action level for radon mitigation of 4.0 pCi/L, and Fairfax County has been listed as one of the Virginia counties in which relatively higher radon levels have been measured. It has been estimated that 600-700 cancer deaths per year in Virginia may be caused by radon exposure. Two lectures will examine how those statistics were derived and will focus on developing an understanding of the relative risks associated with exposures to radon and its radiation. Such knowledge may be important if an informed homeowner finds that radon activity in their home is “high” and wants to know what can be done to mitigate this cancer-causing agent.
Evan Douple, an OLLI member, is a radiation health effects specialist with a PhD in radiation biophysics. He was a professor at Dartmouth Medical School for 22 years before moving to the National Academy of Science, where he directed the Board on Radiation Effects Research and the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR VI) study upon which the Environmental Protection Agency has relied heavily in its radon mitigation guidelines.


R811  Reston Hospital Series

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 19–Nov. 9
Four sessions
Coordinators: Janet Cochran, Evan Douple
Good health is the key not only to our longevity, but also to the quality of our daily lives. This course discusses what’s new in medicine that can both promote longer living and can enhance the quality of our lives. In each session of this class, participants will have the chance to hear from medical professionals and to ask them pertinent questions. A range of specialists from such areas as cancer surgery, robotic arm-assisted surgery, cancer drug therapy, and diagnostic radiology will discuss significant developments within their fields. Come with your questions and get informed responses.

  • Paul E. Savoca, MD: Advances in colorectal surgery.
  • Bradley Boyd, DO: Mako Robotic-arm assisted joint replacement.
  • Syed Ali, MD and Mei Hwa Firestone, MD: Advances in medical oncology.
  • David DuBois, MD: Advances in diagnostic imaging.



R812 Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00–12:00
Sept. 12–Nov. 2
Sixteen sessions
Note dates and times
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class limit: 5
Fee: $80
This traditional yoga class designed for senior adults incorporates both stretching and strength postures while focusing on balance.  It incorporates standing poses as well as poses on the floor. Participants should be comfortable getting up and down from the floor. Please bring a blanket, pillow, or beach towel to class. Registration for this class is on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee of $80, payable to OLLI, is due at the time of registration. (Refer to page 54 for “add to cart” instructions.) Those registering will also need to complete a Reston Community Center registration waiver form and bring it to class on the first day. The form can be found at’sfvrsn=4  Registration is not final until a completed RCC waiver is submitted.


R813  Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00–12:00
Nov. 7–Nov. 21, Nov. 28–Dec. 19
Twelve sessions
Note dates and times
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class limit: 5
Fee: $60
This is a repeat of class R812. The fee of $60, payable to OLLI, is due at the time of registration. (Refer to page 54 for “add to cart” instructions.) Those registering will also need to complete a Reston Community Center registration waiver form and bring it to class on the first day. The form can be found at’sfvrsn=4
Registration is not final until a completed RCC waiver is submitted.


L814  How Do We Think and Solve Problems?

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Oct. 10
Four sessions
Instructor: James Sanford
This is a videoconference of F803.


L815  History of Life on Earth, Part 2

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 17–Nov. 7
Four sessions
Instructor: Steve Greenhouse
History of Life on Earth, Part 2 is a follow-on to Part 1 (not a prerequisite), which concluded with the end-Cretaceous mass extinction 65 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs, but opened up a niche for mammals to thrive. This resulted in small arboreal creatures that evolved into primates, then hominids, finally Homo, the genus of which we (Homo sapiens) are the only living species. This course will trace these evolutionary transitions and will discuss the characteristics and migrations of early humans who became tool makers and hunter-gatherers and learned to talk and think.
Steve Greenhouse is a retired electrical engineer who worked in the space communications field for 35 years. He has long been fascinated by paleontology and especially paleoanthropology—the evolution of humans.


L816  Physical Geology

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19–Sept. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Kristyn DeMarco
Class limit: 20
Just as every human has a story to tell, so too does every rock. Encoded in the physical and chemical characteristics of each rock is the story of where it came from, how it was formed, and how it came to be above the earth’s surface. In this course, we will learn the basics of physical geology with an emphasis on rocks. We will learn how to identify rocks and decipher the historical code locked within their structure. The first class will be an interactive seminar laying the groundwork for the second class, a hands-on laboratory.
Kristyn DeMarco is an associate professor of environmental science and geology at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus. She pioneered the environmental science program at NOVA, Loudoun campus when she was hired seven years ago. DeMarco holds an MS in geoscience from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and is currently working on a PhD in environmental science and public policy at George Mason University. She has a great love for everything outdoors and is an avid rock collector.


L817  500 Years of Italian Aviation: From Leonardo Da Vinci to the Leonardo F-35

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 3–Oct. 10
Two sessions
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to fly and the first persons to fly in Italy, but Leonardo Da Vinci figured out how to fly some 400 years earlier. Italian aviation was, and remains, remarkably robust, from pre-World War I planes to the present-day F-35 single-engine, all-weather stealth fighter planes. Italy’s geographic position in the Mediterranean and its pre-World War II African colonies provided the need and opportunity for early 20th century aviation. While smaller and less industrially developed than its European neighbors, Italy has maintained a continuous aviation industry that includes helicopter production, small cargo and passenger aircraft design, and assembly of modern military jet aircraft. Italy has a national air flag carrier with an extensive route structure and will soon join the short ranks of a country possessing an aircraft carrier. Italian air units are integrated within the NATO structure.
See L425 for instructor information.


L818  History of Medicine, Part 2

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 17–Nov. 7
Four sessions
Instructor: Rita Way
This course will cover the rise of modern medicine and medical advances. In addition, we will trace how war affected medicine and the men and women who made medicine what it is today. The subjects to be covered in this course are: germ theory and bacteriology; women as nurses and physicians; worldwide dissemination of medicine; psychiatry; the Civil War, WWI and WWII; public health; modern surgery; immunology; genes and genomes; and medical ethics. Please note: it is not necessary to have taken Part 1 in order to take Part 2.
Rita E. Way studied at the Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing. She worked as a medical-surgical nurse for 12 years, after which she worked for a long-term care company that owned and managed both skilled nursing and assisted living homes. Nursing and medicine have always been her passion.


900 Other Topics

F901  Mason Faculty Club Breakfast Series 1

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Sept. 18–October 2
Three sessions
Note time
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
Fee: $33.00
This course will take place in the Mason Main Campus Faculty Club and will include breakfast and parking. Each session will feature a Mason professor-led lecture and discussion. There will be a wide range of topics representing a specific professor’s research, academic efforts, and intellectual interests. The fee includes a 3-hour parking pass for the Rappahannock parking deck in the designated visitor parking area, and a continental breakfast consisting of fruit, yogurt, granola, bagels and pastries, coffee, tea, and juice.


F902  Mason Faculty Club Breakfast Series 2

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Oct. 16–Oct. 30
Three sessions
Note time
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
Fee: $33.00
This course will take place in the Mason Main Campus Faculty Club and will include breakfast and parking. Each session will feature a Mason professor-led lecture and discussion. There will be a wide range of topics representing a specific professor’s research, academic efforts, and intellectual interests. The fee includes a 3-hour parking pass for the Rappahannock parking deck in the designated visitor parking area, and a continental breakfast consisting of fruit, yogurt, granola, bagels and pastries, coffee, tea, and juice.


F903 Trip Tales

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Coordinator: Tom Hady

  • Sept 18: Lorrin and Ann Garson will present “Children of the World.” They have traveled to 120 countries and have photos of children from most of these countries.
  • Sept. 25: Lowell Tonnessen and Mary Lou Eng took a two-week tour of Taiwan and Japan in March of 2017 with a group from Mary Lou’s high school in California. In Taiwan, they toured the west coast of the island, including the capital, Taipei; the southern city of Tainan; mountains in the central area; and Sun Moon Lake. In Japan they traveled to the southern part of the country, including Tokyo, Narita, Mount Fuji, Kyoto, and Osaka.
  • Oct. 2: Mack and Paulette Miller set out to visit the last four states left on their quest to visit all 50 states. Join their “Best for Last” road trip to the Thumb and Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
  • Oct. 9: Take a trip down Mexico way with Katie Mitchell to Oaxaca and Merida. Get a close look at the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla. Marvel at the Mayan ruins of Uxmal, Palenque, and Chichen Itza. Finish up with the ruins and beautiful beaches of Tulum.
  • Oct. 16: Dick and Willie Young cruised from Dubai to Barcelona, through the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Suez Canal, and Mediterranean Sea. Stops included Muscat, Petra, Luxor, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Rhodes, Sicily, Majorca, and more.
  • Oct. 23: Randall Scott describes a self-driving tour of London, Glastonbury, Wales, Tintagel, and Exeter; the stone circles in Avebury and Stonehenge; the cathedrals in Wells, Salisbury and York; Hadrian’s Wall; and other northern England sights. He also toured Scotland’s castles: Balmoral, Inverness, Urquhart, Eilean Donan, Stirling, Linlithgow, and Killiane, as well as the famous Rosslyn Chapel and the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
  • Oct. 30: Nancy Fleetwood took a 3 month RV trip to Alaska. She crossed the United States through Glacier National Park, then up through Banff and Jasper to Dawson Creek and the start of the 50-day caravan with 21 RVs. She drove through much of Alaska, including Homer, Denali, and Fairbanks. The return drive to the United States was via the Trans-Canada Highway.
  • Nov. 6: Lou Coglianese traveled with Road Scholar to Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan, and saw temples, monasteries and palaces, with an added flight past Mount Everest.


F904  Basic Information for Travelers to Italy

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 31–Nov. 7
Two sessions
Instructor: Laura Vinti
This introductory course aims to provide travelers with a general outline of Italian history and culture and some practical information for navigating the “Bel Paese.”
Laura Vinti has taught Italian for over 25 years, both in Germany and in the US. While in Germany, she taught Italian language and culture at the Heidelberg and Mannheim Universities. She holds an MA in foreign languages and literature and an MFA in creative writing, and is currently adjunct professor of Italian at Mason. She is the founder and owner of Laura Vinti’s Italy, a boutique travel company specializing in unique and customized tours to Italy.

F905  Italian Trip Tales

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 21–Nov. 9
Coordinator: Jennifer McMahon
A trip to Italy finds a home on many bucket lists. There is the fabulous art and architecture, the ancient ruins, the wonderful museums, and, of course, some of the world’s best food and wine. Come and enjoy traveling through this amazing country through the eyes of your fellow OLLI members. A list of presenters and the destinations they cover will be posted online before the beginning of fall term.

Fall for the Book.

OLLI will join Fall for the Book in its 18th annual festival of literature by promoting or facilitating several of the events below. Please register for them using the OLLI member portal. Registrations are open to the public and will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For events requiring shuttle bus transportation, service will be provided from Tallwood 45 minutes prior to the event, and there will also be return service after the event. Check out the rest of the Fall for the Book schedule of events at


Full Day of Free Events, Saturday October 14 at Fall for the Book

Park for free at the Rappahannock Parking deck at George Mason University to enjoy a full day of author events in Merten Hall, including cooking demonstrations, mystery and thriller writer appearances, and book club hits, as a part of Fall for the Book’s final day! From the parking deck, you can even catch a free shuttle to downtown Fairfax to enjoy the Fall Festival activities. All events are free and open to the public.

Volunteer at Fall for the Book

Meet your favorite writers and help a literary staple of the Fairfax community thrive! Contact to find out how you can help at the 2017 festival, Oct. 11–14.


951  Fall for the Book: Investigating the Self through Poetry, Science, and History

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 11
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructors: Kim Roberts, Molly McCully Brown
Two local poets talk history, science, and identity.
Kim Roberts is the author of The Scientific Method, which explores Roberts’ tangled history of science, Washington, DC, and being Jewish in the nation’s capital.
Molly McCully Brown’s collection The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded imagines what her life with cerebral palsy may have been like if she had been born during the height of the eugenics and sterilization movement in Virginia, as well as gives voice to the women who were.


952  Fall for the Book: The Underground Railroad

Wednesday, 6:00, Oct. 11
George Mason University Harris Theater
Shuttle Bus from Tallwood (45 minutes before start of presentation)
Instructors: Spencer Crew and Colson Whitehead
Event limit: 60
Join Fall for the Book for back-to-back events on the Underground Railroad. At 6 pm, Spencer Crew, a distinguished Robinson Professor, will discuss the historical context of slavery in America. Crew spent six years as president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and 20 years working at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. At 7:30 pm, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead kicks off the festival by discussing his bestselling novel, The Underground Railroad. The story, which follows Cora, an outcast slave on a Georgian plantation in her attempt to escape North on the Underground Railroad, has captured the minds and hearts of the nation. The Pulitzer committee said the book is “a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.” The LA Times says the book “could not be more timely and necessary.” Shuttle buses will take members to and from the Harris Theater. Please consider having an early meal or bringing a snack, as this event will last through the dinner hour. Food can also be purchased at Mason’s Johnson Center during the short break between the discussions. Sponsored by the Friends of the George Mason Regional Library


953  Fall for the Book: Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs: Unemployment in the Gilded Age by Jerry Prout

Thursday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 12
Sherwood Center
3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
Instructor: Jerry Prout
In Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs, Dr. Jerry Prout chronicles the march from Ohio to Capitol Hill led by Jacob Coxey, a successful 19th-century businessman. Coxey used the march to draw attention to his plan to put millions of Americans back to work in an age of vast unemployment and at a time when “tramps” were disparaged. Prout delves into the history of the march through the eyes of embedded journalists whose stories dominated national headlines over the month-long trek. H-Net Reviews recommends the book “for those interested in Coxey’s Army, the history of unemployment, and the longer legacies of American protests.”


954  Fall for the Book: 200 Years of Jane Austen: A Teatime Celebration

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 13
Old Town Hall, Fairfax
3999 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
Instructors: Kristin Samuelian, Amy Smith
Event limit: 125
Fee: $15
Drink tea and eat crumpets as two prominent Jane Austen scholars discuss her life and work to mark the 200th anniversary of her death. A fee of $15 covers the cost of the tea, drinks, and food, and is payable to OLLI at time of enrollment. Please use Fairfax City public parking for the event. Consult the following for a map of public parking garages: The Old Town Hall in Fairfax has a handicap ramp on the Main Street side of the building. Registration for this event will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
George Mason University Professor Kristin Samuelian is the editor of Broadview’s edition of Emma, and has written on Austen and “Managing Propriety.”
Amy Smith wrote All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-Long Journey with Jane, after spending a year traveling in Latin America, hosting Austen book clubs across the continent, and stumbling onto her own Señor Darcy.

955  Fall for the Book: Bestselling Pakistani Novelist Mohsin Hamid

Friday, 7:30, Oct. 13
George Mason University Harris Theater
Shuttle Bus from Tallwood (45 minutes before start of presentation)
Instructor: Mohsin Hamid.
Event limit: 60
The New York Times called internationally-bestselling novelist Mohsin Hamid “one of his generation’s most inventive and gifted writers.” His groundbreaking novel Exit West follows two young people who meet and fall in love in a country teetering on the brink of civil war. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide they must leave their homeland and their old lives. O, The Oprah Magazine says “Lyrical and urgent, the globalist novel evokes the dreams and disillusionments that follow Saeed and Nadia…and peels away the dross of bigotry to expose the beauty of our common humanity.” NPR calls Exit West “A breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time.” Hamid is also the author of The New York Times bestselling novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The talk is sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.


Additional Special Events

956  Why Get a G#? The Perks of OLLI Membership

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 19
Instructor: Stan Schretter
George Mason University provides a wide range of free resources to its students and faculty. As university affiliates, OLLI members can have access to many of these great educational resources. This class will introduce you to many of these and illustrate how to access them through the various university web sites. A university logon/email, i.e., is required and can be obtained through the OLLI office.
See F105 for instructor information.


957  Tomato and Salsa Tasting with Heirloom Tomatoes and Peppers

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 20
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Bob Coffin
Event limit: 50
Fee: $10
Investigate the wonders of Heirlooms, the “real” tomatoes. Heirlooms come in many colors, shapes, sizes, and, especially, flavors. If you haven’t eaten Heirlooms, you haven’t eaten tomatoes. Varieties are seasonally dependent but could include: Black Prince, Cherokee Purple, Carbon, Caspian Pink, Limmony, Mortgage Lifter, Abe Lincoln, Mr. Stripey, Hillbilly, White Wonder, Jubilee, Sioux, and more. We will taste several—with accouterments, and then turn the leftovers into Salsa Picante—with varying levels of heat and flavor from the end-of-the-season hot pepper crop. Get a little history on those peppers too—ranging from Fooled You Jalapeno to Ghost, with stops in between for Fatali, Cayenne, Tabasco, Piri-Piri, Anaheim, Serrano, and more. Come, taste, learn, enjoy—they are good for you, really! A fee of $10, payable to OLLI at time of registration, covers the cost of the food for this event. Space is limited so sign up today. Registrations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bob Coffin, an OLLI member, is a retired US Army foreign area officer and Fairfax County high school teacher. For ten years he taught a quick-and-easy cooking class for students at Alternative High School. He has been growing tomatoes and peppers in Fairfax since ’87, normally about 65 varieties of tomatoes and a dozen or so peppers. They are a passion—sometimes rewarding, sometimes deflating. (Mother Nature can be vengeful.)

958 Learn to Fest with Washington West

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 20
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructors: Ariel Lee, Jessica Durning
Ever been to a film festival? What even is a film festival? What kinds of films are screened? What kinds of events take place? Who can attend? The team from Washington West Film Festival is excited to guide you through the ins-and-outs of how to maximize your time, efforts, and dollars at a film festival. Learn what to expect at the 7th annual Washington West Film Festival in this fun, casual workshop with exclusive sneak peeks, festival announcements, and a Q&A with the instructors. Learn how to fest with Washington West!
Ariel Lee joined the Washington West Film Festival as filmmaker coordinator in 2015 before stepping into the director of programming position in 2017. She found in Washington West an organization that combines her passion for storytelling, creativity, craft, community, and philanthropy.
Jessica Durning joined the Washington West Film Festival as an events coordinator in 2015 before stepping into the director of planning and events position in 2017. She is excited to be part of an organization that is focused on the mission of giving back and doing good for others.

959  Frank Lloyd Wright: Creating the World Anew

Saturday, 9:30–12:00, Sept. 23
Note time
Instructor: Dan Sherman
This course will honor America’s greatest architect on his 150th birthday and review his fabulous career that covered nearly 70 years. Wright designed nearly 1,000 buildings that sought to bring architecture into harmony with the environment. The course will cover Wright’s colorful career and his philosophy of design. It will focus on some of his best-known buildings, including Fallingwater and the Pope-Leighy house near Mount Vernon.
Dan Sherman has taught many courses at OLLI, primarily in the area of music. He is known for his multimedia instruction, which, for this course, includes photographs and film clips.


960 How to Combat Identity Theft

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 25
Instructor: Trudy Marotta
Class limit: 30
Con artists don’t care how hard you worked. They steal billions from Americans like you every year. We’re fighting back with the AARP Fraud Watch Network. Our trained speakers are ready to discuss fraud and identity theft. We’ll share an inside look at how scammers think, show how to safeguard against identity theft and fraud, provide firsthand accounts from victims, and give you guidelines about what to do if you or someone you know has been a victim.
Trudy Marotta is an AARP Community Ambassador. In that capacity she provides presentations on Fraud/Identity Theft. In her working career, she was a human resource executive with Marriott International.


961  The Legacy of Elie Wiesel

Wednesday, 2:30–3:55, Sept. 27
Note time
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Rabbi Bruce Aft
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
Elie Wiesel stated: “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.” We will examine selected excerpts from the writings of this legendary figure. In a world filled with immense challenges, we will see how Mr. Wiesel’s words serve to inspire and to guide. Rabbi Aft will explore Elie Wiesel’s relationship with G-d and his relationship with his father. He will discuss what we can do to prove that we are not indifferent to those who are in need.
Rabbi Aft is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, and has been the spiritual leader at Congregation Adat Reyim in Springfield for 26 years. In addition to his congregational responsibilities, he spent 29 years working at the BBYO International Kallah, a Jewish leadership program for teenagers. Feeding his passion for improving race relations, Aft has served on the Operation Understanding DC board for almost 20 years by promoting dialogue between black and Jewish teens. He has been an adjunct professor at Marymount University, George Mason University, and the University of Mary Washington.


962  The Kent State Killings Revisited

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 27
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Thomas M. Grace
This lecture will cover one of the most searing incidents of American history during the Vietnam era—the killing of four students and the wounding of nine others, including an instructor, by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in May 1970. In a critique of Grace’s recently published study, Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties, one reviewer described the book as “a systematic deconstruction of many media-generated myths,” among them that the campus was without an activist tradition, that the National Guard members were young and inexperienced, and that the killings led to an end of the era of mass protest. Taking issue with these myths, the instructor shows that Kent State was not a tragic anomaly. Rather, it was grounded in a tradition of activism extending back to labor battles and civil rights protests of the 1950s. Thus the fatal shootings at Kent State were the culmination of a conflict between the forces of radicalism and repression that unfolded throughout the decade of the 1960s.
Thomas M. Grace, PhD, is the author of Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties. He is an adjunct professor of American history at Erie Community College.


963  Discoveries from the Fortepiano

Thursday, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 28
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Donna Gunn
Musician Donna Gunn’s book, Discoveries from the Fortepiano (2015, OUP), transports readers back to the Enlightenment, a time when music composed by the likes of Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart mirrored the dynamic social changes of the era. Through an engaging visual presentation and solo piano performance, participants will explore and hear the revolutionary aspects of this remarkable instrument that will heighten their listening experience of the classical style.
Oxford author Donna Gunn is a teaching artist whose work is global in scope. In a career spanning more than 30 years, she has performed in a variety of venues from the Westfield International Fortepiano Workshop, to the 2017 Music Teachers National Association National Conference, to small under-served communities. In 2016, Gunn was a guest presenter for George Mason University’s Fall for the Book Festival. Gunn’s work reflects her resolute belief that “everyone deserves equal access to quality music performance and education.” She holds a master of music in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In 2008, she began study with renowned fortepianist Malcolm Bilson. Her work culminated in the 2015 Oxford University Press publication: Discoveries from the Fortepiano.


964  Antiques Road Show

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Sept. 29
Note time
Instructor: Linda Cunningham Goldstein
Coordinator: Manny Pablo
Class members are invited to bring one antique item, with information on any provenance it might have, for a short, informative, on-the-spot verbal evaluation. Participants will receive a numbered ticket as they enter the classroom. Items will be evaluated as their numbers are randomly called. We expect there will be time for no more than 25 items to be evaluated, but people are welcome to take part in the class to witness, learn from, and enjoy the process.
Linda Cunningham Goldstein is the former executive director of Woodlawn Plantation and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House for The National Trust for Historic Preservation. She holds an MFA in visual arts, an MA in museum and curatorial studies under the Winterthur Program with the National Trust, and an MA in fine and decorative art and design from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.


965  Safe Surfing: How to Be Safe on the Internet

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 4
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Darcee Huber
This presentation is facilitated by the Fairfax County Public Library and will highlight online search behaviors and skills that safeguard your personal/financial information and your electronic equipment.
Darcee Huber is an adult services librarian with the Fairfax County Public Library System and has a master’s in library science from Catholic University. She specializes in adult education outreach programming and marketing, and has over ten years of experience with adult technology training. Some of her programs include technology help clinics, online library services orientations, and 3D printing/Computer Assisted Design training as well as other Maker culture gadgets classes. She presently works at the Pohick Regional Library in Burke, Virginia.


966 Researching the History of your Fairfax County House

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 6
Note time
Instructor: Elaine McRey
Class limit: 40
Have you ever wondered about the history of your Fairfax County home? Who lived there before you did? When was the house built? Did any Civil War skirmishes take place nearby? Did the previous owners get the appropriate permits to build the addition? Using resources from the Virginia Room and the courthouse, this class will teach you how to research the history of your home and land.
Elaine McRey is a librarian in the Virginia Room and has worked for the Fairfax County Public Library since 2000. She has an MS in information sciences from the University of Tennessee.


967  BYO Lunch and a Movie: Moonstruck

Monday, 11:30–1:30, Oct. 9
Note time
Presenter: Martha Powers
Bring a quick lunch to enjoy from 11:30–11:45 while your presenter offers fun facts about this delightful 1987 romantic comedy. The cast includes Academy Award winners Cher, Nicolas Cage, and Olympia Dukakis, under the direction of Norman Jewison. Accompanied by a soundtrack that ranges from Dean Martin to Puccini, the plot details the effects of a full moon on an Italian family in Brooklyn. This passionate and eccentric clan includes a young widow resigned to marrying a family friend, a grandfather with a herd of five dogs, a dallying dad whose wife is onto him, and a similarly moonstruck aunt and uncle. Add some of the best dialogue ever written for the screen, and you’re in for an upbeat afternoon of top-quality entertainment, paisano!
Martha Powers is an OLLI board member who loves sharing fabulous films with others.


968  Downsizing Your Home

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 11
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Ellen Moyer
Are you considering downsizing your home? Whatever your reasons, one thing is for sure, there’s quite a bit to do, and it probably feels overwhelming. How long does it take to de-clutter? How do you effectively stage your home when using your own furniture? Your kitchen dates from 1971; do you really need to update it? Your roof is leaking; does that need to be fixed? All of these questions and more will be answered for you during this short presentation brought to you by top producer Ellen Moyer with RE/MAX Allegiance, and guest speakers.
Ellen Moyer has been a full time residential realtor for ten years in the Northern Virginia area. She lives with her husband in Reston, where she grew up. She’s proud of her two grown children and is very involved in the Reston Chamber of Commerce. She also does charitable work for Cornerstones in Reston and loves selling homes in the Northern Virginia area.


969  Earthquake Hazards in the Central and Eastern United States: A Poorly Understood but Growing Problem

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 16
Instructor: Thomas Pratt
The central and eastern United States has a much larger earthquake risk than most people realize, and this risk is increasing due to earthquakes associated with human activity. The causes and history of earthquakes in the region remain poorly understood. Several factors make the risk in eastern North America especially worrisome, including much better energy transmission in the eastern versus western United States, the amplification of earthquake ground motions by sedimentary deposits, and the vulnerability of many older buildings that were constructed before modern building codes were in effect.
Thomas Pratt, PhD, is a research geophysicist with the US Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards program. He has studied active faults, ground motions, and earthquake hazards throughout the United States, as well as in Central America and Japan. He works in Reston, Virginia, but previously worked and lived in Seattle for 20 years. He is also editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, which is one of the premier scientific journals for earthquake research.


970  Luray Caverns Preservation of Place and History

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 18
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: James Roderick Graves
This presentation will describe the longstanding efforts of the Graves family to preserve Luray Caverns and the surrounding historic valley town. For almost 110 years, the Graves family has been stewards of this US Natural Landmark. Since its discovery in 1878 to the present day, the different owners, and especially the Graves family, have taken very seriously the responsibility of the preserving the underground terrain that encompasses the caverns. Furthermore, in 1957 Rod Graves’ late father had the vision to transform his passion for transportation history into reality, and he built the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum at the Luray Caverns. Seven years ago, Rod Graves created the Luray Valley Museum to celebrate the Shenandoah Valley, its early inhabitants, and their culture. A collection of local, restored historic buildings on the site creates a small 19th century farming community and a museum that houses an extensive collection honoring the Valley.
James R. O. Graves is dedicated to preservation of place, preserving family history and local heritage. He accomplishes this through his work as senior vice president of Luray Caverns Corporation, and his work with the Luray Valley Museum and Luray Caverns. Graves has served in the past as chairman and trustee of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, and vice president of the Shenandoah Valley Folklife Society and of Page County Heritage Foundation. He has a bachelor of fine arts from Shepherd University.


971  Viennese Operetta: Johann Strauss II

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 18
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Jim Keefe
Johann Strauss II (1825–1899), also known as Johann Strauss Jr., was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly waltzes and operettas. He composed more than 500 waltzes, polkas, and other types of dance music, several operettas, and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as “The Waltz King” and was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in 19th century Europe. Some of his most famous waltzes are “The Blue Danube“ and “Tales from the Vienna Woods”; among his operettas, “Die Fledermaus” (“The Bat”), “Der Zigeunerbaron” (“The Gypsy Baron”), and “Eine Nacht in Venedig” (“A Night in Venice”) are the most famous. This presentation will include a sampling of his best known works.
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. He is a current member of the Reston Chorale in which he sings tenor and arranges some of the music for the chorus.


972  How the Role of Art and Design Have Been Influenced by Industrialization, WWI and The Technology Revolution

Friday, 12:30–2:00, Oct. 20
Note time
Instructor: Peter Winant
Over one hundred year ago, the Western world exploded under the weight of growing population, emerging technology and shifting landscape brought on by industrialization. World War 1 followed.  Two art movements, Dada and the Bauhaus brought Europe out of that cataclysm as much as the Marshall Plan, and had an arguably greater reach in shaping current culture. This presentation is a personal view of that dynamic, how history is iterative but evolving, and the complex challenges that artists and designers are responding to today as we confront new, similar conditions.  Peter Winant is the director of the School of Art (administration and staff, sculpture) at George Mason University.
Peter Winant, director of the School of Art (administration and staff, sculpture) at George Mason University, will discuss the role of industrialization and the world war shaped the role of art and design, and how that parallels the shift happening in today’s technology revolution. More information about the class will be provided before term starts.


973  Collecting Italian Renaissance Art: Andrew Mellon, Joseph Duveen, and the National Gallery of Art

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 23
Instructor: Christopher With
One of the true strengths of the National Gallery of Art’s permanent collection is its Italian Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces, Giotto, Duccio, Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Titian, Giorgione, and Raphael are among the numerous artists whose works hang on the Gallery walls. In addition, the National Gallery is the only American museum with a work by Leonardo da Vinci. But how did these works get to the National Gallery? What is their provenance? Why was Italian Renaissance art such a favored period for collectors? Was the art of intrinsic importance? Or, as one writer postulated, was the reason “their value is in their scarcity and in the vanity of men with lots of money.” Looking closely at the dealings between Andrew Mellon—the founder of the National Gallery of Art—and Joseph Duveen—the legendary dealer of Italian Renaissance painting—this talk will explore these questions and anchor the dealings between Mellon and Duveen within the larger context of American collecting during the 1920s and 1930s.
Christopher With has worked in the education department of the National Gallery of Art and has a degree in German history from University of California, Los Angeles.


974   Older Patient—Doctor Interactions, and the Role of a Third Person in the Medical Encounter

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 24
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Dr. Thomas Prohaska
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This presentation will address interactions between doctors and older patients. The focus will be on patterns of patient delay, effective and ineffective communications with health care professionals, ageism in the medical encounter, and the role and importance of a third-person in the medical encounter.
Dr. Thomas R. Prohaska is Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Until June 2012, he was a professor of community health sciences in the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health, and co-directed the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy Center for Research on Health and Aging. He has more than 30 years of experience in gerontological research and has been the principal investigator for several federally funded research studies and co-investigator on many others. Prohaska’s research has focused on community-based health promotion and acute and chronic disease management interventions among diverse older populations. He has over 100 publications on aging and health in multiple disciplines including medicine, nursing, public health, gerontology and psychology. He has been principal investigator of the UIC Center for Health Interventions in Minority Elderly (CHIME) and a gerontological public health training program for pre- and post-doctoral fellows and co-principal investigator of the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Maintenance, all funded by the National Institute on Aging.


975  Rollicking Reconciliations: Foods and Feasting in Shakespeare’s Festive Comedies

Wednesday, 2:15–4:45, Oct. 25
Note time
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructors: Joyce Johnston (presentation) and Bob Coffin (food)
Event limit 50
Fee: $30
The woods and gardens of Shakespeare’s festive comedies are really interior landscapes, where self-deception runs humorously amok in the thickets of the human mind. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and The Taming of the Shrew, what looks like true love may actually be ambition, or a donkey, or someone who’s really not that into you. Friends and lovers disappear, gender seems to be negotiable, the familiar landscape of daily life metamorphoses into a shifting territory of seductive voices, beckoning fairy lights and misleading pathways. The human search for companionship slips endlessly away, leaving loneliness and isolation behind. How will the characters learn enough to replace their cherished illusions with real affection and a supportive community? When they finally achieve the wisdom to laugh at themselves, then it’s time to feast indeed. In fact, in the true spirit of OLLI forums, at the end of the presentation, we’ll feast with them.
Participants enjoy a full Elizabethan buffet banquet prepared by Bob Coffin, comprised of multiple entrees, salads, breads, desserts and drinks typical of Shakespeare’s time. The menu will include: “Roast of Beast” (chargrilled beef), Mixed Chicken Grill, “Coffins” (pork pies), Stewed Sausages, Rosemary-Olive Bread, Cooked “Salett” (green veggies), Mesclun “Salett”, Incidental Sides, Shrewsbury Cakes, Gingerbread with Cream, Norman Apple Crisp, a host of sauces, Cider, and “Verjuice” (sparkling fruit juice). The fee of $30, payable to OLLI at time of registration, covers the costs of the Elizabethan feast. Registrations for this event will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Joyce Johnston is now in the her 32nd year in the English Department at George Mason University and is happy to find that semi-retirement makes time for such adventures as travel, competitive league tennis, and international conference presentations.
Bob Coffin, an OLLI member, is a retired US Army foreign area officer and Fairfax County high school teacher. For ten years he taught a quick-and-easy cooking class for students at alternative high schools.


976  The Organ: The King of Instruments

Wednesday, 7:30–9:30, Oct. 25
Saint John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Road, Reston
Coordinator: Rosemary McDonald
David Lang, artistic director and conductor of the Reston Chorale, will perform on a Rodgers 1967 Trillium organ and on piano. Tordis Fahringer, keyboard artist for the Reston Chorale, will perform along with him. The program will include organ and piano duets and organ duets. Music performed will include selections by Franck, Bach, Callahan and Debussy. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


977  Fine Jewelry, Silver, and Coins: What Do We Do with Them?

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 25
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Jamie Grasso
Registrants will enjoy an interactive presentation where they are invited to bring one item (jewelry, silver and coins only) for evaluation. These items are used as teaching tools during the presentation to highlight different aspects of determining the monetary value of our possessions. This is very helpful to those who are thinking about downsizing, or looking at what to pass on to relatives.
Jamie Grasso is a Gemological Institute of America accredited jewelry and diamond professional who has been the owner and president of JG Jewelry and Estates for seven years. She brings 25+ years of sales, marketing, and business experience to her company. She left her government career over a decade ago to address a crucial and growing need: honest, comprehensive valuation services for seniors. Grasso knows that your possessions are more than just things. They are a part of your life.


978  Beethoven’s Symphonic Legacy: Brahms, Mahler and Sibelius

Friday, 11:40–1:05, Oct. 27
Note time
Instructor: Jon Goldberg
No composer who came after Beethoven could escape his legacy, particularly in symphonic composition. This legacy has prevailed throughout the 20th century and into the 21st as well. This lecture will look in depth at Beethoven’s influence on three specific works: Brahms’ Symphony #1, (called by many critics at the time, “Beethoven’s Tenth”), Mahler’s Symphony #9, and Sibelius’ Symphony #5.
Jon Goldberg holds a master’s degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music, and teaches music theory at NOVA. He is founder and conductor of the Endymion Ensemble, an internationally recognized chamber orchestra that has performed at Carnegie Recital Hall and has several recordings. He conducted the world premiere of the orchestral version of “Night Journey,” written by William Schuman for Martha Graham, and recorded it for CRI records. He also arranged the chamber orchestra version of William Schuman’s “A Song of Orpheus” for cello and orchestra, and conducted the world premiere of that work with the Endymion Ensemble.


979  Is Greed Good?

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Oct. 27
Note time
Instructor: Steven Pearlstein
Coordinator: Brenda Bloch-Young
The genius of capitalism is when people act selfishly to maximize their income, it delivers a higher standard of living for the society as a whole. However, even Adam Smith and Charles Darwin understood that this competitive dynamic works only if greed is tempered by a set of moral intuitions that favor cooperation, trust, fairness, and even altruism. With its relentless focus on maximizing shareholder value, American capitalism has upset that balance.
Steven Pearlstein is Robinson Professor of public affairs at George Mason University. For the last 30 years, he has been an editor, writer, and columnist at the Washington Post, winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2008 for columns anticipating and explaining the recent financial crisis. He has a BA in American studies from Trinity College.


980  Hamilton: The Man and the Musical

Saturday, 2:00–4:30, Oct. 28
Note time
Reston Community Center CenterStage, Hunters Woods
Instructor: Dan Sherman
Alexander Hamilton has always been known as a central player in America’s early history, but the smash Broadway musical Hamilton has focused new attention on the life and career of this fascinating individual. This multimedia course will draw on both Hamilton’s biography and his depiction on stage to examine his accomplishments, discuss his relationship with Aaron Burr, and reflect on the accuracy of the musical. Participants may wish to read Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton and listen to the show’s soundtrack before attending.
Dan Sherman has taught many OLLI courses on a range of topics including American theater music and opera.


981  Search Like a Librarian: Introduction to Research Resources

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 30
Instructor: Patricia West
Are you researching for a book, preparing a course, following current events, or do you just have an academic interest in a topic? If so, bring your laptop or mobile device and join this hands-on computer class taught by a George Mason University librarian. Here you will learn how to successfully conduct online research by surveying Mason’s hundreds of available databases and learn how to access articles in a wide variety of subject areas. As an OLLI member, you can access all the online databases in the Mason library, but you must have a Mason G number and an active Mason email address before taking this class. (They can be requested at any OLLI office and will take approximately three weeks to obtain.) You will also need basic computer skills.
The class will be taught by Patricia West of the George Mason University libraries. She holds an MLIS from the University of Alabama and has many years of working with OLLI students.


982  You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost Book Discussion

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 1
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Lesley Lee Francis
Come and hear Robert Frost’s granddaughter, Lesley Lee Francis, discuss the life and work of her grandfather, Robert Frost. Her book, You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost, fuses scholarship on Frost with information from family letters and her own memories to provide a new perspective. Francis emphasizes the role of women—family members, editors and others—who were influential in his development as a poet, including his mother Belle Moodie, his wife Elinor White, and his daughter Lesley Frost, among them. She includes poems by many other poets besides her grandfather. You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost is available on as elsewhere. There will be a few copies available for sale at the event, and Francis will be glad to sign purchased copies.
Lesley Lee Francis received her AB degree from Radcliffe College and her PhD in romance languages from Duke University. She became a professor of Spanish language, literature, and history at a number of colleges and universities. Having retired from the professional staff of the American Association of University Professors, she continues teaching, writing ,and helping to organize the annual Frost Symposium. She has lectured and published extensively on her grandfather.


983  An Unexpected Path to Martyrdom: A New Look at Alexander Hamilton’s Duel with Aaron Burr

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Nov. 3
Note time
Instructor: Dr. Peter Henriques
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
Peter Henriques will explore aspects of Alexander Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr. This critical event in American political life has captivated millions on Broadway and beyond. His thesis is that Hamilton came to see Burr’s challenge as a way to die a martyr’s death, secure his legacy, and destroy Burr’s political viability. Henriques will also seek to shed some light on who fired first and whether Burr meant to kill Hamilton if he could.
Peter R. Henriques received his PhD in history from the University of Virginia and is professor of history emeritus at George Mason University. His book, Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington, was recommended by Professor Joe Ellis as one of the five best books to understand our first president. Henriques’ current book project is entitled America’s Atlas: The Leadership of George Washington and Other Essays. In 2012 he was the winner of the George Washington Memorial Award by the George Washington Masonic Memorial Association for his contributions to the study of George Washington.


984  Does Human Trafficking Really Happen in Northern Virginia?

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Nov. 6
Instructor: Maria Buczek
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, involving the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. You may be surprised to learn that Virginia is one of the top 15 states where human trafficking is occurring. In fact, three of the top five cities where it is reported are in Northern Virginia. Buczek will provide the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative Awareness Training. The first steps are to raise public awareness about human trafficking; how to identify the signs that a person is being trafficked; how to report suspicious activity; and how to protect children and teens in your family, and others in the community, from falling prey to traffickers. To eradicate a problem of this magnitude requires an educated and involved community.
Maria Buczek became aware of the magnitude of human trafficking in the spring of 2016. After the realization that this was happening to millions of people around the world, including in Northern Virginia, she felt she could not turn a blind eye to the problem and began to educate herself about the issue and search for ways to help in the battle to end this horrific crime. In April 2017, Buczek accepted the volunteer position of director of events for Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, where she plans awareness events, fundraisers, and manages the speakers bureau for the organization.


985  President Trump’s Foreign Policy: Reconciling Competing Priorities

Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 7
Church of the Good Shepherd
Instructor: Helen Desfosses
President Trump is more openly mindful of the need to satisfy his base, the white male working class, in developing his foreign policy than most other presidents in recent memory. His domestic policy focus has been on “America First,” restoring manufacturing and mining jobs, ending the ‘theft’ of American jobs, “draining the swamp” of elitist Washington bureaucrats, and fighting terrorism. These domestic goals have translated in foreign policy to fitful cooperation in the global economy, suspicion of our NATO and European Union allies, withdrawal from global agreements like climate change, plans to build a wall along the Mexican border and enact a travel ban against people from mainly Muslim nations, resetting our relationship with Russia and China, and leaving large numbers of foreign policy positions unfilled or eliminated .They have also meant a reinvigorated US willingness to use heightened military force against regimes waging chemical warfare against their own people and against the Taliban. What are the pros and cons for our country and the international community of a president who has gone from leading the world as a “stabilizer” to leading the world as a “destabilizer?” Our lecture, with ample time for Q and A, will explore these questions.
Dr. Helen Desfosses has taught many courses at OLLI. She is a retired professor of public administration and policy at the State University of New York at Albany. She served as an elected official and policy analyst in the New York state capital for many years.


986  Entries from a Jewish Admiral’s Log Book: the View of the Navy from an Aircraft Carrier Captain’s Chair

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 8
Church of the Good Shepherd
Instructor: Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
Every day the United States Navy is ready to fight at sea to deter aggression, peacefully resolve conflicts, and to protect America, our allies, and our partners from attack. The Navy does its mission on the surface of the water, in the depths of the ocean, in the air, with our special forces, and with our partners, the Marine Corps. We have amazing technology in our ships, aircraft, and advanced weapons systems. However, the real capability of our Navy, our secret weapon, is in the diversity of sailors and those who lead them. This lecture will discuss the life of the sailors and give a perspective of the leadership that serves them.
Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, the Navy Nuclear Power School and Prototype, the Naval Reactors Commanding Officer Nuclear Engineer Course, and the Naval War College. He assumed his duties as the 40th Naval Inspector General on May 15, 2015, after a distinguished and decorated history of naval service. At sea, he served as the assistant navigator aboard USS Independence, and completed several deployments in the E-2C Hawkeye. He commanded the “Bluetails” aboard USS John C. Stennis, and the US 6th Fleet’s fighting command ship, USS La Salle. He commanded the USS Harry S. Truman, which included a seven-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf, and also commanded Carrier Strike Group 10. Ashore, he served as a NFO flight instructor; as an action officer on the Joint Staff, J6 Directorate for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers in Washington, DC; and as the air operations officer for the Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet in Bahrain. He most recently served on the OPNAV staff as the division director for assessments.


987  Premier Military Bands in the Washington, DC, Area

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 8
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Walter Todenhoft
You have probably seen these groups on TV or even attended one of their concerts. If you are a former member of the military and retired in this area, you might even have had one of these groups play your retirement ceremony. Just who are these musicians? Are they really military personnel? Where do they come from? Learn all about these outstanding musicians and listen to some musical examples of their groups in this class presented by Sergeant Major (retired) Walter Todenhoft, formerly with The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own.”
Walter Todenhoft is from Radford, Virginia, and was a member of the Army’s Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps from 1982 to 1984, and then was a member of The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” from 1984 until 2012. He holds a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the University of Maryland and was a band director in Montana and Roanoke, Virginia, before joining the Army. As a free-lance musician, he has performed with many famous and many more not-so-famous performers. Currently he is a tour guide at the US Capitol.


988  Great Films/Great Directors

Thursday, 1:45–3:45, Nov. 9
Note time
Instructor: Trish Foxwell
Attention film buffs: Join OLLI for a very special seminar and course on great films and great directors. The two-hour class (it may go a bit longer) will include clips and back stories on some of Hollywood’s major films and directors, including: David Lean/Lawrence of Arabia; William Wyler/Ben Hur; Robert Mulligan/To Kill a Mockingbird; Alan Pakula/All the Presidents Men; Frank Capra/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; and Steven Spielberg/Lincoln, Indiana Jones, and Saving Private Ryan. A new crop of talented directors will also be mentioned: Damien Chazelle/La La Land; Chris Nolan/Dunkirk (upcoming summer release); Patty Jenkins/Wonder Woman; Lee Daniels/The Butler; Robert Zemeckis/Forrest Gump and Polar Express; James Cameron/Titanic; Brian De Palma/The Untouchables; Edward Zwick/Glory; and Theodore Melfi/Hidden Figures. There will also be film clips, back stories about these films, and director bios.
Trish Foxwell attended the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, and received a BA from Louisiana State University. This career journalist and author worked at various newspapers specializing in travel, and film studies. She has taught “Great Films/Great Directors” courses at OLLI for three years.


989  OLLI’s Third Annual Veterans Day Celebration Featuring the Movie Fly Girls

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Nov. 10
Note time
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Join us as we honor our OLLI member veterans and enjoy an outstanding one-hour film about the pioneering female flyers known as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during WWII. We’ll begin with the presentation of the colors and singing of our national anthem, and then all veterans present will be recognized to the tune of their branches’ anthem. Finally, we’ll enjoy the one-hour PBS documentary, Fly Girls, about the brave women who test-piloted aircraft, ferried planes, and logged 60 million miles in the air—all at their own expense, and without recognition, or even funeral benefits for the 38 who died. Please join us for this special celebration of OLLI’s veterans and our nation’s heritage.


990  A View from the Mason Observatory

Friday, 2:00–3:30, Sept. 29
Observatory, George Mason University Campus, Fairfax
Instructors: Jenna Cann, Joe Renaud
Tour limit: 40
Come explore the sky with a private tour of a research-grade observatory! The George Mason University Observatory hosts the most sophisticated astronomical observation equipment and expertise in Northern Virginia, all of which is accessible throughout the year to the local community. All tours are guided by Mason undergraduate and graduate students who are passionate about sharing their love for astronomy. The visit will introduce guests to local scientists doing real astrophysical research, followed by a guided tour of the day sky. In addition, the students leading your tours will speak about their own research at the observatory, from finding planets outside our solar system to determining the distances between galaxies, and more. These opportunities introduce students to potential areas of research they could pursue after graduation, as well as how research projects are conducted in real-life circumstances. This tour will be led by Joe Renaud and Jenna Cann. Participants be aware—the tour is not handicap-friendly, as it requires climbing approximately twelve steps to go up to the telescope itself. Guests take an elevator to get to the roof; however, parking is available for a small fee in Shenandoah Parking Deck at Mason, a lot adjacent to the observatory. For rates, see: If this session is cancelled due to inclement weather, we will try again on Friday, October 6 from 2:00–3:30. Registration for this event will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Joe Renaud is a physics PhD student in the department of physics and astronomy at Mason. His research interests vary widely in the area of planetary science, with a focus in areas related to extra-solar planets. In 2016, Renaud became the Mason Observatory coordinator and is now in charge of events and research conducted at the Observatory.
Jenna Cann is a physics PhD student at Mason. Her research focuses on the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.


991  Your Library and You! Tour the Thomas Balch Library and Learn to Research Your Genealogy!

Monday, 12:00–2:00, Oct. 2
Thomas Balch Library, 208 W Market St, Leesburg, VA Carpool
Instructors: Laura Christiansen, Mary Fishback
Coordinator: Lauren Law
Tour limit: 15
Thomas Balch Library is a history and genealogy library owned and operated by the Town Of Leesburg. Collections focus on Loudoun County, regional and Virginia history, genealogy, ethnic history and military history with special emphasis on the American Civil War. The library is a designated Underground Railroad research site. Library staff will provide an introduction to the library’s resources, highlighting collections of particular use to genealogists including manuscripts, books, periodicals, maps, visual collections, newspapers, and electronic resources. The visit will include a tour of the library and time for research.
Laura Christiansen is the curator of manuscripts and archives at the Thomas Balch Library. She previously served as the director of the Clarke County Historical Association and as Dickson Librarian at the Chrysler Museum of Art. Christiansen holds BA degrees in history and art history from Berry College, and an MA in public history and MLIS from the University of South Carolina.
Mary Fishback is library assistant at the Thomas Balch Library, where she has worked since 2000. In 2007, she earned a certification in genealogical studies from the University of Toronto, Canada. Fishback is the author of five books about Leesburg and Loudoun County for Arcadia’s Images of America Series.


992  Return to Loudoun County for Wining and Dining in the Virginia Countryside

Friday, 10:00–5:00, Oct. 13
Bus trip: $77
Coordinator: Bernie Oppel
Tour limit: 25
Join our OLLI fun group for a return to Loudoun County for another in the continuing series of OLLI wine and luncheon trips. We begin with an extensive tasting experience at North Gate Vineyard. For an additional $5 payable at the event, participants can enjoy different chocolate truffles paired with three of the wines. The tour continues with a seated lunch at the renowned Grandale Vintner’s Table restaurant on Harper’s Ferry Road. Participants will select two choices each, from either a five-course lite menu ($23) or a six-course entrée menu ($30). You will receive a full menu for review after payment and enrollment in this course. After a short drive down Route 9, we conclude with a tasting at picturesque Hillsborough Vineyards and take in the fall scenery. A fee of $77, covering bus, wine tastings, and driver lunch and tip, is payable to OLLI at time of registration. The lunch is paid for separately at the time of the trip. The bus will leave promptly at 10:00 from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of ManTech Corp. Please be on the bus no later than 9:40. Estimated time of return is 5:00. Space is limited, so sign up today. Registration for this event is on a first come-first served basis.


993  Bus Trip to Luray Caverns and Luray Valley Museum with Lunch at The Mimslyn Inn

Friday, 7:45–4:00, Oct. 20
Bus trip: $78
Coordinator: Carolyn Kramer
Tour limit: 30
See course 970 on Oct. 18 for a classroom lecture relevant to this trip. Join OLLI members for sightings of fall foliage and a day in Luray, Virginia!
Preserving place! At Luray Caverns our one-hour guided walking tour will follow a 1.25 mile, well-lighted, paved walkway. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight jacket. Note that access to the caverns is by stairway only; there are no elevators.
Preserving OLLI members! On to the Mimslyn Inn to dine in the lovely Circa ’31 Room, choosing from all-you-can-eat buffet selections of soup, salads, entrees, sides, desserts.
Preserving history! Enjoy a self-paced visit to the Luray Valley Museum, highlighting Shenandoah Valley history and culture. On the grounds, view a group of historical structures depicting a 19th century farming community.
The bus will leave promptly at 8:00 from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of ManTech Corp. Please be on the bus no later than 7:45. The bus will depart from the Luray Caverns/Luray Valley Museum area no later than 2:30. Please be on the bus by 2:15 for our return trip to Fair Oaks Mall. The fee of $78, payable to OLLI at time of registration, includes admission and guided tour of Luray Caverns, “Circa ‘31” lunch buffet at the Mimslyn Inn, admission to the Luray Valley Museum, bus fare, and gratuities. Space is limited, so sign up today. Registration for this event is on a first come-first served basis.


994  A Tour of the US Capitol

Friday, 8:00–2:30, Oct. 27
Bus trip: $27
Instructor: Walter Todenhoft
Coordinator: Ann Youngren
Tour limit: 45
Tour guide Walt Todenhoft will provide you with a tour of the Capitol, including the crypt, the old Supreme Court chamber, the old Senate chamber, Statuary Hall and the Rotunda. There will be discussions on the history, construction, and artwork of the Capitol. Questions and interactions are highly encouraged. You can tour the House and Senate chambers on your own, and passes will be provided. Time will be provided for lunch on your own in the cafeteria and for perusing the gift shop. Please be aware of two things:

  • Certain items are not permitted to be brought into the Capitol. Read the following link to the list of prohibited items to ensure you don’t bring anything prohibited: No food or drinks are allowed to be taken into the building. You can bring a camera for photo taking.
  • This tour requires some walking. The bus will drop participants below the west side of the building so you will have to climb a fairly steep walkway around the south side to the Capitol Visitors Center on the east side of the building. Shuttles will be available for those who can’t make the walk either up or down the hill. Please contact the OLLI office ahead of time if you need shuttle assistance.

The bus will leave promptly at 8:15 from Fair Oaks Mall parking lot 57, which is outside the circular road in front of ManTech Corp. Please be on the bus no later than 8:00. The fee of $27 payable to OLLI at time of registration includes bus fare and driver gratuity. We will board the bus at 1:30 to return to Fair Oaks. Space is limited, so sign up today.Registration for this event is on a first come-first served basis.
See 987 for instructor information.


995  Lipstick Brigade: The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government Girls

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Nov. 17
Note time
Instructor: Cindy Gueli
You’ve heard of Rosie the Riveter, but do you know about Washington’s Government Girls? Almost a quarter of a million adventurous young women swarmed the nation’s capital to help America fight World War II. Cindy Gueli discusses the captivating, surprising, and often moving first-person stories she collected for Lipstick Brigade, her book of how these incredible women triumphed over the challenges of war and the chaotic, frustrating, and often deadly capital boomtown.
Cindy Gueli, PhD, is a historian and author of Lipstick Brigade: The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government Girls. Gueli has taught and lectured widely on American social, cultural, and pop culture history. She is also a media professional who worked as a consultant on Showtime’s The Untold History of The United States, as a reporter and producer for Associated Press Television News, VH1, and A&E, and as creator and host of the web series “Scandalous Washington.” She received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in communications and master’s and doctorate degrees in history from American University. For more about Gueli and Washington’s lipstick brigade go to and on Twitter @historybyte.


1001BT  Grab ‘n’ Gab Coffee Klatch

Friday, 9:30–10:45, Sept. 8
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Event limit: 30

Grab a cup of coffee and some cookies in the Social Room, and enjoy between-term socializing in the Social Annex next door. All members—new and old—are welcome to enjoy the casual conversation and camaraderie. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1002BT  Vaudeville Acts

Friday, 1:00–2:00, Sept. 8
Coordinator: Kathie West
Join us for an old-time vaudeville show entitled Young at Heart, presented by the OLLI Players. The show is complete with Betty Boop and Mae West, just like the old TV variety shows. Come and see dancing, singing, and a great deal of comedic acting. There is no cost to attend but donations to OLLI Players are always welcome.


1003BT Tolerance in World History

Friday, 2:00–3:30, Sept. 15
Note time
Instructor: Dr. Peter Stearns
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
This presentation stems from a new book, Tolerance in World History, written by Dr. Peter Stearns. The focus will be on several episodes in world history that shed light on the nature and evolution of tolerance, and promote relevant discussion of tolerance today. Subtopics include:

  • Tolerance in early societies and civilizations—there was more than you might imagine.
  • The problem of the great religions—issues of comparison or “partial” tolerance.
  • Protestantism and new ideas in the early modern period—shifting tolerance more to the individual.
  • The odd 19th century—how tolerance and intolerance readily mixed.
  • More systematic approaches in the later 20th century—progress, resistance, and division.
  • Lessons learned—tolerance as desirable but difficult.

Peter N. Stearns is provost emeritus and university professor at George Mason University, with a PhD in history from Harvard University. He has written or edited 130 books and published widely in modern social history. His areas of expertise include world history, social history, globalization, and history of emotions.


1004BT  Tolerance in World History

Friday, 2:00–3:30, Sept. 15
Note time
Instructor: Dr. Peter Stearns
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
This is a videoconference of 1103BT.


1005BT  Bake Sale, BYO Lunch, and a Holiday Movie: Love Actually

Friday, 11:00–3:30, Dec. 8
(Bake Sale: 11:00–1:00, Movie 1:00–3:30)
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Bring your lunch, buy some homemade goodies (to benefit FOLLI), and join us before the movie for noshing and socializing, followed by an enchanting and joyous holiday movie. Love Actually, released in 2003, features an amazing cast of mostly English actors: Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, and more. You’ll enjoy the interwoven stories of love between its varied characters, backed by a lively soundtrack that boasts several chart-topping favorites. We’ll view the movie with English subtitles so that we don’t miss a word.


1101  Caffè e Dolci Italiani (Italian Delights and Coffee)

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18
Coordinator: Judy Sapienza
Event limit: 30
Fee: $6
You are invited to the kick off of our Italian semester on the Loudoun campus of OLLI. We will enjoy Italian desserts and a discussion led by Italian caterer Daniela Williams about the foods of Italy, the geographic culinary areas, and other interesting aspects of Italian life. Don’t miss this fun class where you can eat and discuss tutto italiano with a knowledgeable speaker. A fee of $6, payable to OLLI at time of registration, will cover the food for this event. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


1102  Fairfax Fall Term Kick-Off Coffee

Friday, 10:00, Sept. 22
Coordinator: Elaine Leonard
Come one, come all, longstanding and recent members, to welcome new members and kick off the fall term at OLLI Fairfax! Celebrate old friendships and make new ones with coffee, refreshments, and friendly conversation. New members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with staff, OLLI Board members, and committee chairs. Registration for this event will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.


1103  Loudoun Fall Term Kick-Off Coffee

Wed., 2:15–3:40, Sept. 27
Coordinator: Judy Sapienza
Come one, come all, longstanding and recent members, to welcome new members and kick off the fall term at OLLI Loudoun!  Celebrate old friendships and make new ones with coffee, refreshments, and friendly conversation.  New members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with staff, OLLI Board members and committee chairs. Registration for this event will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.


1104  Reston Fall Term Kick-Off Coffee

Thurs., 1:00–2:00, Oct. 5
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
Coordinator: Beth Lambert
Come one, come all, longstanding and recent members, to welcome new members and kick off the fall term at OLLI Reston!  Celebrate old friendships and make new ones with coffee, refreshments, and friendly conversation.  New members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with staff, OLLI Board members and committee chairs. Enjoy the fabulous first “Meet the Artists” performance following coffee. Registration for this event will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.


1105  Chili Cook-Off

Friday, 12:30–2:30, Oct. 20
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Coordinator: Beth Lambert
OLLI’s Reston location at the Rose Gallery in Lake Anne is the perfect setting for our annual Chili Cook-Off, so get out your favorite recipe for chili, corn bread, or a salad and join the festivities. Come listen to OLLI favorite and originating member Delegate Ken Plum speak about “The State of the State.” Ken can make any topic fascinating, with his colorful historic and political anecdotes about Virginia. As an OLLI speaker, Ken is not to be missed! So plan to attend and bring a friend. When you register, please let us know what type of food you’ll bring. If you are bringing chili in a crock pot, don’t worry; there are a lot of electrical sockets available. (And we always welcome desserts!)


1106  Italian Lunch at Piero’s Corner

Monday, 12:00–2:00, Nov. 13
Coordinator: Judy Sapienza
Event limit: 35
Fee: $30
Come and enjoy lunch at the authentic Italian restaurant, Piero’s Corner, 13340 Franklin Farm Road, in Herndon, Virginia. Franklin Farm Shopping Center is right off the Fairfax County Parkway. A warm and welcoming atmosphere will envelop you as you relax and savor Chef Gian Piero Mazzi’s delicious Italian recipes. He will be serving us an antipasti combo, salad, and an entree combination plate of cheese ravioli, lasagna with meat, and gnocchi San Remo. Dessert will be family style platters of mini cannoli, tiramisu, and gelato. Soft drinks, coffee and tea are included. The fee of $30, payable to OLLI at time of registration, includes food, drink ,and tip. There are no gluten free options. Space is limited, so sign up today. Registration for this event is on a first come-first served basis.
Chef Mazzi was raised in La Spezia in northern Italy. He attended culinary school in Florence and interned three years in Paris. He traveled to the United States and worked with a number of chefs across the country. Then he served as executive chef at Morrison House, a four-star restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, before opening Piero’s Corner. His goal is to make his guests comfortable in a family-style restaurant reminiscent of his childhood.


1107  Annual OLLI Holiday Party

Friday, 12:00–3:00, Dec 1
International Country Club, Fairfax
Coordinator: Elaine Leonard
Event limit: 200
Fee: $38
Join us for OLLI’s biggest event of the season—this year with a schedule change and new entertainment! We’ll begin at 12:00 noon with a social hour, including hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Lunch will be served at 1:00, followed by a performance by Mason music students and a drawing for door prizes. You may choose between chicken or pasta entrées; the meal includes bread, a salad, coffee or tea, and dessert. Please indicate your choice of entrée and pay the $38 fee when you register. Registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The International Country Club is located at 13200 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Fairfax, Virginia. Space is limited, so sign up today. Registration for this event is on a first come first-served basis.



Ongoing Activities

Annex Art Club

Sept. 5–Sept. 12, Nov. 14, Nov. 28–Dec. 12, 9:30–12:00
Coordinator: Sue Goldstein
All artists, whether you use pencil, ink, pastels, charcoal, or paint, are welcome to finish or to start pictures. The group consists of OLLI members at all skill levels. Join us!


Bridge Club

Sept. 6–Sept. 13, 10:00–12:00
Sept. 20–Nov. 8, 1:45–3:45
Nov. 15, Nov. 29–Dec. 13, 10:00–12:00
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. The Bridge Club meets in the morning between terms and in the summer, and in the afternoon during the other terms. For details on the Club’s rules and bidding system, see its web page on the OLLI website.


Classic Literature Club

Sept. 22–Nov. 10, 11:00–12:30 (no meeting on Nov. 3)
Coordinator: Bob Zener                                        703-237-0492
This club was formed to discuss great works of world literature. This fall term we plan to start with a discussion of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. We also plan to consider Chinua Achebe’s critique of Conrad’s work, and to watch the film Apocalypse Now (a retelling of the Conrad story in the context of the Vietnam war).


Cooking Club

Monthly dates to be determined
Fairfax Lord of Life
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. We meet during the day, sometimes in members’ homes and other times at Fairfax Lord of Life or alternative sites. We often have a theme for our meetings, but our format is flexible. We also participate in food-related events, such as ethnic cooking demonstrations and restaurant outings. If these activities appeal to you, please contact Ute for more information.


Craft and Conversation Group

Sept. 1–Oct. 27, Nov. 10–Nov.17, Dec. 8–Dec.15
(No meetings on Nov. 3, Nov. 24, or Dec. 1)
Coordinators:  Doris Bloch                         
                           Susan Osborn                      
We meet weekly to work on our craft projects and to share product sources, expertise, and inspiration. Our ongoing conversations encourage camaraderie, and a group setting motivates us to progress with our current projects. Interested OLLI members are invited to join us to see what we are creating. For more information, please contact Doris Bloch or Susan Osborn.


Dirty Knee Club

As Needed During Growing Season
Coordinators: Sigrid Carlson                
                           Sally Berman                    
The OLLI Landscaping Committee, fondly known as the Dirty Knee Club, creates, plants, and maintains the gardens at Tallwood. Gardening expertise is not required, but willingness to get dirty knees is! Members are asked to participate in general garden workdays, primarily in the Spring and Fall, plus join another member in a team to water, weed, and maintain the gardens during the growing season. Each two-member team serves one week about every five weeks.


Doctor Who Club

First and third Fridays
Sept. 1, Sept. 15, Oct. 6, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15,
Coordinator: Wendy Campbell
This group is for those of you interested in Timey Wimey Stuff—we are meeting to watch Doctor Who on the “big screen” in a Tallwood classroom. We will follow each presentation with discussion. Some of us are new to Who; some of us are very longtime fans. Everyone is welcome. It’s going to be Fantastic—so Alons-y and may I just say—Geronimo!


History Club

First Wednesdays
Oct. 4, Nov. 1, 2:15–3:40
Dec. 6, 10:00–11:30
Coordinator: Beth Lambert   
We welcome all OLLI members who are interested in discussing historical events or sharing reviews of articles, books, or other interesting historical topics. Our meetings feature speakers who present on historical topics ranging from the Silk Road through the present crises in the Middle East—and everything in between. To receive emails about History Club meetings, contact Beth Lambert.


Homer, etc.

Sept. 1–Dec. 15, 11:00–12:30, (no meetings on Nov. 3 or Nov. 24)
Coordinator: Jan Bohall  or  703-273-1146
Join us to read aloud a traditional or contemporary classic. We will continue reading Bulgakov’s Russian satirical novel, The Master and Margarita, which we began at the end of May. Drop in at the Tallwood Annex any Friday morning; new members are always welcome.


Mah Jongg Club

Sept. 6, 10:00–12:00
Sept. 20–Nov. 15, 10:00–12:00 (Third Wednesday of every month)
Oct. 4–Dec. 6, 1:30–3:30 (First Wednesday of every month)
Coordinator: Margaret Massey
We welcome all members who want to learn 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 Margaret or visit the Mah Jongg Club blog at


Memoir—and More—Writing Group

Coordinator: Betty Smith
We meet typically every other Wednesday, at or near Tallwood, except during the fall and spring terms when we meet twice. In addition to memoir, we write fiction, poetry, and personal essays. Writing groups have to stay fairly small and we’re currently full, but if you are interested, sign up in the member portal and we will let you know when a space becomes available. For questions, please get in touch with Betty Smith.


Personal Computer User Group

Generally Third Saturdays (except December)
Sept. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 9, 1:00–3:00
Coordinator: Mel Goldfarb             
In partnership with the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), the OLLI PC User Group (OPCUG) focuses on Windows and Mac computers, and software for enhancing our lives. Members and presenters also discuss smartphone and tablet apps across Android and iDevices, the Internet, digital photography, related technology, and open-source software. Our aim is to bring broad expertise about technology and topics of interest to attendees. PC clinics for members are offered twice yearly. Our target audience encompasses all computer users, from complete beginners, to intermediate amateurs, to experts. Our motto is “users helping users.” Club dues (currently $5 per year) are payable at the first meeting attended in each calendar year. Dues-paying members can view monthly sessions online via the Zoom cloud meeting service on a variety of devices from home or anywhere with an Internet connection. More details are available on the group’s website,


Photography Club

Second Fridays
Sept. 8–Dec. 8, 9:30–11:30
Fourth Fridays
Sept. 22–Oct. 27, 12:00–2:00
Coordinators: Angie Talaber
                             Dave Talaber  
Meet with experts and others interested in photography and develop skills by participating in theme-based monthly photo submissions. The Photography Club welcomes all members, whether they use a basic camera or specialized equipment, and whether they are novice or experienced photographers. We discuss technical aspects of photography, as well as the artistic aspects of visual design. We have guest speakers on the second Friday of each month, and on the fourth Friday, workshops cover specific topics in detail. We also regularly plan field trips in the local area. Contact Angie or Dave Talaber for further information.


Recorder Consort

Sept. 1–Dec. 15, 9:15–11:30
(No meeting on Nov. 3, Nov. 24 or Dec. 1)
Coordinator:       Helen Ackerman   
If you have been part of the consort or have previously played the recorder and would like to expand your abilities, please join us on Fridays. There will be on- and off-campus performances. You may need to purchase music.

Reston Book Club

2:15–3:40, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, and Nov. 9
United Christian Parish
Coordinators: Luci Martel, Nancy Scheeler
This is a book discussion club for OLLI members who find it convenient to meet on the OLLI Reston campus. The purpose is to focus on serious contemporary fiction, primarily—but not limited to—works by American or UK authors. We will avoid current best sellers and look for good novels on the long lists, short lists, and winner lists of the US National Book Award and the UK Man Booker prize and other major prizes. We will discuss the following:

  • Sept. 21: The Door by Magda Szabo, translated by Len Rix. This is the best- known novel by one of Hungary’s most important writers. It is an intense character study of a writer and her maid that, as Claire Messud in The New York Times said, “exposes the rich inadequacies of human communication even as it evokes the agonies of Hungary’s recent history.”
  • Oct. 19: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. This novel won South African Coetzee his second Booker Prize. He has also won the Nobel Prize for Literature. A father and his daughter struggle to maintain their relationship amid the racial complexities of South Africa.
  • Nov. 9: The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, which is about Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich. As the publisher states, this novel is a “stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society.”


Spanish Club

Second and fourth Tuesdays (out of term)
Sept. 12, Nov. 28, Dec. 12, 10:00–11:30
Second and fourth Wednesday (in term)
Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25, Nov. 8, 1:45–3:15
Coordinators: Dick Cheadle
                           Mark Ramage 
This club is designed for those who are in the intermediate stage of understanding and speaking Spanish–further along than 1-2-3 and A-B-C, but not fluent. The club members leading a particular class will choose the subject and prepare the lesson for that class. Members will not have to participate beyond their comfort level.


Tai Chi Club

Sept. 2–Dec. 16, 10:30–11:30 (No meeting on Nov. 25, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30)
Coordinators: Russell Stone                            703-323-4428
                              Susanne Zumbro                     703-569-2750
The Tai Chi Club meets almost every Saturday, year ‘round. It is open to all OLLI members.


Tallwood Book Club

Second Wednesdays
Sept. 13, 10:00–11:30
Oct. 11, 1:30–3:00
Nov. 8, 1:30–3:00
Dec. 13, 10:00–11:30
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew                           703-323-9671
Here are our fall 2017 selections:
Sept.13: Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jeannine Capo Crucet
Oct. 11: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
Nov. 8: Some Luck by Jane Smiley
Dec. 13: Negroland by Margo Jefferson



The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Sept. 6–Sept. 13, 10:30–12:00
Nov. 15, 10:30–12:00
Nov. 29–Dec. 13, 10:30–12:00
Moderator:                  Al Smuzynski
For activity description see course F202.


Theater Lovers’ Club

Generally last Fridays
Sept. 29, Oct. 27, 10:00–11:30
Coordinators: Norma Reck                
                           Nancy Scheeler
Members of TLG get together to attend plays and other theatrical events performed by the various local groups in the many theaters in the DC Metro area. We invite theatrical persons, such as directors and actors, to speak at a monthly meeting so we can be better informed about all things theater. We partner with other groups, such as Shillelagh Travel Club, for overnight bus trips to attend theater in New York City. Membership, as well as attendance to TLG events, is open to any and all OLLI members and their guests. For more information, email Norma at


Walking Group

Tallwood/Fairfax Swimming Pool Parking Lot
Coordinators: Jerry Remson      
When OLLI is in session, the Walking Group meets one morning each 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 at Tallwood in time for the start of classes. Because our goal is camaraderie as well as exercise, all levels of walking ability and speed are accommodated. The day of the week is determined by our schedules and the weather, so it may change from week to week. Between terms we continue to walk on a weekly basis, but for longer distances and at more varied locations. Contact Jerry for more information.


What’s in the Daily News? Continued

Sept. 11, Nov. 13–Dec. 11, 10:00–11:30
(No meeting Nov. 20)
Facilitators: Dorsey Chescavage
                          Mel Axilbund         
                          Caroline Cochran 
This is the between-term continuation of the discussion group for news junkies who can’t wait to express their opinions and discuss current events.