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Spring 2015 Catalog

989Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing Spring 2015 activities at all three locations (Fairfax, Reston and NOVA-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 you plan to print the catalog rather than read it on your computer screen, you may prefer to print the Spring 2015 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 Travel Photography

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–Apr. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Stan Schretter
Everyone wants to bring back great pictures from their trips but often cannot take photographs in the best light or must quickly snap them as the group is moving on. We see beautiful scenery or unusual photo opportunities but cannot stop, so we try to take them from a moving vehicle. This course will address these situations and many more to help you create a wonderful photographic story of your travels. The ability to achieve this lies mostly with the photographer so it can be accomplished with a wide variety of cameras, including those on the newer cell phones. An optional workshop will be scheduled on Saturday, Apr. 18, following the last class.
Stan Schretter, an OLLI member, is an avid amateur photographer and has taught courses at OLLI for many years.

F102 Music Sampler

Tuesdays, 9:30–10:55, Mar. 24–May 12
Note time
Coordinators: Kathleen Meyer, Kathryn Hearden
Kathleen Meyer, with Kathryn Hearden from the George Mason School of Music, will coordinate this course, which will highlight examples of the musical talent that abounds at George Mason. Each week knowledgeable and enthusiastic professors from the George Mason School of Music, often accompanied by their most promising students, will generously share their musical gifts with us in presentations that are varied, lively, informative and entertaining.


F103 Drawing and Sketching 101

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–May 12
Lord of Life, Fairfax
Instructors: Claudia Day, Roxanne Himmelberger
Class Limit: 12
Participants with or without previous experience will learn basic techniques for drawing with pencil and ink and will be introduced to materials useful in drawing simple objects, still life and landscapes. Class participation is expected and homework will be assigned.
Claudia Day has been drawing and painting for nearly 20 years. She primarily works in watercolor and has shown paintings in two juried shows. She’s been an OLLI member since 2013 and has taught an OLLI class on Frank Lloyd Wright. Before retiring in 2010 Claudia worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She has a degree in economics.
Roxanne Himmelberger has been painting for 25 years. She is a pastelist and a member of the Pastel Society of Virginia. Roxanne’s art has been shown in Northern Virginia and been accepted into two juried shows. She attended DeAnza Junior College in California.


F104  Broadway at OLLI—A Final Season

Tuesdays, 1:45–3:45, Mar. 24–May 12
Note time
Coordinator: Dick Young
This will be the tenth term (76 shows!) for this popular course, where we gather to enjoy the best of Broadway and Hollywood musicals all introduced by OLLI members. This term’s blockbuster shows will be West Side Story, Singin’ in the Rain, The Pirates of Penzance, Les Girls, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Evita and An American in Paris.
Our presenters will be John Henkel (who teaches film history courses and loves classic cinema), Marianne Metz (who has led OLLI classes on Gene Kelly and classic American songwriters), Beverly Persell (aka OLLI’s French instructor), Wendy Campbell (who’s never seen a musical she didn’t love), Martha Powers, (who is delighted to share her enthusiasm with fellow Broadway musical buffs), Alan Rubin (formerly the EPA’s Dr. Sludge), Kathie West (a mainstay of OLLI’s theatrical activities) and Dick Young(a longtime musical aficionado).


F105 Drawing and Sketching Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 24–May 12
Lord of Life, Fairfax
Facilitators: Jonathan Korin, Therese Pung, Bill Parsons
Class Limit: 14
Participants with some drawing experience will build on their skills and continue to explore techniques, materials and ideas in drawing and sketching. Newcomers will receive more individual assistance, as needed. While some direction and instruction will be given, participants will be encouraged to exercise creativity and apply their own personal interests to produce work that is uniquely theirs, using whatever medium suits their drawing. Topics will include portraiture, dimension, foreshortening, experimentation with light and form, still life, figure drawing and others. Projects will be started in class but usually finished outside of class. There will be weekly class discussions of finished work to help participants grow.


F106 The Lure and Lore of Gems

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–Apr. 15
Four sessions
Instructor: Tom Mangan
Gems have dazzled and delighted from ancient times. Learn from an expert how to judge the quality of gems, distinguish genuine from fake and determine the factors that affect their value. He will discuss diamonds—their mining, facet design, grading factors and quality—and also touch on pearls, antique and estate jewelry. Finally, he will focus on secrets of the trade, bargain hunting and avoiding consumer rip-offs. In the final class participants may bring in one or two items of jewelry to get an opinion on their quality and value.
Tom Mangan, a certified gemologist, has worked in the jewelry industry for more than 30 years. He and his wife, Ling, own Mangan Jewelers in McLean.


F107  17th Century Dutch Art, “The Golden Age”

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Christopher With
Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals and Steen are well-known names. Indeed, their careers highlight one of the most phenomenal periods in art history. Dubbed “the Golden Age,” 17th century Holland was an era of economic prosperity and unprecedented cultural flowering. Paradoxically, this rich artistic output unfolded against a backdrop of political and religious turmoil. Between 1589 and 1648 the Dutch were engaged in a protracted bid for independence against the Spanish empire. Looking at a variety of artistic genres, this course will probe the reasons behind this cultural flowering; discuss how art was commissioned, marketed and sold; describe changes in the public’s artistic preferences and investigate how painters maneuvered among competing economic, political and aesthetic demands.

  • Apr. 23: Historical painting.
  • Apr. 30: Portraits.
  • May 7: Scenes of everyday life.
  • May 14: Landscapes and still-lifes.

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

F108 Singing for Fun

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Palmer McGrew
Once again OLLI’s choral group, singing in chorus and ensembles, will emphasize popular music, Broadway show tunes and classic American songbook music. A great voice is not required, just a desire to sing for fun. There is no need to read music or even to have ever sung before. Gayle Parsons will accompany the singers on the piano.
Palmer McGrew, an OLLI member, has been a longtime performer in Singing for Fun and a substitute instructor/director for the class. He sings in the West Point Alumni Glee Club, in barbershop harmony with the Fairfax Jubil-Aires and with the Greenspring Village Choristers.

F109 Watercolor Painting

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Leonard Justinian
Class Limit: 15
This class will provide an opportunity for watercolor painters at all levels to develop fresh skills while learning new watercolor techniques. Required materials include: #1, #6 and/or #8 round watercolor brushes; a paint palette for mixing colors; watercolor paper, 140 lb. cold press (Arches is best but you can use less expensive paper); a kneaded eraser; a Staedtler white plastic eraser; tubes of watercolor paint in white, charcoal black, cadmium yellow (medium), cadmium red (medium) and ultramarine blue, or a starter set of watercolors.
Leonard Justinian has been painting for more than 60 years. Among other honors, he has received the Grumbacher Award. He teaches watercolor painting in his Fairfax City studio and is also seen on Fairfax Public Access Cable TV, Cox Cable Channel 10 and Verizon FiOS Channel 10. He is also a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters,


R110 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Gloria Sussman
This music listening course has continued to live up to its promising title. We explore with pleasure the many facets of classical music with the help of DVDs and YouTube. You may sample the wide variety of previous terms’ musical offerings by searching for Gloria Sussman on
Gloria Sussman has been teaching at OLLI since 2000 and continues to provide entertaining programs for OLLI at Reston.



R111 The Beatles and Their Music: Growing Up Together

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 7–Apr. 14
Two sessions
Instructor: Nancy Riley
Let’s take a look at the Beatles, from their beginning as a skiffle band through their rise to superstardom to their breakup. We’ll explore their music and how it evolved as John, Paul, George and Ringo underwent inevitable changes in their lives over the years.
Nancy Riley holds a BA in Russian from Rutgers University. She has also worked in the field of education, mostly with special-needs students. Music has been a constant in her life; she made her stage debut at the age of four, and since then has spent many decades as a chorister, ensemble singer and soloist. Currently, she is a long-time member of the Reston Chorale and is a vocalist with OLLI’s Tallwood Trio.

R112 Modern Sculpture: Making Connections

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 21–May 5
Field trip on Tuesday, May 12
Instructor: Susan Rudy
Class limit: 30
Three illustrated lectures explore trends in 20th century sculpture and are followed by a private tour of the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden and modern sculpture collection.

  • Apr. 21: Discuss common characteristics of traditional sculpture and see what happens when the modernists take over!
  • Apr. 28: Check out iconic pieces of modern sculpture, including works that move, sweat and make noise. Discover sculpture you can sit on, lie under, go in or stand on.
  • May 5: Find out who’s hot and who’s not and how we got to this state of affairs.
  • May 12: Gallery visit. Travel by private bus to the National Gallery of Art, where instructor Susan Rudy will lead tours of the Sculpture Garden and modern sculpture collection. Lunch is on your own. A fee of $31, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance into the class, covers the bus fare and driver gratuity.

Susan Rudy holds an MA in French from Middlebury College’s graduate program at the Sorbonne. Following a 26-year career with the CIA, she has been a docent at the National Gallery of Art since 1999 and is a frequent lecturer on modern art at the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art.

R113 Realism: American-Style Painting

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Christopher With
Painting in a representational style is an old and venerated tradition. Its roots reach back to the dawn of the Renaissance and Leonardo da Vinci’s famous dictum that painting should “be a window on reality.” But the experiences of American painters and their choice of subject matter quickly set them apart from their contemporary European colleagues. The historical realities of republican America, its efforts to dominate and tame an initially wild and hostile environment and its enduring belief in a free and unfettered society made it inevitable that America would develop its own brand of realistic painting. But what did it look like stylistically? What subjects did it embrace that separated it from its European counterparts? How did it keep pace with rapidly fluctuating cultural, environmental and political realities while still retaining its popular relevance? To understand these and related issues, this class will look at the lives and careers of four seminal American realist artists and situate them within the larger context of American history and cultural life.

  • Mar. 26: Thomas Cole (1801-1848)
  • Apr. 2: Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1910)
  • Apr. 9: Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
  • Apr.16: Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009)
  • See course F107 for instructor information.

R114  Meet the Artists

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–Apr. 30
Hunters Woods Community Center, CenterStage
Six sessions
Coordinator: Rosemary McDonald

  • Mar. 26: John O’ Conor is a world-renowned and internationally recognized pianist. He won first prize at the Beethoven International Competition in Vienna (1973) and is recognized as the world’s premier Beethoven interpreter. A Steinway artist, he is chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah University. He has been decorated by the governments of Austria, France and Japan for his services to music.
  • Apr. 2: Beverly Cosham is a cabaret singer and actress and one of Washington’s most popular song stylists and actresses. She has performed at night spots all over the country as well as in theaters throughout the Washington area.
  • Apr. 9: Marina Chamasyan is a pianist and candidate for a doctoral degree in music and piano performance at Catholic University. Ms. Chamasyan will perform required works for her degree, which will be conferred in May. She is currently teaching at her studio in Sterling and at the Levine School of Music, where she also presides over master’s classes for advanced pianists.
  • Apr. 16: Dr. Linda Apple Monson, pianist, and her advanced piano students from George Mason will perform. Dr. Monson earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory and studied with Alicia de Larocha. Her international performances include China, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Costa Rica and Spain.
  • Apr.23: Rich Kleinfeldt, saxophonist, will be accompanied by Yuniko Rogers. Mr. Kleinfeldt is a professional musician, broadcaster, teacher, lecturer and a member of the WSAXQ saxophone quartet that has toured and played in Europe and the United States. Yuniko Rogers is a recognized accompanist in northern Virginia.
  • Apr. 30: The Tallwood Trio with Nancy Riley, soloist, David Hirsch, drummer, Alan Wenberg, piano and Eric Henderson, bass, will perform selections from The Great American Songbook and other pieces.

L115 Movie Matinees in Loudoun

Thursdays, 1:45–3:45, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Note time
Coordinator Len Blistein
Following the success of Broadway at OLLI, join us in Loudoun for a series of hit musicals. Each class will include a background summary of the show followed by the full-length production. The shows that will be presented will be listed online prior to registration for the spring session. Our presenters will include long-time OLLI members Barbara and Len Blistein, Conrad Geller and Karen Carter.


200 Economics & Finance

F201 An Update to the Financial Crisis and America’s Housing Finance System

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 23–Mar. 30
Two sessions
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
In this two-part series, distinguished professors from George Mason’s School of Management will discuss the latest shifts in America’s financial system, their causes, the impact of public policies and alternatives that might have been considered or may be required in the immediate future.

Mar. 23: Gerald Hanweck, Professor of Finance at George Mason, will focus on the abandonment of Quantitative Easing (QE), the logic behind the change and the expected impacts to our financial system. Before joining the faculty at George Mason, Dr. Hanweck was an economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Mar. 30: Anthony Sanders is Area Chair of Finance and Distinguished Professor of Real Estate Finance at George Mason. He will focus on bank lending issues associated with America’s housing finance system and challenge some of the practices with which we are all familiar. Dr. Sanders has testified on numerous occasions in both the House of Representatives and Senate. He is also frequently interviewed by CNBC, Fox Business, CNN and The Wall Street Journal.


F202 Estate Planning

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–Apr. 14
Four sessions
Instructors: Sarah Parks, Bob Patton
Sarah Parks will share her experiences on estate planning and retirement living with seniors and their families. Her purpose is to educate seniors about ways to become proactive in planning their estates.

Mar. 24: An Overview of Estate Planning. Gift and estate taxes, wills and probate, and powers of attorney will be discussed.

Mar. 31: Trusts. What are trusts and how do they work?

Apr. 7: Settling an Estate with a Trust versus a Will.

Apr. 14: Medical Decision Making. What is a health care directive; how does it work? Hospice care – what it is and how it operates.

Sarah Parks is an attorney who limits her practice to estate planning. Her firm is Custom Estate Planning, which she has been operating since 1995. She has a JD degree from the George Mason School of Law and an LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Bob Patton practices estate planning, probate and trust administration, as well as maritime consulting. He works with Ms. Parks at Custom Estate Planning on estate planning matters and is a member of the Virginia Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. In 2000 he retired from the U.S. Maritime Administration, where he was the deputy chief counsel.


F203 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
The Investment Forum, which meets weekly throughout the year, addresses investment topics of particular interest to retirees. A weekly agenda is distributed, and each session begins with open discussion of recent events in the economy and in the financial markets and their impact on investment decisions. Member presentations typically include topics such as recent market indicators, stocks, bonds, funds (mutual, exchange-traded and closed-end), REITS, options, commodities, master limited partnerships, sectors, allocations and investment strategies. We use analyses and data from the financial press. The forum website includes agendas and articles of interest submitted by members.
Al Smuzynski is a retired bank regulator and an advocate of affordable housing. He currently serves on the boards of Virginia Community Capital and Community Capital Bank of Virginia.



F204 Don’t Be a Target for Identity Theft

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Vee Johnson
With data breaches making headline news and identity theft still topping the list of consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission, you need a plan to protect your personal, financial and confidential information. Find out what you need to know and do to defend against identity theft.

  • Mar. 26: How to Minimize Your Risk. This class will help you evaluate what you do as part of your daily routine that may make you a target for identity theft or the next data breach.
  • Apr. 2: Identity Theft and Financial Crimes in Fairfax County. Investigator Tom Polhemus, with the Financial Crimes Section of the Fairfax County Police Department, will provide an overview of identity theft and other financial crimes committed in Fairfax County.
  • Apr. 9: Credit Reports: Your First Line of Defense. This class will review credit reports and show you how they can be used to defend against identity theft and a data breach. Also, learn how to dispute fraudulent information or errors on your credit report.
  • Apr. 16: How to Cope with and Recover from Identity Theft. Laws and resources will be reviewed so class members can develop a plan of action and know what to do when there is a data breach or identity theft.

Vee Johnson, a frequent presenter at OLLI, is a consumer specialist and consumer advocate with the Consumer Affairs Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Cable and Consumer Services. She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BA in sociology and social services.


L205  Navigating Lifestyle Changes Facing Seniors

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–Apr. 15
Four sessions
Coordinator: Robbie Milberg
This four-part series addresses caregiving options and solutions, legal and financial considerations, and how to organize your life and family to meet these concerns. J. Michael May, financial planner and frequent presenter at OLLI, will moderate panels on caregiving with legal and financial planning experts focusing on a broad range of problems facing seniors and potential solutions.

  • Mar. 25: Peggy O’Reilly, certified elder law attorney, will address the changing kaleidoscope of health care rules and regulations, highlighting some of the issues her clients face. She will also discuss the myths and realities of long-term care coverage as it pertains to Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Apr. 1: Caregiving Concerns. A case study, followed by questions and answers, will address caregiving concerns and a range of options to meet family needs. The panel of experts and their specialties include: Sandra Fields, memory care, of Great Falls Assisted Living; Scott Maguire, non-medical in-home care and assisted living placement; Helen Flynn, seniors’ real estate, and Megan Descutner, certified gerontology care manager.
  • Apr. 8: J. Michael May will address key issues facing his clients while providing a broad range of potential solutions drawn from his daily practice.
  • Apr. 15: This class will be devoted to answering questions from those seeking additional information from a multi-disciplined panel of experts on issues covered in the first three sessions.

L206   Selling Your Home: A Guide for Mature Sellers and Their Family Members

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 22–May 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Helen Flynn
Selling a house one has lived in for 15 or 20 years is a major event and an overwhelming task. There are emotional, physical, spiritual, financial and social ramifications. It often comes at a point in life when one’s physical and/or emotional strength may be depleted. The purpose of this course is to provide information and guidance for individuals and family members facing this major undertaking and life challenge. Topics include knowing when it is time to move, options for living, what to do with the stuff, legal and financial issues related to selling and estates, and dispersion of funds.
Helen Flynn, a realtor and seniors real estate specialist with master’s degrees in education and social work will be joined by experts in elder law, finance, case management and organization. She is affiliated with Keller Williams Realty Dulles.



L207  Retirement Income Strategies

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 23–Apr. 30
Two sessions
Instructor: Linda Black
During retirement, it continues to be vitally important to manage your portfolio and mitigate risks to your investments and income. This two-session course will address investment and retirement income strategies that are practical, relevant and current. Topics will include asset management, Social Security options, taxes and estate planning considerations.
Linda Black, a chartered financial counselor, chartered retirement planning counselor, and retirement income chartered professional, has extensive experience counseling clients on portfolio construction, retirement issues, estate planning and asset protection strategies.

300 History & International Studies

F301 Remembering My Hometown

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 6–May 11
Six sessions
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Let’s face it: OLLI members are a very diverse lot. Some of us are local yokels, while others hail from all sorts of places – Texas, California and the Bronx! In this course we share our stories of growing up, combining hometown pride with grassroots history. Two class members will present during each class period, giving a 30-minute talk with plenty of time for discussion. Come and learn about your OLLI colleagues and their fascinating backgrounds!



F302 Long Shadow of War in Distant Lands

Mondays, 1:45–3:45, Mar. 23–May 11
Note time
Instructor: Bernie Oppel
Armed forces often are asked to carry out difficult tasks in distant and unfamiliar lands to achieve national objectives whose meanings they may only dimly understand. Against this background, our history film course explores topics such as colonial conflicts, revolutionary upheavals, the aftermath of major wars, unconventional warfare and morally questionable military activities from a bottom-up perspective of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The selected films reflect the complexity and reality of war. They look to balance the horrifying, the hopeless and the ugly with the humane and the courageous. Classics, such as The Sand Pebbles and Zulu, and less familiar productions, such as Breaker Morant and Prisoners of the Sun, were chosen for artistic merit, historical accuracy and realism. Each class lasts two hours, thus enabling us to explore nearly every film as an organic whole. Expect introductory historical background commentary and class discussion.
Bernie Oppel is a retired Foreign Service Officer and retired Air Force colonel. He holds a PhD in modern European/Russian history from Duke University and taught history at the USAF Academy.



F303 Black Military History

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–Apr. 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Alan Gropman
The course goals are:

  • The paramount goal of this class is to understand the price the U.S. military and American society pay for discrimination. The United States has paid enormously for past discrimination and is still paying today.
  • Provide a frame of reference to recognize the achievements of American blacks in the military. Because American history books have failed to document the achievements of blacks in the American military, we must trace that history to reinforce the first objective.
  • Appreciate the barriers American black military personnel had to overcome to achieve. This third objective reinforces the first two. Here we will learn of the differential non-judicial punishment and court martial rates for blacks throughout most of American military history and of the high execution rate for blacks during the Civil War (when blacks had by far the lowest desertion rate). We will learn about how many whites were able to opt out of service during World War I and how black aviators in World War II had burdens which no white 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.

F304 Southern Cotton and New York Commerce: The Long Road to the Civil War

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 21–May 12
Four sessions
Instructor: John C. Carter
From its beginning in 1607, America evolved into two distinct geographical areas that developed their own cultures, political outlooks and economic systems. These distinctions became more pronounced during the 19th century as both cultures began to develop societies diametrically opposed to each other. While slavery had existed from the earliest days, supported by both North and South, over time it had become more and more restricted through legislation. Not only was the existence of the institution threatened but the South had realized by the 1830s that it did not have control over the national economy, especially its own King Cotton. The North had taken complete control of the economy and the South had essentially become a colony of the North. Economics and commerce were not the only causes of the Civil War, but linked with slavery’s social and economic power, they were a major factors in the coming of secession and war.
John C. Carter has over 40 years in college admissions work. He is a graduate of George Mason with a MA in history and MA in psychology. He has expertise as a historical researcher, lecturer and author (Welcome the Hour of Conflict—William Cowan McClellan and the 9th Alabama). He has taught at OLLI for over 20 years and is the assistant curator at the Stuart-Mosby Museum in Centreville.

F305  Japan Meets the West, 1853-1912

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 24–Mar. 31
Two sessions
Instructor: Brian Platt
Commodore Perry’s efforts to initiate a diplomatic exchange with Japan in 1853 did not come as a complete surprise to Japanese officials. Since the beginning of the 19th century, and intensifying after China’s defeat in the first Opium War in 1839-42, Japanese officials were aware of the growing threat of western imperialism. Nonetheless, Perry’s rather modest demands threw Japanese society and politics into turmoil and led to the overthrow of the Tokugawa political order. This class will examine this turmoil and how it shaped the formation of the modern Japanese nation-state under the new Meiji government.
Brian Platt is Associate Professor of History at George Mason and is currently serving as department chair. He is a specialist in Japanese history, with a research focus on the 18th and 19th centuries. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is the author of Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750-1890 (Harvard, 2004)

F306  Civil War Women in Fairfax to Descendants of Downton Abbey

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 21–May 12
Four sessions
Instructor: Jenée Linder
This discussion of four women’s life-changing turning points is tied together by the Civil War here in Fairfax County. Julia Ward Howe, lyricist for the Battle Hymn of the Republic, came to Bailey’s Crossroads to watch a military grand review in 1861. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross at age 60 in 1881, came to Fairfax Station as a first responder in 1862. Sarah Tracy, Mount Vernon lady extraordinaire, kept George and Martha Washington’s home safe during the Civil War. Later, Sarah led the philanthropic effort to raised money for the founding of the Church of The Good Shepherd on Braddock Road in Burke. Antonia Ford, a local Confederate spy, would marry Joseph Willard, a Northern officer who was co-owner of the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. Their two granddaughters also had illustrious marriages: Belle Willard to Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, and Mary Willard to Mervyn Herbert from Highclere Castle of current Downton Abbey fame.
Jenée Lindner graduated from Stanford University with a MA in education. She is a former Mount Vernon interpreter and tour guide and has served on numerous historical museum boards. She is a board member of the Historic Fairfax City, Inc. (HFCI) and chair of the City of Fairfax walking tours.


F307  The Frontier Army in the Pacific Northwest

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Ephriam D. Dickson III
As settlers began moving into what later became Oregon and Washington, the U.S. Army played a pivotal role in the territories’ exploration and security. Conflict over San Juan Island almost erupted into a war with Great Britain, while troops fought different Indian tribes from the Yakima in the 1850s to the Nez Perce in the 1870s. American security then shifted to fortifying the Pacific Coast against any potential invasion. Come learn about this fascinating period in American history.
Ephriam D. Dickson III is lead curator for the Field Museums Branch at the U.S. Army Center of Military History. A native of northwestern Nebraska, he has a special interest in the role of the army in the American West and is the author of several books and articles related to this topic

F308  Memories of V-E Day, Germany, May 8, 1945

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, May 7–May 14
Two sessions
Instructors: Almuth Payne, Ed Janusz
OLLI members Almuth and Ed discovered that, as six-year old children, they were about 30 miles apart on Victory in Europe (V-E) Day. Their experiences were different: Ed and his family were among the millions of refugees fleeing the Soviet Army while Almuth’s family, holed up in their suburban Berlin home, had survived months of bombing and the final battle of the war in Europe. In this class, they will relive that time, using family documents, letters, diaries, published memoirs, and their own memories, all within a political and military context. The first session will focus on the last months of the war leading up to V-E Day; the second session on the months thereafter.
Ed Janusz is an engineer with a BS in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and an MS in industrial engineering from Arizona State University. He retired after a career in the Army Corps of Engineers and the aerospace and computer services industries. He is the author of Fading Echoes from the Baltic Shores.
Almuth Payne is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in German literature and a minor in history. She has worked as an elementary school teacher and newspaper correspondent. As an eyewitness to WWII in Germany, she has a deep interest in and has read extensively on the subject and has also translated family memoirs.

Both have previously presented a number of classes at OLLI.

F309 “Fear Itself”: The World between the Wars

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26—May 14
Lord of Life, Fairfax
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Paul O’Brian, Emmett Fenlon
In the wake of the first world war, the peace established at Versailles gave hope to many. The sunlight of a new dawn of peace beckoned the world to emerge from the cold darkness of war and bask in its rejuvenating warmth. As a shattered Europe struggled to get back on its feet, the United States retired back across the Atlantic. A descendant born of the Great War stirred on the eastern horizon in the form of the Soviet Union. In the Pacific, Japan grew restless and the last vestiges of 19th century colonial empires held on tenuously. As if a world war were not enough to endure, in the space of another decade a Great Depression sent world securities spiraling downward. The world called out for leaders, and, for better and for worse that call was heeded.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in over 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.



R310  “We Have Met the Enemy and They are Ours”–The War of 1812

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 24—May 12
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Paul O’Brian, Emmett Fenlon
Those words were spoken by Lieutenant Oliver Hazard Perry after the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. From the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay and to the city of New Orleans, the War of 1812 raged on. The causes are confusing after 200 years, as much as the results. It was America’s first declared and hotly debated war. It is a forgotten war in American history, but a well-remembered one for Canadians. Future presidents became household names. The War of 1812 also produced tragic results for Native Americans. After the war, America continued to expand westward and issues such as “impressment” disappeared. The Napoleonic era came to an end. Francis Scott Key’s poem became the nation’s national anthem and America became a nation and forged an identity.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in over 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.



R311  Cliff Notes on Virginia History

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–Apr. 15
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Four sessions
Instructor: Ken Plum
Virginia native Ken Plum, who has the most seniority in the Virginia House of Delegates, will provide an overview of the major events and trends of Virginia’s long history. Add to your understanding of what makes Virginia unique and special, whether you were blessed to grow up in the Commonwealth or had the good sense to move here.
Delegate Ken Plum is one of the founders of OLLI and a popular leader of courses on Virginia’s history and government. A native Virginian who holds degrees from Old Dominion University and the University of Virginia. He is currently the longest-serving member of the House of Delegates. His weekly commentary appears in a local newspaper and in his electronic newsletter, Virginia News.



L312 The Modern World since 1760, Part 3

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–May 11
Moderator: Ray Beery
This is a continuation of Professor Philip Zelikow’s online course in world history, focusing on chronology and individuals. Without examining the consequences of cause and effect, and by not tracing how big changes come from the choices made by certain people, history becomes a series of tiresome descriptions. Beyond offering a set of remarkable stories, this course offers ways to analyze a situation and to think about the problems of change. Part 3 of this massive open online course (MOOC) will be viewed in class, with an hour of video instruction each week. There will also be live interaction. The course is from Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world’s top universities to provide free online courses.
Ray Beery is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and a frequent teacher.



L313 World War I: The Eastern Front

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–Apr. 28
Six sessions
Instructor: Douglas Foard
This course will review the events of 1914-1918 that began east of Berlin and would eventually encompass much of Asia. Though less well-known than the horrors of the Western Front, fighting along the German and Russian borders soon engulfed the Middle East and extended to Siberia and even the Pacific Islands. In a real sense we are still living with its consequences.
Douglas Foard has a PhD in history from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a retired former Executive Secretary of Phi Beta Kappa, with an expertise in modern European history and has done extensive study on Spain and Russia.

L314  George C. Marshall: A Soldier in Pursuit of Peace

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, May 5–May 12
Field Trip, May 19
Two sessions and field trip
Instructors: Roger Majek, Tom Bowers
Class limit: 30
George C. Marshall was one of the most important figures in the history of the 20th century. As chief of staff of the U.S. Army, he guided the army’s World War II effort and was a trusted adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, sitting beside him at important war strategy meetings with world leaders like Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 in recognition of the Marshall Plan that saved postwar Europe. From 1941 until his death in 1959, he lived in Leesburg.

  • May 5: Marshall the Soldier. Childhood through 1945, with major focus on World War II. Tom Bowers is professor and dean emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and docent director at the Marshall House in Leesburg.
  • May 12: Marshall the Diplomat. Special envoy to China, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Roger Majak is former chief of staff of the House Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and a Marshall House docent.
  • May 19: Tour of the Marshall House in Leesburg. There will be a fee of $8, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance into the class, which covers admission to the Marshall House.

L315  Strange War Department Projects at Home and Overseas in WWII

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 14–May 5
Four sessions
Instructor: Raoul Drapeau

The first session will cover Alaska at war–a treatment of the major construction projects that took place in Alaska during WWII, including the Alaska Military Highway and the Canol oil pipeline project. We will also discuss the Invasion of the Aleutian Islands and the horrific evacuation of native peoples from the Aleutians. In the second and third sessions, we will cover some of the truly strange weapons that both the Allies and the Axis powers developed, which showed their creativity–and desperation. Some of them were very effective and others failed spectacularly. This topic is illustrated extensively by photographs and vintage film clips. The fourth session will cover Homeland Defense, which is not a recently adopted concept. During WWII, the U.S. military developed numerous schemes, such as recycling to involve the populace in the war effort and using dirigibles to detect and blunt any attempts at invasion or attack.
Raoul Drapeau graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. His most recent employments were as a principal and co-founder of several high-tech firms in the Washington, DC area. He has an interest in the technology and history of World War II, and is a frequent lecturer on the subject and contributor to magazines in that field.

400 Literature, Theater, & Writing

F401 OLLI Players Workshop

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–May 11
Lord of Life, Clifton
Instructor: Kathie West
This is a continuing acting and producing workshop for serious theater-minded participants by The OLLI Players, an amateur theater group affiliated with George Mason. We have already performed at various venues. In our repertoire we have lyrics, short scenes and are currently working on a play. This will be continued from the winter session and then performed. We will premiere the play at OLLI and then perform for possible other venues. If some of you have a scene or a play you would like to see put on, bring it along and we will try it. You will learn the ins and outs of presentation, memorization skills and acting tricks. If we are asked to perform at a hospital, senior center or other venues, you must be willing to travel during the day. Be able and willing to tout OLLI and your talents!
Kathie West, an OLLI member, is a former high school theater teacher at Robert E. Lee High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.



F402  Time Travel in Science Fiction

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 20–May 11
Four sessions
Instructor: Seymour Metz
Time travel is a common motif in science fiction stories. The objectives of this class are to learn something about the history and the nature of the genre, to analyze two representative stories and to have a good time while doing it. Participants are expected to read the stories All You Zombies and 1632. They may be downloaded at: and or obtain paper copies; more information on both options is available in Docstore. While the course is not intended to cover aspects of literature that might be included in a degree program, knowledgeable students are welcome to discuss such aspects of the stories that they read.
Seymour Metz has an MA in mathematics, although his career of programming and computer administration has made no use of it. He has a lifelong love of science and is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, having grown up on the Heinlein juveniles.

F403  Readers’ Theater

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 23–May 11
Coordinators: Michelle Blandburg, Pati Rainey, Ralph Stafko, Thelma Weiner
Class Limit: 28
If the idea of acting is appealing, try OLLI’s unique brand of Readers’ Theater! RT is great fun for the “secret actor” in all of us! Scripts are usually monologues, short skits, acts or scenes from longer plays. Parts may be handed out in advance or read cold. Longer scripts may have designated directors. No memorization is required. We rehearse before RT or between other classes: rehearsal can also be by phone when necessary. Props or costumes are not required, but actors often accessorize for a role. Time between performances allows for kudos, comments and suggestions from the audience. Even if you’ve tried RT before, come back; we plan some new things this term!


F404  Let’s Study a Play Together: 84, Charing Cross Road

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 23–Apr. 6
Three sessions
Coordinator: Doris Bloch
Class limit: 28
During this course, we will read and discuss 84, Charing Cross Road, based on a nonfiction work written by the feminist writer Helene Hafft. This book was adapted to a Broadway stage play, a TV drama and an award-winning Hollywood movie filmed in 1987, starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, with Judi Dench in a supporting role. This is a charming story and many may be unfamiliar with it. The book and the play are presented as a series of letters between Ms. Hafft, an impoverished, brash, articulate and very endearing author (with a generous heart) living in Manhattan, who begins a correspondence with the manager of a London-based second hand book shop shortly after the end of WWII. Her goal is to buy several books that are not available in NYC. The correspondence starts out as a business one, but grows over a 20-year period to a deep and touching transatlantic friendship. We will read the script aloud and each registrant will be assigned a role. In the third session, we will view the film. Participants will be notified after registration where to obtain the script.
Doris Bloch is a member of OLLI and a co-chair of the Literature, Language and Theater Resource Group. She has often coordinated Let’s Study a Play Together classes for OLLI.



F405  Irish Poetic Inheritance: Yeats, Kavanagh and Heaney

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 13–May 11
Five sessions
Instructor: Cóilín Owens
The imaginative relationship between three generations of extraordinary Irish poets—W.B. Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney—is the subject of this short series. Inspired by the prospect of a Celtic revival, Yeats poured his imaginative energies into developing his personal concerns within those of the emerging Irish nation. During the 1930s, Patrick Kavanagh put the lives and dreams of the poor farmers of the Irish Free State, the survivors of the Great Famine, into a colloquial and original idiom. And Seamus Heaney, in his turn, forged the vision and language of his two predecessors into a poetic oeuvre that resonated during the Northern “Troubles” and around the world. We will examine up close a few representative lyric poems by each of these poets and see that beyond their temperamental and social differences, they form a distinctively and memorably Irish trio.

  • Apr. 13: Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” “September 1913,” “Easter 1916”
  • Apr. 20: Yeats, “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “The Second Coming,” “Leda and the Swan,” “Lapis Lazuli,” “The Long-Legged Fly”
  • Apr. 27: Kavanagh, “A Christmas Childhood,” “Shancoduff,” “Kerr’s Ass,” “Epic,” “The Hospital,” “Come Dance with Kitty Stobling,” “Canal Bank Walk”
  • May 4: Heaney, “Digging,” “Bogland,” “Two Poems in Dedication,”“The Tollund Man,” “Casualty”
  • May 11: Heaney, from Clearances, Lightenings, “The Underground,” “Oysters,” “The Pitchfork”

Cóilín Owens taught Irish literature at George Mason for 29 years. He has edited or written several books on Irish drama, fiction and the Irish language. A specialist on James Joyce, since retirement eight years ago he has published two book-length studies of Joyce’s short stories, James Joyce’s Painful Case (2008) and Before Daybreak: ‘After the Race’ and the Origins of Joyce’s Art (2013). He is currently at work on a third.

F406  Murder Mystery Writing

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructors: Wendy Campbell, Kathie West
Class limit: 15
The participants in this class will construct a plot, characters, setting, costumes and scenes for an interactive murder mystery that they will present at the Church of the Good Shepherd on June 4th. The students will not be writing a murder mystery but will be brainstorming their characters into a plot created by them. (Special Event 987). This will be an improvisational performance in which all class members will be the actors. You will provide your own costume and makeup. We stress improvisation as there will be no memorizing. The audience will consist of OLLI members and their friends.
See F401 for Kathie West’s information.
Wendy Campbell, an OLLI member, was a teacher in Fairfax County for 20 years, during which time she was twice nominated for Disney Teacher of the Year. She has been an active member of a local group of amateur historic reenactors.



F407  Memoir Writing

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–May 12
Lord of Life, Fairfax
Instructor: Dianne Hennessy King
Class limit: 24
Learn to write about your individual and shared history in ways that will clarify your vision, whether you are looking into your past, documenting your present or contemplating your future. There will be some writing exercises during class in response to prompts, such as quotations, music and video clips. We’ll also share some ideas on memoir techniques.
Dianne Hennessy King is a cultural anthropologist, writing instructor, editor and television producer. For many years she was the coordinator of the annual “Writing Your Personal History” symposium in Vienna and has helped plan the Virginia Writers Club symposium in Charlottesville for three years. This will be her tenth memoir class for OLLI. Dianne is co-authoring a book, Memoir Your Way, to be published in 2015.



F408  Eliot and Hardy

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–May 12
Instructor: Kay Menchel
In this class we will read two classic Victorian novels and meet two of literature’s greatest characters. George Eliot’s Middlemarch introduces us to Dorothea Brooke and a whole community in a provincial town. Virginia Woolf called Middlemarch “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” Thomas Hardy’s novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, charts the declining rural society of the Victorian era. Subtitled “A Story of a Man of Character,” it is a powerful portrait of the tragic hero Michael Henchard.
Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from George Mason. She has taught numerous literature classes and always enjoys sharing her passion for English literature with OLLI members.



F409 Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 24–May 12
Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall
Class Limit: 18
This workshop allows both novice and experienced poets the opportunity to share their work and receive suggestions for improvement. Workshop members should bring an original poem in draft or revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the office for duplication one week before the first workshop and a third poem brought to the first session. Poems can be sent by email to or mailed to the Tallwood site assistant.
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 won awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.



F410 The African-American Presence in Faulkner

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 22–May 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Keith Clark
William Faulkner is considered our Shakespeare, the greatest literary artist produced on American soil. And his native soil, the South, provides the mise en scène for what he deems his “postage stamp,” the fictive Yoknapatawhpa, Mississippi, in which so many dramas unfold—racial strife, class struggle, collisions between mythic past and crumbling present. Focusing on two of his masterpieces, The Sound and the Fury and Light in August, this course will explore—but not be limited to—complex and unique black characters such as Dilsey Gibson and Joe Christmas, figures who are indelibly woven into the American literary fabric. Potential issues to be addressed include: how Faulkner’s depictions are informed by his own personal experiences; how the racial attitudes prevalent in his native Mississippi shaped his characterizations; and the enduring legacy of what critic Thadious Davis calls “Faulkner’s Negro” in the 21st century.
Keith Clark has a PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a professor of English and African and African American studies at George Mason. Dr. Clark’s most recent book is The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry and he has published an article on Faulkner’s novel Intruder in the Dust in the Faulkner Journal.

F411 The First Barsetshire Novels

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Ellen Moody
Anthony Trollope conceived of his famed Barsetshire series while walking in the beautiful forest surrounding Salisbury Cathedral in England. The second novel in the series, Barchester Towers, was enormously popular and has never been out of print. Trollope wrote that he took “great delight” in the book and predicted Barchester Towers would be the one book in the series which would “live on and be read for a long time to come.” Today some see it as the first academic and job market satire. By the third book, Dr. Thorne, Trollope knew he had created a world for many characters to exist in, and by the fourth, Framley Parsonage, he was mapping his imaginary places, and its characters and sites, spilling over into a real political England through railway lines from Barsetshire to various places in Great Britain and abroad. In this eight-week course, we’ll read Barchester Towers and Dr. Thorne. We will also see excerpts from the 1982 BBC production of The Barchester Chronicles, which begins with The Warden, the first Barchester book, which students may read on their own or see in the form of the first seven episodes of the TV series before the course begins.
Ellen Moody holds a PhD in English from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and has taught college literature classes for over 40 years. Her specialties include Trollope, Victorian and film studies. Her book Trollope on the Net was chosen by the Trollope Society as its free book for the year 2000; she has since published five papers on Trollope, two of which are film adaptations of his novels.



F412  Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle: From the 19th Century to the 21st Century

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Peter E. Blau
Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle were born in 19th century Britain, and both the detective and the author have enjoyed worldwide popularity ever since in print, on stage and screen and radio and television, and now on the Internet. We will examine why this happened, considering both their past and their future. As always we will use as our text The Complete Sherlock Holmes, first published by Doubleday in 1930 and available in bookstores and online. Make sure you have an edition with all 60 of the stories.
Peter E. Blau, a geologist and journalist, discovered the world of Sherlockians in 1948 and has been a member of The Baker Street Irregulars since 1959, currently serving as the society’s secretary. He joined The Red Circle of Washington in 1970, and their website is



F413  Hamlet

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Mike McNamara
Hamlet remains one of the most extraordinary characters in literature. The play in which he lives is at once a ghost story, a tale of vengeance, a love story, a study in raw power and a philosophical enigma. It is also a story of a man in search of himself, surrounded by dangers in a time when these were only too real. Shakespeare’s longest play, it takes place in ancient Denmark at a time of troubles and ends with all the major characters, save one, dead. Not your cup of tea? Come hear the Bard at his very best. Any text of the play will do. The teacher will use The New Folger Library edition and their facsimile of the First Folio.
Mike McNamara retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years of service. He has been teaching literature for several years at OLLI. Mike has degrees in English from Rutgers University and the University of Kansas. He taught at the college level when in England and the Netherlands and served as an adjunct professor at NOVA. This foray into the world of Hamlet is his eighth assault on the Elizabethan/Jacobean stage. He is also co-moderator of the Poetry Workshop and is a published and prize-winning poet.




R414 Marxism and Literature

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Chad Loewen-Schmidt
The communist experiments of the 20th century proved to be an ethical, economic and political catastrophe. It could be argued, however, that Marx’s critical insights into the nature and alienating symptoms of modern capitalism and its evolution remain prescient in spite of the failed “solutions” they may have inspired. Do Marx’s critical ideas offer us a powerful lens into the intimate nature of the relationship between literature and the economic, cultural and political systems in which we live out our lives? Beyond learning some of the basics of Marxist thought, the goal of this class will be to explore how Marx’s ideas can empower us with new ways to understand literature, culture and ourselves. The course is designed to appeal to the unfamiliar and the well-read alike. Very little reading will be expected outside of class. In addition to some short excerpts from Marx’s opus, we will read poems and literary excerpts from a variety of genres and across multiple periods and cultures.
Chad Loewen-Schmidt holds a PhD in comparative literature from Rutgers University and has been teaching critical and literary theory for 14 years.



R415  The Development of Greek Theater and The Bacchae

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 20–May 11
Four sessions
Instructor: Diane Thompson
The Bacchae by Euripides is the iconic Greek tragedy, celebrating worship, intoxication, violence, destruction and the terrible power of irrationality. In order to better appreciate this play, the first two sessions will offer an overview of Greek theater and how it developed out of Dionysian rituals into the tragedies and comedies of classical Athens. In the second session, we will watch the brilliant Annenberg Invitation to World Literature video on The Bacchae with Alan Cumming and look at a few clips from the raw hippie interpretation of The Bacchae by Brian de Palma, Dionysus in 69. In the third and fourth sessions we will watch a complete film version of The Bacchae directed by James Thomas. Along the way we will engage in many thoughtful discussions of how profoundly different this ancient play is from our modern ideas of divinity and reason.
Diane Thompson holds a PhD from City University of New York in comparative literature. She has taught English at NOVA since 1981, and, while technically retired, still teaches distance world literature classes part-time. She has a long-time interest in Greek literature and culture.



R416 Classic Comedy Films of the 1960s and 1970s

Mondays, 1:45–3:45, Mar. 23–May 11
Note times
Instructor: Glenn Kamber
The early films of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and the British group, Monty Python, capture the essence of “shtick” humor, a combination of slapstick and irreverence. They poked fun at authority and everything held sacred in the 1960s post-World War II era. Warning: These movies are silly and a brand of humor that is not to everyone’s liking. If you didn’t laugh then, then you probably won’t now! The series will feature Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, History of the World Part I, and The Producers, Woody Allen’s Bananas, Take the Money and Run, and Annie Hall, and Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail.
Glenn Kamber, OLLI’s current President 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.



R417  To Kill a Mockingbird

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–May 12
Instructor: Donna Macurdy
To Kill a Mockingbird has been captivating readers for five decades. Harper Lee submitted the story in 1957 as one among a number of short stories. J.B. Lippincott, her publisher, rejected the book because they thought it seemed more like a series of short stories than a unified novel. In 1960 Lee expanded the short story and To Kill a Mockingbird, the novel, was published. The class will explore, through lecture, small-group discussion and viewings of selected scenes from the 1962 movie, the world of Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s, a place where: “People moved slowly…[where] There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with.” Find out, why it was “a sin to kill a mockingbird” and find new meaning in the most widely read American novel ever. After all, as Atticus tells Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” A syllabus will be provided at the first class meeting with assigned reading for each of the subsequent classes. All lecture notes/handouts will be posted, in advance of each class, on DocStore.
Donna Macurdy is a retired Fairfax County high school English teacher. She also taught at Paul VI High School. Donna’s 17-year teaching career included teaching all levels of high school English. She has served as a teacher consultant to the Northern Virginia Writing Project at George Mason. Donna has taught a number of literature classes at OLLI.



R418  Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne
Moderators: Janice Dewire, Carol Henderson
Class limit: 23
This short-story discussion class will continue with the anthology Stories of the Modern South, edited by Ben Forkner and Patrick Samway, S.J. The stories document a once-rural society’s storytelling tradition and the painful contradictions and cultural clashes brought about by rapid change. Authors to be discussed this term include Ellen Gilchrist, Barry Hannah, Carson McCullers and Flannery O’Connor. Registrants provide their own copies of the book, a paperback in a revised edition published by Penguin Books in 1995. It is generally available for $14 from online vendors, and will continue to be used in this course in the summer term.
Janice Dewire and Carol Henderson are enthusiastic Literary Roundtable participants and former OLLI Board members who took on the moderator role some years ago for this popular course, one of the longest-running in Reston.



R419 Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Nancy Scheeler
For many, The Portrait of a Lady is their favorite novel by American Henry James. Critics recognize it as a pivotal point not only in his career but also in the evolution of the novel. It was first published in the Victorian mode as a serialized novel, but it also introduces several characteristics of the modern novel. We will examine Isabel Archer’s journey from several perspectives: our own close reading of the novel, the insights offered by Michael Gorra in his Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece (2012), and the film The Portrait of a Lady directed by Jane Campion and starring Nicole Kidman (1996). Class members can choose to read either the novel as published in book form in 1881 or the New York Edition published in 1908.
Nancy Scheeler received an MA in English and American literature from the University of Maryland in 1970. In 1974 she completed coursework for a PhD in the same field at the University of Maryland. She received a MS in information systems from American University in 1996. She retired as a mid-level manager in information technology consulting at TASC. She wrote her master’s thesis at the University of Maryland on James’ use of dialogue in his ill-fated attempt to become a successful playwright.



R420  Evelina

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Beth Lambert
Frances Burney was Jane Austen’s predecessor, publishing 20 years before her. Burney’s first novel, Evelina or A Young Lady’s Entrance into the World,was an immediate hit. One prominent member of the House of Commons said he sat up all night to finish it. Describing the plot as a Cinderella story with a young country woman overcoming obstacles and marrying a lord of the realm does not to justice to Burney’s art. Characters such as a garrulous sea captain married to a sophisticated, much brighter woman, a French stepmother clearly out of her element in England and a host of other unforgettable individuals are portrayed with vividness, humor and Burney’s piercing insight into the paradoxes of human life. Readers will be captivated and caught by the unusual twists and turns of plot and struck by the way some things never change. Evelina is available in Kindle and Nook versions as well as in paperback.
Beth Lambert is a retired professor of English at Gettysburg College, where she taught courses on all aspects of the 18th century literature. Her biography of Edmund Burke was published by the University of Delaware Press.



R421 Aspects of the Novel

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Kay Menchel
This class will help us understand how novels work. Using excerpts from British and American literature, each class will be devoted to a topic or topics, such as plot, dialogue or characterization, that will allow us to examine novelists’ techniques. The aim is to enhance the enjoyment of novels and illuminate a little of the novelist’s craft. The excerpts will be posted on the OLLI DocStore in advance of each class and copies will be available in the classroom. For those who have taken the class before, be assured that there will be some new topics to discuss and lots of new excerpts to analyze and enjoy.
See F408 for instructor information.


L422 The New Yorker Round Table

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 23–May 11
Coordinator: Michael Coyne
This class will focus on informal discussions of material from The New Yorker magazine or website. Class members are encouraged to suggest items from any issue of the magazine. In past sessions discussions have included articles, profiles, fiction, poetry and cartoons. Before each class, the coordinator will distribute the material to participants by email. The class is highly interactive. Discussion usually goes beyond the articles themselves to include personal knowledge or experiences of class members relating to the topic.


L423  The Prehistory and Early History of Film

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 24–May 12
Instructor: Josh Pachter
In this course, you will learn about the development of the motion picture and the early days of the film industry. In our examination of film’s prehistory, we’ll study the contributions of such well-known names as Leonardo da Vinci and Peter Mark Roget, as well as lesser-known figures including Christian Huygens, Niecephore Niepce and Eadweard Muybridge. Turning our attention to the early history of the cinema, we’ll look at the work of the Lumiere brothers, Georges Melies, Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith, and finish up by discussing the lives and careers of legendary silent comedians Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. BYO popcorn!
Josh Pachter is the assistant dean for communication studies and theater at NOVA’s Loudoun campus. He earned an MA in film study at the University of Michigan and has been teaching film at the college level since 1978.

L424  Writers’ Workshop: Writing the Mind Alive

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructors: Ralph Greenwood, Ed Sadtler
Class Limit: 10
This class uses a roundtable format that fosters an environment for writers of all levels to give and receive encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism. All genres of writing are welcome, including poetry, fiction, memoirs and historical pieces. All of these categories share the same underlying commitment: to write a compelling work that fully conveys the author’s intentions.
Ralph Greenwood, an OLLI member, is a retired project manager who lists his writing qualifications as “Wanna’be–Tryina’be–Gonna’be!!!!”
Ed Sadtler, an OLLI member, has been writing and occasionally publishing poetry for many years.


L425  Readers’ Theater in Loudoun

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Coordinators: John Gallant, Martha Powers, Kathie West
Class Limit: 24
If you love the theater and are intrigued by the idea of trying to step into someone else’s shoes, please join our group. Develop your reading and acting skills, and learn more about plays and how to perform them. Practice play-reading and creating characters, and enjoy interacting with other “hams.” Each week members of the class either perform or are part of the audience. Participants should plan to allow time to rehearse with other performers before presenting to the class each week.


L426  Shakespeare Out Loud

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Wendy Campbell
This course is designed for those who dislike Shakespeare, don’t understand him or don’t see what the fuss is all about. It is also for those who love the Bard and want to share in interpretive readings and discussion. In other words, everyone is welcome. The class will read selected passages from the Bard’s plays and discuss what is happening, what the speakers might mean by what they say, how the lines show their character and what may be beautiful or interesting in the language. We will take a little time to look at the way actors we may know and love have approached the music of Shakespeare’s works and look for puns and bawdy jokes–the man was a master. No advance reading is required.
Wendy Campbell graduated from Marymount University with a MEd. She taught in the gifted program in Fairfax County public schools for 20 years and was responsible for producing a Shakespeare play every year with actors who were 10 to 12 years old. She fell in love with Shakespeare at the age of 13.


L427  Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: Beth Lambert
Written after an 11-year silence, and coming between the ebullient Pride and Prejudice and the comedic Emma, in Mansfield Park Austen presents unique challenges to her readers. For one thing, the heroine seems to be all wrong. She is the timid, frightened, often priggish Fanny Price; in fact, many prefer Fanny’s nemesis, the energetic, vivacious and witty Mary Crawford. In addition, Austen’s critics, both contemporary and modern, argue over her presentation of life in a country house and its environs, religion both as a calling and as practiced, the conduct expected of women, the slave trade behind the wealth of Mansfield Park and the ramifications of England’s growing empire. All of this makes for interesting and vigorous debate about Austen’s novel. In essence we will confront the question: What is she about in Mansfield Park? We will also view and discuss the very different ways two film makers put on screen what has been called Austen’s most complex novel. I recommend the Barnes and Noble edition of Mansfield Park. It is inexpensive and easier to discuss if all of us are on the same page.

See R420 for instructor information.



500 Languages

F501  Intermediate Spanish Conversation

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Ligia Glass
This class is for students who have had the basic course of Spanish or who feel they have a good working knowledge of the principles of Spanish. We will study verbal construction beyond the present tense, increase vocabulary to be able to form sentences and dialogues for everyday situations and give ample practice time to reinforce what is learned. Culture of the Hispanic world will continue to be part of the learning process. Idioms, differences in the “speaking” of the countries will be learned. Participation is highly recommended to have a successful class. No text is necessary. Be ready to have an exciting and fun class.
Ligia Glass is a native of Panama and retired from the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has 15 years experience teaching all levels of Spanish in NOVA as a Spanish teacher at Fairfax County Adult Education Program. Ligia holds an MA in foreign languages, MA in Latin American area studies and ABD in Latin American literature.


F502  French Conversation

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Beverley Persell
This class is for those who have an understanding of French and want to improve their conversation level. Each week we will have a different topic, including current events in France and French literature samplings. All students will be encouraged to speak about a subject of their choice. A French movie will be shown at the last class meeting, and there will also be a French lunch.
Beverley Persell, an OLLI member, taught French in five states for more than 20 years before retiring from the Congressional School of Virginia in 2004. She has studied at the Sorbonne and participated in the French Year Abroad program in Rennes and in the French Traveler for French Teachers program in Sarlat, Strasbourg, Aix-en-Provence and Toulouse.


F503  Spanish Conversational Forum

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Bernardo Vargas
Class Limit: 16
This ongoing conversational forum meets regularly during the year. The objectives are to practice the Spanish language and learn about Spanish/Latino culture through articles, photographs, videos and speakers. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish. English will be used only occasionally to explain grammar and idiomatic expressions. A prerequisite for this class is an ability to converse at the high intermediate to advanced level. Students are encouraged to make presentations in Spanish on timely topics of their choosing. Come join us and improve your Spanish while learning and having fun!
Bernardo Vargas, a graduate of the Pontifical Catholic University Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, is an editor of an online Spanish newspaper

F504  Latin II

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Alana Lukes
Class Limit: 20
This continuing course is for beginning Latin students who know the verb endings of the present, imperfect and perfect tenses. We take a modern, non-traditional sight, sound and Internet approach to this ancient language as we continue to explore Latin grammar, vocabulary and restored pronunciation by reading about the adventures of a 1st century CE family living in Roman Britain. Class meetings employ a media version of the text, North American Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 2, 4th edition. Purchase of the text for home study is optional. A fee of $5 for students not previously enrolled in the fall or winter class will be due after confirmation of enrollment. The fee offsets e-learning program costs.
Alana Lukes, an OLLI member, has taught Latin for over 25 years at the middle school, high school and college levels.


R505  Basic Spanish Conversation, Part 3

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Pamela Garcia
This is Part Three of a beginning conversation course for people who know some basic Spanish. The focus of the class will be conversation with topics that describe people, pastimes and daily routines, health, music and visual arts, shopping, dining out and travel. The primary purpose of this course is to encourage the participants’ increased proficiency with basic expressions and vocabulary in conversational settings.
Pamela Garcia recently retired from teaching all levels of Spanish in Montgomery County Public Schools. She has a BA in Spanish and master’s degrees in bilingual multicultural education and supervision.


600 Religious Studies

F601  A House Divided: The Councils of the Early Christian Church from Jerusalem to Nicea

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Pete Gustin
The Jesus of the Gospels insisted that a “house divided cannot stand” (Mark 3:25, Matthew 12:25) and prayed that the “disciples would be one” (John 17:20). Yet from the very beginning, the Church has faced questions of doctrine and discipline that set the apostles in opposition to one another and later would engender schisms, anathematized heretics and violent councils and synods. This course will explore the issues and major players from the first Apostolic Council at Jerusalem to the Council of Nicea. Included will be the various alleged heresies (along with their supporters and detractors) that forced the councils to meet, and we will show how doctrines that “mainline Christians” may today take completely for granted were issues of life and death as the initial rag-tag band of Apostles grew into what would become the State Church of the Holy Roman Empire.
Dr. Pete Gustin received his BA (English/philosophy) from Coppin State College, Baltimore, with a concurrent AB in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary College, Baltimore. He received his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary and his DMin from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.



F602  Creating Change Through Humanism

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–Apr. 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Roy Speckhardt
Humanists and other freethinkers can unite today to bring humanist ideas to the forefront, and that’s true in the United States today as it hasn’t been for decades. That’s because today we’re seeing a confluence in the streams of ideas that lead people to consider the merits of ethics that are derived from human need and interest rather than from ancient texts or divine revelation. The call to civic responsibility on behalf of reason-based values has never been more sorely needed in America than it is today. Sessions will explore what humanists think and why, as well as what issues humanists should address and how.
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association since 2005, is a frequent media commentator, having appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News and NPR. He writes a regular column for The Huffington Post. Speckhardt also serves on the boards of The Institute for Humanist Studies, the United Coalition of Reason, The Humanist Institute and the Secular Coalition for America. Speckhardt holds an MBA from George Mason and BA in sociology from Mary Washington College.


F603 New Testament Tensions

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
The 27 books of the New Testament are the principal sacred texts of Christianity. However, there have been major differences regarding how to understand many of the doctrines taught within its pages. Even those who claim that every word is inspired by God do not always agree on the meaning of specific teachings. We will examine a number of these controversies in this course including the following:

Salvation: What does it mean? How is it obtained? Can it be lost? Is it only for Christians?
Predestination and Free Will: The New Testament teaches both. Can these doctrines be reconciled?
Baptism: Rite of initiation? Required for salvation? Baptism for the dead?
● Hebrew Scripture laws: Which are still binding on Christians?
Death: Unconscious soul sleep or immediate rewards or punishments?

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



F604 Faith, Doubt and Tradition: A Teaching and Sharing Seminar

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
Class Limit: 15
This seminar will explore how people come to faith, why they may doubt their faith and how tradition shapes one’s religious and spiritual expressions. The instructor will begin each class with a 20-minute introduction that frames the issues for discussion. The class size is limited to 15 participants to allow for a lively exchange of ideas and experiences. This seminar welcomes members of all faith traditions, as well as those who doubt or don’t believe. Some of the major topics to be addressed include:

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

See F603 for instructor information.


R605  The World is About to End—How This and Related Beliefs Changed History

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Instructor: William A. Reader
Rooted in the Bible and elsewhere is the belief that the “world as we know it” (with its violence, war, death, sin, bigotry, ignorance and exploitation of nature) will soon end, preceded and accompanied by the appearance of an “antichrist” and various natural and man-made disasters. These beliefs have had a major impact on Western culture and have given rise to questions, disputes and divisions that also have had major consequences. These questions and disputes include: When and how will the “end of the world” happen? What are the signs and events that indicate the “end-times” have begun? What type of world will come afterward? Where did mankind go “off the track”? Hebrew and New Testament prophets, Nazis, communists, psychics, 20th century theologians, biblical scholars, code breakers and others have given diverse and conflicting answers to these questions—answers which constitute an interesting, and sometimes dark and bizarre, chapter in Western history and which have led to hedonism, a zeal to reform, passive acceptance of fate and even genocide.
William A. Reader has a PhD in American social history. He also did graduate and undergraduate course work in intellectual history, philosophy, theology and Biblical criticism. He has taught numerous history classes at OLLI. Bill is retired after 37 years with the Department of Defense.


R606  An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality: A Jesuit Approach to Catholicism

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Instructor: Joanie Orgon Coolidge
This course will provide a general introduction to Catholicism through the lens of the Society of Jesus, whose members are known as the Jesuits. Students will be introduced to its founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the methodology of Ignatian spirituality, the Society’s mission and world engagement. We will consider how Pope Francis’ Jesuit perspective might impact his leadership.

Apr. 23: An Overview: St. Ignatius, The Society of Jesus, and the Spiritual Exercises.
Apr. 30: History of the Jesuits in the World: A Global Impact.
May 7: Ignatian Spirituality, Methodology, Practice and Pope Francis’ Leadership.
May 14: Living Ignatian Spirituality: The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) Experience (A facilitated panel presentation).

A list of suggested readings and resources will be handed out on the first day of class.
Joan Orgon Coolidge, PhD, is the Northern Virginia regional director of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, which provides opportunities for men and women over 50 to serve others and reflect on that service in the Jesuit tradition.



L607  The Historical Saint Paul

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 23–Apr. 13
Four sessions
Instructor: Jack Dalby
St. Paul never knew the earthly Jesus. But as New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman notes, “next to Jesus himself, the most important figure for the development of earliest Christianity was the apostle Paul.” In these four academically-based lectures, we will discuss the sources for knowing the historical Paul, their strengths and limitations and the impact of Paul’s singular theology on the early Christian movement. Questions we will cover include: How did Paul go from being a persecutor of early Christians to becoming their leading proponent? What was Paul’s mission to the gentiles? How does Paul’s theology compare with the theology of Jesus and his followers? What was the purpose of Paul’s letters? Was Paul the author of all of his 13 letters and did Paul intend to found a new religion? Questions during class are encouraged. Having a copy of the New Testament, while not required, would be helpful.
Jack Dalby, president of White Oak Communications, is an OLLI member and has taught classes on the historical Jesus and the first Christians. He holds a BS in communication arts from James Madison University and has taken graduate classes from the history department at George Mason.

650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 The Changing Middle East: A Roundtable Discussion

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–May 12
Instructor: Johnnie Hicks
Class limit: 35
“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.” Lenin’s quote of a 100 years ago certainly describes current events in the Middle East, where ancient religions are back in the news and borders drawn up a century ago are simply disappearing. This course draws from previous OLLI courses on “Cultures and Religions of the Middle East” as well as from articles, films and other media to conduct guided roundtable discussions in which participants can share their perspectives and hear others’ views. Topics for discussion will include ongoing events in Arab countries as well as Israel, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and the territories of Kurdistan and Palestine. Particular attention will be given to the wars in Syria and Iraq as well as to the rising powers of non-state groups including Islamic State, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban. We will also consider the role of the United States in the midst of these rapidly changing developments.
Johnnie Hicks, a professional educator and counselor, carries a lifelong passion for learning about world cultures and religions. She has twice lived in Iran where she taught at the Teheran American School and visited neighboring countries. Johnnie recently retired from Fairfax County Public Schools and also developed and taught several courses on multicultural issues for George Mason.


F652 Traditional Chinese Philosophy and Modern Life in China

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Instructors: Lihong Wang, Xiao He
Professors from the Confucius Institute at Mason will provide an overview of traditional Chinese philosophy and how this philosophy influences modern life in China today. Two of the lectures will focus on Confucianism, discussing the teaching of Confucius (Kungzi) and then Mencius (Mengzi), as related to human relationships, principles of political governance and appropriate rituals. Another lecture will examine the key concepts of Taoism (Daoism) and the teachings of Lao Tzu (Laozi) and Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi), two prominent figures of Taoist philosophy. The final lecture will discuss Legalism as outlined by Han Feizi and the influence that Legalism had on China’s emperors starting with Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Emperor of the Qin dynasty.
Lihong Wang is an Associate Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University. In January 2011 she came to the U.S. to serve as resident director of the Confucius Institute at George Mason. She has her master’s degree in linguistics from Jilin University in China and her PhD in intercultural communication and foreign language education from Durham University in the U.K. She has taught general linguistics, English lexicology, grammar, intensive reading, extensive reading, translation and interpreting.
Xiao He is an Associate Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University. She is currently an instructor teaching ancient Chinese literature at the Confucius Institute at George Mason. Before coming to the United States she taught Chinese at the Confucius Institute at McMaster University in Canada and English at Beijing Language and Culture University. She received her master’s degree from Sichuan University in China in 1995. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto in 2001 and at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.

F653  1965 in America: The Year Everything Changed

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Instructor: Richard Melanson
Limit: 35
This discussion class will focus on the extraordinary events of 1965 in America. We will begin by reviewing President Johnson’s legislative triumphs, including Medicare, immigration reform, the Voting Rights Act and a host of initiatives known as the Great Society. Next we will examine race relations from the march on Selma to the Watts riots. Then the class will revisit LBJ’s quiet escalation of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and the growing opposition to it on college campuses. Finally, we will note the emergence of a conservative backlash to a number of Great Society programs. We will use as the required text James T. Patterson’s The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America (ISBN 978-0-465-01358-5) or (ISBN 978-0-465-03348-5 e-book edition). This is an expanded and slightly modified version of the course offered in the summer 2014 term.
Richard A. Melanson holds a PhD in international relations from The Johns Hopkins University. After teaching American foreign policy and international politics from 1972-1992 at UCLA, Kenyon College and Brown University, he served as Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College from 1992-2010. He has a long-standing interest in the Johnson administration and the Vietnam War.


R654 Contemporary Issues Discussion

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 23–May 11
Instructor: Glenn Kamber
Using the television series West Wing, the instructor will facilitate discussion of eight different critical issues that continue to shape our present and future, including those that deal with individual and societal ethics, family, governance, science and technology, culture and the arts. Come prepared to share your knowledge and views and open to hearing and being expanded and enriched by those of fellow OLLI members.
See R416 for instructor information.


R655 Exploring the Future

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–Apr. 28
Six sessions
Instructor: Joel Ticknor
We will discuss the state of the future in 2015:

  • Our long-term future and how we can change and improve it.
  • Global megatrends and challenges.
  • Climate change as an accelerating threat to national security.
  • Scarcity versus abundance of essential resources.
  • Transformative technologies that will change our lives and what it means to be human. Will we need new forms of governance?
  • The future of employment. Will there be decent employment for all who want work?

OLLI member Joel Ticknor is a professional member of the World Future Society and has a certificate in strategic foresight from the University of Houston. He has taught national security policy at the National War College and courses on the future and financial planning at OLLI. He is a retired CIA officer. He has a BA from Union College, graduate studies in political science at Columbia University and a diploma from the National War College.


R656  OLLIgopoly–Trivia for Fun

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 22–May 13
Four sessions
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Bruce Mercer
OLLIgopoly is back in Reston!!! Join your fellow OLLI members in a spirited game of team trivia. If you like trivia, good music, sharing a few laughs and having FUN, then this class is for you. Past participants have said that OLLIgopoly provides the most fun they have ever had in an OLLI course and they keep coming back for more. The game combines questions, information and strategy with music and enjoyment. Working as teams (you are not alone!) participants ponder, plot and learn, all in an atmosphere of good-natured competition. There is only one rule in OLLIgopoly…Have FUN!!!
Bruce Mercer devises the questions and quirky visuals, and class members add the friendly spontaneity. Who knows? You might take home a coveted OLLIVIA trophy statuette which is awarded to each member of the winning team. Did you know that OLLI members have more OLLIVIA trophies than former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings!


700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Mar. 23–May 11
Note time
Moderators: Peter Van Ryzin, Dorsey Chescavage
Class Limit: 38
Do you have an opinion on what’s happening in the world today? Would you like to express and share your views with others? Join other news junkies each week to discuss, debate and, yes, sometimes disagree as to the significance and meaning of events, both great and small. All views are welcomed in a spirit of give-and-take.
Peter Van Ryzin, an addicted news junky and OLLI member, was a career Marine who served two combat tours in Vietnam before retiring as a colonel in 1990.
Dorsey Chescavage, an OLLI member, retired from the Jefferson Consulting Group, where she was a registered lobbyist specializing in military and veterans’ health care.


F702 Mr. Putin’s Russia

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–May 12
Lord of Life, Fairfax
Coordinators: Rosemary McDonald, Stephen Canner
Vladimir Putin’s recent aggressive military moves into the Ukraine have sparked debate about the Russian leader’s motives. Is he looking to restore the old Russian Empire or are his moves designed to divide the European countries that make up NATO and spur worldwide unrest?

  • Mar. 24: Early History of Russia from Peter the Great to a Global Power. George E. Munro, Professor, Department of History, Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Mar. 31: Putin: His Ascendance to Power; What He Really Wants for Russia and How It Could All Come Undone. Dr. Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution. Fiona Hill is co-author with Clifford G. Gaddy of Mr. Putin, published by Brookings Institution Press (2013).
  • Apr. 7: Russia and the Arctic: Implications of Climate Change and Access to Natural Resources. Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz, former ambassador to Belarus and Georgia.
  • Apr. 14: The Ukraine: Ukrainian Culture, Attitudes, and Values. Robert C. Heath, Foreign Service( retired)
  • Apr. 21: Ukraine: Looking East or West? Pierre Shostal, Foreign Service (retired).
  • Apr. 28: The Baltics, Central Asia and the Caucasus in Terms of Russian Policy. John Herbst, former ambassador to Ukraine and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Dino Patriciu Eurasia Council.
  • May 5: Russia and the United States: Shared Interest and Current Conflicts. John Beyrle, U.S. Russia Foundation, former ambassador to Russia and Bulgaria.
  • May 12: Analysis and Discussion: Ambassador David Newton, OLLI member and former ambassador to Iraq and Yemen.

F703 Great Decisions 2015

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 25–May 13
Moderators: Gordon Canyock, Ted Parker
Class limit: 30
For over 50 years, the Foreign Policy Association has sponsored discussion groups throughout the United States to investigate some of the world’s greatest challenges affecting our lives. This year’s eight topics are: Russia and the “Near Abroad;” Privacy in the Digital Age; Sectarianism in the Middle East; India Changes Course; U.S. Policy Toward Africa; Syria’s Refugee Crisis; Human Trafficking and Brazil in Metamorphosis. A briefing book and video covering each week’s topic will set the stage for class discussion. There is a $21 materials fee payable after notification of acceptance into the class.
Gordon Canyock is a retired military intelligence officer, former State Department consultant and long-time member of OLLI.
Ted Parker, a retiree from the U.S. Department of Education, had a 40-year career in education, which included teaching and managing at local, state and collegiate levels. He has been a member of OLLI for several years.

F704 The Supreme Court and the Law of Discrimination

Thursdays 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–Apr. 30
Six sessions
Instructor: Bob Zener
Federal law forbids discrimination in large areas of American life based on race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, age and disability. This course will review the major Supreme Court decisions on discrimination-related issues including: The legal status of decisions that, although based on neutral reasons, have a discriminatory impact (criminal background checks); Are “wrong” statistics evidence of discrimination (a company’s workforce with few minorities or women managers)? Is “benign” discrimination legitimate (university admissions designed to achieve diversity)? Is discrimination legitimate when designed to remedy the continuing effects of past injustice? Is there a constitutional right to discriminate as part of free speech or religion? How does the prohibition against sex discrimination affect sex and sports on campus? Persons taking this course might also consider attending a talk on voting rights scheduled for Friday Apr. 17. The talk will be given by Abigail Thernstrom, who was Vice-Chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission from 2007-2013. For further information, see catalog description of Special Event No. 962.
Bob Zener, currently an OLLI member, was a lawyer with the Department of Justice who briefed and argued a large number of cases involving discrimination and constitutional law.

R705 Supreme Court Cases on the Horizon

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–Mar. 31
Two sessions
Instructor: Ben Gold
Attempting to predict what the Supreme Court will or will not do is always a gamble. However, the following two cases are likely to be reviewed by the Supreme Court this term.

  • Same-Sex Marriage. In United States v. Windsor (2012), the Supreme Court struck down the federal definition of marriage. This decision did not address state definitions of marriage or whether or not states can refuse to recognize lawful same-sex marriages from other states. In several states, parties have petitioned the Supreme Court, asking whether the Equal Protection or Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit states from defining marriage in the traditional way and refusing to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
  • Obamacare’s Federal Exchanges. There are challenges to Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows the Internal Revenue Service to make subsidies available to individuals who buy health insurance through state-run exchanges. In 27 states that chose not to open an exchange, the federal government opened up shop, and the IRS claimed it could extend the subsidies to individuals purchasing insurance through these federally-run exchanges. Several challenges to the IRS’s interpretation were filed in federal courts.

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–Mar. 31

Two sessions

Instructor: Ben Gold

Attempting to predict what the Supreme Court will or will not do is always a gamble. However, the following two cases are likely to be reviewed by the Supreme Court this term.

  • Same-Sex Marriage. In United States v. Windsor (2012), the Supreme Court struck down the federal definition of marriage. This decision did not address state definitions of marriage or whether or not states can refuse to recognize lawful same-sex marriages from other states. In several states, parties have petitioned the Supreme Court, asking whether the Equal Protection or Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit states from defining marriage in the traditional way and refusing to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
  • Obamacare’s Federal Exchanges. There are challenges to Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows the Internal Revenue Service to make subsidies available to individuals who buy health insurance through state-run exchanges. In 27 states that chose not to open an exchange, the federal government opened up shop, and the IRS claimed it could extend the subsidies to individuals purchasing insurance through these federally-run exchanges. Several challenges to the IRS’s interpretation were filed in federal courts.

Ben Gold has a BA in political science from Stanford University and earned an MS in computer science. He has served as a docent at the Supreme Court for the past 11 years.

R706 All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Moderator: Dick Kennedy
This is a chance to discuss news and current events with other members who are trying to understand our changing world. More than ever we need to question information that comes to us from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, bumper stickers and newspapers. How should we filter these sources? We will examine and discuss some of the day’s hot topics in world and national news, science, business, sports and entertainment. All viewpoints and opinions are respected, needed and welcomed. As Walter Cronkite once said, “In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.”
Dick Kennedy, an OLLI member, is a retiree from the senior executive service at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He enjoys analyzing the news from multiple sources and engaging in good discussions with colleagues.


L707 Great Decisions 2015

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Moderator: Barbara Wilan
Class limit: 20
This class is a repeat of F703. There is a $21 materials fee payable after notification of acceptance into the class.
Barbara Wilan retired as a full-time English teacher at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College and is currently an adjunct there. She has also taught at the University of Maryland and for the University of Maryland’s European Division.


800 Science, Technology & Health

F801  Engineering Topics: Naval and New Exotic Technologies

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:50, Apr. 21–May 5
Three sessions
Instructors: Paul Murad, George S. Pick

  • Ground Effect or Air-Cushion Vehicles have been used for approximately 45 years for both civilian and military purposes. In this session a short history is presented, along with the explanation of design and operating principles. Included in the discussion are the so-called LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) used by the U.S. Marines in many amphibious ships and future plans for further usage.
  • Wing-in-Ground or WIG Devices are ships flying above the water at hundreds of miles per hour. These were built by the Soviets, where their WIGs were as large as a Boeing 747 Airliner. The WIG represents a game-changing technology because of the ability for power projection using huge amounts of military capabilities at exceptionally high speeds for several thousands of miles.
  • A View from a Technological Perspective: Technology means different things to different people. It can lead to war or to peace. Technologies can be innovative, mature, game-changing or embryonic. Some examples in the past, the present and future will be discussed to understand the impact of technology that affects society and political perspectives.

George S. Pick worked for several years on the Landing Craft Air Cushion ship. He has given several courses at OLLI.
Paul Murad was involved with DoD looking at foreign technologies and has presented several technology courses. Both individuals are experts in these technical disciplines.

F802 Aging in an Ever-Changing World

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 21–May 12
Four sessions
Coordinators: Leo Brennan, Christine Coussens
Presented by the faculty and staff of the George Mason College of Health and Human Services

  • Apr. 21: The Arts in Healing. For centuries the arts have been used to express the wide range of human experience, to provide healing, to transmit societal values and to provoke change. The arts are a means to shape both self and the world, with the historical use of imagination, ritual and various art forms leaving no doubt as to their significance in the human experience. As a force for healing, the arts possess a unique ability to respond to human suffering, whether that is at an individual, communal or societal level. Kathy Prudden, LCSW, earned a masters’ degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, an advanced professional certificate in expressive therapies from Lesley University and is pursuing a PhD in expressive arts from the European Graduate School. Ms. Prudden is a member of the social work faculty at George Mason.
  • Apr. 28: Human Trafficking and Modern-day Slavery. This lecture will provide an introduction to contemporary human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the global context. The lecture will explore definitions of human trafficking, the dynamics of human trafficking, global patterns in human trafficking and common forms of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Laura Cordisco Tsai graduated with a PhD from Columbia University and is currently an assistant professor at George Mason’s Department of Social Work. She has over ten years’ experience with human trafficking research.
  • May 5: Aging in Place: Do Not Blame the House. Patrice Winter, a practicing physical therapist and full-time faculty member at George Mason, will address that often-asked question of how to make your home work for you. She will also consider how to work with normal physical changes in sight, balance and physical abilities that may come with aging. Aging safely in place is the ultimate goal. Patrice Winter is an assistant professor at George Mason’s College of Health and Human Services. She holds a DPT from Shenandoah University and a MHA from George Mason. Her expertise is in health, aging and physical therapy.
  • May 12: Being Trendy Has Become Trendy: Global Population Aging Comes to Fairfax. Which global trend is most likely to affect you personally? a) Electric cars, b) Shopping online, c) Global population aging, d) Cows. If you answered “c,” you are on the right track. But as the old saying goes, “Even if you are on the right track, if you just stand there, you’ll be run over.” In this lecture, Frank Whittington will explain population aging as a global phenomenon and how it already is affecting each of us. Frank J. Whittington holds a PhD in sociology from Duke University and has over 40 years experience as a teacher and researcher in gerontology. He is currently professor of gerontology and Senior Associate Dean at George Mason.

F803 The Problem Solving Process

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 24–Apr. 28
Six sessions
Instructor: Tom Kiley
Every day you are faced with problems that need solving. This course will examine some simple steps for approaching those problems. These steps are introduced in George Polya’s book How to Solve It”* and include:

1. Understanding the problem.
2. Making a plan.
3. Carrying out a plan.
4. Reviewing your solution.
To help you apply these steps to problems in your life, we will elaborate on them while answering the following questions:
1. Is there a fair voting method?
2. How many pieces of cheese will there be?
3. How many Platonic solids are there?
4. How many colors does it take to color a map?
5. Is there a circuit for an inspector? for a salesman?
6. How many Pythagorean triples are there?
7. Which door is the car behind?
* PDF files for both the book and summaries of it can be found by googling How to Solve It.
Tom Kiley earned a PhD in mathematics from Brown University. He was a member of the mathematics department at George Mason for 43 years. He taught courses including liberal arts mathematics with an emphasis on problem-solving. He is currently a graduate student at George Mason.



F804 History of Life on Earth-Part I

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Steve Greenhouse
We will discuss evolution and its explanatory mechanism, natural selection, as the driving force behind the history of all living organisms and all that have ever lived: from the origin of life 4 billion years ago to the rise of mammals after the mass extinction that occurred 65 million years ago. A follow-on course, tentatively scheduled for the summer term, will take us from the rise of mammals and early primates through the evolution of humans. Factors affecting evolution will be discussed together with an example illustrating how natural selection works. All major evolutionary transitions will be presented.
Steve Greenhouse, a retired electrical engineer, worked in the space communications field for 35 years. He has long been fascinated by paleontology and especially paleoanthropology, the evolution of humans. With no formal training in this field, Steve has read extensively, traveled to the Galapagos Islands and participated in a dinosaur fossil dig. He looks upon presenting this course as both a challenge and an educational experience. Yes, Steve believes, teachers can learn along with their students.

F805  Space Weather and Hazards

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Coordinators: Art Poland, Jeff Rosendhal
Just as there is weather on Earth, there is weather in space. The wind blows and there are storms in space. The most commonly known effect of space weather is the Northern Lights. Space weather is caused by a coupling of events on the sun and the Earth’s outer atmosphere and magnetosphere. This course will introduce you to space weather and its effects on human technology.

  • Mar. 26: An Overview of the Course and Space Weather. Research Professor Art Poland, George Mason, NASA/GSFC retired.
  • Apr. 2: The Sun and Heliosphere, the Basic Structure. Professor Jie Zhang, George Mason.
  • Apr. 9: Solar Activity and Magnetic Fields, the Drivers of Space Weather. Professor Jie Zhang, George Mason.
  • Apr. 16: The Earth’s Magnetosphere I – structure. Associate Professor Bob Weigel, George Mason.
  • Apr. 23: The Earth’s Magnetosphere II – activity. Associate Professor Bob Weigel, George Mason.
  • Apr. 30: The Ionosphere and Aurora. Research Professor Phil Richards, George Mason.
  • May 7: Coupling between the Earth’s upper atmosphere and lower atmosphere. Assistant Professor Erdal Yigit, George Mason.
  • May 14: Summary and the Future for Space Weather. Dr. Sten Odenwald, NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center.

F806 Advances in Healthcare

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–Apr. 16
Four sessions
Coordinator: Rala Stone

  • Mar. 26: Brain Health. Dr. Tom Sullivan, double board-certified in family medicine and hospice/palliative medicine.
  • Apr. 2: Cancer Survivorship and Rehab. Kathy Webster, PT, certified physical therapist and lymphadema specialist, and Debra Rowland, RD, CSO, dietician and certified specialist in oncology nutrition
  • Apr. 9: Age-Related Eye Disease. Dr. Michael Rivers who is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has affiliations at Georgetown University Hospital, Inova Fairfax and Fair Oaks Hospitals, and the Friendship Surgery Center. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Center for Sight and has been selected Clinical Instructor of the Year in the Department of Ophthalmology.
  •  Apr. 16: Preventing and Treating Falls. Dr. Mark McMahon, orthopedic surgeon and Yuliya Jackson, PT, physical therapist.

F807  Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi

Thursdays, 2:15–3:15, Mar. 26–May 14
Note time and dates
Instructor: Jerry Cheng
Class Limit: 25
Tai chi, a form of martial arts that has been practiced for centuries, is meditation in motion that emphasizes balance, posture and concentration. This beginning class will focus on chen-style tai chi, which promotes health and fitness, strengthens the immune system, can relieve neck and back pain, corrects digestive problems, aids emotional and psychological well-being, relieves stress and builds character. Please wear loose clothing and plan to work in stocking feet or soft, flexible shoes.
Jerry Cheng was born in China and started his martial arts training when he was six. He studied under several famous Chinese martial arts masters, including grandmaster Sha GuoZheng, and won four gold medals at the 1997 Atlanta International Martial Arts Championship. He taught tai chi at the University of Georgia for six years and the University of Texas for three years.


R808 Wind, Water and Sun: Future Sources of Energy

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 23–Mar. 30
Two sessions
Instructor: Jim Wentworth
Man-made pollution has reached dangerous proportions that must be addressed if the planet is to be preserved. The burning of fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. However, there are several energy-producing technologies available or under development that do not produce greenhouse gases. These include new advanced windmill, hydro-power and solar energy-generating systems. The new advanced systems, along with updating nuclear power plants and more efficient use of energy, can reduce dependence on coal, oil and natural gas as energy sources and help protect the environment. Different governments have responded to climate change in various ways – from outright denial to developing far-sighted strategies to deal with climate change. Various current and future energy sources and potential areas where energy use can be reduced, along with their pros and cons, will be discussed.
Jim Wentworth retired from the Federal Highway Administration. Following retirement he joined Edinburgh University in Scotland as a visiting professor of intelligent transport systems. He taught software engineering courses at the Center of Intelligent Systems Research at George Washington University, and worked as a guest scientist at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin, Germany. Currently he is a volunteer at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, working with curators on a new manned space program exhibit.


R809 The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00–10:00, Mar. 24–May 14
Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Note days and times
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class Limit: 7
Learn eight simple movements derived from the tai chi yang style short form by Master Cheng Man Ch’ing. Each movement is a separate and complete unit that can be practiced independently of the others and which conveys all the benefits of Tai Chi. Emphasis is on balance, relaxation and ease of movement. A class fee of $30 is payable after notification of acceptance into the class. Those registering will also need to fill in a Reston Community Center registration/waiver form, which can be found at and returned to the OLLI office. Enrollment is not finalized until a completed RCC waiver is received.

R810 Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:45–11:45, Mar. 24–May 21
Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Note days and times
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class Limit: 5
This traditional yoga class, designed for seniors, incorporates both stretching and strength postures while focusing on balance. Participants will enjoy increased strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and energy in a gently challenging way. Participants should bring a blanket, pillow or beach towel. A class fee of $30 is payable after notification of acceptance into the class. Those registering will also need to fill in a Reston Community Center registration/waiver form, which can be found at and returned to the OLLI office. Registration is not finalized until a completed RCC waiver is received.


R811 Turning Points and Challenges on the Road to Getting Older

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–Apr. 28
Six sessions
Coordinator: Priscilla Chism
We can continue to have a vibrant and fulfilling life as we age by making choices now that will ensure the lifestyle we want even if we live longer than anticipated.

  • Mar. 24: Utilizing Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives to Stay in Charge of the “Future You.” The options for housing, care professionals and activities for aging residents abound. Take charge of ensuring your lifestyle so it will be what you want it to be, even through periods of illness or incapacity. Advance directives can express your wishes with regard to medical decisions and who will have authority to manage your financial affairs if you cannot. Buckley Fricker, J.D., CMC, is the nation’s only licensed attorney and Certified Geriatric Care Manager. With a background in estate planning and elder law, her unique expertise allows her to address the spectrum of elder care issues.
  • Mar. 31: The Courage to Choose. Even when we can’t control what happens to us, we can choose how we respond. Ruth Schimel will discuss how to make these choices with courage and wisdom. Ruth Schimel, PhD, the author of Choose Courage: Step into the Life You Want has a doctorate in gerontology and public management from George Washington University.
  • Apr. 7: Aging in Place. You can modify your current home to make it safer and more convenient as you age and find trustworthy services to help you manage when you need assistance. Mindy Mitchell has been awarded the Certified Aging in Place (often called “universal design”) Specialist certification through the National Association of Home Builders.
  • Apr. 14: Retirement Living Options: the Choice is Yours. Choose among independent or assisted living facilities, active adult communities or continuing care communities offering a lifetime range of care. Steve Gurney is founder and publisher of The Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook. He has a master’s degree from the Erickson School of Aging Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County.
  • Apr. 21: Simple Tools to Maximize Physical and Mental Well-being. Diane Lasichak will show us how to improve our cognitive function, self-esteem, balance and flexibility. Her work focuses on two related aspects of senior living: body and mind wellness and informed medical planning and decision-making. Diane Lasichak is a credentialed geriatric care manager who helps clients optimize their health, improve mental acuity and infuse joy in their lives through movement.
  •  Apr. 28: Living Well as Long as We Live. We can enhance our quality of life by living generously, creating joy, cultivating humor and being a participant, rather than merely a bystander. Priscilla will help us face our limitations, bounce back from illness, and develop mutual support communities among family and friends. Priscilla Chism, MBA, MSW, produces the television series Live Well, Age Well. She founded Health Solutions, a health care consulting firm.

R812 Healthcare Topics

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 23–May 14
Four sessions
Coordinator: Janet Cochran

  • Apr. 23: “Boomeritis” and Treatment Options for Joints. Dr. Mark Madden has had a lifelong interest in sports that culminated with his membership on the 1977 National Championship Notre Dame football team. He graduated from Georgetown University Medical School and did his residency there in orthopedic surgery.
  • Apr. 30: Avoid Slips and Falls and When Do You Need Physical Therapy? Mic Adams has a doctorate in physical therapy and has served as Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation for 25 years at Reston Hospital Center.
  • May 7: Latest Treatment Options for Neck and Low Back Pain. Dr. Thomas Mazahery graduated with a BA in biology from the University of Virginia and earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He then completed a general surgery internship and an orthopedic surgery residency at Northwestern University.
  • May 14: Colon Screening and Prevention of Colon Cancer. Dr. Andrew M. Axelrad graduated from the State University at Binghamton in 1985 and New York Medical College in 1989. He received advanced training in digestive diseases and liver disorders at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC Dr. Axelrad joined the Gastroenterology Group in 1995, where his interests include biliary tract disorders, liver disease, gastrointestinal malignancy and interventional endoscopy.


L813  The Scientific Revolution in Europe and North America

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 24–May 12
Instructor: Brian Martin
The development of sciences has shaped our society and way of life. This course will cover the early stages of some of the major branches of science such as chemistry, biology, electricity, computing etc. and how some materials, machines and ideas came about that changed the world and the way we live.
Brian Martin has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Leicester in England. He spent his working career in chemistry research and development in laboratories in both the U.S. and Canada, before retiring from Dow Chemical. He has an interest in the history of science.


L814  The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–May 13
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
This course builds on Walter Isaacson’s 2014 volume, plus additional technical material to round out the discussion and make it more than a book report. “The Innovators is a gripping narrative about visionaries whose imagination and zeal created the computer and the internet which transformed our lives. There are three probing questions: 1. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? 2. Why did some succeed? and 3. Others fail?” The saga begins with Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. But it then leaps 100 years to 1940 and continues through today with fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution: Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.R.C Licklider, Doug Englelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee and Larry Page. Worked into the bios are discussions of their products: computers, software, the transistor and microchip, video games, personal computers, the internet and the web. We will learn how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. Also how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. The Innovators also includes the critical, but often forgotten, role women played from the beginning.
Mark Weinstein has a BSEE from Tufts and a masters in management from the University of Southern California. He worked for 48 years in engineering, first with the Air Force and then with several high tech companies. At OLLI, he presented courses in American aviation history, WWII technologies and Cold War topics. He is a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space Museums.


L815  Space Weather and Hazards

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 26–May 14
Coordinators: Art Poland, Jeff Rosendhal
This is a videoconference of course F805.


L816  Health Care Topics

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 26–Apr. 2, Apr. 16
Three sessions
Note dates
Coordinator: Maria Buczek

  • Mar. 26: Urinary Problems in the Golden Age. Urinary problems are common in the golden years but are often not discussed among friends or addressed at your doctor’s appointment. This lecture will cover the most common urinary issues for women and men later in life. Dr. Jennifer L. Young graduated from The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University and from State University of New York Upstate Medical University. Dr. Young is certified by the American Board of Urology. She is a member of the Inova Loudoun Hospital Medical Roundtable Council.
  • Apr. 2: The Rationale for Dental Implants. The participants will learn about the health and cost benefits of dental implants. Some emerging technology pertaining to general and implant dental treatment will be discussed. There will be ample opportunity for free two-way discussion during the last third of the session. Dr. Richard Hughes is board-certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. He is on the surgical staff of INOVA Loudoun Hospital and serves on the Cancer and Infection Control Committees.
  • Apr. 16: What Is Integrative and Functional Medicine? Have you ever wondered about trying a different approach to your health and your healthcare? Perhaps you have heard about integrative and functional medicine, but are not quite sure what the term means; why someone would choose to go in that direction; or even what is addressed by an Integrative medicine physician. The benefits of a holistic approach to health and well-being will be discussed and examples offered to demonstrate the best use of this approach in a personal health care plan. Dr. Martha Calihan graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her residency in family medicine at the Fairfax Family Practice Center, where she served as chief resident. After completing her residency, Dr. Calihan served as a faculty member at the residency until she moved to Leesburg-Sterling Family Practice in 1990.


900 Other Topics

F901 Trip Tales

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 23–May 11
Coordinator: Tom Hady

  • Mar. 23: Katie Mitchell journeyed to Portugal (Lisbon, Monsaraz and Evora) and Spain (Merida, Carmona, Seville, Córdoba, Ronda, Granada, Ubeda, Toledo and Madrid).
  • Mar. 30: Let’s go to Germany and Austria for the Christmas Markets! Lou Coglianese takes us to sample mulled wine from Munich to Vienna, with side trips to the Alps.
  • Apr. 6: Join Sandy Hoch in Guatemala and Honduras. See Guatemala’s cities, villages and markets, Lake Atitlan, and Chichicastenango (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Visit Mayan sites like Yaxha, Tikal and Copan.
  • Apr. 13: Steve Schanzer invites us to climb 11,000 feet to Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest. Visit a shaman, ride camels in the Gobi Desert and watch kids in Mongolia race horses. Enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat, monkeys fighting demons in Thailand, Mount Everest’s base camp, Beijing’s Summer Palace and Kathmandu.
  • Apr. 20: Sue Roose toured Athens, Olympia, Delphi and the islands of Crete, Rhodes and Santorini. Visit temples, amphitheaters, ruins and museums.
  • Apr. 27: Dick Young travelled from Lisbon to Barcelona, staying in historic buildings and visiting Santiago de Compostela (end of The Way), Leon, Bilbao (Gehry’s Guggenheim), Pamplona (running of the bulls) and Bielsa in the Pyrenees.
  • May 4: Tom and Marilyn Hady returned to Norway: Bergen, Sognefjord, Hurtigruten coastal steamer to a folkhøgskole in the Lofoten Islands, and Oslo.
  • May 11: Pat Jordan travelled to England (London to Cornwall) and Scotland (Edinburgh). See Stonehenge, the Beatles’ home, Roman baths, the castle where a Harry Potter movie was made and many towns and sights along the way.

L902  Social Media Surprises

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 24–May 12
Eight Sessions
Instructor: Ray Beery
You’re probably participating or at least you know about, the ubiquitous social media of the Internet. Millions world-wide are caught up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. It’s a flood of information, endlessly streaming across our little screens. This course will focus on just one of these services, Facebook, and specifically the “groups” that users choose to associate with. Right here at OLLI, we have one of those: “OLLI at Mason.” Executive Director Jennifer Disano posts two or three times a week. Ray is in a dozen groups, where he is surprised and delighted in the notes posted by the scores of “friends” he has admitted to his Facebook account.
Ray Beery, 20-year OLLI veteran and member of the Board of Directors, has had a PC on his desk at home since 1981. Long a busy user of email and early Web affinity groups, he has updated himself to tablets and smart phones with their “apps.” He invites you to be his Facebook friend.


950 Special Events

951  Puppetry Workshop

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 23
Instructors: Stephen Shetler, Julia Tasheva
The workshop will briefly cover the history of puppetry in world theater and the different systems of puppetry. Following that, Stephen and Julia will guide participants in making and bringing to life their own puppets, created from found objects.
Stephen Shetler and Julia Tasheva are co-directors, performers and educators with a combined 45 years of experience in the theater arts. Stephen has an MFA in acting from The Catholic University of America and Julia holds an MFA in puppetry from the National Theater Academy of Bulgaria.


952  J. Edgar Hoover: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 25
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
During his 48 years as FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover developed the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, staffed by highly qualified agents with access to the best available technology. The FBI was at the forefront of law enforcement from depression-era bank robberies to Nazi and communist espionage. Through a sophisticated public relations and press program, Hoover succeeded in creating a highly favorable public image of the FBI as the agency that “always gets its man.” At the same time, some of Hoover’s programs employed illegal activities, including wiretapping, burglaries, harassment and violations of the civil liberties of individuals and organizations of which he disapproved. Hoover’s FBI also developed investigatory files on individuals who were not suspected of illegal activities. The files were used to intimidate politicians and journalists who might be opposed to the FBI. Hoover’s FBI was used by some presidents to gather political intelligence against their opponents. This presentation will examine all sides of Hoover’s legacy.
David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, served on the professional staff of the House Transportation Committee for 35 years. He has long been interested in modern American history and is a volunteer guide for the Newseum.


953 A Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Mar. 25
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Paul Murad
2015 is the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Approximately 1.5 million Armenians were murdered from 1915-1918. The Turkish government still denies nor accepts responsibility for its own history following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. This disaster created a new word: Genocide which can apply to any race, creed or economic group. Genocide feeds itself, devouring all, to include Christians, Moslems, Jews and Buddhists. The consequences of one genocide can feed into others. Without correcting or stopping this situation, mankind continues to accept wholesale murder. In this talk, details are presented including the 1895 massacres leading to the Turkish approach to resolve the Armenian question, dealing with Armenian men in the army, the intelligentsia, and destruction of adult males, with teenage men and women left to gather their grandparents and children to form caravans going into the desert to die. If we cannot learn from these events, we may be doomed to repeat them.
Paul Murad is an aerospace engineer and was involved in several military and other activities in the Pentagon. has taught an OLLI course on A Century of Genocide, and this lecture was included. He has also taught OLLI courses on gravitation, the space race, and advanced space vehicles.


954 Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Mar. 27
Instructor: Kathleen Pablo
Class limit: 40
To celebrate March as National Nutrition Month, OLLI will showcase chocolate as “food of the gods,” currency, aphrodisiac, status symbol, religious icon, historical influence, economic commodity and – yes – medicine (physical and mental). For at least 4,000 years, chocolate has also inspired art, literature and even fashion. Considered a staple, it became a requisite part of soldiers’ wartime rations. As we take a look at some representative applications of Theobroma cacao through the millennia, participants will test themselves with vertical and horizontal tastings of American, European and South American chocolate, and sample foods representing historic, traditional and very modern applications. A fee of $10, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance into the class, covers the cost. Bring and share your favorite anecdote or recipe featuring chocolate!Presented by Kathleen Pablo, a former caterer, has struggled for decades with her own chocolate obsession.


955 The Songs that Got Away

Saturday, 10:00–12:30, Mar. 28
Instructor: Dan Sherman
Dan Sherman has given a number of talks at OLLI on great American theatre composers, but has always needed to skip over some great songs – The Songs That Got Away. In this talk, Dan will present some of his favorite songs that he hasn’t discussed in his talks on various composers and lyricists. He will use a multimedia approach to provide additional background on these great songs and memorable performances to show the richness of the Great American Songbook.
Dan Sherman has taught OLLI courses on American theater composers, humor in music and great opera composers.


956 Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 30
Instructor: Diane Wagner
Caregiving provides essential support for a loved one, but can make it difficult to care for yourself. Caregivers frequently experience emotional, physical and financial costs and increased vulnerability to declining health and depression. This class is an opportunity to learn about the latest research and practical strategies to manage stress and promote mental health, physical health and well-being when caring for a family member or another loved one.
Diane Wagner is a fifth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at George Mason. Her interests focus on promoting psychological well-being in older adults.


957 Crossing the Bar

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 6
Instructor: Conrad Geller
Death, a favorite topic of poets in every era, has been the main topic of some of the best poems in the English language. This one-time session will examine poems that deal with the Awful Presence in various ways, moods and forms. No preparation is necessary; just bring your worst fears and fantasies. Poets to be examined include Donne, Dickinson and, of all people, Ben Franklin. It should be fun.
Conrad Geller, an OLLI member, has not personally experienced death but that has not stopped him from writing poetry about it. His work is widely published, and he is a past area vice president of the Poetry Society of Virginia. His previous popular courses at OLLI have included Strictly Sonnets, Chaucer and English Ain’t What You Think.


958 The Tallwood Trio with Nancy Riley

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Apr. 10
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
The Tallwood Trio was established by three OLLI members in October 2012. Since their OLLI debut at the 2013 Valentine’s Day party, they have performed for various OLLI events on all three campuses. With a passion for music, a love of jazz and particular interest in the Great American Songbook, the group’s repertoire includes tunes by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. In late 2013, vocalist Nancy Riley joined the Tallwood Trio.
Alan Wenberg plays piano for various functions around town including corporate events, parties, weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. His latest CD, Shaken, Not Stirred, can be heard in part on his website,
Eric Henderson is a retired CIA employee and a jazz bass player who worked frequently with area bands in the 1960s and 70s.
David Hirsch, drummer, played his first gig in New York’s Catskill Mountains (aka The Borscht Belt) in the mid-1950s and worked the New York club date circuit as a leader and sideman.
Nancy Riley, vocalist, is an accomplished chorister and ensemble singer. She has been with the Reston Chorale for the past 25 years and formerly sang with Musica Concordia.


959 Brain Health as You Age: Normal Aging vs. Dementia

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 13
Instructor: Christi Clark
We all want to stay healthy and independent as we get older. Do you ever wonder if a lapse in memory is something more? Currently, one in nine people over the age of 65 has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. In this course we will discuss what normal aging is versus what is dementia, what are ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease and when it might be time to seek a doctor’s advice.
Christi Clark, education and outreach coordinator at Insight Memory Care Center, has over 15 years of experience in the field of long-term care. As a certified memory impairment specialist, she has dedicated the last ten years to working specifically with those affected with various forms of memory impairment, their caregivers, families and the community.


960  Five Scientific Discoveries that Facilitate Good Policing

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 15
Instructor: Cynthia Lum
Decades of research, scholarship and collaboration between law enforcement and academics have yielded significant scientific discoveries about the impact that police can have on reducing and preventing crime. Translating these findings into police operations can help to improve public safety, reduce fear and victimization, increase community confidence and trust in the police and improve officer job satisfaction. Yet, some agencies, officers and citizens are either not aware of this knowledge or resist it, both of which limit police effectiveness and community satisfaction. In this lecture, Professor Lum describes these discoveries and why police and citizens should care about them.
Dr. Cynthia Lum is director and associate professor of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason. She conducts research primarily in the area of evidence-based policing and security. Her works in this area have included evaluations of policing interventions and police technology, understanding the translation and receptivity of research in policing, examining place-based determinates of street-level police decision-making and assessing security efforts of federal agencies.


961 Meet (Some of) the Press

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 15
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructors: John Cochran, Barbara Cochran
Coordinator: Roz Stark
John Cochran will talk about the presidents he’s covered as well as his time overseas reporting on major news developments. Barbara Cochran will describe what it was like for women starting out in the news business and how it was to move from print to radio, television and then digital journalism.
John Cochran is a retired network television correspondent who has known every president since Dwight Eisenhower, covered every major beat in Washington and reported on international stories ranging from the Iranian hostage crisis to the fall of communism in eastern Europe and the end of apartheid in Sound Africa. He joined ABC News in 1994 as chief Capitol Hill correspondent, covered Bob Dole’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency and was senior White House correspondent in the final two years of the Clinton administration. From January 2001 until his retirement in 2011, he was the network’s senior Washington correspondent. Before joining ABC, Cochran worked for 21 years at NBC, as correspondent both in Washington and overseas, covering the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. From 1978 until 1987, he was based in London and became NBC’s chief foreign correspondent.
Barbara Cochran is the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in public affairs journalism at the University Missouri School of Journalism and director of the school’s Washington program. She has held executive positions in newspapers, radio, television and the nonprofit sector. She was managing editor of The Washington Star, vice president for news at NPR, where she directed the creation of NPR’s Morning Edition, was executive producer of NBC’s Meet the Press and then vice president and Washington bureau chief of CBS News–the first woman to head a network bureau in Washington. Cochran served for 12 years as president of the Radio Television Digital News Association. She is president of the board of the National Press Club Journalism Institute and was a founding board member of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

962 Federal Protection of Voting Rights

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Apr. 17
Instructor: Abigail Thernstrom
Coordinator: Bob Zener
The 1965 Voting Rights Act, by enfranchising southern blacks, so long denied the most basic right of citizenship, transformed American politics. It was a beautifully designed statute, but over time it became an instrument to guarantee not just black ballots but safe black legislative seats – quite a different goal. That transformation will be the subject of this lecture.
Abigail Thernstrom is an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She was vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2001 to 2013, and from 1995 to 2006 was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. Her books include Voting Rights and Wrongs (2009), and Whose Votes Count? (1987). In collaboration with her husband Stephen Thernstrom (a Harvard history professor), she also wrote America in Black and White: One Nation Indivisible (1997), which The New York Times Book Review named as one of the notable books of 1997. Her frequent media appearances have included Fox News Sunday and Good Morning America. She writes op-eds for a variety of journals and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

963 Images of Artificial Intelligence Parts I and 2

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Apr. 20–Apr. 27
Two sessions
Instructor: Patty Means
“If you wish to know an era, study its most lucid nightmares. In the mirrors of our darkest fears, much will be revealed.” Thus wrote William Gibson, author of the novels Neuromancer and, most recently, Pattern Recognition. Swirling around our inner psyches, as we stepped from primitive cave dweller to spear chucker to chariot racer to spaceship pilot, we carried a mistrust of the unnatural – our technological twins. How has cinema led this version? In the first of two parts, we’ll view and discuss the origins of films such as Metropolis, The Forbidden Planet (Robby the Robot), Colossus and Logan’s Run as we look at both the whimsical and fearful robots and artificial intelligence created by Hollywood. In the second section, we careen through more recent artificial intelligence in Silent Running, Blade Runner, Terminator, AI, and Her.
Patty A. Means is an associate professor in the language and literature divisions of both Northern Virginia Community College and the University of Maryland’s University College.


964 Underwater Wonders Part 2: Eat or be Eaten

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 22
Coordinator: Dr. Barry Berkey
Dr. Steve Cohen returns to OLLI, this time to discuss the imperative to reproduce or perish — survival in the deep blue sea. Using high-definition underwater video, he will illustrate the use of camouflage, schooling, counter shading and hiding in plain sight by ocean inhabitants in order to survive and reproduce. Exquisite views of scorpion fish, octopus and cuttlefish, as well as shark footage and whales, will be used to illustrate these behaviors.
Dr. Steven J. Cohen did both his undergraduate (BS 1972) and graduate (DVM 1975) studies at Cornell University. In 1980, he established Mobile Veterinary Services of Northern Virginia. Dr. Cohen ran the first “fulltime house-call” veterinary practice in Virginia. He became scuba-certified in 1988 and began underwater videography in 1996 (PupDoc Productions). His work has been recognized in international underwater video competitions and has been shown at several San Diego Underwater Film Exhibitions.


965 The Chautauqua Institution: An Inside View

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 22

Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne

Instructors: Roz and Marty Stark

The Chautauqua Institution, in southwestern New York State, is a 140-year-old program that was founded to foster debate and consideration of major national issues. Originally premised on helping members of the clergy and educators reinvigorate themselves during the summer before returning to their congregations and classrooms in the fall, Chautauqua now is a multi-faceted, nine-week program dedicated to promoting education, religion and the arts. Presidents, politicians, Supreme Court justices, leading literary figures and experts on a wide range of global issues speak daily on Chautauqua’s lecture platform, and performers ranging from classical pianists to folk singers and popular entertainers grace Chautauqua’s open-air amphitheater each evening. The Chautauqua Institution has a resident symphony orchestra; visitors can attend high-quality opera and top-notch theatrical and dance performances. Voice, dance, music, theater and visual arts students hone their skills at sought-after classes throughout the summer. Visitors to Chautauqua are often delighted by its physical beauty—it is situated on the shores of Lake Chautauqua—as well as the variety of its programming. The Institution offers hundreds of “special studies” classes, plus golf, tennis, water sports, movies and—perhaps most relaxing of all—porch-sitting.
Roz and Marty Stark, both OLLI members, believe that Chautauqua will be of great interest to those who attend OLLI classes. The Starks have a summer home at Chautauqua and have spent four or five weeks there each summer for the past 24 years.


966-a Health Reform: What We Know, What We Think We Know and What We Believe

Friday, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 24
Instructor: Len Nichols
Public debate surrounding healthcare reform in the U.S. is emotionally debated and fraught with misunderstanding; some data is now widely accepted as fact, whereas other facts have been reassessed to create new realities. Tradeoffs have now been established by the recent reform law and accompanying private sector reactions. Dr. Nichols will discuss these changes and help sift through the wealth of information regarding healthcare reform. Documenting and evaluating healthcare reform efforts will help move public discussion away from antagonistic disputes and toward informed public debate and personal decision-making.
Len Nichols is a Professor of Health Policy at George Mason. He bridges the worlds of health policy, health politics, health economics and health services research to help interpret it all for policy makers, private sector leaders and journalists. Len has testified before Congress and state legislatures, and is or has been an advisor to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative and to the Pan American Health Organization. He has worked with the Commonwealth’s official Health Reform Initiative and the new Virginia Center for Health Innovation, as well as with Fairfax County on its own health reform implementation options.


966-b Urban Search and Rescue

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 29
Coordinator: Stephanie Trachtenberg
Did you know that Fairfax County sponsors an international urban search and rescue resource that is recognized throughout the United States and the world as a premier leader in the provision of training in catastrophic event mitigation, readiness and response and recovery techniques? Join us to learn about the history and mission of Virginia Task Force 1. Since 1986, task force members have been at the forefront in assisting in the development of response systems both domestically and internationally. This assistance and support, supplied to USAID-OFDA, the United Nations and FEMA, continues today to ensure that the world’s first responder community remains prepared for its arduous duty. In total, there are approximately 200 trained and equipped members on the task force. When activated, the task force is comprised of 70 persons: firefighters and paramedics from the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department (both career and volunteer) and highly trained civilians including physicians, canine handlers, structural engineers, communications experts and heavy rigging specialists.

967  “I’m So Glad We Had this Time Together”: A Tribute to Carol Burnett

Friday, 1:30–3:00, May 1
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Who can forget her Tarzan yell, that goodnight tug on the ear for her grandmother or the Scarlett O’Hara dress (complete with curtain rod)? Carol Burnett is an amazing actress, comedian, writer, singer – and above all else, an American treasure. This class will feature a talk and slideshow about the background of this redheaded wonder, followed by a lot of video presentations featuring Carol’s best moments. Be prepared to laugh!
Martha Powers is an OLLI member who likes to laugh and to share fun moments with other OLLI folks.


968 Hollywood’s Monsters and Mayhem

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 4
Instructor: Patty A. Means
Monsters have been around since Beowulf and the Odyssey, yet Hollywood has managed to concoct things that would put Homer or the Anglo-Saxons to shame. This class takes a quick spin through some of Hollywood’s memorable monsters beginning with some silent-era monster films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, moving through the atomic complexities of Godzilla and ending with some ugly nemeses and creatures from 1950s films such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
See 963 for instructor information.


969 Become a Fairfax County Citizen Ambassador

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 6
Coordinator: Sue Porter
Class limit: 20
It is the residents of any location who truly exemplify the passion and love of where they live and work. They are the ones who can recommend their local favorites in the area they enjoy. Visit Fairfax is building a workforce of people who love this area and want to share their knowledge of their surroundings with others. With this class, students will become Fairfax County Ambassadors, prepared to tell the county’s tourism story to friends, family and visiting tourists. The program teaches ambassadors about many of the sites and attractions located in the county and how to use Visit Fairfax resources–, the Visitors Guide and the smart phone app. At the end of the training, they will receive an ambassador pin to identify them as a member of this elite group of tourism promoters. New ambassadors are eligible to attend free tours of the County given twice a year. Visit Fairfax is the official tourism organization for Fairfax County charged with destination marketing and tourism promotion. It is directed by many of the county’s top tourism and hospitality leaders.

970 Famous Trials, Part 1

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 6
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Ben Gold
The Trial of Sir Thomas More. How did the head of one of the most revered men in England end up on the chopping block on London’s Tower Hill in 1535? More’s road from his post as Lord Chancellor of England to the Tower of London owes its course to a Bible passage, a marriage of a long-dead prince and the consuming lust of King Henry VIII.
The Salem Witch Trials. In the summer of 1692, 19 men and women convicted of witchcraft were executed. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft; dozens languished in jail for months without trials. Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria ended. Why did this travesty of justice occur? Why did it occur in Salem?
Ben Gold graduated from Stanford University with a BA in political science. He served for 22 years in the U.S. Navy, where he earned an MS in computer science. After retirement, he worked in the information systems industry. Besides teaching at OLLI, Ben has been a docent at the U.S. Supreme Court for 11 years and for the past six years he has been a featured speaker on cruise ships.


971 The Why and How of Maintaining the Appalachian Trail

Monday, 11:501:15, May 11
Instructor: Ben FitzGerald
The Appalachian Trail, the first National Scenic Trail, traverses nearly 2,180 miles from Springer Mountain in northern Georgia to Mount Katahdin in central Maine. More than 6,000 trail overseers are an important component of a successful hiking experience for day or long-distance hikers. Learn how trail volunteers install cribbing, build check dams, water bars and other means to move water off the trail. The presenter will show the tools ( i.e., pick mattock, Pulaski, rock bar, McLeod rake, and a basic 2” paint brush) and how they are used. Photography of giant white trillium and other seasonal native plants will be included.
Ben FitzGerald, an OLLI member, has been a trail overseer for more than ten years for a two and a half-mile segment of the Appalachian Trail near Linden, Va. This segment bisects the Thompson Wildlife Management Area of the Virginia State Park System, home to the largest stand of giant white trillium on the Eastern seaboard. He is a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conference and the Virginia Native Plant Society.


972 Books! Books! Books!

Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 11
Coordinator: Sigrid Blalock
Share your love of reading with fellow enthusiasts. Bring your current book(s) to this spirited discussion group and introduce us to your fiction or nonfiction selection. We welcome mysteries, history and adventure stories. Share your love of reading with us.


973 Your State Government–Current Issues and How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Community

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 13
Instructor: David Bulova
With so much focus on the federal government, many people don’t think about how many aspects of our daily lives are affected by decisions made out of Richmond. This class will focus on current issues in the General Assembly and how the structure of Virginia’s legislative system affects the policy-making process. Virginia is facing a wide range of issues, including whether to expand Medicaid, ethics reform, restructuring of educational Standards of Learning and budget cuts brought on by sequestration. In addition to getting a behind-the-scenes look at these issues, participants will learn how the legislative process is influenced by the committee structure, redistricting process and even the judicial selection process. Finally, participants will learn how to effectively advocate for their community or cause at the state level. Topics will include how to approach your legislator, identifying your target audience and working through the legislative process.
Delegate David Bulova represents the 37th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He serves on the Education, General Laws and Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources committees, as well as the Housing Commission and the Joint Commission on Health Care. He received a BA in government from the College of William and Mary and a masters of public administration from Virginia Tech.


974 Famous Trials, Part 2

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, May 13
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Ben Gold
Ben Gold will discuss two famous trials in history:
The Court-Martial of the HMS Bounty Mutineers. A psychological drama played out between Captain Bligh, and his mate, Fletcher Christian, which led to, among other things: one of the most amazing navigational feats in maritime history, the founding of a British settlement that continues to exist today and a court-martial in England that answered the question of which of the captured mutineers should live–and which should die.
The Scopes “Monkey” Trial. In a Dayton, Tennessee, courtroom a jury was to decide the fate of John Scopes, a high school biology teacher, charged with illegally teaching the theory of evolution. The first highly publicized trial concerning the teaching of evolution, the Scopes trial made for great oratory between eminent rivals, and it put the debate over teaching evolution on front pages across the country. But one thing the Scopes “monkey trial” of 1925 did not do was settle the contentious issue of evolution in the schools, which continues to incite strong passions and court actions to this day.
See 970 for instructor information.


975 OLLI Players Performance

Friday, 1:00–2:30, May 15
Coordinator: Kathie West
The OLLI Players will be performing a play complete with violin and guitar called “The Changing Seasons of Life”. You will be taken into the lives and memories of the OLLI Players. Come and see why this group is becoming more popular by the day. We love to have fun and we love each other.


976 New Member Coffee

Friday, 10:00, Mar. 27
Coordinator: Sandy Driesslien
All members, but especially new members, are cordially invited for coffee, refreshments and conversation. Here’s an opportunity for you to meet some of our instructors, staff, board members and committee chairs, to get answers to any questions you may have and to tell us about yourself and your interests.


977 School of Dance Gala

Saturday, 8:00, Mar. 28
Center for the Arts
Coordinator: Kristina Windom
Join us as the Mason Dance Company performs its 2015 Gala Concert at George Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall. This eagerly anticipated annual event showcases this extraordinary repertory company of dancers at the start of their professional careers, performing a program of contemporary choreographic masterpieces. Recent alumni of the Mason Dance Company have been invited to join some of the world’s most prestigious dance companies, including Mark Morris Dance Group, Limón Dance, Elisa Monte Dance and Pascal Rioult. The exciting program features Pupil Suite” by Andrea Miller, “Lickety Split” by Alejandro Cerrudo and “Vespers” by Ulysses Dove. A fee of $15.00, payable after notification of acceptance into the event, covers the cost of your ticket.


978 Visit to Congregation Adat Reyim with Rabbi Bruce Aft

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 8
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
Rabbi Bruce Aft has presented numerous times at OLLI and now he welcomes us once again to visit Congregation Adat Reyim where he has been the spiritual leader since 1991. For our on-site visit he will introduce and explain the symbols inside the sanctuary, which will provide a meaningful grasp of the synagogue’s interior. With the holiday of Passover beginning on April 3, Rabbi Aft will use the Passover themes of freedom, redemption and education as portrayed in the Haggadah, the book containing the story of the Exodus from Egypt that is used during the Passover Seder. Perfect timing for an inspirational experience during Passover. Congregation Adat Reyim is located at 6500 Westbury Oaks Court in Springfield. Directions will be emailed to those enrolled.

Rabbi Bruce Aft is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia and received his honorary doctor of divinity degree in June 2006. He has been an adjunct Professor of Jewish studies at the University of Mary Washington and Marymount University and has taught conflict resolution at George Mason.


979 Visit to the Lincoln and National WWII Memorials in DC

Friday, 9:00–1:00, Apr. 10
Bus trip
Coordinator: Florence Adler
Event limit: 55
We will journey the monumental core of the National Mall with public sculpture scholar, Jim Percoco as a follow-up to his presentation during the winter semester of Lincoln: The Man in the Monuments. Starting at the Lincoln Memorial and ending at the National WWII Memorial, learn how the monumental core came to be and how the monuments and memorials on the Mall reflect the American narrative at critical junctures. The bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, parking lot 57 (in front of Mantech Corp), promptly at 9:00. Please be on the bus no later than 8:45. The fee of $17, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance, includes the bus and driver gratuity. We will leave D.C at 12:00 for the return drive.
James A. Percoco taught at West Springfield High School from 1980-2012 and was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2011. Currently he is the teacher-in-residence for the Civil War Trust and Director of Education for the Friends of the National World War II Memorial.


980 Simply Sondheim

Saturday, 2:00, Apr. 11
Coordinator: Florence Adler
Simply Sondheim is a world premiere, an original tribute celebrating Stephen Sondheim and Signature Theatre’s special partnership over the last 25 years. With permission from Sondheim himself, this completely new revue, created by Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and David Loud, plays only at Signature and will never be seen again. Whether you’d like to race Into the Woods with Sweeney Todd and a few Assassins, enjoy A Little Night Music at the Follies on a Saturday Night, or simply relish a Sunday in the Park with George, you’ll be in good Company when six Signature favorites and a gorgeous 16-piece orchestra take the stage to honor the genius himself, Stephen Sondheim. Tickets are $63, discounted from $90 for OLLI members, and payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance.


981 Discover Luray Caverns

Friday, 9:30–3:30, Apr. 17
Bus Trip
Coordinator: Florence Adler
Event limit: 47
Luray Caverns has been an internationally acclaimed destination since its discovery in 1878. This U.S. natural landmark has been four million centuries in the making beneath Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The guided walking tour along well-lighted, paved 1¼ mile walkways through cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings ten stories high, takes a little over one hour. There are sparkling lakes, chambers sculpted with stalactites and stalagmites and beautifully colored crystalline cascades inside this natural landmark. The outside weather does not affect tours of the caverns which are open every day of the year – rain or shine. The temperature inside the caverns is a constant 54 degrees with very high humidity that makes it feel more like 65 degrees. Wearing a light jacket and comfortable walking shoes is highly recommended. There is a fast food café near the premises for lunch on your own. The bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, parking lot 57 (in front of Mantech Corp), promptly at 9:30. Please be on the bus no later than 9:15. The fee of $43, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance, includes the bus fare, driver gratuity and entry fees.


982 Shakespeare’s Birthday Party

Thursday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 23
Coordinators: Dick Wilan, Conrad Geller
April 23 is Shakespeare’s birthday as well as the anniversary of his death. We’re having a party! Our party will have cakes and ale (punch), Elizabethan music, videos of fools doing the Morris dance, a viewing of rare footage of the Bard himself in the office of Richard Burbage, discussing one of Will’s plays and, of course, camaraderie and some surprises.


983 Annual Business Meeting and Picnic

Friday, 10:00, May 1
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
The annual business meeting starts at 10:00, followed by the picnic at 11:00. At the annual business meeting you will learn about the programming and operations of OLLI as well as hear from the candidates for the Board of Directors. Voting for the Board of Directors will also begin on this day. Following the meeting, join other members for the annual picnic and enjoy the beautiful gardens and landscaping at OLLI. PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST REGISTER TO ATTEND THE PICNIC. Register as you would for a spring term course. When you register, remember to sign up to bring a salad, side dish or dessert.


984 Green Spring Gardens Tour and Tea

Wednesday, 11:00–1:15, May 6
Car Pool
Coordinator: Florence Adler
Event Limit: 40 Enjoy a spring tour of beautiful Green Spring Gardens, a Fairfax County park dedicated to the preservation of our area’s horticultural, historical and natural resources. Led by master gardener and docent, Paulette Royt, the one-hour tour will take us through some of the park’s 26 demonstration gardens between the Horticulture Center and the renovated 1784 Historic House. A wide variety of plants that may be grown in Northern Virginia gardens will be seen, and a brief history of the park will be presented. We will also enjoy a full English afternoon tea (finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries, scones) served in the Historic House at noon. Directions and a registration roster will be emailed in advance so that those who wish to carpool can contact one another. Please plan to arrive before 11:00 to start the tour on time with our docents. The fee of $38, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance, will cover the master gardener docent-led tour of the gardens and the full English afternoon tea.


985 Cold War Museum

Friday, 10:30–5:00, May 8
Bus Trip
Coordinator: Suzanne Brooks
Event limit: 56
During WWII the U.S. Army turned a plantation in Virginia into a secret military base. Almost overnight the barns at Vint Hill Farm transformed into the first facility dedicated to decoding the secret dispatches of America’s enemies. It played a vital part in winning the war. What Vint Hill has become today is an amazing complex where you can learn, create and taste! We will hear and learn from three different docents how Vint Hill has evolved into: The Cold War Museum, The Vint Hill Craft Winery and The Old Bust Head Brewery. Bring your own lunch, or order in advance from the Covert Café.
John Deperro, Chief Curator of the museum, is a retired U.S. Army major who served as a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam and a West Point professor. He is an expert in the background of all of the collection objects. Jason Hall, Executive Director, has a PhD in modern European history and is a professor at George Mason. From the stills in the Ozark Mountains to the intense production environments of Abita and Diamond Bear breweries, Charles Kling brings a lifetime of experience distilling, fermenting and brewing to Old Bust Head Brewing Company with Ike and Julie Broaddus. Ashton Lough graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology. He has been involved in commercial winemaking at Pearmund Cellars, Vint Hill Craft Winery and the Winery at Bull Run since July of 2012.
The bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, parking lot 57 (in front of Mantech Corp), promptly at 10:30. Please be at the bus no later than 10:15. We will depart at 4:00 to return to Fair Oaks Mall. The fee of $58, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance, includes bus fare, driver gratuity, admission to the Cold War Museum, tour and tasting at the Old Bust Head Brewery and tour and tasting at the Vint Hill Craft Winery.

986 Loudoun Wine Tour

Friday, 10:00–4:00, May 15
Bus Trip
Coordinator: Bernie Oppel
Tour Limit: 25
Join OLLI for another spring bus trip to the exquisite Loudoun County wine country around Purcellville. Begin with an extensive tasting in North Gate Vineyard’s environmentally friendly LEED Gold certified tasting room at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Upgrade your North Gate tasting experience with three different paired chocolate truffles for an additional $5. The tour continues with a delicious seated lunch at the historic Magnolia at the Mill restaurant in nearby Purcellville. Then proceed to the charming gallery at nearby Sunset Hills Vineyard for our final tasting experience. A fee of $64, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance, covers bus fare, driver gratuity, taxes, and wine tastings. Lunch selections (soup/salad, entree, dessert and beverage) will be provided later in the term for pre-selection and billed individually by the restaurant at an average cost of $20. The bus departs Fair Oaks Mall, parking lot 57 (in front of Mantech Corp) about 10:00, so please be at the bus by 9:45. Estimated time of return is 4:00.

987 Brunch Murder Mystery and OLLI Artists Silent Auction

Thursday, 10:00–1:00, June 4
Church of the Good Shepherd
Coordinators: Kathie West, Wendy Campbell
Come and enjoy another spine-tingling Brunch Murder Mystery. Dine with us and help solve another mystery involving nefarious characters. A portion of the $25 charge, payable to OLLI after notification of acceptance, will be used for enhancements to OLLI facilities under the direction of the Member Services Committee. Included this year are numerous photographs, sketches and watercolors from the art groups at OLLI that will be available for a silent bidding auction. All monies from the auction will be donated to OLLI.

989 Mason Scholars – Computer Vision: How Computers See

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 1
Instructor: Sugata Banerji

Computer Vision is a rapidly expanding research area in Computer Science today. With the ever increasing numbers of digital images being shared online each day, it has become important to create a system that can index, classify or search through these systems without human intervention. To do this, the computers need to see our world, i.e. to partly or fully understand our images and Dr. Sugata Banerji is going to explain how this is achieved, and what the state-of-the-art looks like.

Sugata Banerji received his PhD n Computer Vision from the Department of Computer Science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2013. He is currently working as a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Computer Science Department at George Mason University. His research interests include color image processing, image search and retrieval.


Ongoing Activites

Book Club

Second Wednesdays
Mar. 11, 10:00–11:30
Apr. 8, May 13, 1:30–3:00
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew                                                          703-323-9671
On March 11 we plan to read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. The April 8th selection is Still Alice by Lisa Genova. On May 13th we will discuss Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. All OLLI members are welcome.

Bridge Club

Feb. 18–Mar. 18, May 20–May 27, 10:00–12:00
Mar. 25–May 13, 1:45–3:45
Coordinators: Susanne Zumbro                                                  703-569-2750

 Gordon Canyock                                                   703-425-4607

Drop in and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert. Partnerships are rotated every four hands. The Bridge Club meets in the morning between terms and in the afternoon during the term. For details on the Club’s rules and bidding system, see its web page on the OLLI website.

Classic Fiction Book Club

Fourth Fridays
Mar. 27, Apr. 24, May 22, 10:00–11:30
Cascades Library, Loudoun County
Sigrid Blalock                                                                                                          703-723-6825
On March 27 we will discuss Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The book selection for April 24 is The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. On May 22 the selection is The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni. The book club welcomes new members.

Classic Literature Club

Mar. 27–Apr. 24, May 8–May 15, 11:00–12:30
Coordinator: Bob Zener                                                                                 703-237-0492
This club was formed to discuss great works of world literature. This spring the club plans to read and discuss two American Nobel Prize winning novels: William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom; and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Both novels are penetrating accounts of slavery in America and its continuing effects. To help us form a deeper understanding of these texts, we will read portions of the chapters on Faulkner and Morrison in a book of critical essays by Prof. Arnold Weinstein (of Brown University) entitled Recovering Your Story: Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison.
The club welcomes new members. Anyone planning to attend the meeting on March 27 should read the first four chapters of Absalom, Absalom! You are strongly advised also to obtain a copy of Prof. Weinstein’s book and read that portion of his chapter on Faulkner discussing these first four chapters (starting at the subtitle “Absalom, Absalom!: Quentin Compson Redux” and ending at the subtitle ”Human Garden, Human Seed”).

Cooking Club

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


Cottage Art

Feb. 17–Mar. 17, 9:30
May 19–May 26, 9:30
Coordinator: Sue Goldstein
All artists, whether you use pencil, ink, pastels, charcoal or water color, are welcome to finish or start pictures. The group consists of OLLI members at all skill levels who have taken OLLI art classes. Come join us.


Craft and Conversation Group

Dates and times to be determined
Coordinators: Doris Bloch                                      703-591-3344
                              Pam Cooper-Smuzynski              703-455-2716

We meet weekly on a flexible schedule to work on our craft projects and to share product sources, expertise and inspiration. The date, time and place of our meetings can be found on the OLLI website in the OLLI Ongoing Events calendar for the week. We cordially invite any interested OLLI members to drop in and join us, or just see what we are creating. For further information, contact Doris Bloch at or Pam Cooper-Smuzynski at

History Club

First Wednesdays
Mar. 4, 10:00–11:30
Apr. 1, May 6, 2:15–3:30
Coordinator: Beth Lambert                                                           703-624-6356
The club welcomes OLLI members who are interested in discussing historical events and sharing reviews of articles, books or interesting topics. The club maintains a list of books that members have found worthwhile, which can be viewed at If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming History Club meetings, contact

Homer, etc.

Feb. 20–Apr. 24, May 8–May 29, 11:00–12:30
Coordinator: Jan Bohall                                                                                  703-273-1146
Join us to read aloud a traditional or contemporary classic. We recently finished Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, and are now reading The White Tiger by Aravin Adiga. Drop in at the Tallwood Annex any Friday morning. New members are always welcome.  For more information email Jan Bohall at

iPad Users Group

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

Knitting and Needlework Club

Feb. 17–May 26, 10:00
Coordinator: Sheila Gold                                                                                703-860-8798
Do you love to knit, crochet or needlepoint? Do you want to learn? We welcome both beginners and more advanced needle workers. There is always someone who is happy to teach the new student. Come and join us on Tuesday mornings at the Panera in Herndon. For more information please contact Sheila at

Mah Jongg Club

First and Third Wednesdays
Mar. 4, Mar. 18, May 20, 10:00–12:00
Apr. 1, Apr. 15, May 6, 1:30–3:30
Coordinator: Liz Bateman                    
We welcome all members who want to learn the game of mah jongg or already know how to play. Stretch your mind and have fun with a game that is (maybe) easier than bridge, but definitely challenging! For more information, contact Liz or visit the Mah Jongg Club blog.

Memoir Writing Group

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



Personal Computer User Group

Third Saturdays
Feb. 21, Mar. 21, Apr. 18, May 16, 1:00
Coordinator: Paul Howard                                                   
In partnership with PATACS (Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society), we focus on Windows computers and software, the Internet, smart phones and tablet apps, digital photography, related technology, Android and Linux operating systems and Open Source software. Our aim is to bring broad expertise about technology and topics of interest to both groups. PC clinics are offered twice yearly. Our target audience encompasses beginners to intermediate amateurs and our methodology is “users helping users.” Club dues of $5 are payable at the first meeting in each calendar year. More details are available on the group’s website,

Photography Club

Second Fridays
Mar. 13, Apr. 10, May 8, 9:30–11:00
Fourth Fridays
Feb. 27, Mar. 27, Apr. 24, May 22, 12:00–2:00
Coordinator: Dan Feighery               
Meet with experts and others interested in photography, and develop skills by participating in monthly theme 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 will have guest speakers on the second Friday; on the fourth Friday of the month, workshops will cover specific topics in detail. Contact Dan Feighery for further information.

Recorder Consort

Feb. 20–Apr. 24, May 8–May 29, 9:00–11:30
Coordinator:  Helen Ackerman
If you have been part of the consort or have previously played the recorder and would like to expand your abilities, join us on Fridays. There will be some on- and off-campus performances and music may need to be purchased.

Tai Chi Club

Coordinators: Russell Stone                                                703-323-4428
                              Susanne Zumbro                                        703-569-2750
The Tai Chi Club meets every Saturday year round in TA-3. It is open to all OLLI members.

The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Feb. 18–Mar 18, May 20–May 27, 10:30–12:00
Moderator: Al Smuzynski                                            
See course F203 for activity description.

Travel Club

Fourth Fridays
Mar. 27, 9:00
Apr. 24, 9:30
Coordinator: Shelly Gersten                                                                         703-385-2638
The club welcomes any and all who are interested in domestic or international travel. OLLI members have a vast wealth of experience in both traveling and living in other parts of the United States and the world. Come share your experiences and learn from others. We also try to identify common interests so that members can plan to travel together. In addition, we organize occasional local trips where we carpool to sites within a drive of 60 to 90 minutes, including historic homes and museums.

Walking Group

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

What’s in the Daily News? Continued

Feb. 23–Mar. 16, May 18, 10:00–11:30
Facilitator: Don Allen                                                703-830-3060
This is an out-of-term continuation of What’s in the Daily News? for news junkies who can’t wait for the next term to express their opinions and discuss current events. It’s a small group and the facilitator expects it to be self-moderating.