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Summer 2014 Catalog

Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing Summer 2014 activities at all three locations (Fairfax, Reston and Loudoun). Unless otherwise noted, classes beginning with an F are held at Tallwood in Fairfax, an R at United Christian Parish in Reston, and an L at Mason’s Loudoun County location in Sterling. To view non-course information in the catalog, click the following links for the Schedule of Classes (pdf) and Registration Form (pdf). If you plan to print the catalog rather than read it on your computer screen, you may prefer to print the Summer2014 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 Bringing the Garden In

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, June 17
One session
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
This floral presentation will highlight the use of plants and fresh cut arrangements to create full gardenscapes in the home. Ashley Sawyer will bring samples to show how this look can be achieved using dish gardens, terrariums and casual flower arrangements that give a “fresh-picked” look. She will emphasize how these alternatives provide floral rewards where outdoor space is limited. Come and learn how containers, elements and varied textures create a “natural garden feel” indoors.
Ashley Sawyer received her BA from the University of Rochester. She is the Virginia floral merchandiser for Wegmans Food Markets and the division trainer and floral manager for the Fairfax location, specializing in full service floral, including custom weddings and design.

F102 A Quest for Perfection: The Symphonic Journey(s) of Jan Sibelius

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, July 1–July 8
Two sessions
Instructor: Christopher Zimmerman
Jan Sibelius was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. The core of his “oeuvre” is his set of seven symphonies. By listening to excerpts from these seven symphonies and his last orchestra piece, “Tapiola”, the class will understand Sibelius’ attempt to forge a thoroughly individual style. Homework: listen to all the following pieces many times over the next few months!

  • July 1: Symphonies 1-4
  • July 8: Symphonies 5-7, Tapiola

Christopher Zimmerman is in his fifth season as the music director of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO). A champion of contemporary music, he has conducted more than 25 local and world premieres. Maestro Zimmerman also guest-conducts around the world and is an artistic director with the Eleazar de Carvalho Festival in Brazil and the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival in Virginia. In addition, he is the Music Director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony (ND) and Artistic Director/Principal Conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic of Washington, DC.

F103 The City Plan as a Work of Art: Intended and Unintended Meanings in Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s 1791 Plan of Washington, DC

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, July 23
One session
Instructor: Scott Berg
In 1791, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a young French artist and engineer, was granted one of history’s most unusual and momentous commissions: he was to create an entire city out of thin air, a city that he and his patron George Washington hoped would become the political and social center of the brand-new American republic. Mason English professor Scott W. Berg’s talk, based on his book Grand Avenues: the Story of Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C., will describe how L’Enfant managed to succeed in his charge, despite being forced off the project after only 11 months of work. Professor Berg will also discuss what it means to think of a city as a work of art: How can a collection of streets and buildings carry the same kinds of meanings and messages as a novel, a piece of music, a painting or an epic poem?
Scott W. Berg has been a professor of nonfiction writing at George Mason University since 1997. During that time he has been a regular contributor to The Washington Post and other publications. His books include Grand Avenues and 38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier’s End.

F104 (More) Humor in (Mostly) Classical Music

Saturday, 9:30–12:00, June 21
One session
Note day and time
Instructor: Dan Sherman
This course follows up an earlier OLLI class, Humor in Classical Music, to provide more examples of classical music humor, based in part on suggestions of participants in the earlier class. The instructor will offer many examples of humor from the classical repertoire, including presentations by Anna Russell and Professor Peter Schickele, along with excerpts from the country-western version of the Ring Cycle (no kidding!).
Dan Sherman has previously taught OLLI courses on Wagner, Verdi and a number of musical theatre composers, including Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern.

R105 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, June 16–June 23
Two sessions
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.

R106 Fun with Digital Photography

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, June 30–July 21
Four sessions
Instructor: Stan Schretter
While this will be a serious class in photography, the emphasis will be on having fun while taking great pictures. We will explore powerful composition techniques that are both easy to remember and simple to apply. Any camera, including your cell phone, can be used in this class. During our third session, we will practice our classroom studies with an on location photo shoot at Lake Anne. During the fourth session, you will learn to critique your own photographs, which will make you a better photographer.
Stan Schretter, an OLLI member, is an avid amateur photo-grapher and has taught courses at OLLI for many years.


R107 What Makes Classical Music Funny?

Monday, 9:40–11:05, 11:50–1:15, July 7
Note times: Classes will run consecutively on same day in two sessions.
Instructor: Dan Sherman
There are many types of music that can put a smile on our faces. As part of this course, we will listen to both orchestral and operatic music from the great composers (Haydn, Beethoven, Rossini, Wagner and Verdi) and discuss some of the methods by which composers add humor to music. The instructor will offer many examples of humor from the classical repertoire, including some little-known but very clever parodies. This is a repeat of a prior class offered in January.
See course F104 for instructor information.

200 Economics & Finance

F201 The Affordable Care Act: Background, Status of Implementation and a Look to the Future

Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, June 24
Church of the Good Shepherd
One session
Instructor: Len Nichols
Despite all the media coverage and incessant pro and con messaging, many in the public are still unaware of, or possibly confused, about key features of the Affordable Care Act and their implications for the health care system and for the health – physical and financial – of the American people. Dr. Len Nichols, Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE) and a professor of health policy at George Mason, will provide an analysis of the Affordable Care Act, its elements, status, costs and possible impacts on our future health care.
Dr. Len Nichols 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 frequently 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.

F202 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 18–July 23
Six sessions
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.

300 History & International Studies

F301 “The World is About to End” – The Impact of this Apocalyptic Belief on History

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, June 18–July 9
Four sessions
Instructor: William Reader
Rooted in the Bible is the belief that the “world as we know it” (with its violence, war, death, sin, bigotry, ignorance and exploitation of nature) will soon come to an end, preceded and accompanied by various natural and man-made disasters. This belief has had a major impact on Western culture and has 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 will indicate that the “end-times” have begun? What type of world will come afterward? Where did mankind go “off the track”? Hebrew and New Testament prophets, 20th century Nazis, Communists 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 behavior ranging from hedonism to passive acceptance in the belief that only God could bring about the end to reformist and revolutionary activity and even genocide. This course will delve into the “end of the world as we know it” belief system and explore its history and consequences.
William Reader, an OLLI member, has a PhD in American social history from the University of Massachusetts. He retired in after 37 years with the federal government and has since taught several OLLI courses on American history and politics.


F302 Vice Admiral Viscount Horatio Nelson – Naval Hero Extraordinaire

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, July 2

One session

Instructor: Alan McKie

As an incredibly brave and inspirational leader and a superb yet unconventional naval strategist, Horatio Nelson continually thwarted Napoleon Bonaparte’s burning ambition to conquer Great Britain and the British Empire. On October 5, 1805, he defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cape Trafalgar in what history records as one of the world’s greatest naval victories. In four hours, Nelson dashed forever Napoleon’s plans to invade England. In this battle Nelson gave his life to ensure that Great Britain would rule the oceans of the world for over 100 years, a period now known as “Pax Britannia.” This presentation will consider the events that led to this great victory and Nelson’s mortal wound. It will compare aspects of Nelson’s life and death with that of his arch enemy Napoleon Bonaparte. These two seminal world leaders of the 19th century had a major impact on the history of the world for over a century. Both became national symbols of their nation’s struggle for power and supremacy. Each became to the other the personification of the enemy.

Alan McKie retired from federal service as a senior executive. Since then he has served as a volunteer research and tour docent at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, located at the Washington Navy Yard.

F303 America’s 21st Century Navy – The USS Zumwalt

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, July 9
One session
Instructor: Alan McKie
It’s a ship! It’s Star Wars! No, it is DDG 1000! The U.S. Navy has taken a giant leap into the future with the launching of a radically new warship, the USS Zumwalt. At first glance, it appears more like a spaceship out of Star Wars than the Navy’s newest and radically innovative destroyer. This presentation will illustrate what is new and novel about this “game changing” warship and how some of its features actually reflect warship design of 150 years ago. So stealthy, DDG 1000 will appear no larger than a small fishing vessel on enemy radar screens. Its electric propulsion motors and other sound and thermal shielding devices result in a vessel as quiet as a Los Angeles Class nuclear submarine. This first all-electric ship has generating capacity that could support 70,000 homes. The Zumwalt class of destroyers will be able to support revolutionary new magnetic rail guns, a cannon of the future that will be able to fire shells for 100 miles at seven times the speed of sound. This warship will be more powerful than battleships of past eras, yet require a crew of less than 150 officers and sailors.
See course F302 for instructor information.

F304 Sailing to California in 1849, Around the Horn

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, July 16–July 23

Two sessions

Instructor: Dick Young

This course is based on the colorful sea journal of Henry Jackson McCord, a 22-year old Ohio teacher. Motivated by the news of gold in California, he caught “gold fever” and headed west on the brig Orleans, sailing from New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn. The ship was small (104’ long, 30 passengers) and the voyage long (nine months and four days, the longest on record, according to McCord in his later years.) The “grub” was sometimes abundant and sometimes sparse. The seas ranged from peaceful to perilous (a plank in the hull was stove-in, lines of the rigging were parted, sails were torn, the rudder shaft was splintered.) Among the men and women on the brig, there were times of harmony (playing plays, singing songs, “cotillions” on the quarterdeck) and times of conflict (a fight with clubs and belaying pins, another with a drawn knife and a loaded revolver.)

Dick Young, an OLLI Board member, has taught previous courses on the Civil War in the West and other subjects. He attributes much of his interest in the period to his ancestors’ participation in it. Supplementing other sources, this course will include entries from the diary of Dick’s great-grandfather, Capt. Henry Jackson McCord.

F305 The USS Kitty Hawk: Events of October 12–13, 1972

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, July 16

One session

Instructor: Patrick McGinty

Some called it a disturbance, some called it a riot, and still others referred to it as a mutiny. Regardless of what it was called, the facts speak for themselves. At least 47 sailors were injured (three black, 44 white), and three of the whites were medically evacuated from the ship with critical, life-threatening injuries. Twenty-six individuals were charged with various offenses of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. All were black and between the ages of 18 and 22. The event resulted in at least one congressional investigation, which in turn forced the Department of Defense to revise its recruiting standards.

Patrick McGinty, an OLLI member and retired naval officer, was a mid-level officer aboard the Kitty Hawk from 1972 to 1974 and has done extensive research on both the causes of the event and its impact on U.S. Navy personnel policies.

F306 “Though small in number, their influence is large.”

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, June 19–June 26, July 10–July 17

Church of the Good Shepherd

Four sessions

Note: No class July 3

Coordinators: Michael T. Kelly, Emmett Fenlon

Written in 1929 by the first National Park Service director, the above words resonate among National Park Rangers who recognize and appreciate the power and responsibility underlying them. Few greater pleasures exist beyond experiencing the United States through its national parks—homes to many of the country’s cultural, natural and recreational resources. The Greater Washington National Parks system, for example, preserves more than 131,000 acres of park and forested lands, 717 miles of trails, 250 miles of riverfront, 152 statues and 3,000 historic structures. Beyond this local bounty, the National Park Service boasts nearly 400 additional units where one truly can experience America. While nothing replaces visits to these places, veteran park rangers’ stories constitute fair substitutes. We invite you to “visit” four more of your national parks through the experiences, recollections and insights of four current National Mall and Memorial Parks rangers who once served in other parts of America.

National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in nearly 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.

R307 America’s Venice – The Extraordinary Canals and Textile Mills of Lowell, MA

Monday, 9:40–11:05, June 16

One session

Instructor: Raoul Drapeau

These Lowell, MA canals have a rich history of use: first for transportation, then water power for textile mills and now electrical power for the city. You will learn about the harsh, dawn-to-dusk, year-round daily routine of the “Mill Girls” and about the vision of the man who conceived this unique vertically-integrated manufacturing operation.

Raoul Drapeau is a high-tech entrepreneur, author, inventor and commercial arbitrator. He holds electrical engineering degrees from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has published numerous articles in technical and historical journals. He has developed courses in intellectual property protection, creativity, sustainable energy and engineering, global warming and maritime history.

R308 Shackleton’s Unbelievable Exploration Voyage

Monday, 9:40–11:05, June 23

One session

Instructor: Raoul Drapeau

Ernest Shackleton was one of those extraordinary adventurers during the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. His ship became trapped in ice for 10 months and was about to be crushed. With no hope of rescue, he left most of his crew on remote Elephant Island and took a few others on an 800-mile trip in a small lifeboat over the rough South Atlantic to South Georgia Island. He then led two companions over the uncharted interior of the island to a remote whaling station. From there, he was able to organize a rescue party that eventually saved every member of his crew.

See course R307 for instructor information.

R309 Mission to Tokyo

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, July 22

One session

Instructor: Robert F. Dorr

The experience of Americans in the Pacific theater of World War II will be discussed by the instructor, who has written a book on the subject: Mission to Tokyo, which describes the experiences of American B-29 Superfortress bomber crew members in the final months of the war against Japan. The presentation and his book are intended for general audiences and are not specialized or technical in nature. The author will talk about the war itself and his experiences researching the war. He has a couple of surprises that may alter your understanding of history. Copies of Mission to Tokyo will be available to sign on a not-for-profit basis at the reduced price of $20 per copy.

Robert F. Dorr is an author, an Air Force veteran and a retired Department of State foreign service officer. He is the author of 70 books and numerous magazine articles about the Air Force, aviation and military affairs.

R310 Famous Trials, Part 1

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, July 10
One session
Instructor: Ben Gold
Two 70-year-old men, separated by almost 2,000 years, were both tried for their teachings. One was tried by a jury of citizens and sentenced to death; the other was tried by the church and confined until his death. The first was the Trial of Socrates (339 BCE). Why, in a society enjoying more freedom and democracy than the world had ever seen, would a 70-year-old philosopher be put to death for what he was teaching? In the second, the Trial of Galileo (1633), two worlds come into cosmic conflict. The result is a tragedy that marks both the end of Galileo’s liberty and the end of the Italian Renaissance.
Ben Gold graduated from Stanford University with a BA in political science. He was commissioned as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, where he earned an MS in computer science. After retirement, he worked in the information systems industry. Besides teaching a wide variety of classes 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.

R311 Famous Trials, Part 2

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, July 24

One session

Instructor: Ben Gold

In the 20th century, two people were accused of murdering babies. One, an illegal German immigrant, Bruno Hauptmann, was the accused kidnapper of the baby of aviator Charles Lindbergh. Questions still remain as to whether Hauptmann did it, and if he did, whether he acted alone. The other accused baby murderer was Lindy Chamberlain, who was arrested, tried and convicted for the murder of her 10-week-old daughter, Azaria. The jury did not believe her cry at Ayer’s Rock in Australia, “My God, my God, the dingos got my baby!” Again, the question is: Did she really do it?

See course R310 for instructor information.

L312 Four Tales from the Sea

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, July 1–July 22
Four sessions
Instructor: Raoul Drapeau

  • July 1: The Short Cut. This session will discuss many schemes, some bizarre, some impossible, but all very difficult, to create a shorter route across the Americas rather than south around Cape Horn or north through the Northwest Passage; culminating in, but not necessarily ending with, the Panama Canal. You will view many terrific photographs and film taken during the construction period.
  • July 8: Caribbeana. This potpourri introduces listeners to the great diversity among the islands and people of the Caribbean Sea. Learn some little-known facts about the area, including historical oddities, unusual political constructs, lost gold, bizarre natural phenomena, harnessing the Gulf Stream for electrical power and more.
  • July 15: Arctic Misadventures. Starting around 1900, many adventurers tried to travel to the North Pole, to find the elusive Northwest Passage to the Orient. They tried ships, balloons, airplanes, dogsleds and even snowmobiles. Most failed, some cheated and a few even made it. Hubris, national pride and danger abound. There were even some odd “firsts.”
  • July 22: Maritime Mysteries, Myths & Monsters. Over the ages, there have been many legends and reports of strange objects and animals in lakes and oceans, including the Loch Ness monster, undersea buildings, the Bimini Road and Atlantis. We will examine these and see which ones are obvious fakes, mistakes of observation and even mass hysteria.

See course R307 for instructor information.

L313 What so Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, June 18

One session

Instructor: Marc Leepson

Journalist, historian and author Marc Leepson will present a lively talk on the life and times of Francis Scott Key, the Washington, DC, lawyer and amateur poet who wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Mr. Leepson’s new book, What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life, is the first full-length biography of Key in more than 75 years. The instructor will relate the little-known story of how Key found himself in Baltimore Harbor on the night of September 13-14, 1814, along with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the morphing of the poem he wrote that fateful night, first titled “The Defense of Ft. McHenry,” into the National Anthem. He also will cover Key’s role in forming the American Colonization Society, Key’s adamant opposition to slave trafficking, his willingness to represent slaves and freed men and women for free in Washington’s courts, his role as a confidant of President Andrew Jackson, his work in Jackson’s “kitchen cabinet;” and his controversial actions as U.S. Attorney during the first race riot in Washington, D.C., in 1835.

Marc Leepson is the author of eight books including Saving Monticello and an American Biography and Lafayette: Idealist General. He teaches U.S. History at Lord Fairfax Community College in Warrenton. His website is

L314 World War II in the Pacific: Behind Some Common Impressions

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, June 19–July 24
Six sessions
Instructor: Keith Young
The initial part of the course will examine the early part of World War II in the Pacific by looking at some of the war’s causes that are often overlooked or under-estimated. For example:

  • Why did Japan start a war for which they were overmatched?
  • What part did Japanese internal politics and culture play in the decision to attack Pearl Harbor?
  • Why was the attack on Pearl Harbor such a surprise to the United States?
  • What did the United States learn about Japanese capabilities from the Pearl Harbor attack?

The course will go on to expand the analysis above and look at the Japanese war effort, strategy and tactics that had a significant effect on the course of the war. Prospective attendees are advised that the material to be covered in this course may extend into a second course during the fall OLLI term.
Keith Young, a retired naval officer with an interest in military history, lectures on many Civil War and World War II topics.

L315 Everything’s up to Date in Kansas City

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, June 26
One session
Instructors: Ray Beery, Karen Carter
This is part of a series of courses under the “This is Your Life” umbrella. It follows “Remembering the 50s,” and then the 60s. We hope in the near future to have “Growing Up in My Home Town.” As for Kansas City, if you haven’t been there, you should visit. It’s a fascinating metropolis: Gateway to the West, Meatpacker, Distributor of Goods, Mafia, Gangland, Political Boss Control … and don’t forget steaks, barbeque, jazz, Hallmark, the Spanish Country Club Plaza and fountains galore. Karen and Ray, who each lived there for many years, will bring it all to life.
Ray Beery is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and frequent teacher.
Karen Carter is a graduate of Park University, an OLLI member and part of the Loudoun program planning group.

L316 New York City in the Civil War

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, July 3

One session

Instructor: Jim Anderson

In 1861, New York City was the largest city in the nation and the financial center of the country. It was controlled by the Democratic Tammany Hall political machine, and it was home to thousands of immigrants and a growing black population. This combination made the city critical to Union success but politically and socially explosive. This session will examine the role and influence of New York City by focusing on three seminal events: 1) the secession crisis of March-May 1861, when the city attempted to preserve its critical financial ties with the states of the new Confederacy by itself seceding from the Union and forming an independent entity, 2) the riots of July 1863 in reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Draft Act and, 3) the desperate attempts by the Confederate Secret Service in the waning days of the war to stave off defeat through widespread and dramatic acts of terror in the city.

Jim Anderson spent 27 years with the CIA, which included six overseas tours in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. He holds degrees in history from Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. For the past seven years, he has conducted corporate leadership training seminars featuring Civil War battlefield visits.

400 Literature, Theater & Writing

F401 Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 17–July 22

Six sessions

Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall

Class Limit: 18

This workshop allows both novice and experienced poets the opportunity to share their work and receive suggestions for improvement. Workshop members should bring an original poem in draft or revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the office for duplication one week before the first workshop and a third poem brought to the first session. Poems can be sent by email ( or mail to the Tallwood Site Assistant.

Mike McNamara, an OLLI member, has been published in several literary journals and magazines and has received awards in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual competitions.

Jan Bohall, also an OLLI member, has had poems published in various periodicals and has won awards in the 2012 and 2013 Poetry Society of Virginia contests.

F402 Hitchcock Revisited

Tuesdays, 11:30–1:30, June 17–July 22
Six sessions
Note time
Instructor: John Henkel
Come join us for a follow-up to a previous OLLI course that presented some of the greatest films directed by the “Master of Suspense,” Alfred Hitchcock. We had so many fine movies not included in that series that we are doing it again with six more of Hitchcock’s best. We’ll watch and talk about classics like North by Northwest, Vertigo, and some off-the-beaten-path films like Lifeboat and Saboteur.
John Henkel, an OLLI member since 2009, is an avid movie buff who loves to talk about classic cinema. He has taught three film history classes at OLLI.

F403 The Scarlet Letter: Three Perspectives

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, June 25–July 23 (start/end dates revised 5/19/14)

Five sessions

Instructor: Linda Blair

Most of us remember reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter in 11th grade and memorizing details about setting, plot, character, theme and tone. But suppose there is more. Perhaps this American romance is an immigration tale about tensions and ambiguities associated with the New World. Then, too, a feminist reading may underscore Hester’s artistic talent as she embraces her “A” and turns it into an economic boon for herself and Pearl. Through lecture and small group discussion, we will explore The Scarlet Letter from various, interconnected perspectives: the traditional view; a story of immigration and acculturation; a narrative about gender issues and, ultimately, who survives in Puritan New England.

Linda Blair, a retired Fairfax County high school English teacher, English department chair and International Baccalaureate Diploma program coordinator, earned her doctorate in American literature at The George Washington University.

F404 Theatrical Lighting Design

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, June 19

One session

Instructor: Autum Casey

Humans are inundated with light that we need to live and to explore our world; however, we rarely discuss the light that surrounds us every day. In this course we will explore the role of theatrical lighting designers and the variety of ways they communicate visual design ideas with others.

Autum Casey is an assistant professor in the School of Theater at George Mason. She received her MFA in theatrical design with an emphasis in lighting design from the University of Texas at Austin. Her credits include architectural lighting design, theatrical lighting, scenic and costume design, as well as international design. She is also a staff member of the Institute for the Digital and Performing Arts in Costa Rica.

F405 Ghost Stories

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, July 3–July 10

Two sessions

Instructor: Kay Menchel

Summer in Virginia usually means hot, humid days and languid nights, but here at OLLI we’ll be experiencing chills and shivers as we share tales of the supernatural, stories of hauntings and fables of things that go bump in the night. No reading ahead required; excerpts will be provided in class. We’ll discuss what makes a story scary, why we are fascinated with ghosts and why we like to be frightened. Any OLLI ghosts who want to join us are welcome; the registration fee is waived for members of the spirit world. 

Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from George Mason. She always enjoys sharing her passion for English Literature with OLLI members.

R406 A Brief Survey of Science Fiction

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, June 17–July 8
Four sessions
Instructor: Agatha Taormina
Science fiction permeates modern literature, film and television. Its subject matter ranges from serious speculation about the future to questions of ethics and morality to popular stories with lots of aliens and high-tech weaponry. In this course we will explore the nature of science fiction and survey its history. We will also examine the major subgenres and topics of science fiction and discuss authors and the works that exemplify them. The first session will provide an overview of science fiction from Shelley to steampunk. The second session will focus on works of dystopia and future war as well as encounters with aliens. The third session will highlight artificial intelligence and the fourth session will look at time travel and other alternate realities. The emphasis will be on written science fiction with some references to popular films and television.
Agatha Taormina, an OLLI member, received a Doctor of Arts degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, where her dissertation examined the function of archetypes in science fiction. She taught English for many years at the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Now retired, she currently teaches online for the college’s Extended Learning Institute.

R407 Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 18–July 23

Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne

Six sessions

Moderators: Janice Dewire, Carol Henderson

Class limit: 23

This short-story discussion class will continue with the anthology: The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, edited by Roberto González Echevarría. This fascinating survey of Latin American story-telling begins in the late 15th century and continues through contemporary authors. Discussions will include stories by 20th century authors Rafael Arévalo Martinez and Jorge Luis Borges. Registrants provide their own copies of the book. The 1999 (copyright 1997) Oxford University Press paperback is available for $15 from bookshops and online vendors.

Janice Dewire and Carol Henderson are enthusiastic Literary Roundtable participants and former OLLI Board members. They have been moderators for this popular course for more than ten years.

R408 Ghost Stories

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, June 19–June 26

Two sessions

Instructor: Kay Menchel

This is a repeat of course F405.

R409 Discovering India through Its Emerging Novelists

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 19–July 10

Four sessions

Instructor: Patty Z. Means

The past few decades have seen many new works of fiction and nonfiction emerging from the South Asian subcontinent of India and Pakistan. In addition to Nobel winners like Tagore, Naipal and Rushdie, many other works have been honored with high international praise: The God of Small Things, The Interpreter of Maladies and The Song of the Road top this list. Translated for English readers, these stories are set in the exotic worlds of Bengal, Kerala, Punjab and Mumbai. Why are these new, imaginative works capturing Western readers and how do these writers bring enlightening motifs and themes to the Western psyche? Join our geographic hopscotch around the Indian subcontinent as we discover its inventive new literary stars through lecture, media and class discussion. A list of suggested readings can be found on the OLLI DocStore.

Patty Z. Means teaches in the language and literature divisions of both Northern Virginia Community College and the University of Maryland University College.

R410 Films that Make You Think

Thursdays, 1:30–4:00, June 19–July 10, July 24
Five sessions
Note times
Instructor: Glenn Kamber
This five-week film festival features movies that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. They address all the usual topics that command our attention: love, religion, war and peace. Be prepared for lively discussion after each movie.
Glenn Kamber is an OLLI member who enjoys teaching political science and current events classes in Reston. This will be his sixth movie series.

L411 Ghost Stories

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 17–June 24
Two sessions
Instructor: Kay Menchel
This is a repeat of course F405.

L412 Loudoun County Public Library eResources using your eReader

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, July 15

One session

Coordinator: Robbie Milberg

Librarians from the Gum Spring branch of Loudoun County Public Library (LCPL) will discuss eReaders and how to make the most of these devices. Learn how to download eBooks and receive recommendations for different age groups across a variety of genres. The librarians will also showcase resources available through the library website that can help you access books, music, magazines and research 24/7. Utilize these resources for free with your LCPL card. If you do not yet have a LCPL card, please bring a valid form of ID that reflects a Virginia mailing address. The librarians will be happy to issue you a card.

L413 Choosing Delightful Books to Share and Buy for Children

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 18–July 2
Three sessions
Instructor: Nancy Robinson
There are many well-written picture and young reader books for children of which we may be unaware. In this course we visit many authors and discover books that are fun and captivating. We will discuss how to choose a book that will be meaningful and loved and what books to avoid. For the first meeting, bring your questions and a favorite picture book of your own.
Nancy Robinson, EdD, has been a Title I teacher, a reading specialist and a Reading Recovery teacher leader who trained teachers to teach nonreaders. She was also a consultant in Fairfax County Public Schools, as well as a professor at Virginia Tech and George Mason. Teaching children to love reading has been the focus of her adult life.

L414 Shakespeare’s Othello: Character and Language

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 19–July 10

Four sessions

Instructor: Richard Wilan

Othello focuses on two main characters–Iago and Othello, one a villain, the other a tragic hero. But what are the motives behind Iago’s villainy and can we really see Othello as a hero? This is a meaningful play for the Shakespearean scholar since the plot is clear and compact, allowing us to focus on what Shakespeare does best–language and character. The class will be a lecture-discussion format.

Richard Wilan received a BA from Amherst College, an MAT from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Maryland. His dissertation was on Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. He recently retired from Northern Virginia Community College, where he taught writing and Shakespearean literature for many years.

L415 Books! Books! Books!

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, July 17

One session

Coordinators: Sigrid Blalock, Kathleen McNamara

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

500 Languages

F501 Basic Spoken Spanish Part 3

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, June 18–July 23
Six sessions
Instructor: Pamela Garcia
Class limit: 25
This course is a continuation of Basic Spoken Spanish that began in the winter session. Participants should have enough of a grasp of Spanish vocabulary and expressions to communicate on basic topics of interest. The focus of the class will be conversation on topics chosen by the participants. These topics may include but are not confined to describing people and feelings, shopping for clothing, food and other items, travel, pastimes, daily routines, illnesses, etc. While the primary purpose will be to expand the participants’ use of basic expressions and vocabulary, grammatical structures will be included as they are necessary for communication.
Pamela Garcia recently retired from teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools, where she taught all levels of Spanish and beginning French. She also wrote curriculum and exams for the school system, taught many in-service courses and supervised language teachers. She served as the supervisor of the county’s foreign language program. Ms. Garcia began her career as an English as a Foreign Language teacher in Madrid, Spain.

600 Religious Studies

F601 A Quest for Pluralism in the 21st Century: An Islamic Experience

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, June 24
One session
Instructor: Abdulaziz Sachedina
This presentation will cover interfaith relations in Islam. The instructor will discuss the reality of religious pluralism in the Koran and Muslim tradition (Hadith), which requires unfolding the divine mystery of plurality of spiritual paths for human beings. Pluralism is a key for peaceful co-existence among faith communities. He will take up the religious sources in Islam to present the Islamic experience of interfaith tolerance and mutual respect.
Abdulaziz Sachedina, PhD, is a professor and holds the Endowed International Institute of Islamic Thought Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason. He obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto and has been conducting research and writing in the field of Islamic law, ethics, and theology (Sunni and Shiite) for more than two decades. In the last ten years he has concentrated on social and political ethics, including interfaith and intrafaith relations, Islamic biomedical ethics, and Islam and human rights.

F602 An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality: A Jesuit Approach to Catholicism

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, July 1–July 22
Four sessions
Instructor: Joanie Orgon Coolidge
This course will provide a general introduction to Catholicism through the lens of one religious congregation, 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 and we will consider how Pope Francis’ Jesuit perspective might impact his leadership.

  • July 1: An Overview: St. Ignatius, The Society of Jesus, and the Spiritual Exercises
  • July 8: History of the Jesuits in the World: A Global Impact
  • July 15: Ignatian Spirituality, Methodology, Practice and Pope Francis’ Leadership
  • July 22: Living Ignatian Spirituality: The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) Experience (A facilitated panel presentation)

A list of suggested readings and resources will be provided on the OLLI DocStore.
Joan Orgon Coolidge, PhD, is the 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.

F603 The Historical Saint Paul

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 18–June 25
Two sessions
Instructor: Jack Dalby
St. Paul never knew the earthly Jesus. But as Professor Bart Ehrman notes, “next to Jesus himself, the most important figure for the development of earliest Christianity was the apostle Paul.” In these two fast-paced, academically-based lectures, we will discuss our 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.

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

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 19–July 24
Six sessions
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, framing the issues for discussion. The class size is limited to 15 participants to allow for a lively exchange of ideas and experiences. 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?

This seminar welcomes members of all faith traditions, as well as those who doubt or don’t believe.
Steven C. Goldman is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and serves as chair of OLLI’s Religious Studies Program Planning Group

R605 The Evolution of the Haggadah and the Passover Seder

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 17–June 24
Two sessions
Instructor: Gilah Goldsmith

  • June 17: The History of the Passover Haggadah. The Haggadah is the manual for conducting the annual Passover ritual known as the Seder. Over 5,000 editions of haggadahs have been published. This book is a collection of prayers, songs, tall tales, Biblical quotations and rabbinic speculation, designed to enable each participant to experience the Exodus from Egypt. What can the many iterations of the Haggadah tell us about the social, intellectual and religious life of the Jewish people?
  • June 24: The Evolution of the Passover Seder. In any given year, more American Jews participate in a Passover Seder than engage in any other Jewish ritual or observance. Over more than 2,000 years, the ritual meal has evolved from an animal sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem to a communal meal. The Seder has been repeatedly adapted to reflect the concerns of Jewish people and communities. We will examine how the Seder has evolved, with emphasis on the historical context of that evolution and the concerns that continue to motivate it.

Gilah Goldsmith, a graduate of Harvard University and George Washington University Law School, is a retired government attorney who has led the weekly Torah study group at Beth El Hebrew Congregation for 20 years. She has a collection of approximately 300 Haggadahs, ranging from facsimiles of medieval manuscripts to modern pamphlets.

L606 Topics in Religion

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 17–July 22
Six sessions
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman

  • The Theology of Les Miserables. Sacrifice, forgiveness, the refusal of forgiveness, repentance, redemption, law, justice, grace, mercy, pride, greed, humility, perfected love – these are some of the grand themes of the human condition explored in Victor Hugo’s classic 19th century novel Les Miserables. In three sessions we will examine how Les Miserables presents a romantic, sublime theology that challenges us regarding our own ethical standards and interpersonal relationships.
  • Slavery, the Bible and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln highlighted the irony that both North and South used the same Bible to declare their cause to be just. Who had the better case based on Biblical texts? How did Abraham Lincoln read the Bible and how did it influence his understanding of slavery and the Civil War? In this session, we will see how Lincoln crafted an elegant argument regarding the hand of God in human history.
  • Does the New Testament Teach that God Is a Trinity? Most Christian denominations believe that God is a Trinity composed of three co-equal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Is this a fundamental article of faith? We will explore what the New Testament says about this doctrine.
  • The Resurrection of Jesus: Fact or Fiction? The Apostle Paul wrote “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) If Christianity stands or falls on the historicity of the Resurrection, why are there conflicting accounts within the New Testament? Can the divergent accounts be reconciled? What do sources outside the New Testament record about the Resurrection? We will explore how believers, skeptics and others approach this central doctrine of Christianity.
    See course F604 for instructor information.

L607 Talmudic Ethics Part 3

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, July 2–July 23

Four sessions

Instructor: Leibel Fajnland

Following on the heels of two successful courses on Talmudic ethics comes Part three with four new topics. Have you ever been curious about the Talmud, the crowning achievement of Jewish intellectual tradition, but thought it was too complex and inaccessible to anyone lacking extensive training? For this course you need no prior knowledge of the Talmud and no formal legal training. The class will study how the Talmud tackles complex ethical dilemmas that still vex modern-day ethicists. Attendance at prior Talmud classes not required.

Rabbi Leibel Fajnland, the director of the Chabad of Reston and Herndon, Virginia, is a frequent speaker on the topics of Torah, Talmud, Jewish identity and Israel.

L608 A Study of Elijah and Elisha

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, July 3–July 24
Four sessions
Instructor: Pete Gustin
Class limit: 20
The books of I and II Kings span the history of Israel from the death of King David through the division of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms and the beginning of the Jewish exile in Babylon. Embedded in this historical account is the cycle of stories about the great prophet Elijah and his disciple and heir apparent Elisha. These hilarious stories are not only religiously significant in their own right, but they are also among the first Hebrew stories to point directly to the actions and nature of the promised Messiah. Elijah is the only person in the entire scriptures never to endure death and is also a “first” in so many ways: first healing, first food miracle, first resuscitation and more. Join us as we extrapolate the Elijah and Elisha stories from I Kings 17:1 – II Kings 13:20 and discover the origin of such phrases as “the mantle has passed” and “swing low, sweet chariot.” The stories include salacious details into the private life of the hilariously wicked Queen Jezebel and her inept husband Ahab.
Dr. Pete Gustin received his BA (English/Philosophy) from Coppin State College, Baltimore, with a concurrent AB in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary College, also in Baltimore. He received his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminaryand his DMin from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.


650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 An Introduction to Fairfax County Archaeology

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, June 17

One session

Coordinator: Florence Adler

Class Limit: 30

In this “hands on” presentation, members will explore some laboratory techniques used in historical archaeology. By examining the artifacts from a site located in Fairfax County, they will be able to roughly determine the date of the site, the socio-economic status of people who occupied the site and the function of the site. This will be followed by a slide presentation showing the excavation techniques used and a discussion of the historic significance of the site.

Jack Lewis Hiller has been a member of the Fairfax County History Commission since 1981. He chaired the History Commission in 1994-1995 and currently chairs the Historical Marker Committee, which places roadside markers at historic sites in Fairfax County. Hiller also writes and speaks on topics about the Springfield area and has written a history of Springfield. He taught history for 30 years at Groveton High School and West Potomac High School and also at Northern Virginia Community College.

F652 The Best of TED – “Discussions of Riveting Talks by Remarkable People.”

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 19–July 24
Six sessions
Instructor: Russell Stone
TED is a recently established (and growing) collection of brief talks on a wide range of topics of current interest. The speakers are leading figures chosen for their ability to express ideas clearly and succinctly. The talks are inspiring and challenging introductions to ideas that range well beyond the original focus on technology, entertainment and design. The collection now numbers over 1,000 talks on hundreds of topics, well organized and accessible on their web site, All are recorded before a live audience and available on-line. Each session will consist of 3-4 brief talks on a specific topic, with ample time for comments and discussion. As the class progresses, participants will be encouraged to identify topics and/or individual talks they wish to consider and discuss with the class.
Russell Stone is a sociologist retired from American University. He was also director of the Center for Israel Studies. Within sociology he focused on social change, international development and public opinion research. He has lived in Israel, in Tunisia and in Afghanistan. Friends have noted than wherever he visits, unrest, revolution or war break out, but he takes no direct responsibility.

F653  1965 in America: The Year Everything Changed

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 26–July 24
Five sessions
Instructor: Richard Melanson
Class limit: 35
This discussion class will focus on the extraordinary events that took place in America during 1965. 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 United States 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 projects. 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).
Richard Melanson is an OLLI member who has taught international relations and American foreign policy at UCLA, Kenyon College, Brown University and the National War College during a 38-year academic career. He holds a PhD in international relations from The Johns Hopkins University.

F654 The Hidden Treasures of Korean Art and Modern Korea

Saturday, 11:30–1:15, June 28
One session
Note date and time
Coordinators: Bo-young Kim, Yon Han
The Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project will present two documentary films about Korea. The first film illustrates the artistic and cultural achievements of Korea’s past, such as Hangul (Korean alphabet) and The Tripitaka Koreana (a national treasure of Korea and registered as part of UNESCO’s “Memory of the World”), and the second film shows Korea’s industrial achievements since the Korean War. Following the films there will be a reenactment of a Korean traditional wedding ceremony. A complimentary Korean traditional meal will follow.
Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project is a not-for-profit organization formed in September 2005 to promote Korean history and culture to the wider world. The headquarters are in Seoul, Korea with branches in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and Los Angeles, as well as in Germany and the United Kingdom.

R655 Understanding Inventions That Changed the World–Part 2

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, June 16–July 7, July 21
Five sessions
Facilitator: Abbie Edwards
This course is a continuation of the course offered this past spring; however prior attendance is not required. This stunning visual series from The Great Courses, taught by Professor W. Bernard Carlson of the University of Virginia, will investigate the origins of inventions that have changed the course of history from prehistoric times to the 21st century. The lectures will cover such inventions as steam engines, the airplane, the atomic bomb, the computer chip, as well as beer, pagodas, indoor plumbing and department stores. During this session we will view lectures 17-24 and then complete the series in the fall term. Inventions such as cameras, telephones, motion pictures, the Model T and airplanes will be covered. In each lecture we will consider such questions as: How was it invented? How does it work? Why is it important? Did the invention change the world?
Abbie Edwards, an OLLI member, has taught a variety of classes at OLLI since 2001, including World Religions, Eastern Philosophies, Journey of Man and History of Mythology and Evolution. She is co-chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Program Planning Group.

L656 Ludwell Lee Project

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, June 18-July23
Six Sessions
Ray Beery
This is a hands-on workshop to develop and undertake an archaeology dig at the former Coton Manor in Lansdowne. This colonial plantation was owned by Thomas Ludwell Lee, Jr., whose father lived at Belmont, a few miles away. Over the years, the property produced cereal crops and cattle. It became a dairy farm that lasted until 2002, when Lansdowne on the Potomac created several thousand homes. The former Coton Manor was surveyed by an archaeology firm and the new owners agreed to preserve the ruins. The workshop will begin with document research and a visit to the site, proceeding to an actual dig.
Ray Beery is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and frequent teacher. He has lived in Lansdowne since 2000, where he was able to see first-hand the old dairy farm and the careful preservation of Coton Manor.

L657 I’m Dying to Talk with You

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, June 25
One session
Instructor: Dave Kampfschulte
Dave Kampfschulte has been in the hospice field for 25 years as a volunteer and educator. His experiences interacting with patients and families at the end of life provide stories that range from the unusual to the tear-provoking. Gain some unexpected new insights about a subject that is usually avoided at all costs, but one we all have to face. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Dave Kampfschulte is director of Amazing Circles Workshops and author of I’m Dying to Talk with You: Twenty Five years of Conversations on End of Life Decisions. Using his energy, empathy, and humor and over 30 years as an educator, Dave facilitates his interactive workshops and classes.

L658 Clothing and Social Status in Traditional Chinese Culture

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, June 19
One session
Instructor: Ning Yang
It is said that “clothes speak volumes” about the person wearing them. In ancient China, social status could be immediately identified by observing what people were wearing. This lecture explores the correlation of color composition, pattern design and decorative accents in traditional Chinese clothing with the status of the individual wearing it. The lecture will discuss ethnic varieties, regional features, a variety of textile types and different kinds of imperial robes and court dress worn during Chinese history. The clothing of young people in China today, who tend to follow Western tradition and like to express themselves by wearing unique clothes, will also be presented.
Ning Yang is an associate professor of linguistics in the College of Foreign Languages at Beijing Language and Culture University. She earned her doctoral degree at Radboud University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and later worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Hong Kong City University. She is currently a faculty member at the Confucius Institute at George Mason. Her research interests include theoretical linguistics, language acquisition and cultural studies.

L659 The Law and Morality: Sacrificing the Few to Save the Many

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, July 24

One session

Instructor: Ronald Goodbread

This will be a discussion, led by retired Judge Ronald A. Goodbread, on both the legality and morality of the “lifeboat scenario,” based on an actual 1841 case in which an American passenger ship, the William Brown, struck an iceberg during a raging storm in the North Atlantic 300 miles off Newfoundland. As the ship was rapidly sinking, a total of 35 men and women (17 crew members and 18 passengers) crowded into a lifeboat designed to hold 22 people. Taking on water, it began to founder. In the crisis, the officer in command of the lifeboat ordered crew members to lighten the vessel by tossing people overboard to their doom in the icy sea. When it was all over, 16 people – all of them male ship passengers, but none of the crew members – had been sacrificed in order to save the remaining 19. The next day, the survivors were rescued by a passing ship. Only one of the sailors who participated in ejecting passengers was arrested and charged with homicide. At trial, his defense was that the “law of necessity” justified his actions. Of what, if anything, was he legally/morally guilty? A brief PowerPoint® visual will be presented during the discussion as we attempt to answer this question. Those who wish to “prepare” may watch a motion picture based on this true story entitled “Abandon Ship,” starring Tyrone Power and Lloyd Nolan, available at

Judge Ronald A. Goodbread (Ret.) of the DC Superior Court previously spent over 20 years as a well-known criminal defense lawyer in DC, Virginia and Maryland. He is also a veteran OLLI presenter.

700 Current Events

R701  All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 19–July 10,July 24

Five sessions

Instructor: Glenn Kamber

We live in an age of abundant information from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, bumper stickers and newspapers. How should we filter these sources and evaluate information about world events, popular trends, and advances in science, business, sports and entertainment? In this discussion group we will look at some of the hot topics of the day. All viewpoints and opinions will be respected, needed and welcomed. As Walter Cronkite once said, “In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.”

Glenn Kamber, an OLLI member, is a retired executive from the Department of Health and Human Services.

800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 How to Get What you need from 21st Century Medicine–Finding the Right Balance Between Science and Art

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, June 24

One session

Coordinator: Florence Adler

Dr. Steven Simmons will begin with a brief history of medicine, touching upon the lessons of ancient physicians and their applicability to today’s practices, and end with a practical discussion of where today’s medicine succeeds and fails in providing care to those fortunate enough to see “old age.” One goal of this talk is to arm the listener with several new tools to critically evaluate medical advice and avoid becoming lost in the background “noise” of today’s impersonal medical delivery system. The major thrust of this talk will be to help you understand the importance of advocating for yourself and how best to do it.

Dr. Steven P. Simmons, MD is a Board-certified internist who spent 12 years working in primary and urgent care with Kaiser Permanente before joining DocTalker in the American Geriatric Society and the Academy of Home Care Physicians. He speaks frequently on providing medical care to those of our community who find themselves homebound.

F802  Forensic Science Yesterday and Today

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, July 15–July 22

Two sessions

Instructor: John T. Griffin

For the first session, a brief history of forensic science will be presented, including an overview of the state-of-the-art laboratory capabilities of the VA Department of Forensic Science (DFS). The second session will cover what DNA can and cannot tell us leading to a discussion about the “CSI effect” or how real life forensic science differs from what you see on TV, as well as an overview of VA’s post-conviction testing program. DFS is a nationally-accredited forensic laboratory system which provides forensic laboratory services to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s state and local law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, Commonwealth’s attorneys, fire departments and state agencies in the investigation of any criminal matter. DFS scientists provide technical assistance and training, evaluate and analyze evidence, interpret results and provide expert testimony related to the analyses of physical evidence recovered from crime scenes and submitted for examination. The Northern Regional Laboratory employs a staff of about 35 and provides services in controlled substances, firearms and toolmarks, forensic biology (DNA), latent fingerprints and impressions, and forensic toxicology. In addition to the Northern Laboratory the DFS has three other laboratories located in Roanoke, Norfolk and Richmond, which provide additional forensic services in breath alcohol, digital and multimedia evidence, forensic training, questioned documents and trace evidence.

John T. Griffin is the director of the Northern Regional Laboratory of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Manassas. In a career that has spanned 25 years, Mr. Griffin worked first as a controlled substances examiner, then as the supervisor of the Controlled Substances Section, and finally in 2011, heading up the lab as the Northern Laboratory director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Connecticut State University, with additional graduate coursework in biology and chemistry.

F803 Underwater Wonders: An Introduction to the Beauty and Diversity Below the Ocean’s Surface

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, June 26

One session

Coordinator: Dr. Barry Berkey

Dr. Steven J. Cohen will use his high definition video, “Ocean Alphabet,” to acquaint the class with a wide range of species found in our oceans. Fish, corals, dolphins, whales and sea lions are some highlights of his presentation. The video will also serve as a jumping-off point to discuss many of the problems facing the oceans today and offer some possible solutions. A video from Fiji and Indonesia will also be shown, as time permits.

Steven J. Cohen, DVM, completed his undergraduate (BS 1972) and graduate (DVM 1975) studies at Cornell University. In 1980, he established Mobile Veterinary Services of Northern Virginia, 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.

F804 Solid Waste Management in Fairfax County: Where Does it Go and How Does it Get There?

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, July 17

One session

Instructor: Pamela Gratton

Pamela Gratton, of the Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program, will describe the entire process of making refuse and recycling “go away” for over one million residents and thousands of commercial businesses. Ms. Gratton and other county staff members will provide a detailed description of every phase of managing the trash and recyclables generated in Fairfax County. As county residents and businesses generate about one million tons of trash and recyclables each year, almost invisibly the county’s solid waste management program makes it seemingly disappear. This presentation will show you the extraordinary effort and science involved in managing this volume of waste in Fairfax County.

Pamela Gratton is the director of recycling, engineering and environmental compliance for the Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program. She is responsible for the management of the county’s recycling program and activities necessary to achieve compliance with a multitude of environmental regulations controlling the disposal of solid waste.

F805  American Red Cross: Be Red Cross Ready

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, July 24

One session

Coordinator: Elizabeth Goodwin

Disasters can strike at any time. Nearly 21 million US adults were affected by disasters in the last decade. That’s nearly five times more than in the prior decade! Seniors can join the ranks of the millions of people who are helping to prepare themselves today for tomorrow’s emergencies. This Red Cross program teaches seniors the three simple actions of preparedness: Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed. This training will offer course participants an engaging experience with the Red Cross and an opportunity to learn how to equip themselves with necessities that can make all the difference should an emergency occur.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; furnishes nearly half of the nation’s blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.orgor join our blog at


R806  “Nana” Technology

Monday, 11:50–1:15, June 30
One session
Instructor: Andrew Carle
This session provides a review of aging populations and issues confronting both older adults and their families and professional caregivers in homes and senior housing environments. The discussion includes the definition of “Nana” technology with current examples, followed by examples of future sci-fi technologies to address health, safety, wellness and lifestyle needs. Learn why the iPad can make a difference in the lives of older adults and how robotic underwear may someday save your life. The objectives of this session are:

  • Understand issues of national and worldwide aging populations and the need for new technologies to address these issues.
  • Learn the definition and categories for “Nana” technology, and rationales and examples for each.
  • Discuss the use and applications of currently available technologies for older adults.
  • Review technologies in development for future application to address specific health, safety, wellness and resource allocation needs.
  • Understand current utilization and national survey data reflecting older adults’ expectations and willingness to utilize technology in their daily lives.

 Andrew Carle is an award-winning professor and founding director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason. In 2004 he coined the term “Nana” technology to define and categorize microchip-based technologies that can improve the quality of life for older adults. His work has been featured in national and international media and he serves as a consultant to numerous technology companies and providers.

R807 Black Holes Can Dance

Monday, 11:50–1:15, July 21

One session

Instructor: Sethanne Howard

A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Simple and fascinating! A black hole is the result of the deformation of space-time caused by a very compact mass – a lot of mass in a teeny (actually zero) volume. Around the black hole there is an undetectable surface, called the event horizon, which marks the point of no return. Once inside, nothing can escape. We cannot see, hear, smell, touch, or taste it. Dr. Howard will discuss where black holes come from, what they do, how we “see” them and even what happens when we visit one. Finally we shall watch them dance.

Dr. Sethanne Howard is an astronomer who has worked at NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Naval Observatory, where she was chief of the Nautical Almanac Office. She received her PhD (astrophysics) from Georgia State University, MS (nuclear physics) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and BS (physics) from University of California, Davis—the first woman to receive a degree in physics from that university.

R808  A History of Mathematics from 600 BCE to 300 CE

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 17–July 8, July 22

Five sessions

Instructor: Michael Flicker

In the history of mathematics, the Greeks are the primary orginators beginning with Thales at about 600 BCE. In the first four lectures, the class will address the mathematics of the Greek period chronologically through the work of some of the key contributors: Thales, the Pythagorean School, Hippocrates of Chios, Eudoxus, Euclid, Archimedes, Appollonius and Diophantus. Since the Greeks did real mathematics, it will be necessary to include some mathematics in the lectures; however, it will be kept simple. Some memory of algebra and geometry will be helpful. In the last lecture, we will discuss the early Chinese number system, specifically the “Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Arts” which was the primary mathematical text in China for 1,000 years.

Michael Flicker, an OLLI member, holds a PhD in physics and has been interested in the history of mathematics since his high school days.

R809  Yoga for Boomers and Beyond

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, July 24

One session

Instructor: Bonnie Elliot

“If you can breathe, you can do yoga,” Krishnamacharya used to say. Yoga has been around for thousands of years and its benefits, such as decreased stress, improved sleep and enhanced well-being, have been increasingly proven through evidence-based research. In this presentation, we will discuss how yoga can help seniors gain vitality and a greater sense of peace and purpose. The instructor will guide you through the experiences of breathing and movement designed for everybody, especially those with chronic health challenges such as high blood pressure, bone and joint conditions, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and autoimmune or movement disorders. Wear comfortable clothing for gentle movement that can be done seated or standing.

Bonnie Elliott is a registered yoga teacher with extensive training in therapeutic yoga that meets the unique needs of the aging body and mind. She has practiced yoga for more than 10 years and taught for over four years.

L810  The Aging Eye

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, June 17

One session

Coordinator: Mark Weinstein

What are the effects and impacts on vision as we age? This presentation will cover the causes and treatment of cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and other vision topics. These will be explained and discussed, along with current treatments.

Dr. Tabassum F. Ali is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed her internship in internal medicine at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center and her residency in ophthalmology at Penn State Hershey Eye Center. Dr. Ali performs all aspects of comprehensive ophthalmology, with a special interest in evaluation and treatment of glaucoma, cataracts and the use of premium intraocular lens implants, including toric and multifocal lenses.

L811  In the Garden with Loudoun County VCE Master Gardeners

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, June 18–July 23
Six sessions
Coordinator: Jim Kelly
Come join some Loudoun County Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Master Gardeners for an interesting and informative series of lectures.

  • June 18: Lawn Care. We will discuss growing a better- looking, more sustainable lawn: seeding, fertilizing, watering, adjusting the pH, mowing, aerating, etc.
  • June 25: Basics of Organic Vegetable Gardening. This lecture will cover how to grow your veggies without harsh pesticides or other dangerous chemicals.
  • July 2: Invasive Trees/Shrubs with Native Alternatives. There are many invasive trees and shrubs planted in the area that may surprise us. Learn what they are and what beautiful natives you can plant instead.
  • July 9: Building a Wildlife Habitat. If you build it, they will come! A wildlife lover’s dream is to have a garden where the (good) creatures stop to visit. Learn what is needed to create a backyard wildlife habitat and strong ecosystem.
  • July 16: Successful Strategies and Harvesting Tips for Vegetable Gardening. We will discuss getting your veggies from the garden to the table.
  • July 23: What’s Bugging Your Garden? You will learn how to identify the good bugs versus the bad bugs. This lecture will enhance your knowledge of beneficial insects and pests in the garden and detail the management for both.

L812  Loudoun Targets Lyme

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, July 16

One session

Coordinator: Robbie Milberg

Loudoun County health director David Goodfriend, MD, has identified Loudoun an endemic area for Lyme disease, averaging over 200 cases per year. In 2012, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, in recognition of the seriousness of Lyme disease, declared 2012 “Lyme Disease Awareness Year,” created the Loudoun Lyme Disease Commission and adopted a 10-point action plan to mitigate Lyme disease. Loudoun Targets Lyme is an outgrowth of this plan and coordinates Loudoun County government, businesses, non-profit organizations and citizens focused on reducing the impact of Lyme disease in our county. Dr. Goodfriend will present current data on Lyme disease prevalence and prevention in our area.

Dr. David Goodfriend is Director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Loudoun Health District, which provides local public health services for the residents, businesses and officials of Loudoun County, Virginia. He provides strategic leadership for District staff and serves as a resource for community stakeholders. Since beginning his current position in 2001, Dr. Goodfriend has addressed such diverse issues in Loudoun County as groundwater contamination, anthrax, SARS, an outbreak of malaria, increasing gaps in access to medical care and the recent H1N1 influenza pandemic. The current focus of his activities includes improving the District’s ability to respond to public health emergencies, improving the capacity of the private medical and dental communities to provide services to low income residents and improving the efficiency and quality of the District’s business operations.

L813 The Impact of Climate Change

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, July 17
One session
Instructor: Robert Means
The multiple dimensions of climate change policy–scientific, economic, political–make it a fascinating topic. The impact of climate change makes it an important one. This lecture will survey some of the major projected impacts on the world and on this region. It also will look at the reasons for continuing uncertainties with respect to the likelihood, magnitude and timing of the impacts. The lecture will draw on two recent reports: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, available at, and Climate Change Impacts in the United States, available at
Robert Means teaches courses in climate and energy policy at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.

900 Other Topics

F901  Life in and around Central Australia

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, June 19

One session

Coordinator: Velma Berkey

Heather McCain and her family lived in Alice Springs, the largest town in the Northern Territory, Australia for three years. The history of Alice Springs is long and rich. Join us to discuss life in the Outback, past and present,as Heather weaves her first-hand experience into an educational journey.

Heather McCain graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in English and an MA in education. She spent 25 years working in the training field for various government contractors and private industry before moving to Australia. Currently Heather is a project manager for ESI International.


F907 Planning Your Life after Retirement

Wednesday, 2:15-3:40, July 9
One session
Instructor: Hank Taylor

As with many major life transitions, the sudden shift from a busy work life to retirement can be challenging. A process consisting of a variety of exercises will be described that can assist in identifying meaningful retirement objectives and associated goals that are derived from true inner values. The process addresses the question, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” The financial aspects of retirement are not addressed. If there is sufficient interest, a life planning workshop may be offered during the fall term.
Hank Taylor recently retired from MITRE Corporation, where he supported large-scale government IT projects as an information systems engineer. His academic background is in experimental psychology and electrical engineering..

R902 Trip Tales

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, June 17–July 8
Four sessions
Coordinator: Stan Schretter

  • June 17: This past winter Abbie Edwardstraveled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. See the Royal Palace and the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok; an elephant ride through the jungle in Chiang Mai, Thailand; a cooking course in Thai cuisine; an early morning ritual of feeding the monks at Luang Pradang, Laos; a cruise along the Mekong River; a visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia; and a ride in a rickshaw in Hanoi (crazy traffic!).
  • June 24: In September 2013, Jeff and Ellen Rosendhal traveled on a combination mail boat, ferry, freighter and cruise ship up the coast of Norway from Bergen to the Russian border and then back to Bergen, enjoying spectacular scenery and visiting many interesting small towns and cities along the way. Six days were spent above the Arctic Circle. This talk will focus on sharing both the scenery and some of the many unusual experiences encountered on this trip to Europe’s northernmost region.
  • July 1: This past winter Stan and Judy Schrettertraveled to enjoy the warm weather, fantastic flora and the wonderful birds and monkeys of Costa Rica. This trip also included their first experiences with zip-lining above the rainforest.
  • July 8: Ben and Sheila Goldtook a Seine river cruise from the Normandy Coast to Paris, and after a night in Paris, continued down the Rhone through Burgundy and Provence.

R903 Papyrus– The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars

Thursday, 9:40–11:05, July 3

One session

Instructor: John Gaudet

Papyrus is a unique plant, one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It floats on water and its stems inspired the fluted columns of the classical Greeks. In ancient Egypt, the papyrus bounty from the Nile delta provided not only paper for record-keeping but food, fuel and boats. Today papyrus is not just a curious relic of our distant past, but a rescuing force for modern ecological and societal blight. During the class there will be a demonstration of how to make papyrus paper and an exhibit of replicas of Christian papyrus codex and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

John Gaudet ( is a writer and ecologist, whose work has appeared in The Washington Post. He is the author of The Iron Snake, a novel about a railroad in Africa that affected millions of people. His book PAPYRUS: The Plant That Changed the World will be published by Pegasus in June, 2014 (

R904  Become a Fairfax County Citizen Ambassador

Thursday, 9:40–11:20, July 10

One session

Note time

Coordinator: Sue Porter

Class limit: 20

It is the residents of any destination 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. During this exciting session, Ambassadors will be “tipped” with FX Bucks (play money) and gifts from attractions for their class participation. 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.

L905  Planning Your Life after Retirement

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, June 24

One session

Instructor: Hank Taylor

As with many major life transitions, the sudden shift from a busy work life to retirement can be challenging. A process consisting of a variety of exercises will be described that can assist in identifying meaningful retirement objectives and associated goals that are derived from true inner values. The process addresses the question, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” The financial aspects of retirement are not addressed. If there is sufficient interest, a life planning workshop may be offered during the fall term.

Hank Taylor recently retired from MITRE Corporation, where he supported large-scale government IT projects as an information systems engineer. His academic background is in experimental psychology and electrical engineering.

L906  Papyrus– The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars

Thursday, 11:50–1:15, July 10

One session

Instructor: John Gaudet

This is a repeat of course R903.

950 Special Events

951 National Portrait Gallery Tour

Friday, June 20, 9:30–3:30
Bus Trip
Coordinators: Ann Youngren                   703-437-1150
                       Luci Martel              703-729-3635
Event limit: 50
Come with us for a trip to the National Portrait Gallery to view two fascinating exhibitions:

  • Dancing the American Dream, American Culture in Motion,” which celebrates American dancers, choreographers and impresarios. Dance accompanied immigrants to America, but American dynamism created a uniquely American experience! We will see videos, drawings and portraits, that help to trace the evolution of American dance. Watch Michael Jackson in “Thriller,” Martha Graham, Judith Jamison and the New York City Ballet.
  • “American Cool” is a new exhibition of photographs of iconic Americans, helping to define the meaning of “cool.” See Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and more actors and musicians, all beautifully photographed. What are the criteria which make someone “cool?”

Bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 9:30. Please be at the bus no later than 9:15. We will arrive at the National Portrait Gallery at 10:30. The group will be divided in half. We will have two docents, including our own Barbara Nelson, who will take us through the exhibitions. Lunch will be on our own at the Gallery Café. We will leave the National Portrait Gallery at 2:30 and should return to Fair Oaks Mall by 3:30. A fee of $15.00, payable at the time of registration, includes bus and bus driver gratuity.

952  An Overnight Visit to Staunton and the Blackfriars Playhouse (Double Occupancy)

Saturday–Sunday, June 21–22
Coordinators: Lorraine and Norm Rosenberg                                   703-361-4572
Staunton’s historic downtown delights visitors with its vibrant arts scene and great restaurants. Our overnight stay will be at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center, located in the historic district, within walking distance of a myriad of interesting galleries, fine antique stores, artisan shops, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum and the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, a re-creation of Elizabethan London’s most famous theater. Our package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast served in the hotel’s 24 Market Room, overnight parking and tickets to two performances at the Blackfriars Playhouse: Cyrano de Bergerac on Saturday night and Macbeth on Sunday afternoon. All other meals will be on your own. Anyone interested in joining our group before the Saturday evening performance may join us in the lobby bar, Sorrels, between 4:30 and 5:30. If you choose to sign up for the double occupancy package, coordinate travel with your roommate in advance. Both roommates must notify the office by emailing The double occupancy package costs $147.00 per person inclusive of tax and service fees, payable to OLLI at the time of registration.

953  An Overnight Visit to Staunton and the Blackfriars Playhouse (Single Occupancy)

Saturday–Sunday, June 21–22
Coordinators: Lorraine and Norm Rosenberg                                            703-361-4572
The package for single occupancy offers the same features as 952. The single-occupancy package costs $215.00, inclusive of tax and service fees, payable to OLLI at the time of registration.

954  Opera at Castleton: Madame Butterfly

Sunday, July 6, 11:15–6:15

Bus Trip

Coordinator: Mary Coyne

Event Limit: 30

We will travel to conductor Lorin Maazel’s estate in the Virginia countryside where the international Castleton Festival will present the lovely opera Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. Be sure to bring a handkerchief! A light lunch is available for purchase, or you may bring your own. There are pleasant areas inside and outside where you may sit and relax. Price, including tickets, bus and driver gratuity is $75.00, payable to OLLI at registration. Bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 11:15. Please be at the bus no later than 11:00. We will return at approximately 6:15, depending on performance ending time and weather.

955 The Supreme Court

Friday, July 11, 10:00–3:30
Bus Trip
Coordinator: Ben Gold                                                                          703-860-8798
Event limit: 50
Visit the Supreme Court, the most powerful and prestigious judicial institution in the world, attend a lecture in the courtroom, view an interesting short film of interviews with the current sitting justices and tour some areas of the building not seen by the general public. Lunch will be on your own in the Supreme Court cafeteria. Bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 10:00. Please be at the bus no later than 9:45. The fee of $15.00, payable to OLLI with your registration form, covers the cost of the bus fare and driver gratuity. Please note: there will be a two- to three-block walk to the Court from the bus discharge point. Also, if you have taken the tour before, please do not sign up again—give others a chance to take this popular trip.

956 Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

Friday, July 18, 8:45–4:15
Bus Trip
Coordinator: Mary Coyne
Event Limit: 54
We will travel to Baltimore to the well-known Walters Art Museum and visit its exhibits ranging from ancient Egypt to 20th century European art. There will be a one hour docent-led tour of the museum’s highlights, followed by plenty of time to tour the rest of the building on your own. There is a small cafe inside the museum for lunch or you may dine at one of the many nearby restaurants. Bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 8:45. Please be at the bus no later than 8:30. We will leave Baltimore promptly at 2:45, so be on the bus at 2:30. Price including cost of docent, bus and driver gratuity is $32.00,payable to OLLI at registration.

957   Tall Ships and Cruise in Baltimore Harbor

Thursday, Sept. 11, 9:30–3:30

Bus trip

Coordinator: Mary Coyne

Event limit: 54

We will arrive at the Inner Harbor, Baltimore in time to view the ships from land and stroll around the area. Our ship “Spirit” will be boarded at 11:30 for a two-hour cruise. We will have the opportunity to view the Tall Ships close up and enjoy a delicious lunch on board while cruising. Bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 44 (in front of Mantech Corp) promptly at 9:30 so please be on the bus by 9:15. We expect to return approximately 3:30. Payment to OLLI at registration will be $76.00 all inclusive.

958 Bluemont Fair

Saturday, Sept. 20, 10:00–5:00
Coordinator: Gail McDonald                                                                        703-318-0194
Enjoy old-fashioned family fun at the Bluemont Fair. This is a juried crafts fair held in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to the many artists participating, there is a “Pickle and Pie” contest, music at various locations throughout the fair, a free children’s fair with farm animals, local wine tasting, several food vendors, historic slide show and more. It is suggested you wear comfortable shoes. There is a $5 admission fee for adults, payable upon arrival at the fair; children under 10 are free. Parking is free. Please come to the BBQ area at 12:00 noon to sign in (and have a bite to eat, if you wish.) We plan to go rain or shine. The fair is about one hour’s drive from Fairfax to Bluemont, VA. Directions and a registration roster will be emailed in advance so that those who wish to carpool can contact one another.

Events using the OLLI Special Event Registration Form

Savvy Social Security Planning: What Baby Boomers Need to Know to Maximize Retirement Income

Saturday, 10:00–12:00, June 28
One session
Instructor: J. Michael May
At this workshop you will learn…

Five factors to consider when deciding to apply for benefits.
When it makes sense to delay benefits—and when it does not.
• Why you should always check your earnings record for accuracy.
• How to estimate your benefits.
• Two innovative strategies for coordinating benefits with your spouse.
• How to minimize taxes on Social Security benefits.
• How to coordinate Social Security with your other forms of retirement income.

The decisions you make when applying for Social Security can have a tremendous impact on the total amount of benefits you will receive over your lifetime. At this seminar you will learn important rules that will help you strategize on the best way to collect your retirement benefits, based on your individual situation.
This special workshop is open to OLLI members, their relatives and friends as a service to help folks optimize their social security benefits. It is not necessary for OLLI members to accompany their invited guests. To register for this event please use the special event registration form found online at The form will be available when registration begins on May 19. Alternatively, you may sign up in the office.
J. Michael May, a Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter is a frequent presenter at OLLI who has been helping seniors manage their finances for more than 30 years.


An Afternoon with American Girl® Author, Valerie Tripp

Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, July 22
One session
Coordinator: Jennifer Disano
Where do the ideas for the American Girl® stories come from? Research, memories, observations and imagination. Bring your grandchildren and come hear American Girl® author Valerie Tripp talk about how she creates the stories of historical fiction about her characters Felicity (1774), Josefina (1824), Samantha (1904), Kit (1934) and Molly (1944). Sign up for this event by using the special event registration form found online at The form will be available when registration begins on May 19. Alternatively, you may sign up in the office.
Valerie Tripp has been writing for children for more than 40 years, ever since she graduated from Yale University’s first co-ed class in 1973, taking time out to earn her Masters of Education from Harvard in 1981. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband, Michael Petty, who teaches American history at Montgomery College.

Ongoing Activites

Book Club

Wednesday, June 11, 10:00–11:30
Monday, July 14, 10:00–11:30
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 10:00–11:30
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew                            703-323-9671
On June 11 we will discuss The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  The July 14 selection will be The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro, followed on September 10 with Yellow Star by Jennifer Rozines Roy.  All OLLI members are welcome.

Bridge Club

Mondays, June 2–July 28, Aug. 18–Aug. 25, 10:00–12:00
Coordinators: Susanne Zumbro                              703-569-2750
                                  Gordon Canyock                               703-425-4607

Drop in and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert. Partnerships are rotated every four hands.

Classic Fiction Book Club

Fourth Fridays
June 27, July 25, Aug. 22
Cascades Library, 10:00–11:30
Coordinator: Sigrid Blalock                             703-723-6825
The book selection for June 27 is The Sketchbook by Washington Irving and the selection for July 25 is The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth. On August 22 the book selection is Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. The Book Club welcomes new members. Note that the meetings will be at Cascades Library for the summer months.

Cooking Club

Monthly dates to be determined
Coordinator: Ute Christoph-Hill

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

Craft and Conversation Group

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

The meeting schedule is flexible, but we plan to meet weekly to work on our craft projects and to share product sources, expertise and inspiration. The date, time and place of our meetings can be found on the OLLI website in the OLLI Ongoing Events calendar for the week. We cordially invite any interested OLLI members to drop in 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
Coordinator: Beth Lambert                                 703-624-6356
This club does not meet during the summer. The next meeting will be during fall term. 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.

May 23–July 25, Aug. 22–Sept. 19, 11:00–12:30
Note no meeting on July 4
Coordinator: Jan Bohall                                                                703-273-1146
We get together to read aloud and talk about traditional and contemporary classics. We’ve recently read the first and second volumes of Sigrid Undset’s trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter and The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. We are now reading George Eliot’s Middlemarch. Drop in at the Tallwood Annex any Friday morning—new members are always welcome. For more information email the coordinator at

iPad Users Group

Generally First Fridays
June 6, Aug. 1, Sept. 5, 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

May 20–Sept. 16, 10:00

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

Mah Jongg Club

First and Third Wednesdays
First and Third Mondays

June 2, June 16, July 7, July 21, Aug. 18, 10:00–12:30
Coordinator: Liz Bateman
We welcome all members who want to learn the game of mah jongg or already know how to play. Stretch your mind and have fun with a game that is (maybe) easier than bridge, but definitely challenging! For more information, contact Liz at

Memoir 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 main focus is memoir writing, but we also include fiction, poetry and the personal essay. We’re a small group, mostly students from Dianne Hennessy King’s Memoir Writing class, but not entirely. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact Betty (e-mail is listed in member directory) for more information.

Personal Computer User Group

Third Saturdays
June 21, 2:00–4:30

July 19, Aug. 16, 1:00–3:30
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 subject-matter expertise about technology and topics of interest to both groups. PC Clinics are offered twice yearly. Our target audience encompasses beginners to intermediate amateurs and our methodology is “users helping users.” Club dues of $5 are payable at the first meeting attended in each calendar year. More details are available on the group’s website,

Photography Club

Second Fridays
June 13, July 11, 9:30–11:30

Fourth Fridays
June 27, July 25, Aug. 22, 12:00–2:00
Coordinator: Dan Feighery
Meet with others interested in photography and develop skills by participating in the monthly theme photo submissions. Be informed, and perhaps inspired, by expert speakers. The Photography Club welcomes all members, whether they use a basic camera or specialized equipment, and whether they are new to photography or have had years of experience. We discuss technical aspects of photography as well as the artistic aspects of visual design. On the fourth Friday of the month, workshops will cover specific topics in more detail. Contact Dan Feighery at for further information.

Recorder Consort

June 6–July 25, Aug. 22–Sep. 19, 9:00–11:30

Note no meeting on July 4
Coordinator: Helen Ackerman                         
If you have been a part of the Consort or have previously played the recorder and would like to expand your abilities, join us on Fridays. There will be some   on-and-off-campus performances and music may need to be purchased.

Tai Chi Club


Coordinators: Russell Stone                                                         703-323-4428
                                    Susanne Zumbro                                                    703-569-2750

The Tai Chi Club meets every Saturday in TA-3. It is intended as a continuation for Dr. Cheng’s Tai Chi students, but is open to all OLLI members on a first come-first served basis.

The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

June 11–July 30, Aug. 20–Sept. 17, 10:30–12:00
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
See course F202 for activity description.

Travel Club

Fourth Fridays
June 27, 9:00

July 25, 9:30
Coordinator: Shelly Gersten                                                                    703-385-2638
The club welcomes any and all who are interested in domestic or international travel. OLLI members have a vast wealth of experience in both traveling and living in other parts of the United States and the world. Come share your experiences and learn from others. We also try to identify common interests so that members can plan to travel together. In addition, we organize occasional local trips where we carpool to sites within a drive of 60 to 90 minutes, including historic homes and museums.

Walking Group

Tallwood/Fairfax Swimming Pool Parking Lot
Coordinators: Doris Bloch                   703-591-3344
                                  Sherry Hart                    703-978-0848
When OLLI is in session, the Walking Group meets one morning a week, generally an hour before the first morning class. We gather in the 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 Sherry Hart at or Doris Bloch at for more information.

What’s in the Daily News? Continued

June 9–July 28; Aug. 18–Sept. 15, 10:00–11:30

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