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Winter 2015 Catalog

Winter 2015 Catalog
January 20 – February 16

Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing winter 2014 activities at all three locations (Fairfax, Reston and Loudoun). Unless otherwise noted, classes beginning with an F are held at Tallwood in Fairfax, an R at United Christian Parish in Reston, and an L at Mason’s Loudoun County location in Sterling. To view non-course information in the catalog, click the following links for the Schedule of classes (pdf) and Registration Form (pdf). If there is an instructor for a course that interests you, please check our page of instructor profilesRegistration for classes begins Tuesday, December 2.  Registration ends on Tuesday, December 16, at noon. 

If you plan to print the catalog rather than read it on your computer screen, you may prefer to print the Winter 2015 Catalog (pdf) in its normal two-column format.

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

100 Art and Music

F101 A Life in Dance
F102 UnderstandingOpera, Part 2
F103 Visual Thinking
R104 Watercolor Painting
R105 iPhotography Revisited
R106 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music
R107 Berlin’s Museum Island and Its Treasures
L108 Treasures of the NOVA Library

200 Economics & Finance

F201 Tax Preparation Simplified
F202 Retired with Questions
F203 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
F204 Seniors, Are You Vulnerable?
R205 Retirement and Health Security in America
R206 Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women
L207 Tax Preparation Simplified

300 History & International Studies

F301 Charity and Philanthropy in American History
F302 History of Terrorism
F303 Custer and Crazy Horse: Exploring the Battle of Little Bighorn
F304 Blasts from the Past
F305 The History of Navigation at Sea
F306 The Great War: Imperfect Peace and Revolution in Russia

F307 How a Few Simple Things Changed History
F308 National Park Ranger Potpourri VII 
R309 Loyalism in the American Revolution
L310 The Modern World Since 1760, Part 2
L311 Custer and Crazy Horse: Exploring the Battle of Little Bighorn

400 Literature, Theater & Writing

F401 OLLI Players Workshop
F402 Readers’ Theater
F403 Maya Angelou: Her Life Story in Her Words
F404 Poetry Workshop
F405 British Humour
F406 Shakespeare’s Master Magician
R407 Literary Plato
R408 British Humour
R409 Literary Roundtable
R410 Rasselas
L411 The Many Ridiculous Travels of Gulliver
L412 Acting Workshop
L413 Writers’ Workshop: Writing the Mind Alive
L414 Science Fiction Television
L415 Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

500 Languages

F501 Basic Spanish Conversation
F502 Spanish Conversational Forum
F503 Latin II
F505 Intermediate Spanish Conversation
R504 Basic Spanish Conversation, Part 2

600 Religious Studies

F601 The Theology of Les Miserables
F602 Human and Divine Forgiveness
F603 Catholic Spirituality
F604 A History of Bible Translations
R605 The Work and Philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardinstrong
L606 How Jesus Became God

650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 The Assimilation of Immigrant Groups in France
F652 OLLIgopoly–Trivia for Fun
F653 When the Walls Fell: Ending the Cold War
R654 Tribal Cultures of Afghanistan and Central Asia
L655 Crime Crime Prevention and Contemporary Crime Issues,
L656 TED Talk Discussion Group

700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?
F702 Africa in World Politics
F703 The Arctic as the Last Global Frontier
R704 All the News That’s Fit to Print
L705 Opinions, Opinions, Opinions!

800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Senior Moments: Fact, Fiction and Fixes
F802 Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi
R803 The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan
R804 Gentle Yoga
R805 Our Dynamic Planet and Our Environment
L806 Thriving in Place as You Age

900 Other Topics

F901 Sampling a World of Tastes and Temptations
R902 Meditation
L903 Trip Tales
L904 What’s Happening in OLLI

Special Events

951 Green Spring Gardens: A Virtual Tour
952 The U.S. Endangered Species Act
953 Bringing Songs to Life: Vocal Coaching 954 Central Australian Aboriginal Culture: The Arrernte People
955 The 13 Dwarves: An Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science
956 George Washington and Benedict Arnold’s Treason
957 Astrology 101
958 The Piano: A Musical Journey
959 A Tribute to Victor Borge
960 Stardust Memories: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael
961 Healthy Sleep
962 Bringing Songs to Life: Vocal Coaching
963 Road Scholar
964 Bringing Songs to Life: Vocal Coaching
965 How the Printing Press Changed the World
966 The Piano: A Musical Journey
967 Solar and Super-Insulated Homes
968 Lincoln: The Man in the Monuments
969 The Piano: A Musical Journey
970 U.S. Foreign Aid in the 21st Century
971 The Iraq Estimate: Why and How It Went Wrong
972 Battle of Gettysburg Field Trip
973 The United States Attorneys and the
Department of Justice

Ongoing Activities

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

100 Art and Music

F101  A Life in Dance

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 26–Feb. 9
Three sessions
Coordinator: Kristina Windom
Three faculty members of the School of Dance at George Mason, who have danced in major professional dance companies, share their personal and professional experiences in dance. The class will receive an invitation to attend a Mason Dance Company guest artist rehearsal at the de Laski Performing Arts Building.
Christopher d’Amboise has had many careers as a dancer, director, choreographer, playwright, teacher and educator. He was a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.
Dan Joyce received his BFA in dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts and his MFA in dance from George Mason. He was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group for 10 years.
Susan Shields, director of the School of Dance at George Mason, has performed internationally with the White Oak Dance Project, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the Mark Morris Dance Group and Laura Dean & Dancers. She has a degree in philosophy from SUNY Empire State and an MFA in dance from George Mason.


F102 Understanding Opera, Part 2

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Glenn Winters
This course, recommended for beginners and aficionados alike, includes a critical survey of Virginia Opera’s 2014-2015 season. Works discussed include Richard Strauss’s exotic and sensual Salome and Verdi’s beloved Italian classic La Traviata. Students will receive comprehensive musical/dramatic analysis illustrated with video and audio excerpts.
Glenn Winters has been Virginia Opera’s community outreach musical director since 2004 and addresses thousands of Virginians each year for the adult education program, Operation Opera. He is the author of The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates. His commissioned operas include The Empress and the Nightingale and The Princess and the Pea, both scheduled to debut with Virginia Opera this season. Winters holds a DM degree from Northwestern University

F103 Visual Thinking

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Dan Feighery
Class Limit: 20
At each session attendees will consider what an assigned word brings to mind and try to convey that thought in a photograph. For example, the word “blue” may represent happiness under a brightly colored sky or feeling sad. “Silver” may bring to mind the light of a silvery moon or flatware. Attendees should try to interpret their thoughts or feelings about the assigned word in photographs that they will bring to class on a thumb drive to share and discuss. (Note: This course will not address how to use your camera.)
Dan Feighery is a retired Air Force officer who has attended photography courses at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason. He founded the OLLI Photography Club and has taught OLLI photography classes

F104 Watercolor Painting

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Leonard Justinian
Class Limit: 15
This class will provide an opportunity for watercolor painters at all levels to develop fresh skills while learning new watercolor techniques. Required materials include: #1, #6 and/or #8 round watercolor brushes; a paint palette for mixing colors; watercolor paper, 140 lb. cold press (Arches is best but you can use less expensive paper); a kneaded eraser; a Staedtler white plastic eraser; tubes of watercolor paint in white, charcoal black, cadmium yellow (medium), cadmium red (medium) and ultramarine blue, or a starter set of watercolors.
Leonard Justinian has been painting for more than 60 years. Among other honors, he has received the Grumbacher Award. He teaches watercolor painting in his Fairfax City studio and is also seen on Fairfax Public Access Cable TV, Cox Cable Channel 10 and Verizon FiOS Channel 10


R105  iPhotography Revisited

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Stan Schretter
This course is structured for both new and experienced users of mobile device photography and videography. While many of the techniques are applicable to any mobile device, this class will be oriented primarily to Apple devices. The instructor will answer questions regarding the capabilities of your Apple and Android devices.

  • Jan. 26: Shooting Great Images using Camera Apps and Add-on Equipment.
  • Feb. 2: Editing, Optimizing and Uploading Images.
  • Feb. 9: Shooting Video.
  • Feb. 16: Editing, Arranging and Uploading Videos.

Stan Schretter, an OLLI member, is an avid amateur photographer and has taught courses at OLLI for many years.


R106 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Gloria Sussman
This music listening course continues to live up to its promising title. We explore the many facets of classical music with the help of DVDs and YouTube. You may sample the wide variety of the previous term’s 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.


R107  Berlin’s Museum Island and Its Treasures

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 5
Three sessions
Instructor: Vera Wentworth
Berlin’s Museum Island comprises five major museums with artifacts ranging from Byzantine art, Assyrian, Greek and Roman antiquities and the Egyptian collection to 19th and 20th century painting. Among the highlights are the Pergamon Altar, dedicated to the Greek god Zeus, and the famous bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti. The collections, which had been separated by the division of the city after World War II, were rejoined after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The illustrated lectures will showcase the treasures of the various museums.
Vera Wentworth holds a PhD in English and has taught at the college level for 30 years, mostly at the University of Maryland and Prince George’s Community College. She has taught a variety of literature courses at OLLI.


L108  Treasures of the NOVA Library

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Moderator: Ray Beery
This course celebrates the co-residency of OLLI-Loudoun with NOVA-Loudoun. The newest facility now in operation at NOVA is the Commons Building, which includes an outstanding three-level library. A leisurely stroll through the stacks reveals a treasure trove of fine art videos. We will borrow four of them to view and discuss.

    • Jan. 22: Greco-Roman Sculpture, 300 BCE–200 CE.
    • Jan. 29: Michelangelo, 1475–1564.
    • Feb. 5: Vermeer, 1632–1675.
    • Feb. 12: Alexander Calder, 1898–1976.

Ray Beery, a member of the OLLI Board of Directors, began appreciating fine art in his undergraduate liberal arts studies. He picked it up in earnest in 1971, when he found himself in an office across the street from the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.


200 Economics and Finance

F201  Tax Preparation Simplified

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This series of lectures is intended to ease the preparation of your income tax returns.

  • Jan. 20: A Review of Federal Tax Laws with an Emphasis on Senior-related Issues. Thomas Loftus is the tax training specialist for AARP Tax-Aide, Virginia. He will focus on the preparation of federal income tax returns.
  • Jan. 27: A Review of Virginia Tax Laws for Senior Consideration. Thomas Loftus will build on the previous lecture, describing the requirements of Virginia tax laws in preparing federal and state tax returns, and using the content and organization of your “shoebox” to help prepare your returns.
  • Feb. 3: A Chat with a Tax Preparer. John Woods, Derek Cundill and Barry DeMaio, experienced tax preparers, will lead a panel discussion on issues, experiences and expenses involved in using tax preparation services. This discussion will include planning suggestions for working with a tax preparer and the code of ethics required of preparers when assisting customers.
  • Feb. 10: What You Always Wanted to Know About Your Taxes but Were Afraid to Ask.

Linda de Marlor, who teaches tax law at real estate and educational institutions, will give a short presentation on issues that affect most seniors and then open the session to questions on real estate, legal and financial issues. Linda, who has appeared on hundreds of TV and radio shows, is returning to OLLI for her ninth season.


F202  Retired with Questions

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
As seniors look through the kaleidoscope of life, we find our world constantly changing. We hunger to know what others are doing in similar situations. This open forum, an outgrowth of the Investment Forum and other OLLI classes, is designed to address the concerns of seniors regarding a wide range of retirement issues. We will assemble a panel of experienced investors, including: Al Smuzynski, Investment Forum moderator; Lou Coglianese, Investment Forum member; Mike May, seniors’ financial planner and Helen Flynn, seniors’ real estate expert, to provide answers to member questions through friendly discussions. Topics to be discussed may include: making your money last, annuities, fixed income, asset allocations, management of IRAs, staying in your home, downsizing and moving to a new location.

  • Jan. 21: Class members will identify their areas of concern.
  • Jan. 28–Feb. 11: Panel members will address member concerns.


F203 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
The Investment Forum, which meets weekly throughout the year, addresses investment topics of particular interest to retirees. A weekly agenda is distributed, and each session begins with open discussion of recent events in the economy and in the financial markets and their impact on investment decisions. Member presentations typically include topics such as recent market indicators, stocks, bonds, funds (mutual, exchange-traded and closed-end), REITS, options, commodities, master limited partnerships, sectors, allocations and investment strategies. We use analyses and data from the financial press. The forum website   includes agendas and articles of interest submitted by members.
Al Smuzynski is a retired bank regulator and an advocate of affordable housing. He currently serves on the boards of Virginia Community Capital and Community Capital Bank of Virginia



F204  Seniors, Are You Vulnerable?

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 22–Jan. 29
Two sessions
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
As seniors, we have protected our homes, automobiles, health and lives with various forms and values of insurance throughout our lifetimes. Many of us set our protective targets years ago, but have our assets and needs changed? What should we consider as we evaluate our current position? Are we over-protected or under-protected in critical areas that may have changed over time?
Michael May, a Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter at Sagemark Consulting, with Carlos Ortega and Jon Bramlett from Progressive Management Associates, will provide a broad range of insights, based on over 30 years of experience.


R205 Retirement and Health Security in America

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Patrick Killeen
The arrival of an industrial society in the western world during the 20th century witnessed the development of public and private programs to provide retirement income security and health insurance. In the United States this entailed the evolution of a patchwork of government and private sector initiatives. Social Security, private pensions and retirement savings plans (e.g., 401k’s and IRAs) were created to address retirement income needs, while Blue Cross, Blue Shield, commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) comprise the uniquely American hodge-podge of health insurance. Although there is widespread dissatisfaction with the current system, there is no national consensus on the direction for change. We will discuss this dilemma and touch upon other social protections, such as unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.
Patrick Killeen is an AARP Virginia volunteer policy advocate and community ambassador with a career of over 40 years in health administration, health insurance, employee benefits, long-term care and public policy advocacy. He has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan.


R206 Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Linda Black
This course will teach women smart money management strategies that will increase their security and help ensure a future free of financial worry. We will cover five areas:

  • Financial Basics.
  • Insurance Basics.
  • Investing Basics.
  • Taxes and Their Effect on Wealth Management.
  • Planning for Future Life Events.

Each section includes lessons that demystify important financial concepts and exercises that help participants apply the information. Topics include “must know” aspects of finances, such as attitudes and behaviors regarding money, cash flow management, record-keeping, borrowing, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, diversification and estimating needs and financial impacts of life-altering events, such as marriage, death, divorce and cohabitation. The class workbook, Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women, has over 45 worksheets to help participants evaluate their personal finances, set goals for financial well-being and implement plans to reach those goals. Students should order the workbook from Pals Publishing at .
Linda Black, a Chartered Financial Counselor and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, has extensive experience counseling clients on portfolio construction, retirement issues, estate planning and asset protection strategies.


L207  Tax Preparation Simplified

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This series of lectures is intended to ease the preparation of your income tax returns.

  • Jan. 22: A Review of Federal Tax Laws, with an Emphasis on Senior-related Issues. John Higgins is a tax training specialist for AARP Tax-Aide, Virginia.
  • Jan. 29: A Review of Virginia Tax Laws for Seniors’ Consideration. John Higgins will build on the previous lecture, describing the requirements of Virginia tax laws in preparing federal and state tax returns, and using the content and organization of your “shoebox” to help prepare your returns.
  • Feb. 5: A Chat with a Tax Preparer. John Woods, Derek Cundill and Barry DeMaio, experienced tax preparers, will lead a panel discussion on issues, experiences and expenses involved in using tax preparation services.
  • Feb. 12: What You Always Wanted to Know about Your Taxes but Were Afraid to Ask.

Linda de Marlor, who teaches tax law at real estate and educational institutions, will give a short presentation on issues that affect most seniors and then open the session to questions on real estate, legal and financial issues. She has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV show and returns to OLLI for her ninth season.


300 History and International Studies

F301 Charity and Philanthropy in American History

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Daniel Gifford
From local bake sales to billion-dollar foundations, philanthropy and the desire to do “good works” is woven into the fabric of American identity and history. But how we give has changed dramatically from John Winthrop’s 1630 A Modell of Christian Charity to the $3 trillion industry we see today. This course traces key ideas that have altered our understanding of charity, philanthropy and the work of nonprofit organizations in America. It explores questions that have shaped American history and remain debated up to the present: Who is worthy of charitable help, and where does public support end and private philanthropy begin? A list of suggested readings for each session can be found on the OLLI DocStore and will be emailed to those registered before the first class session.

  • Jan. 26: From John Winthrop to Benjamin Franklin. The shifting roles of public services versus private   organizations.
  • Feb. 2: Understanding Scrooge. Charitable obligation and the rise of philanthropy in industrial America.
  • Feb. 9: Reformers and Redeemers. The professionalization of philanthropy.
  • Feb. 16: Muscular Money. Charitable giving in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Daniel Gifford works at the National Museum of American History and has taught undergraduate courses at George Mason. His interest in the history of philanthropy stems from his long career in fundraising. He earned both an MA and PhD in American history from Mason.


F302  History of Terrorism

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Patrick McGinty
Terrorism has been part of the human experience since the beginning of recorded history, arguably competing with prostitution and espionage as the world’s oldest profession. We will begin this course with a definition of terrorism and explore its many manifestations, including revolutionary terrorism, state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism. We will then examine some of the more notable examples of terrorism throughout history, beginning with ancient times and continuing through the French Revolution, the anarchist movement of the late 1800s and the Russian Revolution. We will end the course with an analysis of terrorism in modern times.
Patrick McGinty, an OLLI member, is a retired naval officer with an MA and PhD in history from Georgetown University. He has taught various history courses at University of Maryland University College.



F303 Custer and Crazy Horse: Exploring the Battle of Little Bighorn

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Ephriam D. Dickson III
Join us for a fun exploration of this famous battle, looking at the personalities on both sides of the conflict and discussing the actions each took. Learn how historians use a wide range of sources, including diaries, maps, photographs, oral history and archaeology, to reconstruct the events of that day in 1876.
Ephriam D. Dickson III is lead curator for the Field Museums Branch at the U.S. Army Center of Military History. A native of northwestern Nebraska, he has a special interest in the role of the Army in the American West and is the author of several books and articles related to this topic.



F304 Blasts from the Past

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Instructor: Douglas W. Hottel
Two natural events of the 18th and 19th centuries stand out for their staggering ferocity and historical obscurity. Survivors of the Great Storm of 1703, the most powerful in British history, described the event as divine retribution. In 1815, the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia resulted in “The Year Without a Summer,” causing epidemics, famine, migration and mass global misery. Take a journey into the past as we uncover the historical record and learn how mankind struggled to comprehend and survive these twin catastrophes without modern scientific understanding of the events or institutionalized disaster recovery mechanisms. This four-part program will include slides and handouts may also be provided. The course bibliography will be posted on the DocStore. Please reserve questions and comments for the end of each class.
Douglas W. Hottel has been an OLLI member since 2010 and this is his fifth presentation. Douglas received a BA in history/political science from Bethany College, an MA in international affairs from the Catholic University of America and an MA in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College.



F305 The History of Navigation at Sea

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 21–Jan. 28
Two sessions
Instructor: Alan McKie

  • Jan. 21: The Age of Exploration. Early mariners stayed close to land for thousands of years but eventually began to venture across the oceans of the world during the Age of Exploration, deducing their position at sea and using crude instruments to determine their latitude. Navigational techniques evolved slowly but exploration far offshore was fraught with uncertainty and danger. These risks increased exponentially when nations began to seek the treasures of the New World. Hundreds of ships and thousands of lives were lost because navigators did not have an accurate method for determining their positions at sea.
  • Jan. 28: The Longitude Dilemma. A practical method to determine longitude at sea eluded the greatest scientific minds for hundreds of years until finally solved by a lowly clockmaker. The result was the first highly accurate seagoing clock. This session concludes with a review of navigation in the age of electronics and virtual visits to the bridges of two modern ships to see how a large vessel is navigated.

Alan McKie retired from federal service as a senior executive in 1994, after which he served for 20 years as a research and tour docent at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. More recently, he has developed and shared PowerPoint presentations on aspects of naval history from around the world.


F306 The Great War: Imperfect Peace and Revolution in Russia

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Bernie Oppel
The Great War ended in November 1918, but the war’s unresolved issues and the imperfect peace that followed reverberated throughout Europe, East Asia and the Middle East for the remainder of the 20th Century. The Russian Revolution, a major consequence of the war, roiled international affairs for decades. History can be viewed as either a process of interpretation and reinterpretation of events or a recitation of immutable facts. This course follows the first approach and focuses less on the events themselves than on assessing the long-term consequences and complex legacies of World War I, including such topics as democracy, empire, nationalism, economics and the arts. For example, the Russian Revolution, while changing in form and substance over the decades, retained its idealistic domestic goals and international focus up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Bernie Oppel, an OLLI member, is a retired Foreign Service officer and retired Air Force colonel. He holds a PhD in modern European/Russian history from Duke University and taught history at the U.S. Air Force Academy.


F307 How a Few Simple Things Changed History

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: William Reader
The class will discuss how a few simple things like the clock, the tin can, the camera, the sewing machine, the typewriter, the phonograph and the audio/video cassette recorder changed history.
William Reader, an OLLI member, has a PhD in American social history from the University of Massachusetts. He retired after 37 years with the federal government and has since taught several OLLI courses on American history and politics.



F308 National Park Ranger Potpourri VII

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Church of the Good Shepherd
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Paul O’Brian, Emmett Fenlon
It’s back for Round 7! Due to continued interest in the mystery “potpourri” concept, the National Park Service will reveal four new topics, one on each presentation day. We will explore obscure local connections to people, places or events that few rarely, if ever, associate with either Washington, D.C., or the repertoire of National Mall park rangers.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in over 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.



R309 Loyalism in the American Revolution

Thursdays, 9:40-11:05, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Beth Lambert
The colonists who remained loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution have received short shrift in our history books. That has changed a bit in the last few years with the publication of several important works analyzing the number of loyalists, describing their occupations and exploring the motives compelling them to declare for King George. Interestingly, loyalism to the English crown has a history in this country that dates back to the 17th century English Civil War, when the Atlantic colonies were caught between supporting the monarchy-in-exile or Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Loyalty to the crown had its price then, as it did in 1776. We will learn the similarities and differences between the loyalists of the 17th and the 18th centuries, and how Virginia got its name as the Old Dominion.
Beth Lambert is a retired professor of English at Gettysburg College, where she taught courses on all aspect of the 18th century. Her biography of Edmund Burke was published by the University of Delaware Press.



L310 The Modern World Since 1760, Part 2

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Moderator: Ray Beery
This is a continuation of Professor Philip Zelikow’s online course in world history, focusing on chronology and individuals. Without examining the consequences of cause and effect, and tracing how big changes come from the choices made by particular people, history becomes a series of tiresome descriptions. Beyond offering a set of remarkable stories, this course offers ways to analyze a situation and to think about the problems of change. Part 2 of this massive open online course (MOOC) will be viewed in class, with an hour of video instruction each week. There will also be live interaction. The course is from Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world’s top universities to provide free online courses.
Ray Beery is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and a frequent teacher.



L311 Custer and Crazy Horse: Exploring the Battle of Little Bighorn

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Ephriam D. Dickson III
This is a videoconference of Course F303


400 Literature Theater & Writing

F401 OLLI Players Workshop

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Buchanan House
Instructor: Kathie West
This is a continuing acting and producing workshop for serious theater-minded participants by The OLLI Players, an amateur theater group affiliated with George Mason. We have already performed at various venues. In our repertoire we have Lyrics, Scenes and we are currently working on a play. This will be continued in the winter session and then performed. We will premiere the play at OLLI and then perform for possible other venues. If some of you have a scene or a play you would like to see put on, bring it along and we will try it. You will learn the ins and outs of presentation, memorization skills and acting tricks. If we are asked to perform at a hospital, senior center or other venues, you must be willing to travel during the day. Be able and willing to tout OLLI and your talents!
Kathie West, an OLLI member, is a former high school theater teacher at Robert E. Lee High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.



F402 Readers’ Theater

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Coordinators: Russell Stone, Jane McCullough
Class Limit: 28
OLLI’s unique brand of Readers’ Theater is great fun for the “hams” among us! If the idea of acting appeals to you, come and give it a try. Scripts are usually short skits, acts or scenes from longer plays. Parts are handed out each week for the following week. Occasionally a longer script needs a designated director. We do not memorize parts; instead we rehearse them before class with our fellow actors. Rehearsals often take place between OLLI classes, but also can be done by phone if there are just two characters. Props or costumes are not required, but the actors often dress for the part in some way––perhaps with a hat or scarf. Time between skits allows for kudos, comments and suggestions from the audience.



F403 Maya Angelou: Her Life Story in Her Words

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Barbara Nelson
Although Maya Angelou wrote seven books chronicling her life, this course will look at the first and last in the series: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) and A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002). She expands the usual limitations of autobiography, using dialogue, characterization and thematic development. The first book follows Angelou’s life from age three to 17 and describes the struggles she faced. Through her eyes we observe racism, the Great Depression, love and abandonment–as well as her struggle to find herself as a teenager. In the last book of the series, which takes place from 1965 to 1968, Maya returns from four years in Ghana to participate in the civil rights movement, specifically to write for Malcolm X. She works in the Watts district of Los Angeles, sensing the anger and seeing the poverty before the riots. This course will examine the life and writing of Maya Angelou, as well as the literary category of “autobiographical fiction.” The assignment for the first class will be to read the first 19 chapters of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Barbara Nelson, an OLLI member, taught for over 30 years at the secondary level, the last 20 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She has taught a number of literature classes at OLLI.



F404 Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall
Class Limit: 18
This workshop allows both novice and experienced poets the opportunity to share their work and receive suggestions for improvement. Workshop members should bring an original poem in draft or revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the office for duplication one week before the first workshop and a third poem brought to the first session. Poems can be sent by email to or mailed to the Tallwood site assistant.
Mike McNamara, an OLLI member, has been published in several literary journals and magazines and has received awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Jan Bohall, also an OLLI member, has had poems published in various periodicals and won awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia


F405 British Humour

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Instructor: Kay Menchel
Let’s brighten the winter gloom by finding something funny in literature and popular culture. Using excerpts from British books, TV shows and movies, this class will offer insights into the sometimes quirky, often sarcastic and frequently eccentric humour of the British people.
Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from George Mason. She enjoys sharing her passion for English literature with OLLI members.



F406 Shakespeare’s Master Magician

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Kathryn Russell
In Shakespeare’s The Tempest we explore a world of enchantment created by the great magician Prospero, who wields his powers on creatures and humankind alike. His magic allows him to manipulate his island world, causing it to gravitate between chaos and restoration. Audiences over the centuries have enjoyed this romantic comedy not only for its fantastical elements, but also for the playwright’s lively interest in human nature and exploration of real-life issues—justice and mercy, jealousy and love, destruction and renovation. The play also reflects Shakespeare’s real world with its focus on exploration and colonization. We will study the play through close reading of passages, class discussion and scenes from several excellent videos. We will use the Folger Shakespeare Library paperback edition in class, although any copy of the play will suffice.
Kathryn Russell is an avid Shakespeare fan who has taught many of the Bard’s plays at OLLI.



R407 Literary Plato

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Chad Loewen-Schmidt
In this course we will read a variety of selections from Plato’s opus, such as his famous Allegory of the Cave, as well as dialogues on love, justice and language. We will explore their place in the literary and thought history of Western culture and seek to lay the groundwork for a basic understanding of the form and content of Plato’s most influential ideas. The class will emphasize group discussion.
Chad Loewen-Schmidt is an assistant professor of English at Shepherd University.



R408 British Humour

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Kay Menchel
This is a repeat of F405.



R409 Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne
Moderators: Janice Dewire, Carol Henderson
Class Limit: 23
This short-story discussion class will begin a new anthology: Stories of the Modern South, edited by Ben Forkner and Patrick Samway, S.J. The stories document a once-rural society’s storytelling tradition and the painful contradictions and cultural clashes brought about by rapid change. Authors to be discussed include James Agee, John Barth, Doris Betts and Truman Capote. Registrants must provide their own copies of the book, a paperback in a revised edition published by Penguin Books in 1995. It is generally available for $14 from online vendors and will continue to be used in future terms of this course.
Janice Dewire and Carol Henderson are enthusiastic Literary Roundtable participants and former OLLI Board members who took on the moderator role some years ago for this popular course, one of the longest-running in Reston.


R410 Rasselas

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Feb. 5–Feb. 12
Two sessions
Instructor: Beth Lambert
Samuel Johnson’s The History of Rasselas Prince of Abissinia and Voltaire’s Candide were both written in 1759. Both feature a young man in pursuit of happiness, a search in which he is accompanied by a tutor. But while Voltaire amuses his readers by clever satire, Johnson makes his readers think, enjoy the subtle humor and sometimes cringe when the subject comes close to home. In 49 short chapters Rasselas, his younger sister, her maid and their older guide encounter life in all its ages and stages. The final chapter is titled: “The Conclusion in Which Nothing is Concluded.” In two sessions of vigorous discussion, we will come to our own conclusions as to how much has been concluded. Rasselas is available through Amazon in hardcover, paperback and digital formats.
See course R309 for instructor information.



L411 The Many Ridiculous Travels of Gulliver

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Conrad Geller
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is much more than the hero’s encounter with the diminutive Lilliputians. In the four sections of this great novel Gulliver travels to many lands where he meets strange and wonderful people, horses and even odious apelike creatures that look a bit like us. The narrator is sometimes amused by what he sees, sometimes shocked and sometimes gulled into acceptance of his hosts’ outlandish ideas in a satire that ranges from the elegant to the scatological. No advance reading is required, but any unabridged, non-adapted edition is acceptable. The Norton Critical Edition is recommended for those who want scholarly notes and background.
Conrad Geller, an OLLI member, is an avid though inexpert reader of English literature. Previous courses he has taught at OLLI include Strictly Sonnets, English Ain’t What You Think and Selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.



L412 Acting Workshop

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Kathie West
Come learn the basics of acting and movement for actors. We will be working with a great play that needs women and a few good men. No memorization but lots of fun.
See course F401 for instructor information.



L413 Writers’ Workshop: Writing the Mind Alive

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Facilitator: Ralph Greenwood
Class Limit: 10
This class uses a roundtable format that fosters an environment for writers of all levels to give and receive encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism. All genres of writing are welcome, including poetry, fiction, memoirs and historical pieces. All of these categories share the same underlying commitment: to write a compelling work that fully conveys the author’s intentions.
Ralph Greenwood, an OLLI member, is a retired project manager who lists his writing qualifications as “Wanna’be–Tryina’be–Gunna’be!!!!”



L414 Science Fiction Television

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Instructor: Agatha Taormina
This class will begin with brief definitions of science fiction and the history of commercial television. The first session will also examine early science fiction television. The second session will be devoted to Star Trek, its sequels and its cultural impact. The third and fourth sessions will consist of a roughly chronological survey of science fiction television from 1970 to the present day. In each session we will spotlight significant science fiction series and view selected video clips. We will also look at the programming of the SyFy Channel, the importance of makeup and set design, and the role that special effects technology plays in the evolution of science fiction 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.



L415 Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Richard Wilan
“In sooth I know not why I am so sad,” says Antonio the merchant in the opening line of an intriguing play that raises many questions. Why is he sad? What is his relationship with Bassanio? How does the stock character villain, Shylock, manage to take over the play in modern productions? How does Portia emerge as a strong character after Bassanio wins her by choosing the correct casket? Is the play a comedy or, at least in part, a tragedy? We will explore these questions and others through lectures and discussion.
Richard Wilan received a BA from Amherst College, an MAT from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Maryland, where 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.


500 Languages

F501 Basic Spanish Conversation

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Mirtha King
Class Limit: 20
This course is recommended for those without previous training in Spanish, or who know minimal Spanish. Practicing, listening and speaking will give the student a basic understanding of words, phrases and frequently used expressions related to daily life. The student also will learn interesting facts about Spanish and its use as an official national language. No textbooks are required and handouts will be provided.
Mirtha King, a native of Lima, Peru, has over 20 years of public service and Spanish teaching experience, including translation positions with the Peruvian Prime Minister’s Office. She has a BA degree from Peru Universidad Ricardo Palma, language certification from the Universidad Catolica del Peru and a BS from Barry University.



F502 Spanish Conversational Forum

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Instructor: Bernardo Vargas
Class Limit: 16
This ongoing conversational forum meets regularly during the year. The objectives are to practice the Spanish language and learn about Spanish/Latino culture through articles, photographs, videos and speakers. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish. English will be used only occasionally to explain grammar and idiomatic expressions. A prerequisite for this class is an ability to converse at the high intermediate to advanced level. Students are encouraged to make presentations in Spanish on timely topics of their choosing. Come join us and improve your Spanish while learning and having fun!
Bernardo Vargas, a graduate of the Pontifical Catholic University Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, is an editor of an online Spanish newspaper.



F503 Latin II

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Alana Lukes
Class Limit: 20
This continuing course is for beginning Latin students who know the verb endings of the present, imperfect and perfect tenses. We take a modern, non-traditional sight, sound and Internet approach to this ancient language as we continue to explore Latin grammar, vocabulary and restored pronunciation by reading about the adventures of a 1st century CE family living in Roman Britain. Class meetings employ a media version of the text, North American Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 2, 4th edition. Purchase of the text for home study is optional. A fee of $5 for students not previously enrolled in the fall class will be due after confirmation of enrollment. The fee offsets e-learning program costs.
Alana Lukes, an OLLI member, has taught Latin for over 25 years at the middle school, high school and college levels.


F505 Intermediate Spanish Conversation

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Mariel Baghdassarian
Class limit: 20
This class will refresh students’ previous Spanish conversational knowledge. In addition, the class sessions will increase students’ use of vocabulary and Spanish expressions and idioms used in everyday situations. Lessons will focus on interrogative words to drive conversation and extend the student’s ability to speak and listen. We will do this through role play, games and interactive student initiated communication.
Mariel (Mary) Baghdassarian is a former Fairfax County High School teacher (VA Certified) with 18 years teaching experience. She is currently an active Realtor and private tutor. Her hobbies include cooking world cuisine and dancing.


R504 Basic Spanish Conversation, Part 2

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Pamela Garcia
This is Part Two of a beginning conversation course for people who know very little Spanish. The focus of the class will be conversation with topics that describe people, pastimes and daily routines, shopping, dining out and travel. The primary purpose of this course is to encourage oral use of basic expressions and vocabulary, including asking questions.
Pamela Garcia recently retired from teaching all levels of Spanish in Montgomery County Public Schools. She has a BA in Spanish and master’s degrees in bilingual multicultural education and supervision.


Religious Studies

F601 The Theology of Les Miserables

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
Sacrifice, forgiveness, the refusal to accept forgiveness, repentance, redemption, law, justice, grace, mercy, pride, greed, humility and perfected love are some of the grand themes of the human condition explored in Victor Hugo’s classic 19th century novel Les Miserables. We will examine how it presents a romantic, sublime theology that challenges us regarding our own ethical standards and interpersonal relationships.
Steven C. Goldman is a member of the OLLI Board of Directors and serves as chair of OLLI’s Religious Studies Program Planning Group.



F602 Human and Divine Forgiveness

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructors: Steven C. Goldman, Pete Gustin
Class Limit: 15
This seminar will explore the scope, meaning and possible limits of forgiveness. Our principal text will be Simon Wiesenthal’s classic book The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. Issues for discussion include:

  • Do we have the moral authority to forgive or ask forgiveness for those who commit crimes against others?
  • Are some crimes so serious that they should not be forgiven under any conditions?
  • What do sacred texts of different religious traditions teach about God’s willingness to forgive, and what do they say about the obligations of humans to forgive or to withhold forgiveness?See F601 for Steven C. Goldman information.
  • Each session will begin with a 20-minute introduction by the instructors, followed by a discussion involving all of the participants.

Pete Gustin received his BA in English and philosophy from Coppin State College with a concurrent AB in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary College. He received his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary and his DMin from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.


F603 Catholic Spirituality

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Coordinator: Greg Cleva
Our spirituality is the utmost significant dimension of our human existence and is clearly a subject worthy of our inquiry. But what is Catholic spirituality and what forms does it take for those who seek to live a life of purpose and fulfillment? This class will discuss these questions and provide an overview of    Catholic spirituality.

  • Jan. 21: Greg Cleva, a retired Department of Defense foreign affairs analyst, will provide a detailed discussion of Benedictine spirituality as demonstrated by the beliefs and everyday practices associated with the Order of St. Benedict, the founder of western monasticism.
  • Jan. 28: Jean Sweeney, a retired Catholic pastoral counselor, will focus on St. Ignatius and Ignatian spirituality and practices.
  • Feb. 4: Cynthia Gillespie, a retired Foreign Service officer, will highlight the history of desert spirituality. In Christian terms, the desert is the self which must be emptied in order to find God at our center.
  • Feb. 11: Fred Pugarelli, recently retired as a managing director of a large Catholic parish, will discuss Celtic spirituality, which has its origin in the beliefs and practices of early Christians in Brittany, Gaul and the British Isles.


F604 A History of Bible Translations

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructors: Gilah Goldsmith, Pete Gustin
The Bible has been translated into over 2,000 languages to date. But some Bibles have more books than others, and some have the books in different orders. Different Bibles also vary in their numbering of chapters and verses. How did we end up with so many variations? This course will explore the nature and evolution of Bible translations.

      • Jan. 22: The Hebrew Scriptures in Ancient Times.
      • Jan. 29: The Greek Bible.
      • Feb. 5: The Renaissance, the Reformation and Translation.
      • Feb. 12: Modern Translations.

Gilah Goldsmith, a graduate of Harvard University and George Washington University Law School, is a retired government attorney who for 20 years has led the weekly Torah study group at Beth El Hebrew Congregation.
See F602 for Pete Gustin information


R605 The Work and Philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Martin Walsh
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1955) was a Jesuit priest, paleontologist, geologist, explorer and visionary who is ranked with the world’s greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Although he was part of the expedition that discovered the Peking Man in China, his focus was not on the past but on the future of man, the universe and God. In The Phenomenon of Man he sets forth a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos, the evolution of matter to humanity and ultimately to a reunion with the cosmic Christ. His The Divine Milieu shows how all our human activities and efforts are not only useful, but necessary for the Omega Point to happen. Chardin’s revolutionary ideas got him into trouble with the Vatican and the Catholic Church censored many of his writings during his lifetime. Yet his ideas provided the framework for the Second Vatican Council and set the stage for its renewal movements.
Martin Walsh is a former Jesuit and retired nonprofit executive.


L606 How Jesus Became God

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Jack Dalby
New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman states that, “At the heart of the Christian faith is a spectacular claim: Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’ lifetime, and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself.” How is it that within 200 years of his death, Jesus, an apocalyptic, itinerant Jewish preacher, went from being seen as God’s unique messenger to God himself? In this course, we will examine how a small group of ancient, monotheistic Jews came to allow for their one God to have a “son.” We will examine the belief in divine humans in ancient Judaism, the death and resurrection of Jesus, early Christology in the New Testament and later Christology from the second and third centuries. Having a copy of How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman and access to the New Testament would be helpful, but not required.
Jack Dalby, president of White Oak Communications, is an OLLI member who has taught classes on the historical Jesus, St. Paul and the first Christians. He holds a BS in communication arts from James Madison University and has taken graduate classes in history at George Mason.


650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 The Assimilation of Immigrant Groups in France

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Instructor: Elisabeth Wolpert
France has had a long history of immigration, both from neighboring countries and from other parts of the world. It is a nation that believes in the assimilation of its minorities if they are willing to embrace the mainstream ideals and way of life. This course will define integration and assimilation according to the French constitution. It will consider the degree to which each group has been assimilated into French society and what work remains to be done to ensure that none of them becomes marginalized in the future. Finally, it addresses the steps taken to encourage coexistence with groups that do not accept French law or culture.
Elisabeth Wolpert was born and educated in France. Her doctoral thesis dealt with 16th century French literature.


F652 OLLIgopoly–Trivia for Fun

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10Instructor: Bruce Mercer
Back again and better than ever! All new teams, questions and fun for all. Join your fellow OLLI members for a spirited game of team trivia that will have you laughing, saying “Oh, I knew that” or singing along to the music. Working in teams, participants ponder, plot and learn in answering trivia questions geared for “our generation.” Your team could win the coveted OLLIvia trophy and each winning team member gets his or her very own trophy. While this is a fun class, there is some serious intellectual competition going on and class interaction is encouraged.
Bruce Mercer, an OLLI member, devises the questions, quirky visuals and stimulating music for the class.



F653 When the Walls Fell: Ending the Cold War

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Instructor: Richard Melanson
Class Limit: 40
In light of the recent deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations, it might be difficult to recall that for a brief time a generation ago Washington and Moscow appeared on the verge of forging a partnership. This class will review and analyze the remarkable events beginning in the late 1970s that led to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the emergence of reasonably close ties between former enemies. We will consider the roles that Gorbachev, Reagan, Shultz, Shevardnadze, Kohl and George H.W. Bush played in ending the Cold War. We will also consider whether either side pursued long-term coherent strategies during those years and examine the structural weaknesses of the Soviet Union. The required text is The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev’s Adaptability, Reagan’s Engagement and the End of the Cold War by James Graham Wilson (ISBN 978-0-8014-5229-1), which is also available as an e-book.
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.



R654 Tribal Cultures of Afghanistan and Central Asia

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Johnnie Hicks
Class Limit: 50
Tribal cultures are the oldest forms of society on earth, yet they remain the least understood. Some of the world’s earliest tribal groups originated in the regions of Afghanistan and Central Asia, where they developed their own languages and civilizations. These early nomadic groups have long defined the cultures of these regions and continue to influence their social, religious and political traditions. This course will look at several of the larger tribal groups of Persian and Turkic origins and the impact they have on their local and national communities. We will begin to unravel some of the mysteries of these ancient cultures and focus on the challenges and opportunities they bring to a modern and rapidly changing world.
Johnnie Hicks has traveled to several regions of the world, including Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where she encountered many different tribal groups. She is a frequent presenter on world cultures and religions and has taught these topics as an adjunct instructor at George Mason since 1990.


L655 Crime, Crime Prevention and Contemporary Crime Issues

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Cynthia Lum
Why does crime occur and what works to prevent it? In this class, students will learn about various theories of crime and what the criminal justice system does to prevent and control it. We will also discuss common myths about crime and crime prevention, and learn how to critically digest contemporary justice issues through an evidence-based lens.
Cynthia Lum is director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and an associate professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason. She is a former Baltimore City police officer and detective who earned a PhD in criminology from the University of Maryland, an MS in criminology from the London School of Economics and a BA in political science and economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.



L656 TED Talk Discussion Group

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Barbara Wilan
Class Limit: 20
TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a recently established and growing collection of brief    recorded talks on a wide range of topics. The speakers are leading figures chosen for their ability to express ideas clearly and succinctly. We will watch and discuss three or four related TED Talks episodes each week. The topics will be:

      • Jan. 20: Neuroscience.
      • Jan. 27: Human Behavior and Potential.
      • Feb. 3: Global Issues and Power.
      • Feb. 10: Technology and the Future.

Barbara Wilan retired as a full-time English teacher at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College and is currently an adjunct there. She has also taught at the University of Maryland and for the University of Maryland’s European Division.


700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?

Mondays, 9:30–11:00, Jan. 26–Feb. 16
Note time
Moderators: Peter Van Ryzin, Dorsey Chescavage
Class Limit: 38
Do you have an opinion on what’s happening in the world today? Would you like to express and share your views with others? Join other news junkies each week to discuss, debate and, yes, sometimes disagree as to the significance and meaning of events, both great and small. All views are welcomed in a spirit of give-and-take.
Peter Van Ryzin, an addicted news junky and OLLI member, was a career Marine who served two combat tours in Vietnam before retiring as a colonel in 1990.
Dorsey Chescavage, an OLLI member, retired from the Jefferson Consulting Group, where she was a registered lobbyist specializing in military and veterans’ health care.



F702 Africa in World Politics

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Helen R. Desfosses
The theme of this course will be the dynamic changes in much of African politics and economics, especially in the 21st century. Following a brief discussion of colonialism and the Soviet-American rivalry, we will examine recent forces for positive change, including significant economic development in many African nations, China’s emergence as a crucial development player and Africa’s importance as a major source of oil and other essential resources for the U.S. We will also explore continuing challenges for Africa on the world stage, including epidemics like AIDS and Ebola, the growing clash of Christianity and Islam, political instability and corruption, and continuing stereotyping by world powers. We will focus on the grounds for the continent’s “resilient optimism,” including the harnessing of technology, increased citizen engagement and new ways of helping Africa, such as micro-lending and thousands of small-scale projects.  Finally, we will explore the question: “Why should the U.S. care about Africa?”
Helen R. Desfosses is a retired professor of public policy and African studies. She has over 25 years’ experience as a consultant in legislative and political development in Africa.


F703 The Arctic as the Last Global Frontier

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Kathleen Burns
On Feb. 14, 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the Arctic region was the last global frontier and, as such, faced enormous challenges regarding the emerging geostrategic, economic, environmental, climatic and security implications for the United States and the world. This course will deal with the intersection of potentially volatile issues involving the Arctic region and competing interests among many countries. The Arctic is thawing and much of what was previously inaccessible to shipping could, in the future, be subject to tourism and the exploitation of resources such as oil, gas, minerals and fish.

      • Jan. 20: Climate Change, Energy and Security Conflicts in the Arctic. Andrew Holland, senior fellow at the American Security Project.
      • Jan. 27: The Law of the Sea Treaties and Maritime Laws. Captain Ashley Roach, U.S. Navy (retired), adviser for the Center for International Law, National University of Singapore.
      • Feb. 3: What Is the Emerging Role of the U.S. Government in Arctic Policies? Commander Marc Ziomek, U.S. Coast Guard, attorney liaison to the U.S. State Department’s Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, and Michael J. Young, Arctic affairs officer for the U.S. State Department.
      • Feb. 10: What Strategies are Neighboring Canada and Greenland Employing to Deal with Major Climate, Security and Policy Shifts in the Region? Inuuteq Holm Olsen, minister plenipotentiary at the Greenland Representation, Danish Embassy, and Nichola Payne, Arctic Division, Canadian Embassy.

Kathleen Burns, a long-time OLLI instructor, is vice president of the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


R704 All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Moderator: Dick Kennedy
This is a chance to discuss news and current events with other members who are trying to understand our changing world. More than ever we need to question information that comes to us from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, bumper stickers and newspapers. How should we filter these sources? We will examine and discuss some of the day’s hot topics in world and national news, science, business, sports and entertainment. All viewpoints and opinions are respected, needed and welcomed. As Walter Cronkite once said, “In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.”
Dick Kennedy, an OLLI member, is a retiree from the senior executive service at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He enjoys analyzing the news from multiple sources and engaging in good discussions with colleagues.



L705 Opinions, Opinions, Opinions!

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 22–Feb. 12
Moderator: Conrad Geller
Instead of screaming at the TV every night, this is your chance to scream at your fellow OLLI members. These sessions, in which discussions of major issues from the news will be instigated (not moderated) by the moderator, are intended to provide information, entertainment and possibly therapy for the participants. Several issues and questions relevant to recent news events will be emailed to the participants before each class, such as “Should we all carry assault rifles to church?” “Should Assad become our new BFF?” or “Should you marry the guy who knocked you out?” Resulting eruptions from these questions should be fun for observers and even more fun for the brawlers.
Conrad Geller, an OLLI member, has published a number of opinion essays, mostly on literary matters. His qualifications as a moderator include several years of martial arts training.



800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Senior Moments? Fact, Fiction and Fixes

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Catherine Weir
This course is a survey of recent academic research and ideas about memory. One focus is on typical and atypical changes in different types of memory as people age. A second focus is on activities that are effective ways to improve memory. Hands-on activities will be demonstrated that may help participants to better remember information.
Catherine Weir, an OLLI member, taught experimental psychology for four decades in both the U.K. and the U.S. She holds a PhD from University College London and a BA from Colorado College.



F802 Beginner Chen-Style Tai Chi

Thursdays, 2:15–3:15, Jan. 29–Feb. 5, Feb. 19

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



R803 The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan 

Tuesdays and Thursdays. 9:00–10:00, Jan. 13–Mar. 5
Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Note days and times
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class Limit: 7
Learn eight simple movements derived from the tai chi yang style short form by Master Cheng Man Ch’ing. Each movement is a separate and complete unit that can be practiced independently of the others, and which conveys all the benefits of tai chi. Emphasis is on balance, relaxation and ease of movement. A class fee of $20 is payable at time of registration. Those registering will also need to fill in a Reston Community Center registration/waiver form, which can be found at and returned to the OLLI office. Enrollment is not finalized until a completed RCC waiver is received by the OLLI office.



R804 Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:45–11:45, Jan. 6–Mar. 5
Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Note days and times
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class Limit: 5
This traditional yoga class, designed for seniors, incorporates both stretching and strength postures while focusing on balance. Participants will enjoy increased strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and energy in a gently challenging way. Participants should bring a blanket, pillow or beach towel. A class fee of $20 is payable at time of registration. Those registering will also need to fill in a Reston Community Center registration/waiver form, which can be found at and returned to the OLLI office. Registration is not finalized until a completed RCC waiver is received by the OLLI office.



R805 Our Dynamic Planet and Our Environment

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Rose Gallery at the Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Coordinator: Jim McNeal
This new speaker series will focus on the surface of the earth and the interactions between humans and the environment.  From an understanding of the history of the earth we will proceed to such hot topics as how to meet our needs for energy and mineral resources; procedures and potential environmental impacts of fracking; climate change; the global carbon cycle and recent geologic events.
Jim McNeal, a scientist emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), earned a PhD in geochemistry from Pennsylvania State University. He is a docent at the National Museum of Natural History.
Douglas Duncan, associate program director of the USGS Energy Resources Program, focuses on unconventional oil and gas resources and carbon sequestration.
Thomas Cronin, a USGS senior research geologist, earned a PhD from Harvard University. He is the author of Paleoclimates–Understanding Climate Change Past and Present.




L806 Thriving in Place as You Age

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Instructor: Suzi Klyber
This course will cover three topics that affect your ability to live your life to the fullest.

      • Home Safety: We will look beyond the basics of fall prevention and the Americans with Disability Act requirements with additional ideas to enable people to have full access to all areas of their homes, and to function within them safely and independently. Simple, inexpensive changes within the home will be covered.
      • Energy Conservation: How do you conserve energy yet continue to do all the things you love? Learn to think differently about how you plan and pace your life. Compare a day’s worth of energy to a salt shaker with only so much salt. If you shake all of it out in the morning, there is nothing left for the rest of the day.
      • Good Body Mechanics: Practice what you should have learned in kindergarten about using your body in ways that protect your joints and save energy. Learn to apply good body mechanics to all aspects of your life, from sleeping to daily living to leisure pursuits.

Suzi Klyber has been an occupational therapist for 34 years. She has worked in such specialty areas as spine care, orthopedics and cardio-pulmonary, all of which require good body mechanics and energy conservation.


900 Other Topics

F901 Sampling a World of Tastes and Temptations

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 20–Feb. 10
Instructor: Bob Coffin
Class Limit: 12
Each session of this class will include preparation of three dishes, with the last 20 minutes devoted to conspicuous consumption. (Note to the wise: skip breakfast.) Copies of the recipes will be provided, as well as a running commentary with an occasional historical anecdote. A class fee of $20 will cover the cost of the food. Projected menus:

      • Jan. 20: Bob’s Ultimate Caesar Salad, Sweet Tooth Parmesan Chicken and Seasonal Fruit Crisp.
      • Jan. 27: Minutemen Cheddar Dip with Crudités, Ratatouille Provençal and Grandma Jennie’s Stuffed Dates.
      • Feb. 3: Escargots aux Champignons, BCB Chopped Salad and Berry Bavarian Cream.
      • Feb. 10: Hummus bi Tahini, Fried Mandu with Dipping Sauce and Death by Chocolate.

Bob Coffin, an OLLI member, is a retired U.S. Army foreign area officer and Fairfax County high school teacher. For 10 years he taught a quick and easy cooking class for alternative high school students. Bob also ran fundraising auctions, donating 7-course dinners served in your home.


R902 Meditation

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Feb. 2–Feb. 16
Three sessions
Instructor: Linda Bender
Class Limit: 15
Here’s your chance to learn more about the various classifications and types of meditation, and how meditation can help in your daily life. The focus will be on the processes of meditation itself, rather than on any particular belief system or faith. Class members will have an opportunity to decide on a particular meditation style and then try it out in class and at home. Each class will include a guided meditation.
Linda Bender, an OLLI member, has been a meditator for over 40 years. She has a degree in mathematics from Cornell University.


L903 Trip Tales

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Coordinator: Maria Buczek
Enjoy traveling around the world through the eyes of fellow OLLI members. This winter we will visit wonderful places of the world while sitting in our classroom. Please watch the OLLI website and the online registration system for a list of presenters.


You Won’t Want to Miss These Adventures!

OLLI is bringing Trip Tales to Loudoun, scheduled for Wednesdays at 9:40 a.m.   Three OLLI members will take you on a virtual trip across North America to Alberta, Canada; down memory lane to explore Myanmar; on a river cruise down the historic Danube River; and through ancient cities and Roman ruins from Carthage to the Sahara!  Read these exciting descriptions and join us on these adventures this winter term!

Jan. 21 Evan and Brenda Douple drove from Reston to Alaska and back. They will illustrate the highlights of their ‘Ultimate North American Road Trip’ which included the northern states of the lower 48, Glacier National Park, the Canadian National Parks of Waterton Lakes, Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, the Alaska Highway, Denali National Park, Anchorage, the Alaska Marine Highway, and Lethbridge, Alberta.

Jan. 28 Evan and Brenda Douple return to present highlights of their visit to Myanmar in May, 2012. Titled ‘Returning to Burma Routes and Roots’, their presentation will highlight their search for Evan’s house, school, and memorable landmarks when he lived with his family in Mandalay where his father was a Fulbright Professor in the mid-1950s. Explore a country where many things have not changed in 60 years and a country which a recent issue of TRAVEL+LEISURE described as “on the cusp of great change” and designated Myanmar

Feb. 4    Tunisia has not been on most of the tour company itineraries, but it is opening up. Join Tom and Marilyn Hady on a trip from Tunis and Carthage in the north to the Sahara in the south. This was the breadbasket of Rome, and it’s full of Roman ruins. You’ll see Berber cave dwellings (later used for Star Wars sets), camel rides in the desert, medinas and souks, the Grand Mosque of Kairouan, America’s only military cemetery in Africa and the oldest synagogue in Africa.

Feb. 11 Join Karen Jones and Michael Kastle as they take you on a river cruise on one of Europe’s most important and historic waterways — the Danube.  We will travel from Budapest to Nuremberg, visiting ancient castles, historic churches and monasteries, bustling market towns, and cruise past vineyards and lush landscapes.  After our cruise, we’ll take a side trip to Prague.

L904 What’s Happening in OLLI

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 22–Feb. 5
Three sessions
Coordinator: Beth Davis
This series of presentations will expand your knowledge of the inner workings of our organization.

      • Jan. 22: OLLI Approaching 25: Opportunities and Challenges. Glenn Kamber, OLLI president.
      • Jan. 29: A Day in the Life of OLLI’s Executive Director. The ups and downs of running a nonprofit educational organization. Jennifer Disano, OLLI executive director.
      • Feb. 5: Committees and Program Planning Groups. A panel discussion with some of the OLLI committee and program planning group chairs, describing their responsibilities and volunteer opportunities.


Special Events

951 Green Spring Gardens: A Virtual Tour

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2:15–3:40
Coordinator: Jayne L. Hart
Green Spring Gardens is a public park in Alexandria operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority. It is a gardener’s delight! Its 26 different themed gardens are filled with a variety of flowers, trees, shrubs, a horticulture center, an historic house and a nature plant trail that leads through the woods to two ponds. This will be a virtual tour (via PowerPoint) of Green Spring Gardens, with an overview of its history, mission and facilities.
Paulette Royt is a master gardener and docent at Green Spring Gardens.



952 The U.S. Endangered Species Act

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2:15–3:40
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: John Fay
Major concern for conserving disappearing species arose in the U.S. and elsewhere in the 1960s and led in 1973 to passage of the Endangered Species Act. Conceived primarily as a way of controlling the deliberate exploitation of vulnerable species, the Endangered Species Act is now generally understood to be an integrated resource management challenge based on the conservation of biodiversity. This presentation will cover the philosophy and goals established by the act, some of the significant controversies that have affected it, the important roles that it assigns to federal agencies and the part played by Congress.
John Fay served in the endangered species program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1978 until his retirement in 2012. He has a PhD in biology.



953 Bringing Songs to Life: Vocal Coaching

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2:15–3:40
Instructor: Luke Frazier
In this class you will learn what a professional vocal coach strives to achieve with singers. It will feature several up-and-coming singers working in front of the group on a classic repertoire with conductor and vocal coach Luke Frazier.
Luke Frazier is the newly appointed principal pops conductor of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. He holds a MM in conducting from Ohio University and a BM in piano performance from West Virginia University.



954 Central Australian Aboriginal Culture: The Arrernte People

Friday, Jan. 23, 1:00–2:30
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
The Arrernte are an aboriginal Australian people who are the traditional custodians of lands at Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and surrounding areas of the Central Australia region of the Northern Territory. Their Dreamtime mythology and spirituality focuses on the landscape and governs their way of life. Join Heather McCain for a discussion of Dreamtime and its impact on modern life.
Heather McCain and her family lived in Alice Springs, the largest town in the Northern Territory of Australia, for three years. She returns to OLLI to share some of her first-hand experience with the Arrernte culture. Heather graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in English and an MA in education. She is a project manager for ESI International.



955 The 13 Dwarves: An Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science

Monday, Jan. 26, 11:50–1:15
Instructor: John Gallant
Welcome to the world of dwarves, brick walls and prize money. This talk presents an introduction to theoretical computer science for the layperson. We start with three fundamental principles of theoretical computer science that have emerged over the last 30 years. Then, the impact of these principles are discussed for a variety of topics, including: How do computers play chess? What is Big Data? and What is the so-called financial engineering arms race? We will also take a peek at where future research is heading.
John Gallant is a retired computer scientist, software development manager and adjunct professor of computer science. He has worked for a variety of telecommunications and Internet companies on the development of new technologies, and has authored or co-authored over 50 patents. He received his PhD in computer science from Princeton University.



956 George Washington and Benedict Arnold’s Treason

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2:15–3:40
Coordinator: Velma Berkey
General Benedict Arnold’s audacious plan to deliver the crucial fortress at West Point to the British was one of the most dramatic events of the American Revolution. George Washington’s relationship with Arnold, and the way he responded to the treason and its aftermath, offer interesting insights into his leadership and character.
Peter Henriques received his PhD in history from the University of Virginia and is professor of history emeritus at George Mason. He is the author of Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington and America’s Atlas: The Leadership of George Washington, a work in progress.




957 Astrology 101

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2:15–3:40
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Annie White
What do real astrologers see when they look at your birth chart? Did you know that while your “sign” expresses some basic energies, your chart shows your inner self (moon), the way you learn and communicate (Mercury), your warrior energies (Mars), your creative side (Venus), your expansive energies (Jupiter) and the way you personally structure your life (Saturn). The geometric configuration of your 12 planets in 12 signs and 12 houses gives you a unique signature. No two charts are ever alike! Add to this mix your ascendant (the way others see you) and the outer planets (dreaming, meltdowns, evolutionary energy), kick in a couple of asteroids like Chiron (inner healer), and the moon’s odes (destiny) and you have an astonishing map of personal potential. This lecture will include charts of some famous people to illustrate the planetary archetypes at work.
Annie White, an OLLI member and third-generation-astrologer, is a former government briefing and writing instructor who teaches astrology and planetary archetypes to writers and artists.



958 The Piano: A Musical Journey

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2:15–3:40
Instructor: Luke Frazier
Enjoy the history of the piano with examples of piano music through the ages. You will hear stories and songs that will help you understand the background of such a grand instrument. See 953 for instructor information.



959 A Tribute to Victor Borge

Friday, Jan. 30, 1:00–2:30
Instructor: Martha Powers
Take a talented classical pianist, add a uniquely creative view of the world, season generously with good clean fun—and you’ve got Victor Borge. His hilarious comedy routines and skits featured everything from a frustrated opera diva to a piano bench seatbelt. After a brief look at Borge’s background, we’ll view his funniest video clips from a career spanning 75 years.
Martha Powers is an OLLI member who has always admired “popularizers” like Victor Borge and Liberace—unique individuals who helped make classical music less daunting to the general public.



960 Stardust Memories: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael

Saturday, Jan. 31, 10:00–12:30
Instructor: Dan Sherman
This presentation will examine the career of one of America’s best-known singer-songwriters, whose songs (Stardust, Skylark and Heart and Soul) are among the most-recorded of all time. We will make extensive use of film and audio clips to sample Hoagy’s performances and to hear great recordings of his songs by others, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Lauren Bacall.
Dan Sherman has taught OLLI courses on American theater composers, humor in music and great opera composers.



961 Healthy Sleep

Monday, Feb. 2, 11:50–1:15
Instructor: Dave Buczek
This presentation will explain the science that drives healthy sleep, the consequences of poor sleep and why sleep is so vital to our well-being. It will help you understand how your sleep patterns change as you age and how you are affected by poor sleep habits. You will learn how to assess your sleep chronotype to determine if you’re more alert in the morning or evening; define your individual sleep need; discover if you are carrying a “sleep debt” and apply a checklist to help you achieve the quality of sleep you need.
Dave Buczek is a recognized expert in healthy sleep and fatigue risk management. He is a fellow at the George Mason School of Law and has taught graduate-level courses at George Mason and The American University. He is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and has completed specialized training from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.



962 Bringing Songs to Life: Vocal Coaching

Monday, Feb. 2, 2:15–3:40
Instructor: Luke Frazier
This is a repeat of 953.



963 Road Scholar

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2:15–3:40
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Bobbie O’Brien
Join us for a lively discussion of the many programs offered by Road Scholar, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel. Expert instructors provide extraordinary access and stimulate discourse and friendship. Newcomers will discover the breadth of learning adventures available in the U.S. and abroad, including intergenerational programs and service opportunities.
Bobbie O’Brien, a Road Scholar participant since 2001, is a retired librarian and school administrator with abiding interests in reading, learning and travel.


964 Bringing Songs to Life: Vocal Coaching

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2:15–3:40
Instructor: Luke Frazier
This is a repeat of 953.


965 How the Printing Press Changed the World

Monday, Feb. 9, 11:50–1:15
Instructor: Margaret Reed
While the printed word seems to be out of date in a world moving toward the Internet, the book remains a vital element in our society. From textbooks to novels, people throughout the world still gain knowledge and enjoyment in turning the pages of a physical book. This course will explore the transformation of books through history from a time when books were created by talented scribes whose intricate works were artistic masterpieces. Book creation was altered dramatically when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. With moveable type, this machine created books faster and allowed the cost efficiency of mass production, making books available to a vast readership.
Margaret Reed is an adjunct professor of history at Northern Virginia Community College. She graduated from NVCC with both an AA and an AS, and earned bachelors and masters degrees in history from George Washington University. As a participant in a collaboration between GWU and the Folger Shakespeare Library, Margaret conducted research that earned her the title of a Folger Shakespeare Scholar.



966 The Piano: A Musical Journey

Monday, Feb. 9, 2:15–3:40
Instructor: Luke Frazier
This is a repeat of 958.



967 Solar and Super-Insulated Homes

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2:00–3:45
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructors: Rich and Marian Taschler
Rich and Marian Taschler, whose home has twice been included in the Department of Energy’s Solar Home Tours, are self-taught do-it-yourselfers who will describe their success story, with the primary focus on installing super insulation that cost them only $300. They also designed and installed their own solar hot water system. Their home has an Energy Star rating of 9.9 out of a possible 10.
Rich and Marian Taschler are OLLI members who correctly predicted a rise in energy costs after the first oil crunch in 1973 and set about creating a program to beat future costs with solar energy and super insulation.


968 Lincoln: The Man in the Monuments

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2:15–3:40
Coordinator:  Florence Adler
Journey with Lincoln scholar Jim Percoco across the country to learn how Americans have chosen to remember Abraham Lincoln. There are more than 250 statues of Lincoln across the United States and Percoco has identified seven as the most important. He will discuss various aspects of these sculptures, what they meant when they were dedicated and what they mean to us today.
James A. Percoco has taught at West Springfield High School since 1980 and was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2011.


969 The Piano: A Musical Journey

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2:15–3:40
Instructor: Luke Frazier
This is a repeat of 958.



970 U.S. Foreign Aid in the 21st Century

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2:15–3:40
Instructors: Jessica L. Klein, Stephen W. Giddings
The average American is said to believe that U.S. foreign aid consumes more than a quarter of the federal budget and that much of it is wasted. In reality, less than one percent of the overall budget goes for foreign aid, with the majority of that going to support high-priority foreign policy interests that include combating terrorism and providing humanitarian assistance after disasters. Jessica L. Klein will provide an overview of the U.S. foreign aid program, highlighting the facts and debunking some of the myths. Stephen W. Giddings will comment on the life of a Foreign Service officer with the Agency for International Development (USAID).
Jessica L. Klein is a special advisor in the Office of Foreign Assistance Resources at the State Department.
Stephen W. Giddings retired from USAID in 2005 after a 25-year career as a Foreign Service officer.



971 The Iraq Estimate: Why and How It Went Wrong

Monday, Feb. 16, 11:50–1:15
Instructor: Garrett Cochran
The 2002 estimate of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program is one of the greatest failures in the long history of U.S. intelligence collection and analysis. Why and how did so much go wrong? This lecture will demonstrate that the estimate was not an aberration but the consequence of mistakes and destructive politicking.
Garrett Cochran is a longtime OLLI member who predicted that no WMD would be found in Iraq.



972 Battle of Gettysburg Field Trip

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 11:50–1:15
Lecture at Tallwood
Thursday, Mar. 19, 7:00–5:00
Bus Trip
Instructors: Alan Gropman, Bernie Oppel
To prepare those taking the bus trip to the Gettysburg Battle Site, Bernie Oppel and Alan Gropman will present a lecture on the origins of the Civil War and the place of the battle in the war’s context. Bernie and Alan will lead the trip and will demonstrate how George G. Meade out-generaled Robert E. Lee on those three days. There will be several stops with multiple bus dismounts, and lunch will be included. Plan to do some walking on uneven ground for distances ranging from 200 yards to a mile, so wear good walking shoes and socks. To avoid deer ticks wear long sleeves and long pants. The bus will leave Fair Oaks Mall, Lot 57 (in front of Mantech Corp.) promptly at 7:00. Please be at the bus no later than 6:45. The fee of $44 is payable at the time of registration. The fee includes bus fare, driver gratuity and lunch.
Alan Gropman, a retired Air Force colonel, has a PhD in black military history and was chairman of the Grand Strategy Department at the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
See F306 for Bernie Oppel information.

973 The United States Attorneys and the Department of Justice

Friday, Feb. 6, 1:00–2:30
Instructor: Lou DeFalaise
Everyday the media is full of stories about allegations of Public Corruption, Hate Crimes, Police Misconduct, Major Financial Fraud, Crimes by Terrorists, as well as Deportation/Immigration matters, Environmental Enforcement and most recently Civil seizure of money, cars and other properties. This presentation will be a brief overview of the history and functions of the US Justice Department and the US Attorneys and how they interact with law enforcement agencies, the Courts and their state counterparts in dealing with these issues. We will also consider such concepts as Prosecutorial Discretion, The Rule of Law, Public Safety, and Constitutional Rights.
Louis DeFalaise is a former member of the Kentucky Legislature, United States Attorney for Eastern Kentucky, Senior Counsel in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and recently retired as Director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Attorney Recruiting and Management. He was also responsible for the adjudication of FBI Whistleblower cases.




Ongoing Activities


Book Club

Second Wednesdays
Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Mar. 11, 10:00–11:30
Feb. 11, 1:30–3:00
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew                           703-323-9671
On December 10th we plan to read Book by Book by Michael Dirda. The January 14th selection will be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. On February 11th we will discuss Elsewhere by Richard Russo and on March 11th the choice will be Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. All OLLI members are welcome.


Bridge Club

Nov. 19, Dec. 3–Dec. 17, Jan. 7–Jan. 14, 10:00–12:00
Jan. 21–Feb. 11, 1:45–3:45
Coordinators: Susanne Zumbro                              703-569-2750
                              Gordon Canyock                                  703-425-4607
Drop in and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert. Partnerships are rotated every four hands. The Bridge Club meets in the morning between terms and in the afternoon during term.


Bridge Club – Loudoun

Wednesdays, 1:45–3:45, Jan. 21–Feb. 11
Coordinator: Barbara Wilan                    703-450-1380
Bridge will not only provide you with hours of enjoyment but it will also help keep you mentally alert. Whether you are new to the game or a life master, stop by and enjoy a session of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert.


Classic Fiction Book Club

Fourth Fridays
Jan. 23, Feb. 27, Mar. 27, 10:00–11:30
Cascades Library, Loudoun County
Coordinator: Sigrid Blalock                   703-723-6825
The book selection for January 23 is Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov. On February 27 the selection is Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane and for March 27 the book is Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The book club welcomes new members.


Cooking Club

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


Cottage Art

Dec. 2–Dec. 16, Jan. 6–Jan. 13, Feb. 17–Mar. 17, 9:30
Coordinator: Sue Goldstein
All artists, whether you use pencil, ink, pastels, charcoal or water color, are welcome to finish or start pictures. The group consists of OLLI members at all skill levels who have taken OLLI art classes. Come join us.


Craft and Conversation Group

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


History Club

First Wednesdays
Jan. 7, Feb. 4, Mar. 4, 2:15–3:40
       (unless posted otherwise)
Coordinator: Beth Lambert                                            703-624-6356
The club welcomes OLLI members who are interested in discussing historical events and sharing reviews of articles, books or interesting topics. The club maintains a list of books that members have found worthwhile, which can be viewed at If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming History Club meetings, contact


Homer, etc.

Dec. 12–Dec. 19, Jan. 9–Feb. 13, 11:00–12:30
Coordinator: Jan Bohall                       703-273-1146
Join us to read aloud a traditional or contemporary classic. We are now reading Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy. 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
Dec. 5, Feb. 6, Mar. 6, 10:00–12:00
Coordinator: Stan Schretter
We welcome all members interested in using the iPad, from beginners to seasoned users. Each meeting will address both technical and how-to topics of interest to our members. Time will be allocated at each meeting to address questions on any iPad-related topic. More details are available on the club section of the OLLI website. Contact Stan Schretter for further information.


Knitting and Needlework Club

Dec. 2–Dec. 16, Jan. 6–Mar. 17, 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
Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Jan. 7, Feb. 18, Mar. 4, Mar. 18, 10:00–12:00
Jan. 21, Feb. 4, 1:30–3:30
Coordinator: Liz Bateman                    
We welcome all members who want to learn the game of mah jongg or already know how to play. Stretch your mind and have fun with a game that is (maybe) easier than bridge, but definitely challenging! For more information, contact Liz or visit the Mah Jongg Club blog.


Memoir—and More—Writing Group

Coordinator: Betty Smith
We meet each week, usually on Wednesday, except during the fall and spring terms when Dianne Hennessey King’s Memoir Writing class is in session. Our focus is memoir, but we also include fiction, poetry and personal essay. If you are interested, please contact Betty Smith (e-mail listed in member directory) for more   information.

Personal Computer User Group

Third Saturdays
Dec. 13 (note that this is the second Saturday), Jan. 17, Feb. 21, 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 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
Dec. 12, Jan. 9, Feb. 13, Mar. 13, 9:30–11:00
Fourth Fridays
Jan. 23, Feb. 27, 12:00–2:00
Coordinator: Dan Feighery                
Meet with experts and others interested in photography, and develop skills by participating in monthly theme photo submissions. The Photography Club welcomes all members, whether they use a basic camera or specialized equipment, and whether they are 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 for further information.


Recorder Consort

Dec. 5–Dec. 19, Jan. 9–Mar. 20, 9:00–11:30
Coordinator: Helen Ackerman              
If you have been part of the consort or have previously played the recorder and would like to expand your abilities, join us on Fridays. There will be some on-and-off-campus performances and music may need to be purchased.


Tai Chi Club

Coordinators:   Russell Stone                               703-323-4428
                               Susanne Zumbro                         703-569-2750
The Tai Chi Club meets every Saturday in TA-3. It is a continuation for Dr. Cheng’s tai chi students, but is open to all OLLI members.

The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Dec. 3–17, Jan. 7–Jan. 14, Feb. 18–Mar 18, 10:30–12:00
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
See course F203 for activity description.



Travel Club

Fourth Fridays
Jan. 23, 9:30
Coordinator: Shelly Gersten                  703-385-2638
The club welcomes any and all who are interested in domestic or international travel. OLLI members have a vast wealth of experience in both traveling and living in other parts of the United States and the world. Come share your experiences and learn from others. We also try to identify common interests so that members can plan to travel together. In addition, we organize occasional local trips where we carpool to sites within a drive of 60 to 90 minutes, including historic homes and museums.


Walking Group

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


What’s in the Daily News? Continued

Dec. 1–Dec. 15, Jan. 5–Jan. 12, Feb. 23–Mar. 16, 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.