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Winter 2017 Catalog
January 17 – February 13, 2017

Below is a list of the courses, special events and ongoing winter 2017 activities at all three locations (Fairfax, Reston and Loudoun). Unless otherwise noted, classes beginning with an F are held at Tallwood in Fairfax, an R at United Christian Parish in Reston, and an L at Mason’s Loudoun County location in Sterling. To view non-course information in the catalog, click the following links for the Schedule of classes (pdf) and Registration Form (pdf). If there is an instructor for a course that interests you, please check our page of instructor profiles.

If you plan to print the catalog rather than read it on your computer screen, you may prefer to print the Winter 2017 (pdf) in its normal two-column format.

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

100 Art and Music

F101 Understanding Opera, Part 2
F102 Workshop for Art
F103 Drawing and Sketching Portraits
F104 Unsung Stars: Standing in the Shadows
F105 Erroll Garner: Virtuoso Jazz Pianist
F106 Watercolor Painting
R107 The Ongoing Pleasures of Music
R108 Talking Photography
L109 Understanding Opera, Part 2
L110 Treasures of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum

200 Economics & Finance

F201 Tax Preparation Simplified
F202 The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
F203 Retired with Questions
L204 Tax Preparation Simplified

300 History & International Studies

F301 The 1936 and 1972 Olympics
F302 The Gettysburg Campaign: The Intelligence Story
F303 New Mexico: Past, Present, Future
F304 Building America: The Pursuit of Land from 1607-1893
F305 The Gray Ghost Rides Again: The Exploits of John S. Mosby and his Partisan Band Behind Union Lines in the Civil War
F306 The Last Imperial Family of Czarist Russia
F307 Battles in Eastern Europe that Framed our Times
F308 National Park Ranger Potpourri IX
L309 Two Brothers from Ohio: Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machine
L310 Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers who Turned the Tide in the Second World War, Part 2
L311 Smithsonian African American Museum
L312 History of Pro Sports in Washington (Are We Cursed?)

400 Literature, Theater & Writing

F401 Those Were the Days: Sitcoms of the ’70s
F402 Why Did We Watch Downton Abbey? And Does It Matter that We Did?
F403 Tony Hillerman’s Navajo Tribal Police Mystery Novels and “Indian Land”
F404 Meet the Authors
F405 A Year in Provence
F406 Poetry Workshop
F407 Recorded British and American Poetry
F408 OLLI Actor’s Studio
F409 Acting for Fun
F410 Digital Scrapbooking in the 21st Century
R411 Mystery Short Stories: Meet the Author
R412 Literary Roundtable
R413 Reading the Short Story
R414 They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Sidney Poitier Movies
R415 Digital Scrapbooking in the 21st Century
L416 Writer’s Workshop
L417 More Orson Welles

500 Languages

F501 Spanish Conversation: Kaleidoscope of Latin America
F502 Spanish Conversational Forum
F503 Beginning Spanish Conversation
F504 Latin II
R505 Intermediate Spanish Conversation
R506 French Conversation
R507 Italian for Travelers, Part 1

600 Religious Studies

F601 Zorastrianism: From Ancient Faith to Modern Traditions
F602 The Parables of Jesus
F603 The Dead Sea Scrolls
F604 “The PlainPeople”:: An Introduction to the Quakers, Amish and Mennonites of Lancaster County, PA
F605 Jesus, Paul, and the Law: Correlation or Conflict?
R606 For All the Saints: A Survey of Canonization, Hagiography, Iconography, and Devotion in Selected Christian Traditions
R607 What Happened After Vatican II?
R608 The Legacy of C.S. Lewis: Shadowlands & Beyond
L609 Jesus at the Movies
L610 History of the African Methodis Episcopal (AME) Church
L611 Holy Sites of Early Christianity

650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651 Your Personal History
F652 Politics and power: Basic Concepts
F653 Family History Rewards and Challenges
F654 Blogs and Social Media
R655 Anticipating the Future
L656 Evidence-Based Policing
L657 TED Talk Discussion Group


700 Current Events

F701 What’s in the Daily News?
F702 Politics and Policy
R703 All the News That’s Fit to Print


800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Navigating Long-Term Care
F802 Psychology Potpourri
R803 Gentle Yoga
R804 Tai Chi Chuan: Eight Ways
L805 Loudoun County Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response

900 Other Topics

R901 Trip Tales
L902 The Happiness Project

Additional Special Events

951 The Evolution of the Fairfax/Loudoun County Boundary Line and J.E.B. Stuart’s Most Difficult Achievement
952 Pictures and Words: An Introduction to Comics and Graphic Novels
953 Spotting Psychopaths
954 Those Critters Around Us: Fairfax County Wildlife
955 “The Spill” in Australian Politics and its Impact on Government
956 NVCC and Me
957 Sunstroke and Ankle-Deep Mud
958 Eat Right for Cancer Prevention
959 A Wild Solution for Climate Change
960 Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman, the Stories, the Times
961 That’s Jazz by Mike Baker, Jr.
962 Native Americans-First Peoples, Sovereign Protectors
963 Genealogy Research in the Virginia Room
964 The 60-Year Struggle for Gay Rights
965 The American Bison: Legends, Lore and Legacy
966 Discover What Your Libraries Can Do for You
967 The Kent State Killings Revisited
968 Edmund Burke: Often Quoted, Little Known
969 Of all Things, Love
1001BT Liaison Training for Everybody!
1101 Grad ‘n’ Gab Coffee Klatch
1102 Ice Cream Social and Hawaiian Luau

Ongoing Activities

Bridge Club
Classic Literature Club
Cooking Club
Craft and Conversation Group
Dr. Who Club
History Club
Homer, etc.
Mah Jongg Club
Memoir-and More-Writing Group
Personal Computer User Group
Photography Club
Recorder Consort
Reston Book Club
Spanish Club (new)

Tai Chi Club
Tallwood Book Club
Theater Lover’s Group
The Tom Crooker Investment Forum
Walking Group
What’s in the Daily News? Continued

100 Art and Music

F101  Understanding Opera, Part 2

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Glenn Winters
This class completes a survey of Virginia Opera Company’s productions of the 2016-2017 season. Works discussed include Carl Maria von Weber’s romantic classic The Magic Marksman (Der Freischütz) and Puccini’s exotic masterpiece Turandot. Comprehensive musical/dramatic discussion includes video and audio excerpts. Recommended for curious beginners and aficionados alike.
Glenn Winters has been Virginia Opera’s community outreach musical director since 2004. His adult education program, “Operation Opera,” reaches thousands of Virginians each season at numerous Lifelong Learning Institutes around the state. Winters’ book, The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates, is available from Kendall Hunt Publishing. Winters is a composer as well, and his commissioned operas include works for adults and children.


F102  Workshop for Art

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Facilitators: Suzanne Goldstein, Susann Hamilton
Class limit: 12
Bring your own sketching and/or watercolor projects for independent study. Assistance and advice will be available.
Suzanne Goldstein is a retired math teacher, a longtime attendee of OLLI sketching and watercolor classes, and facilitator of the Annex Art Club.
Susann Hamilton is a retired association executive who previously was an OLLI instructor of “Beginning Sketching.”


F103  Drawing and Sketching Portraits

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Bill Parsons
Class limit: 14
Students with drawing experience will focus on drawing portraits for this short winter session. We will each draw one portrait from a photograph of the students’ choice, a self-portrait, and a live portrait of a classmate. Materials required are at least (but not limited to) good quality drawing paper, charcoal paper, drawing pencils, charcoal and conté crayon. Students who have taken the fall “Drawing and Sketching Workshop” will build on their abilities to draw what they actually see and not what they think they see.
Bill Parsons earned an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1978 and has worked as a furniture maker and designer, jeweler, silversmith and ceramic artist.


F104  Unsung Stars: Standing in the Shadows

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 19–Jan. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Michelle Blandburg
Popular music has always utilized unsung and unknown talent. Join us for two excellent documentaries exploring the talent, joys, and frustrations of those in the background. What band played on more number-one hits than the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys combined? The Funk Brothers— a group of Detroit-based session musicians who were the background to most Motown recordings from 1959 to 1972. Although unknown beyond the show business world, they are considered one of the most successful groups of studio musicians in music history. Their story is told in the 2002 film Standing in the Shadows of Motown. The Funk Brothers were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007. The film 20 Feet from Stardom goes behind-the-scenes with back-up singers whose vocal talents supported stars like Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, and Bruce Springsteen. This film was honored with numerous awards, including the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Michelle Blandburg is an OLLI Board member and officer, a music lover, and an active member of the OLLI Players. Her early childhood was spent in Detroit, within walking distance of Hitsville USA, Motown’s famous headquarters.


F105  Erroll Garner: Virtuoso Jazz Pianist

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Feb. 2–Feb. 9
Two sessions
Instructor: Michelle Blandburg
Erroll Garner was an American jazz pianist and composer known for both swing and ballads. He was considered by many as “one of the most distinctive of all pianists” and a “brilliant virtuoso.” Using an orchestral approach straight from the swing era but open to the innovations of bop, his distinctive style could swing like no other. Yet some of his best recordings are ballads, such as his best-known composition, Misty, which has become a jazz standard—and was featured in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 film, Play Misty for Me. This class will feature music and DVDs of this brilliant musician in action. The instructor had a special connection to Erroll Garner. Her father, bassist Eddie Calhoun, was a member of Garner’s trio for more than ten years. She will share childhood memories of summer travels on the road with “the guys.” She will also read reminiscences about Garner from her father’s unpublished memoir, Big-Time Sharecroppers.
See F104 for instructor information.


F106  Watercolor Painting

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Leonard Justinian
Class limit: 15
This class will provide an opportunity for watercolor painters at all levels to develop fresh skills while learning new watercolor techniques. Required materials include: #1, #6, and/or #8 round watercolor brushes; a paint palette for mixing colors; 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper (Arches is best, but you can use less expensive paper); a kneaded eraser; a Staedtler white plastic eraser; and tubes of watercolor paint in white, charcoal black, cadmium yellow (medium), cadmium red (medium), and ultramarine blue, or a starter set of watercolors.
Leonard Justinian has been painting for more than 60 years. Among other honors, he has received the Grumbacher Award. He teaches watercolor painting in his Fairfax City studio and is also seen on Fairfax public access cable TV, Cox cable channel 10, and Verizon FiOS channel 10. He is a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters,


R107  The Ongoing Pleasures of Music

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Gloria Sussman
This music listening course has continued to live up to its promising title. We explore with pleasure the many facets of classical music with the use of DVDs and YouTube clips. You may sample the wide variety of musical offerings from previous terms by searching for Gloria Sussman on
Gloria Sussman has been teaching at OLLI since 2000 and continues to provide entertaining programs for OLLI at Reston.


R108  Talking Photography

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Dan Feighery
In this class we will discuss a variety of picture-taking topics. We’ll begin with a re-creation of the instructor’s prior class, “Finding Photographic Art in Ordinary Everyday Things.” The following sessions will include discussion and demonstrations of macro and table-top photography, using stained glass and a variety of lighting, and the use of single and multiple flash units. We’ll discuss the use of various accessories for the digital single lens reflex camera as well as selection of lenses. The fourth session will cover the display of photographs, including a demonstration of matting and framing.
Dan Feighery, a retired Air Force officer whose interests include photography, founded the OLLI Photo Club, and has taught several OLLI photography classes over the years.


L109  Understanding Opera, Part 2

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Glenn Winters
This is a videoconference of F101.


L110  Treasures of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Jan. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Adrienne Wyman Kralick
The Smithsonian American Art Museum tells the story of America through visual art. Travel through time from colonial America captured in portraiture, through the spirit of the wild frontier, the lure of the landscape, the American impressionists and the opulence of the Gilded Age. Get to know remarkable Americans through their portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, from the popular “America’s Presidents” exhibition to icons of pop culture, all without leaving your seat. Instructor Adrienne Wyman Kralick will take you on a virtual tour of the museum, examining the works from a historical and artistic perspective.
As a working artist with a knowledge of historical painting techniques, Adrienne Wyman Kralick provides a unique behind-the-easel perspective when looking at paintings. She gives museum tours and teaches painting classes focusing on the techniques employed by different artists throughout history at the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, DC and other venues throughout the United States and abroad. More information can be found at


F201  Tax Preparation Simplified

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 17–Jan. 31
Three sessions
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This series of lectures is intended to help you with the preparation of your income tax returns.

  • 17: A Review of Federal Tax Laws, with an Emphasis on Senior-related Issues. Presenter John Higgins is a tax training specialist for AARP Tax-Aide, Virginia.
  • 24: A Review of Virginia Tax Laws for Seniors to Consider. John Higgins will build on the previous lecture, describing the requirements of Virginia tax laws for preparing federal and state tax returns, and using the content and organization of your documentation “shoebox” to help prepare your tax returns.
  • 31: Everything 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 brief presentation about issues that affect most seniors. Then she’ll open the session to questions on real estate, legal, and financial issues. She has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, and is returning to OLLI for her tenth season.


F202  The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Fairfax Lord of Life
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
The Investment Forum, which meets weekly throughout the year, addresses investment topics of particular interest to retirees. A weekly agenda is distributed, and each session begins with open discussion of recent events in the economy and in financial markets, and their impact on investment decisions. Member presentations typically include such topics as: recent market indicators, stocks, bonds, funds (mutual, exchange-traded, and closed-end), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), options, commodities, master limited partnerships, sectors, allocations, and investment strategies. We use analyses and data from the financial press.
Al Smuzynski is a retired bank regulator and an advocate of affordable housing. He currently serves on the boards of Virginia Community Capital and Community Capital Bank of Virginia.


F203  Retired with Questions

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
Class limit: 30
As seniors look through the kaleidoscope of life, we find our world constantly changing, and we desire 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. A panel of experienced investors will provide answers to member questions through friendly discussion. Presenters include: Al Smuzynski, Investment Forum moderator; Lou Coglianese, Investment Forum member; Mike May, financial planner for seniors; and Helen Flynn, Senior Relocation Strategist. Topics may include annuities, fixed income, asset allocations, management of IRAs, staying in your home, downsizing, how to make your money last, and moving to a new location.

  • 19: Class members will identify their areas of concern.
  • 26–Feb. 9: Panel members will address member concerns, as identified in the first session.


L204  Tax Preparation Simplified

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Jan. 25, Feb. 8
Three sessions
Note dates
Coordinator: Leo Brennan
This is a repeat of F201.


300 History and International Studies


F301  The 1936 and 1972 Olympics

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 23–Jan. 30
Two sessions
Instructor: Chris Elzey
The 1936 Berlin Olympics could easily be titled the Propaganda Games. The 1972 Munich Olympics could be termed the Tragic Games. Both Olympics, the only summer games ever hosted in Germany, were bound together by politics. This course explores the history of that relationship, from the Nazi takeover and planning of the Berlin Olympics to the Third Reich’s political use of the games to the birth of the 1972 Munich Olympics and Munich organizers’ attempts to refute Germany’s sinister past. Tragically, those latter attempts were largely forgotten after Palestinian extremists killed 11 Israeli athletes and officials during the games. Yet there were other events at Munich that revealed international discord and social divisiveness. Instances of Cold War hostility and racial tensions surfaced at the Games—not only in sporting events but also in the ways athletic leaders responded to them. The course will examine these issues, among others.
Chris Elzey holds a PhD in American studies from Purdue University. He is a term assistant professor in the history and art history department at George Mason University, where he teaches courses on sports history, including the history of the Olympics. He has also written about the Olympics.


F302  The Gettysburg Campaign: The Intelligence Story

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Randy Ferryman
This course on intelligence operations during the 1863 Gettysburg campaign covers an infrequently addressed topic. The course begins with a brief review of why soldiers fought, strategic plans, military structures and capabilities, and then covers the intelligence operations of each army, beginning in central Virginia and concluding in Maryland. Major clashes will be fully presented, featuring how intelligence helped shape outcomes. Intelligence successes and failures will be highlighted. Several maps, period pictures, sketches, and segments from a documentary and movie will be used to convey the intelligence story.
Randy Ferryman is a retired CIA senior officer and is still actively involved in training analysts in the national security profession. During his career, Ferryman analyzed, or directed the analysis of foreign military capabilities and developments in the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, and Africa. He began his career in 1977 as a uniformed intelligence analyst in the USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC). He has a BA degree in history and an MA in administration. He has been a student of the battle of Gettysburg for 22 years, and as an instructor has presented the battle to analysts during 40 recent tours of the battlefield.


F303  New Mexico: Past, Present, Future

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Fairfax Lord of Life
Coordinator: Kathleen Burns
A bumper sticker best describes this distant state, 1,600 miles from Washington, DC: “New Mexico—It’s not new and it’s not Mexico.” With bold and bright tastes in its food, flamenco dancing, and fashions, the state of New Mexico features divergent cultures, artistic flavors,the multi-ethnic population potpourri created from a blend of Spanish, Hispanic, Anglo, Native American, and African-American groups. Santa Fe, the third largest art market in the US, features world-class museums and streets with extensive outdoor sculpture sprinkled throughout, plus international arts fairs and forums. New Mexico has played a vital role in national and world events, such as the Manhattan Project and the creation of the nuclear age; the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II; and the African American soldiers of the Union Army during the Civil War. The state also has 400 years ofWild West environment, coupled with dynamic and innovative change. From an historical perspective, Santa Fe dates back to 1610. Speakers will include: Martin Chavez, former three-term mayor of Albuquerque and NM state senator; Dr. Dick Stillson, George Mason University history department; Cynthia Kelly, founder of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and leader of the Washington, DC-based coalition that successfully lobbied Congress to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park; attorney Albert Brandt Petrasek, expert on negotiations with Native American tribes regarding nuclear cleanup and tribal energy issues in the southwest, Department of Energy, Office of Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Affairs and; Dr. Penny Morrill of the George Mason University history and art history department.


F304  Building America: The Pursuit of Land from 1607-1893

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructor: John C. Carter
From the earliest times, all known land was owned or claimed by kings, nations, states, proprietors, companies, land companies, speculators and individuals. There was no free and open land. Unknown land that was listed on maps as “terra incognita” became known land when it was mapped by explorers. The desire to own and possess land was the main driving force in the discovery, conquest, settlement, and development of the United States. It was a phenomenon that was not limited to just the rich and powerful—common settlers had the same ambitions. This course looks at the history and process of land development in building the United States between 1607 and 1893.
John C. Carter is a retired university administrator, with master’s degrees in both history and psychology from George Mason University. He is a published author and historical researcher, focusing on early Virginia history, the American Civil War, and the American frontier.


F305  The Gray Ghost Rides Again: The Exploits of John S. Mosby and his Partisan Band Behind Union Lines in the Civil War

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 25–Feb. 8
Three sessions
Instructor: Patrick Diehl
John Singleton Mosby is one of the most celebrated figures in our Civil War history. A very colorful character, he was a hero in the south and called “devil Mosby” in the north. Beginning in 1863 he led a small group of partisan “Rangers” in countless raids upon Union detachments in northern Virginia counties. He was always able to escape from his Union cavalry pursuers by seemingly vanishing into the countryside. This course will mark the rise of Mosby as a scout and trusted figure to both J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee. We will follow Mosby’s operations against the Union troops, including the capture of a Union general in his bed, the “great wagon train raid” in Berryville, and the “great train robbery” outside Harpers Ferry. Mosby used some rather unconventional tactics, which we will study in our class.
Patrick Diehl spent 36 years in the CIA as an operations officer, mostly overseas, and served as an instructor at the CIA training school. He has visited most of the major battle sites of the Civil War.


F306  The Last Imperial Family of Czarist Russia

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Elisabeth Wolpert
This course will look at the dramatic last years of Imperial Russia. Nicholas II, the ruler of 120 million Russians, lived in a world of incomparable luxury. The happiest moment of his reign was certainly the long-awaited birth of a male heir. Unfortunately, the young son inherited hemophilia, a dreadful disease for which there was no cure at the time. The desperate empress, Alexandra, placed the fate of her son and the fate of the country in the hands of the demoniac Rasputin. The pseudo-monk pushed Alexandra to resist government reforms. In 1905, the Russians achieved a partial victory by creating a parliament, the Duma. The nation did not want a revolution but a share of responsibility with the Czar. Swayed by Rasputin, Alexandra objected to an erosion of power for her husband. Unfortunately, the weak Czar gave way to her. This decision helped lead to the Revolution of 1917 and to the triumph of Lenin.
Elisabeth Wolpert was born and educated in France.
Her doctoral thesis dealt with 16th-century French literature. She enjoys being at OLLI, where she has taught several courses.


F307  Battles in Eastern Europe that Framed our Times

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Jan. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Ed Janusz
The struggle for world supremacy known as the Cold War has resumed today in the dispute over Ukraine. This presentation will address three battles near the Vistula River (in what is now Poland) and discuss how they framed Europe for the ongoing test. Those three battles are: Grunwald/Tannenberg I (1410), which laid the framework for the governance of Eastern Europe; Tannenberg II (1914), which gave impetus to the events that ultimately culminated in the communist revolution; and the Soviet/Polish/Ukranian/Lithuanian War—“Miracle of the Vistula” (1919/1920), which contained the communist revolution for at least two decades, but laid the groundwork for fascism in the 1930s and for the current crisis in the Ukraine.
Ed Janusz retired after a career in the Army Corps of Engineers and the aerospace and computer services industries. He is a published author who spent his early years among eastern Europeans and will attempt to present the events from their perspective.


F308  National Park Ranger Potpourri IX

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 26–Feb. 9
Fairfax Lord of Life
Three sessions
Coordinators: Brad Berger, Emmett Fenlon
It’s back for round nine! Due to continued interest in the mystery “potpourri” concept, the National Park Service presenters will reveal three new topics, one on each presentation day. If you dislike surprises, this course may not be your cup of tea. We will explore a variety of local connections to people, places or events which shaped our nation’s history.
National Park Service rangers have participated with OLLI in over 80 thematic courses, special events and trips since 2001.


L309  Two Brothers from Ohio: Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machine

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
Let’s take a quick flight through yesteryear, 1900-1915, when two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, pulled off the impossible: man left his earthly habitat and soared into the air with controlled, powered flight. The Wrights encompassed it all—they were visionaries, entrepreneurs, researchers, designers, builders, the first aeronautical engineers and the first aviators. They had a dream to build the first airplane, to fly, to prove to the world that flying was safe and useful, and to convert their bicycle factory to produce aircraft. It wasn’t an easy endeavor. They were bedeviled by firsts: to identify the mechanical problems and then to solve them, the realities of business and finally legal brouhahas that bedeviled them until WWI. Using material from David McCullough’s 2014 book on the Wright brothers, Smithsonian docent training material, and other archival material, we will ‘fly’ through their stories and photos and conclude with a visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where three remaining Wright aircraft are displayed.
Mark Weinstein an eight-year OLLI member, has a BSEE, has taught courses on aviation history, the “Engineers of Victory of WW II,” Cold War topics, computer innovators, American history and other topics. He is a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space museums. In his wild impetuous youth he flew a Piper Tri-pacer.


L310  Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers who Turned the Tide in the Second World War, Part 2

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
Most warfare discussions concentrate on leaders’ grand strategies. This course differs; it focuses on how national strategies were implemented through advancements in technology and management by mid-level and often invisible ordinary solders, scientists, engineers and businessmen. Part 1 of this course, presented in the fall term, covered how the US went from a small poorly-equipped military in 1940 to the massive military of 1945. Part 2 will discuss individual technology leaps that provided the Allied forces with the tools to overcome specific Axis capabilities. The 1943 Casablanca Conference laid the grand design for the invasion of Europe and the eventual campaign against Japan. That was easy. Then came the most massive planning and supply operation in history. New technology had to be invented, produced, and delivered within a year and a half. Topics are: how to win command of the air; how to stop a blitzkrieg; how to seize an enemy-held shore; and how to defeat the “tyranny of distance” in the Pacific.
See L309 for instructor information.


L311  Smithsonian African American Museum

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Ray Beery
The newest Smithsonian Museum opened in September 2016. Featuring African American history and culture, its rich collections and programs are an invitation to OLLI members to visit and learn. In this course, we will sample the offerings through presentations, discussion, audio and visual samples while remaining in Loudoun. The first session is general, followed by classes on history, community, and culture.
Ray Beery, OLLI president and regular teacher, began visiting the Smithsonian on the National Mall in 1971 and has never stopped.


L312  History of Pro Sports in Washington (Are We Cursed?)

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Steve Greenhouse
Washington is the home of four major professional sports franchises; one, the major league baseball team, dates back to 1901 (with an unfortunate gap from 1973 to 2004). The other three teams are each at least 42 years old. While there have been many moments of glory and a few championships, mostly won by the Washington Redskins football team (5 in 80 seasons), there also have been long periods of mediocre play and very few important victories. This course traces the history of the four teams, including high and low points, their greatest players, their management travails, and the cultural issues which have influenced their history. A pessimist might conclude there is a curse on DC’s teams, a dark cloud under which they must forever play their games!
Steve Greenhouse is a retired electrical engineer who worked in the space communications field for the last 35 years of his career. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Catholic University. Steve has been a long-suffering fan of all four of Washington’s pro sports teams. He looks upon the extensive preparation and presentation of this course as both a challenge and an educational experience. Yes, Steve believes, teachers can learn along with their students.



400 Literature Theater & Writing

F401  Those Were the Days: Sitcoms of the ‘70s

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Martha Powers
In 1973 and ‘74, CBS aired four situation comedies back-to-back on Saturday nights: All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Bob Newhart Show. If you miss that golden age of sitcoms, when Saturday night TV was the highlight of the week, then you’ll enjoy this trip down memory lane. Each week, we’ll watch two of the very best episodes from these great series. We’ll have time for some up-front commentary before watching them, plus more time to share our thoughts after each. Forget about winter and look forward to laughing!

Martha Powers is an OLLI member who enjoys sharing classic movies and TV shows with fellow movie lovers.


F402  Why Did We Watch Downton Abbey? And Does It Matter that We Did?

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Jan. 30
Two sessions
Instructor: Dina Copelman
Isn’t the answer obvious?—we watched Downton Abbey because it’s an engrossing, well-acted and well-produced show. Many want to find out more about the show’s historical accuracy and its broader historical context. However, as a significant social and cultural phenomenon, the show invites us to think about not just the past, but also the present. How have issues and trends concerning us today shaped the show? What does the show tell us about ourselves? Has the show’s enormous success, in turn, become a cultural force, something that doesn’t just present the past and reflect the present, but shapes the ways we perceive the world and how we approach the future? It’s a long way from sitting in our homes Sunday nights to changing the future, but this course will consider all these things as we explore all things Downton Abbey.
Dina Copelman joined the George Mason University Department of History and Art History in 1988 and is currently a professor of history and cultural studies. Her primary area of research is modern British social and cultural history. Between 2011 and 2016 she wrote historical analyses of the show for WETA’s website.


F403  Tony Hillerman’s Navajo Tribal Police Mystery Novels and “Indian Land”

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: James K. Boyter
The novelist Tony Hillerman received the Edgar Award (Mystery Writers of America) in 1973 for his second Joe Leaphorn novel, Dance Hall of the Dead, and also received multiple nominations for the Edgar and other awards for his other detective novels, mostly set in the Navajo Nation. Emphasis will be on sharing of highlights from some of Hillerman’s 18 Navajo Tribal Police detective novels. Hillerman’s books provide details about the culture of his subjects—Hopi, Zuni, European-American, federal agents, and especially Navajo Tribal Police. Hillerman ably depicts the beauty of Navajo Lands as well as its harshness, and how these natural features drive the life of the Navajo people. In addition to describing the crimes and the tribal laws and practices, his books address past and current historical events that the Navajo Tribal Police must deal with when solving crimes. Tony Hillerman’s life and career as a writer will be discussed, and we will consider what features of his novels make them popular with readers.
OLLI member James K. Boyter is retired from the Army and civil service. He has MS degrees in biophysics and genetics from University of Colorado Medical School, operations research and systems analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, and software engineering from George Mason University. His last job was as a systems/software architect for the US Army Materiel Command. Boyter has been interested in American Indians since he was a boy. He has made seven trips to the Navajo Nation in the Southwest and has read (some twice) all 18 of Hillerman’s Navajo Tribal Police mysteries, his book of short stories, his memoirs, and Hillerman’s daughter Ann’s two novels.


F404  Meet the Authors

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Coordinator: Katie Mitchell
What does being an author entail? Here is another opportunity to find out. Our four authors will each make book presentations. Then it is up to you to ask the questions about their sources of inspiration, writing difficulties, and publishing hurdles. It is also an opportunity to give back to the community by telling your friends about the books and authors and possibly even buying a book or two.

  • 17: Joe Urschel: An award winning journalist/documentary producer, he has held executive positions with USA Today and the Newseum. His

work, The Year of Fear, depicts depression-era gangsters, kidnappings, and the rise of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.

  • 24: Cynthia Darling: The author has a diversified background in public administration and social services. Her novel, Georgetown Journeys, follows 50 years in the lives of two persons of disparate backgrounds arriving in Georgetown in the 1960s.
  • 31: Jake Russell: A DC sports enthusiast, he had a decade-long stint with Washington Redskin’s website He is currently a sports news aide/writer for The Washington Post. His book is 100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die covering the highs and lows of D.C. baseball in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • 7: Keith Clark: The author is professor of English and African and African American studies at George Mason University. His book, The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry, is an exploration of novels/short stories written by the first African American woman to sell one million copies of a book. This presentation might also touch on Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest Gaines, and August Wilson. If we are really lucky, we may get a glimpse into his current research for a work-in-progress on Ernest Gaines.


F405  A Year in Provence

Tuesdays, 2:00–3:40, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Note time
Instructor: Dave Talaber
Calling all OLLI Francophiles! Chase away those winter blues with a trip to the south of France! Peter and Annie Mayle fulfilled their cherished dream when they quit the London rat race and moved to rustic Provence to savor the French way of life—good food, fine wines, and a seductive climate. Ah, but the Provençal way of life is something quite different—even the French find it peculiar. Based on Peter Mayle’s international bestseller by the same name, the four-part mini-series A Year in Provence is a hilarious account of the Mayles’ adjusting to both the idiosyncrasies of the locals and the quaint traditions of this ancient and charming region. Vive la difference!
Dave Talaber, an OLLI member, retired from the US Army in 1995 and in a second career with the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army, again retired in 2013. A self-described amateur historian, European film buff, camera collector, and Francophile, he and his wife Angela live in Woodbridge. When not participating in OLLI events, he attends photography classes at NoVA, volunteers with the Siamese Cat Rescue Center, and enjoys travel and being a grandfather.

F406  Poetry Workshop

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Moderators: Mike McNamara, Jan Bohall
Class limit: 16
This workshop allows both novice and experienced poets the opportunity to share their work and receive suggestions for improvement. Workshop members should bring an original poem in draft or revised form to each session. Two poems should be sent to the Tallwood office for duplication one week before the first class meeting and a third poem brought to the first session. The moderators will email students after registration to let them know exactly when and where to send their poems for the first class.
Mike McNamara, an OLLI member, has been published in several literary journals and magazines and has received awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Jan Bohall, also an OLLI member, has had poems published in various periodicals and has won awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia.


F407  Recorded British and American Poetry

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructor: Ted Mosser
This exciting four-week course features recordings of 19th and 20th century American and British narrative poems read by recognized, award-winning readers. Poems will include, among others: The Highwayman, My Last Duchess, The Village Blacksmith, Oh Captain My Captain, Sea Fever, Poem in October, Chicago, and The Weary Blues. You don’t need to be a poetry expert to take this course. All you need is a love of poems that tell a story. The readers bring several well-known, as well as lesser known, poems to life through eloquent and dramatic readings. Introductions will precede each reading, and your comments after the readings are strongly encouraged.
Ted Mosser was a high school English teacher and film appreciation teacher for most of his adult life. He was also a public radio DJ in Asheville, NC during the 1980s.


F408  OLLI Actor’s Studio

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Clifton Lord of Life
Instructors: Wendy Campbell, Manny Pablo, Kathie West
This is an acting class for those mature actors among us who want to hone their acting skills by working seriously on a script until they truly understand the character they are portraying. Over time, and with constructive criticism and input from our fellow thespians, we will work to sharpen such things as inflection, voice projection, physicality, focus, and blocking, while retaining spontaneity and the making of fearless choices. We will try to decide what kinds of props are necessary for the understanding of the action. In short, we would like to gather a few actors together who want to improve their acting skills. All participants will practice a number of roles.
Wendy Campbell graduated from Marymount University with a MEd. She taught in the gifted program in Fairfax County public schools for 20 years, introducing 10-12-year olds to the wonders of Shakespeare, Plautus, and Sophocles.
Manuel Pablo is a longtime OLLI member who dabbles in many areas, from music, to history, to art, and even poetry, hoping to find something he is good at. He is getting a fine education along the way.
Kathie West, an OLLI member, is a former theater teacher at Robert E. Lee High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.


F409  Acting for Fun

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Coordinator: Roxanne Cramer
Class limit: 20
This is a class for those who enjoy acting short skits or scenes from plays. Limited to 20 participants, it will be small enough so that you will have frequent opportunities to interact with other class members. No memorization is required, but rehearsals are highly recommended. They can take place before class or by telephone. Elaborate props and costumes aren’t needed but a scarf or hat or suggestion of a costume could help establish your character. Great acting ability is not required, just a desire to act for fun.


F410  Digital Scrapbooking in the 21st Century

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 19–Jan. 26
Two sessions
Instructor: Wendy Campbell
Wendy Campbell is hopeless at the simple kindergarten skills of scissors and glue and is also limited in her basic camera skills. So she had to find another way to preserve the memories when her younger son married nine years ago. Since then she has made innumerable photo scrapbooks for every family occasion. In this class you will learn about the variety of downloadable “apps” for building digital scrapbooks and be introduced to a myriad of ideas for picture book building, including storytelling, memory banking, and personalizing books for future generations. Safeguarding memories for your family, friends, and descendants has never been easier. This class is meant to be an introduction only. Participants will be asked to try out ideas using their home computers and then to share the results with the class.
See F408 for instructor information.


R411  Mystery Short Stories: Meet the Author

Mondays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Josh Pachter
Josh Pachter’s short crime stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications since the late 1960s. During the ’80s, he wrote a series of ten stories about Mahboob Chaudri, a Pakistani living and working as a police detective in the Middle Eastern island emirate of Bahrain. In 2015, the ten Chaudri stories were collected into a single volume and published as The Tree of Life. In this class, we’ll read and discuss the Mahboob Chaudri stories with their author. At the first class meeting, copies of the book will be available (for $15), and Pachter will talk about his year in Bahrain and his experiences as a professional author. Then, during each of the next three sessions, we’ll discuss several of the stories.
Josh Pachter, a frequent OLLI instructor, is assistant dean for communication studies and theater at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus. He earned an MA in speech communication at the University of Michigan and has been teaching at the college level since 1978.


R412  Literary Roundtable

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Reston’s Used Book Shop at Lake Anne
Moderators: Janice Dewire, Carol Henderson
Class limit: 21
This short-story discussion class will continue with the anthology, 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore and published in 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The book is a compilation of 40 stories from the 100-year history of the annual Best American Short Stories volumes. This term we’ll be discussing selections from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, including stories by Raymond Carver, Stanley Elkin and Grace Paley. The hardback book is available for $21 or less online and in bookshops or in e-book editions. It will also be used for this class in the spring term.
Janice Dewire and Carol Henderson are enthusiastic Literary Roundtable participants and former OLLI Board members who took on the moderator role some years ago for this popular course, one of the longest running in Reston.


R413  Reading the Short Story

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Four sessions
Instructor: Richard Wilan
In this class we will be discussing short stories by Langston Hughes, Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, Joyce Carol Oates, and Ernest Hemingway. We will be exploring ways of reading stories and our differences in interpretation. No book needs to be bought; we will read stories that are available online.
Richard Wilan has a BA from Amherst, an MAT from Harvard, and a PhD from Maryland. He is professor emeritus at Northern Virginia Community College, where he has been teaching English for many years. He is the co-author of Prentice-Hall’s Introduction to Literature.


R414  They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Sidney Poitier Movies

Thursdays, 1:45–3:45, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Note time
Instructor: Martha Powers
In 1964, Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win an Academy Award for best actor, and his many compelling films often dealt with race relations. In 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President Obama. In this series, we’ll see some of Poitier’s very best movies and learn a few behind-the-scenes facts about each of them.

  • The Defiant Ones (1968)—Poitier plays a prison escapee chained to a fellow escapee, a bigoted white man played by Tony Curtis.
  • A Patch of Blue (1965)—Poitier plays a kind man who helps a blind white female teenager who cannot see that he is African American. Shelley Winters also stars.
  • In the Heat of the Night (1988)—A classic about racial tension in the south, this movie is the one in which Poitier declares, “They call me Mister Tibbs.”
  • Lilies of the Field (1963)—As an itinerant construction worker, Poitier builds a chapel for a group of East German nuns out west.

See F401 for instructor information.


R415  Digital Scrapbooking in the 21st Century

Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Feb. 2–Feb. 9
Two sessions
Instructor: Wendy Campbell
This is a repeat of class F410.


L416  Writer’s Workshop

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructors: Ralph Greenwood, Ed Sadtler
Class limit: 10
This class uses a roundtable format to foster an environment for writers of all levels to give and receive encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism. All genres of writing are welcome, including poetry, fiction, memoirs, and historical pieces. To these categories we apply the same underlying commitment: to write a compelling work that fully conveys the author’s intentions.
Ralph Greenwood holds a master’s degree in international trade from the American Graduate School of International Management. He is a retired mechanical engineer and project manager for many international power and desalination projects in third world countries. He is the author of “O Grampa Where Art Thou?”—a fanciful romp where, as a 21st century necromancer, he has informal chats with his dead ancestors who include William the Conqueror and Robert the Bruce.
Ed Sadtler is a retired salesman, turned daring, if almost-never-published poet, who nevertheless insists on continuing to read, write, and talk about poetry to anyone foolish enough to listen.


L417  More Orson Welles

Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructor: Josh Pachter
In 2015—the 100th anniversary of legendary radio/stage/film actor/director Orson Welles’ birth—Josh Pachter presented a popular OLLI course on Welles’ life and career. Since then, a new Welles biography and newly- discovered film footage has left Pachter marveling at some of the things he left out and some of the things he now knows he (and other Welles scholars) have been getting wrong. Whether or not you took the original course, this four-week session will give you the opportunity to learn more about Orson the Great than you previously knew (or thought you knew)!
See R411 for instructor information.


500 Languages

F501  Spanish Conversation: Kaleidoscope of Latin America

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Ligia Glass
A kaleidoscope is a tube with mirrors and loose pieces of glass so you can see many different patterns when you turn the tube; it is also defined as a mixture of many different things. This class will present a kaleidoscope of Latin America in four topics: history, music, famous sites/travel destinations, and traditional foods and holiday celebrations. While there will be emphasis on spoken Spanish by both the instructor and students, you do not need to have taken previous Spanish conversation classes nor do you have to be fully fluent. Having a basic understanding of Spanish and being able to put together sentences will help with the conversation. Be ready to learn all about Latin America as you hear yourself and others speak Spanish, all while having fun. Students will be encouraged to do a bit of “research” on a topic, such as a place visited, a favorite dish, type of music, and then present it the following week in simple Spanish sentences, of course! Outline of each week’s topics:

  • 23: History of Latin America; comparison of Hispanic and Latino culture; the Latino “look;” ethnic groups.
  • 30: Music and dance; origins of tango, merengue, salsa, cha-cha-cha, and others.
  • 6: Famous sites; Chichen Itza, Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Angel Falls, etc.
  • 13 Holiday celebrations; traditional foods/dishes.

Ligia Glass is a native of Panama. She was a former Panama Canal Zone guide and a high school social studies teacher. She retired from the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has over 20 years’ experience teaching all levels of Spanish at Northern Virginia Community College. She has also taught Spanish with the Fairfax County adult education program (ACE) and has been an OLLI instructor for several years. Glass holds an MA in foreign languages, MA in Latin American area studies, and ABD in Latin American literature.


F502  Spanish Conversational Forum

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructors: Bernardo Vargas Giraldo, Elizabeth Trent Hammer
Class limit: 16
The objectives of this class are to practice the Spanish language and learn about Spanish/Latino culture through articles, photographs, videos, and speakers. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish. English will be used only occasionally to explain grammar and idiomatic expressions. A prerequisite for this class is an ability to converse in Spanish at the high intermediate to advanced level. Students are encouraged to make presentations in Spanish on timely topics of their choosing. Come join us and improve your Spanish.
Bernardo Vargas Giraldo received his doctorate in legal science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, and specialized in public administration and international business at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a writer and analyst of economic and political subjects.
Elizabeth Trent Hammer received her doctorate in community college education with a specialty in linguistics and the teaching of writing at George Mason University. She was a professor of English as a second language at Northern Virginia Community College for 20 years where she achieved professor emeritus standing. She worked as a Spanish/French translator for the FBI, Washington, DC.  Spanish and French language and culture are her passions.


F503  Beginning Spanish Conversation

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructor: Mirtha King
¡BIENVENIDOS! This course will place emphasis on pronunciation to develop a native-like accent. The four-session course is comprised of learning basic greetings, introductions, and useful phrases; interrogatives, nouns and gender; numbers, days of the week, and months; expressing likes and dislikes; and basic verbs. This course will apply the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Learning will be through active participation in audio, mini videos, CDs, and PowerPoint lessons that will assist in building our foreign language memory and recall skills. This conversational course is an interactive and lively introduction to “El Idioma Español o Castellano.” Handouts will be provided.
Mirtha King, a Spanish native-speaker, worked as an interpreter-translator at the office of the Peruvian prime minister and as an elementary school teacher in Lima, Peru. King’s language certification was granted by the Pontifical Catholic University (Peru). She actively volunteered for over five years as a translator for the Spanish Language Coordinator–County of Fairfax Executive Office. She is now retired, and she is a returning OLLI Instructor.


F504  Latin II

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Alana Lukes
Class limit: 16
This continuing course is for beginning Latin students with knowledge of the present, imperfect, perfect, and pluperfect verb tenses, as well as the noun endings of the five noun declensions. We take a modern, nontraditional sight, sound, and Internet approach to this ancient language. By reading about the adventures of a first century CE young man visiting Roman Egypt, we continue to explore Latin grammar, vocabulary, and ancient Roman culture. Class meetings employ a media version of the text, North American Cambridge Latin Course, Unit Two, 4th edition. Purchase of the text for home study is optional.
Alana Lukes, an OLLI member, has taught Latin for over 25 years at the middle school, high school, and college levels.


R505  Intermediate Spanish Conversation

Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Pamela Garcia
This is an intermediate conversation course for people who can converse in Spanish about basic topics in the present tense and can also talk about basic past experiences. The focus of the class will be conversational in nature, with topics that describe people, pastimes, daily routines, health, music, visual arts, shopping, dining out, travel, and more. The primary purpose of this course is to foster the participants’ increased proficiency in conversational settings by reinforcing basic expressions and vocabulary. Anyone who has a basic grasp of vocabulary and the present and past tenses is welcome.
Pamela Garcia is 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.


R506  French Conversation

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Marge Hogarty
Class limit: 15
A continuation of the conversation class offered in Reston in the fall, this class uses tapes, directed conversation and some free conversation to learn to communicate in everyday situations and to deal with the challenges of travel in France. There will be lots of class participation and interaction. All francophones are welcome.
Marge Hogarty, a Chicago native, has been teaching, tutoring, and reading French for over 50 years. She has been to France many times, as well as to French-speaking West Africa and Quebec. She has an MA in French from Middlebury College and has taught in high schools in Illinois, New York, and Connecticut. She has also worked as a travel agent and a realtor.


R507  Italian for Travelers, Part 1

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Laura Vinti
Class limit: 40
This beginning Italian course is designed for lovers of Italy who wish to be able to interact with locals on their next trip to Italy and to deepen their understanding of Italian culture. The course is divided into two parts. Part 1, offered during the winter term, will lay the foundation for Part 2, planned for the spring term. Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2. Sessions will be held both in English and Italian and will provide basic language skills needed to deal with everyday situations. The instructor will explain Italian customs and traditions and promote intercultural competence. Course content will include the history of particular regions and cities to give participants a deeper understanding of the country and its people.
Laura Vinti has taught Italian for over 25 years, both in Germany and in the United States. While in Germany, she taught Italian language and culture at the Heidelberg and Mannheim Universities. She holds an MA in foreign languages and literature and an MFA in creative writing, and is currently adjunct professor of Italian at George Mason University. She is the founder and owner of Laura Vinti’s Italy, a boutique travel company specializing in unique and customized tours to Italy.


Religious Studies

F601  Zoroastrianism: From Ancient Faith to Modern Traditions

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Johnnie Hicks
Class limit: 85
Zarathushtra (Greek: Zoroaster) was a Persian prophet credited with having revealed the world’s first creedal monotheistic religion. Zoroastrianism flourished from the sixth century BCE to the seventh century CE, greatly influencing mankind across vast stretches of Central Asia and the Middle East. While a few scattered communities of Zoroastrians still exist, its noteworthiness lies in the impact of its history and teachings in shaping today’s major Western religions, as well as a host of other Gnostic faiths and traditions. Zoroastrianism is best represented by its simple mantra: “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.” This model of ethical teachings is credited for guiding Kings Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, and others during the Great Persian Empire, as well as establishing a system for political and social justice still recognized in democratic governments today. This course will focus primarily on the impact of Zoroastrianism on Judaism and, by extension, the evolution of later Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions. Finally, we will recognize Zoroastrian cultural influences among Iranians, Kurds, Afghans, and others as we come to better understand the complexities of our ever-evolving world.
Johnnie Hicks
is an OLLI member who has previously taught courses on cultural and religious issues. She holds an MA degree in counseling and human development from the University of Iowa and has focused her career around multicultural issues. She worked in Fairfax County public schools during a time of rapid growth in global diversity, while teaching George Mason University courses on understanding world cultures and religions.


F602  The Parables of Jesus

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Steven C. Goldman
We will examine Jesus’ use of parables as a means of teaching about the nature, character, and will of God; the foibles and possibilities of humans; and the obligations of humans toward each other and their Creator. Many of Jesus’ most well-known parables will be analyzed and discussed, including the different ways these parables have been understood as guides to Christian doctrine.
Steven C. Goldman is the chair of OLLI’s Religious Studies program planning group and has taught numerous courses on alternative understandings of Biblical doctrine.


F603  The Dead Sea Scrolls

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Gilah Goldsmith
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been a source of excitement and controversy and the subject of much speculation and outright misinformation since the first scrolls were discovered in 1947. Where do they come from, who wrote them, what do they say, and what do they mean? This course will address these questions, although it may not answer them.

  • Jan 17: Discovery, ownership and publication—a twisty tale.
  • Jan 24: What the scrolls include—a wide ranging library.
  • Jan 31: What the scrolls tell us about the history of the Hebrew Bible—surprises and confirmations.
  • 7: What the scrolls tell us about Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity—commonalities and competition.

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


F604  “The Plain People”: An Introduction to the Quakers, Amish and Mennonites of Lancaster County, PA

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 17–Jan. 24
Two sessions
Instructor: Rita Way
Three sects of Protestant pacifists settled in colonial Pennsylvania to give it a character that continues to color the state today. They are the Quakers, Amish, and Mennonites. All share a common origin because they faced religious persecution after dissenting from religious conformity. This course will introduce you to the sects called “The Plain People.” Be an armchair traveler as we journey into the beautiful green countryside dotted with meticulous Amish farms that are run without electricity. We will study the customs, beliefs, life styles, convictions, and way of life of these peace-loving people. We will learn how Quakers revolutionized social justice and treatment of the insane, look at how Quakers observe their faith, and what a Quaker Meeting is like. The course will uncover the common lineage that binds the Mennonites to the Amish and Quakers, as well as the four beliefs of the Mennonites that set them apart. The course will consist of lecture, presentation, discussion, and even a Pennsylvania Dutch treat.
Rita E. Way studied at the Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing. She worked as a medical-surgical nurse for 12 years, after which she worked for a long-term care company that owned and managed both skilled nursing and assisted living homes. Way has taught other courses at OLLI and enjoys teaching so much that she put together this course.


F605  Jesus, Paul, and the Law: Correlation or Conflict?

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructor: John Rybicki
Jesus spoke of the coming of the Kingdom of God, and Paul spoke to the emerging church. Their teachings on Jewish Law and its significance were different and not always compatible. Many scholars dispute such a fundamental divide, but it is more than evident in an examination of the scriptures themselves. This course will examine the words of Jesus and of Paul, and their views on the Law and its ultimate purpose. Correlation or conflict—you decide.
John Rybicki retired as a pastoral associate at the Riderwood Retirement Community in Maryland, where he was responsible for religious education and facilitating Jewish-Christian dialogue.


R606  For All the Saints: A Survey of Canonization, Hagiography, Iconography, and Devotion in Selected Christian Traditions

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Pete Gustin
The September 2016 canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta raises a number of questions about sainthood; e.g., is the Pope the only one who can make saints? Do Protestants even have saints? Do Catholics worship saints (or anyone else who isn’t God)? Using visual arts, music, and other media, this course will explore the official ecclesiastical journey toward sainthood, as well as a wide variety of mythology associated with lesser-venerated but better-known saints. It will explore various theologies of sainthood and will seek to explain how certain symbols came to be associated with certain saints.
Dr. Pete Gustin received his BA (English/philosophy) from Coppin State College, Baltimore, with a concurrent AB in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary College, Baltimore. He received his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary and his DMin from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.


R607  What Happened After Vatican II?

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Martin Walsh
When Pope Paul VI triumphantly closed the Second Vatican Council on December 8, 1965, few imagined that Catholic unity worldwide would soon be shaken, as his last encyclical, Humanae Vitae, (1968) reaffirmed the church’s position on birth control. For the first time, Catholics followed their conscience, openly challenging the pope’s decision. Thus began the turbulent, hopeful, painful, and surprising journey of the world’s largest religion. Five popes reigned since then: Paul VI died in 1978 after becoming largely withdrawn; John Paul I died suddenly after only 33 days. Saint John Paul II, the first Polish pope, reigned 28 years, the fourth longest. He traveled over 773,000 miles, visited 129 countries, survived an assassination attempt, appointed over two-thirds of today’s cardinals, and oversaw the priest pedophile scandal, while ruling the Church with an iron fist in a velvet glove. Benedict XVI, conservative Cardinal Ratzinger, abruptly resigned in 2013, the first pope to do so in 700 years. Francis—Cardinal Bergoglio—chose his name in honor of St. Francis Assisi. He is the first pope from South America and the first Jesuit. The course will discuss the impact of each of these popes and explore what lies ahead.
Martin Walsh, former Jesuit and retired nonprofit executive, will lead you on a challenging adventure as we examine the Second Vatican Council and why it is so important today.


R608  The Legacy of C.S. Lewis: Shadowlands & Beyond

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Laurence K. Packard
Come join this special journey into the life and work of C.S. Lewis. Few theologians shaped the last century like Lewis, the British professor and atheist turned Christian and prolific author. Most have heard of his Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, or the poignant account of his wife’s death and his struggle for faith in A Grief Observed. However, this class faces the challenge to name his real legacy beyond the books. What direction has he given for the journey of each individual at the start of a new century? Using the movie, Shadowlands, we will see the cornerstones of the Lewis legacy in the loss of his friend and wife, Joy Gresham.
The Rev. Dr. Laurence K. Packard is a newly retired Episcopal priest. He received his BA in history at Wake Forest University, masters in divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary and his doctor of ministry at Princeton. He has studied and taught C.S. Lewis for large groups and for seminars—but always with the challenge: “If you learn about Lewis and follow in his footsteps, once his footsteps cease—what will your next step be in your life’s journey?”


L609  Jesus at the Movies

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Jack Dalby
Westerners know Jesus of Nazareth through a variety of sources: the canonical gospels, religious artwork, church hymns and sermons, secular histories and creative novels. But perhaps the most compelling and ubiquitous images and understandings of Jesus come to us through his portrayal in cinema, where, since 1897, directors have attempted to bring the story of Jesus to life. In each of these seminars, we will take a critical, but light-hearted, look at one of four representative movies: Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings, George Steven’s The Greatest Story Ever Told, Norman Jewison’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Rather than critiquing the films’ technical and artistic merits, we will instead discuss how the directors of these particular films choose to portray Jesus. Does the director follow any particular gospel or does he harmonize parts of multiple gospels? Does the film reflect the social environment of the year in which it was made? How does the director handle the historical gaps in the Jesus story? Thanks to the miracle of YouTube, our talks will be aided by our ability to watch portions of all four films during class. A pre-class viewing is advisable, 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.


L610  History of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church

Wednesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Instructor: Jacquelyn Hollingsworth
This course will be presented in a lecture format. You will learn of the events that led to the separation of Africans from the Methodist church, how the Africans started their own church, and why it’s called the African Methodist Episcopal church. You will also learn of its mission to carry out the spirit of the original Free African Society from which the AME church evolved.
Jacquelyn Hollingsworth is a graduate of Evangel Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree. She holds a BS in management from Regent University. She retired from Fairfax County government in 2007 after 29 years of service. She was appointed in 2008 to pastor Christ Chapel AME Church in Sterling and to develop an AME church presence in Loudoun County. She has also worked with the Loudoun Aftercare Prison Ministry, Loudoun INOVA chaplain program, and currently works with the Community Table of Loudoun Feed the Hungry organization and serves as the secretary of the Loudoun County NAACP.


L611  Holy Sites of Early Christianity

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Roger Frost
We will visit via video some of the main sites of Jesus’ ministry. These include Nazareth, Bethlehem including the Church of the Nativity, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, and, of course, Jerusalem. Several archeological sites will be seen, including Caesarea Maritima; Tel Dan near the Lebanese/Syrian border; Caesarea Philippi; and various ruined cities of the Decapolis in the Jordan Valley. Other sites include Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, and the hilltop fortress of Masada. Following the steps of early missionaries, we will visit Turkey, Greece and Rome, including Pergamum and Ephesus in Turkey; Athens and Corinth in Greece; and various ancient sites in Rome.
Roger Frost was in academia, culminating in the position of head of the School of Management and Business Studies at the Plymouth Polytechnic (now the Plymouth University) in England. He became professor of hotel management and director of the Center for Hotel and Tourism Management at the University of the West Indies. More recently, he was an executive of a company operating a portfolio of continuing care retirement communities.


650 Humanities and Social Sciences

F651  Your Personal History

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Instructor: Karen Bisset
Class limit: 10
Looking for a powerful way to document your legacy and preserve family memories? Here’s your chance! Personal historian Karen Bisset will facilitate four classes on how to begin the process of documenting your life story. Each class exercise is designed to help you reflect on your life journey, and then to allow you to share that journey with the group (if you wish). Start with this class, document your personal history, share your memories, and pass on your values to create a legacy that can be passed down through time.

  • 23: Design a Personal Coat of Arms
  • 30: Autobiographical Timeline
  • 6: Writing your Ethical Will (Values)
  • Feb 13: Show & Tell (Share items of personal significance)

Karen Bisset is a personal historian with From the Cradle, LLC and is the founder and COO of the company. She has a BA in history from George Mason University and a master’s in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. She spent 30 years with the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.


F652  Politics and Power: Basic Concepts

Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 31–Feb. 7
Two sessions
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Jeff Milstein
Just in time for a new administration and congress, this class offers an analytic review of the fundamental concepts of politics and power and how they are exercised. Operational definitions and examples of these basic concepts will be examined from interpersonal to global levels of analysis.
Jeff Milstein, an OLLI member, earned his PhD in political science at Stanford University, and taught on the faculties of Michigan State, Yale, and George Mason universities. He also served as a career civil servant in the federal government for more than 30 years in seven different departments and agencies.


F653  Family History Rewards and Challenges

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Jan. 24
Two sessions
Instructor: Ellyn Mulrenin
Class limit: 50
This class will provide a macro approach to getting started in researching and uncovering a wealth ofinformation. You will come away with renewed appreciation for your past and understand who you are today. The instructor will acquaint you with available source records, tools, and tips to ensure successful search.
Ellyn Mulrenin is newly mintedmember. She is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s College and attended Marymount University’sprogram. She retired in 2014 after 38 years of federal government service in accounting/auditing professions. She would like to share aspects, skeletons and all, of her incredible journey of 27 years in family history research.


F654  Blogs and Social Media

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Feb. 2
Three sessions
Instructor: Stephen R. Ruth
This course examines the causes, effects, and manifestations of the blog culture and the proliferation of social media in today’s world. It will review the impact of this technology on events including the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the recent presidential elections. It will also consider its impact on the rise of social issues such as terrorism, pornography, and cyber-bullying. The course also addresses topics such as uses of “digital empowerment” programs and online “filter bubbles.” Discussion questions relating to the possible future of blogs and social media include: Will social media gradually replace print and TV media? and What might be government’s role in Internet oversight and legislation? Professor Ruth currently teaches a graduate seminar course on these topics at Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government. “It’s as fresh as a course can be and, surprisingly, the topics have a history that goes back for millennia!”
Stephen Ruth is a professor of public policy at Mason and director of the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology (ICASIT). He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and holds an MA from the Navy Postgraduate School and a PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has taught several previous courses at OLLI on technology topics.


R655 Anticipating the Future

Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Joel Ticknor
This course will explore the risks and challenges facing our country and the world in the next 20 years (the “near future”).

  • 17: Global Risks 2035. This report, by Matt Burrows for the Atlantic Council, presents scenarios for a world that has changed significantly since the National Intelligence Council (NIC) wrote its report, Global Trends 2030, for the then-new Obama administration. Burrows, who wrote the previous report for the NIC, is no longer in government.
  • 24: Nuclear Weapons—alternative futures for “living at the brink.” How do we think about and deal with future threats of nuclear terrorism and regional nuclear war?
  • 31: Thanks to the new technologies of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” are humans becoming “gods?” We will discuss Yuval Noah Harari’s new book Homo Deus.
  • 7: The future of health, medicine and human longevity.

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


L656  Evidence-Based Policing

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Cynthia Lum
Evidence-based policing suggests that research knowledge should have a “seat at the table” when police officials make decisions about what to do about crime and community relations. Research suggests that police can adopt a number of tactics and strategies that will successfully reduce crime and improve citizen trust and confidence in the police. In this class, students will learn about the current and alternative approaches to policing, exploring what research has discovered about many policing practices. Students will also learn about the challenges to implementing evidence-based policing.
Cynthia Lum graduated from the University of Maryland with a PhD in criminology and criminal justice. She is the director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, and associate professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at George Mason. Her research expertise is evidence-based policing, and she has just written a book, with Christopher Koper, on this subject (Oxford University Press).


L657  TED Talk Discussion Group

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Instructor: Barbara Wilan
Class limit: 20
TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a 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 each week. The general topics will be:

  • 19: Nature
  • 26: Human Behavior
  • 2: History and Anthropology
  • 9: Global Issues

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. 23–Feb. 13
Note time
Moderators: Don Allen, Dorsey Chescavage, Mel Axilbund, Caroline Cochran
Class limit: 38
Do you have an opinion about what is happening in the world today? Would you like to express and to 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.
Don Allen is an OLLI member and a retired civil servant; in the last ten years of his service he focused on developing and managing the Navy’s Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) caretaker program.
Dorsey Chescavage is an OLLI member; she retired from the Jefferson Consulting Group, where she was a registered lobbyist, specializing in military and veterans’ health care.
Mel Axilbund, a lawyer, was engaged in criminal justice reform activities at the US Department of Justice and the American Bar Association from 1965 through 1980. He spent the next 15 years in a private general practice in Northern Virginia. Finally, he spent 18 years on the trademarks side of the Patent and Trademark Office.
Caroline Cochran has taught current events and English classes to foreign students at NoVA.


F702  Politics and Policy

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan.17–Feb. 7
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Helen R. Desfosses
We live in a time of growing cynicism about politics, and about our nation’s ability to surmount partisan polarization in order to adopt the policies that America needs to thrive as a 21st century democracy. Our course will first look at the neutral realities of politics and policy. Policy is what government does and does not do with its scarce resources, while politics is the process by which these choices are made. We will discuss and debate which political skills are invaluable and how they can be taught; whether the built-in institutional fragmentation of the American political system can be bridged through bipartisan cooperation, or whether constitutional change is necessary; and old and new methods of citizen impact, including social media. We’ll discuss gripping case studies from Chris Matthews’s book, Hardball: How Politics is Played, and review daily newspapers addressing problems and possible solutions to the politics and policy relationship.
Helen R. Desfosses, PhD, is a retired professor of public administration and policy, a former elected official, and a consultant around the world on effective and transparent elections. She has previously taught several OLLI courses.


R703  All the News That’s Fit to Print

Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 19–Feb. 9
Moderator: Dick Kennedy
This is your chance to discuss news and current events with other OLLI members who are trying to understand and evaluate our changing world. More than ever, we need to question information that comes to us from TV, radio, the Internet, magazines, and newspapers. We will examine and discuss some of the day’s hot topics in world, national, and local news. In order to have time to explore issues and get various insights, we focus on a small number of topics. This is an interactive class, and all viewpoints and opinions are respected, needed, and welcomed. As Walter Cronkite once said, “In a democracy agreement is not required, but participation is.”
Dick Kennedy, an OLLI member, is a retiree from the senior executive service at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He enjoys analyzing the news from multiple sources and engaging in good discussions with colleagues.



800 Science, Technology & Health

F801 Navigating Long-Term Care

Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18–Jan. 25
Two sessions
Instructors: Sara Mattson, Lisa Callahan
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing levels of care? What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)? What do you do if you need rehabilitation services after a surgery? Where can people who have memory issues live? In this class, two Northern Virginia long-term care ombudsmen will help to elucidate the nuts and bolts of long-term care. Topics will include an overview of the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (NVLTCOP), resident’s rights, and tips for choosing a long-term care facility. During the second session, we will tour the NVLTCOP website and uncover a wealth of valuable information. The NVLTCOP covers 107 nursing and assisted living communities in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties. Seven paid staff and approximately 50 volunteer ombudsmen work to ensure that residents are treated with dignity and respect and that their rights are being regarded.
Sara Mattson, ombudsman and the outreach coordinator for the NVLTCOP, has worked for Fairfax County for seven years. She earned her master’s in social work from George Mason University.
Lisa Callahan is the ombudsman and volunteer specialist for the NVLTCOP. She has worked for Fairfax County for ten years, having earned a master’s in social work from George Mason University.


F802  Psychology Potpourri

Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 26–Feb. 9
Three sessions
Coordinator: Cathey Weir

  • 26: The Role of Cognitive Processes in Health. Dr. Linda Chrosniak, director of George Mason University’s undergraduate honor’s program in psychology, will describe how the way people think about the world around them can influence them physically and mentally, in positive and negative ways. We will discuss different cognitive styles and explore their relationships to health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, depression and others.
  • 2: Sensory-Cognitive Interactions: How Sensory Impairments Can Be Mistaken for Cognitive Deficits. Dr. Carryl Baldwin is associate chair of the Mason psychology department. Sensory Changes, such as hearing loss, can be mistaken for or exacerbate cognitive impairments. Several recent studies show the interaction between hearing and cognitive abilities. For example, young people presented with speech stimuli at reduced intensity levels show processing difficulties that mirror age-related information processing problems. Evidence and implications for sensory-cognitive interactions will be discussed and demonstrated.
  • 9: Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Jane Flinn, George Mason University associate professor of psychology, will be the presenter. The brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) contain plaques and tangles, which spread though the brain in a predictable way. Because different brain regions are involved with specific behaviors, the changes in memory and in behavior in those who have AD can be understood. Drug development has been slower than hoped for, but certain behaviors, such as exercise, can act in a preventative fashion.


R803  Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00–12:00, Feb. 14–Mar. 23
Twelve sessions
Note dates and times
Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class limit: 5
This traditional yoga class, designed for senior adults, 55 years and older, 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. This class incorporates standing poses, as well as poses on the floor. Participants should be comfortable getting up and down from the floor. Please bring a blanket, pillow, or beach towel to class. Registration for this class is on a first-come first-served basis. There is a $60 fee, payable to OLLI at the time of registration. (Refer to page 36 for “add to cart” instructions.) Those registering will also need to complete a Reston Community Center registration / waiver form and take it to class on the first day. The form can be found at Registration is not final until a completed RCC waiver is received.


R804  Tai Chi Chuan: Eight Ways

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30–12:30, Jan. 17–Mar. 9
Sixteen sessions
Note dates and times
Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: RCC Staff
Class limit: 7
This is a class designed for senior adults, 55 years and older. Learn eight simple movements derived from the Tai Chi Yang Style Short Form by Master Cheng Man Ching. Each movement is a separate and complete unit that can be practiced by itself, independently of the others, and conveys all the benefits of Tai Chi. Emphasis is on balance, relaxation and ease of movement. There is a fee of $80, payable to OLLI at the time of registration. (Refer to page 36 for “add to cart” instructions.) Those registering will also need to complete a Reston Community Center registration / waiver form and take it to class on the first day. The form can be found at Registration is not final until a completed RCC waiver is received.


L805  Loudoun County Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response

Wednesdays 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18–Feb. 8
Four sessions
Coordinator: Hank Taylor
Have you ever viewed a news report depicting the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster? The damage to human life and property is both staggering and heartbreaking. This class provides an overview of how county agencies and associated state, federal and non-governmental organizations and utilities respond in a coordinated manner to natural disasters and other emergencies occurring in Loudoun County. Representatives from selected supporting organizations will give presentations describing their responsibilities and capabilities to respond to natural disasters. Key elements of the recently updated Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Plan will be described. This document is of particular interest due to the identification and risk analysis of natural hazards potentially facing Norther Virginia residents such as extreme weather (temperature and storms), drought, earthquakes, wildfires, tornados and hurricanes. Loudoun County must also plan responses to other threats such as pandemics and terrorism. The fourth class will consist of a tour of the Loudoun County Emergency Operations Center located in Leesburg (transportation via carpooling).
Kevin Johnson, coordinator of Emergency Management for Loudoun County, will present portions of the course and arrange for the participation of other speakers from the county and associated organizations.


900 Other Topics

R901  Trip Tales

Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 23–Feb. 13
Coordinator: Stan Schretter

  • Jan 23: Beth and Bob Lambert: Cruising Around the British Isles
  • Jan 30: Karen and Marvin Singer: Biking Through France with Our Grandson
  • Feb 6: Jeff Rosendhal: Visiting the Scottish Highlands and the English Lake District
  • Feb 13: Shelia and Ben Gold: Cruising from Argentina to Chile


L902  The Happiness Project

Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 17–Feb. 7
Instructor: Kathie West
Follow along with Gretchen Rubin’s bestselling book, The Happiness Project. Enjoy a wonderful workshop format to discuss your happiness and identify your own potential to make your life happier. This will be a participatory class with handouts and the sharing of ideas from all. As Mark Twain said “Whoever is happy will make others happy too.” Let us see what we can come up with and have some good laughs along the way. If this is successful, we will continue the class for eight weeks in the spring term. Rubin’s book is available on
See F408 for instructor information.


Special Events

951  The Evolution of the Fairfax/Loudoun County Boundary Line and J.E.B. Stuart’s Most Difficult Achievement

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 17
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Jim Lewis
This is a presentation about the fascinating story of the evolution of the Fairfax and Loudoun County boundary line. Ironically, today’s boundary line at the Potomac River is where Confederate Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart’s perilous journey through our area on June 27, 1863, culminated, affecting his arrival time at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Jim Lewis is a noted Civil War and World War II historian, lecturer, and local Civil War site tour guide. He was instrumental in the making of the acclaimed Danger between the Lines DVD, and The Hunter Mill Road Corridor Civil War Self-Guided Tour, Forgotten Roads of the Hunter Mill Road Corridor, and Sunstroke and Ankle-Deep Mud books. His World War II presentations include, “What Our Boys Faced on D-Day,” “D-Day +1 thru the Battle of the Bulge,” and “Downfall: The Empire’s Last Stand.” He is also the current “Lord Fairfax” designate for his county district. This title honors a citizen who demonstrates superior community service.


952  Pictures and Words: An Introduction to Comics and Graphic Novels

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 18
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Matthew Moffett
This is a presentation and discussion of comic books and graphic novels. The presentation will include an overview of the history of the medium, tips on reading and evaluating comics, and suggestions of titles for different genres and different ages of readers.
Matthew Moffett received his MLS from Catholic University and has worked as a reference librarian at several Fairfax County libraries, currently as the assistant branch manager at the Burke Center library. He is a life-long reader of comics. He served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee for the Young Adult Library Services Association from 2011-2013; his published reviews of comics and graphic novels have appeared in School Library Journal, Rain Taxi, The Comics Journal and the website No Flying No Tights. He has spoken at professional and fan-oriented conferences about comics and libraries, and is sought after for his deep knowledge and appreciation of the graphic novel format.


953  Spotting Psychopaths

Wednesday, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 18
Instructor: Justin Ramsdell
Who is a psychopath and how do you spot one? This lecture reviews ways in which the current scientific understanding of who is a psychopath compares with common ideas and/or television portrayals in a thought provoking way.
Dr. Justin Ramsdell is an assistant professor of psychology at George Mason University and a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Maryland. In addition to teaching psychology at the undergraduate level, he also works as a forensic psychologist, serving as an expert witness consultant and also as a trainer for government law enforcement agencies and local police Crisis Intervention Teams.


954  Those Critters Around Us: Fairfax County Wildlife

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 18
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Coordinator: Fred Kaiser
Fairfax County is home to a surprisingly diverse range of wildlife species. In this informative session, a Fairfax County wildlife specialist will reveal how our local fauna have adapted to the changing development of this county. We’ll learn about the animals’ opportunistic knack for exploiting a variety of food sources, and how they deal with humans, other strong competitors, and an array of disturbances.
Katherine Edwards is a Fairfax County wildlife management specialist who has more than ten years of experience as a wildlife biologist. She is a certified wildlife biologist and received her master’s in wildlife science and her doctorate in forest resources from Mississippi State University.


955  “The Spill” in Australian Politics and its Impact on Government

Thursday, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 19
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Kathleen Burns
The kangaroo, the koala and the echidna are animals unique to Australia. But something equally unusual is an aspect of their election system called the “spill.” In the United States, the Constitution lays out a very detailed process on how to pick the president. But the Australian Constitution makes no mention on how citizens pick their leader, the prime minister. Instead, registered voters pick a local candidate to serve as their member of the Parliament (MP). These MPs then elect (or dump) their party leader via an internal caucus system. Then the leaders of a party (or parties) who can form a majority government in the House of Representatives can then recommend an individual to be appointed prime minister by the governor general, who is the representative of the Queen. But sometimes this process goes awry and the public has no input into the selection of the new leader. A spill can occur when a member of the party in power challenges the current leader in a caucus fight. In the five-year period from 2010 to 2015, Australia had a shift five times in the choice of a prime minister—but in only two of those cases did the changes occur at the ballot box. On September 14, 2015, such a change occurred through a partisan caucus vote. Thus, in a country with 23.9 million people, the new prime minister won by ten votes. Come hear how this system works and the potential damage it can cause to public confidence in the selection of a national leader.
Kathleen Burns spent five years in Australia as a member of the parliamentary press gallery and has returned “Down Under” nine times to give lectures. She was in the country when two of the recent spills occurred. She also served as program director for the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University.


956  NVCC and Me

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 23
Coordinator: Barbara Wilan
How would you like to be a college student again? You can take up to three free NoVA classes, everything from ballroom dancing to western civilization. You can also take out and reserve books, magazines, and DVDs from the campus libraries in Sterling, Reston, and Annandale and can use the academic databases that are normally available only to students and faculty. Meet with a librarian and an administrator from the Loudoun campus of NoVA in a question and answer session to learn how to enjoy the excellent resources next door.


957  Sunstroke and Ankle-Deep Mud

Tuesday, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 24
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructors: Jim Lewis, Brian McEnany
Much has been written about the battle of Gettysburg and General Lee’s retreat, but little has been written about how the Union Army reached there in June 1863. McEnany and Lewis will explain the plight of the soldiers in an army “in a hurry to get somewhere,” as one soldier later wrote. They will trace the movement of the Union II Corps across the byways and roads of Northern Virginia to describe how tens of thousands of soldiers, wagons and animals endured intense heat and torrential rains to cross a swollen Potomac River at Edwards Ferry. A few days later, these same soldiers fought the bloodiest battle of the Civil War at Gettysburg.
See 951 for Jim Lewis’ biography.
After a career researching and writing about military operations in the US Army and the defense industry, the West Point Class of 1862 and the Civil War has become Brian McEnany’s fulltime avocation. He is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable and has given numerous presentations to civil war groups, the Army Navy Club in Washington, DC, AUSA’s Lemnitzer Lecture series, and several government agencies.


958  Eat Right for Cancer Prevention

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 25
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Katie Strong
How does diet affect your risk of developing cancer? Do certain foods help or hurt?single food or food component can protect against cancer by itself. But strong evidence does show that certain dietary patterns can help lower the risk of developing many cancers. This presentation will help you understand the latest research on cancer prevention and lifestyle, evidence-based recommendations, and the role of “superfoods.”
Katie Strong received an MS in nutrition from Virginia Tech and completed her dietetic internship at the NIH Clinical Center. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, she serves as Fairfax County’s Virginia cooperative extension agent specializing in foods, nutrition, and health. Strong develops community-based programs that teach youth, adult, and senior residents skills to prevent chronic disease, handle food safely, and spend money wisely. She has developed and presented numerous short courses and presentations, including weight management, bone health, lifestyle and cancer, vegetarian nutrition, and food safety.


959  A Wild Solution for Climate Change

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 25
Fairfax Lord of Life
Coordinator: Fred Kaiser
Climate change is intimately intertwined with the biology of the planet. The planet is now 0.9° Celsius warmer than in pre-industrial times. This talk will describe observed impacts and projected ones. It will also look at the contribution that ecosystem restoration can play in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere before it traps radiant heat and causes further climate change.
Thomas Lovejoy, known as “the Godfather of Biodiversity,” is a university professor at George Mason University. An ecologist who has worked in the Brazilian Amazon since 1965, he is currently chair of the Scientific Technical Advisory Panel for the Global Environment Facility, the multibillion-dollar funding mechanism for developing countries in support of their obligations under international environmental conventions. He received his BS and PhD in biology from Yale University.


960  Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman, the Stories, the Times

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 25
Rose Gallery, Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Nancy Scheeler
Written during the 1930s, the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder continues to enchant both children and adults alike. The books depict pioneer life as the Ingalls family traveled from the big woods of Wisconsin westward to seek new opportunities. Wilder didn’t begin writing the series until she was in her mid-60s and retired from her earlier journalistic activities. She earned all her fame and fortune after the age of 65. Recent publications of Wilder’s own writings—including Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography and The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder—allow us a glimpse into the real life of this beloved author. There are two major story lines: the life that Wilder actually lived and remembered and the stories that she told in her Little House series. Emerging scholarship asserts that Laura’s daughter Rose, a writer herself, influenced her mother to exaggerate the independence and self-sufficiency of the Ingalls family in the series as a protest to the liberal policies of FDR at the time the Little House books were being written. We will examine differences between Wilder’s autobiography and letters and the stories she wrote, in the context of her times.
Nancy Scheeler holds a master’s degree and completed coursework for the PhD in English and American literature at the University of Maryland. She usually teaches OLLI courses on contemporary British writers well known in the UK but not to US readers. In this class, she is looking back to the reading of her childhood and still finding it intriguing today.


961  That’s Jazz by Mike Baker, Jr.

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Jan. 27
Instructor: Mike Baker, Jr.
Jazz is a music genre that originated from African American communities of New Orleans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz linked common bonds of African American and European American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Mike Baker’s documentary, That’s Jazz, tells the story of jazz through many of the legendary greats. Included in the film are renowned bassist Milt Hinton, trumpeter Doc Cheatham, pianist Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington at the piano. The presentation also traces jazz music through dance, art, and the education of young artists. Hollywood actor and jazz artist, Billie Dee Williams, takes us on a journey through jazz artistry, and Wynton Marsalis explains the importance of jazz education in America. In addition to showing the one-hour documentary, Baker will take audience questions concerning America’s jazz legacy.
Mike Baker, Jr. holds a BA and MA in English. He is a seven-time Emmy-winning TV host, producer, and reporter. He has received five Telly awards, four Videographer awards and a MarCom creative award. Four of his documentaries have aired on the Bravo cable network. Baker has also hosted and produced over 300 National Arts episodes for Bravo. He is president of National Arts Television, Inc. and is an assistant professor at Northern Virginia Community College.


962  Native Americans—First Peoples, Sovereign Protectors

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 30
Instructor: Michael Nephew
The original peoples of this land are embroiled in a battle that is based both on their status as sovereign nations and on their relationship to the land. There is currently an encampment protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline that is the largest gathering of Native nations and peoples since the Battle of Greasy Grass, also known as the Battle of Little Big Horn. The current issues include protecting sacred sites, burial sites, and the water—water not just for their community but for the communities and animals downstream. They are joined in their fight by farmers in Iowa. While most major media outlets are blacking out the story, unarmed peaceful protestors are having to confront attack dogs, riot police with weapons drawn, and armored vehicles.
Michael Nephew is a past president of the American Indian Society, a former community and manpower planner for Native communities and a former trainer, curriculum developer, researcher, and editor for the Institute for the Development of Indian Law.


963  Genealogy Research in the Virginia Room

Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, Jan. 31
Instructor: Laura S. Wickstead
This class is an introduction to resources for family history research in the Virginia Room of the City of Fairfax Regional Library. Researchers will learn about the tools to discover and access collections. They will get information about the extensive holdings of books, photographs, maps, microfilmed newspapers and records, subject files and manuscript collections for Fairfax County and independent cities. Genealogists will learn about resources for Virginia, national and international family history research. These include books, periodicals and online databases. The collection includes place, church and organization histories, military histories and records, biographies, and census, cemetery, land, tax, probate and vital records. The Virginia Room also has significant resources to track immigrant ancestors. Genealogy research experience is not necessary.
Laura S. Wickstead has spent 18 years working in special research collections within public libraries, providing reference service to genealogists and researchers of every age and interest. She has a master’s degree in library science and has been the Virginia Room librarian at the City of Fairfax Regional Library of the Fairfax County Public Library system since 2012.


964  The 60-Year Struggle for Gay Rights

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Feb. 1
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
The course will consider the battle for gay civil rights from the 1950s to today, reviewing both victories and defeats. At the start of this period, few gays were open about their identity. In many states gay sex was a crime. Being gay was classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, and a gay identity was grounds for denial of a security clearance, discharge from the military and dismissal from jobs. The battle for civil rights began when enough gays became willing to publicly identify and advocate for change. The 60-year struggle, which has been marked by victories and setbacks, has made considerable progress in protecting gay rights. Notable recent victories have been the decision to allow gays to serve in the military, and the US Supreme Court decisions giving constitutional protection for the rights of gays to marry, which was celebrated by a bathing of the White House in rainbow-colored lights. We will also consider the changes in public attitudes about gays, and the legal, political and communications strategies followed by gay rights advocates.
David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, served on congressional professional staff for 35 years. He has taught several OLLI courses on history and is a volunteer guide for the Newseum.


965  The American Bison: Legends, Lore and Legacy

Friday, 1:00–2:30, Feb. 3
Instructor: Wayne Wolfersberger
Once, millions of bison roamed the great plains of North America. Westward expansion nearly led to their extinction. The wild bison of Yellowstone, the largest population of continuously free-ranging bison, had declined to a low of 23 animals in 1895 when conservation measures began. What are some of the factors that contributed to their near-extinction? How many were there really? Yellowstone played a vital role in saving the American bison, but is their future secure? Even today we often see in the news that hundreds of Yellowstone bison are slaughtered. Why? Their story continues today and will unfold in a slide format with historical photographs, paintings and many personal images taken by the author during his 14 summers living in Yellowstone, where he worked as a US National Park Service ranger/naturalist. A few artifacts will be available for handling during the presentation.
Wayne Wolfersberger has degrees from University of Maryland and George Mason University in the areas of conservation, ecology and science education. He worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Fairfax County Public Schools and the US Department of the Interior. He has taught in Virginia, Maryland and the United Kingdom. Wolfersberger currently works part time for Mason, and he teaches photography and runs nature photography workshops. Visit his website, Nature Is Wild Photography, at


966  Discover What Your Libraries Can Do for You

Wednesday, 9:40–11:05, Feb. 8
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Mohammed Esslami
Class limit: 30
To many, a library is synonymous with books, a mere depository that people use to borrow materials and ask fact-related questions. Nothing can be further from the truth. While most libraries do host a collection of books and other physical materials, they also offer a myriad of other services that most people know nothing about. Join us during this workshop to learn about all the free services available to you through the Fairfax County Public Library system. The instructor will demonstrate how to best navigate the catalog, utilize reader’s advisory services, and learn about online services. Your public library is not simply a repository for information, but a place for learning, exploring and building relationships.
Mohammed Esslami is a graduate of the Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Sciences, where he earned his master’s degree. He is currently the branch manager at the George Mason Regional Library, a branch of the Fairfax County Public Library system. He teaches both library staff and the public about the library’s services.


967  The Kent State Killings Revisited

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Feb. 8
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Thomas M. Grace
This lecture will cover one of the most searing incidents of American history during the Vietnam era—the killing of four students and the wounding of nine others, including an instructor, by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in May 1970. In a critique of Grace’s recently published study, Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties, one reviewer described the book as “a systematic deconstruction of many media-generated myths,” among them that the campus was without an activist tradition, that the National Guard members were young and inexperienced, and that the killings led to an end of the era of mass protest. Taking issue with these myths, the instructor shows that Kent State was not a tragic anomaly. Rather, it was grounded in a tradition of activism extending back to labor battles and civil rights protests of the 1950s. Thus the fatal shootings at Kent State were the culmination of a conflict between the forces of radicalism and repression that unfolded throughout the decade of the 1960s.
Thomas M. Grace, PhD, is the author of Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties. He is an adjunct professor of American history at Erie Community College.


968  Edmund Burke: Often Quoted, Little Known

Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Feb. 8
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
Instructor: Beth Lambert
It is probably safe to say that Edmund Burke is quoted several times a year in political discussions of every stripe. Yet it is equally probable that most of the time a listener or reader will think, “Who is Edmund Burke?” In brief: Burke was a statesman whose profound intellectual grasp of 18th century British politics was so infused with an understanding of human nature that his statements about political issues are as accurate today as they were in the 18th century. In his time Britain was dealing with rebellion in the American colonies, a burgeoning empire in India, the slave trade, religious issues at home, and a revolution in France. His writings and speeches on all of these issues fill nine volumes. Yet Burke was much more than a political figure of note; the story of his life involves Irish connections that were not always on the right side of the law; his wife who kept both his important papers and his household in order, his colorful extended family, a group of eclectic friends, and neighbors who came to him to settle boundary disputes in their small village.
Beth Lambert is coordinator of the Reston OLLI Program and of the History Club. She is professor emerita of English at Gettysburg College where she taught courses on all aspects of the 18th century in Britain. Her biography of Edmund Burke was published by the University of Delaware Press.


969  Of all Things, Love

Monday, 11:50–1:15, Feb. 13
Instructor: Conrad Geller
Love has caused more pain, despair and—let’s face it—more pure misery than almost any other human experience. Poets have been at the forefront in chronicling such destructiveness. From Ovid through Shakespeare, all the way up to OLLI’s own Conrad Geller, poets have attempted to define, describe, and otherwise memorialize the tender trap. A few have even found love to be a pleasurable emotion. In this class, the presenter will show some of the best, most provocative examples of love poetry. Included, beyond the above-mentioned poets, are such names as Dante, Dickinson, Browning, and Millay.
Conrad Geller, an OLLI member, clearly knows nothing about this subject, but he hopes members of the audience will help to clarify matters.


1001BT  Liaison Training for Everybody!

Friday, 2:00–3:30, Jan. 13
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Are you an OLLI instructor or a curious OLLI member who might want to be a liaison? Then this session is for you! We’ll talk about aspects of liaising that are not so obvious, as well as ways to optimize the announcement reading. We’ll also discuss unexpected situations. Liaisons help make our classes the best they can be, and they give our instructors a warm welcome and a helping hand. Please join us for a participative discussion about how to be a great liaison.


1101 Grab ‘n’ Gab Coffee Klatch

Friday, 9:30–10:45, Jan. 27
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Event limit: 30
Grab a free cup o’ joe and a fistful of cookies and join us in the Social Annex for a casual coffee klatch. New members, old members—even board members—are welcome! Make new friends, catch up with old friends, and enjoy the camaraderie that makes OLLI so special.


1102  Ice Cream Social and Hawaiian Luau

Friday, 1:00–3:00, Feb. 10
(Snow date: Friday, 1:00–3:00, Feb. 24)
Coordinator: Martha Powers
Once again, the Social Events Committee dares to defy the elements by scheduling a party in winter! (Please note that we have planned an alternate date in case of inclement weather.) We’ll have ice cream and all the fixin’s, hot cocoa and cider for those who need to thaw out, and plenty of good old fashioned OLLI entertainment, including a talent show with tropical overtones. This is your big chance to break out that Hawaiian shirt and do the hula with Don Ho. Join us and let’s all get the last laugh on Old Man Winter. Registration for this event is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Ongoing Activities

Annex Art Club

Jan. 10, Feb. 14–Mar. 14, 9:30–12:00
Coordinator: Sue Goldstein                                                                             
All artists, whether you use pencil, ink, pastels, charcoal, or paint, are welcome to finish or to start pictures. The group consists of OLLI members at all skill levels. Join us!


Bridge Club

Jan. 11, Feb 15–Mar. 15, 10:00–12:00
Jan. 18–Feb. 8, 1:45–3:45
Coordinators: Susanne Zumbro                    703-569-2750
Gordon Canyock                    703-425-4607
Drop in and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of “party bridge.” Skill levels vary from advanced beginner to aspiring expert. Partnerships are rotated every four hands. The Bridge Club meets in the morning between terms and in the afternoon during the term. For details on the Club’s rules and bidding system, see its web page on the OLLI website.


Classic Literature Club

Jan. 27–Feb. 10, 11:30–12:30
Coordinator: Bob Zener                                 703-237-0492
This club was formed to discuss great works of world literature. This winter term, we plan to discuss some of the works of Franz Kafka, including The Metamorphosis and “In the Penal Colony.” The club normally meets every Friday during the terms. Please note that we are skipping Jan. 20, the first Friday of the winter term, because that is Inauguration Day.


Cooking Club

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


Craft and Conversation Group

Jan. 13–Mar. 17, 9:30–11:00
Coordinators: Doris Bloch 
Pam  Cooper-Smuzynski     
We meet weekly to work on our needlecraft projects and to share product sources, expertise, and inspiration. Our ongoing conversations encourage camaraderie, and a group setting motivates us to progress with our current projects. Interested OLLI members are invited to join us to see what we are creating. For more information, contact Doris Bloch or Pam Cooper-Smuzynski.


Dr. Who Club

First and Third Fridays
Jan. 20, Feb. 3, Feb. 17, Mar. 3, Mar. 17, 1:00–3:00
Coordinator: Wendy Campbell
This new group is for those of you interested in Timey Wimey Stuff—we are meeting to watch Doctor Who on the “big screen” in a Tallwood classroom. We will follow each presentation with discussion. Some of us are new to “Who;” some of us are very long time fans. Everyone is welcome.


History Club

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


Homer, etc.

Jan. 13–Mar. 17, 11:00–12:30
Coordinator: Jan Bohall            or     703-273-1146
Join us to read aloud a traditional or contemporary classic. We are currently finishing Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and will begin 84 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff. Drop in at the Tallwood Annex any Friday morning; new members are always welcome.


Mah Jongg Club

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


Memoir—and More—Writing Group

Coordinator: Betty Smith
We meet about every other Wednesday during the year, at or near Tallwood, except during the fall and spring terms when Dianne Hennessy King’s Memoir Writing class is in session. We meet twice during those terms. In addition to memoir, we write fiction, poetry, and personal essays. Writing groups have to stay fairly small and we’re full, but if you are interested, sign up in the member portal and I’ll let you know if a space appears.


Personal Computer User Group

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


Photography Club

Second Fridays
Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 10, 9:30–11:30
Fourth Fridays
Jan. 27, Feb. 24, 12:00–2:00
Coordinators: Angie Talaber
                             Dave Talaber 
Meet with experts and others interested in photography and develop skills by participating in theme-based monthly photo submissions. The Photography Club welcomes all members, whether they use a basic camera or specialized equipment, and whether they are novice or experienced photographers. We discuss technical aspects of photography, as well as the artistic aspects of visual design. We have guest speakers on the second Friday of each month, and on the fourth Friday, workshops will cover specific topics in detail. We also regularly plan field trips in the local area.
Contact Angie or Dave Talaber for further information.


Recorder Consort

Jan. 13, Jan. 27–Mar. 17, 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, please join us on Fridays. There will be on- and off-campus performances, and you may need to purchase music. Please note: we will be skipping January 20, Inauguration Day.


Reston Book Club

Jan. 19, 2:15–3:40
United Christian Parish
Coordinators: Luci Martel, Nancy Scheeler
This is a book discussion club for OLLI members who find it convenient to meet on the OLLI Reston campus. Our selection for January 19 will be The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.  This book won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The club purpose is to focus on serious contemporary fiction, primarily—but not limited to—works by American or UK authors. We will avoid bestsellers and look for good novels on the long lists, short lists, and winner lists of the US National Book Award and the UK Man Booker Prize. We schedule our once-a-month meetings in September, October, November, January, March, April, and May during regular OLLI terms.


Spanish Club

Second and fourth Tuesdays (out of term)
Jan. 10, Feb. 21, Mar. 14, 10:00–11:30
Second and fourth Wednesdays (in term)
Jan. 25, Feb. 8, 1:45–3:15
Coordinators: Dick Cheadle
                              Lois Lightfoot 
This is a relatively new club designed for those who are at the intermediate stage in understanding and speaking Spanish—further along than 1-2-3 and A-B-C, but not fluent. The club member leading a particular class will choose the subject and prepare the lesson for that class. Members will not have to participate beyond their comfort level.


Tai Chi Club

Jan. 7–Mar. 18, 10:30–11:30,
Coordinators: Russell Stone                          703-323-4428
                              Susanne Zumbro                   703-569-2750
The Tai Chi Club meets almost every Saturday, year ‘round. It is open to all OLLI members.


Tallwood Book Club

Second Wednesdays
Jan. 11, Mar. 8, 10:00–11:30
Feb. 8, 1:30–3:00
Coordinator: Ceda McGrew                            703-323-9671
Our selection for January 11 is Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. On February 8 we plan to read My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. The selection for March 8 is My Life as a Dog by Reidar Jönsson.


Theater Lovers’ Club

Generally last Fridays
Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 31, 10:00–11:30
Coordinators: Norma Reck                
                             Nancy Scheeler
The Theater Lovers’ Club (TLC) aims to provide OLLI members with various opportunities to participate in and learn about our local theater scene and the people who make it possible by:

  • attending and discussing theater performances,
  • hosting pertinent theatrical persons to speak at our monthly meetings; and
  • pursuing interests as expressed by TLC members themselves.

Sign up for TLC when registering for regular classes or special events, and use the Add to Cart feature. This will ensure you receive TLC emails regarding meeting dates, and other TLC activities and events.


The Tom Crooker Investment Forum

Jan. 11–Jan. 25, Feb. 15– Mar. 15, 10:30–12:00
Moderator: Al Smuzynski
For activity description see course F202


Walking Group

Tallwood/Fairfax Swimming Pool Parking Lot
Coordinators: Ute Christoph-Hill   
                             Jerry Remson            
When OLLI is in session, the Walking Group meets one morning each week, generally an hour before the first morning class. We gather in the Fairfax pool parking lot next to Tallwood and walk for about 45 minutes, arriving back at Tallwood in time for the start of classes. Because our goal is camaraderie as well as exercise, all levels of walking ability and speed are accommodated. The day of the week is determined by our schedules and the weather, so it may change from week to week. Between terms we continue to walk on a weekly basis, but for longer distances and at more varied locations. Contact Ute Christoph-Hill for more information.


What’s in the Daily News?

Jan. 9, Feb. 20–Mar. 13, 10:00–11:30
Facilitators: Don Allen                                    703-830-3060
Mel Axilbund       
Dorsey Chescavage
Caroline Cochran

This is the between-term continuation of the discussion group for news junkies who can’t wait to express their opinions and discuss current events.