OLLI Outlook                                 
OLLI @Berkeley's monthly newsletter
March 2009
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In This Issue
Online Registration
Autobiography Course Section Added
Open House
Faculty Profile: Peter Gessner
Course Evaluations
Winter 2009 Lecture Series
Campus Announcements
Summer Interest Circles
The Lunch Bunch
Newsletter Contributors and Staff
Online Registration is Up and Running!
Online registration started on February 27 and we already have over 100 members signed up for the Spring 2009 term! Just go to our homepage (http://olli.berkeley.edu) and click on the bottom button in the left column.

You can always download a registration form and mail to OLLI @Berkeley, 1925 Walnut Street #1570, Berkeley, CA  94720-1570. If you haven't received your brochure yet, you can open it from the OLLI website or fax it to 510.642.2202.

Autobiography Writing Course: Section Added
Due to the number of people interested in autobiography-writing, a second section of "Five Personal Pieces: Experimenting with Autobiography" has been added. It will be on Fridays, April 10-May 15, from 1:30-3:30 pm. Register for it online or call the OLLI office at 510.642.9934.

Open House: March 17
A reminder that the open house for the Spring 2009 term will be held on Tuesday, March 17, from 10:00 am -12:00 noon at Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Avenue at Ellsworth Street). Doors will open at 9:30 am. If you miss this event, the faculty presentations will be available by March 20 on our YouTube channel and will be linked from the OLLI webpages. RSVP to 510.642.5254.

Faculty Profile: Peter Gessner
"The Political Thriller From World War II to Iraq"
Thursdays, April 2 - May 7 (Spring 2009)
3:00 - 5:00 pm

by Bonnie Mager

Like many of his generation, Peter Gessner came to San Francisco after the summer of love to reinvent himself. Having grown up in New York, graduated from Swarthmore, and studied at the Yale Drama School, he fell in love with the cool gray city that produced Dashiell Hammett.  His decision to become a private investigator (PI) was inspired by Hammett's stories and his acquaintance with a new breed of private detectives who emerged in the 70's: Hal Lipset and Sandra Sutherland, among others.
Gessner's road to his chosen profession was circuitous. Before he came to California, he'd been an independent filmmaker - winning awards for films ranging in topics from the Vietnam War to a Venezuelan guerilla movement to insurgent black auto workers in Detroit. He has also written several screenplays and was a visiting Professor of Cinema at SF State University.
After a year long hiatus from filmmaking, during which he drove a cab in San Francisco, he landed an apprenticeship with a local investigator who had trained with some of the best. Soon he was working for some of the prominent PIs in The City. In a few years, he had his own PI license. His cases have included capital homicide, wrongful death, police misconduct, and sexual harassment. For all the apparent danger in these cases, he does not own a gun.
Peter has known OLLI @Berkeley's director, Susan Hoffman, from his days at SF State University. He wanted to get his hand back into teaching and approached Susan about doing a class on film noir. He and retired PI Susan Sutherland will be team teaching this class which will focus on films about WW II in Italy by Rossellini, BBC's films based on Le Carré's work about the Cold War, another recent BBC series called MI5, The Third Man, and The Manchurian Candidate. He realizes that he won't have time to show all these movies, and plans to request his students watch the films at home, then he will show clips for discussion.
His purpose for and focus of the class will be to take a new look at this popular genre and what it says about our society, politics, and current world events. He wants his students to understand how these issues reflect back to us in an immediate way and through the eyes of the filmmaker. He looks forward to the insights and experience that his OLLI students will bring to the class.
"The Big Hello and the Long Goodbye" is Peter's debut novel, the first in a series involving a San Francisco private eye named Walker.

Course Evaluations
Emails with links for course evaluations are being sent out this week. We would appreciate your feedback--it's important to hear from you so that we can continue to offer relevant and dynamic courses. A hardcopy version of the evaluation form is available in the classrooms.

Winter 2009 Lecture Series
The fourth and final lecture for "From Boom to Bust: Insights into the Current Economic Downturn" will be on Tuesday, March 10, from 12 noon-1:30 pm at Sibley Auditorium in the Bechtel Engineering Center. This has been an eye-opening and fascinating series co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and the Haas School of Business. We are no longer taking reservations but the lectures will be posted on the Internet in the near future. Check back on the OLLI website (http://olli.berkeley.edu) for a posting date.

Campus Announcements
Special Events

This year On the Same Page in the College of Letters and Science is featuring the work of director Ang Lee and producer/screenwriter James Schamus. Lee and Schamus will visit the campus in March, when the following public events will occur:
- A public conversation between Lee and Schamus on Monday, March 16, 8:00
  pm, in Zellerbach Hall (tickets available from Cal Performances).
- A panel on Socially Engaged Art, moderated by James Schamus, Tuesday, March
  17, 4:00 pm, in 315 Wheeler Hall.
- A screening of Lust, Caution, followed by a Q&A with Ang Lee, Tuesday, March 17, 7:00 pm, in Wheeler Auditorium (tickets available from the Pacific Film Archive).

Travel Study to Mexico with UCB Professor Carlos Munoz
The course "Multiracial and Multiethnic Mexico" offers an overview of the ancient indigenous cultures that first populated the Veracruz region after the Spanish conquest. Those cultures are rooted in indigenous, African, and immigrant cultures from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Particular attention will be paid to the experience of African slaves and the contributions of the Afro-Mestizo people to the shaping of the unique Veracruzano culture as manifested in music, art, and dance. Field trips will be taken to historical and archeological sites throughout the state of Veracruz, including the Totonac pyramids of "El Tajin" built in AD 600, the Spanish fortress of San Juan de Ulua, and the renowned Museum of Anthropology in the city of Xalapa.
Interested folks can get all the details at http://summer.berkeley.edu/mainsite/travelstudy.

Research subjects wanted for dissertation study on social support and traumatic death. Goal of research is to explore how social support is offered under different fictional situations involving traumatic death. Participants will be asked to read five case vignettes involving different situations of death and answer questions pertaining to social support. Interested participants must not have experienced the death of a close loved one within the past year. Commitment time is approximately 60 minutes. If interested, please contact Danny Villa (Lead Investigator), at DPV2101@berkeley.edu or 510.664.0823 to schedule an interview date/time.

Inaugural Symposium on how evolutionary history has shaped the genetic mechanisms that form and heal our skeletons with Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UCSF researchers, free, Thursday March 26, 8:30 am-6:00 pm, at 2060 Valley Life Sciences Building. This is the beginning of a cross-disciplinary discussion that will include UCB's Bill Clemens, Leslea Hlusko, Craig Miller, Jacqueline Moustakas, and Miles Sohaskey with UCSF's Ophir Klein, Cyril Charles, Richard Schneider, Nadav Ahituv, Raplph Marcucio, and Nathan Young. Free registration. The public is welcome; free registration. Email: GESRI@berkeley.edu.

Vietnam in Vietnam
July 2009
Ever wonder what happened to the land that defined many people of our Baby Boom generation?  What has Vietnam become?  Did the U.S. and Vietnam reconcile?  Who are the Vietnamese people? Here's a chance to see the country up-front as it is today, meet the Vietnamese people in their own environment, understand the special relationship between our two countries, while having a great time traveling from one end of the country to the other.
De Anza College in Cupertino is organizing its third consecutive study-trip to Vietnam this July, bringing American and Vietnamese students together for the first time for richer cross-fertilization.  The program welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds.
For more information, contact the coordinator: Vu-Duc Vuong (vuduc.vuong@gmail.com) or go the De Anza website (www.deanza.edu).

Summer Interest Circles
Following last year's format, OLLI members can organize interest circles that will meet over the summer. These circles can be a continuation or extension of an OLLI course or it can be an interest that you would like to explore with others in the OLLI community. If you would like to propose an interest circle, please send an email to berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu, put in the subject heading "Interest Circle" and provide us with 60-75 words about what the interest circle might explore. Past interest circles have included:  Reading Shakespeare Aloud, Cognitive Psychology, the Economic Downturn, etc. The Membership Committee will convene a Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 27, from 3:45 to 5:15 pm in Room 150 University Hall, 2199 Addison Street, to present the list of interest circles, provide sign-up sheets, and allow for circles to convene briefly.

The Lunch Bunch
by Lucille Poskanzer
Thai Noodle
1936 Shattuck Avenue, between Berkeley Way and Hearst
Why is this non descript brightly colored storefront place always full to the brim with students and instructors at lunchtime?  Because the food is really good, the portions generous, the service swift, and the prices low. They specialize in noodle dishes and huge bowls of soup, but other choices are good too. Each table has an array of condiments, so that you can tailor the spicing to your preference. The Pad Kee Mao (on their menu it's called Thai Kea Moa) is one of the best in town. And for you night owls, it's open every day till 1:30 AM!

Newsletter Contributors and Staff
Newsletter Contributors
Bonnie Mager
Lucille Poskanzer

OLLI @Berkeley Staff

Program Director:       Susan Hoffman
Program Coordinator:  Aileen Kim
Program Assistant:     Mark Gorney

OLLI @Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570
Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
tel. 510.642.9934
fax 510.642.2202