OLLI Outlook                                 
OLLI @Berkeley's monthly newsletter
April 2009
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In This Issue
Feedback Session
Summer Interest Circles/Town Hall Meetings
Refer a Friend to OLLI
Faculty Profile: Michael Fox
The Lunch Bunch
Feedback Session
At the start of the third week, we offer a chance for OLLI members to talk with us about what's working and what we could do better. Join us on Monday, April 13, from 3:45-5:15 in Room 150 University Hall for our spring feedback session.

Forming Summer Interest Circles/Town Hall Meetings
OLLI members are invited to form interest circles to meet over the summer months. These circles are convened and facilitated by OLLI members and can be a continuation of a course or a new area of study, discussion, or activity.

Please take three minutes to answer an Interest Circle Survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=JMbBg_2bBnKyTaF24kDA_2bpug_3d_3d or on a printed survey available in class.

A Town Hall meeting will be held on Monday, April 27, from 3:45 to 5:15 pm in Room 150 University Hall. The Membership Committee will convene the meeting, present the list of interest circles, provide sign-up sheets, and allow for circles to meet briefly.

Refer a Friend to OLLI Contest
Congratulations to our winners who helped OLLI @Berkeley grow by having friends join OLLI!

Cynthia Hansen
Sharon Mohorovich
Eleanor Moses
Karlyn Scott

Each winner will receive a $10 gift certificate from one of the following downtown Berkeley businesses: Addison Annex Cafe, People's Cafe, or Yali's Cafe.

Faculty Profile: Michael Fox
"The Art of the Documentary"
Mondays, March 30 - May 4 (Spring 2009)
1:30 - 3:30 pm

by Bonnie Mager

Michael Fox, Journalist and Film Critic
Michael Fox is one of those amazing Bay Area people whom OLLI is so good at finding and recruiting for its faculty. He brims with enthusiasm and overflows with knowledge of his subject: film. He considers himself not just a film critic, but also a journalist who has for the past twenty-two years contributed to more than fifty regional and national publications. These include PBS.com, San Francisco 360.org, Variety, iFilm, San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook, and San Francisco Weekly, for which he originated and wrote the "Reel World" column for a decade. He has sat on juries for film festivals and is a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.
But to enumerate his long resume does nothing to reflect the real Michael Fox. An hour's conversation over lunch was a beginning: A Chicago native, he got a degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Champaign and an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago, a degree which even at the time he suspected was not his true calling. He got hooked on film while in college--especially foreign film. He loved the artistic challenge and ambiguous endings of these films and much preferred them over the movies coming out of Hollywood. He admits he never took a film class or made a film, though he has profound respect for those who do. But he has been watching and thinking about films of all kinds for all of his adult life.
Finding himself in San Francisco at the ripe old age of 31 without a job or a clear career path, he made a call to a free local publication, and one thing led to another, including a regular column for San Francisco Weekly, KQED, and others. (To read some of his reviews, go to KQED.org/art and search for profiles). His style is sharp, witty, and to the point: "Everybody involved in this atrocity should be suspended without pay for a year" was a comment aimed at the movie Wanted.
His subject for the OLLI program is the documentary. The class will watch a film and then spend the second hour discussing it. But his purpose is not to analyze the subject of the film. Rather it is to understand the craft of the filmmaker: what makes a film memorable, what challenges the viewer, what makes it worth watching more than once. He wants to give his students a new way of seeing and appreciating the documentary.
As an example of this point of view, he shared his "rant" regarding the documentary style of Ken Burns. While he found the several series impeccably made, he also found them too comfortable, not emotionally challenging. He compares those works with others he loves: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, for example, or My Winnipeg.
Just as he never expected to become a writer, Michael  never considered himself a potential teacher. Yet he started out teaching film classes at UC Extension in San Francisco, where one of his students was Velma Parness, then the director of OLLI@ Berkeley. She invited him to venture eastward across the bridge where he taught a class on film for the first OLLI @Berkeley, then under the auspices of UC Extension. He has taught at the San Francisco OLLI and the Art Institute and hosts a series on film at the Mechanics' Institute. His career as a teacher seems to be taking on a life of its own. Perhaps it is because of his endless enthusiasm, his willingness to be a risk-taker, and his joy in the interaction with his classes.
Bonnie Mager
The Lunch Bunch
by Mark Gorney
Turkish Kitchen
1986 Shattuck Avenue, between University Avenue and Berkeley Way
One of the first things you'll notice about this busy and capacious Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean eatery is the colorful mural on the ceiling. The extensive and reasonably-priced menu offers lots of things to choose from: tempting appetizers, pies, lamb and chicken kebobs, stuffed eggplant, and Turkish specialties, including dessert.

Although I wish their fab mezes platter (hummus, babaganoush, dolmas, pita bread) were bigger, it's very tasty, as is their falafel, and their chicken doner sandwich makes a nifty and inexpensive lunch ($6.25, and be sure and ask for their hot sauce to go with it). Service is prompt and courteous.

From the internet:

Healthy Computing
offers simple, free, weekly tips about ways to maintain good health for those of us who are behind the computer screen several hours a day. The tips are written by Erik Pepper, Ph.D., founder of  SFSU's Holistic Health Program, and Katherine Hughes Gibney. To receive the email, contact healthco-l@sfsu.edu.
Alvaro Fernandez's Sharp Brains website offers a short piece by Brett Steenbarger on the importance of change (change in environment and approaches to problem solving). http://www.sharpbrains.com
From campus:
Biting into Evolution
Here's a clip about paleantologist Leslea Hlusko who teaches on campus, runs her own research lab, and is interested in collaborating with OLLI: http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu/archives/volume6/issue42/story2.php. For our members who are interested in more science courses, please send us your ideas (berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu) about what we might explore with Professor Hlusko.
Science at the Theater:
How to Bring Solar Energy to Seven Billion People
OLLI's partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley Lab includes notifying our members about their excellent lectures in Science at the Theater. The next one is April 6, 7:00 pm, with Cyrus Wadia, Ph.D., senior research associate at Berkeley Lab (LBNL). Click here for more information: http://www.lbl.gov/friendsofscience/talks/index.html
American Cultures: From Concept to Classroom, 1989-2009 and Beyond
Thursday, April 16, 2009
4:30-7:00 pm
Free Speech Movement Cafe, Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley

Adopted 20 years ago to deepen students' understanding of the diverse cultures of the United States through an integrative and comparative framework, the American Cultures program has created a complex, nuanced, interdisciplinary approach to multicultural education that has become a national model, offering students access to cutting-edge research as it relates to the most pressing questions of cultural and social diversity.
Come celebrate this dynamic history, and look ahead to future innovations. In conjunction with the on-going exhibit at Moffitt Library showcasing American Cultures' distinctive curricular approach, this celebratory evening will feature Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, and a panel discussion with some of American Cultures' pioneering and award-winning faculty, led by Bill Simmons, the first director of the American Cultures Center.

OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Director:       Susan Hoffman
Coordinator:  Aileen Kim
Assistant:     Mark Gorney

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