OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
December 2010
In Memoriam
Faculty Profile: Hubert Dreyfus
Annual Fund
Gift Certificates
OLLI Community
Interest Circles
Tahéima Updates
The Lunch Bunch
Other Announcements
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OLLI Website

Donate to OLLI

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OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator:
Aileen Kim

Program Assistants:
RJ Bruno
Satya Levine

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

OLLI Announcements

Registration is open for Winter 2011 courses; register early as some courses will fill. Register online

Reading lists or syllabi are available for many courses with more being posted as they become available. Check out the course pages (click on on the course titles).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
12:30-2:30 pm, Room 150 University Hall
2199 Addison Street (between Shattuck and Oxford)
Bring a dish or snack. OLLI will provide beverages. Sign-up to let us know what you're bringing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon  (Doors open at 9:30 a.m.)
Freight & Salvage Coffee House
2020 Addison St., Berkeley
Click to reserve a place

Please tell your friends.


The OLLI @Berkeley office will be closed from Dec 22-Jan 2. Have a wonderful New Year!

Winter 2011 Brochures Now Available!

Look for a winter brochure in your mailbox by December 15, or call the office to request one to be mailed to you. Brochures can also be picked up starting next week (Monday, December 6) at our office at 1925 Walnut St. or by the OLLI classrooms in University Hall. A PDF of the brochure can be downloaded from our website.

NOTE: There are two program updates that are not reflected in the print brochure:

  1. "Sunday Matinee Theatre Series" will meet on 2/27, 4/17 (not 3/17), and 4/24
  2. "Composers Now: New Music for the 21st Century" and "Cal Performances Dance Series" are now regular courses (not workshops) and carry the lower fee
In Memoriam

As the year draws to a close, we would like to remember those OLLI members who are no longer with us and appreciate their unique contributions.

Alan Bodine
Gerson Goldhaber
Wolfgang Homburger

If we have missed an OLLI member's passing, please let us know.

Faculty Profile: Birgit Urmson

Perception and Understanding: The Grand Tour

by Diane Hersh

Birgit Urmson is uniquely qualified to help us explore the history and meaning of the experience of the Grand Tour. She has a deep background in the arts and art history, an opus which extends from documentary film to her historical novel of Madame de Stael: Germaine, and a rich and hard-won understanding of the nature of human experience.

For her, the idea of the Grand Tour extends far beyond the experiences that formed the basis of culture for upper-class Englishmen and for a few daring and exceptional women. Her introduction to the topic came from a very non-English source, the tour that Mozart's father used to bring culture to his magnificently talented but inexperienced son and to bring the world's attention to that talent. Exposure to the great cities of Europe had become a kind of obligatory graduate course for the upper crust, a way of breathing life into an education grounded in Greek and Latin classics. The tour was an exposure to art, to architecture, and to the diverse languages and ways of life of the continent, but it was often only an exposure.

With Birgit Urmson's guidance, we will be able to look beneath the veneer of knowledge by exposure to see the place in history and culture of the artifacts that the Grand Tour visited and the collected fragments and souvenirs that the tourists brought home. For the English, the tour began in Paris and she has lived and studied there. With her, we will see how the great accumulations of native and pillaged art presented an overload of information that we can learn to organize, but that the "grand tourists" could only strive to apprehend.

The English grand tourists were usually young, well-off, and accompanied by a cicerone or "bear leader," an older experienced tutor whose tasks were to keep his charge out of major trouble and to instill the basic knowledge required to appreciate the waterfall of experiences. We are not going to follow the path of the tour in a humble imitation of this process. Instead, we are going to be introduced to the meaning of structures, sculptures, paintings and architectural spaces with the informed eye of modern art history. Every piece of art, every building, every monument served a purpose at its creation and most were repurposed over time as context changed and living memories were replaced by legends. In six weeks, we cannot visit everything. We can learn to see more comprehensively and deeper, in ways that will enrich our memories and our experiences to come.

Please note: UC Berkeley Professor Morton Paley is teaching a course on Lord Byron on Tuesday mornings. Ms. Urmson's course, "The Grand Tour", is Tuesday afternoons.

Annual Fund

Thanks to the 92 households who have given to the Annual Fund and our pledges from the committee, we are 45% to our goal. If you haven't given yet, please know that your contribution is 100% tax deductible and an essential part of the OLLI budget. With your contribution and the volunteer leadership of the curriculum, membership and annual fund committees, we continue to explore ways for OLLI to grow and thrive while also containing our overhead cost. Your contribution is a signal to all--the university, foundation, and membership--that OLLI matters to you. Visit olli.berkeley.edu/support/give to contribute online or by mail.

Gift Certificates Available
Encourage a family member or friend to experience OLLI. Gift certificates are available for OLLI memberships, courses, and workshops. Download the order form or contact the OLLI office (510.642.9934) to purchase a gift certificate.

OLLI Community

Consider stopping by the School of Public Health Library to take a break between classes. The library is located on the north end of University Hall on the ground floor, near the OLLI classrooms. For library hours, see http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/PUBL/hours.html.

A new way to stay in the loop with OLLI @Berkeley is via our Facebook page. Get updates on OLLI activities and network with other OLLI members. Visit our page and click the like button at the top. (Hint: you can also use the "Find us on Facebook" link in the left-hand column.)

Interest Circle Updates
We are reading Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. We will meet again on Dec 7th for discussion.
Location: Room 41C University Hall, 2199 Addison St., Berkeley
Time: 1:00-3:00 pm
For more information, contact Dottie Kay.
There were six people at last Saturday's (Nov. 27) Matinee Movie, "The Inside Job".  We had an extended discussion afterward.
Upcoming movie dates: Dec. 18, Jan 8, 15 and 22.
For more information, contact Jane Ellison.
Reading is changing as the diversity of ways to access written material increases. Join this interest circle and explore questions relating to the reading experience; reading devices such as Kindle, Nook, and iPad; technologies such as e-ink vs. LCD; file formats (i.e., proprietary vs. open), copy protection, available catalogs or other sources, design layout and typography, bookmarks, annotations, textbooks, interactive/multimedia books, self-publishing, etc.
For more information, contact Bill Benson.

Tahéima Updates

As you read this newsletter, OLLI faculty, staff and members are arriving at Tahéima in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, to learn more about the flora, fauna and biodiversity issues of Mexico. Participants will also be engaged with Dr. Michael Thaler who will be launching a special program he has designed for Tahéima called Optimizing Health. Additionally, Aileen is guiding people in the computer lab which is equipped with brain fitness software of all kinds. OLLI members have given rave reviews for Tahéima's service, gourmet (and healthy) food, accommodations and daily massage. Don't you wish you were there? Come in January or March. Check olli.berkeley.edu/special-events/taheima for details.

The Lunch Bunch
by Lucille Poskanzer

Bangkok Noodles and Thai BBQ

1958 Shattuck Avenue, between University Avenue and Berkeley Way

Berkeley, CA 94704



This is a new place, a Berkeley branch of a San Francisco favorite, which is close to the OLLI classrooms and definitely worth a try. It is open every day for lunch and dinner and stays open very late, unusual for downtown Berkeley. It offers large portions of tasty Thai favorites, from bowls of noodle soups with your choice of noodle types to delicious stir fries, rice plates, and curries, all of them moderately priced. Lots of vegetarian options, too.

Other Announcements
Author and Winter 2011 OLLI Instructor, Gail Sheehy has a new bi-monthly column in USA Today called "New Passages." The first column appeared in November. Read it here.

OLLI-Taheima Writers Retreat artist-in-residence Elizabeth Rosner is celebrating the release of her latest book Blue Nude with events around the Bay Area. See www.elizabethrosner.com for book and event details.

OLLI member and OUTLOOK Lunch Bunch columnist Lucille Poskanzer reports that Andronico's Market offers a 5% student and educator discount every day--show your OLLI student card to qualify.

JAZZ CAFE: Discounts for OLLI members

From September 22-December 22, 2010, show your OLLI student card and get 10% off.* The Jazz Cafe is located at 2087 Addison Street, just across the street from Freight and Salvage Coffee House.

* Discount good for food and non-alcoholic beverages.