OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
November 2011
Last Chance to Register as Annual Member!
Winter Schedule
OLLI Announcements
Interest Circles
Faculty Interview: Ronelle Alexander
Fourth Age Salons
Lafayette Lecture
On Campus and Around Town
The Lunch Bunch
Member Benefits and Partner News
2011-12 Academic Calendar
Gift Certificates
Join Our Mailing List!
Donate to OLLI

Find OLLI on Facebook

OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman
Program Coordinator
Aileen Kim
Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine
Classroom Coordinator
Rosina "RJ" Bruno
Research Assistant
Sandra von Doetinchem
Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi, Camille Enriquez, Justin Jackson, Tamar Lee, Katherine Van Zalen, Suna Wilkerson
OLLI @Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570
Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
tel. 510.642.9934
fax. 510.642.2202


Please note that due to changes in credit card regulations, effective immediately, the OLLI office can no longer take credit card payments by phone or mail, or in person. Registration options include:
  • Register online and pay by credit card
  • Register by mail or in person and pay by check
We recognize that this may pose challenges to some of our members and are working hard to minimize the inconvenience. We are, as always, happy to answer your questions about the program or registration procedure.

If you have any questions about registering online, please call us at 510.642.9934.

NOTE: If you plan to register at the Open House, bring your checkbook.


Last Chance to Register as Annual Member!
Annual memberships are available during Fall term only, and include membership for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms, ($50 each for Single Term memberships.)

In addition to course offerings in Winter and Spring, there are Fall-Winter Interest Circles (beginning November 15), a lecture series scheduled for the Spring term, and Interest Circles and Summer Sessions Auditing during the Summer term.

Annual membership is our best bargain and is available until November 15. Register online or call the OLLI office at 510.642.9934.


Preview of Winter Schedule Available
Download a PDF of the Winter 2012 schedule. Course descriptions will be posted to the website in the coming weeks.

Registration will begin on Friday, November 18, for All-inclusive members, and Monday, November 21, for all others.


OLLI Announcements


Come to the OLLI Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 7, from 11:00 am-1:00 pm, Room 150 University Hall (2199 Addison St). Bring a dish to share, OLLI will provide drinks. All are welcome to celebrate the season.   


OFFICE CLOSURE ~ Dec 19-Jan 1 

The OLLI office will be closed from December 19, 2011-January 1, 2012. It will still be possible to register for the Winter 2012 term online during that period.

Interest Circles

Are you interested in continuing to explore a class topic with other members? Consider forming an Interest Circle or joining one of the proposed groups. See details on the Interest Circles webpage. Members will set up the group's schedule at the first meeting. Interest Circles will start meeting on Tuesday, November 15, and will continue until January 12, 2012. You must be a current member to participate. Contact Allyn Saroyan at allynsar@comcast.net or the the OLLI office if you have questions


Faculty Interview: Ronelle Alexander
by Cheryl Brewster


Ronelle Alexander, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at UC Berkeley will be teaching "The Complex Cultural Identify of the Balkans" in the Winter 2012 term. Professor Alexander brings a rich background to this course with a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from Harvard University, extended experience in this academic area, and over 30 years of specialization in Balkan studies at UCB. She first encountered the music and dance of the Balkan region through her participation in folk dancing in the 1960s. These interests led her to visit the countries and immerse herself in the people, their history, and their culture. Through this interaction, she formed an emotional attachment to this area which preceded and then augmented her academic focus.


Professor Alexander acknowledges that when one hears about the many Balkan countries... not just the newly separate countries of what used to be Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo) but also the neighboring Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Albania...there is a tendency to think about the fierce nationalism and violent ethnic disputes in this area, particularly the conflicts of the 1990s. However, she intends to present how elements of the complex cultural identify of the peoples of this area can potentially unify them instead of being used as tools to divide them.


Although suggested readings will include information on historical background, the course will provide a comparative, multi-perspective cultural approach rather than a historical focus. The many Balkan systems of belief, languages, cuisine, folklore, music, and customs have risen from a long periods of early convergence and later divergence within this divided region. Interestingly, these areas of cultural commonality from shared historical experience may potentially break down borders and barriers.


Professor Alexander hopes that students will take away an increased appreciation of how recognition and understanding of cultures can provide a means to help prevent conflict and bring about reconciliation and stabilization. As citizens of an increasingly globally connected world we must be able to define and understand ourselves in terms of commonalities instead of differences to maximize the potential of new relationships and enhance cooperation. Learning about different cultures can promote this end.

This winter, Ron
elle Alexander will be teaching "The Complex Cultural Identity of the Balkens" on Tuesdays from 1:00-3:00 pm.


Fourth Age Salon
We will hold the next Fourth Age Salon on:
  • Monday, November 14, 3:00-4:30 pm, Room 41B University Hall (2199 Addison St)  
If you have any questions, please contact Research Assistant Sandra von Doetinchem by email at sandra.doetinchem@berkeley.edu or by phone at 510.642.9934 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Lafayette Lecture

Lafayette Library and Learning Center

3491 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
$10 general admission at the door, Free for OLLI  members with ID

More info | Reserve a place    


Thursday, November 17, 1:30-3:00 pm
Medicine in an Era of Health Care Reform
Michael Thaler


Dramatic advances in molecular biology and telemedicine, combined with the introduction of electronic data systems and comparative effectiveness criteria, are transforming traditional medical practice into 'personalized medicine.' In this lecture, we examine the practical and ethical aspects of this new medical paradigm and how it relates to 'patient protection and affordable care,' the contrasting twin goals of ongoing health care reforms.    


Michael Thaler, M.D., trained in medicine, pediatrics, and history of health sciences. He has authored over 200 scientific and clinical articles and received prestigious awards for his medical research.


On Campus and Around Town


Please take a look at David Brooks column in The New York Times from Thursday, October 27, titled "The Life Report." In it, he is asking that individuals over 70 send him a brief report on their lives so far, which he will then use as the basis for his columns around Thanksgiving....AND as many of the essays as possible will be posted online. Instructions for sending the essays to him are included in his column.


This is a terrific opportunity for OLLI members who are over 70 to put in a plug for lifelong learning, talk about your own learning journeys, and hopefully mention OLLI @Berkeley. Many people still have no idea about the depth and breadth of lifelong learning opportunities that are available, or the demand from active and educated older adults to stay engaged in learning and community. _______________________________________

City Commons Club of Berkeley meets every Friday from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm to promote the lively discussion of topics of interest to San Francisco Bay area residents. Learn more and see the schedule of events.



Check out Ken Goldberg's Art, Technology, and Culture lecture series offered over the academic year with several talks in the fall semester.


The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer


Lox Stock & Bagel

2943 Allston Way, Berkeley (between Shattuck Ave and Harold Way)



This small place, next to the downtown YMCA and across from the Main Berkeley Post Office, is a hidden gem for those of you who are looking for moderate prices, a great salad bar, a build-your-own sandwich station, or just some delicious soup and a smoothie. There are lots of bagel choices, too, which are made to order with a variety of spreads and toppings. The delicious breakfast bagel is recommended for early birds. Open only for breakfast and lunch, it is unfortunately often crowded with Berkeley High students or local office workers, but if you go early or a little later, you can have a tasty and healthy lunch.


Member Benefits and Partner News

50% Discount at Berkeley Arts and Letters  

Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members. Visit http://berkeleyarts.org for more information.

Jazz Cafe: 10% Discount for OLLI members
Ongoing through the Spring term, show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages. The Jazz Cafe is located at 2087 Addison Street, just across the street from Freight and Salvage Coffee House.


2011-12 Academic Calendar
Open House: Tuesday, January 17
Term dates: January 30-March 12
Holiday (no classes): February 20

Open House: Tuesday, March 20
Term dates: April 2-May 11

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.