OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
March 2012
2011-12 Annual Fund
High Five Celebration
Faculty Interview: Michael Thaler
Workshop with Valerie Coleman Morris
Social Activities
Seeking Class Assistants
Events of Interest
Member Benefits and Partner News
2011-12 Academic Calendar
The Lunch Bunch
Gift Certificates
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Donate to OLLI

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OLLI @Berkeley Staff
Susan Hoffman


Program Coordinator
Aileen Kim


Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine


Program Assistant 
Gerard Alcantara 


Research Assistant
Sandra von Doetinchem


Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi, Camille Enriquez, Ramare Hopkins, Justin Jackson, Sabrina Liu, Tina Savong, 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
"Getting to Know You" Survey - Deadline
All Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 members received an email link to our "Getting to Know You" survey. We last polled our membership in 2008, and we are eager to get an updated snapshot of who you are and what you are interested in. To the 342 people who have already responded--thank you! To the 550 who have yet to fill out the survey, we urge you to do so at your earliest convenience by going to your email and clicking on the survey link. Your voice is important. Printed copies are available in the classrooms if you are unable to complete the survey online. The deadline to complete the survey is next Friday, March 9, 2012.

If you have any questions, or would like the link re-sent to you, please contact the OLLI office at 510.642.9934.


2011-12 Annual Fund

This week, select classrooms are being visited by representatives from the OLLI Annual Fund committee. The Annual Fund is an essential part of OLLI's budget which, in addition to supporting core programming, is our way of demonstrating to the University and the Bernard Osher Foundation how important OLLI is to our membership.

To those who have already contributed, thank you! We have raised about $45,000 towards this year's goal of $60,000. If you have not yet made a contribution, please consider doing so at whatever level you are able. We aim to double our rate of member participation this year, and we have a ways to go.

If you are not sure if you've donated, you can visit http://olli.berkeley.edu/support/give.html to see a list of everyone who has given so far this academic year.

Make a donation


If you have any questions, please call the office at 510.642.9934.


High Five Celebration
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, from 1:30-4:00 pm
This will be a celebration of our fifth anniversary, which will include food and wine, a performance or two, and a display of OLLI member talent. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in helping with the High Five Celebration, contact Nikki Maziasz at olli_volunteer@gmail.com with "Celebration" in the subject line.

Are you a photographer, painter, singer, or other type of artist? Perhaps a writer? Share your art at the High Five Celebration. Contact Jane Neilson (jane_neilson@prodigy.net) or Allyn Saroyan (alllynsar@comcast.net) for more information.
Faculty Interview: Michael Thaler 

by Don Queen 


This spring Professor Michael Thaler returns to OLLI to teach a class entitled "Aging and the Brain," If you have ever asked "why and how the brain ages" or "why most cultures attribute wisdom to the aging," then this is the class for you. When asked to describe the class, Professor Thaler stated that since he submitted the course description, scientific developments have added new data on aging, neurology, and memory. For example, advances in computerized imaging and genetic mechanisms are leading to deeper and more accurate information about how the brain works and how and why aging affects our cognition and behavior. The class will explore current understandings of perception, memory, information processing, and emotional intelligence.  Ways of maintaining these faculties as part of successful aging will also be discussed.


Michael Thaler is professor emeritus at UC San Francisco (UCSF), where he conducts graduate seminars for medical residents and fellows. He has taught undergraduate courses on contemporary history of science, politics, and society at UC Berkeley, the Fromm Institute, and Stanford and as a visiting professor at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC). He has published extensively in the bioscientific and medical literature, and holds several prestigious scientific and public service awards. He has also taught classes for OLLI at Sonoma State and Berkeley. In 1999, after 47 years of medical training, practice, and teaching, he obtained a M.A. in History and began a second career as professor of history at UCSC.  As a community activist, he was president of The Holocaust Center of Northern California from 1982-1994 which contributed to his receiving the UCSF Chancellor's Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to Society in 2008.


When asked, he attributes his choice of a medical career to his being a Holocaust survivor.  After finishing high school in Canada, he said "since as a kid I had grown up in times of great distress and dislocation and crisis, and life and death decision-making on the part of my parents" ... "I wanted to study people with problems in normal situations." Ultimately, he left psychiatry, but it was during his residency in pathology that he identified traumatic injuries to infants because of a fatal flaw in the administration of external cardiac massage. He resolved the problem as a project in his research residency, developing a non-traumatic technique, which according to his Schwachman Award, is still standard procedure today. This resulted in the first of his over two hundred professional publications, his documentary for police and firemen, and his being flown to speak at the San Francisco meeting of the American Medical Association.


He feels that this, at the beginning of his career, may have been his most significant contribution to patient care and played a part in his recruitment in 1967 to UCSF, which resulted in his 30-year career as professor of pediatrics, chief of pediatric gastroenterology, and director of a NIH Research Training Program in pediatric gastroenterology. Professor Thaler's background in communicating medical, ethical, and other historical issues have made him a popular addition to the OLLI @Berkeley program.


Michael Thaler will be teaching "Aging and the Brain" in the Spring 2012 term on Tuesday mornings at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.


Workshop with Valerie Coleman Morris ~ April 27
Financing the New Retirement
Valerie Coleman Morris with Mary Beth Franklin
Friday, April 27, 2012
10:00 am-4:00 pm

Creating financial well-being in this recession and in retirement is the focus of this workshop, which will take place at Charles Schwab, 1995 University Ave, Ste 100, Berkeley. Valerie Coleman Morris is a former business anchor for CNN. Mary Beth Franklin is former senior editor of Kiplinger's. Space is limited. Details to follow.

Social Activities


Fourth Age Salons are an opportunity for OLLI to better understand the learning needs and interests of members over 80. Upcoming Fourth Age Salons are scheduled to take place on the following Mondays in Room 41C University Hall (2199 Addison St):

  • March 19, 3:00-4:30 pm
  • April 23, 3:00-4:30 pm

Each salon will have a specific topic with a guest speaker. Please contact research assistant Sandra von Doetinchem for more information at sandra.doetinchem@berkeley.edu.  



OLLI is recruiting new volunteers for upcoming Open Houses. If you are interested, please contact Nikki Maziasz at olli_volunteer@gmail.com with "Open House" in the subject line. 


Seeking Volunteer Class Assistants for Spring 2012 

Class Assistants primary responsibilities include:

  • Checking in OLLI members at each class
  • Keeping in touch with the OLLI Events Coordinator
  • Helping to close up the classroom after the class session (Pertains to classes held in University Hall)
Being a Class Assistant is a great way to provide much appreciated volunteer assistance to OLLI at the same time that you are taking a course.  Each class has 1 Primary Class Assistant (2 or 3 for larger classes) and a Back-up Class Assistant, who can fill in if you need to miss a class.
If you are considering volunteering as a Class Assistant for a class that you will be taking during Spring Term, please contact the OLLI Class Assistant Recruiter, Cheryl Brewster, who is also a volunteer, at olli.cahelp@gmail.com. Cheryl will contact you soon after you register for your Spring Term classes.


Events of Interest


The Jazzschool, Berkeley, will present Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumiere with Beat poet Michael McClure, visual artist Amy Evans McClure, and saxophonist George Brooks in "Mysteriosos," on Friday, March 2, at 8:00 pm. Seating is limited. Call 510.845.5373 or 510.233.5550. Purchase tickets.    



Immigration and Integration: Europe and the US ~ March 9 

This seminar considers the economic and social integration of immigrants who arrived as migrant workers in Europe and the US. It examines whether Europe-US differences reflect a trade-off between jobs and welfare - do the more flexible labor markets of America which make it easier for immigrants to get jobs but harder to access welfare benefits (more available to migrants in Europe) explain transatlantic differences in immigrant integration? Download a flyer

March 9, 2012, 10:00 am-2:00 pm, 420 Barrows Hall, EU Center, UC Berkeley



The Center for Research and Education in Aging (CREA) will hold its second Paola S. Timiras Memorial Lecture. Aubrey de Grey, PhD and Sonia Arrison will discuss if science can slow down the aging process. The current state of aging research and how recent discoveries have shed light on the mechanisms that control the rate of aging will be discussed as well as the implications of this research on society. After the lecture the audience will be able to ask questions from the speakers. Tuesday March 13, 7:00-8:00 pm, UC Berkeley. More information at crea.berkeley.edu.

Please come to a staged reading of Lynne Kaufman's play, Magician's Choice, on Thursday, March 15, at 7:30 pm, at Thickhouse, 1695 18th St, San Francisco. It's a drama about the magic of human resilience and is inspired by her brother's true story. The reading is free, donations gratefully accepted. Please reserve your seat either on line at 3girlstheatre.org or by phoning 415.480.0348. Download a flyer.


From the New York Times Travel: Flying Tips for Older Passengers


Member Benefits and Partner News


City Commons Club of Berkeley meets every Friday from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm at the Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Ave, Berkeley) to promote the lively discussion of topics of interest to San Francisco Bay Area residents. Come for lunch or just for the talk.  


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 Coffeehouse.


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

Term dates: June 5-28

Term dates through the 2012-13 academic year are available at: http://olli.berkeley.edu/calendar/academicCalendar.html.

The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer


Addison Annex Café

2107 Addison St

Berkeley, CA 94704



Many of you have walked by this very modest place without much thought, on your way to lunch somewhere else. The location is extremely close to OLLI's University Hall classrooms, very convenient for a quick coffee or gelato. But, there is a new owner now--Mounchi, who is from Morocco and is also a chef at Restaurant Palomino, on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. He and his charming wife are there during the day, preparing hearty, well -priced, and delicious sandwiches. There are pastries and drinks in addition to the gelato. The grilled Cubano sandwich is highly recommended, large enough to share. Mounchi is hoping to introduce some Moroccan specialties, and hopes that on Tuesdays and Fridays there will be kofte sandwiches added to the menu--go and check it out.


Gift Certificates
Share the sweetness of lifelong learning with a friend or loved one. Take a course together, or explore different interests and discuss what you've learned over lunch after class. Gift certificates are available for OLLI memberships, courses, and workshops. Download an order form or contact the OLLI office (510.642.9934) to purchase a gift certificate.