OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
January 2013
OLLI Announcements
Cuba Travel Program: Deadline Extended
Winter 2013 Speaker Series
Special Event: Author Reading and Talk
Faculty Profile: David Presti
Volunteer Profiles: Cheryl Brewster and Doug Jensen
Call for Class Assistants
Opportunities to meet other members by volunteering
Fourth Age Salons
Research at OLLI
Faculty in the News
On Campus
The Lunch Bunch
Member Benefits and Partner News
2012-13 Academic Calendar
Gift Certificates
Join Our Mailing List!
Donate to OLLI

Find OLLI on Facebook

Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinators
Aileen Kim (Outgoing)
Nicole Magnuson (Incoming)

Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine

Classroom and Events Coordinator
Gerard Alcantara

Research Assistant
Sandra von Doetinchem

Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi, Vickie Tran My Duong, Stephen Frianeza, Alex Lee, Sabrina Liu, BriAnne Lynn, Alexis Nya, Tina Savong, Julie Xiao, Wei Zhuo

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

OLLI Announcements
Tuesday, January 8, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Doors open at 9:30 am
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
Free | Reserve a place
Thursday, January 17, 1:30-3:00 pm
Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
Free | Reserve a place

Harry Kreisler will provide commentary on the Obama administration and the inaugural address.

Check the Contra Costa Times on January 10 for an article about OLLI and the Lafayette program.


Cuba Travel Program: Deadline Extended to January 18!
There's still time to register for the Cuba Travel Program, "The Cuban Art Revolution: Meeting the Artists and People of Cuba," a 9-day/8-night program offered in collaboration with Road Scholar.

Tuesday, March 12, to Wednesday, March 20, 2013
with UC Berkeley Professor Alex Saragoza

More information at http://olli.berkeley.edu/travel/cuba-2013.html.

To reserve a place, contact Frania Monarski now at frania.monarski@roadscholar.org or toll-free at 1.877.209.4634.


Winter 2013 Speaker Series

February 6, 13, 20, and 27

Wednesdays from 12:15-1:30 pm

Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse

2020 Addison St, Berkeley

Free to OLLI members

$10 general admission


"Riding the Next Wave"

Silicon Vally public relations icon Sylvia Paull and her guests will forecast the year's advances in the arts, culture, and technology.


Feb 6: Food: Changing the Nation's Eating Habits
Katrina Heron, Director, The Edible Schoolyard Project

Feb 13
: Future Trends in Health Care Technology
Yan Chow, Director of Innovation and Technology, Kaiser Permanente

Feb 20: TBA

Feb 27: Working in Community: Architecture, Community and Technology
David Trachtenberg, green architect and UC Berkeley graduate in architecture

Details and RSVP information will be available on our website.

Special Event: Author Reading and Talk
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
12:15-1:30 pm
Freight and Salvage Coffehouse
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
Free to OLLI members
$10 general admission

UC Berkeley Professor of Scandinavian and OLLI instructor Linda Rugg will introduce and interview award-winning Swedish author Anne Swärd, who will read from her novel Breathless (in English translation).


Faculty Profile: David Presti
by Don Queen

This winter, David Presti returns to OLLI to teach a unique and imaginative class entitled "Dimensions of Silence in the Human Experience." He brings to OLLI two decades of experience as a neurobiologist and cognitive scientist as well as ten years as a clinical psychologist. Each class will feature a speaker who will explore the role of silence in disciplines such as film, art, music, language, and neuropsychology. The class will be located at the site of the "Silence" exhibit by the program co-presenter, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). The class will also have the benefit of intergenerational input with participation of students from his undergraduate course, "Introduction to Neuroscience."

Presti has taught popular graduate and undergraduate classes as part of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley for over twenty years and has won several teaching awards, including the Golden Apple Award.

His primary research interest is the relation between mental phenomena (such as what is called consciousness) and brain physiology, the so-called mind-body problem. He explains that "for a long time I've been interested in the nature of mind and consciousness. Where does this capacity to think and feel and perceive in the way that we do, where does it come from?"

He states, "From very early on I knew that I wanted to study science and work in science to study natural phenomena and understand and help make things better through that understanding. My dad was a chemist for a pharmaceutical company and worked on antibiotics and I was inspired by that ... so when I went to college I studied chemistry, and then I got interested in physics and mathematics and ... at that time I was particularly interested in the study of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I was wondering how someone like Einstein could sit in their office, their room, and invent a theory that described the whole universe. How is that possible? So I got very interested in the nature of mind and consciousness: how we humans have the capacity to be able to think these things and do these things."

Still interested in "how Einstein could do this," he left Indiana to attend the Caltech graduate program in theoretical physics--"Einstein relativity stuff"--but switched to molecular biology when advised by a "well-known molecular biologist" to study biology and learn more about the evolution and the nervous system, topics very relevant to his interest. "So I switched from physics to molecular biology and did my doctorate in molecular biology and went on to do neurobiology and experimental psychology and another doctorate at the University of Oregon in clinical psychology."

Presti worked as a clinical psychologist for over ten years for the San Francisco VA Medical Center treating drug and alcohol addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder and then, in the 90s, he began teaching at Cal.

Since 2004, he has been making regular trips to Asia and teaching neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India as part of a dialogue inspired by the Dalai Lama between contemplative practitioners of various sorts of meditation and Western scientists. He feels meditation practices are another way of gaining access to inner experience and collecting knowledge about the nature of the mind.

The previous classes he has taught for OLLI are "Brain, Mind, Perception, and Consciousness" and "This is Your Brain on Plants." For the "Silence" course, he will give the lecture, "Silence as a Hallucinogen," describing the human ear as an instrument constantly bathed in sounds of all kinds. He says that in the absence of sound, brain activity lacks certain constraint and the mind is free to wander.

So don't let your mind wander! Sign up for "Dimensions of Silence in the Human Experience" on Thursdays, 1:15 to 3:15 pm, from January 31-March 7, 2013 at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant Ave, Berkeley.


Volunteer Profiles: Cheryl Brewster and Doug Jensen
Cheryl Brewster
Cheryl Brewster
Cheryl Brewster
Where were you born?
I was born in Syracuse, New York, but lived my entire life in Chicago, Illinois, until moving to the Bay Area two-and-a-half years ago.
How long have you been a member of OLLI @Berkeley? Continuously since moving to Berkeley in September 2010.
What are your hobbies? I'm an avid day-hiker, hiking eight to ten miles each weekend. I also love to read.
What was the last OLLI course you took, or your favorite one? I have too many favorites to mention them all, but a few standouts have been Tamim Ansary's course on Afghanistan (fabulous!), a course on the European Union, and Amelia Barili's courses on meditation and other mind-body practices.
What roles have you had as an OLLI volunteer? I initially began volunteering as a Class Assistant and I have served as the Class Assistant Recruiter since January 2012.
What do you like most about being an OLLI volunteer? There are many aspects of volunteering that I enjoy, such as the opportunity to meet and get to know new people, many of them on a personal level, the opportunity to get to know some of my instructors, and the knowledge that as a volunteer, I am helping to keep OLLI running smoothly.

Doug Jensen
Where were you born? I was born in the town of  Walla Walla, Washington.
How long have you been a member of OLLI @Berkeley? I have been a member of OLLI for three years.
What are your hobbies? My hobbies include maintaining my fitness, primarily through swimming, reading, and volunteering at my church and with The Senior Center Without Walls in Oakland.
What was the last OLLI course you took, or your favorite one? My favorite course was the class on Mark Twain with Linda Rugg.
What roles have you had as an OLLI volunteer? I have volunteered as the class assistant for many of the courses I have taken and I enjoy helping out in other areas where I can.


Call for Class Assistants
Class Assistants are an important part of the OLLI program and are needed every term to help with check in and closing up classrooms. If you would like to volunteer or know more about what a Class Assistant (CA) does, please contact CA Recruiter Cheryl Brewster at olli.cahelp@gmail.com. Be sure to provide your name and the courses you are registered for. You'll be contacted based on your class selections.


Opportunities to meet other members by volunteering
We are looking for energetic and engaged OLLI members who want  to meet other members and to promote our community of lifelong learners through outreach and good will. YOU can help by volunteering in the classroom, at Open House, with end-of-term parties, distributing brochures or flyers, ushering at events, or becoming an ambassador at outreach events such as Cal Homecoming or the Solano Stroll. Time commitments range from 20 minutes per class to 2-3 hours at events. Get involved and participate in OLLI's success. We need your time and talent.

If you would like to sign up or learn more, sign up here or call the OLLI office at 510.642.9934.

Fourth Age Salons
Are you an OLLI member 80 years of age or older? The Fourth Age Salon is an opportunity for OLLI to better understand your learning needs and interests. All participants must be Annual members. If you haven't registered yet for the year, call 510.642.9934.

Next meeting:
Monday, January 14, 3:00-4:30 pm

Room 41B University Hall, 2199 Addison St, Berkeley

RSVP to Sandra von Doetinchem at 510.642.9407.


Research at OLLI: Did you know that....
The OLLI National Resource Center discovered in its latest study that course evaluations and the opportunity for the OLLI members to give feedback on their learning experiences are crucial for building a community.

OLLI @Berkeley regards course evaluations as essential tools to improve our work. Last term we increased our response rate by more than 15%, to an incredible 71%. We want to thank you all for taking the time to provide us with your feedback and making a such a great lifelong learning community possible!

Faculty in the News
Morris Fiorina, a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a guest speaker in the Winter 2013 course "Polarization and Governing the American Electorate" speaks out on gun control in the SF Chronicle article Gun-control compromise called likely.

On Campus
Paola S. Timiras Memorial Award for Aging Research: Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D
Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 4:00-5:00 pm
Genetics and Plant Biology Building (Auditorium 100)
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn will accept the first Paola S. Timiras Memorial Award for Aging Research. After the awards ceremony, Dr. Blackburn will give a lecture related to aging research with an opportunity for Q&A following the lecture. More information at http://crea.berkeley.edu.

The Lunch Bunch
During the Fall-Winter OLLI break, ten to twelbe of us have been meeting every few weeks for an OLLI Lunching Adventure. The company has been friendly, the conversation lively, and we've enjoyed some good food. Here are the places we have visited so far--they are not near the OLLI classrooms, but they are not that far away for lunch when you are not in class, or for dinner. All of them are very moderately priced.

Cambodian: Phnom Penh House Restaurant, 251 8th St, between Harrison and Jackson Streets in Oakland's Chinatown

Indonesian: Padi Restaurant, 2965 College Ave, near Ashby Ave, Berkeley

Indo-Nepalese: Aangan, 856 San Pablo Ave, near Solano Ave, Albany

Member Benefits and Partner News
Berkeley City Commons Friday Lunch Talks
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 Bay Area residents. Come for lunch or just for the talk. For upcoming programs, visit: http://www.citycommonsclub.org/UpcomingPrograms.html

Berkeley Symphony offers $5 discount to OLLI members
OLLI members for the 2012-2013 year can receive a $5 discount on single advance purchase tickets at the Berkeley Symphony for advance tickets. Use the discount code olli2013. More info.

Berkeley Arts and Letters: 50% Discount
Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members on advance tickets purchased through their website. Visit http://berkeleyarts.org for more information. 

Jazz Cafe: 10% Discount
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.


2012-13 Academic Calendar
Open House: January 8
Term: January 28-March 11
Holiday: February 18

Open House: March 12
Term: April 1-May 10

Courses: June 4-27

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


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.