OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
November 2013
Fall 2013 Speaker Series
OLLI Announcements
Annual Fund Update
OLLI Annual Report
Faculty Profile: Anne Hruska
Volunteer Profile: Jean Gleason
Fourth Age Salon
Report: Curriculum Committee Open Meeting
Faculty News
The Lunch Bunch
OLLI's Idea Box
Member Benefits
OLLI Academic Calendar
Join Our Mailing List

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OLLI Staff
 Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Nicole Magnuson

Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine

Classroom and Events 
Gerard Alcantara

Research Assistant
Chelsea Crown

Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi
Chelsea Crown
Stephen Frianeza
Tammy Huynh
Hansen Ling 
David Lu
Brianne N Lynn
Alexis S Nya-Kemajou
Kelsey Hannah Rich
Lucy Hong Tang
Julie Xiao
Winnie Wei Zhuo

OLLI @ Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570 Berkeley, CA94720-1570
tel. 510.942.9934
fax. 510.642.2202

Check out the schedule and course descriptions, or go directly to the online registration form. Note: Some classes are full and others are filling, so don't wait to register!


Winter courses start on January 27 and run through March 10, 2014.


Offerings include 17 courses (including three in Lafayette), seven workshops, several new faculty, and much more!


We look forward to seeing you this winter!


Fall 2013 Speaker Series
Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m.  Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
Free to OLLI members, UCB faculty, staff, and students (with ID)
$10 general admission
More info |
RSVP online

November 6 

Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter

Johan Cederlund, Swedish art historian, author, and museum director 
Note: This lecture coincides with the exhibit "Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter," which opens November 9 at the Legion of Honor.
OLLI Announcements

More Days in Lafayette!

This winter, OLLI will be increasing our presence in Lafayette with three courses offered over two days: War, Peace, and the Media, with war correspondent Reese Erlich on Tuesday afternoons, and The History of the Symphony and German Literature and Film of the Weimar Republic on Thursdays.


Catalonia Trip Postponed

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Catalonia trip with Alex Saragoza will not take place this spring. If you are interested in learning of future travel opportunities with OLLI, sign up on our email list to receiv
e travel program updates. 

Email Forum for OLLI Members -- Coming Soon!
The Member Services Committee has been testing a free email-based service that will permit OLLI members to share information, organize gatherings, or just stay connected. Members will be able to participate using their personal email service and participation will be optional. Look for more information about this exciting OLLI member service in future newsletters. 

Winter Party -- Save the Date!
Winter festivities are around the corner. OLLI's Annual Winter Potluck Extravaganza for the membership will take place on Thursday, December 12, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Location TBA. 

Annual Fund Update

The 2013-14 Annual Fund is launched! All OLLI members are invited to become member-donors to support the work we do throughout the year. It's easy to donate online


If you are at least 70.5 years old, you can provide a contribution to OLLI from traditional or Roth IRA's annuities without having to pay taxes. Learn more.


Thank you!


OLLI Annual Report
We hope you will take a few moments to read through this past year's accomplishments. Consider thanking your friends who have been donors. And importantly, since you have helped build it, ponder what this learning community means to you and how you would like to become involved this year. Thank you for another year of engaged learning.

Faculty Profile: Anne Hruska

by Deanne Stone, OLLI member


Anne Hruska remembers the exhilaration of falling in love with 19th-century Russian literature. She hopes the students taking her Russian Literature class will have the same experience--perhaps for the second time--for those who read the great Russian writers in college.


A self-described "literature geek" when she was still in high school, Hruska was immersed in British and American literature. Her ideas about fiction changed when she was introduced to Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. "Their novels opened the door to a new world of literature," she says. "The characters in these novels lived and talked like real people, and the writing was so beautiful and deeply complex."


Hruska earned her doctoral degree in Slavic Languages and Literature at UC Berkeley.

Her dissertation, Infected Families: Outsider Figures in the Works of Leo Tolstoy, explored the portrayal of family life in Tolstoy's works and his concerns about outside political and social forces that threatened the traditional family. The topic was inspired by Tolstoy's obscure play, The Infected Family, which reflected his anger over challenges to the traditional family structure from radical thinkers of the 1860s. "Tolstoy's mother died when he was two. The instability of his childhood influenced his thinking about preserving the stability and safety of the traditional family." The canon of the family novel continues to be a focus of Hruska's scholarly research.


In 2003, Hruska spent a year in Russia teaching American Literature and Culture at the Pedagogical Institute in Saratov, a military city few foreigners visit. Hruska didn't find Russians who spoke like the characters in the novels she admired, but she did notice a difference between Russians' and Americans' conversations. "Russians tend to be more open and direct in discussing what is painful, sad, and frightening in their personal lives. Americans tend to talk around or duck these topics all together."


Hruska's stay in Saratov coincided with the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, which further intensified Russians' anti-American sentiments. "It was a complicated time. I had a lot of explaining to do about our country. It was hard to be seen as personal ambassador for the US and a symbol of America."


Hruska has also taught at the University of Missouri and at Stanford. For the past five years, she has taught Russian literature courses in Stanford's Continuing Studies Program. Working as an independent scholar and lecturer allows for a manageable balance between her academic pursuits and caring for her two children, ages six and four.


The readings for the OLLI course include Queen of Spades (Pushkin)The Nose and The Overcoat (Gogol), First Love (Turgenev), Bobok and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (Dostoevsky), and The Lady with the Dog and Ward 6 (Chekhov)."I think my skill as a teacher is giving students a framework for reading Russian literature in a more complex way. These readings should give students a good taste of Russian literature and provoke strong reactions--joy, irritation, or even disagreements with the authors." Hruska looks forward to lively class discussions.


Anne Hruska will teach Russian Literature at OLLI on Mondays, 10 a.m.-noon, beginning January 27, 2014.

Volunteer Profile: Jean Gleason

Jean Gleason I originally came to Berkeley for Cal--it was inexpensive and the BEST! After graduating, I lived in many places during my long exile in the east but I always wanted to return. When I finally did get back to the Bay Area four-and-a-half years ago, I found OLLI. I had heard whispers about OLLI in other places so I immediately signed up.


Loving photography led to David Casuto's workshops. I am developing a native plant and herb garden, so I took Topher Delaney's class The History, Culture, and Design of Sanctuary Gardens. I enjoy all these opportunities to take classes where I know nothing about the subject--and there are no exams!


As the (retired) director of a volunteer center for many years, as well as for other nonprofit agencies, becoming a volunteer is second nature. I also volunteer for Read Aloud, a program in Richmond City Schools and am Board President at the 450 member Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley where I am becoming an activist in Immigration Justice. Volunteering helps me get past those awkward times when going into a group where I know no one, and it is a great way to meet people and to find out what is going on.

Fourth Age Salon
MOOCs: What A Plant Knows

The next Fourth Age Salon will be on Monday, November 18, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in University Hall, Room 101 (2199 Addison St., Berkeley)


To continue our exploration of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), please enroll in and begin taking the course What A Plant Knows.


Play around with the course lectures, quizzes, and discussion forum and keep track of any thoughts, feelings, technical difficulties, feedback, and ideas you may have. Please write these reflections down and bring these notes to the Salon.


David Anderson has generously made himself available to assist with any technical difficulties that may arise in taking the course. His contact information is: dalava1@yahoo.com or 510-315-8816.


Contact OLLI research assistant Chelsea Crown (chelseacrown@berkeley.edu) with any other questions.

Report: Curriculum Committee Open Meeting

The first Curriculum Committee Open Meeting on October 11 was attended by Curriculum Committee members, representatives from other OLLI committees, and several members who came to speak on behalf of themselves and others.

The discussion was rich and warm and included an explanation of the curriculum development process from course idea to course offering, and some of the key considerations in balancing the program each term.

The members who attended expressed a desire for more focused learning and specifically for small, in-depth literature courses. We also heard about the importance of OLLI's performing arts courses as a curatorial window into the Bay Area's cultural offerings.

OLLI looks forward to hosting more meetings of this nature, with the next one possibly as soon as the Winter term. 

Faculty News

Larry Bensky invites you to attend the Radio Proust event Remembrance of Things Proust: 100th Anniversary of Swann's Way on Thursday, November 14, 7-10 p.m. at St John's Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705. More information.


OLLI instructor and San Francisco State Professor of Holistic Health Erik Peper shares some valuable resources in his latest blog post Free resources: Your Healing Journey and Information on Complementary and Alternative Medicine


OLLI instructor Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumiere invites you to two open rehearsals: 1) "Dance on Center," featuring a new work celebrating the "Rite of Spring," Sunday, November 3 at 2 p.m. at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center St, Downtown Berkeley. 2) Open Rehearsal of a new work celebrating "Schubertiana" by Swedish Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Tranströmer, on Sunday, November 10 at 2 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut, 530 Bush Street, San Francisco. See www.dlkdance.com for admission and details, or call 510-233-5550.

The Lunch Bunch
By Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member


El Burro Picante

2021 University Ave., between Shattuck Ave. and Milvia St.

Berkeley, CA 94704



Just a short distance from the OLLI classrooms, this "Spicy Donkey" is a down-home taqueria with delicious generously portioned Mexican food at low prices. It offers the usual array of quesadillas, burritos, tacos, tostada salads, and nachos, along with beer and wine, served with warmth and a smile. Order at the counter for a quick and tasty meal. Be aware that spicy means spicy! Open every day until midnight, it's a fun place when you are looking for something informal.

OLLI's Idea Box
Have a great idea for an OLLI course? Have you heard someone speak who would be an interesting instructor? Do you know an organization who would provide a discount to OLLI members? Please share your ideas using this link and we will forward to the appropriate staff or committee for consideration.
Member Benefits
Berkeley Symphony: 10% Discount 
Berkeley Symphony is offering a 10% discount on single tickets to OLLI members for the 2013-14 Season at Zellerbach Hall. The season opened on October 3. Call the box office and identify yourself as an OLLI member when you order your tickets.

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 Caffe: 10% Discount 
Show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages (when ordered with food). The Jazz Caffe is located at 2087 Addison Street, just across the street from Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse. You can order ahead by stopping in on your way to class or over the phone at 510.883.0231. Check out their menu: http://www.jazzcaffe.biz/caffe.htm
OLLI Academic Calendar
FALL 2013
Berkeley Open House: Sep 10
Term: Sep 30-Nov 8

Berkeley Open House: Jan 7
Lafayette Info Session: Jan 9
Term: Jan 27-Mar 10

Berkeley Open House: March 11
Lafayette Info Session: TBA
Term: March 31-May 9

Term dates through the 2013-14 academic year are available at http://olli.berkeley.edu/calendar/academicCalendar.html.