The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
Classroom and Events
Mahnoor Baker Allawala
Lucy Hong Tang
Kelsey Hannah Rich
OLLI @ Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570 Berkeley, CA 94720-1570
Summer 2014 Term
|Dip into something new this summer at OLLI -- or check out Summer Sessions on campus!|
OLLI offers five courses, each meeting for four weeks in June: Baseball, Endo's Deep River (more below), Strindberg's Works, Asian American Literature, and Mexican Cinema. Classes start June 2.
At Cal, you can choose from hundreds of courses over five UC Berkeley Summer Sessions from May 27 through August 15. Your OLLI membership allows you to audit campus courses side by side with students from across the country and around the world (some restrictions apply).
| "Getting to Know You" Survey |
|We recently sent out the biannual "Getting to Know You" survey. We have had a wonderful response to the survey, so far, and if you received one, we encourage you to complete it. This survey is currently the best way for us to learn more about OLLI's membership demographics and helps guide the future of the program. |
Bon Voyage to Berlin Travelers
Twenty-two OLLI members along with OLLI instructors Bev Crawford and Christine Schoefer (Reimagining Germany: Divided and United), and Director Susan Hoffman land in Berlin on Saturday evening, May 17, for an eight-day trip planned with Road Scholar.
CONFERENCE: Canadianizing the U.S.? - May 9
Canadianizing the United States? Public Opinion across the 49th Parallel
May 9, 2014, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
UC Berkeley International House, Golub Home Room
2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley, California 94720
This one-day conference aims to present and explain cross-national divergences and convergences in Canadian and US public opinion on issues of domestic policy and politics, with particular attention to energy and the environment, health insurance and social benefits, and immigration and diversity policies. Pre-registration is required.
More information and online registration at http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/events/canadianizing-the-us
CONFERENCE: AN AGING AMERICA - May 15
AN AGING AMERICA - Challenges & Opportunities
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Location: Hs. Lordships, Berkeley Marina (free parking)
Register by May 9!
You are invited to join the UC Berkeley Retirement Center at our biennial retiree conference offering workshops topics ranging from technology, to sexuality and intimacy, to the future of aging. Keynote speaker Jennifer Granholm, UC Berkeley Distinguished Practitioner of Law and Public Policy and Michigan's 47th governor, will present "Cracking the Code: Creating Good Jobs in America in a Global Economy."
The $35 registration fee includes a full day of workshops, program materials, breakfast and lunch, an exhibit hall with relevant and interesting vendors, and door prizes. For a detailed schedule and registration form, visit http://thecenter.berkeley.edu/special-events.shtml#Conference.
| The Lunch Bunch|
by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member
East Bay Spice Company
2134 Oxford Street, between Center and Allston Way
This two-level place is within walking distance of the OLLI classrooms. Until recently it was open only in the evenings and was known for its bar scene, with exotic cocktails and pretty good Indian food. However, it is now also open for lunch featuring delicious, fairly inexpensive Indian street food with a variety of small plates. Of course, if you want a cocktail, feel free...
Addendum: For anyone interested in my more extensive Restaurant Guide to Berkeley and Oakland, take a look at restguide.lbl.gov.
|Faculty Profile: Clare Fischer|
by Deanne Stone, OLLI member
In recent years, Clare Fischer has taught courses on the writings of Naguib Mahfouz, Patrick White, Tagore, and Alexandra David-Neel, at both OLLI @Berkeley and the Fromm Institute. What connects writers from Egypt, Australia, India, and Belgium is Fischer's scholarly research on the theme of pilgrimage in literature. This June, she will continue that exploration in a four-week course on the novel Deep River: A Tale of Memory and Loss by the Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo. Little-known in this country, Endo, who died in 1996, is one of the major Japanese writers to emerge after World War II.
The novel relates the journey of four Japanese tourists, survivors of the war, who travel together to India. Strangers at the start of the trip, they gradually reveal their painful pasts and reasons for making the pilgrimage to the Ganges, the deep river of the title.
"This is a perfect novel for older readers," says Fischer, "because all of the characters are working through memories and confronting ghosts from their pasts. In fewer than 200 pages, Endo presents a set of highly readable narratives that insist that we take seriously an interior journey as well as a physical journey. All of the pilgrims have endured tragedies and grapple with issues of identity and the restoration of memory."
Fischer's interests in pilgrimage and tourism started early in her academic career. After finishing her dissertation on the French philosopher and Christian mystic, Simone Weil, Fischer made a pilgrimage to retrace Weil's life, working backwards from her gravesite in England, to the south of France where her family had fled during World War II, and to Paris where she was born. That experience started Fischer's thinking about the meaning of pilgrimage, a subject that became a scholarly pursuit after she retired in 2005 as professor of religion and culture at the Graduate Theological Union.
"When I teach pilgrimage, I'm aware of what it speaks to in the life histories of mature people. To make a pilgrimage you have to leave home, but a pilgrimage is always about return--a round trip. My interest is in the return and homecoming."
In 1973, Fischer married Joe Fischer, then associated with Cal's Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Joe, who had taught in Burma and Indonesia, considers Java his second home. Over the years, the couple spent summers teaching in Java and Bali. Collecting traditional art, developing friendships with local artists and leading tours--all have played a role in their appreciation of Java and Bali.
"Our tours were not pilgrimages, although we took people to sites that are pilgrimages for the Javanese and Balinese. But through my travels in Indonesia and later in India, I became increasingly interested in the distinction, if any, between tourist and pilgrim."
I interviewed Fischer in her Berkeley home, which she and Joe share with their Elkhound, Astri. The house is a virtual museum of traditional Indonesian and Indian art and reflects their lifetime of study, travel, and collecting. Paintings, masks, and textiles cover the walls of the living and dining rooms, and configurations of wood and clay carvings are arranged on all the tabletops.
"Joe and I are committed to art that reflects the tradition of a culture. As a sociologist I'm interested in the subject of modernization and its impact on tradition."
After many years of teaching graduate students and more recently older adults, Fischer makes a point of describing herself as an "educator," rather than a teacher. "Teaching assumes that students attend without prior knowledge and experience. An educator knows this is not true and invites dialogue. To me, mature students are co-educators."
The does not mean that Fischer withholds her expertise. She begins each class with a mini-lecture on critical background information and then opens the class to discussion of the shared reading. "People involved in lifelong learning want social interaction and friendship. By inviting everyone to participate as co-educators, I hope they will leave the class carrying on the conversation in cafes, over lunch, and at home."
Note: Deep River is not available in local bookstores. Those intending to sign up for the class are advised to order the book online in advance to allow time for delivery
.Shusaku Endo's Deep River: A Tale of Memory and Loss
will be offered on Tuesdays, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 10 a.m.-noon as part of OLLI's Summer 2014 term.
2014 OLLI National Conference
Every 18 months, the OLLI National Resource Center holds a conference where OLLIs share best practices and lead brainstorming sessions. Each Institute brings two people, usually one staff and one volunteer leader. Mr. Bernard Osher attends and says, in his own words, that the national gathering makes him "feel like a rock star." And among higher education philanthropists, he is! Mr. Osher's advice on longevity was to exercise, watch your diet, and continue to learn. Pedometers were given out to all participants with the encouragement to walk 10,000 steps a day.
Berkeley was represented this year by Curriculum and Annual Fund committee member Jake Warner, and Director Susan Hoffman. Susan's presentation on our hearing initiative, "Now Hear This," stressed the importance of addressing the prevalence of hearing loss among our members to build an inclusive community and an accessible classroom. OLLI colleagues asked if all Berkeley volunteers were like Jake--smart and enthusiastic. California colleagues also wanted to know more about our fundraising success and OLLI staff member Talia Walsmith prepared a great packet of material to share with others.
Stanford Forum on Learning and the Lifecourse
On April 15, OLLI Director Susan Hoffman participated in a forum on learning and the lifecourse at the Stanford Graduate School of Education's hub on education's digital future. Details and a video of the forum discussion can be found at http://edf.stanford.edu/events/learning-and-life-course. Susan's talk begins at 22:16.
About the forum: The life course is changing. The extension of adolescence, lengthening lifespans, and the ever-growing demands of paid work and parenting are obliging Americans to rethink every phase of adulthood. At the same time, digital media are making it possible to radically reorganize how learning fits into the rhythms of adult lives. This forum assembles innovative thinkers in a wide range of fields to help us imagine bold recombinations of learning and the life course.
| Fee Assistance Program|
We hope you know that OLLI offers fee assistance for those who cannot otherwise afford the membership or course fees. Spread the word if you know someone who could benefit!
To apply, send a letter explaining your circumstances to OLLI F.A.P., 1925 Walnut St. #1570, Berkeley, CA 94720-1570 or apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Summer 2014, the application deadline is Friday, May 23 at 5 p.m. (Please note, fee assistance is offered only for courses that have spaces open. See the website for currently available offerings.) More info at http://olli.berkeley.edu/lib/FAQs/FAQs-FeeAssistanceProgram.pdf
| Faculty News|
Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumiere's curated dance and performance series "Dance on Center" continues to bring professional dance to the downtown Berkeley arts district. The May 3, 2014 performance will feature Lissa Resnick, Kathryn Roszak's "About the Rite," on Stravinsky, Nijinsky, and "The Rite of Spring," Choreographer Amy Seiwert's film BARN DANCE, Dalia Rawson, and guests from Ballet San Jose. Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m. at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center St, Berkeley. Info: www.dlkdance.com. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/574975.
|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
is offering a 10% discount on single tickets to OLLI members for the 2013-14 Season at Zellerbach Hall. 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. 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 |
Berkeley Open House: March 11
Lafayette Info Session: March 13
Term: March 31- May 9
Term: June 2-26
Berkeley Open House: September 9
Term: September 29 - November 7
Berkeley Open House: January 6
Term: January 26 - March 9
Term dates through the 2014-15 academic year are available at http://olli.berkeley.edu/calendar/academicCalendar.html.