OLLI OUTLOOK August 2014 

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Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Nicole Magnuson

Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine

Program Assistant
Talia Walsmith
tel. 510.642.9934
Fall Registration Is Open
We at OLLI extend a big thanks to you, our members--past, present, and future--for being wonderful partners in transitioning to our new website and registration system. This is a major achievement for our organization and will help us better support you for years to come.

Fall registration is underway and some classes are close to filling. Take a look at the course offerings and, when you are ready to register, read this Step-by-Step Guide to the new registration system. Remember: You must complete payment for your membership before registering for courses. Call 510-642-9934 for assistance.

Course syllabi are being posted as they become available. Check the course pages for syllabus links, where you will also find faculty profiles and YouTube videos, when available.

Berkeley Open House

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse

2020 Addison St, Berkeley

Doors open at 9:30 a.m.,
program starts at 10 a.m.

Complimentary coffee.

Free. Sign up online.



Lafayette Info Session

Thursday, September 11, 2014

3:00-4:30 p.m.

 Hear from instructors who will be teaching in Lafayette. 

Lafayette Library and Learning Center

3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard

Free. Sign up online.

Faculty Profile: Peter Richardson
Peter Richardson
Walk Backwards Down a Musical Highway
by Franette Armstrong, OLLI member


There is a road, no simple highway,

Between the dawn and the dark of night...


How does a band that hasn't played together for nearly twenty years, with only one Top 10 hit to its name, remain the focus of weekly radio programs, websites, new books, and scholarly papers?


That's the question Peter Richardson will address in his new OLLI course this Fall, No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead, marking the 50th anniversary of the dawning of the folk/blues/rock/bluegrass band.


Whether you missed The Summer of Love and all that grew out of it, or you are a die-hard Deadhead, this class will give you insights into the band, their music, and why they continue to influence Bay Area culture and far beyond. 


A 30-year Road Trip

From the group's founding in 1965 to Jerry Garcia's death in 1995, "The Dead" performed more live concerts than any other band in that era, crisscrossing the highway of American culture in a journey that, according to Dr. Richardson, was a "coherent artistic project, created over 30 years, that can be traced directly to the Bay Area art scene in the 1950s and the values it brought to artists that followed..."


"Their journey was far from simple," says Dr. Richardson, who has written a book by the same title as the course (St. Martins Press, coming this fall).  "Like many Americans at the time, they fell in love with the open road-the new transcontinental highway system-and toured relentlessly, setting up a migration pattern that their fans could count on year after year." 


Insider Guests

In his upcoming course, Dr. Richardson will host guest speakers with unique perspectives on the group:

  • Nicholas Meriwether, the Dead's founding archivist at UC Santa Cruz

  • Rosie McGee, whose photographic memoir details her travel with the group as ad hoc photographer and as bassist Phil Lesh's girlfriend

  • Blair Jackson, Jerry Garcia's biographer

  • David Gans, who hosts the Wednesday radio show "Dead to the World" on KPFA

"I want to show that the Dead were much more than a simplistic symbol of the psychedelic '60s," he said. "They inspired our culture with their quest for transcendence, their romance of the open road, and their desire to build and nurture a community."


Sonic Wallpaper  

Dr. Richardson came late to the Dead--only five years ago. "It was sonic wallpaper when I was growing up; my older brother was playing the music constantly," he recalled, but it wasn't until years later when he was sitting on a panel at the Oakland museum with David Gans that he caught "Dead fever." "David gave me some readings and the next thing I knew, I had inhaled a dozen books, attended the Grateful Dead Scholar's Caucus, and was off on a book project of my own." It was Andy Ross, who owned Cody's Books for thirty years, who gave Richardson's proposal to St. Martin's Press, resulting in the imminent publication of his fourth book.

Dr. Richardson attended UC Berkeley as an undergrad, received his BA at UC Santa Barbara, and later returned to Cal for his PhD. He lives in Richmond and has two daughters, one just returning from a year in Turkey as a Fulbright Scholar and the other a graduate student at the University of Texas, Austin. He has taught at SF State, UC Berkeley, and OLLI.

Peter Richardson will teach No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead on Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m., October 1-November 5.
Volunteer Profile: Susan Sperber
by Gale Lederer, OLLI member

Susan Sperber, OLLI volunteer extraordinaire, transplanted herself from New York to San Francisco in 1967-during the Summer of Love.  Eventually, she settled in Oakland and began a twenty-nine year career at Hawthorne School, once considered Oakland's second-lowest  performing school.  But as teacher, assistant principal, and then as principal, she helped turn the school around until it now ranks as one of the city's best.

Susan says that when she first retired two years ago, she didn't know what to do with her retirement--but she's clearly figured that out fast.  Upon discovering OLLI, she became an all-inclusive member and took fourteen classes during her first year.  She currently serves on OLLI's Membership Services Committee.  She helped organize our 2014 Membership Meeting, coordinated our most recent Happy Hour and will coordinate volunteers for our upcoming September Open House.  She also coordinates PAEOLLI, our very active Performing Arts Enthusiasts interest group, and keeps its grateful members well informed about the Bay Area's wealth of cultural events.  Susan also takes tai chi, Zumba, aqua-aerobics, yoga, and ballet at her local YMCA.  Furthermore, she participates in a book club, travels, and goes to the theatre and on other outings-often with the PAEOLLI group.

"At work, you're surrounded by many people," Susan tells us.  "But when you retire-not so much.  It's easy when you retire to get old.  But when you take classes and volunteer at OLLI, you meet great people and you don't get old."  The OLLI community is certainly blessed  by Susan's willingness to share so much of her expertise and enthusiasm with us.

Fall 2014 Speaker Series
OLLI's Fall Speaker Series takes place in downtown Berkeley. OLLI @Berkeley members and UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students (with OLLI @Berkeley or UC Berkeley ID) attend for free. General admission tickets are $10 in advance (non-refundable) or at the door. Purchase tickets or reserve your space online.

(Note: If this is your first time purchasing tickets or registering for a program on the new website, you will be asked to create an account, even if you are a returning OLLI member. If you plan to join OLLI this fall, purchase your membership before registering for the speaker series to qualify for free tickets.)

Wednesday, October 8, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The Supreme Court's Last Term
Marshall Krause, William Sokol
We will review the blockbuster decisions of 2014 and how they will be implemented throughout the country (specific cases to be announced). ... continue reading

Wednesday, October 15, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Ukraine: A Battle for the Future of Europe
Yuriy Gorodnichenko
Professor Gorodnichenko, a native of Ukraine, is an applied macroeconomist. He has published widely on broad array of key topics covering ... continue reading

Wednesday, October 22, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Making Art from History: FSM's 50th Anniversary
Bruce Barthol, Lynne Hollander Savio, Marge Betley
Stagebridge Senior Theatre's creative team, with Lynne Hollander Savio (widow of Mario Savio, Stagebridge actor and FSM musical community ... continue reading

Wednesday, October 29, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The Causes of Wrongful Conviction
Justin Brooks
Professor Brooks will talk about why people are wrongfully convicted and use case examples from his work www.californiainnocenceproject.org. ... continue reading

New Berkeley MOOC: The Science of Happiness
Starts September 9, 2014 - Register Now!

An unprecedented free online course exploring the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Co-taught by the GGSC's Dacher Keltnerand Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Up to 16 CE credit hours available.


OLLI will hold a discussion for those taking the MOOC on Tuesday, September 16, 12:00 p.m. in University Hall Room 41A.


The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member 


Botella Republic

2055 D Center St., between Shattuck Ave. and Milvia St. 

Berkeley CA 94704




This is not a place for lunch, it is a welcoming and charming wine shop and tasting studio featuring Northern California wines, beers, and meads paired with seasonal and delicious tapas and charcuterie. It is very near the OLLI classrooms, and perfect for an after-class respite or meet up. During the week it opens at 4: 00 p.m., but on the weekends it opens earlier--however, it is wise to phone ahead to check. The motto is wine for the people by the people, and it is worth a try for something special right downtown.
Member Benefits

Members of OLLI @Berkeley have access to the full range of OLLI programming and receive a Student ID card that is honored for discounts at a variety of campus and community locations.  

OLLI members age 50 and over will receive a $10 discount on a $50 Senior Citizen annual membership at CAA.
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OLLI members can join the UC Botanical Garden as Cal Affiliates (see Cal Affiliate Membership) and save $15 on an $55 annual membership.

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Show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages (when ordered with food).
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Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members on advance tickets purchased through their website.
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Berkeley Symphony is offering a 10% discount on single tickets to OLLI members for the 2014-15 Season at Zellerbach Hall.
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San Francisco Opera is pleased to offer OLLI members a special 30% discount on select dates of their seven fall operas.

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OLLI @Berkeley is a stimulating community of inquiring adults, age 50 and above, exploring new areas of knowledge and traditional disciplines through courses, lectures, and events.

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