November 2014

  [ HOME ]     [ HOW TO JOIN ]     [ COURSES ]  
Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn   Pinterest 

Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Nicole Magnuson

Program Assistant
Talia Walsmith

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Interim Communications Coordinator
Aileen Kim
tel. 510.642.9934
Travel Study Info Sessions

History and Art in Berlin

with Cecilia O'Leary and Tony Platt from June 13-21, 2015:  


Thursday, November 13, 4-5 p.m.
Room 41B, University Hall, 2199 Addison St., Berkeley 
Hear about the trip, meet the faculty, and enjoy light refreshments. 
Information will also be available at the Lafayette Winter 2015 Info Session:
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 3-4:30 p.m.
Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mt Diablo Blvd., Lafayette


Winter 2015 Open House and Info Session 
Winter 2015 Open House
Tuesday, January 6, 10 a.m.-12 noon
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley (Doors open at 9:30 a.m.)

Lafayette Info Session
Thursday, January 8, 3-4:30 p.m.
Community Hall, Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

Parking Newsflash
2012 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 map

The Berkeley Way Parking Lot (between Shattuck Ave. and Milvia St.) is available at $1.50 per hour for up to 8 hours. The hours of operation are 7 a.m-10 p.m.

Request for In Memoriam Submissions and Tributes
As a part of life, we lose members each year. OLLI @Berkeley would like to recognize the participation and contributions of the members who have passed this last year. Please contact the OLLI office (see left) with the name of the member and any related links or printed information so that we can include them in our In Memoriam section in December. If you are donating to OLLI, you consider recognizing a friend with your donation.

Office Closure
OLLI offices will be closed on Tuesday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day.
Interest Circles

We know that some students are interested in meeting with classmates after a term has ended to continue discussions on a class topic, or attend class-related activities together. OLLI can facilitate this process through the Interest Circle program. Interest Circles are are self-organized, self-governing discussion or activity groups which are proposed and coordinated by OLLI members.
So far, proposed Interest Circles include Deborah Lichtman's Five Personal Pieces: Experimenting with Autobiography and Tamim Ansary's Ripple Effects: An Alternative View of World History. If you are interested in joining either of these Interest Circles, or one based on another of the winter classes, send an email right away stating your interest to berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu with your name, contact information, and the name of the class. Someone will get back to you by November 17. Attend the first meeting to help determine the Circle's direction. No obligation.
If you have already expressed your interest in joining a circle via a paper sign-up sheet in your class, you do NOT need to send an email since we already have your name on the list. If you have any questions about Interest Circles that are not answered by the OLLI website, Interest Circle FAQ, contact the Volunteer Interest Circle Coordinator, Marcia Diaz at marciadiaz@sbcglobal.net.
Holiday Housewarming at Walnut Street
Wednesday, December 3, 3-6 p.m.
OLLI offices, 1925 Walnut St., Berkeley (off University Ave.)

OLLI members present and past are invited to stop by OLLI's newly expanded offices to share greetings of the season with fellow members and staff. Get warmed up to ring in the new year.  Refreshments will be provided.
Faculty Profile: Peter Ralston
by Hilary Kaiser, OLLI member

Settling myself down at Dr. Peter Ralston's kitchen table for the interview, I admitted that I knew nothing about neuroscience and could not really ask many informed questions. "That's all right," he said. "Even a lot of physicians don't know much about the brain! Most people only become really interested when it relates to them."

If this is the case, many OLLI members will certainly be interested in Ralston's courses, as they will cover topics we, as seniors, can all relate to. His first course, beginning in January, will describe a number of brain-affected diseases and injuries, communication and synapses, hearing loss, stroke, pain, drugs, and potential for recovery from brain injury. His second course, in Spring 2015, will cover brain mechanisms underlying vision and learning as well as degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Born at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, Ralston is a fourth-generation native of the San Francisco Bay Area on both sides and is proud of it. After graduating from UC Berkeley and receiving his M.D. from UCSF, he did his clinical training at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. "It was the best thing I ever did. Mt. Sinai was a cracker-jack hospital. It was very aggressive and very good training for me. They criticized you, and that's what you need in science."

While at Mt. Sinai, Ralston met his first wife, Diane, a nurse who went on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience and to teach. She specialized in neuropathology and published many papers, both on her own and in conjunction with Ralston. "When she developed a brain tumor, she knew what to expect. She died in 2000. Only two or three people in the world have ever survived glioblastoma. Teddy Kennedy died of the same type of tumor," he said. Diane was the mother of his two daughters; he has four grandchildren, two of whom live in Ottawa. Having remarried in 2004, he and his second wife Pattie enjoy hiking and the outdoors and are amateur birders. In his spare time, he has been taking up playing the piano again and is a docent at the California Academy of Sciences.

Following his stint at Mt. Sinai, Ralston was drafted into the US Army and served in the US Medical Corps from 1961-1963. After research fellowship training at University College London, he held positions at Stanford and the University of Wisconsin. In 1973, he returned to UCSF, where he was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy for 24 years and is now Professor Emeritus. He directed UCSF's course in neuroscience, ran an NIH-supported research lab, published more than 80 research articles, and has received numerous awards.

Ralston very much enjoys teaching and is looking forward to his courses at OLLI. He will devote the first hour of each session in his course to giving basic scientific information about a given topic and then, in the second hour, he will talk about abnormalities. He intends to use slides and videos and, of course, he will entertain questions from his audience. But he warns that he won't be giving diagnoses of people's personal neurological problems!
Volunteer Profile: Marcia Diaz
by Gale Lederer, OLLI member

"No one can have too much community," explains OLLI volunteer Marcia Diaz as she looks back at her involvement in our organization.  "OLLI is not just classes.  It's a way for older people to connect with each other.  It's a dynamic place where you can find people who are interested in the world-who aren't afraid to try new things."


Marcia migrated from Los Angeles in 1961 to attend UC Berkeley and has lived continuously in the Bay Area ever since.  "Here you can be anyone you want to be," she tells us.  "You can find your element here."  She retired in 1999 from a career in the Social Security Administration in San Francisco where she was involved in management, analysis, and communication.  Upon retirement, which she loves, Marcia took a Talmud class, studied the Torah with a group of women, read extensively on a wide variety of topics, volunteered, and took yoga--among much else. 


She began taking OLLI classes in 2012 upon the recommendation of a friend, beginning with Mitchell Breitweiser's course on Moby Dick.  She has particularly enjoyed her international film classes:  "You often find a mindset different from your own," she says.  Her class on the Egyptian writer Mafouz has continued to meet for the past two years and branched out into other writers as an interest group--with Marcia as facilitator.

As a volunteer on OLLI's Membership Services Committee, Marcia found both her career skills and her work with the Mahfouz interest circle useful as she took on the task of reviving the Interest Circle program. 

She enjoys the gratitude of OLLI students who partake of this opportunity after a beloved class ends.   The OLLI community is certainly grateful for the time, energy, and commitment this extraordinary volunteer has put into improving our OLLI experience. 

The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member   


This past summer, 10 to 12 OLLI members gathered together for a series of Lunching Adventures featuring different ethnic cuisines. Now that the Fall-Winter break is coming, I thought that you might want to try some of the places we visited, so here's the list:


Tashi Dalek: Tibetan, Bhutanese, and Nepali, 11224 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, 510.232.9316  

Bissap Baobab: Senegalese, 381 15th St., Oakland, 510.817.4772   

Aria Grill: Afghani, 308 14th St., Oakland, 510.893.2742  

Kingston 11: Jamaican, 2270 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510.465.2558  

Los Cilantros: Home-style Mexican, also open for breakfast, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510.647.9809  

Nine Thai Eatery: Thai, 1269 University Ave., Berkeley, 510.548.9781

Faculty News

Cal Performances

Cal Performances presents Paul Dresher, Electro-Acoustic Band, and Amy X Neuburg in They Will Have Been So Beautiful: Songs and Images of Now on December 5 and 6, 2014. Neuburg and Dresher commissioned 10 composers to create songs inspired by Diane Arbus's Guggenheim grant application, American Rites, Manners and CustomsDetails and tickets


Closely Considered - Diebenkorn in Berkeley

September 14-November 16, 2014
Guest curated by Jan Wurm

An exhibit featuring intimate works on paper by Richard Diebenkorn created during his Berkeley years (1953-1966) along with drawings by other Bay Area Figurative Movement artists including David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Frank Lobdell, Nathan Oliveira, and James Weeks. The program will showcase the ways in which Diebenkorn's work still resonates in the contemporary art world today.  



Memories of Heart Mountain

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 10 a.m.
Hearst Mining Hall, Room 390, UC Berkeley
John Tateishi's students may be interested to hear Sam Mihara, who will be providing a step-by-step presentation which discusses the tragedy and suffering of Japanese Americans during World War II. Mihara will share his personal stories and never-seen-before photographs which provide an insight of his family's experiences and the struggles they encountered at the American concentration camps, Pomona and Heart Mountain, during WWII.


Energy Potential

Professor Daniel Kammen, who taught courses on climate change on energy in Fall 2009 and 2013, has written an article entitled "How a single multinational corporation could light up the world" in The Guardian.


The Trio Project 

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 4 p.m.
Church of the Advent, 261 Fell St., San Francisco
Three excellent local professional singers (Lauren Carley, Karen Clark, and Rita Lily) have teamed up as The Trio Project to present WALK IN BEAUTY: Medieval to Modern Music
. The program ranges from 13th century chant to 19th century 'shape note' folk hymns. 


Arts and Culture in Switzerland 

Kathryn Roszak is the Enrichment Lecturer on a trip to Switzerland next July through Cal Discoveries. The focus on the Switzerland trip will be on arts and culture, the influence of the dramatic landscape of Switzerland on writers and other artists. There is a special discount now until December 31, 2014.

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. See offer details on OLLI's website and be sure to show your OLLI student ID.

OLLI members age 50 and over will receive a $10 discount on a $50 Senior Citizen annual membership at CAA.
Read More


OLLI members can join the UC Botanical Garden as Cal Affiliates (see Cal Affiliate Membership) and save $15 on an $55 annual membership.

Read More
Show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages (when ordered with food).
Read More

10% off on food and beverages from the "a la carte" menu. Valid weekdays only.
Read More

10% off on  food and beverages purchased in-store, or on take-out orders of $20 or more. 1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.
Read More
Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members on advance tickets purchased through their website.
Read More

Berkeley Symphony is offering a 10% discount on single tickets to OLLI members for the 2014-15 Season at Zellerbach Hall.
Read More

How to Join | Academic Calendar | Parking and Transit  | Donate

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.

2014 UC Regents. All Rights Reserved.