OLLI OUTLOOK                        December 2014  

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Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Nicole Magnuson

Classroom Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Monahan

Interim Program Assistants
Devon Howland
Aileen Kim
tel. 510.642.9934

Happy Holidays!  

Warmest wishes for the holiday season from all of us at OLLI.

We were happy to welcome almost 100 people, including OLLI members,faculty, and staff to our holiday housewarming on December 3. Many thanks to those who could join us, and especially to the volunteers who helped out. Our house is now officially warmed!

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

Gift a Membership 
Give the gift of OLLI this holiday!

Know someone who enjoys learning and community? Consider a gift membership! Call our office at 510.642.9934 for more information.
From the Director:
New York Times Articles on Longevity

The New York Times Magazine cover on October 26 read "The Fountain of Youth." Inside were two articles that we discussed in the Fourth Age Salon in November. One was on Ellen Langer's research at Harvard on the social construction on aging. The other was on the use of video games to boost cognitive fitness and features the research lab of Adam Gazzaley at UCSF. Our Fourth Age conversation was lively (as usual).

Our Fourth Age conversation was lively as usual.Members used not only their personal experience but their considerable scientific background (four physicists among them) to discuss the merits of the science of healthy aging.However, it was the individual experiences that Fourth Agers shared and the pattern created by those common experiences that was powerful.We had all experienced the social construction of aging as well as the reverse---people and places that made us feel younger.How do we locate ourselves in the cultural depiction of longevity?How do we evaluate what's worth considering in the new insights about neuro-plasticity? What is worth integrating into our lives or our understanding of ourselves?

You have heard me say that the OLLI curriculum explores what we need to know about the world as well as what we need to know about ourselves. The OLLI curriculum will continue to strive to address these personal and world issues, but how else might we keep the conversation going about our experience of aging and longevity? Send your thoughts to berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu and we will share some of them in our next newsletter.


Welcome to new OLLI Staff
OLLI @Berkeley is pleased to welcome our newest staff members. Jennifer Monahan

Jennifer Monahan is the new Web, Marketing, and Communications Coordinator. She has ten years' experience in nonprofit communications and a background in higher education. She joins OLLI from Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, where she managed communications, marketing, and outreach as well as the web site and e-mail campaigns. A Bay Area native, Jennifer has a long affiliation with UC Berkeley: she earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in French at Cal, then taught as a lecturer. In her spare time you can find her riding a bicycle, rowing, or moderating the Berkeley Parents Network Announcements newsletter.

Devon Howland (not pictured), Interim Program Assistant, comes to OLLI from having worked in our sister department, Summer Sessions, for the past 8 years. His career has spanned the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as he has been employed in varied HR recruiting assignments with Boeing, Chase, and Bank of America and also nonprofits INROADS, Inc. and CIEE. He has been in student advising roles here at Cal, the University of Chicago and at Illinois State University, his alma mater. Most recently has has completed course work for a Master's in HR Management. He has been an avid volunteer for community and social services here in the Bay Area and Berkeley, such as BOCA, Young Life Berkeley, and Berkeley Alive and Free Committee. He resides in Richmond with his wife, Thelma, who works at UC Berkeley Extension, and their Lhasa Apso, Scooter.   

Aileen Kim Aileen Kim, former program coordinator for OLLI @Berkeley, has been recalled from retirement to serve as an interim program assistant, and until recently as interim communications coordinator. She will be in the office about three days a week, in between assisting with yoga classes for people with disabilities and with Parkinson's Disease and taking dance classes.
Faculty Profile: Ken Light
Ken Light (headshot)

by Deanne Stone, OLLI member


On April 20, 1970, President Nixon announced the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. At the time, Ken Light was a college student in Ohio. When he heard that a massive action against the invasion was underway at Ohio State University, he rushed there to photograph the protest. National Guardsmen with fixed bayonets pointed and pushed at the student protesters and students were throwing back tear gas canisters; it was days before the Kent State protests. Light was arrested and spent a night in jail, but his photographs were picked up by an underground newspaper and distributed around the world. That was a heady experience for a 19-year-old and set Light on his career path. "I thought to myself, hey, I could really have a voice with photography."


Light has made documenting social injustices his life's work. Surviving as a freelance photographer during the recession years in the mid-70s was a struggle. As an unemployed artist, he got a temporary job with CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) in the Bay Area that resulted in an exhibit of his photographs at the Oakland Museum of California. 


Light's career took a major turn in 1983 when he was hired to teach at UC Berkeley's School Journalism, where he has continued to teach ever since. Light describes himself as a long-form narrative visual storyteller. With the security provided by his teaching position, he has the freedom to pursue projects that allow him to get to know his subjects over time. "I'm in the lucky position of not being bound by editors' deadlines. I can take as long as I need to finish a project."


Over the past 30 years, Light has published seven books of photography documenting the plight of the poor, the exploited, the forgotten, and a text, Witness In Our Time, used in many college photography programs. Some projects took as long as five years to complete. An exception was the Texas Death Row book. When he started on the project, his wife was pregnant. "During that time, I traveled back and forth between Texas and California, moving between a life that was beginning and lives that were ending." Since the book was published in 1995, sixty-five of the 150 inmates he interviewed have been executed.


Light has collaborated with his wife, Melanie Light, a writer, who provided the text for their book, Coal Hollow, on the coal industry, and Valley of Shadows and Dreams. It was Melanie who suggested the latter project. "Driving through the Central Valley, she wondered who could buy the $350,000 houses being built on prime agricultural land." Light spent five years documenting the devastating effects of the recession, drought, and foreclosures on the valley. 


For the past three years, Light has been documenting income inequality and the shift in the American Empire. Starting in Detroit, he has spent stretches shooting in New York City, the South, North Dakota, and Southern California, and has many more miles to travel before completing the project.


After 30 years of teaching students at Cal's School of Journalism, Light will have his first experience teaching at OLLI this winter. The class, "The Meanings and Mysteries of Photography," will look at master photographers of the 20th century such as Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, and William Eggleston, and deconstruct their photographs. By asking questions about how the photos were made and what reaches the heart, Light hopes that students will develop a new appreciation for the masters and an understanding of what makes their photos iconic.  

Volunteer Profile: Joan Greer
by Gale Lederer, OLLI member

"Many people don't know what the Member Services Committee does," says Joan Greer, this committee's hard-working co-chair. "We're responsible for working with staff on interest circles, faculty lunches, OLLIBConnect, social events, organizing volunteers, and Open House." Joan joined OLLI seven years ago, during its very first year. She volunteered initially with the Curriculum Committee. But, thanks in part to an evaluation program which she organized, it soon became clear that while OLLI members loved their classes, they sometimes felt isolated in the large lecture halls and longed for opportunities to meet other members. "We wanted to answer this need, to help our members become a community," says Joan. "So we created the Member Services Committee, which has been my focus for the past three years."


Joan comes by her interests, enthusiasm, and expertise honestly: for most of her career she directed programs and research at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington DC, where she developed national education policy, conducted educational research, and directed national school improvement programs. One research project, which focused on how school climate affects learning, clearly ties directly into some of her work here at OLLI.


Joan moved to Berkeley in 2000. She has been enrolled in OLLI every term since she first joined in 2007--twenty-one terms in all! She has taken courses ranging from political science and history to literature and art, and has more favorites than she can count. "OLLI has enriched my life, expanding my mind and giving me a chance to meet intelligent, fascinating people, some of whom have become very good friends," Joan says. "We do all kinds of things together-such as walking, traveling, and attending musical and theatrical events. OLLI people have interesting histories and do interesting activities. They are now an important part of my life."  
The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member   


IMM Thai Street Food

2068 University Ave., between Shattuck Ave. and Milvia St.

Berkeley, CA 94704



This new simple storefront restaurant is close to the OLLI classrooms, and offers very tasty Thai food at moderate prices. The atmosphere is informal, with small tables and chairs as well as stools. Service is quick and friendly, except when it gets busy. At lunchtime it is bustling, but the wait for a table is usually pretty short. You can eat just a small bite or salad or have something more substantial, as you wish. Offering beer and wine too, this is definitely a place to keep in mind.



Fourth Age Salon 
Tuesday, December 9
1:30 -3:00 p.m. 
University Hall, Room 41B

The Fourth Age Salon will continue its discussion on the topic of Technology. This Salon will feature OLLI's David Casuto, who is teaching Tech 2.0 in the Winter term, which focuses on building vocabulary, capacity, and comfort with technology (https://olli.berkeley.edu/programs/courses/tech-20).

Our Fourth Age Salon is for our members over the age of 80; however, if space allows, other members are welcome to join.

To RSVP for the Salon or for more information, please email chelseacrown@berkeley.edu

From an OLLI @Berkeley partner:
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco presents

Jewish Life in American Cinema - Four Part Film Series


Presented by Ruthe Stein, the former San Francisco Chronicle movie editor and Peter L. Stein, filmmaker and former San Francisco Jewish Film Festival executive director.


From the Marx Brothers to the Coen Brothers, from The Jazz Singer to Fiddler on the Roof, from Hester Street to Goodbye, Columbus, the image of Jewish life on screen has been by turns hilarious and melodramatic, stereotypical and sympathetic, overplayed and downplayed. This four-program series, rich with film clips, takes a kaleidoscopic look at dozens of American films that speak to the Jewish experience, including works by Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Judd Apatow. What's not to like?


Tickets available online or by calling the Box Office at 415.292.1233.

For more information, go to the JCCSF web site.


Music and Dramaturgy

Monday, December 8

2:00 p.m. at the Jazz Café 

This free session, hosted by Philippa Kelly and Paul Dresher, is for anyone at OLLI who wants to know more about music and dramaturgy. The session was inspired by OLLI members' pre-show plans to attend Paul Dresher's concerts this Friday and Saturday, but all OLLI members are welcome.   

Faculty News

Elizabeth Rosner: Two New Books 

Elizabeth Rosner, who has taught writing classes, has two new publications: a novel, Electric City, and a collection of prize-winning poetry, Gravity.  



Fellowship for Philippa Kelly 

Dramaturg Philippa Kelly and her colleague, Lydia Garcia, are the recipients of a Bly Fellowship, awarded by the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America, to write a handbook on diversity for dramaturgs.  

Read more 


Arts and Culture in Switzerland with Kathryn Roszak 

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.


Summer Trips
OLLI is offering these summer travel programs in collaboration with Cal Discoveries and Road Scholar. More information to follow in future newsletters.

History and Culture of Spanish and French Catalonia

In collaboration with Cal Discoveries

Alex Saragoza will accompany a group of 16-24 OLLI members on a 12-day educational tour of Spanish and French Catalonia. View the complete itinerary and registration form. Enrollment is limited to 24.

Dates: June 1-12, 2015   


The Art of Public History & Remembrance in Berlin, Germany

In collaboration with Road Scholar

Spend a week in Berlin with historians Cecilia O'Leary and Tony Platt. With a focus on Germany's commemorations of the Nazi period, Holocaust, and World War II, we will explore how art, museums, and memorials inform public history, and how victims and perpetrators are remembered. Includes site visits, meetings with experts, and engaging conversations, plus opportunities to experience the city's vibrant cultural life. Learn more. 

Dates: June 13-21, 2015  


In Memoriam

Martin "Marty" Rabkin
Susan Schacht

Ronald William Loewinsohn

Errata: Photo of Peter Ralston

The photo of Peter Ralston in our November 2014 newsletter was incorrect. Here is the correct photo.
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.
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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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10% off on food and beverages from the "a la carte" menu. Valid weekdays only.
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10% off on  food and beverages purchased in-store, or on take-out orders of $20 or more. 1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.
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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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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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