March 2015

  [ HOME ]     [ HOW TO JOIN ]     [ COURSES ]  
Spring Term

Annual Member Meeting

Summer Travel Study

Faculty Profile: John Campion

Volunteer Profile: Roger Blundell

Faculty News

The Lunch Bunch

Member Benefits

Susan Hoffman

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Monahan

Program Assistants (Interim)
Devon Howland
Aileen Kim

tel. 510.642.9934

Spring Term: Bring a Friend


Tuesday, March 10

Open House

10:00 a.m. - noon
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St., Berkeley 
Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Thursday, March 12 
Lafayette Info Session 
(focus on Lafayette programs)
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

March 30 - May 8: Spring classes 

Annual Member Meeting Wednesday, April 8


All current OLLI members are invited to our annual meeting. Learn more about plans for OLLI's future!

Wednesday, April 8
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St., Berkeley    

Gibor Basri
Keynote address:
"Diversity and Inclusion in a Lifelong Learning Community" 
Gibor Basri, Vice Chancellor for
Equity and Inclusion at
UC Berkeley
Spring Speaker Series

April 15

Fixing California's Tax System: How to Reform Proposition 13 and Other Policies for a Better Future

Lenny Goldberg, Executive Director, California Tax Reform Association

Learn more


April 22

Biomimicry: How Nature is Inspiring Radical Innovation

Jayden Harman, CEO, PAX Water Technologies

Learn more.


April 29

How Our Emotional Lives Mature: Changes and New Strengths

Robert Levenson, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley

Learn more.


All events are held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse,  2020 Addison Street in Berkeley.


Admission is free for OLLI members and UC Berkeley faculty, students, and staff (with OLLI or UC Berkeley ID). General admission is $10. Advance registration is not required.


Summer Travel Study
collioureHistory and Culture 
of Spanish and French Catalonia
June 1 - 12, 2015
Only three spots left! 
Register by March 13 
Discover Catalonia -- its language, its culture, its centuries of history, and its rich gastronomic traditions -- in this 12-day travel study tour led by Alex Saragoza. Offered in conjunction with Cal Discoveries, the trip will take you to Barcelona, Perpignan, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Carcassonne, the fortified port town of Collioure, the Teatre-Museu Dali at Figueres, and other wonderful sights.

Faculty Profile: John Campion

by Deanne Stone, OLLI member


John CampionJames Joyce is one of the greatest and most difficult writers in English. John Campion hopes to demystify some of this in his spring course, The Short Stories of James Joyce. John has identified 13 techniques Joyce deploys in his writing, which, once recognized, can deepen participants' reading abilities and experiences. "I teach these techniques to help students better understand and appreciate this work."

Campion has been teaching literature, creative writing, poetry, and critical theory for the past 30 years. Before joining UC Berkeley's English Department as a lecturer in 2007, he taught at the University of Texas and USF. In 1997, his brother, Edmund Campion, a music composer, received a commission from the French government. He asked John, then living in Austin, to come to Berkeley to write the text for their collaborative project.

John had intended to return to Austin at the end of a year, but on his first day in
Berkeley he met the composer, Cindy Cox. The two married, and he never returned. Cindy is the current Chair of UC Berkeley's Music Department and Edmund is Director of UC Berkeley's Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. John has collaborated with Cindy and Edmund on several works as well as with other artists.

In 2008, Cindy took a sabbatical to compose music; so the family spent the year in Buenos Aires, with excursions to Patagonia, Iguazú, the volcanoes and fjords of Chile, and the Sacred Valley surrounding Machu Picchu in Peru. Their daughter Sophia, then a fourth-grader, came back fluent in Spanish with a head full of stories to tell. John is a translator and made the first English version of El Sueño, the magnum opus by the 17th-century Mexican nun, Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz. He is currently working on a transcreation of The Popul Vuh, the great Pre-Columbian myth-originally in the Quiche Mayan language.

Although John writes fiction and essays, his primary identification is as a poet. He has published a number of books, including three book-length poems from a projected series of five. He has also developed an art form he calls Texturals, in which he fleshes out his poetry using inks, oils, watercolors, and mixed media. "Poetry influences everything I do," he says. "Its processes and practices are extremely dynamic-enabling me to incorporate all of my varied interests and obsessions."

Campion is the founder of Ecotropic Works, derived from the roots, Eco (hearth,
ecology) and tropic (to turn towards). This movement holds that for human culture to be healthy, it must exist as in an ecological niche and relate appropriately with all the forces of nature. Growing up in Dallas heightened John's awareness of the degradation of the environment. "That began my concern for the global calamity we're ushering in. As a poet, it occurred to me that we had to develop a language that more accurately fits our human involvement with the planet." His poetry, art, music, philosophy, and criticism all reflect ecotropic values.
Volunteer Profile: Roger Blundell
by Gale Lederer, OLLI member

"Every class I have taken at OLLI has given me great pleasure and growth," says Roger Blundell, retired computer systems engineer and OLLI volunteer. "I make sure I take one course a session that I know nothing about. One class did take me out of my comfort zone, but that's not a bad thing." Certain instructors and courses have had particularly appeal: Roger has taken Bethany Cobb's three courses on astronomy, John Prescott's two music courses, and David Casuto's classes on digital photography and graphic design. And then there's Linda Rugg. "I take all her courses," he tells us, "from the three "Murder on Ice" classes featuring Scandinavian detective fiction to the one on Norse mythology."


Roger was born in England and came over to America as a child on a tramp steamer with his mother and sister. "There were very few passengers," he recalls, "and we kids had the run of the ship." Much later, after schooling and discharge from the army, Roger joined United Airlines, where he enjoyed a forty-three year career working in airport operations and inflight and information technology systems engineering. Roger and his future wife, Ann, each working for United at widely separated airports, became interested in each other as they conducted airline business by phone. Eventually they met in person, and after surviving a long-distance relationship, decided to get married. They now live in Walnut Creek.


"I had such a wonderful career," says Roger. "I was never bored -- each day was different. But retirement is equally interesting since I can do all the things I didn't have time for when I was working." As well as taking OLLI courses, Roger enjoys walking, reading, sailing, photography, astronomy, developing and maintaining websites, and taking road trips with his family. He also enjoys being an OLLI class assistant. "Volunteering is enjoyable, rewarding, and a great way to meet new people," he tells us. "It's my way of giving back."

Faculty News

OLLI Instructor Michael Fox appeared on KQED's Forum on February 23 to discuss the Academy Awards. You can hear an archive of the show. Michael Fox will offer a course entitled "Global Lens: the International Documentary" for OLLI's spring term.


Please join Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumiere on April 26 for Dance on Center featuring new contemporary ballets by women. See works by Dalia Rawson with Ballet San Jose trainees, Lissa Resnick, Kathryn Roszak, and Shahrzad.  

Sunday, April 26, at 2:00 p.m.
Osher Studio Theater 

2055 Center St. in downtown Berkeley

Information: www.dlkdance.com

Tickets (advance purchase recommended): online or by phone 800.838.3006 ext. 1. Roszak also teaches Feminism in the Bay Area Arts at OLLI this spring. 

Learn more.


The Paul Dresher Ensemble, in co-production with Fort Mason Center Presents and Behavioral Intervention for Autism, proudly announces the World Premiere of Nancy Carlin and Michael Rasbury's new musical MAX UNDERSTOOD for a two-week limited engagement, April 16 - 26, 2015, in the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. MAX UNDERSTOOD invites audiences into the life of a young boy with autism as he escapes the safety of his parents' apartment and begins to explore the beauty and mysteries of the world around him.

Learn more.

The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member 



1938 Shattuck Ave., at Berkeley Way, Berkeley



This closet-size storefront is fairly close to the OLLI classrooms, and offers a variety of steamed Chinese buns called Bao, available with a delicious variety of fillings. Everything is made to order with care. They also have a nice array of sandwiches, along with flavored teas, bubble teas, and smoothies. There are a few tables and a counter with stools as well as two small outdoor tables.  This is a perfect place for a quick snack or something to go. Prices are very moderate. They offer a 10% discount to Cal students, so try using your OLLI membership card to see if they will offer you the same deal!

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 at:

2087 Addison St.

Five Restaurant & Bar
2086 Allston Way

Turkish Kitchen
1986 Shattuck Ave.

Le Petit Cochon
1801C Shattuck Ave.

Phil's Sliders
2024 Shattuck Ave.

Read more
Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 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