May 2015

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Annual Fund Update

Summer Term

Faculty Profile: Enrique Lima

Volunteer Profile: Susan Kinloch

Interest Circle Report

The Lunch Bunch

Member Benefits

Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Lisa Hardy

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Monahan

Program Assistant
Devon Howland

Interim Program Assistant
Aileen Kim

tel. 510.642.9934

Annual Fund: Thank You!


Our warmest thanks to everyone who made a gift to the 2014 -15 Annual Fund. Gifts are still coming in so we don't have final numbers yet, but it's clear that we will reach our goal of $85,000 before the academic year ends. 


The dollar-for-dollar match organized by the volunteers of the Annual Fund Committee was instrumental in helping us reach this goal. Special thanks are in order for the committee -- especially Co-Chairs Mark Medress and Wendy Willrich -- for all of their efforts on behalf of OLLI.


Research Opportunities for OLLI Members
OLLI @ Berkeley is aligned with the public research emphasis of UC Berkeley. To that end, OLLI partners with researchers to advance its research focus and to offer OLLI members opportunities to participate in research studies. Your engagement advances the science of the older adult and benefits your learning.

OLLI @Berkeley's research focus is:

  • The science of learning, specifically lifelong learning for the 50+ adult
  • The science of healthy living and dynamic aging

When research partnerships offer opportunities for interested OLLI members to become volunteer research participants, OLLI's Advisory Research and Evaluation Team will provide this information along with an overview of the study purpose, eligibility criteria, and study contact information. Selected studies are subject to Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversight through UC Berkeley or other universities. 

We currently have two opportunities that members may be interested in:

Volunteers needed for survey study on older adult learning: SilverLearning 

This is an opportunity for OLLI members to participate in an online survey study that is investigating the formal lifelong learning behaviors of mature adults in the United States and Germany. Eligibility criteria are to be 65 or older and to be currently taking or auditing courses or lectures (non-credit or credit). Learn more.

Volunteers needed for UC Berkeley wellness research: BeFriend 

Here is an opportunity for OLLI members to participate in a different type of educational experience and to contribute to psychological research in the area of wellness and health. One of the principal researchers for the UC Berkeley Friendship, Emotion and Wellness study (BeFriend) is professor Iris Mauss, who was a speaker for the Spring 2014 OLLI class "The Science of the Greater Good." Professor Mauss is looking for women volunteers between the ages of 25 and 80, along with a friend, to participate in the study. Learn more.

Faculty Profile: Enrique Lima

by Jennifer Monahan, Communications Coordinator

Enrique Lima holds a Ph.D. from Stanford and was Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon prior to his arrival at UC Berkeley, where he teaches in the departments of Comparative Literature, Ethnic Studies and Native American Studies. This summer he will teach his first course with OLLI @Berkeley, "Native Fiction and Native American Lives."

One of the novels on your syllabus, D'Arcy McNickle's The Surrounded, was written in 1936, when the American West was a very different place. What makes the story relevant today, and what had you choose it for the course?

In many ways, the narrative pattern in The Surrounded is the same one we see in almost all twentieth-century Native American literature: a young man returns from his colonial education and finds his tribal identity; he discovers where he fits in. The difference is that this story ends in the middle -- in a literal standoff -- whereas in more recent twentieth-century novels the pattern is for native peoples to find a way to resolve the conflict between colonial education and who they are and find a way towards self-determination.

The Surrounded is beautifully written, but when it was first published in 1936, it was a commercial failure -- probably because people just weren't ready to hear the idea that native people were capable of determining their own fates. It wasn't until later that the book found an audience.

Your work centers on novels in the Americas. What particular themes or time periods do you focus on? 

My work looks at the depiction of native peoples in the novel in the Americas, in both English and Spanish. European literary genres just aren't set up to represent native experience and identity, so authors end up developing new techniques and narrative structures that are unfamiliar to the legacy and history of those genres in European cultures.

Novels are usually shaped around the story of a single protagonist, which stems from the importance of the individual in nineteenth-century European culture. But in a novel like Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine, for example, an individual protagonist doesn't make sense for the kind of story Erdrich wants to tell... so we have a novel where the central character, June Morrissey, dies in the first few pages and we gradually get a sense of her through the interwoven narratives and experiences of other characters. This type of structural innovation is common when writers use the novel to depict tribal identity, where the individual only makes sense in a collective context.


Volunteer Profile: Susan Kinloch
by Gale Lederer, OLLI member

For the past fifty-five years Susan Kinloch has pursued her passion for teaching in venues as diverse as Longfellow School in Berkeley, a Navajo reservation in Arizona, Spain, and Poland, the last two with Global Volunteers. She's still going strong, teaching English as a Second Language for SEED (Self-Empowerment and Economic Development) which is part of Narika, an organization that provides support for immigrant women from Southeast Asia, especially those who have been victims of domestic abuse. SEED also provides training in financial planning, computer literacy, and career planning.

"Not only am I that oddity, a native-born Californian," says Susan, "but so were my parents, and my grandparents came to California on one of the first trains to pull into South Pasadena Station." Because of her mother's asthma, her family moved to Arizona, where Susan went to college on a music scholarship. She graduated in two and a half years and started teaching at the age of twenty. A year later, she moved to Berkeley, where she has lived ever since-though with numerous excursions elsewhere. Susan has also taught teachers, written curriculum, and earned a master's degree from Stanford in curriculum and child development.  She has six grandchildren, and explains that "although none live very close, I get to see them all."  Additionally, she enjoys reading fiction, loves dogs, and has raised Irish wolfhounds.

"I also have a passion for OLLI," Susan tells us.  "I used to audit classes at UC Berkeley, which I could do for free. But I decided I liked being with my peers, and so I joined OLLI.  I've had so many teachers here whom I've really liked." For instance, Susan loved Linda Rugg's course on Norse literature, finds Bruce Elliott wonderfully entertaining, and sees Kerrin Meis as "an inspiration for aging." Susan volunteers for OLLI as a class assistant and sometimes helps out in the OLLI office. "It's important to support this organization," she says.  "It's well worth our effort." The OLLI community certainly benefits from the help of talented, committed volunteers such as Susan Kinloch.

Report from an Interest Circle:
the "Best Self" Group

Our Interest Group started in November 2013 after we finished taking OLLI class "The Expanded Self: Taking Compassionate Action in Your Life" with Lauren Vanett, M.A. We had been inspired throughout the program. As it ended, half of us in the class chose to continue the work we had begun. We have been meeting twice a month for two hours. This continuing group has kept alive, deepened, and brought into our everyday reality the wonderful foundation of Positive Psychology that had been introduced to us.

We call ourselves the "Best Self" group. Each of us wants to be our Best Self. The following is a compilation of comments about the group by the members.

Once the group got started, it just kept going. We have a core of a dozen people and we take turns facilitating each meeting, providing us with a variety of presentations and each member has a chance to develop her or his own interests. Someone may have read an interesting book or seen a documentary and brings it to the group and then we together talk about the content, what we learned, or inspired us.

We have been on a Shamanic Journey, drummed with a Music Therapist, learned about Chi Gong, created collages, meditated together, savored life's joys and our gratitude together, shared our responses to questions posed in Kathleen Singh's book "Awakening As We Grow Older," and after being inspired by the documentary "The Happiness Project," we spent the next entire group talking about what inspires us. These are just some examples!

Solid friendships have developed. We share on a deep level what our joys and sorrows are -- a real sense of intimacy and empathy has developed. We all look forward to our twice monthly gatherings. It's become a "wisdom circle." There is camaraderie and laughter. We feel our group is a place we can come to -- to get support and give it too. It is a place to learn and explore different topics of interest, and our structure evolves to meet our need at the time.  And, this group feels SAFE!  (Two group members said they never stuck to an ongoing group before!)

We have diverse backgrounds and that allows us to enrich each other's experiences. Our continuity, connections and appreciation that the group is evolving over time emboldens us. We have each tried new things and discovered parts of ourselves and each other that we never knew. We are impressed by the kindness that each member extends to the others.

What this group contributes to our lives continues to expand. It is a wonderful support group and opportunity for learning that gets better and better as our sharing and concern for each other, and ourselves, deepens, and the warm feelings of care and acceptance expand. 

The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member


Saturn Café
2175 Allston Way, at the corner of Oxford
Berkeley CA 94720

This place is not too far from the OLLI classrooms, and offers food that is 100% vegetarian, as well as some menu items that are vegan, wheat and gluten free, and even soy free. The décor is weirdly futuristic, with sparkly pink, white and red walls and booths. The soups and salads are healthy and good, and the portions fairly generous. Sandwiches and burgers too, all vegetarian. Prices are slightly high, but eating healthy costs! There are also breakfast items available at lunch, as well as some delicious pastries and muffins. This is something to try if you are food challenged, or just want to have a healthy meal.

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 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.

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Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 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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