June/July 2015

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Summer Term

Fall Term

Director's Message

Faculty Profile: Pete Elman

Volunteer Profile: Jake Warner

Annual Fund

Research Opportunities

Member Benefits

Susan Hoffman

Business and Operations Manager
Lisa Hardy

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Monahan

Interim Program Assistant
Aileen Kim

tel. 510.642.9934

Summer Term  


It's not too late to sign up for summer courses! 


Mondays (June 1 - 22)

Native Fiction and Native American Lives 

10:00 a.m. - noon; 150 University Hall


Wednesdays (June 3 -24)

History of Baseball, Part 2: Nirvana Is Opening Day 

10:00 a.m. - noon; 150 University Hall. Last class meets Monday, June 22, instead of June 24.


Turn, Turn, Turn: Rock 'n Roll Road Trip, Part 2 

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.; Freight and Salvage


Thursdays (June 4 - 25)

Space and Place in Asian American Literature 

10:00 a.m. - noon; 150 University Hall


Russia: Contemporary Issues 

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.; Freight and Salvage



Fall Term
Catalogs for Fall 2015 will arrive in mailboxes in mid-July, and we will send a notification via email to let you know when registration opens. We have a record number of courses, including four courses in Lafayette and our first eight-week course! Watch for more information in an email. 

Fall 2015
Open House: September 8, 2015 

Lafayette Info Session: September 10, 2015 
Term begins: September 28, 2015 
Term ends: November 6, 2015   


Online academic calendar  

Director's Message

  susan hoffmanThe week of May 18, I was invited to the White House Conference on Aging and Creativity as one of 60 participants to an all-day summit meeting at the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA). I participated in three work groups where the questions were: 

What are the biggest issues or needs related to lifelong learning and the arts? What are the biggest barriers to address those issues or needs? 

What are the viable solutions that the federal government can help with?


In these work groups, we were also asked to address the questions of inter-generational learning; social entrepreneurship of older artists; and how the media contributes to the refashioning of what it means to age in our society.


In the larger plenary sessions, the priorities of the work groups -- in addition to lifelong learning and the arts, the other two work groups focused on designing age-friendly communities and a scientific approach to understanding the health and wellness benefits of the arts and creative expression. I had two simple interventions: first, to urge that artists and researchers work with lifelong learning programs in the OLLI network and second, to ask if more could be done on designing and policy making for the hearing-impaired.   

The White House Conference on Aging convenes every ten years. At year's end, we should have a summary of these conferences. Hopefully, lifelong learning will be recognized as well as an aggressive policy agenda to address the accessibility issues of the hearing-impaired. The NEA has requested and received my presentation on hearing loss, "Now Hear This."  We will continue to help build the case while also advancing our own copper looping of our classrooms. As the saying goes from Ms. Piggy, deeds not just grunts are needed on this front.

Susan Hoffman

Faculty Profile: Pete Elman

Interview by Jennifer Monahan

Pete Elman's course "Turn, Turn, Turn: A Rock 'n Roll Road Trip" was a runaway hit in Spring, and Part Two of the course -- which starts next week -- has near-record enrollment. His teaching and performing style has clearly struck a chord for OLLI members.


You have been performing, producing, and writing music since 1962. What got you started as a musician?

I grew up in Washington, D.C. I started learning music theory when I was five, and began piano lessons when I was seven. I started playing in bands when I was ten, picked up the trombone at 11 and played in the dance band at school (what would today be the jazz ensemble). There was never any question of what I wanted to be when I grew up; never really any consideration of anything else. I learned guitar and bass at 14.  By then I was working most weekends, and by 16 I was writing songs, and did a short stint as musical director for Peaches and Herb.  After college in Boston and a year on Cape Cod, I moved out to Los Angeles with a D.C. band that had a record deal; that fell apart, so I spent a couple of fun years in Santa Cruz. I then moved to Austin for two years-learning a lot from Texas musicians--before moving back to San Francisco. I played with a lot of great people along the way -- among them Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, Lacy J. Dalton, and the band Pride and Joy -- and worked as a studio musician both in San francisco and Los Angeles.


And you're also a teacher.

I've been a music teacher at Blue Bear School in SF, and I also have a teaching credential in History. I've taught part-time with the Albany school district for the past 8 years. I also worked as a freelance sportswriter for the Contra Costa Times form 2000 to 2011, and was the columnist for the Oakland A's Fan Coalition.


How did this course come about?

A friend, Dave Meggyesy, taught an OLLI course on football last fall. I had written a feature about him for the Times a few years back, so he knows me as a writer. When he suggested that I could teach a course on rock and roll, I thought up the outline for the course in about two minutes. I contacted Susan [Hoffman], and it all fell into place. Of course, teaching at the Freight and Salvage is ideal for this kind of course.


What has been the most rewarding part of the course for you?

This course combines four things I love: music, teaching, writing, and history.  The students are completely focused, and it's great to see them connect with the material. Overall, it has been very rewarding to teach something I'm passionate about and be able to share that passion. 



Volunteer Profile: Jake Warner
by Gale Lederer, OLLI member

"The Free Speech Movement opened so many people's eyes," Jake Warner remembers. "It got us questioning received wisdom." Jake grew up in the New York suburbs, where he attended a private boarding school and then Princeton. But fatefully, he came west in 1963 to study at Boalt Law School. "Berkeley changed my life-being here during those years," he says. He successfully ran for president of the Law School Association on a radical ticket. Upon graduation, he worked as litigation director for Legal Aid in Contra Costa County and lived in a hippie community.


"I could never see myself carrying a briefcase," Jake tells us. So he and his friend, Ed Sherman, invented Nolo Press, which has given many ordinary people (including the present writer) the information and skills needed to handle their own legal issues. "It was something that felt politically right," he explains, "and it attracted a lot of fun people." Eventually, Nolo employed 110 people and published works on 250 legal subjects. Currently, four million people visit the Nolo website every month.

After 40 years of running Nolo Press, Jake and his wife, Toni Ihara, sold it four years ago. He has since moved into "writing a silly novel," yoga, hiking, golf, saving Sonoma County from development...and OLLI. "Learning new things is the purest pleasure there is," he tells us. He loved Russell Merritt's "When Movies Mattered" as well as Marty Pollard's course on evolution, Peter Elman's rollicking rock and roll romp, Tamim Ansary's ruminations on ripple effects in history, and Deborah Lichtman's recent writing course-among much else. He has volunteered with OLLI's Curriculum Committee and strategic planning process. In the spring of 2014, he accompanied Director Susan Hoffman to the national OLLI conference. He feels that OLLI is "not just a way to keep old people occupied"--it's also important to society. "Many boards of directors and non-profits are run by older people. We need to keep ourselves current--to keep learning new stuff." He'd like to see OLLI offer a larger variety of courses that are broader, deeper, and more diverse, and perhaps have its own building. If Jake has anything to do with it, all this--and more--is likely to happen.

Annual Fund
Many thanks to the generous members who have made gifts to OLLI this academic year. If you would like to make a gift, you can always make one online at olli.berkeley.edu/donate.

Gifts from OLLI members provide 10% of our annual budget, and help support faculty salaries, classroom technology like our copper loop for students with hearing loss, and our Fee Assistance Program.


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.


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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