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July/August 2023 Newsletter

The Inside Scoop

Welcome to The Inside Scoop, our electronic newsletter. Please enjoy this issue and share your feedback by email. We always look forward to hearing from you. This is the July/August 2023 edition of The Inside Scoop.

Announcing the Fall 2023 Semester

Looking Forward to the Fall Semester

Want a sneak peak at what the Fall Semester courses have to offer? Mark your calendars for the Fall 2023 Course Preview on Thursday, September 7 at 9:30 AM. Watch your emails for details and check our website and Facebook page frequently for updates. The online catalog is now available. We have 35 courses lined up with a wonderful mix of in-person and virtual classes Zoom. Check out our Courses page for the calendar view, grid view, a PDF and more.

Click here to participate in the virtual Course Preview on September 7.

Registration for the Fall 2023 semester begins on Monday, September 11 at 10:00 AM. Classes begin on October 2 with many commencing later in the semester.

The Fall 2023 Course flier with a calendar of classes was mailed in early August. If you did not receive this in the mail, please contact us at info@encorelearning.net and we can be sure your address is current. Please spread the word with your friends and family over 50 who might want to join Encore Learning. We hope to see you this fall!

What’s New This Semester:

Check Out These Three New Courses

Few countries in the world have made freedom as big a part of their story as we have in America. But what do we mean by freedom? And how free is America, anyway?

In this class, we will explore these questions over a variety of ideological and political points of view.

Click here for the full course description.

Shortly after World War II, theater in Britain underwent a profound transformation. New themes and dramatic forms began to challenge the theatrical conventions that had been previously been produced on London stages.

This course will look first at one of the best plays in the older tradition, Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, and then consider three other plays that brought a new kind of theater to Britain.

Click here for the full course description.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine continues. There are no crystal balls to tell us what the world will look like, but we can confidently say that the Ukraine war will result in a fundamentally different geopolitical setting for the United States and Russia.

This class will consider the role an expanded NATO will play and how these disruptions affect energy security and the quest for clean energy.

Click here for the full course description.

Join Our Special Events Team:

Take Members on Tours You Want To See

and Schedule Talks That Intrigue You

Ever wonder how Encore Learning brings such outstanding Special Events to you? Who are the forces behind coordinating speakers, tours and presentations? Get to know the Special Events committee and consider joining this vibrant, interesting group of members.

Kris McLaughlin chairs the special events committee. She explained: “Once a month, we meet virtually for an hour to discuss confirmed and potential plans. My favorite is talking about tour and talk possibilities. It’s challenging to figure out what subjects might interest people. How will the speaker’s style work? And, what’s the best timing for the tour and for us. If you like fun challenges (read smart guessing), then this is for you.”

Louise Kenny suggests and arranges tours and presentations and often moderates Encore Learning Presents Q and A. She said: “I really enjoy contributing to Encore Learning on the special events team. We try to come up with unique, interesting, and varied events, both live and via Zoom. It’s fun engaging with our speakers. Have good ideas and follow through? Give some thought to joining us.”

David Tate observed: “The Special Events Committee provides volunteers an opportunity to work with esteemed speakers and museums as we set up tours and schedule speaking engagements. It gives one a level of enjoyment and satisfaction to create something of interest to our Encore Learning community

and it helps develop or rejuvenate personal skills.”

Debbie Brammer points out: “Being a member of the Special Events Committee has been fun and quite an eyeopener about what all we have available in our DC area. It’s also been fun getting to know the other members of the committee who themselves have an amazing wealth of experience and broad and fascinating personal interests.”

Paula Kauffman has volunteered for Encore Learning in many capacities. She says: “I am brand new to the Special Events Committee and, so far, have really enjoyed organizing garden tours with the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia and I’m working with the Smithsonian Gardens. The best part of volunteering for the committee is getting to know other EL members, where they’ve been, and the amazing things our members have done. It’s a lot of fun to work together with people I’ve had the pleasure to meet through this organization. I hope to see you join ELSE.”

Terry Smith fills many roles – from tech support to external media outreach. He said: “I enjoy meeting a lot of interesting people online as part of coordinating events. My role is to help technically to present the talks on Zoom. I enjoy contributing to the presentation experience and improving the quality of the presentations. I coordinate some tech rehearsals to ensure the lighting, audio, environment, and flow of the show are good. In addition, I submit promotional info to the local media about upcoming presentations.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the Special Events Committee, please email info@encorelearning.net.

What’s Another Way to Get Involved?

Join Encore Learning’s Membership Committee! 

Do you enjoy Encore Learning and want to let others in on the fun? Like to share and brainstorm ideas in a casual, friendly setting? If so, please email info@encorelearning.net or contact Membership Chair Jean Falvey at jeanfalvey@gmail.com for more information about joining the Membership Committee.

Announcing Our New Relationship With

Goodwin Living

Encore Learning is proud to announce our new relationship with Goodwin Living, a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and long term care in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.

Residents of one of the many Goodwin Living facilities or belonging to Goodwin at Home are eligible to receive a complimentary one-year membership to Encore Learning. This partnership was made possible thanks to the support of the Goodwin Living Foundation.

To kick off this exciting new relationship, Encore Learning Board President Marilyn Marton and Instructor/Committee Chair Marty Suydam participated in a vendor fair at Goodwin Living in Bailey’s Crossroads. Encore Learning will be presenting at upcoming Goodwin Living Town Halls and provide information about the special sign-up process.

We welcome Goodwin Living residents and members to the Encore Learning community!

Club News

Travel Club

For the July 21 meeting, Charlie Hallahan presented the Tasmania portion of his 2017 trip to Australia. Tasmania is an island state of Australia.

Fun Fact: Tasmania is home to the oldest golf course in the world!

On August 18, the club will meet again at 3:30 on Zoom.

Dwight Rodgers will talk about four trips he and his spouse Laurie, who has a 10 year diagnosis of Parkinson’s, have taken in the past year. Age and health challenges can be accommodated, most travel services are helpful in making travel possible at a slower and more comfortable pace, and each of the trips we took was a complete success:

– To Australia with a AAA Mid-Atlantic group, visiting Uluru (Ayres Rock) before cruising from Sydney to snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef;

– To Andalusia, Spain with a college-related group

– To New Orleans to join a Road Scholar group, staying at the Hotel Monteleon in the French Quarter and enjoying a mixture of informative talks and excursions by bus; and

– To South Hadley, Massachusetts to Laurie’s college reunion, staying successfully in a dormitory which is not designed for seniors.

Dwight will describe some of the particulars about where they went and what they saw, but the focus will be on the art of traveling with those limitations which seem to grow more obvious each year. Dwight is convinced that many who may be reluctant to travel should see what is available for their age and stage, and hold on to the idea that seeing some of the world remains important.

Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is one of our most vibrant clubs. They meet every Wednesday at 8:00 AM at La Madeleine in Bailey’s Crossroads. Contact Ron Wise for more info.

New Board Member Profile: David Briggs

As the new chairperson of Encore Learning’s Community Advisory Council (CAC), David brings a diverse background of community engagement in Arlington over the last 30 years.

Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he served in the U.S. Air Force, then moved to Arlington in 1972 to begin his law studies at the George Washington University. He joined the Arlington Metropolitan Chorus and then stepped into a leadership role on the Chorus’ Board of Directors.

After a short time away, he returned to Arlington with longtime partner, and now husband, John Benton.

He was encouraged by friends Bill and Ellen Bozman to join the Committee of 100, was appointed to Arlington’s first Commission for the Arts, then was selected for the first class of Leadership Arlington. With his immersion in the many facets of Arlington’s life, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Arlington Free Clinic. He was later appointed to the Virginia Commission for the Arts by Governor Warner, and then elected to the Board of Directors of the Signature Theatre.

As the County Board’s appointee to the Board of Rosslyn Renaissance, he was integral to the formation of Arlington’s first business improvement district, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District. He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Arlington Community Foundation in 2009, (and now serves as an Emeritus Trustee).

Upon retirement in 2017 from the active practice of law, he joined Encore Learning, and has taken advantage of many course offerings. He presently serves on the board of directors of Embracing Arlington Arts, Arlington’s arts advocacy organization.

He and his husband, John, split their time between Arlington and their home in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

As Chair of the CAC he serves on the Board of Directors of Encore Learning. This year he is working to clarify the role of the CAC and update its membership.

Welcome New Board Members

As the new term for Encore Learning’s Board of Directors commenced we had the opportunity for new appointments. Upon Marilyn Marton being appointed as President to fill the term vacated by Barbara Spangler’s passing, the position of Vice President was open. Member and Instructor Barry Ginsberg agreed to serve as Vice President. His term will continue until June 30, 2025.

The Volunteer Chair position was open as the elected member Sandra Borden was unable to fulfill the duties due to scheduling conflicts. Member Jane Nagy agreed to serve as Volunteer Chair. Her term runs through June 30, 2024.

Thank you to Barry and Jane for stepping up to be leaders with Encore Learning. Barry will be connecting with Club Coordinators in his role and Jane will be seeking volunteers both to be on her committee and to fill other roles at Encore Learning.

New Board Members Meet with Schar School Dean Rozell

In June new board members and leaders were pleased to meet with George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government Dean Mark Rozell as part of their orientation to Encore Learning. Encore Learning presented a $2,500 donation to the Schar School Alumni Scholarship Fund at that event.

The Dean shared with the group many details about the growth and development of the Schar School. Did you know they have an undergraduate degree in International Security and Law program based at the Schar School?

Encore Learning is so grateful for our partnership with George Mason University, Mason Square and the Schar School.

Staff Corner

Summer has blown by as quickly as some of those recent storms. I hope you have enjoyed one of the recent Encore Learning Presents and learned something new. If you were away and missed a presentation, be sure to check our YouTube channel to see if it was recorded. Our clubs have been active this summer and I enjoy reading the reviews from the Cinema Club or peeking into what the Current Events Discussion is about.

The Fall Semester is a fantastic lineup of enriching courses with new topics and old favorites, made possible by dozens of volunteers. We always need more Class Aides so if you would like to sign-up for that early, send a message to info@encorelearning.net to get more information. We need to keep enrollment levels strong so we can continue offering the range of courses. Please share information about Encore Learning with your friends. If you are able to share fliers and would like to pick some up for distribution, please contact the office.

Enjoy the rest of the month and we will see you online for the Fall Course Preview on September 7.

Lora Pollari-Welbes

Executive Director

Mason Square Cafe Is Now Open

The Mason Square Café is now open and ready to serve you! This new, go-to spot for on-campus dining includes coffee, teas, and a variety of other beverages as a We Proudly Serve Starbucks location. The Mason Square Café is also introducing build-your-own bowl options, featuring fresh ingredients to create a personalized and wholesome meal.  

The Mason Square Café is located on the first floor of Van Metre Hall. 

Mason Square Café: Summer Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Mark your calendar for a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, August 16, from noon to 2:00 PM. Experience a delightful blend of flavors and connect with the campus community. Check out exclusive offers and promotions and share feedback on what menu options you would like to enjoy at Mason Square Café.   

We look forward to seeing you there. To see summer events happening at Mason Square Plaza, click here.

Welcome To Our New Members

We recently welcomed new members Linda Kelleher, Gwendolyn McIntyre and Libby Costello. We look forward to having them become active participants in Encore Learning. Please introduce yourself to her if you meet her in a class, club or event.

Thank you to Sharon Bisdee, Lee Cooper, Nina Janopaul and Melodee Melin for referring friends who became members of Encore Learning! Spread the word and please refer friends and family to Encore Learning. If you’d like to bring Encore Learning into your community (residential building or neighborhood) to share information about membership, let us know.

Encore Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any donation is a charitable contribution deductible from income tax to the full extent permitted by law. Members, friends and organizations wishing to support Encore Learning may direct contributions to our General Fund to support our sustainability or to the Arthur W. Gosling Youth Scholarship Fund. If you wish to designate a charitable gift in someone’s honor or memory, please email us indicating how the gift should be recognized. If you would like to discuss tax benefits of charitable giving and charitable remainder trusts, please view our Donate page or contact the office.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Inside Scoop. If you would like to submit an article or share some photos of members participating in Encore Learning activities, please email us at info@encorelearning.net.

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Lifelong Learning For Those Over 50