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September 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 September 2023 edition of The Inside Scoop.

Fall 2023 Semester News and Reminders

Fall Semester Starts

Next Week!

We are so excited to start our 42nd semester of Encore Learning classes! Registration is ongoing with classes running through mid December. Check out our Courses page for the calendar view, grid view, a PDF and more.

Reminders For Fall Courses

We’re looking forward to seeing you in class, either in-person or virtually, soon! You will receive a reminder email with more information two days before your class begins, but in the meantime, here are a few tips and reminders to help you prepare:

In-Person Course Locations: All class locations, including room numbers, can be found in the course description. All courses at GMU will be held in Van Metre Hall at the Mason Square Campus in Arlington. Paid parking is available in an attached garage accessed off of Kirkwood Boulevard. Parking for two hours is $9.00. There are nearby parking meters as well.

Zoom Login Information for Virtual Courses: All Zoom login information has been uploaded to your member account and can be found in your class media. You will use the same login information for all class sessions, so we recommend saving the login information to your desktop. For tips on using Zoom, see these resources.

Class Media: You will be notified by staff when supplemental class materials are available to view in your member account. To access class media, log into your account on Member Account Manager, open the My Activities tab, navigate to the course, and select the View Media link.

Inclement Weather and Other Policies: Please see this link for more information.

Still Trying to Decide Which Classes to Take?

Check out these new classes starting soon

Refugee Stories

Through an overview of U.S. refugee and asylum history and policies, as well as stories from refugees who have settled in the Washington area, this course will examine the eligibility, status and resettlement of refugees and asylum seekers along with the role of government, the United Nations and private groups.

The course will include personal accounts by asylees/refugees from Afghanistan, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe.

Click here for the full course description.

Changing World Order: Great Power Competition and Fragile States

Today’s perennial problems of global security include:

  • The Changing Foundations of World Order
  • The United States in the World Today
  • The Middle East: A Perpetual Hot Spot
  • The Wicked Problem of Fragile States

Drawing upon personal experiences, this course will address these issues across four class sessions.

Click here for the full course description.

Baby Boomers

The generation that was born in the two decades after World War II had wide-ranging impacts on our nation’s educational system, health care, housing, employment, transportation, politics, religion, demographics and culture. 

This course will use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative sources to examine the impact of the 76 million Baby Boomers.

Click here for the full course description.

What Kind of Volunteer Are You?

Are you energetic, friendly, welcoming? Or organized, thoughtful, inspired?

Or maybe all of the above, or something entirely different!

For example, right now we need someone (maybe YOU) to:

  • help “clean up” our database
  • update lists with members’ names, phone numbers, e-mails, etc.
  • deliver Encore Learning flyers each semester
  • staff a table at some of our in-person events throughout the year

Wherever your talents and interests lie, three things are true for each of you: YOU are welcome, needed and appreciated for your valuable contributions to Encore Learning! Thank you!

If you would like to become an Encore Learning volunteer, please email the office at info@encorelearning.net, and we will help you find the perfect match for your unique talents.

More Volunteer Opportunities:

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? Consider joining this vibrant, interesting group of members. If you are interested in getting involved with the Special Events Committee, please email info@encorelearning.net.

Join Our 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.

Walking School Bus

Get on Board the Walking School Bus! Arlington’s inter-generational Walking School Bus is looking for Volunteer leaders for school year 2023-24! Known as the Us Bus, Arlington’s Walking School Bus is looking to expand our successful year-long pilot at Oakridge Elementary by matching local adult volunteers with students who live in the neighborhood elementary school walk zone so they can walk to school together. Find out more: Walking School Bus – Volunteers – Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs,

Goodwin Living Partnership Update

Last month we told you about 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. Thank you to Marilyn Marton, Jean Falvey, Marty Suydam, Jane Nagy, Steve Shapiro, Dick Juhnke and Tom Adams for visiting Goodwin Living communities to spread the word about Encore Learning. We are happy to report we have had an enthusiastic response to this partnership from the Goodwin Living residents. Please give our many new members from the Goodwin Living community a warm welcome!

Club News

Travel Club

On September 15, 2023 Lee Cooper reported on her recent trip to the Pantanal region of Brazil. Many scenic vistas along with some spectacular wildlife photos, including jaguars.

Please contact info@encorelearning.net if you’d like to join the Travel Club.

The next Travel Club meeting will be on October 20 at 3:30 PM on Zoom. Steve and Linda Shapiro will discuss their trip to Scotland in July to travel the Calendonian Canal end-to-end, visit isles of the Inner Hebrides, and tour Inverness and Edinburgh.

Tech Hobbyist Club

For the first time in 3-1/2 years, the Tech Hobbyist Club got together for a potluck cookout. Lots of great food and wonderful conversations were had by all.

The Tech Hobbyist Club meets on Zoom every Monday at 10:00 AM. Please contact club coordinator Steve Shapiro at steve.shapiro31@gmail.com for information or if you’d like to join.

Current Issues Discussion Group

The Encore Learning Current Issues Discussion Group meets virtually for 90 minutes two times each month (typically on a Wednesday afternoon 3:25 to 5:00) to discuss interesting topics.

Some of the recent discussion topics included the Ukraine & Russia situation, Global Warming Crisis, Animal Rights and Protection, Education, Propaganda & Disinformation, Future of US Elections, and the US Economy.

New members are welcome and invited to participate in discussions or just listen and learn. Interested members should contact the office at info@encorelearning.net, or Club Coordinator Richard Lawrence at: rlawren@hotmail.com. We hope to welcome you at our next discussion!

New Club – Chamber Music Club

Introducing Encore Learning’s new club, the Chamber Music Club. Are you interested in joining Encore Learning members for FREE, high- quality chamber concerts at St. George’s Church adjacent to the Virginia Square Metro Station? The Friday Morning Music Club with its concert level musicians is sponsoring 16 free performances on Fridays at noon from October through May at St. George’s. This is conveniently located across the street from Mason Square so you could attend a morning class and then attend a concert.

The first concert is on Friday, October 16. More info: https://fmmc.org/event/st-georges-chamber-series-12/

If we have at least ten Encore Learning members sign up to receive emails announcing the concerts, the club will be official. Please email info@encorelearning.net now if you would like to join our club and be on the email list about upcoming concert meet-ups.

New Board Member Profile: Bill Reilly

We are pleased to welcome longtime Encore Learning member Bill Reilly to our Board of Directors as co-Chair of the Publications Committee.

Bill has been a member of Encore Learning since 2011. He was recruited by Becky Reddick, former Publications Committee member and Managing

Editor of the course catalog. Bill answered a few questions we asked of him:

-What made you decide to join the Board?

Education has opened up new worlds for me. I believe in self-motivated, life-long learning, and I want to be involved in something larger than myself. I just finished serving as an officer of my choral society, so now seemed like a good time to stand for election to the Encore Learning board.

– What is your favorite thing about Encore Learning?

We all start out not knowing what we don’t know. Learning about what we don’t know is the next step. For example, in a Psych course taught by Bruce Britton, I learned about “negativity bias.” Turns out there is an evolutionary benefit: in a precarious environment, our ancestors either had to be super-hyper-cautious or become lunch for some saber-toothed tiger.

– Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Greenwich, in the southwest corner of Connecticut, and graduated from Fairfield, a Jesuit university in the nearby Town of Fairfield. I was not into hedge funds or financial services, so Greenwich was not the place for me.

-What else do you do in your spare time, when you are not volunteering for Encore Learning?

I mentioned my choral society, where my wife Annette and I sing together. We

also play duplicate bridge and love to travel. I am a long-term member of the

Unitarian Church of Arlington. Oh, and I play golf. Talk about life-long learning.

– What’s your favorite food?

I grew up with a lot of Italians and worked for a time in an Italian restaurant, which by the way had the best garlic bread I’ve ever tasted. Thus, at the top of my food list is just about anything Italian.

– Where in the world would you like to visit?

Norway and Sweden are currently at the top of my list, perhaps with Road Scholar.

– What is one thing you’d like our members to know about you?

I was once thrilled to get my own IBM Selectric correcting typewriter. I won’t say when that was.

Our Members are on the Radio, Directing Films and Speaking at the Library

Member Jeff Hoffman is a regular DJ on WERA- 96.7 FM in Arlington and streaming at wera.fm. Jeff says: I invite you to follow Happy Joyous and Free Radio on Instagram. I’m trying to post more often than, say, never. You can find us at @happyjoyousandfreeradio. This link will get you there instantly: Instagram (@happyjoyousandfreeradio). If you want to be introduced to cool, new music from artists you probably haven’t heard yet, allow me to curate for you from time to time. Search for “Cool Papa Jeff” and click the Heart button to follow the show. https://www.happyjoyousandfreeradio.com/.

From member sheri ratick stroud: WONDER PICTURES has three films in the Catskills International Film Festival. Opening night is October 20 with showings and parties. The week follows with online viewings and closing night with live viewings and parties is October 27. The three films in the festival are: Star Time; Imaginary Friends and Encore Learning, 20 Years and Growing.

From Instructor and member Peter Harnik: In October, the three library systems of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudon Counties will be jointly celebrating their connection through the 45-mile-long W&OD Trail with tents along the trail, giveaways, and get-togethers with community partners. They’re calling it Spoke ‘n Word: W&OD Trail Takeover.

In preparation for this, I will be giving a free public talk on the history of the rails-to-trails movement that created the W&OD and more than 2,000 other trails across the country. The talk will be based on my book, From Rails to Trails: The Making of America’s Active Transportation Network. The presentation (followed by a question-and-answer discussion) will be at 6:30 PM on October 10 at the Arlington Central Library. (The book will also be available for purchase.) The event is free; you can register here: https://arlingtonva.libcal.com/event/10753353/

Staff Corner

I recently welcomed the fall equinox from the 51st parallel in Jasper, Alberta, Canada. At a night time observation we saw the International Space Station soar across the sky. I also observed some very active, older than me, hikers speed past me on the trails. Being away for a few days was a great way to learn some new things and appreciate what we have at home.

Encore Learning is all about learning new things along with keeping your mind engaged, meeting new friends, and motivating you to be active. We know from research that these activities help ward off dementia and increase your quality of life.

We are excited for the fall semester. We also hope you remember how to check your class media and have added your courses to your calendar. Remember you can still register for any class.

Each class has a staff host contact that is available along with your volunteer Class Aides if you have any questions or concerns. We also have many new members that may need some guidance in how to navigate their benefits. Please welcome new members and offer your tips.

We were sad to say goodbye to our colleague Alissa Locke, Marketing and Communications Specialist, in August. Alissa made several contributions to Encore Learning’s outreach including clever Facebook posts and flyers along with hosting many classes. We wish her well as she spends more time with her family.

I am glad you found us or have stayed with us for awhile. Tell your friends about Encore Learning so we can keep sharing with new members all the enjoyable benefits you all create.

Lora Pollari-Welbes

Executive Director

Welcome To Our New Members

During August 2023, we welcomed the following new members:

  • Dwight Allen
  • Tyler Anbinder
  • Mary Beth Baluta
  • Robin Barbee
  • Linda Berg
  • Susan Bornstein
  • Mike Bush
  • M Laurie Cammisa
  • Jace Chambers
  • Gregory Cleva
  • Ruth Corlett
  • Donna Cornman
  • Mary Culnan
  • Susan Daniels
  • Eric Derks
  • Dorothy Friedlander
  • Eric Gartman
  • Helen Geiser
  • Joyce Gibson
  • Larry Gibson
  • Marilyn Gould
  • Judy Greenberg
  • John Hansen
  • Judy Hansen
  • Cathy Healy
  • Judy Howard
  • Laurie Hughes
  • Judith Kaufmann
  • Debbie Kirzner
  • Sam Kirzner
  • Ted Kramer
  • Nancy Laro
  • Barbara Leaf
  • Samuel Mason
  • Patrick McCarthy
  • Mary Mcclelland
  • Lisa McGregor
  • Thomas McKnight
  • Dorothy McManus
  • Elizabeth Nigro
  • Michael Nigro
  • Edway Nooger
  • Gary Nooger
  • Gary Olejniczak
  • Jan Pomerantz
  • Kathleen Raffaele
  • Nancy Randolph
  • Sally Recinos
  • Alan Saltman
  • Albert Santiago
  • Anita Schroeder
  • Sharon Simkin
  • Jeanne Springmann
  • Elizabeth Stephens
  • Candace Stiklorius
  • William Tiernay
  • Rob Warne
  • Susannna Warne
  • John Wasowicz
  • Everett Wilcox
  • Bernadette Wolford

Thank you to Goodwin Living, Lorraine Rhoad, David Tate, Wayne Wittig, Barry Ginsberg, Rhoda Ritzenberg, Nina Janopaul, Jackie Kramer, Randy McKnight, Annie Hall, Bob Terzian and Bruce Tiernay 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.

Tell Your Friends About Encore Learning

The best way for Encore Learning to keep offering great classes, clubs and events is to recruit new members. You can help us by inviting your friends to join. Here is a sample email you can send to your friends. Just customize with how many years you have been a member:

It’s back to school time for students of all ages, including me. I have been an Encore Learning member for xx years and really enjoy the learning, connecting, and fun. College-level classes, no homework, excellent instructors, in-person and online options, low fees, and a great variety of classes, events, and clubs. Whatever your interest, there is bound to be something that intrigues you. Information about membership, events, clubs, and classes is available at www.encorelearning.net. I’m happy to talk with you about Encore Learning and hope you join. Thanks for considering us!

Help Us Connect

We’re looking for a few good outreach opportunities with the regional community to tell them about Encore Learning. Do you have contact with the pre- or newly retired services for any branch of the military, Federal, state or local government employees? Any contacts with a faith community that is interested in programs which could serve its age 50+ members? If so, please send Lora Pollari-Welbes a message at info@encorelearning.net. Thank you!

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