A community of learners over 50
February 2021 | Vol 1, No. 4
But February Made Me Shiver ...
Here we go into February together! The month with thoughts of love in the air, celebration of Black History, and now some hope that the vaccine will get to many people and we can make progress on herd immunity.

It’s been a long strange year with new developments daily about the pandemic and the election process, and now the eyes of America are on Tampa Bay as our Bucs become the first to ever play in a Super Bowl at home!

So many OLLIs have worked very hard together to bring us great classes and SIG activities this Winter term, harnessing technology to make most of these things possible virtually, to keep our minds and bodies active. The sun is rising higher in the sky each day and its light is lasting longer -- we have many reminders that life still is good! 

Send ideas and suggestions for the March issue to me, Mary Ettinger (ettinger@usf.edu).
SIGS - an Important and Growing Area of OLLI

As you know, there’s more to OLLI than classes. Many of our members have joined together to form Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) which allow them to keep informed and have fun meeting outside the classroom, with like-minded peers on a topic important to the groups. Meetings are mostly virtually these days with the exception of the OLLI Outdoors hiking group. Recognizing the growing importance of SIGs, the OLLI Advisory Board has amended its bylaws to make the SIG Coordinator a member of the Board. This will enable better coordination between SIG members and the Board. Anne Haywood, our current SIG Coordinator, will be keeping SIG members up-to-date about the Board’s activities and will be sharing SIG members’ activities and ideas with the Board. Welcome to the Board, Anne!

Meet Kathy Palmer, leader of the NEW Online Games SIG
by Anne Haywood
Kathy has been an active member of OLLI since joining in 2017. As co-chair of the Social Events Committee, she served on the Board from 2018-20 and is currently a member of the Volunteer Management Committee. Kathy is a member of the Food! Glorious Food! SIG and is an active volunteer with Talking Movies.

When Board Chair Phyllis Alpert asked Kathy to lead a new Online Games SIG, Kathy accepted and now hosts a monthly meeting of happy OLLI members who enjoy getting to know one another and using their brains - for fun! Thank you, Kathy!
SIG-nificant Events
Anne Haywood, SIG coordinator

Our Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) offer community and informal learning around a shared interest. They are open to OLLI members and we encourage you to give one or more a try! For full descriptions of each group, see the full list here.
Most SIGs are meeting on Zoom. To visit their next meeting, request login info from the contact below.

China SIG
Tue, Mar 30 at noon-1:30pm For more information, contact Nancy Stuart.
Food, Glorious Food!
Mon, Feb 22 at 10am Guest speaker Helen Freund, Food and Dining Critic for the Tampa Bay Times. For a visitor’s pass contact Jane Applegate.

Thur, Feb 11 at 3:30pm Play Scattergories with us!
Email Kathy Palmer for the link.
German Conversation
Tues, Feb 9 and 23 at 1pm. For more information, contact Christine Basch.
OLLI Outdoors
Thur, Feb 11 at 10am Lake Dan Nature Preserve
Fri, Feb 26, 3-4pm Special Guest Speaker - Butterfly virtual program with Nicole Pinson, Extension Agent - Urban Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County.
To try out an event or attend the Butterfly presentation, email Ollioutdoors@gmail.com

Feb 22 at 2pm Arlene Lewis remembers Opera and the Old Met, and Lynn and Lawrence Pohl on Number Operas (under N.)
For information and a guest invitation, contact Derrie Perez.

Wed, Feb 10 at 1pm Email Bill Sapper for more information.
Talking Movies
Fri, Feb 19, 2pm Watch the movie (Shoplifters) on your own, then get together to talk about it. For more information, contact Kathy Palmer.
Write Time for Poets
Thurs, Feb 11 & 25 at 2pm
Poetry writers get together and just do it. Email Cath Mason for more information.
Keeping Zoom Fresh - Al Carlson
In these “difficult times” Zoom is our connection to OLLI classes. And Zoom (the company) releases updated versions of its product frequently, sometimes weekly. The Zoom App on your phone will update automatically. You can update the one on your iPad by visiting the App store and tapping “Updates.” But if you use a PC or Mac for Zoom meetings and classes, you have to work a little harder to keep Zoom up to date. Not a lot harder, just a little. And since each update makes Zoom easier to use and more powerful, the effort is worth it.

We’ve got two ways to make this updating task easy for you. First, a set of what we hope are simple instructions. Ready?

Click on the Zoom icon on your Desktop. Log in, if you need to.
Find your initials or image in the upper right-hand corner of your Zoom “home” page. Click on it. This will open a drop-down box of choices.
Click on Check for Updates. If there are any, Zoom will instantly begin to download them. In a few seconds it will offer you an Update button to click on. Do it. Congratulations! You now have the latest version of Zoom.

Not comfortable with those instructions? No problem. Click here to visit the OLLI Members’ Page on the web site we’ve created for OLLI Instructors. You’ll find an illustrated guide to Zoom updating there.

Your OLLI Board Needs You
by Joan Weaving

The OLLI Board of Advisors is an all-volunteer group of OLLI members who are motivated and committed to keeping our OLLI a thriving organization.

Board members have the responsibility and opportunity to influence issues such as how and where we market OLLI, how we attract new members, how we approach program development and attract instructors, how we raise funds, how we attract new volunteers , how we manage our finances, and all the other functions which support our director and staff.

What Board meetings look like now...
Help Us Recognize an Outstanding Volunteer!
by Diane Russell
2020 Outstanding Volunteers
Kitty Sullivan, Al Carlson and 
Charlie Croucher
Our 250+ volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization! Their efforts keep OLLI available and affordable to all of us. Three outstanding volunteers are recognized annually with the following awards:
  • Award of Excellence
  • Above and Beyond
  • Lifetime Achievement
Help us recognize outstanding volunteers by nominating them for an award! Click here for nomimation form.
Nominations are reviewed and determined by members of our Volunteer Management Committee.

Winners will be announced on a date to be determined. They will be celebrated in various ways this summer and fall. 
The deadline for awards nominations is Friday, March 12, at 5 pm.
People News
In Memoriam: Ella McAllister
Ella was a very active and much loved OLLI member who died last March 19 at age 78. Her passing came at the beginning of the upheaval caused by the Coronavirus, and we missed reporting it to our members at the time. Ella served on the OLLI Social Committee and was a fixture at most of the events the committee worked on back when we were able to meet in person. Her special warm smile as a greeter when she welcomed us and showed us where to go is a memory many of us have when we think of her. Ella was a communications representative at GTE/Verizon for 40 years, and an Elder in her church where she taught the new members class and ministered at a nursing home. Some comments about her said she was a spiritual mother, a salt of the earth kind of person, a team player in every way, a beautiful soul who epitomized love, and more. Ella's obituary is here.

Send your OLLI People News to our Goodwill Ambassador, Carolyn Clark. Thanks to your efforts, we are learning more about the challenges (or joys) we are facing, so we can reach out to them. Email Carolyn here or call her at 813-545-7477.