The Inside Scoop
Dear Encore Learning Member, 

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

The Countdown Has Begun!
10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . .
We are closing in on our celebration of Encore Learning's 20th Anniversary on September 12th.
 7 . . . 6 . . . 5 . . .
Details about the festivities and a chance to RSVP will come in an August email. Watch for it!
 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .
Encore Learning's 20th Anniversary Celebration will be held on September 12 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM at George Mason's Arlington campus (Mason Square).

We hope to see you there!
Welcome New Board Member Deb Spero!

With the beginning of our new fiscal year we are pleased to welcome three new members to the Encore Learning Board: Deb Spero (Academic Programs), Noreen Quill (Class Aides) and Anne Werner (Volunteer Committee). They were all recently elected to the 2022-2023 Board of Directors at Encore Learning. Let's learn a little more about Deb in this issue.

Deb joined Encore Learning in 2008 when it was called the Arlington Learning in Retirement Institute. Deb is replacing Barb Spangler as co-Chair of the Academic Programs Committee (Jeanne LaBella is the other co-Chair). Barb now serves as Board President.

Deb's favorite thing about Encore Learning is the variety of courses. She says "Encore Learning provides an easy way to find out more about subjects that may have piqued your curiosity, without making a major commitment of either time or money."

Deb grew up in Frederick, MD and says that at that time is was just a small town that kids couldn't wait to leave. Deb's favorite food is "anything Italian!"

More about Deb: "I am an insatiable traveler, but I still have lots of places on my bucket list, including Nepal, Tibet and other parts of Asia. But I also want to go back to my favorites, like New Zealand and Australia. The one thing people are surprised to find out about me is that I am a scuba diver and I love nothing more than the quiet moments of being 60 feet underwater."

Thank you Deb for taking on this important role on the Board!
Special Events

Were you busy on a Monday and missed an Encore Learning Presents? Catch the recording on our YouTube channel.

Check out our calendar for upcoming events.
Club News

The Travel Club is taking the summer off but will resume with a full Fall schedule of events. On September 16, Charlie Hallahan will present Part 2 of his 2020 trip to Northern India. Included will be Agra and Varanasi. On October 21, Bill Mugg will take us to Yellowstone Park in the winter, and on November 18, we will accompany Marty Suydam on the Queen Mary Two along the northeast coast of the Americas.

All meetings are at 2:00 PM, usually on the 3rd Friday of each month. Contact the Encore Learning office if you would like to add your name to the club email list or you are interested in giving a presentation. --Charlie Hallahan

The Encore Learning Non-fiction Book Club will meet next on September 12 at noon in the Bluemont Room of the Arlington central library, conditions permitting. We'll be discussing A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II. The spy was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into the Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and, despite her prosthetic leg, helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.  Note the time, different from our usual 1:30 start, to enable members to attend Encore Learning's 20th Annual Celebration that day. We welcome newcomers. Let the front office know of your interest, and we'll add you to the mailing list. But please, if you do, plan to come, at least now and again.  --Ed Rader
On Monday, July 25, Encore Learning Cinema Club saw the sweet movie "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris." It was heartwarming and delightful. It followed the movie trope of a newcomer completely transforming the lives of everyone
she encounters. The impetus of the story is Mrs. Harris, a housekeeper
in London, wanting to buy a Christian Dior dress. At that time it could
only be done in person in Paris. Deb and I agreed that neither of us is
into fashion so were wondering how we would feel about the movie. We
both loved it. Rob felt a pivotal moment in the movie was out of
character for Mrs. Harris but still liked the movie nonetheless. Dru
was concerned about a break in continuity when a particular character
was holding a beer and then it seemed to magically disappear. Jason
Isaacs, who plays Mrs. Harris's bookie, played Malfoy's father in all
the Harry Potter movies. He was extremely sinister and snotty in those
movies but was convincing as a working class guy here.

After the movie we went to eat at Yamachen Sushi, where we discussed the
movie. Rob, Deb and I sensibly got chicken teriyaki while everyone else
got sushi. Mandy got sushi called Christmas tree which was pretty and
Lark got tuna that looked like watermelon. Speaking of watermelon, we
got complimentary watermelon wedges and complimentary vegetable spring
rolls, both of which were delicious. Movie rating: 4 (out of 5). --Lee Cooper

The Encore Learning Bridge Club met in July for four tables of lunch and Bridge at the home of Cynthia and Jeremy Baskin. Our June meeting also included four tables at the home of Lee Cooper. We'll be taking a break in August, but have set our next gathering for Wednesday, September 21, at the newly renovated Lubber Run Community Center where we can accommodate as many tables of players as sign up. We're thrilled to be able to use their Seniors' Room as it's already set up with card tables and chairs. Host for that meeting will be Mark Linton, with assistance from Sharon Bisdee and Joan Carter, club coordinators. If you're already a Bridge player and want to join our group, please contact the Encore Learning office, Sharon ( or Joan ( --Joan Carter

The Breakfast Club continues to meet weekly on Wednesdays at 8:00 AM at La Madeleine, a low-key, Parisian-style breakfast and coffee place in Bailey’s Crossroads. Club Coordinator is Ron Wise. Thanks to Lee Cooper for the photo.
Although we have been experiencing very hot weather this summer, the Kayak Club members continue to enjoy going out on the Potomac River for a couple of hours of paddling on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month. There is usually a little breeze to cool us off, and we enjoy seeing the lovely birds (great blue herons, cormorants, and lately a variety of ducks and their young) which are common on this part of the river. It's always amazing to think that we are so close to DC, but yet feel so far away!! -- Janice Yeadon

Interested in joining a club? Email for more details.
Fall 2022 Semester is Quickly Approaching!
In the midst of this summer heat it’s hard to imagine that fall will soon be here. We’re busy finalizing the Fall 2022 course line up and are excited to fill you in on our 37 new and returning courses. Be sure to check our website and your mailbox in early August for details on the fall course offerings.
The Fall 2022 Course Preview will be held virtually on Thursday, September 1 at 10:00 AM. This is your chance to hear directly from the course instructors and learn about the classes they are teaching.
We’re thrilled to have 12 new instructors teaching courses for Encore Learning this fall. Here’s a quick peek at some of their courses you may want to consider: 
Passionate about journalism and media? Then you may enjoy Journalism, Democracy and Change. Instructor Charles Self will guide you through a review of how journalism and democracy was thought about in the 20th century. You’ll examine new political forces and media technology that altered interactions between political power players, journalists, opinion makers, civil society and individual citizens. The course will end by exploring where public consensus seems to be headed and what might emerge in the future relationship between journalism and democracy in the 21st century.
Are you a history buff? Instructor Lydia Voronina’s course titled The Soviet Dissidents: Ideas, Actions, Heritage might be just what you’re looking for. This course will introduce you to brave individuals in the former Soviet Union who dared to challenge the Soviet political system knowing full well the risks of public condemnation and persecution. Topics covered will include the major ideas behind the dissident’s actions, the tactics used to organize various forms of protest and dissemination of information, as well as related issues of human rights, religious liberty, and emigration. 
Those with a passion for social sciences and human behavior should check out instructor Lynn Borton’s course What Kind of Curious Are You? This highly interactive course will explore research and theory emerging around human curiosity. Participants will learn about how one builds their curiosity muscle, what a curiosity fingerprint is, and how these concepts relate to learning, well-being, empathy and social justice.
Registration for these courses and the rest of the Fall 2022 line up will be live on our website at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, September 6. Be sure to mark your calendars!
Fall 2022 Flier Distribution
Help Needed!

Please help with the distribution of the fall course fliers! We have identified 28 sites in the area and need some extra help for the physical pick up and delivery of fliers to the sites. Your help is invaluable to keep Encore Learning growing and thriving in our community. Please email with the heading FALL FLIERS and Anne Werner, our Volunteer Committee Chair, will get back to you with more information.

Interested in Being a Class Aide this Fall?

We are actively seeking Class Aide volunteers for both virtual and in-person courses. Class Aides are matched to classes prior to registration. Training will be provided in September. Please contact the office with questions or to volunteer. Thank you in advance for volunteering for this critical role!

If you would like to learn about other volunteer opportunities, go to our Volunteer page on our website.
Follow Encore Learning Instructors

If you want to checkout instructor Ken Avis' band Veronneau, they are playing for free at Lubber Run Amphitheater on Saturday, July 30 at 8:00 PM.

To catchup on instructor Bill Schneider's latest opinion, read his article in The Hill, "2024: A nightmare scenario". Bill is teaching a course on American Politics Since the 1960s following the midterm election.
Staff Corner

The summer has found us busy with Special Events and Clubs as well as planning the details of the Fall 2022 Semester. We are really looking forward to the Fall Preview and registration day.

Be sure your membership is current before registration day. The flier mailed to your home has your membership expiration date printed on it so you will know if your membership is due to be renewed. If you have trouble renewing your membership just let us know and we will forward you an an invoice.

Please invite a friend to join Encore Learning. To sustain the high quality offerings and staff support, we need to grow our membership.

We are excited that our new Marketing and Communications Specialist, Alissa Locke, will join us on August 1. We'll share more info about Alissa in our next edition of this newsletter.

~ Lora 
Lora Pollari-Welbes, Executive Director
Calendar Announcements

  • Fall 2022 Course Preview, Thursday, September 1 at 10:00 AM.
  • Fall 2022 Registration, Tuesday, September 6 at 10:00 AM.
  • 20th Anniversary Celebration, Monday, September 12, at 2:30 PM.

For the most current status of Encore Learning, check our public calendar.
Welcome New Members

In June 2022, the following new members joined Encore Learning. Please be sure to give these folks a warm welcome.
  • Stephanie Lane
  • Claire Reinburg
THANK YOU and to all of you who kindly refer friends. Thank you to the Membership Committee for their efforts to spread the word about Encore Learning. Tell a friend about Encore Learning so you can see your name here!
Donations are Welcome

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, to the Arthur W. Gosling Youth Scholarship Fund or the John T. Sprott Scholarship Fund.
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

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