The Inside Scoop - For Members Only
Dear Office, 

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. We welcome content so please share pictures or stories from your Encore Learning experiences.
Get Ready for the Spring Virtual Course Preview!

Encore Learning staff and instructors are excited to fill you in on all the details about our new and returning courses for the Spring 2021 semester.

You may join us for the preview on Thursday, January 28 at 9:30 AM.

Registration for Spring 2021 will be live on our website at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 1. Until then, here's a sneak peek at a few more of the new courses we're rolling out for spring.

2008 Healthy Relationships - Kate McCauley
An instructor, therapist, wife and mom, Kate McCauley knows the importance of healthy relationships whether they be with friends, family or work related. Her course will engage students in discussion and exercises, helping to give the "virtual" classroom a more in-person feel. McCauley lives by the mantra, "A relationship is based on mutual respect, trust, honesty and caring." Join her this spring to make sure all the relationships in your life are as healthy as can be.

6005 Spring in Arlington Parks - Multiple Instructors
How many of us reside in an area full of luscious nature we've grown so accustomed to that we hardly recognize it? Spring in Arlington Parks is your chance to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the beauty of Arlington. The course will focus on Arlington's parks, issues facing Arlington's watershed, Arlington's streams and Arlington's invasive species.

4019 The Nonprofit Sector and Community Needs - Multiple Instructors
Nonprofit organizations act as the plumbers to the "leaky pipes" or needs of the communities that they serve. Whether a community has issues with access to healthcare or strives to make it's a neighborhood a more sustainable place to live, you can bet there's a nonprofit working behind the scenes to achieve those goals. This course delves into the history and structure of nonprofits, how they help provide basic human services, partnerships designed to accomplish missions and the funding necessary to thrive year to year.
With a variety of courses led by an assortment of working or retired professionals, we're sure you'll find a course or two that's perfect for you!

Some of Encore Learning's
new instructors.
Clockwise from top left:
Carl Lankowski,
Kate McCauley,
Brendan Murphy,
and Christine Milliken.
New look for Member Account Manager
As the spring semester registration date grows closer, you'll notice changes in Member Account Manager. Marty Suydam, IT Committee Co-Chair, will be providing an overview of the registration process during our Virtual Spring Course Preview tomorrow. We will also host a Zoom Registration on Monday, February 1 from 10:30 to 11:30 AM for those who need help registering on registration day. Zoom Link:
Remember, registration begins at 10:00 AM sharp on Monday, February 1.
Results are In

We are extremely grateful to the nearly 300 members who completed recent Member Survey. The responses we’ve gathered will help us to better serve you as we continue to adapt to virtual learning, clubs and events.

Informative feedback we’ve learned from your responses includes:

53% of members learned about Encore Learning through a friend!
Word of mouth is so powerful! Please continue to share the courses, clubs and special events that you enjoy with others.

65% of members said that they won’t prefer virtual learning when the pandemic has ended while 67% of members said that they would be open to a mix of virtual/in-person meetings for the Fall 2021 semester.

The most positive aspect of going virtual was identified by 78% of members as being able to participate from anywhere, while 76% of members said the most negative aspect was the lack of social interaction and 55% said they missed a closer connection with instructors/presenters.

Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID19 pandemic, we won’t know for sure when things will return to our sense of “normal” but we will continue to operate in a fashion that keeps our members, instructors, volunteers and staff safe and healthy.

Staying engaged, even via Zoom, is one way to mitigate the feelings of isolation and loneliness. We welcome your ideas about how to improve social interaction while we are engaged virtually.

We are always happy to welcome members who want to volunteer in making our programs and events a success, as well as your insight on how we can do so.

A Few Selected Member Survey Comments:

“Prefer is a strong word for virtual vs in-person. I like the social aspect of Encore Learning. But there might be reasons to take virtual classes based on scheduling conflicts or illness or class material or class size. I like virtual for large class size because I can see the presented material easier on my screen, and I can get into size impacted classes. I would love to have all classes offer a virtual link in case enrolled folks feel ill and wish to attend from home.”

“I'm happy that Encore Learning was able to transition to virtual courses, club meetings, and special events; but I very much look forward to getting back to in-person experiences.”

“I'm very pleased with my first year as an Encore Learning member. As a Virtual Course Aide this Fall, I was able to interact with the instructors and staff more intimately than as a participant in a virtual course this Spring. That helped my craving for human connections, in addition to supporting the Encore community. I can't wait to see what Encore and its academic programs committee have created for us in 2021!”

“Virtual courses have many advantages but in my case, as an instructor, lack one important feature, face-to-face interaction with students during class. I encourage questions at any time, and responding to student questions often helps enhance understanding of the presentation. Interaction with and receiving feedback from a mature student body is also something I seek.”
Save the Date
Encore Learning President Tom Adams and Executive Director Lora Pollari-Welbes will be featured on the Aging Matters Podcast to discuss Encore Learning's offerings.

The podcast features a variety of topics of interest to older adults and their families.

The pre-recorded episode will be aired on Tuesday, February 2 at 2:00 pm on WERA 96.7 FM. You may also listen on the Aging Matters website and your podcast channels.
What ELSE? Encore Learning Special Events

Four Japanese Art Tours for 130 members
Pandemic or no pandemic, Encore Learning members “traveled” to Japan via the National Museum of Asian Art (a.k.a. The Freer Gallery) to spend time with the paintings of Hokusai, the popular 19th Century Japanese artist, whose most famous work is The Great Wave. To meet the heavy demand for this virtual tour, ELSE scheduled and offered this tour three times: Sept. 10, Nov. 12, and Jan. 6. Additionally, Michelle Trahan arranged a December tour for members of EL’s fall semester class on Hokusai, accompanied by our wonderful teacher Carol Morland.

In each tour, knowledgeable docents from the Museum spent an hour with our members, carefully viewing and discussing some of the great Hokusai works from the Museum’s collection, as well as objects on loan from other museums that were part of the Hokusai: Mad About Painting exhibit. Members learned about the art, culture and life in the Edo period in Japan. Each tour ended with an opportunity for members to ask questions and to make observations. Trahan said, ”We are thankful , as always ,to our good friends at the Smithsonian for sharing their wonderful works of art and their equally wonderful docents with Encore Learning.”
Thunder God by Hokusai
Thunder God, dated 1847 (hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, 126.9 x 53.8cm

Encore Learning Presents: The In's and Out's of
Daylight Savings Time on January 11

Michael Stewart gave a presentation covering daylight saving time and other aspects of how time is considered. You can view the recording of the event at our YouTube channel. If you want to go deeper into the topic you can check out a research report on the impacts of daylight savings time. You might also want to check out a 1974 video Time of your Life, narrated by James Whitmore, which inspired Michael’s lifelong interest in time and how we use it.
Encore Learning Presents: Dan Sherman tells the West Side Story Program on January 25
West Side Story, the ground-breaking Broadway musical and movie that featured acting, singing and, as a breakthrough, dancing to tell a modern version of Romeo and Juliet, mesmerized audiences for over 50 years.
Dan Sherman entertained more than 250 people as he related the story of how it came to be and the A-list of creators who brought it to life, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Steven Sondheim. Featuring interviews with the creators, scenes from the original Broadway production (after it debuted at National Theater in Washington) and many little-known facts, Dan gave all of us something to smile about as we listened to its familiar music and learned how this iconic show became a cherished American musical. For highlights from Dan's West Side Story presentation, click here.
Club Corner

Many of our clubs are meeting virtually at this time. These include: Breakfast, Cinema, Current Issues Discussion Group, Mindfulness, Nonfiction Book, Tech Hobbyist and Travel. If there is a club you wish to know more about, contact us at and we will connect you with the right information.
Breakfast Club meeting January 20. Photo courtesy Lee Cooper
Connect with Us
Did you know that there's another way to connect with Encore Learning virtually?

Our YouTube channel is the place to be for video content of special events, course previews, zoom tutorials and more! Share our channel with your friends as another way to spread the word about all we do.

You may subscribe to our channel or just view the videos by visiting us Encore Learning's YouTube channel.
Wanted: Treasurer for Encore Learning!
The Nominating Committee has launched a search for this important leadership position. If you like numbers and finance, this could be the Encore Learning role for you! The Treasurer is an officer of the Board of Directors for a two-year term commencing July 1, 2021 following the vote of the membership in May. Learn more about the role by contacting
Staff Corner

Staff have been busy getting ready for the Spring 2021 Semester. Encore Learning was the victim of US postal service delays and a flyer sharing info about the semester may not have reached your mailbox. Fortunately, we know you read email and you have all the info you need to attend the Preview and register. Please email us if you have questions. If you have ideas of how to stay engaged with each other during the all virtual times, please let us know.

We are grateful to all of the volunteers who worked hard over the past few months to develop courses, edit course descriptions, plan the Preview, test new technology, support volunteer class aides and instructors, plan special events, promote Encore Learning, host clubs, and serve on the board. If you would like to get involved in one of these activities, please contact us at
Welcome New Members

In December 2020, the following new members joined Encore Learning. Please be sure to give these folks a warm welcome.

Anne Marie Castrovinci
Jay Fisette
David Fox
Ellie McCann
Chris O'Donnell
Hideko Stevenson
Elizabeth VanderPutten

Thank you for referrals: Sandy Saucier and Barbara Sakamoto

Remember that your membership must be current through the end of your course to enroll for a course.
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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