Wait Until Dark

Peter Terzian

Some people love the theater, because it gives them a chance to be on stage—to be the star.  I love it, too.  But I have no interest in being out there in front of the audience.  My place in theater is behind the scenes, creating the world that the stars perform in.

I’ve been doing lighting, sound and projection for theater since I was on the stage crew in high school,  then as a school technology teacher and at Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream.

I came across the James McCabe Theater and the Valrico Village Players probably 10 years ago.  It’s just a couple minutes away from  (More…)

Rogues’ Gallery, Part Two

David Campbell

We shared a Rogues’ Gallery of photos with you Monday–the creative folks who have made OLLI Connects’ first year possible. 

For today’s issue, we’ve chosen snippets of their writing and photography that we think are representative of our overall group of contributors.  Each brief snippet links back to the full work.  Enjoy!   –Editor

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Rogues’ Gallery

The OLLI Connects blog is almost a year old, and in its first few months of life it has showcased the writing and photographic talents of over two dozen OLLI members.  We’d like to recognize and applaud them here.  (Well, most of them.  We don’t actually have photos of every one of them.)

If you see someone you recognize–and we’ll be astounded if you don’t–feel free to send them an “Attaboy!”  And, while you’re scrolling through the slide show, take a moment to think about how great your face would look as part of this group.  It could happen.  (More…)

Florida Birds and Wildlife

Gail Parsons

Every state thinks that they have the greatest natural environment and the best “birding” in the country.  They’re wrong, of course.  Florida is clearly the best.  And we have some photographic proof in this article.

We also have some really interesting courses coming up in our Fall semester.  We’ll give you more information about them at the end of the article.  (More…)

Great Books, No!

Robert Strozier

I recently moved to Tampa from Manhattan and—among other things—joined OLLI. Everyone I know seems to be taking or teaching courses there—the joint’s jumping. I particularly look forward to some of the Great Books courses…well, sort of…

This ambivalence dates back to my undergraduate days at the University of Chicago in the early 60’s. I was a little too young for college then (as many people are, of course). I should have waited 50 or so years—thank heavens for organizations like OLLI.

The concept of the Great Books was deeply embedded in the culture of the U. of C. (Still is, I’m sure)—a legacy of former president Robert Hutchins. Maybe it was the term that was so unnerving: GREAT BOOKS. Taught by GREAT TEACHERS. Meant for GREAT STUDENTS. One was followed everywhere by the ghosts of the past whispering…  (More…)

No Fleas in Sight

OLLI Shutterbugs

The Indie Flea market, a classy event with an ironic name, seems to draw all the beautiful young people in Tampa to the Armature Works every third Sunday of the month. So the OLLI Shutterbugs went to check it out in May.

Dozens of friendly, mostly young, artisan sellers of handmade clothes and jewelry, soaps, plants, greeting cards, cookies, gelato and other wares stood and sat at rows of stalls, some of them unable to keep from dancing to the pervasive beat of piped-in music. They were well outnumbered by the even younger, upbeat crowd, with the occasional baby and dog, that filled the aisles. You have to love crowds to come here, and for photographers who like to take candid shots of people, what better way to spend a summery afternoon? And, of course, it’s air-conditioned.  (More…)

Taking Life by the Throat

April is National Poetry Month, and we’re celebrating it (again) with another group of poems by OLLI members.  That fellow in the picture is, of course, Robert Frost, one of America’s best known and best loved poets.  He was Poet Laureate of Vermont, though never Poet Laureate of the United States.  He once described poetry as “a way of taking life by the throat”.

We think he would have enjoyed the poetry we have for you today.  And at the end of the post we’ll share some other ways you can enjoy poetry this month.  (More…)

Words That Burn

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate the awesome things poets can do with just 26 letters and some white spaces.   We asked some famous writers how they’d define poetry.  Here are a few of their responses.

“Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn”. –Thomas Gray.  “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance”. –Carl Sandburg.  “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful”. –Rita Dove.  “Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat”. –Robert Frost.

And Carol Ann Duffy said “You can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what’s in your heart”.  Which is exactly what some of our own OLLI members have done for us here.  (More…)

All About Beer: Craft Brew, Microbrew, You Brew

Peter Terzian

OLLI usually doesn’t go in for tests or grades.  But we do like to spring a pop quiz on you every once in a while.  Like now!  Read this post’s headline and—without help from Google—tell me in one word what Peter Terzian’s upcoming class will be about.

Time’s up!  Who has an answer? Now, let’s not always see the same hands. Yes! The correct answer is “Beer.” Those of you who got it right can congratulate yourselves!  Those of you who got it wrong will just have to study harder.  In fact, you may want to take Peter’s class.  In the spirit of pop quizzes, we asked him some questions about it.  (More…)

Haiku! Gesundheit!

Cindy Knox

Reading for Pleasure — Haikus as Book Reviews

Some of us have begun an OLLI-USF class that requires close, critical reading. The morning and afternoon Winter Great Books classes, facilitated by Kevin Chittim and Patrick DeMarco, are just two examples. The selected texts, none of which could be described as easy, are read and then they are discussed in the group using the “shared inquiry” method.

I am in the afternoon Great Books class and, reviewing what I just wrote, I notice a tendency to yawn.  Why, oh why, did I sign up for this class, I wonder? The answers are that I am a long-time fan of Patrick, I know many of the people in the group, and I also need to exercise my brain after two years of absence from OLLI. These group discussions are stimulating, and I come away afterwards feeling exhilarated and also virtuous. However, there comes a time for each of us OLLI members… (More…)