Your Turn to Connect

You’ve been enjoying the posts in OLLI Connects for a long time now.  You’ve seen short stories, personal reminiscences, humor, poetry, photography, and personal insights into travel, science, and history. And occasionally, just occasionally, you’ve thought “I could write something like that!”  Don’t be coy.  I know you have.

Well, it turns out that now is an excellent time for you to turn that thought into action.  Creative action.  Or visual action.  Or explanatory and analytical action.  Whatever sends that pleasant surge of electricity through your brain cells.

Why now?  OLLI Connects’ editor since its inception three years ago–You know.  That Al Carlson guy–is moving to North Carolina.  In fact he’s already there. And while the Web makes location theoretically irrelevant, physical absence will make his heart go wander, and OLLI Connects needs an editor who’s an active part of the OLLI-USF community.  Fortunately, we have exactly that person in Theresa Sokol. And trust me, videos aren’t the only thing she does extraordinarily well.

But one of her first tasks will be to learn the ins and outs of WordPress, the tool we use to build and publish our posts.  And that’s no walk in the park.  So, it would help her to have a wealth, a plethora, even an overabundance of submissions to work with.

And that brings us back to you.  OLLI Connects is about OLLI-USF members sharing our stories, and building connections with one another.  You’ve got talent, folks.  You just need to work up the courage to share it.  If there are some rough spots in your work, we’ll smooth them out, so you don’t have to be perfect.

To get a post to us, attach it to an email sent to Cath Mason (  Preferably as a document MS Word can open.  I’ve found ways to convert Pages documents and Adobe PDF files to Word, but it’s cumbersome, and the conversion is not always accurate.

So, now that you know the what and the why, fire up those creative brain cells that you’ve let languish for too long.  Let that pleasant creative electricity flow. And if you bump into writer’s block, remember the advice of renowned 18th Century essayist, Gustave Gutenscriber, “Write drunk; edit sober.”

Al Carlson HeadshotRetired Librarian, Al Carlson, joined OLLI-USF in 2016, took a few interesting classes, was shanghaied into the OLLI Leadership class, and through an odd series of events was invited to create and edit OLLI Connects.  Having had no previous experience with blogs, he learned how to edit this one by trial and error (Not to be confused with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury).   He will miss the friends he’s made here tremendously. (Click on his photo for an added message.)


10 Replies to “Your Turn to Connect”

  1. Alan, you have done so many important and significant things for OLLI in such excellent ways. From developing our new website for our instructors, facilitating online instruction by organizing, developing and training moderators for our Zoom classrooms, helping our members learn how to “Zoom” on a one-to-one basis, helping to process our ENCORE videos and helping to create and then manage this great OLLI Connects blog! I’m sure I’m missing some of your volunteer activities. Wow – you are definitely our super-volunteer! Thank you. We certainly hope you will remain tied to OLLI-USF, at least virtually. Best of luck.

  2. Many thanks to that Al Carlson guy for all his sober–maybe a bit drunk, let’s call it creative–editing and shaping and designing of pieces he’s done over the past three years. He’s even been patient and good-humored–unheard of in an editor. Best of luck and thanks, Al.

  3. I hope NC doesn’t claim you entirely. I second everything Jeanne said and echo the super-volunteer accolade.
    Welcome to Theresa!
    I hope all blog readers will become blog writers too. Please do consider it. We all have stories to tell.

    1. Thanks, Diane. FYI, the piece you wrote on word clouds a couple years back is still one of our most frequently read articles. You should have requested royalties.

  4. Al, your Zoom advice was always invaluable. I loved that you enjoyed the hunt for clever ways to solve our problems. You were kind and attentive as we stumbled along together learning to be moderators. It was a joy to work with you. Much love on your new adventures in North Carolina. I’m sure you’ll find your way to OLLI there. Take one of their folk craft courses and long walks in the woods for me.

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