By Carol Ann Lewando
David Bryan Reed is an OLLI enthusiast as a participant, committee member and facilitator. Dave and his wife Vicki can be found enjoying OLLI classes when they are in town, but their life of travel takes them to far-off places throughout much of the year. A native Texan, Dave received degrees in agricultural engineering at Texas A&M University. His work with the National Weather Service as a river flood forecaster brought him and his wife to the Gulf Coast.
Dave and Vicki have traveled extensively to all continents except Antarctica. His hobby of birdwatching as a member of the National Audubon Society is something he has been interested in since the 1990s. He has identified a total of 977 species since his hobby began. The rarest bird he has encountered was a White-breasted Thrasher on the island of St. Lucia. His most prolific bird watching day was in a small area just outside of Buenos Aries, Argentina where he, with the help of a guide, identified 103 species in a seven-hour period. He enjoys traveling to Costa Rica not only because of the birds and wildlife but, he states, the government has been careful to preserve the abundant natural resources of the country.
In his retirement, Dave became interested in OLLI. He thought it was an excellent way to meet new people and to continue to keep himself physically active, with the exercise classes offered as well as mentally stimulated with the varied OLLI offerings. He has facilitated classes for OLLI in both Birds of South Mississippi and Travel Tips, two areas in which he is certainly well versed. In 2019, he and Vicki plan visits to Cuba and Guatemala.
By Kevin Kistler
In a real "hands-on" experience, seminar participants gathered around a collection of bones, bullet casings, clothes, and other evidence to try to solve the case laid out before them. Using what they had just learned about identification of gender, ancestry and trauma based on human bones, they donned their Sherlock Holmes deerstalker caps and navy-blue scarves, grabbed their Cherrywood pipes and "dug in."
Fascination with forensic anthropology has been popularized by TV shows like CSI, Dexter, Bones and Forensic Files. It continues to be an area of interest for many people. On her first visit to Gulf Park, Professor Marie Danforth, a physical anthropologist at the Hattiesburg campus, brought a team of graduate students who shared their knowledge and their enthusiasm about forensic anthropology. The presenters were able to demystify many of the secrets in this field by demonstrating techniques used in the popular television shows. The team brought actual samples that class members could hold and view. In addition, they had picture boards and a very lively PowerPoint.
Following the presentation and Q&A period, the class began their investigation. Based on the evidence provided in the sample crime scene, participants could discuss the age, race and gender of the victim by viewing the skull (cranium), cheekbones and teeth. Then they identified the trauma and which injuries were post- and pre-mortem. Fortunately, the classroom case was solved without having to call administration.
The seminar proved to be so interesting that several members of the class stayed after the workshop to continue the discussion.
By Jon Caridad
Several members of OLLI on the Gulf Coast attended a seminar on the causes and rise of Marxism. An informative and interesting presentation was made by Instructor Susan Mullican of the Philosophy Department at Southern Miss Gulf Park. Using an anecdotal approach, Mullican traced the root causes of the social revolution begun by Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, both of Germany, and the philosophy of righting the wrongs of the inequal social system they observed. Marx and Engels identified greed as a root cause of inequality and then began a movement to unionize labor and humanize working conditions in Germany, England, France and the United States. Several measures advocated by Marx and Engels were enumerated, and it was pointed out that some forms of those have, in fact, been realized in various ways in the world (one example is free, public education for all). While the intention of Marxism is to manage society, its usefulness as an economic system is minimal. Mullican's presentation was well received, and OLLI members are encouraged to attend other sessions with this instructor in the future.
By Linda Lanty
Early last August, Charlie Mabry of the Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi and several excited OLLI members, all ladies, got together at the museum to mold fish mobiles. Many of those attending had driven to Biloxi from the Hattiesburg area. The seminar took place in the large, fully-equipped pottery workshop adjacent to the Ohr.
After each participant had donned an apron, the instructor patiently detailed each step in the process: (1) press a four-inch lump of gray clay into a rough sphere; (2) push the thumb deeply into the middle of the clay; (3) pinch the clay between that thumb and the fingers like an alligator opening and closing its mouth; and (4) ta-da! --a fish head! (5) repeat four more times for the body segments, add a tail and paint. Charlie fired and strung the segments, and the completed fish mobiles, carefully packaged, were available for pick up just two weeks later.
My fish mobile is displayed on the porch, providing a pleasant tinkling sound. When I spy it or hear the musical sound, I can't help smiling to myself and thinking, "I made that!"
Thanks to all who helped make it possible!