By Annie Richerson
OLLI members traveled to New Orleans for the Off-Broadway production of An American in Paris. Thirty-seven members led by Tay Baucum spent the morning browsing shops in the French Quarter and sampling food and drink specialties. A number of restaurants such as Tujaque's, Muriel's and Tableau provided lunch and music venues.
Members went to the Saenger Theatre to view the matinee performance of the Broadway in New Orleans series of An American in Paris. The production with orchestral composition by George Gershwin is a musical play inspired by the 1951 Academy Award winning film. "OLLI provided a flawless day trip to NOLA to see a fabulous production. The most stressful part of the day was deciding what delicious meal to order from the French Quarter restaurant of your choice. This was a totally wonderful experience, and how can you beat a Gershwin!" remarked Ann Shoemake.
The audience was entertained with music, dance, costumes, set designs, and a ballet sequence referencing French painters. The play, set in Paris immediately following World War II as the city struggled for normalcy, featured the principal characters of Jerry Mulligan, an American soldier remaining in Paris to pursue his art, Adam Hochberg, an American composer creating a ballet, Henri Baurel, a wealthy Parisian balancing family expectations, and Lise Dassin, a beautiful dancer hiding a mysterious past. The plot developed as the three men, yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war, fell in love with the young dancer. The musical score and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin included the songs "I Got Rhythm," "But Not for Me," "Stairway to Paradise," and "They Can't Take That Away." Charlotte Hill summed up the experience by saying, "The play was a delight in music, dancing and backlighting. Tay did a marvelous job of organizing the trip."
By Carolyn Rothery
The days of newsmen Edward R. Murrow, David Brinkley, and Walter Cronkite are long gone. We listened, we believed, and we trusted. Whether or not objective journalism exists in the modern era was the subject of a lively discussion of a recent seminar, "Objective Journalism: Does It Exist?"
Three professors from the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism stirred our thinking about impacts and influence of bias in the world of journalism. The panel included professor and author, Dr. Christopher Campbell; Assistant Professor, Dr. Loren Coleman; and Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Cheryl Jenkins. OLLI Director Brett Harris served as moderator.
Part of the discussion and questions centered on the five corporations that now own almost all media outlets. The question arose about whether they are more driven by profits at the expense of fair and accurate balanced news. Those five companies choose which revenue-generating ads to run. Sometimes the ads can be so cleverly constructed they may be mistaken for news. Public radio and public television were offered as more balanced sources because they are not profit driven.
The panel was of the opinion that the depth of investigative journalism especially in smaller, local markets suffers due to the complexity of issues and the need for profits. ProPublica and Atlantic Magazine are often relied on by some multi-media outlets and newspapers seeking investigative reporting, they said.
Our panelists encouraged us to get information from a variety of sources, and to look at a story for the journalist's biases and framework of knowledge. We, as consumers, have a responsibility to examine facts for ourselves, especially in social media.
By Mary Nagurney
Seminar facilitator Jennifer Ingram Johnson described Evelyn Gandy as a woman of Mississippi firsts: first female President of the Ole Miss Law School Student Body, first woman elected to statewide office (as state treasurer), first female lieutenant governor. The list of firsts goes on and on.
Born in 1920, the same year women won the right to vote, Gandy entered the political world early. At age 28 she represented Forrest County in the Mississippi House. One of the most significant pieces of legislation she advocated as a young officeholder was the establishment of a four-year medical school. Students were attending a two-year program of medical education at Ole Miss but then had to transfer to out-of-state medical schools. Often they did not return to Mississippi. Because Gandy and many other young members of the coalition trying to pass the bill were Ole Miss Law School graduates, they were very familiar with the problem.
Johnson read Gandy's account of attempts to pass the bill: "It had been previously introduced and died an ugly death." The vote was going to be very close, possibly a tie.
"One strong supporter of the four-year medical school was hospitalized in Jackson," remembered Gandy. "This was Rep. Zelma Price. When she learned how close the vote was going to be, she arranged for an ambulance to bring her to the floor of the House of Representatives or to the entrance of the House, close enough for her to be in a position to vote. When the roll call on the passage of the bill was completed, we had won by one vote, which we all said was the vote of Rep. Zelma Price, from a stretcher, at the door of the House."
Mississippi's constitution gives a great deal of power to the office of lieutenant governor. Gandy used that power aggressively and wisely from 1976 ? 1980. Under her guidance the legislature enacted 16th section land reform, financially benefitting Mississippi schools. Before the reform act, 16th section lands were often leased for pennies an acre. Guidelines now require that schools receive full appraised value.
Relying on a coalition known as "The Gandy Boys," she successfully championed mental health and criminal justice reform, ethics legislation, and unprecedented funding for public education, junior colleges, and universities. She had long been a supporter of education. Her 1947 campaign platform when she was running for the House of Representatives included full support for the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and "a fair and just share of appropriations for Mississippi Southern College in Hattiesburg."
Johnson had a personal view of the life of Evelyn Gandy. Her father, Carroll Ingram, was one of the Gandy Boys and after Gandy's days of public service were over, she practiced law with him. Johnson is working on a biography of Gandy, which will hopefully be published in 2020, the 100th anniversary of her birth.
By Carolyn Crosby
OLLI's own Dr. Aleta Sullivan facilitated this fascinating class on "Human Genetics." She used her wonderful teaching techniques to capture the minds of students. Basic instruction on the history of genetic research, definitions of terms such as nucleotides, chromatins and centrioles, and the workings, configurations and replication of DNA laid the foundation for the class.
Dr. Sullivan's instruction of how DNA is constructed, relaxes, tightens, and eventually passes on necessary information to originate and maintain a being was cemented with her students by the use of hands-on techniques. The class fashioned a DNA helix (with great effort) and formulated the replication process for necessary proteins. Mercy was granted when the replication list was a short one and not one that required hundreds of combinations.
Through this instruction, the miracle that most of the time the combinations in our bodies are correct and produce the results we all take for granted became apparent. This heightened awareness of the constantly ongoing process within each of us generated new respect for the life we carry in each cell. Demonstrations of how certain combinations produce particular results, both detrimental and phenomenal, and provide the world with such variety proffered the participants the knowledge of why we are each so unique, yet so like our forebears.
This class is highly recommended when it is retaught. The gleaned information is invaluable.
There isn't an article, but here are three pictures from the seminar. Look for a couple guests leaving early.