Photo by Bill Stilwell, CALL Digital Photography Group
Last year at this time, as we made resolutions and thought about the year to come, we would never have predicted a year like 2020! We ignored the Cassandras who warned that a pandemic was not only possible but inevitable. We thought that such events only occurred elsewhere, far away to others. Well, here we are, on the threshold of a new year, having learned and experienced more than we ever thought possible. We have resisted and persisted!
We have experienced disrupted plans and waves of fear, disbelief, anger, grief, resignation, isolation and concern for family, friends and our communities. But we have also been amazed by the creativity and resilience of individuals, businesses, governments and organizations and by the dedication of those on the front lines in health care and other essential services. We have a new appreciation for epidemiologists, virologists and for scientists who can sequence the DNA of a microscopic virus and then develop a vaccine in record time. Our worlds have changed forever. We can’t unknow what we now know.
2021 will no doubt bring new challenges, but also hope for a new normal. We look forward to the time when we can hug our loved ones and meet face-to-face with old and new friends.
Wishing all a happy new year!
A group of CALL members has been working for several months to ‘refresh’ the CALL website. The purpose was to simplify website navigation and make it easier for members and potential members to find information. Outdated and duplicated information has been removed or archived, program and other information has been streamlined and drop-down menus have been simplified.
Other changes are being planned and will take place over the next few months.
Have a look at the website and let us know what you think. Assume that you are a member of the public looking for information about CALL. Is information easily available? Send feedback, suggestions or questions to Web Refresh Committee.
Over the last several months, CALL members have worked diligently to keep CALL active despite being unable to meet in person. Many groups are meeting online. Events like the CALL Holiday Café have been successfully Zoomed for the enjoyment of members and the UkeFest has been redesigned to take advantage of virtual possibilities. A Zoom committee has gained expertise in mounting these events and we have discovered that there are many positive aspects to virtual meetings. Many more people can be accommodated in webinars than can attend in-person events, and members who live outside Calgary can more easily ‘attend’ presentations and Interest Group meetings. Plus, we don’t have to travel on winter roads to participate in CALL!
At the monthly meeting of the CALL Board on December 21, there was a discussion about one possible negative aspect of ‘virtual’ events. Concerns have been raised about recording and posting CALL events online. There are potential liabilities to CALL that could arise related to copyrights, performance rights, intellectual property rights, and malevolent misuse of recordings. Given these potential issues, the Board has implemented a new policy – that there will be no posting online of audio or video recordings of CALL events.
A committee has been established to continue to explore and monitor this issue. If you have questions about this new policy and want to discuss it, please contact Programs@calgarylifelonglearners.ca. In the Subject line of the email put ‘Board Policy re: posting recorded events online’.
Check the CALL website for details of the following events. Registration is required for all these online events. You must be a member to register.
Tuesday, January 5, 7:30 – 9:00pm. Science and Environment
CALL is pleased to announce the relaunch of their popular Science and Environment Lecture Series, beginning in January. We will be using the Zoom Webinar format which allows for larger numbers of attendees and a more orderly presentation format. A Q&A feature in the Webinar platform allows for the audience to ask questions of the speaker at the end of the presentation. The sessions will be held at 7:30pm on the first Tuesday of the month, as was the custom pre‑Covid.
Our first speaker will be Jay Ingram, the widely renowned science reporter who spoke to us in January about prions.This time, Jay will dig into some of the most pressing issues in Alzheimer’s research and treatment.
For more information and to register go to the Science and Environment page.
Thursdays, January 7 – May 20 (10 sessions), 1:00 – 3:00pm. A Look At Islam
Islamic scholar Joud Shafiq will present an introduction to Islam touching on Islamic sources of knowledge, Islamic worldview, and manifestations of this worldview in everyday life.
Monday, January 11, 1:00 – 2:15pm. John A. Macdonald and the First Nations
Don Smith, a CALL founder and historian, will speak on John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, and will highlight the challenges of summarizing Macdonald's complex outlook toward the First Nations.
Saturdays, January 16 – June 19, 9:30 – 11:00am. Ukefest 2021
Workshops by local musicians and a final concert – all online! (For this event only, membership is not required.)
January's workshop: Transposing songs on the uke with Nico Brennan.
Have you ever stumbled upon a song that you love, but you've found the song too high or low for you to sing? Perhaps you've come across a piece of music that you like, but you find the chords too challenging to play…
Changing the key of a piece of music is called transposing the music. If you are a singer who is struggling with notes that are too high or low, changing the key can result in a much better performance. As well, transposing the piece into a different key may make the piece easier for you to play.
For more information and to register go to the Ukefest 2021 page.
Wednesday, January 20, 7:30 – 9:00pm. Treks and Travels
Have Camera, Will Travel. Be ready for when we can travel again. Karen McDaniel will show examples of taking travel photos beyond snapshots to visual imagery.
By Mary Ndlovu
We all knew from the beginning that Susan Cameron was a talented writer. From the moment she joined Group 1 of Our Lives Our Stories she regaled us with tales from her Nova Scotia childhood, her university days, her civil service career and her family. They were usually light and entertaining, filled with snappy dialogue and detailed descriptions of décor, fashions, events and habits we had long forgotten. Sometimes she depicted sadness, often nostalgia, but always we were charmed by the vivid pictures she painted to evoke times and places that struck chords in our own memories.
Our group continued meeting through this past summer, connecting on Zoom, and in August Susan chose to write a piece with the title Bench in the Park, set in Confederation Park – a delightful little compilation of people-watching and musings about life in general and especially during COVID. What we didn’t know was that she later submitted this to a competition for an online organization which calls itself KaleidoscopeWoJo – Reflections on Women’s Journeys, which she had read about in the Alberta Writers’ Guild newsletter. The topic for the contest was “What is your Happy Place?” so Bench in the Park fitted perfectly. And then this week came the amazing news that she had won the “Grand Prize”. We learned little about the organization from visiting its website, but concluded that while it has no earth-bound footprint, it dwells in cyberspace somewhere over north-eastern United States. This was an international contest, with submissions from women around the world!
We invite all of CALL to join us in congratulating Susan, and if you’d like to read her story, you will find it at the following link: www.kaleidoscopewojo.com/what-is-your-happy-place.
While some Interest Groups are temporarily suspended, many are operating online. Click on the link above to go to the Interest Group page to see which groups are open to new members. CALL members only. Registration is required.
For example, Finding Peace and Joy Within begins a new eight week session Thursday evenings, January 14 – March 4, 7:00 – 9:00pm. Instructor Barry Ronellenfitch will guide participants in meditation and mindfulness practices and explore the ideas behind ancient traditions which teach that there is a source of peace and joy within despite the chaos in our daily lives.
The CALL Newsletter is our way to communicate what is going on in our community. Usually we communicate to members about upcoming events, however, since all CALL gatherings are postponed for an undetermined period of time, we decided to use the newsletters as a way to ‘peek behind the curtain of CALL’, to give some general information about CALL groups and members.
You are invited to send your ideas and suggestions for future issues to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know what your Interest Groups are doing and your strategies for coping with this situation in which the whole world finds itself. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity; not every submission will necessarily be published.
Meanwhile, be well, stay well in every sense of the word.
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