by Debra Tillery
Photographers: above - Jennifer MacDonald; left - Pamela Lamb; right - Peter Kehler.
In the old days, the days before Zoom's take over, the iPhone Photography and Photo Editing group held a fantastic photo shoot at the cSpace. Each of the three featured photographers brought a unique, immensely creative perspective to documenting the stories that this illustrious space has to tell. Their commitment, and the commitment of all who attended that photo shoot to the concept of photography as an artistic medium for story-telling is truly inspiring.
The newsletter is showcasing our Interest Groups.
Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is the worst of times; it is the best of times. It is the age of the most disruption to our daily lives that most of us have ever seen. It is the age of self-discipline and reaching out to others.
Nowhere are these two virtues more obvious than in CALL. Thanks to all the volunteers who are getting programs running again in different ways. There are now about 40 groups meeting and there was a Zoom live Health & Wellness lecture yesterday. What would we do without Zoom technology? It’s getting us through these days. It seems likely that some groups will continue to meet that way, even if they could meet face to face. There could be many other similar ways to help mutual learning.
This technology also provides opportunities. For instance, we are working with the McGill Lifelong Learners Association on two joint programs, both using Zoom, and both designed to increase mutual understanding between East and West Canada. One would be a joint discussion group so that hopefully ‘those in Quebec will better understand why we Albertans complain so much, and we Albertans understand better where Quebec is coming from’. The other one would be a book club that looks at Quebec and Prairie literature.
About 25% of our members volunteer to run programs and provide support to make them happen. It is because of the skills and hard work of volunteers that CALL programs have quickly adapted to the pandemic imposed restrictions. For example, the CALL Information and Technology team has responded to hundreds of requests for assistance with new technology. They have provided advice and support so that we can continue our discussions and presentations and they have made changes on the website to keep us all up to date and informed. Usually at this time of the year, CALL has an event to recognize the efforts of all who make the place run. Who knows when we will be able to formally recognize you the volunteers, but you are not forgotten and are greatly appreciated. The event will be held when members can meet together face to face again.
Springtime is when the fall programs start to get planned – what programs, who will run them, where will they be held. This year, we have to plan for the best and plan for the worst. Maybe we’ll be meeting face to face starting in September, and maybe we won’t. We will be ready both ways.
May 1 is the start of our membership renewal time. We expect to have a full and enhanced menu of programs in the fall so please renew your membership and encourage your friends to join as well.
Finishing with another Dickens quote – this time as he wrote ‘No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. I hope we can all help each other in these tough times’. CALL can be a way we all do this.
The CALL membership year is September 1 – August 31, but we have always encouraged new members to sign up and take advantage of a special deal that extends their membership from May 1 to September of the following year. This year we are also extending the invitation for current members to renew at any time after May 1. The membership Team is well organized and will be happy to accept and process renewing memberships as well as new ones at any time after May 1.
Secretary to the Program Committee
This role will commence at the end of July. The duties include;
If you are interested in this posting please email Volunteer Coordinator and we will respond as quickly as possible.
by Lorna Jamison
If asked six weeks ago, if we were having fun playing bridge online, I would likely have struggled to respond due to technical challenges. However, I can now give a confident and resounding YES — CALL’s Basic Bridge group is thriving, learning, and having fun.
Every Wednesday morning, we play together using BridgeBase, an online program. To communicate while we are playing, we use WhatsApp, a cell phone app that uses wifi for audio. It enables us to continue debriefing and improving our bridge skills.
All players have learned to set up and host a table which means that people can play with one another during the week and our group can accommodate more players. So far, we’ve averaged six tables per week but expect seven next week. Our success is due to a team of intrepid volunteers: Sheila Ichino, Barbara Schneider, Sharon Gross, Wayne Murphy, and Bobbi Ott. Many thanks!
If you’d like to play, kibbitz, or ask questions, please contact Lorna Jamison, one of the facilitators.
The talented and energetic CALL volunteers have been developing online programs to try to replace the social and information experiences from "Before COVID-19". In April there were Coffee by Zoom, Online Sing-along for Fun and Health and Wellness Speaker Series: Parkinson’s Association of Alberta. These events are open to CALL members only and are announced by email invitation. In order to register for these presentations, you must be logged in to CALL.
Please check the website regularly as there are new events and interest groups being added frequently! Remember to log in to see all that is available to our members.
Have you checked the CALL website recently to see what new groups are being proposed? Two recently posted possibilities are:
Ria Kinzel has been part of a poetry workshop run by the San Francisco poet, Diane Frank, for about 25 years on and off. While she has mainly written for the joy of playing with words to explore experience precisely, Blue Light Press is publishing a chapbook of her poems this spring. A career language and literature teacher, she has lead poetry workshops with adults and high school students.
In the fall she will offer a CALL monthly workshop in reading poetry with greater understanding. Since trying something for yourself is one of the best ways to understanding how it works, the workshop will include the opportunity to write and share poetry in a supportive setting. This will be a co-operative endeavour with plenty of input from participants.
The sun rests easy in the hammock of an elm
the pavement tanned by snowmelt.
Rooted on the library steps, a bag woman
blousy as a rain-drummed peony, shouts:
Where you striding, white hair lady? Chill!
Nubile girls gather like flocks of flamingos
smooth, shapely legs, brown, cinnamon, pale
weave and blend.
Hipster dudes preen. Their barbelled biceps and torsos
blossom butterflies, skulls, flaming snap dragons.
Small boys rejoice at a purple turd
etched on a muscled calf.
Nurtured by the returning sun, patio bars have sprouted.
Girls, energised by pizza and iPhone
flaunt hair, hug, twitter.
Brooks Brothers bankers, open-collared, metro-sexual,
savour tankards of boutique beer.
Lovers preen and coo.
The red-haired youth at a corner stall
slathers ketchup, green pickles and mustard.
A daycare files by. Small hands clutch a rope vine.
that sprouts bubblegum ice cream cones.
The woman on the library steps raises unkempt hands
smiles wide at the proffered hotdog:
Bless you lady! Bless the sun!
Emerald Lake, British Columbia
The moose that left deep tracks across the lake has gone.
The snowfield stretches smooth and white to the distant shore
where age-striated mountains slash the sky.
Pillows of snow caught by the sun
sparkle like diamonds on their black-firred reaches.
Distant crack and rumble of an avalanche.
Under the ice, dormant trout, fins winter-stilled,
retain faint memories of fly-snap, splash and ripple,
glimpses of reedy banks, whispering the busyness
of small scurrying life
field mice, crickets and butterflies
among columbine, saxifrage and buttercup,
of a hundred shining rivulets gushing from grey crags
tripping along fault lines, embracing perpendiculars
giggling across stones.
Milky glacier-melt reflects the sky as emerald
swells the lake, stirs deep currents
urges resumption of slow, sure movement to the sea.
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 email@example.com. 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.