Spring Morning at the Pond by Diana Horler, a member of the CALL Digital Photo Group
The CALL membership year is September 1 – August 31, of the following year. The membership team is happy to accept and process renewing memberships as well as new ones at any time throughout the summer. The Board has revised the wording of CALL’s waiver to meet current legal standards. When you are renewing your membership you will be prompted to also renew your agreement to the waiver.
By Edna Einsiedel
If you have been hankering for interesting movies to watch while ‘in isolation’, CALL certainly has the experts members can rely on for their recommendations.
Our experts include George Melnyk, Tamara and Robert Seiler, and Carla and Melvin Pasternak. George coordinated the Film Noir interest group which ran three years in a row at the Globe Theatre. Tamara and Robert led the series on Great Directors, the most recent being Great Directors: Contemporary Middle Eastern Cinema. Carla and Melvin led and are still leading the CALL to the Cinema group that continues to meet via Zoom every second Tuesday. This group’s focus is on “the best films currently showing on Netflix”.
Here are the recommendations on films to watch provided by our film experts. The films are available either on the Calgary Public Library website using KANOPY for home streaming or on Netflix.
For the uninitiated, Film Noir is an American film genre created in the 1940s that has crime and passion at its core. Three films in this genre that George suggests watching include:
For those who want to watch something of the same vintage but are lighter and shorter, George suggests the Sherlock Holmes series from the UK starring Basil Rathbone as the great detective. Several of these are available via Kanopy.
Tamara and Robert recommend the following Art House films:
In a different vein, they add that the film Detour (1945) would also be of interest. “A gritty and gripping film noir directed by Edgar G. Ulmer,” the film is listed in the American National Film Registry for its cultural significance. This film is readily available on YouTube.
According to Tamara, “We have also been enjoying revisiting several of the sumptuous films produced by Ismail Merchant and directed by James Ivory.” Their films available on Kanopy include: A Room with a View (1986) and Remains of the Day (1993).
Finally, the Cultural Flash Happenings group CALL to the Cinema led by Carla and Melvin continues to meet by Zoom. They both suggested two films available on Netflix: Sense and Sensibility, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel by Emma Thompson, and Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino’s tour de force. Their group just finished a Zoom discussion on Scent of a Woman and they will focus on Sense and Sensibility on August 26 at 12:50 pm. Any member interested in participating should email Melvin at email@example.com.
Carla and Melvin suggest the following films for those with Netflix:
CALL to the Cinema currently has 24 Zoom participants and it is full for fall. Is anyone interested in starting up a new group? If so, contact the Cultural Appreciation coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Where Did the Word ‘Quarantine’ Come From?
Pandemics were common even as far back as the 6th century when bubonic plague killed some 30M people. As contagion moved from town to town, communities started closing off their towns to outsiders and the Venetian word quarantena, which means “40 days”, came into use. This was the period that ships had to remain in isolation before its passengers were allowed to disembark. From “Cleanliness is next to growth”, The Economist, August 1, 2020.
By Shauna Romanzin
"Very few of us are what we seem”. This quote from Agatha Christie sums up one of the joys of a mystery novel.
CALL members are great readers; if you are interested in joining one of the 15 different CALL Book Clubs check out the Written Word Interest Groups. If the group you want to join is full, consider starting up a new one. Book Clubs work well via Zoom, and they are a great way to experience new authors, diverse styles of writing, and meet fellow book lovers.
Since it seems like we will all be staying close to home for awhile, I asked my fellow Mystery Book Club members to recommend a few of their favourite authors. I hope in the list below, you find some inspiration for your fall reading list:
In CALL Newsletters, in addition to giving you information about current happenings, we hope to give you a peek behind the CALL curtain. No wizards – only dozens of volunteers working in various ways to bring the spark of ideas to fruition.
CALL has an organizational structure that evolves to meet the needs of a growing and thriving organization. In addition to the executive positions, there are committees whose members help to put all the pieces together. CALL is based on the philosophy that as we explore our interests, experiences, passions and ideas with others we create a community of life-long-learners. The Program Committee is at the heart of this community, supporting members to turn ideas into a film noir series, a mystery book club, an exploration of Islam, Judaism or climate change, a world events discussion group or “three lectures with frills” on Medieval History. On the committee are the Lead Coordinators of the six Interest Areas under which the over 60 Interest Groups are grouped and a liaison with the nine Speaker Series. The committee works closely with the Operations and Special Programs Committees. In other words – the Program Committee has its fingers on the pulse of CALL, or to use another metaphor, they have eyes on the big picture and on the small details of the programs which we all enjoy.
Current Interest Groups and Speaker Series are on the website but the work of the Program Committee in getting from an interesting concept to a new Interest Group or Speakers Series exists behind the curtain.
The most common way for a new group to form is to spin-off from an existing group. When the number of people on a waiting list for a popular group justifies it, and with assistance and mentoring from the Program and Operations Committees, a facilitator is identified, a meeting space and time are determined, and a new group is formed. Examples of spin-offs are Our Lives, Our Stories (4 groups), World Events (3 groups), Mah Jong, and Hags and Crones. Each new group may operate quite differently from the first group.
Another way a new group begins is with someone coming forward with an idea:
It might start with a conversation which sparks an idea. You think there could be interest in a new group.
So you contact the Interest Area Coordinator to chat about your idea. You write up a description of the potential new group which is sent to the Program Committee which helps you clarify your ideas. They agree it fits with Guidelines for Interest Groups. You agree to become a facilitator of the new group, and your proposal is sent to the Operations Committee which determines what space is available and what resources might be needed for the group
The description is sent to the IT Team who create a page on the CALL website for the potential new group, and information is posted on the website under Are You Interested?.
The Communication Committee announces the new group in a newsletter. Within a short period of time several people have signed up. You contact them, set a time for the first meeting when you will discuss specifics. Voila…a new Interest Group is born. You have witnessed your idea come into existence.
Another CALL committee involved in bringing ideas to fruition is the recently formed Special Programming Committee whose purpose is “the successful delivery of CALL programs and events that are neither Interest groups nor Speaker Series”. Bus trips, Ukulele Fests, conferences, pub nights and fund raising gala dinners all fall under this umbrella. These volunteers work with the organizing committee – also CALL volunteers – for each event to coordinate all the moving parts – venues, budgets, communication, advertising, scheduling, menus – which need to be in place. These unique activities have greatly expanded the range of choices available to all CALL members.
The role of these committees is to nurture the development of CALL’s menu of programs. Interest Area Coordinators, members of the Program Committee keep in touch with Interest Group facilitators. The communication network behind the curtain informs members about new events and programs and your participation in groups and conversations with others keeps the sparks of innovation alive.
Involvement with any of the CALL committees provides an opportunity to share your experience and to meet others with similar interests.
Check out the Volunteer Opportunities on the website.
Since we can’t meet face-to-face at the moment, we can get to know some CALL members virtually. Meet two people who are volunteering their time to run our organization.
Diana Bloom, Chair, CALL Program Committee
I always loved learning and school and I think I really have always been a “lifelong learner”. I earned an Honors BA and a Master’s degree in Sociology with specializations in deviance and criminology. During my working adult life I took many art courses, a U of C continuing education Certificate in Management and the City of Calgary’s Leading for Excellence program. But, probably the most fun, educational experience I have had is completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Alberta University of the Arts after I retired. I spent several years learning from great teachers and blissfully drawing, painting, and sculpting with lots of twenty-somethings.
I started my career in the not-for-profit sector working for the United Way doing research and working with new and established charitable organizations to provide needed services for Calgarians. I was the Executive Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society for a short time, however the majority of my working life was with the Calgary Police Service. I started as a planner but my last ten years were spent managing the research, planning, crime analysis, and library functions within the Service.
My husband and I relish travelling and we have been lucky enough to travel all over the world in the last few years and learn about the people, history and culture of many other places. We take a lot of our more exotic vacations with Road Scholar, a travel company that specializes in educational travel for older adults, and has excellent guides and lecturers.
I continue to learn through my association with CALL, not only in the Interest Groups and Speakers Series I have attended, but the past two years as Program Chair have provided a lot of insights for me into people and the workings of an educational organization. I am sure I will continue my learning journey as I take on the role of Fund Development Chair this fall. I hope to contribute to the growth and functioning of CALL by working with the Board and its Committees to determine the most important funding needs and develop and implement a plan for long term, stable funding to ensure the ongoing success of this great organization.
Barbara Decker Pierce – Incoming Program Committee Chair
My husband and I moved to Calgary last December to be closer to our daughter and her family. Before retiring in 2016, I was Director of the School of Social Work at King’s University College, Western University in London Ontario. When we arrived in this city, we were looking for ways to meet people and get involved in our new community. In London we had been active participants in the Society for Learning in Retirement (SLR), so when we found CALL on the internet it was an easy decision to join. As an educator I value learning and the importance of continuing the learning journey even as we grow older. I have also found that the best learning takes place when learning with others. CALL has been helpful in keeping us connected to the learning journey in this time of pandemic. I love the opportunities Calgary presents for outdoor recreation (we are enjoying CALL’s Tuesday Walks in the City group) and of course I love to read (the mystery genre is a current favourite). I am looking forward to working on the CALL Board and hope to be able to contribute to the important work it’s doing to keep Calgary’s lifelong learners engaged and connected through its wonderful programs.
From the CALL Board
Thank you to so many members who responded to our questionnaire about Fall 2020 Programming. We heard a lot of useful information, including that as of the last week of July about 25 percent of responses said they would consider attending indoor programming in the fall. Some 40-50 percent said that they would not, and the rest are “uncertain at this time”. That’s fair, as things seem to change frequently these days.
We also had suggestions about a few additional things we can do to be safe when we do restart indoor programs. The most frequent suggestions was mandatory mask wearing at all times.
There was a lot of interest in more online delivery of programs, many useful suggestions about topics. And most important of all, we have additional names of people who are willing to help us deliver programs.
The Board is still digesting all the information and will make decisions in August about next steps. You will hear more about fall programming before the end of August. Thanks again for all your input.
By Ron Foyer
Members are welcome to attend any CALL Board meetings. These are currently done by Zoom. Our next one is on Monday, August 17 from 9.30 to 11.30 am. You are welcome to participate in the meetings as well as observe.
Because it’s by Zoom you need to tell me if you would like to be invited. If you do, please tell me by 8 pm on Sunday.
We always welcome members at Board meetings. Some find them interesting enough to consider being a Board member at some time in the future.
Website correction: The Written Word Modern Poetry: Discussion Group CALL calendar dates have been corrected. This group meets the second Thursday of the month.
Are you missing other CALL members? Are you looking for a new activity to break up your routine? Tuesday Walks in the City of Calgary is a new Activities Interest Group which launched Tuesday August 11. Two or three walks will be offered each week in various locations and for different levels of walking. We’d love to have you join us.
Registration is limited to 8 in each walk to conform to COVID protocol so act quickly.
To read more about this Interest Group and receive information for preregistering on one of the walks go to Tuesday Walks in the City of Calgary.
Taking adventage of the glorious weather, the Hags & Crones 3 group met outdoors last week in the backyard of one of the members.
Check out the Interest Groups with room for new members.
As CALL is growing we need more people to help maintain the quality of what we offer. Take some time and get involved in CALL… meet new people, develop new friendships while providing valuable help.
There are still openings for volunteers for board positions and others to keep CALL programs going. Please check the Volunteer listings and/or email email@example.com to see how you can contribute.
Volunteers are the backbone of CALL. We sincerely thank all of our dedicated volunteers who have contributed and who continue to contribute in making CALL such a wonderfully diverse and interesting organization! We are truly lucky to have such a rich range of life experience in our membership. Your time and talent is immeasurable. Simply put… without YOU—our volunteers—CALL WOULD NOT EXIST!
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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