Ducks Under the Bridge by Anne Lefebvre, member of the Sketch Club Interest Group
Have you been wondering about whether or not to renew your CALL membership? Are you waiting until we can meet face-to-face to enjoy CALL gatherings?
The resilience and creativity of CALL members is illustrated by the many groups that are now meeting online. Some Speaker Series have had online sessions. For example, the Public Policy Speaker Series returns on September 17 with an online mini-series on Canadian Federalism and the Program Committee, Coordinators and Facilitators are working to put others online. In order to register for and participate in these online presentations, you must be a CALL member.
The usual CALL September Launch will not be in-person, but a planning group is diligently working to hold this event online, for members only.
A Zoom Help group has formed to complement the IT Team to assist presenters, facilitators and members present and participate in online presentations.
And although we currently are unable to meet in some of our venues, we are beginning to explore meeting in our room at cSpace. Again, this opportunity will only be available to CALL members.
Your membership enables participation, and supports CALL’s continued operation.
Your current membership automatically expires on August 31. For renewal instructions, go to the Membership link. Please note that CALL’s waiver has been revised to meet current legal standard and you will be prompted to renew your agreement to it.
Registration required – deadline September 15
As coordinator of the Public Policy Speaker Series for two years, Dr. Audrey Doerr drew on her scholarly expertise as a professor and her wide-ranging experience as a senior executive in several departments of the federal government to create a highly successful Public Policy Speaker Series. In March, she intended to complete her term as coordinator by offering a mini-series on Canadian Federalism in 2020, but the series was interrupted by the cancellation of in-person meetings. CALL is delighted that she will now offer all three lectures in the series online.
Starting at 11 am every Thursday between September 17 and October 1, each 75-minute session will include a lecture and allow ample time for questions. As evident in the lecture titles, each lecture will focus on a key question. The first lecture, Canadian Federalism: Where Are We Going? will set the stage by highlighting how events and political issues have shaped Canadian Federalism. The second, Is Alberta the Lone Cowboy in Confederation? will examine the background to political protests in the province and will ask what a "fair deal" for Alberta would look like. The third, How Does Indigenous Government Fit in Canadian Federalism? will review current forms of indigenous governments across Canada and identify outstanding issues in current federal government policy. As the titles indicate, Audrey will be asking questions, and her questions and answers will undoubtedly generate further questions and answers among the participants.
For more information, go to https://calgarylifelonglearners.ca/Public-Policy-Issues.
Unlike in-person speaker series, this series requires registration and is limited to CALL members. The registration deadline is September 15. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron Foyer, President, CALL
How times change. Last September we had 450 to our Fall Kickoff at River Park Church with Brian Keating regaling us with how nature has fascinated him all his life. Four hundred fifty people in the same room – not in 2020!!!
But we will be having a Fall Kick off, by Zoom of course. It will be on Monday September 21 at 1:30 pm and take about an hour. We will try to entertain you and also tell you about CALL’s plans for the Fall. We’ll get details to you in the next couple of weeks. I hope you will leave time for this.
Meanwhile, please keep looking at the CALL website for more details on the many Speaker and Interest Group events that are scheduled.
by Julia Melnyk
David and Patricia Fosbrook didn’t want to let COVID-19 stop their Hong Kong Mah Jong group. They’d had an average of five players at cSpace and the players were just catching on to the game. After researching online Mah Jong options, they came up with their own rather ingenious idea. David uses a video camera on a tripod to focus on the table and the rubber mat they have the Mah Jong tiles on. They rotate the mat with the camera staying put so that the players on Zoom can each see their tiles. It takes two laptops – one connected to the camera and one in another room where Patricia sends out the Zoom link and where she can play if they are short a player.
Some players did not want to try Zoom but three or four were willing to. As fairly new players, they were used to playing “open tiles” where everyone sees what the other players have. When it’s your turn, your Mah Jong hand is in front of the camera. Patricia or David do the physical work of picking up and discarding tiles. They had to “train themselves to be very quiet” so they could keep up with what the players want.
Getting the game going seemed very slow since David and Patricia had to do all the work. In a regular game everyone participates by shuffling tiles, setting up the tiles, drawing and discarding them. As the players became more comfortable with the set-up, their play started improving. One player then came up with the idea that they should cover their own monitors at home when it wasn’t their turn to avoid seeing others’ tiles. It’s definitely a team effort.
Patricia and David now have six people registered and everyone agrees it’s a fun social event and a highlight of their week. “Everyone wants to make it as good as if we were playing in person” says Patricia. Bravo to their ingenuity!
Cooler mornings and shorter days signal the waning of hazy lazy summer days but also bring anticipation of interesting new activities. This year there are limitations on in-person get togethers but CALL still has a varied and changing menu of ongoing Interest Groups. Some groups have suspended operations for the time being, but others are active and looking for new members. Groups which have the maximum number of participants may maintain a waiting list for others who are interested; a new group may form if there are enough people on the list.
There is the potential of new groups forming if enough members are interested in a proposed topic or activity. These potential groups are noted on the website on the Are You Interested page. If you have an idea for a group you would like to propose, contact the Program Committee and someone will help bring your idea to fruition.
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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