Contact by email:
(or send email to email@example.com)
Letters to the Editor
Click on the above link to let us know what you think or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Click on the link below to register for the next Lunch Colloquium on Monday November 17 at 11:30 am. RSVP
Click on the link below to register for the next Women's Conversation on Wednesday November 12 at 4:00 pm.
Atlanta Food Bank
Our Service Committee is sponsoring a collection of food for the Atlanta Food Bank. When you come to the Luce Center, please bring food to donate.
Contact Other EUEC Members
Read the article in this newsletter about the new listserv designed to help members get together for shared interests, whether it is forming a book club or a photography club, or getting together to take a hike. Send email to the following link to find other member who would like the same activity!
Read the article about EUEC Member Travel in this newsletter. If you would like to
find out about a travel destination or find other EUEC members who would like to travel with you, send an email to:
If you would like to find other EUEC members interested in taking a MOOC together, an OLLI course together, or possibly teaching together in an OLLI course, click on the following link to send an email:
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This newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
I have heard from members that some of the "clickable links" in the newsletter don't work for them. In testing, I find that most of the links work in Outlook, on my iPad, and in Emory webmail. However, when I read the newsletter in Emory webmail, the links to move around in the newsletter (Click here to read below; Click here to return to top) don't work correctly. The solution, that I think will work for most people, is to use the link at the very top above the newsletter. The text states "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in your web browser." If you click on the underlined text, the newsletter will open in a browser window and all of the links should work. (Insert any desired comments about computers here.)
I know from talking with many of you that there is a lot of interest in getting together with other EUEC members to do SOMETHING. However, that "something" varies from person to person and there is no way our office can organize so many different activities. What has been missing is a way for members to get in contact with others who share their same interests. I have set up an email list (EUEC-Activities) that will allow a member to send an email to other members asking for others who would like to do X. "X" could be a one-time event, such as a hike on Stone Mountain, or a continuing activity like a photography club, a bridge group, a book club, or any number of other activities. I think this could be a way of making contact with others that would otherwise be difficult. Read the Activities article for more information.
If you missed last Monday's Colloquium, you can find out about meat glue (and even see a Youtube video about it by clicking on the link in the text); you can read about next week's Colloquium featuring Alan Abramowitz with a post mortem on the midterm elections (register early for this one!); look at the healthcare information for open enrollment if you haven't read it yet; read about Jeff Pennell's retirement seminar, with information that is very relevant even for retirees; read about HarvardX; and read some articles about falls with information that is important for all of us to keep in mind. Last, but by no means least, is information about OLLI courses for next year. Four EUEC members will be teaching courses, and I hope that even more of you will teach in the spring semester!
I am very grateful to Herb Benario, Gretchen Schulz, and John Bugge for help with proofing and editing.
Lunch Colloquium November 17
Alan Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley
Professor of Political Science
"Looking Back at the 2014 Midterm
Election and Ahead to the 2016 Presidential Election"
The Luce Center, Room 130 11:30-1:00
(Don't forget to bring food for the Atlanta Food Bank!)
New Registration and Price for Lunch Colloquium
Thanks to Gretchen Schulz and Al Padwa, we have had great programs at our Monday Lunch Colloquiums and correspondingly very good attendance. For a variety of reasons we use Emory Catering to supply the lunches. The total cost of the lunches varies, but is generally between $12 and $14 per person. Because the Colloquiums are one of our signature programs, we are glad to be able to subsidize the lunches for everyone, but the current price of $8 per person is not sustainable, and therefore at its last meeting the Executive Committee unanimously recommended raising the lunch price to $10 per person.
A related problem has been that there is no easy way for anyone registering for the Colloquium to indicate that they do not wish to have lunch. I have finally tracked down the people at Emory who hold the "keys" to modifying the Event registration form, and I have been able to include a Yes/No field for lunch registration. This is a required field, so when you click to register for the Colloquium, just click Yes or No to indicate whether you would like to have lunch. That will allow us to tailor our order to the number that want to eat and we hope also help us to control cost.
MEAT, FISH, GLUE and Sunday Dinner: Our Latest Lunch Colloquium
Al Padwa writes about the Lunch Colloquium. What was Jim Snyder talking about?
Click to read about the talk below
Getting Together for Activities
Are you interested in getting together with other EUEC members for various types of activities? If so, read below how you can do that.
Click here to read more
Most of you probably know that EUEC has been offering a series of retirement seminars for over ten years on various aspects of planning for retirement and that EUEC member Pat Douglas has been helping plan and organize those seminars. Jeff Pennell, the Richard H. Clark Professor of Law, has given several of those seminars, and he gave another one on October 29. We are fortunate to have such experts at Emory who are also willing to talk in a practical way about their expertise to Emory faculty.
There is no way I could begin to summarize all of the advice he gave, but much of it was relevant even for those who have retired. Particularly intriguing were his recommendation of the use of trusts, rather than wills, as a primary vehicle of estate transference, his opinion that living wills are nearly worthless (as opposed to a health care power of attorney), and his comments on the implications of our longer lifespans. With respect to the latter, he mentioned that his mother is still alive at 91 and that he will probably be 70 by the time his mother's estate would pass to him--well past the time he might need any financial help from her! He thus urged consideration of generation-skipping inheritance and offered ways of providing for various contingencies. He also mentioned that he had a strong recommendation for a lawyer who could provide help with establishing trusts.
Many thanks to Jeff for such a useful seminar and to Pat for helping to organize it!
As I have said before, I don't think MOOCs will take the place of universities like Emory anytime soon, but I do think they represent a great educational opportunity for those seeking intellectual engagement. (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. Click here for a more complete explanation of MOOCs, how EUEC members might want to use MOOCs, and one member's experience in taking MOOCs.)
Robert Lue was on campus last week and gave two seminars, both of which I attended. Among his many roles, he is Faculty Director of HarvardX, Harvard University's MOOC initiative, which is part of EdX. His second seminar was The Digital Evolution of the University
, and in it he described HarvardX and its plans. I also had dinner with Rob and so got a chance to talk about Harvard and MOOCs. Like its endowment, Harvard's commitment to HarvardX development is truly massive. They plan on developing 30 new courses each year and currently have a full-time staff of 50 and an additional 150 part-time staff who work on specific projects for HarvardX. That does not count the faculty involved in course development. Part of the development is on building an innovative infrastructure for MOOCs to allow a more sophisticated MOOC environment. It will certainly be interesting to see how HarvardX progresses. If you want to see for yourself, you can take any HarvardX course for free (and perhaps find some other EUEC members who would like to take it with you).
Emory's OLLI program (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Emory) remains very interested in recruiting faculty from EUEC to teach in its courses. To encourage EUEC participation, we are offering EUEC-OLLI teaching fellowships. For more information about OLLI and what teaching in OLLI is like, please click here
The new OLLI catalog is out for the January-March 2015 term, and four EUEC members are teaching
. Click here
to see the full list of courses. Michael Zeiler is teaching History of Psychology Part II
, John Bugge is teaching A Short History of the English Language
, Herb Benario is teaching Fictional History, Historical Fiction
, and Dorothy Fletcher and Bill Fletcher are teaching Exploring the World of Persian Miniature Painting II
. In addition to those courses, there are many more being offered. Register for classes by going to olli.emory.edu
Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15 to December 7 this year. There is much less for you to do during this period than in the transition from the Emory retiree plan to the private market. However, you should not ignore this enrollment period. Thanks again to EUEC member Jim Keller and to Sid Stein for their help in putting this information together! There is an update below on choosing a Part D drug plan which you should be sure to read.
Getting Together for Activities, cont'd
Last year, when I was working in the Provost's Office, I conducted a survey of recently retired faculty. One of the questions I asked was whether respondents would be interested in getting together with other emeritus faculty for activities that could be for one event or could be ongoing. If they were interested in such activities, I asked how many would be interested in a list of particular activities. I found that of the 66 who answered this survey question, 19 would potentially be interested in some type of book club, 9 would be interested in a photography club, 11 would be interested in a group that attended music events, 14 would be interested in a group that attended theater events, 9 would be interested in a group that attended visual arts events, 22 in a group that would go to various restaurants, and 17 in a group that would organize day trips for hiking or other outdoor activities. The list of possible activities is obviously much longer.
What those results told me was that there are many members who would like to get together with other faculty for a variety of different activities. How might that happen? The EUEC office does not have the capacity, or expertise, to organize such a wide variety of activities. The people who can are you, EUEC members. The problem is being able to find one another. I have established another email listserv, EUEC-Activities, that will allow EUEC members to find others who would like to participate in the same activity. All you have to do is send email to EUEC-Activities@listserv.cc.emory.edu stating your interest in starting a photography club, or a book club, or hiking Stone Mountain, or whatever you would like to do. My survey suggests that many of you would be interested in getting together--what is lacking is someone to step forward to organize a given event. Now is your opportunity!
Click here to return to top
"Looking Back at the 2014 Midterm Election and Ahead to the 2016 Presidential Election"
Dr. Abramowitz will discuss the results of the 2014 midterm election and their implications for the final two years of the Obama presidency and the 2016 presidential election. What do the results of these elections tell us about the state of the American electorate and American politics? What can we expect from Congress and the President for the next two years? And how will the results affect the 2016 Democratic and Republican nomination contests?
Brief Background: Alan I. Abramowitz is the Emory University Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science. He holds a B.A. (1969), University of Rochester, and M.A./Ph.D. (1976), Stanford University. He has held previous appointments at William and Mary (1976-82) and SUNY Stony Brook (1982-87). His areas of specialization include American politics, political parties, elections, and voting behavior. His current research involves party realignment in the U.S. and its consequences for presidential and congressional elections.
Click here to return to top
"MEAT, FISH, GLUE and Sunday Dinner: Our Latest Lunch Colloquium" cont'd
On November 4th as part of the Emeritus luncheon program, Dr. Jim Snyder from the Chemistry department at Emory presented a lecture entitled "MEAT, FISH, GLUE and Sunday Dinner." As was pointed out during his presentation, in commercial food processing the enzyme transglutaminase is used to bond proteins together to form extensively cross-linked, insoluble protein polymers. Examples of foods made using transglutaminase as a glue include imitation crabmeat and fish balls. The enzyme is produced by fermentation in commercial quantities or else extracted from animal blood,and is used in a variety of processes, including the production of processed meat and fish products. It is often used as a binding agent to improve the texture of protein-rich foods such as surimi or ham. Transglutaminase is also employed in modern day cooking, especially in the creation of unusual foods, so as to meld new textures with existing tastes. What is generally done is to glue several small pieces of beef together using transglutaminase as a powder. After setting overnight, the "fused" loaf is sliced into portions, cooked and served. A typical picture of the resulting loaf is shown below:
Dr. Snyder pointed out that the downside of "meat gluing" is that meat has bacteria like E. coli on its surface and if small pieces are rolled and cooked rare, there is a risk of contamination by the internal surviving bacteria. Aside from this issue, TG appears to be quite safe and presents no health issue. For some additional info check out the U-tube video:
Another topic covered in his presentation dealt with the fact that some sea animals such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster and salmon possess red-colored flesh. Wild salmon is naturally colored by a chemical known as astaxanthin ("Carophyll pink"), while farm raised salmon is "pink" by a combo of astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, not found in salmon but widely distributed in nature. Most consumers want great-looking and brightly-colored fish but due to cost issues the majority of salmon (70-90%) is farm raised and artificially colored. Aside from the coloration (see photo),
there are some subtle differences
between farm-raised and wild salmon. The most important factor is that farm-raised salmon contains a lesser amount of the chemical Omega-3 which is believed to be important as an anti-inflammatory agent and has benefits for arthritis, blood pressure and lower risk of stroke. Aside from this difference (vs costs), there is little difference and hence no solid reason to fear farm-raised salmon. In contrast, tilapia (the fastest growing and most widely farmed fish) has much less omega-3 than salmon and trout. Dr. Snyder focused his talk on some of the chemical issues associated with both meat glue and red colored salmon and it's best to check out the pdf version of his slide show for more information.
Healthcare, cont'd Open Enrollment You can read a recent article in the New York Times about open enrollment in Medicare by clicking here. Most people will want to keep the Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan in which they are currently enrolled. Members should pay particular attention to the following:Emory Subsidy through One Exchange
1. Individuals who switch from an Advantage Plan to a Medigap Plan may be subject to medical underwriting.
2. During the enrollment period retirees should place much of their attention on the Part D drug plan asking the following questions:
- Has the premium gone up?
- Is there now a deductible?
- Are all your drugs covered, what tiers are they classified in, and how much will it cost for each tier?
- Drug plans tend to change each year and the fact that your current drug plan is best for you now does not mean the same plan will be best for the same drugs next year!
3. Members should not forget that they have to send in the One Exchange Recurring Medicare Part B Reimbursement Form and a copy of the Social Security Benefit Award Letter to obtain their monthly HRA for the 2015 year.
Choosing a Part D Drug Plan
Thought you might want to know my experience with One Exchange. I checked online (One Exchange site) and found the drug plan I want. I called One Exchange and waited about 20 min for a person, who was a customer service rep and couldn't help and so I waited again for a "certified benefits advisor". She said it would take 20 min to fill out the application and listen to the stuff they are required to read me. While waiting for her, I filled out the application at the Silverscript web site in about 2 minutes (that's the plan I chose) and also indicated automatic deduction from my bank account for the premiums, a function One Exchange cannot even do! My conclusion, do NOT use One Exchange. (They also tried to tell me I couldn't do it directly with the drug plan provider, a clear falsehood. It turned out to be very simple).
Reply from Sid Stein:
I think retirees need to understand that they are free to select a drug plan without One Exchange (and that they will have many more choices if they don't use One Exchange). For those retirees drawing Social Security, the monthly premium is deducted from their monthly check; for those not currently drawing Social Security (under age 70) the deduction will come from their checking account. One Exchange is an optional, value-added service which many retirees will choose to rely on. All of our retirees over the age of 65 will need to have minimal contact with One Exchange if they want their $100 supplement from Emory; beyond that, they don't have to use One Exchange to select a Medigap plan, Medicare Advantage plan, or Part D plan.
One important point in Sid's reply above is that you don't have to restrict yourself to drug plans that One Exchange offers. You can see a complete list of drug plans available to you by going to https://medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx . In order to get a list of drug plans that will be most useful to you, you will need to enter all of the drugs you currently take. One factor that One Exchange uses in selecting the drug plans it offers has to do with the quality and reliability of the drug plans; if you choose a drug plan not offered by One Exchange, it would be prudent to look at the star rating of the drug plan, which is given (if it exists) in the listing of available drug plans for you. Particularly if any of your drugs are expensive or not so common, this step can be very important in controlling the cost you will pay for your drugs.
As of this writing, the subsidy that Emory is providing through One Exchange is not working as had been expected. That may change in the future, but at this point it appears that in many cases more than one subsidy check is being sent in some months. That seems to happen when one submits a recurring monthly expense that is greater than $100. $100 is paid the first month, and then at some point in the second month, the remainder of the first month's expense is paid, and then later in the month, the remainder of the $100 for that month is paid.
Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329