AU Profiles – Student: Taleathahh-Rae Livingstone

December 4, 2002

The student/staff profile of those whose lives are involved with AU is a new column in The Voice. It is our hope that reading about those who are part of the make-up of what makes AU unique will draw our students closer together although we span countries and continents. We are a part of AU, and as such, we carry a common bond.

I hope you will enjoy reading about the students and staff at AU – and be inspired to participate in our new PROFILES column!

Voice: Gee, how do you pronounce your name?

Taleathahh-Rae: My name is really simple if you get to hear it first without seeing it. Simply say Ta-lee-tha.

Voice: What province and city/town do you live in?

Taleathahh-Rae: Medicine Hat, AB. I have been here since 1980 having moved to Alberta from Ontario to be closer to family.

Voice: Do you have a family/ kids/ pets?

Taleathahh-Rae: I have a GREAT husband who provides constant encouragement and support. My two daughters were both high school dropouts who have now completely turned their lives around. One is graduating U of L with Honours this spring and going on to article for her CA. The other studies while working full-time in England with behaviourally challenged clients. I also have 2 grandchildren (a boy and a girl – both geniuses).

Voice: What are your hobbies / interests/ activities/ etc.

Taleathahh-Rae: I have performed in /directed / and choreographed theatre productions since 1986, musicals, pantomimes, and one-acts. I enjoy walking and travel. My main activity now is studying and research.

Voice: Can you tell us about the AU Courses you are taking at the moment, or a favourite course?

Taleathahh-Rae: I am enrolled in a full-course (4) load which, when complete, will put me about 1/2 way through my B. Admin degree. I am really enjoying the Sociology 287 course. I am fascinated by behaviour and how it all interacts.

Voice: How long have you been a student? (And where?)

Taleathahh-Rae: I began very slowly with Athabasca in 1996 taking a course here and there, and switching credentials twice! I was testing the waters to see if I could learn, if I would enjoy learning, and if I could stick with learning.

Voice: What do you think of your courses/ the AU experience/ distance education?

Taleathahh-Rae: It is very tough! I find the most difficult part is the isolation. Some of my tutors have been warm and embracing and others have been strictly business. It is difficult to stay motivated when I don’t really feel connected to AU. I have a separate office in my home where I study, but I am in my home 24/7. I can’t imagine too many people who would enjoy staying at their jobsite 24/7.

Voice: Do you work? What do you do?

Taleathahh-Rae: I have resigned and am studying full-time. I believe the lack of paperwork to support experience has been holding me back. I was self-employed for 5 years teaching computers and new business start-up. I worked for a semester at the Med Hat College as a Life Skills Coach and Career Development Instructor. It was wonderful and I enjoyed tremendous success with the students, but it was a dead-end career and I want more.

Voice: How (or) Is AU helping you towards a goal?

Taleathahh-Rae: Once I have a degree, I am hoping to open some doors into areas where I want to work. My only concern is that I am 50 years old – although most people think I am 35 when they meet me. I realize that my comment about my age might sound more conceited than the way I intended. My concern is regarding getting hired at my age – and that if they don’t ask – I can usually get away with it!

Voice: What are your future goals?

Taleathahh-Rae: To work with motivated people who need help getting focussed and finding their direction – whether in business, life, or school.

Voice: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for other students?

Taleathahh-Rae: Keep going – especially when it gets tough! Mark every achievement by doing something. When you finish an assignment – celebrate – go to a movie. When you write an exam – go out for dinner with someone special. Set up a progress chart and as you finish each unit, assignment, quiz, and milestone – check it off. If you need help focussing, buy an empty diploma frame and put it on the wall. Every time you feel discouraged – look at it and remember why you are doing this.

Voice: Anything else we should know? Funny stories about the dog eating your laptop/ praise for your favourite tutor/ recommendations for a course:.

Taleathahh-Rae: Just to offer an old English proverb, “A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.”

Good Luck to you in the future, Taleathahh-Rae – And thank-you for taking the time to be among the first to volunteer to be a part of AU Profiles!

Anyone interested in being featured in AU Profiles should email Tammy Moore, Editor of The Voice at My thanks for your participation and readership!