AU Profiles – Student: Wayne Karperien

January 8, 2003

Voice: Hi Wayne. First off, where do you live?

Wayne: At the risk of sounding like a hobo, I have no fixed address. We (my wife, 2 children, and I) are presently living in Salisbury, England. We are moving to Edwards Air Force Base in California right after Christmas. In the last 5 years we have also lived in Cold Lake, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba. No, we don’t ride rail cars.

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

Wayne: Other than the spiders that my 3-year old feeds her peas to, we have no pets. The neighbour’s cat sleeps on our front step. Does that count?

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

Wayne: Hobbies. Lets see. I’m in the most fortunate position of having my job for a hobby. I’m a fighter pilot, or at least I was until I became a test pilot. So that keeps me fairly busy. Then there are our two small and two grown children, who keep demanding food, stories, wrestles, park visits and attention. My older boy demands that I leave him alone, so I must write to him and call often. Just leaving messages can be a time consuming endeavour. My younger son is learning how to play chess, and he demands that I vanquish him fortnightly. My daughters need me to marvel at their niceness and Hapkido skills. When able, I like to fly radio controlled-airplanes as well, but they have taken a very distant second place to life lately. Oh yeah, I like to take AU courses as well.

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

Wayne: Well, I’m just finishing the Test Pilot course here in the U.K., and I didn’t have time for any extra AU courses. I did, however, finish Astronomy 205 just before we arrived here, and I’d have to say it was my favourite AU course so far, although I’ve really enjoyed all the computer courses I’ve taken thus far as well. Pacing around the house singing an agitated mantra then darting to the computer to type what I thought was a solution to the algorithm has to be one of my most vivid memories. I really didn’t think I was going to get that one to work, but it did.

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

Wayne: Way, way too long. I started when I was 6 (mom started us late) and I haven’t stopped since. I think my biggest academic hurdle was learning to tie my shoelaces in grade 2, but after that, it has been quite fun. Learning how to say the “R” sound properly was also a bit tough. AU courses are easy and fun, though- nothing like that early stress.

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

Wayne: It’s hard to really express how strongly I feel about this without sounding trite. I think that distance education is a marvellous gift and opportunity for everyone to get the education and attain the goals they want. It helped put me back on a very positive course in my life, and took away a lot of barriers. It really does allow anybody to do anything they want, given sufficient time.

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

Wayne: AU is broadening my horizons and providing me with skills and confidence to move past what I already know I can do. This allows for a tremendous amount of personal growth. As an Officer in the CF, attaining a University degree is encouraged and supported and improves your ability to do your job.

Voice: What are your future goals?

Wayne: One day I’d like to get my master’s degree and become one of those really good profs we hear about or experience so infrequently in our scholastic lives. But for now, I’ll just keep plugging away at my undergrad degree.

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

Wayne: One course at a time, don’t stop. You’re never too old, its never too late. It’s an old and well worn cliché but its absolutely true, especially when applied to distance ed.

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

Wayne: If you want to see a nuclear reaction or stand on Venus then take Astronomy 205. If you want to solve puzzles and make things work then take Comp Science.

Thanks, Wayne, for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to be a part of AU Profiles. We wish you the best of luck in your new home in California!

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