Minds We Meet – Interviewing Ravi Parhar

Ravi Parhar is an AU student from British Columbia. Ravi has been taking courses at AU to fulfill prerequisites for full-time studies. He returns to University of British Columbia this fall.

The Voice Magazine recently interviewed Ravi via e-mail about education, Nietzsche, and community involvement.

Whereabouts do you live?
I have spent most of my life in the lower mainland of the greater Vancouver area in beautiful British Columbia.

If you’re working, describe what you do.
After completing my initial bachelors degree, I took courses part-time through a mix of in-person colleges and online via Athabasca. I have held numerous part-time and full-time jobs in the customer service sector (typical telecommunication jobs,) education sector (STEM summer camps, advanced tutoring and advance placement course teaching,) and in the forestry industry (lab-based research and hands-on labour.)

Describe the path that led you to AU.
After completing my initial studies at a bricks and mortar school, I needed the flexibility to take additional pre-requisite courses for further studies in professional school, and was drawn to Athabasca’s course offerings and flexibility of self-paced distance education courses. Compared to another west coast distance education school, Athabasca’s offerings in the Sciences, administration, and overall process from start to finish were far superior! Distance education courses worked perfectly with the odd timing of my contract jobs, and geographical flexibility.

What do you do like to do in your leisure time?
During my leisure time, essentially any time I am not at work or working towards school, I enjoy being involved in my community. I feel that, if it was not for my various community involvements and leadership roles, I would not have developed into the individual I am today. They really have complemented my social development and self-confidence in the workplace especially.

What happens after you finish your education?
Now that I have completed my final pre-requisite courses via Athabasca, I will be returning to full-time school at the University of British Columbia for professional studies.

Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
My parents have always been my role models in my desire to learn and devour knowledge, mostly because they themselves did not have the same opportunities that are available today to our generation.

What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why?
I would love to have lunch with the late Friedrich Nietzsche, and explore the mind of a great philosopher and scholar of his time.

Describe your experience with online learning so far. What do you like? Dislike?
I love the ability to manage my own schedule and push through as much as I can in as little time as possible when I have a few days where I have down time from my day-to-day work life. I find not being restricted to a set schedule allows me to best optimize my free time to get tasks done in an efficient and effective manner.

Have you had a time when you wavered about your education?
Slightly, but not notably.

What’s your most memorable AU course so far, and why?
My most memorable course at AU so far was CHEM 360, Organic Chemistry 2. had come into it with a very weak base-line of Organic Chemistry 1, but it was so well laid out that I was able to painstakingly follow along and come out fairly intact by the end!

If you were the new president of AU, what would be your first project?
To enhance and further develop online study platforms and abilities for students to communicate with one another on the course websites.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that the education we receive is a true privilege, and that we should always be thankful for the various means we have through which to further develop our minds. Not only formal education, but informal means of learning and developing our skill-sets through freely distributed print and online media.