Editorial – Intruding in the Domain of Grown-Ups

One of the things they don’t tell you about when you start going to Athabasca University is once you graduate, you’ll be invited to various alumni events. Last week, I went to a reception in honour of the 2015 Athabasca University Alumni Awards Recipients. This year, the awards went to Sarah Lynn Stephens (Volunteer Service), Christopher Horn (Rising Star), and Kathleen Kelava (Future Alumni). Their accomplishments are impressive, and the awards were well chosen.

If you get a chance to attend one of these events, you absolutely should, even if only for a few minutes, simply to sample the menu that they put out. Two tables were full of tasty treats, from two kinds of sliders (a meat and a vegetarian option), some sort of dumpling, and a full table of desserts holding everything from delicious looking brownies to single-spoon serving sized crème brûlée. Had I been thinking, I would have grabbed a picture. Next year.

Plus, you’ll get a chance to meet some high-level academics and some of the administration of AU, which, if you’re better at networking than I am, could prove to be a solid opportunity.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay very long, as, to be honest, I always feel out of place at any of these sorts of events. When I walk into a room of strangers, many in suit and tie, I somehow always feel like I’m just a kid intruding on the domain of adults, even though I’m in my mid-40s. I have yet to figure out how to silence that little voice in the back of my head that questions why I think I should consider myself an equal to these obviously professional people.

After all, I still play videogames and read science fiction for goodness sakes’. How can I be an adult?

Then I read this week’s Feature interview with student, flautist, and SF aficionado, Jason Bernard, who, coincidentally, is near my own age, and also plays videogames. Maybe I’m not so weird after all. And that makes me happy, because that was exactly the point of having these interviews with students like you in the first place. So that no matter where we are with our studies at AU, we can find that there are people just like us doing the same thing. Even if we’ll never meet personally, I think most people find it comforting to know they’re not the only one.

Plus, this week, Carla Knipe takes a deeper look at what the various university rankings that are coming out around now mean, and if we should really put a lot of faith in them.

I’m also happy to note we have the return of The Writer’s Toolbox, along with a solid Study Dude to help you look at your writing from the macro to the micro scale.

And, of course, our regular selection of news, reviews, and other goodies to keep you amused.
Enjoy the read!