Minds We Meet – Interviewing Students Like You!


Marcy MacKenzie is an AU student from Maple Ridge, British Columbia. She is in the Post RN Bachelor of Nursing program at AU.

Marcy is a busy Registered Nurse who balances work, school, and family. The Voice Magazine caught up with her by e-mail and interviewed her about school, e-texts, and Elvis.

First of all, whereabouts do you live? And have you always lived there?
I live in Maple Ridge, BC, which is about 30 minutes east of Vancouver depending on traffic. I was born and raised in Port Moody, BC, which is about 20 minutes west of Maple Ridge. I have always lived in BC, in the lower mainland.

If you work, describe what you do.
I am a Registered Nurse. I work at our local hospital; my position is called a Quick Response Community Care Professional. In a nutshell, I work on a particular unit and am responsible for setting up home health services upon discharge. I then follow the client in the community for two weeks post discharge.

Describe the path that led you to AU.
I have been an RN for 21+ years. I was told when I was in my final year of nursing school that I should continue on and do my degree as they felt I had not been “challenged enough” by the diploma program. Well, with student loans to pay off, and a life to start at the age of 21, I wanted no part of doing my degree. The next time I even thought about it, I was 30 and about to get married. I put thoughts of getting a degree on the back burner. Soon I was a mom of two, working full time, and realizing that I had gone as far as I could without my degree. And I wasn’t happy with staying in the same position for the next 20 years. My colleague had begun courses at AU and she convinced me to start. So, a month shy of my 40th birthday, I began my first course towards my degree.

What do you do like to do when you’re not studying?
Read, go to our weekend place in the US, refurbish furniture, hang out with my kids and husband. I’m involved with Girl Guides of Canada as a leader, so I spend a lot of time with that.

Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
Myself! I was the first person in my family to attend post secondary. I have that little voice in my head always pushing myself. I get bored easily?I need to be constantly learning something.

What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why?
Would it be cheesy if I said Elvis? Him, or Florence Nightingale. I’d love to pick her brain about what she thinks of the advancements in nursing since she’s been gone.

Describe your experience with online learning. What do you like? Dislike?
I like the flexibility?being able to start a course when I want and work at my own pace. I really dislike the e-texts. I’m a book person. I like to “unplug” and read a real book, and I like to be able to highlight passages, flag pages, pencil in the margins.

Have you had a time when you wavered about your education?
When I’m staring at my books after a long day at work, after putting the kids to bed, and trying to write an intelligent sounding paper, when all I want to do is watch Netflix and shut my mind off. And when I get turned down for yet ANOTHER position that I’ve applied for, because I don’t yet have my degree, I get a little discouraged, and want to give up.

What was your most memorable AU course?
MATH 215, Introduction to Statistics. I had not taken a math course since I was in grade 11 in 1989 and took Algebra?which I did really poorly at. I decided to jump right in when I began this program and take statistics first to get it out of the way. I worked on that course 4 hours per night, 5 nights per week. I’ve never worked so hard on a course in my entire life. I got a ’B’ in the end. Could I tell you anything about statistics? No. But did I do it and pass? Hell, YEAH!

If you won $20 million in a lottery, what would you do with it?
Quit my job, finish my degree, travel, send my children to the best schools. Share with my friends and family. Help those less fortunate.

What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
Time with my family. It will be worth it in the long run.

If you were the new president of AU, what would be your first project?
I have no idea about AU politics (bad, I know.)

What’s your favourite sound?
Rain on the roof, and the sound of waves from the ocean.

What is your most prized possession?
My family. But they aren’t possessions, are they?

Please tell us something that few people know about you.
I’m very sensitive. I suffer from anxiety and depression. I’m a Cancer, I have a hard outer shell, and soft squishy interior, lol.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
Be proud of your accomplishments. Work hard. Don’t listen to people who say “you can’t” because I can, and I will. Your own mind is the only thing holding you back.

What do you think about e-texts?
I hate them. I like nothing more than being able to shut everything off, and concentrate on my textbooks. I just don’t get that with e-texts.

How do you find communications with your course tutors?
I haven’t had a lot of contact with the course tutors, but the ones I have had have been very helpful

Where has life taken you so far?
Hawaii, Mexico, Las Vegas. I have never been to Disneyland, but it’s on my list.

What (non-AU) book are you reading now?
None. I just finished a few true crime paperbacks, but my latest course started September 1st, so no leisure reading for me for a while. Or else I’d never get anything done!

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