Minds We Meet – Interviewing Students Like You!

This Week: Tania Parker

Tania Parker is an AU student from Coquitlam BC. She is in the Human Resources/Labour Relations Certificate program, hoping to eventually ladder into the BHRLR or BA, Labour Studies. Tania is currently enjoying maternity leave with her almost-10-month old son, but will be returning to her accounting/bookkeeping job in a few months.

The Voice Magazine recently interviewed Tania by e-mail, and here’s what she had to say about school, larimar, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

First of all, whereabouts do you live? And have you always lived there?
Currently, I live in Coquitlam, BC?basically the area I grew up in.

Describe the path that led you to AU.
I first dabbled in distance education back in 2003 when I started some Legal Admin courses through Douglas College, before I decided that I wanted to aim higher and earn a degree. I really preferred the ability to balance work/life/school that distance ed offered, which brought me to study at British Columbia Open University/Thompson Rivers University. Around that time I discovered AU after learning that Alberta Premier Ralph Klein studied at AU. Next thing you know I was getting married, having a child, volunteering and working’so a flexible education was definitely the way to go with my lifestyle.

What do you do like to do when You’re not studying?
I love walking/hiking, reading, writing, eating new food, and spending time with my family.

Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint an influence on my desire to learn. I feel that I have a natural inclination towards lifelong learning and development.

What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why?
I’d love to have lunch with someone funny, who would make me laugh until I cried. Someone like Jimmy Fallon!

Describe your experience with online learning. What do you like? Dislike?
I love the flexibility of online learning, and the ability to take my books with me wherever I go. When my son naps in the car I pull my books out and get a bit of reading in. At the same time, That’s exactly what’s difficult about the asynchronous nature of online learning?finding blocks of time to fit it in!

Have you had a time when you wavered about your education?
No, because I recognize this is a long-term goal.

What was your most memorable AU course?
I really enjoyed The Canadian Training System, EDUC 310. The tutor was fantastic and the content was interesting!

If you won $20 million in a lottery, what would you do with it?
I’d open up a non-profit charity specializing in anything employment/labour related, preferably with a specific niche.

What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
Money in my bank account? Haha. It’s not cheap. But I believe it is worth it.

If you were the new president of AU, what would be your first project?
To abolish e-texts, or at least provide the option to students to choose.

If you could wake up tomorrow with a “superpower”, which one would it be?
To become invisible!

What is your most prized possession?
My diamond engagement ring, custom designed with a piece of larimar that my fiancé bought for me when he was in the Dominican Republic on a certain day. The backstory to the larimar is that a few months prior I had seen a clairvoyant who told me about a stone (larimar) and a date (the date he bought it). Makes me rethink my skepticism!

Please tell us something that few people know about you.
I used to want to marry Raphael, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was 11.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
That change is the only thing That’s constant.

What do you think about e-texts?
I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but I’m sure I’ll dislike them! There’s nothing better than the feel of a book.

How do you find communications with your course tutors?
So far so good; I’ve only taken two courses so far.

What (non-AU) book are you reading now?
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella. A little bit of a guilty pleasure.