As a wave of sweltering heat radiated across Canada, and most of us celebrated Canada Day without fireworks and outdoor parades; The Voice Magazine team continued to work tirelessly to bring forward inspirational stories of AU students from all around the world so we can form deeper connections and learn from each other’s life experiences.
This week The Voice Magazine had a chance to speak with Amy Mayer who lives in rural town in eastern Ontario outside of Ottawa—Moose Creek—since she was seventeen. Currently she resides in her home with her spouse, brother-in-law, two dogs and three cats.
Amy’s journey began with the desire to find out who she was and what she wanted in life. This journey soon led her to switch from Bachelor of Commerce to Bachelor of Sociology. Amy has successfully completed Bachelor of Arts in Music and wants to pursue a Masters of Information and Library Science. She works part-time in library, loves her job, likes to be involved and give back to her community. In the past, Amy used to give piano lessons and helped at a pizzeria.
Amy’s love of reading and learning drew her towards pursuing a career as a librarian. “The library content and archive is very important for the community”. Currently Amy does programming in the library but wants to get more involved in the management side and progress in her career by moving up the ladder.
During her spare time Amy likes reading, playing the piano, crocheting dish cloths, loves hiking, canoeing and wilderness camping every summer.
Amy’s desire to learn was influenced by her parents (both have master’s degrees), “Parents are biggest supports, they are very encouraging. My mom wants me to rest because she thinks I have too much on my plate.” “My parents support was a form of inspiration, not just in matters of education but also in life matters.”
When asked about her experience in online learning Amy mentions “Through AU I feel I am more connected to the online community since I have a greater online presence”
“I love online learning, although I have read mixed reviews about distance education, but I have no problems so far. I get fast responses to my queries when I reach out to tutors more, and I really like detailed and helpful feedback on course assignments.”
“I dislike that the social community is very spread out between social media platforms and I wish there was a common ground with more opportunity to connect with students, tutors, and grads”
A far as communication with tutors is concerned, Amy believes that although the communication is fine, she hasn’t reached out to tutors as much as she should have. “I never had any problems with communicating to course tutors; they are very helpful and have fast response times. The courses are very well laid out and there are expectations within learning objectives of each course. When I figure out what is expected of me in a particular course, it becomes fairly easy to meet those expectations and targets”
Her journey towards finding herself caused her to waver and switch programs. “I was confused about what I wanted to do in life. There was a point in time while I had taken a macroeconomics course and was struggling emotionally with it when I had a moment of revelation while scrolling through a forum where students were talking about the great essays that they had been writing, I wanted to be them. I wanted to be able to write great essays as well, so I finally found out that I wanted a Masters in Library Science”
We talked about her favorite characters and people, and Amy would like to have tea, crumpets and strawberry jam for lunch with Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings since he got her through many tough times and was a source of inspiration during her hiking trip. “I learnt to take a slow journey at a slow pace, to take time in finding one’s self and to believe that there is no right or wrong time; everyone walks on their own pace and that’s alright.”
Amy’s proudest moment was hiking 104 km in seven days as she pushed herself to her limits.
“I love feeling connected to nature. I feel like it is a way of enjoying and giving back to nature. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Walking is relaxing; when I put one step in front of the other to move forward, my mind feels centered and focused. Similarly, climbing mountains and overcoming obstacles not only helped me physically but also in my journey in discovering myself. You don’t realize how strong you are until you’re 60 km in the bush.”
Amy does not watch TV but loves to read. She prefers to read before bed to unwind and take things slow. She is currently reading Elfstones of Shannara, a fantasy novel by Terry Brooks. She immerses in the book and is “alive with the characters”
“Its another journey; reading is my escape to be transported from day-to-day routine and normality and has helped my in my journey of finding myself”
Amy’s journey towards discovering herself by pushing herself to her limits is truly a source of inspiration. In this fast paced, capitalist society, taking a break to discover one’s self and then following that dream to achieve something meaningful in life is a journey that all of us should undertake in order attain ultimate happiness and satisfaction in life.
The Voice Magazine team thanks Amy for sharing the inspirational journey of her life and wishes her the best of luck in all aspects of her life.