Minds We Meet—Interviewing Angela Berg

The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Angela Berg (she/her), a Sociology major originally from Ponoka, she is now raising her family and attending school in Stettler, Alberta.  “I am a mother to two beautiful children and that is my favorite part of my life.  I am also happily married to an amazing man.  I am employed in a school right now, working as an educational assistant to a student with autism,” she stated.

Angela hopes to use her “degree to enhance the lives of children who are in need.”  She continued, “Ideally, I would like to work in a setting with children and youth who have experienced hardship as I did growing up.  I aim to be the person I didn’t have when I was a child.”

She had some great study tips for fellow AU students.  “I study every day and find that sticking to a routine with schooling really helps when you’re online.  Writing a ton of notes and recalling on them when studying for exams has been the most helpful tool for me.  I have relied on a digital notebook to make my notes accessible through different platforms.  I also use assistive technology like read and write to proof my papers and do my studying vocally.”

She also had some advice for new students.  “I wish, when I was a new student, that I knew how much technology there is out there to help improve students’ experience online.  I didn’t realize that smart pens, smart notebooks, tablets, screen readers, and more were available.  Since discovering all the technological resources, I have excelled with my education.”

The Voice Magazine also asked Angela how she occupies her time when she is not studying.  “When I am not studying, I can usually be found with children.  Whether my own or someone else’s, there is always a child with me.  I also enjoy reading, home improvement projects, and artsy things,” she stated.

Her grandmother has had the greatest influence on her desire to learn.  “My grandmother has been my inspiration and has kept me going through school from a very young age.  She has encouraged me through every step of the way and been one of the biggest supports for me anytime I have needed her.  Grandma taught me that there is always more to learn and we should never stop the pursuit of knowledge,” she explained.

As for her experience with online learning so far?  “Things I like: the freedom of my own scheduling, remote access almost anywhere I go, tons of support through online platforms, other students taking the courses engage in discussions and have helped guide me through assignments, overall easy access to course material.  Things I dislike: keeping myself on track instead of being accountable to someone else for assignment completion, writing university papers … lol”

Her most memorable course so far has been SOCI 288: Introduction to Sociology II—Social Movements, which, although an introductory course, she found “appealing in so many ways.”  She continued, “Everything was relatable, and I was able to use my personal experiences throughout and Tobias did an amazing job with his tutoring responsibilities which really helped with the course material.  This course is all about social movements and it really taught me a lot about advocacy.  I thoroughly enjoyed the course layout because it was a mix of books, online reading, videos, and music.”

As for communication with her course tutors?  “Hit and miss, I have taken some courses and had excellent response times and communication with tutors, and then I have taken other courses that don’t compare at all and had hardly any communication with the tutor.  I really think it depends on me though, the courses I struggled with are the ones I relied on tutor communication most.”

On a personal note, Angela let The Voice Magazine know her most valuable lesson learned in life, namely “Its ok to fail, life is a continuing process of getting back up again after the fall and really trying better for the next time.”  She also shared her proudest moment in life, stating, “The proudest moment of my life was becoming a mother.  I was very young to plan for a child, but I decided to have one at the ripe age of 18 and it was the best decision I have ever made.  My husband and I have been together for 10 years now and have more children, but I always dreamt of becoming a mother and I am very proud of the children I am raising.”  Best of luck Angela!

At times, in an online learning environment, it can feel like you are all alone, but across the nation and around the globe, students just like you are also pursuing their Athabasca University (AU) studies!  Each week, The Voice Magazine will be bringing you some of these stories.  If you would like to be featured next, do not hesitate to get in touch!