Posts By: Barbara Lehtiniemi

Barbara Lehtiniemi

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer and photographer from Ontario. She’s a mature—borderline ancient—student at Athabasca University, in the final year of her Bachelor of General Studies program.

A regular contributor to The Voice Magazine since 2013, Barbara is an occasional contributor to other publications including Maclean’s and MC2. Barbara writes in several genres, including non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. She’s grateful to The Voice Magazine for providing the opportunity to explore an array of topics and writing styles, and she remains dreadfully sorry for those awful haikus.

Barbara has a fondness for travel, used bookstores, everyday absurdities, and oversized wine glasses. Originally from urban Southwestern Ontario, she now lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario with her indulgent and supportive husband, Leo.

You can follow Barbara on Twitter @theregoesbarb, or contact her at blehtiniemi1@athabasca.edu.

Money out the Window

Every student agrees that education is expensive, but not every student is prepared to do anything about it.  Twice each year, AUSU doles out thousands of dollars in scholarships, but only a small number of students bother to apply.  AUSU can’t give you this money—even if you are the best qualified—unless you get your application… Read more »

Armchair Motorcycling

Last week, Lake Erie tossed frigid waves over the pier at Port Dover, Ontario.  Will that stop thousands of motorcyclists from attending the traditional Friday the 13th gathering?  Nope.  Even when Friday the 13th falls in the dead of winter, motorcyclists don their cold-weather gear and cruise on two wheels into the small community of… Read more »

Nuggets of Information

In writing parlance they’re known as “fillers”:  those little pieces that show up at the end of magazine articles.  Some writers bristle at the term, reasoning that “fillers” sound like bits of nothing, like packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Fillers do perform one service of filling what otherwise would be blank space around an article. … Read more »

Spring Brain Cleaning

Spring has arrived—by the calendar at least.  Here in the easternmost reaches of Ontario, the landscape looks more wintry than spring-like.  The ground is blanketed with snow and there is not a crocus nor a green bud to be seen.  The only sure signs of spring are the presence of a few bewildered robins and… Read more »

Making It Real

Completing my AU degree suddenly got real this month.  Over the winter I began work on my final four courses.  In February, I wrote two final exams which completed two of those courses.  Once those course grades were posted, I decided to submit my Application to Graduate. I could have completed the Application to Graduate… Read more »

Why Isn’t There an App for That?

Technology continues to develop at a pace that will make your smartphone spin.  Any problem in need of a solution seems to have prompted another technological wonder, sometimes in the form of an app.  Apps are great for both consumers and producers: they make life easier for consumers while ensuring you cannot do without the… Read more »

More than a Mouthful

Men: rejoice!  If you tiptoed intact across the minefield of Valentine’s Day last month, your reward is coming.  March 14 is unofficially “Steak and Blowjob Day”, when you can sit back and relax and let someone else do the work. Or maybe not. Steak and Blowjob Day was conceived—and this should surprise no-one—by a radio… Read more »

Informing Your Vote—Building a Student Community Online

Have you voted in AUSU’s council election yet?  Polls opened on Wednesday and you’ve got until Tuesday to vote. There are 15 candidates vying for 13 council seats.  The successful 13 in this election are the folks who will be representing AU undergrad students’ interests for the next two years.  A strong, committed group around… Read more »

Networking at a Distance

One drawback of studying online is the lack of student interaction.  AU has tens of thousands of students, yet few of us ever meet or speak to another student.  We study in our silos, often struggling along without the peer support system that other university’s students enjoy. There are supports for AU students, but they… Read more »

Many Small Steps on the Path to Truth and Reconciliation

“We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance.  As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.”  — John Archibald Wheeler (1911-2008), American theoretical physicist. Should every university program require mandatory indigenous-content courses?  That’s a question I pondered in 2016 after reading Tamra Ross’s article, “Truth and Reconciliation—Will… Read more »