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

AUSU Election Warmup

AUSU will be holding its council elections at the end of February 2018.  While that’s still three months away, it’s not too early to begin thinking about running for a seat on council. The call for nominations will go out in January, and campaigning will begin barely two weeks later.  If you’re even considering running… Read more »

The Time is Right to Write for the Voice!

It’s an exciting time at The Voice!  For 25 years The Voice has published a quality magazine for and by AU students.  This month, with the fresh look of its website, The Voice is drawing more attention and more readers.  As an AU student, you might be thinking, “How can I be a part of… Read more »

The Big Push

November 1.  This is it—the beginning of the end.  I have six months to complete the requirements for my degree, and I’ve just started my very last course.  Within six months, I’ll submit the final assignment. Breaking the plastic wrap on the final bundle of textbooks, printing out the final study schedule, staring at the… Read more »

Blast from Voices Past

In last week’s article, Back to the Future, we examined some of the headline issues for The Voice readers of 1994.  This week, we take a look at how quaintly archaic 1994 seems to be—now. In addition to the apparent gloomy financial situation at AU, The Voice in 1994 brims with quaintly outdated details: In… Read more »

Back to the Future

“AU reacts to cutbacks and the call for a new mandate.”  “President’s stand on AU’s future:  Fight cuts with growth.”  “Advanced Ed.  faces $175M cut.” Do these headlines worry you?  Relax!  Although these are actual headlines, they headed articles published in The Voice almost 25 years ago.  AU is still here, and so is The… Read more »

Leather up for Friday the 13th

It’s my first Friday the 13th, and I’m clinging to the back of a motorcycle.  It’s a hot day and it feels great to escape the city’s heat.  Through my leather jacket and jeans I can feel the temperature drop as the highway slices through farmland.  Even with a bulky helmet on, I can discern… Read more »

What Will You be Reading in 2114?

Why did Margaret Atwood write a book that no one will read until long after she is dead? It sounds like a bad riddle, but it’s true. In 2014, Canadian author Margaret Atwood completed a story called Scribbler Moon. The story has been sealed in a vault in Norway and will remain unpublished and unread… Read more »

Enduring Advice

Back when I first enrolled in my AU program, I read some advice from a student who was approaching the end of her studies. That student, Dawne, wanted to leave some parting words to encourage other students. In addition to her own words of encouragement, Dawne also included words of advice another student had posted… Read more »

Combat Tuition Increases with Discounts and Freebies

Post-secondary education is expensive. If you’ve enrolled in an AU course recently, you may have noticed tuition has become even more expensive for most students. Brace yourself: you may be paying even more soon, as AUSU is revising their bylaws and the new structure will probably require an increase to the membership fees it levies… Read more »