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.

The Bank of You

Will 2018 be the year you make a difference in someone’s life?  Could you help someone lift themselves out of poverty, launch a small business, or complete their education? Making a big impact is easier than you think. In 2017 I invested in a Peruvian corn farm.  On the same day, I invested in a… Read more »

Unwrapping a Fresh New Year

A fresh new year is intoxicating.   In the last days of the old year, the new year sits there, like an unwrapped present.   You don’t know what the package holds, but you know it’s full of promise. Last year started full of promise, too, but we’re ready to discard it.   We eagerly await the new… Read more »

I Am AU

In her January executive blog, AUSU president Shawna Wasylyshyn asks, “who are the students of AU?” In her capacity as student union council president, Wasylyshyn interacts with countless people in the post-secondary education community. Some, she feels, view AU students as “disadvantaged”, “marginalized”, or people with “no other choice” but to attend AU. Like Wasylyshyn,… Read more »

Travelling Campus—Meeting Students in Ottawa

For AU students, meeting another student is a rare occurrence.  We study in solitude. Opportunities to meet other students are limited.  Social media is one way to connect, but Facebook can’t replace face-to-face.  Organized gatherings tend to focus on Alberta, with occasional gatherings held in large cities elsewhere. I was pleased to be able to… Read more »

AU: Closing the Distance

I was asked to describe what it’s like to go to AU.  Like many students, I benefit from the uniqueness of AU and I was happy to share my passion for the AU experience. If I could sum up AU in two words, those words would be “removes barriers”.  The absence of barriers is the… Read more »

Seasonal Shopping Shortcuts

Have you looked at the calendar recently?  You may have been so absorbed in your schoolwork—so disciplined and focussed—that you overlooked how quickly time is passing.  It’s time to raise your head from your textbooks and count the days until Christmas.  If you need to get any seasonal shopping done, it’s time to start thinking… Read more »

Gambling for Grades

Do you ever feel like when you submit an assignment for marking, you’re playing roulette?  Occasionally, the results seem random, just like the spin of a wheel. Most of the time, assignment marks seem to be reasonably accurate assessments.  But once in a while, I wonder if the marker just pulled a random number out… Read more »

Saving the Best for Last

This month, I began what I hope will be my Best AU Course Ever.  Not just because it’s the last one to complete my degree—although that’s certainly reason enough to love a course.  Mainly it’s because this final AU course is the one I wanted to take the most. When I enrolled in the Bachelor… Read more »

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 »