Posts By: Barbara Lehtiniemi

Barbara Lehtiniemi

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer and photographer from Ontario. She’s a graduate of Athabasca University, having completed her Bachelor of General Studies degree in 2018.

A regular contributor to The Voice Magazine since 2013, Barbara has also contributed to other publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Maclean’s. 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

Desk Essentials – Working in Cramped Quarters

What does the ideal home office look like? I imagine a single-purpose room, bathed in natural light and set up with ample, efficient desk space. Just the right amount of shelving and a place for everything. Can you hear the angels singing? The reality, for me and many other students, is a cramped desk area… Read more »

Exam Invigilation – Going the Distance

Writing an exam can be stressful, and getting there is not half the fun. The last thing I want to worry about on the big exam day is the drive. When I prepared to write my first AU exam, I checked AU’s invigilation network list to find the closest site. The nearest approved invigilator was… Read more »

Speak For Yourself

I wasn’t around for AUSU’s last student council election in 2012, so I’ve been following the 2014 elections with great curiosity. Unlike federal or provincial government elections and their unrelentingly coverage, the AUSU election is subtle. No campaign buses, no media interviews, no all-candidates meetings, and no mudslinging. I like it! AU’s Student Union is… Read more »

Inspiration & Instruction

I once worked for a manager who encouraged her staff to learn one new thing every day. So strongly did she feel about this that she declared once we had learned something new we could go home early. None of us were ever brave enough to test her sincerity on that. We found it easier… Read more »

Learning from Lynda

If I had a personal motto, it would be “never turn down the opportunity to learn something new.” Learning opportunities are occasions for growth. Everything I learn expands my horizon and increases my potential. Balancing studies with work, family, and the myriad other commitments and activities that round out our lives, there is a risk… Read more »

Top 10 Reasons to Love the Planner

The middle of winter is a good time to make plans for the upcoming year. I like to ponder the year ahead, keep track of where I am now, and consider which courses to take next. So it was with great delight I received my 2014 Student Planner and AUSU Handbook in the mail last… Read more »

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Discussion Forum

One of the most common internet experiences must be stumbling over one thing while looking for another. You begin with a very focused search, notice an intriguing menu item, and several clicks later you discover hidden internet treasure. That’s how I found the AU Students’ Union Discussion Forums. There’s no attempt to hide these forums…. Read more »

Seize the Day – One Photo at a Time

When did I lose control of my life? It happened subtly. Perhaps it was the overwhelming busyness of life—work and family obligations coupled with ongoing education and volunteer commitments. Somewhere along the way, my life began to run me. Opportunities got deferred to some magic future time when I wouldn’t be so busy. That time… Read more »

Resolving to Abolish – New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re going to make only one resolution for 2014, resolve to make no New Year’s resolutions. Often they don’t work, they’re soon broken, and then the whole year is shot. There is a better way. The beginning of the year holds some special enchantment for resolutions, but it’s artificial. The first of the year… Read more »

Relative Maturity

“”Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I view the state of maturity as relative, relative to me, that is. In my arrogance, I consider myself the epitome of maturity. Those individuals younger than me can only aspire to ascend to… Read more »