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 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

The Road to Convocation—Trail of Gratitude

How do I thank everyone who helped me during my time at AU? In the lead-up to this weekend’s grad ceremony, AU’s convocation office asked me who I would most like to thank or acknowledge for their support while I completed my degree.  This, along with my responses to other questions, will comprise “a short… Read more »

The Road to Convocation—Many Celebrations

When I attend AU convocation this June, hundreds of my friends and family will be celebrating with me.  As befitting a degree obtained mostly online, the convocation ceremony will be live-streamed so anyone can join in the celebration—wherever they are. I finished the final course for my BGS degree several weeks ago, but I didn’t… Read more »

Clearing the Clutter—Making Space for Creativity

By the time my AU studies wrapped up in April, my office space was a disaster zone.  An explosion of textbooks covered every available surface, mingling with a backlog of books and magazines languishing in to-be-read piles.  Writing projects, research materials, and photography equipment added to the chaos, along with the inevitable piles of filing,… Read more »

Not with a Bang, but a Whimper

No trumpets sounded when I submitted the very last assignment for the very last course of my AU degree program.  Silence again when the final marks were posted for the course and my AU transcript preview dropped its last “In Progress” notation. Finishing the requirements for my degree should fill me with elation.  So why… Read more »

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 »