In 2014, I was awarded a bachelor of arts (with distinction) from Athabasca University. I had been living in the sub-arctic capital of Yellowknife, N.W.T., since 2007—one of the most isolated northern cities in the country.
The local options for advancing my education were limited. I worked full-time and had responsibilities; I couldn’t just leave my employment to go to school full-time. Athabasca’s distance education format was my best option. I enrolled in 2010 and earned an astounding (for me) GPA of 3.65 by the time I graduated.
In 2012, we moved to the United States for a period of time, and I was able to seamlessly continue my studies as we moved from place to place. The distance education format smoothly fit into our lifestyle.
The courses I chose ran the gamut: heritage resource management (my career has been in memory institutions), linguistics, astronomy, environmental science, media literacy, goddess mythology, studies in the Hebrew Bible, writing creative nonfiction and history. It was an eclectic mix of humanities and social sciences with a dash of hard science thrown in for flavour—and I loved it! I was able to choose from a huge selection of courses, and so I discovered subjects of interest that would challenge me and broaden my horizons.
Earning my baccalaureate through Athabasca University gave me the impetus I needed to continue my educational journey. I am a lifelong learner. In 2015, I enrolled in the online/blended master of information management program offered by Dalhousie University and graduated in 2018. Not only has Athabasca University given me the impetus, but also the skills and discipline required to focus and work in a distance education milieu.
Currently, I confidently manage a one-person library that serves the research and project needs of three territorial government departments. I am a Canadian copyright subject specialist and am developing training on research and library-related topics, which I will present in the foreseeable future.
My successful re-entry to academia in 2010 after a 25-year hiatus signalled a significant change in my philosophical outlook, my general understanding of this world and my place in it, my relationships at home and work, my spiritual maturity, and in so many other aspects of my life. I have traversed a vast distance as a person since—and because of—my experiences learning with Athabasca.