School of Athen by Raphael

Reina LeBaron: Liberal Studies and Creative Writing

Alumna Focus

Since graduating from Vancouver Island University, Reina LeBaron has made her home on Hornby Island, where she pursues a life of farming, entrepreneurship, intense community engagement and writing fiction.

“Liberal Studies is the educational experience I had always longed for. The combination of group teaching, small group discussion, reading original 'great books' source material, hands-on seminars and the chronological, multidisciplinary format made the Liberal Studies program by far the best, most stimulating, and most applied education I have ever had. Everyone who wants to understand Western culture betters hould take this program. It improved my critical thinking and public speaking skills. It also made me a more discerning reader and a better writer and gave me something to talk about at parties. (Aristotle believed in moderation, so does that mean that even moderation should be applied in moderation? And would that mean that going on the occasional binge would be a good thing?)

"I have returned to the small community where I grew up and now have a young daughter to enjoy and educate. In terms of work, I have applied my education to innumerable volunteer committees (writing press releases, participating in discussions, rewriting bylaws, developing vision statements, etc.) and to my business partnership (running Elderfield Old-Time Farm, a living history visiting farm, with my mother). I have been the editor of the local paper, vice-chair of our community governance association and currently work as a minute-taker for several different non-profit groups. My work has been as varied and interdisciplinary as my education. The novel I am writing is still "in progress". My husband, Duncan, said to mention that the Liberal Studies program also helped me win his heart through the long intellectual conversations we enjoyed. My only regret is that the program was only two years long. I would have enjoyed four to six years and the chance to go more in depth along the way. Oh, yes, and it was Fun! Especially caving, artwork, plays, and the endless conversations with other interesting and interested people.”