Spirals: Endless possibilities for growth


The year was 1986 and it was just before the beginning of the fall term. As a nervous, newly graduated 18-year-old, I was excited and anxious about beginning my journey at Simon Fraser University.

In the hopes of alleviating my nerves, I signed up for the campus orientation tour. As a group of tense strangers met for the first time, one of the leaders said that today we would meet at least one person that would become a lifetime friend. In that room full of strangers, we looked around at each other and tried to smile, but I doubt that any of us actually believed this statement. But to my utter surprise, I did meet someone that day that is still one of my closest friends. And now, 29 years later, our sons are both brand new students at SFU as they continue the tradition of education, connection, and friendships started that day long ago.

After having taught for 14 years in a kindergarten class, I returned to SFU in 2008 to do the Master of Education in Educational Leadership. The location this time was not up on the hill, but in the heart of Surrey! Time spent with like-minded colleagues over two years of Friday and Saturday classes helped to build bonds that again have become a part of my life. A small group of us meet on a regular basis, but every few years we also have a large group reunion to see where our adventures have taken us!

And then it was 2013 and I found myself once again at SFU, but now I was on the other side of the instructor’s desk. Becoming a faculty associate was, as with many new things we take on, a challenge, but once again it is the friendships that I have developed that make the challenges worthwhile. This appointment is only a two-year one, but I know that the people I work with in these years will be lifelong friends even after we return to the world outside of SFU.

If there is one word that describes my relationship to SFU it is ‘spirals.’ What started as a small step on that first day of orientation has led to obtaining a BA, a post-baccalaureate diploma, a certificate in Liberal Arts, the Professional Development Program, an M.Ed., and a position at SFU as a faculty associate. As I look forward from this point, I wonder what my next spiral back to SFU will be…. the possibilities for learning, growth and friendships are truly endless.

Kam Grewal
PDP 1993, M.Ed. 2010, Faculty Associate

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