Nidah was in grade 9 when I arrived at King George. She was one of several students who made my transition VERY easy. Right from the very start (and ever after) she was very welcoming, very friendly, and a great conversationalist. Nidah is one of those people who genuinely seems delighted to see you... EVERY time she sees you!! What an amazing quality! What an amazing person!
Nidah was a fantastic student. There are not many students whose homework I ENJOY marking (tests are fine but homework...ugh!) but Nidah is a rare exception. Her work was like an art piece! So neat! Everything lined up. Underlining and fancy colours! There's no other way to say it: her homework assignments were very pretty! Of course, this was in the days before workbooks; it would be harder for her to stand out now (though I'm sure she still would).
I hope Nidah won't take offense to this but she has a lot of "motherly" qualities. She is a very warm and supportive person. She maintains a positive attitude. She is always encouraging and understanding. She is a wonderful person to spend time with. I remember we were both big "Arrested Development" fans when Nidah was in grades 11 and 12. She would often greet me with cries of "Heeeeeey Brother" in the hallways. Of course, she was only mimicking Buster from the show but I often thought to myself: "It would actually be great to be Nidah's brother. I'd get to spend more time with her (family dinners for example)". Plus, from speaking with Nidah (and watching her interactions with her little sisters) it's apparent that family is VERY important to Nidah. So I always felt kind of honoured to be called "Brother" by her!
So what is such an incredible person up to, three years after leaving KG? In her own words:
"I am in my third year at SFU completing a Bachelors of Arts in Geography with an Urban Studies Certificate. Pretty much a fancy way of saying City planning! I'm looking at graduation in December 2016, that might change as I'm thinking of applying for honours. After that, I will be applying for my Masters in either Urban Design or Urban planning at McGill, UBC and UofT. We'll see how things go from there.
Other than school I am a peer-mentor, where I help new students navigate the campus and get to know the courses. I am currently on a student advisory committee where we are submitting a formal document to BC Housing outlining the priorities for future development on the Riverview Lands in Coquitlam. Finally, I have been volunteering in promoting the "Yes" campaign for the Transportation Referendum at SFU and in general. If I'm not at school there's a good chance I'm at the gym, pretty much the only thing that keeps me sane and my way to vent out."
Same old Nidah: working hard, getting involved, and staying fit. Grads of 2015: follow her model to ensure success and satisfaction next year!
Thanks, Nidah, for all the smiles and laughs you brought me during your time at KG. I was always so proud of you for the sort of person you were and I couldn't be any prouder when I see how you have continued to flourish. My only disappointment in you is that - after THREE years now!!! - you still have never gotten off the 135 at the Madison stop and come over to our place for dinner. The invitation still stands N.D.!! Love you!!