Terry S. Osborne's Memorial Guestbook

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March 5th 2021
10:07:16 AM
Your Name:  

Anthony Arch

Your Message:  

I took part in Terry\'s 2008 senior seminar as culmination of my Environmental Studies major. Terry had a profound impact on my life.

I look back at my time in college as a period of lost opportunity. I don\'t believe I was mature enough to respect the opportunity of an education like Dartmouth at the time. I believe he recognized some of the emptiness that I carried, and took interest in learning about me. At least, enough to make a difference. I cherish the memories I shared with him over 2008-2009, both in the classroom and out with friends.

Terry\'s radical candor about depression and the human condition, in the backdrop of our natural world, has helped frame my understanding of my own life. It\'s helped me understand and the natural ebb and flow between confusion and purpose, despair and joy. This framework has offered me a confidence and resolve that I often return to. It’s such a gift.

Thank you Terry.

Sending my love and condolences to his family.

   
March 4th 2021
05:44:45 PM
Your Name:  

Bing Guan \'14

Your Message:  

Terry was one of my very first teachers at Dartmouth. I took away many lessons from that freshman writing seminar (\"The SNow Leopard\"), but what I remember most is the deep sense of calm he projected, and the genuine regard he held for each of his students. I had a difficult freshman fall and struggled academically, but I still remember office hours with Terry - he took the time to get to know you, he listened, and you knew he cared.

My last contact with Terry was years later, when I emailed him out of the blue for a long-ago syllabus. He got it to me, of course. I wish I had kept in better touch. I suspect that for many of his students like myself, Terry only passed through our lives, but what a meaningful impression he left.

   
January 5th 2021
03:09:43 PM
Your Name:  

Kristen Carpenter

Your Message:  

I just learned about Terry\'s passing and want to extend my sympathies to his family, friends, and community. I was his student in English 5 way back when and then his Writing Assistant for a few years after that. It\'s been forever but I remember him as such an influential and passionate teacher. His focus, attention, intensity, and kindness were all so powerful. With love and appreciation.
Kristen Carpenter, Dartmouth Class of \'94

   
December 31st 2020
06:50:07 PM
Your Name:  

Kim Rosenfield

Your Message:  

As 2020 draws to a close, I am thinking of Terry, and of you, his family and friends. I miss him too, and cherish the light and warmth and love that he left for us.

Walk his beloved earth in peace, head gently reaching with curiosity to the sky.

Kim

   
November 5th 2020
05:12:16 AM
Your Name:  

Mike Lincoln

Your Message:  

This is not my first attempt at a written remembrance for Terry. An earlier version was lost a few weeks ago in a technological hiccup. Of course, remembering Terry has been a daily, on-going and organic event since September 7th. The hesitation to re-boot (so to speak) putting my emotions into words are largely because Terry’s presence has not - nor will it ever be – diminished. In fact, like many of you I expect Terry to walk in the door at any minute. For me it was during one of his intermittent visits to Lake Forest where he would greet me with a big, heartfelt and exuberant “Linc, How are you?”. Delivered as only he could, and accompanied by an enormous bear hug, these words from Terry were not so much a question as they were an expression of love.

Terry and I grew up together and have been friends since early childhood. It was not until elementary school that I also became aware that we were related. Terry’s maternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather were brother and sister. Our mothers were first cousins. This genealogy was interesting and I am proud to be forever connected to Terry on the family tree however it was the love he expressed through unconditional friendship that I was most grateful for. His friendship was unwavering. He was always quick to provide support and had his friend’s back, sometimes quite literally as I learned one summer in the darkened parking lot of Comiskey Field following a Chicago White Sox baseball game when I had suddenly and inadvertently worn out our groups welcome among some of the other fans. Terry quickly helped restore order to the evening.

It has been heartwarming to read so many reflections in these pages from the lives of those that Terry touched; especially his students. Like his two boys, these students will carry Terry’s curiosity, passion, sense of adventure, wonder and joy across generations and to all corners of the globe. I couldn’t think of a better vocation for Terry than then one he chose, Teacher, that’s with a capital “T”.

An accomplished athlete that excelled at a number of sports, Terry knew how to blister a hockey puck, throw a spiral and launch a golf ball. I marveled at and admired his athleticism that he also brought forth with both grace and humility.

Terry was also a skilled writer. Recently, I was packing books into boxes preparing for a move and came cross a signed copy of Sightlines along with a handwritten note from Terry. Published in 2001, I started the book but confess to having never finished. I do recall being struck at the time by how honest, authentic and vulnerable the book was; which of course is a not a surprise coming from Terry. As we approach November 8th - which would be Terry’s 61st birthday - I plan to honor him and celebrate his life by re-reading this book he gave me almost 20 years ago.

To be sure, Terry ‘s abundant life stretched across a tapestry of leading roles including parent, spouse, Teacher, author, cousin, friend, son, brother and teammate. No matter where he was or what role he was playing Terry lived his life as he delivered his greetings…with an exuberant expression of love!

   
October 2nd 2020
01:14:29 PM
Your Name:  

Jane Parkin Kullmann 01

Your Message:  

I was so sorry to hear of Terry\'s passing. I took ENVS 72 (Nature Writers) with him my senior year, and it was a wonderful and challenging class. Terry\'s appreciation for nature was boundless and he brought that right into the classroom with him. His was also the most experiential class I took at Dartmouth, and helped me become a better writer to boot. I am glad that he was able to have so many memorable experiences in nature.

   
September 29th 2020
07:58:22 AM
Your Name:  

MK

Your Message:  

Another published piece. This one from the Daily Dartmouth newspaper:
https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2020/09/terry-osborne-remembered-for-sincerity-community-engagement

   
September 29th 2020
07:57:23 AM
Your Name:  

MK

Your Message:  

In case anyone is interested, Dartmouth has published a number of lovely articles about Terry. Here\'s one:

https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2020/09/dartmouth-community-mourns-terry-osborne

   
September 28th 2020
09:49:10 AM
Your Name:  

Naomi Heindel

Your Message:  

Sending much love to Terry\'s family. I feel so lucky to have had him as as a teacher, mentor, and friend during and after my time at Dartmouth.

   
September 27th 2020
11:57:12 AM
Your Name:  

Kendra Quincy Knauf 02

Your Message:  

Terry was the professor for one of my senior seminars, to complete my education minor, in spring of 2002. Those small classes and intimate discussion is what I remember most fondly about my Dartmouth classroom experience and Terry\'s seminar was uplifting, powerful, and eye-opening. I still refer to my books from that class when considering spaces for learning, especially for the classroom and counseling. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing and honored to have been one of his students, if only for a short time. Terry, thank you for sharing yourself with the Dartmouth community as you did. I will always remember your curious and generous teaching style.

   
September 26th 2020
08:49:35 PM
Your Name:  

Jody Kenyon

Your Message:  

I knew Terry at Hotchkiss. He was the big quiet guy with warmth in his eyes except on the ice and then his eyes were laser focused on the prize. Terry seemed older than the rest of us and I know many underclassmen were drawn to his strength and depth. The best go first. I am sorry for his family\'s loss but Terry\'s spirit soars free. Blessed Be!

   
September 26th 2020
08:56:32 AM
Your Name:  

Jody Griffin Peterson

Your Message:  

Reading through the tributes in Terry\'s memory, I feel as though in the few hours of time that I was with him, I understand why he was so beloved. Gary and I were at Dartmouth for a TUCK reunion last year and MK introduced us to Terry. He had recently been diagnosed, and because of my own cancer journey we sat with one another during dinner and continued our conversation.

I was immediately drawn into his spirit, which shone vibrantly within his kind, bright twinkling eyes. I felt that Terry was already an old soul. He exhibited a depth of compassion for others and clearly lived his life fully. In speaking with Terry, his ability to enjoy, cherish and participate joyfully with his family, friends, and nature\'s surroundings was crystal clear.

At the time, Terry was eager and determined to do all that he could to fight this cruel disease. I have no doubt that he did. I am so sorry, MK. I witnessed a beautiful loving relationship between you and Terry. I am grateful that you found one another and yet, I am devastated that Terry has passed. I can only trust that his spirit is very much present and will remain soaring with you always.

Sending so much love.

   
September 25th 2020
03:52:54 PM
Your Name:  

Sienna Craig

Your Message:  

It was 2005, November, and I had come to Dartmouth for my job interview. I was nervous, exhausted, and unsure of myself. I’d hardly slept the night before, our then 12-month-old (now 15-year-old) daughter in tow. I had one chapter of my dissertation written. I had never before given a job talk. I was apprehensive about what being a professor might mean, let alone truly being a teacher. A mutual acquaintance (now at another institution) and friend of Terry’s told him about my talk and brought him along, thinking that Terry would enjoy hearing something about Nepal and Tibet – places that resonated with him and that is where I work, where my heart resides.

I remember the feeling in that Silsby classroom. Terry and I didn’t even meet each other properly until after the talk, but it is not an exaggeration to say that he was the one who got me through that challenging moment. In the kind and compassionate eyes of this stranger, I found what I needed to focus, to let my enthusiasm and something of what I have learned from years spent with Tibetan physicians shine through. Terry’s capacity for generous attentiveness astounded me and grounded me, simultaneously. I got through the talk. I got the job. And, here I am, still, all these years later. I did not know then, but I would learn, that the presence and care he brought to that moment was also how he showed up to his own classroom, to his beloved students, every day.

In the intervening years, we’ve been grateful for time spent with Terry and MK, laughing, marveling. To borrow words from Terry Tempest Williams, Terry Osborne was remarkable in his ability to find beauty in a broken world: to acknowledge suffering and possibility, both, in our small lives as humans, to be fully sentient on this beloved Earth.

   
September 25th 2020
01:31:14 PM
Your Name:  

John Ortiz

Your Message:  

Terry was my freshman writing seminar (\"The Snow Leopard\") professor and then, later, my instructor for Nature Writing. His was the first class I had at Dartmouth as a freshman in 2010, and it stands out to me as one of the most memorable classes I have ever taken.
The class was memorable, in part, for its setting – a traditional seminar classroom in Baker Library with a single, grand wooden table overlooking Tuck Mall – but of course it was Professor Osborne I remember most to this day. Beyond just the course material, you could tell that Terry cared so genuinely about all of us. When the famously cold New Hampshire winds began to set in that Fall, Terry would implore us to stay well: \"Guys, please take care of yourselves and wear something to cover your necks\". It was like having your dad there to look out for you, which was very comforting thing to have during one\'s first term living away from home. His teachings about mindfulness carried over into his interactions with each one of his students: the characteristic about Terry that stands out most to me was how when he spoke to you, he made you feel like the most important thing in the world.

In his nature writing class, he took us all out to his small farm, which had a sugaring hut and overlooked the Connecticut River, so we could receive inspiration from the hills and trees. Those short forays away from campus were a refreshing respite from the hectic, often stressful life on campus. You could tell it was a haven for Terry and that nothing made him happier than being able to share it with us.

Professor Osborne left an imprint on my life, and he won\'t soon be forgotten. Farewell Terry.

John

   
September 24th 2020
09:54:12 PM
Your Name:  

Davey Barnwell

Your Message:  

I was a student in Terry’s \"The Snow Leopard\" writing class in 2009 and then worked with his classes as a writing assistant throughout my four years at Dartmouth. Terry had the unique ability to hold space for candor. I remember sitting in his office that freshman fall and he asked me how I was. It is a question that each of us are asked by many people every day, but Terry leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head, and looked at me intently--actually interested in the answer. I was in deep pain, but rarely shared that with anyone. I told Terry that it seemed against the rules to admit unhappiness at Dartmouth. His laugh was the laughter of knowing.



At a time when I was relentlessly searching, Terry taught me to slow down and trust my voice. Over the years, I watched as he encouraged students to consider their relationship with the natural world, to question their own narratives, to observe without expectation. He seemed to vibrate at a distinct frequency, simultaneously above the trials of everyday life and unflinchingly here in the messy trenches.



I thought of Terry out of the blue a few months ago while I was backpacking in Eastern Oregon. We had not spoken in several years, but somewhere along the miles I thought of the stacks of books in his office and his easy smile. Terry once asked me if my relationship with nature had ever been reciprocal. I am still working on the answer, but I will try to sit still every once in a while, lean back, and really ask someone how they are.

   
September 24th 2020
02:33:00 PM
Your Name:  

Sarah Waltcher

Your Message:  

As I write this I’m looking out at the Sangre de Cristo mountains and remembering Terry, whose course “Humans and Nature in America” I took in the winter of 2013, as a freshman at Dartmouth. I am much indebted to Terry, his teaching, his mentorship, and his life. Terry first introduced me to ecocriticism, which I continue to study and write about to this day, some seven years later, as a graduate student. Terry also introduced me to the scope of what a teacher could be: one who listens, welcomes, gives, challenges, struggles. He taught us to be in the right here, the right now, to notice, pay attention. He taught us to think with ambiguity, complexity, paradox, contradiction, and also to live alongside these things, because what other kind of living is there? I wish I could fully express what rigorous and important work this was then, and still is now. I didn’t always listen then, and still don\'t now. When I remember Terry, I remember that the way you live influences the way you write, that surely the living must come before the writing, that sometimes you have to put down the pen and go live. I’m grateful to take up the pen now to thank you, Terry, for everything. You are deeply loved, and sorely missed. May your memory be a blessing.

   
September 24th 2020
10:45:22 AM
Your Name:  

Anna Whitney

Your Message:  

A month ago, I emailed Terry. I was excited to share how my first month of teaching had gone. Terry had graciously written me a recommendation for the job last
fall, even as he started treatment for his illness. In my email, I described the beautiful rural scenery, my wide-eyed students, my woods explorations between classes. In response, he wrote:

What a great way to give your students and yourself some space to think and live and grow. Enjoy.
Take care,
Terry

This sentiment was the common thread in the two classes I took with Terry, The Snow Leopard and Nature Writers. Terry always held space in the classroom for this thinking, living, and growing. He was such a warm, welcome presence. Terry never pretended that the classroom was, or should be, separate from the world outside its walls, and so we would often venture forth from it. Walking meditation along the campus sidewalks, barefoot wanders up Bill Hill, lounging in the fall sunshine at a nature writing conference in Vermont. His classes had a particular glow to them, a feeling of camaraderie and sacredness that I never felt anywhere else at Dartmouth. Terry made it possible for my classmates and me to write and share our most sacred stories.

I want to thank Terry for his profound kindness and care as a professor, mentor, and friend. Sending my thoughts and prayers to his family.

Take care, Terry.

   
September 24th 2020
06:50:32 AM
Your Name:  

Lucinda M Hall

Your Message:  

I worked with Terry as a library instructor for one of his courses. I enjoyed working with him because he was so engaged in all aspects of the research process. Besides, he was just fun to talk to. He writing and research opened up a whole sphere for me. I will miss him.

   
September 23rd 2020
07:12:33 PM
Your Name:  

Cedar Farwell

Your Message:  

I was a student of Terry’s in the Winter of 2014. Like he was for so many, Terry was a deeply kind and wise teacher for me. I am so grateful for getting to take his class at that time in my life - where among other things, we were exposed to Abaneki teachers and speakers who carried living indigenous traditions in Vermont. Besides being a student of Terry’s, I also saw Terry when he visited my parents in Norwich to laugh and share food and play epic games of ping pong. Such a big spirit. Terry was always compassionate, and listened with true care and humility to all - students, community members, and his colleagues alike. In the years since first taking Terry’s class, I grew to increasingly admire and appreciate his unique, connective presence that made all of our days richer. Terry, you are sorely missed.

   
September 23rd 2020
05:08:41 PM
Your Name:  

Emilie Linick

Your Message:  

In October 2016, I was sitting in the high school gym in Point Reyes Station, CA, listening to Vivaldi. Terry Tempest Williams, author and environmentalist, was presenting ideas from her new book The Hour of Land, to a packed audience, and she played The Four Seasons to bring to life a section of her book. I had recently completed the book, and noted that in the acknowledgements, she listed my favorite college professor Terry Osborne. This didn’t surprise me knowing that Professor Osborne was an author and environmentalist in his own right, and also given the fact that exactly 20 years ago, I read T.T. Williams’ Refuge, as part of the curriculum for Professor Osborne’s American Essays of Place freshman seminar.

It was out of character for me to find myself in Terry’s seminar in the first place. I grew up in the suburbs with little sense of place. One of the few Dartmouth alums I knew told me emphatically that I needed to do anything and everything I could to wheedle my way into Terry’s seminar. I was delighted when I was accepted. Up until the time I entered Terry’s class, I was struggling to find my way as I had not found classmates I felt I could connect with. At the time, Dartmouth felt like a relatively homogeneous place - I wasn’t into the Greek system, didn’t go to a private school, identified as part of the LGBTQIA community, etc. And yet, the 16 individuals that were in Terry’s class turned out to be a motley crew - an Alaskan who had spent time on fishing boats, a tall fellow who grew up in the wheat fields of eastern Washington, a Native student who grew up on sacred lands, an woman from New York City, an artist who didn’t utter a single word until the very last class (and only because Terry dramatically and charismatically finally got a word out of him!).

As we weaved our way through the curriculum from Walden, to Amiri Baraka, to Annie Dillard, and others, we also went on field trips to a grove of trees, a rushing river, and of course, a culminating trip to Ben & Jerry’s. Terry oozed a certain zen confidence; he was somehow incredibly humble and larger than life at the same time. He made us all feel like we were part of something bigger than ourselves. After the course ended, the 16 of us continued to have reunions and meals throughout our four years there. We all knew something special occurred, and wanted to keep that feeling of community going.

Four years ago, I wrote to Terry letting him know that while I didn’t have a well developed sense of place at the time I took his class, it laid the groundwork for my discovering that sense of place many years later. He responded in part by saying, “Of course, I\'m thrilled to know that the Essays of Place class continues to have resonance for you. That\'s all a teacher can hope for—that something offered is received with long-term, positive effect. Most of the time we never know, so I appreciate you saying something. I haven\'t taught that class for many years, though I probably should bring it back, since I get the feeling that the current students could use it more than ever.”

As T.T. Williams wrote in The Hour of Land, ”A pencil can be sharpened repeatedly and then disappear in the process. Like me.” Terry Osborne sharpened all of our minds and senses. The memories of our time with him as students, and his love for literature and the environment, will not disappear. Rather, they will live on in all of us that had the opportunity to learn from him.

   


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Viewing Page 1 of 3 (Total Entries: 52)