An Open Letter to Dr. Brian Osborne, Queens University

I originally wrote this letter in October of 2008.

Today, Dr. Osborne wrote me, for the second time, to say thank you for this letter. Apparently it keeps popping up when he searches his emails for “Stephanie.”  The whole thing is still true, and it speaks to the importance of gratitude. To me, it needed it to be said, but I forget that even someone as accomplished and as wise as Dr. Osborne also loves to get warm fuzzies.

My message to you: thank someone who has helped your life. And thank you, again, Dr. Osborne.

——————

Salutations, Dr. Osborne!

I read your spring convocation address in the Geography newsletter and was instantly reminded of my own convocation in 2001. You were sitting among the other dignitaries. Although all the other professors looked bored to tears, you smiled as you removed a book from the folds of your academic hat and began to pass time in a much more entertaining way. I am sad to hear the same hat is not available to you for the same purposes this year!

I’d like to hope you are teaching your fourth years the cultural and geographic varieties of French Wine and sports matches. I certainly can’t open a bottle of wine without thinking of your classes (that’s where I learned to drink the stuff!). I became quite the soccer (eep! Football) fan living in Scotland, although the sport was always second string to the stories and songs of the fans, who would fall over themselves to tell me of the history of one rivalry or another.

It is with this knowledge and exploratory spirit I embark on my next experience in Australia in 2009. I have a teaching exchange in Sydney and will, once again, justify my drinking and hooliganism as acedemic research.

I try to inspire my own high school students with the same excitement you demonstrate. Thank you a million times over for igniting my passion for people, spaces and places.You remain one of the most influential people to have touched my life.

best to you and yours, Stephanie Pearson, BAH 2001Dr. Osborne and Author

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