Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Add to the Memories of Tyler

Tyler Dodge unexpectedly passed away in late October 2010. Tyler received his Ph.D. in IST in 2009 and was teaching online for the IST Department in the fall of 2010. Previously, Tyler had spent a number of years contributing to the Quest Atlantis project while working at the Center for Research on Learning and Technology. This past year he had been a Visiting Research Associate at the CRLT.

For those of you who knew Tyler, please add to the memories.


  1. The first time I met Tyler was in March 2001, when I was visiting the IST department prior to joining their PhD program in the Fall. Tyler gave me a wonderful walking tour of the IU campus and downtown Bloomington. I believe he himself had just moved there from California a year earlier, so he had a fresh perspective on everything he showed me. I didn't get to take any courses with Tyler since he was a year ahead in the program, but I did get to interact with him regularly around the department ... I have to say Tyler was one of the nicest, friendliest, kindest and most compassionate people I have met. I can't believe he is not with us any more ... all I can say is, what a loss to the human family! May he rest in peace.
    - Deepak Subramony

  2. So many kind words have been shared about Tyler; I'd like to add mine along with a memory that many of us in the IST department have ... in fact, for some, this memory is how we refer to Tyler.

    As a grad student, I liked to bump into Tyler in the hallways of the Ed building, because I knew that if I was feeling down or with lack of energy, he'd change that. It seemed that Tyler was always smiling and ... let's see, what's the right word, maybe ... jittery; that is, he always had this extra energy as if he didn't know what to do with it, so it just came out in his mannerisms. Whether we stopped and chatted or just passed by one another, I felt lifted by the interaction. (Thanks, Tyler).

    And, at what's known as Follies, where the IST students get to joke about the grad program, anyone who saw Tyler's impersonation of faculty member James Pershing, cannot forget it. I remember thinking that it WAS Pershing and then realizing it wasn't, I was in awe ... so much so I couldn't laugh, even though it was hysterical. How someone could so well imitate a faculty member was stunning to me. Even years later, at conferences, or wherever, when we former IST students ask about Tyler, a common occurrence is: "You know, the guy who played Pershing." ... "Oh yeah, I like that guy."

    Tyler, for all of us who like you, thanks for the memories. May they continue on forever.

  3. Tyler will be missed - may his smile and gentle way of being continue to shine on the IST community from wherever he may be now.

  4. Tyler could always be guaranteed to lift your spirits and make you smile in any situation: he was so supportive and would do his best to help you out.

    Tyler was actually responsible for introducing me to my wife, so both she and I (and our two children!) have always had a soft spot in our hearts for him. We used to send him a thank-you card on our anniversary, but had gotten out of the habit.

    Thank you, Tyler, for all that you have brought to so many people.

  5. We'll miss you Tyler. We'll miss your energetic character. RIP my friend.

  6. Tyler and I were in the 2000 cohort together. He always bought season tickets to the opera and invited me many times. He was a fabulous companion and great group member. I have worked with him on many group projects and his organized nature certainly complemented my unorganized way. This is a shocking loss. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Tyler. Some of you don't know, but Tyler had an entire bedroom of his house dedicated to his pet rabbits. They had the most intricate living space, full of fun hiding places and ramps, that I have ever seen. You are wonderful, Tyler. Holli

  7. I didn't know Tyler as well as most of you, but we worked together for about 1.5 years. I have to say, I have never met someone so polite and legitimately appreciative. That guy was always so unbelievably pleasant to be around.

    I once rebuilt his computer, and he sincerely thanked me so many times. I mean, this was part of my job. This was something I did for everyone, anytime they needed it. Tyler sent me emails, as well as my boss, about how great of a job I did.

    I wish I had invited Tyler to lunch. I wish I had gone by his office just to say "Hi" more often. I never once told him how fantastic of a person I thought he was. I never once told Tyler how much I respected his brilliance.

    Goodbye, Tyler, I will never forget you.

  8. I remember Tyler often came to happy hour when I used to organize it. I remember one time at Irish Lion he told me about how he did a running race where they drank beer and I thought that was so cool. I also remember a conversation I had with him about a topic that he was passionate about and he really blew me away.. It was so much information and so clear how much complex thought he had put into his ideas.. it was fascinating..

  9. Outside of our collective and odd love of hamsters and bunnies, I remember how surprised and appreciative I was when Tyler stopped me to chat, genuinely wanting to hear my ideas (the poorly formed ideas of a first year grad student). He listened to and valued me (and everyone, from what I can tell) in such an honest way, that it's still a comforting memory when I'm unsure of myself or my future.

  10. I was very saddened to hear about Tyler’s passing. He was someone that you could count on when it came to work in a group project. I know this is a sad day for all of us and these words are only a small gesture of support, you all know that Tyler’s spirit has touched many people's lives as it has mine. You and your family are in my thoughts and wish you my deepest sympathy.
    My deepest sympathy to you, your family and friends,
    Yadi Ziaeehezarjeribi

  11. I did not know Tyler much, and he probably did not know me either, but I knew of him. It gives me a heart ache that a person so well portrayed by so many of my friends had to leave us.

  12. I first met Tyler in 2000...I was first struck with the fact that he kept an amazing and genuine smile on his face. As Preston said...that always helped lift me. He was an amazing listener...well probably still is...we could talk for hours...if he wasn't rushing off to perform some research. He is full of energy, pleasantness, energy, enthusiasm, and just a good person. As Holli mentioned...his rabbit room was amazing! It was an intricate configuration that almost took over the entire room. Those must have been the happiest rabbits on earth.

    I remember riding my bike by his house one day...he ran out and greeted me with a smile...and I commented on his flower beds. He had just moved into his house a few months prior...this was his first spring in his house...and I asked if I could do the flower beds. He was excited to let me do roommate and I came over one Saturday and redid all of the flower beds...Years Master' IUB...I would see him at conferences and he would remind me that my flower beds still brought him joy! It made me happy to bring happiness into his life.

    His passing makes me sad and I feel like a little piece of me was taken away...not only from me but from the world. He was an inspiration to academics, personal interest, hobbies, music, etc, etc. I miss you already...take care my dear friend...Sandie Waters :-)

  13. Tyler Dodge was one of the most compassionate, kind and GENUINE people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was truly, completely brilliant, in the most real sense of the word, but he was also innocent and humble. He always gave you his complete attention, so rare in this busy, chaotic world of ours, and made you feel completely heard and respected.

    I recall a time when I gave him a copy of some notes a few of us had been pulling together about a change in our storyline. I asked Tyler if he could look them over and give me feedback. He stopped what he had been working on and focused his attention on this document. When he handed it back to me an hour or so later, I noted that every single line was marked with track changes. Further, he had color coded the track changes and categorized them for me. At first, I was, of course, a bit overwhelmed...until I read the comments. Each and every one was thoughtful, respectful, astute and significant. He had not just given this a perfunctory glance; he had invested his heart and soul and mind into making this document better. And he caught some glaring ideological problems that four other pairs of academic eyes had failed to see.

    When I approached him to thank him for his feedback, he blushed...he actually blushed..blinked his twinkling eyes a few times, smiled that wonderful unassuming smile, and seemed genuinely touched that I appreciated his feedback.

    We've not only lost a brilliant mind, one who so easily, so often, was able to quickly analyze a problem and help bring an idea to a higher level, but we have lost one of the most genuine, respectful, kind and helpful individuals that I have ever known.

    Rest in peace, Tyler. You will be deeply and sorely missed!!

  14. Just wanted to say I met Tyler at the beginning of this semester and he seemed very nice and upbeat and enthusiastic about teaching his courses and had interesting ideas about the web that we discussed. I am surprised to hear about this news. It impresses upon me (as with all passings) the urgency to work hard, teach to the best of my ability, make a difference wherever possible. I hope Tyler is resting easy.

  15. I wish Tyler had entered my life earlier and that he could have stayed a little longer. Tyler was my writing professor this semester. I only met him “virtually,” as I’m enrolled in IU’s distance M.S. program for IST, and I knew him for less than two months. Tyler was one of the best professors I have ever had, and certainly the best writing professor. He was smart, kind, funny, passionate about writing, and always willing to help others. Ironically, considering we never met in person, Tyler was also one of the most approachable professors I have ever had. Brilliant professors can often be intimidating but that wasn’t the case with Tyler at all.

    I had planned to keep in touch with Tyler, beyond this semester, and hoped to have coffee with him one day when I finally visit Bloomington. I would have looked forward to that meeting, to learning more about Tyler and his interests. In less than two months and entirely through email and chat forums, Tyler managed to touch my life. His kindness and the lessons I learned from him this semester will stay with me forever.

    Thank you for everything Tyler!

  16. Tyler's passing reminds me of how tenuous our grasp of this world can be. Whenever a friend is taken from us too early, we think about our own mortality. Tyler added to our own humanity and made the world a nicer place by his very presence. I will miss your smile and gentle ways, Tyler.

  17. Tyler was a smiley, polite, and good friend. I will remember him with his delicate and thoughtful expressions and of course with his backpack. Rest in peace.

  18. Besides being in IST as students in a couple of classes in 2003 and '04, Tyler and I worked together for two years. He was the most giving person I knew, always willing to help with ideas, writing, or whatever anyone was working on at the moment. He always brought a clarity to discussions as well as vast knowledge of almost any topic.

    Beyond his academic and professional gifts, he was an incredible listener and was fabulously loyal to those that were friends to him.

    I will miss him very much.

  19. Tyler, I wish I had known you. But I did through Ginny Haughey, your longtime friend and I am terribly sad for her. I will miss you very much.....for Ginny. Of course any friend of Gin's must have been intensely special. I hope you have found peace. He was an incredibly special man.

  20. I feel like I'm just repeating what everyone else has said, but Tyler really was the kindest and sweetest person I've met in my time at Indiana University. He was a beautiful human being and I don't know what else to say. My heart is broken for us all.

  21. I have known Tyler since 1983. He was very important to me, and I loved him deeply. I'm devastated by this tragedy, so presently it's hard to find the right words to share with you. Time heals all wounds, they say. Although this is such a deep one, I hope that after time has passed, I'll be able to post some of my memories of Tyler.

    For now, I just wanted to say:

    1. Thank you all *so* much for creating this blog. Readings your posts has been enormously comforting.

    2. As you all know, Tyler was a passionate idealist who cared about many things, ranging from rabbits, music, education, and to making the world a better place in general. I am equally passionate about establishing a charity, foundation, or some sort of organization focused on something that mattered to Tyler. If you have any thoughts about or interest in doing the same, I would love to hear from you.

    3. If you have any desire to share any additional memories of Tyler, I would be really grateful to hear from you. It would mean a great deal to me. We can exchange email addresses or whatever.

    If anybody could find access to the internet in the afterlife, it would be Tyler Dodge :-), so hopefully he can see our tributes and understand how truly special he was to us. With that in mind, I have the following to say to him. Tyler, I love you so much, probably more than you knew. This world is worse off because of your untimely departure from it. I will miss you every single day for the rest of my life.

  22. Just as Quest Atlantis was in its infancey Tyler was there. It was his enthusiasm and technical and artistic competence that catapulted the first blush of quest into being. He designed the Logo, the first 3D Story Video, and got me to believe that IST Students could actually design in this virtual environment. Artistic Fidelity was a constant banter that he and I shared when we discussed the formative design decisions, and this was always evident in all of his work as well ... to be a true reflective design practioner.

    The Boys and Girls club was one of his first assignments and he embraced the ethonographies he collected with gusto. He truly believed in them and they responded with a sincere love for Tyler. For this to be a targeted charity is very meaningful as it would be to Tyler.

    I will truly miss Tyler's energy for addressing the hard design questions, and academia has truly lost a valuable contributor to its mission.

  23. Tyler was a great teacher and friend. He was so very patient with me while teaching me how to write a literature review. He spent four hours with me, guiding me to learn how to search for the information and carefully weave it into a paper. Tyler was extremely gentle and offset the often chaotic office that we worked in. He always had a nice word for people, a way of being supportive, and was great to eat lunch with. I loved talking with him because he always made me feel important, a person worth talking to.

    There is a Tyler-shaped hole in our world. He will be missed.

  24. Today I heard of Tyler's passing. I first encountered Tyler as an author on the Internet, when researching Quest Atlantis, and I've cited him many times. Then I got to meet him in person in Bloomington when I was there to learn more about QA. I spent a short time asking him questions and listening to his perspectives on learning - indeed a gentle person. We emailed back and forth many times about research methods and topics. Yes, he will certainly be missed.

  25. I was one of Tyler's students in R519 this semester, so I only recently had the opportunity to "meet" him. However, even in that brief amount of time I could tell that he was a man who loved writing and who seemed to be a natural educator. His comments on homework assignments highlighted both positive and negative aspects of our writing, but any criticisms were presented in a very kind manner. He was enthusiastic and supportive, and I enjoyed his sense of humor. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet him and extend my deepest sympathy to his family and friends who have lost a very special person.

  26. I am a student in Tyler’s 519 too. I regret that I did not take more time to get to know Tyler.I had not visited his personal web site until after his passing and was amazed at not only his talent but the breadth of it. Two poems in particular spoke to me. “Savings Time” and “Swan Song”. His paper wallets were impressive as well!
    I am sad because I had wanted to show Tyler that I could improve and was looking forward to his feedback on our latest project. His feedback was always thoughtful and even if I didn’t like it, what he said was always true. He was very kind to me when I had to be late with assignments because of my mother’s illness. It is difficult to go to the 519 Oncourse site these days. There is no life there anymore; only a virtual silence as poignant as his passing. So sad. Rest in peace, Tyler Dodge. I think you left a great legacy.

  27. In 1983 I arrived at Lafayette College a very lost young man.

    And while I never felt unpopular, I knew I was a misfit.

    In second semester, around February of 1984 I met this kid, Tyler Dodge. I remember my first impressions of him were 1. He had some seriously tripped out hair and 2. Inexplicably, I really wanted him to like me.

    In very short order I begun to interact with him on a daily basis. To categorize him as counter culture would be accurate but certainly selling him short. Tyler was another invention entirely. He was in my eyes the most outside guy I ever met.

    But he was wrapped in a warm and gentle soul. He was welcoming by nature and I loved him because he was like a portal. Without trying he showed me that a misfit wasn't all that bad a thing to be. In fact, he gave me the first glimmer that maybe, probably, I was a misfit and that this was what was cool about me. He was then, and certainly remains to this day, correct.

    So what do you say about a guy who saw you before you saw yourself? I do not know.

    Some of my most pleasant college memories are of laying on Tyler's floor with him and some other guys, drifting and drifting listening to the second side of "Berlin."

    I heard the Violent Femmes for the first time in Tyler's room.

    One day it was just him and me and I remember sitting with my back against the wall in his room and he dug into his meticulously cared for album collection and handed me a Bauhaus EP that I remember had Terror Couple Kill Colonel on it. He handed it to me and told me to "spend some time with this."

    Tyler's bed was a beautiful contraption he designed and built himself. It's a little tough to describe even though it was the model of simplicity. The mattress was about hip high and he had his turntable and albums underneath. When he left school I asked him if I could have it and he gladly gave it to me. He couldn't take it with him, this I know. But I always thought he was glad that someone else was going to use it.

    After installing it in my sophomore year room, I put my turntable and my albums underneath just like he did, but some of the shelves were comparatively bare owing to a decided shortage of art books.

    And then he was gone. He left Lafayette and I never reconnected with him. This was clearly a mistake and now as I dwell on his memory I realize that he really is gone forever and I'd have liked to meet up with him again. To think I've given three speeches at Indiana University in the last two years makes me crazy. Could it have been that we were there at the same time? I would have loved to spend some time with him. But now that's a bitter impossibility.

    I knew Tyler Dodge for about 6 months in 1984. In a way I feel like I ricocheted off him. This was my great fortune because the impact remains indelible.

  28. So many people have mentioned Tyler's prowess at writing that I thought I'd add a mention of a book. Tyler and I often discussed grammar and style (wheeee! party on!) and when I left Bloomington, he gave me this book: _The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed_ by Karen Elizabeth Gordon. It's a true (and very good) grammar book, but it is *warped*. Read it, and you'll wonder if Karen Elizabeth Gordon is a nom de plume for Tyler....

  29. Several of you mentioned Tyler's amazing rabbit hutch. Unfortunately, bunny has been separated from her home. She's now at the animal shelter in Bloomington, available for adoption. This shelter does *not* have a no-kill policy, but she's not presently on the list of animals to be euthanized.

    If any of you who are local to Bloomington feel that you could give her a happy, loving home, I know Tyler would like that. Rabbits are sweet, but they are also chewers. Like any pet, they are a responsibility, but they also bring a lot of affection and joy into one's life. If you are interested in adopting Poli, please contact me.

    I have arranged to her to be held at the shelter for two weeks. If at the end of that time no other friend/family member of Tyler is willing to adopt her, I will drive out there claim her. I cared about Tyler; he cared about the bunny. I feel responsible for making sure she goes to the proper home. Perhaps she'll enjoy being a big city rabbit and living here in NYC. :-)

  30. (from Hakan Tuzun)

    Dear friend Tyler,

    I waited for a while to write on this blog, because the news just seemed unreal to me. After a while I accept the fact that you have left a big hole in the world, but I am sure you will be remembered by many friends.

    I started to work with Tyler at the beginning of 2001, within the Quest Atlantis project. The first time I met him, he was with Sasha and Mike in the CRLT area in School of Education building, and I envied his use of English. Until finishing my PhD and leaving Bloomington, IN (in July, 2004), we worked together and I had great memories of him.

    When the CRLT office was in School of Education building, there was a small office space that we shared together. During this time (and also within the rest of our team meetings) I remember him working hard on his little laptops :)

    He was a great collaborator with creative ideas and writing talent. He would respect any idea coming from others even if it was silly and articulate on it for minutes. Actually, I haven’t met anybody else who has articulated on things better than Tyler.

    Tyler was such a gentle and considerate person towards other people. As an example, When we attended the AERA in 2003 in Chicago, IL we shared a room with Tyler, Mike and 1 or 2 other friends that I don’t remember right now. We was so gentle that (knowing that there were more than 4 people in the room and just 2 beds) he preferred to sleep on the floor even without discussing, to leave the opportunity to use the beds to others. Another thing I remember from this stay is that he had wakened up early in the morning to run along the shores of Lake Michigan.

    When leaving for Turkey in July, 2004, he gave a gift for my daughter; this was an English storybook written by a Turkish writer (we are from Turkey), showing again the depth of his thoughtfulness.

    The last time I saw him in person was back in October, 2009 when I visited Bloomington, IN during an AECT conference. We went to lunch as the Quest Atlantis team together and shared the memories. After the lunch I took his picture in his office in the Eigenmann building while going around the Quest Atlantis offices and I am glad that I shared the fact that how hardworking and special I thought he was both in general and for the project.

    I am honored to author several publications with him. Things I will remember about Tyler are; his articulation on ideas and his note taking on little laptops, his respect for other people, his using bicycles and backpack, ... and of course his Mona Lisa smile. Rest in peace my friend. You will greatly be missed.

  31. My name is Jerome, I have been friends with Tyler for a long time.
    I am French and live in Paris.

    We met in England, we were 17 years old.

    Later we shared a flat for a year in Edinburgh. This is where we used to split clouds with the sole power of our brains. We put up a play titled "Still life beside the corridor"

    We discovered minimal music together.
    I am happy to say I suffered hours of Philip Glass music with Tyler explaining me the structure of the music by singing litterally "titatatatatatiti".

    In those days we were merely 22years old.
    We called each others bro' (I actually never met Mat and Tim... now I must. Boys, I am so sad !)

    He never said good bye. I have just understood the news because I was not getting news from my beloved old friend.

    Please Tim, please Mat, be in touch with me.
    I am at
    I guess he told you about me.
    He was my daughters' american uncle.

    I am going to start missing him now and probably will not stop.
    Jerome, 1st of january 2011

  32. I was in the IST Master's program with Tyler from 2000-2002. I read all of the previous comments and they made me miss Tyler so much. What a tragedy! He was so gentle, kind and special. I don't think he knew that about himself. He was obviously loved by the people who knew him.

    One thing my group of IST cronies will probably remember is that my parental units lived in Btown. I grew up there (yeah, I'm a townie). And their house served as Party Central many-a-time.

    Tyler was extremely fond of their hot-tub. And I have a permanent reminder of Tyler, as one night, while sopping wet, he sat down at my piano and left his cheeck marks on the wooden bench!!!! The piano is with me in VA and so are Tyler's cheek marks!!!! LOL

    Thanks for all the laughs, wonderful work time and study time, and your fabulous friendship.

    We all miss you!!

  33. I am Tyler's first cousin on my father's side. Our fathers both died 10 (mine) and 20 (his) years ago, and we have had little family contact since their deaths. I last heard from Tyler in 2009, and now I know why. I can't believe I missed this, four years. Please, anyone, can you give me/us any indication on cause of death? He was indeed a special person. Thanks.

  34. Laura, I hope that you can get in touch with one of Tyler's brothers. I sent private email earlier today...

  35. I just found out about Tyler yesterday.

    We met on the 2nd or 3rd day of our freshman year of college (Lafayette).
    I was the long-haired hippie/rocker, and he was the California-meets-England New Wave guy.
    Neither of us fit in at that very preppy school.

    We weren't all that similar in our personas to most people, but our mutual "outsider" status seemed to put us together a lot.
    I learned a great many things from him, musically and otherwise, and I came to regard him as a great friend.

    College passed, and we did not keep in touch. But I never forgot him.
    I would often recall late nights, sitting on the porch of some fraternity house where neither of us would have been particularly welcome if it hadn't been an open party, talking about music, about art, about life.
    He meant a lot to me.

    Finding out that he is gone is surprisingly painful to me.
    We haven't spoken in 30 years.
    But somehow, thinking that he was still out there made me happier.

    Goodbye, Tyler.
    And by the way, you still never returned my lighter that I loaned you one night in 1983.

    - Neil McFadden

  36. I am getting into this a little bit late. I knew Tyler as a student in two of MY classes at Humboldt State University in northern California in 1997-8. After reading the posts above I knew this was the same person! Tyler stood out among all the students in his language-analysis courses not for getting the highest scores - though he did come close, as I remember - but for his unusual input in the classroom and his utmost support for the learning process. I saw him taking profuse notes during one of my lectures once, and when the class was over he shared them with me. They were not notes on the content - though he knew that well - but notes on the physical positioning of the professor (me) in relation to the students, the organization of ideas on the blackboard, and the sequencing of ideas during the hour. He had a meta-grasp of the entire event that was both surprising and impressive. We became sometime friends afterward, during a time when his passion was for paper-making the old-fashioned way. I never did get to see him make paper - I took another job just a year after arriving - and we never did keep in touch. Yet I will never forget that strength of character, housed in an almost nineteenth-century personality and updated for the computer age. You who knew him were lucky for the connection!