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Wake Up Call

November 12, 2009

Post by Kyle Jepson

I feel like I’m still learning what the “road life” of an Outreach Educator entails. Sometimes, it is so much fun I can’t believe I’m getting paid to have fun with kids while they learn. Every day, I learn lessons that I feel I could only learn on the road both in and out of schools.

Let’s talk about hotels. Can we talk about hotels!? We Educators have different preferences; some of us may want to stay somewhere close to a school so we don’t have to drive as far; maybe somewhere nice, comfortable, and perhaps, super-cheap. I prefer a middle road between those three, sometimes, however, my cheapness comes back to bite me.

A few weeks ago I was staying in what we’ll call a cheaper room. When I got into the room and sat on the bed, it reminded me of the fake beds they use as displays at furniture stores. Plastic covered, soft and hard in all the wrong places. I was surprised a spring didn’t shoot out of the middle. Also, half of the hotel was under construction, something that was not covered on the website.

“I’ll live,” I thought.

After a table-for-one dinner, I headed back to my plastic wonderland and went to sleep.

Fast forward to a sudden rude awakening, in my haze I hear a loud continuous buzzing that I recognize as a fire alarm. I check my phone and notice the time… 4:30… AM… Two hours before I should be waking up. After sitting in my bed for ten minutes of wishful thinking, hoping that the alarm may stop, I get up and prepare to leave my room. I figure if this is, in fact, a real fire I should grab some essentials. Essentials at 4:30AM to me seem to be:

1. My Phone
2. My COSI Truck Keys
3. My Shoes
4. A Sweater

After half an hour of sitting in the lobby, I come to find out it is in fact a false alarm. A leak in the construction wing of the building has set off the alarm. Slightly annoyed, I return to my room and attempt to sleep for the hour and some change I had left to rest. But once I’m up, I am up.

While lying on my plastic wrap bed I consider the steps that led me to this point in my life. Was it one decision or a path that was set for me long ago? Before I know it, it is 6AM and time to head to school, I have not fallen back to sleep. I am in no mood to be happy and playful today. In fact, I feel like a big old grump. I arrive at my school; a first-time school that has never had COSI On Wheels before. Then, as the first kindergartners began to file in and stare around in wonderment, I remember why I decided to go into this profession in the first place.

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One comment

  1. I think all of us who have been COWS will resonate very deeply with your experience! When my days on the road were done, I swore I’d never stay at another Red Roof Inn and never again eat Bob Evans. But my time at COSI was some of the rich and fulfillling times of my life. The COW job prepared me for life in HUGE ways and I am quite grateful.



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