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Caffeine-Patron Saint of Outreach Educators

November 18, 2009

Post by Jonathon Barnes

I vividly recall being seven or eight years old when my mother first showed me how to make coffee. My mother had a pretty extreme aversion to housework and subsequently taught my sister and I everything from cooking to laundry by the time we were nine. For the coffee lesson, she got out the kitchen stool for me to stand upon, showed me how to put the filter in the basket, measure out ¼ cup of Folgers, add water, and press the “brew” button. As a child, I always found it amazing that my mother would drink what seemed to be an entire pot of coffee every morning before she went to work.

Fast forward to ten years later and my freshman year at The Ohio State University. 7:30 AM acting classes in the old Drake Union are never a good idea during the winter quarter… especially if you were up until 11:30 the previous night working on homework after rehearsal. This unfortunate confluence of schedules spawned my love for coffee.

Fortunately, the theatre building had a small café that served Starbucks coffee. At the beginning of the quarter, I got cute, tiny, “Tall“ Café Mochas… by the end of the quarter I had graduated to the monster, Venti size coffee. Having discovered the wonders of caffeine, I now firmly believe that if the British had put an unfair tax on coffee instead of tea, Ben Franklin would have sworn off muskets and found some way to craft AR-15 assault rifles for the colonial army.

Ever since that quarter, coffee has been a vital part of my ability to function in the mornings. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I typically have my video game themed travel mug with me in schools. That mug always has that magical blend of Columbian wonderment that powers me through a (sometimes sleep-deprived) morning in a school.

When asked where I get my enthusiasm and energy, I generally like to reply, “COSI On Wheels runs on caffeine, sugar, and the smiling faces of children.”

This week, however, tragedy has befallen me; I forgot my beloved travel mug.

I made the discovery Monday night when I realized that my suitcase was missing my mug that features the shining face of Halo’s Master Chief. I had left it on the kitchen counter back home. I instantly dropped to my knees and shook my fists in anger. If you happen to live in the Cincinnati metro area, you may have heard wailing and gnashing of teeth around 6:00… that was me. I truly apologize for interrupting SportsCenter.

By the time morning rolled around, I had mentally prepared myself for a day without my usual caffeine fix. I arrived at my school, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as possible without chemical assistance. Within minutes of walking into the school, my COSI cell phone rang, it was my volunteer coordinator for the day. She called to inform me that she was running late and stopping for coffee at Starbucks. She also asked if I would like some. I believe my exact response was:

“Sweet Saturn’s Rings, please, God, YES!”

Moments later, my volunteer coordinator (who shall henceforth be known as Saint Marcia of Evendale) brought me a Venti coffee from Starbucks. This heavenly brew from the shrine of Starbucks powered me through my assembly and the rest of my morning.

Such is life on the road: little sleep, lots of caffeine, and tons of science… and now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hunt down a Red Bull for the afternoon.

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One comment

  1. The Drake switched from Starbucks to Crimson Cup my junior year. It was a rough transition.



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