My name is COSI

December 18, 2009

Post by Jonathan Barnes

As COSI Employees, Outreach Educators are required to wear the Look uniform (or the costume for our particular program) while in schools. The “Look” involves us wearing our COSI shirts with a pair of black pants or khakis. The shirts are either blue or kiwi green and have the COSI logo on one side of our chest with our nametag on the other.

One of the first things I mention during the morning assembly is my name. When I do this, I typically motion towards my nametag, framing it between my hands “en vogue” style. What never ceases to amaze me, however, is how quickly students seem to forget our names… in spite of the fact that we wear nametags every second of our day. Sometimes, students will walk right up to me and ask me my name again.. At this point, I’ll usually begin to “frame” my nametag again while saying,

“Gee… If only COSI gave me something that would inform people of my name. If only there were some sort of device on my shirt that would clue people in to what I prefer to be called. IF ONLY I had something… something like a NAMETAG.”

This usually gets the point across.

Even after all of that, I’m not usually known as “Jonathan” while in schools. More often than not, students will call me “COSI”.

“Hey, COSI, can you do the fire trick again?”

“Hey, COSI, where can I get liquid nitrogen?”

“Hey, COSI, can I eat the marshmallow?”

While it can be cute, especially from kindergartners, my acerbic wit has started to get the better of me. Now, when I have older students call me “COSI“, I respond by calling them “school”.

“Hey, COSI, what made the cork pop off?”

“Well, school, it was actually a chemical reaction between the citric acid and sodium bicarbonate within the Alka Seltzer.”

I’m actually amazed when students pick up on the joke.

Today was a little different, however. Today, I was presenting our “Launch Into Space” program at Waynesfield Goshen Elementary in Waynesfield, Ohio (near Wapakoneta). Shortly after today’s assembly, the cutest kindergartner came up to me and said,

COSI, will you come back next year? Because, if you do, I’m going to bring a rocket to school… I asked for a rocket for Christmas and I’ll bring it next year if you come back.”

This absolutely melted my heart. I asked him what his name was.

“My name is Cole.”

“Well, Cole, my name is Jonathan, and I’m not sure if I’ll be the one back next year, but, if it’s me, I’d love to see your rocket.”

His response…



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