Three years I’ve been a part of COSI On Wheels.
Each year, as Joe Butler pointed out, I’ve taught more kids in a week then some teachers will see in their entire lifetime. Now it is time to move on. I will miss so much about COSI…the second family I’ve gained for one. The stories for another, we always have the best stories. So before I sign off this blog, I’ll sling one more for ya.
My Last Week As a COW
Post by Kyle Jepson
Monday goes like any other. We have our meetings, we assign events. I don’t chime in since I’ll be gone by Friday. By the end of the week I’ve got the following to do: Turn in my last expense report, go to the Ross County Fair, finish the Chemistry hands-on binders I’ve been working on, and turn in the following: my keys, parking pass, credit card, COSI shirts, and badge. The team heads to lunch and I choose to get breakfast at Grand Day Café.
We spend most of the lunch riffing on the idea of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises being played by Jar-Jar Binks (“Mesa Gotham’s reckoning!”). Once we return, I finish up binders and injure myself (more on that later). The rest of Monday is pretty uneventful save the fact that Kurt (our fearless director) and I are wearing the same pants.
I always knew he had great style.
I finish out the day by turning in my final expense report and credit card.
Then the COWs and I head to Woodlands for a goodbye happy hour.
(If you don’t get the above joke, we can never be friends.)
Tuesday! I begin to clean out my desk. Over the past three years I have accumulated a lot of junk. Fun junk, but junk nonetheless. I try to harden my heart as I throw out random Reddit pictures we’ve printed out, completed To Do lists, and sort through the random tea, oatmeal, and cup o’ noodles I’ve stashed in my emergency lunch fund. I find that I still somehow have a lot of junk but sentiment keeps me from tossing it.
Tuesday comes and goes. That night I go and see Anamanaguchi with my roommate and we watch the Olympics while we wait for the band to go on.
Wednesday and Thursday I am attending my last event ever with Ms. Rebecca Kelly, the Ross County Fair. On the way down Becca takes a picture of most likely the last time I’ll drive a truck.
(No worries. We were at a red light.)
We sing Foxy Shazam loud and out of key but we don’t care. Our time together is precious. The Ross County Fair goes smoothly as always.
After the fair my mom comes to pick us up in her soccer van. Then we get watch ‘Written By a Kid’ on YouTube and go to Jerry’s Pizza for dinner. I couldn’t do my last event ever and not eat pizza and it doesn’t hurt that this pizza rocks.
The second day of the fair is the same. Time flies by.
We’re done. We pack up. We leave. We are sweaty.
That night I sit in my room and play The Office in the background as I write goodbye notes to my friends and co-workers. I get a little weepy. I try to write these notes directly from the heart and desperately attempt to avoid cliché. I probably fail.
I arrive at my normal time, sans coffee. Coffee will be provided at my going-away breakfast. As I sit and try to ignore the bagels till 9am I clean out the remainder of my desk. The breakfast is enjoyable. I force everyone to sign a poster so I can hang it up at my new desk.
After my going away party we head to Philips Coney Island for one last lunch together. I am a classy lady as usual.
Katie, Becca, and I take our obligatory photos in front of COSI.
Becca and Katie leave. I can barely look at them because I know I will start crying if I do.
Back upstairs I go through my e-mail and attempt to save any gems from forever deletion.
I fold up my poster that everyone signed from this morning then head down to the safety office to turn in my keys. As I take my color coded key rings off I am met with a sticky green sludge that quite similarly resembles slime from It’s Simply Chemistry. It gets lodged all under my nails and on my fingers and I have to throw the color coders away. I apologize to the man who takes my keys from me.
I make one more round of the office to say goodbye. I send out a goodbye email that is extremely hard to write and keep getting up for water but really it’s so I can compose myself. I turn off my computer for the last time, gather my things and leave. I walk through the hallways, the hallways I have walked for the last five or so years and I find myself barely able to breathe as I get into my car.
Am I making the right call here? I know I am. It’s time for new memories, new adventures. Lucky for me I will always have reminders of my times here, namely, the bruises and scars I’ve accumulated. Even now as I type this from my couch at home, my eyes are drawn to the latest injury I sustained from COSI On Wheels. It is small and benign, it will go away quicker than I’ll realize, for now though it is a new little memory of my last week here. It’s a lamination splinter; tiny, black and hard from dried blood. It’s painful as all get out but this stupid injury seems quite apropos to my current feelings. How can something so seemingly small hurt so much?
I don’t have that answer. But for now it will be a tiny memory I can hang onto until I feel better. And yes, for some weird reason I do feel better knowing I still have a tiny part of COSI with me.
I still have this: