Posted by: COSI | September 2, 2008

Memories

While David is taking some much deserved vacation I am happy to fill in for him as a guest blogger!

I’m Kim Kiehl, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer here at COSI. I am really excited to share my thoughts and hear some of yours in the next couple of weeks.

COSI will be closed through September 19 as we do our annual clean up to the building. Our team is busy installing new carpeting, new experiences and starting on some big changes that you will see and hear more about here in the coming weeks.

As we go about making these changes we are keeping in mind that there are things that are “icons” for our guests, things that become the stuff of stories told and fond memories.

I have always been fascinated by memory…why we remember what we do, how some things get stuck there while others fade away, how a smell or an object can trigger something long forgotten to come back…it completely fascinates me. Memory is elusive and we know so little about it, yet it influences everything from our mood to our purchasing behavior. If I was to start doing research again I believe I would do it on memories and their role in our lives. I am fascinated by the fact that some people seem to be able to remember almost everything they see and hear, while others can’t remember what happened an hour ago. I want to know what makes this work, how our brain chooses what to remember and what to forget, and what triggers memories to come back.

At COSI we deal with memories all the time. I can’t tell you how many times a month people ask me about the coal mine or the fire truck or something else from the old COSI building. While this can be frustrating at times, I totally get it. These are the stuff of their memories. These are the things that give them that feeling of connection and they want to have that experience again and to share it with their children.

For some of you a COSI memory involves sleeping overnight at a COSI Camp-In. This coming year will mark the one millionth camper to spend the night at COSI and we are celebrating it by asking people who had this experience to share their memories. If you were one of those million kids who spent the night at a COSI Camp-In you can share your memory too by logging on to our special Millionth Camper website and see what others remember as well. And if you didn’t get the chance to sleep overnight but have a special COSI memory you want to share send it to me and I will be sure it gets onto a special memory page on our website.

Barbara Kingsolver once said “It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time” and she was right. You have no way of knowing what tiny things your child will remember in the future, but there is no doubt that some of these things will find their way in there for a permanent home. I think we should regularly share our memories with each other, tell stories, and record them in whatever way works for each of us. Ask your child today what they remember about their last trip to COSI and listen carefully for their words are a window to their brain. After all, memories are what binds us together and makes us human.

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