As a first year graduate student, I am fortunate to be involved in CHCI’s docent program. Docents assist in staffing and leading CHCI’s public educational workshops called Chimposiums. As a graduate student, I also have the opportunity to present the day long workshops offered once a month, the Advanced Chimposiums. One requirement before becoming an Advanced Chimposium presenter is that I must attend as a guest first. Since our Advanced Chimposium season is now under way, I attended the first workshop I could (in April) to ensure I would be able to present the following month.
I am currently a presenter for our one-hour weekend Chimposiums, so I am familiar with the type of information that is presented in the workshops. I assumed that since I was familiar with this information, I might find some of the topics covered in the Advanced Chimposium repetitive. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case at all. As a guest, I was very impressed with the detail and knowledge that each student showed regarding each lecture topic. As well as being very well informed, they were well prepared for guests’ questions about a range of issues. The lectures maintained my interest the entire time because of the fact that the presenters were so passionate about what they were discussing. I can only imagine what this experience would be like for an individual that knows very little about chimpanzees in general!