Growing up, my mom would always read me stories about ‘the monkey lady’ who lived with chimps in Tanzania. I remember watching the television when she came on, and my mom even showing me movies about her. As a child,  I could never understand why someone would want to “live” with chimps her whole life, but my mother instilled in me the admiration I have for Jane Goodall, which is why I was extremely excited to see her speak on Tuesday afternoon.

One of my roommates informed me earlier this semester that Jane Goodall was coming to speak at USC. In fact, she told me that Dr. Jane was actually on staff as a professor with the university. She doesn’t (nor as she ever I don’t think) taught a class hear, but she is on staff here at the University of Southern California. The second I found out she was coming to give a talk, I signed up right away. There was no way I was going to miss one of my child idol’s speak, and USC has some great speakers. (Last year I got to experience a talk from world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking!)

For those of you that don’t know, Jane Goodall is an extremely well-known anthropologist who has studied chimpanzee social and family interactions in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania for nearly fifty years. She also founded the Jane Goodall Institute. It was rare for a girl her age with her education to start in a mostly male dominated field especially in the time in which she grew up. Her story is very inspiring and touching.

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Dr. Jane gave a magnificent speech touching on many topics. She even opened with a monkey call and brought a huge “peace dove” (a dove made of 20 feet of white linen) on to the stage later in her speech. Her main message was really about making the world a better place for future generations by not only achieving your own personal goals and dreams  but also by looking out for fellow man and animal alike. For more information about Jane and her foundation check out her website:

Reading: ehhh not much right now (does Entertainment weekly count?)

Listening to: Pandora (obsessed.)

Watching: Rudy (getting ready for the Notre Dame game =)…don’t hate me for still supporting ND just a little bit)

=)  arianna