Sometimes I’m reminded of the age gap between me and most other first-year university students. Meaning, my own immaturity smacks me right in the face.
My anthropology professor recently announced that he’d be showing a documentary about baboons to the class. I knew we were all doomed as soon as I heard the title: “Primate behaviour and social survival mechanisms involving hierarchal structures, as observed in populations of baboons in Kenya.”
It’s never a good sign when a title is long enough to justify a comma.
Worst of all, unlike in high school, watching a movie in a university class doesn’t mean a chance to catch up on your sleep. We were expected to take notes on the movie, since the material it covered could possibly appear on the mid-term.
Much to my shock, I actually enjoyed the documentary. I had figured that the subject matter- meaning, baboons- kinda limited the potential Enjoyability Factor of the documentary right from the start. I mean, I might watch a documentary about sharks or bats on my own time. But baboons? They don’t seem particularly intriguing or dangerous. They’re monkeys. With red-rimmed butts.
But the documentary was surprisingly interesting. Baboons actually form friendships with each other, which is something that I thought only humans did. They develop social bonds as a survival mechanism. For example, one baboon was left behind after it’s leg was seriously injured. After being exposed to the sun for hours, the baboon probably wasn’t going to make it- until one of its friends showed up, and helped it find the pack again.
At one point in the documentary, one of the baboons started to climb up a cliff, and inadvertdely exposed the largest testicles I’ve ever seen. Not that I’m checking out animals’ testicles, but I could hardly wait to get home and tell my 10 and 12-year-old brothers all about it. I admit, I laughed my head off.
The rest of the class was silent.