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Next of Kin
Next Of Kin
The next of kin a documentation of mind matter and love. This book was very inspirational it gives you a whole new outlook on the experience and the feelings of animals. Trying to relate with how much Roger Fouts has accomplished in his life is unbearable he has had so many experiences that have been recorded in this book. It was the type of book that was hard to put down from the beginning. In the next few pages I will discuss parts of the book that really moved me and left an impression on me. There are so many great parts it was hard to pick just a few to look into. I read this book in the first few weeks of school and re-read in the last two weeks, also I have bought a copy for my sister who is very interested in primate psychology and it has so much information and personal experience in it that it is in a way a textbook for primate psychology.
Washoe was an extraordinary animal saved out of NASA by very patient and brilliant people, it was very exciting to see the advancements that she had made throughout the book. Not only her but also the few people that had have been working with her. The Gardner’s the first care takers of Washoe was saved by the Gardner’s had put a lot of trust into Roger and he proved to be able to accept and work with Washoe from the beginning on.
Fouts, started off as a little kid knowing his only monkey to be curious George, never realizing that George was not a monkey but a chimp. Growing up on a farm Fouts was always around many animals tending and working with them. Realizing the importance of the entire animal Fouts than realized the loyalty when his dog brownie had died jumping in front of the tractor to save his fallen brother. The care for animal was in all of the family even the mother who had many old time stories to tell about animal intelligences. A life and environment changing situation had happened when Fouts was about twelve years old and the only ones still in the house out of nine children was him and another brother. Fouts parents packed up the kids and stuff and move to Los Angeles, California.
Around this time in his life he was dreaming of becoming a psychologist. Fouts family had a way of not finishing school but become loyal workers, and Fouts was devoted to finishing college, the only one in his family with the intention of getting more schooling was his mother who at age 52 decided to go back to high school and finish, she to was very interest in the healing of the mind which, also was a inspiration for Fouts to pursue this career. When Fouts started his college career at Compton, his intention was to study human psychology but it was required to take animal psychology as well. The very first animal behavior he was thought that they were mindless creatures who rigid behavior, unlike that of
Humans, is controlled by instinct. After much schooling Fouts applied to many clinical schools. After time and time again Fouts was denied and was pushed towards a second-tier school in experimental psychology-or rat psych, as it is affectionately known studies of animal in cages. The University of Nevada accepted Fouts in to their experimental psychology program. Time goes on and Fouts get the cal to change the rest of his life, the call was from a Dr. Paul Secord, telling Fouts “Teaching a chimpanzee to talk,” with disbelief roger replied back “what”, and the Dr. repeated himself. Fouts went on to take it in with full stride just trying to get his foot in the door, with his main intention of working with kids this entire time.
Ready for the job Fouts had one more task into getting the job, and that task was getting through to a very strict man called Allen Gardner. Fouts had taken many courses in animal psychology and statistics. To Garner this was just garbage he didn’t believe that everything was to be solved in a laboratory that animal had to watched and worked with? The interview was going terrible, Fouts pulled out all the tricks telling him how he was excited to take courses with two well-known philosophers of science. Garner shot back with “Science doesn’t need philosophy.” Fouts was very disappointed feeling that it was all over, the interview was over and Gardner asked Fouts if he would like to go see Washoe, Fouts did and as they approached the gated area Fouts noticed two adults playing with a child under a tree. Than a beginning point of a life long friendship began, Washoe noticed them looking and began running at Gardner and Fouts and it
Leaped up over the fence right into Fouts arms giving him a big hug right when Fouts really need one amazed that it jumped to him Fouts noticed himself hugging her back. Garner knew that Washoe had like him. Garner called a few day’s later telling Fouts that he had the research assistant’s job. Fouts knew who exactly had chosen him for that job, it came out of Garners mouth but Washoe had found herself a really good playmate.
I went into so much detail in the first few chapters because I believe that, it is the most essential it shows the importance of your personal thought and beliefs. It shows me that perspectives of one professional are totally different from another. That life’s little differences may take a good turn and push you towards the time of your life, and you might just find what you have been looking for. It just takes time and patience.
Time and time went on Fouts and Washoe grew closer together Fouts was never looked upon by Washoe as parental figure but just an older brother, that like to be around all the time. Greg Gaustaud another graduate student who entered Washoe’s life about the same time, he to was also looked at as an older brother. Being with Washoe was not as much as a job as it was having a good time. Washoe looked out for each student if one was mad at another it would stick up for the other guy. Sometimes they would take advantage o that at sign to Washoe that the other guy hurt him and Washoe would chase after the other guy until he signed that he was sorry, but there was always sweet revenge that the same thing would be done to him when he lasts expects it. There was never any doubt that Susan Nichols one of the women in the graduate class which made it much more paternal if she acted to cry and tell Washoe that it was me that Fouts was the one that did it, Washoe would chase him around till he apologized and kneeled before her to show submission and my apology. Fouts struggle with the relationship between him and his first dog Brownie. That his first dog never evoked the deep and tangled emotions of friendship, competiveness, and anger and love that he had felt for that little chimp. He sometime would have to make a self-recollection that Washoe was not a human and could not be compared to as one of his brothers, but after a while that distinction was meaningless. Time and time went on Washoe was learning more and more signs by just watching each other, she would have child like tendencies of signing wrong but would later on figure it out just like a child corrects its talking when it get older and more experience.
The Garners had left Washoe and Fouts had taken the responsibility. In 1973 Fouts was flown to Yale’s University to go higher up the ladder in his career. Yale’s experience was a bad one it was not like he wanted it to be, he had came to a conclusion that he needed to fulfill his fantasy and find something for the chimps in a good and clean way of teaching like back at the Gardner’s back yard. With that he declined Yale’s teaching opportunities and moved on. By the mid 70’s Fouts seemed to have everything his wife, children, living in a little country home just like he grew up on and remembered. He was also doing very well with a riding wave of ape language research that had brought him professional acclaim and research funding. Working out of the University of Oklahoma, which was the center of the universe when it came to chimp
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