As much as I’ve talked about my experiences in the field of dog and cat servitude it is not my actual job; that involves a different animal altogether.
I work at a government run facility as a Small Primate Activities Coordinator. There my fellow coordinators and I train (or attempt to train) and test groups of 20-25 young primates, sorted by age, who undergo years of such training for the betterment of society.
I’ve spent close to twenty years at the same facility, and during most of that time I have been responsible for primates in the 96-108 month age range. During the working day I focus on training them skills such as basic mathematics and responding to verbal and visual cues.
Some years this training is more successful than others, and this has been a very good year! Most of my primates are above expected norms for their age group and my supervisor thinks the results of the federally mandated testing they were subjected to earlier this year should be very good. We will know by the beginning of the new training cycle.
The nice thing about this work is that it isn’t year round. This is the last week of this training cycle, in fact my primates were released back into the wild on Thursday! So with them gone, the facility can do some much needed maintenance, and my fellow coordinators and I can take time off to reflect on what worked during this training cycle, and prepare for the next. We will also take this time to relax! You would not believe how stressful it is to be isolated in a room with young primates all day!
But starting in early August the primates will be rounded up from the surrounding area again, the older ones assigned to a different facility, a new batch of 48-60 month olds will be introduced to our facility, the groups will be shuffled, and the whole process will start all over again.
Until then, my classroom is empty, and this 3rd grade teacher is ready for summer vacation!