{30 to 30} Get Horrible Picture Taken With Jane Goodall

I met Jane Goodall! Ah!

And thank you to everyone who responded to my post about what I should say to her when I met her during the book signing. Your feedback was great and very helpful.

The whole night, though, was a bit of a Mesozoic mess.


Man-Beast required his high school students to go the Jane Goodall lecture. So we took one of his students (OK, his favorite student. Let’s call a spade a spade, there are favorites) to the event. Favorite Student sat with us through Jane’s lecture …

The lecture was a bit drab. Poor Jane Goodall is 78 or 79 years old, she travels 300 days a year and she’s never in one place for more than three weeks. So I understand that she’s not going to say anything new or revealing in her lecture.

The event was really just to SEE Jane Goodall. To be in the same building as this hugely important, iconic person. I can now tell my kids and grandkids that I saw Jane Goodall in person and then they’re going to think I’m the coolest grandma in the world. And that is perfectly good and great with me.


Our seats were a bit far away

But the pictures …

So Favorite Student left the lecture a few minutes early to get a good spot in the book signing line because we knew it was going to be long (see why he’s our favorite!?) By the time Man-Beast and I met up with our student, the book signing line was wrapped around the arena and going out the door.

Everyone. Who watched. The lecture. Wanted. An autograph.

Then I felt really bad for old Jane Goodall.

She autographed my book!

She autographed my book!

While we waited in line, the three of us (Man-Beast, Favorite Student and me) made a very detailed and strategic plan to get all of our books signed and get our pics with Jane.

I would go get my book signed first. Favorite Student would take my pic. Man-Beast would get his book signed next. Favorite Student would take his picture. Favorite Student would get his book signed last. I would take his pic.

And we all agreed that whoever was taking the pics, would take, like, twelve in a row. We figured if we got a bunch of pics of this moment, then at least one would be good and that sounded like a plan!

That was the plan. The picture plan!

I am next in line. The security person took my book and flipped through it to see if I had hid any bombs in it. She didn’t find any. She handed it to Jane and I walked up to her. Jane silently signed my book.

So, then, I didn’t know if I should just start talking to Jane while she was looking at my book and signing it? I kind of wanted her attention. I wanted her to look at me. So I just stood there quietly. It was awkward, to be honest.

Once she was done signing and she handed it to me, then it was my turn to talk. And what the hell to say to Jane Goodall!? To be honest, I wanted to say something unique and meaningful, so that she might remember me. And then talk about me in her next 60 Minutes interview!


My iPhone doesn’t quite have the lens needed to take a pic from this far away

But I couldn’t think of anything original. So I went with honesty.

I said, “Thank you for signing my book. You’re an inspiration. I really appreciate you. Thank you.”

She silently nodded. I nodded back. It was a beautiful moment for me. To finally meet my role model! In person! She looked at me. She will not remember me, but that’s OK. We looked into each other’s faces and just had a moment together. She looked old, but mostly tired. I knew she had a very long line of people waiting for her. So then I stepped away.

Then Man-Beast yells, “Don’t you want a picture with her!?”

What. The. Hell!? We had a picture plan! A plan for the pictures!

So I took a few steps back to Jane and smiled for the camera. While I waited for the now Not-So-Favorite Student to take our picture, the security lady started barking at me and everyone around that we have to take the pictures while we’re getting our book signed. To save time.

I know! That was the damn picture plan!

jane julie RIBBIT

Trying to stay anonymous on here, I had some fun with the doodle feature on Ribbit.com

So I got my horrible picture taken with her. Then Man-Beast was next. Somehow I got the camera and was taking his pic. (I probably fired Not-So-Favorite Student.) Mysteriously and suddenly a huge security guy was behind me and wouldn’t move, so it was hard for me to back up to take the pic. Man-Beast was really close to me and Jane wasn’t even looking.

jane manbeast RIBBIT

But security lady pushed Man-Beast along. Then Kinda-Ify-Favorite Student went up and I snapped four pictures of him. All of which turned out bad.


Eyes closed




This one’s actually not too bad because she’s smiling. I just didn’t get Student’s face, but that’s OK

Favorite Student's big head is casting a shadow over Jane's entire face

Favorite Student’s big head is casting a shadow over Jane’s entire face

So to sum up…

  • All three of us got the worst pictures in the world with Jane Goodall
  • If you read the Amazon.com summary of all of Jane’s books, then you’ve just read her lecture
  • I’d like her to stop traveling so much so that she’ll live longer. But she inspires so many people? What should she do … please me? Or inspire everyone? Hmmm …
  • Man-Beast and I have a newly available spot for a favorite student! Taking applications now!
  • Ah, what the hell? I still get to tell my grand babisauruses that I breathed the same air as Jane Goodall. We were in the same building! I met my role model. That’s pretty flippin’ RAWResome.
  • And! I can add something to my {30 to 30} list! … Meet Jane Goodall … That’s a good one that I didn’t expect would happen when I first came up with my 30 things to do before I turn 30 project.

*   *   *   *   *

Here’s what we have so far in my journey of {30 to 30}

1. What to do in the next year

2. Give up on the search for a BFF

3. Host Christmas

4. Have a white Christmas

5. Be nicer to my niece

6. Tell someone to eff off

7. Job search around the world

8. Complete the Goodall challenge

9. Solve America’s gun problem!

10. Solve America’s bathroom problem!

11. Move to a different country!


About julieschicklit

My book blog is dedicated to finding books, stories & ideas that redefine women's literature to be something smarter & funnier. More RAWResome lit for ladies. I am remaining some-what anonymous because I have a day job. My Man-Beast and I are soon going to live abroad in China, so that's why I'm a reblog-aholic.


  1. I love your face! 🙂 (and the whole of this story, not to minimize this wonderful post!)

  2. What a wonderful experience you must have had. Jane Goodall is definitely one of my icons. Your photos and the illustrations are great too 🙂

  3. Pingback: {30 to 30} Accept Rejection Gracefully | julie chicklitasaurus

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