Career! Sonia Sotomayor Schools Abby on Sesame Street

5 years ago

At the risk of dating myself, I don’t think I heard the word “career” until I was in college. Back then most of us didn’t think about careers other than traditional female occupations like teaching and nursing. Most of our mothers were housewives, with the exception of Eileen Moran, whose mother taught high school English and because of it was considered almost exotic. The women we did see work were teachers or nurses or the occasional Avon Lady. I certainly didn’t know any women who were writers or journalists or newspaper editors, much less any who were justices on the Supreme Court.

(Credit Image: © Christy Howe/Globe Photos/

Someone I went to high school with later became one of the first female pilots for American Airlines and another brainy classmate became a big deal scientist at Stanford, so not every ambitious girl was as clueless as me in considering "Gidget" as a viable career opportunity. Still, sometimes it takes my breath away how radically life has changed for girls, and the opportunities they now have before them.

What does this have to do with Sesame Street? A lot, as it turns out. I used to watch the PBS series when my children were young, and have some delightful memories of my extremely active son stretched out on the floor with an arm draped over the cat in hysterics over Cookie Monster. Other than the threat to kill Big Bird during the election, I hadn’t heard much about or watched the show in years. But then Denise here at BlogHer sent a link to the segment of the show on YouTube, where the word being explained is "career," and I just died. It was just so adorable and right-on about how important it is to expose children to the world and what they can do that I had to share it with you.

In the segment, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is talking to Abby about her career aspirations and offers her some much-needed advice. Here it is:

And to think I could have aimed for Supreme Court Justice.

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