In Conversation With Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor

In Conversation with Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor

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On Saturday January 19th, Judge Sonia Sotomayor came to Plaza Las Americas in an event promoted by Casa Norberto to talk about her new children’s book, Turning Pages, and young adult book, The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor. Image result for sonia sotomayor plaza las americasAs soon as the event was announced I knew that I had to go, even if it was just to get a quick glance at the first Latina judge to serve in the Supreme Court. It was a full house with people from all ages eager to meet her. Judge Sotomayor is incredibly kind, friendly, and warm. She talked for a long time, delighting everyone with her answers, specially the children. One thing that I absolutely loved about her conversation was when she talked about how important books and words were. She gave the example of the word “bear” and asked us how many versions of a bear we imagined with only that word. She then explained the fascination in what only one word could unlock in our minds, then she can’t imagine how much more a book with hundreds of words can do. She explained that reading and books helped her out of a dark time, that she wouldn’t imagine where she’d be if she hadn’t found books when she was a child.

“Life is not always beautiful, sometimes it’s hard and ugly, and books were a way for me to escape the ugly and travel to places that I had never thought I could. I even rode a rocket ship one time! You can’t do that without books.” she said, and I was in awe. As a writer and bookworm myself, I was impacted by her description of books and reading. I loved it all.

Since the activity was specifically centered around the children, she eventually walked off the stage and walked towards the children and proceeded to hug them all. She also greeted anyone who wished to hug or shake her hand, I managed to hug her and thank her.

She continued the conversation by saying that fear is the worst thing that you can have as an adult, because it prevents you from doing what you want. It was because of fear that she almost didn’t take the job at the Supreme Court because she was scared, and because she let other people’s opinion about her get to her. It wasn’t until her friends talked to her and told her that she’d earned that job and she shouldn’t allow other people to bring her down, that she was stronger than all of them. She encouraged anyone to follow their dreams, and not let fear consume us and to aim as high as we want. She also explained how she did not let her diabetes diagnosis take over her life, how she only sees her taking insulin as something that makes her Supergirl, that gives her the strength she needs to help others.

After the conversation was over, the line to get our books signed started. It took a while, because she took her time with everyone, specially with the children, but it was definitely worth the wait. She was so nice to all of us as she signed our books and wished us all the success in our lives.

Meeting Sonia Sotomayor was unreal and something I never imagined would happen and I was honored to have been able to. Now I wish Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would also pop by so that we could have an awesome conversation.

Read more of Sonia’s visit to Puerto Rico here.

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Image credits: 1, 2, 3