Jo Solet’s letter to her 6-year-old self

Curiosity, courage and perseverance helped Jo on her path. Right now, she is trying to improve patient recovery by studying the effects of hospital-based noise on sleep disruption.


Jo with Kurt


Letter to Myself as a Little Girl

April 1952
Dear Little Jo,

It was so cool what you and your twin brother, Kurt, found while digging by the side of the house. You were right! It could not be a bird because it had a long skinny tail. It was a mouse. Mice are neat and we can learn a lot from them. Even though they are little, their bodies work a lot like ours.

I heard your Ma was very mad and scrubbed your hands with a brush. That is OK. Just never wash away your curiosity!

Curiosity is what makes us explore places and ideas. Curiosity makes us want to understand how everything works.

You can start with any questions you would like to answer. Then take some guesses at what those answers might be. Explore for clues and keep track of everything you find. This is really what scientists do!

There are so many things in the world to wonder about. I heard that while you and Kurt were sleeping your Zecropia moth hatched out. It was drying its big wings on the closet door when you woke up. How amazing that it changed from a caterpillar to a moth. How could that happen? We call a big change like that a metamorphosis. You will be growing and changing, too. Some day you will be taking off on your own. I hope you will still have your curiosity.

As you grow, you may have the chance to use this curiosity to become a scientist. Some people might think Kurt can become a scientist but not you. That is just because you are a girl. But they might not know that you climbed the big tree in the park and earned a turn to be Flash Gordon. Even though it was hard, you did not quit. You were not afraid at all of being high up. Along with having curiosity, if you want to be a scientist, it is important not to quit and not to be afraid. Try to remember this!


Big Jo


Jo Solet is a Clinical Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Cambridge Health Alliance. She is also an inaugural member of Science Club for Girls’ Ambassador program, a donor advocate group that supports the organization. Read more about her.

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