Did you know when you were in high school that you wanted to go into astronomy, or was that later on?
Yes, by high school I knew I wanted to study astronomy. I knew I wanted to be an astronomer. I didn't know a single astronomer, but I just knew that was what I wanted to do.
Did you know that it was a career possibility or have some sense of that?
Yes, I knew about Maria Mitchell, probably from some children's book. I knew that she had taught at Vassar. So I knew there was a school where women could study astronomy. So, yes, it never occurred to me that I couldn't be an astronomer.
Is that why you went to Vassar?
Because of Maria Mitchell?
Yes. That and a lot of other reasons. I needed a scholarship and they gave me one. I didn't apply to many colleges. There were not an enormous number of colleges where a woman could study astronomy. But I knew about Vassar because of her.