The Littlest Bruin
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one young student, coming to UCLA is more than just an opportunity
to get a great education. It is the adventure of a lifetime.
Photography by Ann Johansson
the first day of Fall Quarter,
Catherine Beni bounds up to the doors of Moore Hall, her long, blonde
ponytail bobbing behind her as her blue-sneakered feet fly over
the steps and a hefty backpack crammed with texts and notebooks
bangs against her shoulders.
by a breakfast of relatively healthful Smart Start cereal ringed
within a moat of ultra-sugary Chocolate Mud & Bugs, Catherine
clearly is energized for the day ahead. First there had been PIC
10 — Introduction to Computer Programming — in the Math
Sciences building. Now it is time for Italian 4 in Moore Hall, and
she doesn't want to risk being late.
need to get there early so I can be sure to get a seat in the front
row," Catherine says somewhat breathlessly. "I always
sit in the front row. Sometimes you get these humungous people who
sit in front of you and then you can't see whichever way you try
"And also, if I'm in the front row I can really pay attention
and concentrate and nothing else will disturb me."
she takes the steps two at a time, her forward momentum seemingly
the only thing keeping her upright as gravity wrestles with the
oversized knapsack to topple her backwards, Catherine doesn't resemble
a typical college student so much as her favorite storybook character,
Tigger, the bounciest creature in all of contemporary literature.
again, Catherine is not a typical college student.
is 12 years old.