The Littlest Bruin
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classes are over for the day, it's time for lunch with younger
sister Juliet at one of the campus eateries.
likens the experience of being at UCLA to that of the characters
in the X-Men comics — another of her favorites — who
attend Xavier's Institute for Gifted Students. "Everybody there,
and everyone here, has special talents," she says.
just tremendously motivated and excited to be at UCLA," her
mother says. "The faculty are wonderful and they've been wonderfully
responsive to her."
a certain infectious enthusiasm to her, says Surian Figueroa M.A.
'02, a Ph.D. student in Italian literature who teaches Catherine's
Italian class. "When we are having discussions, she will talk
about everything from cartoons to miniature golf to anti-trust laws
and economics and math theory," Figueroa says. One day Catherine
brought her collection of Disney comics in Italian to share with
aware and she is perceptive and just a lot of fun to have in the
classroom," Figueroa says.
though it would be unrealistic to expect that Catherine would make
deep friendships with students who are five or more years older
than she, they have taken to her as well.
is no way to respond poorly to her," says Taneisha Berg, a
junior film and television student who is in Italian with Catherine.
"She's obviously very bright, and she works really hard. She
knows a lot and she is inspired to be here. She's a really sweet
why UCLA? Going to UC Riverside certainly would have been a lot
easier on the family. The answer is pretty simple: It's because
that's where Catherine wanted to go.
I was little, the only university I really knew about was UCLA,
aside from Riverside where my parents work. I decided I want to
go to UCLA because it's a good school in mathematics and economics,
and I thought I wanted to be an economist, so I decided, OK, I'm
going to go there."