The Littlest Bruin
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maybe that's not the only reason for coming to UCLA.
is a long-term commitment, so what we decided was that she should
go someplace that can offer her a full, well-rounded education,"
says her mother. "UCLA is a good choice for that because it
will provide that richness. And she can take it slowly. There's
course, the family had to make some compromises for Catherine to
be at UCLA. Where she would live was an issue. A dorm was out of
the question; life in the residence halls is pretty much a 24-hour-a-day
experience, not conducive for someone Catherine's age. The family
was able to get an apartment a few miles from campus in University
Village, the complex for married students. (Hackwood and Beni like
the arrangement particularly because there are other children around,
the kids of Catherine's fellow students.) For the Fall Quarter,
Beni took sabbatical from UC Riverside to stay with Catherine. On
Wednesdays the rest of the family comes up, and they all go back
to Riverside for the weekend after classes are over on Friday. Then
Catherine and her father head back to Westwood on Sunday evening.
important for us to do what we can to keep the family together,"
Hackwood says. "When I come up on Wednesdays I bring the fuzzy
slippers and make hot chocolate with marshmallows. She still needs
comfort from her mother." When the movie Finding Nemo
came out on video in November, Hackwood made sure to bring a copy
with her when she came up to L.A. so that the whole family could
watch it together. "Catherine's a student during the day,"
she says, "but she gets to be a kid in the evening."
the winter, Hackwood will trade places with her husband; she has
an appointment as a visiting scholar in The Anderson School, where
she will work with faculty who are studying the emergence of new
for being the youngest student in a school of more than 36,000 students,
Catherine says she doesn't think much about it.
someone makes a fuss, I don't really pay attention," she says.
"I don't, like, have a neon sign around my neck that says I'm