Manuela Budimilic: Eight questions

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Her hometown is Rijeka in Croatia. Manuela (20) isaddicted to sea, computers and travelling. She is fascinated byunusual shapes in architecture, photography, graphicdesign...

What is the best advice you've everreceived?

The advice my elementary school teacher gave me, to go for thescholarship at UC. The worst thing that can happen is that youdon't get it, she said. And it was worth trying. Now I am buildingmy education towards the profession of Computer Designer. Thatadvice actually opened the possibility to fulfill my dreamsconnected with my passion for computers. So, wasn't it greatadvice?

What TV show wouldn't you like to miss?

`Beverly Hills' and then `Melrose Place'. I don't watch themhere, but my mother records them for me at home. When I get back, Ihave five tapes waiting to be watched. I like those series, becausethey show one aspect of life in the USA. Of course it is idealised,but I've always wanted to go to California, and that's part of thedream.

What day of your life would you like to liveagain?

The last day of elementary school, when I got an award as thebest student. It was a plaque, with the image of the school, adiploma and a book by a famous Croatian writer. The material thingsdid not matter to me, but the feeling of being the best, ofachieving something important, did.

What is the worst aspect of your character?

I get too much involved in things, and I get hurt very easily.I'm a trusting per-son, and that's not always wise.

What is your favourite animal?

I love dolphins, they remind me of the existence of closefriendships. In that respect the film `La grande blue' made a greatimpression on me. Besides, I like the sea and all creatures in it,like orcas. Maybe that's beause I live in a sea-side town. The seais a very important part of my life.

What do you dislike most about the UC?

I think the college is not as internatio-nal as it should be.There is too little intercultural exchange. It's good that some newstudens from America, Germany, Spain and other countries came tolive on campus this semester. It provides you with a lot of newexperiences, new ideas, and, of course, new friendships.

Who is your favourite writer?

Emile Zola. I especially like his book `Germinal'. He writesabout 19th-century French society in a very naturalisticmanner. Hedescribes the reality of the lowest strata of that society, andsometimes so brutally that it's disgusting. But you can feel thathe has some compassion for the poor and condemns the higherclasses. His books remind me of the situation in Croatia. That'swhy I also like the poet Jacques Prevert, and his `Barbara'. Itspeaks of love, war and pain felt by the author himself .

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be surrounded by the people that are close to you. To havefriends, family, to live in peace and be provided with the basiceveryday needs, that's enough. This comes before all other things.I think it is also important to achieve the main goals of your life(that especially holds for me and my ambitions).

Anna Cieslik