10-year-old takes college by storm
Sophomore holds an A-plus average in subjects like algebra, astronomy
DOWNEY, Calif. – With the end of another school year approaching, college sophomore Moshe Kai Cavalin is cramming for final exams in classes such as advanced mathematics, foreign languages and music.
But Cavalin is only 10 years old. And at 4-foot-7, his shoes don’t quite touch the floor as he puts down a schoolbook and swivels around in his chair to greet a visitor.
“I’m studying statistics,” says the alternately precocious and shy Cavalin, his textbook lying open on the living room desk of his parents’ apartment in this quiet suburb east of Los Angeles.
Within a year, if he keeps up his grades and completes the rest of his requirements, he hopes to transfer from his two-year program at East Los Angeles College to a prestigious four-year school and study astrophysics.
‘Wormholes’ a primary interest
One of his primary interests is “wormholes,” a hypothetical scientific phenomenon connected to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. It has been theorized that if such holes do exist in space, they could — in tandem with black holes — allow for the kind of space-age time travel seen in science fiction.
“Just like black holes, they suck in particulate objects, and also like black holes, they also travel at escape velocity, which is, the speed to get out of there is faster than the speed of light,” Cavalin says. “I’d like to prove that wormholes are really there and prove all the theories are correct.”
First, he has statistics homework to finish. Later, he’ll work with his mother, Shu Chen Chien, to brush up on his Mandarin for his Chinese class. Then it’s over to the piano to prepare for his recital in music class.
His father, Yosef Cavalin, frets about the piano-playing, noting that his only child recently broke his arm pursuing another passion, martial arts. He has won several trophies for his age group.