Two of a kind

The Olsen twins have got nothing on the class of 2012. Neither has the United States, for that matter.

A whopping seven and a half pairs of fraternal twins constitute 6.5 percent of the eighth grade class, beating the nationwide percentage of twins—a mere 3.2 percent in 2005, according to the National Center for Health Statistics—with room to spare.

Only four schools fed these 15 students into Harvard-Westlake.  Roxy and Charlotte Gordon, Jordy and Max Lubkeman and Xochi and Marka Maberry-Gaulke hail from the Center for Early Education, while Carlthorp graduates Katie and Hunter Price, Taylor and Bradley Coon and Nora and Wyatt Kroopf became Wolverines together. The Bagrodias, Rishi and Priyanka from University Elementary School, round out the set.

And no, there is not half an eighth grader roaming Reynolds Hall—the half-twin refers to John Thomas Dye alum Jessica Gold, whose twin Katelyn attends Marlborough. Jordan Lubkeman quickly pointed out that sharing a school with a constant companion is not as simple as it may sound.

“You’ve always got your best friend with you. But it’s weird seeing him flirt with all the girls,” she said.
Indeed, most said navigating the eighth grade social scene with a twin by their side presents both benefits and challenges.

“If someone doesn’t like my twin, they might judge me before meeting me,” Charlotte Gordon said.
But a twin is a constant in a changing environment.

“It is fun to see [twin Bradley] at school during the day, and to know that there is someone there for me if I am having a problem,” Taylor Coon said.

And of course, one can’t forget the most convenient bonus that comes in packages of two.

“If I’m missing a book or forgot my ID I always can borrow from her,” Rishi Bagrodia said.

In the classroom a whole new set of challenges arise.  Since the twins are fraternal, there have been no elaborate switching schemes as of yet; to be fair, the Olsens do have that to their credit.  But there are indeed twins in the same classes.

According to the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, 43 percent of educators believe multiples should be separated in school.

However, an article by Pamela Prindle Fierro in a Twins and Multiples Weekly Newsletter cited convenience and the bond between twins as reasons to keep them together.

Middle school English teacher and twin Amanda Angle went to school a block away from her sister.

“For us, I think it was the best decision because we didn’t compete with one another, and we had our own separate worlds,” she said. “Basically we had our own friends at school but remained best friends at the same time.”

Harvard-Westlake twins tend to be in separate classes, but the rules can’t always apply when there are enough twins to fill an entire school club.

Katie Price acknowledged academic complications.

 “We both have our strengths and weaknesses and are completely different learners, which is hard, especially if we are in the same class,” she said.

While the book-lending benefits are fewer for Gold, she appreciates that she and her sister “can have different groups of friends, branch out and be our own people,” she said. At least a twin will never be far away when expectations are hard to live up to.

“Everyone kind of assumes that twins look alike and since Priyanka is a head taller then me everyone makes up stories about why I’m shorter or something,” Rishi Bagrodia said.

Leave it to Harvard-Westlake to harness this unique bond and multiply it by 7.5. Katie Price summed it up nicely:

“Fo sho twins are awesome. It is so sick when other twins are around and we can use our twin ESP.”