Faculty members from Placerita Junior High held a special pizza lunch on Friday to recognize the record 12 sets of twins that currently attend the school.
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In honor of National Twin Day, band and choir teacher Kathryn Spula organized the lunch with the help of her own identical twin, Karel DiFranco, who was visiting from Raleigh, N.C.
“Mrs. Spula was noticing the frequency of twins in her classes and knew today was National Twin Day,” said Assistant Principal Pam Thompson. “So she created a nice activity to recognize the twins that we have.”
Three sets of identical twins and eight sets of fraternal twins– one set of twins was absent from school that day– gathered around lunch tables for pizza and cookies, and then each pair was called to tell the group who was older and by how much. They were joined not only by Spula and her twin, but Thompson’s twin 6-year-old boys as well, making the grand total for the lunch 13 sets of twins.
“The frequency kind of jumped out at us,” said the school’s second Assistant Principal Enrique Lopez. “We had eight one year, but 12 sets of twins is unbelievable.”
After each pair was called, they were asked to pick a side of the room depending on whether they thought they were monozygotic (identical) or dizygotic (fraternal). Spula explained the meaning of the terms after they had chosen, gathering the two groups together to pose for pictures and starting an energetic discussion about what it’s like to be a twin.
There was an explosion of noise and laughter when she asked if anyone ever fights with their twin, and students chimed in about topics like switching classes to fool a teacher, protecting their twin from bullies and what it’s like to always have a “birthday buddy.”
“If she got hurt, I would be there by her side before the teacher’s would even get there,” said Andrew, who was born one minute apart from his twin, Sarah. “And if I got hurt, she would be there first, too.”
“It’s fun sharing and having the same birthday,” said Eduardo Perez, going on to say that his favorite thing about being a twin is “always having a friend.”
Eduardo is a full 15 minutes older than his fraternal twin, Edgar, but Edgar is taller.
“People always get amazed because they always expect me to be older than him,” Edgar said. “He’s older than me even though I’m taller than him.”
If the smiles on the students’ faces as they chatted with other students they may not have gotten to meet otherwise was any indication of whether or not the lunch was a success, it looked like a big hit among students and faculty alike.
“I think twins should know that we’re a rarity,” Spula said. “And it’s fun to talk to other twins.”
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