Identical Twins

Identical Twins

Over the years I taught a number of students with identical twins, often they were both in the same class. I was always impressed with how well their classmates could tell them apart. Thankfully, I had a seating plan.

One September, on the first day of classes, I looked up to see a familiar face in one of my Chem. 11 courses. “Hold it now”, I thought, “Didn’t she just pass my course in June?” I scanned my class list and saw the surname I was looking for; however, the first name was different.

“Julie, are you a twin to Alyssa?”


“I didn’t know she had a twin.”

“Well, we don’t hang together.”

“How many times did I pass you in the hallway and call you Alyssa?”

“All the time.”

“Why didn’t you correct me.”

“It happens all the time.”

Of course, students appreciate it when you can them by name. One of my first priorities during the early days of a new semester was to learn their names. Twins offered a particular challenge.

Here is a trick I would often use:

“Good morning, how is Sarah today?”

“I’m Sally.”

“I know that Sally. I am asking how your sister is. It is not always about you.”

“She’s fine.”

“Good. Now, how are you Sally?”

“I’m good too.”

I don’t think I fooled anyone.

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