Twice as nice - or double trouble?

Posing for a photo before pandemonium broke out are Tahuna Normal Intermediate School twins with their class mates. Photo by Peter McIntosh.People are used to seeing double at Tahuna Normal Intermediate School. The Dunedin school has 14 sets of twins.

Aston Pearcy responded in double time when asked what it was like to have a twin.

"I don't really know what it's like not to have a twin," he said.

"Sometimes we have fun and play tricks, like swapping places at our desks," Louis Holt admitted.

But it is not all fun and games having a body double, especially if they are of the opposite sex.

"I have a twin brother and it's a living heck," Blaire Hanna (12) said.

"He's been in the same class as me for the last six years and this is the first year we've been separated. It's so good to be out of his class, or else you see each other 24/7," she said.

"We're a lot alike in some ways - we're both competitive and into sports - but we're very different, too."

Her brother, Nathan, was also split on the benefits of sharing a birthday with a sibling.

"She whines a lot and is a bit of a nark," he complained.

"I am not," his twin sister retorted.

"Well ... I guess it is better than being an only child," Nathan hastily added.

Deputy principal Keith Hutton said "basically, we have a classroom of twins, as our average classroom size is 28".

"It can be tricky to recognise them if they're close [in likeness].

"Unless you have a lot of dealings with them, you don't know which one you're talking to.

"I struggle with some of them, but a few of them are boy and girl combinations, which makes it easier. We usually split them.

"It would be unusual to have both in the same class," he said.

"A lot of them have similar interests and strengths. But I do think they're all their own little people."

The school roll of 483 pupils is to get another double bump.

"I just showed two twins from Alexandra around the school," Mr Hutton said.

"So, we'll have another set of twins here next year."

nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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