Things can get a little confusing at Merced's Hoover Middle School. The campus on East 26th Street has 13 sets of twins, most of whom enjoy the unique circumstances of having somebody who looks just like them.
Seanna Haslouer, Hoover's library teacher, said a special page in the school's yearbook is being devoted to twins. Several sets of twins moved from the school about a month ago, but two more sets of twins replaced them.
Hannah Escobar, 12, a sixth-grader, loves being a twin and said the experience is all fun. Her sister Katherine said her parents and teachers get them confused all the time.
"We're totally opposite," Hannah said. "It's fun to see how others react to us. I get to blame everything I do on her."
Katherine said her sister "will take a fall for me sometimes. She likes everything I don't like."
Principal Doug Collins, in his 17th year in education at elementary, middle school and high school levels, said this is the first time in his career he has seen so many twins at his school. Usually there are only two or three sets.
So many twins
"This is pretty crazy," Collins said. "Everywhere you turn you are staring at one of them. It's just a fun, unique situation that hasn't happened before."
Collins said a few times he has been talking to students who told him he should be addressing his or her sibling. Until just recently, one of the school's associate principals didn't realize that one particular student had a twin.
Sharron Thompson, 14, said she is more independent than her sister, La- shonne, who said she is two minutes older.
"It's quite an experience," Lashonne said. "We have our ups and downs, but I don't think I would be able to live without her."
Greg Blount, the Merced City School District's director of information technology and support services, said he hasn't encountered that many twins before. Rivera Middle School has seven sets, and Cruick- shank Middle School has eight. Tenaya Middle School has three.
One of the sets is triplets, not twins, Brianna, Vanessa and Angelica Valencia. Va- nessa said they all support each other and play games together. She concedes parents and teachers get them mixed up.
Brianna said she misses her sister when they aren't together. Her mother, Rosa- linda Valencia, said each of the girls has her own personality, likes and differences. Brittany said they each like different colors, and Vanessa adds they all enjoy music.
Patricia and Leticia Lopez are eighth-graders. The 14-year-olds say they enjoy having a twin.
It's fun being a twin," Leticia said. "At the first of the school year there is more confusion, but by now they pretty much know you. I am more talkative than my sister, but we like the same music and colors."
Seventh-grader Monica Altamirano and her brother, Marcus, relish the twin role. Marcus said some people recognize the resemblance with his sister while others don't notice it.
Angelina Lechuga, 11, is a sixth-grader. Her twin, Ally, goes to Cruickshank Middle School.
"My sister stands up for me," Angelina said. "Without her I would be unhappy. I enjoy being a twin; it's pretty fun to have a girl to play with. We sound alike and sometimes we think the same."
Raymundo and Victor Bucio are sixth-graders at Hoover. The 12-year-olds say they can play jokes on other people and sometimes they think the same.
Fraternal twins David Chavez and his sister Helen say they have a special bond.
"I always feel she cares for me," David said. "We like to do some of the same things. It's good that I'm a twin."
Helen said she forgives her brother when he gets mad and still loves him.
"It's cool to be a twin," Helen said. "I will do anything for him so he stays happy. I have somebody to talk to when I'm sad and lonely."
Minhaj and Yamin Mazumder are sixth-graders at Hoover. Yamin said he can share more things with his twin than other siblings. He said they share most of the same friends.
Minhaj said it's easier to relate to his twin brother than other people, but he doesn't like to wear the same clothes as his brother.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or email@example.com.