I have identical twin girls in my class. One is named Brie, the other girl is Cheddar, which makes me think the parents are crackers. Anyway, they dress the same, have the same ponytail haircut, and they are both cheerleaders so on game day they are even more indistinguishable. A few weeks ago I asked them if they intended to go through life as exact copies of each other, but all they could do was giggle back at me in squeaky harmony. I decided to intervene on behalf of their future selves and started failing Cheddar and pushing Brie to the top of the class. This had nothing to do with their class performance because that too was identical, but I needed them to discover separate, individual identities in order for them to grow spiritually. It worked. Cheddar began to develop a little frown and looked away when I talked to her, while Brie continued to smile as usual and nod at everything I said. I continued to relentlessly fail Cheddar and last Friday she showed up with dark eyeliner and a little silver hoop in her left nostril! Her hair was unwashed and her jeans were ripped at the knees. She even wore a different blouse–much more low-cut and attention-seeking than her sister’s. Moreover, the girls were not even talking to each other! Wow! This is what teaching children is all about! Of course I understood that they felt confused and anxious about their newly-found identities, but I knew that in ten years these kids will thank me for setting them free!