‘Wait, they’re freshmen?’

Ninth-grade twins find challenges and acceptance in English II

Story by Hollan Borowitz, staff writer

Sophomore English students quietly whisper, avoiding his gaze. He looks around nervously, patiently waiting for someone to associate with in the class.

“He’s a freshman?” “What’s he doing in here?” “How did he get in here?”

Caden and Cort Rainwater are twin freshmen boys who are in English II a year early compared to the rest of the student body. After moving from Dallas, Georgia, the boys were already ahead of their peers.

“It was different moving to Texarkana from Georgia because this is way smaller than what I was used to, but THS is just a little bit smaller,” Cort said. “My old school had a lot more elective classes and there were way fewer classes, so there were more people in each class.”

“In Georgia, taking my grade’s English class is normal for an eighth grader,” Caden said. “That’s not normal at all here.”

When they came to Texas High, they switched them from being in classes with their freshmen peers to being with sophomores students.

“It’s different because I don’t really have any friends in [class],” Cort said. “But I’m making friends with the people I sit by.”

However, the brothers feel positively incorporated into the class atmosphere.

“I feel accepted by most of the people in my class,” Cort said. “I know a few of the people in my class because they are tennis players like me, so they accept me.”

While all their friends are doing English I homework, the Rainwaters are on to bigger and better things in English teacher Anita Badgett’s class.

“It is way more difficult than the ninth grade classes are,” Caden said. “In English II, there is a higher maturity level that is expected by the teachers than in freshmen classes. Meeting that expectation is kind of difficult, and so far it’s been rough.

On the other hand, the Rainwater twins have grown fond of their position in the room.

“I do like being ahead in English,” Cort said. “It’s something to say to people. It really gets them talking, and I love being able to give my friends someone they can comfortably talk to about whatever they’re struggling with in English.

Not only are Caden and Cort comfortable, but they feel empowered by their superiority and being out of the ordinary.

“I like having more expected of me by teachers and getting ahead of my friends,” Caden said. “I enjoy that feeling of respect by being a freshman in a sophomore class. Being unique feels good when they’re impressed by your skill.”

Soon enough, the “Wait, he’s a freshman?” changed to “He’s a freshman! How cool is that!”

The Rainwater twins, Caden and Cort, have made exemplary examples of themselves by stepping up and making a name for themselves wherever their academics take them.

I love being able to say that I’m with sophomores [in class],” Cort said. “I earn quite a bit of respect from both freshmen and sophomores.”