Eric and David Foster are twinning. Not literally, because there is a three-year age difference between them, and the vast differences between their personality and interests makes the brothers clearly different once they open their mouths. Nevertheless, both Eric, a Palo Alto High School senior, and his freshman brother David wear similar gray shirts with black shorts, each claiming that he got dressed first that morning. David’s eyes light up while he talks a mile a minute, occasionally looking to his brother for confirmation of his answers, as Eric smiles, watching him talk for a moment before adding his own commentary into the conversation as well.
Though many pairs of siblings do not like going to school with each other, the Fosters are enjoying finally attending school together after many years of being separated at school due to their age difference. Their brief time together, however, is about to come to an end as Eric, is about to graduate from Paly and begin college at Yale University on the other side of the country. Their relationship, like that of so many siblings at this school who will be separated at the end of the school year, is bound to change, but the brothers say they plan to remain close.
“I offered to put him in a box and ship him to my dorm room but he refused,” Eric says.
The Foster brothers do have an array of similarities, such as both studying Chinese, but overall both claim that they are more different than alike.
“He does theater and I do math stuff. I think that tells you a lot,” Eric says. “The fact that we’re different is probably good, because someone’s deficiency can make up for someone else’s aptitude.”
The brothers also both are active members of Paly’s speech and debate team, but from different sides, David doing speech and Eric debate. For the brothers, the division between speech and debate makes sense, because while speech is more theatrical, debate can be more mathematical.
“It [debate] is more logical, more rule-based, kind of like Eric,” David says. “He’s very logical. If he’s cooking, he’ll follow the recipe and I won’t.”
Both brothers have achieved significant accomplishments in their chosen fields: David, as a freshman, is the team manager for the Paly speech team, while Eric placed ninth in the state debate championship and went to Hong Kong after winning the invitational round in a group math competition, where Paly’s team was the only one not from East Asia.
Because of David’s theatrical tendencies, it comes as no surprise that he’s the more dramatic brother, opening his hands wide as he tells a story about how the spider in his bedroom was “thiiiiiis big.” Eric, the numbers-focused brother, rolls his eyes: “it was this big this morning,” he says, holding his hands closer together to indicate a much smaller spider.
It’s clear that both brothers are well-known around campus. As Eric was speaking to Verde, a friend of his walked past, calling out “Eric Foster! I love you!”
Though David, as a freshman, doesn’t yet have the same level of on-campus recognition, in theater and in speech he is met with the same kind of positive greeting.
Despite the occassional fights about “really stupid little things,” David and Eric admit that they will miss each other dearly.
“David will always have something to say [when we call],” Eric says. “It’ll be fun to come back and see what David’s doing.”