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A Tale Of Two Catherines

, , , | Learning | May 31, 2019

(In high school, my sister happens to have the same first and last name as another student. They have different middle names and initials, and also use different shortened forms of their first name. Let’s say their name is Catherine, and one goes by Katie and the other by Cathy. While my sister is a bit of a goody-two-shoes and is in all the advanced classes, the other one is kind of a troublemaker. At our high school, you can’t leave campus during lunch. My sister is called to the vice principal’s office. As soon as she enters his office, the vice principal whirls on her.)

VP: “What do you have to say for yourself?”

Sister: “What did I do?”

VP: “You snuck out at lunch with him!”

(He points to a boy sitting in a chair in the office.)

Sister: “I’ve never met him in my life before.”

Boy: “Yeah, no, I’ve never met her, either.”

VP: “Don’t lie, Cathy.”

Sister: “Oh…” *realizing it* “You have the wrong Catherine [Last Name]. There’s two of us. I’m Katie. She’s Cathy. You want Catherine B [Last Name], not Catherine A [Last Name].”

(The vice principal looked skeptical but then went to his computer and looked up the student names and found that, sure enough, there were two students with the same name. He sent her back to class. This happened several more times throughout high school; she’d get called to the office, the vice principal would look at her and say, “Dang it. Wrong Catherine. Go back to class, Katie.” She never did actually meet the other Catherine. It was a large high school, and they didn’t run in the same circles. She thought that she might meet her at graduation, since we sat alphabetically, but by then, Cathy had had a baby and finished high school in summer school, so she didn’t walk at graduation.)

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