SCHOOL AND FRIENDS
By Peter Thomas (aged 13)
Hi, I'm Pete. If you haven't read The Expanding Family you won't know about me. So there's
a real good reason for getting yourself a copy!
I live with my foster family, the Whites - Mum, Dad and Robbie. Robbie's best friend,
Nathan, also lives with us, so he's a sort of foster brother, too.
Everyone calls Robbie and Nathan the Super-Twins (Twins for short)
because they're so talented and so alike. Nathan is actually six months younger than Robbie, but they're so similar in the way they
think that they can even read eachother's thoughts. You can read about how they met and became best friends in the book called Super-Twins.
Since I only started high school this year, the Twins decided that I should write this web page (generous of them, wasn't it?!). So
Springdale High is a Country high school in rural New South Wales, Australia. It has about 700 students of which by far
the most wonderful, interesting and important are:
I'm 13 and I'm in Year 7. My favourite subjects are Technical Drawing, Metal
Work, Woodwork and English (we've only done a little bit of the first three, yet, but I'm going to do two of them as electives next
year - can't decide which two at the moment). For sport I do athletics 'cause that's what all my friends do. I'm also the Year 7 reporter
for the school newspaper - The Springdale Spectator. I really like high school, but that's mainly because I've got such good friends
there and there's an excellent library. It'd be pretty ordinary otherwise.
• Shane Rogers
Shane is my best mate in all the world.
We only became friends earlier this year so you won't meet him until you read The Band of Brothers. Soon after we met we started calling
ourselves the Super-Mates 'cause we reckoned we were just as super as the Twins. Now everyone calls us that. Shane's 15 and he's in
Year 10 - he's really young to be in Year 10 and I'm one of the oldest kids in Year 7, so the gap in our ages isn't as big as you
might think - just over two years. We don't care about that, anyway. Unlike me, Shane is mega-brainy. Up until this year he was at
a boarding school that he really hated and so he was way behind with his school work when he came to Springdale High. The Twins and
John soon sorted him out, though, and now he's one of the top kids in Year 10. Shane's all-time favourite subject is Art. One day
he's bound to be a famous artist - and I'm going to be his manager! He's the Art editor for the school newspaper, too. He also likes
English and History and he's on the school debating team, too. For sport he does Athletics, like the rest of us. Shane's really quiet
and shy most of the time but, in our friendship, I make up for that! Everyone (well, everyone who's got a brain) likes Shane.
The older half of the Super-Twins, Robbie is nearly 17 and is in Year 11. He's good at just about everything - as you'd expect
from my foster brother! In fact it's hard to find anything that he doesn't excel at. He says he's no good at sport and he's not a
very good swimmer, but that's about it, really. He got the third highest mark in Year 10 last year and was first in English and History
(his favourite subjects). He also got a prize for acting and, this year, he's editor of the school newspaper. But his greatest claim
to fame is as a sprinter: He won two silver medals at the National Athletics Championships last year. Despite this, he hates all forms
of competition. Robbie is also a top pianist. He goes to a private teacher, Mrs Davis, and he's doing Grade 7 this year, which is
the second highest grade. After that, he can do another exam and be a music teacher. For Work Experience last year Robbie did Motor
Mechanics and he loved it so much that he and Nathan are now talking about making a career of it. But, let's face it, he's smart enough
to be just about anything he wants to be.
• Nathan Deane
The other half of the Super-Twins. Nathan is 16 and is in Year 10. Like his
"Twin" he's good at just about anything you can name. He came second in Year 9 last year and first in English, History and Geography.
He also got prizes for acting and debating. Nathan loves English and History and reads heaps of books. He's deputy editor of the school
newspaper and an excellent all-round athlete. He's also a really good singer: Nathan and I both started taking private singing lessons
this year and we think it's great. You've got to love Nathan, he's just so friendly and has a brilliant sense of humour.
Darren really only joined our group this year, so you'll need to read The Band of Brothers to find out more about him. He's
the same age as Nathan, but he's in Year 11, which makes him one of the youngest in his class. Darren reckons he's not particularly
good at anything - that's not really true, but I can relate to how he feels. He used to be a total sports fanatic but as he got to
know the Twins better he had a complete change of heart. That's the thing about Darren, he really thinks things through and when he
makes up his mind about something there's no budging him. He's great to have as a friend because he's totally reliable and always
gives good advice. Darren is a Special Features reporter for the school newspaper and did some work experience earlier this year with
the Daily Mail newspaper in Sydney. He'll probably end up making writing a career, but since he's been doing stuff with us he's also
now considering being a chef, a social worker or a farmer. I reckon he'd be good at any of those jobs. Apart from Robbie, Darren is
the fastest runner in the school.
• John McAllister
The Twins met John at a zone athletics carnival and they became
mates - probably because he's so much like them - which makes him just about perfect so far as I'm concerned. John will be 18 this
year and he's doing his HSC. If he gets good enough marks - and I'll bet he does - he's going to study medicine at uni. At the moment
he goes to Richmondville High (which we try not to hold against him!) and he's on his school's debating team. He's also the fastest
runner I've ever seen apart from Robbie. John has something that none of his Springdale friends have: A drivers' licence - which has
proved very handy on numerous occasions. He's a really good teacher, too, and has helped me a lot with my school work. And even though
he's nearly five years older than me, he never treats me like a little kid, which is just great. John's read even more books than
the Twins - which has got to be some kind of record.
• Ryan Bailey
I'm not going to tell you too much about Ryan. You won't meet him
until you read The Band of Brothers. Ryan comes from Sydney and he's a pretty tough kid. He's 14 and officially in Year 8 although
he's played truant and spent most of his time hanging round shopping malls since he first started high school. All us guys really
love Ryan, but we certainly didn't the first time we met him - in fact it looked like he was going to ruin our Easter holidays big-time
this year. That's all I'm going to say...
• Steve White
Steve is Robbie's elder brother (and my foster brother) and they are totally
different. Steve is 22 and lives in Sydney, where he works and is completing a Masters degree part-time. When Steve was at Springdale
High, he fooled around a lot and was a great practical joker. Our headmaster, Mr Stevens, still shudders if you mention Steve's name!
But even though he didn't work hard, he was easily brainy enough to go to uni. Steve still kids round a lot and he is one of the funniest
people I know, but he's also everything a big brother should be - kind, helpful and protective. He pretends to be jealous of Robbie
and calls him the steroid kid, but he's actually so proud of him that he'd defend him with his life. I loved Steve from the minute
I met him.
• Mr Fred Johnson
Mr Johnson is about 75 but you'd never believe it if you saw him. He's been a friend of the Twins ever
since they first detailed his Morris Minor car for him. Since then he's helped all of us in so many ways. He's chaperoned Robbie and
Nathan as learner drivers, involved us in car club events and entertaining elderly folk, and has always been there for us whenever
we had a problem or needed to ask a favour. Unlike a lot of adults, he always takes us seriously and treats us with respect. He reckons
that we're all just what teenage boys should be like - and maybe that's because he's what we think a perfect adult should be like.