Chapel Talk Archive

Lucy Gund '19 and Owen Gund '19

Owen: When people find out we are twins, they usually ask us one of two questions. The first is: Who is older? We’re not gonna talk about that because Lucy always tells me “respect your elders Owen.” It’s fair to say that being born first has gone to her head. Second: Are you identical? I mean, Come onnn...

Lucy: Our parents would describe us as yin and yang. We are opposites in every way imaginable. I am always rushing around...

Owen: I don’t tend to rush...

Lucy: Yeah, I’m guessing many of you have realized how different we are. Although it’s not deliberate, we take pride in shattering the twin stereotype.

Owen: Lucy is part of all my earliest memories. As toddlers we were inseparable. My parents would put us in separate cribs during nap time to keep us from playing.

Lucy: However, this didn’t always work. One time, we were napping and my parents heard sounds of distress coming from our room. They rushed into the room and discovered that Owen had crawled over the railing and into my crib. I wailed as he climbed on top of me, singing with exuberance: “The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain.”

Owen: Lucy has always liked to take care of people, and for the first four years of our lives, I was her favorite “project.” But that all changed when our younger sister, Kelsey, was born.

Lucy: From the moment she came home I absolutely adored Kelsey. She was like a new favorite toy... I brought her to preschool Show and Tell when she was only eleven days old.

Owen: My world had shifted, Lucy was now obsessed with “baby Kelsey.” She fed her bottles, sang to her, gave her all my favorite toys. I guess... I might have been a little jealous.

Lucy: One day my mom and I went upstairs for something and left three-month-old Kelsey in her bouncy chair next to Owen, who was playing with his trains. When we came downstairs, my mom grew concerned. “Owen, where’s Kelsey?! Have you seen Kelsey?”

Owen: I told her, “Ummmm - I don’t know. Maybe she’s in the closet?”

Lucy: (Nodding visibly) YEP.

Owen: Sharing a birthday has its pros and cons. Over the years, our parents threw joint parties, inviting all of our friends on the same day. Although now the idea of a big party with boys and girls sounds like a rager, back then we were not happy about it.

Lucy: One year at our party, I brought my friends down to the basement and we started dancing to High School Musical. But that fun ended abruptly when Owen and his friends bombarded us with Nerf guns, sending us running and screaming.

Owen: What can I say, I have always had a way with the ladies.

Lucy: Along with birthdays, we also have great Halloween memories. When we were really little, our parents would dress us in matching costumes. We were Pooh and Tigger, Thing One and Thing Two, and Dora the Explorer and Bob the Builder. As we got older, I insisted on creating my own elaborate Halloween costume. While I worked tirelessly to perfect every detail, Owen never took much interest in his costumes.

Owen: Let’s be honest, Halloween is really all about the candy.

Lucy: When we were about five, Owen was very into Elvis’ greatest hits. My mom found him the perfect Elvis costume, complete with a sequin jumpsuit, microphone, and a thick, dark wig with giant sideburns. I had spent hours preparing the perfect Tinkerbell costume. At each door I waited eagerly for compliments. Imagine my frustration when all of the attention was focused on little Elvis Presley, wearing a crooked wig and a sideburn down the middle of his forehead.

Owen: When it comes to fashion choices I will say this. Fortune favors the bold. To all of you potential fashion icons out there seeking to set trends, do not be deterred if you throw on a bright orange jacket and your roommate Christopher Sznip tells you you look like a pumpkin. Or when Mr. LeRoy asks you if you are going hunting. You look great. Own it.
Lucy: As we grew older, we developed different academic and extracurricular interests. I’m not sure if this was innate or a deliberate attempt to feel like individuals. Despite these differences, we still enjoy each other's company. Some of our happiest times have been spent together. Such as laying side by side on the tube and gripping on for dear life as we zoom outside the wake, in my dad’s attempt to completely dinner roll us. Or darting off into the trees on family ski trips, looking for the tree trail with the most bumps, drops, and sharp turns.

Owen: We are always there for each other, and offer great advice during important times in our lives. I have a vivid memory of when Lucy was distressed about whether she should come to Groton or stay in public school and focus on figure skating. I walked over to her desk, sat down next to her and said, Lucy, the choice here is an obvious one ... Turn up or transfer.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding. But I did tell her she should come to Groton with me.

Lucy: This was a surprise to me. In middle school, Owen and I spent a lot of time arguing. We fought over everything. The TV remote, the front seat in the car, and the bathroom.

Owen: I am glad I am a twin, but it does have some drawbacks and during our years together at Weston Middle School, Lucy and I were competitive with one another, which led to a lot of arguments. Our parents thought that spending time in separate schools would be good for our relationship. I ended up going to Fenn for the next two years which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Suddenly, I wasn’t half of Lucy and Owen. I was OG.

At Fenn, I learned how to adjust to a new social situation. I was leaving the friends I had spent thirteen years with for a place where I did not know anyone. This forced me to put myself out there to try to fit in with a new group of kids who had known each other for many years.

Fortunately, the kids at Fenn were incredibly welcoming and I made a lot of close friends very quickly. A lot of my friendships at Fenn were strengthened through humor.

My favorite Fenn tradition is one called “all-school meeting.” It’s very similar to what Roll Call is here, except people actually go. I enjoyed all-school meetings because there were always hilarious announcements. Especially the sports announcements. The day after a big win for our soccer team, I asked one of our captains if I could make the announcement. He said yes, and once my moment came, I delivered. “Get the wheels out folks because boys JV soccer is on a roll,” I opened. “Late in the game with the score tied at 1, Owen Heaton had an absolute banger and a half from outside the 18-yard box to put us ahead.” The whole room erupted with laughter, and at that moment I discovered I was quite the entertainer.

Lucy: Like Owen at Fenn, coming to Groton yanked me out of my comfort zone. The summer before Groton was a mixture of excitement and dread. I couldn’t wait to live in a dorm and be part of a strong community. At the same time, I worried I would have to give up skating. When I arrived on campus, I was determined to balance the demands of competitive figure skating and life at Groton. With the support of my coaches, my parents, and the Groton community, I challenged the norms in both worlds. My coaches helped me find ways to pack more training into fewer hours. I was grateful that Groton friends and teachers were supportive and interested.

I found creative ways to squeeze everything into a busy schedule, like studying chemistry as the zamboni made ice or doing Latin when my mom drove me to and from the rink. Everything seemed to be going “according to my plan.” Until Fifth Form.

With the demanding academic load of Fifth Form, it became increasingly difficult to maintain the level of training required to compete. I could no longer find a healthy balance between my two worlds. I had to take care of myself, even if it meant taking a step back from competitive skating.

What I thought would be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do actually turned out to be a turning point in my Groton experience. I explored new interests and developed amazing friendships through new activities, like performing in Cabaret, running cross country, traveling to Mexico with Fran, and to South Africa with the squash team. I feel lucky to have had more time with the people who have become so important to me: friends, teachers, and, of course, Owen.

Owen: I don’t see Lucy much during the school day, she likes to get up super early to do her work, something I will NEVER do. However now that she’s been on campus after school, we
have been able to hang out a lot more. We both really appreciate the community we’ve found at Groton, and I like to think that Lucy and my relationship has helped us build our connections with others. In a way, the academic rigor of Groton allows us to better appreciate the time we put studying aside to have fun.

Lucy: We will miss the community-building opportunities, including club gatherings, sit-down dinners, and Parlor, but also everyday occurrences like meals, check-ins, or 10-12. Whether it is baking cookies at Ishana’s house, singing “Mamma Mia!” with Brit and Fran, or sitting on the Circle with Nikkie and Julien, I am happiest in the impromptu moments spent with friends. I will really miss weekly lunches with Mr. Belsky, my advisor, and Sunday waffles with Wren, my advisee.

Owen: And I love going to breakfast at Tiny’s with Señor Conner, lunches with Mr. Pomeroy, free period ping-pong battles with Walker (I beat him once, he’s beaten me hundreds of times), scootering around campus with Brandon, spitting bars with E-Diddy, and jamming out to hype Soundcloud mashups with Sznip and Walks.

Lucy: We have been able to form so many new relationships at Groton, and we have also strengthened our own relationship. If one of us needs to vent, unload, celebrate, or just chill, it’s nice to know the other is just across campus.

Owen: I think it’s important for all of us here to take advantage of the supportive environment at Groton. This community does an exceptional job of embracing each member for who they are. Just look at us. Two very different people who have received an outpouring of support from members of this community as we follow our passions. I advise all of you to follow your passions and immerse yourself in all Groton has to offer because there is nothing more satisfying than being an active participant in the events that happen here. Lucy and I are incredibly grateful to have shared this Groton experience, a bond we’ll always share, no matter where we go from here. We are also grateful to have shared our Groton experience with all of you because, ultimately, the people are what make this place so special.
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