Their looks alone are dazzling: two tall, dark-haired, 18-year-old college freshmen who look exactly alike.
But their high achievements in just their first full semester at the University of Florida go beyond the dazzling point.
Gavin and Adam Reinke, twin sons of Marco Island Police Chief Roger Reinke and Tommie Barfield Elementary first-grade teacher Cheryl Reinke, are taking it easy during their winter break at home on Marco Island.
They took some time from their busy schedules to tell about life at UF and their plans for the future.
Unlike many college freshmen, the Reinke twins weren’t intimidated by a huge university campus and the rigors of college life.
“This is our first full semester at the university, but we took six weeks starting in June to get our gen-ed (general education) requirements out of the way,” said Gavin, dressed in a gray- and yellow-striped cotton-knit shirt.
“That way, we can concentrate on other subjects that we want to take instead of taking the ones we have to take,” Adam, in a red- and blue-striped shirt, chimed in.
As they did at Lely High, the twins have a 4.0 grade point average.
Adam plans to pursue a double major in economics and philosophy; Gavin in philosophy and political science. Both want to go to law school and become lawyers. At this point, neither has decided on a law school or which branch of law to practice.
That doesn’t matter. Those decisions will come soon enough, the brothers said.
Their dad, the police chief, glows when he speaks about his sons.
As a law enforcement officer, he’s proud of their high-achieving records and their plans to practice law.
Roger Reinke also points out that the twins’ extraordinary skills on the Lely High debate team will give them a strong foundation in public speaking and persuasion, both of which are mandatory skills for lawyers.
Cheryl Reinke beams quietly just looking at her sons.
She and her husband have visited their sons at the UF campus and have gone to football games with them. Cheryl Reinke went to stay with them during the Hurricane Wilma evacuation around Oct. 24, when the Category 3 storm struck near Marco Island. Roger Reinke stayed to help Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss and his staff provide public service.
Cheryl Reinke couldn’t be happier to have her sons home during winter break.
“Yeah. They mess up the house, though,” she said jokingly. “I spoil you boys, don’t I?” She directed the question at Gavin and Adam.
“I’m just a typical mom,” she said. “I like to go out with them to shop and eat. I do miss them, but they call every day, or almost every day.”
The only “son” left at home now is Bailey, the family’s German shorthaired pointer.
“He’s spoiled, too,” Cheryl Reinke said. “He thinks he’s a lapdog.”
Although their time at UF is hectic with papers to write, tests to study for and other academic mandates, Gavin and Adam have other interests, too.
Gavin has a girlfriend, Melissa Small, a freshman from Lantana.
“She takes my mind off studies, definitely,” Gavin said.
Adam doesn’t have a girlfriend at the time, but likes all the sports and club activities UF has to offer.
“We go to a lot of football games and other sports,” he said. “We have to study, sure; but the university offers a real balance. It’s a lot of fun.”
The twins said they’re impressed by their professors at UF. They said the profs are more knowledgeable in their specializations and do a lot of field research.
“I’m just amazed at some of them,” Gavin said. “They’re brilliant. And there are a few professors who have written several books. That’s pretty impressive.”
The twins have no plans to be involved in debate at the university. They did it in high school and enjoyed it, but that’s behind them now, they said, and it’s time to move on to other things.
“It takes so much time, and we just don’t have much right now,” Adam said. “It was a great activity in high school, and it prepared us for college. But we’ve found plenty of other interests.”