Sibling rivalry persists through college

By Maria Vince DeFruscio
March 20, 2003

Matthew Cavailer

Maria DeFruscio

It is funny how taking a class together seemed like such a great idea amid the warm summer air. I am not sure how it happened, but somehow we had progressed from sharing a bathroom to sharing a college, and ultimately sharing a classroom.

The first day of classes were the same as always, friends reacquainting, syllabuses handed out, and oh, what is this, my brother sitting next to me in SEM 100. This was the first time I had a class with Vince, but it would not be the last. SEM 100 was followed by math, career development and most recently religion. No matter what discipline we study together it turns into a battle of, “So, what did you get?”

Considering we are both in our twenties one would think the pettiness would have subsided, but nope, not for a second. From the first assignment the rivalry rage – grades, remarks on papers, even comments about questions asked in class were scrutinized. Once praised by the teacher, Vince shoots me a “what do you think of that glance,” my response, well I am not sure it would be appropriate for this perspective.

On more than one occasion Vince tried to get a professor to admit that he was the better student…ego boost anyone? My personal favorite is when I make the transition from sister to personal assistant. Every night Vince asks me “what time are you getting up…can you wake me before you go?” I am used to being his assistant at home, but I was shocked when I became his assistant at school as well. Vince does not think twice about asking me to fill up his water bottle, hold his books, or tell the teacher he will be late.

Since I am sure Vince is now spitting and sputtering let me say that he helps me out a great deal and copy edits every paper I write. Taking classes together has its downside, for example one sibling naturally has to surpass the other one. I enjoy the competition, and I must admit that I am the one who initiates it. There are cons to taking a class together that continue to exist outside the classroom. Every time we have class together we need to purchase separate books because there is no way we could study from one book. The main reason for the separate books is because Vince is anti-highlighter; however, it is extremely hard to coordinate study times. Attempting to share a computer has spawned so many fights my parents broke down and bought a second one.

Competition is natural and healthy, it drives people to do their best, and what better form of competition than sibling versus sibling. There is no resentment between Vince and I. Our competitions are purely fun and when class ends I am proud of Vince for all he has accomplished and all he will continue to accomplish.

Vince DeFruscio

One would think that by the time college rolls around, sibling rivalries would all but have passed. This is not the case in the DeFruscio home, however. My sister, Maria, attends Cabrini along with me. The story goes something like this: I was applying to Cabrini, Maria decided to apply as well. We both got accepted, and have consequently taken several classes together.

Now, the argument can be made for or against taking classes with your siblings. In the case of my sister and I, well, she is my best friend. That doesn’t mean that having class every week is fun. There are constant sibling rivalries that my sister has instigated. We started having classes together from the beginning. There was math and Sem 100 we shared together. One good thing about having a sibling in the class is that Maria keeps me on track with my assignments. The bad thing – I have to proofread everything Maria does.

Now Maria will say that I make her my own “personal assistant.” That is just not true. Maria simply can’t handle the fact that teachers we share tend to like me better. Sure, Dr. McGuinness won’t just come out and say I’m her favorite between the two of us, but it is so apparent by the glances she shoots my way, or the glimmer of her eyes when she sees me.

Actually, having a sibling in class with you isn’t that bad. I mean, you always have someone to sit with on the first day of class, and someone to take notes for you so you don’t have to. Maria has always gone before me in school, since she is older. There is a comfort level in having your sister in class with you. Sure she gets her feelings hurt when I blow her off after class, but I see her at home — I mean, come on.

We have no greater friends in life than our family, and that sure is true with Maria. Without sounding overly sappy, she is great to have in class with me, and I’m thrilled she is at Cabrini with me. She makes every day interesting, and makes me work hard to do my best in class. It is always interesting at our dinner-table at night when we talk about our day at Cabrini.

Pretty soon, my sister will be getting married, and I know I will miss her a lot. I also know that I will look back on these days, good or bad, and always smile because she was a part of them with me.

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Maria Vince DeFruscio

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