Senior Spotlights: DeAndre and De’Ante Beckem

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De’Andre (right) tries to coax a smile out of his brother, Deante.

By Cain Luke, News Editor

De’Ante and DeAndre Beckem are not like most twins you see walking through the halls. They may look similar, but not the same (they’re fraternal, not identical twins). They don’t finish each other’s sentences. They don’t have the same classes and they certainly aren’t what you’d consider “two peas in a pod.”

On one hand, you have De’Ante: basketball player, comic book nerd and the classic senioritis-infected high school student.

On the other, you have DeAndre: photographer, singer and actor.
DeAndre started photography in his sophomore year and has loved it ever since.

“I think that photography is a great way to capture your view of the world,” DeAndre said. “It’s one of my favorite things to do other than drawing and singing.”

The arts helped DeAndre adjust to Reynolds. The Beckems were born in Detroit and had a slew of moving sprees during their lives.

“We moved from Detroit to Virginia to Detroit to Minnesota to Winston-Salem,” DeAndre said. “It was crazy.”

The twins even lived apart for a brief time.

“I lived in California for a year with my aunt,” De’Ante said. “DeAndre didn’t want to go, so he didn’t.”

Since they settled in Winston-Salem, the Beckems have attended Reynolds and “loved” every minute of it, they said. DeAndre has taken advantage of the arts classes like photography, drawing, chorus and a cappella, and De’Ante has benefitted more from and enjoyed classes like drafting, where he can design things in a computer program and use the new 3D printer to bring them to life.

Even though the brothers share schools and their home with each other, they aren’t always on the same page. De’Ante and DeAndre aren’t always at odds, and they can manage to get along sometimes. DeAndre doesn’t hate his brother, though that feeling is not reciprocated, they said.

“De’Ante is such a softy. I bully him so much more than he bullies me,” DeAndre said.

And the reasons De’Andre has for being averse to his brother boil down to his taste in TV shows and his sleeping habits.

“He snores! So loud! And his taste in TV shows is horrible. That’s basically all that I don’t like about him, but they’re big things,” explained DeAndre.

“He’s a horrible human being,” De’Ante said. “That’s all you need to know. I don’t like all the shows he watches.”

Since they share almost none of the same classes, their lives really don’t mingle until they get home.

After school, both brothers do enjoy classic TV shows such as “Dragonball” and “Smallville” (whose theme song De’Ante is a huge fan of), and they aren’t against the idea of playing video games together.

The twins soon will be parting ways, however.

In the fall, De’Ante will be attending Indiana Institute of Technology, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he plans on majoring in software engineering with a concentration in video games.

“The dean of the software engineering program emailed me and asked if I had any questions,” De’Ante said. “I asked what the math requirements were and he responded, telling me that I would have to take two calculus classes, two stats classes, a linear algebra class and a differential equations class, and then asked if that answered my question. So I responded, ‘Yes. (Sad Face)’ ”

He may say that he isn’t excited to take on these challenging classes, but don’t let the educationally dismissive attitude dissuade you: De’Ante is one smart cookie, having the second-highest score on his junior year physics final exam, only losing out by a point.

De’Andre will be attending Guilford Technical Community College, Fayettville State University or the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

The Beckems may feign hatred and opposition to one another, but they’re going to have a hard time adjusting to life when they’re almost 500 miles and nearly nine hours away from each other… That, or they’ll be extremely relieved that they won’t have to deal with each other.

“We’re going to be the most memorable twins out of the seven pairs graduating this year,” DeAndre said. “Because we’re awesome.”

Editor’s Note: Senior Spotlight stories appeared in the May 2015 print edition of Pine Whispers. Enjoy!