Class of 2014: Twins will head down separate paths

ARLINGTON — Josh and Zach Rodriguez share parents, a household and a birthday. They share interests in science and online video games. Both graduated Friday from Arlington High School, and both will head east for college.

Fraternal twins, the 18-year-olds have shared everything.

In August, they will be 2,500 miles apart.

Zach Rodriguez, older by 2 minutes, will attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He plans to major in chemical engineering or physics.

The week his twin starts classes in Maryland, Josh Rodriguez will begin his college career at Washington State University in Pullman. Josh’s aim is a degree in neuroscience, which deals with the nervous system and the brain.

Rather than becoming a medical doctor, he is interested in research and possibly the field of brain-controlled prosthetics.

They took rigorous high school classes, the toughest being Advanced Placement chemistry. “I always liked science, and AP chemistry helped me realize I wanted to do this as a career,” Zach said.

Rather than compete, the twins are more apt to support each other. “We’re really close, and have always helped each other,” Zach said. “Having a twin who is also intellectually focused, you always have a study partner,” Josh added.

While his brother is a “huge math whiz,” Josh said, “I like to think I’m pretty good at writing.”

They are into the arts, too, but are different in that regard, as well. Zach played baritone saxophone in the Arlington band. Drawing is a favorite hobby for Josh.

For fun, there’s online video gaming. They like Dota 2, a multiplayer battle game that’s a sequel to Defense of the Ancients. “It’s pretty strategic. There’s a lot of teamwork required,” Josh said. Because it’s online, players can be miles apart — even 2,500 miles.

Michael and Kathy Rodriguez will soon have an empty nest. The twins’ parents won’t be the only ones adjusting to changes. “They have been with each other their whole lives,” Michael Rodriguez said.

Stories on the Class of 2014

Justin Cho, Jackson: A slow, grueling comeback from sudden illness

Jasmin Edwards, Lynnwood: She excelled in the classroom and on the court

Micaela Powell, Everett: After transplant, she has a new heart and new horizons

Josh and Zach Rodriguez, Arlington: Twins will head down separate paths

Josh Sharpe, Snohomish: Under the burden of loss, he carried on

Santana Shopbell, Tulalip Heritage: She set a goal — and an example for others

Michael Wanner, Kamiak: At West Point, he’ll learn to be a leader

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