Hi all, Taylor here!
I could not put in to words how much I adore my job as an LVC Colleague at the University of Connecticut. Being a part of this outstanding community has been one of the best decisions I have made since my enrollment to UConn. As part of our role here as colleagues, we are encouraged to deepen the connections we have with one another. So, for the topic of this blog, I was assigned an outstanding student, leader, and role model, as well as great friend of mine, Erica Leib.
Erica and I met at the very beginning of the Fall 2010 semester, the start of my freshman year (her sophomore), when we both decided to participate in Fall 2010 Recruitment for sororities. The both of us wound up becoming sisters of Delta Gamma by the end of the week. A short while later, the two of us applied to be LVC Colleagues and were thrilled to find we both got the job! As one of my sisters of DG as well as a fellow Colleague, Erica and I have gotten to know each other well, but I was still anxious to see what other interesting information I could dig up during the interview for this blog!
Erica and I decided to meet over lunch at Whitney Dining Hall, part of East Campus, for the interview. We both share a love for food, especially healthy, organic, and whole foods. Not surprisingly, we both helped ourselves to heaping plates full of salad. As Erica and I got to talking, I found that not only do we share a love for food but also a love for adventure and thrilling activities!
While Erica was growing up her and her family had always spoken of going skydiving together. One day over the summer of 2010, when her uncle (one of the few members of her small family) came to visit from Japan, this idea became a reality. Before Erica continued to tell me of her spontaneous skydiving trip she took the time to explain a bit about her family, especially her uncle. Erica’s father, born in ’47, was an only child who lost both parents to the Holocaust. On her mother’s side, Erica has two uncles, Ken, and Ron. Ron moved to Japan 25 years ago after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. He now teaches English to women at a university in Japan. Although he lives half way across the earth, Ron visits his family in the states twice a year. Erica spoke very highly of her uncle, explaining him as a very cultured and simplistic man with whom she shares a tightly knit relationship.
Ron came to visit back in the summer of 2010 with the idea to take Erica and her 24 year old brother on a spontaneous skydiving trip. The three of them drove two and half hours into Pennsylvania and arrived at their destination in the middle of nowhere. After a quick intro and information session where she met the man who would accompany her during the dive, Erica was boarding a small plane with only a handful of other passengers. When the plane approached 1400 feet it was time to start jumping. After her uncle and brother leaped, it was finally Erica’s turn. She approached the edge of the open door on the side of the plane, her and her partner counted and jumped on 3. Erica commented on how surprising chilly the air was at such an altitude, something she was not prepared for. After a several minute freefall (which felt like 15 minutes), her partner dropped the parachute. From this point, the two of them could leisurely dangle while Erica’s partner steered them toward the landing zone.
Although Erica had a blast, she claims she would absolutely never do it again – “just a one-time thing, I only did it for the adventure. I don’t even like roller coasters!”