Grace Manzo, cub writer
Sergio Lopez, in his eighth year of teaching Spanish, has reached the ranks of the elite teachers at Beverly. Lopez has the ability to joke and teach simultaneously. Lopez might take the form of a normal teacher, but he happens to be extremely courageous. At the tender age of 18, Lopez went skydiving in Madrid. Skydiving (the most anticipating and scary action a person can perform, according to skydivecoastalcalifornia.com) didn’t stop this adolescent from daring to fly.
“I was 18 and was living in Madrid over the summer,” Lopez recalled. “My cousin and I were at a local fair and we didn’t know what to do. There were pie eating contests and dogs to pet, but everything seemed boring. Then, we saw these sign-up sheets for skydiving.”
Lopez was never the prototypical crazy teenager. He listened to his parents and studied hard. But Lopez, with the desire to accomplish some sort of memorable feat before he entered college in the fall, decided to take the opportunity at the fair that day. The lack of restraint remains with Lopez today, according to junior Zahava Weissbuch,
“I had Sr. Lopez as a teacher for three years,” Weissbuch said. “He looks like he would be spontaneous and probably really fun outside of school. It’s just hard to imagine him doing anything but teaching Spanish.”
“Mi primo Ignacio and I wrote down our parents’ signitures for the sign-up sheets. We weren’t even with our parents. The guys who were running the stand clearly saw that we wrote them but they didn’t seem to care, and that made me more afraid because they weren’t concerned for our safety,” Senor said.
Lopez and Ignacio climbed the stairs of the plane holding their breath with every step. Both wore the puffy, orange colored jump suits for protection of the wind.
Eighteen year old Lopez was about to journey through skies of Madrid. He flew over the mountains and buildings like he was a bird, a bird about to fall, taking this risk with the assistance of a tandem team.
“I said, ‘Wow’ because these two guys were over six foot! And they weren’t skinny either. I was thinking; how are they going to hold us when my cousin and I can’t fit our arms around them?” Senor said.
Because Lopez had not planned to go sky diving, he wore a short sleeve shirt when sky divers are supposed to wear long sleeve shirts. This meant that Lopez would feel a little irritation with his skin touching the sky suit.
“I was very uncomfortable, my arm and leg hair kept moving up and down but I couldn’t do anything to change that. The whole flight up me was praying and holding my cousin Ignacio’s hand. He was just about to tell me a joke…but then it was time,’’ smiled Lopez.
The boys looked at each other and quickly got up out of their seats. As the door opened, wind and sun splashed onto their faces, the boys squinted because they couldn’t see a thing. They gave each other one last hug and the men held them from behind and jumped.
“Falling for the past 10 seconds I was shocked. I was just looking at the cotton candy skies. I couldn’t believe I was up in the sky, really. I wouldn’t go sky diving today!” said Lopez.
Falling over 2,000 feet in the air the boys screamed, laughed and cried all of the same time. Both were grabbing onto the arms of their mentors so tight it was hard for them to breathe.
“The men pulled our levers at the same time. It was about five to ten minutes into the fall, and all I remember is that we floated down the pink Madrid sky. I felt like I was in Heaven, it was so beautiful I didn’t want to land,” Lopez said.