This past week has been filled with adventure. My program’s “mandatory” trip to Tarragona turned out to be much more interesting than I had anticipated. After visiting what used to be an ancient Roman arena and circus, we ended the day building human towers. We learned that “Castells,” also known as human towers were declared an intangible heritage element by UNESCO, and everyone was very excited to be able to make our own.
As we went into an official gymnasium for human tower training (there are actual teams and competitions), everyone was a bit worried about what the trainers expected. Helping us practice were little kids about 8-9 years old, who could climb above us so easily. About an hour into practicing and having the kids climb us, the trainers proclaimed it was time to build a real tower.
I was by far not the bulkiest nor strongest male there, yet I was chosen to be one of the four people to construct the base of the tower. The base itself, at least of our human tower was constructed by about twenty people, with four people being the ones with the people on their shoulders, and the rest surrounding them as support.
Flash forward five minutes, the base was finally set up properly. Someone in front of me, behind me, one person under each of my armpits, and three more people in the back to push inwards towards me and support the person on my shoulders by raising their arms up and holding their legs. As the person got on my shoulders, I thought that that moment was going to be the beginning of the end for me.
Some of the most agonizing three minutes passed as the heat from everyone made it unbearable to breathe comfortably. Then I heard it, the clapping and yelling of everyone, everyone except for the 4 of us in the middle with people on our shoulders. As everyone looked up to see the 5th floor of our tower finish, the four of us were looking straight ahead. As the trainer had warned us, looking up could be very dangerous for our necks with the amount of weight on our shoulders.
As the kids climbed down, having formed the highest two floors of our human tower, I felt relieved. The sense of accomplishment throughout the room could be felt so strongly. Everyone cheering and congratulating each other, just like in the videos that we had been shown a little over an hour ago.
Amschel Rothschild ’19
Finance Student, UConn School of Business
Amschel Rothschild is a junior studying Finance. This past summer he interned at Rabobank in New York City working on private equity raises and venture investing. A fun fact about Amschel is that he was born in Belgium, but has dual citizenship with France and the United States.