Captain’s Corner: Erica Bucki ’15

Erica Bucki ’15

Erica Bucki ’15
Women’s swimming captain
Eagan, Minn.
Residence: Woodbridge

So, Bucki, I know that you’re a vegetarian. What made you become one?

I am a vegetarian for environmental reasons. I learned that not eating meat is the equivalent energy saved as not driving a car, and as I’m not driving a car I figured that’d be a double whammy. I became a vegetarian my freshman year of college.

What are some of your favorite fake-meat dishes?

[Laughs.] Ugh, gross. I really like black bean burgers. I like vegetables a lot. I like to cook vegetables a lot.

You do eat very healthy. You told your entry not to eat microwave popcorn.

Nooo. Although my housemates eat microwave popcorn all the time and I’m like, it’s kind of grody. I still eat it sometimes though.

What are some of your hobbies?

Uh, I swim a lot. I swim all the time. So I guess… I have a hobby of exercise. [Laughs.] Sad.

And baking!

And baking. Not as much as I’d like to, maybe more in the spring, when I have time.

What’s your go-to meal, now that you’re off the meal plan?

I would just sauté a bunch of veggies. Or I make mac-and-cheese from the box, but just add a bunch of stuff, like a lot of smoked paprika, which is the best spice that’s ever existed, and a lot of parmesan cheese and edamame.

How old were you when you started swimming?

It was the summer after first grade, so I was seven.

Why did you start?

I was a child with endless energy, and my parents were like, she’s gotta do something. So they threw me into every sport possible, except softball, because that’s a sport where you stand around as a child. It’s not a boring sport, but that sport’s not for kids who have short attention spans. It’s a lot of standing. And we got these Friday folders at school, and at the time you could advertise for things in the folders, so the Dolphin aquatic team flyer was in my folder, along with a dozen of the martial arts, kung fu flyers. My parents were like, she doesn’t need to do that, but it would’ve been so cool, and I would’ve been really good at it. [Laughs.] So I swam. And I was really bad at it. For a long time.

Really?

Yeah. So like, some kids are stars when they’re younger and they’re really good. And that was not me. I was very slow until I was thirteen, and then when you’re thirteen you can start doing distance events, and as both of my parents run marathons I had, like, no hope of being a sprinter, that was not gonna happen. When you’re little they don’t let you swim the distance stuff. I was very excited about being able to swim the distance stuff because as it turned out I was a lot better at that, and also, no one swims that, because most kids, like, cry. I was weird in middle school. And most of high school. [Laughs.] I tell my mom that and she’s like, “No you weren’t! You were normal!” And I’m like, “Mother. That was not the case.”

So back to distance swimming.

Yeah, anyway, I was really bad until distance swimming, and I wasn’t really good at that. I qualified for club state, which is a big deal now, it’s harder to qualify, but for a while it was not hard to qualify. And I did not qualify until I was 13. I made it in the 200 freestyle, and then I think that was it for a while. And then I was 14 or 15, and that’s when I started to get good at the distance stuff. Most people were fast by then, and I was just kind of chillin’. [Laughs.] But it was good, because I’ve continued to improve and I haven’t burnt out.

I know you play water polo as well, right?

I do also play water polo. I’m not the captain of that, though. I play, like, maybe four weeks out of the year.

How’d you get started with that?

I was a swimmer, and I didn’t make [NCAA Div. III] Nationals my freshman year, so there’s like a gap when some people are swimming and some are not because of the nationals team. It’s weird because you suddenly don’t have an activity. I was friends with the captain at the time, who was a Junior Advisor, and she was like, “You’re a swimmer, join water polo!” And I was like “Well, I’ve never played water polo before.” And she was like, “You should still do it!” And so I did. And I was really really bad. It’s really hard! All I could do was swim, but swimming doesn’t even really translate. Like, I could do the swimming part and nothing else. I had to learn from scratch how to throw a ball, because since I’ve been swimming since age seven I’ve never played a ball sport.

Is there anything you want to do your last semester here that you haven’t done yet?

Yeah! I wanna go to a women’s lacrosse game. And all the other sports that I haven’t seen, like women’s golf. I popped in to the squash game today, but none of the Williams team was playing, which upset me. There’re all these other sports I haven’t seen. Track is cool, where they run and stuff, but I wanna see the field stuff, because I’ve never seen any of that.