One in Two Thousand: Bianca Arce ’24

Kent Barbir

(Kent Barbir/The Williams Record)

Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature. As long as the owner of a selected unix is willing to be interviewed and is not a member of the Record board, that person becomes the subject of our interview. This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Bianca Arce ’24, who talked about drinking Snapple, writing plays, and figure skating. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Kent Barbir (KB): We were in the same entry last year — do you have any favorite memories from your first year?

Bianca Arce (BA): It’s not necessarily one specific memory, but in Mission, me and [my podmate] Sarah [Lindeman ’24] had this little square [in] the hall. So every night, me and the girls would just hang out, do work, and chat. It was like our own separate common room. So yeah, I think my favorite memory is just becoming friends with them.

KB: I remember in one of our entry orientation Zooms when we first arrived on campus, you said you never drink water?

BA: I don’t drink water.

KB: What’s the last time you had a glass of water?

BA: Last night, but the only reason why is because I had like half a bag of Takis.

KB: What do you normally drink?

BA: Tea, Snapple, iced tea. Snapple is [in] my bloodstream. I love that stuff, or nothing.

KB: Or nothing? Do you ever feel dehydrated?

BA: Oh, I get dehydrated a lot. It’s not a good thing. I’m working on it. I have a big 40-ounce water bottle that I never fill, but the effort’s there.

KB: I remember you were also involved in some theatre stuff. Could you tell me a little about that?

BA: I’m doing a lot more theatre this year, but I was in two theatre classes last year, and I was in a short film for a senior thesis project. Now, this year, I’m the props manager for Mamma Mia. I played Ollie in a pirate production called “Argh!” for Weekend of Theatre. I’m part of Cap and Bells, and I’m planning on submitting a play for the spring proposals. 

KB: That’s a lot of stuff. And you said you were making your own play this year?

BA: Yeah, for the classes I’ve been in I’ve written a couple plays, so I have a little bit of experience doing that. I didn’t really understand the fact that Cap and Bells were doing student plays, and I acted in one, so I was like, “You know what, I can do this.” So I decided that over Thanksgiving or winter break or Winter Study, I’m going to write my play, and I’ll submit it, and hopefully they’ll accept it. 

KB: Any idea what it’s going to be about?

BA: It’s kind of about a woman in 17th-century England cross-dressing in order to save the reputation of her cousin who’s a lesbian. That’s a little bit of the backbone.

KB: What made you pick 17th-century England as the setting?

BA: Well, I read Twelfth Night in one of my Shakespeare classes this semester, and I was like, “This is kind of funky — I kind of like the idea of cross-dressing.” But I can’t write Shakespearean language or old English, so I was like, “I’m going to try something else.” Also, I feel like it’s cool because it was less accepted [back then], and yet people still did it, but it was very taboo. 

KB: Besides theatre, are you involved in any other clubs or organizations?

BA: I volunteer at Images Cinema. I run the concession stand. I’m in figure skating, but I can’t figure skate. But I just keep working on it. I’m gonna watch YouTube videos. And I’m in ceramics, which is really fun.

KB: So you don’t know how to figure skate but you’re still a member of the club?

BA: Yeah, so I went for the first time this Monday because they opened the rink to us, and it’s actually much harder than I thought it was. I was thinking, “I’m going to get on the ice, and I’m going to be Tonya Harding!” Nope, I was not. I fell on my butt a lot of times. I think I just have to work on it, because I was stupidly under the impression that they were gonna teach us, but they don’t. While I’m gripping the wall, I’m looking at the center of the rink, and there’s people spinning [around], and I’m just trying not to fall on the ground.

KB: But you like it? Are you going to keep on going back?

BA: Yeah, I didn’t like it the first time. But I think I need to keep going. I need to push myself. I think in the past, it was really easy for me to be like, “I can’t do it, so I’m just not going to try,” which I can’t do, because I’m not going to [always] get things at first. I’m going to have to work on it. So hopefully it’s something that I can manage and actually end up doing and enjoy.

KB: What made you want to try it?

BA: I love figure skating, and I love the movie I, Tonya. It’s a really good movie, and so I was like, “I can do that.” No, I can’t.

KB: There’s also a winter PE class on figure skating, I heard.

BA: Oh, I might do that. I’ll email Carolyn [Miles].

KB: Have you taken any other PE classes here?

BA: Yeah, I’ve done badminton and squash. I’m okay with racquet sports, I [enjoy] when it’s just you and yourself and you can just hit things. I love to express my aggression [through] whacking. That’s why squash is really great. I have good hand-eye coordination [even though] I’m like half blind. Not actually — I just have bad vision. I have astigmatism, which means I’m farsighted and nearsighted. I’ve done productions without my glasses on, and I take pictures without my glasses on because they make my eyes look ginormous, but I can’t survive a day without my glasses.

KB: They must be pretty thick glasses. 

BA: Yeah, they’re thick. [Laughs.] Also, I like thin, wireframe glasses, so they’re holding on for dear life. They’ve got fishing wire or some kind of thing here. I’ve tried contacts multiple times, but they didn’t work because they’re little shards of glass you have to stick in your eyeball. I remember I lost one in my eyeball. Don’t know where it is, might still be there.

KB: You lost a contact and it’s still in your eyeball? 

BA: Yeah, maybe, I don’t know. Maybe it came out.