by Beary McBearface
Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column, Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. To contact him, all you have to do is firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’.
Of course, if you’d like to remain anonymous – and Beary encourages naming no names, we don’t want any beef here – just drop a note with your Beary concern to one of the editors’ pidges. And please do; Beary needs a hobby in his twilight years.
[If you’re really struggling, or if your problem contains sensitive information, be aware that Beary has received no formal welfare training; please message Harriet Tubb and Aidan Robertson, our beloved JCR Welfare Officers, for more information, or get in touch with the peer supporters, Welfare Deans or the College Nurse.]
1) Dear Beary, drip or drown?
You already know we gotta stay drippy.
2) Dear Beary, where is the Oriel weasel?
The tale of the weasel is ancient and shrouded in mystery. Word has it that, long ago, there were those who wanted to begin a taxidermy society of some kind. The plans didn’t get very far, but they managed to acquire one taxidermied weasel to display in the JCR. It hasn’t been seen for quite some time now, and one can only guess where the escape might have led.
3) Dear Beary, I’m a fourth-year and don’t recognise anyone in college any more. What can I do?
Ah, dear child, time takes its toll on us all, slowly marching on, while memories fade away, and the world keeps growing and going. But Oriel is no place for that just yet! There is plenty to get involved in, allowing you to interact with and meet old and new faces. JCR and MCR welfare teas can be a warm (and often fruity) environment for you to mingle with fellow college-mates. If that isn’t quite your cup of tea, then college clubs and societies, or casual sports like croquet, might be a better bet. With Trinity term on the horizon, summer events will surely follow suit – keep an eye out on the termcards to know where and when.
4) Dear Beary, how do I ask my neighbour to be quieter with their partner? I keep having to go to the kitchen with headphones on.
A question as old as time. Let me respond with a quote from Confucius himself: ‘There are three methods to confronting your flatmates. The first is to shout at them, which is the easiest. The second is to talk to them in a civil manner, which is the noblest. The third is to say nothing and to pretend that there isn’t a problem, which is the cosiest.’
5) Dear Beary, is Shrek 2 the greatest cinematic masterpiece ever to have graced our screens?
While the main Shrek franchise currently boasts four film masterpieces, I would be hesitant to label the second as the best. I’m personally more partial to Shrek (the original) and Shrek Forever After, for memorability and meme-ability. What even happens in Shrek 2, anyway? I had to read the Wikipedia synopsis just now.
6) Dear Beary, how should I spend my days off?
It’s now officially, meteorologically Spring. You could walk to a nearby town (e.g. Reading) and take the train back. You could get ice cream and bathe in drizzle. You could make friends with the mouse in your kitchen and take her to Christ Church Meadows in a cardboard box and she will somehow still make it all the way back.
7) Dear Beary, who would you consider to be a national treasure?
My mother. ❤