Dear Beary … [14]

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 send an email to 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 in the Lodge. And please do: Beary needs a hobby in his twilight years.

[If you’re really struggling, or if your problem contains sensitive information, please be aware that Beary has received no formal welfare training. For more information and help, you can reach out to our beloved JCR Welfare Officers (Aidan and Harriet) and MCR Welfare Secretaries (Luke and Ada), or get in touch with the peer supporters, the Welfare Deans (Marta and Dan), the Chaplain (Rob), or the College Nurse.]

1. Dear Beary, how do I get out of a Hamilton listening party? I’m not enjoying this …

Uh-oh, it sounds like I’m already too late (or you have been stuck there all week)! I recommend a pirouette-into-jumping-forward-roll manoeuvre out of the door. If they ask you where you are going, just politely inform them of your sudden need to get some milk from Tesco.

2. Dear Beary, I always have so much work to do that I’ve probably slept a total of ten hours this week. How can I fix this?

Okay, there are lots of factors that play into sleep quality and quantity. Sounds like you are on the dreaded ‘Oxford sleep schedule’.

Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. Poor sleep can lead to serious health problems and decrease your life span – not to mention that it just isn’t fun! Look up some sleep-hygiene advice online. The basics include working out what regular pattern works for you and making slow adjustments to stick to that as much as possible. Adjust lighting, temperature, mattress/duvet and noise as much as you can to give you just the right sleeping conditions.

I know that some of this is out of your control, and sometimes imminent deadlines are unforgiving, but we could all do our best to correct our sleep schedules. Prioritise your health!

My glass eyes have no eyelids, but that’s okay because I’m an eternally un-breathing, un-thinking, un-sleeping being with no need for shut-eye.

3. Dear Beary, which is best? Bardcore, skaldcore, or bronzecore?

Skaldcore. People making skaldic music work with texts in their original languages, spend time perfecting the reconstructed pronunciations closer to those of olden times, and will learn an insane number of folk instruments (nyckelharpa, tagelharpa, etc.) just to enhance their music. And they have increased the popularity of these otherwise obscure instruments. Dedication! Need I say more?

4. Dear Beary, a follow up question. Which is best – dieselpunk, cyberpunk, biopunk, or steampunk?

Steampunk is objectively the best. It hearkens back to the times of great Victorian innovation, when the Industrial Revolution provided a limitless future of steam-powered utopia. In a way, steampunk represents an exercise in alternate history, a world where coal beat oil, where the worst of 19th-century capitalism became ascendant for generations to come, a dark mirror to our own reality.

The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford. Written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff, new issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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