‘Dear Beary …’ [16]

by Beary McBearface

Hello there! My name’s Beary, one of the giant teddy bears who hang out in the JCR – I’m the brown one; my purple counterpart is John Henry. As The Poor Print’s self-anointed agony aunt, I’m here to help you with any troubles you’re facing. Please send me your college (or general) worries, and I’ll help you find a solution. To submit a question, just email thepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.uk with ‘Dear Beary’ in the subject line.

Of course, if you’d prefer to remain anonymous – and I encourage naming no names; we don’t want any beef here – just drop a note with your concern for me in one of the editors’ pidges in the Porter’s Lodge (names are available below). And please do: I need a nice hobby in my twilight years! Please do remember that old Beary here has had no formal welfare training, so if you have a more serious issue to raise, please reach out to our beloved JCR Welfare Officers (Rose Hickman and Tom Szwarcer) and MCR Welfare Secretary (Gabe Calvo), or get in touch with the Peer Supporters, the Welfare Deans (Marta Bielinska and Dan Brennan), the Chaplain (Rob Wainwright), or the College Nurse.

And now, for the matter at hand:

1. Dear Beary, I just kissed my friend and it felt weird so I ran away – what do I do???

There is a mature way to approach this. Maybe you feel a little confused right now, so you should take the time to process what happened. What is your heart saying right now? Try and express your feelings to a different friend you trust to see whether you can articulate it.

Once you have processed your emotions, think about what you want to do with the situation. Do you want this friendship to progress into something else or to progress into just a friendship? You should probably communicate this straight-forwardly to your friend ASAP. Don’t leave them in the dark.

Best of luck!

2. Dear Beary, can you cut a potato with a potato?

I want to suggest using a sharper object to cut your potatoes. Potential items include knives, wood-coping saws, megalodon teeth, the fingernails you sometimes find in samosas you buy from dodgy restaurants, Siddiq Islam’s jawline, etc., etc.

Trying to cut a potato with a potato will likely end with a smushed potato, not a cut potato.

3. Dear Beary, you are witnessing a trolley that is hurtling down a track towards five people strapped to the track. Next to you is a person who, if you push onto the tracks, would die but stop the trolley from killing the others. Is it more moral to push the man or to let someone else deal with the trolley problem?

More trolley problems? Ugh …

To the original trolley problem, people may usually respond that they would pull a lever to kill one man on the tracks instead of five men, but that once it becomes a matter of pushing someone onto the track, they would be more hesitant because it becomes a more direct form of murder. Given this, I think most people would be even less likely to push the man now that there is the chance that someone else might come and solve their problem for them. They would rather be a bystander.

But I’m a cold muh fuh who str8 up don’t give a sheet so I would pull up n wack that mofo onto the train trax.

The Poor Print

The Poor Print is Oriel College's student newspaper, with contributions from across the JCR, MCR, SCR, and staff. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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