‘Dear Beary …’ [17]

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, my friends are having an Oxmas dinner together tomorrow but I’ve already been invited to dinner by someone I’m less fond of … what do I do?

First of all, congratulations on being so popular. No one invites me to anything! :’)

Mama Bear used to tell me the story of getting invited to dinner by a poor man and a rich man. One day, someone came up to Winnie the Pooh asking, ‘I have been invited to dinner by a rich man, whose feast will be extravagant and lavish, but I am already invited to dinner by a poor man.’ [Note that this is almost exactly the dilemma you have.] Our Saviour Winnie replied, ‘Who asked you to dinner first?’ The bear said, ‘The poor man.’ ‘Then you shall eat with the poor man,’ replied Winnie, ‘for all enjoyment of wealth is evil and should be avoided at any cost.’

Just go with whomever you prefer lol.

2. Dear Beary, do you have dreams? Care to share any memorable ones?

I do have dreams. You might remember that I told you I do not sleep, but I do have daydreams. Usually, they are mundane Beary dreams: reaching for honey from a pot, chasing foxes, snuggling cosily under a blanket.

I had a dream last week that was more exciting. I was invited to a bear-meet at a cavern and I met this peng sow. Everything was mellow at first, all the bears vibing and what-not, until this massive bear with tattoos and hench muscles knocked the door down and started punching up two guys. I tried to stop him but my arms turned into two salmon tails and all I could do was feebly slap him. It made a slippery sound.

Suffice to say, the female was not impressed. She left on her electric scooter. I chased her down the hill and it turned into that Club Penguin game where you have to slide down the mountain …

3. Dear Beary, is happiness just chemicals flowing through my mind, or is there something more?

I am personally of the belief that life is full of adventure and excitement. Anything can be fun if you perceive it that way. And, for me, the fact that you can ascribe this feeling of joy to certain activities or people or objects is testament to the subjectivity, the fluidity of happiness.

If you’re having a tough time, please remember there are people you can talk to! 🙂

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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