Comment, Culture, Food & Drink, Prose, Reviews

Equalities Week: JCR Multicultural Formal

by Sam Hardaker This past Tuesday, 31 January, Oriel’s dining hall opened its doors to a new type of formal dinner: a multicultural formal. After careful organisation and advertisement by our very own JCR Equalities and Access Officer, Shubh Kumar, the dinner featured four courses, featuring a Greek meze platter, a Moroccan sorbet, Tandoori chicken […]

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Comment, Prose

The Belbroughton days – My Experience with Jude Bellingham

by Ben Nolan Before he played on the England team, Bellingham had to navigate the dark and dangerous world of Dudley and Bromsgrove football. Reflections based on my career as a professional footballer. It was a cold Saturday morning. I had been woken up at 6am and whisked off to Belbroughton football club after a […]

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Comment, Culture, Food & Drink, Prose

Pubs To Die For

by Max Benster ‘WE SHALL NOT CEASE FROM EXPLORATION, AND THE END OF ALL OUR EXPLORING WILL BE TO ARRIVE WHERE WE STARTED AND KNOW THE PLACE FOR THE FIRST TIME.’ – T. S. Eliot I think that one of the best things Oxford has going for it is the calibre of its pubs. I […]

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Comment, Prose

Modernity – The Death of Personality

by Carolina Cortés Vilaplana There is something so cold about a tall, sleek, grey building with square glass windows. An urban setting, the bollards smooth all around, their shape unrelenting. The same bored poles in place of a lamppost. Flat metal rods at exactly ninety degrees that are but the skeleton of ancient bridges. There […]

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Comment, Prose

Sulphur Sticks and the Myth of Nation Building

by Bertie Castello 6 AM on a Tuesday morning. Florentine friend sends me a link, possibly reminiscing our transalpine past with the typical sarcastic grin that comes naturally with our undying emigrant superiority complex. Italians are interesting creatures. Recently, it has been asserted, intra Orielensia moenia, that we may in fact be Untermenschen, as we […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors

by Siddiq Islam The brain is a mysterious thing. Its complexities are so far beyond our understanding. We cannot say much about why we think the way we do, why we construct certain schemas, why Beary McBearface can have such wild dreams as the one he relates in his answer to ‘Dear Beary’ question 2. […]

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Comment, Prose

Why Do We Care More About Van Gogh’s Sunflowers Than Real Ones?

by Anna Bartlett (JCR Environment Officer) Again, headlines have been filled with reports of the ‘extreme’ tactics of environmental protesters due to the actions of a couple of soup-spewing youths. For some reason (beyond what I can fathom as rational), this event appears to have horrified some people more than the collapse of life on […]

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Comment, Prose

Scars

by Pia Regensburger A scar is a mark left on the skin after a wound or an injury has healed. This definition likely comes to mind first and foremost in any reflection on scars. The scars we see, the marks left on our bodies bearing witness to past experiences, are likely to remind us of […]

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Comment, Prose

Losing and Gaining Linguistic Instincts

by Nikita Jain In the couple of weeks since I arrived in the south of France, I’ve realised that my quest for perfection is the main barrier stopping me from improving my French. I’m so afraid of making mistakes that I often find myself rehearsing sentences in my head before I contribute to a conversation. […]

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Comment, Prose

Art School Was a Weird One for Me

by Anonymous Art school was a weird one for me. I remember feeling very invalid, unschooled and also, and probably most poignantly, too ‘uncomplacent’. I think white complacency is a hallmark of contemporary art. It operates in how comfortable white people can engage with autonomy, because they have grown up in a world that has […]

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Comment, Prose

Oxford Union Debate Review

by Jenny Heath Motion:This House Has No Confidencein His Majesty’s Government. At the annual Oxford Union debate on confidence in our government, 45 people voted that they had confidence in our government. Less than 24 hours later, Kwasi Kwarteng was fired as Chancellor in the latest twist in what can only be described as a […]

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Comment, Prose

Musings on the Merging of Presents and Futures

by Ada Sevimli I learnt so much about the world around me, primarily that I know so little about it. In classes, seminars, and during revision, I filled a small but precious pool of knowledge and relished in its beauty. Took pride in the fact that it glistened like the foreheads of those who labour […]

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Comment, Prose

Nineteen Eighty-Nine

by Anonymous Victoria Park: on this site, in 2022, nothing happened. For thirty years, people had gathered at the park in Hong Kong in remembrance of those who died on 4 June 1989, at the hands of a regime that sent its military on its own people. Hong Kong had been the only city in […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Future

by Monim Wains Hence, the future beckons, as it always does. With the last issue of this academic year, you move on, dear reader, turning a new page. But, I wonder, how big will the change be? Is the summer just a page break? Or a whole new chapter of life? Although the university seems […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Unity

by Jerric Chong Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is: brethren, to dwell together in unity! Psalm 113:1 As I write this, Sam Ryder has just given the UK our best result in twenty years at the Eurovision Song Contest: a goodly 466 points to finish in second place. The victorious act (most […]

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College, Comment, Prose

A Letter to the JCR

by Emily Hudson There is a place for you here.  Oxford, and Oriel in particular, carries the weight of hundreds of years of tradition and stereotypes, not all of which are favourable, and not all of which have quite faded with the times. This is the message upon which I originally ran for the role […]

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Comment, Prose

Fear From Tragedy

by Gregory Davidson [Content warning: gun violence, school shootings, death, and suicide. This piece references the Heidelberg University shooting in January 2022.] For me, it began with an anonymous text on a group chat for international students in Heidelberg, Germany. It asked us to stay inside and stay away from the campus on Neuenheimer Feld. […]

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Comment, Prose

What is Silence?

by Joe Lever Scary. Beautiful. Needed. Hard to find. Isolating. Healing. Rare. Here. Silence is scary. The silence of the night convinces us that something is lurking, waiting in the shadows; it is the frailest of protective veils at any moment to be pierced. In conversations silence hangs over us, drawn out second by excruciating […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Joy

by Jerric Chong A very happy New Year, and welcome back from all us at The Poor Print as we embark on Hilary 2022! ‘Joy’, like so many other utterances in this language of ours, arrived with the conquering Normans, and derives ultimately from Latin gaudium through French joie (also meaning ‘jewel’), which then became […]

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Comment, Prose

The Illusion of Institution

by Monim Wains Institutions have always been interesting to me. There is a realisation that I have had as I have gotten older: they don’t actually exist, do they? As an undergraduate with barely two decades of life under my belt, you might already be switching away from this article, wondering what on earth I […]

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Comment, Prose

Chicken in a Nightmare

by M. Davies (College Porter) [CW: homophobia] Fred Bickerton started at University College as an Under Scout (more specifically as ‘under bedmaker’) in 1897 and retired as Head Porter in 1950. I thought the following may be of interest from his published memoirs. When Fred first started in the Porters’ Lodge as an ‘under-porter’, he […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Magic

by Monim Wains What sets magic apart – what makes something magical – is the surprise, I would suggest. It is the revelation of something hidden and unexpected, without any explanation for why it is so. And our reaction, good or bad, depends on what we know, and where the magic remains. When we are […]

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Comment, Prose

The Optimisation Mindset

by Martin Yip Which do you prefer: apples or oranges? Suppose you had two pounds to spend on oranges and apples, eache priced at 40p. What would you do, assuming the money cannot be saved for later? Microeconomics studies, among other things, this sort of question that concerns consumer behaviour. It models consumption as an […]

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Comment, Prose

Minimalism: A Remedy for Chaos

by Martin Yip Life can be chaotic. It certainly has been in the past year, not least due to COVID-19. Students and workers alike have faced greater challenges to their mental health as they grapple with the new realities and rules that the virus has necessitated, in addition to their ordinary sources of stress and […]

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Comment, Prose

Familiar Strangers

by Martin Yip Strangers come in many types. The usual understanding of ‘stranger’ refers to people with whom you’ve never interacted. People whose existence don’t matter much to you. There is another type: people whose paths barely have crossed yours, like two straight lines which intersect at one point and go on their separate paths, […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Strangers

by Monim Wains What is life but a string of fibres tied from you to some stranger, perhaps momentarily intertwined? What is life but the tangling of those threads into the tapestry of your memories? Were we not all strangers to this world on the day when we were born? From that day on, we […]

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Comment, Poetry, Prose

Pondering an Ending Spring

by ‘Siddiq Islam’ Maybe the golden peal of summer flowers,The friends of God and earth, are formed to fall,A fire in some great coming spring of snow. Your dream was but a passionate loneliness,Broken as the sweet noon of morning light.Your fate is closed in a wrathThat flowers upon the fervour of the night. Transcending […]

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Comment, Prose

There is a Place for You

by Martin Yip When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the UK in March, I hastily left the country and returned home. My family decided that I should quarantine for fourteen days. During those days, I was confined to one room, where I would eat, work, and sleep, and one bathroom which no one else would […]

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Comment, Prose

Reflection

by Anonymous When I was younger, I preferred to look forward to the future rather than reflect. Every New Year’s Eve I would diligently write my resolutions for the year ahead. Common occurrences included ‘learn how to do the splits’ and ‘get long hair’, their repeated appearances are a testament to my inability to reflect. […]

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Comment, Prose

Reflecting on oak trees

by Harriet Strahl Two old oaks frame the entrance to a graveyard in a village somewhere in Germany. A sign nearby tells visitors about the history of the graveyard, which contains the headstones of the local Jewish family deported during the Third Reich, carefully restored next to a stone commemorating the local dissenter, who was […]

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Comment, Prose

Finding the Rainbow Connection

by Martin Yip ‘Rainbow Connection’ is the opening song of the 1979 film The Muppet Movie, performed by Kermit the Frog. Kermit’s laid-back performance did not prevent his song from inspiring generations of viewers over the years, as it contains a profound message of optimism and empowerment that will resonate for years to come. Why […]

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Comment, Prose

Commonplace Insanity

by Martin Yip Insanity tends to be more salient in the mind than sanity. After all, being sane seems to be the default and thus unworthy of comment; any significant deviation from this default, however, merits attention. When Taiwanese basketball player Jeremy Lin took the NBA by storm in 2012, the phenomenon was dubbed ‘Linsanity’. […]

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Comment, Prose

Stardust

by Samanwita Sen In the grand scheme of the universe, all we will ever amount to is just that. Stardust. You could have the highest statute of honour attached to your name, or you could be the stranger that meticulously walks down the same alleyway at the same time every morning – regardless, our existences, […]

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Comment, Prose

To Infinity and Beyond

by Martin Yip ‘Progress’ is one of those words like ‘peace’. Like peace, virtually everyone agrees that progress is desirable to have. Yet, like peace, there is no clear definition of what progress is, to the extent that many thoughts and actions may be justified on the grounds of a certain convenient definition of ‘progress’. […]

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Comment, Prose

United

by Samanwita Sen One of the memories I look back upon fondly happens to be tucked away in the cozy little enclave of a bus seat, lit by the scintillating bobs that blurred outside as we drove past and the shadows of strangers bouncing off the window. I let myself fade into the lull of […]

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Comment, Prose

Lines Must Be Drawn

by Martin Yip ‘Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too.’ So passionately sang John Lennon in Imagine. The imagery of peace and harmony was appealing: if only the physical and psychological barriers between people could come down, we would all […]

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Comment, Prose

Border Maintenance

by Martin Yip Someone (in)famous once said that borders were very important. Millions of people were rushing across the border every day. They were bad, bad people. They commit so many crimes, tremendously many. They are a threat to security. So, he said, we must BUILD A WALL to protect the borders. Across the globe, […]

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Comment, Prose

Pondering Plentiful Perspectives

by Martin Yip History is written by the victors, they say. I spent much of the past summer in two interesting locations – Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both countries share a history of communist rule which are, interestingly enough, depicted from […]

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Comment, Prose

No Sacrifice Too Small

by Martin Yip On 1 October 2019, the People’s Republic of China celebrated its 70th anniversary. In Beijing, the largest ever military parade was staged. Fifteen thousand troops marched across Tiananmen Square with armaments that were all made in China. ‘Patriotism and pride swelled among the Chinese as they celebrated the country’s seven decades of […]

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