Ask the Trinity Collidge agony aunt

Trinity News’ resident agony aunt Michael McDermott, of Trinity Collidge fame, is here to help

Is Theoretical Physics worth the pain?

Theoretical Physics is not necessarily more difficult than a standard Physics course, it just has a different focus and therefore requires a different skill set to succeed. Ultimately, your abilities as an individual should guide you in your choice.

Theoretical Physics is certainly more abstract and mathematically intense. Your experiments will mostly take place on a computer or in your head. The regular Physics course has more hands-on and practical experiments, but they’re not necessarily any more fulfilling or enjoyable. This also works as a description of the prospective sex life of each course.

Last year I was a BNOC, this year I’m a BNOT, any advice on how to reclaim my popularity? Should I found another political journal?

I’m in the same position, desperately trying to cling on to relevance through this monthly agony aunt column. The most reliable paths to getting into the Trinity Twenty is to become the chair of one of the larger societies or become a leading activist.

My current plan is to try and infiltrate the debating societies and work my way up to the top House of Cards-style. I’ve never done debating, but I’ve been practising in the comments sections underneath weightlifting YouTube videos, which get surprisingly heated.

My backup plan will be to become the most vocal Trinity student on boycotting products containing palm oil because of their environmental impact. It’s honestly the only thing that works for my hair but it’ll be worth it when UT put me down as number 18 for being that guy who won’t shut up about orangutans.

There’s this girl I liked, but I kissed her best friend twice before. She developed feelings and got upset when things didn’t work out between us, but is her best friend now off-limits?

I’ve always thought these arbitrary rules such as “you can’t date a friend’s ex” only existed on American TV but people seem to genuinely abide by them. The human race was once comprised of less than 100 individuals (and it might be again very soon if we don’t protect our environment. We need to start by banning palm oil, follow my Facebook page TCD Against Palm Oil, tell your friends about it and that I run it).

We wouldn’t have survived as a species if we followed these kinds of rules. Asking her out is an act of rebellion against the established order. You will be heroes who chose love over orthodoxy like Romeo and Juliet, Jack and Rose, or Winston and Julia from 1984. So you are guaranteed to live happily ever after.

My girlfriend does Science, and I’m in Business, should we be together? The Hamilton is so far away. 

Interdisciplinary relationships are always a challenge, especially Science and Business. I’ve seen many weddings where the Science side of the church felt out of place because their empirical worldview made them uncomfortable with the religious setting, and the Business side usually ends up fighting over what price they should charge for tickets to the reception.

That new Business building is opening near that part of campus, so that may make things easier for you two. You could have lunch dates in the restaurant, which they have decided to call The Forum, making it clear that the student votes were disregarded when considering the new name because Burke-r King, Dinners for Trinners, and Restauranty McRestaurantFace were all better names.

Hopefully, it works out for you. I’ve seen too many Science-Business couples broken up — the Business student was using the Science student under the impression that somehow their lover, who is in second year Chemistry, would eventually come up with some breakthrough that they could patent.

I have a crush on a close friend and I’m scared of telling them how really feel in case I ruin our friendship. If I don’t do something, I know I’ll regret it. What should I do?

This reminds me about the story of the Prince and the basket weaver. In ancient Egypt, millennia ago, Prince Memnon lived in Cairo while his father ruled the vast empire. He was afforded every luxury conceivable, but the Prince desired love above all. Custom meant that he was expected to marry a noblewoman from his father’s court, but he had no interest in this, for he did not love any of them.

One day, he was visiting a city on official business when he managed to slip away from his royal entourage and visit the market in disguise. He perused the wares of the local merchants until he came across an exquisite stall selling beautiful baskets. He was awestruck when the shopkeeper appeared — she was beautiful, and he instantly became infatuated. He managed to speak with her long enough to get her name before the royal guards located him and whisked him back to Cairo.

The Prince was obsessed and had couriers travel to the city to bestow lavish gifts upon the basket-weaver. She spurned these advances and declined his invitation to live at his palace. He finally sent a message asking her what he had to do for her to agree to marry him. She replied that she would marry him only if he could deliver her an ornate carpet that could stretch from Cairo to her city, and only if it was delivered before the solstice.

The Prince gathered every craftsperson in Cairo to accomplish the request, but he was told it was impossible. The solstice was in three days, the fastest chariot would take three days to travel from Cairo to the city and it would take at least four days to make such a carpet. It would take a week minimum to create and deliver the carpet, and they only had three days. The Prince’s heart sunk.

Just as all hope seemed lost, Ra’met the Seamstress emerged from the crowd. She was a legendary seamstress but had not been called upon to help as she was 100 years old and blind, but now she addressed the Prince. “My Prince, though I myself can no longer sew, if you allow me to oversee the creation of this carpet, I will guarantee that it will be completed in just under 3 days.” The Prince thanked her but reminded her that they would still need to deliver it, which they had no time to do but Ra’met had a genius idea. They would connect the beginning of the carpet to a chariot and set it off on the journey. The craftspeople would work tirelessly creating the carpet while the chariot pulled it along towards the city at the same time, meaning it would technically arrive with a complete carpet just in time.

The Prince decided to try this strategy. He saddled up the fastest horses he could find and made haste for the city while the craftspeople worked their fingers to the bone behind them. After two days and 22 hours of riding, The Prince could make out the gates of the city where the basket-weaver lived. His heart soared but, suddenly, the chariot stopped, and the carpet was pulled taut. The Prince was furious. Why had they stopped making the carpet? He was so close. It was then for the first time that he looked to see what the pattern being embroidered into the carpet actually was. Hidden amongst the pattern, he could just make out the words: “Just tell them how you feel, you shouldn’t need to ask advice from a meme page about that.”