Before you ask, no, I’m not in the library studying Dutch theologians, I’m currently spending this chilly Sunday afternoon writing my film paper with our college cat, Erasmus, who wandered into my room (and by ‘wandered’, I mean that I saw him in the hallway and shamelessly beckoned and bribed him).
Erasmus is Mansfield’s ‘mascot’ ; you can see him wandering around all parts of campus, generally being spoiled rotten by the students and guarding the porter’s lodge. Every Oxford college has it’s eccentricities, and I suppose that keeping a cat around is one of ours.
Currently he’s napping on my bed while I’m working on my latest film paper discussing Festen (The Celebration) , a disturbing but captivating Dutch film on the birthday of a aging Dutch patriarch in which his eldest son accuses him of sexual abuse during his birthday toast; the entire film is shot with handheld cameras without any added lighting or sound, so it has the feeling of a home-movie gone horribly wrong.
There are some excellent events going on at Mansfield this week; tomorrow there’s a Chinese Banquet for the Chinese New Year (I believe there are actually a few Chinese visiting students, so I guess it’s like our Thanksgiving Dinner for them) and then Burn’s Night on Wednesday! Burn’s Night is a Scottish commemoration of the poet Robert Burns, but at Mansfield this basically means we throw a big ceilidh in the chapel and attempt to do Scottish dances.