Sunday, March 05, 2006
# Posted 10:52 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Perhaps it was inevitable that I became fast friends with this wise-cracking, politically incorrect, bird-watching, beer-drinking idealist. Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a total disregard for financial security, Patrick forgot about his first degree in law and decided to pursue a doctorate in history.
Doctorate now in hand, Patrick has discovered that blogging is the most productive way to spend one's time in the ivory tower. Actually, Dr. Porter has been blogging for some time on his own website, The Red Mist, where he identifies himself simply as "The Corpulent Australian". He also did a brief stint last fall as a guest blogger on OxBlog.
(In point of fact, Patrick isn't particularly corpulent. He just has body image problems, like so many young Australian men today.)
Before turning the ball over to Dr. Porter, I just like to close with one reminiscence. During his second year at Oxford, the future Dr. Porter gave a presentation on his research to a small audience at Magdalen College. The subject was the role of religion in the First World War, the subject of his dissertation.
I could hardly believe that I was listening to a graduate student and not a professor. I almost felt like I was inside the head of a soldier on the Western front, struggling to grasp the theological implications of what was then the most destructive war in history.
Although the soldiers' diaries and letters home were powerful in and of themselves, it was Patrick who had woven them into a compelling narrative. This, I said to myself, is a first-rate mind at work. This, I said to myself, is what Patrick must be like when he's sober. (3) opinions -- Add your opinion
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