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(翻译并评论)你绝不会听到的在毕业典礼上的发言  

2011-06-25 15:14:11|  分类: 英语文章 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The Commencement Speech You’ll Never Hear

你绝不会听到的在毕业典礼上的发言

By Jacob Neusner (A Religion Research Professor in Brown University)

雅各布 纽斯纳  (布朗大学宗教研究系教授)

We the faculty take no pride in our educational achievements with you. We have prepared you for a world that does not exist, indeed, that cannot exist. You have spent four years supposing that failure leaves no record. You have learned at Brown that when your work goes poorly, the painless solution is to drop out. But starting now, in the world to which you go, failure marks you. Confronting difficulty by quitting leaves you changed, Outside Brown, quitters are no heroes.

我们老师们并不为和你们共同取得的教育成就而感到自豪。我们为你们准备好的世界并不存在,的确,那是不可能存在的。你们花了四年时间,以为失败并不会留下记录。在布朗大学,你们明白,当你们的学业不佳,毫无痛苦的解决之道就是辍学。但是从现在开始,在你们即将踏入的世界里面,失败会给你们打上印记。以放弃来面对困难会使你们不再是原来的自我。离开了布朗大学,放弃者绝非好汉。

With us you could argue about why your errors were not errors, why mediocre work really was excellent, why you could take pride in routine and slipshod presentation. Most of you, after all, can look back on honor grades for most of what you have done. So, here grades can have meant little in distinguishing the excellent from the ordinary. But tomorrow, in the world to which you go, you had best not defend errors but learn from them. You will be ill-advised to demand praise for that does not deserve it and abuse those who do not give it.

你们可以和我们争论,干嘛你们的失误不算是失误,干嘛低级的作业竟可作为优秀,干嘛你们可以对平平常常、漫不经心的发言感到得意洋洋。不管怎么说,你们中的大部分人,会以欣慰的目光来回顾你们所取得的辉煌成绩。可是在此,我得说,这样的成绩,在区分优秀和平庸上,没有什么价值。但是,到了明天,在你们即将踏入的世界里,你们最好不要为失误辩护,而是从失误中吸取教训。让你们谋求不该获得的表扬,并责备那些不给你们表扬的人,是在误导你们。

For years we created an altogether forgiving world, in which whatever slight effort you gave was all that was demanded. When you did not keep appointments, we made new ones , When you work came in beyond the deadline, we pretended not to care. Worse still, when you were boring, we acted as if you were saying something important. When you were garrulous and talked to hear yourselves talk, we listened as if it mattered. When you tossed on our desks writing upon which you had not labored, we read it and even responded, as though you earned a response. When you were dull, we pretended you were smart. When you were predictable, unimaginative and routine, we listened as to new and wonderful things. When you demanded free lunch,we served it. And all this why?

多年来,我们创造了一个完全宽容的世界。在这个世界里,无论你们付出的努力是多么少,可要求的就那么少。当你们不守约时,我们就重新约过。当你们迟交作业时,我们假装不在乎。更糟糕的是,当你们很无聊时,我们却装出好像你们在发表重要的意见。当你们啰里啰嗦,不知所云时,我们却在倾听,好像事关重大一般。当你们把胡乱应付的文章扔到我们的办公桌上时,我们不仅读了,还要批改,就好像这样的文章也值得批改一样。当你们犯傻时,我们假装说你们是聪明的。当你们发表老生常谈,毫无想象力的平庸言论时,我们却把它当作新颖、美妙的东西来听。当你们想要免费的午餐时,我们就来提供。可这一切究竟是为什么呢?

Despite your fantasies, it was not even that we wanted to be liked by you. It was that we did not want to be bothered, and the easy way out was pretense: smiles and easy Bs.

It is conventional to quote in addresses such as these. Let me quote someone you’ve never heard of: Prof. Carter A. Daniel, Rutgers University (Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 1979):

尽管你们有丰富的想象力,这却并非是我们想要得到你们的喜爱,而只是因为我们免得麻烦。最简单的出路就是“装”:给你们微笑,还有轻松的“良”。

惯常的做法是引用诸如此类的演讲辞,我要引用的是你们从未听说过的一个人:拉特各斯大学的丹尼尔教授(高等教育大事记,1979年5月7日):

“College has spoiled you by reading papers that don’t deserve to be read, listening to comments that don’t deserve a hearing, paying attention even to the lazy, ill-informed and rude. We had to do it, for sake of education. But nobody will ever do it again. College has deprived you of adequate preparation for the last 50 years. It has failed you by being easy, free, forgiving, attentive, comfortable, interesting, unchallenging fun. Good luck tomorrow.”

“大学教授们阅读本不值得阅读的论文,倾听本不值得倾听的议论,关心那些懒惰的,不学无术的,甚至粗鲁的学生,把你们大家给惯坏了。为了教育的缘故,我们只能如此。但是将来再没有人会那么做了。大学并未使你们为未来的50年做好充分的准备。在轻松、自由、 宽容、关爱、舒适、有趣而又不具挑战的环境中,大学辜负了你们。祝你们明天好运!”

That is why, on this commencement day, we have noting in which to take much pride.

Oh, yes, there is one more thing. Try not to act toward you coworkers and bosses as you acted toward us. I mean, when they give you what you want but have not earned, don’t abuse them, insult them, act out with them your parlous relationships with you parents. This too we have tolerated. It was, as I said, not to be liked. Few professors actually care whether or not they are liked by peer-paralyzed adolescents, fools so shallow as to imagine professors care not about education but about popularity. It was, again, to be rid of you. So go, unlearn the lies we taught you. To life!

那就是为什么在这毕业典礼的日子,我们并不感到自豪的原因。

哦,对了,还有一件事要说。不要像你们对待我们那样来对待你们的同事和老板吧。我的意思是,当他们给了你们想要的,但却不是你们辛苦挣得的东西时,不要谩骂他们,不要侮辱他们,也不要用应对父母的那种危险的方式来应付他们。你们的这些做法,我们依然不会计较。所以,正如我已经说过,我们的做法你们不该喜爱。很少有教授真正在乎他们是否被那些懵懵懂懂的青少年所喜爱,这些年轻人只是一些浅薄的傻瓜,居然以为教授们不关心教育,而只在乎自己的名望。教授们那么做,还是为了摆脱你们罢了。因此,忘了我们教给你们的谎言,走向生活吧!

 

 

读后感

这位教授所作的毕业典礼的发言,可谓惊人!能够有此胆量,有此见识的教授,实在少见!但是不可否认,他的话是实实在在的真话。难听,可是能够发人深省。

大家都知道,学校的教育环境和社会这个大环境常常是相去甚远。学校里面的优等生和社会里面的成功人士是不能简单地划等号的。当学生从校园走向社会,需要经历巨大而痛苦的转变。如果不能适应这个转变,必然会发生严重的问题。

当我们在校园里面尽量营造一种特别宽容、自由、轻松、愉快、没有压力、不知挫折和失败为何物的环境时,其结果却是让学生在踏上社会之初,在残酷竞争、沉重压力之下遭受挫折和失败的打击之时,因为突然失去了宽容、怜悯和同情,他们的精神和肉体同时遭受严峻的考验。从这个意义上来说,是否应该对大学的教育环境进行适当的反思?

对于小学生和中学生来说,他们年龄还小,不该给他们过多的压力和负担,应该让他们在轻松愉快的环境中茁壮成长。但是,大学生已经是成年人了,马上就要踏入社会了,这时如果依然给他们营造小学、中学那样的环境,对他们的未来是否有利,就值得思考了。

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