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英文演讲通识教育

作者:佚名    文章来源:本站原创    更新时间:2018/5/1

英文演讲通识教育
 在這篇演讲中,美国知名小说家华莱士以两条小鱼的对话,颇具禅意地开启了众人对于和谐共存的思考。日常烦恼和人际摩擦,无不源于自以为是或以自我为中心,而要时刻对此保持清醒,又是不可想象地难。所以一个人能否通过教育获得内心的自由与幸福往往取决于三种能力:自我调整、正确觉知和富有同情心。对此华莱士传授了一个简单便利的法则,即“学会换位思考、体谅他人难处”,而这也正是美国大学通识教育的核心。
  The 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address1
  Greetings and congratulations to Kenyon’s graduating class of 2005.
  There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
  This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories.2 If you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.
  Of course the main requirement of speeches like this is that I’m supposed to talk about your liberal arts education’s3 meaning, which is that a liberal arts education is not so much about filling you up with knowledge as it is about “teaching you how to think.”
  By way of example, let’s say it’s an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging job, and you work hard for nine or ten hours, and at the end of the day you’re tired and somewhat stressed out and all you want is to go home and have a good supper. But then you remember there’s no food at home. You have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It’s the end of the work day and the traffic is apt to be very bad. So getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there, the supermarket is very crowded. You have to wander all over the huge, over-lit store’s confusing aisles to find the stuff you want and you have to maneuver your junky cart through all these other tired,4 hurried people with carts and eventually you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren’t enough check-out lanes open even though it’s the end-of-the-day rush. So the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating5. But you can’t take your frustration out on the frantic lady working the register, who is overworked at a job whose daily tedium and meaninglessness surpasses the imagination of any of us here at a prestigious college.6
 Anyway, you finally get to the checkout line’s front, and you pay for your food, and you get told to “Have a nice day” in a voice that is the absolute voice of death. Then you have to take your creepy, flimsy, plastic bags of groceries in your cart all the way out through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow,heavy, SUV-intensive, rushhour traffic, etc.7
  Everyone here has done this, of course. But it hasn’t yet been part of you graduates’ actual life routine, day after week after month after year. But it will be. And many more dreary8, annoying, seemingly meaningless routines besides. But that is not the point. The point is that the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don’t make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I’m gonna be pissed9 and miserable every time I have to shop.
  And who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive10 most of them are, and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line. It is my natural default setting11. It’s the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I’m operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the center of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.
  Of course, there are totally different ways to think about these kinds of situations. In that traffic, all those vehicles stuck and idling in my way, it’s not impossible that some of these people in SUV’s have been in horrible auto accidents in the past, and now find driving so traumatic that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge,12 heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive. Or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he’s trying to rush to the hospital, and he’s in a bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am:13 it is actually I who am in his way.
  Or you can choose to consider the likelihood that everyone else in the supermarket’s checkout line is just as bored and frustrated as you are, and that some of these people probably have harder, more tedious and painful lives than you do. Or you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of her husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness.14 Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible.

 The only thing that’s true is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it. This is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t.
  What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth. It is about life before death. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:“This is water.”
  1. Kenyon: 凯尼恩学院,美国私立文理学院,创建于1 8 2 4年,坐落于俄亥俄州甘比尔;commencement: 毕业典礼。
  2. deployment: 使用,运用;didactic:教诲的,(尤指)道德说教的;parable-ish: 类似寓言故事的,是作者造的一个词,parable是寓言的意思。
  3. liberal arts education:通识教育,也称博雅教育,强调涉猎多种多样的学科,是美国大学倡导的教学方式。
  4. aisle: (超市货架之间的)过道;maneuver:巧妙地移动(大而沉的物件);junky: 品质低劣的,蹩脚的;cart:手推车。
  5. infuriating: 令人发怒的。
  6. frantic: 忙乱的;tedium:单调,乏味。
  7. flimsy: 劣质的,不结实的;bumpy: 不平的,颠簸的;SUV: Sports Utility Vehicle,運动型多用途车;intensive: 密集的,以……居多的。
  8. dreary: 沉闷的,枯燥的。
  9. pissed: 愤怒的。
  10. repulsive: 令人反感的,十分讨厌的。
  11. default setting: 默认设置,即理所当然。
  12. idle:(发动机)空转,未熄火;traumatic: 痛苦的,极不愉快的。
  13. Hummer: 悍马,美国通用汽车推出的一个品牌,已停产,曾因其优异的机动性和越野性,被冠以“越野之王”的美誉;cut sb. off: 打断,这里指插队;legitimate: 正当合理的。
  14. 或许这位女士刚好是汽车门店的一名低薪员工,昨天刚刚做了个人情,帮你爱人搞定了一个恼人又繁琐的问题。horrific: 极差的,令人不愉快的;red-tape: 繁文缛节的,官样文章的;bureaucratic: 官僚主义的。

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英文演讲通识教育:https://www.ryedu.net/syy/yywh/201805/56843.html
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