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三尺讲台是我的T台。选择了就不后悔,在与教育流氓叫板的呐喊声中像自己手中的粉笔一样,给孩子们描绘美好的未来,自己变成微不足道的粉末。

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J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure  

2017-04-13 13:01:36|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates:

尊敬的福斯特校长,哈佛集团的各位成员,监督理事会的各位理事,各位老师,各位自豪的家长,尤其是毕业生们:


The first thing I would like to say is "thank you". Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I've endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world's largest Gryffindors' reunion.

首先请允许我说一声谢谢。哈佛不仅给了我至高无上的荣誉,连日来一想到要发表这个毕业演说所经受的恐惧和紧张,更令我减肥成功。这真是“双赢”。现在,我只需要深呼吸几次,眯着眼睛看看前面的大红横幅,然后安慰自己,让自己相信我正在参加世界上最大的魔法学院聚会。


Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought  until  I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormourly in writing this one, because it turns out that I can't remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.

发表毕业演说责任重大。至少我回想我当年的毕业典礼时是这么认为的。那天致辞的是英国著名的哲学家玛丽·沃诺克男爵夫人(编者注:玛丽·沃诺克男爵夫人,教育家,哲学家,存在主义作家,曾先后任职于牛津大学和剑桥大学,终身贵族)。回想她的演讲,对我完成这篇演讲稿有极大的帮助,因为我已完全不记得她当时讲了什么。这让我释然,让我不再担心我可能会无意中影响你们,使你们放弃在商业、法律或政治上的大好前途,转而醉心于成为一个快乐的魔法师。


J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


You see? If all you remember in years to come is the"gay wizard" joke, I've still come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals--the firststep to self-improvement.

你们知道吗?如果在若干年后你们还仅仅记得“快乐的魔法师”这个笑话,那就证明我已经超越了男爵夫人玛丽·沃诺克。确定一个切实可行的目标——这是自我提升的第一步。


Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have earned in the 21 years that has expired between that day and this.

实际上,我为今天应该给大家讲些什么绞尽了脑汁。我曾自问,在当初自己的毕业典礼上我想要知道些什么呢?从毕业典礼那天到现在的21年里我得到了什么重要的经验和教训呢?


I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure.And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called "real life", I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

我想到了两个答案。今天是个美好的日子,我们欢聚一堂一起庆祝你们在学业上取得的成就。然而我决定跟你们谈谈失败的收益;同时,你们即将迈入“现实生活”,所以我还要褒扬想象力的极度重要性。


These may seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but hear with me.

这两点似乎是不切实际或自相矛盾的选择,但请先容我讲完。


J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for my self, and what those closest to me expected of me.

对于已经42岁的我来说,回忆21岁刚刚毕业时的情景并不是一件很舒服的事情。21年前,我一直都在自己的雄心和身边的人对我的期望之间寻求平衡。


I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my over active imagination was an amusing personal quirk that could never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension.

我一直深信,自己唯一想做的事情就是写小说。然而,我的父母家境都很贫困,两个人都没上过大学,他们认为我过于丰富的想象力是令人惊讶的怪癖,根本不足以让我支付按揭,或者获得足够的养老金。


I know the irony strikes like with the force of a cartoon anvil now, but...

我现在明白了反讽就像用卡通铁砧去打击你,但……


So they had hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English literature. A compromise was reaced that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages.Hardly had my parents' car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.

他们希望我取得高职学位,而我却想攻读英国文学。最后,我和父母达成了妥协,我改学现代语言,现在回想起来,当时双方都不怎么满意。于是,父母的车刚一开远,我就丢下德语,去学习古典文学。


I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.

我不记得告诉过父母自己在学习古典文学,他们可能是在我毕业典礼那一天才知道的。我想,他们也许认为,在全世界的所有专业中,不会有比研究希腊神话更没用的专业了,那甚至无法换来一间独立宽敞的卫生间。



J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of iew. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction;the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibily lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticize my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.

在这里我想说明一点:我不会因为父母的观点而怪他们。不要因为父母给你的人生路指错了方向就无休止地埋怨他们。当你到一定年龄,可以自己把握人生时,就应该自己承担责任。再者,父母这样做是希望我不会过穷日子,所以我不能责怪他们。他们经历了贫穷,我后来也一度很穷,所以我很理解他们,因为贫穷并不是一种高贵的经历。贫穷会让人感觉恐惧、有压力,有时甚至让人感觉沮丧。贫穷意味着说不尽的羞辱和艰辛。靠自己的努力摆脱贫穷值得自豪,只有傻瓜才会将贫穷浪漫化。


What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.

像你们这么大时我最害怕的不是贫穷,而是失败。


At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivationat university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing storeis, and far too little time atlectures, I had a knack for passing examinations,and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.

像你们这么大时,尽管我明显缺乏在大学学习的动力,花大量时间在咖啡馆写小说,用于听课的时间很少,但我却有通过考试的本领。多年来,考试一直是衡量我和同龄人成功的标准。


J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


Now I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated,you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculatedanyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

我不会笨到因为你们年轻、有才华并且受过良好的教育,就认为你们从来没有经受过困难或心碎的时刻。才华和智慧并不能使人摆脱命运的反复无常;我也从来没有认为在座的每一个人一直以来都享有优越感和满足感。


However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for sucess. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person's idea of success, so high have you already flown.

然而,即将从哈佛毕业这一事实就意味着你们很少会经历失败。你们对失败的恐惧很可能与你们对成功的渴望一样强烈。实际上,你们眼中的失败可能在常人看来就是成功,毕竟你们在学业上已经相当成功了。


Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite ager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as pooras it is possible to in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had forme, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

最终,我们所有人都必须自己判断什么是失败,但是如果你乐意的话,这个世界是非常渴望给你一套标准的。因此根据任何传统的标准都可以说,我在毕业后的短短七年里经历了惨痛的失败:短暂的婚姻闪电般破裂,失业,成为单身母亲。在现代化的英国,我变得极度贫困,只是还没有到无家可归的地步。父母和我自己对未来的担忧,当年都变成了现实。无论按什么标准,当时我都是我所知道的最失败的人。



J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one,and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairytale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

现在,我不打算站在这里告诉你们失败是有趣的。那段日子是我生命中的黑暗岁月,我不知道我会写出被新闻界称为“童话故事的革命”的作品。我也不知道自己还要在黑暗中走多久,不知道还要过多久才能看到希望的光芒而不是现实的黑暗。


So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was,and began to direct all my energy into finshing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

那么我为什么要谈论失败的收益呢?很简单,因为失败意味着剔除那些无关紧要的东西。因此我不再伪装自己,我把所有的精力倾注在对我来说最重要的事情上。如果我真的在其他领域取得了成功,或许我永远都不会下定决心在我确信真正发于我的舞台上取得成功。我得到了解脱,因为虽然我最害怕的事情已经发生了,但我还活着,还有一个我深爱着的女儿,一台旧打字机和一个了不起的想法。所以人生的低俗是我重新开始生活的坚实基础。


J·K·罗琳精彩演讲:The benefits of failure - 向阳英语教育 - 向阳英语教育的博客


You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all--in which case, you fail by default.

你们也许不会败得像我这么惨,但人生中有些失败是不可避免的。人生中不可能没有失败,除非你们活得过于谨慎,这样倒还不如根本没在世上活过,因为在这种情况下,放弃尝试的权利就是你们最大的失败。


Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had astrong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.

失败赋予我内心一种安全感。这种安全感是我无法从通过考试中获得的。失败让我了解了自己,这也是无法通过其他途径做到的。经历失败让我发现我有坚强的意志力,比我想象的更有自律性。我还发现,我拥有比宝石更加珍贵的朋友。


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