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College’s Priceless Value 大学真正的价值

2016-06-05 23:13[大学英语] 来源: 评论:

导读:在你的教育经历中,对人生产生最大影响的是什么?

最新双语-大学真正的价值

What’s the most transformative educational experience you’ve had?

在你的教育经历中,对人生产生最大影响的是什么?

I was asked this question recently, and for a few seconds it stumped me, mainly because I’ve never viewed learning as a collection of eureka moments. It’s a continuum, a lifelong awakening to the complexity of the world.

最近我问了自己这个问题,一时找不出答案,这主要是因为,我从来没有把学习当做一个个醍醐灌顶的瞬间。学习是个持续的过程,是毕其一生去领悟这个世界的复杂性。

But then something did come to mind, not a discrete lesson but a moving image, complete with soundtrack. I saw a woman named Anne Hall swooning and swaying as she stood at the front of a classroom in Chapel Hill, N.C., and explained the rawness and majesty of emotion in “King Lear.”

然而,我很快还真的想到了一些东西,它并非可以独立出来的一课,而是一段运动的画面,配有音轨。我看见一个叫安·霍尔(Anne Hall)的女人站在北卡罗来纳州教堂山的一间教室前,陶醉地摆动着身躯,讲解《李尔王》(King Lear)中情感的本真和庄严。

I heard three words: “Stay a little.” They’re Lear’s plea to Cordelia, the truest of his three daughters, as she slips away. When Hall recited them aloud, it wasn’t just her voice that trembled. It was all of her.

我听到三个字:“等一等。”("Stay a little.")那是他在哀求即将离世的科迪利娅,他的三个女儿中最忠诚的一个。霍尔高声念出这三个字,颤抖的不只是她的声音。还有她的全身。

She taught a course on Shakespeare’s tragedies: “Lear,” “Macbeth,” “Othello.” It was by far my favorite class at the University of North Carolina, which I attended in the mid-1980s, though I couldn’t and can’t think of any bluntly practical application for it, not unless you’re bound for a career on the stage or in academia.

她开了一个莎士比亚悲剧课程, 包括《李尔王》、《麦克白》(Macbeth)和《奥瑟罗》(Othello)。那是我在1980年代中期就读北卡罗来纳大学(University of North Carolina)期间最喜爱的课,虽然无论当时还是现在,我都想不出修这门课有任何显而易见的实际意义,除非你打算以戏剧为业,或进入学术界。

I headed in neither direction. So I guess I was just wasting my time, at least according to a seemingly growing chorus of politicians and others whose metrics for higher education are skill acquisition and job placement.

我最终没有往这两个方向发展。所以我想,我只是浪费了时间吧,至少我从越来越多的政客和其他人士口中听到的是这样,他们都认为,高等教育的衡量标准是技能获取和就业安置。

Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin and a likely presidential candidate, signaled his membership in this crowd when he recently proposed a 13 percent cut in state support for the University of Wisconsin. According to several reports, he simultaneously toyed with changing the language of the university’s mission statement so that references to the “search for truth” and the struggle to “improve the human condition” would be replaced by an expressed concern for “the state’s work force needs.”

威斯康星州长、有望成为总统候 选人的斯科特·沃克(Scott Walker)近日的言行表明,他也是这么想的,他提议对威斯康星大学(University of Wisconsin)削减13%的州府拨款。据多方报道,他同时还在考虑改变该大学的校训,要把“寻找真相”和勉力“改善人类状况”等表述换成满足“州内 劳动力之需”这样的具体担忧。

I’m not sure where “Lear” fits into work force needs.

我不知道《李尔王》该如何满足劳动力的需求。

The debate over the rightful role of college goes a long way back. Michael Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, documented as much in his 2014 book, “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters.” He noted that Thomas Jefferson exalted learning for learning’s sake, while Ben Franklin registered disdain for people who spent too much time in lecture halls.

关于大学该发挥何种作用的争 论,很久之前就已经展开。卫斯理大学(Wesleyan University)校长迈克尔·罗斯(Michael Roth)在2014年出版的著作《大学之外:自由主义教育之必要》(Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters)中做出了相关阐述。他提出,托马斯·杰斐逊(Thomas Jefferson)对为学习而学习的观念十分推崇,而本·富兰克林(Ben Franklin)则对那些花很多时间在演讲厅的人表示不屑。

Ronald Reagan did, too. In 1967, just after he became the governor of California, he moved to slash spending for the University of California system and its eclectic menu of instruction, announcing that taxpayers shouldn’t be “subsidizing intellectual curiosity” and that “there are certain intellectual luxuries that perhaps we could do without.”

罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)也是这样。1967年就任加利福尼亚州长后,他对加州大学系统的财政支出和兼收并蓄的课程表进行了大幅削减,宣称不应该让纳税人“去资助知识分子的好奇心”,而且“某些知识奢侈品,就算没了,对我们可能也没什么影响”。

That was a pivotal moment in the discussion of higher education’s ideal benefits, after which “the balance started to tip toward utility,” according to a recent essay by Dan Berrett in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Titled “The Day the Purpose of College Changed,” it looked back at Reagan’s remarks. It also recalled President Obama’s, in particular a seemingly dismissive comment last year about art history degrees. Obama has called for a rating system that would take into account how reliably colleges place their graduates into high-paying jobs.

丹·贝瑞特(Dan Berrett)近日发表在《高等教育纪事报》(The Chronicle of Higher Education)上的一篇文章表示,这在关于高等教育理想益处的讨论中,是一个转折点,在这之后“天平开始向功利倾斜”。这篇题为《那一天,大学的目 的被改变》(The Day the Purpose of College Changed)的文章回顾了里根的言论。奥巴马总统去年就艺术史学位发表的那段看起来相当轻蔑的看法,也在文中有提及。奥巴马呼吁建立一个评分系统,把 毕业生得到高薪职位的状况作为大学问责的一项评估指标。

Neither he nor Walker is wrong to raise that issue, given the high cost of higher education and the fierce competition in the world. Students shouldn’t be blind to the employment landscape.

他和沃克提出这个问题不无道理,毕竟高等教育的成本高昂,而且我们身处一个竞争极度激烈的世界。学生不应该对就业形势充耳不闻。

But it’s impossible to put a dollar value on a nimble, adaptable intellect, which isn’t the fruit of any specific course of study and may be the best tool for an economy and a job market that change unpredictably.

但敏锐而富有适应力的才智,是很难用金钱来衡量价值的,它并非任何具体的学习课程的结果,但在一个瞬息万变的经济和招聘市场里,它可能是最佳的工具。

And it’s dangerous to forget that in a democracy, college isn’t just about making better engineers but about making better citizens, ones whose eyes have been opened to the sweep of history and the spectrum of civilizations.

在一个民主社会,大学的用途不仅仅是培养工程师,而且要培养更好的公民,要让他们去领略浩瀚的历史和多种多样的文明。忘记这一点是很危险的。

It’s also foolish to belittle what those of us in Hall’s class got from Shakespeare and from her illumination of his work.

去贬低我们这些霍尔的学生从莎士比亚那里学到的东西,以及她对那些作品的真知灼见,也是愚蠢的。

“Stay a little.” She showed how that simple request harbored such grand anguish, capturing a fallen king’s hunger for connection and his tenuous hold on sanity and contentment. And thus she taught us how much weight a few syllables can carry, how powerful the muscle of language can be.

“等一等。”她让我们看到,一个简单的要求里可以藏纳如此宏大的痛苦,捕捉到一个落难的君王对情感联系的渴望,和对正常神志与生活满足感的脆弱把握。我们因此从她那里学到,寥寥几个音节可以承载何等的份量,语言的力量何其之大。

She demonstrated the rewards of close attention. And the way she did this — her eyes wild with fervor, her body aquiver with delight — was an encouragement of passion and a validation of the pleasure to be wrung from art. It informed all my reading from then on. It colored the way I listened to people and even watched TV.

她向我们证明注意力的专注会让你获益匪浅。她的专注——她的眼神狂热,颤栗的身体散发着喜悦——是一种激情的鼓舞,它证明我们可以从艺术得到怎样的愉悦。自那以后,我的一切阅读都遵循了这种方式。它甚至影响了我聆听他人、观看电视的方式。


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