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雅思阅读材料大集合:振奋人心的毕业致辞能激励你多久

2019-02-10 14:42:00来源:网络

  以下是新东方在线雅思网给大家分享的雅思阅读材料大集合:振奋人心的毕业致辞能激励你多久,希望对大家的雅思备考有所帮助,更多雅思备考资料欢迎大家随时关注新东方在线雅思网。

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  Six long decades ago George Marshall, the American secretary of state, delivered the commencement speech at Harvard University's graduation ceremony. Back then, in 1947, he did not feel the need to pander to his young audience: instead of offering anecdotes about his own life or giving career advice, he delivered a lofty appeal to the American people to save the war-battered continent of Europe.

  六十年前,时任美国国务卿的乔治•马歇尔(George Marshall)在哈佛大学(Harvard University)的毕业典礼上致辞。当时(1947年),马歇尔并未感到有必要去迎合那些年轻的听众;他没有分享自己的人生趣事或是给出职业建议,而是高屋建瓴地呼吁美国人民去拯救战后满目疮痍的欧洲大陆。

  “The truth of the matter is that Europe's requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products - principally from America - are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help,” Marshall solemnly told the students as he outlined, for the first time, his putative “Marshall plan”. “The remedy lies in breaking the vicious circle and restoring the confidence of the European people.”

  马歇尔严肃地告诉台下的学生们:“事实上,欧洲在未来三到四年间需要外国(主要是美国)提供的食品以及其他重要物资,远远超过了欧洲目前的支付能力,因此欧洲必须得到大量额外援助。”这是他首次阐述所谓 “马歇尔计划”的政策纲要。他说:“解决问题的关键在于打破当前的恶性循环,并让欧洲民众重拾信心。”

  How times change. At this time of year, hundreds of universities and other educational institutions across America are holding their own commencement rituals. And, as in Marshall's time, these are solemn, high-stakes events. Little surprise: in modern America, commencement ceremonies have almost become akin to “coming of age” ceremonies. As an anthropologist might say, they are a liminal ritual that marks a changing social state, and thus forces people to reflect on the values they want to inculcate in the next generation.

  如今时代是多么不同啊。在一年中的这个时候,美国各地的数百所大学以及其他教育机构正在举行自己的毕业典礼。和马歇尔时代一样,这些也都是都是庄严而重要的活动。意料之中的是,在当代的美国社会,毕业典礼已近乎成为一种类似“成年礼”的仪式。人类学家或许会说,毕业典礼是一种标志社会状态变化的过渡性仪式,因此也迫使人们思考他们希望传递给下一代怎样的价值观。

  But if Marshall could have heard this year's crop of commencement speeches - or secular “sermons” - he might have been shocked. Never mind the fact that modern etiquette demands that today's commencement speeches are very short, usually lasting a mere 12-15 minutes; and ignore the fact that the speeches are now deliberately directed at students, not society as a whole. What is really striking is that the ranks of civic notables who are delivering these sermons are no longer limited to senior politicians or even judges and religious leaders.

  但假如马歇尔能够听到今年的这批毕业致辞——或者说是俗世“布道”——他或许会深感震惊。且不论现代礼仪要求如今的毕业致辞短小精炼(时长通常仅为12到15分钟)这一事实,也忽略现在的毕业致辞专门针对学生、而非面向社会整体这一点。真正让人感到震惊的是,如今在毕业典礼上布道的名人已不再局限于资深政治家、法官以及宗教。

  On the contrary, writers, business leaders, sportsmen, TV personalities, entertainers and scientists now dominate the ranks. Thus students this year have heard from people such as Oprah Winfrey (chat-show host); Jim Yong Kim (head of the World Bank); Julie Andrews (actress); Annie Lennox (singer); Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist); the Dalai Lama (the Buddhist leader); Arianna Huffington (journalist); and Sheri McCoy (CEO of Avon Products). True, there have been some politicians and senior government officials: Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Michael Bloomberg have spoken too. But after perusing the numbers, it seems to me that the statesmen were vastly outnumbered by cultural commentators. (In the interests of disclosure I should admit that I have skewed that list too, since I was one of several journalists who spoke, in my case at Baruch College in New York.)

  相反,作家、商界、运动员、电视名人、演艺界人士以及科学家如今成为毕业致辞者的主流。今年的毕业生们聆听了以下名人的致辞:奥普拉•温弗瑞(Oprah Winfrey,脱口秀主持人)、金墉(Jim Yong Kim,世界银行(World Bank)行长)、朱莉•安德鲁斯(Julie Andrews,演员)、安妮•伦诺克斯(Annie Lennox,歌手)、奈尔•德格拉斯•泰森(Neil deGrasse Tyson,天文物理学家)、达赖喇嘛(Dalai Lama,佛教)、阿里安娜•赫芬顿(Arianna Huffington,新闻工作者)以及雪莉•麦科伊(Sheri McCoy,雅芳(Avon Products)首席执行官)。的确,在致辞者中也有一些政治家和政府官员:巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)、科瑞•布克(Cory Booker)、柯尔斯顿•吉利布兰德(Kirsten Gillibrand)以及迈克尔•布隆伯格(Michael Bloomberg)也在今年的毕业典礼上发表了演讲。但我仔细研读数据后发现,政治家的数量远远少于文化评论家。(出于信息公开的目的,我应该坦诚,我自己也有份使这份名单变得比例失衡,因为我也是受邀发表毕业致辞的几位新闻工作者之一,在纽约市立大学柏鲁克分校(Baruch College, The City University of New York))做了演讲。)

  And there is another shift too: the “me” factor. Five or six decades ago, statesmen did not usually talk about themselves in public. They preferred to focus on lofty policy ideas. These days, some politicians still discuss politics. But most do not: instead, the overriding fashion for speakers is to talk about their own inner journeys and individual struggles. Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, did this particularly brilliantly in 2005 when he told Stanford students about how cancer, career twists and marriage had shaped his life. “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life,” he advised. But numerous actors, writers and other speakers have done the same. This year's address to the University of Michigan by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo explained to students how career failure had made him more creative, and left him convinced that “you can't plan a script” for life and just have to “be in this moment”. In place of high-policy plans to rescue Europe, in other words, there is personal, self-help philosophy. I dare say some FT readers might feel somewhat appalled by this. After all, the changing tone partly reflects the fact we live in a more individualistic, entertainment-obsessed, consumer-focused age, where students expect advice to be given in bite-sized chunks, with a lacing of emotion to grab their attention. But there is a more optimistic interpretation: the shift also reflects a more inclusive, egalitarian age. Six decades ago, statesmen such as Marshall inhabited a world that was distant from most people's lives. The boundaries between politicians, public intellectuals, entertainers and business leaders are blurring. Politicians today might feel pressure to talk about their “private lives”; but actors, singers and chat-show hosts also face pressure to take a stance on “public” issues and civic questions - be that in commencement sermons or anywhere else.

  除此之外还有一大转变,即“自我”元素的兴起。五六十年前,政治家们通常不会在公众场合谈论自己的事情。他们倾向于将注意力集中在崇高的政策理念上。如今一些政治家仍在谈论政治,但绝大多数人已经不再这么做。如今最主流的演讲模式是,演讲者讲述他们自己的心路历程以及个人奋斗史。已经去世的苹果(Apple)公司创始人史蒂夫•乔布斯(Steve Jobs)在2005年时就极为高明地运用了这一模式,当时他与斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的学生分享了癌症、职业转变以及婚姻改变人生的经历。乔布斯建议道:“你的时间是有限的,所以不要浪费时间过别人过的生活。”但无数演员、作家以及其他致辞者也运用了同样的演讲模式。今年Twitter的首席执行官迪克•科斯托洛(Dick Costolo)在密歇根大学(University of Michigan)的毕业典礼上对同学们讲述,他在职业道路上的挫折如何使他变得更富创造力,并使他相信“你无法预制人生的剧本”,而应当“活在当下”。换句话说,个人的自助哲学取代了拯救欧洲的高层政策方案。我敢说,英国《金融时报》的部分读者对此会感到有些震惊。毕竟演讲主题的转变所部分反映出的事实是,我们生活在一个更加个人主义、更注重娱乐、消费者导向性更明显的时代,学生们希望获得像切得大小适合入口的食物那样立等可用的建议,并配以一点情感元素以抓住他们的注意力。但也有人对此作出更加乐观的解读:这种转变还反映出了一个更加包容、更加平等主义的时代氛围。六十年前,像马歇尔这样的政治家所生活的圈子,距离绝大多数人的生活很遥远。而现在,政治家、公共知识分子、演艺界人士以及商界之间的界限正变得模糊。如今的政治家可能要被迫谈论自己的“私人生活”,但演员、歌手以及脱口秀主持人也要被迫就“公共”事务以及公民问题表明立场——不论是在毕业致辞时还是在任何其他场合上。

  Of course, it is an open question whether any students ever actually listen to any of this; far less remember it later. Most of the graduates are pretty bleary-eyed and relieved by the time they get into that stadium; their parents doubly so. But perhaps the real value of all those speeches-cum-sermons is that they are collectively creating an extraordinary body of literature that will enable future historians to study how America's leaders wanted to present themselves in the 20th and 21st centuries. As such, it is a peculiarly admirable tradition. Even - or particularly - in an age when a 13-minute speech has come to seem to many graduates as if it is “long”.

  当然,有没有毕业生真能把演讲者们的任何建议听进去是一个有待商榷的问题,听过之后还能记得住的人更是少之又少。绝大多数毕业生在走进礼堂的那一刻通常都是稀里糊涂并且感到如释重负,他们的父母更是加倍如此。但或许所有这些演讲(也是布道)的真正价值在于,他们共同构成了一类非同寻常的文体,未来的历史学家能够借此研究二十世界和二十一世纪的美国们希望展示出怎样的自我形象。就此来说,毕业致辞是一项非常可贵的传统。即便在一个许多毕业生觉得一个13分钟的演讲似乎也为时过长的时代里也是如此,或者说尤为如此。


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