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如何挑选学校毕业典礼演讲嘉宾?

2014-05-27    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

There must be a better way to choose commencement speakers.
一定有更好的办法来挑选毕业典礼演讲人。

The latest contretemps involves International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, who was scheduled to give the graduation address at Smith College. She announced on Monday that she wouldn't be making the trip to Northampton, Mass., because 477 students and faculty had signed a petition objecting to her speaking. Nine days earlier, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made the same decision, for essentially the same reason, about her planned speech at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
最近,国际货币基金组织(IMF)总裁克里斯蒂娜•拉加德遇到了尴尬。拉加德原计划前往马萨诸塞州北安普顿并在史密斯学院(Smith College)的毕业典礼上发表演说。但她在随后的周一宣布取消这个行程,原因是该校477名师生联名发表请愿书,反对拉加德前来演讲。九天前,美国前国务卿康多莉扎•赖斯也决定取消前往新泽西州罗格斯大学(Rutgers University)发表毕业典礼演说的计划,原因和拉加德基本相同。

The reason there must be a better way to choose these speakers is not that Lagarde or Rice were poor choices. To the contrary, I believe they were both outstanding choices. The problem is that both speakers were right to withdraw, which they did by the same sound logic. Lagarde said she did so "to preserve the celebratory spirit of commencement day." Rice said, "Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration," which she didn't want to spoil by showing up and making a lot of people mad.
一定有更好的办法来挑选毕业典礼演讲人,我这么说不是因为选择拉加德或者赖斯不够理想。正相反,我认为她们俩都是出色的候选人。问题在于她们取消行程是正确的做法,而且出于同样合理的逻辑。拉加德表示,她这样做是为了“毕业典礼那天能够保持喜庆的气氛”。赖斯也说:“毕业典礼应该是个欢乐喜庆的时刻”,她不想因为自己的出现让很多人感到不满,从而破坏了这样的氛围。

So the administrators of both schools ended up embarrassed, offending an invited guest, and having to rustle up a replacement on short notice, who will step to the podium knowing the audience regards him or her as a make-do choice whose primary qualification was availability.
最终,陷入尴尬境地的是两所高校的管理方——他们冒犯了自己邀请的嘉宾,还得再去物色、仓促通知替代的人选;后者在登台时还会想到,台下的师生会把自己当成“临时凑数的(演讲嘉宾)”,能够有资格发表演说的主要原因是“有空”。

Of course students have been protesting campus speakers forever. Just last fall, then-New York City police chief Ray Kelly was heckled out of the room at Brown University during a much lower-profile appearance, in clear violation of the university's code that prohibits such behavior. To state the obvious, a university needs to remain a safe haven for every point of view, which lives or dies in reasoned debate.
当然,学生永远都会对到自己学校发表演说的人提出异议。去年秋天,时任纽约市警察局长的雷•凯利曾到访布朗大学(Brown University),而且他的这次露面要比拉加德和赖斯低调得多,但他还是在学生的起哄声中离去——学生的这种行为显然有悖于布朗大学的规定。高校需要继续成为让人们安然表达任何观点的地方,无论这些观点能否经受住理性辩论的考验,这一点显而易见。

But commencement is different. A commencement speaker is not just someone with an interesting perspective for members of the academic community to hear and discuss. That person is being honored. And, as Lagarde and Rice noted, the occasion is a happy one. That's why the band plays "GaudeamusIgitur" ("Let Us Rejoice").
但毕业典礼与众不同。毕业典礼上的演讲者不光要提出吸引人的观点,以便学术界人士聆听和讨论。它对这位演讲者来说还是一项荣誉。而且,正如拉加德和赖斯所言,毕业典礼是个欢快的场合。正因为如此,乐队才会在毕业典礼上演奏《GaudeamusIgitur》(拉丁语,意为“让我们欢庆”)。

The protesting students and faculty of Smith and Rutgers may be utterly, sadly misguided in objecting to Lagarde and Rice, as I believe they are -- but who cares what I think? If the choice of a particular speaker is going to whip some significant portion of the community into a fury, then it's best that that person not appear -- and not be invited in the first place.
史密斯学院和罗格斯大学反对拉加德和赖斯在毕业典礼上演讲的师生可能完全是受到了误导,这是件很遗憾的事情——我相信情况就是这样。但谁会在乎我怎么想呢?如果校方挑选的演讲人会让很大一部分师生感到不满,这个人最好就不要出现。当然,校方从一开始就不应该向他发出邀请。

So here's my solution: Hold a vote. Everyone on campus can participate, and everyone will know that the winner has majority support. I don't actually think this solution will produce electrifying commencement speakers. I suspect it will produce platitude-spouting mediocrities. After a few years of those, who knows -- the community might begin to wonder if maybe brilliant, accomplished people whose views one doesn't entirely share could be worth listening to anyway.
我想到的办法是让大家投票。学校里的任何人都可以参加投票,而且所有人都会看到,胜出的人得到了多数人的支持。其实,我觉得用这样的办法不会选出让人倍感激动的毕业典礼演讲人。我甚至怀疑投票选出的演讲者将是个只会老生常谈的平庸之辈。也许,经过几次这样的投票后,高校师生可能会开始猜测,虽然他们并不完全赞同那些杰出成功人士的观点,但无论如何后者的演讲都有可能值得一听。



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