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「David Foster Wallace談目標抱負」- David Foster Wallace on Ambition


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You know that the whole thing about perfectionism...the perfectionism is very dangerous, because, of course, if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in...it's actually kind of tragic, because it means you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is. And ugh, there were couple of years where I really struggle with that.
你知道關於完美主義這整件事...完美主義是非常危險的,因為,當然,如果你對完美主義的忠誠度太高,你永遠不會做任何事情。因為做任何事情會造成...它其實有點悲哀,因為它意味著你為了它的真相,犧牲你腦袋中多麼燦爛、完美的東西。還有啊,有幾年我真的為此非常掙扎。

I played (real) serious tennis when I was a child. I played it enough to...to start to feel like it was beautiful.
當我是個孩子的時候,我很大量地打網球。我打得多到...開始感覺好像它很美麗。

You were seventeenth in the United States Tennis Association Western Section when you were fourteen years old.
你在美國網球協會西區排名第十七,在你十四歲的時候。

That sounds very impressive. That's a regional ranking, and it means that I was probably four thousandth in the nation for my age group.
那聽起來很令人欽佩。那是個地區排名,而它意味著在我的年齡組裡,我大概是全國第四千名。

But could you have been better? Was it a matter of choice that you didn't pursue it?
但你曾有可能更好嗎?是取決於選擇以至於你不去追求它嗎?

I perhaps could have been somewhat better. One of the interesting things about playing competitive sports as a child is that you confront your own limitations rather starkly at a certain point. For the first couple of years I was very good and was regarded as promising. And then after I developed for two or three years, it became very clear exactly how good I was gonna be, which was I could probably be a good college player, but that I was never gonna have professional potential.
我也許可能會稍微強一點。孩提時關於從事競技運動其中一件趣事是在某個時間點,你更加赤裸裸地面臨自己的極限。起初的幾年我很棒,而且被看作是大有可為。接著在我發展了兩、三年之後,我將會有多好就變得非常明顯了,那就是我也許可以成為一個好的大學球員,但我將永遠不會有職業選手的潛力。

And so, you passed up on it.
所以,你放棄它了。

I didn't pass up on it. I kept playing. But there was a difference between training. I mean, the people who seriously, seriously play, devote their lives to it, sort of the way monks do. I mean, you don't date. You go to bed at a certain time. You eat certain ways. You practice ten to twelve hours a day. And I mean, the difference between practicing three hours a day and practicing twelve hours a day is everything. And I certainly never...I never trained seriously after the age of sixteen.
我沒有放棄它。我繼續打。但訓練之間是有差別的。我是說,那些很認真、很認真在打的人,將一生奉獻給它,有點像是和尚的做法。我意思是,你不約會。你在特定時間睡覺。你以吃特定方面的東西。你一天練習十到十二個小時。我是說,一天練三小時和一天練十二小時之間的差別就是最重要的一切。而我無疑的從未...我十六歲以後從來沒有嚴格訓練過。

Were you also, at that point, attracted to other things, like writing?
你也,在那個時候,為其他東西所吸引嗎,像是寫作?

I wasn't all that attracted to writing originally. I read a great deal. My parents read a great deal. I do know that as my interest in tennis waned, my interest in academics increased. I mean, I started doing my homework in high school and discovering that it was somewhat fun. And then in college, I barely even played on the team because just classes were a lot more interesting.
我一開始並沒有完全那麼地被寫作給吸引。我很大量地閱讀。我父母很大量地閱讀。我的確知道當我對網球的興趣消逝,我對學業的興趣就增加了。我是說,我在高中開始做我的功課,並發現它有點兒好玩。然後接著在大學,我甚至幾乎沒有打球隊,就是因為課程要有趣得多了。

But then there's also the drug factor here, which plays a major role in this book.
但隨後這裡也有藥物因素,那在這本書裡扮演一個重要的角色。

Yeah.
對耶。

You know, it's really interesting. I was a very difficult person to teach when I was a student. And I thought that I was smarter than my teachers. They told me a lot of things that I thought were retrograde or outdated or B.S. And ugh, I've learned more teaching in the last three years than I ever learned as a student. And a lot of it is that when you see students work, where the point, whether it's stated or not, is basically that they are clever, and to try to articulate to the students how empty and frustrating it is for a reader to invest their time and attention in something and to feel that the agenda is basically to show you that the writer is clever.
你知道,這很有趣。當我是個學生的時候,我是個很難教的人。我認為我比我的老師們更聰明。他們告訴我很多東西我認為是退步、落伍的或是胡說八道。然後啊,過去三年我學到的教學,比作為一個學生所曾學到的要更多。其中很多是當你看著學生們工作時,重點是,不管有沒有聲明的,基本上就是他們很聰明,然後試著明白清晰地告訴學生對一名讀者來說是有多麼地空虛、挫折,去投資他們的時間和注意力在某個東西上,然後覺得那議題基本上是要告訴你作者很聰明。

All the kind of stuff, right? When I'm doing my little onanistic, clever stuff in grad school, that when my professors would talk to me about it, I would go, "Well, they don't understand. I'm a genius. Blah, blah, blah, blah." Now that I'm the teacher, I'm starting to learn. It's like the older you get, the smarter your parents get. Now I'm starting to learn that they had some smart stuff to tell me.
所有的東西,是吧?當我在研究所,做我那小小自滿、聰明的小玩意時,當我的教授們會跟我談到它時,我會說:「嗯,他們不了解。我是個天才。啦,啦,啦,啦。」現在我是老師,我開始學習。它就好像是你越老,你的父母親就變得越聰明。現在我開始得知他們有些聰明的東西要告訴我。

And you're probably further victimized by all of this because certain kinds of students will gravitate to your class. And those are people who think that they're kindred spirits.
你也許更進一步地為全部這些所害,因為某些特定類型的學生會被吸引來到你的課堂。而那些人是認為他們是志趣相投的人。

Yeah, in a certain way. Although the only way that I'm well-known at Illinois State is that I'm the "grammar Nazi." And so any student whose deployment of a semi-colon is not absolutely Mozart-esque knows that they're gonna get a C in my class, and so my classes tend to have like four students in them. It's really a lot of fun.
對,某種方式來說。雖然我在伊利諾州大唯一的出名方式就是我是個「文法納粹」。所以任何學生他的分號的配置不是絕對莫扎特式般完美,知道他們在我的課堂上會拿個C,因此我的課傾向於好像只有四個學生。真的很有趣。

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