新视野第二册第三单元(荷马史诗与奥德赛岁月)

一、荷马史诗
odyssey
Journeys of Odysseus - The Cyclops
二、奥德赛岁月
There used to be four common life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Now, there are at least six: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement and old age. Of the new ones, the least understood is odyssey, the decade of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood.
过去,人生通常被划分为四个阶段:童年、青春期、成年和老年。现在,人生至少分成六个阶段:童年、青春期、“奥德赛”时期、成年、活跃退休期和老年。在新出现的阶段中,最令人费解的就是“奥德赛”时期——这个阶段介于青春期与成年期之间。
During this decade, 20-somethings go to school and take breaks from school. They live with friends and they live at home. They fall in and out of love. They try one career and then try another.
在这个阶段(通常是20多岁),人们上学、放假;他们和朋友亲密相处,又和家人居住在一起;他们谈恋爱、失恋;他们尝试某种工作,然后又换工作。
Their parents grow increasingly anxious. These parents understand that there’s bound to be a transition phase between student life and adult life. But when they look at their own grown children, they see the transition stretching five years, seven and beyond. The parents don’t even detect a clear sense of direction in their children’s lives. They look at them and see the things that are being delayed.
他们的父母变得越来越忧心忡忡。这些父母知道,在学生生活和成人生活之间,肯定会有一个过渡阶段。但是,这些父母发现,在自己的孩子长大成人时,这个过渡时期拉长到了5年、7年乃至更久。在自己孩子的生活中,他们甚至察觉不到明确的方向感。这些父母看着自己的孩子,发现一些事情被推迟了。
They see that people in this age bracket are delaying marriage. They’re delaying having children. They’re delaying permanent employment. People who were born before 1964 tend to define adulthood by certain accomplishments — moving away from home, becoming financially independent, getting married and starting a family.
父母们发现,这个年龄段的人正在推迟结婚的时间,推迟要孩子的时间,推迟拥有稳定工作的时间。1964年以前出生的美国人,往往会用特定的举动来证明自己已经成年:从父母家里搬出去住、在经济上独立、结婚成家。
It’s possible to see that this period of improvisation is a sensible response to modern conditions.Social scientists have been trying to understand this new life phase.Through their work, you can see the spirit of fluidity that now characterizes this stage.Young people grow up in tightly structured childhoods, but then graduate into a world characterized by uncertainty, diversity, searching and tinkering. Old success recipes don’t apply, new norms have not been established and everything seems to give way to a less permanent version of itself. Dating gives way to Facebook and hooking up. Marriage gives way to cohabitation. Church attendance gives way to spiritual longing. Newspaper reading gives way to blogging. (In 1970, 49 percent of adults in their 20s read a daily paper; now it’s at 21 percent.)
“奥德赛”时期这样一段“临时拼凑”的时期,是对现代环境的合理反映。社会科学家们一直试图理解这个新的人生阶段。通过他们的著作,我们会看到这个阶段所特有的不稳定性。年轻人从父母们安排好的童年中长大,然后步入一个充满不确定性和多样性的世界。旧的成功模式不再适用,新的法则尚未确立,一切事物似乎都被一种不那么长久的版本取代:网恋取代了约会,同居取代了结婚,做白日梦取代了上教堂,写博客取代了看报纸(1970年,在20多岁的人中,有49%是一份日报的读者,而现在的这一比例是21%)。
The job market is fluid. Graduating seniors don’t find corporations offering them jobs that will guide them all the way to retirement. Instead they find a vast menu of information economy options, few of which they have heard of or prepared for.
如今,就业市场是不稳定的。即将毕业的大四学生找不到能够让他们一直干到退休的工作,取而代之的是社会中的大量就业机会,而他们对其中大多数闻所未闻或者没有丝毫准备。
Social life is fluid. There’s been a shift in the balance of power between the genders. Thirty-six percent of female workers in their 20s now have a college degree, compared with 23 percent of male workers. Male wages have stagnated over the past decades, while female wages have risen.This has fundamentally scrambled the courtship rituals and decreased the pressure to get married. Educated women can get many of the things they want (income, status, identity) without marriage, while they find it harder (or, if they’re working-class, next to impossible) to find a suitably accomplished mate.
社会生活是不稳定的。男女之间的均势发生了变化。如今,在美国20多岁的职业女性当中,拥有大学本科学历者的比例,远高于同年龄段的男性。在过去几十年里,男性的工资水平停滞不前,而女性的工资却不断上涨。这从根本上打乱了求偶的惯例。受过教育的女性,不必结婚就可以得到自己想要的许多东西,而找到一名适合自己的成功男性却变得越来越难。
The odyssey years are not about slacking off. There are intense competitive pressures as a result of the vast numbers of people chasing relatively few opportunities. Moreover, surveys show that people living through these years have highly traditional aspirations (they rate parenthood more highly than their own parents did) even as they lead improvising lives.Rather, what we’re seeing is the creation of a new life phase, just as adolescence came into being a century ago.
“奥德赛”时期并不是在放松偷懒。由于有很多人在争夺相对很少的机会,导致了巨大的竞争压力。有调查显示,虽然过的是“临时拼凑”的生活,但经历过这段时期的“过来人”,都有着十分传统的渴求(他们比他们的父母更看重“为人父母”)。更确切地说,我们所看到的是一个新人生阶段的出现,就好像青春期这个概念多年前刚刚出现时一样。

感悟:
奥德修斯于特洛伊攻陷后体验了十年流浪的种种经历,而当我们走出懵懂青涩的青春期,向社会迈出第一步的时候,我们的惆怅茫然,我们的自我探索,应该算得上是一种“流浪”。
这一时期,人游走于社会与校园,徘徊于多样的选择;与朋友合租,抑或和父母同住;感受爱情的甜蜜,又饱尝失恋的痛苦;他们不愿过早地安定,他们有些许的壮志未酬,于是婚期可以不断延迟,工作可以不断改变。
他们的父辈也曾经历这样的阶段,但今天的这代人所处的,所想的,所面对的又是多么纷繁复杂,当这个时期在他们手中无限期地拉长时,再宽容理解的父母都会焦急不安。
但是,这不是不愿负责任的一代,只是太多的责任需要一双足够坚实的肩膀去承担。这不是颓废无知的时期,只是更多的精力需要量的积累和质的提升。
如果社会给予漂流在“奥德赛时期”的男男女女更多的理解,更多的关注,如果家庭在传统与非传统的挣扎中重新审视,如果在青春期的尾巴,奥德赛的开始就努力探索,准确定位,那么奥德赛时期的分分秒秒,日日夜夜不是无目的的徒劳,也不是无休止的幻想。它依旧是美丽的人生阶段,你主宰了它,它更塑造了你!
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发布日期:2016年12月02日  所属分类:微课分享  英语读写