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Michelle Obama’s Final Speech as First Lady

图片 2经典双语美文:寻找迷失的自我

文本来源:
http://time.com/4626283/michelle-obama-final-remarks-transcript/
有删减

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves。” ~Henry
David
Thoreau迷失自我,才能发现自我。——亨利·大卫·梭罗(美国作家及自然主义者)

We wanted to make higher education cool. We wanted to change the
conversation around what it means and what it takes to be a success in
this country. Because let’s be honest, if we’re always shining the
spotlight on professional athletes or recording artists or Hollywood
celebrities, if those are the only achievements we celebrate, then why
would we ever think kids would see college as a priority?

Everything about my future wasambiguouslyassumed. I would get into debt
by going to college, then I would be forced to get a job to pay off that
debt, while still getting into more and more debt by buying a house and
a car. It seemed like a never-ending cycle that had no place for the
possibility of a
dream。我们未来的一切似乎都模糊地设定好了,利用贷款上大学,然后为了还债被迫去找一份工作,还要为了买房买车背负更多的债务……这仿佛是一个无休止的循环,让我们的梦想没有实现的机会。

So we decided to flip the script and shine a big, bright spotlight on
all things educational. For example, we made College Signing Day a
national event. We wanted to mimic all the drama and excitement
traditionally reserved for those few amazing football and basketball
players choosing their college and university teams. We wanted to focus
that same level of energy and attention on kids going to college because
of their academic achievements. Because as a nation, that’s where the
spotlight should also be — on kids who work hard in school and do the
right thing when no one is watching, many beating daunting odds.

I want more—but not necessarily in the material sense of personal wealth
and success. I want more out of life. I want a passion, aconceptualdream
that wouldn’t let me sleep out of pure excitement. I want to spring out
of bed in the morning, rain or shine, and have that zest for life that
seemed sointrinsicin early
childhood。我们想要的更多——并不是对于个人财富和成功等物质性需求,我们对于生活,想要更多。我想要热忱、有概念的梦想,让我不会空怀纯粹的兴奋入睡。我希望能在早晨一跃起床,无论是阳光普照还是刮风下雨,也能对生活充满热情,就像我们的童年时固有的一样。

Next, we launched Better Make Room. It’s a social media campaign to give
young people the support and inspiration they need to actually complete
higher education. And to really drive that message home, you may recall
that I debuted my music career — (laughter) — rapping with Jay about
getting some knowledge by going to college. (Laughter and applause.)

We all have a dream. It might beexplicitlydefined or just avagueidea,
but most of us are so stuck in the muck of insecurity and self-doubt
that we just dismiss it as unrealistic or too difficult to
pursue。我们都有梦想,无论它是明确的目标还是模糊的主意,但我们大多数人都受困于不安全和自我怀疑的泥泞里,我们把梦想看做是不现实的、难以追求的,最后放弃了。

We are also very proud of all that this administration has done to make
higher education more affordable. We doubled investments in Pell grants
and college tax credits. We expanded income-based loan repayment options
for tens of millions of students. We made it easier to apply for
financial aid. We created a College Scorecard to help students make good
decisions about higher education. And we provided new funding and
support for school counselors. (Applause.) Altogether, we made in this
administration the largest investment in higher education since the G.I.
Bill. (Applause.) And today, the high school graduation rate is at a
record high, and more young people than ever before are going to
college.

We become so comfortable with the life that has been planned out for us
by our parents, teachers, traditions, and societal norms that we feel
that it’s stupid and unsafe to risk losing it for the small hope of
achieving something that is more
fulfilling。我们变得满足于父母、老师、传统及社会规条为我们营造的安逸生活。为了那一点点能够为生活变得更充实的希望去冒险,我们会认为这是愚蠢和危险的。

And we know that school counselors like all of the folks standing with
me on this stage have played a critical role in helping us get there. In
fact, a recent study showed that students who met with a school
counselor to talk about financial aid or college were three times more
likely to attend college, and they were nearly seven times more likely
to apply for financial aid.

“The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all。”
~Jawaharlal Nehru过于谨慎才是最大的危险——贾瓦哈拉尔·尼赫鲁(印度开国总理)

So our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the Reach Higher
story. And that’s why we created this event two years ago, because we
thought that they should finally get some recognition. (Applause.) We
wanted everyone to know about the difference that these phenomenal men
and women have been making in the lives of our young people every day.
And our 2017 School Counselor of the Year, Terri Tchorzynski, is a
perfect example.

Taking a risk is still a risk. We can, and will, fail. Possibly many,
many, many times. But that is what makes it exciting for me. That
uncertainty can be viewed negatively, or it can empower
us。冒险始终还是有风险。我们,也有可能失败,还有可能是失败很多很多次。但这会让我们更加兴奋。不确定因素看起来有不利,但同时也能激励我们。

So when students at Terri’s school reported feeling unprepared to apply
for higher education, Terri sprang into action to create a school-wide,
top-to-bottom college-readiness effort. Under Terri’s leadership, more
students than ever before attended workshops on resume writing, FAFSA
completion — yes, I can now say FAFSA — (laughter) — and interview
preparation. I can barely say it. (Laughter.) They did career and
personal — personality assessments. They helped plan a special college
week. And they organized a Military Day, hosting recruiters from all
branches of our armed forces. And because of these efforts, today, 75
percent of Calhoun’s seniors now complete key college application steps,
and Terri’s school has won state and national recognition.

Failing is what makes us grow, it makes us stronger and moreresilientto
the aspects of life we have no control over. The fear of failure,
although, is what makes usstagnantand sad. So even though I couldn’t see
the future as clearly as before, I took the plunge in hopes that in the
depths of fear and failure, I would come out feeling more alive than
ever
before。失败能让我们成长,让我们更强大,让我们更能适应生活中难以控制的各个方面。对于失败的恐惧,让我们停滞不前,悲伤不已。尽管不能清晰地看见未来,在恐惧和失败的深渊里,我们也要保持希望,那么我们将活得更有生命力。

And all of this is just one small part of what Terri does for her
students each day. I can go on and on about all the time she spends
one-on-one with students, helping them figure out their life path. Terri
told us — as you heard, she told us about one of those students, so we
reached out to Kyra. And here’s what Kyra had to say in her own words.
Kyra wrote that “Mrs. Tchorzynski has helped me grow to love myself. She
helped me with my doubts and insecurities.” She said, my life has
changed “for the better in all aspects.” Kyra said, “She held my hand
through my hardest times.” She said, “Mrs. Tchorzynski is my lifesaver.”
That’s what Kyra said. (Laughter.)

If you feel lost, just take a deep breath and realize that being lost
can be turning point of finding out who you truly are, and what you
truly want to
do。如果你迷失了自我,请深呼吸,迷失或许能成为你人生的转折点,让你发现真正的自己,并让你知道自己想真正成为怎样的人。

And this is what each of you do every single day. You see the promise in
each of your students. You believe in them even when they can’t believe
in themselves, and you work tirelessly to help them be who they were
truly meant to be. And you do it all in the face of some overwhelming
challenges — tight budgets, impossible student- counselor ratios — yeah,
amen — (laughter) — endless demands on your time.

本文选自ddfffff_63244的博客,点击查看原文。

You all come in early, you stay late. You reach into your own pockets —
and see, we’ve got the amen corner. (Laughter.) You stick with students
in their darkest moments, when they’re most anxious and afraid. And if
anyone is dealing with a college [high school] senior or junior, you
know what this feels like. These men and women show them that those kids
matter; that they have something to offer; that no matter where they’re
from or how much money their parents have, no matter what they look like
or who they love or how they worship or what language they speak at
home, they have a place in this country.

And as I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better
message to send our young people in my last official remarks as First
Lady. So for all the young people in this room and those who are
watching, know that this country belongs to you — to all of you, from
every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are
immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition — the
infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after
generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.

If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in
this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband — we started
out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and a good education,
anything is possible — even becoming President. That’s what the American
Dream is all about. (Applause.)

If you are a person of faith, know that religious diversity is a great
American tradition, too. In fact, that’s why people first came to this
country — to worship freely. And whether you are Muslim, Christian,
Jewish, Hindu, Sikh — these religions are teaching our young people
about justice, and compassion, and honesty. So I want our young people
to continue to learn and practice those values with pride. You see, our
glorious diversity — our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds —
that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are. (Applause.)
So the young people here and the young people out there: Do not ever let
anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a
place in our American story — because you do. And you have a right to be
exactly who you are. But I also want to be very clear: This right isn’t
just handed to you. No, this right has to be earned every single day.
You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who
have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect
those freedoms. And that starts right now, when you’re young.

Right now, you need to be preparing yourself to add your voice to our
national conversation. You need to prepare yourself to be informed and
engaged as a citizen, to serve and to lead, to stand up for our proud
American values and to honor them in your daily lives. And that means
getting the best education possible so you can think critically, so you
can express yourself clearly, so you can get a good job and support
yourself and your family, so you can be a positive force in your
communities.

And when you encounter obstacles — because I guarantee you, you will,
and many of you already have — when you are struggling and you start
thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my
husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey
nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment
in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power
of hope — the belief that something better is always possible if you’re
willing to work for it and fight for it.

It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to
rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we
have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope
that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be
whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place
on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe,
just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible
selves.

That is the hope of students like Kyra who fight to discover their gifts
and share them with the world. It’s the hope of school counselors like
Terri and all these folks up here who guide those students every step of
the way, refusing to give up on even a single young person. Shoot, it’s
the hope of my — folks like my dad who got up every day to do his job at
the city water plant; the hope that one day, his kids would go to
college and have opportunities he never dreamed of.

That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us — politicians,
parents, preachers — all of us need to be providing for our young
people. Because that is what moves this country forward every single day
— our hope for the future and the hard work that hope inspires.

So that’s my final message to young people as First Lady. It is simple.
(Applause.) I want our young people to know that they matter, that they
belong. So don’t be afraid — you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid.
Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves
with a good education, then get out there and use that education to
build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with
hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and
working to support you for the rest of my life.

And that is true I know for every person who are here — is here today,
and for educators and advocates all across this nation who get up every
day and work their hearts out to lift up our young people. And I am so
grateful to all of you for your passion and your dedication and all the
hard work on behalf of our next generation. And I can think of no better
way to end my time as First Lady than celebrating with all of you.

So I want to close today by simply saying thank you. Thank you for
everything you do for our kids and for our country. Being your First
Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I’ve made you
proud.

单词和金句:

spotlight 焦点;关注中心
achievement 成就
priority 优先考虑的事情
mimic 模仿
academic 学术的
daunting 令人气馁的
odds 胜算
support 支持
inspiration 灵感
financial aid 奖学金
play a critical role 起关键作用
recognition 认同
spring into action 立即行动
leadership 领导力
career 职业生涯
personality 性格
assessment 评估
figure out 搞清楚
life path 生活轨迹
doubt 怀疑
insecurity 不安
lifesaver 救星
promise 前途
tight budget 有限的预算
matter 有关系;紧要
background 背景
walk of life 行业
immigrant 移民
infusion 注入
religious diversity 宗教多样性
justice 公正
compassion 同情
honesty 诚实
values 价值观
preserve 保存
encounter 遭遇
obstacle 障碍
limitation 限制
self 自我
provide for 供给
focused 聚精会神的
determined 坚定不移的
passion 热情
dedication 奉献
值得背诵的经典句子:

这些语句琅琅上口,大家一定要尝试背诵一下哦。

So the young people here and the young people out there: Do not ever let
anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a
place in our American story — because you do. And you have a right to be
exactly who you are. But I also want to be very clear: This right isn’t
just handed to you. No, this right has to be earned every single day.
You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who
have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect
those freedoms. And that starts right now, when you’re young.

and that is the power of hope — the belief that something better is
always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.It is
our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise
above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have
faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if
we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we
dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The
hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe
they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.

So that’s my final message to young people as First Lady. It is simple.
(Applause.) I want our young people to know that they matter, that they
belong. So don’t be afraid — you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid.
Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves
with a good education, then get out there and use that education to
build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with
hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and
working to support you for the rest of my life.

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