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Brian Williams為2012年喬治華盛頓大學畢業生演講

Brian Williams Commencement Speech 2012 At George Washington University

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Brian Williams

2012年5月20日演講

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講(來源World News.com

NBC夜間新聞主播Brian Williams於2012年喬治華盛頓大學畢業典禮演講。

 

關於Brian Williams(來源Wikipedia

Brian Williams(生於1959年5月5日)為NBC夜間新聞主播及總編輯,2004年開始於NBC新聞網主持晚間新聞節目。Williams名列2007年《時代》雜誌全球百大影響力人物之一。2010年,一位著名媒體觀察家封他為「21世紀的Walter Cronkite」。(Walter Cronkite為美國冷戰時期最富盛名的新聞節目主持人,有「最值得信任的記者」之稱)

 

Brian Williams為2012年喬治華盛頓大學畢業生演講

 

各位先生女士,歡迎畢業典禮演講者-Brian Willams博士。(掌聲)(歡呼聲)

 

十分感謝。感謝華盛頓特區消防隊開車經過,剛好在介紹我的時候。(笑聲)你們可以待會兒再感謝我。我注意到你們全都穿得一身黑,因為有人知道我打算講述過去的求學經歷,天空開始烏雲密布。(笑聲)人們正享受美好的一天,從Cabin John到阿靈頓到東岸,除了我們,因為我準備講述我在喬治華盛頓大學的求學經歷。(笑聲)現在我們有空中支援,因此場面將變得十分熱鬧。

 

當校方來電時,我確實告訴他們-真的沒關係,我瞭解-當校方來電時,我告訴他們說,你知道,我是GW(喬治華盛頓大學簡稱)輟學生,那是我第三次及最後一次嘗試唸大學。校方說,「哦,沒關係,這很酷,儘管來吧!」因此我今天打算與大家分享一些故事,關於我如何完成總共18個大學學分。非常感謝。(歡呼聲)(掌聲)台上出現某種你們無法理解的學術氛圍,因此請容我接受其他學者的祝賀。

 

最棒的消息是,我不打算發表正式演說,我只想與各位分享一些想法,因為氣候炎熱,你們仍宿醉未醒,但我們就不提各位家長了。(笑聲)(歡呼聲)(掌聲)加上演講場所太接近國會,而我們對各位比我優秀已有共識(笑聲),因此我只想告訴各位兩件事:第一,我為何從GW輟學,這是個有趣的故事;第二,幾個關於美國的偉大故事,之後各位就可以自由退場了。

 

我從GW輟學的原因始於我的華盛頓之旅,這得從一位名叫Tony LaVeglia的傢伙談起。你不需要記住Tony的名字,但以某種意義來說,每個人生命中都有一位Tony LaVeglia。以我為例,他就是那個打電話給你的傢伙,你是任職於澤西海岸的年輕消防員,就讀布魯克代爾社區學院二年級。我無意吹噓(笑聲),本來應該兩年就能畢業,結果卻拖了很長一段時間,你只是順著人生的節奏前進罷了。你剛通過EMT(救護技術員)考試,你已申請了紐澤西費里霍爾德調度員公務職位。再次聲明,今天整場演講都將是我的輝煌歷史。

 

Tony打電話給我,他駕駛一輛裝滿冷卻液體的福特Econoline廂型車,他說,「這個週末跟我去華盛頓吧!我打算探望我的法國女友Claire,她是天主教大學學生。」我怎能拒絕Tony LaVeglia?因此,就在這趟週末之旅中,我離開紐澤西的家鄉,來到這裡。這讓我大開眼界,我想人們稱這種現象為波多馬克熱。我來到這裡時,看見年輕人全都穿著卡其衫(笑聲),而他們穿著藍西裝。他們行色匆匆,似乎全都擔任實習職務。他們談論重要的事,他們認識重要的人,我只知道我非得成為其中一份子不可。順帶一提,Tony現在是酒類批發商,顯示人生是公平的。我會向他買酒,他花了多年時間研究產品線。(笑聲)

 

我在這裡落腳,試著將我在布魯克代爾學院所修的大量學分轉到天主教大學。他們的宿舍已客滿,因為我申請的晚了些,因此他們替我找了一個位於對街三聖學院行政大樓的房間,頂樓住了八個人-八名男子和六百名天主教女性。(笑聲)棒透了!(笑聲)(掌聲)

 

我開始遭遇一些事。(笑聲)和我同住行政大樓的一位年輕人,名叫Rocco,某天返回時說,他得離開白宮的實習職務,是否有人感興趣?我有一套藍西裝。再次聲明,我無意吹噓,但我曾經在Sears打工,我用員工折扣買的。(笑聲)我說,「哇,Rocco,這對我來說似乎是絕佳的機會,畢竟以我的背景來說,完全有資格每天進出白宮。」(笑聲)因此我參加實習生面試,奇蹟似地得到那份工作。

 

隔年,我每天前往位於舊行政大樓的西翼,同時試著兼顧天主教大學學業。我是個半工半讀的孩子,從滿14歲那天起就開始打工。(歡呼聲)(掌聲)但打工所賺的錢不足以支付天主教大學學費,因此我不得不擔任全職工作,無法顧及學業。當我在白宮的實習生涯接近尾聲時,我想GW的夜間課程較符合我的需求。我選修了一些課程,我記得離開大學前所上的最後一門課,那是GW的政治和媒體夜間課程。我戴著通行證從西翼趕到學校,我將西翼通行證隨意插在襯衫口袋裡,吊繩晃來晃去地。

 

「喔,就是那個嗎?」

 

「是的。」(笑聲)

 

「那就是通行無阻、能接近總統的通行證嗎?」

 

「是啊,當然。怎麼了?」

 

有位外聘教授-這已是陳年往事,因此應該不會對任何人造成傷害。這門課的教授聘自一家公關公司,他告訴我們說,他白天在公關公司工作,應聘指導這堂課,他坦言自己僅參加過西翼公眾參觀行程。當我坐在課堂上,因為我得負擔學費,時間的流逝感覺就像不停跳動的計程車計費表。我知道這相當於我的錢,這相當於我的未來。某天他說,「我想談談關於媒體的事,他們很容易上當。我任職的公關公司負責一項所謂的道路資訊計畫或TRIP,我們接受道路承包商提供的資金,每年列出我們認為國內最需要維修的道路和橋樑,我們每年冷眼旁觀媒體迫不及待地發佈這份道路和橋樑名單。」這就是我從媒體和其運作方式學到的第一課。

 

這些年來,我在NBC主持過各式各樣的新聞節目,老天作證,我們從未引述過我國道路資訊計畫中的道路和橋樑列表,因為我當年有認真上課。正如本屆學生演講代表現在已洞察政治叢林中的髒錢文化。(笑聲)謝謝,感謝兩位,十分感激。(笑聲)

 

有段日子,我感到心力交瘁,某個夜晚,我終於撐不下去了,我用盡所有積蓄。我當時住在一間位於35街和O街交界處的公寓地下室,不時遭受淹水之苦。計費表依然不停地跳動,我已身無分文。於是我離開了,最後一次離開大學。

 

我希望能告訴大家,我的處境十分窘迫,我必須設法謀生,我不曾後悔。但事實是,回想我最後就讀的大學,我可以告訴各位,我每天都感到後悔。當我望向鏡中,眼中只見畢生最大的遺憾。別忘了,能參加畢業典禮,你們已達成某項我無法達成的目標。這是你們的起點,你們即將踏入的世界-我知道你們聽過這些-我們耳聞的是一個和過去大不相同的國家,我們聽見你們上一代首次告訴民意調查機構,他們不認為自己留給你們一個更美好的世界,他們不認為你們擁有比他們更好的機會。但我想提醒大家幾件事:離這裡不遠的地方-它和今天的典禮場所有關-存在足以提醒大家我們有多棒的事物。

 

在國家航空及太空博物館中-它是這個廣場的一部分-有架橘色飛機懸掛在天花板上,它的設計類似50口徑武器所用的子彈,名為X-1。查克‧葉格(美國傳奇飛行員)曾經駕駛過那架飛機,如果你看過相關書籍或電影就會知道。當時的情況和現在截然不同;那是1947年,二次世界大戰剛結束幾年,我們的生活乏善可陳,我們需要一些刺激。人們稱它為音障是有原因的,因為沒人知道查克‧葉格是否會在這架飛機中粉身碎骨。他不曾遲疑或猶豫過,他駕駛X-1升空,那天之後,音障已不足為懼,那架飛機正懸掛在那棟美麗的博物館中。他只是認為我們必須勇往直前,沒人能保證必定會成功。

 

那棟建築中還有一架名為X-15的傑作,十幾名飛行員曾經駕駛過,包括尼爾‧阿姆斯壯(第一位登月太空人)。他們必須從B-52轟炸機底部發射那架飛機,飛行高度相當高,飛行員返回後,國家不得不賦予他們太空人身分,因為他們的飛行高度超過50英哩,確切來說是67英哩。他們以四千、五千、六千英哩的時速飛行,一名飛行員在試飛途中死亡,身體被16 G重力撕裂,飛機殘骸散佈50英哩區域,但絲毫不影響這項計畫和他的飛行員同袍,他們都知道沒人能保證必定會成功。

 

那棟博物館中也陳列了友誼號(太空船)。根據我的描述,它的顏色類似炭灰和焦黑,簡直像一個佈滿波紋的鋼瓶。約翰‧葛倫爬進那個容器中,他知道沒人能保證他必定能平安返回。再次進入地球大氣層的回程途中,他哼著共和國戰歌,試著打發時間和轉移注意力。火焰從窗口呼嘯而過,他認為自己將活生生地燒死在裡面;他確實認為自己必死無疑。當然,以所有登月任務來說,沒人能保證必定會成功。首次任務前,已有三名太空人被燒死在發射台上。

 

再次聲明,我無意吹噓,但我開的是雪佛蘭Tahoe。(笑聲)它是一輛龐大的黑色猛獸,正投我所好。它是混合動力車-只是為了讓大家平靜下來。(笑聲)我喜愛我的車,我的雪佛蘭Tahoe大約有85%拜太空計劃所賜-測量儀、感應器、線路、繼電器、GPS和剎車片;NASA可說是創意製造機。

 

查克‧葉格,謝謝;尼爾‧阿姆斯壯,謝謝;約翰‧葛倫,謝謝;感謝所有參與這項計畫的人。記住,沒人能保證他們必定會成功。(掌聲)

 

因此這就是我想傳遞給各位的訊息。我們共聚一堂,我們的政治四分五裂,我們身處美國國會大廈的陰影中。在座多少人就讀喬治華盛頓大學期間曾經參與政治活動?好,繼續努力,我唯一的建議是和睦相處。拜託,今天離開這裡之前,彼此做個介紹。記住,沒有妥協,這個國家的憲法就不存在;沒有妥協,這個國家就無法建立。毫不妥協讓你成為擁有高度原則的人,但往往造就無法符合人民需求的政府。在座多少人打算當教育家?(歡呼聲)謝謝你們的決定。在座多少人曾經前往海外幫助貧困者?在座多少人打算繼續從事這項工作?(歡呼聲)

 

約翰‧甘迺迪是正確的,當他談到讓青年軍前往世界各地。我曾經造訪過像馬拉威這樣的國家,一個擁有自來水的小社區-水源來自口徑一英吋的白色PVC水管-和一個缺乏水源的城鎮之區別,往往僅在於哪個城鎮曾經被傑出的美國年輕志工造訪過。

 

你們應該為某件事感到驕傲。據我所知,在我們得知賓拉登被擊斃的那晚,爬上燈桿、聚集在白宮的多半是GW學生。(歡呼聲)(掌聲)這是很棒的感覺,我們完成了某件事。同樣地,沒人能保證那個任務必定會成功。

 

還有一點。當你們在這裡時,許多人一直在那裡(戰場)。目前社會上有個令人困擾的趨勢:平民生活和軍人生活逐漸-不妨將它想像成一組鐵軌,兩條獨立的路徑,彼此沒有交集。因為投身戰場者只佔很小比例,因為我們沒有徵兵制。你可以在國內挨家挨戶地查訪,你得查訪250戶家庭後才遇上一戶軍人家庭。我們需要彌補這個差距,我們不妨從今天開始。我可否請所有在場的退役軍人起立,接受我們的感謝與致敬。(歡呼聲)(掌聲)這是我工作中最棒的部分,我有幸能採訪我國兩場戰爭,目睹他們的貢獻,瞭解他們是我們派出的最佳軍隊。(掌聲)

 

現在有個問題。你們知道,當美國太空人-如上週的情形-需要前往國際太空站時,我們必須請求俄國人協助;我們無法靠自己的力量將他們送達目的地。這是對查克‧葉格最後的侮辱;他仍在世,他能目睹這一切。這是對約翰‧葛倫的侮辱;他仍在世,住在華盛頓地區,他能目睹這一切。這令他們和我心碎。

 

記住,Gene Kranz,任務控制組的英雄,他的座右銘是:「失敗不是我的選項」。

 

你們不需要建造火箭或上太空,但請帶領我們前往某個地方,請讓我們不斷前進,推動我們、提升我們,讓我們變得更好。記住這一點,當我離開你們之後。

 

再次聲明,今天你們已達成我無法達成的目標。恭喜各位,上帝保佑,繼續達成更多成就。(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About the talk

 

Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News giving speech to class of 2012 at George Washington University commencement.

 

 

About the speaker

Brian Williams (born May 5, 1959) is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network, a position he assumed in 2004. Williams was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, and in 2010, a prominent media observer dubbed him "the Walter Cronkite of the 21st century."


 

 

About the transcript
Thank you very much. I want to thank the D.C. Fire Department for the drive-by just as I was named. And you can thank me later.

I note you're all wearing black; because someone knows I am about to discuss my academic past, the dark cloud has arrived. People are enjoying a lovely day from Cabin John to Arlington to the Eastern Shore except for us because I am about to talk about my time at the George Washington University. And now we have air support. So this is going to get interesting.

I did tell them when they called -- it's really okay, I've got this. I told them when they called, I said, you know, I dropped out of GW. It was my third and final attempt at college. And they said, "Oh, no, that's cool. Come on ahead."

And so today I want to share with you a bit of the story of how I came academically to achieve the sum total of 18 college credits. Thank you very much.

There is an atmosphere of academia up on the stage that you can't understand. So excuse me while I accept the congratulations of my fellow academics.

The best news is I don't have a speech. I have just a few thoughts because it's hot, and you're hung over. But enough about your parents. We're also way too close to Congress to give a speech, and we've established you're all than me. So I have just two things to tell you. Number one, how I dropped out of GW, which is kind of a fun story, and number two, a few great things about America. And then you're free to go.

How I dropped out of GW begins with how I got to Washington, and that starts with a guy named Tony LaVeglia. Tony's name you don't have to remember it, but it's immaterial in that we all have a Tony LaVeglia in our lives. In my case he's the guy who calls you, you're a young firefighter on the Jersey shore, you're in your very first year of Brookdale Community College.

I don't like to brag. It's supposed to just take two years, but you're settling in for a good long haul, you're just getting your rhythm going. You've just passed your EMT exam, and you have applied for a civil service job as a dispatcher in Freehold, New Jersey. Again, I'm going to be bragging throughout my remarks today.

Tony calls, he drives a Ford Econoline van which he has filled with cold liquids, and he says come with me this weekend to Washington, D.C. where I'm going to visit my French girlfriend Claire who is a student at Catholic University. Who was I to say no to Tony LaVeglia? So for just a weekend trip, I leave the confines of my home county in New Jersey, and I come down here, where my eyes are opened.

I think they call it Potomac fever. I get here, and I see young people, all of them wearing khakis. And they're wearing blue blazers, and they are scurrying around, and they all seem to have internships, and they're talking about important things, and they know important people, and all I knew was I had to be a part of it.
Tony, by the way, is today a wine distributor, which shows there is justice in life. I would buy wine from him. He has spent years researching his product line.

I come down and I tried to transfer my vast credits from Brookdale to Catholic University. They have run out of dorm space because I am a little late in applying, so they find room for me in the administration building of Trinity College across the street. There are eight of us living on the top floor, eight men, 600 Catholic women. It was fantastic.

And things just start happening to me. One of the young men we lived with in the administration building named Rocco came home one day and said he had to vacate an internship at the White House, was anyone interested. I owned one blue blazer, again not to brag, but I had worked at Sears, and I bought it with my employee discount.

And I said, "Why, Rocco, that sounds like a terrific opportunity for me." After all, there is nothing about my background that doesn't leave me perfectly equipped to go into the West Wing every day. And so I interviewed for the internship, and by some quirk I got it. And for the next year every day I was going into the West Wing in the Old Executive Office Building, while trying to pursue my college studies at Catholic University.

I was a work-study kid. I've worked since the day I turned 14. Well, the need to make money exceeded my ability to pay for my classes at Catholic University, and so I had to concentrate full time on working there but not studying there, and toward the end of my internship at the White House, I just thought that the night school program at GW fit my schedule better.

I enrolled in a couple of classes, and I remember my last class that would be ever prior to leaving college. It was a night course here at GW on politics and media. Now, I would run from the West Wing with my pass, my West Wing pass casually in my shirt pocket, the chain dangling. Oh, that? Yes. That all-access, this close to the President pass? Why, yes. What about it?

The professor hired -- and this is a long time ago, so it's meant to harm no one. The professor hired to teach this class had come from a PR firm and told us that, that he was working by day at a PR firm and signed up to teach this class. He admitted along the way he had only been on the public tour of the West Wing, and when I was sitting in class, since I was paying the freight, it was like a taxi meter every moment it went by.

I knew it was my money, and it was my future, and then one day he said, "I'll tell you about the news media, they're gullible. At my PR firm, we run something called The Road Information Program or TRIP. We get our funding from road contractors, and every year we put out the list of the roads and bridges in this country that we feel are in most dire need of repair. And every year we kind of sit back and watch the media breathlessly report this list of road and bridges."

It was the first lesson I learned in the news media and how it works. And I'll be darned if all the years I've anchored various news broadcasts we have never repeated the list of road information program, roads and bridges in this country, because I learned my lesson.

Just as your student speaker today has now navigated the political thicket of that dirty Twizzler money in politics. Thank you, both of you. Appreciate it. It was during a particularly tough stretch and one night I was stressed out, I was running out of money, I was living in a basement apartment at 35th and O Streets that flooded on occasion, and the meter was running, and I was running out of cash. And I walked out, walked out of college for the last time.

And I like to say to people that I was in a big hurry and I needed to go make a living, and I never looked back. But the truth is, as the last college I attended, I can tell you, I look back every day, and I look in the mirror, and it's one of my great regrets, and don't forget that by being here today you have now achieved something I was not able to achieve.

And this is where you come in. You enter the world right now -- and I know you've heard this before -- at a time when we're hearing talk about our nation we've never heard before. We're hearing the generation just in front of you tell pollsters for the first time that they don't think they're leaving a better world for you, they don't think your chances will be better than theirs. I have a few reminders, though.

Not far from here, this has to do with our geography here today. Just reminders of how good we are. In the Smithsonian Air and Space, part of this mall, there is an orange aircraft hanging from the ceiling. It was designed to resemble the bullet from a 50-caliber weapon. It's called the X-1. Chuck Yeager flew that aircraft. If you've read the book or seen the movie, then you know. This is back when we were different.

This was 1947. We had been home from World War II for a few years, and we must have been bored. We must have needed excitement. They called it the sound barrier for a reason, because no one knew if Chuck Yeager was going to disintegrate in this thing, and he never gave it a moment's thought or hesitation.

He went up in the X-1, and after that day, the sound barrier was nothing. And it's hanging right over there in that beautiful museum. He just thought we ought to move forward, and there was no guarantee we were going to make it.

Also in that building is a magnificent thing called the X-15. A dozen men flew it, including Neil Armstrong. They had to drop it out of the bottom of a B-52. It flew so high that when the pilots came back down, they had to be designated astronauts because they had flown over 50 miles up, 67 miles high, to be exact. They flew it four and five and six thousand miles an hour. One pilot died trying. His body was ripped apart by a fall of 16Gs, aircraft settled over a 50-mile area. It did not affect the program or his fellow pilots. They all knew there was no guarantee they were going to make it.

Also in that museum is Friendship 7. I described the color of it as kind of charcoal and fire black. It's really a corrugated steel can. John Glenn climbed in that thing. He knew there was no guarantee he was going to make it back. On his way back to reenter Earth's atmosphere, he hummed the Battle Hymn of the Republic to kind of kill the time and occupy his mind, flames are shooting past the window. He thought he was going to roast alive inside. He really did think he was going to die.

And of course all the missions to the moon, there was no guarantee we were going to make it. We lost the first three astronauts on the launching pad in a fire before the first mission.

Again, not to brag, but I drive a Chevy Tahoe. It's big and black and menacing, just as I like it. It a hybrid, just to calm everybody down. I love my car. And about 85 percent of my Chevy Tahoe is because of the space program. The gauges and the sensors and the wiring and the relays and the GPS and the brake linings, NASA was an idea machine. Chuck Yeager, thank you, Neil Armstrong, thank you, John Glenn, thank you, all of you who were involved in the program.

Remember there was no guarantee they were going to make it.

[Applause]

So that's where I hand off to you. Here we are. Our politics are broken. Here we are in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. How many of you have worked in politics during your time at the George Washington University? All right. Keep that up. My only advice would be get along, please. Introduce yourselves before you leave here today. Remember, there would be no Constitution in this country without compromise. We wouldn't have been formed without compromise. Going without compromise makes you a highly principled person, but it can often lead us to a government that is not attuned to the needs of the people.

How many of you plan to be educators?

[Cheers]

Thank you for that. How many of you spent some time overseas helping impoverished people?

[Cheers]

How many of you plan to keep at that work?

[Cheers]

John F. Kennedy was right when he talked about the army of young people going out around the world. I've walked through countries like Malawi where the difference between a small community with running water coming out of a one-inch white PVC pipe and a town without water is often just which towns have been visited by terrific young American people acting as volunteers.

You should be very proud of something else. It was mostly GW students, as far as I could tell, who climbed those light poles and showed up at the White House the night we learned bin Laden had been killed. It was a good feeling. We had done something. And with that mission, too, there was no guarantee of success.

One more thing. While you've been here, a lot of people have been over there. And a troubling trend in society right now is that our civilian life and our military life are going down -- picture it as a train track – two separate paths, and they don't intersect because of the small percentage of people we call upon to fight our wars because we don't have a draft. You can walk door to door in this country and have to go to 250 homes before you come to the home of a military family. And because we need to bridge that gap and because we might as well start today, can I ask all the veterans with us today to stand up and accept our thanks and congratulations.

[Applause]

That's the greatest part of my job. I've been able to go to both of this nation's wars and see what they do and come back knowing they're the best team we've ever fielded.

And now here's the problem. You know, when our American astronauts, as they did last week, needed a ride up to the international space station, we have to ask the Russians. We don't have a way to get them up there ourselves. It's a last insult to Chuck Yeager. He's still around and with us, and he can see this, and it's an insult to John Glenn. He's still with us living here in the Washington area. He can see this. It breaks their hearts and mine. And remember, Gene Kranz, the great man at Mission Control. His motto was failure is not an option.

You don't actually have to build a rocket or go into space, but please take us somewhere. Please keep us moving. Push us, lift us up. Make us better. Remember this, as I leave you, again as of today, you've achieved what I could not.

Congratulations, God bless, go achieve some more.

[Applause]


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