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2006年NPR美国国家公共电台六月-Reconsidering Dad as Father's Day Nears

时间:2007-07-20 06:28来源:互联网 提供网友:zhao6221133   字体: [ ]
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They say nothing can ever prepare you for being a parent. You do the best you can and hope your kids turn out O.K..

Commentator1 Kevin R. Free thinks back on his childhood, and he says even if his father didn't realize it at the time, he did a lot of things right.

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“You are not doing something right, son.”

That is my favorite quotation2. My dad, the Colonel, said it to my brother as we drove to a family reunion. What he was doing incorrectly I don't know, because all that remains3 of that memory is “you are not doing something right, son.”

My family won't all be together on Father's Day this year, so I won't get to hear all the same old stories about the Colonel's malapropism4. He once inquired about the location of the HB Beau Guide, so that he could curtail5 our R-rated film viewing. So I thought it might be nice to honor him with a list of some of the things he did right when I was a kid.

My mother died when I was six,and my father raised us by himself for five years. He did the best he could with three rambunctious6 boys, but the best thing he did at the end of that five years was to marry my stepmother. And to this day, I am not sure she knew what she was getting into, but she caught on pretty quickly. She could zig when we zagged. She tattled on us when we were out of control. And she was appropriately remorseful7 when we got in trouble for being out of control.

I tried out for baseball in the fifth grade because dad told me I had to. My uncle and grandfather, I still maintained, had tricked me into signing up, but it didn't matter to dad how my name got on the list. I was his son and I had to honor the commitment I'd made. See, I learned that year without a doubt: I am no good at playing baseball. But the greater lesson was how great it felt to be a part of a team. I didn't even care that my team lost every game, except for the one in which I didn't play.

Then there was ninth grade when I was seriously close to failing geometry. The teacher sent home a pop quiz that I had flunked8 for my father to sign. His response, "I will sign it, but you ask that teacher if this material has a practical application upon life". I never asked my teacher because I was too embarrassed. At the time, it was enough for me to know that if I was out of my league in certain subject, my dad still believed that I was smarter than anything those subjects could teach me.

In high school, I was kind of effeminate, so other kids called me names. When I, ahem, cried about it, dad said they were all jealous because I was so smart and good-looking. It turned out: I was so smart and good-looking because I was gay. And when I finally stopped crying ten years later and told the Colonel that I was gay, he said, “I figured.” There was no drama, though I probably deserved some, coming out on Thanksgiving Day. It couldn't have been anymore anticlimactic9. For a second, I felt like he said, “Duh”, but the next second, I realized that the Colonel and I had established a mutually respectful adult relationship. It's unclear whether dad knew what lessons I learned as he laid down his law, and I'm sure that he has even less an idea how much of his belief system I have adopted as my own, but I feel now like we are both on the same team. He still got my back and after all these years, I know how to get his back, even if he's not doing something right.

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Kevin R. Free is an actor and career coach living in New York City.

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at the time:当时, 在那个时候
family reunion:a social meeting of people who have not met for a long time, especially people who were at school or college together ;家庭团聚,聚会
curtail:to reduce or limit something;缩减, 减少(经费等), 剥夺(某人的)特权(或官衔等), 简略
rambunctious:noisy, full of energy, and behaving in a way that cannot be controlled ;粗暴的, 骚乱的, 难控制的
zig: 转弯
zag:急转, 急变
tattle:to talk about other people's private lives;闲谈
remorseful:a strong feeling of being sorry that you have done something very bad;懊悔的, 悔恨的
trick:to deceive someone in order to get something from them or to make them do something ;欺骗, 哄骗
effeminate:a man who is effeminate looks or behaves like a woman; 柔弱的, 女人气的, 娇气的
duh:used to say that what someone else has just said or asked is stupid ;[表示犹豫、不快或轻蔑等]咄
anticlimactic:[修]突降法的, 突减的(兴趣等), 虎头蛇尾的


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 commentator JXOyu     
n.注释者,解说者;实况广播评论员
参考例句:
  • He is a good commentator because he can get across the game.他能简单地解说这场比赛,是个好的解说者。
  • The commentator made a big mistake during the live broadcast.在直播节目中评论员犯了个大错误。
2 quotation 7S6xV     
n.引文,引语,语录;报价,牌价,行情
参考例句:
  • He finished his speech with a quotation from Shakespeare.他讲话结束时引用了莎士比亚的语录。
  • The quotation is omitted here.此处引文从略。
3 remains 1kMzTy     
n.剩余物,残留物;遗体,遗迹
参考例句:
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
4 malapropism 6AnxP     
n.字的误用
参考例句:
  • There is a malapropism in his paper.他的文章里有一处被误用的词。
  • Despite a profusion of grammatical errors and the occasional malapropism, "the impossible state" is accessible and readable.尽管有大量语法错误,偶尔词语误用,《不可能的政府》仍具通俗性和可读性。
5 curtail TYTzO     
vt.截短,缩短;削减
参考例句:
  • The government hopes to curtail public spending.政府希望缩减公共事业开支。
  • The minister had to curtail his visit.部长不得不缩短访问日期。
6 rambunctious jTNxf     
adj.喧闹的;粗鲁的
参考例句:
  • Their rambunctious son always got into trouble.他们那个不受管束的儿子老是惹麻烦。
  • It's not the chirping,rambunctious play that they did when they first arrived.他们现在已经不像刚开始见面那会儿,总是冲着对方乱叫,或者在玩耍时动作粗暴。
7 remorseful IBBzo     
adj.悔恨的
参考例句:
  • He represented to the court that the accused was very remorseful.他代被告向法庭陈情说被告十分懊悔。
  • The minister well knew--subtle,but remorseful hypocrite that he was!牧师深知这一切——他是一个多么难以捉摸又懊悔不迭的伪君子啊!
8 flunked 22d4851a3e2958f8b24bdb0b15e15314     
v.( flunk的过去式和过去分词 );(使)(考试、某学科的成绩等)不及格;评定(某人)不及格;(因不及格而) 退学
参考例句:
  • I flunked math in second grade. 我二年级时数学不及格。
  • He flunked out (of college) last year. 他去年(从大学)退学了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 anticlimactic 23fa1dd348820a89fdc1f11202f5b08c     
adj. 渐降法的, 虎头蛇尾的
参考例句:
  • Everything after the discovery of the murderer was anticlimactic. 找到谋杀者之后,人们对所有事情的兴趣都突减了。
  • The conclusion of the movie was anticlimactic. 电影的结局真没劲。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  father  nears
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