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NPR 06-17:Admittance to a Better Life一种改变我人生的力量——教育

时间:2008-06-20 02:49来源:互联网 提供网友:wshqye   字体: [ ]
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In his younger days, Michael Oatman was educated on the streets and in bars and strip clubs. Now, the Ohio writer believes the education he's getting in college classrooms has opened doors to a better life.

From NPR news, this is weekend edition. I'm Liane Hansen.

I believe in mystery.
I believe in family.
I believe in being who I am.
I believe in the power of failure.
And I believe normal life is extraordinary.
This I Believe.

For our series This I Believe, we hear today from Michael Oatman. He pened this essay for a writing class in Cleveland. Oatman is one course away from a Master's of Fine Arts. Ten years ago, a master's degree would have seemed out of the question for Michael Oatman and anyone who knew him. Here's series curator independent producer Jay Allison.

Michale Oatman told us that until recently he worked at jobs he didn't like and wasn't good at, like pumping jet fuel, or as he called it, a glorified1 bouncer at treatment centres. Oatman describes himself as quote, menacing, 320 pounds, dreadlocks and the shoulders of a line backer. But it was in the aftermath of writing a poem that he came to his belief, as you will hear in his essay for This I Believe.

I believe that education has the power to transform a person's life. For me, education was the rabbit hole through which I escaped the underclass. I squeezed my 300-pound frame through that hole expecting others to follow, and instead I find myself in a strange new land, mostly alone, and wondering at this new life. For instance, these days for me, dramatic plays at local arts centers have replaced strip pole dancing at the local sleaze huts. I haven't fondled a stripper in years because now I see the stripper through eyes informed by feminist2 theory. It's hard to get excited when you're pondering issues of exploitation.

I still wonder what happened to that happy-go-lucky semi-thug that used to hang out with drug dealers3 on dimly-lit street corners. Well, I'm in the library parsing4 a Jane Austen novel looking for dramatic irony5, while many of my old friends are dead or in jail. I was lucky because I didn't get caught or killed doing something stupid. When I was on the streets, I never felt I was good at anything, but I wrote this poem about a girl who didn't care about me, and it got published. I knew nothing about grammar or syntax, so I went back to school to learn that stuff, and one thing led to another.

It's odd to educate oneself away from one's past. As an African-American male, I now find myself in a foreign world. Like steam off of a concrete sidewalk, I can feel my street cred evaporating away, but I don't fight it anymore. Letting go of the survival tools I needed on the street was a necessary transaction for admittance to a better life.

I am still fighting, but in different ways. I've learned the benefit of research and reading, of debate and listening. My new battlefields are affirmative action, illegal immigration and institutional racism6.

I believe I am the living embodiment of the power of education to change a man. One day soon, a crop of fresh-faced college students will call me professor. I may even be the only black face in the room, the only representative of the underclass. I may feel the slight sting of isolation7, but I'll fight it off because I believe in the changes that my education has allowed me to make.

Michael Oatman with his essay for This I Believe. Last month, Oatman told us he ran into the girl he wrote the poem about, and he thanked her. And twenty minutes before we recorded this essay, he got a new job, teaching playwriting to young people at risk.

We invite everyone to write for our series. You can find out all about it at npr.org/thisibelieve or call toll-free 888-577-9977. For This I Believe, I'm Jay Allison.

Next week for the monthly online edition of This I Believe, an essay for Father's Day, it comes from listener Chris Huntington who teaches in a man's prison in Indiana and believes in adoption8.

This I Believe is independently produced by Jay Allison, Dan Gediman, John Gregory and Viki Merrick.

Support for This I Believe comes from Prudential Retirement9.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 glorified 74d607c2a7eb7a7ef55bda91627eda5a     
美其名的,变荣耀的
参考例句:
  • The restaurant was no more than a glorified fast-food cafe. 这地方美其名曰餐馆,其实只不过是个快餐店而已。
  • The author glorified the life of the peasants. 那个作者赞美了农民的生活。
2 feminist mliyh     
adj.主张男女平等的,女权主义的
参考例句:
  • She followed the feminist movement.她支持女权运动。
  • From then on,feminist studies on literature boomed.从那时起,男女平等受教育的现象开始迅速兴起。
3 dealers 95e592fc0f5dffc9b9616efd02201373     
n.商人( dealer的名词复数 );贩毒者;毒品贩子;发牌者
参考例句:
  • There was fast bidding between private collectors and dealers. 私人收藏家和交易商急速竞相喊价。
  • The police were corrupt and were operating in collusion with the drug dealers. 警察腐败,与那伙毒品贩子内外勾结。
4 parsing dbc77665f51d780a776978e34f065af5     
n.分[剖]析,分解v.从语法上描述或分析(词句等)( parse的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • A parsing program, or parser, is also called a recognizer. 分析过程又称作识别程序。 来自辞典例句
  • This chapter describes a technique for parsing using the bottom-up method. 本章介绍一种使用自底向上方法的分析技术。 来自辞典例句
5 irony P4WyZ     
n.反语,冷嘲;具有讽刺意味的事,嘲弄
参考例句:
  • She said to him with slight irony.她略带嘲讽地对他说。
  • In her voice we could sense a certain tinge of irony.从她的声音里我们可以感到某种讥讽的意味。
6 racism pSIxZ     
n.民族主义;种族歧视(意识)
参考例句:
  • He said that racism is endemic in this country.他说种族主义在该国很普遍。
  • Racism causes political instability and violence.种族主义道致政治动荡和暴力事件。
7 isolation 7qMzTS     
n.隔离,孤立,分解,分离
参考例句:
  • The millionaire lived in complete isolation from the outside world.这位富翁过着与世隔绝的生活。
  • He retired and lived in relative isolation.他退休后,生活比较孤寂。
8 adoption UK7yu     
n.采用,采纳,通过;收养
参考例句:
  • An adoption agency had sent the boys to two different families.一个收养机构把他们送给两个不同的家庭。
  • The adoption of this policy would relieve them of a tremendous burden.采取这一政策会给他们解除一个巨大的负担。
9 retirement TWoxH     
n.退休,退职
参考例句:
  • She wanted to enjoy her retirement without being beset by financial worries.她想享受退休生活而不必为金钱担忧。
  • I have to put everything away for my retirement.我必须把一切都积蓄起来以便退休后用。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  admittance  better  lif
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