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纽约时报:上大学究竟要学什么 [Copy link] 中文

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Morgan Elliott
过来人给大学新生的建议。这些过来人实际上也是为大学新生的论文打分,指导他们的课堂讨论的人。

学是个让你明白自己需要提升什么的时机,这包括适应外部世界所需的提升和对自身的充实。利用大学在读期间把它们挖掘出来,越多越好。

选定专业之前,先上各种不同科目的课。参与到多种多样的社团和活动中。与人交朋友,出身比你穷得多和富得多的朋友都交一交。和不同族裔或不同宗教的人约会。(在聚会上的搭讪不算。)到海外留学一个学期,或者储钱到欧洲或亚洲背包旅行。
童年时,你可能没机会学习某些东西,现在就把空洞填上吧。不知道古典音乐是什么?真糟糕。不知道雷帝嘎嘎是谁?那更糟糕。如果你是在备受呵护的温室里长大的,那是时候感受外面的世界了。

大学同样是发掘自身潜能的时机。从没当过领导者?那就试着组建一个社团或乐队吧。

在大学里,我收获最大的就是做了这些尝试。我原本是戏剧专业,但想扩大学习范围,就选修了数学课,才发现实际上我喜欢数学,而且我也喜欢和技术人员混一起。

在领导方面,我管理一个数学社团和一个音乐社团,从中我学到了如何制定目标并说服他人和我一起实现这个目标。现在我计划博士毕业后成为企业家。这可能看起来很不切实际,但那是我在领导一个不起眼的小社团时,才发现自己能够经营企业。
大学里,尝试各种各样的事情。你从不知道,自己会迷上什么。

——蒂姆·诺维克弗(Tim Novikoff),康内尔大学应用数学专业在读博士生。

果你花时间读这个建议,十有八九你已经具备了接受大学教育的学业挑战所必须具备的能力,即严肃的求学态度。我想要说的东西要世俗得多,但这会让你更好地过渡到并适应大学生活:在面对转变时的兴奋不已和不知所措中,宽容待已,耐心待己。

记得离开校园一段时间,逃离课业的要求和摆脱大学社交生活的束缚。去你住的镇上走走看看。见一见其他人,不是教授,也不是同学。如果你把所有时间都花在校园里,那就很容易受到个别苛刻的教授的批评,或是和舍友发生激烈的冲突。如果让这样的事情发生,那意味着你犯了不明轻重的错误,并且为这错误承受痛苦;你不明白大学这几年只是你生活的一部分,而不是生活的全部。

在弗吉尼亚·伍尔夫(Virginia Woolf)的小说《达罗卫夫人》(“Mrs. Dalloway”)中,小说中的人物角色都因为无法保持适度的“比例感”而陷入困境,遭受折磨;日常生活,以及对其中一个角色来说的生活本身,都太过沉重,难以控制。

我这么说,并不是因为我认为如果你不采纳我的建议,你的生活将会变得一团糟,而是因为《达罗卫夫人》真的是非常优秀的读物,我极力推荐你们读一读。

——维利·X.林,圣路易斯华盛顿大学文学创作专业在读硕士生。

学是事实产生的地方。研究是个协作的过程,所以科学家需要实验室助手,人文学科的研究人员需要图书馆助手,而研究生或博士生需要所有能得到的帮助。求知欲强且有能力的本科生总能够找到协助研究人员的活儿做。

不管是什么领域或是什么具体项目,帮助研究人员也是帮助自己。最明显的益处是学到了新的技能和无价的经验。不过,了解正确的实验或分析方法是如何在一堆杂乱的观察数据或观点声音中分辨出各种现象之间的联系,如基因变异和某种疾病,金融工具和信用可获性等,这对自己也有很大作用。打开一扇了解研究这一领域的窗口,你会发现自己在思考时更具批判性,也更少从表面价值去判断是否接受某些主张,或许你还会发现自己更有信心和勇气去面对自己能完成的事情。

最重要的是:研究经验告诉你知识是如何产生的。在科技发达的信息时代里,具有研究经验能够使人更好地生活着。

——阿曼·辛格·基尔(Aman Singh Gill),纽约州立大学石溪分校生态与进化系在读博士生。

子设备已经成为了带给人安全感的事物。但让自己慢慢戒掉吧。

开始时,每天计划几个小时的不上网时间,手机也关机。这是你能够认真地读点什么东西的唯一办法,不管读的是柏拉图(Plato)还是德里达(Derrida)有关柏拉图的研究。(记住,如果你先读柏拉图,再读德里达有关柏拉图的研究,你会收获更多。)此外,下了线关了机,别人就更难找到你,你也因此在新朋友和熟人眼里显得更加神秘,更有吸引力。

当你离开房间去上课时,把你的笔记本电脑留下。把上课时间全都耗在Facebook上面,这只会浪费时间,浪费父母的钱、不尊重教师、也会让坐在你旁边想要集中精神听课的人觉得恼火。

你不需要用笔记本来做笔记——一字一句地记录下来不是好的记笔记方法。那只会制造劈啪劈啪的噪音……你是学生,不是法院书记员。到了讨论课或讨论环节时,习惯带着自己的想法,和其他人围坐在放着几本书的桌子旁进行讨论。毕竟,在你以后的生活中,会议是通过屏幕远程召开的。

——克莉丝汀·斯默尔伍德(Christine Smallwood),哥伦比亚大学英美文学专业在读博士生。

学新生承受着难以置信的压力,他们不只是要成功地完成大学学业,而且还要表现突出。他们带着内疚的心走进大学,不知道要选什么专业,也不知道将选择怎样的职业道路。但且放轻松,大家都和你一样,什么也不知道。

进入艺术学院的第一个星期,我坐在昏暗的讲堂里,教授问的问题我都无法回答,幻灯片课件上的内容我也看不清楚。我觉得这讲堂里似乎就我一个人摸不着北。所以,当绘画课老师邀请我们几个学生去她家里吃个家常便饭时,我还担心自己会落后。但在这种非正式场合中,大家都开怀畅谈,我也能够非常轻松自如地说出自己对艺术的看法。

晚饭后,在回宿舍的路上,我们坐在现在最喜欢的老师的敞篷车上,沿途的树木嗖嗖作响,我记得自己抬头望着夜空, 想着,“大学就该是这样子!”轻松享受这一旅程吧。

——伊凡·拉伦德(Evan Lalonde),波特兰州立大学当代艺术实践专业在读硕士生。

开始进入大学的那几个月里,大家都想交朋友。但没有人知道该怎么做,所以每个人一直都很友好。你或许会感觉自己为了得到同学的欢迎,假装对很多事情都非常感兴趣。“你是半职业哑剧演员?真酷。今晚上哪儿去啊?”

幸好,到最后,一切都摆脱了。在聚会上、社团活动中、宿舍里和教室里,你会找到自己真正愿意与其交流的人。换句话说,除非你每天晚上都呆在宿舍里,和高中时的爱人(他/她可能回家了,也可能在别的学校就读)煲电话粥。或者更糟糕的,你每隔一个周末就离开学校去见你的爱人。分手吧。

你们应该尽快分手,因为无论如何,感恩节过后,你们可能就会分手。你可能会真心挽留,但是当你们身边有了新的伙伴,无法真正“了解”对方在各自学校里的表现,或是因为对方而错过了某些重要的场合,如现在正在忙碌进行着的社交联谊活动,你们便会开始憎恨对方。更糟糕的是,其他人可能会对你的缺场加以惩罚:“哦,是啊,这玩笑有点难解释。瞧,那是在你离开镇上的那个周末开始传出的。”

和你的爱人到同一所大学也不必然能解决问题。我就是个活生生的例子。我男朋友不喜欢我的新“舞台”;我感到心慌,因为我们开始太多时间黏在一起,然后呆在一起的时间又变得很少。在第一个学期分手前的那头两个月,我们就这样分分合合地得过且过。

大学一年过去了,我们认识了许多新朋友,各自的生活重心也有了变化。在接下来的学期里,我们觉得成长过程中的烦恼并没有减弱彼此之间非常珍贵的情谊。最后我们复合了,一起度过剩下的大学时光。不过,我们是先分过手的。
——瑞贝卡·埃利奥特,加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校社会学系在读博士生。

来源:译言网

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Post time 2012-7-10 18:43:47 |Display all floors
This post was edited by ttt222 at 2012-7-10 18:46

Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend

Advice for freshmen from the people who actually grade their papers and lead their class discussions.


Morgan Elliott

College is your chance to see what you’ve been missing, both in the outside world and within yourself. Use this time to explore as much as you can.

Take classes in many different subjects before picking your major. Try lots of different clubs and activities. Make friends with people who grew up much poorer than you, and others much richer. Date someone of a different race or religion. (And no, hooking up at a party doesn’t count.) Spend a semester abroad or save up and go backpacking in Europe or Asia.

Somewhere in your childhood is a gaping hole. Fill this hole. Don’t know what classical music is all about? That’s bad. Don’t know who Lady Gaga is? That’s worse. If you were raised in a protected cocoon, this is the time to experience the world beyond.

College is also a chance to learn new things about yourself. Never been much of a leader? Try forming a club or a band.

The best things I did in college all involved explorations like this. I was originally a theater major but by branching out and taking a math class I discovered I actually liked math, and I enjoyed hanging out with technical people.

By dabbling in leadership — I ran the math club and directed a musical — I learned how to formulate a vision and persuade people to join me in bringing it to life. Now I’m planning to become an entrepreneur after graduate school. It may seem crazy, but it was running a dinky club that set me on the path to seeing myself as someone who could run a business.

Try lots of things in college. You never know what’s going to stick.
— TIM NOVIKOFF, Ph.D. student in applied mathematics at Cornell
• • •
Chances are, if you are taking the time to read this advice, you already have the quality necessary to undertake the intellectual challenges of a college education — a seriousness of purpose. What I want to speak to is much more mundane, but it will make your transition into college easier: amid the thrill and vertigo of change, be kind to and patient with yourself.
Remember to take some time away from campus — from the demands of schoolwork and the trappings of the college social life. Explore the town you’re living in. Meet people who are not professors or fellow students. If you spend all of your time on school grounds, then it becomes too easy for the criticism from an occasional unkind professor or the conflict with a roommate to take on a monstrous scale. And to let that happen is to suffer from a mistake of emphasis; college should be a part of, but not the entire scope of, your existence for the next few years.
In Virginia Woolf’s novel “Mrs. Dalloway,” characters are troubled and traumatized by their inability to maintain a proper “sense of proportion”; ordinary tasks — life itself, for one of the characters — become outsized and unmanageable.
I mention this not because I think your situation will be so dire if you don’t heed my advice, but mostly because “Mrs. Dalloway” is a great read, and I highly recommend it.
— WILLIE X. LIN, student in the M.F.A. program in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis
• • •
Universities are places where facts are made. Research is a collaborative process, so scientists need lab assistants, humanities researchers need library aides and graduate students need all the help they can get. A curious, competent undergraduate can always find work assisting a researcher.
Regardless of the field and the specific project, helping them helps you. The obvious benefits are new skills and invaluable experience. But there is also something powerful in seeing how the right experimental or analytical approach can sort through a mess of observations and opinion to identify real associations between phenomena, like a gene variant and a disease, or a financial tool and the availability of credit. With a window into the world of research, you will find yourself thinking more critically, accepting fewer assertions at face value and perhaps developing an emboldened sense of what you can accomplish.
Most important: research experience shows you how knowledge is produced. There are worse ways to prepare for life in an information age.
— AMAN SINGH GILL, Ph.D. student in the ecology and evolution department at Stony Brook University
• • •
Devices have become security blankets. Take the time to wean yourself.

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Start by scheduling a few Internet-free hours each day, with your phone turned off. It’s the only way you’ll be able to read anything seriously, whether it’s Plato or Derrida on Plato. (And remember, you’ll get more out of reading Derrida on Plato if you read Plato first.) This will also have the benefit of making you harder to reach, and thus more mysterious and fascinating to new friends and acquaintances.

When you leave your room for class, leave the laptop behind. In a lecture, you’ll only waste your time and your parents’ money, disrespect your professor and annoy whoever is trying to pay attention around you by spending the whole hour on Facebook.

You don’t need a computer to take notes — good note-taking is not transcribing. All that clack, clack, clacking ... you’re a student, not a court reporter. And in seminar or discussion sections, get used to being around a table with a dozen other humans, a few books and your ideas. After all, you have the rest of your life to hide behind a screen during meetings.

— CHRISTINE SMALLWOOD, Ph.D. student in English and American literature at Columbia

• • •
First-years are under an unbelievable pressure not only to succeed, but to excel in college. They walk into a university already feeling guilty that they don’t know what they want to major in, or what their career path is going to be. But be comfortable with the fact that you don’t know anything. Nobody does.

During my first week in art school, I sat in a dark lecture hall as a professor asked questions I couldn’t answer and showed slides I couldn’t identify. I felt as if I was the only one in the room who didn’t have a clue. So, when my drawing teacher invited several of us students to a potluck dinner at her house, I was still worried that I was out of my league. But in this casual setting, everyone opened up, and I was able to talk about art in the most relaxed and personal way.

As we returned to the dorms in the back of our now-favorite professor’s pickup truck, I remember looking up at the night sky and the trees whizzing by and thinking, “This is what college is supposed to feel like!” Relax and enjoy the ride.

— EVAN LaLONDE, student in the M.F.A. program in contemporary art practice at Portland State University

• • •
During the first few months of college, everyone wants to make friends. But no one knows how to do it, so everyone is really friendly all the time. You are likely to find yourself feigning interest in and enthusiasm for a lot of things to ingratiate yourself with your peers. “You’re a semiprofessional mime? So cool. Where are you going out tonight?”

Eventually, mercifully, it all shakes out. Parties, activities, dorms and classes help you find people you actually like to talk to. That is, unless you’re in your room every night, on the phone with your high school sweetheart, who’s back home or at another school. Or worse, you’re leaving school every other weekend to visit your significant other. Break up.

You should break up soon because you are likely to break up over Thanksgiving, anyway. You’ll give it an earnest try, but you’ll start to resent each other for forming new attachments, for not really “getting” what it’s like at your respective schools, for being the reason you’re both missing out on important experiences, like the hectic social sorting that’s happening right now. Worse, other people will punish you for missing out: “Oh, yeah, the joke is kind of hard to explain. See, it started that weekend you were out of town.”

Going to the same college as your significant high school other will not necessarily solve the problem. This is what happened to me. My boyfriend didn’t like my new “scene”; I panicked because I felt that we were spending too much time — then too little time — together. We limped through the first two months of the first semester before we called it quits.

The college year went by, bringing a lot of new people and priorities into our separate lives. The following fall, we realized that all our growing pains had not diminished what was a very precious connection. We ended up getting back together and staying together through the rest of college. But we had to break up first.

— REBECCA ELLIOTT, Ph.D. student in the sociology department at the University of California, Berkeley

Source: The New York Times

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