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Permission to Fail 允许失败

(2007-12-22 15:18:12)
标签:

文学/原创

感悟随笔

生活

分类: 我的译文(散文)
Permission to Fail 允许失败
By Aletha Jane Lindstrom
之水 译

Each of us fails from time to time. If we are wise, we accept these failures as a necessary part of the learning process. But all too often as parents and teachers we deny this same right to our children. We convey either by words or by actions that failure is something to be ashamed of, that nothing but top performance meets with our approval.


我们每个人都常常犯错。明智的人接受失败,把它作为一个必经的学习过程。但是我们这些身为人师和父母的人常常不允许孩子有犯错的权力。我们以言语和行为告知他们失败是件可耻的事。只有表现最好的人才能得到我们的称赞。

 

When I see a child subject to this kind of pressure, I think of Donnie.
每当我看见小孩因为这个原因而感到压力时,我就会想起唐尼。

 

Donnie was my youngest third-grader. He was a shy, nervous perfectionist. His fear of failure kept him from classroom games that other children played with joyous abandon. He seldom answered questions - he might be wrong. Written assignments, especially math, reduced him to nail-biting frustration. He seldom finished his work because he repeatedly checked with me to be sure he hadn't made a mistake.


唐尼是小学三年级最小的学生。他内向、胆怯,做事力求完美。因为害怕失败他不愿意与其他孩子一起尽情玩闹做游戏。因为怕出错,他很少回答问题。完成作业时,尤其是数学,总让他有无所适从的挫败感。因为他总是不停地问我以确保没有错误,所以他很少完成作业。

 

I tried my best to build his self-confidence. And I repeatedly asked God for direction. But nothing changed until midterm, when Mary Anne, a student teacher, was assigned to our classroom.


我尽我所能让他树立自信心。我再三地请求上帝给予指引。直到期中考试,实习老师玛丽·安妮被分派到我们班上,情况才得以转变。

 

She was young and pretty, and she loved children. My pupils, Donnie included, adored her. But even enthusiastic, loving Mary Anne was baffled by this little boy who feared he might make a mistake.


她年轻、漂亮,又喜欢孩子。我的学生,包括唐尼在内都非常爱她。但是就连这个热情可爱的玛丽·安妮也被这个害怕犯错误的小男孩给难住了。

 

Then one morning we were working math problems at the chalkboard. Donnie had copied the problems with painstaking neatness and filled in answers for the first row. Pleased with his progress, I left the children with Mary Anne and went for art materials. When I returned, Donnie was in tears. He'd missed the third problem.


后来有一天早晨,我和玛丽在黑板上写下了数字题目。唐尼小心而整齐地抄下问题并在第一排写上了答案。我为他的进步而高兴,就离开玛丽·安妮和孩子们去拿绘图材料。我返回时看见唐尼在哭。他做错了第三道题。

 

My student teacher looked at me in despair. Suddenly her face brightened. From the desk we shared, she got a canister filled with pencils.


实习老师绝望地看着我。突然她的眼睛一亮,从我们共用的桌子上拿来一个装满铅笔的笔筒。

 

"Look, Donnie," she said, kneeling beside him and gently lifting the tear-stained face from his arms. "I've got something to show you." She removed the pencils, one at a time, and placed them on his desk.


“看看这,唐尼,”她跪在唐尼的旁边轻轻把他的脸从手臂上抬起来说,“我有东西给你看。”她一下子取出所有铅笔,把它们放到唐尼的桌上。

 

"See these pencils, Donnie?" she continued. "They belong to Mrs. Lindstrom and me. See how the erasers are worn? That's because we make mistakes too. Lots of them. But we erase the mistakes and try again. That's what you must learn to do, too."


“看看这些铅笔,唐尼?”她继续说,“这是我和琳德斯特姆夫人共有的。看看上面的橡皮擦磨损得多严重?那是因为我们也会做错,有过许多的错误。但是我们用橡皮擦擦掉错的,重新来过。那也是你必须要懂得的道理啊。”

 

She kissed him and stood up. "Here," she said, "I'll leave one of these pencils on your desk so you'll remember that everybody makes mistakes, even teachers." Donnie looked up with love in his eyes and just a glimmer of a smile - the first I'd see on his face that year.


玛丽吻了唐尼一下然后站了起来。“在这里,”她说,“我会留下一只铅笔在你的桌上,你要记住每个人都会犯错,即使是老师。”唐尼抬头,眼里满是爱,脸上闪过一丝微笑,——在那一年这是我第一次从他脸上看到笑容。

 

The pencil became Donnie's prized possession. That, together with Mary Anne's frequent encouragement and unfailing praise for even Donnie's small successes, gradually persuaded him that it's all right to make mistakes - as long as you erase them and try again.


那支笔成为唐尼最珍视的东西。那之后,哪怕有一点小小的成绩,玛丽·安妮都不断地鼓励唐尼,诚恳地赞扬他,逐渐让他懂得只要改正错误重新来过,就不要怕犯错。

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