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第21课

(2009-08-14 21:34:38)
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杂谈

分类: 英语阅读二(1-36)

Text 21 Me, Stephen William Hawking 我,史太芬•威廉•霍金
Pre-reading Activities
1. Do you believe in fate? Discuss it with your classmates.
2. Tell your classmates the life story of your most admired famous scientist and what makes you admire him or her.
Text
1. I am quite often asked: How do you feel about having ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)? The answer is not a lot. I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many. 经常会有人问我:你患了肌萎缩性脊髓侧索硬化症,对此你怎么看?答案很简单。我尽量让自己过正常人的生活,而不去考虑我的情况,也不会为因疾病而无法做一些事情感到遗憾,当然这样的事情并不太多。
2. It was a great shock to me to discover that I had motor neuron disease. I had never been very well co-coordinated physically as a child. I was not good at ball games, and my handwriting was the despair` of my teachers. Maybe for this reason, I didn't care much for sport or physical activities. But things seemed to change when I went to Oxford, at the age of 17. I took up coxing and rowing. I was not boat race standard, but I got by at the level of inter-college competition. 当发现自己患了运动神经细胞病时,我十分震惊。我的身体从没有像正常孩子那样协调地活动过。我不擅长球类运动,我的书写也让老师感到很失望。也许正是由于这个原因,我不喜欢体育运动或活动。但当我17岁进入牛津时,事情发生了变化。我参加了赛艇和划船活动。我达不到参加正式划船比赛的标准,但我参加了大学间的联赛。
3. In my third year at Oxford, however, I noticed that I seemed to be getting clumsier, and I fell over once or twice for no apparent reason. But it was not until I was at Cambridge, in the following year, that my father noticed, and took me to the family doctor. He referred me to a specialist, and shortly after my 21st birthday; I went into hospital for tests. I was in for two weeks, during which I had a wide variety of tests. They took a muscle sample from my arm, stuck electrodes into me, and injected some radio opaque fluid into my spine, and watched it going up and down with x-rays, as they tilted the bed. After all that, they didn’t tell me what I had, except that it was not multiple sclerosis, and that I was an atypical case. I gathered, however, that they expected it to continue to get worse, and that there was nothing they could do, except give me vitamins. I could see that they didn’t expect them to have much effect. I didn’t feel like asking for more details, because they were obviously bad. 然而在牛津读书的第三年,我发现自己似乎更笨拙了,有那么一两次没有任何原因就摔倒了。直到一年后我在剑桥大学时,父亲注意到了,带我去看家庭医生。他把我介绍给一个专家,在我刚过21岁生日不久,就去了医院做检查。我在那里呆了两周,期间接受了各种检查。他们从我的胳膊上取了一块肌肉样本,给我上电极,在脊柱里注入无线电不透明液体,然后把床倾斜,并用X光观察它上下流动。一切检查结束后,他们并没有告诉我得了什么病,只说不是多发性硬化症,我是一个非典型的病例。然而我断定,他们猜测情况会更糟,而且无药可医,只能给我补充维生素。我知道他们并没有期望维生素能够起多大的作用。我不愿意问更多细节,因为显然事情很糟糕。
4. The realization that I had an incurable disease, that was likely to kill me in a few years, was a bit of a shock. How could something like that happen to me? Why should I be cut off like this? However, while I had been in hospital, I had seen a boy I vaguely knew die of leukemia, in the bed opposite me. It had not been a pretty sight. Clearly there were people who were worse off than me. At least my condition didn’t make me feel sick. Whenever I feel inclined to be sorry for myself I remember that boy. 我意识到自己患了不治之症,也许几年后就会告别人世,这让我十分震惊。这样的事情怎么会发生在我身上?为什么我应该这样死亡?然而我在医院时,我曾亲眼看见一个男孩死于白血病,他就死要我对面的床上。那一幕真的很可怕。显然有些人比我还要惨。至少我的情况没有让我不舒服。当我对自己感到绝望时,就会想起那个男孩。
5. Not knowing what was going to happen to me, or how rapidly the disease would progress, I was a loose end. The doctors told me to go back to Cambridge and carry on with the research I had just started in general relativity and cosmology. But I was not making much progress, because I didn’t have much mathematical background. And, anyway, I might not live long enough to finish my PhD. I felt somewhat of a tragic character. I took to listening to Wagner. 不知道将会有什么发生在我身上,也不知道我得的这个病的进展如何,我完全没有着落。医生让我回剑桥继续研究我刚刚开始的一般相对论和宇宙论。但是我并没有取得很大进展,因为我的数学基础比较薄弱。也许我都不能活到取得博士学位。我感觉自己是个悲剧人物,我开始听Wagner的音乐。
6. My dreams at that time were rather disturbed. Before my condition had been diagnosed, I had been very bored with life. There had not seemed to be anything worth doing. But shortly after I came out of hospital, I dreamt that I was going to be executed. I suddenly realized that there were a lot of worthwhile things I could do if I were reprieved. Another dream, that I had several times, was that I would sacrifice my life to save others. After all, if I were going to die anyway, it might as well do some good. But I didn't die. In fact, although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying life in the present more than before. I began to make progress with my research, and I got engaged to a girl called Jane Wilde, whom I had met just about the time my condition was diagnosed. That engagement changed my life. It gave me something to live for. But it also meant that I had to get a job if we were to get married. I therefore applied for a research fellowship at Gonville and .Caius College, Cambridge. To my great surprise, I got a fellowship, and we got married a few months later. 那时我的梦想中断了。在我的病情诊断之前,我厌倦了生活。似乎没有什么事情值得去做。就在我出院不久,我梦见自己被判了死刑。我突然意识到如果是缓刑的话,我还可以做很多有意义的事情。我还经常做另外一个梦,我献出了自己的生命去救别人。毕竟我就算死,也要做些好事。但是我没有死。实际上虽然我的未来笼罩在乌云之下,但我还是惊奇地发现,我正在享受着比以前更幸福的生活。我的研究开始有了进展,我和一个叫简•韦尔德的女孩定了婚。我是在病情诊断后不久认识好的。订婚改变了我的生活。它使我有了生活方向。但是也意味着,如果我们结婚,我得找份工作做。因此我向剑桥大学的康威勒凯斯学院申请研究奖学金。出乎我的意料,我竟然拿到了奖学金,几个月后我们结婚。
7. The fellowship at Caius took care of my immediate employment problem. I was lucky to have chosen to work in theoretical physics, because that was one of the few areas in which my condition would not be a serious handicap. And I was fortunate that my scientific reputation.... increased, at the same time that my disability got worse. This meant that people were prepared to offer me a sequence.... of positions in which I only had to do research, without having to lecture. 凯斯提供的奖学金解决了我的工作问题。我被选中去研究应用物理,因为这个领域适合于像我这样有严重身体残疾的人。很幸运的是,我在科学领域的知名度逐步提高,与此同时,我的身体状况却越来越差。这意味着人们给了我一系列的职位,但我只能做研究,而不能做讲座。
8. Up to 1974, I was able to feed myself, and get in and out of bed. Jane managed to help me, and bring up the 3 children, without outside help. However, things were getting more difficult, so we took to having one of my research students living with us. In return for free accommodation, and a lot of my-attention, they helped me get up and go to bed. In 1980, we changed to a system of community and private nurses, who came in for an hour or two in the morning and evening. This lasted until I caught pneumonia in 1985. I had to have a tracheotomy operation. After this, I had to have 24 hour nursing care. This was made possible by grants from several foundations. 1974年之前,我能自己吃饭,自己上床起床。简在没有其他人帮忙的情况下,设法帮助我,并抚养3个孩子。后来事情变得越来越困难了,我们只好让一个研究生和我们住在一起,他帮助我上床起床。作为回报他得到免费的住宿以及我的辅导。1980年我们请了家庭护士,早晚各一到两个小时的服务。这种状况一直持续到1985年我得了肺炎。我必须做气管切开手术。这之后我不得不接受24小时护理。这多亏了几个基金会给我的津贴。
9. Before the operation, my speech had been getting more slurred, so that only a few people who knew me well, could understand me. But at least I could communicate. I wrote scientific papers by dictating to a secretary, and I gave seminars through an interpreter, who repeated my words more clearly. However, the tracheotomy operation removed my ability to speak altogether. For a time, the only way I could communicate was to spell out words letter by letter, by raising my eyebrows when someone pointed to the right letter on a spelling card. It is pretty difficult to carry on a conversation like that, let alone write a scientific paper. However, a computer expert in California, called Walt Woltosz, heard of my plight. He sent me a computer program he had written, called Equalizer. This allowed me to select words from a series of menus on the screen, by pressing a switch in my hand. The program could also be controlled by a switch, operated by head or eye movement. When I have built up what I want to say, I can send it to a speech synthesizer. 手术之前我讲话已经有些不清楚了,只有跟我熟悉的人才能听得懂我说的话。但是至少我还能交流。我采用向秘书口述的方式来写论文,在研讨会上由翻译来把我的话重复一遍。然而气管切开术使我丧失了说话的能力。曾经有段时间,我只能通过拼字母来交流。当有人在卡片上指出正确的字母时我就抬一下眉毛。这样的交谈实在太费劲了,更不用说写论文了。然而加利福尼亚州的计算机专家Walt Woltosz听说了我的困境.他送了我一套他编的名叫Equalizer的计算机程序。我可以通过用手按开头,从屏幕上的菜单中选择单词。这一程序也可以用头部或眼睛的运动来控制开关。我编好要说的话,把它发送到声音合成器。
10. At first, I just ran the Equalizer program on a desktop computer. However David Mason, of Cambridge Adaptive Communication, fitted a small portable computer and a speech synthesizer to my wheel chair. This system allowed me to communicate much better than I could before. I can manage up to 15 words a minute. I can either speak what I have written, or save it to disk. I can then print it out, or call it back and speak it sentence by sentence. Using this system, I have written a book, and dozens of scientific papers. I have also given many scientific and popular talks. They have all been well received. I think that is in a large part due to the quality of the speech synthesizer, which is made by Speech Plus. One's voice is very important. If you have a slurred voice, people are likely to treat you as mentally deficient: Does he take sugar? This synthesizer is by far the best I have heard, because it varies the intonation, and doesn't speak like a Dalek. The only trouble is that it gives me an American accent. 最初我是在台式电脑上运行该程序。剑桥大学的David Mason将小型便携式电脑声音合成器固定在我的轮椅上。这一系统使我比以前更容易交流。我可以在一分钟内处理15个字。我可以说出我写的东西,也可把它保存在硬盘里。我可以把它打印出来,或是收回,并一句一句说出来。使用这个系统,我写了一本书和十几篇论文。我也做了许多场科学讲座,都非常受大家欢迎。我想大部分原因是声音合成器的质量很好,是由Speech Plus生产的。一个人的声音非常重要。说话不清楚,人们很可能把你看成智力有缺陷:他是在吃糖吗?这个声音合成器是我所听说过的最好的一种,因为它使音调富于变化,而且声音也不像机器人Dalek。唯一的烦恼就是它让我有了美国口音。
11. I have had motor neuron disease for practically all my adult life. Yet it has not prevented me from having a very attractive family, and being successful in my work. This is thanks to the help I have received from Jane, my children, and a large number of other people and organizations. I have been lucky, that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope. 运动神经细胞病毒伴随着我整个成年生活。但是它没有阻止我拥有幸福的家庭,也没有成为我事业成功的绊脚石。多亏了简、孩子们以及许多人和机构的帮助,我非常感激他们。我是幸运的,我的病情恶化要比一般情况慢得多。它告诉人们,不能失去希望。

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