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  (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

Thank you very much.


Madam Chancellor, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the faculty and administration, parents and friends, honored guests and graduates, thank you for inviting me to speak today at this magnificent Commencement ceremony.


There's a story about a man and a woman who have been married for 40 years. One evening at dinner the woman turns to her husband and says, "You know, 40 years ago on our wedding day you told me that you loved me and you haven't said those words since." They sit in silence for a long moment before the husband says "If I change my mind, I'll let you know."


Well, it's been a long time since I sat where you sit, and I can remember looking up at my teachers with great admiration, with fondness, with gratitude and with love. Some of the teachers who were there that day are here this day and I wanted to let them know that I haven't changed my mind.


There's another story. Two newborn babies are lying side by side in the hospital and they glance at each other. Ninety years later, through a remarkable coincidence, the two are back in the same hospital lying side by side in the same hospital room. They look at each other and one of them says, "So what'd you think?"


It's going to be a very long time before you have to answer that question, but time shifts gears right now and starts to gain speed. Just ask your parents whose heads, I promise you, are exploding right now. They think they took you home from the maternity ward last month. They think you learned how to walk last week. They don't understand how you could possibly be getting a degree in something today. They listened to "Cats in the Cradle" the whole car ride here.

你们很久以后才需要回答这个问题。但物换星移,时间飞快流逝,只要问你们的父母就知道。我向你们保证,现在他 们的思绪必定乱成一团。在他们记忆里,彷佛上个月才将你从产房带回家,彷佛你上星期才学会走路,他们不明白你们怎么可能今天就取得某个学位。他们一路听着“摇篮里的猫”前来这里。

I'd like to say to the parents that I realized something while I was writing this speech: the last teacher your kids will have in college will be me. And that thought scared the hell out of me. Frankly, you should feel exactly the same way. But I am the father of an 11-year-old daughter, so I do know how proud you are today, how proud your daughters and your sons make you every day, and that they did just learn how to walk last week, that you'll never not be there for them, that you love them more than they'll ever know and that it doesn’t matter how many degrees get put in their hand, they will always be dumber than you are.

我想告诉各位家长,我在写这篇演讲稿时领悟到的一件事:你们孩子大学里最后一位老师将会是我。这个念头令我胆 颤心惊。老实说,你们也应该有相同感觉。但我是一位11岁女儿的父亲,所以我确实了解你们今天是多么骄傲;你们的儿女时时刻刻让你们 感到多么自豪;他们确实上星期才学会走路;你永远不需要为了参加他们的毕业典礼而来到这里;他们永远不知道你有多么爱他;无论他们拿到多少个学位,他们永远比你笨。

And make no mistake about it, you are dumb. You're a group of incredibly well-educated dumb people. I was there. We all were there. You're barely functional. There are some screw-ups headed your way. I wish I could tell you that there was a trick to avoiding the screw-ups, but the screw-ups, they're a-coming for ya. It's a combination of life being unpredictable, and you being super dumb.


Today is May 13th and today you graduate. Growing up, I looked at my future as a timeline of graduations in which every few years, I'd be given more freedom and reward as I passed each milestone of childhood. When I get my driver's license, my life will be like this; when I'm a senior, my life will be like that; when I go off to college, my life will be like this; when I move out of the dorms, my life will be like that; and then finally, graduation. And on graduation day, I had only one goal left, and that was to be part of professional theater. We have this in common, you and I—we want to be able to earn a living doing what we love. Whether you're a writer, mathematician, engineer, architect, butcher, baker or candlestick maker, you want an invitation to the show.

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