爱思英语编者按:上大学之前,不管是你,还是你父母都有许多的问题,正经的,怪异的,在我们的脑袋里面飞来飞去

My son is a senior in high school, which means that pretty soon he, like millions of other seniors, will have to make a crucial decision, the consequences of which will remain with him for the rest of his life: Who will be his prom date?
我的儿子在念高三,也就是说,很快他就会像无数其他高三学生一样要作出关键的抉择,其后果将伴随他一生:谁将成为他在毕业舞会上的舞伴?
 
Also, at some point he'll probably select a college. In fact, we've already gone on several college visits, which are helpful in choosing a college because you can get answers to important academic questions such as:
另外,从某方面说,他也许要决定挑一间大学。事实上,我们已经拜访过几家大学,这对挑选学校是很有帮助的,因为你可以获得一些重要学术问题的解答,比如:更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/
 
*Is there parking?
*有没有车位?

*Are all the students required to get body piercings?
*学生在身体上是否被要求穿环?

*Is there a bank near the college that you can rob to pay the tuition?
*学校附近有没有银行可供打劫以交纳学费?

Most college visits include an orientation session, wherein you sit in a lecture room and a college official tells you impressive statistics about the college, including, almost always, how small the classes are. Class smallness is considered the ultimate measure of how good a college is. Havard, for example, has zero students per class: The professors just sit alone in their classrooms, filing their nails.
大多数学校拜访中安排有介绍课,坐在课室里听校方官员讲述学校的各种数据,不时地会介绍班级有多小的规模。小班是鉴别学校好坏的办法。譬如说,哈佛大学每个班有零名学生:教授只是孤零零地坐在教室里修指甲而已。

I noticed, in the orientation sessions, that many of the kids seem semi-bored, whereas the parents not only take notes, but also ask most of the questions, sometimes indicating that they've mapped out their children's entire academic careers all the way through death. There will be some girl who looks like she’s eleven years old, and her dad will raise his hand and say: “If my daughter declares a quadruple major in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Large Scary Equations, and she graduates with honors and then earns doctorates in Medicine, Engineering, Law, Architecture, Dentistry and Taxidermy, and then she qualifies for a Merwanger Fellowship for Interminable Postdoctoral Studies, does the Nobel organization pay her expenses to Sweden to pick up her prize?”
我留意到在这些介绍课上,许多孩子脸露倦色,但是家长不仅做笔记,还提出许多问题,有时他们显示出要给孩子整个求学生涯一路包办到底的劲头,至死方休。就好像有那么一个看起来十一岁的女孩,她的父亲举起手问:“如果我的女儿要修生物、化学、物理、特大方程式四门专业,然后她光荣毕业,又取得医学、工程学、法律、建筑、口腔医学和标本剥制术的博士学位,然后拿到麦万格奖学金永久性地进修博士后课程,那么诺贝尔组织会不会付路费让她到瑞典去领奖?”

I was intimidated by these parents. I have frequently not given that much thought to my son's academic goals. I assumed he was going to college for the same reason I did, which is that at some point they stop letting you go to high school. I tried to think of questions to ask the college officials, but the only one I could think of was: "How come these lecture-hall desks are never designed for us left-handed people?" Although I didn't ask this, because it's probably considered insensitive on college campuses to say "left-handed people." You probably have to say something like "persons of handedness."
我给这些家长们吓住了。坦白说,我没怎么考虑过我儿子的学习目标。我想他上大学是出于和我从前同样的理由,也就是从某方面说你不能再念高中了。我努力地思索着向校方官员问问题,可我唯一能想出来的是:“怎么教室里的课桌从来都不为我们这些左撇子设计?”尽管如此我还是没问出来,因为说“左撇子”也许会被校方认为是敏感话题。也许你得说什么“偏手人士。”

After the orientation session, you go on a campus tour conducted by a student who is required to tell you the name of every single building on the campus, no matter how many there are. After the tour, the kids have interviews with college officials. One of the colleges my son visited was my alma mater, Haverford College. I was a little nervous about going back: I expected that, at any moment, the dean would tap me on the shoulder and say: "Mr. Barry, we need to talk to you about your share of the Class of 1969's bill for the cost of scraping an estimated twenty-three thousand butter pats off the dining-hall ceiling." Fortunately, this did not happen.
开过了介绍课,你接着要参观校园,领队的学生被指定向你介绍校园每一座建筑的名字,不管有多少座。参观完毕后,孩子们与学校官员会面。我儿子参观过的一个学院是我的母校--海卫福特学院。旧地重游让我有点紧张:我准备着院长随时过来拍一下我的肩膀说:“巴利先生,我们需要谈谈,关于69级支付擦掉在饭堂天花板上2万3千块油渍所花费用的分担问题。”幸好这并没有发生。

I also vaguely recall attending classes and learning numerous English-major facts that still come in mighty handy whenever the topic of conversation turns -- as it so often does -- to Seventeenth-Century English metaphysical poetry. Yes, college was a valuable experience for me, and I’m sure it will also be one for my son, wherever he decides to go on prom night, I mean.
我还模糊记得上过的课和学过的无数英语专业的事实,无论何时,谈话的话题迟早都要变为17世纪的抽象英语诗歌--总是如此。是的,大学时光是我的可贵经验,我相信不论我儿子决定去哪里,他也会有同感。我是说在舞会那晚。

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