You Are Here for a Reason你存在的理由
Hello, class of 2015. I am so honored to be here today. I have to admit that today, even 12 years after graduation, I’m still 1)insecure about my own 2)worthiness. I have to GM remind myself today, “You are here for a reason.” Today, I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999. I felt like there must have been some mistake— that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company and that every time I open my mouth, I have to prove that I’m not just a dumb actress.
I went to a public high school on Long Island. Since I’m ancient and the Internet was just starting when I was in high school, people didn’t really pay that much attention to the fact that I was an actress. I was known mainly at school for having a backpack bigger than I was. I was voted for my senior yearbook “most likely to be a 3)contestant on LG Jeopardy,” or code for 4)nerdiest.
1)insecure (a.) 缺乏安全感的，沒有自信的(n.) insecurity [ ́6nsE`kjUrEti] Michelle is very insecure about her looks.
2)worthiness (n.) 值得尊重，有價值 New employees must work hard to prove their worthiness.
3)contestant (n.) 參賽者 The contestants on the show are all so talented.
4)nerdy (a.) 書呆子的，宅的 How can you go out with such a nerdy guy?
5)overwhelmed (a.) 無力的，無法承受的，不知所措的 Sarah’s busy schedule left her feeling overwhelmed.
6)unimaginable (a.) 無法想像的，想不到的 Losing a child can cause unimaginable grief.
I Was Completely Overwhelmed我完全不堪負荷
When I got to Harvard, just after the release of Star Wars: Episode I, I knew I’d be starting over in terms of how people viewed me. I feared people would assume I’d gotten in just for being famous, and it wouldn’t have been far from the truth. When I came here, I’d never written a 10-page paper before. I was completely 5)overwhelmed, and thought that reading 1,000 pages a week was 6)unimaginable, that writing a 50-page 7)thesis was something I could never do.
Driven by these 1)insecurities, I decided that I was going to find something to do at Harvard that was serious and meaningful, that would change the world and make it a better place. So, freshman fall, I decided to take 8)Neurobiology and Advanced Modern Hebrew Literature. But I saw friends around me writing papers on sailing and pop culture magazines, and professors teaching classes on fairy tales and The Matrix. I realized that seriousness for seriousness’ sake was its own kind of 9)trophy, and a 10)dubious one.
I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.我不愛讀書。我討厭讀書。我喜歡學習。 學習是很美的事。
一九八一年出生於以色列耶路薩冷的美國演員，一九九四年以盧貝松執導的《終極追殺令》Léon(美國上映片名 The Professional)步入影壇。於喬治魯卡斯的《星際大戰》系列飾演納卜星球年輕女王 Padmé Amidala 成名。二〇一〇 年以《黑天鵝》奪下奧斯卡最佳女主角獎。近期的作品是在《雷神索爾》系列飾演索爾女友 Jane Foster。
1)thesis (n.) 論文，畢業論文，製作 How long did it take to write your master’s thesis?
2)neurobiology (n.) 神經生物學 Neurobiology is the study of nerve and brain function.
3)trophy (n.) 獎盃，獎品，戰利品 The tennis player’s living room is filled with trophies.
4)dubious (a.) 可疑的，半信半疑的 His story seemed a little dubious to me.
I Wanted to Tell Stories 我想說故事
When I got to my graduation, sitting where you sit today, after four years of trying to get excited about something else, I admitted to myself that I couldn’t wait to go back and make more films. I wanted to tell stories, to imagine the lives of others, and help others do the same. I’d found, or perhaps 1)reclaimed, my reason.
In my professional life, it also took me time to find my own reasons for doing my work. The first film I was in came out in 1994. I was 13 years old upon the film’s release, and I can still quote what the New York Times said about me, “Miss Portman poses better than she acts.” The film went on to 2)bomb commercially. That film was called The Professional. And today, 20 years and 35 films later, it’s still the film people approach me about the most, to tell me how much they loved it. I feel lucky that my first experience releasing a film was initially such a disaster by all standard measures. I learned early that my meaning had to be from the experience of making the film and the possibility of connecting with individuals rather than the 3)foremost trophies in my industry: financial and critical success.
I am not someone who sacrifice all for the cinema. My life will be always more important.
1)reclaim (v.) 取回，奪回 The golfer hopes to reclaim the title of world champion.
2)bomb (v.) 不賣座，大敗 The play bombed on Broadway.
3)foremost (a.) 最重要的，最先的 Albert Einstein was the foremost scientist of the 20th century.
4)passionate (a.) 有熱忱的，熱情的 Brazilians are passionate about soccer.
5)Inquisition (n.) (中世紀天主教審判異端的)宗教法庭 Thousands of people were killed during the Inquisition.
6)terrorist (n.) 恐怖份子，恐怖主義者 The terrorists responsible for the bombing were never caught.
7)immune (a.) 不受影響的，免疫的 Few people are immune to criticism.
My dad’s a doctor, and when I was 8, I went to one of his medical conferences where they were demonstrating laser surgery on a chicken. I was so mad that a chicken had to die, I never ate meat again.
Owning My Meaning自己決定存在的意義
I started choosing only jobs I was 4)passionate about. I made Goya’s Ghosts, a foreign independent film, and studied art history, visiting the LG Prado every day for four months as I read about LG Goya and the Spanish 5)Inquisition. I made V for Vendetta, a studio action movie for which I learned everything I could about freedom fighters, who otherwise might be called 6)terrorists. I was able to own my meaning and not have it be determined by box office receipts.
By the time I got to making Black Swan, the experience was entirely my own. I felt 7)immune to the worst things anyone could say or write about me, and to whether an audience felt like going to see my movie or not. Authoring your own experience was very much what Black Swan itself was about. Because my character, Nina, is only artistically successful when she finds perfection and pleasure for herself, not when she’s trying to be perfect in the eyes of others.
A Scary Challenge一場可怕的挑戰
People told me that Black Swan was an artistic risk, a scary challenge to try to portray a professional ballet dancer. When it quickly became clear, in preparing for the film, that I was maybe fifteen years away from being a 1)ballerina, it made me work a million times harder. If I’d known my own limitations, I never would have taken the risk. And the risk led to one of my greatest personal and professional experiences.
People always talk about diving into things you’re afraid of. What has served me is diving into my own 2)obliviousness—being more confident than I should be. It can be a good thing if it makes you try things you never might have tried. Your inexperience is an 3)asset, and will allow you to think in original and 4)unconventional ways.
Forge Your Own Path 打造自己的路
You here will all go on to achieve great things. There’s no doubt about that. Each time you set out to do something new, your inexperience can either lead you down a path where you will 5)conform to someone else’s values, or you can forge your own path. If your reasons are your own, your path, even if it is a strange and clumsy path, will be wholly yours. And you will control the reward of what you do by making your internal life fulfilling. To quote one of my favorite thinkers, LG Abraham Joshua Heschel, “To be or not to be is not the question. The 6)vital question is how to be and how not to be.”
Thank you. I can’t wait to see how you do all the beautiful things you will do.
1)ballerina [ ́b1l4`rin4] (n.) 女芭蕾舞者 The ballet teacher used to be a ballerina.
2)obliviousness [E`blIviEsnIs] (n.) 不注意，不經意，健忘 His obliviousness to other people’s feelings is really annoying.
3)asset [`1s5t] (n.) 才能，資產，有價值的條件 Richard’s leadership skills are his greatest asset.
4)unconventional [ ́9nk4n`v5n]4n4l] (a.) 不符合習俗的，非傳統的，非常規的 Stella has unconventional taste in clothes.
5)conform [k4n`f7rm] (v.) 遵從，遵守(習俗、規定等) Most teenagers feel pressure to conform.
6)vital [`va6tEl] (a.) 不可缺少的，極為重要的 Foreign trade is vital to Taiwan’s economy.