Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) How do young students and older teachers see the role of education differently?
2) What is "quality of life" and how can it be improved?
3) According to the writer, what must educators prepare students for?
There's a Lot More to Life than a Job
It has often been remarked that the saddest thing about youth is that it is wasted on the young.
Reading a survey report on first-year college students, I recalled the regret, "If only I knew then what I know now."
The survey revealed what I had already suspected from informal polls of students both in Macon and at the Robins Resident Center: if it (whatever it may be) won't compute and you can't drink it, smoke it or spend it, then "it" holds little value.
According to the survey based on responses from over 188,000 students, today's college beginners are "more consumeristic and less idealistic" than at any time in the seventeen years of the poll.
Not surprising in these hard times, the students' major objective "is to be financially well off. Less important than ever is developing a meaningful philosophy of life." Accordingly, today the most popular course is not literature or history but accounting.
Interest in teaching, social service and the humanities is at a low, along with ethnic and women's studies. On the other hand, enrollment in business programs, engineering and computer science is way up.
That's no surprise either. A friend of mine (a sales representative for a chemical company) was making twice the salary of college instructors during her first year on the job — even before she completed her two-year associate degree.
"I'll tell them what they can do with their (music, history, literature, etc.)," she was fond of saying. And that was four years ago; I tremble to think what she's earning now.
Frankly, I'm proud of the young lady (not her attitude but her success). But why can't we have it both ways? Can't we educate people for life as well as for a career? I believe we can.
If we can not, then that is a conviction against our educational system — kindergarten, elementary, secondary and higher. In a time of increasing specialization, a time when 90 percent of all the scientists who have ever lived are currently alive, more than ever, we need to know what is truly important in life.
This is where age and maturity enter. Most people, somewhere between the ages of 30 and 50, finally arrive at the inevitable conclusion that they were meant to do more than serve a corporation, a government agency, or whatever.
Most of us finally have the insight that quality of life is not entirely determined by a balance sheet. Sure, everyone wants to be financially comfortable, but we also want to feel we have a perspective on the world beyond the confines of our occupation; we want to be able to render service to our fellow man and to our God.
If it is a fact that the meaning of life does not dawn until middle age, is it then not the duty of educational institutions to prepare the way for that revelation? Most people, in their youth, resent the Social Security deductions from their pay, yet a seemingly few short years later find themselves standing anxiously by the mailbox.
While it's true all of us need a career, preferably a prosperous one, it is equally true that our civilization has collected an incredible amount of knowledge in fields far removed from our own. And we are better for our understanding of these other contributions — be they scientific or artistic. It is equally true that, in studying the diverse wisdom of others, we learn how to think. More importantly, perhaps, education teaches us to see the connections between things, as well as to see beyond our immediate needs.
Weekly we read of unions that went on strike for higher wages, only to drive their employer out of business. No company, no job. How shortsighted in the long run.
But the most important argument for a broad education is that in studying the accumulated wisdom of the ages, we improve our moral sense. I saw a cartoon recently which depicts a group of businessmen looking puzzled as they sit around a conference table; one of them is talking on the intercom: "Miss Baxter," he says, "could you please send in someone who can distinguish right from wrong?"
In the long run that's what education really ought to be about. I think it can be. My college roommate, now head of a large shipping company in New York, not surprisingly was a business major. But he also hosted a classical music show on the college's FM station and listened to Wagner as he studied his accounting.
That's the way it should be. Oscar Wilde had it right when he said we ought to give our ability to our work but our genius to our lives.
Let's hope our educators answer students' cries for career education, but at the same time let's ensure that students are prepared for the day when they realize their shortsightedness. There's a lot more to life than a job.
a. 1. following accepted rules of behavior 正式的；合乎礼仪的
2. in appearance; by name only 形式上的，名义上的
a. not formal 不正式的，不拘形式的，随便的
n. 1. [C] a survey of public opinion 民意测验，民意调查
2. (also pl.) the giving of written choices at an election 选举投票
a. 1. having a home in a place 居住的，居留的
2. attached to and working regularly for a particular organization 住校的，住院的，住在任所的
n. [C] a person who lives or has his/her home in a place 居民，定居者
v. count (sth.); work (sth.) out 估算，算出，计算
a. believing in spending money and buying goods 消费主义的
ad. 1. for the reason; so 因此，所以
2. in a manner that is suggested by what is known or has been said 按照所说的情况
n. 1. (pl.) subjects concerned with human culture 人文学科（尤指文学、语言、历史和哲学）
2. [U] human beings as a whole; people 人的总称，人类
3. [U] kind-heartedness 仁慈，仁爱，善心
a. of a national or racial group that has a common cultural tradition （有共同文化传统的）民族的，种族的；部落的
v. become or make (sb.) a member (of sth.) （使）成为……的成员，注册
n. 1. [C] the number of people enrolled 注册或登记的人数
2. [U] enrolling or being enrolled 登记，注册，入会
n. [C] a fixed amount of money given every week, month, or year as pay for an employee 薪金，薪水
n. [C, U] a school for very young children 幼儿园
a. 1. of or in the beginning stage; related to primary schools 初级的；小学的
2. simple or easy; basic 简单的，基本的，基础的
a. 1. (of education or a school) for children over 11 years old （教育、学校）中等的
2. less important than related things 次要的
vi. (in) give particular attention to (a subject, product, etc.) 专攻，专门研究（某课题、产品等）
n. [U, C] specializing 专业化，专门化
n. [C] a business company 公司
n. 1. [C] a government organization 政府机构
2. [C] a business or place of business providing a service 经销处，代理处
n. (pl.) limits, borders 界限，范围
vt. keep sb./sth. within certain limits 把……限制于
n. 1. [C] a job; employment 工作，职业
2. [C] a way of spending time; an activity done in one's spare time 日常活动，消遣
vt. 1. give 给予，提出
2. cause sb./sth. to be in a particular state 使得，使成为
n. 1. [C] (building of an) organization, (sometimes) an organization for helping people with special needs 机构；慈善机构，社会福利机构（如孤儿院、养老院）
2. [C] a custom, system or organization that has existed for a long time and is accepted as an important part of a particular society 制度，习俗
n. 1. [U] making known sth. that was secret or hidden 泄露，揭示，展示
2. [C] sth. which is revealed 所揭露的事，惊人的新发现
a. preferred; more suitable 更可取的，更合意的，更好的
ad. rather than anything, anywhere, etc. else 更可取地，宁可
n. [U, C] a human society with its highly developed social organizations, or the culture and way of life of a society or country at a particular period in time 文明，文化
a. impossible or very difficult to believe 难以置信的
n. [C, U] action of giving (money, support, help or ideas) towards a particular aim or purpose; sth. given towards a particular aim or purpose 捐助（物），贡献（物），奉献
a. 1. of art or artists 艺术的，美术的；艺术家的
2. skillful and attractive 富有艺术性的，精美的，精彩的
n. 1. [U] experience and knowledge; quality of being wise 经验与知识，智慧，睿智
2. [U] good judgment 正确判断，贤明
ad. once a week or every week 一周一次地，每周地
a. happening once a week or every week 一周一次的，每周的
n. [C] a newspaper or magazine which is published once every week 周报，周刊
n. 1. [C] a club formed by uniting people or groups; an organization of employees 协会，俱乐部；工会
2. [C] (the act or instance of) uniting or being united 联合，合并
v. collect a large number of things over a long time; gradually increase in number or amount 累积，积累
n. 1. [C] an amusing drawing in a newspaper or magazine 漫画，幽默画
2. [C] a film made by photographing a series of gradually changing drawings 动画片
vt. show (sb./sth.) as a picture; describe (sth.) in words 描绘，描述
v. 1. (make one) feel confused or slightly worried because one cannot understand sth. （使）困惑，（使）为难
2. (make one) think hard about sth. in order to understand it （使）苦思
n. 1. [C] a game or toy in which parts must be fitted together correctly, intended to amuse or exercise the mind 智力测验，智力玩具，谜
2. [C] a question that is difficult to understand or answer 难题，难解之事
n. [C, U] (meeting for) discussion or exchange of views 会议，讨论（会）
n. [C] a system by which one can talk through a machine to sb. in a near place 内部通话系统
vt. 1. recognize the difference between (people or things) 辨别，识别
2. (oneself) behave or perform noticeably well 表现突出
a. (of music) serious and traditional in style 古典的
FM (abbreviation for frequency modulation)
n. [U] a radio system of broadcasting 调频
PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS
(used to express a strong wish) （用来表示强烈的愿望）但愿，真希望
as stated by (sb.) or in (sth.) 根据
be well off
be in a good position, esp. financially 经济充裕，富裕
at a low
at a low level or figure 处于低水平（或数字）
be fond of
have a great liking for sb./(doing) sth. 很喜欢，很喜爱
be proud of
take pride in 为……感到自豪
reach (sth. such as a place or conclusion) 达成，得出
be meant to do
be supposed to do 应做
find out about (sb./sth.) by reading 通过阅读发现（或查明）
go on strike
be engaged in/start a strike 举行罢工
in the long run
after a long period; in the end 从长远的观点来看；终究，最后
Robins Resident Center