Accused of Plagiarism -- My Highest Compliment
                  文章來源: 文章作者: 發布時間:2006-09-09 08:15 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
                  (單詞翻譯:雙擊或拖選)

                  It seems to me that all writers, including those who deserve to be classified as geniuses, need encouragement, particularly in their early years. I always knew I could write, but that just meant I wrote a little better than the other kids in my classes. That I might one day write well enough to derive1 income from my efforts, oddly enough, never occurred to me during my grade school and high school years.

                  There was a particular teacher at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, who, simply by concentrating her attention on me, made me believe that I might be able to master the knack2 of writing well enough to consider the craft as a profession. Her name was Marguerite Byrne, and she taught English, which, of course, involved writing skills. Whatever instruction she shared with me was exactly the same as all her other students enjoyed, but the difference was she encouraged me to begin the process of submitting things I was writing, in that day, chiefly poems.

                  To my surprise the Chicago Tribune not only thought enough of several of my verses to publish them, but also paid me -- inadvertently -- the highest compliment a fledging author can receive. The editor wrote a confidential3 letter to Miss Byrne, asking her to see, if by chance, one of her students -- a certain Stephen Allen -- might be guilty of plagiarism4. The editor’s suspicions had been roused because, he was kind enough to say, he found it hard to believe that a seventeen-year-old could create material on such a professional level.

                  When Miss Byrne shared the letter with me, I was ecstatic! It was wonderfully encouraging. Maybe I really as a writer, I thought.

                  Miss Byrne also encouraged me to enter a contest sponsored by the CIVITAN organization. The assignment was to write an essay titled "Rediscovering America." I was literally5 astonished when I received a letter saying that I was the winner of the contest. The prize was a check for one-hundred dollars and an invitation to an all-the-trimmings banquet at a hotel in downtown Chicago.

                  My mother, at the time, was not even aware that I was interested in writing, or if she had somehow found out about it, she took little notice. When I arrived back home tat evening, she didn’t ask how the evening had gone. I placed the one-hundred-dollar check on the breakfast table where she would see it when she awoke in the morning -- and went immediately to bed.

                  This scenario6 demonstrates the tremendous impor-tance of giving young people caring attention and encouraging them to develop and practice such gifts as they might have. Years later, I was able to repay my debt to Marguerite Byrne by dedicating one of my books, Wry7 on the Rocks -- A Collection of Poems, to her.

                  On the other hand, without encouragement talented students may never be motivated to learn, develop skills, or reach their full potential. For example, at the same high school, there was a teacher whose Spanish language classes I attended but from whom I, unfortunately learned very little simply because of the woman’s cold sarcastically8 critical attitude. She seemed to know nothing about encouraging students, and she was gifted speaking contemptuously of those of us who weren’t learning fast enough. Her negativism drove me away. Partly because of this teacher’s negative influence, I am not fluent in Spanish today.

                  You see, I had already learned that one can derive instructive benefit from bad examples -- by avoiding that behavior. Alcoholism was a serious problem in my mother’s family. As a result of having seen enough examples of alcoholic9 excess in my childhood, I have never had any interest in drinking. The same applies to smoking. My poor mother was a two-pack a day victim of nicotine10 addiction11, and because of the endless clouds of smoke, the coughing, the overfilled ashtrays12, and the ugly smell of cigarette smoke in the house and in my clothing, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life.

                  Again, young writers need to be encouraged. Because of Miss Byrne’s influence, I have enjoyed a lifetime writing books, songs, and TV scripts. And guess what? I haven’t plagiarized13 a single word of any of it.



                  點擊收聽單詞發音收聽單詞發音  

                  1 derive hmLzH     
                  v.取得;導出;引申;來自;源自;出自
                  參考例句:
                  • We derive our sustenance from the land.我們從土地獲取食物。
                  • We shall derive much benefit from reading good novels.我們將從優秀小說中獲得很大好處。
                  2 knack Jx9y4     
                  n.訣竅,做事情的靈巧的,便利的方法
                  參考例句:
                  • He has a knack of teaching arithmetic.他教算術有訣竅。
                  • Making omelettes isn't difficult,but there's a knack to it.做煎蛋餅并不難,但有竅門。
                  3 confidential MOKzA     
                  adj.秘(機)密的,表示信任的,擔任機密工作的
                  參考例句:
                  • He refused to allow his secretary to handle confidential letters.他不讓秘書處理機密文件。
                  • We have a confidential exchange of views.我們推心置腹地交換意見。
                  4 plagiarism d2Pz4     
                  n.剽竊,抄襲
                  參考例句:
                  • Teachers in America fight to control cheating and plagiarism.美國老師們努力對付欺騙和剽竊的問題。
                  • Now he's in real trouble.He's accused of plagiarism.現在他是真遇到麻煩了。他被指控剽竊。
                  5 literally 28Wzv     
                  adv.照字面意義,逐字地;確實
                  參考例句:
                  • He translated the passage literally.他逐字逐句地翻譯這段文字。
                  • Sometimes she would not sit down till she was literally faint.有時候,她不走到真正要昏厥了,決不肯坐下來。
                  6 scenario lZoxm     
                  n.劇本,腳本;概要
                  參考例句:
                  • But the birth scenario is not completely accurate.然而分娩腳本并非完全準確的。
                  • This is a totally different scenario.這是完全不同的劇本。
                  7 wry hMQzK     
                  adj.諷刺的;扭曲的
                  參考例句:
                  • He made a wry face and attempted to wash the taste away with coffee.他做了個鬼臉,打算用咖啡把那怪味地沖下去。
                  • Bethune released Tung's horse and made a wry mouth.白求恩放開了董的馬,噘了噘嘴。
                  8 sarcastically sarcastically     
                  adv.挖苦地,諷刺地
                  參考例句:
                  • 'What a surprise!' Caroline murmured sarcastically.“太神奇了!”卡羅琳輕聲挖苦道。
                  • Pierce mocked her and bowed sarcastically. 皮爾斯嘲笑她,諷刺地鞠了一躬。
                  9 alcoholic rx7zC     
                  adj.(含)酒精的,由酒精引起的;n.酗酒者
                  參考例句:
                  • The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.白蘭地的酒精濃度遠遠超過葡萄酒。
                  • Alcoholic drinks act as a poison to a child.酒精飲料對小孩猶如毒藥。
                  10 nicotine QGoxJ     
                  n.(化)尼古丁,煙堿
                  參考例句:
                  • Many smokers who are chemically addicted to nicotine cannot cut down easily.許多有尼古丁癮的抽煙人不容易把煙戒掉。
                  • Many smokers who are chemically addicted to nicotine cannot cut down easily.許多有尼古丁癮的抽煙人不容易把煙戒掉。
                  11 addiction JyEzS     
                  n.上癮入迷,嗜好
                  參考例句:
                  • He stole money from his parents to feed his addiction.他從父母那兒偷錢以滿足自己的嗜好。
                  • Areas of drug dealing are hellholes of addiction,poverty and murder.販賣毒品的地區往往是吸毒上癮、貧困和發生謀殺的地方。
                  12 ashtrays 642664ae8a3b4343205ba84d91cf2996     
                  煙灰缸( ashtray的名詞復數 )
                  參考例句:
                  • A simple question: why are there ashtrays in a no-smoking restaurant? 問題是:一個禁止吸煙的餐廳為什么會有煙灰缸呢?
                  • Avoid temptation by throwing away all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. 把所有的香煙,打火機,和煙灰缸扔掉以避免引誘。
                  13 plagiarized ae23b24883b28ef0cdc582b6a56b216c     
                  v.剽竊,抄襲( plagiarize的過去式和過去分詞 )
                  參考例句:
                  • The poem employs as its first lines a verse plagiarized from a billboard. 這首詩開頭的幾行抄襲了一個廣告牌上的一節詩。 來自辭典例句
                  • Whole passages of the work are plagiarized. 那作品整段整段都是剽竊的。 來自辭典例句
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