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大学申请书选登:垃圾车里看世界

更新时间:2019/5/24 20:48:15 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Trash, the Library and a Worn, Brown Table: The 2019 College Essays on Money
大学申请书选登:垃圾车里看世界

San Diego

圣迭戈

‘The trash itself was a lens through which I saw what was going on in Chatham.’

“垃圾本身就是一个镜头,通过它,我可以看到查塔姆正在发生的事情。”

—Andy Patriquin

——安迪·帕特里坎

It was the peak of the day’s heat on July 5, 2017, in the small vacation town of Chatham, Mass. My partner Benjamin and I emerged from the vast backyards of neighboring shoreline homes with big green barrels of garbage held over our backs and dumped them into the back of a garbage truck. As I hopped on the back step to ride to our next stop, I thought about how despite being sweaty, sore, covered in bug bites and garbage juice, I couldn’t have been happier to have this job.

2017年7月5日,在美国马萨诸塞州的度假小镇查塔姆,那是一天最热的时候。我和搭档本杰明出现在毗邻的海边民宅那些巨大的后院里,背着绿色的大垃圾桶,把垃圾倒进垃圾车后斗。我跳上车后的踏板,准备去下一站,心想,尽管汗流浃背、浑身酸痛,身上好多虫咬的伤口和垃圾污水,但这份工作让我快乐无比。

Like many kids, I liked trash trucks as a toddler. Unlike most kids, I stuck with it forever. At the age of 8, I joined a community on YouTube of like-minded enthusiasts who posted videos of garbage trucks, under the name “trashmonster26.”

和许多孩子一样,我在学步时就喜欢上了垃圾车。与大多数孩子不同的是,我一直没有放弃这种痴迷。8岁那年,我加入了YouTube上的一个社区“trashmonster26”,一群志趣相投的人在那里发布与垃圾车有关的各种视频。

I spent a large portion of the next nine years filming all the different models of trash trucks that I could find, not only in my hometown, San Diego, but in Sacramento and Boston, where during family vacations I would take the opportunity to chase different kinds of trucks that couldn’t be found in San Diego.

在接下来的九年时间里,我花了相当多的时间寻找各种型号的垃圾车——不仅在我的家乡圣地亚哥,还利用跟家人在萨克拉门托和波士顿度假的时候,追逐各种在圣地亚哥看不到的垃圾车。

I have such a vast knowledge of these vehicles that I can name the make, model and year of almost any garbage truck in the country after just a glance. The channel has amassed over 6,000 subscribers and four million views over the years. Most of my older friends who shared this interest went on to become garbage collectors when they reached adulthood, a path that my parents strongly discouraged.

我对这些车了如指掌,只消看一眼,就能说出国内几乎所有垃圾车的牌子、型号和年份。在过去的几年里,该频道已经累积了超过6000名订阅者和400万的浏览量。大多数和我有同样兴趣、年龄比我大的朋友,长大后都在做垃圾回收工作,这是我父母极力反对的。

I always knew growing up that I was going to go to college after high school, but I still wanted the experience of working on a truck. Although there are virtually no hauling companies that hire anyone under 18, I knew of a small family company near my grandparents on the East Coast that might break that norm to fill their need for seasonal help, Benjamin T. Nickerson Inc. I called their office, and after some persistent follow-up emails, I was hired to work for the summer.

我从小就知道高中毕业后要上大学,但我仍然想要体验在卡车上的工作。虽然几乎没有哪家运输公司会雇佣18岁以下的人,但我知道东海岸我祖父母家附近有一家名叫本杰明·尼克森公司(Benjamin T. Nickerson Inc.)的小型家族企业,可能会打破常规,找一些季节性帮工。我给他们的办公室打了电话,在坚持不懈地发了几封邮件之后,我被录用为暑期工。

To my classmates, moving to a small fishing town and handling other people’s waste all day sounds like the very least enjoyable summer possible. For me, it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

对我的同班同学来说,跑到一个小渔村整天处理别人的垃圾听起来是非常不愉快的夏天。对我来说,这是我一生中最自由的经历之一。

My day started at the crack of dawn, long before the vacationers in the area would even consider waking up. I was free from the confines of the classroom walls, free from the nagging of my parents. It was just me and the open road.

我的一天始于破晓时分,远远早于这个地区的度假者想要起床的时间。我摆脱了教室的束缚,摆脱了父母的唠叨。只有我和一条空荡荡的马路。

The trash itself was a lens through which I saw what was going on in Chatham. I saw American flags and spent fireworks on the 5th of July. The worst stops of the day were the dumpsters at fish piers, which had a stronger stench than the Chatham Transfer Station, an industrial building where we dumped the day’s load before it was transported to a landfill miles away. At one boat fabrication shop, a dangerous combination of sawdust and reactive chemicals caused a small fire in the truck.

垃圾本身就是一个镜头,通过它,我看到了查塔姆正在发生什么。在7月5日那天,我看到了美国国旗和放完的烟火。当天最糟糕的一站是鱼码头的垃圾箱,臭味比查塔姆垃圾中转站还要重。查塔姆中转站是一座工业建筑,我们把当天的垃圾倾倒在那里,然后它们会被转运到几英里外的垃圾填埋场。在一个造船厂,锯末和反应性化学物质的危险组合,在垃圾车上引发了一场小小的火灾。

There are very few similarities that one could find between my classmates at High Tech High and my customers in Chatham. The kids in my class were from diverse backgrounds and cultural groups all over San Diego. The summer vacation crowd in Chatham was almost exclusively white and wealthy.

我在高科技高中(High Tech High)的同班同学和我在查塔姆的客户之间几乎没有相似之处。我班上的孩子来自圣地亚哥不同的背景和文化群体。在查塔姆消暑的人群几乎都是富裕的白人。

The one thing that unified them, at least in my mind, was that they were not willing to take on my job. When my classmates thought about applying for jobs, they were thinking about air-conditioned movie theaters and retail stores, not backbreaking manual labor.

至少在我看来,唯一让他们一致的一点是,他们不愿做我这份工作。我的同学在找工作时想到的是有空调的电影院和零售店,而不是什么繁重的体力活。

I’ve considered going into a field relevant to the management of waste, like civil engineering, but I think I may also pursue another passion of mine, like criminal law or political science. I know that no matter what path I chose, this experience will be part of how I end up there.

我考虑过进入一个与垃圾管理相关的领域,比如土木工程,但我想我可能还会追求自己的另一个爱好,比如刑法或政治学。我知道,无论选择哪条道路,这段经历都将是我最终走向成功的一部分。

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