Sunday, December 11, 2011

[Translation] Chapter 2(1) of Sealed with a Kiss Novel

           高二上学期我才转学进的附中,本来附中一般不收转学生,尤其是外地的。是舅舅托了关系费了好大的劲,才把我弄进去。我自己也努了点力,面试那天教导主任拿了套卷子来考我,我刚做完数学卷,他就把余下的化学物理卷都收起来了,说:“行了,不用考了,下午来上课吧。”
                During my sophomore year in high school, I transferred to a laboratory high school [9]. Laboratory schools normally do not accept transfer students, especially non-local ones. It was my maternal uncle who exhausted all his social resources to get my foot in the door. I put some effort into the process as well. On the day of the interview, the Director of Educational Instruction brought a stack of exams to test me.  When I just finished the mathematical exam, he put away the remaining chemistry and physics exams and said, “It’s fine. We don’t need to test you anymore. Come to class this afternoon.” 

[9] An experimental high school operated in association with a higher institution, usually at a teacher education institution, and used for training of future teachers, educational research, etc.  An example of an American equivalent is University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Lab Elementary School. 

我是爱学习的孩子,因为除了学习,我没有别的专长。
I was a kid who loved to learn, because besides learning, I didn’t have any other specialty. 
       父母去世之后我整整半年没有开口,舅舅回忆说,后来终于听到我说话,是我把自己关在阳台上,在背诵一篇英语课文。
 After my parents passed away, I ceased to speak for half a year. My uncle recalled that he finally heard me utter a word when I locked myself on the balcony to recite an English lesson.

转学之前我是班上的英语课代表,那天我在阳台上背的是哪篇课文我都忘了,不过进附中后第一堂英语课我可是印象深刻。附中的英语老师清一色的外籍,教我们的是个英国老太太。让我回答了一个问题后就批评我的发音,说我是典型的中国式发音,让我面红耳赤,在一帮初次见面的同学面前下不来台。
Before my transfer, I was the model representative student of my English class. I don’t even remember what topic lesson that I was reciting in English on the balcony that day. However, my first English lesson at the laboratory high school was extremely memorable. All the English teachers at the high school were foreigners. My English teacher was an old lady from England. After I answered a question, she criticized my pronunciation and said my Chinese accent was too heavy. In embarrassment, my face blushed red to my ears as I completely lost face in front of my peers for the first time.

那时候我很脆弱,失去父母,失去家,失去我所有的幸福。寄住在舅舅家里,小心翼翼,把破碎的自己一点点藏起来。学着看舅妈的脸色行事,讨好表妹,替她讲奥赛题帮她补习。十六岁以前我也是父母的掌上明珠,唯一的公主,老师最骄傲的得意门生,亲友称羡的好孩子。可是一切都没有了,我所倚仗的一切都没有了,成绩再好有什么用,爸爸妈妈永远都看不到了。
I was weakly vulnerable at that time. I lost my parents. I lost my family. I lost all things happy in my life. Living under the charity of my uncle, I was warily careful in every step I took, and gradually hid away my sorrows. I learned to act according to my uncle wife's liking, please my younger cousin and tutor her in the Olympiad competition. Before the age of 16, I was also the precious pride and joy of my parents — their only princess —the proudest student of my teachers, and the perfect model child in the eyes of my relatives. But everything is gone now. Everything I once depended upon doesn’t exist anymore. What use is there to get perfect grades when my dad and mom can’t see them anymore?

放学后我一个人躲在操场里哭,有人在塑胶跑道上跑步,脚步沙沙的,从我身后过去。我背对着跑道坐在草地上,把头深深地埋在双膝里,看着眼泪一滴一滴落在草丛中。我想起很多事,大部分是小时候,爸爸妈妈带着我去公园,划船、坐碰碰车、买气球。小时候有一种棉花糖,是用白糖做的,很大一团,蓬松松软绵绵就像是云,我吃的时候总会糊在脸上。爸爸就爱拍我出糗的照片,那时候全是胶卷,一年下来,爸爸能替我拍好多卷胶卷的相片。
After school, I would hide in the track and field stadium to weep. Someone running on the tartan tracks, in a stirring gait, passed behind me.  I was sitting on the turf with my back to the running tracks and my head buried heavily between my knees, watching droplets of tears dripping down to the grassy ground. I was reminiscing about a lot of things.  Most memories were about my childhood when my mom and dad took me to the park, to paddle a boat, to ride a bumper car, or to buy a balloon. There was a type of cotton candy made from white sugar, gigantically fluffy and voluminous like the clouds. Whenever I took a bite of it, traces of sugar would stick all over my face. My dad loved to capture on photos my most mortifying moments. All photos back then were taken on rolls of film. In a year, my dad had a huge collection of photographic film from all the pictures he took for me.

我哭得很伤心,连有个男生走过来都不知道,直到我看到他的球鞋,雪白的鞋底上沾着一片叶子,他蹲下来用右手去拔掉那片叶子,左手却递给我一包纸巾。
I cried in such deep grief that I didn’t even notice that a boy approached me until I saw the tip of his sneakers. A piece of green leaf stuck got stuck on his white sneakers. He bent down, used his right hand to brush the green leaf away and handed me a pack of tissue paper with his left hand.

我愣了好几秒钟,都没去接那包纸巾,他把纸巾随手搁在草地上,然后就走了。
I froze for a few seconds and didn’t respond to take the pack of tissue paper. He then placed the tissue paper on the grass and left.

第二天我才发现这个男生就坐在我后面一排,他叫萧山。
The next day I discovered this boy sat on the row just behind me. His name was Xiao Shan.

萧山的父亲是外交官,他十二岁前都在国外,说一口流利标准的牛津腔,可以跟英国老太太在课堂上辩论词组的用法。数学更好,好到我这种人都望而兴叹。他偏不是勤奋的那种学生,好成绩纯粹是天才。下课十分钟都能见缝插针跑到操场上打篮球。有次上数学课,刚打铃,他气吁吁抱着球跑回来迟了,站在门口喊“报告”。教数学的老奔最讨厌学生迟到,扭头看了他一眼就恍若未闻,他只好站在门口当门神。没过一会儿老奔开始发上次全市联考的试卷,老奔的习惯是每次按分数念名字,由高到低,念到一个分数、名字,学生自己上去拿。既不人道又伤学生自尊,可老奔不管,他就爱以分取人。
Xiao Shan’s father was a foreign diplomat.  Having spent the first 12 years of his life living abroad, he spoke a tongue of standard Oxford English and could openly debate with the old English lady during class session about grammar. His math skill was even better. So impressive that even a person like me could only watch him in awe.  More worthy of note was the fact he wasn’t the hard working type, but a naturally gifted genius. Even during the 10-minute interval between classes, he could run to ball court to play basketball. One time during math class when the bell rang, he came back late short of breath and stood at the doorway to “report” his arrival. Our math teacher, Lao Ben, particularly hated students arriving late for class. He just turned his head around to take a peek at Xiao Shan and completely ignored him.  Without his permission to enter, Xiao Shan could only stand in doorway like a statute of the deity guarding the door. A short while later, Lao Ben started to hand back our last provincial standard exam. He had an old habit of returning the exams to students in order with the highest grade points first and then lowest last, calling out loud one by one the student name and score. It was really a quite cruel process and hurtful to students with low scores. But he didn’t care. He just loved to rank people with grade points.

结果这天念的第一张卷子就是萧山,150的满分,老奔扭头看了门外的萧山一眼,不情不愿没好气:“还不进来?”
                As a result, the first name Lao Ben called out ended up being Xiao Shan, with a perfect 150 points. Lao Ben turned his head to take a look at him in the doorway and in bitter reluctance said, “Why are you still standing there? Come in.”

全班同学都埋头忍笑,萧山从老奔手里接过试卷,倒大大方方:“谢谢老师。”
The whole class was holding back their laughter. Xiao Shan took his exam from Lao Ben’s hand and in a gracious manner said, “Thank you, Lao Shi [Teacher]”

附中里优秀的学生很多,但像他这么优秀的也屈指可数。班上有许多女生暗恋萧山,豆蔻年华情窦初开,谁对这样出色的男孩子没点幻想。我没有是因为完全没那心思,父母的离去让我完全没有了对这个世界的应对能力。虽然他就坐在我后面一排,但我除了偶尔跟他借下英语课笔记,基本没有和他说过话。
                There were many talented students at this lab high school, but students as talented as him were few in numbers. Plenty of girls in our class had a major crush on Xiao Shan, their youthful hearts budding in amorous beats.  Who wouldn’t fantasize about such a talented and outstanding boy like him? I didn’t. I was in no state to harbor such fantasies. The death of my parents made it difficult for me to even face this world. Even though he sat just right behind me, I rarely spoke to him except for the few times I asked him to borrow his English notes. 

© 2011, JoleCole. All rights reserved.

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