纽约时报丨2020 美国本科申请文书选登 第一篇

 

每年,《纽约时报》都会向广大高中生征集他们写的文书,包括工作、金钱、社会阶层等相关主题。

 

今年《纽约时报》选出关于跟“金钱”有关的4篇申请文书,分别为:在移民父母的建筑项目中工作的艺术家、一个用诗歌提供某种视角的黑人男子、一种在康涅狄格高档社区不可思议的交通工具,以及一种毯子的创造者。

 

 

 

2020 美国本科申请文书选登

第一篇

 

Maria Mendoza Blanco is attending Cornell University.

Credit...Mustafa Hussain for The New York Times

 

 

 

‘When we arrived, my parents caught the American dream like Tío Conejo used his rabbit tricksiness to outwit Tío Tigre in the fables: so artfully that they themselves hardly believed they’d pulled it off.’

—Maria Mendoza Blanco

 

 

If I had it my way, I’d never set foot in a Home Depot ever again.

 

Every Ace Hardware, every Lowe’s, every boutique tile place, every obscure little hardware store that only sells Phillips-head screwdrivers smells the same way: dusty. Sawdust, catdust, paint-flake-dust, laminate-dust, ancient-grumpy-cashier-dust. It’s post-apocalyptic, the shuffling shoppers dead-eyed from looking at a thousand identical refrigerators, fluorescent tube lights casting ultramarine pallor over their faces.

 

We kill tigers, you see.

 

“Where are we going?” I’ll ask, and my father will say, “Lowe’s. Hay que matar tigres.” Gotta kill tigers, gotta take side jobs to fill in the gaps where the money doesn’t quite reach. Where others might have taken up Uber, my family started building houses, with me and my brother in tow.

 

When we arrived, my parents caught the American dream like Tío Conejo used his rabbit tricksiness to outwit Tío Tigre in the fables: so artfully that they themselves hardly believed they’d pulled it off. We killed tigers in Georgetown and Langley, diplomat townhomes and tasteless McMansions alike. We moved seven times within the same ZIP code, as my parents bought ugly houses and sold them beautiful.

 

It isn’t much like HGTV. I spent countless hours searching for nonexistent cans of Spackle in the back shelves of Home Depot. My mother laid out carpet samples on the floor and paced around them, forever deliberating between ivory and cream. She’d be on the phone with some hung over subcontractor when she picked me up from art club. I’d sit in an abandoned corner and sketch as they haggled eternally over hardwood pallets at auction. I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent more time under the watchful eye of an orange-aproned paint mixer than a babysitter.

 

All this is to say that construction runs in the veins of the Blancos. My grandfather, after all, came out of nowhere to build a concrete empire on the baked dirt of Maracaibo. The mixers molder now in that hinterland, but the force of his success was what fueled our escape from Venezuela before things got bad.

What use would my grandfather have had for all the sketches I’ve sketched, all the paintings I’ve painted, I wonder? Could my parents paper their clients’ walls with pages from my sketchbook, could they tear up the canvas and use it for insulation? Probably not.

 

In art, there’s this fantasy of The Muse reaching down and the lucky artist’s paintbrush dancing with a press of her rosy fingertip. The truth is that I can have the most perfect concept handed to me by the ghost of Gentileschi herself, and I’ll still get in my own way. Perfectionism won’t let me pick a background color for weeks, envy will distract me with foolhardy attempts at others’ success, simple laziness will keep me in bed watching episodes of “Chopped” 15 times.

 

Whenever my still-white canvas stretched blankly into the infinite, I thought about that, about the long nights my parents must have spent thinking about their own parents. About the three hours daily my mother spends commuting to her day job. About my father’s lost stories, the jokes he doesn’t tell because English warps his humor. About the life they left behind in Maracaibo, all so that we could live here. All so that I could come here and be an artist, of all things.

 

So it’s not easy moving from concrete to canvas. But I must do it anyway, because the force of my ambition and, well, my talent demand it. Because my family’s risk deserves a risk of my own. A risk that I must fight my indolence and ennui for. A risk that will honor our sacrifice of all these years between two lands. I can’t let all those dusty hours at Home Depot go to waste. Hay que matar tigres.

 

 

 

 

“当我们到达时,我的父母抓住了美国梦,就像提奥·科内乔(TíoConejo)用兔子的狡猾在寓言中击败提奥·蒂格雷(TíoTigre):如此狡猾,以至于他们自己几乎不相信自己会实现这一梦想。”

——玛丽亚·门多萨·布兰科

 

 

如果按照自己的方式行事,我再也不会涉足家得宝(美国家居连锁店)。

 

每个爱思五金,每个劳氏(美国零售公司),每个精品瓷砖场所,每个只出售十字螺丝刀的不起眼的小五金店,气味都是一样的:尘土飞扬。锯末,猫尘,油漆片尘,层叠尘,古风收银员尘。这是后世界末日时代,忙忙碌碌的购物者看着1000个相同的冰箱,眼睛都吓呆了,荧光灯在他们脸上投下了深蓝色的苍白。

 

您会看到我们杀死老虎。

 

“我们去哪?” 我会问,我父亲会说:“路易斯。我们必须杀死老虎。” 要杀死老虎,必须做一些副业,以填补钱不够用的缺口。别人可能会乘坐优步(Uber)的地方,我的家人却开始盖房子,我和哥哥也在后面。

 

当我们到达时,我的父母抓住了美国梦,就像提奥·科尼乔(TíoConejo)在寓言中用他的兔子戏法骗过提奥·蒂格雷(TíoTigre)一样:如此巧妙以至于他们自己都几乎不相信他们已经成功了。我们在乔治敦和兰利,外交官联排别墅和无味的麦克豪斯大厦都杀了老虎。我们在同一个邮政区号内搬了七次家,因为我父母买下丑陋的房屋并卖给他们漂亮的房子时。

 

它不像HGTV。我花了无数个小时在家得宝(美国家居连锁店)我花了无数个小时在家得宝(Home Depot)的后置货架上寻找根本不存在的罐头配料。我母亲在地板上铺上地毯样品,然后在它们周围走动,永远在象牙色和奶油色之间徘徊。她从艺术俱乐部接我的时候,肯定是在和某个悬而未决的转包商通电话。我会坐在一个废弃的角落里写生,看着他们在拍卖会上为硬木托盘无休止地讨价还价。如果我在橙色围裙的调色器监督下的时间比在保姆监督下的时间更多,我一点也不会感到惊讶。

 

所有这一切都是在说,建设在布兰科人的血管中运行。毕竟,我的祖父从无名小辈中冒了出来,在马拉开波这个炙热的土地上建立了一个混凝土帝国。在这个内陆地区,搅拌机已经变质,但他的成功力量是我们在事情变坏之前逃离委内瑞拉的动力。

 

我想知道,祖父对我绘制的所有草图,所有画作有什么用?我的父母能用我写生簿上的纸页在客户的墙壁上画纸吗,他们能撕下画布并将其用作绝缘材料吗?可能不会。

 

在艺术中,有这样一种幻想,缪斯伸出手来,幸运的艺术家的画笔随着她玫瑰色的指尖舞动。事实是,我可以得到根提列斯基的鬼魂交给我的最完美的概念,我仍然会以我自己的方式去做。完美主义会让我好几周都不挑选背景颜色,嫉妒会让我为别人的成功而进行全力以赴的努力,简单的懒惰会让我躺在床上观看“斩断”的情节15次。

 

每当我那仍然是白色的画布茫然地伸向无限时,我就会想到那件事,想到我的父母一定花了多少个长夜去思念他们自己的父母。我母亲每天要花三个小时在上下班的路上。关于我父亲的失落故事,他没有讲笑话,因为英语扭曲了他的幽默。关于他们在马拉开波留下的生活,一切都是为了我们可以住在这里。所有这些使我可以来这里成为一名艺术家。

 

所以从混凝土到帆布的过渡并不容易。但无论如何我必须去做,因为我的雄心和我的天赋需要它。因为我家人的风险值得我自己去承担。一个我必须与我的懒惰和厌倦斗争的风险。这个冒险将纪念我们在这片土地上多年的牺牲。我不能让在家得宝那些满是灰尘的时光白白浪费掉。我们必须杀死老虎。

 

原文链接:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/28/your-money/pictures-of-themselves-the-2020-college-essays-on-money.html