Chapter 293: Chinese department’s Leaders are Stumped!
The next day.
In the morning, in his bedroom.
Dong dong, his mother was knocking on his door.
“Little Ye, get up!”
“Quickly, you have to report to Peking University today!”
“I’m already up and putting on my clothes.”
“Your dad and I have to go to work now! Do well.”
Thump. The sound of the door closing sounded from outside. His dad and mom had left the house for work.
Zhang Ye stretched himself and walked to the bathroom to wash up. He then changed into a casual suit, something that didn’t look too rigid on him. Soon after, he left the house too.
Today was the 2nd of January.
Some people were still enjoying their holidays while others had already started work and school.
For example, students from Peking University, who were locals or had relatives here, were now going back to school after the New Year’s celebrations. The main entrance was filled with students and teachers walking in and out. Everyone here had a face and aura that was lacking in other normal universities — Confidence, maybe even that slightest bit of pride. It was not strange, since they were students of a prestigious institution in the country that was ranked first. The people here were the cream of the crop. They had the qualities to be proud of themselves. Zhang Ye himself could be considered as someone who graduated from a prestigious university. Beijing Broadcasting College — now called the Media College was also considered one of the top institutions in the country, but compared to Peking University, it wouldn’t even be worth a mention. The two were on two totally different levels.
In front of him was Peking University.
Beside it was Tsinghua University.
In the past, when Zhang Ye was still schooling, he would look up at these two universities whenever he walked past Zhongguancun Street, but now, he no longer had that awe and envy when he faced them. This was because the Zhang Ye now was no longer the same as before.
As he did not have his breakfast, he was feeling a little hungry. Zhang Ye was looking out for a place to eat when he was still in the car. The street opposite conveniently had a stall that served breakfast. He got off his car and walked over. In the stall, the tables were full. Zhang Ye could only choose to sit out in the open.
The boss of the fried dough sticks stall shouted over, “What do you want to eat?”
Zhang Ye did not hesitate, “Stir-fried liver and half a tray of buns, please.”
“OK, it’ll come at once.” The boss said.
On the other side of the open air sitting area, there were around 7-8 university students. It was not known whether they were from Peking University or Tsinghua University, or from other universities nearby. This was a place where all the famous institutions were located at.
The fried liver arrived and Zhang Ye, who was still wearing his shades started eating. He did not use a spoon. It was an old Beijing tradition to eat by holding the bowl and then ‘sucking’ in the stir-fried liver into the mouth. As to why there was such a tradition, Zhang Ye did not know. He had been eating it like this since young. It was a matter of being used to it, yes, even though this style of eating was loud and inelegant.
The students seated over there were chatting.
Yao Mi bit into her fried dough sticks and sat with her leg raised said, “We really chose the wrong elective class this time. Don’t you think we’re really such fools. Why did we even choose ‘Appreciation of the Classics’ elective?!”
Li Ying was also depressed, “Yea, that’s right. Back then, the elective name made it sound like it was a really simple class, at least compared to the other electives. We had mostly read the Four Classics and some other classic literary works. Even if we had not read them before, we’d have watched the dramas on TV. We would at least have some understanding of it, so we thought it would have been easier if we chose this elective, but goddamn it, who’d have thought that Professor Wang’s health could not keep up? This semester’s almost over and the other elective classes are already preparing for their exams. And us? This semester’s ‘Appreciation of the Classics’ classes have not even had a few lectures. We did not learn anything or know what would be tested. How can we even pass like this? I think none of us should expect to get credit for this class. If we don’t pass, we’d still have to choose another elective next year. We’ve wasted this semester for nothing!”
Her brother, Li Li did not know to laugh or cry, “We can’t blame Professor Wang. His diabetes condition worsened and I heard that he’s still in the hospital. It seems rather serious.”
Li Ying smacked his lips and said, “Then we should at least have gotten a substitute teacher!”
Yao Mi blinked and said, “I did hear that the school was currently looking for someone, but there hasn’t been a suitable candidate so far.”
“There are so my famous teachers in the country, how could there be no suitable candidates?” Li Ying asked.
Yao Mi replied, “I know there are a lot of people who’d want to come teach at Peking University, even if it’s just as a substitute teacher, the glory is still the same, but it seems like our Vice President Wu who’s taking charge of the Chinese department was not interested in them. She felt that they did not have the abilities, that’s why it’s been dragged out until now. It’s not wrong, famous classics have already been taught over and over too many times. Even television dramas about them have been overproduced. The knowledge of those classic are already quite well known to many people, so how could they be expected to be taught differently. It’s only our Professor Wang who managed it rather well, which is why finding someone to replace him would be difficult. Do you even know what kind of place Peking University is? We’re the 1st placed educational institution in the country. A normal teacher would never be admitted casually. The school definitely demands for the best amongst the best, otherwise we wouldn’t be called Peking University.”
Li Ying stroked his unshaven mustache, “They demand for the best, but neglected us. At least arrange for a substitute teacher to guide us through the examinable materials!”
Li Li said, “Who knows, they might even pass us without an exam.”
“Wishful thinking. Other schools might do that, but how could it happen in Peking University.” Yao Mi sniffed, “Don’t think about such wonderful outcomes. Even if there are proper reasons, the school would never resort to such methods. At most, they would relax the grading requirements, but even so we’ve only had 2 lessons this whole semester. How can we pass like this? And the classes were even from a few months back. I can’t even remember the things that Professor Wang taught us anymore!”
“Hai, quickly get us another lecturer.”
After finishing this topic, they skipped to other topics in their conversation.
Zhang Ye overheard everything as he was having his breakfast. These were Peking University students? “Appreciation of the Classics” class? The lecturer was sick and in the hospital with diabetes? Not many lessons in the whole semester? Zhang Ye suddenly had a very good understanding of the situation. Now he understood why even though Wu Zeqing only had less than an hour of conversation with him after spotting him on the plane, she’d invited him to teach at Peking University. It turned out that it’s because of this tricky situation that had led her to invite him to save the situation!
She really does trust this bro!
Not bad, you’ve found the right guy after all!
If it were about other things, he wouldn’t be so confident, but speaking about famous classics, this was his strong point. The “Analysis of the Three Kingdoms” that Zhang Ye had brought over from his world, didn’t it get rave reviews from everyone? When he thought of this, Zhang Ye was reassured after feeling jittery about his teaching skills. If President Wu had pulled him in to teach contemporary literature or similar classes, he would definitely not be confident. This was due to the fact that he hadn’t even read most contemporary literature, novels, or poetry that existed in this world. He might not even have heard of some of them before, so of course that would be quite difficult to teach, but for classical literature, it was different. This world’s Four Classics still existed, other classics like “Classic of Mountains and Seas”, “Analects”, or even foreign classics like “The Holy Bible” all still existed. All of these works had affected and influenced the world too much. The game ring had been unable to change any of these background history, otherwise the cultural development or even the whole social structure of this would would be greatly affected. The world would no longer be what it was now.
After accidentally finding out the situation from those Peking University students, Zhang Ye felt very happy and relaxed. After he had his fill, he stood up and drove his car onto campus. He did not choose to walk as the school compounds covered a very wide area. Even a public bus would have to go around 5 stops before it could complete a round of the compounds.
Zhang Ye made a call to Wu Zeqing. Du, du, du. 3 rings and the call connected.
“Hello, President Wu. I’ve arrived.”
“Yes, I said I would be here early. Should I go around the school a little?”
“We’re preparing to start our meeting here, but…why don’t you join us? It would be good. You can come directly to the Chinese department. It’s on the east side of the artificial lake where the flower beds are. You should be able to find it, I will send someone to meet you there.” Wu Zeqing’s voice was ever so demure.
Zhang Ye liked listening to her speak, “OK, I will be right there.”
He arrived at the flower bed area. His car was not allowed in here, so he parked it nearby.
Chinese department, West Building 2, 6th floor.
It was a small meeting room, with a conference table in the middle. Around it were about a dozen Chinese department leaders and professors. Other common lecturers were not qualified to join this meeting.
Wearing casual white pants and light yellow suit for ladies, Wu Zeqing sat at the end of the table. She sat down with a smile as she hung up the phone. She then placed the cellphone on the table beside a fountain pen, which she aligned almost perfectly, “He’ll be arriving soon.”
A middle aged man said with satisfaction, “President Wu’s network is really large. This hole in the wall has finally been patched up.”
Another old man said thankfully, “Finally someone has come. The students have become very unsettled over the past 2 months.”
A middle aged man, who was in a suit, said, “Yes. If there’s still no lecturer filling in, our ‘Appreciation of the Classics’ elective would no longer be offered next semester.”
The three people who just spoke were:
Chang Kaige — Dean of the Chinese department.
Yan Jiantao — The oldest and most experienced professor in the Chinese department. He’s also a symbol of the Chinese department, as many students applied to the Chinese department just based on the name of Professor Yan.
Zhen Shuquan — The secretary of the Chinese department, the nominated head of the department, but had little real power. He was in charge of the administration of the department and his qualifications and prestige were not as high as Professor Yan.
These three people were the main leaders of Peking University’s Chinese department.
Wu Zeqing asked, “How is Professor Wang doing now?”
Yan Jiantao sighed, “I went to visit him at the hospital yesterday. His health is recovering slowly, but he’s definitely still not fit for teaching. I had a chat with him and he told me that he plans on retiring.”
Wu Zeqing nodded, “It’s more important to recuperate. Professor Wang has been at the forefront of education for so many years, even at his age. It was already very hard on him. About this year’s opening of full Professor, I think we should give it to Professor Wang. I will report it to higher management and push for it to be approved within the month. Does anyone have any objections?”
“He deserves that.”
“Of course there’s no objection.”
All of the Chinese department’s representatives at the meeting nodded their heads.
Whether it was Professor Wang’s qualifications, or from a special treatment point of view, no one could refute this decision. Besides, the matter had already been decided by President Wu. They couldn’t possibly refute that. Wu Zeqing was Peking University’s Vice President, who also oversaw the Chinese department and several other key departments. She was the leader of all those present at the meeting.
Secretary Zhen Shuquan suddenly said, “President Wu, who is the professor that you invited to join us?”
Chang Kaige said, “I heard that Professor Sun from Renmin University retired? His research in the field of classical works is considered to be very good. Did President Wu invite Old Sun over?”
Yan Jiantao was stunned for a moment, then shook his head, “Old Sun would never come here. He spent his entire teaching career at Renmin University.”
Zhen Shuquan also frowned, “Professor Sun? It can’t be him, right?”
Wu Zeqing smiled slightly and took a sip of tea, “I did not look for Professor Sun. I recognize his teaching qualifications, but I didn’t think he’d be suitable for an elective like ‘Appreciation of the Classics’. His style is too rigid and wouldn’t be attractive to the students. As for Doctor Chen, who was recommended by Old Chang, after finding out more about him, I did not ask him to join us either. I’ve seen Professor Chen’s literature research papers and though I found them to be very outstanding, I do not think that he has the eloquence in speaking. He can write, but not speak, so he would not be able to take over the role from Professor Wang.”
Professor Sun was not suitable?
And neither was Doctor Chen?
Isn’t that setting too high a standard?
Yan Jiantao asked, “Then who did you find?”
Wu Zeqing casually looked at her watch, “When he arrives, you’ll know. I feel that this person is the most suitable candidate to teach such an elective class. In my opinion, from his teaching style, his lecture style and his literary level in literature, no one domestically would be more suitable than him to teach a class like ‘Appreciation of the Classics’.”
Chang Kaige, Zhen Shuquan, and the others all looked at each other.
The other Chinese department professors and lecturers all had their curiosity roused.
No one more suitable than him? Isn’t President Wu’s assessment of him too high? Who could it be? Who was it? Which professor? Hai Gui? Or could it be someone from a famous school?
Suddenly, there was knock from the door.
Dong dong. A school administrative staff said from outside, “President Wu, he has arrived.”
“Come in.” Wu Zeqing revealed an elegant smile.
The door opened and the staff showed him the way in, “This way, please.”
The next moment, Zhang Ye walked into the meeting room, “President Wu.”
The moment they saw Zhang Ye, everyone except for Wu Zeqing looked dumbfounded! Who was this? Why was he so young? He looks like he’s just past twenty years of age?
Among them, someone had recognized him!
“Isn’t this the lecturer from ‘Lecture Room’?”
Some did not know him well, as they were all in the academic field, but as Zhang Ye was quite well known in Beijing, they knew who he was the moment they heard his name!
“Isn’t he the one who did the Talk Show in Shanghai?”
With Zhang Ye’s appearance, Chang Kaige, Zhen Shuquan, and the others nearly fainted. They couldn’t react at all!
Wu Zeqing ignored the uproar and spoke calmly to Zhang Ye, “Teacher Little Zhang, why don’t you introduce yourself to everyone?”
So Zhang Ye introduced himself to them. Actually, even if he did not do a self-introduction, everyone would still know him. After all, Zhang Ye was considered to be a celebrity unlike those professors here. His exposure rate was so high, that even the old Professor Yan Jiantao knew him. In fact, he knew him to be a literary hooligan. In the literary circle, Zhang Ye’s name was notorious!
Subsequently, Wu Zeqing invited Zhang Ye to take a seat and then introduced him to everyone present.
Those who attended the meeting kept staring at each other, some wiping off their sweat, some tapping on their heads, some speechlessly looking at the ceiling. Their expressions were all very strange!
It was him!
Why did President Wu invite such a hooligan to join their department!?