Chapter 294: Officially Joining Peking University!
Other than speechlessness, there was only speechlessness!
The meeting room’s atmosphere was a little awkward. Zhang Ye’s appearance had basically shocked them! This proposed candidate of President Wu’s was someone that they could never have guessed, even if they smashed their heads. Anyone else could have become the substitute lecturer for this elective, but why did it have to be Zhang Ye?! This person was someone whose fans spoke very well of, his popularity was also quite good, but that was only within a very specific group! In the industry, no matter if it was the broadcasting industry or the literary circle, Zhang Ye’s name downright stank!
He had scolded his radio station colleague online!
Scolded his unit at an awards ceremony!
Scolded the Writers’ Association at a competition!
Scolded his leader at a memorial service!
Scolded the police in the police station!
Scolded the SARFT during a live broadcast!
No one could bear to look further down this list of incidents!
Why would President Wu find someone like him, who was such a hooligan, to come teach at Peking University? To teach those obedient, quiet and well-mannered Peking University students who might not even know how to scold someone?
Wasn’t this pushing the students into a fiery pit of suffering!?
President Wu! How brave would you need to be to do what you did!?
The old Professor Yan Jiantao’s expression sank as he voiced his displeasure, “President Wu. I strongly oppose the appointment of this person as a lecturer!”
Zhang Ye looked at him, but did not say a thing.
Wu Zeqing said amiably, “Professor Yan, why do you oppose?”
“He’s not suitable!” Yan Jiantao looked at Zhang Ye and shook his head slightly.
Wu Zeqing calmly said, “Everyone, feel free to discuss. Why is he not suitable? Teacher Little Zhang was someone that I spent a lot of effort to invite over, so should you all at least give me a good reason?”
Yan Jiantao thought to himself that this was not something that even needed a reason. He said, “I am not mixing this with emotions or bias, but let me ask, Little Zhang, how old are you?”
Zhang Ye smiled, “23.”
Yan Jiantao acknowledged, “What is your area of study?”
Zhang Ye smiled again, “Media College, broadcasting major.”
“What are your qualifications?” Yan Jiantao said without holding back.
Zhang Ye shrugged indifferently, “Bachelor’s degree.”
Yan Jiantao looked over to Wu Zeqing, “President Wu, aren’t these reasons more than enough? To let a 20 something year old broadcast major, with only a bachelor’s degree, teach ‘Appreciation of the Classics’, this must be a joke! Even if this is just an elective class, you cannot handle it this way!” His tone was a little strong. This was because he was very qualified and had a lot of authority in the educational world. Amongst those present, only Professor Yan would dare to speak to President Wu this way. The others would never dare to.
Wu Zeqing looked over and said, “Why not? As a professional broadcasting host, his eloquence is his strength. As a university lecturer, the point is not how much he knows, but how he is able to express this knowledge, so as to allow his students to understand. I already mentioned, this is also the reason why I did not invite Doctor Chen. However, Teacher Little Zhang has that ability. Anyone who has seen Teacher Little Zhang’s programs knows he doesn’t even need a script.”
Yan Jiantao paused, “I have to admit that Zhang Ye is very eloquent. Even amongst hosts, he has one of the most exceptional mouths, much less educators like us. No one in the education system can have someone better than Zhang Ye.” To compete with an excellent professional host in eloquence was like comparing an author with a singer in singing. There was nothing worth comparing due to their professional backgrounds. “However, the problem is eloquence is not everything. Especially in the Chinese department, one’s knowledge needs to be accumulated and consolidated. It’s not that I look down on young people, nor because I’m biased against other professions, but those are the facts. Zhang Ye’s accumulation and consolidation is not enough for him to take on the role as lecturer!”
Dean Chang Kaige also said, “It’s not really appropriate.”
Another Chinese department’s associate professor added, “Yes, the students would never agree.”
Wu Zeqing still had an elegant expression as she said, “My opinion is completely the opposite of yours. Why do I think Teacher Little Zhang’s literary foundation has accumulated to a peak?” Then she looked at everyone else, “If anyone questions Teacher Zhang’s literary level, you can have an exchange, for example compete in poetry? Or compete in essays? Or novels?” Then she asked Zhang Ye, “How about it?”
Zhang Ye said, “I’m fine with that.”
Wu Zeqing suggested, “Then why don’t you all have an exchange?”
Chang Kaige, “……”
Yan Jiantao, “……”
The associate professor, “……”
Everyone here were old comrades involved in academics, literature, and history, but when faced with President Wu’s request, no one dare to say more!
Have an exchange with him?
Exchange my ass!
They were only involved in the research of literature and history, occasionally writing papers, plan some lessons, and teaching students, but when it came to writing poems and novels, of course they knew better than to shame themselves. How could they compare to Zhang Ye, whose novels sold in the millions! His poems were also popular throughout the country! Even some domestic famous writers had publicly said that they liked Zhang Ye’s works very much! What’s there then to even exchange?!
No one dared to compete with Zhang Ye in such things!
Everyone knew that in this regard, they would definitely not be able to keep up with him!
Yan Jiantao changed the subject, “I’m talking about consolidation, not one’s standard in poetry, but the exposure and absorption of literature and famous works…”
Wu Zeqing interrupted, “Professor Yan, have you watched ‘Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’?”
“Er…” Yan Jiantao choked once again and did not say a word for a long while.
The others also looked at each other. Right, they had forgotten about this. “Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms” was one of the representative works of Zhang Ye. Its ratings had been acknowledged by the market.
Zhen Shuquan followed up, “I have also seen a few episodes of ‘Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’. The material discussed in it are not bad, but many of it is still disputable. They are hypotheses that most scholars have not completely concluded or completely verified by history. However, they were all mentioned in Zhang Ye’s program. From a certain point of view, yes, the program attracts the common people, because the angle of analysis is very novel, but to put it through the process of academic rigor, that would not do. As a variety historical program, it’s a good program, but to be used as an academic lecture, then there will be some disagreement.”
Yan Jiantao nodded his head solemnly, “A school is different from TV. TV is all about ratings, and will do something attention-grabbing. However, a school and a lecturer is all about rigor. We cannot teach students things that have not been agreed upon. This is leading them astray.”
Previously, Zhang Ye remained silent. However, at this point, he no longer pretended he did not hear those words. He smiled and said, “I can’t agree with what the two of you said. Firstly, I don’t think my ‘Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’ is in any way lacking in rigor. If you think there’s something, you can raise it and we can discuss it. Secondly, I agree that academia has to be rigorous. However, rigor does not mean things that have not been confirmed cannot be taught. Aren’t those unsolved mathematical conjectures still being mentioned? No one has solved them. Is that considered not being academically rigorous? Those laws of physics were not given reasonable explanations and experimental proof a long time ago, but they objectively existed. Were those people who came up with these laws and hypotheses not being rigorous? I don’t think so. Academia is a process of analysis, assertions, and conclusions. I am a host. I know what should not be said either. I also know what should be said on TV and what should be said in class. If something is not confirmed or still a speculation, I will inform the students before hand, and would not impose my ideas on them.”
Zhang Ye said all these words in neither a haughty or humble manner. He was being logical and well-grounded.
Wu Zeqing nodded her head gently while beside him, “Teacher Little Zhang has hosted so many excellent programs in the past. He has a sense of propriety, so it is probably unnecessary to be worried that he will lead the students astray.”
A young associate professor rolled his eyes in his heart. You know what should be said? Bullsh*t! If you really knew, you would not have topped the SARFT’s “blacklist” this year!
Another person raised an objection.
“If we hire Zhang Ye, his class schedule cannot be guaranteed, right?”
“Little Zhang can guarantee it for these two weeks. You can just treat him as a substitute teacher.”
“What about next semester? If he busies himself with his hosting, our school…”
“We can talk about it next semester. Let’s consider the students’ response first. If the students’ reaction to his teaching is not ideal, I will invite someone else.”
“President Wu, I still think it’s inappropriate. This semester only has a few days left. We will soon be having the examinations. Unless Zhang Ye arranges for class everyday, with one lecture a day, or else…”
“The reason why I found Teacher Zhang is because of this point. I also hope that he can teach a lesson a day. I heard that Teacher Little Zhang can go off-script and record more than ten episodes a day. I believe it would not be difficult for him to teach for more than ten consecutive days even without a lesson plan?”
This time, without Zhang Ye speaking, Wu Zeqing had rebutted them.
The rest of the Chinese department were turning more and more speechless.
Finally, Wu Zeqing said, “Alright, everyone let’s take a vote. Those who disagree with letting Zhang Ye teach, please raise your hands.”
Old Professor Yan Jiantao raised his hand.
Chang Kaige and Zhen Shuquan looked at each other, but did not move.
Amongst the rest, there were another three people from the Chinese department who raised their hands to be against it.
Actually, the rest also disagreed with a layman like Zhang Ye. In academia, one’s pedigree was also very important. Furthermore, with Zhang Ye’s national notoriety, everyone did not like him. However, they did not raise their hands because there was no other way. President Wu had clearly intended on giving Zhang Ye the spot. Even if they raised their hands in objection, it would not do a thing. President Wu had the right to veto!
Wu Zeqing smiled, “Alright, then it’s settled. Little Zhang, I’ll bring you around to help you familiarize yourself with the classroom and students. We will see how you do from tomorrow onwards.”
Zhang Ye declared in a solemn manner, “I will not let you down.”
Yan Jiantao was still in disagreement, “President Wu, about this matter…”
Wu Zeqing glanced at him, “Then why don’t you take over ‘Appreciation of the Classics’?”
Yan Jiantao turned silent, “…I do not have much research in that field, and I don’t have the time.”
“Then hand it to Teacher Little Zhang. He is the most suitable candidate I can think of!” As she said that, Wu Zeqing did not lose her grace in any way, but her tone turned strong, “If you have any opinion, keep it to yourself. However, I hope that when Teacher Zhang starts work tomorrow, everyone will work with him. After all, Little Zhang is new here, so there are many things he will need your help with.” After looking at her watch, Wu Zeqing’s expression turned mild as she smiled, “Alright, let’s end the meeting.”
No one said a thing as they got up and walked away.
Wu Zeqing stretched out her hands at Zhang Ye, “Welcome to Peking University.”
Zhang Ye shook President Wu’s hands in a serious fashion, “It’s my pleasure.”