Chapter 296: Peking University’s Students’ Questions!
In the lecture theater, everyone’s blood was boiling with excitement!
“How could it be Zhang Ye?!” a junior shouted.
A senior had her mouth hanging in disbelief, “Oh my God! The school has really invited Zhang Ye?”
Li Ying grabbed his forehead in his palms, “When did our Peking University become so open minded about things?”
Li Li was both excited and shocked, “Inviting a singer to teach music at a university, inviting a movie star to become a teacher for performing arts, such cases have happened before many times. They were all invited because of their qualifications. Those were the ones who really had more experience in their field than any university professors, so it was acceptable that they taught such courses. But! Inviting a broadcast major who works as a host to teach us the appreciation of famous classical works? There’s no link at all! This is a first of its kind of case to happen in the country!”
Yao Mi nearly jumped up, “Holy hell!”
The other Peking University students were also staring with their eyes wide open!
Screams could be heard along the corridor outside the lecture theater!
The Chinese department Dean, Chang Kaige had arrived with a few other teachers from the department. Actually, he did not want to come as he was not interested in Zhang Ye, but President Wu had personally brought Zhang Ye to meet the students, so as the Dean, he had no choice but to be present as well. Besides, honestly speaking, “Appreciation of the Classics” was a big potential problem that needed someone urgently to fill in for Professor Wang. Otherwise, how would the students take the upcoming exams? Whether he would be up to the task or not, they needed someone to fill the hole first. Since President Wu had already decided on Zhang Ye, he of course, would go along with the decision!
But he had never thought that Zhang Ye would be so popular.
When we took on our first classes, why weren’t the students this excited!?
Chang Kaige frowned as he looked towards the lecture theater in the distance. The other teachers, who had found out about Zhang Ye being the new teacher, also heard the commotion and were at a loss whether to laugh or cry. Other than a middle-aged person, whose eyes showed some interest towards Zhang Ye, the others did not think well of him. They felt that the school was taking this matter too lightly in appointing that broadcasting host guy. How could someone who does entertainment programs deliver a good class for such a subject?!
Most of the teachers were very dismissive of Zhang Ye. This was the pride of an academic. They admitted that Zhang Ye had some literary qualities, but did not agree to his appointment into the academic industry.
Contrary to their opinions, a majority of Peking University’s students were very welcoming of Zhang Ye.
This was a difference of perspective and also a generation gap issue. Even though they were Peking University students, they were still young people. They could accept and even liked novelties. The teachers who taught them were all old men or old women. They had already gotten sick of it. This time, the teacher was someone who was only a few years older and a celebrity, most of the students welcomed this change. Their instincts were that this would be too much fun and too interesting! As to whether Teacher Zhang Ye could really teach this class well? Whether he could really take over from Professor Wang? At least right now, they did not care!
Chang Kaige had brought the other teachers inside.
Wu Zeqing nodded her head, “You are all here? Oh? Hur Hur, Why is Professor Zeng here too? I heard you were busy with a publication of a paper?”
The 40 something or 50 something year old Professor Zeng said with a smile, “I heard Zhang Ye was here. I got interested so I came to take a look. I’ve had some interaction with Little Zhang on Weibo before, he’s a rather interesting guy.” He taught historical subjects in the Chinese department and was a professor of rather high prestige. His qualifications were only second to Yan Jiantao.
The few teachers at the back looked at Professor Zeng and wondered why he would take time off to come see such an unreliable new teacher. They knew that the morning meeting was to decide on the appointment of the new teacher, but Professor Zeng had excused himself saying that he had to finish writing his paper and did not have time, but within just an hour, he had made his way here. From the looks of it, Professor Zeng knew Zhang Ye.
In the lecture theater, the students were still amazed!
Chang Kaige helped Zhang Ye to take control of the class, “Everyone, quiet down. Listen to Zhang Ye….Teacher Zhang Ye speak.” Although he was not satisfied with Zhang Ye, he still deferred to Zhang Ye in front of the students.. At least he wouldn’t show his distrust of Zhang Ye to the students. Otherwise, Zhang Ye would never be able to start his teaching work at all.
The Dean was rather authoritative as the students stopped their discussions and shouting. They sat there quietly.
Zhang Ye looked to President Wu and Chang Kaige, “President Wu, Dean Chang?”
Wu Zeqing waved as she smiled and led Chang Kaige, the other teachers and professors to the empty seats at the front row, “This is your class and also the first time you are meeting your students. Don’t bother with us.” They were here to welcome their new colleague and to help the new teacher take control of his class. Students nowadays were getting more and more rowdy. Even Peking University had students like that. People, who gained admission into Peking University, were considered clever, but the more clever a child was, the more rebellious they were. So to prevent a teacher from being overrun by such student bullying, President Wu had invited them over. In the past, just having Chang Kaige or a professor who was authoritative would do the trick, but as Zhang Ye’s situation was a little special, President Wu had also come down herself. This could be considered a special privilege that few had received.
But it seemed like their worries had been in vain. The students seemed to welcome Zhang Ye, even more welcoming than what they received in their time.
Zhang Ye only said, “Alright.”
The Peking University students all looked at him without being distracted.
Zhang Ye was not frightened by this and smiled saying, “Let me first introduce myself. Maybe some of you know me, some of you don’t. My name is Zhang Ye, I will be your lecturer from now on for ‘Appreciation of the Classics’. Those who have watched my programs before should know that I am a straightforward person and don’t like to beat around the bush. So for my class, I won’t have too many rules. Anyone can freely raise questions during class and you can also look for me after class if there’s anything you don’t understand. You can even be absent for class and I will be fine with that….but of course, any consequences will be borne by you!”
“Hur Hur Hur.”
Many of the students were tickled!
Your sister! What do you mean it’s fine even if we don’t come to class!? Isn’t that not fine!?
Dean Chang Kaige looked at Zhang Ye. This Zhang Ye really does know how to liven up a situation, but it wasn’t a surprise since he’s already a Talk Show host to begin with. His oratorical skills would definitely be much stronger than them, being traditional academic teachers and professors.
Professor Zeng watched with great interest.
A new teacher’s first interaction with students was a very important event. Not only would you have to convey your teaching style and specialty, you would also have to build a good relationship with them. The first impressions would dictate whether a student would trust you or respect you as a new teacher. This was not down to how famous or well known you were, but how you impressed them with your knowledge and how you carried yourself. If you couldn’t impress them, then the students would not respect you. You would cast doubt in their hearts and definitely affect your teaching quality.
It’s not easy to become a good university lecturer. This was not the same as being a good host. One focused on entertaining, the other focused on educating. In that, there’s already a huge difference. This was no longer junior or high school anymore. The students were not so easy to control. Do you think a student could be controlled if you just stared hard at them? This was a university, Peking University! It would be easy if a teacher could use staring alone to control the students. So, at this important first meeting, the teachers had wanted to know what Zhang Ye would do. Thinking back, there was a new teacher, who had just arrived at Peking University, and was nearly embarrassed by a student.
Zhang Ye’s approach was very simple. He said to everyone, “I know some of you still have classes later, so for this interaction, I would like to do it in a Q & A style. It would be faster and would speed up our understanding of each other. Alright, there are 5 chances, anyone can ask any question. I will answer every one of them.”
“I have a question!”
A lot of students had raised their hands!
Yao Mi, Li Ying and Li Li all had their hands up!
Everyone’s enthusiasm was evident. Any Q & A by a new teacher in the past was never met with such intensity. This was because the students were too curious about this legendary person and Zhang Ye was different from those professors or teachers, who were so rigid. This sort of novelty was something they were experiencing for the first time, so naturally they were also very enthusiastic.
Yao Mi’s hands waved in a very big motion and she was nearly standing up by now.
Zhang Ye also noticed this girl, not someone very pretty, with a very average face or even below average, but she had a very special feature that would make people remember her once they saw her. Her eyes and brows gave off an aura that looked very familiar to Zhang Ye, like she was an old friend of his. On top of that, he had seen her earlier today during breakfast and gotten most of his news from her conversation with her friends.
“That student.” Zhang Ye pointed towards Yao Mi, “The girl with the pigtails.”
Yao Mi suddenly smiled and stood up, saying, “Hello Teacher Zhang. My question is, do you have a girlfriend yet?”
A few people, who had watched Zhang Ye’s Talk Show before, were now raising a commotion.
Chang Kaige was silently shaking his head at the sort of question.
Zhang Ye laughed, “Then I shall answer you seriously, not at the moment.”
Yao Mi sat back down satisfied.
“Next question, that student.” Zhang Ye said to Li Ying, who was seated beside Yao Mi.
Li Ying stood up, “Teacher Zhang Ye, may we know why you came to Peking University to teach?”
Zhang Ye put on a serious face and answered, “Peking University is an educational institute that I have always admired. It’s also the best institution in our country, so to come here to teach has always been my wish and honor. Thanks to President Wu’s high appraisal of me, she has granted my wish to teach here—” Several teachers and professors lightly nodded but then Zhang Ye suddenly changed his tone, “Of course, what I just said was all fake.” Seeing the students, teachers and professors all stunned, Zhang Ye said, “The truth is, my hosting qualifications have been revoked by the SARFT for about half a month and I have no job now!”
“Aiyo, I can’t take it anymore!”
“Teacher Zhang really dares to speak!”
The students were stunned for a while before their laughters filled the lecture theater!
After hearing his words, Wu Zeqing also could not help but break out into a little smile.
Professor Zeng was tickled. This Teacher Little Zhang was really an interesting person!
Chang Kaige and the department teachers were all slapping their foreheads, silent and speechless. What did you mean by you came here to teach because you had no job! Can’t you just say something fitting for the situation?! Witnessing all of this, many of those present had a feeling that Zhang Ye was treating this class as the scene of his Talk Show! Are you filming a program or are you teaching, but they also had to admit that under such an atmosphere, the students had been stirred up and the relationship between the lecturer and them had become closer!