Chapter 303: An extremely packed public class!
The next day.
Winter had arrived, so it was a little cold.
It looked like the sun was still doing its job, so the skies were still clear.
On this important day, Zhang Ye had gotten up very early. It was his first day as a teacher and also his first day conducting a lesson, so of course he had to make preparations. He showered and made himself up a little before selecting a few clothes. In the end, he chose a very basic suit of a neutral color. He did not wear something that would make him stand out too much. After all he was not recording a program, or appearing on TV, but rather giving lessons to his students instead. It was not wrong for a teacher to dress modestly, otherwise people might start saying things and that would affect his teaching quality.
“Dad, how is this?” Zhang Ye asked his father.
His father took a look, then nodded, “OK, this is fine.”
“What do you think, Mum?” Zhang Ye adjust his suit.
His mother who was just preparing breakfast, glanced over, “Good, my son will look good in whatever he wears.”
“Hur Hur, then this will be it.” Zhang Ye sat down and began to eat, “Dad, Mum, I won’t wash the dishes later. I need to go after I’m done here. The department just informed me that my class will begin at 9:30AM. I will be late if I don’t leave on time, there’s always a traffic jam over at Zhongguancun.”
His mother threw another 2 dumplings into his bowl, “Alright, it’s not like I need you to wash the dishes anyway. Eat more, eat more. You’ve got to perform well today, so you can do your father and I proud!”
Zhang Ye smiled, “Sure.”
His father looked at him and asked, “Have you prepared your lesson already?”
“It’s ready. I worked till the wee hours last night.” Zhang Ye answered.
Although he did not sleep early last night, he was in good spirits as he still had enough sleep. He had already completed all the things he needed to do. The game ring’s reputation points had all been spent on buying “Memory Search Capsules”, which he used to retrieve knowledge of “Dream of the Red Chamber”. Of course, the main resources he used were Wang Xinwu’s novel version and his ‘Lecture Room’ episodes, in which he spoke about “Dream of the Red Chamber”. Old Wang was an authority in the world of Redologists. Although there were many disputes about his views, his way of presenting could be said as a novelty as his perspectives were very unexpected. This was why when Zhang Ye listened to others speak at length about “Dream of the Red Chamber” in his previous world, he felt very uninterested or even sleepy, but when he heard Old Wang speak about it, he would listen to it with relish. As a host, Zhang Ye placed a lot of importance on the word “relish”. As a teacher, Zhang Ye felt the same. He has always thought that education and entertainment were inseparable. Entertainment was used to better education, to spread education in a better way. To this idea, he was going to put it to the test today.
As he drove to the school and upon passing the school’s main entrance, Zhang Ye noticed many people at Peking University today. He did not know whether they were here to visit, but a lot of people were walking in. Zhang Ye was not bothered by this and he drove directly to the grounds of the Chinese department. He parked his car at the designated spot for teaching staff, even though he had not applied for a pass yet, but it should be fine since everyone was friends now, so he just found an empty lot and squeezed his BMW in.
Upon getting off, he saw some familiar faces.
The doors of low-end car brand, that was of this world’s, opened. He saw Professor Zeng and another Chinese department male teacher getting out of it. Maybe it was along the way, so they came to school together.
“Teacher Little Zhang, you’ve come?
The two of them smiled and greet Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye also walked closer, “Professor Zeng, Teacher Yan.”
Professor Zeng asked with concern, “How are your preparations?”
Zhang Ye said, “It’s OK, I’m ready for class.”
Professor Zeng laughed heartily, “I’m rather looking forward to it. I don’t have a class later, so Teacher Yan and I will go over to listen in to your class, are we welcomed?”
“That is my honor.” Zhang Ye smiled, “But don’t say that you will be there to listen, it’s making me nervous. If you join my class, it will be to invigilate my teaching methods. If I don’t do well in anyway, I hope you two can point it out to me.”
Professor Zeng pointed at him, “You’re being too modest. In this area, you are the real master. Old Yan and me are not qualified to find fault with you. And you? Nervous? You look quite relaxed to me now.”
Teacher Yan also said joyfully, “Teacher Little Zhang, you have already been doing television for so long and even done a number of live broadcasts before. You didn’t even get nervous on those occasions, so how could holding a class be any pressure for you? Looking at you, I think you already have it all planned out. This is the look of confidence.”
They continued chatting as they made their way to the teacher’s office.
There were a few offices. Zhang Ye and Professor Zeng were located in the same office area, but being a professor, he had his own independent room. Zhang Ye, being a new teacher, had his work desk in the cubicle area. The department had given him a table by the window. Of course, the office cubicles here were different from those in a company. Every teacher’s work desk was much larger, up to 7 or 8 meters, and the partitioned areas were not too small. This was also due to the fact that there were not many lecturers in Peking University. Whoever could take a seat in here, even if they were just ordinary lecturers, whether or not they looked outstanding, were still the crème de la crème of the educational world.
“Good morning, teachers.” Zhang Ye greeted.
There were 8 or 9 teachers in this office area. When they heard him, they all looked over to him curiously.
Professor Zeng helped to introduce Zhang Ye to everyone, “This is Teacher Zhang Ye. He will be joining us officially today at Peking University.” Then he pointed out for Zhang Ye, “This is Teacher Sun, he teaches Modern Literature class. This is Teacher Liu, he teaches Classical Literature. That is….the soon-to-be Professor Wu, he teaches the Chinese language.”
“How are you, Teacher Sun?”
“Hello, how are you.”
“Professor Wu, how are you? Please give me your guidance.”
Zhang Ye said hello to everyone politely.
The teachers from the Chinese department also returned his pleasantries.
It could be seen that only a few people were interested in Zhang Ye. Most of them might not have known Zhang Ye well, so they just exchanged some words before going back to ignoring him. There were others who obviously did not think much of Zhang Ye. Their eyes shifted around with doubts and distrust and they did not make any attempt to speak with him. After the basic pleasantries, they busied themselves again. Someone even quietly shook their head while in their seat, but even though they had doubts about Zhang Ye’s teaching capabilities, due to the school’s recruitment, they did not say too much. After all, he was the appointed by President Wu to be a lecturer and Zhang Ye was already now a member of their staff. This fact was cast in stone now.
After some time, the pleasantries were done. Zhang Ye went back to his desk to put down his belongings. He looked at his watch and stood up again, for he was prepared to begin class.
When he stepped out of the office area, he was met with the oldest Professor in the Chinese department — Yan Jiantao.
Zhang Ye quickly greeted, “Professor Yan, good morning.”
Yan Jiantao did not even look at Zhang Ye and just gave a cursory answer before walking away..
Zhang Ye shrugged, but was not bothered by it. It’s not the first time he was being doubted and taken lightly, he had gotten used to it, so he did not put it to heart. As for the denouncement from the netizens and newspapers, Zhang Ye had already seen them all yesterday. He felt the same way towards that. He had already been through so many storms, so he was becoming more and more ambivalent to the nasty words of others about him. He was also too lazy to bring it up to them, at least not now. All of this would be meaningless and he would use his actions to prove himself. Zhang Ye only cared about his lesson today, so that was what was most important to him.
Along the way through the teacher’s building, many people cast weird glances at Zhang Ye. Their eyes exuded mixed feelings and they were looking at him in all sorts of ways. Some even felt like they were looking at him with contempt.
Almost no one in society felt that Zhang Ye was a good appointment for Peking University.
Even amongst Peking University’s professors, almost none of them thought Zhang Ye was any good. They even felt that Zhang Ye would probably only last 2 or 3 lectures before being asked to leave. The university would not let him finish the semester. This was because teaching depended on experience and skills, everyone felt that Zhang Ye, as an outsider, would not have these points. Some of them even believed that if an industry outsider was giving lectures, the students would not even be interested to listen!
But yet, that was far from the truth!
When Zhang Ye made his way to the lecture theater, he was stunned!
When many of Peking University’s teachers and professors passed by the 9:30AM class for “Appreciation of the Classics”, they too were shocked!
“Aiyo, don’t push!”
“Let me in!”
“Who are you all? What are you doing in our class?”
“F**k, I’m registered for this class, but why can’t I even get a seat?”
The tiny lecture theater was packed with people. The 200 seats were fully taken. Some people even brought their own chairs from their dormitories and sat along the aisle. The groups of people had even nearly taken up the space around the podium. This was not even the end! Because the lecture theater was situated on the 1st storey, the windows facing the sports field were also packed with people outside. Numerous Peking University students just made themselves comfortable outside the windows. There were also reporters in there carrying video cameras. A rough estimate would say that there were about 30-40 journalistic workers present. They were all from the various television stations and newspaper publishers. How they managed to get in, no one knew!
A few hundred people!
A full several hundred people had filled up the entire lecture theater and the corridor outside it!
Zhang Ye nearly fainted. My elective class only has slightly over a hundred people. Why the f**k are there so many here now? How am I supposed to conduct my lesson this way!
“Zhang Ye is coming!”
“Teacher Zhang! Please accept our interview!”
“Right now, everyone’s doubting your teaching level, what do you have to say about this?”
“I’m the reporter for Beijing Daily newspaper, can you tell us…..”
Zhang Ye put out his hand and blocked them, saying with a straight face, “Sorry, this is not a public lecture. I won’t take any forms of interview right now, please go back. Please don’t disturb the students or their chance to learn!”
But the reporters did not listen, they just surrounded him.
The department Dean, Chang Kaige, and Secretary Zhen Shuquan were also startled. They brought along a wave of teachers and rushed over. There was even a security team dispatched to maintain order. None of them had expected this. Zhang Ye had already been denounced so badly, being scolded like he was a piece of dog turd. Why were there still so many people here to join in the hustle and bustle!?
“Reporters, please leave! This is a school!”
“Please come after the class to do the interview! Teacher Zhang Ye needs to start his lessons now!”
“Dean Chang! Can we observe the lecture? Everyone in society is very concerned about Zhang Ye’s lecture this time. We would also like to do a first-hand report about it to give answers to the society!”
“Let me say it again, please leave!”
“And those students who are not enrolled in ‘Appreciation of the Classics’ should leave as well! There aren’t enough seats for the class! If you’re not in this class, what are you doing here?!”
Chang Kaige and Zhen Shuquan were furious!
Not only did the number people not decrease, instead it increased. A number of Peking University students who heard also rushed over, as if they all wanted to listen to Zhang Ye’s lesson!
Chang Kaige said dumbfounded, “Why are there so many people?”
Zhen Shuquan said helplessly, “It looks like we’ve underestimated Teacher Little Zhang’s influence amongst the younger generation.”
Indeed, there were many people who doubted and scolded Zhang Ye, but there were also a lot of people who liked him, especially among the younger generation. Zhang Ye had a certain appeal to them!
Yao Mi arrived!
Her dormitory mates and classmates also arrived!
When they saw the scene, they all exclaimed together at once!
Professor Zeng and a few Chinese department teachers had also arrived. They came hoping to join the class and listen in, but seeing the situation here, they were all stunned. Don’t talk about listening in, it looked like they wouldn’t even make it into the class with all these people!
“Secretary Zhen, Dean Chang, what should we do?” Professor Zeng had been stepped on quite a few times and his face was green. It wasn’t easy just to squeeze in to come to the side of the department leader.
Chang Kaige and the other also had no ideas. The place was chaotic and they couldn’t maintain order, so they ended up calling the management for instructions.
Two minutes later.
Chang Kaige called Zhang Ye over and brought him away from the people, “Teacher Little Zhang, there’s a last minute change. You can’t give your lecture here, so the management has specially arranged for you to use the auditorium. You will be giving a public lecture today. Would that be a problem?”
Zhang Ye smiled, “No problem, it’s all the same.”
“Alright then. Go to the auditorium to prepare!” Chang Kaige instructed. Then he and Zhen Shuquan addressed the students and reporters, “Everyone, please quiet down, quiet down. There will be a change in the lesson to become a public lecture. Would the reporters please proceed to Auditorium 3. We will arrange for someone to receive you all. Students, please also proceed to the hall for seating. Don’t jam up this place anymore. Please do not push and be careful, proceed to the next location in an orderly fashion!”
With that, everyone rushed out of the doors and cleared the lecture theater!
Many of the reporters were carrying their video cameras and running towards the auditorium!
Many of the students also rushed out after hearing the change in lesson plans. They had to be there early to get their seats. Whoever went there first would get the better seats in front!
Yao Mi was going crazy, “Why is it like this?!”
Yao Mi’s dormitory mate pulled at her, “Let’s go, quick! If we get there late, there won’t be any seats left!”
“This is really amazing!” The brothers Li Ying and Li Li ran along while being at a loss whether to laugh or cry, “We’re only trying to have our elective class! Why does it feel like we’re at war?! Those who’re less fit might not even make it in? I have known Zhang Ye to be quite popular in Beijing, but this is still too exaggerated…..Aiyo! Who bumped into me!” Li Ying nearly fell flat onto the floor as his shoes were trodden black!
This was the also what many of the Chinese department professors and lecturers wanted to say as well. It was just an elective class, how on earth did it attract so many people? From the looks of it, it seemed like many more Peking University students were intending to skip their classes to come listen to Zhang Ye’s lecture? Not attending their own lessons? This made the Chinese department teachers a little angry!
If they had a 100 students in their classes and 95 showed up, it would be considered a very good turn out since there were surely some who would be late or absent.
But just look at Zhang Ye’s class!
An elective class that initially had only a hundred over students was now attracting over 500 to 600 people?
How can it be! There was a damn increase of 500% in attendance!!