Chapter 319: The Second Public Lecture!
Outside the Grand Auditorium.
The square was lively.
The female reporter and cameraman, who were from Jinshi locality television station, had their hands full, first was Yao Mi from the Chinese department, then the bespectacled male student from the Mathematics department and lastly, with the straight A student, Senior Song. The Tianjin television station reporter could only feel one emotion right now, and it was that the people from Peking University were totally from a different world than them. She had only wanted to get a simple interview, why was it so difficult?!
“The eleventh problem is…”
“Student, student. That will do.”
“No, I’m not finished. The eleventh problem is an important character in the Jia residence…”
Many Chinese department students knew Senior Song. Even people from other departments had heard of Senior Song, so when they saw the female reporter’s expression, they were all extremely amused!
“Haha, Senior Song is doing it again!”
“The moment academic issues crop up, there’s no way to stop her!”
“Those reporters are really unlucky. Of all the students here, they had to pick the Straight A Student Song! They even dared ask her about the academic issues of the lecture! This will probably take over an hour to talk about. Senior Song is not called Straight A Student Song for nothing!”
There were all sorts of geniuses in Peking University, and it quite was obvious here today.
Over there, Yao Mi made her dormitory mate help her to queue while she went over to the reporter and cameraman to speak well of Zhang Ye. Yet another reporter had their hands full with her, so they quickly escaped and hid from her!
The Chinese department teachers had also come.
As long as they had no afternoon lessons, they all made their way to the grand auditorium.
Seeing the reporter’s sticky situation, seeing the crowds of people, Professor Zeng, who had a good relationship with Zhang Ye, smiled and said, “This scene, I doubt even the auditorium that can hold 5000 people will have enough seats for everyone.”
Su Na was quite surprised. “So many students?”
Department Dean Chang Kaige frowned. “How many people skipped classes for there to be so many here?”
Zhen Shuquan quipped, “This time, higher management from the school will come to listen in. Let’s enter first. I think if we enter late, there won’t even be seats for us.”
Other than the Chinese department teachers, there were also teachers from the History department, as well as other departments here to join in the bustle. After they saw this, they were rendered speechless. Zhang Ye’s class was just an elective. It only had about a hundred people enrolled in the class, but in the end, the public lecture had such a huge turnout? 5000 people? What was this!? This had already broken the attendance record of Peking University’s public lectures! Such a large auditorium was only used for performances during conferences! The school had reserved this location for Zhang Ye to hold his public lecture because they had already expected the turnout to be larger than usual, but they had not expected the seats to be completely taken up. Judging by the situation now, not only would the seats be fully taken up, it would not even be enough to hold everyone! Behind them, they could even see students from their own departments who were supposed to have afternoon lessons, yet those students were here queuing up for a lesson that they weren’t even supposed to attend!
It was a torture to compare people!
Trash thrown out upon comparison!
Zhang Ye’s appeal was something that really left these Peking University lecturers with nothing to say, but they also knew they could not compare to him. After all, Zhang Ye’s status was still a celebrity and the things he claimed now were really too shocking. If they themselves dared to claim something like “’Journey to the West’ was not written by Wu Chengen” at a place like Peking University, they would also be able to gain attention from the whole of society, but what’s important was that they did not dare to make those claims!
“Zhang Ye offended the literature world yesterday?”
“Yes, he posted a limerick on Weibo yesterday that offended the entire world of literature!”
“Why is he like that? His claims still can’t hold any water and he dares to offend people like that?”
“Our Peking University is an institution of over a hundred years, he better not destroy our reputation. I hope that Zhang Ye can bring out some really solid proof today or else it will not end well.”
“Yea, when I was outside earlier, I saw Dean Liu hosting some experts from the literary world for lunch. I suppose they will be joining this public lecture later.”
“Zhang Ye has forced himself down a path of no return.”
“Hopefully, he can back his claims up properly. If he can’t do so, it would be too embarrassing, not only for himself, but for everyone of us at Peking University.”
The few teachers from the various departments had some worries and concerns.
The Chinese department’s Secretary and Dean also had similar thoughts. This was no longer just Zhang Ye’s problem alone. It was now a problem of the Chinese department and even of Peking University. If anything went wrong, Chang Kaige and Zhen Shuquan would have their fair share of responsibility too. And this responsibility was too heavy to bear — Changing the history of one of the Four Great Classical Novels and misleading the students, it was a responsibility that even they could not take on. If it were just brought up as a point in a normal lecture, it might be fine. It wouldn’t spread to the public. Even if it did, they could still control it, but now, it was like water that had been poured, they wouldn’t be able to contain it anymore. The entire society already knew of this. There were so many students and so many reporters present. And as if Zhang Ye still did not have his hands full, he even added fuel to fire and offended the entire literary world. The literary world was now taking it up with them and had sent a few dozen members over today. Together with the education and world history’s people, it could be said that Peking University was a gathering place of the elite today. Whether they were here to pick a thorn or witness the commotion, they were all here!
This Zhang Ye!
He really makes others worry!
At the same time.
As Zhang Ye’s car entered the gates of Peking University, a phone call came.
“Son.” It was Mom who called. “You’ve gotten into big trouble this time!”
Zhang Ye chuckled. “Mom, relax. I have a sense of propriety.”
Mom said angrily, “Your Dad and I only knew you got into such big trouble after watching the morning news. Are you dying? Why can’t you rest a day!? You even dare to trample on the Four Great Classical Novels? Great, now see what’s happening? Everyone is scolding you. You really do not know when to stop!”
Zhang Ye said, “I really know what I am doing. Alright Mum, tell Dad not to worry either. I am at Peking University now and have to prepare for my class. Don’t say anymore.”
The call ended.
Ring, ring, ring. It was Wu Zeqing’s number.
Zhang Ye hurriedly slowed down his car to pick the call up. “President Wu.”
“Are you here yet?” Wu Zeqing’s gentle voice was very soothing to the ears.
“I’m here. I just passed through the school gates.” Zhang Ye said.
Wu Zeqing acknowledged. “How are your preparations?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Pretty much done. It all depends on how I express myself when the time comes. I did not prepare a script. I’m the kind of player that does better on the field. Hur Hur.”
Wu Zeqing said, “Then I’m relieved.”
“You really trust me? You aren’t afraid I’ll screw up?” Zhang Ye asked out of curiosity.
Wu Zeqing said calmly, “Since I invited you to join Peking University, then I naturally trust you completely. No matter what others say, just follow your own thoughts and lecture on.”
Upon hearing this, Zhang Ye turned silent. “…Thank you.”
Wu Zeqing said, “Alright, that will be all. I’ll be going to the auditorium to listen to your class. I’m honestly looking forward to what you will talk about today. Don’t disappoint everyone.”
“Rest assured.” Zhang Ye hung up.
With such trust from President Wu, Zhang Ye’s heart was filled with warmth. This was the sort of feeling that he had never experienced much before. During his time in the radio station, he was seen with contempt by the leaders. When he went to the television station, the leaders sought to suppress him. Even at the online television station, Zhang Ye’s unexpected moves and choices, like his Talk Show, were met with doubt from the leaders and others around him. He was stumbling his way through to get it implemented before the results managed to extend the broadcast run and made everyone recognize his work. Otherwise, the program would have been cut without a moment’s hesitation, but here at Peking University, the situation was slightly different. Zhang Ye had not expected to meet such a trusting leader like Wu Zeqing. Compared to casting doubt on one of the Four Great Classical Novels’ author, what sort of resistance did he get for proposing to do a Talk Show that had never existed before? What sort of pressure did he have to deal with for a radio station’s children’s’ story program? What problems did he encounter as a lecturer for “Lecture Room”? With such a comparison, all of the issues he encountered seemed so small now, but yet with such an earth-shattering claim that even seemed ‘treacherous’, Wu Zeqing had actually been supportive of him!
The entire society was scolding him!
But Wu Zeqing’s support for him had never changed!
Zhang Ye liked such trust. He was also grateful to such a trust. Since you trust me, then rest assured. This bro will definitely not disappoint you, nor will I cause you any trouble!
After alighting from the car.
Zhang Ye went straight to the back door of the Grand Auditorium. There was a passage for internal use. At this moment, his expression had also turned serious. He had wiped away his relaxed expression.
“Hey! Little Zhang.” A familiar face appeared.
Zhang Ye looked over and went over. “Brother Hu, you came too?”
It was Beijing Television Station’s Hu Fei, Zhang Ye’s old leader, “Yes, I came over to support you. Coincidentally, I know a teacher here, so I’m entering through the back door. This public lecture’s seats are really not easy to get. I had to cash in a favor before I managed to come here. Looks like I owe someone a debt now.”
Zhang Ye immediately said, “You should have informed me, I would have left a seat for you.”
Hu Fei smiled until his eyes were a slit. “I knew you had to prepare for your lessons, so I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“What preparations do I need? It’s only making copies of some information. Don’t you already know that? When have I ever needed a script? It’s all in my head already.” Zhang Ye laughed.
“Teacher Zhang Ye.” Another person came from behind again.
Hu Fei said, “Alright, go busy yourself. I’ll be going in first. We can talk later.”
“Alright.” Zhang Ye then turned around and looked. “Yo, Teacher Xiaomei. Director Zhao.”
It was Beijing Radio Station’s broadcasting host Wang Xiaomei and Zhang Ye’s former leader, Zhao Guozhou.
Zhao Guozhou smiled and said, “Long time no see. Not bad. The commotions you stir up are getting bigger by the day. Thankfully, I know a Dean from the History department, if not I wouldn’t even be able to come listen to your lecture.”
Wang Xiaomei was the same as always. She did not like to speak unnecessarily.
Zhang Ye smiled and exchanged a few words with them. It had indeed been a long time and it felt really good when he saw them again. Zhang Ye rather missed them and his old colleagues.
After duo left, another person came.
“Hey, Little Zhang.” Someone called him.
Zhang Ye looked over and his eyes lit up. “Elder Qian.”
Elder Qian was a veteran in the literary world. He was the head judge of the Beijing Couplet Competition in the past. He was an old acquaintance that had pretty good relations with Zhang Ye. He had spoken up to support Zhang Ye on multiple occasions.
“Why have you come?” Zhang Ye was pretty happy.
Elder Qian stroked his beard. “I came to listen to your lecture.”
Zhang Ye felt overwhelmed and said, “Don’t say it like that. I’m not that good.”
“Haha, if you aren’t good, then who is?” Elder Qian pointed out that there were still many people gradually entering the auditorium through the back door, “Those who are here today are all here to listen your lecture. With your talent and knowledge, you have long been qualified to give lectures to others. The evidence you submitted yesterday were critical and also very substantial. I’m actually very curious as well, so here I am. Yes, please do well later. I’m here today as your student, I will listen well.”
Zhang Ye quickly gave a wave of his hand, “Don’t say that, you’re overpraising me.”
Elder Qian glanced at him once again, “But I have yet to take it up to you, rascal. What’s with that limerick? You even scolded me along with them!”
Zhang Ye smiled and apologized, “I’m sorry, I’m really sorry. I was just quick with my mouth, but that limerick was not meant for you. To me, you don’t belong to the literary world. You belong to the world of culture instead. The world of culture is on a level higher than the world of literature.”
Elder Qian said happily, “Don’t try that with me.”
Many others gradually entered the auditorium through the back door passage. When they saw Zhang Ye, no one bothered to greet him. Many of them greeted Elder Qian instead.
Some leered at Zhang Ye.
Some looked at him with slight annoyance.
Some people did not say anything and just shook their heads.
Clearly, they were likely those who “looked forward to the death of their peers”, members of the literary world, but Zhang Ye did not see any of the key personnels, they had probably already entered the auditorium.
“So this is Zhang Ye?”
“I want to see how he is going to lecture today!”
Zhang Ye shrugged his shoulders and smiled at Elder Qian. “See that? Not many are here to listen to my lecture today. They are all here to watch me make a fool of myself.”
“That’s all because you always offend people.” Elder Qian laughed, for he was powerless. “Your shelling had scolded all of them.”
“But I didn’t scold them wrongly.” Zhang Ye did not think of it this way. “Other than you and a small number of friends from the world of literature, how many people in the literary circles actually like me? Oh, just because I’m a broadcasting major, I can’t engage in literature? And I can’t do it better than them? Whenever I have a problem, they all besiege me together. Whenever I come up with some poem or essay, they would say that it is not good. What sort of logic is this?! When I say that they ‘looked forward to the death of a peer’, surely I am not wrongly accusing them, right?”
Elder Qian said, “You have hit out at too many people in this manner. There are still many respected veterans in the literary world who did not criticize you.”
Zhang Ye smiled, “Other than you, I have not come across many others. When something happens, when the society really needs them, all of them go into hiding. They keep quiet, but when all is peaceful, they jump out immediately. They keep to themselves in their nests and only know how to exclude themselves. They use seniority and ranks, waving the flags of morality and criticizing their own peers. Hur Hur, they can criticize others, but don’t criticize me. This bro doesn’t care for the glory or traditions of the literary world. If you criticize me, I will criticize back at you! Do you think they can out-criticize me or I can out-criticize them? I am a host that makes a living by using my mouth. They want to compete with me in that? Even if I took a handicap of having half a lip, they still wouldn’t be able to out-scold me! They want to fight me in my occupation? Are they trying to make me laugh? I’ll surely fight it out with them!”
“Look at that mouth of yours.” Elder Qian shook his head and gave a wry smile. “If that mouth of yours were mounted on a spaceship, that spaceship might not even stop after flying out of the Milky Way!”
Not far away, a few experts from the History circles entered. They happened to hear Zhang Ye’s words and nearly stumbled to the ground!
There was only a phrase in their minds at that moment!
Hooligans were not scary, only hooligans with culture!
Knowing Teacher Zhang Ye was not as good as meeting him in person. He was more ruffian than the rumors made him out to be!