Chapter 341: Professor Yan's Opening Address!
The gala was about to begin.
The auditorium was extremely lively.
"Mengmeng." A girl called out to her.
"What?" Cao Mengmeng said with a giggle.
The girl blinked and asked, "Is your bro having a show today?"
Cao Mengmeng's eyes twinkled. "I don't think so?"
"Most surely not." Teacher Leng, who was leading them, smiled and said, "Today it's the Primary and Secondary School New Year Gala. The programs have long been rehearsed and fixed. There will be no other programs."
Another middle school boy said, "What a pity. I wanted to listen to Mengmeng's cousin compose another poem. The 'To The Oak' Mengmeng recited last time is really a classic amongst classic love poems. It's almost the same as the great poet, Teacher Chen Tianmo's ’Autumn Snow’. It was awesome."
Cao Mengmeng said proudly. "Of course. Who do you think my bro is!?"
"Aha? Your bro is Zhang Ye? The host from our Shanghai WebTV?" A Shanghainese female student said from the side.
Cao Mengmeng was extremely pleased. Pointing towards the front, "That's right. There, in the third row. That's my bro!"
In the front.
A few people were preparing for their speeches. Today's opening speech was done by an official from the Education Bureau, before a Peking University professor delivered his.
"Where's the President?"
"The President isn't feeling well."
"Hmm? Then what about the closing speech today?"
"Let me make another phone call. The President should be able to come."
"Right, there's still more than an hour. There should be time."
Wu Zeqing and a few school leaders began talking.
There was an empty seat in the first row. Peking University's President was absent today as he suddenly did not feel well that morning and had gone to the hospital for an IV drip. After asking about the situation, it did not seem to be anything serious, so he could still rush to get here in time. The gala was not as important as other galas. However, it was, after all, a national level gala. They had to show their respect and how highly they thought of it. It was customary for the President to deliver the closing or opening speech.
The curtains were drawn!
The gala officially began!
Upon seeing this, the reporters began their video recordings. However, one could tell that the quality of their recordings from their positions would not be too good. The job of recording mainly rested on Peking University. There were four or five cameras either on tripods, or hanging in the air. It was very professional.
On stage, two hosts walked out one after another.
It was a man and woman duo. Zhang Ye did not know the man, but the woman looked familiar.
"Dear leaders, guests, teachers, and students, good evening!"
"Let me welcome everybody to this year's National Primary and Secondary School New Year Gala. Let us introduce our guests and school representatives."
Fifteen Middle School...
Shidafu Middle School...
Yucai Middle School...
Shanghai Primary School...
Jinshi 2 Middle School...
et cetera. There was a long list of names.
Zhang Ye leaned his head over and asked, "Is this female host a teacher from our department?"
Su Na smiled and said, "That's right. Yan Jin from the Chinese department. She teaches Chinese and is in the second office across from ours. You should have seen her before. The guy is a staff of Peking University's public relations. His name is Zhao Xuan. They are a couple, and have also been the model couple of our Peking University for years. Back then, they graduated from Peking University, and began working in Peking University." With a pause, Su Na said, "The school actually wanted you to be the host."
Zhang Ye shook his hands. "I have never hosted such a gala before."
Broadcasting hosts may all seem the same to others, but Zhang Ye, of course, knew that hosts were not that simple. There were many different kinds. For example, broadcasting announcers. These hosts basically read from a script, and there was little spontaneity involved. However, for a television host like Zhang Ye, there was a need to be more reactionary and spontaneous as there was more unpredictability in variety programs. As for a host for a gala, the focus was on seriousness and stage control. This sort of gala host needed to have a strong ability to control the atmosphere. They had to be able to let the audience applaud, laugh, or remain silent when needed. There could not be any mistakes, nor could the host become the highlight of the show. If you made a very funny performance, causing the audience to keep laughing, then how would the next performance be able to proceed? This was definitely inappropriate, hence this kind of host needed to be a very good facilitator. It was all not easy.
Professor Zeng was clearly an unprofessional. "Aren't you a host who majored in this? This is hard for you?"
Zhang Ye said truthfully, "I might not do well as a gala's host. Firstly, I do not have experience, and secondly, I do a talk show, so people want to laugh once they see me. It would affect the control of the atmosphere. It wouldn't be nice if the atmosphere turns chaotic."
Su Na chuckled and said, "We didn't know about these, but if you were to do it, I believe you would definitely do very well. After all, you are a professional."
This was actually the truth. Even though Zhang Ye did not have experience being a gala's host, he still had the basic foundations as a professional. He would definitely be more professional than Yan Jin and Zhao Xuan on stage.
"But you were busy with your classes a while ago." Su Na said, "Every one of them was a public lecture, so you were too busy, so the school did not dare to trouble you, afraid it would affect your teaching. If not, the job of host would definitely have been yours. There are few in Peking University that are more eloquent than you."
Zhang Ye looked seriously at her and said, "Teacher Su, I'm mentioning this first. There's no problem if you flatter me for free, but can I not treat all of you to dinner tonight?"
The surrounding teachers, who heard this, all laughed.
Su Na also burst out into laughter, "No way! I've flattered you all day! You have to treat!"
"Everyone who hears it should get a piece of the pie." Professor Zeng also joined in the fun. "Count me in. I haven't eaten seafood in a long time."
A few Peking University teachers, who Zhang Ye did not know, also looked at him in a different light. He had just quarreled with Peking University's senior authority, Professor Yan this afternoon, but here he was all smiles? He was so humorous? This calmness was not something any typical person could have. If it was an important figure like Professor Yan, if he was not frustrated to death, he would be worried to death. However, Zhang Ye's attitude indicated that he did not seem to mind at all. Actually, they did not understand that Zhang Ye did not feel it after getting used to it. This fellow was already accustomed to offending people, and no longer treated it seriously.
The Education Bureau's leader finished his opening speech.
The female host, Yan Jin smiled and said, "Next, please welcome Peking University's Chinese department's Professor Yan to deliver his speech."
Yan Jiantao's figure had not been in the second row for some time. It was unknown when he went backstage. At this moment, he walked out and took over the microphone from the host.
Zhang Ye's eyes narrowed.
Su Na looked at him. "It will be Professor Yan speaking on behalf of Peking University first."
Yan Jiantao did not bring a script and clearly had done his homework in advance. He had already memorized the script. "Hello students. During today's opening address, I want to talk about the topic of 'University is Useless' that is expressed by society these days." He spoke in a stern manner, and sounded like he was giving a public lecture, and not a speech at a gala. "I do not know what motives people have to make such a nonsensical statement, extolling how university is useless. Peking University is a top learning institute in the country and I have been working in education for 43 years. As someone with experience, I can tell everyone..."
Many teachers began to nod as they listened.
But in comparison, almost all the students were lacking in attention. They were nearly falling asleep.
"The children present have yet to walk into society, nor have they contributed to society. You might not understand many things, nor is there a way for you to. University is actually a checkpoint that helps everyone step into society. This is actually a bridge that ensures that everyone becomes a part of society. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is life. The answers you seek can slowly be discovered during your time in university. You can slowly discover yourselves and understand and become aware of yourselves. In my point of view, this is something essential. It is an essential process that can help everyone establish the correct values and outlook on life..." Professor Yan blabbered on and on.
The students became even more tired.
"In present day society, we are the ones supporting it. We have tried all means to 'encourage education', and are full of good intention, but some people are tired of hearing it, and might even place barriers in front of their ears. However, as educators, we have constantly repeated again and again in order to 'encourage education'. Has everyone thought about the reason?" Yan Jiantao's general meaning was that, as pillars of support for present-day society, they had only the best intentions for the students. They wanted them to study hard and improve themselves daily. Children did not know anything, and did not possess correct values, so they had to listen to them. They did not need to think. Only after they finished their education would these children be able to thank these educators for the life they were given.
What stale talk!
However, Professor Yan had just changed the perspective slightly. He followed a logical line of thought to make sure everyone understood this point. He wanted to let the students think of how educators were painstakingly encouraging them to study, because as their seniors, they had 'applied what they had learned'. Hence, they were strong advocates. If it was really useless, why would they keep pestering them by repeating the same old?
Finally, Yan Jiantao said, "University isn't useless, only ignorance is useless! Peking University will always open its arms to children who have a thirst for knowledge! We will forever welcome you!"
He finished his speech.
There was a round of applause and considered quite enthusiastic.
After all, there were cameras, so the students gave face by applauding, but in fact, a large number of students had faces of disinterest.
Only the secondary school leaders and teachers, as well as Peking University's lecturers, held Professor Yan's speech in high esteem. They felt Professor Yan had done a good job in his speech.
"That was a good speech."
"It looks like Professor Yan had done quite a lot of preparation."
"That's right. Encouraging people to study from a different perspective. It's quite fresh."
"Professor Yan has the heart. I hope the students will really take it to heart."
"From this standards, we can see Professor Yan's skill. This way of encouraging people to study is filled with positivity. Zhang Ye can never learn this."
"That's right. Zhang Ye's literary skill is sarcasm. His poems and essays are indeed at a pinnacle, but when it comes to education, to persuade people to do good, he's far from it. It is incomparable to Professor Yan. What a joke for people to compare him to Professor Yan. They even analyzed to see who was better? Is there a need to analyze? Professor Yan's experience numbers in the decades. How can a rising star like Zhang Ye compete with Professor Yan?"
"Zhang Ye is lacking the requisite attainment."
Translators’ Notes: Just click it. ‘Nuff said.