Chapter 349: Popularity Rises Again!
On the web.
At first, many people were still having a continuation of the topic from last night. There were more and more people joining in the ranks of those who supported "Ode to Young China". There were also more and more people joining the ranks of people who denounced Zhang Ye. It reached quite a fervent state. Then, suddenly, in an instant, the entire situation flipped!
"Ah Ah Ah!"
"Quick take a look at People's Daily!"
"What about People's Daily? Why should we look at it?"
"It's just a political newspaper. Which commoner would buy it!?"
"Let me take a look. My organization is subscribed to it...Holy sh*t! My eyes are blind! What is this? The People's Daily has published an excerpt of 'Ode to Young China'!"
"F**k! Is this real or not?"
"I have attached a picture. Please take a look for yourselves. Why would I lie to all of you!"
When a cellphone picture of today's edition of People's Daily's third page was uploaded, everyone was stunned!
"That's too awesome!"
"Teacher Zhang has gotten onto People's Daily!"
"I knew it. How can 'Ode to Young China', something that can be immortalized, be condemned by people! This would definitely be passed down for centuries!"
Immediately, many people cried out in disbelief!
Elder Qian, Yao Jiancai, Zhao Guozhou, Hu Fei, Xiao Lu, Hou Ge, Hou Di, Wang Xiong, Dong Shanshan, Wang Xiaomei, etc. Zhang Ye's old friends and colleagues all forwarded it on Weibo.
Zhao Guozhou: "Congratulations."
Yao Jiancai: "Well done bro! Haha!"
Xiao Lu: "Teacher Zhang is so magnificent!"
Elder Qian: "As long as it is gold, it will glitter!"
Dong Shanshan: "Old classmate, I'm happy for you."
As for those people who had denounced Zhang Ye in outrage, they immediately became silent. A large number of people shut their mouths and silently went offline. There were still people who gave a few indignant curses, but their voices decreased till they completely disappeared! With People's Daily giving Zhang Ye's speech affirmation, it was meaningless for them to carry on denouncing it!
Zhang Ye treated everyone to lunch.
The dining hall was in Peking University's campus. It may have been called a dining hall, but it was actually a restaurant. Zhang Ye had reserved an area earlier. He did not know how many people would turn up, nor was he lacking in money, so he decided to reserve a room for twenty people. There were two tables, so it was surely enough.
"Teacher Zhang, congratulations."
"Thank you Teacher Xu."
"Little Zhang, I heard you were published by People's Daily?"
"Yeah, I didn't expect it either. Professor Li. Teacher Xu, you came at the right time. I was just about to invite you to lunch. I have already reserved some tables."
"Is it appropriate?"
"It’s my treat. Everyone is going."
"Haha, alright then. I'll scrounge a meal from you then."
"It's almost the lunar new year winter vacation. We should gather for a meal too."
There were more and more people coming. Most of them were teachers from the Chinese department. Zhang Ye had also invited the Dean and the Dean's secretary, but Zhen Shuquan and Chang Kaige had both not arrived at work that day. They had gone to the hospital to visit the President. Another was out of town for a conference. They were not around, so there was no other way about it. As for Yan Jiantao and those elderly professors and lecturers that had good relationships with Yan Jiantao, Zhang Ye did not bother inviting them. He knew they were definitely feeling a grudge, and would not come, so Zhang Ye did not want to bring contempt on himself. Furthermore, he had won this time, and the people that should have been scolded had been scolded, and faces smacked. If he were to invite Yan Jiantao, it would make people think he was intoxicated by success. It would not look good on him.
Ring, ring, ring.
A telephone call came.
There was no one around him, so Zhang Ye picked it up. "Hello?"
"Hello, Zhang Ye." It was a woman's voice. "I'm from the People's Daily. As the manuscript was rushed, we added your speech at the last minute, so I only had the time to inform you now."
Zhang Ye hurried said, "It's no problem whatsoever. In fact, I'm very honored to be able to be on People's Daily. I want to thank all of you."
The woman smiled and said, "It was recommended by your President Wu. After examining it, we found it pretty good. Hence, we decided to add it at 3 in the morning."
"President Wu recommended it?" Zhang Ye was stunned.
The woman said curiously, "That's right. You didn't know? Well, it's nothing. I'm contacting you to know what method you would like for us to transfer the royalty fees to you. Do you want to do it by registered post, or through the bank?"
Zhang Ye said, "There's no need to. I'm already extremely honored. There's no need for money."
"Just give me your bank account number. These are the rules, so we need to go through the process. The royalties aren't that much either. It's only around 23 bucks." The woman said.
Zhang Ye could only say, "Alright, then I'll text you my bank account number."
After hanging up, Zhang Ye sent her a text message. Honestly, the royalty fees from People's Daily was ridiculously low. This wasn't the first time Zhang Ye had been published on a newspaper. For example, for the Beijing Times, although the royalty fees were not that much, it was at least in the hundreds every time. If there were a lot of words, it could even break a thousand. Zhang Ye had received quite a bit of royalties from those poems and proses, but this was the first time he had ever received a two-digit royalty fee.
But then again, ever since Zhang Ye debuted, he had appeared on nearly all the newspapers over the entire country, or in different provinces, but he had never appeared on the largest People's Daily. As this publication had a political leaning towards it and had no entertainment section, if it was just a common celebrity, like singers or actors, these important figures would have no chance to appear on such a newspaper. Zhang Yuanqi was the same too, but Zhang Ye had done it. To be able to go on People's Daily was already extremely lucky, so royalties? That was nothing of importance. Even if there wasn't a hundred million people who wanted to get on this newspaper, there were at least tens of millions. This was something you could not obtain with money. Ignoring the 23 bucks of royalties given to him, even if Zhang Ye had to pay a million, he would be willing to do so!
It represented fame!
It represented prestige!
This was a shimmering qualification!
Was Yan Jiantao awesome? Was he experienced? Was he reputable? But our old comrade Yan had never been on People's Daily! Or he wouldn't have gone back to his office after knowing about the news in the morning. He had not even stepped out of it since! This was because it represented something exceptional!
"Teacher Zhang, are we leaving?"
"Sure, Teacher Su. Let me make a call first."
"Alright, everyone will be waiting for you downstairs."
"Great. Go on down first. I'll be right there."
Su Na came looking for him, but Zhang Ye did not go with them. He made a phone call first. Ring Ring Ring. It connected. "Hello, President Wu. It's me, Little Zhang."
"Little Zhang." Wu Zeqing said.
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "I'll be treating everyone to lunch at noon. So far, it is mainly teachers from the Chinese department, would you mind showing your face?"
Wu Zeqing smiled lightly and said, "Go on ahead. I won't be joining in on the fun."
"Don't say that. You are the star. If you don't come, I won't be able to eat." Zhang Ye said, "I heard that my 'Ode to Young China' was recommended to People's Daily by you. For them to use my text was mostly because of your recommendation. I must thank you properly." If it were the other Vice Presidents of Peking University who had their training in education, they would lack this ability, but Wu Zeqing was different. Zhang Ye knew she came with political training and was a political executive. Her network was naturally wider than other Peking University Vice Presidents.
Wu Zeqing's voice was always that soft and gentle. "If you say it in that way, I'll feel guilty. Hur Hur. You know better than anyone else what your speech represents. It's your literary talent that allowed you to be rewarded with such honors. It has little to do with me. I only took on the role of recommending it. That was all."
Zhang Ye said, "I've already reserved a place. We are just waiting for you. I'm just not sure if you are in your office, if not, I would have invited you in person."
"Don't go. I'm not in the office. Well, alright then. Go on ahead first. Once I'm finished here, I'll come over." Wu Zeqing agreed.
Zhang Ye said happily, "Alright. Then we will be waiting for you."
On a balcony on the third floor.
Next to Peking University was a lake, so the scenery was exceptionally good.
Just as everyone took their seats, the door opened. Wu Zeqing had arrived.
"President Wu, you came."
"Hurry and take the main seat."
Finally, Wu Zeqing was invited to take the main seat. Zhang Ye was the star of the show today, so he was invited to sit beside President Wu. On the other side of Wu Zeqing sat Professor Zeng, who had the most established qualifications.
Zhang Ye gave a toast. "President Wu, I'll use tea on behalf of wine to toast you."
They were all Peking University teachers, so they were certainly not allowed to drink alcohol during office hours, so they all drank tea and other beverages instead.
Wu Zeqing smiled and said, "Today, you are the star. I'm not going to steal your thunder."
"You are my benefactor. If not for you inviting me to teach at Peking University, I would probably still be cooped up at home unable to find a job. It's all thanks to you." Zhang Ye said with some self-mockery.
Wu Zeqing clinked her cup with his and said gracefully. "With your literary talent, you don't have to worry no matter where you go. And even if you didn't come, it would be hard to say if our Chinese department would have received the number one ranking in the country. Now that your speech has gone on People's Daily, it is really me who should be thanking you for coming to join us." After she drank some tea, she looked at him nicely. "So how about it Little Zhang? Are you interested in joining Peking University as a full time teacher next semester? Place your focus here, while you put a hold the entertainment industry."
Don't work in the entertainment industry?
Teach in Peking University without anything else?
Zhang Ye exclaimed. "About that..."
Professor Zeng also laughed and said, "That's right. You are quite suitable for the education system. Although you have never taught before, your achievements in education in just these few days are known by all!"
Su Na smiled and urged him. "The entertainment industry is too messy. The school is so nice. Didn't you post on Weibo yesterday, saying all your life and all your strength would be given to the finest cause in the world──the fight for the Liberation of Education. It was said so well!"
The other teachers also nodded their heads slightly. Zhang Ye's words had really hit their hearts as educators!
Did I say that before?
Are those words of mine?
Zhang Ye coughed. "About that, I can balance it on two ends. I can both develop myself in the entertainment industry, but neither would I affect my teaching responsibilities." He quickly changed topics. "Here, this toast is on me. Thank you for taking care of me all this while!"
"Here we go."
Although this semester had come to an end, and after things were settled, Zhang Ye still needed to return to his hosting job. He naturally could not focus on education as his heart was not fully there. His goal was a lot higher than what others thought. His accumulation in Peking University over these past few days had been too smooth. He had obtained great popularity, as well as exposure. This was already enough for Zhang Ye. As for the next step, it was time for Zhang Ye to change his camping ground!
Translators' Note: Just click it. ‘Nuff said.