Chapter 555 Shielding the helpless!
At the scene.
A few teachers went around "catching" those involved, while Professor Yan questioned them.
Having let the baseball-capped student escape, Bai Yi couldn't just let the issue slide like this. Because a big incident like this had happened, he had to find a few of those who were accountable to set an example to the others. He scanned the crowd looking for people while the Peking University students all sought to hide themselves from him, some of them feeling guilty. Bai Yi looked hard for a while and found one as he pointed at a male student in the crowd not far away from him. "You, you scolded and insulted the most fiercely just now, spouting curse words and all! That is unacceptable!"
The student looked down on the ground.
"What's your name!? Which faculty are you from?" Bai Yi interrogated coldly.
When he knew Bai Yi was going to use him to set an example, probably with a heavy punishment, the 3rd year senior, who was cursing so much earlier that sparks flew, became so nervous that his back was drenched in sweat. "I...I..." he said, panicking.
Bai Yi questioned him, "What's your name?"
Then, Zhang Ye blinked and said from afar again, "Teacher Bai, are you looking for the person who was standing at the side window of the third bus, scolding someone?"
How does this concern you again? Bai Yi frowned. "This is he."
Zhang Ye waved his hands and said very assuredly, "It's not him. He looks like that guy but it's not him. They are both wearing white tops, but that person was wearing jeans instead. I remember it clearly and he has already run off to the side of the lake."
Seriously? I remembered wrongly?
Bai Yi was almost speechless. "Teacher Zhang, you seem to have pretty good memory!"
Zhang Ye laughed. "It's not bad. We broadcast hosts usually handle scripts quite often and even have to do unscripted hosting sometimes. So we get to train our memories very often as a result. Believe me, Teacher Bai, when it comes to memory, it's not that I want to boast, but I don't think there are many here better than me."
If it were anyone else who said it, their colleagues might just brush it off as boasting, but because it was Zhang Ye who said it, everyone believed him. Not mentioning other examples, when Zhang Ye was giving his lectures on Dream of the Red Chamber or when he did his "Talk Show" in a live broadcast, he had not used any script at all. So what did he depend on? Clearly, he depended on his superb memory. The teachers of Peking University were all used to reading from a textbook or notes when they taught their classes. Without the need for them to go off script, their memories were clearly not as good as a professional host like Zhang Ye. This was something they too would admit to.
Bai Yi was also a little unsure about it, and when Zhang Ye assured him that he got it wrong, he also started doubting his own memory and couldn't argue about it.
Over a dozen of the Peking University teachers looked at Zhang Ye.
Those Peking University students also looked over at the same time. Even if the teachers could not recognize the students, they themselves were classmates or dormmates, so how could they not recognize each other? Would they forget? By now, they all realized that Teacher Zhang Ye was actually protecting them. Then, many of them started to disperse, especially those who had scolded very fiercely just now, knowing that it was smarter to just leave the scene!
"Let's go quickly."
"We have to leave now!"
"I'm making a move first!"
"Wait for me!"
With so many people leaving, the teachers couldn't possibly hold them back one by one.
Professor Yan looked at one female student. "She's should be one of them, right?"
An old professor beside him muttered, "I think so, I think I saw her scolding just now."
Bai Yi also saw the girl and had quite a deep impression of her from earlier. He grasp the 3rd year student by her arm and said, "Don't you try to leave! Stay here! You were the one who spat at the bus just now! Don't you know that there are Japanese university delegates on the bus? Ah? Are you trying to revolt!"
The 3rd year female student looked stunned and put on an innocent front saying, "It wasn't me." In actual fact, she knew clearly that she was the one who led a few others to spit at the bus.
Bai Yi did not waver this time, "That was you! Come with me!"
The girl was getting nervous. "Teacher Bai, don't pull me!"
"May I interrupt?" Zhang Ye waved at them. "Well, the one who spat at the bus wasn't her."
Finally, Bai Yi could not longer stand it and he stared at Zhang Ye angrily. "Not this one again? Teacher Zhang, are you creating trouble on purpose here?"
Zhang Ye did not look too friendly either. "Teacher Bai, why are you accusing me of making trouble when it is you who has a bad memory?"
Bai Yi said, "I saw her myself, clearly!"
Professor Yan also said flatly, "I saw it too, it was her!"
The girl immediately looked to Zhang Ye, her eyes signaling for help!
Zhang Ye's tone was very firm. "But I saw it clearly myself too. It wasn't her. The girl who spat was shorter than her. Her eyes are not this big either," Zhang Ye said as he appeared to be recollecting what he saw. "I think I saw her just now too, but she went ahead with the crowd and left already. It was just a short moment ago." As he said that, he randomly pointed in a general direction.
Bai Yi clenched his teeth and said, "Then look for that person and bring her here!"
Zhang Ye shrugged. "Oh, there are so many people around, where do you expect me to start looking? You should know that I'm a new teacher here and have only been at Peking University for a few months. I'm not that familiar with the students here and might not be able to recognize them again. If you bring me the photos of all the students, I might be able to give it a try, but you know, a person usually looks different when photographed, so that would not work either."
"Don't bother looking. This time we definitely did not identify her wrongly!" Professor Yan said without even looking at Zhang Ye. He added, "A few of us teachers can vouch that we saw her spitting at the buses, clear as day. Bring her to the office!"
The girl was almost in tears by now.
Zhang Ye's eyes narrowed. "I'll say this again. It was not this student. If the student committed a mistake, then they deserve to be punished. But if it was because of your failing memories that you can't identify the right person and just want to get a scapegoat to answer to the superiors, then that is surely unfair to the students!"
A staff member from the Office of School Leadership said, "It was obviously her. I saw it too. What do you mean by saying that we're just catching her to use her as a scapegoat? Teacher Zhang, you can't talk like that!"
Su Na stepped forward to speak for Zhang Ye, "There were so many people at the time and so many girls had ponytails too. It's not uncommon even if you all identified her wrongly. If you can't conclusively prove that it was this student who spat, then you shouldn't take her away and directly deal punishment to her."
Professor Yan said, "I did not remember wrongly! Little Su, stop giving me trouble!"
Su Na was also not happy at this. "Professor Yan, what did you mean by that? Did I offend you?" What you say was correct but what others say would be considered creating trouble? Does that make sense!?
Bai Yi, who was annoyed by now, said, "So many of us teachers saw her spitting at the bus. How can you say we got it wrong? Why is it not Zhang Ye who got it wrong instead! Are his words conclusive evidence?"
Zhang Ye said, "Because I have a better memory than all of you."
Professor Yan said, "Stop it, let's just bring her away!"
Just when the Peking University students had finished with their arguments, the Peking University teachers were now arguing as well!
Zhang Ye held on firmly to the 3rd year female student, standing beside her, saying, "Based on what? If I say it's not her, then it's not her. Are you all doubting my judgement?"
Bai Yi was starting to get stirred up by Zhang Ye. He said, "Your memory is good? And you can even remember everything!?"
Zhang Ye looked at him and said, "I dare not say so, but that's almost right."
A female teacher tried to resolve the matter by saying, "Let's drop it. The heads of the school didn't ask for punishments to be given out anyway. The semester has just started and the students don't have it easy either. We teachers should stop fighting over this matter too." What this female teacher said had some truth in it as well. The cause of the incident was not some big issue in the first place but because of both sides not handling the matter well from the start. The Japanese were also a big part of the problem, thus leading to the incident, so the Peking University students couldn't be fully blamed either. Besides, the Japanese delegation did not touch on this matter, so why are we firmly trying to assign blame and mete out punishment? There was no need to do that and not worth doing so either. If our teachers were to fight among ourselves as well, then wouldn't the Japanese delegation make a joke out of us if they saw it?
But somehow Bai Yi had other thoughts and he kept insisting on punishing the students as though he wanted to see them get expelled from the university so that he could answer to the Japanese. He did not bother about what the female teacher said and just stared at Zhang Ye. "Alright, you say that your memory is good? Did you read Morning Post today?"
"Of course I did." Zhang Ye had read it at home, so he did not deny it.
Bai Yi nodded and said, "So then, tell me, what news was on the third page of this morning's paper?!"
Oh, so that's what he wants to ask? Zhang Ye laughed as he reached for his left pinky with his right hand, like he was tinkering with something.
"Can't answer?" Bai Yi said coldly. "And you dare to claim that you have a good memory? There are always times when people misidentify or misremember things, but here you are, claiming that you have a better memory than all of the teachers here. You even want to declare that only the things you say are valid? Sure then, why don't you show us some proof? We won't believe it just based on your word alone!" A lot of people could see by now that Zhang Ye was probably defending the students.
The 3rd year female student's heart skipped a bit. This time, it was over!
She and a few of her classmates were standing off to the side, feeling anxious, not knowing what to do.
When Bai Yi saw that Zhang Ye was standing there with his eyes closed, he scoffed at him and went up to the 3rd year female student to take her away. Professor Yan and two other teachers went forward to help him.
But at this moment, Zhang Ye slowly opened his eyes and said, "In the whole of last year, newspapers in the People's Republic of China presented two forking trends in readership. On one hand, with the positive effects of the country's cultural development policies, the central-level newspapers' sales figures and print runs had a growth increase. On the other, with the acceptance of digital readership, especially news media for the mobile market opening up, this has led markets of provincial-level newspapers to be impacted and experience a fall in index figures. At the same time, the overall market share for digital news media has gained a higher proportion of increase, with a rapid growth of other new digital content services."
Everyone was stunned!
Professor Yan, "........"
Bai Yi, "....."
Su Na, "..........."
Yao Mi, "......."
Professor Zeng, "........."
3rd year female student, "........"
Everyone who had heard it were stunned at that moment!
What is this? What was this? Morning newspaper? The third page of the morning newspaper??
A student exclaimed, "What the f**k! Teacher Zhang really remembered it!?"
Yao Mi stared and said, "How can that be possible? Most people just browse through the papers, don't they? And, somehow, you could even goddamn remember something like that?!"
1. Thank you for all your welcome messages in the comments, I've read them all and would like to assure everyone that I will continue to translate hard and hopefully, faster :O