Chapter 703: The teachers' friendly contest?
Translator: Legge Editor:
Later in the morning.
The sky above the hilltop was scattered with clouds and some of the thicker clouds were floating past harmoniously, blocking off the hot sun which was shining directly overhead. With the addition of the dense shade at the hilltop created by the trees and a cool breeze sweeping through the wilderness, it felt very comfortable.
At this moment, the hilltop was full of teachers.
"Dr. Chen, you came too?"
"Yo, is everything prepared?"
"Where's the bacon? Where did you put the bacon?"
"In the second drawer of the cooler. Be careful when you open it, there are ice cubes in there."
"Let's light the charcoal!"
"Wait a moment, not everyone is here yet."
"Haha, my stomach is already growling in hunger."
"Can any of you male teachers come and help us move the grill?"
The barbecue grill and food were all set and ready for cooking.
Zhang Ye was accompanied by two young teachers from the mathematics team as they walked up to the hilltop together. When they saw this scene, their mood became better seeing this lively atmosphere. Looking at the amount of food, their fatigue from the past few days seemed to disappear into thin air. They were just waiting to tuck in now.
Not far away, Su Na was drinking a soda and chatting with a few other female teachers beside her.
Many of the other male teachers had already opened a crate of beer and started drinking. For the past few days, the teachers were not allowed to even take a sip of any alcoholic drinks but it didn't matter anymore now.
"Professor Zhang, we're over here."
Many teachers from the Mathematics team were seated under a pavilion. When they saw Zhang Ye arriving together with some of their colleagues, they called them over.
Someone said, "Teacher Zhang, I heard that the Beijing examinees are undermining you?"
A female mathematics teacher covered her mouth while laughing. "I also heard from someone at the Higher Education Entrance Examination Board that the examinees have caused quite a big commotion."
When Zhang Ye heard this, he said in a depressed tone, "Hai, don't mention that. Tell me, what have I done to offend anyone?! This bro has somehow offended a large number of people again this time. What did I do to deserve this!"
A teacher from the Science team standing outside the pavilion heard that. He turned his head and asked, "The Science exams are presented as rather difficult, don't tell me your Mathematics team has set very difficult questions too?"
A math teacher smiled and said, "It's not just very difficult. Later you will know when you see it, especially those questions set by Teacher Zhang. Every one of them was trickier than the last!"
That person: "..."
About ten minutes later, the last wave of teachers who hadn't arrived yet reached the hilltop. Among them was Dean Pan of the Mathematics team. But Chief Yu, the supervisor of the Chinese Literature team, could not be seen, probably because something had come up and he could not come. Immediately, the hilltop was surrounded with smoke. Barbecue grills and charcoal fires were lighted everywhere. There were an estimated seven barbecue grills and were enough for these dozens of teachers to grill the food. The food was also abundant and could even last for the entire day of barbecuing.
"Almost everyone is here!"
"Let's start grilling!"
"Come on, come on!"
"Let's grill the scallops first. The hot weather will easily spoil them."
"Please grill some big shrimp for me, thank you."
Some of the male teachers volunteered and started getting busy in front of the grills. Not long after, the food was cooking on the grills, and the buzzing sound of the fat cooking emanated a fragrance that drifted everywhere.
At this point, a middle-aged male teacher from Tsinghua University suddenly announced loudly, "My fellow comrades, after working for so many days, our work is finally complete. From now on, we have nothing to worry about, so let's have a good time together. I suggest that we go by the old rules!"
A female teacher smiled and said, "OK!"
Another, slightly plump female teacher also said, "I agree!"
A teacher from the Chinese Literature team said, "Seconded!"
A teacher from the Arts team said, "Haha, no problem!"
Many of them were regulars of the Beijing college entrance examination's question setting team. Some of them had even participated in the question setting team for the past seven or eight years. Except for a few new faces who joined this year, like Zhang Ye, Su Na, and some of those younger teachers, the others were all very familiar with the "old rules" the Tsinghua University teacher had just mentioned. Don't think that these authoritative people of the education world who could easily send shivers down their students' spines with just their stares alone were stereotypically rigid people. They would throw up too if they drank too much. Similarly, if they overworked, they would find a chance to relax.
Zhang Ye was unsure, so he asked Pan Yang who was beside him, "Dean Pan, what old rules are they talking about?"
Pan Yang chuckled. "It's not too interesting if everyone just ate and did nothing. I forgot which year it started, but during the celebratory feast after every question setting, we organize some activities like a performance, singing, or calligraphy. We split the teachers into different teams and whoever loses is punished by drinking alcohol or taking on other penalties."
Zhang Ye nodded. "I see."
A middle-aged mathematics teacher said happily, "Every year, this segment is always interesting and something to look forward to."
However, Zhang Ye did not seem interested. This fellow had only been staring hungrily at the barbecue grill all this while.
Everyone began to discuss. Voices chattered.
"How do we split the teams this year?"
"For the past few years, it was always the arts teachers in a team and science teachers in the other. But then there isn't much suspense in the contest this way. The science teachers are bad when it comes to literary activities, so it has always been the arts teachers coming out on top every year."
"Heh, we science teachers have also won before, alright?"
"Haha, only once or twice. Old Zhou, you can still remember that?"
"That was still our victory! Besides, many of you people from the arts are well versed in literature, dancing, writing, and drawing. Is there any honor in beating our teachers from the sciences?"
"Let's be serious now, how should we split the teams this year then?"
"If we don't split the teams according to the sciences and arts, surely we can't split them according to schools, right? There will be too many teams like Tsinghua, Peking, Renmin, and Beijing Normal University. It won't be easy to manage so many teams."
"Why don't we group them according to gender?"
"Oh, right! That's a good suggestion!"
"Sounds good to me!"
"It'll be quite interesting if the two genders compete against each other!"
"What will the penalty be if a team loses?"
"The loser will have to drink since there's so much beer around."
"Good! It's settled then?"
"Yes, it's settled!"
"Come on, who's afraid of whom!?"
Isolated in the hills, everyone's passion for self-entertainment was many times greater than usual. It didn't matter if they were young teachers or older comrades, everyone were quite cooperative. Very quickly, all the teachers unanimously agreed with this proposal of splitting the teams. Everyone immediately stood with their camps, one side with all the male teachers and the other with the female teachers. When they were all with their group, there were obviously fewer people in the female teachers' team. They were only about two-thirds the number of the male teachers' team.
A female teacher disagreed with this, "That won't do, we have too few people."
Su Na also giggled. "That's right, us women already aren't good drinkers, and yet we have less people on our team. It's too unfair."
Liao Qi from the Chinese Literature team said, "Then how do you recommend we solve this?"
A middle-aged female teacher suggested, "Give us a teacher from your side who can at least drink on our behalf."
After some discussing, the male teachers did not have any objections as it was only for entertainment anyway. "Alright, pick a person, only one person."
Hearing that, the female teachers immediately started whispering to each other.
Many of the male teachers also straightened their backs in hopes that the female teachers would choose them. Being the only man in a group of women would also be a sign of popularity. Even if they had to drink on behalf of the female teachers if their team lost, it would be OK.
The female teachers were discussing while pointing fingers at them.
"What about Teacher Chu?"
"He's not bad."
"How about Teacher Wu?"
"He's a good one too."
"Aiyah, who should we choose?"
"We have to get someone who can drink a lot."
"Or find someone who can help us to win, haha."
Zhang Ye's enthusiasm for the activities was close to nil. This guy had already moved away from the groups and walked over to the barbecue grill by himself. On seeing the scallops were cooked, he scooped them up and started eating. At times, he would blow on his fingers as the food was too hot. The taste was acceptable. All that was missing was just some garlic paste!
Suddenly, a female professor of Renmin University took the lead and stood up. "We've made our decision."
Liao Qi asked, "Who will be joining your team?"
The male teachers all turned their attention to them and perked up their ears.
That female professor smiled for a bit and said, "Let's welcome Teacher Zhang Ye to our team."
When he heard his name being mentioned, Zhang Ye, who was just taking a big bite of some meat next to the grill, turned his head with a shocked expression. "Ah?"
Liao Qi's eyebrows twitched. "Are you sure?"
The female professor smiled and said, "Yes, I'm sure."
Pan Yang said, "Professor Zhang, stop eating for now. You've just been given an arduous duty."
Su Na also waved at him to call him over. "Teacher Zhang, come over quickly."
A female teacher said, "Hur hur, with Zhang Ye here, at least we won't lose in the field of literature. Besides, even if the male teachers' team plays dirty and comes up with some math questions or brain teasers, we still have a 100% chance of winning. As for the remaining areas like competing at singing or dancing, those are all our forte. We aren't afraid of anyone!" Among the female teachers, they were mainly comprised of English teachers, history teachers, political science teachers, and geography teachers.
A female doctorate professor said, "Teacher Zhang, it's all on you now. Is your alcohol tolerance good?"
Zhang Ye said helplessly, "I'm the type who goes down after just a glass. You'd have to carry me down the hill if I get drunk."
Su Na exposed him, "Save your excuses, when have you ever held back when it comes to drinking? Surely you can down at least two bottles of beer, right? Teacher Zhang, we're a group of women here, so you better not let us down."
Once he was with the group of women, many of the female teachers started chatting with Zhang Ye.
"Little Zhang, I'm Sun Fang from Beijing Normal."
"Ai, Sis Sun."
"I've a favor to ask of you."
"Can you help me get Zhang Yuanqi's and Fan Wenli's autographs? My children like them both very much. Aren't you their leader now?"
"Man, I'm not their leader. I'm only an executive director and they will only take my instruction while filming the program. It's different once we're offstage, but no problem, I'll get them for you. Let's exchange phone numbers and I'll get someone to bring it to you."
"Teacher Zhang, I want them too."
"Yes, me too."
"I don't need their autographs, but Professor Zhang, could you help sign ten of your own autographs for me instead? After you become an A-list celebrity, I will open an online shop to sell your autographs."
Seeing that Zhang Ye was so popular with them, the male teachers did not feel too surprised at all. The most well-known person in the team of teachers was Zhang Ye. Not only was he reputable in academics, but even without his reputation as a famed mathematician, Zhang Ye was also one of the hottest B-list celebrities in the country. Many of the female teachers probably couldn't name some of the male teachers but all of them definitely knew Zhang Ye. Except for some teachers from the Chinese Literature team who had doubts about Zhang Ye and those who disliked him on Chinese Literature matters, the majority of the other teachers were not prejudiced against him. Naturally, the only person who would receive unanimous votes from the female teachers would be him alone.