Chapter 568 Saying Goodbye to Peking University Again!
A distance away.
Other teachers realized that something was wrong.
"What's going on over there?"
"Ah, why are all the students running towards the Chinese Department?"
"Good god, how many people are there? A thousand? I can't even see where the crowd tapers off!"
"Not good! The students are going to make trouble again! It has to be the punishment the school meted out to Zhang Ye! They must feel that Zhang Ye's speech was not wrong! That's why they're intending to protest against it!"
"What are they shouting?"
"Ah? They are going to boycott their classes?"
"That won't do! We need to inform the school heads immediately!"
"This is going to be a big problem!"
By right, anything that happened to Zhang Ye should not have anything to do with the other teachers of Peking University. But when they heard that over a thousand students were intending to boycott classes, the expressions on these teachers' faces changed. The matter had escalated beyond just affecting Zhang Ye himself. Student strike? Just hearing these two words had already left several teachers green in the face. Do you even know just how many students there are in total at Peking University? In the thousand-plus students who were planning to take part in the protest, some would surely be students of these teachers. There were students from the Chinese, Math, Physics Departments, etc., and involved many of the faculties across Peking University. If they really boycotted their classes, then it might as well mean the sky had fallen. Peking University, and in turn the Chinese education system, couldn't possibly bear such an outcome!
On the other side.
The students were still shouting!
Yao Mi raised her hands and screamed, "Return Teacher Zhang to us!"
Senior Song also shouted loudly, "Return Teacher Zhang to us!"
They were all familiar faces from Centennial Hall where Zhang Ye led the students in scolding the Japanese!
Honestly speaking, Zhang Ye was moved at this. When he saw these roused up students, he hollered at the top of his voice, "Go back, all of you go back!"
Li Li shouted, "We won't leave!"
Yao Mi also screamed, "Boycott our classes!"
"Boycott our classes!" Li Ying yelled.
Senior Zhou shrieked, "If Teacher Zhang's punishment is not withdrawn, we will hold a student strike! We will boycott all of our classes!"
Among the students, many of them used to dislike Zhang Ye. For example, Senior Zhou was one of them. He used to cause trouble during Zhang Ye's classes. Many of them had privately talked about Zhang Ye on his first day at Peking University, gossiping and wagging their tongues, saying how they felt that, as a celebrity, Zhang Ye wouldn't be able to carry out the job of teaching, that he wasn't suitable to be a teacher. Having never been one before, how could he possibly teach the students of the country's best educational institution? Of the students who could be admitted into Peking University, few were not arrogant or proud of their own achievements. At the beginning, a large part of them had essentially not accepted Zhang Ye at all, and those who did, did so because they liked him as a celebrity, not because they wanted him as a teacher.
However, some things always turned out quite strange.
Zhang Ye had shown his rigorous and humorous, sometimes even amazing, standard of teaching. With his deep literary knowledge, he won over everyone again and again!
From doubt to acceptance.
From acceptance to love.
From love to respect.
Although Zhang Ye was only at Peking University for a short time and did not spend much time with the students, he had already won them over. He had won their respect and trust! With today's speech at the hall, it had pulled Zhang Ye's and the students' relationship even closer to the last step. Even though they knew that the student strike would have a major effect that could even lead to them to facing heavy punishments or even getting expelled, they still proceeded here without any hesitation. They couldn't bear for Zhang Ye, who had always stood by them for every incident to protect them with everything he had, to depart!
Behind them, more than 20 Chinese reporters had arrived in a hurry with their equipment when they found out about the news. Some of them quickly set up their cameras around the students while others squeezed into the student crowd hoping to get closer to get a good shot. But after a very long time, they still couldn't squeeze inside. In the distance near the school's main entrance, there were quite a number of reporters who were rushing towards the scene. These reporters were obviously not the ones who were at Centennial Hall earlier. They were a new batch of reporters who had probably hurried over after they saw Central TV's live broadcast of the press conference. Among them, there were even foreign reporters who had blond or red hair!
The whole scene was chaos!
The reporters were all very focused!
After scolding Japan, it became a student strike? It seemed that today Peking University would not be able to get any peace at all. Everything that could happen was all happening today!
It became harder and harder to control the crowd!
Chang Kaige shouted, "Go back, everyone!"
Zhen Shuquan also raised his voice, "Stop this! Gao back to your dormitories!"
Professor Zeng said, "Listen to Teacher Zhang and calm down, everyone!"
They knew that if the students really went ahead and boycotted their classes, then this whole issue would totally end up out of control!
However, since the students were at the apex of their anger, they would not have it any other way. They continued boisterously chanting their mottoes of "return Teacher Zhang to us" and "otherwise we will boycott our classes".
Although Zhang Ye was touched by this, he was also angry at them. He was angry with them for suggesting that they would boycott their classes. He did not wish for his actions to implicate the students along with him. He understood that the school authority had already been light in their punishment and handling of his scolding of the guests in Centennial Hall. They did not take any action against the students and only punished him alone. This was the best outcome for them, so if the students insisted on boycotting classes, then it would mean that "the law does not punish numerous offenders" would no longer be applicable!
"What do you all think you're doing? Ah! What are you all trying to do?" Zhang Ye bellowed at them!
Only when they heard him shout did the students begin to quiet down and look at him.
Zhang Ye pointed at them and said angrily, "You're just making things worse! This is nonsense! Boycott classes? Boycott classes for what! Keep your mouths shut! You think it's as simple as just saying it! Why did your parents raise you? Why did your schools nurture you? Why did the nation train you? In the remote regions, do you all know just how many kids are hoping to go to school? All of them long for the chance to attend university and gain knowledge, but...all they can do is read books in their small village that have been used dozens of times before and nothing else! All of you have already received the best resources. You've made it into the best institution in the country, but for the small matter that just happened, you're thinking of boycotting classes? Say that again to my face!"
Yao Mi became silent.
The other students fell silent too.
Zhang Ye's tone eased a little. "I'm leaving Peking University today, so this will be the last time I'm speaking as your teacher. I'll give you all one last lesson. Remember, no matter when it is, no matter what happens, never ever say that you will boycott classes so easily, because you all don't know how much effort the classes you casually say you will skip have been built up with by teachers, past and present! I do not need you to treasure this lesson with your lives. I just hope that you'll all be able to put it into a little corner of your mind...and respect it!"
A sociology teacher nearby heard this and nodded her head. How well said, this Zhang Ye. Just when he was about to leave the school, he had finally said something good!
Chang Kaige and Zhen Shuquan also looked at Zhang Ye before breaking out into smiles. Who said that Zhang Ye only knows how to scold others? Look, this guy could speak philosophical too!
The students all heard but did not know how to react.
Zhang Ye smiled. "Alright, disperse then. It's not like I was fired or anything. It's just a suspension, who knows when I might be able to come back again to teach. The days are still long, hur hur. I'm really touched that so many of you came to see me off today. This is making me quite reluctant to leave...."
Yao Mi was crying. "Teacher Zhang!"
The third-year female student who had been shielded by Zhang Ye earlier also broke down in tears. "We don't want you to go either!"
Senior Song and many other female students had their eyes redden from this!
Zhang Ye said, "I'm leaving now, take care everyone."
"Teacher Zhang Ye!"
"Wu wu wu..."
Zhang Ye got into his car without looking back. He gripped his steering wheel and clenched his teeth as he drove off, not daring to take another look at his students. But as his car drove past the crowd of students, he stole a quick glance and realized that the students were all following closely behind his car, thousands of them!
He had wanted to speed up but could not bear to do so. He stopped, got out of the car, and said, "Yao Mi, Little Song, Little Zhou, Li Li, Li Ying, you guys lead the rest back!" Those were the only few names he could remember by heart. Then he got into his car again and stepped on the accelerator.
However, Senior Song did not listen.
Senior Zhou and the others also followed closely behind.
When the BMW inched forward, they also took a step forward!
With the car driving ahead, thousands of people followed behind without a sound. This scene was really phenomenally touching!
Even those reporters who had followed along and were experienced in many situations had never seen something like this before. This sort of respect, this sort of sincere respect from the bottom of the students' hearts, was not something that one could just earn from anything!
Zhang Ye could not bear to leave them behind, so he drove very slowly all the way to the school's entrance, but the students still did not disperse from there. When he looked again, he could not help but get out of the car once more. Looking at the thousands of determined faces, then glancing over at the willows branches overhanging Weiming Lake, the clouds, and the setting sun, he could only softly sigh.
He stopped right there.
The students stopped too.
Suddenly, when Zhang Ye thoughts unfurled, he opened his mouth and delicately recited:
"Lightly I leave,
"as lightly I came;
"I gently wave goodbye,
"to the rosy clouds in the western sky.
"The golden willows by the riverside,
"are young brides in the setting sun;
"their reflections in the shimmering waves,
"ripple in the depths of my heart.
"The waterlilies in the soft mud,
"sway splendidly in the water's bed.
"In the gentle waves of Weiming Lake,
"I shall be a water plant!
"That pool in the shade of elm trees,
"holds not springwater but the sky's rainbow;
"shattered to pieces among the duckweed,
"is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream.
"Searching for dreams? Then pole a punt,
"to where the grass is greener still upstream;
"the boat laden down with starlight,
"singing freely in the gorgeous light of stars.
"But loudly I cannot sing,
"silence is my farewell tune;
"even summer insects still for me,
"hushed is tonight's Peking University!"
The students listened without making a sound, as if overwhelmed by emotion.
The mood the poem portrayed, that sadness, they were both represented in every line like a bloodied wound!
Zhang Ye took a breath.
"Quietly I leave,
"as quietly I came;
"I flutter my sleeves softly,
"Not taking any wisps of the clouds away."
He turned around, got back into his car, and without turning to look back, Zhang Ye stepped hard on the accelerator and drove straight out of Peking University!
A Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again that was changed by Zhang Ye into Saying Goodbye to Peking University Again had left behind the last of his memories and affection on the campus grounds of Peking University!