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Today was the day for thesis defense at a classroom at Beijing University.
The faculty head and two professors were sitting behind a long table. Each of them had a thesis in front of them. A confident-looking student was standing not far from them. Behind him, a few other nervous-looking students sitting in rows.
“You may start when you are ready.” The faculty head said.
“Dear teachers and students. I am Feng Yu from Management class 91. I am happy to be here for my thesis defense. I hope all of you will be able to get something out from my session.”
The other students who were waiting for their turn were whispering among themselves. This Feng Yu was too arrogant. All of us will start with hoping the teachers and other students would be satisfied with our answers or say something like this will mark the end of our university life. This Feng Yu dares to claim that he wants everyone here to get something out of his thesis? Does he think that the professors can also learn something from him?
The whole university knew Feng Yu was from a wealthy family. He could afford to buy an apartment outside of school. Even some of the high-paying professors in the university were still riding motorcycles, and Feng Yu drove to school. The most frustrating Feng Yu’s car was already costly. They heard his car was worth hundreds of thousands. But later, he changed to a Songjiang car. It was even a model they had not seen before. The seats were all made from real leather.
There were rumors that the principal and all the staffs at the university were close to Feng Yu. He could just skip school as and when he likes and did not need to repeat any modules!
All the students were also puzzled how Feng Yu got a spot to be one of the students for the Hong Kong University exchange students. The rest of the exchange students were only 6 months, but Feng Yu was able to stay there for 1 year!
Even if you have strong connections and background, you should also know your place. How can you speak like you are giving the professors a lesson?
If the professors got pissed, they will fail you and make you repeat! I would love to see that.
Also, you still have not sign any contract with work units. All of us have already entered government service. The government might put a stop to job assignments now, but that’s for regular universities. Beijing University students were different. Government agencies will still come here to recruit the graduating students who are not continuing their studies.
Only a handful of the students did not enter the government service. These students were going to work in the private sector. They heard that private sectors pay their staffs well. They could get up to 1,000 RMB a month!
“What I had said is the summary of my thesis. I welcome any questions about my thesis?”
Feng Yu did not look at his script for the past 20 minutes. He was able to summarize his thesis well. This pressurized the other students. Even when looking at their scripts, most of the students were stuttering.
But telling the professors you welcome any questions seems to be too much. A student before Feng Yu said the same thing and got scolded.
Eh? What’s happening? How come the professors did not question him? They were discussing among themselves about the thesis? Were there any problems with his thesis? The lecturer should have seen his thesis. It should not have any issues.
The faculty head looked at Feng Yu: “Feng Yu, I remembered you are a direct entry student? You also attended the Moscow Summer camp, and you left a deep impression with your Russian. The requirement for your thesis is to translate it into a foreign language. But you chose to translate it into 2 foreign languages. Russian and English. Are you very good with these two foreign languages?”
The other students were stunned. What question was this? This was supposed to be a thesis defense session. Shouldn’t the questions be about the thesis? Why was the question about the language?
Also, this Feng Yu had translated his thesis into two other foreign languages? Was he trying to be smart? Based on the faculty head’s strict character, Feng Yu, will be in trouble!
“That’s right. I can use Russian and English for my thesis defense.” Feng Yu replied proudly.
Feng Yu had written this thesis himself. He had also used professional dictionary to check the words. He understood all the words in the thesis and had no problems using those words in conversations. To Feng Yu, oral thesis defense was much easier than writing the dissertation.
When the other students heard Feng Yu’s reply, they start to whisper among themselves again. Feng Yu was too arrogant. He even wants to conduct his defense in two different foreign languages?!
But this time, Feng Yu should be in trouble. Professor Nu and Professor Huang were good in their foreign languages. One of them knew English, and the other knew Russian. This Feng Yu will have to conduct his defense twice!
Professor Nu asked two questions in English, and Feng Yu answered with ease. The other students heard Feng Yu’s fluent English and felt embarrassed. Many of them wanted to continue their studies overseas, but they were weak in their foreign languages.
When Professor Huang questioned Feng Yu in Russian, Feng Yu was also able to answer him in perfect Russian. The questions asked by both professors were not difficult, and Feng Yu knew the answers.
“Quiet down! The thesis defense for this student is still ongoing. Why are you discussing among yourselves there?” The faculty head shouted and banged the table. These students had no discipline at all. How can they do well in their jobs in the future?
All the other students kept quiet and bow their heads low. If they were marked by the faculty head, then it will be the end of his thesis defense.
If they failed this thesis defense, then they will not be able to graduate. There have been many instances in the past.
The faculty head also asked Feng Yu a few questions. Some of his questions were about the theories, and some were about his methods. There was still one question which asked about the thesis in great detail. But these questions were answered well by Feng Yu.
Feng Yu replied all the questions with ease. He did not even pause or spend time to think for an answer.
After Feng Yu replied the last question, the faculty head and the two professors had a small discussion. Then they told Feng Yu: “Excellent. We are satisfied with your thesis defense. We can tell you now that your score is full marks! You are the only person in our university to get full marks for thesis defense!”
The other students gasped with astonishment. The professors announced Feng Yu got full marks and was the only person to get full marks? Was his thesis really that good? It’s only a thesis about farm management. How good can it be?
This Feng Yu must have used his connections. If not, he will never get this score! When he answered the questions, he did not even think about the answer. I am from the debating team, and yet I can’t do it. The only possibility was Feng Yu knew the questions before this session. He knew what the professors were going to ask and had prepared the answers beforehand!
Sigh…… Was this still China’s top university? Even a thesis defense can also be rigged. Seems that it was the right choice to not continue my studies here.
“Thank you.” Feng Yu gave a bow and walked back to his seat.
Feng Yu looked very calm. He does not seem to be nervous at all. It seems that answering all those questions were nothing to him. Notably, he had a smile on his face throughout the whole session. He looks too confident.
All these details let the other students draw the conclusion that Feng Yu had made used of his connections. Any students who completed their thesis defense would be relieved. But Feng Yu was not surprised at all to hear he got the full marks!
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