…and we don’t mean playing the role of a teacher in a film, we mean an actual teacher. No, really. Most of us know Jay Chou (周杰伦) – the mumbling Taiwanese R’n’B superstar – as that guy who stares blankly at us from Meters Bonwe adverts on the metro, but if you thought he was just another vacant celebrity then a reappraisal may be due, as Jay will soon take up the post of lecturer in our fair city.
Well, sort of. He’s been appointed as a guest lecturer at the Shanghai Institute of Performing Arts where it seems they have a fairly liberal definition of the term “teacher”. Apparently Mr Chou will be asked to give the odd lecture about his career as a performance artiste whenever he’s in town. The Fudan University associated Institute – which also counts Ang Lee as an honorary lecturer – will not require him to do any preparation for these “lectures”, nor will it ask him to complete a minimum number of classes in a term. In short, nice work if you can get it.
Still, some students are clearly pretty excited about having the fop-haired pop star standing at the front of their classrooms. From Shanghai Daily:
“It’s really cool to have Jay as our teacher, we’ll be lucky to have more face-to-face communication opportunities with the idol,” said Ye Chen, a sophomore student.
Hmm. Unsurprisingly, his appointment hasn’t exactly received ringing endorsements from the academic world, as Fudan Professor Wu Zhaolu’s comments (also in Shanghai Daily) show:
“The employment itself seemed to be a show. It’s really hard to say what actual educational contribution these stars can bring.”
Ouch. We hope the professor is not suggesting that the star of Kung Fu Dunk doesn’t have the intellectual clout to cut it as an academic, that would be scandalous.
Related video after the jump.