Rhetoric Trauma

Let me introduce you to my biggest nightmare this semester, my rhetoric paper. First let me explain to you what rhetoric even is. The department of Rhetoric and Composition has been created at the university to enhance students’ writing skills. However the reality of the matter is that you end up taking a set of courses that teach you absolutely nothing, are a waste of time, money and energy. Their topics are usually random and highly infuriating, especially when it comes to the final research papers. And that brings be to my actual topic, my research paper.

The title of my course for starters is, Writing Children’s Literature, which you would think is what we’d be learning to do, it’s not. The professor explained new concepts in the first couple of classes and then for the rest of the semester we’ve been reading one children’s book (which I honestly couldn’t be bothered to read) and critiquing each other’s creative pieces for children. All that seems great and to some extent relevant to the course, even though she hasn’t actually taught us anything about the aesthetics of writing literature for children. She just listens to us read out and critique each other’s work and gives minimum feedback, as if the purpose of the course is to portray our writing abilities.

Anyway that brings me to the true catastrophe, “This is a Community Based Learning course, your research should benefit the EGYPTIAN community in any way possible” she says. That means that our research should discuss issues in the Egyptian society that relate to children, their education, their literature, their culture or any of this crap; and of course it has to be in English. That is easier said than done, especially when the professor is disorganized and doesn’t know what she wants and doesn’t give constructive feedback on your work. However the biggest disaster is that you can’t find enough if any sources about contemporary non-political issues in Egypt; especially not in English. And honest to God why the hell should I read the opinion of a foreigner on contemporary social issues taking place in a society I live in, in contact with and have far most experience dealing with, since I have to on a daily basis. But that isn’t what bothers me the most, what bothers me is that the issues that are discussed in English or Arabic, for that matter, are not helpful to my research, which is frustrating!!

My Assignment: Research a topic about children’s literature or movies for children or just children and relate it to Egypt.

My First Draft Critique:

“Baheya you need to relate this to Egypt”

‘I can’t find sources’ I thought.

“The purpose of this course is to benefit the community; your research needs to fill a gap in human knowledge”

My Response: Do you think I care about the fucking community? Do you think I pay money in this university to benefit the community? No, I pay money to get an education and benefit myself. If I wanted to benefit the damn community I would join a charity, it’s cheaper, less hectic and doesn’t require me to spend hours and hours researching in the library. Plus the research I do for my other classes, which are far more useful, have more benefit and value than the shit you’re having us do!

Obviously I didn’t actually tell her that, but believe me I wish I could give that bitch a piece of my mind.  Anyway the real problem is that the final draft for this paper is due tomorrow and I have no topic, no sources and no idea what the hell I’m going to do!

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