DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Rhetoric Draft- Teacher revision

The context of Revolutions: The Truth of the Banking Concept

 

In his essay, The “Banking” Concept of Education, Paulo Freire, believes that there is no hope for those within the banking system. He says that we should never be in the banking concept of Education and that instead, we should live in a problem-solving world. However, In reality, the oppressed can become the liberators although they reside in the world of the banking concept (Thesis). Using Egypt as a primary example, we can find evidence within the Egyptian revolution that highlights the fallacy in Freire’s argument. As with the “scholarship boy” in Richard Rodriguez’s essay, The Achievement of Desire, The Egyptian people had once moved along with the grain of the government. However, unlike Richard Rodriguez, who discovered too late that being a “scholarship boy” was not the only sort of educational being, The Egyptian people decided to move away from being passive, simple collectors of thoughts, and decided to rebel and revolutionize the system in which future Egyptians would be educated in. Without the help of a problem-solving education they managed to “perceive critically the way they exist in the world” and they were able to see “reality as a process, in transformation” (WOR 326) which started Egypt’s great revolution

Explosion. Screams. Dizziness.  Blindness. Thud. Silence. A man staggers through a struggling society hoping to transform what he had been taught and practiced all his life. He recognizes an alternate option than the oppressive world that surrounds him. With pride, he bends down to pick up a broken rock through the thick tear gas, throws the stone with blood-covered hands, and unsteadily falls back. Thud. He has sacrificed himself for the future betterment of his country. He struggles for improvement which is first instigated by a change in the educational system in which he lives.

The core values and structure of a country diffuse and expand through the educational system of a country. If people are able to gain a unique educational experience that benefits them in a multifaceted way, there will be more innovative job opportunities, which will improve the economy and move it beyond the industrial phase which many underprivileged countries face.  In Egypt, education and the work force go hand in hand. This is because the educational system in Egypt encourages students to invest in skills and majors “that help secure government and civil service jobs, as they are traditionally associated with better pay and benefits” [i] (Dhillon).  The government rewards students who are educated by guaranteeing them jobs. This does not give incentive for students to actually learn the information because as long as they attend class, they will receive a job. The Egyptian educational system is one that mimics the banking concept of education. Each student sits in one of many rows of wooden benches, staring blankly at chalk board and listening to a professor’s words that pass through on ear and settle heavily in the very backs of their minds.  The information they consume is of no importance, because as “scholarship boys” they cannot take this information, think, and engage with the rest of the world. After they finish with their educational system, and enter the real world, their success is not fulfilling because they will eventually go with the grain, end up with the usual public sector jobs, and never truly apply what they learned. However, unlike Rodriguez, they did not necessarily choose to become “scholarship boys”. It was the Educational System itself that limits the ability for students to expand beyond the imitative and passive beings they are. It actually deepens the gravity of situation since the intelligence of a student and entering college is determined entirely on scoring “high grades in national examinations (which determine access to university places) (Dhillon).   Furthermore, these exams “reinforce rote memorization and stifle critical thinking and creative expression” as Rodriguez would see through the “scholarship boy” and Freire through the banking concept (Dhillon).  Students have become oppressed beings of the Banking concept. In this case however, it is not the teachers who are the oppressors as Freire suggests, but the government itself as their interests are to change “the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them” in order to create a profitable situation for themselves (WOR). Only by realizing the oppressed system in which they live, can true problem-posing and revolution have occurred in Egypt.

America is known to be a place of great hope and more importantly, a place where the individual can flourish. Overall, America’s success stems from an educational system which is predominantly a problem-posing system. Each student within the system has much more freedom to “intentionally reject communiques” and involve themselves in “a constant unveiling of reality”( WOR 323-324). However, this is not to imply that every student will choose to become an active thinker- some will choose to become the common “scholarship boy”. Many within the educational system are able to become more critical and discuss, compare, reject or accept certain ideas. Nevertheless, others will settle for the ordinary life, maybe becoming a “good student”, however still ending up as the “troubled boy” and placing themselves in a system that resembles the banking concept.  In Egypt though, the students are forced into a system that is in a necrophilic state, seemly inescapable. Some of course notice the horrific state that they are living in and struggle to change it. However, change is difficult when the oppressor is offering them job incentives which “shape the educational experiences of young people” (Dhillon). The students then develop a sense that “realistically” to survive within this oppressive system, one must follow instructions and passively agree. The true difference between the American educational system and Egypt’s system is that the students of the problem-posing education have never learned to struggle for their right of education while each product of the banking concept in Egypt is dying for their authentic liberation.

            From Freire’s view, the banking concept assumes each student is a container that can be “filled” with information.  The informational deposits that go through a student’s mind simply stay in one part of the brain, never to be used again. The information is recorded and memorized without a true understanding of the meaning behind things. Within this system, “words are emptied from their concreteness” and become hollow and alienated (WOR 318). He believes that communication only exists in a problem-posing system of education. Egyptian students, from Freire’s perspective, are putting what they learned into vaults where it will eventually rot and are cut off from interaction with the rest of the world. The question then arises, why is it that the Egyptian people, although the product of the banking concept, have been able to not only start a revolution but communicate with the world around them? The Egyptians, through their physical actions and their sacrifices are communicating with the world- they are explaining the wrong doings of the oppressors and expressing that they will be passive no longer. Even within the banking concept, they still believed that “to be you must become” (WOR 327)- they themselves have become revolutionary educators- for the rest of the world.

The truth of the banking system is that it encourages change. It deprives people of their thought and freedom of expression. Yet, through this, it allows people to realize the hideous state they are in and take initiative to revolutionize it. Only by recognizing the banking system can we move beyond it and enjoy to the fullest the luxuries of a problem-posing world of education.  Of course, it will take time for Egypt to finalize its transformation into a problem-posing country. Nonetheless, when it occurs, Egypt’s historic memory of this revolution will always be in the hearts and minds of every Egyptian, reminding them of their struggle for communication and authentic liberation.

 

 

[i] Dhillon, Navtej, and Djavad Salehi-Isfahani. "Egypt’s Education System: Parents and Students Emerge as a New Force for Reform - Brookings Institution." Brookings - Quality. Independence. Impact. 1 Oct. 2008. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. <http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2008/1001_egypt_education_dhillon.aspx>.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Rough Draft #2

Loss of creature “journal”

 

The Emergence of Man as a Sovereign Being

We were all born free. The only question now is whether or not we will be able to struggle to keep this sovereignty. Walker Percy, writer of “The Loss of the Creature” establishes the connection between the tourist and the tour guide, the student and the teacher, and the reader and the writer, in order to describe the faults of dependency of one on the other. He begins with imagery of tourists who simply consume a given setting without realizing what they are experiencing. Subconsciously, they believe that there is a right and wrong way of seeing things.  Percy goes on to describe that consumers, in any shape or form, can only see the surface of the truth. People don’t know what they are looking for and think that being lost is to some degree wrong. Sadly, this can take them behind in life as they cannot enjoy the details of living in free will. If consumers begin to go beyond an “educational package”, develop their own perspective of understanding, and are not afraid of the danger of failure then they are able to break away from norms, develop sovereignty, and life can be seen and enjoyed to a greater multitude.   **  I believe that my introduction is not strong enough, but I don’t know how to improve on it- make it more interesting and less summary **                                                                                                                                       

            Jumping off a cliff, a teenage girl decides to take a risk in order to find the meaning of the life. A teenage boy decides to leave all material possessions behind and try to find his place in the world in a new perspective. He dies on his journey. In order to discover things in a different light, you don’t have to jump off a cliff or go to Alaska and live in the wild; all you have to do is simply think differently and look at things from a different point of view. This is actually more difficult that it sounds, however, unless you struggle, you will be what you think the planners think you are (WOR 471).  A person must forget about preformed symbolic complexes, and then trust his own instincts. People in this time and age need to regain their sovereignty that was lost when people decided to trust others and not themselves. There is an urgent need to understand that it’s not about “getting it right” or finding the right answer, it’s about having your own perspective of understanding on the subject. Sadly, we are in a stage where “sovereignty is surrendered to a class of privileged knowers” (WOR 465). However, those who are “privileged knowers” may not have all the knowledge in the world. Even as the general population, we ourselves can be philosophers of our own kind, and have personal expertise. We have to question Percy, more generally the world that surrounds us, like a philosopher and maybe even use the Socratic Method to diagnose the essay that Walker Percy has written. Only by getting off the beaten path and choosing the less traveled path when we come to a fork on the road  do we really begin to regain sovereignty and live life in a way that we can be completely satisfied . By “waiving [our] sovereign rights as a person and accept[ing] the role of the consumer” we only lose and hurt a great part of ourselves (WOR 471). Percy then cleverly realizes that people need to rescue the specimen from the educational package (WOR 470). People actually need to go beyond the “educational package”, the tourist’s informational package, and discover things in a different light. Only after taking such measures can a person be truly sovereign.

 I agree. On a daily basis, this simple sentence is used too often in the wrong context. Many times, a person agrees out of the assumption that the person speaking is the expert, and asks “why would I ever question someone with such knowledge”. Countless people are afraid to take risks because they are afraid of the danger of failure. They are afraid of certain events not living up to their expectations. If people are going to constantly agree on subjects or experiences that they haven’t really experienced or risked to understand, the world may eventually come to a stalemate. New ideas and inventions may never be discovered, and perspective will cease to exist. Percy describes the tourist couple in Mexico who want to see an “unspoiled” place, a place which is not marked on a “tourist map”.  This couple had been able to at least take the step to go beyond the “surface of the truth” and take a slight risk. They eventually stumble on a traditional village and feel as if this is “it”; they have found an untouched haven. However, in order to make sure that this was a “pure” sight and that it held up to their prototype of sights, they called upon an ethnologist to verify their findings. The irony is that the highest satisfaction of the sightseer (not just the tourist, but any layman seer of sights) is that his sight should be certified as genuine to make sure that they did not “fail”(WOR 464). However, failing can be considered healthy from Percy’s point of view since it lets a person see a setting or an object in a way rarely seen by society. Although this view might involve showing the imperfections that lie within this object, we are able to see the raw truth, ugly or as beautiful as it may seem. By uncovering the truth and risking the danger of failure, the world can begin slowly begin to turn again, as new discoveries are able to be uncovered. The perspective that we thought we had lost is regained, and is stronger than before because we have learned to be sovereign creatures once more. We have been able to take the less traveled path, and enter through the other end as free individualistic beings.

In recent news, there have been movements in which people have finally realized that they have they have one of the greatest weapons ever created, sovereignty. Instead of saying that there are problems with the government, people have been able to stop placing full trust in experts, and have started to trust in their own being to be able to change things. Of course, unlike the Arab Spring, this does not mean that overthrowing the government is the only way to change things. This is not meant to be a revolution, but a reform. We have to work within the system, talk to representatives, and re-question what we know about how the government works. Do we really understand how our local and general government works? Have we taken advantage of the recourses given to us and used it to change and create a more perfect democracy? The blame that many in occupy Boston, and other states, have been putting is against grand corporations and the government. However, the real blame comes back in a full circle to the people of the country. This is because they had let the experts take care of daily matters; the citizens had never questioned whether or not every decision made was the right one. Of course, some have questioned in our country, however too many have not. This movement has especially been able to create awareness to those who have never taken a second glance at politics, or have never been aware of the great freedom of speech we have in this democracy. As a country with great political influence, we many times pay another country’s corrupt leader for certain relations to be kept. Desolately, the people of these corrupt countries cannot speak or revolt against corrupt leadership for fear of jail, or even worse, death. As citizens of the United States of America, we need to take great advantage of what has been given to us, the gift to exercise our sovereignty.  After this movement, people cannot anymore surrender their sovereignty and give complete trust to a government; they have to question what they know. If people forget the importance of the government and don’t take a second glance, we as a country cannot improve. This movement has been “moving against the grain”, something rarely heard of in common society nowadays. Instead of simply reading about it as it is presented by “trusted’ theorists, explore the world yourself, you can learn a lot more.

In realizing that we have the sovereignty to look beyond a prepared experience, and to express our own free opinions to the world, we become part of an improved self-fulfilling prophecy. Once we have reached this stage, we are able to change the worlds in ways unimaginable. However, don’t assume that as I or Percy has acknowledged that there are exact steps to redeeming ones sovereignty. Take risks, however at a rate in which you feel comfortable. We cannot create an exact mathematical formula nor force you to do what we have told you. We cannot struggle for you, only you can struggle for our own person. Take time to understand what is being told to you, but we will not take offense if you decide to read against the grain, and reject some principle ideas, and maybe even discover flaws in our ways of thinking. This is all part of going beyond a “prepared” experience, going beyond an outline or structure, and creating your own lesson of life, and your own individualized package.

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Rough Draft #1

Loss of creature “journal”

 

The Emergence of Man as a Sovereign Being

The only person who can judge your life is you. Walker Percy, writer of “The Loss of the Creature” establishes the connection between the tourist and the tour guide, the student and the teacher, and the reader and the writer, in order to describe the faults of dependency of one on the other. He begins with imagery of tourists who simply consume without realizing what they are experiencing. Subconsciously, they believe that there is a right and wrong way of seeing things.  Percy goes on to describe that consumers, in any shape or form, can only see the surface of the truth. People don’t know what they are looking for and think that being lost is to some degree wrong. Sadly, this can take them behind in life as they cannot enjoy the details of living in free will. If consumers begin to go beyond an “educational package”, develop their own perspective of understanding, and are not afraid of the danger of failure then they are able to break away from norms, develop sovereignty, and life can be seen and enjoyed from a greater multitude.

            Jumping off a cliff, a teenage girl decides to take a risk in order to find the meaning of the life. A teenage boy decides to leave all material possessions behind and try to find his place in the world in a new perspective. He dies on his journey. In order to discover things in a different light, you don’t have to jump off a cliff or go to Alaska and live in the wild; all you have to do is simply think differently and look at things from a different point of view. This is actually more difficult that it sounds, however, unless you struggle, you will be what you think the planners think you are (WOR 471).  A person must forget about preformed symbolic complexes, and then trust his own instincts. People in this time and age need to regain their sovereignty that was lost when people decided to trust others and not themselves. There is an urgent need to understand that it’s not about getting it right or finding the right answer, it’s about having your own perspective of understanding on the subject. Sadly, we are in a stage where “sovereignty is surrendered to a class of privileged knowers” (WOR 465). However, those who are “privileged knowers” may not have all the knowledge in the world. Even as the general population, we ourselves can be philosophers of our own kind, and have personal expertise. We have to question Percy, more generally the world that surrounds us, like a philosopher and maybe even use the Socratic Method to diagnose the essay that Walker Percy has written.  It is only by getting off the beaten path and choosing the less traveled path when we come to a fork on the road ( Robert Frost) do we really begin to regain sovereignty and live life in a way that we can be completely satisfied . By “waiving [our] sovereign rights as a person and accept[ing] the role of the consumer” we only lose and hurt a great part of ourselves (WOR 471). Percy then cleverly realizes that people need to rescue the specimen from the educational package (WOR 470). People actually need to go beyond the “educational package”, the tourist’s informational package, and discover things in a different light. Only after taking such measures can a person be truly sovereign.

 3rd: People need to not be afraid of the danger of failure  ?? should I add this? Do I have enough information??           

In recent news, there have been movements in which people have finally realized that they have they have one of the greatest weapons ever created, sovereignty. Instead of saying that there are problems with the government, people have been able to take not just trust in experts, but trust in their own being to be able to change things. Of course, unlike the Arab Spring, this does not mean that overthrowing the government is the only way to change things. This is not meant to be a revolution, but a reform. We have to work within the system, talk to representatives, and re question what we know about how the government works. Do we really understand how our local and general government works? Have we taken advantage of the recourses given to us and used it to change and create a more perfect democracy? The blame that many in occupy Boston, and other states, have been doing is against grand corporations and the government. However, the real blame comes back in a full circle back to the people of the country. This is because they had let the experts take care of things; they had never questioned whether or not every decision made was the right one. Of course, some have questioned in our country, however too many have not. This movement has especially been able to create awareness to those who have never taken a second glance at politics, or have never been aware of the great freedom of speech we have in this democracy. As a country, we many times pay another country’s corrupt leader, whose people cannot speak for fear of jail, or even worse, death. As citizens of the United States of America, we need to take great advantage of what has been given to us, the gift to exercise our sovereignty.  After this movement, people cannot anymore surrender their sovereignty and give complete trust to a government; they have to question what they know. If people forget the importance of the government and don’t take a second glance, we as a country cannot improve. This movement has been “moving against the grain”, something rarely heard of in common society nowadays. Instead of simply reading about it as it is presented by “trusted’ theorists, explore the world yourself, you can learn a lot more.

Don’t assume that as I or Percy has acknowledged that there are exact steps to redeeming ones sovereignty. Take risks, however at a rate in which you feel comfortable. We cannot create an exact mathematical formula nor force you to do what we have told you. We cannot struggle for you, only you can struggle for our own person. Take time to understand what is being told to you, but we will not take offense if you decide to read against the grain, and reject some principle ideas, and maybe even discover flaws in our ways of thinking. This is all part of going beyond a “prepared” experience, going beyond an outline or structure, and creating your own lesson of life, and your own individualized package.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Rhetoric 101

Draft #3

 

The Flight of Two Students: The Mimic and the Individualistic Women

 

I sit quietly on the gymnasium bleachers that screech as though in pain from every move I make. The rustle of worn out papers in my journal react and fight back with even greater noise. As my brain concentrates on the words flowing from my pen, my ears are dancing and beating to the sounds bouncing off a big set of speakers. “Can you teach me how to Dougie”?  People start to lean side to side and move their bodies.  “Pop lock and drop it”. Ok, they say. All the girls in the gym class start bending a bit too low and they pop it. I had forgotten my gym clothes as usual. Meaning on purpose. I carry three books at all times in my backpack, in place of less important things such as gym clothes. The imagery in my journal falls off the pages with gruesome depictions of bloody murders, sad illustrations, lonely giants who simply want friends, and a picture perfect world that a young girl wants, but can’t seem to have. I smile widely as I look in a poem book I had checked out from the library. I found the perfect simile that I could use in my short story. I write it down word for word, memorizing each delicate word as though if written incorrectly, the whole structure of the sentence could collapse. I then carefully make a star at the bottom of the page- I make way to write the title of the book. This delicate yet complex creature described is me (a 6th grade middle school girl), who is still gentle yet complicated (a freshman college student); I have simply improved on what I was already as a student. ( talk about what kind of improvement I mean)

 The same girl who was raised in a modest Egyptian family of eight (who has stayed faithful to them) has only improved through her education. I have always wanted to be a good student- doing my best.  My English has improved with every book I have glimpsed, scanned, read, and annotated. My writings have transformed from journals full of sad, lonely mimicked styles into beautiful elegant individualistic pieces of work.  I was the “scholarship girl”, but now I am the “individualistic woman”.  I was the one who chose to be a “scholarship girl”; I was also the one who chose to stray that initial path, and decided to create a life of my own through my writing and reading. I once read to acquire a point of view. I can honestly say that I have used education to remake myself and my writing in a way that Rodriguez could not achieve through his “scholarship boy” success. ( interesting! develop this idea in detail)

Staring at the teacher with enthusiasm, I wrote every word that came out of her mouth as a fact. I was a 6th grader who was motivated by words. Everyone would stare at me with looks of annoyance as I raised my hand to answer every question. I didn’t care about these peers, I didn’t notice my surroundings. My focus was on getting A’s, being perfect- being a teacher’s pet. Of course, I was still a shy unconfident girl who didn’t really understand how to interact with my peers; I was “always successful, I was always unconfident” (WOR 516). Richard Rodriguez describes how the “scholarship boy” is “haunted by the knowledge that one chooses to become a student” (WOR 518). He goes on to argue that education is not an inevitable or natural step in growing up. I too, from Rodriguez’s claims have chosen to become a student. Not only that, I have chosen to become a “scholarship girl”. I have become part of the “system”. There are many types of students. I have learned that having a variety of types of students adds another dimension to education, which I have realized from my interactions through middle school, high school, and as a freshman in college. There is the lazy yet smart student, the all-nighter student, the hard-worker student- the list can go on forever.  clarify the following:

However, as a “scholarship girl” type student, I was always taking advantage of only one part of the system. Unlike Rodriguez, I started to look beyond the restricting blinds of the mimic and decided that I had to become a “scholarship girl”  ( isn’t a scholarship girl the same thing as a mimic? Change the phrasing) in order to achieve something more.  ( talk about how Rodriguez does this but how it was too late for him) I always trusted the system, but moving beyond it was key. I needed to choose to become something greater than the basic “scholarship girl”.  Just because I had chosen to be a student, definitely did not mean my options were narrow. I was able to move more freely under the “system” depending on what sort of student I chose to become.

Quietly, I would flip the soft pages of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. My facial expressions were particularly noisy though, as I moved my mouth up and down, lifted my eyebrow every now and then, and scrunched my nose in disgust. Rodriguez describes in his book greatly about his approach to reading, and how reading influenced him. Although Rodriguez and I seemed to have similar attitudes, I never ‘forced’ myself to read. I took every opportunity to learn and “hoarded the pleasures of learning” just as Rodriguez enjoyed doing (WOR 520). One of my main ways of doing so was through the process of reading. Reading gave me a sense of comfort and “lonely good company”, making me not afraid to be alone for hours (WOR 526). A question always asked to me as a child was, “If you were stuck on an island and could only bring one thing, what would it be".  I could always honestly answer until this day that it would have to be books. Books were something I could hide behind (literally and figuratively), and because of that “ I rarely looked away from my books” ( WOR 520). I read to enjoy. I read to be educated. I was not picky in what I read because, to me, all books seemed relevant. However, the problem began that as I started growing and moving into later stages in my life, I could no longer mimic styles. I felt an empty space from simply copying and repeating exactly what was said by the teacher. I had to change. Become a different student. So, I did. While Rodriguez was unable to escape the “scholarship boy” until after his education was done, I was ready to move on from the phase of the “scholarship girl” (what made me ready for this?), and proceed to learn and succeed in a way that will help me in my life- not just in the timeframe of education.  It took time, but I used the foundation I had developed as a scholarship girl, and applied it to my new self- the “individualistic girl”. I took basic information from my past, and I added on it, creating new imagery, opening new rich doors for myself.

I will never forget my past life as a “scholarship girl”. She will always still be a part of me as I learn new information and constantly add my own personal flare on it. Everyone had to be a “scholarship boy” at some point in order to be able to develop ones ideas. Some change faster from the “scholarship boy” to the individual; Rodriguez changed as well, however it took him until after he was done with his education to realize it. This change compares to one who has to understand to talk before being able to develop own ideas and talk with other people about unlimited topics. “The scholarship boy pleases most when he is young…”(527). However afterwards, he has to be something more. As a kid, you are learning the basics so it’s acceptable to be the “mimic”, but afterwards you have to move away from this type of student and become a one-of-a-kind character, a person distinguishable from the rest of these so called “ scholarship boys”. A person has to become the “Individualistic Woman”.

 

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Rhetoric 101

Draft  #2

 

 

I sit quietly on the gymnasium bleachers that screech as though in pain from every move I make. The rustle of worn out papers in my journal react and fight back with even greater noise. As my brain concentrates on the words flowing from my pen, my ears are dancing and beating to the sounds bouncing off a big set of speakers. “ Can you teach me how to Dougie” ?  People start to lean side to side and move their bodies.  “Pop lock and drop it”. Ok, they say. All the girls in the gym class start bending a bit too low and they pop it. I had forgotten my gym cloth as usual. Meaning on purpose. I carry three books at all times in my backpack, in place of less important things such as gym cloth. The imagery in my journal falls off the pages with gruesome depictions of bloody murders, sad illustrations lonely giants who simply want friends, and a picture perfect world that a young girl wants, but can’t seem to have. I smile widely as I look in a poem book I had checked out from the library. I found the perfect simile that I could use in my short story. I write it down word for word, memorizing each delicate word as though if written incorrectly, the whole structure of the sentence could collapse. I then carefully make a star at the bottom of the page- I make way to write the title of the book. This delicate yet complex creature described is me (a 6th grade middle school girl), whom is still gentle yet complicated (a freshman college student); I have simply improved on what I was already as a student.

 The same girl who was raised in a modest Egyptian family of eight (who has stayed faithful to them) has only improved through her education. I have always wanted to be a good student- doing my best.  My English has improved with every book I have glimpsed, scanned, read, and annotated. My writings have transformed from journals full of sad, lonely mimicked styles into beautiful elegant individualistic pieces of work. . I was the “scholarship girl”, but now I am the “individualistic woman”.  I was the one who chose to be a “scholarship girl”; I was also the one who chose to stray that initial path, and decided to create a life of my own through my writing and reading. I once read to acquire a point of view. I can honestly say that I have used education to remake myself and my writing in a way that Rodriguez could not achieve through his “scholarship boy” success.

Staring at the teacher with enthusiasm, I wrote every word that came out of her mouth as a fact. I was a 6th grader who was motivated by words. Everyone would stare at me with looks of annoyance as I raised my hand to answer every question. I didn’t care about these peers, I didn’t notice my surroundings. My focus was on getting A’s, being perfect- being a teacher’s pet. Of course, I was still a shy unconfident girl who didn’t really understand how to interact with my peers; I was “always successful, I was always unconfident” (WOR 516). Richard Rodriguez describes how the “scholarship boy” is “haunted by the knowledge that one chooses to become a student” (WOR 518). He goes on to argue that education is not an inevitable or natural step in growing up. I too, from Rodriguez’s claims have chosen to become a student. Not only that, I have chosen to become a “scholarship girl”. I have become part of the “system”. There are many types of students. I have learned that having a variety of types of students adds another dimension to education, which I have realized from my interactions through middle school, high school, and as a freshman in college. There is the lazy yet smart student, the all-nighter student, the hard-worker student- the list can go on forever. However, as a “scholarship girl” type student, I was always taking advantage of only one part of the system. Unlike Rodriguez, I started to look beyond the restricting blinds of the mimic and decided that I had to become a “scholarship girl” in order to achieve something more. I always trusted the system, but moving beyond it was key. I needed to choose to become something greater than the basic “scholarship girl”.  Just because I had chosen to be a student, definitely did not mean my options were narrow. I was able to move more freely under the “system” depending on what sort of student I chose to become.

Quietly, I would flip the soft pages of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. My facial expressions were particularly noisy though, as I moved my mouth up and down, lifted my eyebrow every now and then, and scrunched my nose in disgust. Rodriguez describes in his book greatly about his approach to reading, and how reading influenced him. Although Rodriguez and I seemed to have similar attitudes, I never ‘forced’ myself to read.I took every opportunity to learn and “hoarded the pleasures of learning” just as Rodriguez enjoyed doing (WOR 520). One of my main ways of doing so was through the process of reading. Reading gave me a sense of comfort and “lonely good company”, making me not afraid to be alone for hours (WOR 526). A question always asked to me as a child was, “If you were stuck on an island and could only bring one thing, what would it be".  I could always honestly answer until this day that it would have to be books. Books were something I could hide behind (literally and figuratively), and because of that “ I rarely looked away from my books” ( WOR 520). I read to enjoy. I read to be educated. I was not picky in what I read because, to me, all books seemed relevant. However, the problem began that as I started growing and moving into later stages in my life, I could no longer mimic styles. I felt an empty space from simply copying and repeating exactly what was said by the teacher. I had to change. Become a different student. So, I did. While Rodriguez was unable to escape the “scholarship boy” until after his education was done, I was ready to move on from the phase of the “scholarship girl”, and proceed to learn and succeed in a way that will help me in my life- not just in the timeframe of education.  It took time, but I used the foundation I had developed as a scholarship girl, and applied it to my new self- the “individualistic girl”. I took basic information from my past, and I added on it, creating new imagery, opening new rich doors for myself.

 

I will never forget my past life as a “scholarship girl”. She will always still be a part of me as I learn new information and constantly add my own personal flare on it. Everyone had to be a “scholarship boy” at some point in order to be able to develop ones ideas. Some change faster from the “scholarship boy” to the individual; Rodriguez changed as well, however it took him until after he was done with his education to realize it. This change compares to one who has to understand to talk before being able to develop own ideas and talk with other people about unlimited topics. “The scholarship boy pleases most when he is young…”(527). However afterwards, he has to be something more. As a kid, you are learning the basics so it’s acceptable to be the “mimic”, but afterwards you have to move away from this type of student and become a one-of-a-kind character, a person distinguishable from the rest of these so called “ scholarship boys”. A person has to become the “Individualistic Woman”.

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Rhetoric 101

Draft  #1

 

 

I sit quietly on the gymnasium bleachers that screech as though in pain from every move I make. The rustle of worn out papers in my journal react and fight back with even greater noise. As my brain concentrates on the words flowing from my pen, my ears are dancing and beating to the sounds bouncing off a big set of speakers. “ Can you teach me how to Dougie” ?  People start to lean side to side and move their bodies.  “Pop lock and drop it”. Ok, they say. All the girls in the gym class start bending a bit too low and they pop it. I had forgotten my gym cloth like usual. Meaning on purpose. I carry three books at all times in my backpack, in place of less important things such as gym cloth. The imagery in my journal falls off the pages with gruesome depictions of bloody murders, sad illustrations lonely giants who simply want friends, and a picture perfect world that a young girl wants, but can’t seem to have. I smile widely as I look in a poem book I had checked out from the library. I found the perfect simile that I could use in my short story. I write it down word for word, memorizing each delicate word as though if written incorrectly, the whole structure of the sentence could collapse. I then carefully make a star at the bottom of the page- I make way to write the title of the book. This delicate yet complex creature described is me (a 6th grade middle school girl) whom is still gentle yet complicated (a freshman college student) .

 

 The same girl who was raised in a modest Egyptian family of eight (who has stayed faithful to them) has only improved through her education. I have always wanted to be a good student- doing my best.  My English has improved with every book I have glimpsed, scanned, read, and annotated. My writings have transformed from journals full of sad, lonely mimicked styles into beautiful elegant individualistic pieces of work. . I was the “scholarship girl”, but now I am the “individualistic woman”.  I was the one who chose to be a “scholarship girl”, I was also the one who chose to stray that initial path, and to create a life of my own through my writing and reading. I once read to acquire a point of view. I can honestly say that I have used education to remake myself and my writing.

 

Staring at the teacher with enthusiasm, I wrote every word that came out of her mouth as a fact. I was a 6th grader who was motivated by words. Everyone would stare at me with looks of annoyance as I raised my hand to answer every question. I didn’t care about these peers, I didn’t notice my surroundings. My focus was on getting A’s, being perfect- being a teacher’s pet. Of course, I was still a shy unconfident girl who didn’t really understand how to interact with my peers. Richard Rodriguez describes how the scholarship boy is “haunted by the knowledge that one chooses to become a student” (WOR 518). He then continues to say that education is not an inevitable or natural step in growing up. I too, from Rodriguez’s claims   have chosen to become a student. Not only that, I have chosen to become a scholarship girl. I have become part of the “system”. There are many types of students. I have learned that having a variety of types of students adds another dimension to education, as realized from my interactions through middle school, high school, and as a freshman in college. There is the lazy yet smart student, the all-nighter student, the hard-worker student- the list can go on forever). However, as a “scholarship girl” type student, I was always taking advantage of only one part of the system.  Rodriguez’s claims weaken because I had to become a “scholarship girl” in order to achieve something more. I was always trusted the system, but moving beyond it was key. I needed to choose to become something greater than the basic “scholarship girl”.  Just because I had chosen to be a student, definitely did not mean my options were narrow; I was able to move more freely under this “system”. I would later understand the meaning of this after many years.

 

Quietly, I would flip the soft pages of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. My facial expressions were particularly noisy though, as I moved my mouth up and down, lifted my eyebrow every now and then, and scrunched my nose in disgust. Rodriguez describes in his book greatly about his approach to reading, and how reading influenced him:

“ I hoarded the pleasures of learning. Alone for hours. Enthralled. Nervous. I rarely looked away from my books…” (520)… inspite of my earnestness, I found reading a pleasurable activity. I came to enjoy the lonely good company of books ( 526) … in fourth grade I embarked upon a grandiose reading program. “ give me the names of important books”, I would say to startled teachers (525)”.

I too took every opportunity to learn. One of my main ways of doing so was through the process of reading. Reading gave me a sense of comfort and “good company”, making me not afraid to be alone for hours. A question always asked to me as a child was, “If you were stuck on an island and could only bring one thing, what would it be".  I could always honestly answer until this day that it would have to be books. Books were something I could hide behind (literally and figuratively). I read to enjoy. I read to be educated. I was not picky in what I read because, to me, all books seemed relevant. However, the problem began that as I started growing and moving into later stages in my life, I could no longer mimic styles. I felt an empty space from simply copying and repeating exactly what was said by the teacher. I had to change. Become a different student. So, I did. While Rodriguez was unable to escape the “scholarship boy” until after his education was done, I was ready to move on from the phase of the “scholarship girl”, and proceed to learn and succeed in a way that will help me in my life- not just in the timeframe of education.  It took time, but I used the basis from what I had learned as a scholarship girl, and applied it to my new self- the “individualistic girl”. I took basic information from my past, and I added on it, creating new imagery, opening new rich doors for myself.

 

I will never forget my past life as a “scholarship girl”. She will always still be a part of me as I learn new information and constantly add my own personal flare on it. Everyone had to be a “scholarship boy” at some point in order to be able to develop ones ideas. Some change faster from the “scholarship boy” to the individual; Rodriguez changed, however it took him until he was done with his education to realize it. This change compares to one who has to understand to talk before being able to develop own ideas and talk with other people about unlimited topics. “The scholarship boy pleases most when he is young…”(527). However afterwards, he has to be something more. As a kid, you are learning the basics so its acceptable to be the “mimic”, but afterwards you have to move away from this type of student and become a one-of-a-kind character, a person distinguishable from the rest of these so called “ scholarship boys”. A person has to become the “Individualistic Woman”.

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.