A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Rejoice, oh, World!

… for on this day, the 9th of August, after exactly 7 weeks from the commencement of the semester on the 25th of June, after 39 hours of daily infamous “Writing” classes at the University of Jordan, and 3 days away from the official end of the semester- the writing professor finally decide to move on from “The Paragraph” and introduce “The Composition”.

Holy smokes. Compa-what? Dude, that’s too big a word! I’m so scared.

That aside, how is he going to get the concepts of “introduction”, “body” and “conclusion” to a class of students that still do not understand that each sentence in a paragraph does not need to be on a separate line?

(and look, someone else taking that class is as ticked off as I am)


The protest that took place in Germany on August 7


The boys


  1. hehehehe i know how it feels :s

  2. Manal, lol, you took a similar class?

  3. Did I mention I concluded I’m GLAD I’m not teaching English at UofJ?

  4. Holy falafel! The problem is that those students will say in their next course on the lil bit that they took: (ma 2a5dna) & so on til graduation! & even till they become like ur instructor with his fluffy language obvious from his creativity in correcting ur paper! Sigh!

  5. Wasim

    Akhhhhhhhhhhhh !

    You have just made me remember those ugly days in the University and I think this methodology is not adopted only in the UJ, it is spread all over Jordan’s private and public Unis . You know sometimes I feel like I have studied almost nothing in the university.

    And by the way I have been working as a software developer for 3 yrs till now and no body has asked me ever to present my BA certificate or records up till now. Do you think that I Can ask for my money back ? :-)

    Good luck with your other courses :-(

  6. Ziad D.

    Mabrook! :)

  7. yeah you aren’t the only one…and man am i pissed that we have to attend on sunday and monday…i was hoping the lectures would finish on thursday…ARGHHHHHHHH *pokes eyes out and pulls hair* i am litterally going sane here…and that is NOT good.

  8. LOL!

    I began my career as a college writing instructor before moving into instructional technology. Your professor is using the “modes” approach to writing whose roots are in associative psychology, a discredited theory of the mind from the 18th century.

    Composition theory and practice has undergone a revolution in the past thirty years (that’s what made it so interesting for me in the beginning of my career). Research into the composing processes of real writers indicate that writing must begin with an examination of purpose (“why do I want to write?), audience (“whom am I am writing to?”) and context (“How does the environment I’m in affect the way my communication will be perceived?”).

    Your teacher needs to read works by Janet Emig, Donald Murray, Peter Elbow, and other composition scholars if he/she wishes to catch up to late 20th century writing theory–let alone the 21st century.

    This re-emphasizes my belief in the need for an “alt-school” a free, online alternative to institutional schools that are moribund and refuse to change.

  9. Ecclesiastes

    Roba, I suggest that you read to improve your writing skills.

    So simple a suggestion, and, considering the reams and volumes of english available, so trite. Yet, I suggested it.

    You are already skilled in writing and common reason. I don’t think your skills will be much improved surfing the web. That level of prose is one you have mastered, and you’re not satisfied.

    I refer you to the work of Richard Mitchell, the Underground Grammarian:

    He was a gadfly of the frauds you find at the front of your “class”. A tenured professor intent up defending the english language and more importantly the rigorous thought that gives english, and every other language, purpose.

    This is not the New York Times breezing over careless rote sequences of talking points. This is closer to Shakespear hunting the criminals who fill those Times columns. It will take some time for you to become accustomed to it. Press on, humor is there is thick glittering veins, enriching the reader with redoubled laughter at ever layer of meaning and implication.

    I especially recommend “Graves of the Academe”, and to give you just a taste I quote the first sentences of the second issue of the Newsletter Underground Grammarian. Read carefully. Every word tells:

    “The Underground Grammarian is an unauthorised journal devoted to the protection of the Mother Tongue at Glassboro State College. Our language can be written and even spoken correctly, even beautifully. We do not demand beauty, but bad English cannot be excused or tolerated in a college. The Underground Grammarian will expose and ridicule examples of jargon, faulty syntax, redundancy, needless neologism, and any other kind of outrage against English.

    Clear language engenders clear thought, and clear thought is the most important benefit of education. We are neither peddlers nor politicians that we should prosper by that use of language which carries the least meaning. We cannot honorably accept the wages, confidence, or licensure of the citizens who employ us as we darken counsel by words without understanding. And so, to the whole college community, to students, to teachers, and to administrators of every degree, The Underground Grammarian gives

    WARNING: Rape of the Mother Tongue Will be Punished!”


  10. Ecclesiastes

    I have, in haste and excitement, committed two errors.

    First, in the seventh paragraph, the sentence should read “Press on! Humor is there in thick glittering veins, enriching the reader with redoubled laughter at ever layer of meaning and implication.”

    Second, the quote is from the first issue of the newsletter, not the second.

    I apologise.

  11. Ecclesiastes

    I see I have made yet another error. In the fifth paragraph, it should read, ” A tenured professor intent upon …”.

    I’m ashamed.

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