Why THAT talk? Why NOW?
I think a lot of it is sheer idiocy. The elders don't stop and use their brains when assigning parts.
My one sister was eleven or twelve when she was assigned a talk about how to have a successful marriage. Mom was PISSED and didn't keep quiet about it. She told an elder it was inappropriate for them to make a young unmarried girl lecture an adult woman on a subject she had no clue about. Mom ended up giving the talk herself, which was ironic given she was divorced after an unhappy marriage.
Dubstepped: Is it to reinforce his beliefs and help him in some way?
That is exactly how an elder explained it to me many years ago. If a brother needed 'upbuilding' in a particular area the elders would assign him a part dealing with it. The idea was that he would be encouraged more than anyone since he would have to look up the information, run it through his head, and contemplate it.
Even as green as I was in the early 1970s I thought that was backward thinking, not to mention hypocritical. And as you mention it's often unfair to the person giving the information.
Dubstepped: Were they giving him talks on that subject matter thinking that he needed to learn that material and apply it, or are they just that stupid?
Yes and yes.
Waeo: "Its the luck of the draw, plain and simple.
like my teenage son assigned to read the psalm: "--forgive me the sins of my youth--"
It happened to my wife who had a school assignment on how to comfort someone who lost a loved one just a few weeks after her dad died. She started sobbing in the middle of the talk and couldn't finish. It was the last time she participated to the school and she even stopped commenting.
In a lighter vein, I remember giving a talk on one of the Psalms, focusing on how the power of Jehovah should be our strength. The Hebrew word for power was "uzza" or something to that effect. As a boy I loved all things to do with guns (before I became a Witness). I knew the Israelis had developed a stubby machine gun called the Uzzi. The gist of the talk was that they would be relying on the Uzzi to save them, while we should rely on the power of Jehovah to save us. I looked for a real Uzzi to demonstrate my talk, but I could not get my hands on one in time (my bother had one, but he was too far away). I had to use a poster of an Uzzi to get everyone's attention. Needless to say, my mother was very thankful that I could not get my hands on a real thing. Now that I look back, I was very normal as a young person, but not a good Witness at all. Yes, and I admit, I have a bad streak. I still think of what the effect would have been on the congregation, me standing on the stage facing the audience with an Uzzi in my hand.... Would they have ducked or would their faith in the resurrection have sustained them?
They always gave me the talks about raising kids, teaching kids, etc. I don't have any kids! WTF do I know about it? I just parroted what was in the outline or suggested articles. That's all they want anyway.
I always laughed when the school overseer would assign students in the second school "use of microphone" as a council point. There are no microphones in the second school, lol.