Jonathan Lung

Portfolio Letter From Jonathan Lung to the Portfolio Assessment Committee

Coming into English 101, I was nervous to see how much of my writing has improved from high school. Emory, being in the top twenty, made me nervous because I did not think I could be on par with my fellow peers. However, English 101 has made me improved on grammar, revision, and the ability to write for any genre with critical analysis.

We started off the year writing many free writing assignments and small blog posts to get our feet wet. I started off with a lot of grammar issues and many of them were addressed during class time or during one-on-one peer review sessions. After several blog post revisions, I began taking steps to correct reoccurring problems from assignment to assignment. One particular assignment that highlights my continuous struggle with grammar is the annotated research log for the food blog post. For example, one of my original sentences was “The article will explore the people’s change in tradition in drinking wine”, which is awkward phrasing. I revised the sentence to “The article will explore change in the art of drinking wine.” My annotated research log became much more clearer after changing the syntax of every awkward phrasing throughout the paper.

One tip I learn from making consistent mistakes was to re read a paper after a day later so I will read my paper without any notion of my original thoughts. This technique allows me to catch more mistakes with ease. I also found that this process works well whenever I come upon a sentence that I struggle to make sense the first read through, allowing me to redo the sentence to make it flow better on paper. This overall improvement correlates with Outcome 3, and my writing became a lot better overall.

Writing different genres was a new skill I had to acquire during my time in English 101. From writing script to research papers to film reviews, I grew more accustomed to the different styles of writing I was exposed to. One example includes my script for a cooking show that incorporates Proust’s madeleine cookies from his excerpt of Remembrance of Things Past. I started my script with an opening narration by saying “Narrator- Hello folks and welcome to the Jonathan Lung’s Cooking Show.” Another types of genre writing I had also done include writing a voice over. In my paper “How Morgan Freeman would narrate the opening scene of Eat Drink Man Woman”, I made many humorous comments throughout the paper including “An arsenal of knives. Anger issues. Real play-doh” during a scene where the chef was preparing an exotic dish. Most of my revision was done for the Final Anthology Project. However, one of the newest genres I had to learn was writing a proposal. In my food blog proposal, I spent a lot of time trying to start my paper in the proper way. After talking to fellow peers and advisors, I realized the start of the proposal must be direct and to the point. I wrote, “I am going to explore the nature of beer and wine and their place in society”, which meets the criteria of being direct and to the point. These skills I learned correlated with Outcome 1.

Writing for the food blog assignment was the most challenging assignment throughout the semester. I had to incorporate different forms of genre, work on many drafts and revision, and last, but not least, critical thinking much like Outcome 2’s objective. I worked on all five of my food blogs for the longest time, planning out how I want to utilize the material and convey the best possible message. I included three types of genre of writing: research papers, film reviews, and an interview. The research papers and film reviews were easy to master since I did many of them during high school but the interview process was very new. I did not realize how tough it is to do the interview and process the information in a reflection paper. One of my main struggles was I did not know how to start the paper. After many revisions and drafts, I wrote out what I believe is the best way to start the paper, by saying “Interviewing a local brewer who loves making his own beer gave me insight to the American’s culture and passion for the beer they drink.” I provided enough information to hook the people and give a good statement as to where my paper will be going. I continue to expand upon this by ending my introduction with my thesis statement, saying “During my interview, we discussed many topics including how he got into making beer and if he likes beer over wine.” I analyzed the information and did a critical analysis on one of my other research blog by saying “Beer’s worldwide influences have shaped many societies’ culture and social norm where drinking beer is sociably acceptable.” Outcome 2 was the one I really improved on the most during this assignment.

Overall, I learned a lot during my time in English 101 and mastered the necessary skills to make a great paper. After improving on my grammar, revision, and writing multiple genre skills, I feel like I am ready to tackle any paper in the future.

Voice Over Assignment

Script Writing Assignment

Food Blog Proposal

Food Blog Research Log/ Annotated Bibliography

Link to my Food Blog: https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/jonathanlungfoodblog.wordpress.com

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Film Analysis of Bottle Shock

Film Analysis of Bottle Shock

            I chose to review Bottle Shock as part of my overall exploration of the differences between wine and beer cultures. Bottle Shock dives into the intricacies of wine culture in both America and in France. This film analysis provides much evidence for my research blog about wine’s history and cultural significance.

Bottle Shock is an American film released in 2008 that dramatize the events of the “Judgment of Paris.” Randall Miller directed the movie and is one of the three screenwriters including Jody Savin and Ross Schwart. The movie stars Bill Pullman as Jim Barrett, Chris Pine as Bo Barrett, and Alan Rickman as Steven Spurrier. Throughout the film, the clash of French and American wine cultures culminates with the ultimate blind taste test to differentiate between a French and American wine. Other minor themes explored in the film are father-son relationships, bildungsroman, and defiance against all odds.

The movie begins with the introduction of Steven Spurrier and his quest to determine who has the best wine: the French or the Americans. Spurrier later agrees to arrange a blind testing competition among several wines from France and California to settle the debate on record. Spurrier travels to Napa Valley, California to find the best American wine to compete. Meanwhile, Jim Barrett, the owner of Chateau Montelena, struggles to keep his business alive with his son Jo Barrett, Jo’s friend Gustavo Brambila, and the new intern Sam Fulton. Spurrier meets Jim Barrett one day and, after trying Barrett’s white wine, Spurrier is impressed and chooses Barrett’s wine as one of the wine’s in his taste test. Jim’s relationship with his son greatly improves as they piece together their confidence in their wine and enter the competition.

The events in the film are based on true events that took place in 1976 in France, known as “Judgment of Paris.” The film also explores the wine culture and the clash of egos between Californians and the French in their art of producing wine. Throughout the film, both the French and the Americans pride themselves on the wine and the hardships they endure to make it. Specifically, Barrett’s scene of checking on his wine and his demand to “make it whiter” shows his true dedication to make wine as perfect as it can be. The juxtaposition of the father’s and son’s attitudes toward the business in the beginning of the film shows the different generational views toward the wine industry.

Another recurring scene involves the way to drink wine, as well as a thoroughly detailed description of the drink. Many characters comment on the origins, ingredients, and other special features the drink may possess. Characters often describe the wine in very specific terms, such as saying the wine “tastes like citrus with a touch of spice.” Characters also show how to drink wine properly as they grab the wine by the stem instead of the bowl because of the transfer of heat from the hand to the wine.

The film highlights the difference of taste between the American and the French wine. The tastes of wines between nations differ by a small margin despite the American winning the competition. For so long, France’s wine was considered supreme in its position of the best wine in the world. Now, the world competes aggressively to claim the top since France fell from grace after the infamous “Judgment of Paris.” France’s pride in its wine is ingrained in the long history of its people and their culture. From the way the wine is consumed to the specificity of its color, wine is held in high regard in America, France, and many other parts of the world. The film captures the wine culture and the expectation of the competition, which opens the door to a new era for wine worldwide.

The film also shows the difference between the wine culture and the beer culture. For example, in one scene Bo Barrett drinks beer at the bar and at a campfire gathering where people hang out and socialize very casually. This difference between the causal setting that beer is associated with and the elite world of wine shows how these drinks reflect much in our culture in the United States. People tend to perceive wine at fancy restaurants and high-class social gatherings unlike beer’s informal gatherings at bar and party lifestyle. This film does indirectly captures the difference between the settings where wine and beer are consumed.

I give this movie an overall rating of six out of ten. The acting contributed much to this rating, especially the performances from Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman. The score also syncs with the pacing of the movie, enhancing the overall experience. The plot is the major lackluster ingredient of the film that causes it to lose points. Overall, the film is a fun movie about a historical event and the drama behind it.

The History and Culture of Wine

The History and Culture of Wine

            When people think of drinking wine, what is the first image that appears in most people’s mind? Most would probably think of people in nice clothing drinking at a social gathering, fancy restaurant, or reading in a comfy chair by the fireplace at home. Wine established itself as an elite beverage for over 7000 years (Grigg 102). What makes wine so revered is the history and the oenology that has lasted for so long.

Wine can be dated back to the sixth millennium in the Zagros mountain region and the southern Caucasus (Grigg 102). Wine began to spread to different parts of the Mediterranean during the reign of the Roman Empire, later spreading from Spain to Mexico and other Spanish colonies in North and South America (Grigg 102-103). The oenology that most people are familiar with today actually began in the nineteenth century and grew after the Second World War (Grigg 103). Due to increase of European occupation in Africa and other factors, wine consumption began to spread even farther out than the Caucasus region (Grigg 103).

Despite the rising popularity of wine, wine is one of the least consumed alcohol beverage (Briggs 103). Until the 1960s when transporting wine became a lot cheaper due to the increase of different forms of transportation arises, people consumed wine from local brewers because it was cheaper (Brigg 103). Studies have shown that places produces a large number of grapes have the highest consumption rate of wine per adult, rounding up to four liters (Briggs 103). Income per capita is also another factor that affects the world’s consumption of wine where places that has a lower income per capita consumed less wine than countries that have a great income per capita (Briggs 103-104). Regardless of the increase trade of wine, production and consumption has fluctuated greatly especially France, a known country for its oenology and viticulture.

In the 1970s, France’s consumption of wine had decreased, but the world’s consumption began to increase (Demossier 70). The oenology spread across the world, causing people to start school of wine in Tokyo and Paris and create exclusive tours and trivia games for wine lovers to test their knowledge (Demossier 70). Unfortunately, the consumption of wine is “fragmented and largely contextualized” due to the complex relationship between man and wine (Demossier 70). To participate fully into the viticulture, one must understand the drink fully at a social gathering as a way to communicate with others (Demossier 41). Because of the “sophisticated and challenging” nature of viticulture, wine consumption is reserved for the knowledgeable people, a restricting nature that limits number of wine drinker (Demossier 41). There is even a phrase to describe a new person in the field of oenology called “wandering drinking”, showing the division between the elite drinkers and the common people (Demossier 70).

Despite the complexity of the viticulture, wine is still a popular drink. Today, Argentina, Spain, and France are just a few countries in which wine is a common drink; in these countries, consumption rate is four liters or more per adult (Brigg 102). Today, the wine is prevalent in movies and other form of medias, popularizing the elite wine culture. Marion Demossier describes the wine drinking culture the best by saying, “Any study of wine drinking culture also has to take into account the production of wine, with its history of diversity, its actors, its cultural divisions and the claims that it is a cultural and social activity, a ‘field for action’ which is both competitive and defined by complex and changing rules” (41-42). Studying wine contains a wide range of rich histories and cultural impact around the world. While wine is one of the least consumed drinks, wine has helped mold the course of history around the world.

Work Cited

Demossier, Marion. “Changes to a National Wine Drinking Culture.” Wine Drinking   Culture in France: A National Myth or a Modern Passion? U of Wales, 2010.          41-69. Web.

Demossier, Marion. “A New Wine Drinking Culture?” Wine Drinking Culture in          France: A National Myth or a Modern Passion? U of Wales, 2010. 70-100.           Web.

GRIGG, DAVID. “Wine, Spirits and Beer: World Patterns of Consumption.” Geography            89.2 (2004): 99-110. Web.

 

Interview with a Recreational Brewer

Interview with a Recreational Brewer

            Interviewing a local brewer who loves making his own beer gave me insight to the American’s culture and passion for the beer they drink. Beer has lasted throughout history, consistently being more innovative with the brewing process. This brewer is no exception. During my interview, we discussed many topics including how he got into making beer and if he likes beer over wine. Since my interviewee requested to not reveal his name, I will refer to him as the Interviewee throughout the paper.

One of the first topics we talk about was his history with brewing beer. The Interviewee discussed how college really introduced him to the beer culture, but instead of “partying”, he became interested with the taste and process. He set up his own small brewing machine in his house after graduate school, experimenting new flavors in every batch. It usually takes a couple of weeks at a time to finish brewing one batch. He discusses the danger of brewing during the final step. When the beer is collected, the first several drops are poisonous so that must be discarded. The brewing set is fairly cheap since most of the equipment can be from any home brewing store averaging around thirty dollars. Equipment includes a brewing bucket, a bubbler, and a siphon hose.

During the interview, the interviewee mentioned how beer is a great social drink in general. He elaborated by saying how beer has always been the drink that eases his nerves after a long day. He also found that socializing is easier when beer is involved. He talked about how his friends also like drinking beer especially during football games and other sport events.

Intrigued about his opinion on wine, I asked him, “What about wine versus beer? Which one do you like better?” He laughed and answered quickly, saying he liked beer so much more than wine. However, he explained how he likes to drink wine under certain circumstances like when he is hanging out with his girlfriend by the porch or attending business parties. He explained that beer has a “richer” flavor comparing to wine. He believed that wines are design to be consumed mainly during special occasions while beer is more of a common drink like a Coca-Cola.

Noting on his passion for beer, I asked if he was thinking about potentially starting his own brewery as a small business. He laughed and shook his head explaining that he does not have the time or the want to start his own brewery business. He explained that starting his own brewery is a complicated and expensive path which a lot of complication that needs to be dealt with in the beginning. Battling other small breweries will wear anyone down over time, and he is not ready for that yet. However, he does not rule out that possibility for the future after he settled down.

After my long interview with him, I began to understand more about the hidden passion for beer and the brewing process. I also grew to understand more about the difference between the wine and beer culture. I am truly glad to have taken the time to interview my interviewee as he enlightened on great beer culture and the starting point of it all: the brewing of the beer.

Film Analysis of Beer War

Film Analysis of Beer War

            My analysis on Beer War exemplifies the beer culture in the United States; however, this film expands upon the war between major companies and small breweries. This film also shows how much people love their beer from the taste to the quality.

Beer War is a documentary film about the struggle competition among the about the competition between the major beer companies (Anheuser Busch, Miller Brewing, and Coors) and small breweries struggling for survival. Anat Baron is the director, producer, screenwriter, and narrator of this documentary. She served as the head of Mike’s Hard Lemonade before developing this documentary. The film addresses the issues and complications that many beer companies face as the battle for consumers’ attention grows. The documentary also touches on the historical trend of beer as well as people’s opinions on the differences between craft beer and industrial beer.

The documentary begins by introducing many small breweries that struggle to stay alive because of the three major behemoths: Anheuser-Busch, the Miller Brewing Company, and the Coors Brewing Company. Breweries such as Dogfish Head Brewery and Moonshot 69 present “tastier” beer because the other three major beer companies focus on making light, tasteless beer. Because of this trend, many people began to make their own beer, which sparked life into many small breweries. Unfortunately, the three major companies have devised ways to shut the small breweries down, buy them out, or steal their ideas and branding. The documentary touches on laws about the distribution of alcohol in the three-tier system. The film also addresses lobbyism, the advertisement dominance, and the extent of the three major brewing companies’ influence over the politics, media, and the distribution.

Big three companies dominates beer industry and shaped the beer culture for the past several decades. Advertisements alone keep these companies alive, which causes smaller breweries to struggle even more as they lack the capital to take on larger foes. Throughout the documentary, many people were interviewed about their opinions on modern beer with most agreeing that beer brewed by the “major three” tastes bland. One non-scientific tasting experiment tested people’s knowledge of what each of the major three’s beer tastes like. Everyone on film failed the test, noting how similar each beer was yet also noting that each company tries to distinguish itself from the rest by the sheer power of advertisement. From sporting events to political debates, Anheuser-Busch spends hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain its dominance in the market. Even stores are influenced by major companies to have their products placed on strategic locations in the shelves, taking up as much space as possible with every variation of beer they can produce so that these companies will maintain their brand name. The big three companies also have lobbyists who gain political favors and employ strategic moves to get rid of all competition from the small breweries.

Despite the dominance of the big three, small breweries are the heart of true beer culture. Many owners have a dream to make their very own style of beer. That dream became a reality for some people. The same people began to make their own beer in response to the lackluster beer from Anheuser-Busch, the Miller Brewing Company, and the Coors Brewing Company; their efforts turned into small enterprises. Each small brewery appeals to the public by adding unique flavors and different styles of brewing that adds richer flavors to every bottle. The documentary goes into details describing the difficulty of shipping these beers to the public because of the dominance of the major three, who control the amount of craft beer allowed to be transported to stores. The major companies oftentimes buy out small breweries to gain nostalgic fans, and sometimes the major companies copy the beer to sell it for a cheaper price. The beer culture in America is influenced greatly by Anheuser-Busch, the Miller Brewing Company, and the Coors Brewing Company as they form an oligarchy that rules with an iron fist over the marketing of beer. This forces many small enterprises to be stuck in a conundrum, affecting the American dream.

The documentary deserves a rating of eight and a half out of ten for the outstanding level of details and extensiveness of the project. For non-documentary fans, this film is a generic documentary with great insight into modern beer industry and the struggle that lies within it. However, this documentary is worth watching because this film not only addresses the problem in the beer industry but also corruption behind lobbyism, and the struggle to make American dream come true.

The History and Culture of Beer

The History and Culture of Beer

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world. In fact, it is so popular that the consumption by volume and weight beats all other alcohol drinks (Briggs 100). But what quality do beers have that makes it so popular to drink? Beer’s longstanding history influenced so many cultures including the American and Xhosa culture. The social norm associated with beer also popularized the drink to a global standpoint.

Evidence shows that beer was first brewed in the Zagros Mountain in the fourth millennium BC and later spread to Europe, Sudan, and Egypt (Briggs 104). In the Americas and East Asia, evidence shows that people independently discovered how to brew beer on their own, which caused the beer consumption to spread worldwide (Briggs 104). By the time of the Roman Empire, beer and wine had become regionally distinctive, separated by the different culture of each region (Briggs 104). However, transporting beer had been expensive up until the start of the railways and motorways, which caused the cost of transportation to go down and increase in trade (Briggs 105). Interestingly, the beer culture split into two distinctive types of beer drinking: barley based from Europe and non-barley based from Africa.

Barley based beer is the most popular version of beer making up nine-tenths of beer in the world (Briggs 105). Much of that tradition migrated to America from Germany and many people set up their own breweries. One such breweries was discovered in Iowa City followed after a massive sinkhole, revealing it to be one of the few breweries from the 1850s to survive through time (Agnew 13). Breweries as discovered in Iowa are traced all the way back to the Middle Ages when farmers would brew their own beer. Many farmers would switch between making ale and beer due to the rate of different yeasts growing during different times of the season. This tradition of brewing beer followed the Germans who migrated to America during the 1830s and 1840s, which resulted in the formation of many small breweries and “beer caves” springing up in many states (Agnew 13-14). Even today’s major three beer companies, along with many small breweries, brew their beers using barley to this day.

However, the Xhosa people in Africa developed beer not using barley. Xhosa is one of many Africa cultures to follow this pattern as most people (or “groups”) in Africa drink non-barley beer as their form of alcohol consumption (Briggs 101). The Xhosa people drinks beer for many reasons including hospitality, religious purposes, sales, change of status, and for work or service (Agnew 192-196). Not only do they drink for different occasions but the Xhosa people also drink different types of beer for each different thing they want to accomplish. Much like the rest of the world, Xhosa drink beer for social reasons as well. Much of Xhosa’s customs includes sharing drinks among the host and friends during gatherings (Agnew 200).

Beer’s worldwide influences have shaped many societies’ culture and social norm where drinking beer is sociably acceptable. From small breweries in underground facilities to large factories mass-producing beer for supermarkets, people are continuing to brew and consume beer worldwide. The tradition that started thousands of years ago continues to be one of the most popular and socially relaxing drink, one of the few reason beer is still so prevalent to this day.

Work Cited

AGNEW, MICHAEL. “BREWERY CAVES THEN AND NOW.” A Perfect Pint’s Beer           Guide to the Heartland. U of Illinois, 2014. 13-16. Web.

GRIGG, DAVID. “Wine, Spirits and Beer: World Patterns of Consumption.” Geography            89.2 (2004): 99-110. Web.

McAllister, Patrick. “Culture, Practice, and the Semantics of Xhosa Beer-Drinking.”     Ethnology 42.3 (2003): 187-207. Web.