Final Assignment Anthology
Throughout the semester, we continued to upload diverse posts to our assignment blogs, and now our blogs are full of a wide variety of interesting posts which reflect our gains from the course. In this course, we explored the definition of key terms in literature, evaluated and analyzed ideas of others, and expressed our understandings of food, feelings, and films. Our initial blog posts were mainly about writing mechanism and literature terms, such as audience and genre. Then, we focused on food, its significance, and how it is incorporated in videos and films. In addition to writing in respond to specific questions and topics, we also had opportunities to write creatively in assignments like voiceover for film scenes and shopping list for a meal. In the later stage of this course, we shifted focus to feeling and analysis on articles. We made creative blog post for the pie assignment and addressed our understanding of the assigned reading for the Proust excerpt homework.
Our diverse blog post assignments allowed me to practice and improve my writing in a systematic way. These smaller, lower-stakes blog posts were relatively less challenging than letter-graded assignments. They let me to explore different writing styles and familiarize myself with different audiences as well as genres, better preparing me for bigger writing assignments.
Among all the assignment blog posts, I picked and revised the following five posts. I considered them a good and balanced representation of my writing skills, our course topic, and course objectives. The main theme of these five posts is food but also includes feelings and films. I arranged the posts based on how closely they are connected to the main theme, food. Therefore, the first two blog posts are my personal understanding of and experience with food. The third one is an ethnography of food court in Emory. The fourth post relates to film, and the last post relates to feeling.
Blog Post 1 - Har Gow
Blog Post 2 - Food and Religion
Blog Post 3 - Ethnography of the Cox Hall Food Court
Blog Post 4 - Voiceover for the Opening Scene of Eat Drink Man Woman
Blog Post 5 - Night Sky Pie
These five revised blog posts explore our course topic, food, feelings, and films. They allow me to consider the course learning outcomes and reflect on what I gain from the writing process.
Usually, I start my writing with an outline. I brainstorm possible contents to be included in the posts and then refine the options. After that, I write my rough draft according to the outline. Lastly, I revise and polish my writings.
While revising my previous assignment blog posts, I realized that sometimes I forget to consider my audience. As a result of it, I assume, my writings may make sense to me, but not necessarily to other readers. Therefore, in my revisions, I paid extra attention to audience as well as other key elements, such as genre and tone. For example, my targeted audience for the first revised post is food lovers who like reading blogs, and so I chose to write in a conversational style.
Now, after knowing the definition of Har Gow, you may ask what a good Har Gow is like. In my opinion, a good Har Gow should fulfill the following criteria:
- has thin, soft, and translucent skin
- the skin should be as thin as possible, but not to the extent which it can be easily ruptured by chopsticks (the translucence of the skin allows Har Gow to have a reddish appearance as we can kind of see the shrimp inside)
- the shrimp must be fresh
- all the ingredients must be seasonal
- tastes fresh, juicy, and full-bodied
For my fifth revised post which I intended to present to literature critics, I picked a lighthearted tone and tried to use detailed description of the environment to convey my feelings.
Lying on the lawn and facing the clear night sky, I can feel the zephyr touching my skin and see countless stars twinkling in the distance.
In the process of writing, I also learned to use evidence to support my idea and make my writing more expressive. I incorporated personal anecdote in my second blog post to explain how past experience and cultural context shapes my understanding of food.
Every year, as a tradition, on the first day of Chinese lunar calendar my parents and I will go to the temple as many other Chinese families. Following our visit to the temple, we will always have vegetarian meals on that day. This is a common religious custom in China and the logic behind it is that, according to Chinese Buddhism, gods are born on the first day of the lunar calendar. Therefore, as a form of respect, people avoid killing animals and eat vegetarian meals on that day. To this day, though many Chinese people no longer have a strong affiliation to Buddhism, this custom remains as a tradition.
Working on these five blog posts I picked and other assignment blog posts, I also practiced evaluating ideas of others and presenting my own ones. In addition, along with creating these posts, I had a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of food, how it relates to feelings, and how it is incorporated and explored in films. Last but not least, this anthology project allows me to realize the importance of revising my own writings. In this process, I can identify my mistakes and avoid making them again in the future.