Saturday, January 23, 2010


The completing of the portfolio was our major project for the first semester. In order to complete it we had to write three 400 word stories, one academic paper, book review, a short story, and a college essay. This was the part that demanded time and effort from us. However, it was a good opportunity to practice my writing. In order to finish the task I had to schedule my program so I could have time to finish all the work I had. The interesting part of the project was the communication with kids from USA. We had to take a look at their pieces of work and give them some suggestions and vice versa. However, the American kids turned to be not serious enough and in most of the cases we had to check the work of our classmates.
I enjoyed the project because I received some hints and suggestions how to improve my writing and was helpful for some of my classmates.

College Essay

Chemistry has been the most interesting subject for me since I attended ninth grade. Even at that age I could realize the significance of this science for our life. Today, many of the students believe that chemistry is all about learning by heart, a person can find a strong sense of logic in it, which makes it easy for me to learn. However, studying only chemistry without applying it is a waste of money and time and that is why I decided to study chemical engineering because I will be able to apply what I have learned in my everyday life and work.
During the years spent in school I have gained knowledge in many various spheres that concern the subject that I have chosen-chemical engineering. During my first nine years of education I have studied mainly inorganic chemistry that helped me to understand the environment around us by looking at it through a different prospective. In tenth and eleventh grade I started studying subjects that concern my future education even deeper. Such subjects are Biology and Organic Chemistry. They are important for me because I can observe different processes that occur in the nature and in the human body, and explain them. I enjoy learning new information concerning the essence of the human body, nature and even the food that is prepared in the kitchen. In eleventh grade I made a step that gave me the base for studying chemical engineering in the future. This step was taking the AP Chemistry and SAT Chemistry. The preparation that I did for these two exams turned to be very helpful for me even at school. The results that I achieved made me more self-confident that I will be able to overcome the obstacles that I will face in my future education.
In order to be successful in his life, a person must have a strong sense of order. My work experience has taught me to schedule my work and to put everything in order when I need to. Two years ago I worked as a porter in a hotel in Sunny beach. There I spent the whole summer working and enjoying my growing up. I learned to help other people and even to take their responsibilities when needed and being a team member at all. The other part of my personality is my sport experience. I have practicing skiing for six years, tennis for seven years. I have been the captain of the school tennis team and learned to be the leader of the collective and to take responsibility for my decisions. My hobby for the last five years has been working out in a gym. During those years I learned to be strict and disciplined person.
I chose to study Chemical Engineering because it will expand my knowledge about Chemistry and its usage in life. I hope by becoming and engineer in this sphere to contribute for the better usage of nature’s resources in future.

My Impressions of Prague

Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and its citizens are proud that that has not changed since the beginning of Czech’s history. In the end of 2009 my family was wondering where to spend the last days of the year and the first days of the next one. I proposed Prague for our destination and everybody agreed. That’s how on 30th of December my family and I went to the capital of Czech Republic on a plane. After a short flight we arrived at the airport that is located ten kilometers away of the city. We took a bus and in fifteen minutes we were in Prague.
The first thing that we had to do was to get familiar with the city. We had a four hour walk with our guide that showed us the old part of the city that represented much of the history of the city and the country. I observed lots of landmarks that reminded me the differences and similarities between the Bulgarian and Czech nations. I expected that Prague is slightly bigger than Sofia, but it turned to be the opposite. The major similarity between the two nations is root of the populations. The Czech nation is composed exclusively of Slavic tribes, while Bulgarian nation is a unique mixture of all kinds of tribes and nations including the Slavic tribes. As we continued our trip in Prague I realized that I can barely hear Czech speech. It was full with tourists, mainly from China and Russia. At the end of our first journey in this city everybody was thirsty for beer- the most famous feature of the Czech Republic. That is why we went into the nearest restaurant to taste it and to have dinner because it was getting late. The beer actually deserved its reputation and the dinner was awesome at all. After the dinner we continued our trip to the hotel where we had our sweet and eagerly waited break.
We spent the next three days in nice walks around the city exploring lots of interesting things about Czech Republic and its culture and denizens. I hope to return to this charming city when it is little bit warmer and with friends of mine so it will be more interesting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Role of Reputation in Othello

The beginning of the play Othello reveals the goals and the values of all the major characters. Every character has his or her unique qualities and desires. Since the beginning the participants can be divided into two groups- those who serve the community and those who serve themselves. These two peculiar camps are in absolute contrast with each other. The members of the second group use different methods to deceive and manipulate the honest and noble characters from the first group. Othello is the protagonist in the play who is a symbol of honesty and dignity. Reputation is one of the most important features for him because he has been struggling to achieve it during his youth. The Shakespeare’s play reveals that reputation has a vital value for all people and especially for warriors like Othello.
To be respected by the society means to be trusted and allowed to follow your own will. Othello’s roots and outlook distinguishes him from the rest of the society. This creates a precondition for the people to look contemptuously at him and to respect him less than he actually deserves. As a result the protagonist is suspected of using some magic and drugs in order to deceive Desdemona.
“What conjuration, and what mighty magic
(For such proceeding I am charged withal)
I won his daughter. ” (I, 3, 109-111)
Othello’s qualities are underestimated by the “reverend signiors” since they believe that he can not be loved by a woman, but uses immoral knacks to seduce his wife, who is actually the daughter of the Venetian senator Barbantio. People’s prejudices are strong force that affects their minds and the way Othello is perceived by them.
That is why the protagonist struggles to earn people’s respect. The only way to achieve that is to show them by his deeds that he is an honorable member of their society. Othello does that by stating facts from his youth and war experience. The sense of doing that
is to show the others that he is trustworthy and noble at least as much as them, but also to justify himself for being different. The protagonist is afraid that if his defense is not successful enough his relationship with Desdemona will be destroyed by those who don’t appreciate it.
A popular song from our everyday life states that respect comes from admiration and fear. This saying has its implementation in the drama written by Shakespeare examining the character of Othello. By proving that he is honest member of Venetia the protagonist gains the valuable and needed admiration, but this is still not enough. In order to be allowed to follow his own desires and wishes he mush be feared by the others.
”For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak
More than pertains to feats of {broil} and battle.”(I, 3, 98-102)

Othello successfully proves his bravery and manliness- qualities that distinguish him from the rest of aristocracy and turn him into an opponent that nobody wants to fight. The presented image of him in this episode proves that he is capable of winning Barbantio’s daughter in an honest way.
The usage of the typical for the play iambic pentameter and the presence of several metaphors in Othello’s speech make it steady and convincing. The battlefield that is mentioned serves not only as a place of protagonist’s life, but also as a symbol of heroism and strength.
Othello delivers his speech in a crucial moment for him and the whole city- he is blamed for witchery and Venetia is in time of war. In order to prove that he can be a powerful leader and loving husband the protagonist strengthens his reputation by stating why he must be respected and trusted. The passage reveals one of the most vital and crucial values in the play- reputation. The success that this speech achieves, leads to positive outcome for Othello and Desdemona, so they can continue their relationship.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What is the difference between the image of ACS and the reality?
The American College of Sofia is a school that has a reputation of a prison. One of the rumors is that people here are very rich and most of them are accepted because of their connections and money, but the reality is different. Most of the students that study in ACS are ones of the smartest in Bulgaria. Many students have average grades above 5, 50 which shows the quality of the students and the school. The majority of people that graduate our school later on study in elite universities, which determine their skills, and refute the rumor that in ACS kids go only because their parents are wealthy.
Children that study in other schools believe that in ACS anybody can easily be expelled. There are many facts that refute such statement. The first argument is that in other schools if you skip 10 classes or more you get automatically expelled, but in our school the system is different. After each skip you can be suspended if the dean decides so, but otherwise the limit of the absences is fifty-six. This number equals 7 full study days in any regular Bulgarian school. According to this it is harder to be expelled in ACS than in a regular school. Another fact is that for every larger brake of the rules we go to probation that expires after the end of a semester, except the honesty probation, while in other schools you receive a punishment. If you have one punishment for unexcused absences and one for discipline you can easily be expelled, while in ACS you will have two probations that are over after few months.
The third most popular rumor about ACS is that nobody can cheat there. Probably the teachers are on the same opinion, but the reality created by the students is different. There are so many ways for cheating that are developed by students in our schools that teachers can not even imagine. The American College in Sofia has the reputation of one of the best prisons in Bulgaria, but the reality is different because its quality and the knowledge of the students are deteriorating through the years, which seems sad, but true.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Review: 1984 by Geogre Orwell

The novel 1984 was written by George Orwell in 1949. During his life the author has witnessed the disastrous effect of the totalitarian regimes reigning with unlimited power. The novel represents a society in the near future that is controlled by a totalitarian government. The story takes place in London, but the country’s name is changed to Oceania. Orwell represents his biggest fear- people that are manipulated and brainwashed in every possible way: by being observed, listened on tap, limited in speech, and even in thought.

The life of the protagonist in the story Winston Smith represents the evolution of

a latitudinarian person to a brainwashed supporter of the regime. In the beginning of the plot Mr. Smith is portrayed as a rebellious and thoughtful person, who successfully resists the influence of the party. Even though he is a rebellious nature, Winston is afraid of being punished and that is why he tries to conceal his thoughts and actions in one diary, which he accurately hides from the regime. Since his first writing in this booklet, Mr. Smith is chased by the paranoia that his deeds will soon be revealed. Instead of becoming more introvert and mysterious he turns to be more brave and careless. Since this moment a party official named O’Brien appears to be more and more important, and influential for Winston. O’Brien successfully deceives him that he is working for the rebellious organization that plans a take-over. Winston is attracted by such an idea and is easily convinced to become a member of this fake organization.

However, he is captured for his illegal actions and while he is in prison the party officials attempt to brainwash him using different psychological and physical tortures. His destiny is in unison with the one of all the people who stood against the regime and got caught. Finally, the transformation is complete and irreversible. Winston Smith is even unable to feel any temptations about his ex-love Julia.

The message of the novel is that once a party gains a full control in its country and rules in a totalitarian way it can not be stopped in any way. The book’s contemporaries could easily make the connection between it and the communistic regime in USSR and the fascistic in Spain. The outcome is that people were convinced that a dictatorship in not the right way to rule a country.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Story of a Bulgarian

It was a gloomy rainy noon. Kris woke up with a strong headache that reminded him about his experience at last night's party. He realized that he had run out of cigarettes, but was too lazy to go down to the store and that is why he asked one of his friends that was left to sleep in his apartment to give him one. After a small quarrel for the last cigarette in the box they decided to call Nikki, who was coming to their house, to go to the store and buy one box of Victory. Soon after that Kris resembled that he was on duty in the warehouse the next day. This fact made him upset because he had planned to go to a disco club that night. A timeto relax was needed and Nikki, who just arrived, switched the TV on. Together the three boys watched SKAT program and the show of Volen Siderov. The show captured their attention so much that they did not realize how quickly the box of cigarettes was emptied. The flavor in the room reminded of Kremicovci factory. After an hour and a half somebody called Kris and asked him to go to the gym together, but he refused because he had important stuff to do. The two boys that were in his apartment left soon and he began preparing for going out. The important thing that he had to do was to hang out in a café with one girl. Kris used to spend all his days in this careless and free way.

One day two old friends of his called Kris while he was drinking his third beer for the day. They used to be good friends in secondary school, but had not met for almost two years. Kris was happy to meet his old friends ,Gatso and Batso, because he was bored from his temporary ones and was impatient to leave his home. The problem was that he had to take his dog for a walk. He thought whether his friends should wait for him to execute his duties or not. Finally Kris decided that they were used to waiting for him and would not get angry. As always he did not think of calling them to tell that he will be late and the two boys had to wait for forty minutes in one small smoky café called “Fresh”. This café was near Kris’s school, so he had to travel again the route he has been traveling every day for the last eleven years.

After the long journey he finally reached the destination. There he finally met his friends. All of them were very excited to meet an old fellow.

-How is it going in school? - one of the friends asked.

-Almost nothing has changed since you both moved to different schools, except for the fact that the old dean is back and soon it will look like a concentration camp.

-How come? - the second boy asked.

-Because the old crazy man wants to improve the discipline in classes and at the school at all. We have to bring our personal school cards everyday to school.

Their conversation lasted for an hour and a half because the boys had a work to do. The three of them left the café and decided that they would call each other to meet again in the close future.

Kris continued his monotonous life as if nothing had happened. He was hanging out with the same old friends, talkingabout the same old things and visiting the same old places. In spite of his sedentary life, the boy had hope in his life- his father was high in the hierarchy of the judicial system and Kris was a member of the political party ATAKA.

One day as he was driving his car- BMW 320 with the radio set on “Veselina” station-the most popular chalga station in Bulgaria, Kris saw people from his old section. They were walking near the boulevard; they were laughing and talking loudly. He wanted to stop and say hi to them, but after that regretted it because these people were not as cool as him anymore. After a bit of driving Kris reached the home of the girl he met in the café. She came down and got in his car. Her name was Penka. She was a tall girl with blond hair and blue eyes. The main difference between these two young people was that she was an intelligent and a diligent young girl, while Kris was satisfied with what he had and did not have ambitions for much more in the close future.

The couple used to go to some restaurant or café and to talk about different subjects of life, but there was nothing more than a friendship between them even though he was in love with her. This was one of Kris’s main problems- he was afraid to show his feelings to other people.

Time passed and some of his friends went to study and live in foreign countries, but he did not leave the country. Kris did not want to change his habits and living environment and even continued living with his parents. The only thing that changed in his life was that he became a candidate for a member of the parliament as a member of his party ATAKA.

After five years there was a meeting of the people that studied together until seventh grade. There Kris met people whose faces he had even forgotten. His closest friends from childhood were there and they were happy to meet again and chat about their life.

- How are doing guys? – Do you have a job? - one of them asked.

- I’m fine; I just graduated in England and I will continue working there for several years. – Gaco replied.

- I’m okay too; I am going to study in a culinary academy in London for the next two years. - Baco answered.

The conversation was long and exciting because everyone was eager to understand about the life of his old friends and to remember his childhood by telling some jokes or stories from the past. The only person who was anxious in this situation was Kris. It was so not because of his bad childhood memories, but because of the fact that he did not graduate university and his only hope for the future is to become a member of the parliament and to steal Bulgarian people’s money.