Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I enjoyed the creating of an electronic portfolio. In the beginning it seemed to be hard. There were so many things that we had to post on our blog but actually throughout the semester I realized that I could balance them perfectly along with my other assignments in IB English. I liked the assignment because it gave me field to write and express myself. I enjoy writing and when I am inspired I can do it just for fun. The blog gave me this opportunity because the topics were not too strict and they gave me space to show creativity and imagination.
The exchange with the Kentucky partners was not very successful because of technical reasons, but I enjoyed reading my classmates work. I believe that everyone had the opportunity to create in their own way. We have never had that opportunity in the years. This gave to me self confidence and made me feel like a adult, who is mature enough to express their own opinion on the topics that interest him.
The portfolio was a very nice experience for me. I am actually a bit sad because now when I feel inspired I will have the opportunity to write but I am not sure someone will read my work. My dream is to become a writer. I will continue to write in my blog. Who knows? When you believe in something destiny finds a way to make it happens.
When the clock pointed 00:00 on the 31st of December my first thought was “I am graduating this year! ”. I looked at all my friends. They were so happy. I was a bit sad and happy. The most careless and funny years of my life are coming to an end. Soon I will be nineteen, and here it comes 20. I will not be a teenager anymore. I will be an adult.
I am wondering how I changed for the past 5 years.
In 8th grade I was excited about everything. I was in a new school, which meant that I had so many new horizons to explore. I remember my Friday afternoons. I was always waiting for them. This had not change even nowadays. During this time of the week, I was staring at my first love and I was dreaming of a “happily ever after” ending. I found the most awesome friends in the whole world. We are still together. I remember all the drama and I smile because none of it matters now.
Then 9th grade came. This was my worst year in high school. I had family problems and the logical thing to do for me was to rebel. I remember myself sitting somewhere all alone and listening to loud music. This was the year that taught me how much more important things there are in life than the teenage drama. I felt stronger and more mature in the beginning of the next school year.
10th grade was the time of high school that I never want to go back to. This was the year when I realized what is to be in love. I remember this period with a lot of tears. Now I smile I think of it. I learned to think of the good times, and especially of the butterflies I had in my stomach when I saw His eyes.
11th grade was the time when I became independent. I learned a lot about people, and I realized who is going to be by my side always, and who is going to be just another station of the train of life. I learned how important is for one to believe in himself, and I learned how to control my emotions.
Here it comes 12th grade. By this point I am admitted in a university, I am having amazing time with my friends, and my really experiencing the feeling of being a Senior. I can look back to my past and see its traces in my life nowadays, and I am proud of it.
My 5 years of high school could have been better but I do not wish for it. I am satisfied with the person I became. I love my friends, and I believe all of this will help me to love my future!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Everyone gets hurt. We get hurt on the playground when we fall from the swing. We get hurt in first grade when the older students kick us out from the line for lunch. We get hurt when our first love breaks our heart. We get hurt when we lose a friend for the first time. We get hurt after the first serious argument with our parents. We get hurt when we realize that life is not a clean slate.
Why? Why do we allow all those feelings to oppress our common sense? We let ourselves soak into the misery and we forget that tomorrow always come, and if we are not up to wait for it, no one will ever be.
Recently I got hurt. I let myself soak into the perfect world I tried to built, and someone step on it. Brutally. Destructively.
After all the pain I have had, I did not feel anything at all. I dropped a tear for my own foolishness, and I realized: That is just a battle. It is not the war. So I got my head up, and realized that if I am impressed with all the bad feelings, I will not have the time to experience the good ones. I would not be able to see the little things that make me smile: a bird, the sunrise, the stars, the autumn trees. I realized how much more I have to learn in order to be able to understand myself completely, and to feel grown-up. I realized that I am still able to see a boa-constrictor, instead of a hat like the Little Prince did. Life is full of battles, so we should not give up, if we are not the winners always. We should keep our heads up and just move on. People who soak too much into the sadness forget to live. It is just how it is.
After all, everyone gets happy. We get happy when mommy buys us ice-cream. We get happy when we receive our first six in school. We get happy when we hear the dreamed question “Do you want to be my girlfriend?”. We get happy when we go to the cinema with our best friends. We get happy when we hear our parents say “I am proud of you.” We get happy when we realize that life is what we make it, so we should make it our own fairytale.
Act V, Scene ii, Lines 1-24
It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,--
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!--
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood;
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster.
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light:
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me: but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again.
It must needs wither: I'll smell it on the tree.
Ah balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
And love thee after. One more, and this the last:
So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep,
But they are cruel tears: this sorrow's heavenly;
It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.
Love is one of the dreams that most people have. They dream of perfection, of shared emotions and feelings, of that perfect significant other, who understands their thoughts just with a look in their eyes. Everyone dreams of this, and no one considers the idea that sometimes it cannot happen. Life is not blissful to all. It plays its games and sometimes love can not conquer all. William Shakespeare’s play Othello is a perfect example of how circumstances can turn the happy ending into a tragedy. The main character Othello is misguided by his trust into people, which makes him murder his beloved one. The monologue of Othello in Scene 2 of Act 5 reveals his inner conflict and his love for Desdemona, which are scarred by intrigue, lies and manipulation.
The Shakespearean style of writing supposes a deep meaning behind the words. Othello describes Desdemona using similes: “…whiter skin of hers than snow / And smooth as monumental alabaster.”(V.ii.4-5) The image of the sleeping Desdemona is similar to the childish idea of the sleeping beauty. Her description presents peace and calm. The symbol of snow is connected with innocence, which shows the irony in Othello’s doubts in Desdemona. The life of Desdemona is compared to a rose:
“When I have plucked
I cannot give it vital growth again.
It needs must wither.”(V.ii.13-15)
The metaphorical meaning of the quote shows the affection of Othello towards Desdemona. She is compared to a flower: discrete and gentle, guilty for being so beautiful. The symbol of the rose has a biblical reference: the Holy Grail. It gives life, and presents a meaning in the life of every Christian. This is the meaning of Desdemona for Othello’s life: she is everything he lives for. Her loss is equal to the loss of life itself. He speaks of her gently and with great attention. The fact that he watches her while she sleeps is significant: it presents a desire to see her and connect her for the last time, and in the same time presents the doubt that has nested in Othello’s heart.
Othello is full of doubt. The actual function of the monologue in the sense of the whole play is to present the inner conflict, which Othello fights. He loves Desdemona, but his honor id too hurt by the idea that he has shared her with another man. He loves her and he will continue to love her even in her death:
“Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee
And love her after. One more, and
The idea of the last kiss could be connected with another Shakespearean play: Romeo and Juliet. The young Romeo kisses Juliet and dies next to her. In the same way Othello gives his beloved one last kiss, before his own demons posses him.
Othello is similar to Romeo and Juliet in another aspect: the idea of destiny and its games with people’s lives. Romeo and Juliet are referred to as “star-cross’d lovers”. The destiny plays its games, and ironically the lovers are together in Heaven. Othello loves Desdemona insanely. It is like pain to him:
“But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly:
It strikes where it doth love. (V.ii.23-24)”
He desires to revenge his honor, and in the same way he wants to be with his love. Destiny plays its game in the same way, as in the other play: Desdemona drops her napkin, and no one sees it. Othello hears a conversation that has nothing to do with Desdemona, but Iago makes him believe otherwise. The “star cross’d lovers” in Othello are not even given a chance to realize how strong their love is. Pride and honor blind Othello’s heart. Lies, intrigue and manipulation completely destroy his ability to see clearly how much Desdemona loves him, but anyway he makes his redemption in her last sleep, when she is beautiful, calm and blessed by her innocence.
Othello presents a man, who betrays his own love, because of doubt, but in the same time he presents one man who is scared of his own actions. He realizes that by killing Desdemona, he will kill his own desire to live. The monologue in the beginning of Scene 2 of Act 5 shows exactly how much Othello loves Desdemona: for a lifetime and after that. The reader realizes also how much Othello’s heart had been poisoned by all the lies around him. Love is not always just to everyone: sometimes it is cruel, and hurts, but people should trust this pain: it is the only thing that can make them open their eyes.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Every child likes fairy tales: they are easy to follow, full of magic and always have a happy end. I have never thought that a fairy tale for grown-ups exists until I read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I have read it when I was second grade, and it was just another story with talking animals, flowers that have wishes, and different characters.
Now I am 18 and I read it again. My God, such a difference!
I appreciated every picture, and not even to talk about every single sentence that the little prince had said. Exupery manages to summarize life’s values in a hundred pages. Even the pictures matter! I was really scared when I realized that I saw a hat, and not a boa constrictor that had eaten an elephant. It made me wonder? Is that it? I am born, I grow up, I enjoy the carelessness of childhood, and suddenly I am all grown up, with the boring vision of a grown-up?
Exupery uses simple language that is understandable for every English speaker, and in the same time he manages to make the child happy and the grown-up a bit sad. The story brings different sense to every age category of readers. I personally believe that one should read The Little Prince every two years. It is a book that has an eternal meaning. Every new reading enriches the mind and brings new sense to everything around.
When I finished the book I got sad. It was during the day, and I was not able to look at the stars. I did it in the evening though, and I smiled, because I knew that somewhere in the deep dark sky a boy cares for his pretentious rose, and loves her for everything that she is and is going to be. I smiled because I realized that being a grown-up is not so bad: there is always a story like this one that can make you happy. Yet, I got a bit sad: just for losing the Peter Pan dream of not growing up: I already did.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a book that every person should have in their library. Not because it is classic, but because it is real and full of magic, childhood, and walks down the memory lane of each and every one of us.
Monday, November 16, 2009
A few weeks ago I was staring outside the window, and I saw a few kids playing hide and seek. Each and every one of us has participated in this game: someone counts to ten, the others hide and the person is left alone looking for them. I couldn’t help it wonder: is this game left as a happy memory in the past, or are we still playing it in the future? People build illusions, create images, and put together sand castles of qualities and characteristics just to produce the perfect person for the others to see. Suddenly, all of us are left outside this shell, searching for the person, hidden somewhere deep inside.
I have always wondered how a movie star feels. I wonder how it feels to see your picture everywhere, and to be photographed when you go to the shop to buy breakfast. The image of these people is created for them. They present a certain face in front of the general public, and their personal life remains a secret. The sad part is that people are most curious of the things they do not know. Another sad fact is that people are extremely judgmental. Everyone starts digging into the intimate worlds of their idols, and judge them basing on pictures without any value, or on writings that are left without no soul because of the giant corporate machine that desires money.
So even if we keep on playing hide and seek, we definitely do not do it right. We tend to find out inexistent things, just because we do not want to be the seeker. People are consumed by their ego, which makes them believe that they are perfect. Actually, perfection is just an illusion. There is no perfect person. Everyone has their fails and liabilities. This is the most important part of the character, because it is the one common for all people.
One morning, I might open my eyes and realize that I have gotten lost in my search for humanity. One day I might wake up and realize that all the people around me are empty shells with no souls. One day I might be one of the hiding people, and be afraid of seeking. One day, but not today… Actually not tomorrow either. I still hope, and still search, because deep down under the cover, I might find an actual human being.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I remember that day so vividly. He had been asking me to go out for more than a week, and I finally agreed. It was one of those winter days when it is cold and you feel your hands freezing in the gloves, and yet the sun is shining. The white glittering snow created a picture of heaven. I stepped out of the taxi and the fresh air filled my lungs. I saw him there in the middle of the square with his hands in his pockets. He was wearing a black jacket and jeans: the usual. I stepped closer to him to say hi. He smiled. The mysterious color of his eyes made me angry because I could not define it, but it made him even more charming.
We started our walk in the quiet Borisova Garden. It was a Saturday afternoon but probably caring mothers decided it is too cold for their kids to be outside. After a 15 minute walk we met the exception of my inference: a little creature passed near us. The little child was no older than 4 years: she was wearing a green coat and a red hat. Her cheeks were so red as if two raspberries had blossomed on them. Two small teeth could be seen in her smile: they were like little pearls on her little lips. She was looking like a little penguin, while she was trying to run away from her grandmother. The old woman stopped soon of course. Age is merciless. The little lady came next to me and I caught her hand. It felt so small in the glove. I took a glimpse at my companion. He was smiling. I smiled too. When I got back to him we started holding hands. I could not separate from the pulsing warmth of his hand. It was somewhat magical, and yet scaring.
Soon our walk in the park was over so we decided to walk the wet streets of the old Sofia. I had let his hand down. We passed “Chervilo”: the night club. It was so noisy at night and so quiet and calm during the day. He asked when I will go there with him. I laughed as usual and left him wondering. I had never been able to tell him that this music caused me a headache, so I tactically said nothing. We passed the Russian Church next. Its golden domes were reflecting the rays of light as if the day was not light enough. He asked me what I want to do. I was very thirsty so we stopped in a shop and he bought two cans of Coke. He took my hand and told me that he would lead me to a special place. We passed the Presidency and the Alexander Nevski church. I didn’t know if it was the pure innocence that this day brought or the white walls of the buildings, but I felt lighter. We walked and talked and I couldn’t feel my feet stepping on the damp ground. I was weightless. After a 10 minute walk we reached the National Theatre. He smiled at me with his childish charm. I couldn’t believe he remembered that this was my happy place. I have never enjoyed a can of Coke that much. My thoughts were flying in all sides. His small gesture, his effort to remember a useless piece of information made me feel like a princess. I could suddenly see myself dancing with a beautiful prince like the happy endings of the Disney classics. I have let him in. That was it. My world was spinning…
It soon started to get dark. Five hours had passed like 5 minutes. I was looking at the fountain, where young people were sitting. You could hear the clashing of cans, the laughter of people, the ringing of mobile phones. These seemed so irrelevant and distant. I laid my head on his shoulder and I felt like I am in eternity. I was feeling something, but I could not define it. Suddenly, a tornado of memories started in my mind. I remembered the first time we met in “Bizarro”, the club. I remembered the first time we went out. We went to City Centre Sofia and watched “Iron Man”. I remember when he came home to check out my famous cooking skills. The oven was new, and as a result the chicken could easily broke your teeth and choke you at the same time. We have been out so many times and there is not a single one that made me sad. This person made me happy: insanely, eternally, perfectly and simply happy.
My head felt so heavy on his shoulder. I did not want to lift it up but I had to. I had to go there in the noisy company, at the bar, where everyone judges and no one thinks of how I felt. I told him I had to go. He walked me to the Palace of Justice, and soon I was traveling to Students’ Town alone, without him. I could feel my heart beating, so slow and sad. I gave the driver a fiver, and got out of the cab. The music was already so loud. I missed my happy place with him in it. This was a nightmare. I just sat there for hours, talking and laughing on the outside, but dying and crying on the inside. I started to realize that my happy place was a mirage. He was not in it, and he would never be there. We were different. I had my world and my friends, and he had his. What could he possibly do in my world? How could he possibly fit? I could already see the faces of my friends: strange, smiley, but not real. I could not do this to him! I cared too much! I could not think of my happiness rather than for his!
I couldn’t! I couldn’t! I couldn’t!
I wanted to get out of this place. I was not charmed even by the boy with the little scar over the tip of his lip. Even he was irrelevant now. Tears started building up in my eyes, and I started rushing through the crowd, desperate to find my way out.
Someone pulled my arm. I turned around. The mysterious color of his eyes made me angry because I could not define it, but at this moment I did not even care…