Friday, January 15, 2010


During the process of creating an electronic portfolio I had fun. Writing on different topics is a pleasure to me so I didn't have any trouble doing it. I actually think some of the problems and ideas I discussed in my portfolio are common to many people and are interesting.
I think the portfolios are also a nice way to get to know the other students better trough their writing and creative thinking. I know well a lot of the people in my class but still it was intriguing to look at their portfolios and see their point of view on different topics and what interests and excites them.
I also enjoyed the correspondence with the children from Kentucky. The girl I am communicating with is enthusiastic about the blog as well and we realized we had a lot in common. I am sorry that the whole idea of communication between our whole class and the one in Kentucky didn’t work out for all of the students as it did for me because my new acquaintance was interesting.
As an overall activity I think the electronic portfolio was a very good idea. It not only helped students develop our writing skills and our creative thinking but it was also a pleasant assignment that did not exhaust us: we had fun doing it instead.

The right college for me

When I was selecting the right college for me I chose Hotelschool The Hague because it offers me valuable experience and study in hospitality management. It can also help me build up my horizon and have options open to so many branches in management, business, and hospitality industry. I want to study and later work in that industry because I believe I will excel in it. I am an outgoing person who loves to communicate and be around people. That is why I want to work in a hotel where I will constantly meet new people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. On the other hand, I am also organized and punctuate and I believe these are qualities that will be valuable in managing a hotel. Actually I am aiming at the exact position of managing events and monitoring people. This is a skill I developed through the years by constantly participating in the organization of trips, excursions, and this year, the senior prom. I am content when I am dealing with the organization of events and I want to make people around me happy with the final arrangements.

Another reason, why I am attracted to The Hotelschool is the fact that it makes the education interesting, dynamic, and diverse. As I was looking at the curriculum, modules, and ways of teaching I taught how I would never get bored in that school. I also think the two internships are extremely valuable and essential in majoring and completely understanding hotel management. These work placements are also important in the sense that a person puts into action what he has been taught through his learning process. It is helpful because a person could really get an insight into the hospitality sphere and see for himself whether or not it is suitable for him even before graduation. Finally, this brings me to the idea that the Hotelschool not only offers education in hotel management but also in the basics of the business studies, which as we all know are essential knowledge these days. This is why I believe The Hotelschool is perfect for me.

I want to go to the Netherlands because I found it a fascinating country with its nature and culture. I think I would feel comforted to life and study there. I am specifically attracted by the Hotelschool of Hague because it includes the exact major I want to study and offers me diverse ways to train, learn, and practice. I am specifically impressed by the two six-month working experiences. In future I would like to focus more thoroughly on managing events in the business world and I believe the school and my personal qualities are going to provide me a good start in that field.

A common problem ... :)

When students move to a new school, they sometimes face problems. How can schools help these students with their problems?

During the process of education students sometimes have to change schools and adapt to the new environment. This is hard for some students and easy for others. I believe that schools, teachers, and staff there can help the new students get used to the methods of education, the setting, and the people there.
In order for a person to feel comfortable in a new school, the school itself must be a nice place where students are priority. A new student might feel lonely because he has no acquaintances or unsettling because he is in a new environment. The school’s job in problems like this is to make the kid feel in place: having a lot of clubs and after-school activities. That way a person has the chance to communicate with others not only in classes. The idea of the club activities is to also find people with similar interests and the more opportunities a school offers the more people can socialize.
Another problem that a student in a new school might face could be the new teachers and their methods of tutoring. This could be a huge problem for some people because the teacher is a very important figure in students’ life. The school can help in this situation by appointing very capable personnel. Teachers can also help a new kid at school by offering him help outside of class and showing that they care. That is how a student will feel more secure in his learning environment.
In conclusion, changing schools is a normal event in the life of every student. Schools can help a lot to make this process easier. Creating a comfortable environment, having sophisticated employees, and helping students socialize are only a small part of the ways to make a student feel safe and relaxed in a new school.

Iago Is the Perfect Villian (Passage analysis: Act 1 Scene 3)

Thus do I ever make my fool my purse;
For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane
If I would time expend with such a snipe
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor;
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if't be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well,
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio's a proper man: let me see now;
To get his place, and to plume up my will
In double knavery, — How, how? — Let's see: —
After some time, to abuse Othello's ear
That he is too familiar with his wife: —
He hath a person, and a smooth dispose,
To be suspected; fram'd to make women false.
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so;
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
I have't; — it is engender'd: — hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.

Throughout the play Othello Shakespeare is presenting a tragic story of many people who ruined their lives due to lies and deception. The center character in the tragedy, the one behind all the plots and mischief, Iago, is the portrayed as the perfect villain due to his cunning character and his total disregard for other people’s feelings. In his first soliloquy at the end of Act I Iago rises in front of the audience and reveals his evil plan, his hypocrisy, his anger towards Othello, and his evil personality. He is determined and certain to fulfill his monstrous plot and devastate Othello and the other characters.
During the whole play Iago is lying to his master, his wife, and his friends in order to benefit from deceiving them. He does not hide his hatred towards Othello from the audience but he skillfully pretends to respect and praise his General in front of other characters. Thus, as a seemingly honest man in the eyes of people in society, Iago intends to use his reputation to betray and ruin Othello’s life:
“He holds me well,
The better shall my purpose work on him” (I.3.390-391).
Hypocracy, as a main theme in the tragedy, is revealed by this quote. The whole play and Iago’s plans and final goal are all build on the idea of deceiving others and making them believe he is helping them. This is another proof that Iago is the perfect antagonist. He manages to figure out how to manipulate people and uses Othello’s good nature in order to deceive him. He shares with the audience that his master believes in the honesty of people and is positive that this is a mistake: “and will as tenderly be led by the nose.”(I.3.401). Like a puppet master Iago sets and uses people anyway he wants in order to execute his play. This portrays him as a person, a villain, deprived of soul and any goodness who reaches his goal regardless of the consequences and of the damages he might have caused.
Iago’s hatred and jealousy towards his master are the motifs of these actions. He, however, hides them and cunningly plots a way to hurt Othello without coming off as the villain himself. He plans to make the innocent Cassio look like the traitor:
“Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now:
After some time, to abuse Othello's ear
That he is too familiar with his wife ” (I.3.392-395/6).
Here is introduced the theme of jealousy that is leading in the tragedy. The feeling of being betrayed by the loved one is painful and unbearable and Iago uses that in order to influence his general. That way Iago cleverly will manage to hurt both Othello and Cassio without them even realizing it. Due to this brilliantly evil character Iago is the perfect villain. Iago’s evilness, however, is often unreasonable. His character shows him to be feeling insecure and unappreciated. He hates his master because he did not promote him lieutenant and consequently Iago hates the person who got promoted: Cassio. The antagonist also believes that Othello have slept with his wife Emilia:
“He has done my office: I know not if't be true” (I.3.388).
Jealousy in this case turns out to be not only Iago’s tool in ruining Othello’s life but also the motive power that got him into creating his evil plan. That is why Iago puts all his efforts into his purpose to destroy “the Moor”. He is the absolute evil because of his devotion to his plans and desire to hurt others. His words are also foreshadowing the terrible deeds Iago is about to do because he shares his insult and his plots. He draws himself as an evil, careless person who is capable of doing everything in order to make himself feel and look good and the audience can only sit silently, wait, and fear to see his further actions.
Iago delivers his soliloquy, showing his treachery and his evil character with no regret and worry. He is indeed the perfect villain due to his desire to torture others and his cunning ways to do so. The audience sees the ugliness Iago’s character and yet none of the characters in the play does. This is essential for him because he manages to hide his true nature and fulfill his evil plots. Thus, in the first soliloquy the image of Iago is shaping to be an absolute, brilliant evil, portraying his plans and still keeping the suspense of what will happen next.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A day that went bad...

It was an autumn rainy day several years ago. Little children were approaching the school eager to see each other, talk, and laugh. Mothers were walking with their kids, holding them with one hand and the umbrella with the other, trying hopelessly to survive the muddy paths going to 8th School “Vasil Levski”.
This morning Rumi had almost stayed home because she just couldn’t make her eyes open. Her mother, on the other hand, did not agree with her daughter and made her get up and dress. She was in a hurry so she did not have much time to wake up and she and her mother rushed from their apartment. On their way to school, they stopped at the small market, just next to the big boulevard, as every day, to buy Rumi a chocolate bar and water for school. Then they too started to make their way through the mud and the rain.
When Rumi was finally in the nice, warm, clean, and most importantly- dry school, she looked through the hallways looking for her classroom because as usual, she couldn’t find it. This time, however, she ran into Martin. He told her that today they were in a classroom on the second floor because of some movement of schedules. Actually, Rumi didn’t even listen to the explanation: who needed to know why, when she was going to spend the day on the second floor, where the grown up students were and it was so cool.
She went into the classroom and she saw all of her friends running, laughing, and shouting. She joined them in a second. It was so exiting to meet them after the long weekend. Of course, as any other curious kids would do, they started to go over the school stuff in the cupboards and on the shelves. There were books, maps, all kinds of things that fascinated the children. During all this mess, Rumi turned her attention to the cupboard on the bottom, which no one had opened yet. She looked in it and she saw a lot of big bottles with strange names on it. She took one and started to explore it. It said “…. Detergent”. That is when Rumi remembered her mother using that word about a mixture she cleaned their bathroom in. She decided the bottle is filthy and toxic. She was just about to put it in its place, when Jack, who was in a fight with Tom, pushed Sally, who pushed Pam, who pushed Rumi, who spilled the whole bottle on the wooden floor…


Ms. Ani Nowal was having a tuff day from the moment her alarm went on. First of all, in her desperate attempts to put it off she fell of the bed. That was not the best way to wake up but it did the job quite well. Making herself coffee was the next ritual Ani got mixed up that day. She made it so fast that when she poured it in her mouth she not only spit it all up (because it did not taste good) but she burned her tongue and stained her shirt. After 20 more minutes she was finally changed, clean, and (unfortunately) ready to go.
As Ms. Nowal was walking to the bus stop she was thinking of the day ahead of her. There was a Talent Show in school that day and she had only one period with the 4th graders she taught. She was going to do much more important things during the rest of the sunlight hours. Her wedding was in a month after all.
Ani still could not believe how perfectly she managed everything with the preparation of her special day. She was really crazed about all the organization of the ball room, catering, flowers, music band, guests, and most importantly, her very own, unique wedding dress. Mark, of course, was so helpful and supportive for the last six months, he was always calming her down and caring about her. After all that was his job in the case because Ani would not let him meddle in any other way. Anyway, she got almost everything fixed and booked, and now it was just her dress waiting for her in the store. This was the problem though. She had found the perfect wedding gown on the internet but she didn’t have time to see and try it. The shop worked only until noon and she was working every day until 4 p.m.
She loved her job and she was very content to work with kids. However, she really needed a break. She would take one week-off for her honeymoon but she could not afford to miss even one day before that. That is why when she heard about the Talent Show in the school and she saw an opportunity to get away. She immediately booked an appointment with an assistant at the wedding store. She now realized that in less than an hour she will be on her way to buying her dream dress.
Floating in her thoughts, Ani came back to reality and casually looked at her watch. In an instant she jumped off her seat and almost screamed: she was going to be very late. Fortunately, the school was on the next stop and she quite literary flew from the bus and ran until she reached the campus. She was ten minutes late which meant the kids were left alone in the new classroom that the dean had assigned for them yesterday. Ms. Nowal was worried that they were very loud and could have disrupted the work of the other teachers and the last thing she wanted today was to have any problems that could force her to stay in the school for more than thirty minutes. Well, she didn’t know what was expecting her…
As she was going up to the second floor she heard noisy laughter which all of a sudden turned into screams. Ms. Nowal hoped that the bad feeling she had in the bit of her stomach was not going to turn out to be true. Very soon, the answer to her own worries came when Tony and Pam, followed by the rest of the class, ran out of the classroom holding their noses and making strange faces. Now Ms. Nowal’s fears turned into panic: “’What happened? Is everyone allright?!’” As soon as the kids saw their teacher they ran towards her each of them shouting something, trying to explain what was going on. She did not even listen to them. She was counting them. After she was certain they were all there, she shouted for silence and asked for one person to explain everything to her. That is when Rumi stepped up and told Ms. Nowal about the situation.
Ani just stood in the corridor and listened, and the more she heard the more she came to realize how all of her plans were falling apart. Yes, it was wonderful that the children were alright and no one was hurt but still why did they had to make a mess once again… She was late, and therefore accountable for the actions of the unsupervised children. She would be responsible for the spilled detergent and the ruined floor. She had to deal with it all. She would miss her appointment. She would miss the one chance she had for buying the perfect wedding dress. And why? Because her little, curious, careless students couldn’t just stay in their places and wait for their teacher to come. No, they had to scream, and fight, and touch everything they could – sure a nuisance would happen! Oh, Ani was so angry with them that she just did not know what to do. Where was she going to take them now since they could no longer stay in the classroom? Furiously, she looked outside the window at the greenfield soaked with rain… She taught for a while, but the solution was clear to her now: since they couldn’t stay in rest for then minutes, let’s see them run. Ani Nowal took the kids outside on the greenfield and told them to do whatever they want there but not to even think of going back into the school…

Monday, November 16, 2009

Angels and Demons

A book I recently read is Angels and Demons by Dan brown. I really enjoyed it: it was intriguing, intense, caught my attention, and left me speechless in the end.
For those of you who haven’t read the book, it is an amazing story, a mixture of science fiction, adventure, and mystery. The action is mainly in Rome and the Vatican where and ancient scientific brotherhood, persecuted by religion, is raising to destroy the religious capital of the world. A man and a woman are digging out ancient works from the leader of the scientific community in order to prevent the Vatican from disappearing and to save the lives of many. At the end, the Vatican is saved and just as the story is about to have a happy end, a dark, shameful, and disturbing secret is revealed. The chamberlain turns out to be the initiator of the threat against the Vatican with the single idea of restoring people’s faith in God.
The amazing plot of this book made me think about people’s goals and purposes. Does the goal justify the means? What does each of us believe in? Why do we need to believe in something and is it wrong if we do not see God in religion but in science or in art? ... I believe many of the questions that the book sets are given some answer that doesn’t impose itself but rather gives the reader background on what to think about. The need of people to believe in something and the controversy on what this something should be are undoubtedly the most important issues in the book. They gave birth to the war between religion and science centuries ago. Angels and Demons still does not solve this eternal problem but proposes some solutions and compromises so that peace and tolerance could finally be found.
Another part of the novel that impresses me was the solving of mysteries, interpreting signs, and looking for clues. The two main characters were trying to save the lives of the four preferiti (the cardinals most decent to take the popes position), running across Rome, looking for the four altars of science. The genius of the ancient architecture of the altars and the founder of the scientific community in Rome, who managed to hide its message from those who want to destroy science, astonished me. The book kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time and I just could not wait to read what happens next. The perfect mixture of science fiction and mystery made Angels and Demons my favorite book.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Telephones and e-mail have made communication between people less personal.

Technology in present days has made communication between people easy and comfortable. However, a conversation through telephone or e-mail can never be as real as a face to face talk. I agree with the statement that technological ways of contact between people have made communication less personal because the expressions, emotions, and reactions of people can not be seen or expressed.
Certainly, when people talk on the phone they laugh or cry, thus, showing their emotions. Even so, the communication through telephone is not the same as a real talk because the gestures and face expressions of the correspondents are not seen. As we know there is a whole study of body language exactly because it is so important in the contact between people and when people talk on the phone or chat through e-mails they are deprived of the ability to observe one another. That way people do not really bond and truly engage in the conversation and this is why that kind of connection is much more impersonal.
On the other hand, when people use e-mail or telephone to communicate, they show only what they want their opponent to see or hear, which is not that easy during face to face conversation. In other words, this type of communication is controlled and is less real and spontaneous. For instance, I have a friend who lives in America and we correspond through e-mails. Soon she told me that she is not coming back to Bulgaria for at least two more years. I was crushed and also very angry. I knew she did not have a choice so I calmed down and wrote her that will be supportive and I will miss her. However, I she had told this to my face I would have shouted and I would have made a big scene. That is what I mean by saying that communication through phone or e-mail is not so spontaneous: people control their momentary reactions more that they could if they were in front of the person. This can be sometimes an advantage but there is no doubt that is makes the communication through technology less personal.
In conclusion, I think that telephones and e-mails are a really good way to keep in touch with someone. However, that kind of communication cannot be compared to the real face to face talk because many times words are not enough. The through personal bonding during a conversation cannot be achieved through telephones or e-mail and that is why they have made communication between people less special and delicate.