Sunday, January 24, 2010


The project of creating an internet based portfolio was really interesting and useful due to the fact it helped me to learn how to create my own blog, how to customize it and in this way offer to all visitors a nice, good looking and organized web page. The required pieces of writing varied among different volume, style and genre which helped my classmates and me to improve our writing skills and sense of creating literature. The process of creating the portfolio was organized reasonably divided into two or three deadlines for certain requested work. The given opportunity to upload materials and links connected either with our texts or our personality gave us the chance to show our interests, photos of us and our friends and this way every student could make his/her page more personal, different and unique.
The project’s goal to exchange experience with Kentucky students let my class to meet new people living in a total different world and as well to compare our writing abilities to those of native Americans. As well, the assignment of commenting on Kentucky’s student portfolio and on some of my classmates pages helped me for developing skills in area of analysis, commentary, criticism and bringing my own piece of advice and ideas. Teacher’s posts of what each section did, helped students to keep track of how their portfolios develop and enlarge as well it kept the communication between everyone go on until the end of the project. The electronic portfolio was a motivating and educational task during the first semester of this year’s English classes that was at the same time entertaining and useful for all students.

The Fake World of Beauty (Chapter 3)

Chapter 3
The day Ana-Marie finally turned eighteen David invited her to his office. She had never been alone with him in the same room and that scared her, because he did not look really pleased that day. As she entered the office, her boss was not sitting on his black, leather chair. He was laying on the coach, starring at the ceiling and listening to Madonna’s evergreen song- Justify my love. David shared that this song is capable of awakening his passion and desire for real sins. He revealed to the girl that she is special and unique, that her beauty is exotic and one of a kind, that he sees her desire for success, but he warned her that if she goes deeper into his world, it may become dangerous for her life. Ana-Marie understood that he offered her help to become a model and she without any doubt accepted. Since that day, her birthday and her entrance to the world of adults and real responsibilities, her life had nothing in common with the one in her past. She became David’s shadow. He took her everywhere he was going, meeting her with important and powerful people. When her beauty was “served” to all agencies she arise their interest. For less than three months, she was the new face that all magazines wanted on their cover. Due to the fact she was too busy with interviews, castings and photo sessions, she did not have time to have fun and party with her colleagues.
Finally, when she got the bases of her career she had the chance to be among the people from this new world as someone equal to them. One evening, while having a drink with David in the club, he thought she was now ready to become one of the models in the group of the top rated ones. He introduced her to them and even though they all wanted to demonstrate superiority, her charm and beauty enhanced them. The same night, they all went partying to another club. They got off the limousine, passed by the queue and just with one greeting the guards opened the doors and welcomed the group. The club was full, but this was not any problem at all- the VIP hall was reserved for them. The second all models find their place on the leather coaches, one of them took out a small bad with white powder and asked “Are you ready to have fun?” Ana-Marie was shocked. She had never used drugs before. She even left her best friends because of that. One of her mates passed her the . The girl from the suburbs was confused, but then her hand took it and she inhaled the white powder. That night, she lost her soul, her moral understandings. She had fun that night and the night after that, but she could not have fun without consuming the white powder or any other opium. As most of her colleagues she ran into the anorexia problem, the stress and fear mania caused by the overdosed drugs. Ana-Marie’s life was no more called a life. This was just the existence of another weak model who hid behind the expensive clothes and make up demonstrating a fake happiness.

The Fake World of Beauty (Chapter 2)

Her exotic beauty impressed David, who was actually the owner of the club, and she got the job. Ana-Marie did not really know that she was a not polished diamond, but in the eyes of her boss she was more than a girl from the suburbs. He ordered his assistants to pay special attention to her, because the poor woman was really poor so she was not shiny as all the girls around. After a few days of preparing, she finally had the chance to prove David that she will not disappoint him in choosing her. The time of her first night at the club, and actually the first time she was going to work, came. The “ugly duck” was now wearing slim fit black elegant pants that were enhancing her long firm legs, a white stylish shirt that was unbuttoned, so her soft matted skin was outstanding and there on her neck, a small silver necklace with a heart covered with stones was laying. As she showed up right before the opening, David just gave her a look that expressed his approval. Around 12 a.m. expensive cars started parking in front of the club and beautiful girls, attractive man all demonstrating their glamour, were getting off the Lamborghinis, Mercedeses and Ferraris. As people wearing only Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and any other tremendously expensive brand were entering; Ana-Marie realized that she has just crashed into the world of models, a world she had seen only on magazine’s covers.
Her working place was a place where there was an excess of brilliance and outer beauty. Even though in the beginning she did not feel in the suitable environment, she got used to this luxury she witnessed. The girl had no family, therefore no reason to go back to the suburbs where the only pretty thing she participated in were the games she played with her friends during her childhood, but as they all grew up, they all went over a change. Ana-Marie remembered how hard was for her when her best friends either started taking drugs, alcohol or began earning money in an offensive and criminal way. After this flight to her past, she came back to the club, where the party was going on and she found out she wants more than just being a waitress of these models, she wanted to be one of them. The “ugly duck” was now beautiful. She realized it the moment all handsome rich boys she served for started paying attention to her, it is even aimless to comment on all other people she met on the streets that were absolutely fascinated by her. As Ana-Marie decided not to waste this chance for success
in her miserable life, she entered the real hell that was hiding behind the silken curtains.

The Fake World of Beauty (Chapter 1)

Beauty. Glamour. Luxor. Those are words describing the models’ life, but only the way it looks as on Vogue’s cover or on Fashion TV. Since this business exists, it turned out that this world is not so shiny and people involved are not as happy as they appear. This fact was something that Ana-Marie Laurent was not familiar with. She grew up in Parisian suburbs. She considered herself a happy child in her early years of existence even of their modest way of living. Since she was five, she was overweighed, but rarely her friends made fun of her because she had a good personality and appearance among children was not so important.
When Ana-Marie turned twelve, she encountered the problem of becoming a real woman and out of a sudden she transformed into beautiful girl. Her dark brown hair, matted skin, cat eyes, thick lips, long legs and wide shoulders made her look like a real exotic flower that was one of a kind. Extreme beauty was not the only change the “ugly duck” ran into. The loss of her parents who were shot by mistake made Ana-Marie leave the suburbs as soon as possible. She was already seventeen and finally she had the chance to visit Paris itself, the way people know it, not as in the suburbs where it was as in hell. The first night in downtown she spent in watching the Eiffel Tower and all the shopping streets. Accidently she crashed into some man. While she was apologizing, she noticed the group of models around him laughing at her. She was really ashamed, but the guy seemed pretty calm and said that everything is alright. Ana-Marie sank deeply into her thoughts about the often mentioned name. The laugh of the models and their words “She’s so funny, right David? Right David?” were echoing in the poor girl’s head.
The whole upcoming day she was going to spend in looking for a job. Her attention was caught by one advertisement of a night club, saying that they are searching for new staff. Ana-Marie decided to show up at this place, maybe she would get lucky? When she reached the club, she was astonished by the huge queue of attractive women in front of her waiting for the same job as she wanted to apply for. Finally, after hours of waiting, her turn came. The moment she entered the room, she saw the same face, the same man, the same David. She became as red as tomato. David smiled and pretended he has never seen her.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Diary of a Chambermaid Reveals Lack of Values

The novel is a very accurate representation of the French society in 19th century. The main character is called Celestine and she is a chambermaid that spent all her life cleaning in people’s houses. The book is written in the form of a diary, where the woman shares all her observations about the people she meets and the place she works comparing it with old ones. Her character is unique due to the fact she acts elegantly, with a style of a Parisian and takes care of her look, even of her job as a cleaning lady. She illustrates many stories about her experience in life, where more attention is paid to stories about sexual relations and seductions. This is due to the fact that her father died, her mother prostituted, so she was traumatized and matured in her early teenage year. An interesting point of view is how she does not judge people about their temptations. Even she shows understanding and support because according to her this is just a physical need. When she goes to the last destination- village where she works at one mansion (which owners are Lanler’s family), she realizes how different people are than from the ones from the big city. She is astounded by the lack of style and the over-weight among all women. Her detailed observations rise up her memories in order to make connections with the rest of the places she has been. The character has a pretty high self-confidence and often feels free to criticize her superiors. The most often themes she comments on are hygiene, and the pettiness and the stinginess of the mansion’s owners. A problem that all the time concerns Celestine is how even of all the money her superiors owe, they are people either with no moral qualities or “owners” of dirty humiliating stories. At the end she marries the coachman of Lanlers- Joseph and goes back to her home town at the seaside. The chambermaid feels happy with her husband working in a cafĂ©, but still readers can observe that her life continues to be devoted to the physical and primitive emotions and feelings.
The amazing fact that makes the novel even more fascinating and obsessing is that it is base on true story. It was actually written by the real Celestine R. but she looked for some help in Octave Mirbeau to polish it. The kept structure of a diary makes the book more interesting because it gives more authenticity. The chambermaid as being the narrator makes her a character that is closest to the reader. The woman may be a cleaning lady, but she has style and with this extraordinary personality the author wants to stress on the lack of it among the rich high class families. As well, the novel reveals how money does not really matter, because all of the represented wealthy people are unhappy, either they are alone or if they have partners, they do not live on good terms with each other. In conclusion, the whole book as a collection of different stories representing the experience of a chambermaid deal with the lost souls and moral values of people.

Paralysis In Irish Society

James Joyce was an Irish author that sought to reveal the real situation in his country. Through his book Dubliners he wanted to show the Irish society and its main problem- the paralysis of all individuals. Joyce chose this theme in order to prove that Dublin’s citizens, no matter whether they are young or old, high or low class, they are all united under the characteristics of being incapable in changing their lives and following their dreams till the end.
The stories included in Dubliners show all aspects of standstill among the society. Joyce used characters with different positions in life, so that he could make all citizens realized that their everyday problems and dilemmas are exactly the ones represented in the short stories. The piece of writing “Araby” has the purpose to reveal paralysis among children. The main character, a young boy, is highly attracted by a woman, so that he decides to go to the bazaar in Araby in order to buy her a present. When the boy arrives there he understands that he would look funny and foolish in the eyes of his love that was not familiar with his feelings. His words “I knew my stay was useless,…., then I turned away slowly and walked down,” (p.35) reveal the lack of the character’s ability to be brave and show his attraction. This end of the story is used in order to introduce the boy’s last decision as his standstill, because the young gentleman is afraid of taking the next step, so he stays paralyzed.
The Irish author succeeds to express the theme of standstill among Dubliners not only through children, but as well through people from all ages. In his story “After the Race”, he represents Jimmy, the main character that loses his money in a cards game. Jimmy is young and has his money from his father, so somehow he does not really knows how difficult is to amass wealth. He used to spend it in car races, but now it is all gone. The revealing of the character’s thoughts “He knew that he would regret it in the morning, but at present he was glad of the rest, glad of the dark, stupor that would cover up his folly” (p.48) proves the theme of paralysis through the fact that he lives for the moment and does not want to do anything in order to change his waste of the wealth. Even though Jimmy soberly realizes that there will be consequences in the morning, still he prefers to enjoy the night and not to worry about tomorrow. This way of thinking effectively reveals the character’s standstill and lack of desire to change the situation in order to make his future better, so as a result he accepts to live with the idea to leave the things the way they are.
In opposition to most of his stories, where there is no gradation in the character, Joyce used his trial story to reveal that some of the Dubliners dare to analyze their life and think over it. “The Dead” is a piece of writing where Gabriel, the main character, at the beginning is presented as someone that exists just for pleasure and not for reaching soul enrichment. Later on, when he finds out about his wife’s ex-lover who died for her, Gabriel starts speculating on his aimless life where he did not show any bravery to prove himself as a worthy person. The character realized that just existing without a purpose and without a person to share excitement with is a pointless life. Then Gabriel finds out he is a shadow because his being could be equal to death. The snow at the end of the story symbolizes how it covers and hides all these people in Dublin that did not reach any deep soul development, they were just living their simple boring every-day routine. “The Dead” reveals the paralysis of Gabriel who understands that it is too late to change his life, so that he will not even try too, but on the other hand the main character at least realizes the present standstill and spends time thinking over it.
Dubliners is a book which James Joyce wrote in order to represent all these problems of the Irish society of not being capable to go through the next step of changing their life, so they prefer just to be some paralyzed individuals. The author’s writing effectively shows the standstill as a main theme building his stories and as well he succeeds to reveal the readers the real situation in Ireland.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dubai Story

A lot of positive memories emerge from my mind when I think of my visit to Dubai, which was the most impressive, exciting and amazing trip I ever had. I cannot believe that when my mother asked me whether I would come with them or not, my first answer was no. Thanks God, I changed my mind later on, because I would have missed one of the best modern human achievements in the world.
At the beginning of April 2009, when my spring school holiday had just started, I left the country with my family and some of our friends on a family vacation. Due to the fact that there was not direct flight from Sofia to Dubai, we had to take a plane from Istanbul, so first we traveled to Turkey and then an exhausting flight of almost five hours to the United Arab Emirates followed. Even though the whole traveling was tiring, it was luxurious as well. When I entered Emirates’ plane, this is the airline of United Arab Emirates, I was fascinated by the nice cozy environment and by the affable air-hostesses. On the back of every seat, there was a TV screen with over three hundred channels, where the latest movies were offered as well. The service was on a high level, so I was already impressed by United Arab Emirates before I land there. Finally, we arrived and when we entered the airport building, I felt like I was in some palace. All the walls and the floor were covered with snowy white shiny marble, there were beautifully painted and decorated with gold pillars. In addition, there were huge palms and plants inside the building which were like the cherry at the top of the airport’s luxurious interior. We took our luggage and we took a taxi to our hotel. During the driving, my mother informed me that inside our hotel there is a shopping mall. As most women, I liked this, but actually I did not have any idea what we were talking about. We got at the place where we were going to stay for the next week, we threw our suitcases in the suites and went for a dinner in some park full of oriental restaurants and clubs. There for first time I tried the best salad ever. It is called “Tabuleh” and it is made of parsley, small pieces of tomato and some special Arab spices. Since then, this is one of my favorite salads. On the next day, we visited the so called inside hotel shopping centre. Actually, the place was so huge that everyday we had a walk there when we had free time around the hotel and everyday we found something new. Inside the mall, there were shops of all the famous fashion designers and as well the brilliance was present there as well. Around every place for rest such as bars and restaurant, it was full of plants and fountains. For another time I was impressed, and still this was one small part of what we saw in Dubai.
The famous built islands in the shape of palms were an amazing human proof of capabilities and creativity. The one we visited was called Palm Jumeirah and there we saw fascinating hotels which had their own aqua parks, jungles around their lobby bars, aquariums with different animals, shopping malls and every other entertainment a human can imagine. The highest building in the world is also placed at this city. It is called Burj Dubai, which means Dubai Tower and its height is 818 meters (2,684 ft.) In addition the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab is another unique creation of architecture and engineering. There were thousands of skyscrapers which reminded me of New York, each one with amazing architecture, but still some were in process of developing.
The most adventurous experience I had there was the safari. We spent one whole day devoted to life in the dessert. We got on the jeeps, without knowing what was expecting us. The drivers were totally insane. They started the powerful engines and began to climb the sand hills. Then, the vehicles were moving up and down the mounts, on the tiny top so that we felt like we would turn over. Honestly, I was scared, but for sure not the only one, because the boys sitting next to me were screaming together with me, holding each other tight. After this adventure, we fetched up in a camp where camels, oriental food and dances expected us for the whole evening. We enjoyed the dinner, the show and the clean air, away from the skyscrapers and the traffic jams. While I was taking pleasure in sitting on the sand under the clear sky in the middle of nowhere, I though how wonderful is Dubai. The people there succeeded to combine nature and civilization in unique and impressive way.
When I came back to Bulgaria, I realized that the United Arab Emirates were a fascinating country, where the main goal was to create distinctive world that would impress all people on Earth.
Here is some additional information for Dubai.