Monday, June 28, 2010

The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner...:)

Well, the title of today's post is actually the name of a wonderful Bulgarian movie I saw earlier this month /and about which I'll write more in a while;)/... It pretty much sums up the way I've been feeling lately - too much worries and stress in the last couple of weeks...:( And then - the enormous help, support and understanding I got from my family and friends...:) After feeling depressed for a while I'm slowly beginning to get back to my positive, optimistic self...:) And it feels great!!!:)

But let me see now what has happened in my life since the beginning of this month /seems like ages ago already;)/... The first June weekend /June 5th-6th/ was a very quiet and relaxing one, spent at home - just as I hoped...:) I even made it to see a movie - 'The Wolfman'... The movie itself was a total disappointment, though...:( I've always thought that Anthony Hopkins is a great actor so I simply can't understand why he has agreed to play in such a bad, stupid and disgusting movie...:(

On June 8th /Tuesday/ there was a performance at Vanyo's Kindergarten - the kids danced dances from various parts of the world... The final dance was a Bulgarian folk dance and my son took part in that one!!!:) He was sooo cute in his folk costume /you can see it in the picture:)/!!!:) And very confident and artistic at his performance, I must add!!!:)

On June 11th /Friday/ Minnie attended a party with her classmates. They celebrated the end of the school year.:) It was held at Club 'Plasma' /one of the most fashionable dance clubs in Plovdiv/ and my daughter had had a great time there - dancing non stop!!!:)

The following day /June 12th, Saturday/ hubby was at a conference in Sofia and as soon as he got back home he had to go out again - this time for a High School Reunion!!!:) He didn't get home till about 3 a.m. and he told me he has had lots of fun there!!!:)

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful...:) I saw the wonderful Bulgarian movie which almost made it to the Oscars - 'The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner' and I simply loved it!!!:) It was such a beautiful and touching story!!!:) Oh, and most of the scenes were shot in Karlovo /my hubby's birth town;)/ so we had lots of fun recognizing the familiar places while watching the movie!!!:)

On June 16th my daughter officially finished her 7th grade!!!:) And for a seventh year in a row she got 'excellent' 6 /the best mark in Bulgaria/ for all of her subjects - Bulgarian Language and Literature, Mathematics, English, History and Civilization, Geography and Economy, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Ecology, Biology and Health Education, Computer Technologies, Labour Education, Music, Art, Sports, CCS /Compulsory Chosen Subject/ Bulgarian, CCS Mathematics, CCS English and FCS /Freely Chosen Subject/ Mathematics. This school year was quite difficult and stressful, so we're all very proud of Minnie doing so well!!!:)

The weekend that followed /June 19th-20th/ was another quiet and relaxing one, spent at home... I saw 'From Paris with Love' which was a very entertaining movie, full of action...:) A bit predictable, though...:(

On June 24th came the results from the Plovdiv High Schools applications...:) It turned out that Minnie is accepted at the Ivan Vazov Language School /also known as 'The Russian Gymnasium' as the students there study Russian as a second foreign language/.:) It's one of the most prestigious schools in Plovdiv and we're all very happy that Minnie was accepted there!!!:) The class she got into is specialized in English but she can also choose a third foreign language /besides English and Russian/ if she wants...:) This is the school Minnie wanted most from those in Plovdiv but she still hasn't given up the idea of studying at the NGDEK in Sofia... So while all her classmates are enjoying their holidays, she is studying History for the entrance exam at the NGDEK /which should take place in the beginning of July/...:( I know I should be very proud of my determined daughter /and I am/ but sometimes I really wish she was less ambitious... Oh, well...

Last weekend was quite a movie weekend!!!:) I saw 'The Bounty Hunter' /I love Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston but their presence in the movie was not enough to make it worthwhile:(/, 'Brooklyn's Finest' /dark, touching, suspenseful, exciting - a wonderful police movie:)/ and 'Fame' /I have to confess that I haven't seen the original, so I had nothing to compare the remake with, which is probably a good thing... I generally liked it, even though it was a bit too slow and long in my opinion...:P/.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Exam period, a High School reunion and a Holiday of the Rose...:)

Yes, the last couple of days were very stressful for Minnie as she had to pass her exams then... Luckily the exam period is over now and she seems to have done a great job /as always:)/...

The first exam was on May 27th /Thursday/. It was Bulgarian Language and Literature... The first part /module/ of the exam lasted 60 minutes. It's a mature exam - consists of 25 questions about the material the kids have studied at Middle School in their Bulgarian Language and Literature lessons... Well, my daughter has obviously got two of the questions wrong /unfortunately one of those could have given her 6 points if she had answered correctly... but what could you do.../. The maximum she could get at this module is 65%.

The second module lasted 90 minutes /it started right after the first module was over/. It was the High School Entrance Exam. This was the difficult part - the children were supposed to retell a story /in written form/ from a book they haven't studied at school. They had to listen to the text, read it for 15 minutes and retell it... The story they had to retell was a bit tricky /a historical theme, full of archaisms and ancient names/, but I hope Minnie has made it nevertheless...:) She has always been good at writing and she used to practice a lot with my mum /who is a retired Bulgarian Language and Literature teacher/ so I'm not too worried about the result of this part of the exam... The maximum she could get at this module is 35%.

The English mature exam was on Friday, May 28th. It lasted 60 minutes. Minnie got 3 questions wrong /-1 point each/ out of 35, so not bad either...:)

The third exam was Maths /Monday, May 31st/. It also consisted of two parts /modules/. The first module was the mature exam. The kids had to solve 25 mathematical problems for 60 minutes /which meant that they had approximately 2,5 minutes for each problem:(/. Minnie got all of those correct!!!:) This means she has 65% /the maximum she could get for this module/!!!:)

The second module was the High School Entrance Exam. It lasted 90 minutes and the kids had to solve 5 mathematical problems which were much more complicated. Minnie is not very confident about the way she has solved them, but we'll see if she did well or not by June 11th /when the official results will be announced/. As with the Bulgarian Language and Literature Exam, the maximum she could get at this module is 35%.

The Social Sciences, Civil Education and Religion mature exam was on June 1st /Tuesday/. It lasted 60 minutes and consisted of 18 questions from the Geography and Economy lessons /Minnie got all of those correct/ and 18 questions from the History and Civilization lessons /Minnie got only one wrong there/.:)

The Natural Sciences and Ecology mature exam was yesterday /Wednesday, June 2nd/. It lasted 90 minutes and consisted of 15 questions from the Physics and Astronomy lessons /my daughter got only one of those wrong/, 15 questions from the Chemistry and Ecology lessons /only one wrong there as well/ and 15 questions from the Biology and Health Education lessons /Minnie got two of those wrong/...

To top it off, Minnie had to go to school on the days of the exams as well /except of when she had her Bulgarian Language and Literature and her Maths exam - those days were school-free:)/... On the day she had her English exam she even had to sit for a History test /the Roman Empire/ - fun, fun, fun...;)

Speaking of fun, on May 28th /Friday/ I attended a High School reunion. Actually I was the one who organized the whole thing this time...;) I met my ex-classmates at a very nice restaurant, called 'Classic'. We enjoyed delicious /and not expensive at all:)/ food, a couple of drinks and an interesting chat...:) We had such a good laugh remembering our school times!!!:) We stayed until midnight /and yes, we were the last ones to leave the restaurant;)/ and continued at a dance club called 'Brilliantine'...:) We had some more drinks there /vodka with black currant for me:)/ and danced until we were almost dead from exhaustion...:P I got home at 3 a.m. but felt so excited that I had a hard time falling asleep!!!:) All those who attended the reunion /we were 8 girls and 2 boys/ said that they have had a wonderful time and want us to meet again!!!:) Sure, why not?!;)

During the weekend we went to Karlovo to celebrate the Holiday of the Rose. As I've probably mentioned before, Karlovo is situated in the Valley of Roses. The roses growing in this valley are a special sort which is used for producing rose oil. Rose oil is very expensive and it's used both in cosmetics and medicine. Anyway, the Holiday of the Rose is one of the biggest events in Karlovo - there are rose-picking and rose oil producing demonstrations, concerts, theatre/folklore performances and even a 'Queen of the Roses' beauty contest...:) Unfortunately the weather was not perfect, but we still attended the event /I'll never forget watching some of the concerts and the fireworks in the pouring rain!!!;)/. The kids had so much fun!!!:)

This weekend will be much quieter but I don't mind it at all...;) I guess we'll just stay at home and relax...:) Minnie will probably start preparing for her History exam, though... It will take place in Sofia in the beginning of July... She wants to apply to the National Gymnasium of Ancient Languages and Cultures /NGDEK/ as she wants to study Latin, Ancient Greek, Ancient Bulgarian and lots of History... To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this ambition of hers... On one hand, it's one of the most prestigious schools in my country and my daughter would be very happy to study the subjects she loves if she gets accepted...:) But on the other hand, she will face a lot of difficulties living in a strange city /bigger than Plovdiv/ at such a young age...:( We should rent a flat /or at least a room/ for her which would mean extra expenses...:( Also, either my mother-in-law or my hubby should move to Sofia with her at least for the first school year... Somehow I think that the second option would be better for Minnie as Vlado would be able to drive her with our car, help her with her homework, projects, etc. But this would mean that I should stay in Plovdiv alone with Vanyo...:( So if Minnie gets accepted at the NGDEK, it would affect our whole family... As you can imagine, I'm not feeling at ease about the whole situation...:( But I'll keep my fingers crossed for Minnie and hope that no matter where she'll continue her education, she'll be happy and satisfied!!!:) Because she deserves it!!!:)