Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Discussion Topic #4:

Is there an aspect of identity in your culture that is shifting? Are there things you notice your generation doing differently than your parents’ generation? Things your class is doing differently than the classes at your school a few years ago?

To leave a comment, simply click on the "comments" button below this post, read the previous comments, and then add your own. Remember to sign your comment with your first name and your school. Thanks!

Image Source: Google Images. 10/16/09.

Blog Discussion Topic #3:

Identity Stereotypes... Do you come up against stereotypes concerning any aspects of your identity – your nationality, race, gender, class – in school or out, at home or away. Describe an experience or tell a story and try to analyze it a little bit.

To leave a comment, simply click on the "comments" button below this post, read the previous comments, and then add your own. Remember to sign your comment with your first name and your school. Thanks!

Image Source: Google Images. 10/16/09.

Blog Discussion Topic #2:

What do you give other people that act as expressions of your identity? These could be things you do, ways you speak, gifts you give, activities you participate in, what you wear, your attitude towards life…

To leave a comment, simply click on the "comments" button below this post, read the previous comments, and then add your own. Remember to sign your comment with your first name and your school. Thanks!

Image Source: Google Images. 10/16/09.

Blog Discussion Topic #1:

What is your understanding of home? What makes a place a home? What is unique about your home, what makes it specifically yours?

To leave a comment, simply click on the "comments" button below this post, read the previous comments, and then add your own. Remember to sign your comment with your first name and your school. Thanks!

Image Source: Google Images. 10/16/09.


For me, my country is the best place all over the world. Its nature, its climate makes her unique and makes the Bulgarians proud and happy that they are part of this nation. It is difficult for me to say which place I feel as my own home because wherever I go in Bulgaria I have the same feeling, being at home. My favorite place in Bulgaria is the Seven Rila Lakes. This is a group of beautiful lakes situated in the northwestern Rila Mountain. The lakes are one of most visited place in Bulgaria. They are situated between 2100- 2500m elevation above sea level. Each lakes carries a name associated with its most characteristic features. The highest one is called Sulzata (the tear) due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth.The second one is call Okoto ( the Eye) because of its perfect oval form. After that is the lake called Bubreka (the Kidney). Bliznaka (the Twin) is the largest one by area. The last three lakes are Trilistnika (The Trefoil), Ribnoto Ezero (The Fish Lake), and Dolnoto Ezero (The Lower Lake). From this place, you could see all Bulgaria. I have been there 5 or 6 times with my parents and my friends. When I go there, the Bulgarian pride in me increases and I feel Bulgarian more than ever. I really feel that I am at home. I will not forget the silence reigning there, the freshest air which I have ever breathed, and the wonderful landscape which makes my eyes happy. The beauty of the Seven Rila Lakes means home and gladness for me. The holiday days which I have spent there will rest in my heart and my mind forever and they will remind me who am I and from where I come. -Joan

For me, home is where I feel calm and happy. It is not necessarily a certain place in the world. It is just somewhere where I have no worries, no responsibilities and no one to tell me what I did wrong. There is no fear, no insecurity and no hatred. Partially, this is when I am with my family, at our house. Still, I do have worries, responsibilities and I do get remarks when I don’t do something right. I doubt that it exists as a place. I haven’t even dreamed of such a thing. However, sometimes when I succeed to kind of tear myself away from the world, the people who surround me and the tragedies that happed every day, I feel like I am home. For example, it has happened to me several times at night, just before I go to bed, I see that my whole room is lighted by the moon. I look out of the window and it is so beautiful. At that moment I think of nothing else but how happy I am. The same thing occurs on some cool mornings of late summer when the sun is up, but it is not hot yet. The cool air, the sun, the view. Everything is peaceful and makes you smile. That is what I call home. It is something I love and something I am striving toward every single day. -Silvia

Home in DC

The most obvious thing in my life that I consider home is my family. I have 20 aunts and uncles, and over 30 cousins. My family is huge; unfortunately I do have pictures of all of them. Family is “home”, because they have unconditional love, therefore they will always be there for me no matter what. In my collage there is also lots of color; color is what gives “home” emotions. I think that emotion is what makes an environment interesting. My favorite color is green, but my personality is more like orange. Orange is vibrant and joyful, and pretty much self explanatory. I love fashion, music, and art; without those three things, life would be so boring. I believe that art is “home”, because it allows me to express my feelings without having to say a word. Music and fashion is just one of the many forms of art. Expression is home to me because I like to feel comfortable in my skin, and having to express myself freely is one of my most appreciated privileges in the American society. Home to me is love and life; having an abundance of those two things makes my life very appreciated.
- Aquilla Braxton

My home is both great and perilous. This is a place of vast opportunity, yet great oppression amongst the under privileged. There are the sublime monuments, the noble buildings that run this country, and the Capitol of the US. There are a lot of great people here that have ties to world affairs like senators, special agents, and the president. But just like any where else in the world DC has its problems. There are the drugs, crimes, deaths, and gangs that plague DC and make living here perilous. Some people are just wicked here. The impoverished parts of DC are like another world. People get murdered all the time for saying the wrong thing to someone or even just walking down the street. Now days some people just pick up guns and kill each other to settle disputes instead of resolving their problems through a logical conversation. On top of that you have to literally worry about losing your life from just walking down the street because if you are walking down a street and a rival neighborhood that has animosity toward the street you’re waking down sees you they will just kill you on the spot even if they have never seen you before. Many of the kids around here grow up and join their neighborhood gangs and just kill each other because they live in different communities. The worst thing is that these neighborhood gangs victimize random people for fun. You can’t walk outside at night and it’s not a good idea to travel alone because these gangs thrive off of negativity. The deaths are what really make things surreal here. The kids grow up seeing death all of their lives. When some one gets killed in a neighborhood the little kids run to see the corpse as if they were going to see a fight in a sand box or something. Some of the kids grow up and think that this stuff is normal, so they follow in the foot steps of the wicked. They grow up, sell drugs, join gangs and die young. I have seen that happen many times and I know many people who have died living that life. Living in these conditions does not mean were a tough group of people, it just means we’re oppressed.



That’s my home; it’s both good and bad. Yet the best thing about living under these circumstances is that if you’re strong enough to resist the path of wickedness before you, you will come out a stronger person. The great person in the picture to the right is evidence of the great people living here and the picture to the left with the big building and dark surrounding shows how great but dark this city is.

- David Traynham

When I’m not home I spend most of my time out in places such as this—the city. I consider the city my home because once you walk around in it for so long you start to feel a part of it. When you walk around in the city it gives off a sense of importance because walking through a crowded city makes you feel like you really have somewhere to go and something to accomplish. But if you really have somewhere to go the city is not the quickest route (there’s always something happening)!

This is a picture of the subway. I really don’t consider this place a part of my home, but it always helps me get there. The subway to me is almost like an underground city itself because it’s always filled with people, and if it’s shut down for maintenance it messes up everyone’s day.

- Ryanne Moore

Monday, October 12, 2009


Home for me simply means Plovdiv. Plovdiv is the second biggest and populated city in Bulgaria and it is the place where I grew up. It used to be situated on 7 hills and people often refer to it as The City of Seven Hills. But unfortunately due to urbanization now we are left with only 4 of them. Nevertheless, the hills are still significant. They are the symbol of Plovdiv. No matter where you travel from and you go to Plovdiv as you approach it you can see the 4 mighty hills hanging above the valley. If you take a look from the sky you would see the houses and buildings scattered among them, looking tiny and unsignificant. Each of the hills has a special history. For example, on the top of the second biggest hill, a huge statue of a Russian soldier is built and it is looking toward Moscow, the capital of Russia. The biggest one is called The Hill of Youth, for many young people gather and spend their free time there. Another one is called The Old City, for on it the old houses of the people of Plovdiv remained untouched and it is like a museum. My parent’s house is situated on the foot of the second biggest hill, which is called “Bunardjik”. I hike on the top of it whenever I can, watching the sunsets or sunrises. Or I simply run on its roads for sport, or walk my dog, or drive my bike, or make long walks among its nature on deserted paths. Also, Plovdiv is the place where my friends are and where I belong. Plovdiv means home!

-Dimitar Drumev

The place I feel closest to home is the municipal region of Mladost in southeast Sofia. The American College in Sofia is also located in Mladost, Mladost #2 to be exact. Mladost is divided into several smaller regions ranging from 1a and 1b to 4. All my life I have lived in Mladost. It is the second biggest region in Sofia and yet I know it like the back of my hand - every little street and alley, every block and every playground. Although most would say it’s a dangerous place and some even go as far as saying that it’s a ghetto, since I knew a lot of the kids in Mladost when I was younger, I am never in any trouble. In fact, I feel the most secure here than anywhere else. All my life is connected to this place from the day I was born. It has its problems like every place does but I still love it and it will be hard for me to imagine living somewhere else. Currently the municipality has a flourishing economy so construction is going on everywhere. I am so used to Mladost, that sometimes when I’m away from Sofia, I feel like a big chunk of me is just not there. By the way, in Bulgarian the word ‘mladost’ (младост) means youth. Mladost will forever stay in my heart as a place I would call home and let’s face it, there’s no place like it! -Goran

For me, home is my grandmother’s hometown. It is a big town in Bulgaria called Pleven. Every time I visit my grandparents, I feel really happy and I feel the warmth all around me. I have lived in this town for a while before I started going to school and I am addicted to it. I miss this place all the time. Even though I am born in Sofia, I feel Pleven more close to me. Every time I go there I feel safe. I feel somehow protected. I know this city, as well as I know my hand. It is a special place with special characteristics. When I am there, I see the moon in a different way, the sun shines brighter, and the birds sing louder. I feel that this city is “alive”. I know its structure. I know every single person in our block and many people in the whole quarter. And all these people also contribute to the specialty of the city. Nothing really changes in this town. The streets, the blocks, the kinder gardens, the shops, the schools, the trees, even the grass smells the same way and the birds sing the same song. Everything there is cozy and the people are friendly. I have many friends there and even our friendship had stayed the same for all these years. Maybe I like this place so much, because I associate it with security and stability. Everything stays the same and never changes. And home is the place where you feel safe and secure isn’t it? I have traveled enough to understand that there is no other place where I feel that way. There is no other place like home…


For me home is a huge and spacious field. It is located near my village. Every summer we go there and stay for the long hot nights. We had a garage in front of the house and a tree next to it. Since my cousins and I learned how to climb on it, we started going there constantly. As I already mentioned in my previous letter, I am addicted to the sky. I like sitting on the garage and looking at the sun set above the field. The colors in which the sky is painted and the trees in the far away distance create such a beautiful picture. They make me dreaming and only good thoughts pop up in my mind. Everything around is so quiet and I can stare at the endless field for hours. Sometimes during the afternoon one shepherd and his sheep can be seen in the distance.

This field has gathered many memories. I remember running and chasing the lizards and flying a kite. Now everywhere I go and I see such field, all scenes return back to my head and I feel joyful and sad at the same time. -Lewbina