12 years ago I finished the kindergarten. The end of the great entertainment, playing games all day, sleeping every afternoon … the end of the really carefree life.
It was time for school, education and socialization with others. I had to prepare myself. In fact, it was my mom who was preparing me and thinking about all the things that should be bought – textbooks, notebooks, backpack, pencils, chemicals, all kinds of accessories. I was just expected to go to school and write my homework.
The first three years of this period I studied in one of the best High Schools in Vidin – my home town. Honestly, I do not recall much of the education itself, but it is obvious that I have learned to write, read and calculate – the basic things that every person has to take control of. And I just want to say that during this period I went to English lessons and it was pretty easy for me to handle at school.
Then in 2008 we moved to the big city – Sofia, the capital. So everything changed.
In Bulgaria, children go to school for 12 years. The first 8 years are obligatory, after which the education can be interrupted, but it is not recommended. These 12 years are divided as follows: the first 4 – basic knowledge – calculus, reading, writing, facts about the history of Bulgaria, the environment, processes in nature and, of course, basic knowledge of English; Then 5th, 6th and 7th grade, with emphasis on Bulgarian language, history and mathematics, include subjects such as physics, chemistry, biology and geography. After the 7th grade, the children hold exams to show their knowledge and apply for the results of the exams in elite high schools in different spheres. There are many schools in Sofia and children have a great choice – cooking, hairdressing, computers, machines, tourism, economy, languages.
In the 7th grade I was still a child who did not understand what was happening. I was studying English and Spanish, but the Spanish was easier for me. Thereupon I did not know that at the school you were going to after the 7th grade you would start learning a foreign language from the alphabet itself and that is why I applied to a Spanish school (sometimes I’m sorry because I could study at an English High School and thus I could now master that language , But ‘C’est La Vie’).
This follows the last 5 years of each child’s educational period. During these 5 years, I learned a lot of things that are not only about school subjects.
During the first year we mainly studied Spanish, Bulgarian and mathematics. The following year, all subjects were in Spanish – history, chemistry, physics, biology, only the geography was in Bulgarian. The aim was to practice our vocabulary and learn as many phrases and words as possible in Spanish.
In the coming years with the change of many teachers, the process of language learning has become more and more difficult. So up to the 12th grade. The time at which each student chooses his second compulsory exam (the first one is Bulgarian). I chose Spanish as easier than other subjects – chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, geography, etc. Last year our teacher was the director of the school, but unfortunately she got sick severely, which led to many absences. So the first term we almost did not learn anything. In the second term, another teacher taught us. The woman initially seemed strange to me, and I was wondering whether I would be personally prepared for this final test. Having in mind our loud class, the inattention of almost everyone … I decided to talk to her and ask her for extra hours. So in the beginning of April, 2017 I began to go to private, completely free lessons with her. About a month and a half we did all the exams from past years, plus additional materials. She explained a lot of things to me about grammar, timing, different constructions, additional vocabulary, complex words – she prepared me perfectly for the exam (I’m still waiting for the results of the two exams – fingers crossed ).
For the first compulsory exam – Bulgarian language and literature, I totally thank a friend of mine who gave me the materials, explained some things to me and gave me advices. You are that girl Vicky! Thank you! The exam itself includes 41 questions. The first part aims to see grammar knowledge – spelling, punctuation and vocabulary. Then there are questions related to the literature of the 11th and 12th grade (15 authors – 95 works) – characters, storyline, genre. The last task is the hardest to say. A volume of up to 4 pages should be written on a given topic from these 95 works. There are many important components and things that need to be written, structure, themes, problems, motives in the work itself. Vicky gave me a lot of stuff, explaining things to me that I did not understand, and so this test of difficulty has turned out to be quite easy for me.
So the education in Bulgaria is combined with many test, homeworks, subjects, information that sometimes I wonder if I need to know it at all but most importantly these 12 years have given me many examples and have taught me many things. I constantly rediscovered myself, learned new things about the world and the people. I learned how to study, how to train my memory, how to have fun, how to dress and do my makeup, how to recognize the truth, how to make friendships but most of all how to be a human.
The last year at school gave me very valuable advice – friendship is a set of trust, desire, faith, and understanding. When the negativity and the passion for ‘the first place’ are settle between them then everything is over.
To be continued…