AUBG DAILY FALL 2021 OWL THE NEWS Vol. 3, Issue 1 Mental Health at AUBG By Ilina Stoyanova Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic many people have started experiencing mental health issues. It seems that we cannot catch a break. The Fall 2021 semester at AUBG was supposed to be the beginning of the return to normalcy. And in a sense it was. Lectures could be attended onground and students clubs could hold their events in-person, albeit with the requirement of a green certificate. Students should have felt the spirit of AUBG once again, but this was not the case. For many, this has been the toughest semester they have ever had to endure. Still, some of the mental health concerns among students date back even before the pandemic started. Sabina Wien, the Dean of Students, said that AUBG can always do better in its promotion of mental health. She believes that students should voice their concerns if they are not happy with something - if they do not speak up it will lead to more mental health issues. While some students have acknowledged the efforts of the Psychology club in relation to raising awareness about mental health, they think that the university as an institution is not doing enough. Here is what some of them had to say (responses are kept anonymous per students’ wishes). “I honestly found out that there is a psychologist this semester. There is a wide room for improvement. I do not feel as if AUBG is truly supporting my positive mental state.” Another student added “I don’t think the university is doing anything to promote mental health. I’ve never seen a campaign, or informational posters or any piece of information about how students can deal with mental health.” Rayna Tuzlukova-Vetsova is the only psychologist of the university, which is not enough for an institution the size of AUBG. Before the pandemic, there were peer counselors who helped out. Both Dean Wien and Prof. Harvey, Assistant Professor of Psychology at AUBG, mentioned them, noting that they were trained to talk to undergraduates. Some students are not sure whether the psychologist can help them if they are in need of professional help. “I know that there is a psychologist, who I believe is a good person but I honestly do not know how helpful she is. I had professional encounters with her but they have not given me the confidence that she can handle me if I go there with my struggles.” The psychologist herself, Tuzlukova-Vetsova, declined to be interviewed. Dean Wien feels that in many cases students do not know that they need to talk to a counselor. She noted that many have started crying while talking to her. She believes that crying is helpful. “It is ok to be crying, it is ok to say I need help. In some countries, people show off that they have a personal counselor,” she said. Both Dean Wien and Prof. Harvey have noticed a change in the behavior of students. Dean Wien believes that everyone has changed as this is a stressful situation, from which there is no escape. Prof. Harvey agreed and added that it is also the end of the semester and the beginning of winter. He noted that he is more worried than he usually is as these are unprecedented times. “At this point of the semester students are always stressed out and there are some who you can tell are doing ok, get their assignments in on time. Then there are others who have not turned in assignments. Those are the ones I worry about. And I do see more of that this semester,” he said. “Students seem to be much more tired, much less motivated, especially at this time of the year than they have been in the past. You know, they just seem weird, but I also see them working hard to keep up their energy levels,” he added. This semester has been really tough. This is felt not only by the students, but also by the administration and faculty. Everyone is getting tired of the pandemic as it has affected

every sphere of life. The community also lost one of its own. Dean Wien knew more about the case and had a hard time dealing with it. She stated that the university wanted to spare students the information since the administration realized that students were more sensitive this semester. The loss of a fellow AUBG student was also hard to accept for many others. “I remember feeling like…for such a long time, thinking how it could have easily been a person I know, since I’ve heard people I know contemplating doing what our colleague did,” a student commented. Prof. Harvey admitted that he is as stressed as everybody else because he has too much to do. He is trying to maintain good mental health and believes that other professors are available to talk. Some of the interviewed students agree with this claim and said that they are satisfied with most of their professors. However, a big part of the student body does not feel this way. They thought that the semester would have been the ‘back to normal’ one. Students believe that they are unable to function normally because of two things – the pandemic and the restrictions which go with it and online education. “I know many people who feel socially anxious, overwhelmed with all the changes and unfortunately, struggling with their mental health. And so am I. I have started panicking before delivering a presentation, no matter online or on ground. I have lost the joy of being in this community and I am fighting every day to get my old self back,” a student said. Others share a similar view. “This semester has made me angrier than I usually am. I am still trying to figure out for myself why this emotion is overtaking me and how to deal with it. I absolutely regret taking two out of the five courses I am taking. I have always managed to find something good in courses and professors but these two I absolutely can’t bear,” another student added. “It is extremely discouraging to see that your beginner level course is expecting proficiency and the professor is not giving you enough motivation or resources to improve.” Some students even feel that professors do not care that much about them and believe that professors should have organized this semester in a different way, without putting such a burden on undergraduates. Students think that their workload has been excessive and have complained of being extremely tired. “Now that we’re online they overwork us to the point of exhaustion, simply because we supposedly have so much free time that it would be best to spend it doing meaningless work and assignments. I am so burned out I can hardly find the motivation to finish my assignments.” Others feel stressed out by the fact that they have to be with their camera on in classes all the time. They have also not been comfortable with all the regulations regarding eagles, lions and the green pass certificate, which was introduced during the course of the semester. “This semester has been the most stressful one, not only for me, but also for my friends. These non-stop changes and expectations that we had to cover really drove me crazy. I am crying, I am losing my desire to talk to people, I am tired, I can’t take it anymore,” a student said. Every person has a different way of taking care of their mental health. The interviewed people all gave some suggestions. “Talk to people that you don’t usually talk to. Talk to experts. Talk, talk, talk. Keep talking. Get advice. Get help. Scream if you have to,” Dean Wien said. Prof. Harvey believes that going to a counselor is not the only choice. “Try doing the following: learn meditation techniques, exercise, give yourself mental health break days or break times. Talk with friends about stressors in your life and laugh about them,” he said. 2 Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily Students also shared their ways of coping. Some take care of their physical body by running, dancing, and going to the gym. Others read books and take study breaks where they go for a walk or talk to their friends. Other methods include meditating, crystal work, and time spent in nature away from technology. “I try to take time for myself and continue doing what I love to do despite all that I have to do for the university. I have decided that I am ready to sacrifice my GPA in order to preserve my mental health,” a student declared. Students gave their suggestions on how the university can improve the overall mental health situation on campus. They all agreed that there need to be more psychologists available. Another way of promoting mental health is by launching a campaign with informational posters. The university can also invite guest speakers to show methods of dealing with stress. Furthermore, there could be some kind of initiative where faculty members and students exchange positions for a week. The last idea presented by students is to have activities on campus that allow people to relax and gather as a community more often. This could include meditation classes and yoga once a week at the sports hall. Dean Wien said that the university will do more and try to improve the counseling services by making them better known for students. AUBG will look for help not only from the Marketing office, but from students as well. She acknowledges that the offerings have to be diversified and students should have more available resources. It remains to be seen whether the university will, in fact, respond to its students’ concerns.

“Cappuccino and cinnamon. Simple as that. Doesn’t take much of your time and you can have it daily. The people who know me will tell you that I have this every day as my afternoon “booze”. I have turned the habit of drinking cappuccino with cinnamon into a ritual even when I am studying for a course because I am truly enjoying myself. When the stress is on a higher level, I recommend wine, though.” - Iva Valova, Senior “I like to put on my headphones, listen to music and mind my own business. I just turn off the world around me and chill.” - Yoanna Kostakieva, Senior “Sleep, do musicals, order food and thriftshop.” - Hayley Ngoc Mai, Senior “I started working out a couple of weeks ago and it really helps me get the physical tension out. When it comes to mental stress, having a good laugh with friends is what keeps me sane.” - Maria Fylyppova, Junior “I just like to lay down, literally that is my way of coping with stress.” - Dimitar Palazov, Senior “I go for walks, gather with friends for a drink or just a chat.” - Georgi Georgiev, Senior “I de-stress by listening to music, taking Emiliyana Kancheva for Fine Acts long,hot showers, declutter my stuff, put my lights on, pop the kettle on for a cuppa and watch a nice romantic movie. With that being said, choosing a movie that I know I will enjoy stresses me out as well, so I usually opt for a documentary or YouTube video.” - Aleksandra Boneva, Sophomore “Music and video games really help me. Also going for walks.” - Stefan Genev, Senior Leonardo Souza for Fine Acts “The way I de-stress from all the pressure in life, in university, in work, and in my personal life too is by taking the time for myself to reflect on what has happened to me during the day or the week, maybe even during the month. I apply some breathing Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily 3 whenever I manage to fit it in my schedule, or just the unhealthy habit of a late night beer with my friends.” - Radoslav Naydenov, Senior “When I’m stressed I usually feel the need to do something with my hands. I sew, draw, write, or do something after which I can see the final product (even if it’s ugly). Going for a walk, exercising, or reading a good book are also helpful sometimes.” - Radina Damyanova, Circulation/Reserve Librarian walks, spending time with friends, watching shows and spending time on TikTok.” - Niko Long, Sophomore “Eat a lot. Go for a walk sometimes. Facetime my family and my friends. Go to the front desk and just annoy whoever is on duty. Sometimes cooking. Visit the Admissions office and have a coffee. Talk with the guards.” - Ayah Besaiso, Senior “Self-care is my go-to. I love to take techniques. I make sure to have my peace of mind by working out, dancing, talking to my friends, and releasing all of the negative energy that has been going on for a while. I just try to take this little bit of time everyday no matter how stressful things are at the moment.” - Lilia Tsarska, Senior “Watch a series or a movie. Also, singing, dancing and music.” - Maria Terzieva, Sophomore “I would always go for a workout,

By Ethan Perelstein By the time the UK had gone under total lockdown on March 26, 2020, Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral had a full COVID-19 unit with no beds to spare, with patients dying of COVID-19 regularly. Healthcare workers were physically and mentally exhausted. Many Britons, who were at home and had no exposure to the crisis, were not aware that the war was being waged in the hospitals. Roselynn Campbell, however, did know. She worked at home, but her flatmate was a nurse in the COVID ward at Arrowe Park. “She would come home every day crying because her patients would be dying,” Roselynn said. “I had a cushy job. I’d sit at home and work in the kitchen while she would be at work doing twelve-hour shifts, exhausted with her face bruised.” These face bruises became common amongst healthcare workers who had to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and safety glasses for long shifts. By May, Roselynn had been seeing the toll that the epidemic was taking on the country. She had lost her brother to COVID-19. Then, when Roselynn got an offer to partake in the early trial stages for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, she took it. “It was kind of a non-brainer. I had seen firsthand the death,” she said. Roselynn had many great reasons to want to participate in the trial, but not all of them were personal. Roselynn at her office. Ethan Perelstein for AUBG Daily. “There was a lot of a national effort, a bit like the war in the UK. Everyone was helping everyone, volunteering. ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS’ (National Health Service) was the motto.” The COVID-19 crisis was the single greatest threat to the UK since World War II and Roselynn felt the same patriotic duty to help that Britain was famous for during the war. She was one of the first people to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. She also had to travel and give blood regularly for the study. Often she had to have her blood drawn by her housemate because there were no appointments at the hospital. When she came to Bulgaria to teach at the English Language Institute (ELI) at AUBG, she had to get one of the Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines approved by the state in order to teach. Roselynn had two Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) vaccine doses in October 2021. With five vaccinations and first hand exposure to the gravity of the pandemic situation, Roselynn is a strong advocate for the vaccine in a country whose people are highly reluctant to get it. “Just do it,” she said. “Even if it doesn’t save your life, it could save the people around you. There are some people who can’t be vaccinated, so getting vaccinated can help protect them as well.” Roselynn assures her students and her coworkers that getting the vaccine is safe. She has had two different shots five times since the beginning of the pandemic. “I am still standing,” she said. “I would rather feel ill for a few days than be one of the patients in my housemate’s hospital beds.” “As immune as she is, Roselynn has no fear licking the windows of her office at ELI.” Ethan Perelstein for AUBG Daily. 4 Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily

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“Sofia in My Eyes” from “In My Eyes” short story collection by Dulamsuren Amarsanaa Sofia in green. Sofia in white. Uncommonly beautiful on their own. Racing heartbeats of July, now sounds melancholic in the spooky corner of December. Yet, in my mind Sofia stuck in its warm red color, evoking the feeling of serenity and liveliness. I remember this was the middle of October. Another sudden decision of mine brought me to Sofia. No wallet, no purse. Only twenty levs in my pocket, which was not more than purchasing a bus ticket. And of course, a camera in my hand. What else is needed for this random trip? I was heading somewhere I didn’t know. I was looking for people, for those eyes that carried a secret that I wanted to know. The camera in my hand witnessed these ephemeral moments. One click, and a story was built. I heard someone shout at me from my right side “Hey, hey!” I turned back and saw a boy sitting on the bench waving at me. “Take my picture!” the boy said and posed for the camera. While I was walking along the square in front of the National Palace of Culture, I realized that I haven’t been in a place with this many carefree faces at once. They were absorbed by one common thing. It was autumn. It was the warmth visiting the golden hour; the falling red leaves giving away their lives for the new ones, the old air travelling slowly through the street. *** Martin points at the camera. Oct. 19, 2021. NDK, Sofia One of the most beautiful aspects of photographing is that I get to see a small glimpse of someone’s life, of who they are. People are the same at any time, but different all the time depending on the thoughts and intentions they carry. First, I observe, then I imagine their lives, who they might be, what they have gone through. Endless colors of imagination fill my mind, but I don’t know what their minds are dancing to. A lady finds the best place to relax under the sun of the golden hour. Oct. 19, 2021. NDK, Sofia. 6 Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily

I saw these old people sitting modestly on the bench. An old man looked nervous trying to talk to someone on the phone, while his wife (presumably) was talking to him at the same time. Moving to the right, the grandma in brown was full of suspicion of me. She noticed that my camera was towards them and said something to her friend on her left in a green jacket. However, her friend did not reply to her. Instead, she was keeping her eye on me. It was not me this time but somebody else was the one who observed. My camera was brave, so I captured it. Elders chatting to each other and sitting on a long bench. Oct. 19, 2021. NDK, Sofia. An old and young couple sitting next to each other. Oct.19, 2021. NDK, Sofia. Another story, different eyes staring at me What can you tell from these eyes that he owns, from the wrinkled skin that he wears? The sorrow that he hides, the pain that he feels is all him. The love that he admires, the dreams that he believes in is him. Something rebellious, something deep about this sight. Yordan Voshtinarov, a man who loved to experiment by putting together the landscape of two different places. His favorite mix was Japanese and Bulgarian nature. He knew a lot, more than I could imagine. He has never been to the places he draws but he believes he will visit them one day. Until then he will be relentlessly creating his own version of these places. A girl sitting alone under the sunlight in the background of two old ladies walking on the square. Oct. 19, 2021. NDK, Sofia. An old man, Yordan Voshtinarov, stands in front of his paintings and looks straight at the camera. Oct. 19, 2021. NDK, Sofia. The photos of these people become even more meaningful after the small conversations we have. I believe that I intertwine my own life with others at least for a moment. Luckily, I have been rewarded for capturing a part of their personality that was revealed to me. This kind of autumn day in Sofia, now seems to disappear until next year. Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily 7

By Tsvetina Georgieva The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives in almost every possible aspect. While it brought some benefits to the economic market, it presented a significant number of challenges to other sectors. The changes had an impact on the healthcare system, the governance of different countries, and their social policies. The educational system and career opportunities are no exceptions to this trend. Both faced some serious challenges, although there may also be a positive insight to the whole pandemic situation. For the last two years, students in Bulgaria have been bouncing between going to school and studying online. They have experienced a number of challenges during their online education like Internet issues, headaches, and the lost emotional connection to their peers and teachers. “COVID-19 made children’s lives sad,” said Boryana Shalyavska, Director of Admissions at AUBG. “It created the impossibility of meeting people face to face and making warm connections with them. Students are constantly in front of their screens and thus lose the real connection with other human beings.” The pandemic not only prevented people from having normal human relations but also affected the students’ motivation to study. Being at home, teenagers quickly lose attention and do not study the same way as in the classrooms. They do not have direct contact with their teachers undermine the importance of participation in online classes. “Many students participate in classes and other initiatives but are not active because everything happens online. The level of engagement is lower, and students are not as active as before,” Shalyavska said. Because everything happens at the click of a mouse, the application process to university has become easier. “It has become easier for the students to apply as everything happens online. From last year on, the application for financial support was also made online,” Shalyavska said. Prospective AUBG students can even receive free access to a Duolingo English Test. The opportunity to go to Blagoevgrad and take a free TOEFL exam has now turned into a free 8 Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily Duolingo test. “It is easier as it is entirely online. It allows people to attend it from everywhere if they have Internet access, a camera, and a microphone. This permits us not to organize an on-ground event during the pandemic. What is more, between 18 and 25 percent of the students who enroll at AUBG have taken the Duolingo test,” Shalyavska said. The easing of the application process has resulted in a gradual growth of the number of applicants admitted to AUBG, as the Institutional Research Resources suggests. It gives regular reports on data collection and statistics, as well as special reports on numerous ongoing information requests. They also conduct various surveys for the university’s needs in assessment and planning. The Institutional Research Resources used to be a separate office but now, Evelina Terzieva, Education Technology and Integration Coordinator at AUBG, executes its tasks. “I stepped into the role of Institutional Research in addition to my regular duties in the e-learn office in Spring 2020. Shortly afterward, in early March 2020, we were forced to shift online because of COVID-19. My priority was to facilitate the smooth transition to online learning. Since then, I have been dealing with supporting e-learning during the time of COVID,” Terzieva said. and usually According to the Institutional Research, last year, AUBG admitted 85% of applicants, four percent more than in the 2018-2019 academic year. The admission rate has risen, but the enrollment rate has significantly fallen by 15% in the last two years. “This year, we have admitted 286 girls and 251 boys. Nevertheless, we have 132 girls and 108 boys enrolled,” Shalyavska said. Neither the drop in the enrollment rate nor the pandemic had bad consequences for the career opportunities an AUBG alumnus receives. “The type of education AUBG provides makes students very competitive in the labor market in general,” said Rumyana Hristova, the AUBG Career Center Coordinator. “The number of career opportunities did not decrease in the fields our students graduate in.” The 2018-2019 Institutional Research Resources defines Information Technology (IT) literacy as well as abilities to work in a multicultural environment and to learn from mistakes as the most important skills an AUBG graduate should have to find a better job. Since the labor force has moved to the online sphere, the skills to work in a multicultural environment do not weigh the same as two years ago. Working online, however, requires young people to have other skills in order to do their jobs properly. “The most important skill is the academic knowledge a student gains at AUBG. Of course, together with some essential personal skills like good time management, effective communication skills, ability to work in a team, some essential technical skills will be a strong advantage,” Hristova said. COVID-19 may have changed and hindered the interpersonal connections, but it has created an easier and faster way of applying for a job without adding other requirements. “The pandemic did not have a negative influence on the job requirements. It actually offered more flexibility in terms of a fixed location,” Hristova said. Candidates do not have to go to a certain place to have their interviews. Similar to how prospective AUBG students can take the English test at any location of their preference, job applicants can sit in their sofas at home and still get the chance to speak to their future employers. “I believe that the pandemic brainstormed new ideas of operation in different areas which in the long-term can be considered as new opportunities which will stay for good,” Hristova said. Milena Simeonova for Fine Acts.

freedom to be themselves and express themselves in so many ways.” -Lilia Tsarska, Senior “My small theatre community which I really love and appreciate.” -Dimitar Palazov, Senior “My friends. These are people who are trustworthy, responsible and kind. I believe that AUBG attracts a certain type of open-minded, highly motivated and driven people who I know will be successful in life, no matter what they decide to do in the future. After all, the secret ingredient of the university is the people that represent it and all the students who graduate and leave a trace later on.” -Iva Valova, Senior “I think as cliche as it sounds, it’s the community and the people. However, you never really understand it’s value and definition until you’ve lived and experienced it for 4 years. In addition, it’s also the place, the maintenance guys blowing the leaves under my window at 9am, the cleaning ladies talking on the phone with their grandchildren in front of my room, the loud nights of skapto, the thrill of going to tell people to keep it down after quite hours, and of course the excitement before every club event. This is AUBG at its core.” -Ayah Besaiso, Senior “For me AUBG is another world, where “The everything is possible if you are active throughout the years and constantly seeking to improve. It is about being different and not being ashamed of that.” -Yoanna Kostakieva, Senior “For me AUBG is the Bulgaria I want to live in - it gives me hope for the future being surrounded by motivated and ambitious individuals each on different journeys.” -Aleksandra Boneva, Sophomore “The social and active people.” -Hayley Ngoc Mai, Senior “The community is what defines AUBG. Professors knowing you personally and addressing you by name, friends from various standings and countries, and friendly staff make AUBG a special place.” -Maria Fylyppova, Junior “The wide range of diversity, in a sense that people with so many different interests come to this place, joined all together, and somehow they find their strength and weaknesses and help each other, and at the same time they have the whole community, the whole environment that is here. You feel like you are surrounded by friendly people, and people who want you to succeed.” -Georgi Georgiev, Senior “To me, AUBG is all about diversity and the alliance of people of different backgrounds and nationalities.” -Niko Long, Sophomore “AUBG used to be the community and the clubs, the movement inside of the campus, but even though I’m still here, I can mostly relate it to memories. It just does not feel the same. The pandemic washed quite a bit of it away.” -Radoslav Naydenov, Senior “Clarity, peace of mind.” -Maria Terzieva, Sophomore “AUBG is the place where I can do the job I love. AUBG is the people. AUBG is this friendly, inspiring, lively atmosphere.” -Radina Damyanova, Circulation/Reserve Librarian Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily 9

“It touches a lot on sexuality and different aspects of what a traditional relationship should be like. The two main characters are in a very weird open relationship, and I try to put more emphasis on these things, I try to convey that the things we are showing are ok and normal,” Boris says. By Alexander Stamatov Nearly two years have passed since the COVID-19 outbreak started, and in those two years, the Broadway Performance Club (BPC) has not been able to perform musicals. In the 2021/2022 academic year, BPC has planned to break the two-year streak of no performances with the musical Cabaret, directed by Boris Dechev, a senior student at AUBG. There is no specific date yet, but it is expected to premiere at the end of March/ beginning of April, 2022. The music for Cabaret was written by John Kander, the lyrics by Fred Ebb, and the book by Joe Masteroff in 1966. It was adapted from the “I Am a Camera” play by John Van Druten. The story is set in the 1930s in Berlin, Germany, as the Nazi rise into power. The action takes place in the Kit Kat nightclub. As a period of change in a social, political and cultural way, the musical shows how people turn to the underground nightlife as an escape, which usually involved much prostitution. “It is specifically about how we as people, sometimes instead of confronting the issue at hand, doing something about it, and fighting for what is right and what is meaningful for us. We instead do not do anything and ignore the problem because we think it is going to solve itself, but in the end, it does not,” Boris says. that the time is perfect for a musical such as the Cabaret to hit the stage because of its social message and meaningfulness. “I think it is a great statement, especially in these difficult times where we are struggling with something big like the pandemic, which is causing political and social instability, and it is similar within the musical. There is this thing that musicals are usually seen as this fun, dancing, singing, and party mood, but there are a lot of musicals which have that great balance between the fun stuff and have sad, meaningful messages, and this is such a musical,” Boris says. One of the struggles they faced during the auditions was to find male actors and singers, but they were surprised by the general interest in the musical. “The musical has been sort of inactive for the past two years because of COVID, and we did not have huge expectations. We thought that people would not be as excited about the musical anymore, but when we started, we saw so many people hyped about the entire process,” Boris shares. In the end, they gathered a full cast of people and started the rehearsals. All the directors gather for meetings to discuss what impression they want the musical to ultimately give to people. Still, Boris leaves room for the actors’ creativity: Elizabeth Ivanova as Sally. Prolet Boneva for AUBG Daily. whatever she wants to, and she also has this very interesting self-defense mechanism where she traps herself in a little bubble of happiness which helps her to evade reality,” Elizabeth says. As a person who has never worked in a nightclub, it is hard for Elizabeth to portray someone who does. That is in terms of the way Sally carries herself, the body language and all the sexuality that she conveys. Still, Elizabeth has found similarities with Sally regarding her emotional experiences. She can deeply relate to what Sally is going through and her goal to achieve happiness with her partner, which is something that she never manages to do in the musical. Boris not only directs the musical, but will also be on stage portraying the role of Emcee. The character of Emcee has only music numbers in the performance. Even though he is not part of the acting scenes, his presence on the stage is very powerful. The two most famous characters in Cabaret are Sally Bowles and Emcee. Elizabeth Ivanova, a junior student at AUBG, will portray Sally, the leading female role, in the upcoming musical. Sally is one of her favorite characters in the whole musical. “She is very fiery, she is everywhere, she does A Broadway Performance Club rehearsal. Prolet Boneva for AUBG Daily. BPC’s choice for a musical is a complex and challenging process that takes place during the summer before the academic year. Some aspects that influence the decision are whether the musical has an interesting plot and is easy to advertise, as well as whether it has the opportunity for dances. At the end of the summer, they were left with a couple of options, but Cabaret seemed to strike a perfect balance between all the important elements. Not only that, but BPC also thinks 10 Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily “I ask actors to do it as they feel it, and then I see how things look and try to adjust things so that it fits with the idea that we have already.” Boris loves the part of the work process when an actor or director gives something of his own to the piece. As a musical written in the 1960s, Boris says that it can feel a little bit outdated, so he tries to give something of himself to the musical to modernize it. Boris Dechev in character. Prolet Boneva for AUBG Daily.

“He is probably the most scandalous figure in the whole musical, the most provocative because he has sexual interactions with literally everybody on stage. He also wears quite interesting outfits. If we have to interpret his role and place in the musical, he is used to portraying the ugliness and mock the terrible things that the Nazis bring. Also, to convey the social and political message through mockery, fun, jokes, and entertainment,” Boris says. He thinks that there are more similarities than differences character. between him and his “I also like to think of myself as a provocative person that tries to change something in people’s mentality and how they think about things that are stigmatized, through provocativeness and showing them explicitly and graphically, and talking about them directly to the person’s face. That is what Emcee does, but in a much more entertaining way through song and dance,” he shares. “A horror movie. You never know what assignment is waiting for you behind the corner and which professor you will see when you look behind yourself. The same refers to Zoom lecturers as well. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. And every horror movie ends with “To be continued…” scenario or an open ending. Just like AUBG never says “goodbye” to its alumni and they keep on coming back on occasion.” - Iva Valova, Senior “Brooklyn 99. It’s a comedy show, I’m the police, and you learn something new everyday and there is always and constantly something “Considering everything around AUBG - fun moments with friends, partying, finals, deadlines, etc., I would say “Squid Game” because we are all trying to survive here and have fun at the same time.” -Yoanna Kostakieva, Senior “Modern Family because at the end of every episode (semester) we have learned and grown some more and we can’t recognise the freshman versions of ourselves.” -Aleksandra Boneva, Sophomore “Friends. I feel like we’re all just young adults trying to figure things out and get ahead and be there for each other on the way.” -Hayley Ngoc Mai, Senior “Inception because I’m asleep half the time. Or Tenet cause I don’t have enough time to do stuff.” -Stefan Genev, Senior “We would be in Interstellar - only hope for a better future keeps us moving.” -Maria Fylyppova, Junior “I suppose, it may sound very cliche, but it would be like a teenage drama or a highschool drama where people go to university and they “AUBG would be The Breakfast Club because The Breakfast Club is about a group of different teenagers who come together in school and AUBG is about people of different nationalities and backgrounds coming together. ‘ -Niko Long, Sophomore “Trying to stay apart from my car guy mentality, I would say the Fast and the Furious 8. Why? It was a big hit, expectations were high, the family part is already washed away, the sequels seem to be falling in numbers.” -Radoslav Naydenov, Senior “Not a movie but I feel “The Great” (series) suits it. It’s quirky, full of profanities and sex jokes but also weirdly weird. Plus, it describes Slavs.” -Maria Terzieva, Sophomore “Since my day one here I somehow feel the resemblance with the Harry Potter books/ series. I know it may sound trivial, but especially at the library or just during the fall season you can definitely sense that vibe.” -Radina Damyanova, Circulation/Reserve Librarian have their love affairs, so, some rom-com. If not I would say some futuristic or maybe sci-fi movie even because we are very different from the rest of Bulgaria’s universities.” -Lilia Tsarska, Senior “If it were a TV show I would say that it would be Grand Army , it is on Netflix, you can watch it guys it is an amazing and really underrated show.” going on. It’s never boring here, unless it’s spring semester 2020 during the first lockdown.” -Ayah Besaiso, Senior -Dimitar Palazov, Senior “American Horror Story” -Georgi Georgiev, Senior Fall 2021 | AUBG Daily 11

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