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The Formation of Stars - PowerPoint
The Battle of Stalingrad - Essay
Discovering the Hidden - Personal
Brockton - Short Story
Still Life of Coca-Cola Can
Self Portrait in Style of Edgar Degas
Formation of Stars - PowerPoint
Click the above link to view PowerPoint
I created this PowerPoint my Freshman year for my Acc.
Integrated Science class. It was actually one of the first PowerPoints
I constructed myself and I learned how to use PowerPoint.
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Battle of Stalingrad - Essay
I wrote this
essay when I was a sophomore in high school for my Honors World Civilization
class. It's a sort of summary of the World War ll Battle of Stalingrad
that took place in Russia. It was a really interesting subject and it
gave me a little insight as to what World War ll was.
The Battle of Stalingrad
On June 22, 1941 Germany along with its Axis allies invaded the Soviet
Union and made their way into deep Soviet land. The Russians made a
counter-attack with the Battle of Moscow and stopped the unprepared
German soldiers. The Germans were not equipped for the long winters
of Soviet territory and their extended supply lines. The Germans were
stopped before they could reach the capital city. By the spring of 1942,
the German army had steadied their front and plans for another attack
on Moscow were disregarded. The Germans feared the United States, which
had recently joined the war. The Germans believed in attacking when
and where the enemy least expected and the German army had been destabilized.
Many, especially Hitler, did not want to take the risk of another attack
on Moscow. Hitler also wanted to decrease the fighting on the Eastern
Front before the U.S. could get seriously engaged in the war. Because
of these problems, the German forces wanted new offensives in the north
and south USSR.
Making their way into southern Russian territory would provide the German
army with the possession of Caucasus oil and the Volga River, which
was an important transportation route for the Soviet Union. Hitler needed
the oil to support the army’s advancement. Hitler wanted to move
north to Moscow, towards the stationary Russian armies and crush new
war-industries that had risen. The summer offensive, named Fall Blau,
was scheduled to take place in May of 1942. During this attack, the
German forces wanted to capture the city of Stalingrad, completing the
left flank of the German force. The start of Fall Blau was delayed but
was aggressive. The Soviet armies did not challenge the German forces
and began spreading east in dismay, and the Germans continued their
victories. By the end July, the Soviets had been forced past the Don
River and the Germans made defensive lines. The intention of the Germans
was now known and the Russian army began plans to defend Stalingrad.
The eastern border of Stalingrad was the Volga River and Russian soldiers
were sent over the river. These additional forces became known as the
62nd Army under the command of Vasily Chuikov.
Joseph Stalin discouraged civilians from leaving the city of Stalingrad,
saying that their presence would rally the soldiers to fight. The women
and children were put to work digging trenches and protective reinforcements.
Soon after, Germany sent an immense air bombardment that killed thousands
and left 80% of the city’s living space destroyed. The civilians
and volunteers also fought and manufactured war weapons and vehicles.
Initially, the Russians depended on “worker militias” to
fight the Germans.
By September 1, 1942 the Soviets could only receive their supplies with
dangerous crossings of the Volga River, which the German forces had
reached. The Russians set up their lines in houses and factories in
the city. They kept their forces close together, making the Germans
either attack on their own or risk having fatalities from their own
supporting fire. This Soviet tactic was called “hugging”
the Germans. With no sign of stopping, the German forces began to move
heavy artillery into the city, but made no effort to send forces across
the Volga River, allowing the Soviets to build up artillery batteries.
The Soviets made heaps of rubble defensive positions making the German
tanks useless, and when the tanks were close enough, they were bombarded
with anti-tank fire. Along with the Soviets tactics were the snipers
which also proved to be very successful. In November, the Germans had
finally reached the banks of the Volga River and managed to capture
90% of Stalingrad. The Soviet forces were split into two groups and
their supplies were delayed because of ice on the river, yet they continued
fighting. In the fall, Soviet General Georgy Zhukov sent huge groups
of soldiers to the north and the south of the city, where the Germans
were especially weak. The Soviets planned an operation code-named “Uranus”
where they would surround the Germans in the city. The operation was
launched on November 19, 1942 and the Romanian allies of Germany were
quickly defeated. Then on November 20, another attack was launched on
the south of Stalingrad and again the Romanians were easily overpowered
and the Soviets used a military strategy known as a pincer movement
to surround Stalingrad. Hitler refused to surrender and elected to perform
an “air bridge”, which would supply the armies in Stalingrad.
Unfortunately for the Germans, the air bridge failed very quickly because
of Russian interception and weather. The German army began to slowly
starve. The Soviets started to push in further, fighting the Germans
all the way. They effectively fought off an attack by a German army
from the south, known as Operation Wittergewitter. The Germans still
could not receive their supplies and many died from malnutrition, frostbite,
and disease. The Soviets kept pushing on, and the Germans were forced
to the banks of the Volga River. Finally, on February 2, 1943 the German
force surrendered and the soldiers were taken as captives and sent to
labor camps where most died of malnutrition or overwork.
The Battle of Stalingrad was the most extensive single battle, lasting
for 199 days. The battle also had the most casualties of any one battle
with a total from 1.7 to 2 million axis and allied deaths. Stalingrad
was rewarded the title of “Hero City” in 1945 and a monument
was built on Mamayev Kurgan to honor those who fought at Stalingrad.
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the Hidden - Personal Essay
After my aunt passed away, I chose to write this essay in my Honors English
lll class which reflects how I felt and how I overcame losing my aunt.
I learned how to organize my thoughts and incorporate my emotions into
my writing from completing this essay.
Discovering the Hidden
I find myself sitting, watching, as the others move slowly into the
back room. They’re all trying to be strong, holding back the tears
that will inevitably come. I then decide, after much contemplating on
what I might find, to move into the room darkened by the deep red curtains.
Hesitatingly, I walk through the hallway. I begin to shed those destined
tears that come from hearing the withdrawn suffering of my dear relative
and must step aside into another room to gather myself. I know I must
be strong, but it is so hard. Facing death without fear or just accepting
death in itself seems impossible; everyone must believe it’s impossible.
Yet, truthfully, death is one part of life that everyone meets more
than once. Most people deal with death in useless ways, and they can’t
seem to ever rise above it. Honestly, being able to acknowledge and
receive death is a challenge that people have to overcome to help not
only themselves, but others that are facing the same situation.
It seems that I knew that my aunt couldn't cling to life much longer.
It was as if her mind was sharing with the family that she had held
on long enough and was ready for what she knew, what we all knew, was
coming. When I was sure that she was really going to be leaving, I became
worried, stressed, and secluded myself. I wanted to deny what was happening.
I visited her when I could even though it really hurt to see how much
pain she was in. I can remember that I was visiting her two days before
she passed away and I was trying to get her to eat. Eventually I realized
that trying to get her to eat was a lost cause. I leaned over and gave
her a hug that just wasn’t normal. It wasn’t the warm, loving,
and safe embrace that I had felt so many times before. It was like holding
a lifeless mannequin in my arms. She was just so small and I hadn’t
realized before this point that she was deteriorating before my eyes.
Finally, the concept of death just hit me. I was floored by the emotion
that was provoked by the sight of my once healthy and independent aunt
that now only seemed like an unknown and wilted being. It was this day
that ended my evasion of death and began my preparation. At this moment,
with the emotions that had just commenced, an intuitive certainty crept
its way into my mind: this is not just a nightmare, this is real life
and I am wide awake. I didn’t have my whole life to show my love
and my care for my aunt. I had to prepare myself for what was to come,
whatever that was to be. People have to question how they can prepare
for such a solemn experience; I did myself. I found that remembering
all of the knowledge, experiences (good and bad), and happiness that
was brought to me through this wonderful person helped me realize that
I had obtained so much. I was willing to let the shell go and let the
soul continue living.
When I thought I had completely prepared myself for death, I was again
in denial. I believe now that you can never entirely brace yourself
for a loss. I entered the dim room expecting to find some dreadful and
heartbreaking scene. What I uncovered instead was my loved aunt lying
in bed surrounded by family. There was nothing to be fearful of; it
was only a scene of love for a remarkable woman. Again the tears streamed
down my face, as I leaned down and kissed her on a very cold cheek.
My last words to her were “I love you.” Six hours later
my mother came into the living room and told me that my aunt was gone.
By this time I had accepted that she was going to be better and in no
more pain which she had endured for so long. I knew that she was in
peace and I felt a sense of calmness and even relief. I was able to
receive the death of my aunt knowing that she had lived a long and beautiful
I must admit that while I was calmed to some extent that my relative
was in no more pain, I still had the discomforting feelings of not being
able to have her companionship. It wouldn’t be honest to say I
didn’t have these feelings. I had to say goodbye one last time.
Letting go is essential to healing your mind. I knew that when I said
goodbye, I could continue with my life remembering the wonderful and
inspiring things my tremendous aunt had shared with me. Releasing yourself
of the negative concepts of death takes time, but in the end allows
you freedom within yourself. It is so necessary to come out of the despondent
situation that has taken place and revive yourself. I know this is what
my aunt would want.
So I am now able to bring to mind my aunt and recall significant times
I shared with her like the many times I would go to her house and help
her bake cakes and cookies. Or other times when I would visit my aunt
and watch Disney movies and eat popcorn all night. And one of the most
important and influential experiences I had with my aunt will last my
lifetime. A decision my aunt made only a few months before she passed
was to be baptized. She probably didn’t know it then, but it has
left a lasting impression on me and I thank her for it everyday. Being
able to look back on these memories has taken time and would not have
been heartwarming if I hadn’t been able to recognize, accept,
and release my aunt’s death. Death is only one of the parts of
life that can be dealt with in a meaningful and memorable way. I have
learned to acknowledge death for what it is and move on with my life.
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- Short Story
My short story
was written from a combination of my sophomore year Humanities class and
my Junior year Honors English class. Brockton helped me to bring out the
creative side of my writing. I hope you enjoy.
The rain lightly pattered against the windshield and was always wiped
away with the constant movement of the wipers. There was the dependable
blinking of flashers and the steady ringing inside the car from the
door being ajar. The radio quivered between stations that wouldn’t
come in. And then, a stain, smeared over the driver’s side window.
It had to be a hand print of maybe mud, or maybe it was blood.
Her eyes opened and the sky greeted her with its gray clouds and the
cool sensation of drops on her face. The surrounding trees filled her
with discomfort and worry causing her to sit up immediately upon seeing
them. Her eyes searched and searched this place, and she had not the
slightest idea of where she was. She stood, turned in confusion. Suddenly
a sharp pain went from her spine to the base of her neck making her
scream in agony. She fell to her knees and wrapped her bloody hands
around her neck attempting to ease the pain. The back of her neck was
soaking wet but surprisingly not cold like the rest of her. She brought
her hand to the front. It was deep red. She got up again and started
hurriedly stumbling towards what she thought was a road sign in the
distance. She fell several times before she succeeded in reaching the
sign. She saw her car and was in awe of what had happened here. She
couldn’t remember anything and everything was a complete shock
to her. She went over to her car and rummaged around looking for her
cell phone and her keys. She panicked. She couldn’t find either.
She then remembered the road sign and went to take a look. The nearest
town, Brockton, was 27 miles. She couldn’t believe what was happening
to her. She didn’t know what to do, but she did know she needed
help very soon. And just as she had given up hope of getting help she
heard a car approaching around the corner.
The officer was absolutely paralyzed by the story of the young girl.
She told him she had been attacked the night before and had been left
in the woods. The officer pulled into the Brockton City Hospital at
7:20 p.m. Claire finally had some peace and was examined. She had a
huge laceration on the back of her head and her whole body was battered.
The sheriff was called in after this and was the first person to take
He ambled in with his loud boots and tight Wranglers. He sure didn’t
look like the sheriff that Claire had pictured; he was something else,
that’s for sure. He made himself right at home; pulled a chair
over to her bed and grinned with his coffee-stained teeth. He looked
so familiar, but she just couldn’t think of where she had seen
him before. He removed his worn leather hat exposing his thinning gray
The sheriff began the interview. “Good mornin’. How are
you this fine day? It sure is beautiful ain’t it? And do I have
some good news for you. They took some pictures of that little injury
of yours before you got bandaged up and we found an object that we think
may have caused it. But don’t get your hopes up too high though,
‘cause we still ain’t sure ‘bout it. But I won’t
go into any more detail. You probably don’t want to hear all that.”
There was a long uncomfortable pause in his slurred tone. He scratched
his stubbly chin with his chubby fingers and continued. “Well,
I guess I’d better stop beatin’ round the bush, huh? I’m
gonna have to ask you some questions. It’ll only take a few minutes.
Just stay calm and answer them best ya can.” His mouth turned
into an awkward smirk. “First off, my name is Sheriff Joseph.
But you can call me Matt. I’m from the Brockton Police Department.
That’s where you are, by the way. Brockton, I mean. It really
is a nice little town. So why did you come visit us here; all the way
out in Brockton, Massachusetts?”
Claire studied the strangely familiar face of Matt looking for a clue
to help her identify him. Her cracked lips parted as she answered, “I
was visiting a friend of mine…her name is Gina Holt; she’s
a good friend from college. I really don’t know why she moved
out here. I told her she was crazy for moving all the way out in the
middle of nowhere. But what do I know? Anyway, she tried to come to
my place, but she had other plans already made. That’s when I
decided to come here from Atlanta. That’s where I live. I’m
a student. I’m going into law.” She was obviously clever
and you could tell she had an attractive face even though it was bruised
and bandaged. She was very proper and cared about her first impressions
“That’s all really good information…I appreciate you
cooperating with me, especially on such a short notice,” Matt
replied with an odd glance towards the lifeless bulge of Claire. “Alright
now. Let’s see here…what’s the last thing you remember
that night?” the sheriff questioned, looking intently into Claire’s
“Well, we were in the middle of nowhere. Not one person to help
me. I guess there were just the two of us. The last thing I remember
is some man screaming at me to walk forward. I could feel something
on the back of my neck…It was really cold…I was afraid of
what it might be. I was crying and kept walking. He told me to shut
up. I tried, I really did, but I just…couldn’t.”
The sheriff interrupted, “So you’re positive you don’t
remember anything else that happened that night? You didn’t see
him; didn’t even get a glimpse?”
“No. No, I don’t remember anything else. Except that sound
on my head; then I just go blank. Look, I am really sorry, but I don’t
think I can do this right now. If you could…can you please just
leave,” Claire timidly inquired.
There was an obvious glare of irritation from the sheriff, but he finally
rose and his boots clicked as he made his way out of the barren hospital
room. Claire was left to think, again, about her infamous encounter.
What had she ever done to deserve this? She lifted her quivering bandaged
arm, wounded from the attack, and felt the place of the injury. She
had been in a coma for three days. Her skull was fractured. The last
thing she needed was the police badgering her every second. She eventually
dozed off, staring out of the hospital window at the continuous empty
The next morning she woke to the sound of another person. Another person
that was snoring. It was the sheriff again. Claire was startled and
began to wonder. Why was he in her room; why was he waiting for her
to wake? She could only infer that he was going to ask more questions.
She was not worried at all, only annoyed by his presence.
She started to think about the meeting from the day before. She tried
over and over to remember where she had seen him. Then she realized
something she hadn’t earlier. She remembered where she had seen
this man. She had seen him at a gas station the night of her attack.
She had been followed that night by that same person. She now knew.
She cautiously, slowly stretched to reach the call button without waking
the sheriff. She just reached it but made one false move and it went
tumbling to the shiny floor.
The sheriff woke with a jump, “Well, well. It’s about time
you woke up.” He saw that Claire was petrified. He sneered and
bent over to pick up the call button. “What you gonna do with
this? There ain’t no reason for this. Now, just calm down.”
He placed the call button on the side table just out of Claire’s
reach. He came in close enough to Claire’s face that she could
inhale his nauseating breath. He snickered and with his raspy voice
whispered, “It sure is about time you figured it out. I gave you
all the hints in the world!”
She couldn’t believe what was going on. It was him the whole time.
Watching her suffer. Did he enjoy it? Yes, and there was nothing else
she could do. She started sweating, her eyes going back and forth between
the call button and the hospital door hoping for anyone to pass by.
Nobody came. The heart monitor went crazy; faster and faster. Claire
gazed pleadingly with her intense blue eyes; begging him to leave. She
was shaking all over. She was terrified; to the point of death. Her
eyes rolled to the back of her skull. Then, the heart monitor flat lined.
She was still and silent.
He sat in the hospital chair, satisfied. He had assaulted a person he
didn’t even know. He thought that he had picked the perfect person.
Beautiful, intelligent, and an unused face. His life had always been
so dull; he needed something out of the ordinary. He knew he could get
away with it; nobody would ever suspect him.
He stood up and paused with a slight smile across his face. He casually
made his way out of the hospital making careless conversation with the
staff. He was calm and even quite pleased when he drove away in his
Little did the sheriff know, Claire was not willing to give up this
easily. Not after what she had already gone through. After a few long
and drawn out seconds the heart monitor began again to steadily beep.
But only long enough for Claire to grab a sheet of paper and a pen that
was lying on the table beside her. She scribbled in an unreadable hand
what has just happened and by this time the nurses and a doctor had
made their way to her room. The note that she clutched in her hand suddenly
fell as once again the monitor quivered to one monotonous tone.
Later that night the custodian came in a swept the floor clean, wiped
away the memory of what had happened and the memory of Claire. The sheriff
was never questioned about the death of this young mystery woman and
her beating was investigated no longer. Her life was gone, like the
piece of paper swiftly cleared from the sparkling hospital floor.
The following are just a few art projects
I have completed in my Art l and ll classes.
Ink Relief of Jamie Bell
Medium: permanent marker, crayon, India ink
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Medium: plaster, acrylic paint
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Still Life of Coca-Cola Can
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Self Portrait in Style of Edgar Degas
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