Emily May - Electronic Portfolio

 

Projects

Click links to view project

The Formation of Stars - PowerPoint

The Battle of Stalingrad - Essay

Discovering the Hidden - Personal Essay

Brockton - Short Story

Art Projects

Ink Relief

Zebra Mask

Still Life of Coca-Cola Can

Self Portrait in Style of Edgar Degas

 

The 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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The 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.

Emily May

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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Discovering 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.

Emily May

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 life.

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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Brockton - 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.

Emily May

Brockton

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 direction.

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 hair.

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 to others.

“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 eyes.

“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 field.

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 police vehicle.

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.

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Art Projects

The following are just a few art projects I have completed in my Art l and ll classes.

 

Ink relief

Ink Relief of Jamie Bell
Medium: permanent marker, crayon, India ink

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Zebra mask

Zebra Mask
Medium: plaster, acrylic paint

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Coca-Cola can

Still Life of Coca-Cola Can
Medium: charcoal

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Self portrait

Self Portrait in Style of Edgar Degas
Medium: pastel

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