• For Teachers & Students
dividing bar


dividing bar

Kallie Peterman, 11th Grade, North Montgomery High School, Crawfordsville, IN

Diary of a Scaredy Cat

Lilapsophobia: the fear of tornados; ceraunophobia: the fear of thunder and lightning; and ancraophobia: the fear of wind. What do all of these three fears have in common? Well, aside from the fact that I, Kallie Peterman, suffer from each of these phobias, they all tie together and bring us lovely Indiana folk what we call “The Wrath of God.” Okay, so maybe not all of us, but in my mind that’s a pretty good title. The WWII invention of the weather radar has kept me sane, and easily has had the biggest impact on my life.

I hate storms. I don’t believe that I’d be able to make it through the day without a glimpse of the weather on TV, my smart phone, or even on my teacher’s computer at school. Not only do I hate severe weather, but also surprises. And the best combination of the two?

An unexpected thunderstorm.

I’m that girl who can sleep through almost any noise possible. The one sound that I can’t? A rumble of thunder. I’m sure you’re wondering what I’d do if a storm comes in the middle of the night. I bet you could guess it. That’s right, I stay up, all the way through it. I get up, grab my laptop, pull up WTHR and The Weather Channel’s doppler radars, click on the TV, pull up my app on my phone, and bam; instant safe haven. It can’t get any better than that, honestly. It’s even better if I’m in a basement.

So, what exactly would I do had this amazing technology not have been invented? Well, to tell you my honest opinion, I think I’d go crazy. How would I be able to tell a small, passing through storm from a strong line of storms that may last all day? I wouldn’t, not unless it’s daytime and the sky is an alienated color or darker than it should be for that specific time of day. So I’d hurry to my neighbor’s basement and probably stay until the sky became blue again. I would fear the color gray, and even the odd, green color the sky seems to turn before a tornado is produced. I’d mistake wind or a train whistle for a funnel beginning to form above my head or a faulty computer desk speaker for a tornado siren. I’d be yelling “duck and cover!” like that old 1940’s commercial with Bert the Turtle who always strived to prepare the world for the atomic bomb. (Actually, I think I’d maybe even rather prepare myself for an atomic bomb than for a tornado..) But I guess if we didn’t have the weather radar, there’d be no way to put on the sirens, that is of course, unless it’s already too late and one has touched ground. Then I really would be terrified.

You see, to some people, the weather radar is a joke. It’s always 10 minutes behind, sometimes it doesn’t pick up cells, and sometimes the cells are just untrustworthy; you know, that whole shh-bang. To me, the weather radar is a life saver.


I already hyperventilate with being able to see it; I couldn’t imagine not being able to see it. Bad things would happen..really bad. Who knows, maybe I’d stop breathing.

My normal routine consists of the following:

Gray sky?

Pull up the radar.

A bit windy?

Pull up the radar.

Starting to drizzle?

Pull up the radar.

Will it storm tomorrow?

Pull up the radar.

It’s like my mind is constantly stuck in my safe-haven-radar-watching-and-stalking mode. (And yes, that does come with different varieties of worry and doubt, from semi-calm to extreme madness.)

But yes, it’s true; I couldn’t possibly live sanely if I couldn’t somehow see the radar throughout each and every day. My mind wouldn’t know what to think, my brain wouldn’t know how to communicate with my body, and my mouth couldn’t speak; not if I didn’t know the severity of a storm, or if it is even going to storm. In fact, to prove how frequently I check the radar, I can tell you that I’ve already brought up WTHR a few times through the course of writing this essay.

You guessed it.

I either a) heard thunder, or b) saw that the sky had quickly darkened.

So with that, I guess I’d better cut it short—I’ve got radar watching and stalking to do. Okay, so I’m totally kidding, but honestly… Who knew that an invention of WWII would greatly impact the life of a teenager in the 21st century?


dividing bar Calling All Teachers Explore WWII History Contact Us dividing bar


dividing bar

Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

dividing bar


dividing bar dividing bar