EIGHTH GRADE ESSAY CONTEST WINNER:
Rachel Won, Creekside Enrichment, Cupertino, CA
Hierarchy of Conflicts
Conflicts come in many different levels. A fight between two friends over a toy and rebellion against the government are both conflicts, yet they are of different degrees. One is a petty thing that may be resolved in a day’s time, while the other may take years and requires government action. War is the ultimate expression of conflict. In order to win World War II, countries had to set apart their prejudices and fight with a commonality. The Allies, the leaders of the United States, the British Commonwealth, and the Soviet Union especially, had to cast away all their disagreements to triumph over the common enemy, the Axis. When there is conflict, the keys to success are finding ways to work together.
Although America did not originally intend to fight, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, war became inevitable. President Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin created a tenuous relationship in which they put away their egos and accepted help from each other. Each country had a contribution; America provided research and supplies; Great Britain had new technology; and Russia had innumerable soldiers who were determined to protect their homeland. The countries fought together during many battles such as D-Day, where British and American troops fought alongside each other. "There is at least one thing worse than fighting with allies—and that is to fight without them," noted Winston Churchill. The victory went to countries that cooperated with each other because it would have been impossible for a country to single-handedly win WWII.
Similarly, I experienced victory through teamwork during orchestra. Our orchestra had to learn the L'Arlésienne Suite by Georges Bizet. Everyone had different interpretations of the piece, different styles, and different fingerings. When put together, it created a cacophony of harsh notes, with disagreeing intonation and differing musical ornaments. Some people would play a romantic trill while others would play a baroque one, leading to more dissonant sounds. It would be impossible to play this repertoire well if we did not cooperate. We split into sections based on instrument, and altered our music, so our bowings and sounds would agree with each other. Instead of shaping the music our own way, we combined ideas to create a better, more refined tone. Afterwards, the orchestra met up as a whole to fix any discrepancies between the sections. We played through once more, and this time, it sounded better because the individual sections were in harmony. Music was adjusted again; the flutes singing louder during their melody; the strings agreeing on the trills; and horns keeping a steady beat. On the day of the concert, the orchestra executed this difficult piece perfectly. The task was undertaken by the orchestra as a whole, and because people worked together, putting aside their individual desires, the accomplishment was shared as a whole. Conflict, no matter the level, is solved by working together and disparate groups were able to achieve something far greater than anything that they could have achieved individually.
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.