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Go here for the updated “The Buddha Said I am Awake.”

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The Buddha Blog is Officially Open for Business

It’s been awhile people…but the Buddha Blog is back in business.  We tried to get it going this Fall – but with a MA Thesis to write and a fight over school funding in Lansing to wage the attempt fizzled.   Semester two the Grand Opening is official.

For the 2010/11 School Year Mr. Wood was on sabbatical – that is a one year separation from Oakridge.  The leave became available by virtue of Mr. Wood’s being selected as the 2009 James Madison Fellowship representative for the state of Michigan.  The Madison fellowship selects one Social Studies teacher per state per year and awards them a $25,000 grant towards a Masters Degree in History, Political Science or Education.

In 2010 I took the year off (without pay) and attended Western Michigan University full-time.  I lived in Kalamazoo.  I was also employed  by Western as a graduate assistant in the WMU Political Science Department and taught American Government classes to undergraduate students.  While at WMU I was awarded the 2010 Political Science Department “Teaching Excellence Award” for my efforts as a graduate student teacher assistant.   In December 2011 I recieved my MA in Political Science from Western Michigan University.

My MA thesis (a final study required for graduation) is entitled The Road to Tahrir – Regime Failure and Opposition Consolidation in the Overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak The study documents the roots of Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow as President of Egypt in February of 2010.  The research delves into the consolidation and the decay of the Mubarak regime during its thirty years in power.  It also evaluates the organization of the Mubarak opposition,  with a particular concentration of the role of Social Networking and new media as primary factors in the revolution.

If you would like to learn more about the Arab Spring and its particular impact on Egypt please read this study.  However a few tips – Chapter One is pretty theoretical.  I don’t think you need to read the Literature Review to understand the thesis.  If you choose to, a lit review evaluates scholarly literature in the field that relates to the Thesis topic.  It can get a bit tedious to wade through.  However, if you read through page 5 and pick it up again on page 31 with the subheading Summary of Sources you should be able to follow the paper.

Two very good videos from Frontline will help you to better understand the Egyptian Revolution and the Arab Spring.

Egyptians are currently voting in their first ever democratic election.  The outcome is completely in doubt, since the Military has yet to relinquish its hold on power.  This is not democracy as we understand it; never-the-less many Egyptians sacrificed much to achieve this vote.   I chose this thesis topic for an extended study because I was so inspired by the actions of those in the Middle East who have passionately taken on the injustice of the authoritative regimes that have stifled liberty in the region for decades.

As for democracy (as we understand it in our country), looking at our version of politics I’m not sure exactly what that means anymore. Decisions are being made in Lansing and in Washington D.C. not with the citizens of the United States first and foremost in mind.  Lobbying and special interest dollars have taken over our government.   If you don’t get involved, if you aren’t holding your elected representatives accountable for the actions that they take in your name, if you don’t vote, what good is a democracy.  At least in Egypt people have been willing die for freedom.  Are we?

If you have any questions on my thesis please post them, I’d welcome the discourse.

It’s great to finally be back on the blog…Mr. Wood

Buddha Blog Archive – Go Below for New Post

I am in the process of updating the Buddha blog to a private server and an easier blog address – this process will take some time – however stick with me and please bookmark the following site for further postings after 2/20/12 on the Buddha Said I am Awake blog site.

go here for the above web address

PDF Test

YouTube Channel Creation

GSA Presents “Milk” on Friday February 3

Trailers and reviews of “Milk” from Rotten Tomatoes.

On Friday February 3, the Oakridge Gay Straight Alliance will play the acclaimed motion picture “Milk” after school in Mr. Woods room.  Academy Award winner Sean Penn takes the title role in Gus Van Sant’s biopic tracing the last eight years in the life of Harvey Milk, the ill-fated politician and gay activist whose life changed history, and whose courage still inspires people. When Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, he made history for being the first openly gay man in American history to be voted into public office.

This truly is an emotional and inspirational movie.

It is rated “R” and you will need to bring a signed permission slip in order to attend.  OGSA will provide popcorn and soda for the event.  The movie begins at 3:00 PM.  See you there.

Check GSA Facebook for more info.  Please ask if you have questions…

Finally if you are in Mr. Wood’s Government class you may earn some extra credit for attending and blogging about the movie.  See him for more information.

LP’s 4-1/ January 30 to February 3

Lesson Plans for January 30 to February 3.  Please click on appropriate class to open file.  If you have questions concerning this weeks plans, please contact Mr. Wood or leave a response here at the blog.

Economics Honor Roll – Semester #1

Final Semester “A” grades for Mr. Wood’s Economics course.  Congratulations to the following individuals.

  • 99% – T.J. Brodneur (5)
  • 99% – Chris Mason (6)
  • 97% – Marissa Friday (5)
  • 97% – Sara Musser (6)
  • 97% – Jordan Wahr (6)
  • 96% – Andrew Janusiewicz (5)
  • 94% – Chad Lazarock (6)
  • 94% – Sarah Pennell (6)
  • 93% – Sam Eely (5)
  • 93% – Randy Locke (6)
  • 93% – Kelly Miller (6)
  • 93% – Jillian Terpstra (3)
  • 90% – Keyara Wiard (3)

Senior Current Issues – 2012 Semester #2

Senior Current Issues
2012 update – Semester #2

In order to better organize yourselves for graduation and second semester in this course I’ve laid out guidelines and deadlines for second semester.  Please take note and plan accordingly.

1 – Flip-iT movies
The question with the Flip assignments is text depth and procrastination.  I am concerned that some people are going lite on their Flip write ups.   Most of the movies are good – but many of you are blowing off the text portion of the assignment.  A minimum will length would force people to be a little more thoughtful in the write ups.  Consequently, I averaged out three of the medium sized Flip iT A’s for MP#1 (this year and 2010)  – to come up with the required minimum length of 1200 words for the entire piece.  Remember Flip it #3 is due during Marking Period #4.  Final Flip due last Marking Period.  Each will count as a CA.  Final Result: new required minimum word count for Flip-iT – 1200 words.  Flip-iT #3 due MP#4.  Flip-iT #4 due MP#6.  We may add one more for MP#5.

2 – College Scholarships
I think we’ve gotten off to a good start.  The every other week 30 point update should keep us moving in the right direction.  The rest is up to you.  Make sure to keep your updates current on the scholarship board and to be working towards agreed upon goals.  Final Result: No change…Full steam ahead.

3 – Independent Study – Civil Rights and MLK

I think we’ve gotten off to a good start here as well.  Nathalie for sure.  I welcome anybody to join us in this study.  For foreign students it is required in leu of the Scholarship Board – for everybody substantial extra credit.  I am however requiring those participating to do the following…Final Result: we will meet on Fridays opposite Scholarship Fridays – 1- type notes and have them ready to go drawing off of Google docs.  I would suggest that you go to and use Google Docs as your guideline.  2 – Have either a separate notebook or a space reserved in your SCI notebook for this study.  3 – Be ready to talk!  I will grade you according to depth of your verbal contributions.

4 – AFRICAN study
Exploring Africa will run Marking Periods #4, #5, #6.  MP #4 – Fishline Timelines will constitute the Project Grade.  They must be up and hanging and explained to Mr. Wood by Wednesday of the last week of the Marking Period.  MP#5 – African Artwork Powerpoint to be presented near the end of the Marking Period…date to be decided at a later time.  The artwork can be dance, visual (movie or photo or paint or drawing), music, story, anything really – it should have some connection to your country of choice although it need not be limited to your country.  Make sure to clear the topic thru Mr. Wood.  Be thinking of art topic through MP #4.  Final Result: We will present Timelines during final week of MP#4, the African Artwork during the final week of MP #5.  Final MP#6 African extra will be a podcast that we link together into a continental podcast that I will use in my other classes.    Meanwhile we will continue with Africa News Weekly which will count for MP#5 Common Assessment and the Africa Map Test which will serve as a MP#4 Common Assessment.

5 – Independent Movies
We need to pick up the pace.  One of my goals in this course is to participate in the study of Independent movies.  Final Result: With that in mind we will watch two in MP#4 – Babel and Hotel Rwanda.  In MP#5 – We will watch Last King of Scotland.  All three movies deal in some manner with continent of Africa.  I would also like to show the movie Incendies which is fictional account of current events in the Middle East.

6 – Ongoing News
I intend to bring forth a couple of issue topics to look at in the second semester.  These will be injected into the curriculum to break up our run on Africa and Scholarships.   Final Result: TBA.

7  – College Talk
We will begin to do some College Talk Podcasts.  This should be a good introduction into next year.   Final Result: Stay tuned.

8 – All Star Game
Final Result: This is particularly significant and must be a priority in the second semester.  It’s importance goes beyond the class – and all involved me included need to be organized and communicating.

The bottom line goal for this course is that you are headed for graduation head up – looking straight ahead – that you take that diploma drop it in the paper shredder where it belongs and get moving on the next step.   Don’t be crawling to that finish line…if you do you’ll find yourself hanging out at the powerlines next Fall waiting for the opening kick off.  Not a pretty place to be…particularly after you’ve graduated.

ECON – Microfinance / Grameen / KIVA

In Economics for the next three days we will take a good look at the effectiveness of Microfinancing in the third world.  We will learn about Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank.  Then we will turn to a Chicken Farmer from Ghana and finally the US Microlender KIVA.  You may work with a partner, however your final assignment #3 where you find two people to finance must be your own…  All three assignments should be turned in together when you come to the Final Exam.  Links for everything are below.


Your Final Common Assessment on Real World Economics is OPEN NOTES and will include those topics presented in your specific  classroom by individual students, in addition to the following issues covered by all three classes:

Amici’s Green Resaurant, Palm Oil in the Third World, Proposal A and Michigan School Funding, Grameen Bank, Darko the Chicken man from Ghana, KIVA.  If you would like to review a bit – and plug some holes on your notes concerning the above articles – I will be available Tuesday after school for your convenience.  Just stop by.

This is an Open Note Test – it cuts both ways…if you have good notes – Great you’ll do fine.  If you’ve blown off your RWE responsibilities for the semester you will struggle.  If you type up your notes keep them to yourself, they will be collected at the end of the exam.  If I find individuals to be copying one another on those notes – you will earn a zero for the Common Assessment which will most likely translate into an F for the semester.  Again, if you need some extra help – stop by after school Monday or Tuesday.

Grameen Bank – Muhammad Yunus

Darko the Chicken Farmer

KIVA – Microlender  to the World

LET’s go to CHICAGO!

Parents must contact Mr. Wood in order for students to go to Chicago.  Any foreign exchange student and Any other past SCI students are also invited.  Just give me a call.Christmas in Chi-town

look at me listen to me.


  • Saturday December 17.
  • Leave Russ in GH – 8:00 AM via car pool.
  • Train – Michigan City to Downtown Chi-town. (9:20 AM CST).
  • Cost – $15 round trip. Don’t give $$$ to me. Just bring it to the train.
  • Roam around town – with or without Mr. Wood.  Ms Case, Mr. Lohman, Mr. Wood, and possibly a few other teachers will all be going.
  • Train – Chi-town to Michigan City. (6:00 PM CST).
  • back home tucked in bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head – midnight!

You can bring friends or folks or brothers or sisters, granny or grandpa, cat or dog or hamster… but I have to talk to the individual and that person’s parent. Have them call me (616) 402-8668.