Happy Holidays in Chicago


Hey guys…its the holiday season, which means its time for Senior Current Issues (and all the foreign kids) to make the Christmas trek to Chicago.  Every year we do this…and every year we have a great time!  We meet at OHS Parking Lot  (7:00 AM) We carpool (no student drivers) to Michigan City, Indiana.    And then we take the Southshore line train into the Windy City ($9.00 one way).  It drops us smak dab in the middle of town – directly under Millennium Park. We head up the stairs and scatter.  Go where you want.  Have a great time.  Meet back at the train – the return trip will depend on weather and plans.  We will confirm return time prior to going – so parents will know times before we leave.

You must have a permission slip signed and turned into Mr. Wood if you are intending to go on this trip.  I have attached permission slips they must be turned in my Friday December 15.  So far we have two maybe three drivers – that is eleven to seventeen seats.  So we need drivers; you know anybody who wants to go, who wants to drive, we’d love to have them come along.  Please let me know.  First group to fill the spots is Senior Current Issues students.  Second group, non SCI foreign exchange students.  Third group is friends of each.   I will fill seats in first come / first serve order within those specifics.  Get your permission slip in early – I will post on the board in room #112.

  • OUR ITINERARY – Please Share with Parents
  • We leave OHS parking lot  at 7:00 AM EST.  
  • Take the  9:37 AM CST train from Michigan City.  (10:37 EST)
  • Arrive downtown 11:10 AM CST
  • Return trip 6:22 PM CST (Michigan City – 8:12 PM CST) 
  • Back to Muskegon by midnight.
  • Mr Wood’s tele – (616) 402-8668
  • Mr Wood’s email – bobwoodmsu@gmail.com

We have drivers – 17 available seats (maybe) – We could use more Drivers

  • Mr Wood – School Van – 7 seats
  • Mr. Lohman – 4 seats
  • Maybe Mr. Tindall – 6 seats

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Filed under 1 Senior Current Issues, Archived Categories

Oakridge Close Up Welcomes Nick Baumann – Editor Huffiington Post

Nick Baumann, senior editor for Huffington Post,  a well reputed national news site, is coming to Oakridge High School on Friday November 10, from 8:00 to 9:30 AM to visit with Oakridge students about issues of the world. 

Mr. Baumann has written pieces for Washington Monthly, The AtlanticSlate and Commonweal. He also has blogged for the Economist and was a Senior Editor at Mother Jones Magazine.  Refugees and the issues surrounding immigration and displaced persons will be the focus when Mr. Baumann tells his story in downtown Muskegon on November 9 – to commemorate the opening of the MCC downtown campus.  Baumann’s grandparents were Jewish refugees in World War II Europe and emigrated to the United States following the war.  

“Our Grandparents died when we were young,” He wrote along with his sister Rachel in a piece earlier this year in HuffPost. “We think about them a lot these days – and the people who chose to help them, and the people who chose not to.”

Nick Baumann is visiting only two classrooms in Muskegon County. 

One of them is ours.  He will visiting our school on Friday morning.  He is anxious to hear what Oakridge students think about the world; and to share his stories.  And while we will use the Auditorium as our venue, this event is not a speaker on a stage with an auditorium packed to the brim.  Rather the event is planned as an informal and friendly discussion.  My hope is that Mr. Baumann takes a chair below the stage; with students occupying the first few rows only.  You will be encouraged to ask questions and share your thoughts, about whatever issues you feel appropriate.   This is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from a man who is very well connected in this world, and through his grandparents, with the past.  Continue reading

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American Civil Rights – A Glance back at the Movement

Assignment is worth 100 points (33% bullets / 66% journal)  due posted to Schoology at a date TBA.  71296-004-0B8CB497You may work with a partner – see directions below.  In order to spread our studies across the spectrum – we will have no more than two groups working on a particular topic.  Email me your choice of topic along with partner’s names if you are working as a group – first come first serve…

The Civil Rights Movement will serve as the core to our study of Government.  The Fourteenth Amendment lies at the center of that movement.  We will look hard at each and the relationship between the two. Continue reading

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Filed under 2 Government

2018 Government Final Exam Review

Podcasts for Bill of Rights Declaration of Independence and 14th Amendment.

The Final for Government will take place during the regular Exam period – third period on Thursday and fifth period on Friday.  The exam will consist of multiple choice and short essay.  The Multiple choice questions will constitute 50% of the grade and cover the Bill of Rights and 13, 14, 15 amendments and the issues that shape those amendments.  Short essays (five of seven) will focus on the Declaration of Independence, however may draw from a couple of questions on the amendments.  Each of the multiple choice questions will be character limited.  To study for the final please review each of the podcasts posted below.

1 – Declaration of Independence (1776)

Below are audio podcasts to help you better understand the Declaration of Independence.  Each is between two and four minutes long.   The Declaration document (and subsequent podcasts) are broken into an Introduction – seven individual stanza’s – and a Conclusion.  The layout corresponds with the required memorization of the Declaration.  Please go here to find the color coded copy of the document.

2 – Bill of Rights (1791)

Below are audio podcasts to help you better understand the each of the civil liberties protected in the Bill of Rights.  Each is between two and four minutes long. Please go here to find a copy of the Bill of Rights.

  1. Religion, Speech, Press, Petititon, Assembly
  2. A Right to Bear Arms
  3. Quartering of Soldiers
  4. Search & Siezure
  5. Due Process Rights
  6. Criminal Procedings
  7. Civil Cases
  8. Bail and Punishment
  9. All Other Rights
  10. States Rights

3  – 14th Amendment to the Constitution (1865)

Below are audio podcasts to help you better understand the 14th Amendment and the historical context in which it was added to the Constitution.  Each is between two and four minutes long.  Please go here to find a copy of Amendment 14.  You are responsible for Section #1 only.


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Filed under 2 Government, Uncategorized

Podcasts for College Funding and YOU

For all things college – go to our website – building a better world.net.

This college funding thing is critical.  And knowledge is power.  With that in mind – it is vital that you thoroughly understand each of the terms listed below.  We will  take a Common Assessment that will revolve around each of those terms listed below.  However, more important is that you know exactly what this stuff is all about.  These podcasts will help you acheive these ends.

Also, since this whole college thing is dependent on a team effort between you and your parents, a great way to study for any upcoming test, would be for you and mom and dad to sit down together and listen to each of the following podcasts.  In fact, go here if you’d like an extra credit assignment that you and your folks can discuss together.  Talk about each one.  Make sure that everybody is on the same page.  Use this as a way to begin your college search…

The Basics when it comes to “Paying for College”

Podcasts in blue / Websites in red

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Filed under 3 Economics

DO NOT BE AFRAID of reasonable college loans…

Don’t panic on this College Loan thing…

The only thing worse than signing any and every single college loan application that comes across your plate – without knowing the long term implications, is to sign nothing.  You cannot be afraid of all loans.  You cannot procrastinate the situation, refuse to look at taking on some debt, and not go to college because you may have to face a reasonable monthly bill for getting an education.  Be smart.  Do your homework.  Weigh the pros and cons of the price tag of various college programs and do a little comparison shopping here.

look at it this way…

Think of all of those high school seniors who will go straight from school into the workforce…most likely into an underpaid and dead end service sector job, with bad or non existent health care benefits.  Many of those kids use their new found wealth to buy a new car.  Well, lets look at some of the comparisons.

  • 2012 Toyota Camry – costs $22,500 + $1,350 (tax) title and extras = $25,000
  • $25,000 loan for 63 months at 3.67% interest – $440.44 month – total loan $27,747

So here’s your opportunity cost:

  • $25,500 average debt for a college grad in 2010
  • $293 a month loan repayments for ten years
  • Total Loan – $35,214
  • $25,000 – 2012 Camry (title, tax, license)
  • $440 a month loan repayments for five 1/2 years
  • Total Loan – $27,747

And once you have a degree according to 2008 statistics:  

  • The avg earnings of full-time worker with a bachelors degree – $55,700
  • The avg earnings of full-time worker with a high school diploma – $33,800
...just do the math.  
Plus going to college can be an exciting and life changing experience. Don’t you dare give into fear.

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Filed under 3 Economics