All class warm-ups will be found here!

Each class will begin with a warm-up prompt, which is to be completed in students' English journals. These journals will be collected periodically throughout the semester for a quiz grade. Ultimately, these quiz grades will be averaged out for a test grade. Students are expected to give adequate responses to each prompt (i.e. a well-formed paragraph of at least 4-6 sentences minimum).

Please Note: Each warm-up will be posted on this page everyday. If students are absent they will be expected to make up all missed warm-ups before the journal collection date. Be sure to stay on top of warm-ups!

Thursday -- 6/1/17

Lebron James

Wednesday -- 5/31/17

  • What feedback do you have for this class as a whole? What went well/what did you like? What could be improved/what did you dislike? Things to consider: projects, assignments, books, SSR, vocab, warm-ups, etc.

Tuesday -- 5/30/17

  • What are your thoughts/reactions after viewing this video on AI?
  • Do you find this form of AI to be impressive or boring? If neither of those, what adjectives might you use to describe it?
  • Overall, does AI scare you, or do you think it will be extremely beneficial for humanity?

Wednesday -- 5/24/17

Millennial: A demographic group that typically includes those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s and early 2000s. This generation is generally marked by an increase in familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies, among other things. In recent years, there have been many (older) critics of this generation, mostly for their perceived inability to adequately fit into the work force.
This is a viral video that many have shared because it apparently "sums up" the millennial generation in a nutshell..

  • What are your reactions to this video? Do you agree and/or disagree with any of his points?
  • Are there issues with millennials? Why or why not? If so, what?

If you're interested in this topic, see this article.

Tuesday -- 5/23/17

Student Choice -- choose one of the two topics below to write about (or, if you're feeling especially ambitious, write about both):
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  • Now that Google and Lyft are teaming to get self-driving cars on the road ASAP, how does this make you feel? Would you feel comfortable driving on roads in which self-driving cars are also travelling? Why or why not?
  • Given that self-driving cars are not ubiquitous on the roads today, when do you predict we might start seeing self-driving cars on the road as a normal, everyday reality? What makes you predict this?

Last night, a terrorist detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in England. The bomb was meant to kill as many teenagers/young people as possible, with at least 22 dead and about 60 injured. Given that we've covered terror attacks like this earlier this semester, freewrite about this topic, covering any discussion points you want. Some possible topics include: hows does this news make you feel (especially now that we've covered it multiple times), how to take action against these attacks, global responses to the attacks (including from world leaders), the nature of targeted venues/events, etc.

Monday -- 5/22/17

  • What SSR book have you been reading? If you've read more than one, which books? How are you liking your choice(s)?
  • Do you read your SSR book at home? Do you read any book(s) at home? Why is reading important (or, for those less reading inclined, unimportant) to you?
  • In your future English classes, do you want to do SSR? Why or why not?

Thursday -- 5/18/17

From CNN:
Too much caffeine caused the death of a 16-year-old high school student from South Carolina who collapsed during class last month. The teen consumed three caffeine-laced drinks -- a cafe latte, a large Diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink -- in a two-hour period before collapsing in his classroom at Spring Hill High School on April 26. The father said he hopes that if nothing else comes out of this, parents and kids will realize the dangers of caffeinated beverages. When it comes to energy drinks specifically, "children and adolescents are advised to avoid energy drinks. They can contain a significant amount of caffeine as well as other stimulants."
  • Do you regularly drink caffeinated drinks? If so, which? About how often do you drink caffeine-laced drinks?
  • Does this story make you feel differently about having caffeinated drinks? Do you think you might be more cautious in the future when having caffeinated drinks?

Wednesday -- 5/17/17

General Mills is releasing special edition boxes of Marshmallow-Only Lucky Charms. Between now and December 2017, General Mills will only be giving out 10,000 of these boxes, which you can only win by buying regular boxes of Lucky Charms and entering a code (found on the regular boxes) at
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  • Would you want to try the limited Marshmallow-Only Lucky Charms? Why or why not?
  • Cereals sometimes get a bad reputation because they are filled with sugar. Some argue over whether they count as candy or actual nutritional breakfast items. What do you think? Should we be eating more cereal, or should we strive to eat other foods for breakfast? Explain your reasoning.
  • With the previous question in mind, do you think the Marshmallow-Only Lucky Charms are somewhat of an overkill in terms of sugar? Or is there no problem with it? Explain your reasoning.

Monday -- 5/15/17

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  • Do you like Nicki Minaj as an artist/celebrity/person? If no, does this news change your opinion of her? Why or why not? If yes, how does this news make you feel?
  • What is your opinion on celebrities performing philanthropic actions such as this one? Are there any negative qualities in celebrities giving money to good causes such as this? Or is it entirely positive?
  • If you were a celebrity with lots of money, do you think you would try to do philanthropic things for people (i.e. would you try to regularly give money to good causes)? Explain your reasoning.

Monday -- 5/8/17

Two parents, a father and stepmother, may lose custody of their children after playing elaborate "pranks" on their children and posting them on YouTube for hundreds of thousands of views. The kids' biological mother saw the videos and and obtained a court order for temporary custody. As of right now, the Maryland couple will likely lose custody of the children altogether since many are calling these "prank" videos child abuse.
  • Do you think these parents deserve to lose custody of their children? Why or why not?
  • Would you consider these "pranks" child abuse? Explain your reasoning.
  • If you had to use only one word or phrase to describe how these videos make you feel, what would you say?

Monday -- 5/1/17 (Periods 3 and 4 ONLY)

Take 3-5 minutes to freewrite on the following topics.
  • What are your dreams in life? What do you want most in your future? (Think about both your wildest dreams/fantasies, as well as what you think you might end up actually doing someday in reality (...of course, these can be the same...)).
  • Do you think your dreams will come true someday? Why or why not?
  • Do you think it's important to have dreams? Why or why not?
  • What do you think are the best ways to ensure that your dreams are reached? What does it take?
  • What are some factors that play a role in one's ability to reach their dreams?

Friday -- 4/28/17

Heineken released a new advertisement. Watch below:

  • How do you feel about this ad?
  • How does this ad differ, in a political sense, from the recent Pepsi ad? What is this one trying to do differently and why is it a better politically charged message?
  • What do you like and dislike about this ad?

Wednesday -- 4/26/17

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This groundbreaking technology is already available for purchase!
  • Is this something you think you would be eager to purchase and own? Why or why not?
  • Do you think this device will ultimately be a major piece of technology that the majority of the population will use regularly (like smart phones)? Explain your reasoning.
  • Is there a piece of technology that you'd be much more excited about coming a reality over something like the Microsoft Hololens? What would it be (even if it seems like it's impossible to exist)?

Tuesday -- 4/25/17

From The Skimm:
Yesterday, New Orleans took down the first of four Confederate monuments throughout the city. Back in 2015, Dylann Roof – a white supremacist – opened fire on a group of black church-goers in Charleston, SC, killing nine people. Afterward, a lot of people said 'this feels like the time to take down the Confederate flag from the state capitol.' SC took it down, and the same year, New Orleans voted to take down these monuments. Supporters of the move say these monuments are symbols of racism. Critics say they're historical artifacts of the country's past that should be on display. After a lot of legal back and forth, the city's getting its way. But it was so worried about backlash that yesterday, police stood guard as workers wearing masks removed one of the monuments in the middle of the night. For security reasons, the city won't say when the others will come down.
  • Do you think recent controversy and backlash surrounding the Confederate flag and other Confederate monuments is justified? Why or why not?
  • Should these Confederate reminders be taken down? Explain your reasoning.

Monday -- 4/24/17

Unicorn Frapp at Starbucks.
  • Have you heard about/tried this trendy drink? If so, how did you like it?
  • Why do you think this "unicorn" fad is gaining popularity?

Friday -- 4/21/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

From The Skimm:
Late last night, Arkansas executed a prisoner. For the first time in over a decade. This came after the Supreme Court stepped in at the very last minute to let the state carry out this execution. This all started earlier this month when Arkansas said it's going to carry out eight executions over the span of around 10 days because one of the lethal drugs used was due to expire later this month. Ever since, there have been a lot of legal battles to try to push back those executions. Including one case where the prisoners argued that one of the drugs used doesn't always work and could lead to cruel and unusual punishment (see: botched executions in Arizona and Oklahoma in recent years). A federal judge said 'agreed' and hit pause on all of Arkansas's scheduled executions. The state appealed hard. And, last night, after a lot of legal back and forth, the Supreme Court lifted the pause in this particular case. They didn't explain their decision. And it's unclear what it means for the other executions that the state has planned.
  • The death penalty has been an area of controversy since its inception. Do you think the death penalty should be abandoned and that we should not kill prisoners? Or do you think we should continue using this penalty? Explain your reasoning.
  • Under what circumstances do you think the death penalty is necessary, if any? Why?

Thursday -- 4/20/17

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  • Do you think this will someday be a reality? In other words, do you think we will someday only rely on lab-grown meat and not on live animals for our meat-based food? Why or why not?
  • What are some potential positives and negatives if this were to become a reality in the future?
  • Would you feel comfortable trying meat if you knew it was grown in a lab? Why or why not?

Wednesday -- 4/19/17

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That's right! These influential public figures, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk, actually believe that we are living in a simulated reality, similar to The Matrix. In other words, the reality that we perceive right now is actually a simulation and our actual reality is something other than what we are perceiving this moment. The influential film, The Matrix, is exactly this idea, more specifically -- the idea that we are living in a computer program simulation and our actual reality is something other than this (in the case of The Matrix -- a dystopian future in which humans are subservient to and hunted by machines).
  • Do you think this theory is in any way possible? Or do you think it's complete nonsense? Explain your reasoning.
  • If this was possible, would you rather "wake up" from the simulation and live in the "real world" (whatever that reality may be), or would just want to stay in this reality? Explain.
  • Do you think people who actually believe this are crazy/out of their minds? Why or why not?

Tuesday -- 4/18/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

United Airlines was recently the subject of major controversy for forcibly (and perhaps violently) removing a passenger after overbooking a flight. The video below went viral, sparking outrage against the airline.

  • Do you think this situation was handled correctly? Why or why not?
  • What justification do you think the airline could possibly give for acting so forcibly?
  • After seeing this video, does this influence whether or not you would ever fly on United Airlines? In other words, would you fly on this airline after seeing this video? Why or why not?

Monday -- 4/17/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

  • What did you do for Spring Break? (Cannot say "nothing"!!!)
  • What was the best part of your Spring Break? Why?
  • What was the worst part of your Spring Break? Why?

Thursday -- 4/6/17

Yesterday, Pepsi pulled a controversial ad due to public outcry and backlash:

  • Do you think this is a controversial video? Explain. Is the negative critical reception of this video fair?
  • Do you think Pepsi made the right move in pulling this ad? Why or why not?
  • Does this video make you want to buy Pepsi? Knowing what you know about media literacy, is this an effective ad?

Wednesday -- 4/5/17

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In what some are calling a major blow to consumer privacy, a recent resolution was signed that allows internet providers to use, share, and sell your web history and data to other websites and web companies (i.e. Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Source
  • How does it make you feel that your internet provider will be able to sell your browsing data to web companies without your permission? Why?
  • What are some potential positives and negatives that you see in this situation?

Tuesday -- 4/4/17

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  • Do you think these efforts to develop transplants to merge human brains with computers will become a reality in your lifetime? Explain.
  • What are some of the positives and negatives of this type of bio-technological merger? In what ways do you think this could be used in the future?
  • Are you for or against the development of this type of technology? Explain your reasoning.

Monday -- 4/3/17

You can now send drinks...through the internet.

This bizarre new experimental system (technological breakthrough?) allows people to electronically transport the look and sourness of lemonade over the internet. When the recipient drinks from the special mug, electrical stimulation hits their tongue and simulates the taste of lemonade.
  • Would you trust/try a drink that was sent through this system? Why or why not?
  • Do you think electronically sending drinks through this system will catch on in a significant way in the future? Why or why not?
  • Could you see yourself sending drinks to friends using this system in the future? What would you send?

Wednesday -- 3/29/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

  • Yesterday, Iceland reportedly became the first country ever to introduce a bill that requires employers to prove they pay men and women the same. And it’s already looking like it has enough support to pass. The world has this problem. It’s called the wage gap. In Iceland, women make on average up to 18% less than men (in the US, it’s 21%). Iceland’s over it. The country’s already ranked really high when it comes to gender equality, and has laws that make sure women are represented on corporate boards. But it’s not stopping there. The proposed law would require companies with more than 25 employees to show they’re in line with equal pay rules. They’d also be audited. Iceland says it’s going to get rid of the gender pay gap in the next five years.
    • Were you aware that wage gaps between men and women are still a significant issue in the world today?
    • How does it make it you feel that women are paid significantly less than men in most of the world today?
    • Do you think The United States should make efforts to end wage gaps like Iceland has? (Should it have already happened?) Why or why not?

Tuesday -- 3/28/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

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  • Do you think it's important that social media sites take measures to notify their users that news being shared has been disputed by reputable sources? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Facebook's efforts to fight against fake news are effective? Why or why not?

Monday -- 3/27/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

From The Skimm:
Uber has been having a rough go as of late. First, there was that time #DeleteUber took over your news feed. Then, a former female engineer at the company wrote a viral blog post saying she left after a series of sexual harassment and sexist incidents that HR allegedly did nothing to fix. Uber said 'we're on it' and called in former US attorney general Eric Holder to investigate. Then last month, Uber's head of engineering was pushed out the door after failing to disclose that he'd been accused of sexual harassment in the past. And earlier this month, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was caught on video yelling at an Uber driver. Fast forward to yesterday, and Uber's president said he's leaving because his beliefs are "inconsistent" with the company's culture. Kalanick said Jones chose to leave after Uber decided it was time to hire a COO to help get the company back on its feet. Uber dramatic.
  • Have you ever traveled using Uber as transportation? If yes, what was your experience like?
  • How does this controversial news make you feel about the company? Do you think it's important for the general public to know more about these controversial situations, or could you not care less about it? Why?
  • Do you think the idea of Uber is a good idea? Why or why not?

Friday -- 3/24/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

There are many grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Make corrections to the sentence as you see fit. Then completely rewrite the sentence as correctly as you can.
  • Tim Johnson has a symbol it can be multiple one of them can be the black communities that's the one i chose because when Atticus shot the dog later on in the book a white man shot Tom Robinson but he probably didn't want to he just had to do it because it had to.

Thursday -- 3/23/17 (Includes Periods 3 & 4)

From "the Skimm":
Yesterday, five people were killed in a terrorist attack near the British parliament in London.


First, a car drove into several people on Westminster Bridge, near Parliament. Three people died and dozens more were injured. Then, a man got out of the car and fatally stabbed a police officer while trying to enter Parliament. Police shot and killed the attacker. And Parliament went into lockdown mode. It’s still unclear who the attacker was, but police have arrested seven people and are calling it terrorism.


British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack and said that Parliament’s getting back to business immediately because the city won’t be “giving in to terror.” And President Trump said the US will help the UK bring “those responsible to justice.”


This is the worst terror attack in London in over a decade. And it comes after multiple terror attacks in Europe in recent years, a few of which have also involved vehicles ramming into crowds (see: attacks last year in Germany and France). Those attacks were linked to ISIS.
  • Have you heard about this deadly London terrorist attack? What was your emotional (or other) reaction to this story? Anger? Sadness? etc. Why?
  • Would news of these pervasive terror attacks in recent years prevent you from travelling to Europe or overseas? Why or why not?
  • While it is as of yet still unknown if this attack was indeed perpetrated by ISIS, what do you think the international community can do in an effort to end atrocious actions by this extremist group?

Wednesday -- 3/22/17 (Journal Check HERE -- Period 2)

Recently, a Mexican movie theatre chain announced the launch of theatres equipped with full-sized playgrounds for kids, as well as comfortable seating for adults (see image below). These cinemas will include 55-foot slides, play structures, bean bags, lofty lounge chairs, and more. They're designed for ages 3 through 12. These types of theatres have actually existed in Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, and Guatemala for a while now. The chief executive of the theatre chain said, "It's really intended to make kids feel welcome and comfortable...The whole idea is to make it easier for parents to take their kids to the movies and let the kids have more fun."
external image Cin%C3%A9polis-Junior_U.S.-4.jpg
  • What is your opinion of theatres that provide playgrounds for kids to play in during movies? Why?
  • Do you think theatre chains in the United States should be trying to create theatres like this? Why or why not?
  • How often do you go to the movies? Do you enjoy going when you do? Explain.

Tuesday -- 3/21/17

  • Why do you think those people thought it was okay to take photos at/in/on/against the memorial?
  • Do you think the artist reacted appropriately? Do you think he was too harsh? What would you have done?

Monday -- 3/20/17

View this video about budget cuts and schools.
  • Do you currently participate in any after-school programs? If so, which?
  • What are your thoughts on these proposed budget cuts? Explain.
  • Think: If your after-school activities lost funding, what would your life be like?

Thursday -- 3/16/17

Television shows like The Walking Dead spark lots of controversy for being perhaps exceedingly violent for regular TV. Many parent groups speak out against these types of show's intense depictions of violence and now networks are contemplating a television rating stronger than TV-MA (currently the strictest TV rating).

  • Do you think that cable television shows should strive to be less violent since the most amount of people have access to/can view them? Why or why not?
  • Do you think people (especially kids and younger people) who watch violent television shows and movies, and who play violent video games, are more likely to commit violent actions in real life? Explain your reasoning.
  • Do you like TV shows, movies, and/or video games with violence in them? If so, which ones? If not, why?

Wednesday -- 3/8/17

From The Skimm
WikiLeaks put thousands of documents online that appear to outline CIA hacking techniques. The documents say that the CIA can tap into smart TVs and phones and turn them into spying devices that can listen to people’s convos. And that the CIA can sidestep encryption - a highly secure way of protecting data - on apps like WhatsApp. It’s unclear who the CIA might be targeting with these alleged tools, but there are laws that prevent it from snooping on average US citizens. So your weekly phone call with mom is probably safe. If these docs are real, they expose some pretty serious security flaws in the devices you use every day. The kinds of flaws US intelligence is supposed to flag for tech companies. And since Silicon Valley has been butting heads with the feds lately over protecting customer privacy, this is probably raising a few flags.
  • Does it bother you that the CIA has this much power in seeing people's private conversations? Why or why not?
  • Do you think the CIA should face negative consequences for these shady hacking techniques? Why or why not?
  • IS it good or bad that WikiLeaks continually leaks extremely sensitive and important information like this? Why?

Tuesday -- 3/7/17

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Legalized marijuana has been a major issue in the United States for decades. Many protesters wanted President Obama to remove marijuana from the federal government's most serious category of illegal drugs. Marijuana is currently on the list of Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which is the same category that includes serious drugs like heroin, bath salts, and LSD. As a result, marijuana use can be prosecuted aggressively. All of this comes during a time when there has been a serious nationwide push for the legalization of marijuana. Currently, the Trump administration is starkly against expanded use of marijuana, citing it as a "very real danger."
  • What are some possible social, economic, and political consequences that may come with the legalization of marijuana?
  • What are some potential negative repercussions of legalization? What are some potential positive repercussions?
  • Based on what you already know about the drug, do you think marijuana is dangerous? Why or why not?

Monday -- 3/6/17

Odysseus continuously displays hubris throughout The Odyssey, which is responsible for many of the events of the epic poem. Hubris is excessive pride.
  • In your opinion, is Odysseus' hubris a positive, likable trait? Why or why not?
  • Describe a time in your life when you felt a great deal of pride in yourself (but not excessive!). Why did you feel this way and why was it important to you not to excessively indulge in this pride?

Thursday -- 3/2/17

  • To the best of your ability, describe what a dinosaur looks like.
  • What reference point are you using to inform your description? In other words, where have you "seen" dinosaurs before that helps you create your description?

Recently, paleontologists discovered that "A dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago had drumstick-shaped legs much like living birds...[Furthermore,] The feathered dinosaur also had bird-like arms similar to wings." In fact, many paleontologists are now theorizing that most dinosaurs (including "famous" dinosaurs like the velociraptor) may have been feathered. The recently discovered dinosaurs mentioned above may have looked like this:

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  • Do you think paleontologists are correct in theorizing that dinosaurs may have looked like this? Why or why not?
  • Does this news surprise you? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that pop culture (i.e. movies, books, music, etc.) plays an important role in how we think about certain things in the world/throughout history? In other words, does pop culture significantly inform our perceptions of certain things in life? Explain.

Wednesday -- 3/1/17

There are eight grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Then completely rewrite the sentence correctly, making all eight changes.
  • America is suppose to be a free country but were not letting innocent people in, instead we are labeling the as terrorist and banning them from coming back into the United states.

Monday -- 2/27/17

Yesterday was the 89th Academy Awards ceremony.
  • Do you like/pay attention to film/movies? If so, why and what are some of your favorite titles/genres? If not, why?
  • Do you think awards ceremonies/receiving accolades is important? Why or why not?
  • Do you think film is an important art form? Explain your reasoning.

Friday -- 2/24/17

  • What are some things in your life you really, really wanted or longed for (can be now or in the past)?
  • Did you ever get these things? If so, how did you feel when you finally got what you had been waiting/longing for?
  • In your experience, when you've gotten things that you've really wanted, would you say your expectations were met? Why or why not?

Thursday -- 2/23/17

Google announced that it has created a new artificial intelligence tool called Perspective that aims to fight/prevent online trolling. The tool "scans online content and rates how 'toxic' it is based on ratings by thousands of people. For example, you can feed an online comment board into Perspective and see the percentage of users that said it was toxic." A Google representative "emphasized that Perspective was a work in progress and would only improve if people contributed to it." All of this has been created in an effort to prevent online harassment and cyber-bullying, something other companies, like Twitter, have been making significant efforts to prevent and limit as much as possible.
  • Would you support a program like Google Perspective in order to prevent online harassment? Do you think this program will catch on? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever been the victim of "trolling," or online harassment/cyber-bullying, on social media sites? Have you ever been the perpetrator? Do you think something like Google Perspective could have helped prevent a situation like this for you personally?
  • Why do you think people "troll" at all? Explain your reasoning.

Wednesday -- 2/22/17

View the video below:

Brittany Maynard became the face of the "right to die" movement. This movement is possible through the "Death With Dignity" Act (currently only legal in five states), which declares that people should be given the right to have a choice to end their life if they are terminally ill. It's also referred to as self-euthanasia, assisted suicide, or physician-assisted suicide.
  • Should people have the right to legally end their own life with the assistance of their physician?
  • Think of this situation from the perspective of the terminally ill patient, the patient's family, and the doctor that would administer the drugs that would kill the patient. How would you feel about the "Death With Dignity" Act if you were in the shoes of these people? Why?
  • Describe some of the moral implications that come to mind for you personally when you think of this issue. Why do you think you feel this way?

Tuesday -- 2/21/17

On December 2nd, 2016, a warehouse in Oakland, California caught fire during a concert in the building. 36 people were killed in the fire. The man who managed the building and ran the event, Derick Almena, did not have a permit (i.e. a legal right) to hold the concert in the building. The building was extremely dilapidated, unsafe, and it was not up to the city's building codes. People who knew of the building before the concert stated they were not surprised the building was destroyed and that it was only a matter of time because of Almena's extremely poor upkeep. When interviewed, Almena displayed profound remorse:

According to sources (including Almena's own father-in-law), Almena neglected his kids regularly, used the building for drug-fueled sex parties, and had many run-ins with the law, including going to jail multiple times. Almena's own father-in-law states that he deserves to be punished to the fullest extent. Furthermore, Almena has many videos on YouTube in which he acts quite eccentrically. In one video, he describes himself as a "thriller love child of Manson, Pol Pot, and Hitler."

Some of the victims were able to text their loved ones in their final moments during the fire. A man at the concert texted his girlfriend saying, "Fire. I love you." It was his final text before his death. A young woman texted her mother saying, "I love you. I'm going to die, Mom." She also died during the fire.

  • Should Almena be held accountable for the deaths of the 36 victims? Why do you think so?
  • In deciding whether Almena should be held accountable or not, what information above was most influential in helping you to make your judgment about Almena? Why do you think this was the most influential piece of information for you?

Monday -- 2/20/17

There are five grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Then completely rewrite the sentence correctly, making all five changes.

  • Please completed the recommendation and s email to or give it to me personally recommendation, so please don't return the completed form back to the student)

Friday -- 2/17/17

There are rumors that Apple may be getting rid of the charging cord with the iPhone 8. As a result, you could simply place your iPhone on a charging dock without having to plug anything in. This would allow Apple to make their phones even skinnier than they already are. This news comes shortly after Apple released the wireless "Air Pods," which are wireless ear buds.
  • What would you say are some of the pros and cons of wireless charging and wireless ear buds?
  • Do you think it's wise to make a move to wireless formats? Would you buy the ear buds or the new iPhone specifically because of their wireless capabilities? Why or why not?
  • Currently, over 99% of smart phones are either iOS (Apple's operating system) or Android (a Google-created operating system). Of the two, what type of phone do you have right now? Do you have a strong preference for one over the other? If so, why?

Thursday -- 2/16/17

Human colonization of Mars is quickly looking like a very real possibility. About a year ago, NASA created a video requesting candidates for deep space missions in order to research and prepare for an inevitable trip to Mars. View the first minute of the following video:

  • Do you think humans will visit Mars in your lifetime (or ever)?
  • Do you think human attempts to visit Mars would be a wise or a foolish endeavor? Why or why not?
  • What do you think are some potential problems with attempting to colonize Mars?

Wednesday -- 2/15/17

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Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak have all stated that artificial intelligence is likely a deadly and dangerous investment.
  • Are you convinced that AI is something we should not pursue in the future? Or is it inevitable?
  • If it becomes a reality, do you think it will be very dangerous, or will we have nothing to worry about?

Tuesday -- 2/14/17

Today is Valentine's Day!
  • Write a Valentine's message to someone important in your life, or to someone who you think needs it.
  • Have you ever celebrated Valentine's Day with someone special? If so, what did you do? Did you receive anything from/get something for your significant other? If you haven't, think of something creative you might do (hey, maybe this will help you in the future!).
  • Is there anything you love/hate about Valentine's Day? Why?

Monday -- 2/13/17

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony occurred last night, February 12th, 2017. Big winners included Adele, Chance the Rapper, and Beyonce (among many others).
  • Did you watch the Grammy's/do you usually watch the Grammy's each year? Why or why not?
  • How important is music to you? What role does music play in your life right now? Who are some of your favorite artists/what are some of your favorite songs at the moment and why?
  • Some artists decided to make political statements during their acceptance speeches. If you won an award and had the stage as a platform to make a statement/message, what type of message would you convey? Would you simply say thank you to the people that helped you along the way? Or would you think it was important to express some sort of message that you feel strongly about?

Friday -- 2/10/17

Some information about an initiative launched about a year ago:
  • Do you think "Breakthrough Starshot" will discover an Earth-like planet, or alien life, in our lifetime? If Earth-like planets or alien life are discovered through this initiative, do you think humans should make efforts to populate other planets in the universe? Why or why not?
  • Some critics of this mission argue that these brilliant minds and abundantly wealthy individuals should focus on fixing problems for life on Earth rather than exploring deep space. Should these influential people be more responsible for helping with important issues on Earth and abandon space exploration initiatives altogether? Why or why not?

Thursday -- 2/9/17

The Wake County Public School System code of student conduct "prohibits disruptive, provocative, revealing, profane, vulgar, offensive, obscene, or unsafe clothing or bodily appearances." The school system does not recommend students wearing "exposed undergarments; sagging pants; see-through or excessively short, tight or revealing clothes; bare midriff or strapless shirts; clothing with lewd, indecent, or vulgar messages or illustrations; clothing that advertises products or services illegal to minors; head coverings; chains, spikes, or other accessories that could be perceived as or used as a weapon; clothing that violates the school system's policies against gang and gang-related activities."
  • Do you think these rules for WCPSS student code of conduct are fair? Why or why not?
  • Do you think this code is equally fair for both genders, or do you think that one gender has more limitations? Explain.
  • Do you think the code should be even stricter, or less so? How would you make this argument to an administrator? What examples of appropriate or inappropriate student clothing can you think of that you would include when arguing your side?

Wednesday -- 2/8/17

According to the United States Natural Resources Defense Council, "as much as 40% of the food produced in the U.S. never gets eaten" and "Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food every year." That's roughly 20 pounds worth of food thrown away by every single person in America every month, which is enough food to fill 730 football stadiums. Furthermore, "49.1 million people lived in food-insecure households" in 2013. Respond to the following prompts:

  • Did you know about these food waste facts? If yes, how? If no, do these facts about America's food waste problem alarm you?
  • Does food waste matter to you? Why or why not?
  • What do you think can be done about the United States' food waste problem?

Tuesday -- 2/7/17

In the Harry Potter series, the Deathly Hallows are The Elder Wand (which gives its wielder the most power), The Resurrection Stone (which has the power to bring the dead back to life), and The Invisibility Cloak (which makes its wielder completely invisible).
  • If you could choose to be the possessor of any one of these objects, which would you choose? Why? What would you do with the item of your choice?
  • If you could be the owner of all three, what might be some of the things you would do? How and why would these things differ from what you would do if you only possessed one?
  • If this were somehow really possible, would you actually take these items? Or would you be too nervous that you might use them for personal vices (i.e. immoral behavior; criminal activities)? Explain.

Monday -- 2/6/17

View the video below, titled "If Soda Commercials Were Honest"

Now for some Scary Soda Statistics (found in American studies and published in research journals):
  • Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60%.
  • Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 25%.
  • Sugary drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet.
  • A can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is 100% of the recommended daily intake (Diet Coke, and diet soda in general, is no better).

  • Do you drink/like soda?
  • Having seen these statistics and this satirical, albeit informative, video, does your outlook on soda change at all? If so, how?
  • In the interest of health in America, do you think more should be done to make the general public more aware of this troubling information?

Friday -- 2/3/17

This Sunday marks the arrival of Super Bowl 51: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots. Super Bowl Sunday has become something of a phenomenon in the United States, seen as a holiday-like day in which people get together at parties to watch the game.
  • Do you usually watch the Super Bowl? If not, why not? If so, do you watch it alone/with your family, or with a large group of people (i.e. a party)?
  • Do you care about football or professional sports? Why or why not?
  • Should sports in America be viewed as important? Why or why not?

Thursday -- 2/2/17

Self-driving cars exist right now! The Tesla Model S has a self-driving system called "Autopilot." Some questions to consider:

  • What are some potential problems with a self-driving car?
  • Would you like to own/drive in a self-driving car? Why or why not?
  • Do you think these types of cars will someday rule the roads? In other words, do you think that someday only electric, self-driving cars will exist and humans will do away with gas-powered cars? Why or why not?

Wednesday -- 2/1/17

  • What are some things you learned about your partner (things that you did not already know) during the Humans of Cary High project? Was there anything that particularly surprised you from what your partner said about themselves or that you were not expecting to hear?
  • Do you think you revealed potentially interesting information to your partner? If so, what? If not, why not?
  • Do you feel that you have a better understanding of your partner than you would have had you not participated in this project? Why or why not?

Tuesday -- 1/31/17

There are 12 grammatical errors in the sentence below. Write the incorrect sentence (below) in your journal. Then completely rewrite the sentence correctly, making all 12 changes.
  • I've only read two books in my whole life, percy jackson and the lightning thieves and maze runner, i like reading books that I have already watched a movie off.

Monday -- 1/30/17

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that bans some refugees and immigrants from entering the US.


It hits ‘pause’ on Syrian refugees coming into the US. And also temporarily shuts the door on citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Initially, the ban even applied to people with valid visas or green cards. Over the weekend, at least 100 travelers were detained at airports across the country. Including an Iraqi man who once worked as an interpreter for the US gov. So the ACLU sued the White House. And a federal judge blocked anyone who was being held at US airports from being deported. Thousands of people protested across the country, especially at airports.


That the ban may be unconstitutional because it could violate religious freedoms. See: prioritizing letting in Christian refugees coming from places like Syria. Plus, some experts say the order won’t help protect the US, since people from these banned countries aren’t the ones who have carried out deadly attacks in America in recent years. And some people — including GOP lawmakers — say Trump’s move might end up helping terrorist groups recruit more members in the future.


That this is a win for national security. Trump says that his executive order has nothing to do with religion and it’s all about “keeping our country safe.” Trump is also doing basically what he said he’d do during the campaign, so his supporters are happy he’s keeping his promises.


The ban still stands. But the White House has backtracked juussst a little bit. Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that green card holders aren’t affected by the ban. Meanwhile, more than a dozen Attorneys General are saying ‘see you in court, Mr. President.’


America is a country built by immigrants and religious freedom is a constitutional right. Even though Trump said yesterday that the US has always been the “land of the free,” his moves have some people worried that the founding principles of the US could be at risk.

  • Have you heard about this situation or were you unaware of this throughout the weekend?
  • What is your reaction to this news? Why do you feel this way?