Skip to content

Important Web Resources

When making an account, use the following codes:

Class Access Code
English Period 1      09B34
English Period 2      4C1EC
English Period 3      2A642
English Period 4      0F1CA
English Period 6      4F884
English Period 7      26C12

All students must take the "Standards Baseline" Diagnostic.

Writing Resources

The rhetorical triangle and persuasive appeals.


Halloween Candy Survey

Macbeth, full play on YouTube

Click me for the play!

The Martian

Composition Book Journals and Exercises

08/20 Journal 1:

What are your thoughts on standardized tests?

Do you think we should have tests? Students have to be evaluated, so, how would you suggest teachers evaluate student learning? Why would your method work better than standardized tests?

If you support standardized tests, tell me why? What makes them effective?

What is/was the test that gives/gave you the most stress?

08/20 Journal 2:

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1=lowest amount), how much do you control your own life? Explain your number and why you think it is (or has become) that way. 
How much do you control how others perceive you?

08/24 Journal 3

Humankind has been searching for the meaning of life for millennia. Is there any meaning or purpose in life? Why are we here?

08/27 Journal 4

Do good and evil truly exist? What determines if an action or a person is good or evil? Who gets to decide who or what is good or evil?

8/28 Journal 5 Finish the E portion of the ACE.




1. Question: Which will make you lose weight faster? Healthy eating or just exercise?

Healthy eating will make you lose weight faster than just exercising.

1. If you “just exercise” – you can still go eat a burger after every gym session and end up taking in more calories than burned off.


2. Question: Should all teachers have a college education?

All teachers should have a college education to be able to teach a class.

2. If a teacher does not have a college education then they do not know all they need in order to properly teach.


3. Question: Should there be an age restriction on dating?

Dating should happen in high school and after only.

3. Dating someone takes a mature and developed mind– and even then it sometimes doesn’t work out.


8/30 Journal 6
Do we really have free will? Think about this one and defend it. Ask yourself "why" several times to arrive at the underlying presumptions for your position and THEN assess their validity. 

9/4 Journal 7

If you were given a magical goldfish that could grant you three wishes– what, of this goldfish would you wish?

Be detailed! No cheesy crap like wishing for more wishes for a Genie that will give more wishes or some other nonsense. Answer the spirit of the question: three wishes. 

9/6 Journal #8

What is your favorite pastime? Why?

9/7 Journal #9
Are you a procrastinator (someone who puts things off until the last possible moment)? Why do you think you are this way? What can you do to no procrastinate? Can you do anything about it? Are you in control or not in control?

9/10 Journal #10
List your current top 5 goals for this year. List your top 5 goals for when you are 25. Why those goals? Now that you look at them, are they really all that significant? Explain.

9/13 Journal #11

•What does it mean to protest, as in what set of actions constitutes a protest rather than, say, violence, obstruction, harassment, etc.?
•What kinds of protests are permissible?
•What kinds aren’t?

9/14 Journal #12
What is something that you would be willing to protest for? Why?
9/18 Journal #13
What was a movie that you enjoyed but had an ending that left you dissatisfied? Why? Pretend you are the director and are re-filming the ending. What changes would you make? Why?
9/20 Journal #14
What makes you, you?
10/1 Journal #15
What is your most prized material possession? Now, as a thought experiment, convince me to purchase it off of you.
10/5 Journal # 16
What is the thing that scares you the most? 
10/8 Journal # 17
What makes something "cheesy/corny"?
10/9 Journal #18
Describe the perfect sandwich in great detail. Why is this the perfect sandwich?
10/11 Journal #19
Write a hilarious product review for something you own. 
10/12 Journal #20
Which is better, cats or dogs? (I'm referring to the domestic animal. No wolves or tigers and no choosing "none" or "both.")
10/16 Journal #21
Examine all sides of the following axiom: "Money can't buy happiness."
10/22 Journal #22
What is a current fashion trend you loathe or love? Why? Convince me of your position.
10/23 Journal #23

For your journal today I want you to rate your experience level with Shakespearean texts. Would you consider yourself to be at a level 1 (the lowest of the low– barely any knowledge)? A level 2 (I know who Shakespeare is– but I’ve never read anything by him– and if I have I don’t remember!). Or a level 3 (I am ready! Let’s do this!).

Explain your answer to fill the page. 

10/24 Journal #24
Make a case for Halloween being turned into a federal holiday --or-- argue that it should remain as it is, i.e., not a federal holiday. 

10/25 Journal #25
Create three predictions about your future. Make sure to be detailed about these predictions--maybe they might come true and be somewhat is known as a "
self-fulfilling" prophecy.

Journal #26
Explain the influence your peers have on your decision making. Generally, is it a positive or negative influence? Describe a time when you gave into peer pressure. What were the effects?

10/28 Journal #26
Cereal is breakfast soup. Discuss.

10/29 Journal #27
Explain the influence your peers have on your decision making. Generally, is it a positive or negative influence? Describe a time when you gave into peer pressure. What were the effects?

10/30 Journal #28
Who, at this point in the play, is the more morally evil of the two: Lady Macbeth or Macbeth?

10/31 Journal #29
In the spirit of Halloween, if someone were going to summon you, what 5 items would they have to put into the magic circle?

11/1 Journal #30
What do you make of the phrase, "evil means justify honorable intentions"?

11/2 Journal #31
Now that you have seen the entire play, which character is more evil/sinister, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth?

11/5 Journal #32
When is it acceptable (as in, how soon) for a store to begin playing winter holiday music (i.e., Christmas) and display winter holiday decorations? Why?

11/6 Journal #33
What are ethos, logos, and pathos? This is a memory check. We discussed these along with the "Rhetorical Triangle."

11/9 Journal #34 
When does one become an adult? Is it age? Physical maturity? Self-sufficiency?

11/13 Journal #35
Describe your family's Thanksgiving celebrations. Do you participate? What do you do if you do? Do do you do something else if you do not?

11/14 Journal #36
In honor of Stan Lee's passing, who is your favorite superhero and why? Make the claim that he or she is the superior one (this doesn't necessarily mean strongest or most powerful).

11/26 Journal #37 
What is a pet peeve of yours? Why does it bother you? Are you aware of any personality tics/behaviors that may be someone else's pet peeve? 

11/27 Journal #38
What is a hero?

11/28 Journal #39
Rant! Just rant, intelligently, about something. Use as much ethos, logos, and pathos as possible. Use proper language. 

12/3 Journal #40
Would you rather fight 1 500lb duck or 500 1lb ducks? Which seems like the least terrible, most winnable scenario? You get no tools or weapons to help you in this conflict. 

12/4 Journal #41
Boneless wings are just nuggets. Discuss.

12/5 Journal #42
If I have an ax and replace the handle, is it the same ax? If I then replace the head, is it the same ax? Over the years, I replace the haft (handle) and head three more times. Is it still the same ax?

12/10 Journal #43
What is your dream job?

12/11 Journal #44
What is the hardest decision you have ever had to make?

12/12 Journal #45
Google "The Trolley Problem." What are your thoughts?

12/13 Journal #46
Freebie! Write for one page about whatever you would like!

01/09 Journal #47
If your personality were described as a weather forecast, how would it be and how does that specific forecast symbolically represent you?

01/11 Journal #48
Horrifyingly or hilariously describe your 5 favorite animals. For example, a six-ton monster with spikes and a giant tentacle growing out of its face, i.e., the elephant. 

1/17 Journal #49
If you could pick any 7 classes (they don't have to be actual subjects offered at UHS), what would they be and why?

1/18 Journal #50
(Regular: Choose 2; Honors: Choose 3--complete 1 and 1/4 pages of writing for each entry)
1.)You are an ant; convince an anteater not to eat you. 
2.)Create a myth that explains whey pelicans have large beaks.
3.)You are a mad scientist. Talk about your latest invention.
4.)Explain 4 uses for a drinking glass other than holding water.
5.)Does technology make us more alone?
6.)How many texts are too many? Write the rules of texting etiquette.
7.)Do we need art in our lives? Why? Explain?
8.)Have you ever felt embarrassed by the things you used to like? Why?
9.)How often do you cry? Why?
10.)How much pressure do boys/girls face to have the perfect body? Is there a difference? Is it fair?

1/22 Journal #51 
What experience do you have reading comics and graphic novels? Do you consider graphic novels to be a legitimate form of "literature."

1/23 Journal #52
Write about a time that you meant well and worked really hard but things just didn't do well/your way. What happened? How did it make you feel? Where was the breakdown between your intentions and your results?

1/24 Journal #53
Can/does figurative language have more power to clarify/explain than literal language? Why or why not?

1/25 Journal #54
What is the greatest achievement/accomplishment of your life thus far? 

2/4 Journal #55
What are 5 things you are interested in learning about and why? They can be skills, objects, events, etc. 

2/28 Journal #56
Of the two, argumentative or informative, which is your favorite style of writing and why?

3/1 Journal #57
Twin arguments. Pick any topic you are passionate about and argue both sides with equal force. Try to use as many valid, serious (non-sarcastic) points as possible for each side/

3/4 Journal #58
You have the choice to have either peak human intelligence or peak human physical athletic ability. Which do you choose and why? 

3/5 Journal #59 
If money were no longer a concern for you, what would you spend your time/life doing?

Journal #60
How do you know that you know what you know?

Journal #61
A fruit fly lives 15-30 days. What would you do if your lifespan was so short?

Journal #62
Humanity is on trial by an advanced alien race. You, through some cosmic flub, have been selected as the spokesperson for Earth and its lawyer. How would you convince the courts that that humanity deserves to be spared?

Journal #63
Do shows like 16 and Pregnant unnecessarily glorify teenage pregnancy? Discuss.

Journal #64
A thirteen-year-old boy in India produced winged beetles in his urine after hatching the eggs in his body.
In your opinion, what is the creepiest insect? Explain your choice in detail. 

Journal #65
What was the most intense or disturbing conversation that you've had to have in recent memory? What made it so? Write out that conversation.

Journal #66
Write about the last dream that you've had.

Journal #67
What is your opinion of the new start time for Volusia County schools? What do you foresee the impacts being?

Journal #68
Draft an argumentative outline for an essay in which you are making a case that the new schedule changes are either a good or bad thing. 

Journal #69
Pick two topics and write an informative essay outline.

Journal #70
What is your Meyers-Briggs personality type (google it) and write about what you got and what you think about it. 

Journal #71
Is it more important to be respected or liked? Why do you think this?

Jounral #72
If you were offered to go to Mars, permanently, to establish a colony, would you go? Why or why not?


Set 1

  1. delineate
  2. infer
  3. poignant
  4. wizened
  5. beleaguered
  6. fluent
  7. photogenic
  8. exploitation
  9. ruinously
  10. lacking
  11. conviction
  12. unadulterated

Set 2

  1. Communal
  2. Seldom
  3. Deplore
  4. Affiliates
  5. Compelled
  6. Dialogue
  7. Monologue
  8. Stammering
  9. Ordinance
  10. Degrade
  11. Enact
  12. Precipitate

Set 3

  1. Haunches
  2. Girded
  3. Infer
  4. Theme
  5. Tone
  6. Denotations
  7. Connotations
  8. Rebuttal
  9. Counterclaim
  10. Relevant
  11. Truncate
  12. Vicarious

Syllabus and Curriculum Map

Contact Info and Bio

Department: Literacy

Email: [email protected]


Follow my school Twitter --> @UHSHughes for updates, assignment due dates, useful links, and more!

About me

Greetings students and parents!

I’d like to tell you a little about myself, but, oh! where to begin?

I’m a Georgian by birth, Arizonian by childhood, and Floridian by adolescence. The Sunshine (Rainshine) State has been my humid, rainy, and often sultry home for 28 years. My education is entirely local as well; I graduated from Pine Ridge High School in ’02, Associates at Seminole in 2012, then succeeding undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCF in English and Creative Writing. As of August 8, 2018, I've undertaken coursework for my Ph.D. in Texts and Technology at the Universtiy of Central Florida with a graduation date of 2013 pending successful candidacy and thesis defense. 

UHS has been my home for the past five years and, every year, I look forward to working with an exciting new batch of young people.

Much like the youth I teach, my life doesn’t revolve around school (though it should, for you, go study... even more), and a rather wide and culturally opposed set of hobbies fill my rare chunks of spare time. I’m a Crossfit athlete, weightlifter, painter, amateur chef, dungeon master, and video gamer. My home is stuffed to the brim with gaming and anime memorabilia. Furthermore, I am a life-long martial artist having earned instructor credentials in Kenpo, Judo, Aikido and Tae Kwon Do. I've actively competed in submission wrestling and in local karate tournament circuits for the better part of the last decade. I wrestle with the boys’ wrestling team at UHS, partially out of a desire to help, and partially out of a love of the technical beauty of the sport and the amazing exercise that only grappling can offer. 

Finally, I am a family man: a husband of 14 years (as of December) and father of 13 and 11-year-old daughters. My desire to be a role model for them is as strong as it is to be one for my students, and I strive to impart the importance of a lettered, educated, and professional self-presentation in everyday life.

I also like tacos.

Love tacos.