Top-FiveLOGO3Top Five

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

This week, we all want to be smarter, learn things that will improve our lives, but sometimes basket weaving, and bowling can be some of the most satisfying college courses ever taken.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. My top 5:
    5. Vertebrate Zoology.
    Lots of memorization of skeletons, calls and footprints, but was super fun and led to me stuffing a barn owl for an ending project. Morbid? Perhaps, but it was still a hoot.

    4. Organic Chemistry
    One of those freshman-weeding-out-classes but I was determined to do well and really developed my studying skills and revealed how I would handle tougher courses (which turns out wasn’t as good)

    3. God vs. Evolution
    Just a philosophy class with no wrong answers but extremely interesting. Every class was an in depth conservation which shaped my current belief system or lack there off.

    2. Astronomy.
    The professor treated this class as a hobby and the night labs of star gazing still shine in my memory.

    1. The Art and Science of Brewing.
    We learned how to make beer and attended an additional Lab once a week to just drink and discuss beer. The only lab that I have ever left buzzed.

    • I really wish we had a course in brewing out our college. I proposed a full Business Major in brewing that went from home brewing, to micro, to running your own business. With two or three breweries in town, it would have made for a great degree. Unfortunately, the President at the time wasn’t to hip on promoting a degree program that came from a school that is widely known for its beer drinking and partying. And by the time that one left and the new one came on board, she chased everyone away who could have made a brewing program work. I’m not bitter, mind you.

  2. So, first I will say that Rodrigo made reference to his Evolutionary Biology class at least once before, in Episode 87: Books That Changed Our Lives (
    Secondly, Matthew’s account of our golf experience was correct in every particular, but if there was someone named Karl (or, God help us, Carl) in that fateful Intro To Broadcasting course, it wasn’t me.
    And finally, I never had a class with Stephen, but I am dead certain that we took the same Music Appreciation course from the same instructor in different semesters. Now that I’ve cleared all that up, my top five:

    5) Creative Writing – Matthew and I took a number of classes together, but this was probably the most memorable, with the possible exception of Fencing. The instructor was an artist in residence who had written a novel about an angsty young woman. I particularly remember a scene involving a candlestick. But the best part of the class was being given writing prompts and, more importantly, constraints that required me to think about writing in new ways.

    4) The Bible As Literature – Taught by the Dean of my department, this course brought in ideas from wildly different directions, including Anglo/Norman language differences and the concept of poetic parallelism. It was probably the class that made me think the hardest in my undergraduate program.

    3) Jewelry – Like Stephen, I was a scholarship kid, and when it came down to my final semester and I only had one required class left before student teaching, I was able to take a bunch of things just for fun. This was one of them. I learned soldering, forging, casting, and a bunch of other skills and made some truly beautiful objects.

    2) Readers’ Advisory – As a librarian, I have a Masters degree, so I have to mention a grad school class. This required course was team taught by two professors so utterly different that they couldn’t get through a single class period without arguing. We called it the Colleen And Jeri Show, but we learned a ton about what it takes to help people find books that will appeal to them.

    1) Sociology 101 – This was one of the required courses for Education minors, but I truly believe that if I’d taken it earlier in my college career, I might have changed majors. It was like I was putting names to ideas that I had understood instinctively all my life. I loved it so much that I took another 500 level Soc course from the same instructor during that same fun semester when I took Jewelry and, for that matter, Creative Writing.

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