Upcoming Plans

Hello, long time no post.  Sorry if I kept anyone waiting on more content and for temporarily abandoning my site.  I’ve been working on a lot of projects involving my professional writing and my creative writing so unfortunately PhAze 2 was placed on the back-burner.  I have a fiction novel in the works (roughly 300 pages at the moment), a collection of free-verse that should hopefully be published at the end of this year or early next year and some short story ideas in my head.  At the same time, I’ve been considering which direction I should take this site in for the future.  I’ve been meaning to update my followers on my plans for this site–better late than never, I guess.

Originally, PhAze 2 was a practice blog meant for gaining experience in managing a site as well as writing engaging content.  However, now it seems like this blog would better serve as a platform for my writing.  I already have links to outside articles included on this site as well as my own original content.  I still plan on linking to any outside article I write and I plan on updating this blog with its own content.  At the same time, I also want to use this site to gather an audience for my creative writing endeavors by linking to where they can be purchased online and sharing teasers before anything is officially released.  Given the nature of self-publishing, I need all the exposure I can get.

The site will likely undergo a re-branding soon though the changes will be minimal.  The layout will change, some of the content will change and the name will likely change, too.  I still have to figure out how I’m going to separate my typical content from this new content I have in store, whether or not I should try to separate the content and whether or not I should even take the blog in this direction rather than creating a new site for publishing my creative works.  So I still have plenty to think about before making any changes.  I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on and what to potentially expect in the coming months.  Possibly more focus on rhetoric and less focus on journalism.  Not sure yet but didn’t want to keep you all hanging for too long.

Thank you for your patience and your continued support!  I’m looking forward to what is in store for the fate of this site and I hope you all stay with me for the ride.

Take care!


PhAze 2 Facebook Page Launched

Hello everyone and welcome to November!

I just wanted to let you all know I created a Facebook page for PhAze 2 as a satellite for this blog.  I’ll use the Facebook page to post new PhAze 2 articles and to engage readers in a more convenient setting.  The majority of my focus will continue to be on this blog but having a Facebook page may make it easier for me to update everyone on new articles without requiring you to log in to WordPress.  It will also allow others to engage with and follow my blog without having to create a WordPress profile.

Please check out the PhAze 2 Facebook page and give it a Like by following the link below!

Thanks for your time!

The Four Horsemen of The Holiday Marketing Apocalypse

Every year starting around mid-September, we are faced with a serious threat to our psychological conditioning:  the over-marketing of consumer goods.  It begins slowly and sweetly with seasonal favorites then it suddenly jumps our bones and sends consumers into frenzies across the country as people are trampled in attempts to score the big sale.  The madness seems to revolve around four key players, or horsemen if you will, since their annual arrivals spell out media chaos and consumer-state doom. Grab a pen and take note–the “end of days” of the year is fast approaching and there’s not much time to prepare!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes – Famine

The Armageddon begins with pumpkin spice lattes (never thought you’d read that sentence, did you?).  Don’t let these hot, tempting, caffeinated pumpkin spice-infused abominations fool you:  they mean serious business and represent the first horseman of the holiday marketing apocalypse.  Pumpkin spice lattes remind consumers the holidays are just around the corner, priming us for the season of spending like trumpeters of war.  Before the leaves even begin to change every company and it’s mother corporation starts rolling out  pumpkin spice everything, from pumpkin spice waffles to pumpkin spice Jell-O, for the one time of the year it is acceptable to flavor our junk food with a type of squash.

Bubba Gump Pumpkin Spice Latte Flavor Food Drink Forrest
I think we ALL know who is to blame for this pumpkin spice obsession…

It all begins with the pumpkin spice latte and consumers eat it all up (err, sip it up).  We’ve become conditioned to making seasonal purchases each year and these sinister sippers get us into the buying spirit well before the winter holidays.  Need more proof?  Take a look at these 20 pumpkin spice products, including pumpkin spice pasta, and tell me people would buy them year-round if we weren’t already conditioned to seek out these products during the fall.  Aliens would have to assume pumpkins are the only thing we can get nutrition from between September and November and because of that, pumpkin spice lattes have earned the title of Famine, the first horseman of the holiday marketing apocalypse.  Once they roll out, the unholy procession of sales and advertising has begun…

Thanksgiving Weekend – War

No more “over the river and through the woods” for this holiday weekend–grandmother’s house can bite it.  The Thanksgiving Weekend is the largest retail event of the year thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and a little classical conditioning)–they even sound like doom incarnate, which makes them perfect for this list.  Black Friday is famous for inciting stampedes and fights between shoppers that have left people both dead and injured–right after practicing gratitude and counting blessings on Thanksgiving Day.  Yay, ironic violence! There’s even a site that keeps track of Black Friday deaths and injuries, so you know the annual advertisements are working.  Cyber Monday, on the other hand, only exists because office workers just couldn’t get enough shopping done on Black Friday so they continued their sprees at work the following Monday when they had faster internet access and could make back some of the money they were spending as they were spending it. “Just two more hours of browsing Amazon for Sally and I’ll have that extra fifty bucks to get Riley that new Grand Theft Auto game.” True story, and there are millions of people across the country conditioned into doing this. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are hailed as the biggest shopping days of the year–92 million people hit the stores last Black Friday while more than 131 million consumers shopped online last Cyber Monday, according to press releases by the National Retail Federation.   All in all, consumers spent about $57 billion last Thanksgiving Weekend (2013) according to the same press releases–though the numbers have been climbing for decades. In related news, the rising sales figures are inversely correlated with the amount of quality time families spent together to remember the Natives and how they saved the pilgrims’ sorry asses from freezing in the snow.


Retailers spend all year preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday by creating marketing and advertising strategies, developing keywords to boost site traffic, buying ad space on Facebook and Google, planning floor layouts, developing sales, selecting their best merchandise and training their sales associates to kill–figuratively speaking.  Because retailers are constantly trying to out-compete each other to win relevancy in consumers’ minds during this crucial time of year (you know, when we’re supposed to be kind, spend time with loved ones and have good will toward others), the retail madness we call the Thanksgiving Weekend has been declared the Horseman of War.  It’s already too late to escape the holiday marketing apocalypse by the time this horseman arrives: door buster sales, red tag discounts, free shipping, gifts-with-purchase incentives and repetitive Christmas commercials are EVERYWHERE.  Your best bet for survival is to unplug from all media and lock yourself in the bathroom with a baseball bat, a yo-yo and one thousand granola bars.

Anthony Dodson Antwon Black Friday Cyber Monday Sales hide yo kids wife husband
Yes, this really does happen. Here’s one case and here’s another.

30 Days of Christmas – Conquest

Okay, we get it.  Christmas wins and it’s not going to let us forget that.  Instead, forget those lames Chanukah, Kwanza, Thanksgiving and Halloween.  And DEFINITELY forget the pagan origins of Christmas and how the holiday should really be celebrated sometime around September*.  Christmas is here and you jingle-heads better be ready for Santa.  To make sure we are, cable networks slam us with Christmas shows and movies that activate our psychological conditioning to make us feel unseasonably warm inside–just warm enough to remember uncle Greg and that sale on a coffee maker.  Don’t buy that?  Then take a look at two classic Christmas movies, Miracle on 34th Street and It’s A Wonderful Life, which are sure to include plenty of elements of capitalism and commerce, the Macy’s references being prime examples. Ever notice how many Christmas movies and shows involve malls?

The mental priming typically starts with Elf, because if there’s anyone who can catch us off guard and warm us up to indoctrinated consumerism, it’s Will Ferrell dressed as Peter Pan making paper snowflakes.   Then a clinically depressed Charlie Brown comes along followed by a Rudolph scorned, an irresponsibly naive Frosty, a forever-young Macaulay Culkin, Woodland Christmas Critters and that one elf who just wants to be a dentist.  The flood of nostalgic Christmas movies anchors us to our inner child and the holiday mindset simultaneously and now we’re fully ready to accept product advertisements and wait in long lines at malls (y’know, in concordance with the true meaning of Christmas?). Quick, somebody tell Frankie he’s going to put an eye out.

Will Ferrel 30 Days Christmas Elf Retail Funny Phaze 2 two

Valentine’s Day – Death

The retail holidays don’t end with Christmas or even New Year’s Day–they end with the last big retail event of the winter, which is Valentine’s Day.  Last year, consumers were expected to spend $17.3 billion on Valentine’s Day with $3.9 billion of that going to jewelry, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.  Turns out the day we equate to love and romance has quickly become a superficial display of affection to benefit Wall Street as we’re guilt-tripped into splurging on our significant others so we can be thoughtful and romantic for one day out of the year as we’ve been conditioned by society.

“Consumers can expect Cupid’s holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck.”  – Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO.

But let’s be honest here, was Valentine’s Day ever really about love and romance?  First off, according to an article on, Valentine’s Day has it’s origins in Lupercalia, a Roman-pagan fertility celebration featuring sacrificial cows and goats, women streaking naked through the streets while being slapped with raw animal hides and the story about Romulus and Remus is told, how they were raised by a wolf and became the founders of Rome.  So not much romance there, unless you’re into BDSM story time with raw animal hide and mammal blood.

There is a redeeming factor.  Valentine’s Day is named for Saint Valentine, who was executed by the Roman emperor Claudius for marrying young couples.  As the story goes, Claudius outlawed marriage for young men because he believed they made better soldiers if they didn’t have wives or families to live for and care about.  When he found out Saint Valentine was conducting secret marriages he had him executed…but not before the saint sent the first Valentine’s Day card in history to the jailer’s daughter, which he signed “From your Valentine.”

So at least there’s a silver lining.  However, because Valentine’s Day forces romance to make it an empty annual tradition and because it can also be the end of a relationship if handled improperly, Valentine’s Day has been deemed the horseman of Death. It annoys both single people and those in relationships equally, leaving a trail of marked-down candy and envious Facebook posts in its wake.  But on the plus side it’s passing means you survived the holiday marketing apocalypse and have a full five months of peace before Christmas in July arrives and brings with it the return of repetitive, tinsel-wrapped advertisements indicative of consumer-state doom.  So, congratulations?

*While this article makes a strong case Jesus was born on December 25, it doesn’t take into account that January and February weren’t added to the Roman calendar until 450 A.D.  That was about 150 years after the article claims Christmas was first dated in December, which would mean the date is still close to October after the two winter months were added. But I’m no expert…

7 MiO flavors you won’t see in stores

MiO:  It's like a roofie for your water


MiO, it’s like a roofie for your water (so the above ad says).  This portable pocket pod allows you to spike your water with a refreshing blast of fruity flavors wherever you go, so never again will you look at your bland bottle of liquid lameness in disdain (Bam!).  But as long as we’re spicing up our glasses of water while doing our best Emeril Lagasse impressions we might as well have some fun with it.  Here are 7 MiO flavors you’ll never see in stores:


Beer flavored MiO1.  Beer flavored MiO-  While it sounds like a good idea on paper, beer flavored water sounds horrible when said out loud.  The lack of carbonation will just make the water taste like flat beer, the kind that can be found sitting on a beer pong table the morning after a party.  That doesn’t sound too appealing.  And at least stale beer can render one fully inebrieted, like its freshly cracked-open cousin, fresh beer.  Beer flavored water just teases our pleasure centers and makes them all giddy at the prospect of getting intoxicated, only to take that excitment away and replace it with the taste of stale beer.  No thanks.  Besides, we already have near-beer for anyone who likes the taste of America’s favorite hop-flavored beverage, but not the buzz that comes along with it.


 Bacon flavored MiO2.  Bacon flavored MiO-  Mmmm, bacon.  Bacon is great by itself or with just about anything else, especially more bacon.  However, drinking bacon doesn’t sound as great.  Maybe you could use a bacon flavored MiO as a syrup to go over your bacon.  (Did I mention I like bacon?)  In all seriousness, a bacon flavored MiO can be useful for adding some extra flavor to gravy, basting a Thanksgiving turkey or ham, or squirting over your dog’s food for an occasional treat.  Then again, I like the idea of drizzling it over my bacon.  Because we all know there’s nothing better than bacon flavor enhanced bacon.  Except beer, perhaps.


Chocolate flavored MiO3.  Chocolate flavored MiO-  It has been used to flavor everything from milk to roasted ants, so why not water?  H2O is bland as it is, and in today’s age of flashy cars and facial tattoos there is nothing worse than being bland.  Water is due for a reinvention, and chocolate flavored MiO may just be the answer.  But even if chocolate never becomes a MiO flavor at least you can buy some Hershey’s Syrup in a semi-portable bottle.  It even has a nozzle.  You can be a visionary and carry your chocolate syrup everywhere you go, always ready to chocolatize your water at a minute’s notice and share the love with others, bringing back the 60’s in style.


Starbucks Coffee flavored MiO4.  Starbucks Coffee flavored MiO-  This wouldn’t be a bad addition to the MiO family; caffeine, Starbucks, water and a bottle could be a very successful combination.  So successful that somebody may end up getting sued.  Now that’s success.  On the other hand, having the great flavor of Starbucks under your command could lead to delusions of granduer.  You may demand your friends and family to refer to you as “The Barrista,” charge people $4 for a shot from your MiO and start carrying around a tip jar that you insist isn’t pretentious (it is).  But if Kraft does decide to come out with a Starbucks coffee flavored MiO they may need to readjust the design for the dedicated coffee drinkers who would rather drink this water enhancer straight from the container.


KFC Chicken flavored MiO5.  KFC Chicken flavored MiO-  Nearly everybody loves chicken, whether it’s crispy, grilled, or topped with mashed potatoes, gravy, shredded cheese and sweet corn.  And why stop the frenzy there?  Introduce this southern delicacy to your rehydration so you can honestly say your water “tastes like chicken.”  Or, like the bacon flavored MiO, drizzle it over your chicken for chicken flavor enhanced chicken.  Squirt it over your dog’s food so your pet can get in on the fun.  A practical alternative would be dripping it on top of a plate of heinous cooking, turning a culinary abomination into a delicacy in a matter of seconds.  Just don’t let your significant other catch you in the act.  Then you’re going to have to share your MiO, which is blasphemous to its namesake (“mio” is “mine” in Spanish).


Coca Cola flavored MiO6.  Coca Cola flavored MiO-  The beverage of choice among polar bears, Coca Cola could be another practical MiO option.  Of course it faces the same carbonation issue as beer flavored MiO, but that’s when Coke’s versatility shines through.  Bring a Coca Cola flavored MiO to a party and you’ll always have a chaser nearby.  Is your Jack Daniels too strong for one of your guests?  Break out your Coca Cola MiO for a quick mixed drink.  If you ask for a Coke at a restaurant and the waitress tells you they only have Pepsi, you no longer have to settle for less:  have her bring out some club soda and dazzle your friends with your Coca Cola MiO as they scornfully drink their Pepsis.  Just don’t tell anyone you have ‘coke’ in your pocket, or you may find yourself in an entirely different situation.


Tru Blood flavored MiO7.  Tru Blood flavored MiO–  Oh Sookie.  Unless Kraft signs a deal with the True Blood execs this vampirish beverage won’t be gracing your water with its presence.  But imagine the possibilities.  You could sneak a couple drops into an unsuspecting Twilight fan’s water and watch them scream in fear of their water turning to blood.  Then you can laugh at the irony of someone who idolizes vampires (and wants to marry one) being afraid of the sight of blood.  Or you could dye your hair black, wear all black clothing adorned with chains and spikes, and hang out by your nearest Hot Topic, offering patrons some of your Tru Blood flavored MiO in exchange for them never shopping at Hot Topic again.  Between taking sips of Tru Blood flavored water from your finest glass skull goblet you can rant about consumerism and how so called “mouth breathers” ruined your favorite Friday hang out spot.  And that’s where the possibilities take a stake to the heart and die.  For now fang bangers are just going to have to make do with the standard bottles of Tru Blood, which are becoming harder to find.  Besides, only posers water their fake blood down.  Or drink fake blood.

Couple smooches during Vancouver riot

Couple Kisses during Vancouver Riots
"Make love, not war"

Yet another iconic ‘kissing couple’ picture has surfaced, but instead of a sailor stealing the breath of his girl, this one features a kiss in the middle of a riot.  In case you haven’t heard, there was a riot in Vancouver after the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Stanely Cup final.  But since no one pays attention to hockey or Canada, I’m going to talk about the picture.

The photo quickly gained popularity after it surfaced on the internet, becoming the ‘posterchild’ for the “make love, not war” slogan.  The couple (Scott Jones and Alex Thomas, thank you Facebook) went to the game together and after the riots broke out found themselves in the path of charging police.

Alex was hit by a riot shield which knocked her to the ground and Scott came to her aid.  The photographer happened to look over when Scott planted one on Alex, and now they’re famous.  Jones’ father reported that the couple is attracting media attention from all over the world asking about the events that led up to their famous kiss.

And the best thing about it all?  They haven’t been a couple for long and Scott is heading back to his home in Australia after the two of them take a trip to California.  Their story is serendipitous, almost like fate brought them together for that one picture, which will probably remain one of their favorite photos when they’re old and gray.

Not seen in the photo are burning cars, shattered windows, and looting mobs.  Hockey is a pretty big deal up there.  However,  despite the violent outburst our neighbors to the north showed class by cleaning up the city the next day and writing apology notes on pieces of plywood boarding up vandalized businesses.   Previous night rioters and abstainers alike pitched in to clean up garbage, debris, and their conscience in the streets of downtown Vancouver.

Finally, somebody can say “We’ll always have Canada” with a straight face.


8 Important Classes To Take in College

An education is only as good as the effort put into it, so logically the more we take an active role in our education the better it will be.  But just as important as academic effort are the skills gained in pursuit of a degree.  Many employers today are looking for “T-shaped” candidates; job seekers who have a broad range of knowledge in multiple fields and a depth of knowledge in their main field.  Becoming a T-shaped candidate and increasing your competitive edge is as easy as taking a multidisciplinary approach to your education by enrolling in a variety of classes outside of your major.

A very recent study published by The Association Of American Colleges And Universities (AACU) outlines many of the skills and knowledge that make for T-shaped employees and their importance in the job industry.  In fact, the study states that 93 percent of employers say critical thinking, clear communication, and the ability to solve complex problems are more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.  Detailed below are eight of the most important interdisciplinary classes you can take and how they are more beneficial than the specialty classes for your major:

Important College Courses Interpersonal Communication

1.  Interpersonal Communication

The AACU study found that more than 9 out of 10 employers say it is important for new hires to be able to communicate effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.  Also important is a candidate’s ability to work as part of a team, maintain a professional attitude, and embody ethical judgment and integrity.  Interpersonal communication classes teach you how to do all of those things and overcome the pitfalls in communication, such as ambiguous messages and cultural barriers.  In addition, you’ll learn about the inner workings of people that have a large impact on our personalities and attitudes toward the world.  With that information you’ll be able to understand where individuals are coming from and effectively communicate with all kinds of people in order to achieve goals.  Think of this class as a blend of communication, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and leadership courses that teaches you everything from improving your body language to understanding how beliefs are formed and how they effect every action and decision we make.  So not only will you be able to collaborate with a culturally diverse team to solve complex problems, you will also be able to lead that team to success despite differences in beliefs and opinions by learning the arts of compromising, negotiation, and effective communication.  Definitely a course you will want to take if you plan on pursuing a professional career.





2.  Intro to Psychology

Many majors require this course and for a good reason:  it teaches you how the mind works.  Whether you’re majoring in business or English, you need to know how your market or audience thinks in order to be successful.  With a psychology course under your belt you’ll be able to understand people and their behaviors better, which can be used to resolve workplace arguments or even convince your boss to give you that raise.  In other words it enhances the skills you gained in interpersonal communication class, which helps you work in teams and communicate effectively– skills that the AACU study says employers find highly valuable.  In addition, this class relies fairly heavily on research which prepares you for future college courses and a myriad of careers by sharpening your data analysis and computational thinking skills — which are also highly sought after.  And who knows, you may pick up a Jedi mind trick or two.





3.  Statistics

The AACU study points to analytical reasoning and data interpretation as important skills for potential candidates.  Taking a statistics course will improve those skills and help you work with data and numbers better.   Nearly every career out there deals with data, charts, and graphs in some fashion so having a basic understanding of statistics is a MUST for any college student — even if you only end up using this knowledge for a couple classes and not for a career.  Knowing statistics will also help you decide whether or not to trust an advertisement or a product:  If a drug company claimed its medicine was 75 percent effective at treating an illness but had a 10 percent chance of side effects with a standard deviation of 5 percent from a sample size of 50, wouldn’t you be more comfortable buying their medicine if you knew what those numbers meant and how they came up with them?  Or, to take a positive spin, how do you think your chances of landing a marketing job will be if you tell employers you can create advertisements that you know are effective by drawing and interpreting data about your target audience’s shopping habits?







4.  Economics/Finance

Yes, another math oriented course but on the upside this one teaches you about money.  The AACU study did not mention financial understanding as a skill that employers are looking for, but it is a skill that everyone should have (especially in this economy).  Unless you received a scholarship, by the time you graduate college you’re going to be in debt.  Knowing the economy and how to manage your money will be a huge help in the real world and may make it easier for you to get hired at an office.  If you plan on investing in anything, taking out a loan, or starting your own business then experience with economics or finance will be necessary…unless you want to go broke or hire an accountant, which often go hand in hand.






5.  Creative Writing or Advanced Composition 

Written and verbal communication (along with interpersonal communication) are frequently rated among the most sought after skills in employees, and in many cases they are rated higher than skills in data analysis, statistics, or knowledge of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math).  According to the AACU study, 80 percent of employers say it is important for graduates to have a broad knowledge of the sciences AND the liberal arts regardless of their major — 94 percent say it is important for colleges to offer liberal arts education.  Additionally, 74 percent of employers would recommend a liberal arts education to someone they know as the best way to prepare for success in today’s global economy, and one of the best ways to receive a liberal arts education is to take writing and literature courses.  So it is in your best interest to take additional writing and/or literature courses while you’re in college, and English 101 doesn’t count (sorry!).

Classes like creative writing, advanced composition, intro to rhetoric, and writing with style will help you make your resume’ more attractive to potential employers by teaching you how to write clearly, concisely, and effectively.  Knowing which words leap from a page and highlight your abilities in neon lights will also give your resume’ and cover letter a competitive edge amongst thousands of other job applicants.  A course like technical writing will help you construct more professional e-mails with less spelling and grammatical errors and will teach you the proper way to write reports and proposals.  Intro to rhetoric teaches effective communication, argumentation, and how to motivate all kinds of people to action using a wide variety of techniques.  Furthermore, literature classes teach students how to read closely and draw meanings from texts, which enhances analytical reasoning abilities.  But the bottom line is once you enter the job market with a college degree you are expected to be able to write well, so you might as well invest some time (and electives) cultivating your writing ability.


Important College Courses International Affairs

6. International Affairs

The world is becoming more and more connected thanks to the internet, social media, and trade relations with other countries.  In recent years we have seen a shift from a national economy to a global economy, and most companies, corporations, and employers are ready to do business on a global level.  The AACU study found that 55 percent of employers say knowledge about global cultures, histories, values, religions, and social systems are important traits for job seekers to have.  Knowledge about international affairs will help out greatly when dealing with a global economy, especially in situations where you have to meet with business partners and executives from other countries.  Additionally, understanding the relations between different nations will help you make predictions about the direction businesses, products, and services will take and how a certain country’s history can effect business practices (how would Germany’s history effect it’s relationship with Israel or how will the relations between the U.S. and China effect the global economy and international business?).  The corners of the world are coming closer together, which is changing the way we do business and live our everyday lives so a global knowledge will be invaluable in the years to come.


Important College Classes Philosophy

7.  Intro to Philosophy

The AACU study cites critical thinking, analytical reasoning, complex problem solving, and innovation as very important traits in the eyes of employers.  Philosophy classes foster these traits and challenge students to think logically and use analytical reasoning to solve complex problems.  “How can you prove existence is real if perceptions are also present in dreams and hallucinations?”  “How can you tell that the barn in the field is a barn and not just a giant painting of a barn?”  “What is the difference between knowing something is the case and believing something is the case?”  “How do you know that you know something and what can you do to ensure you really do know what you know?”  While philosophy sometimes catches a bad rap for overthinking the things we take for granted, becoming accustomed to this type of thinking will enhance your critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and complex problem solving skills.  Furthermore, thinking in this way leads to developing creative answers and innovative solutions that can be transferred to everyday work situations (the AACU study found that 94 percent of employers say they give hiring preference to college graduates that are innovative, due to innovation being very important to their company’s success).

For instance, I believe you are reading this because you are interested in taking classes that will help you in the long run, but that may not be the case.  Perhaps you are just reading this out of sheer boredom or maybe you already graduated from college and want to see if the classes you took end up on this list.  So instead of writing too formally, writing too casually, writing for a high school/college freshman audience, or writing for a college graduate audience, I should blend all of that together and write in a way that appeals to all four demographics while adding in pictures and bits of humor in case you really are just reading this out of boredom.  Taking an intro to philosophy, intro to logic, or critical thinking class (or intro to rhetoric, which specializes in this area) will help you make similar decisions based off similar insights, which can then be applied to almost every area of your life:  whether you’re trying to prove that your whole life hasn’t just been a hallucination, or if you’re trying to determine if something the media claimed is true or false based on the knowledge you already have and the information you believe the media isn’t giving you.





8Effective Public Speaking

Without a doubt this is the most important class you can take in college.  Period.  Regardless of what your degree is or where you want to work you’re going to have to talk to people, which explains why the AACU study found that effective communication skills ranked among the top three skills employers seek in college graduates (the other two being critical thinking and problem solving).  Public speaking gives you the confidence to speak in front of a crowd of people and the skills necessary to do so, such as speech construction and proper timing.  By the time you’re finished with this class you’ll be comfortable speaking in nearly any situation with nearly anyone about nearly any topic.  Furthermore, this class teaches you how to analyze an audience, clarify what you’re saying, and how to persuade or motivate people to do something.  Public speaking will aid you with presentations at school or work and it will help you talk to your friends, family, and strangers skillfully.  At the very least it will boost your charisma, which in turn can land you a great job and makes networking that much easier.

Are there any classes that should have made the list but didn’t?  Share your thoughts below!