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Let me start by getting honest with full disclosure of my current moment. I’m behind in things. Not terribly, but things came up this week that forced me to put other things on hold (namely, my coaching business, namely-namely, my efforts to blog every week). That happens, it’s not the end of the world for the, oh, tens of people that follow my brain dump and occasional advice each week. But what’s interesting is the timing of topic and my current reality.

I wasn’t going to blog about managing time or managing projects or how to avoid procrastination or anything far more popular than what I usually do in each installation. No, I wanted to write about what to do with the feedback. From the stellar, constructive feedback that leaves you in a blissfully ecstatic mood to burst forth with renewed energy and produce Amazing Things to the wretched, mean-spirited schlock that leaves you in a wet pile on the floor of the bathroom, huddled in shame and humiliation and never wanting to face Humanity again. …


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Seven years ago I had a tenured college career, that coveted job so many graduate students and part-time faculty (supposedly) vie for. It was also a coveted gig I always wanted, though I cannot tell you why; I simply remember that some of my earliest fantasies included gripping a stubby piece of white chalk, my hands smeared with its dust, the chalkboard smudged with my notes, a group of dedicated people enraptured, hanging on my every word. …


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Critical Thinking is a semi-elusive skill you’re supposed to have down pat at some point in college (and if you’re lucky, in high school). It’s in my rubric for grading papers, within the title of the occasional assignment (Critical Thinking Papers when I can’t think of a catchy alternative) and sprinkled liberally throughout my syllabi and course materials. For the most part, students catch on and begin to think critically about the world around them which is an academic way to suggest they step outside their shadows to notice that they are not, as many mistakenly think, terminally unique.

A working definition of critical thinking is the strategic engagement of one’s cognitive skills to reach a specific outcome. That’s the digest version; as a Sociologist invested in strategic outcomes, I would add that critical investment has to include understanding your audience so that your ideas will be heard, so that you will be understood, and so that you project that you’re interested enough in something to engage in a dialogue even (and especially) when you disagree about something. If you know nothing about a topic, that’s even better because thinking critically about what you don’t know enables you to open your mind to learn. …

About

Sara Sutler-Cohen, Ph.D.

Career Strategist | Effective Career Launcher | Mentor | Strategic Sociologist | Recovering Academic www.scoutcareercoaching.com

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