Archive for December, 2012

Dissertation Writing Tips: Do you see what I see?

Hello colleagues

This week my thoughts are inspired by the biography of Albert Einstein—one of my favorite refractive thinkers.  The book is by Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe.  While I am only about half way through, I am amazed at the life that Einstein led—hanging out with the likes of Mozart and Madame Curie, a musician (violinist) as well as scientist, yet also human.  I am most surprised regarding the personal and family drama within Einstein’s life as well.

What inspired me to write this blog was the response Albert had to his son Edward as to why Einstein (dad) was so famous.  The words regard a beetle who simply walked along a curved branch, not noticing what Einstein did about forces, time, and space. Isn’t this response elegantly simple? Einstein simply took the time to look at what the beetle didn’t and understood what he saw (at least over the course of a lifetime).

I have often stated that my role as a faculty is to help my students see what is already there–albeit through fresh eyes and perspectives. Critical, creative, and refractive thinking are about boundaries and what we do we them.  Another gem proffered by Einstein was his thoughts about a finite universe without boundaries (Isaacson, 2007, p. 196).   The juxtaposition here is what caught my attention, a finite larger picture of the cosmos (macro), yet somehow still limitless on a micro level.   Are there really limits to limitlessness?

As part of my lectures on critical and refractive thinking, I ask my students if there are still limits to out of the box thinking?  If we still call it a box, is this not a limit?  Boundaryless thinking beyond conventional wisdom and means requires new ways to conceive of how one thinks about thinking.  Would you agree?

I welcome your thoughts regarding how we as writers capture these boundaries (or not) without both our thinking and writing.  Do share your insights by posting a comment here for us.  We look forward to these points and counterpoints and what lies beyond.

We learn together.

With respect,


Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®


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December 27th, 2012 by admin