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On Reframing Spring

Apr 23, 2020   |   The Dartmouth

"This term, I’m finally taking the legendary course that is ENGS 12, 'Design Thinking,'" writes Dartmouth student Cristian Cano '20 in a piece about remote learning published in The Dartmouth.

"Okay, maybe legendary is a strong word — but I’ve never heard so many people describe a course as 'life-changing' before, and when I was reflecting on how I wanted to spend my last term as an undergrad, I figured it was my last chance to find out what all the buzz was about. That said, nearly every time I tell people that I’m taking ENGS 12, they follow up by asking if I’m taking it for the distrib. It seems to them almost unfathomable that a senior in his last term would take a class not for any requirement, but simply to learn and acquire new life skills.

"Almost a month in, I can confidently say that I’m glad I chose to take 'Design Thinking.' It offers a new kind of mental stimulation that I haven’t gotten out of other classes, and while I didn’t think I’d have quite as many late nights this term making prototypes out of paper and cardboard or learning how to use Photoshop, I can’t complain too much.

"Lately, something we’ve been talking a lot about in class is this idea of 'reframing' how we think. We all carry with us so many assumptions and beliefs, many of which are problematic, and changing those requires a lot of intentional effort. Among the many lessons this pandemic has shown us is that throwing more facts and logic at someone isn’t enough to change how they think — you have to be creative and empathetic to even stand a chance."

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