Making Things Up As We Go!

The internet is constantly making new words, especially using portmanteaus. This week I came up with three of my own for phenomena in my life that I don’t have an easy way to explain. I hope you enjoy them!

  • Pristinate (prih-STEE-nayt) – v. To clean as a means of keeping yourself from doing other work that needs to be done.
  • Slup (sluhp) – v. when you trip going up the stairs.
  • Cherakri (chuh-rack-ree) – n. The side of your hand made up of the side of your palm opposite your thumb and your pinky (if you made a fist and put it thumb side up on a surface, your cherakri would be touching the surface).

The musician in me wanted to be fancy with the last one, so it uses the Greek words for edge (ákri) and hand (chéri). Considering I use my cherakri as my eraser for my whiteboard, now I have a way to explain why there’s ink on that part of me to everyone else!

Reframing a Problem
While learning about design it has become clear that not all problems are what they seem – sometimes they need to be looked at in a different way. When we reframe the problem, it creates new viable solutions. Here’s an example from my own life:

I am spending the week with my husband at his apartment in DC, and I’m struggling with being stuck in an apartment by myself with no way of leaving while he is at work. The building requires the same key fob to get in and out whether it’s the garage or the front door. He also drives a manual so I can’t drive him to and from work so that I have a way to leave. The problem, in this case, was me saying “I can’t leave, and I’m just stuck here while you work all week.” It seemed as if I was restless and frustrated that he was unable to take time off while I was visiting.
When I arrived here, we started talking about different things that he hadn’t had time to do (cleaning, organizing, make dinner at night, cross-stitching, videogames that I hadn’t played that he owns) and started making a list. Providing a list of options helped me realize that it was not that I was “stuck”, but that I was worried about feeling bored or that I had nothing to do while he was gone. 
I’m now feeling much better about going into the week, knowing I have so many options and will most likely not get bored.

I really struggled thinking of a problem that I could reframe from my own life. I asked my husband for ideas as well, and he could not think of any. What I discovered about myself is that my “shifts” in thinking feel too fluid to recognize them as reframing or shifting my thought processes around it. I learned that reframing can be simpler than I think, but requires much more explanatory knowledge about the situation. Sometimes that means being really in the situation itself. So far I think this solution will work, but I won’t know until the end of February break! I will try to remember to update this later.

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