10 Reasons To Be Like Leslie Knope In 2016

10 Reasons To Be Like Leslie Knope In 2016

New Year's resolutions for everyone.

Leslie Knope is the main character in the fictional series, "Parks and Recreation". If you haven't binge watched every episode yet, I suggest you head over to Netflix right now. The series offers many realistic characters and there's someone for everyone to relate to. The series centers around Leslie Knope, and not without good reason. Being a "Leslie Knope" is a huge compliment. Here are some reasons we should all be a little more like Leslie Knope:

1. Leslie puts 400% effort into everything she does.

We can all put in more effort in some aspect of our lives. Whether it's work, relationships, friendships, school or being healthy, everyone can improve! People are getting lazier and lazier these days with the increasing technology that's available to us. Give something your all and be proud of the results!

2. She goes out and gets her dreams.

Leslie doesn't let rejection get to her. She probably already has a few back-up plans to help her get what she wants. We all get discouraged sometimes, but we can't let that stop us. Just like Leslie, we should all brush it off and formulate a new plan or a different approach.

3. Leslie is extremely optimistic.

Not only is she the kind of person who keeps going in the face of rejection, but Leslie is also the kind of person that never gives up hope. Even more importantly, she doesn't let the people around her give up hope either. Everyone can't always stay positive in every situation, but having one person around who can brightens the whole group.

4. She is the best kind of feminist.

Feminist comes with many negative connotations, but these don't depict Leslie Knope. She's not the shove it down your throat kind of feminist. Not until someone tells her that girls can't do something boys can. Only when provoked does Leslie put all her efforts into proving them wrong. She is someone who truly believes in gender equality. The best part is that she wants to teach this to young girls. Discriminatory behavior and thought is learned when we are young. By targeting young girls and showing them that they can do anything boys can, we can end these gender stereotypes. (We also need to teach these lessons to young boys, but that's a whole different argument.)

5. She always remembers to give personalized and thoughtful gifts.

Nobody is a perfect friend, but Leslie Knope is pretty darn close. She is the kind of friend that always has a perfect and meaningful gift. I wish I had her talent of knowing exactly what to get people. Leslie is so naturally thoughtful that she even invented her own holiday, Galentine's Day, which is to celebrate your girl friends the day before Valentine's Day. She shows us that gifts aren't about the money and are really about appreciating the receiver. If we all gave meaningful gifts like Leslie Knope did, the world would be a much sun-shinier place!

6. She is an excellent leader.

Leslie Knope is the definition of a great leader. She reads the people around her extremely well, which comes in handy to delegate tasks and motivate others. Although she would love to do everything herself and have it done her way, Leslie knows when it's time to delegate people to tasks based on their strengths. Separation between boss and leader can be difficult sometimes, but Leslie knows how to handle it. Every leader should also be a hard worker, this way their followers feel more equal to them. These are qualities that many people forget sometimes.

7. She is progressive and forward-thinking.

Since Leslie works for the government, taking a political stance can be a dangerous thing. But she stands up for what she believes in--gay rights and feminism especially. Repetition and habit make us feel safe. They give us a sense of security. What we have to remember is that everything was new once. Let's all follow Leslie's example by being open-minded and receptive to things that are new.

8. She loves her work and makes it fun.

Leslie loves what she does and does what she loves. Lots of people these days are concerned with money and getting a job that pays, but I'm taking notes from Knope. I want to find a job that I love doing. I want to have fun while I'm helping people like Leslie Knope. This is a lesson I learned from my mother as well. If you're going to spend your whole life doing something, make it something you're passionate about.

9. Leslie wants to make things better for everyone.

One of my favorite things about Leslie Knope is her kind heart. She wants to do good and make her town of Pawnee, Indiana better. But not just what she wants to fix, she wants to make it better for the good of the community. We need more people like this in politics. Leslie is a great example of someone who was voted by the people to work for the people. Even though most of us don't work for the government, we can all contribute a small effort to make our communities better for everyone.

10. She maintains her sense of humor through everything.

Strict work ethic is usually accompanied by no sense of humor. This is not the case with Leslie Knope. Although she takes her work extremely serious, she still remains lighthearted. Leslie is proof that you can be a super fun person while you work your butt off. We all get stressed out sometimes. By channeling our inner Leslie Knope*, we can all have a super fun time while accomplishing our dreams.

*Eating waffles with whipped cream will definitely help you channel your inner Leslie.

Cover Image Credit: Media Cache

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It's Time To Stop Discrediting The "Traditional" Politician

Trusting merit over fame.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, "politician" has become a dirty word, and is now synonymous with corruption, scandal, and a lack of productivity. While these assumptions of political behavior are often made for valid reasons, it does not mean that politicians need to be completely expunged from society.

During the 2016 Presidental Election, one of the most common phrases used to explain the Electoral College electing Donald Trump was that "people are tired of the traditional politician". According to the election's votes by demographic, the majority of those lacking higher education tended to agree with this sentiment and voted for Trump, the Titanic of presidents.

This goes to show just how vital education is in being an informed citizen. If you prepare to vote in an election based solely on your own self-interests rather than considering a candidate that is actually qualified for their position and the impact they will have on society as a whole, the political process that is integral to our democracy will shut down. Those who have an understanding that being president of the United States is more than just giving brilliant speeches (sorry, Oprah) are more likely to vote for a candidate that is politically competent rather than famous.

While it seems as though everyone wants Oprah to run for president, we must remember that while she is the ultimate role model, icon, and absolute queen, these characteristics do not necessarily qualify someone to be president. Experience with topics such as foreign affairs, healthcare policy, and massive budgets are just a few of the many un-glamourous and seemingly boring yet important aspects of presidencies that few people pay attention to until they go into crisis mode, which it feels like we have been in a constant state of between relations with North Korea, Trump's attempt at an Affordable Care Act "replacement", and his equally disastrous new tax plan.

For me, it's essentially choosing the lesser of two evils if need be: you either support someone who you feel you trust personally because you have been watching them on TV for 25 years yet has absolutely no political experience, or choose someone you know could steer America away from unnecessary wars and keep your access to health care present, even if you do not think they are as blatantly "honest" with the American people as many continue to believe Trump is.

Being the CEO of America is different than being the CEO of a major corporation, even though an increasing number of people are beginning to view them as the same. Just because someone has become wealthy through their ability to run a large business does not mean that they are politically competent. We must consider the externalities of holding the most powerful office in the world before blindly electing another celebrity as president.

Remembering politicians such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and even the people's "uncle" Joe Biden will change the political tide when looking forward to 2020. Urging completely unqualified celebrities to run for president just because they are rich and famous enough to have their voices heard completely discredits the decades these civil servants have dedicated to working for the American people. I look forward to the day where merit is once again valued in American politics, and have hope that America has learned the damage electing another celebrity president can cause-- cough cough Ronald Reagan "maybe" manufacturing the crack epidemic in the U.S.

Cover Image Credit: roya ann miller via Unsplash

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21 Places to Visit in Wisconsin


Wisconsin is located in the Midwest part of the United States. Before Wisconsin was a state, the area was inhabited by different Native American tribes; The Chippewa, Menominee, Oneida, Potawatomi, and Ho Chunk (Winnebago). Jean Nicolet was the first European explorer to reach Wisconsin. France claimed Wisconsin as part of their territory in 1672. At the Treaty of Paris, France gave the land over to Great Britain. The Wisconsin territory was created in 1836, and in 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state in the Union. Wisconsin has a rich and interesting history with great places to visit. If you come to Wisconsin, here are 21 places you could check out.

1. Little White Schoolhouse

In Ripon, it is said, that the Republican Party was created here, and the first GOP meeting was held here. In 1974, the site became a National Historic Landmark.

2. Circus World Museum

In Baraboo, there is the largest antique circus wagons collection in the world with more than 200! The museum also has a collection of circus posters, handbills, and costumes. This is also a place to see things like tigers, clowns, and tightrope walkers. This is a National Historic Landmark.

3. The First Capitol in Belmont

In 1836, the Territorial legislators rented a building in Belmont to use. They used the building for 46 days, and passed 42 laws during this time before moving the capitol to Madison which has been the capital of Wisconsin ever since.

4. Madison

There are so many places to go in Madison. There is something for everyone. State street, State Capitol, Camp Randall Stadium, Chazen Museum of Art, Henry Vilas Zoo, The Duck Pond, Overture Center, Wisconsin Historical Museum, Dane County Farmers’ Market, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Memorial Union Terrace, Badger games, and Kohl Center are just some of the places that you can visit. There is so much to do in Madison.

Fun Fact: Brat Fest that is held in Madison, is the largest bratwurst festival in the world. (Brat Fest is over Memorial Day weekend. And it’s free parking and admission along with bands playing music) Dane County Fair is also held in Madison.

5. Wisconsin Dells

The waterpark capital of the world. There is so much to do between the water parks, amusement parks, entertainment, museums, tours, and so on. It’s a great place to get away, and spend time with family and friends. It’s a lot of fun.

6. Devil’s Lake State Park

This is the largest state park. There are picnic areas, beaches, canoes, and trails. The park has a great view, and it’s even better while you’re hiking. It overlooks the lake and everything.

7. Cave of the Mounds

A natural limestone cave located near Blue Mounds. It’s a pretty place to go to. You can explore gemstone mines, fossil digs, butterfly gardens, and outdoor trails.

8. Great Lakes

Lake Superior to the north and Lake Michigan to the east. Fun fact. The Great Lakes is the largest surface freshwater system on Earth. (Great Lakes: EPA)

9. Harley-Davidson Museum

Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee in 1903. There are different exhibits and events. There are also tours.

10. Aztalan

The name comes from the ancient Aztecs. Aztalan was a Native American village. Aztalan was discovered in 1836. In 1948, it became a state park. In 1964, Aztalan became a National Historic Landmark. This site contains ruins and artifacts of an ancient Middle Mississippian village. The site thrived between 1000 and 1300 AD, but was abandoned 200 years before Christopher Columbus came to America.

11. Laura Ingalls Wilder Cabin

In Pepin, Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in a cabin. Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867, and was a writer, teacher, journalist, and family farmer. Her book “Little House in the Big Woods” is a part of the Little House series, and talked about her time in Wisconsin during the 1870s.

12. Milton House

In Milton, Joseph Goodrich founded Milton. One of the things he created in the town was the Milton House. The Milton House had many purpose. It was a hotel, commercial enterprise, and apartments all in one. Behind the scenes, it was also a part of the Underground Railroad between 1844 and 1867. Joseph Goodrich was an abolitionist, and became an Underground Railroad conductor. In 1998, it became a National Historic Landmark.

13. National Railroad Museum

In Green Bay, this Museum has different articles and railroad cars throughout history.

14. Old World Wisconsin

In Eagle, there are more than 60 historic structures that were moved and reconstructed to create a pioneer community. This is the largest place in the world that is dedicated to rural life history. In 1976, this became a state historic site.

15. The Rave/Eagles Club

A multi-hall concert venue that is in Milwaukee. Live music, webcasts, national touring, and regional acts perform here.

16. Pabst Theater

This is not only an indoor concert venue, but it’s also a historic landmark in Milwaukee. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1991. The Pabst Theater is the fourth oldest continuously operating theater in the nation.

17. USS Cobia

In the Manitowoc, there is a World War 2 submarine that you can tour called the USS Cobia. During the war, The Cobia sank six vessels that belonged to the Japanese, and earned four battle stars. It’s a part of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

18. Milwaukee

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin. Discovery World, Milwaukee County Zoo, Brewers games, Bucks games, and The Riverside Theatre are just some of the places to visit in Milwaukee.

Festivals: Wisconsin State Fair, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, German Fest, and Summerfest.

19. Lake Geneva

A popular place during the summer for swimming and boating while in the winter there is skiing, snowboarding, and ice-skating.

20. La Crosse

A beautiful place especially during the fall. It’s also a great place for hiking. (Great River Trail and Grandad Bluff). Riverside Amusement Park, Copeland Park, and Mount La Crosse are some of the places that you can visit.

Oktoberfest has been in La Crosse for the past 56 years in September/October. There are parades, food vendors, craft beer night, and a Festmaster Ball during this fest.

21. Apostle Island Sea Caves

During the summer, the sea caves are best seen via boat. During the winter, to reach the mainland caves, visitors drive to the end of Meyers Road. Not always, but the lake can be frozen, visitors can walk, snowshoe, or ski across the ice to the cliffs.

Wisconsin has so many places to visit, and some are not listed here. There is also so much history that comes with the state. There are different cultures that have had an influence in Wisconsin, and shaped how the state is today. You can learn a lot from them. Wisconsin has something for everyone, and there is always something fun to do.

Sources: Travel Wisconsin, Wisconsin Historical Society, Tripadvisor, Best Things Wisconsin, EPA, and NPS.

Cover Image Credit: tpsdave

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