"The Office" Vs. "Parks And Rec"

"The Office" Vs. "Parks And Rec"

They are similar, but not the same and that's OK
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I have fallen in love with the inhabitants of both Pawnee and Scranton. I witnessed the mishaps and triumphs of both the Parks Department and Dunder Mifflin. I have recommended both shows to friends and, at times, have been surprised when they didn't love Leslie and Ann or Dwight and Jim as much as I do. "Parks and Recreation" and "The Office" are very similar shows, yet they are just different enough. If you are an "Office" fan trying out Leslie and her crew or vice versa, here are a few similarities and differences I have noted.

1. The style.

Similarities: Both "Parks and Rec" and "The Office" are filmed in a mockumentary style. The characters all have their chance to shine in their individual interviews. Because of this style, both shows are highly satirical toward the American workplace and its workers.

Differences: I used to say that if you liked "The Office," you would like" Parks and Rec," but if you liked "Parks and Rec," you may not like "The Office." However, I now think this is only mostly true, and the reason is the different kinds of humor in the two shows. The humor from "The Office" comes from how familiar the characters and situations feel. While many of the situations are taken to extremes, I can't tell you the amount of times I have heard someone say, "She's exactly what my coworker was like!" or "I know so many people just like him."

On the other hand, the characters of "Parks and Rec" are funny because they are over the top. They are closer to caricatures, so I have heard people make remarks along the lines of, "Leslie is like a toned-down version of my sister" or "Ron's an extreme version of my uncle." This isn't to say one style is better than another, but the shows do have distinct tones, and the adjustment between the two can be hard if you're not expecting it or willing to accept it.

2. The creation.

Similarities: The two shows share several creators, including Greg Daniels, Howard Klein and Michael Schur, who not only wrote for both shows but also played Mose, the cousin of Dwight Schrute.

Differences: "The Office" was an American remake of the British series with the same name. "Parks and Rec" was an original idea dreamed up by Daniels and Schur after they had started working on "The Office." I don't really have concrete evidence or examples of how this difference affected the two shows, but I thought it was interesting to note.

3. The setting.

Similarities: Both stories unfold in the American office. Even when the camera ventures out of the office space, it captures familiar sights for the average viewer: homes, stores and of course, parks, rather than the flashy mansions or gray bunkers of more dramatic TV shows.


Differences
: Leslie and her gang operate out of the City Hall Parks Department while the Scranton folk sell paper for Dunder Mifflin in a small office building. In addition, the clothing, makeup and lighting of "The Office," particularly the earlier seasons, are more drab, colorless and, again, realistic, than the brighter sets and costumes of "Parks and Rec."

4. The bosses.

Similarities: Both Michael Scott and Leslie Knope are extremely passionate about their work and overly eager for their employees to share their passion. Both try their hardest to make their employees have fun at their jobs, and consequently, both fail on many occasions.

Differences: The similarities stop there. Leslie is the stereotypical type A personality, with her binders, political savvy, energy, and ability to run on very little sleep. She is ambitious, competitive and loves to be busy. Michael loves to procrastinate and is the epitome of political incorrectness. His enthusiasm stems from his desire to be adored by his employees rather than for mere love of his work. He has unrealistic ambitions and does little to accomplish them.

5. The relationships.

Similarities: Both shows are full of friendships and couples. The couples are sometimes meant to be and sometimes unexpected or dysfunctional. The friendships are sometimes sought after and sometimes accidentally discovered. One thing is for sure, the characters in both shows share many touching, hilarious and relatable moments.

Differences: "The Office" doesn't have two gals like Leslie and Ann, and no one can recreate the absolute perfection that is Jim and Pam.

6. The response.

OK, this one doesn't actually have many differences. Both shows were soon greeted with wide popularity and received several nominations and awards. Even though both shows have ended they are still popular and still hold special places in our hearts. Whether you're a tried-and-true fan of both ,or trying to get your feet wet in either show, I hope this list has helped you appreciate them despite or -- better yet -- because of their differences.

Cover Image Credit: BlakeOnline

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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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5 Quick Tips To Improve Your Focus And Time Management Skills

Here are five easy tips that helped my sense of productivity along the way.

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Lately, I've been pretty disappointed in my time management skills. I've been struggling to not only maintain all of my obligations but also my sense of joy while completing each task. And although I'd love to rain check on my responsibilities, I know that extended mental vacations are not a beneficial solution for long-term purposes. With this in mind, I've recently observed the ways that I manage my time as well as the methods I use to better improve my work ethic.
As a result of my personal inventory, I decided to make a brief list of tricks that I use to better improve my time management skills and focus.

1. Find articles that encourage organization

I've been reading articles about managing obligations and discovering cool methods to better organize my life. A specific blog post that I've found helpful is "Get Your Life Together Tools" by Mariah Dyson. This brief article is extremely easy to read and filled with useful apps to help readers stay focus on their tasks at hand. The link to this gem is below:

https://www.andsoitcurls.com/blog/majorkeys-tools

2. Listen to a podcast that you enjoy


If you're anything like me, you probably work best with background noise. Now, while I love my Netflix account, I've recently discovered that binge-watching my favorite shows is only a distraction when I'm trying to meet a deadline. So, instead of compromising my focus I've recently decided to save my favorite podcasts episodes for when I'm bogged down with work.

3. Approach your 'to-do' list with positive perspective

THIS IS A MAJOR ONE FOR ME! I have a terrible habit of complaining about my workload. And while it's easy to murmur about my obligations the effects of my comments are detrimental. I've been purposely replacing the phrase "I have to" with "I get to," to remind myself that every obligation is a blessing. I'm blessed to have a job and opportunities to fulfill.

4. Color-code your planner to better prioritize your day

I learned this trick while working on my bachelor's degree and honey, please believe me when I say that this tip alone saved my undergraduate experience. I'm a huge advocate for visual representation, and having my planner organized by color is a quick way to check in and manage my priorities throughout a hectic day.

5. Manage your progress

Lately, I've been taking great joy in checking off tasks from my "to-do list." Again, being a fan of visualization, it's rewarding to know that I've completed yet another task. This technique also serves as a healthy dose of encouragement to keep on trekking along, because the reality is if you could buckle down to achieve your goals once before, you can certainly do it again.

If anything, I hope that this list leaves you with healthy options to consider, when trying to tackle a stressful day.

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