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Character: Leslie Knope
Series: Parks and Recreation
Character Age: 36
Job: Playground Supervisor
Canon:
Parks and Recreation is an NBC show about one parks and recreation department's quest to better the small town of Pawnee, Indiana with - naturally - parks! This quest would be a lot easier if the department weren't constantly challenged by funding issues, loudly opinionated citizens, the ever-present and growing stronger raccoon problem, and employee apathy, but luckily for the city of Pawnee, they have Leslie Knope.

Leslie Knope is a deputy department director with high goals and aspirations. Her high energy (partially fuelled by her consumption of disturbingly high quantities of sugary foods), boundless confidence, and near endless optimism, along with her cheerful and ready-to-help nature, have drawn people to her and endeared many, while annoying others, often by being forceful and overbearing in her opinions or somewhat childish in her reactions. Leslie firmly believes in parks, government, and that she will some day be the inspirational first female president ever, a goal she has had since she was a small, over-achieving child. While she can talk too much and make some verbal faux pas when caught off-guard, when she has time to prepare, Leslie can be an organizational monster, and enjoys taking on much more work than she should rightly be able to handle. But it's all worth it, because in the end, she is that much closer to making the people of her city happy (she hopes).

Sample Post:
Greetings, proud campers of Fud, sister city-like entity to Pawnee! I am Leslie Knope, your new Playground Supervisor, but you can just call me Ms Knope. Or Supervisor Knope. Or Future Ms President Knope! Haha, just kidding about that last one. No I'm not. I am honoured to join you here on your massive, Director-run farm. -that is a mistake, I meant swamp and forgot to correct my card. I am honoured to join you here on your massive, Director-run swamp!

On the train trip here, I organized some binders of ideas for a playground. And then I finished those early, so I also took the liberty of assigning myself some new jobs, since none of these were listed as "taken" on the supplementary reading material I asked the Director to send me. They are, in no particular order:

-Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department Representative
-Deputy Ruggedly Dignified Wilderness Advisor
-Sugar Substitute Taste Tester
-Head of Nature-Related Arts and Crafts Activities
-American Herstorian
-Strong Female Role Model
-Pants Queen (watch yourself, fellow counselors!)

Now, I know you guys don't have a proper playground, because your last one was destroyed in a "supernatural disaster", as your Director told me in her letter. But the great news is that you still have space for one! Instead of just the rusted, urine-soaked remains of what was once a fun park that has now been overrun by raccoons, we have free, slightly cratered room to build a whole new playground! Don't think of it as a bleak reminder of a distant disaster, the details of which have been blacked out in all the requested files, but as a blank slate, where we can design and create to our hearts' content while stretching our budget's limits and your Director's patience.

While my request for funding has been returned to me in burnt embers, I'm confident that we'll find a solution in one of color-coded, alphabetized binders I took the liberty of preparing on the train here. Now, these binders were planned with midwestern farmland in mind, but don't worry! When I saw the train was continuing past flat, golden farmland and into flatter, sometimes submerged land, I created a new set of binders for wetland settings, swampland settings, and - just in case - dry desert settings. I used scratch and sniff stickers on these, so please, feel free to sniff my handouts. I will actually be offended if you don't! Just kidding, it's okay if you don't want to sniff them. But you really should. Especially the goldenish ones, those are warm honey.

It's okay if you don't want to use any of these ideas, although I spent a lot of time on them and I think they're really really awesome. This is your playground, and group creative brainstorming can produce some really great ideas! So what I want you to do is get into groups of four, take a binder and some markers, and come up with some things you want to see in a park or playground. I think fifty ideas in about ten minutes should be good, right?

We need to work hard to get this playground going! Remember, just like my grandmother said, you can sleep when you're dead. And if you're dead, then you don't need sleep - you're dead! Wake up and get back to work on your park!


And the voting post. 100%!

January 2012

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