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Wring out the old, ring in the new 

Street Smarts

It's been a year of multiple mass shootings, Barnum & Bailey presidential debates and a dysfunctional Congress, but people seem mostly upbeat about 2015 and optimistic about 2016.

click to enlarge Hiji
  • Hiji

Hiji of New York City works at Ted Talks.

What, for you, is the top news story of 2015? The rise of student activism and protests against racism at schools like Yale and the U. of Missouri.

Name the most memorable political figure of 2015. Donald Trump. He's so polarizing, yet many who initially dismissed him are worried now. He has staying power.

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate 2015 for you personally. I give it an 8.5 due to experiences that made me grow and learn a lot.

What was your peak moment in 2015? Swimming in the ocean off Croatia while waves made these organ pipes play and going dancing for a weekend in Berlin.

click to enlarge Rick Gingrich
  • Rick Gingrich

Rick Gingrich of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a data scientist.

Pick the top news story of 2015. The Paris shootings. I've lived in Paris several times. I have connections with people there.

Name the most memorable political figure of 2015. Definitely Donald Trump for saying so many utterly ridiculous things.

What lesson from 2015 should the U.S. take into 2016? Be more open and empathetic to people who aren't like us.

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate 2015 for you. I give it a 9. I graduated from the online program of Colorado State while living in New York, and I got a job.

What was your peak moment of 2015? Taking a spontaneous road trip to Maine and hiking up a mountain in Acadia National Park in a giant rainstorm.

click to enlarge Lukas Ekland
  • Lukas Ekland

Lukas Ekland of Madison, Wisconsin, is a software engineer.

Name the top news story of 2015. The Paris shootings. They were shocking and brutal. Totally innocent, non-political people were massacred.

How did 2015 stack up for the U.S.? I was happy the pipeline didn't go through. The trade agreement was probably good, but we'll have to see.

Who's the most memorable political figure of 2015? Donald Trump, who else? He's so absurd, so out-there.

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your personal 2015. I got a job that I love and I moved to Madison, a great place to live. I give 2015 an 8.

If you could do something you did in 2015 over, what? I wouldn't wait to start packing until the night before the moving truck shows up. I'd start three months earlier.

What's something you learned about yourself in 2015? I've learned in doing my new job that I'm less introverted than I thought; I enjoy talking to people.

  • People seem mostly upbeat about 2015 and optimistic about 2016.

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