Sunday, March 18, 2012

Where To Live, That Is The Question...

Hey, if your looking for something to read, here you are! Welcome. ;-D

I'm currently in the middle of  a long ongoing application process for the Teach For America (TFA) corps. As I rush to provide TFA with the information they need about me and cross my fingers on making it through and being offered a position,  I am forced to consider huge possibly life changing decisions I don't always feel totally equipped to make. Like if we don't end up staying in the Seattle area, where might we be willing to live for at least the next 2 years (within the offered regions of TFA of course).

If you have no idea what TFA is, consider checking it out at their website, It's good stuff!

The task is to pick 7 "preferred regions" after my highly preferred "Seattle-Tacoma" region (which I really hope means Seattle....) One of these 7 regions needs to be one of TFA's priority regions. I also get to pick 2 regions I would really prefer to not live if I can at all help it, but I find that's a lot easier to decide. ;-) My husband says he doesn't really care and will go anywhere although he does seem marginally interested in the East Coast it's mostly up to me...I am also encouraged to rank them by preference...

Oh and I have to decide by Monday....

So, I thought as I wade through massive amounts of info trying to make semi-informed decisions while also trying to go with my gut, I would share for anyone who cares to follow along a little during this overwhelming process.

Quick notes: I'm looking for massive amounts of info without having to scour millions of websites, so yes, I am using Wikipedia a lot. Also, this is clearly not even close to all of the information I am gathering, just a short jaunt through my mind as I weed through all of this info. :-D

Task #1: Priority Regions, Pick One.

TFA's priority regions are.....
-Detroit: I think I'm putting Detroit down as a place I'd rather not live...idk just a gut feeling. :-P So one down.
-New Mexico: I was born in and lived in New Mexico as a child, but my question is where in New Mexico? Trust me, it matters. I have a love/hate relationship with the general are and I'm also not sure my husband would be crazy about it, it gets really really hot...Hmmm....
-Mississippi Delta:.....For whatever reason, I'm not sure I'm feeling it. So that's a no for now I think.
-Memphis: Intriguing, but really only because I like country music and not because I know the first thing about it or even think it sounds particularly nice. 
-Oklahoma: OK, so Oklahoma...Well I don't know, maybe...what do I know about it really...well there's the play, love that, been in it, great song...and yeah...that's pretty much it. I wanna say tornadoes? 

Well, just fun fun let's start here and see what we can find out about Oklahoma shall we? 

Discover the Excellence: Nice, I like the confident intro.

First, let's look at the state as a whole, whatta we got....

-Tornado Alley (Aha I knew it!) 
While Oklahoma state seems to have a nice sturdy and growing economy, it is touched by approximately 54 tornadoes a year....I find this confusing, but maybe the two are really unconnected. Also,  FIFTY-FOUR?! My God, how is that possible? I've never been in a tornado, how do I feel about this....well maybe because I've only ever seen one on the news, I find I'm less than worried about it...I mean people live there right, so you must get used to it or something....

-Bible Belt: Largely Evangelical Christian, very conservative....but there are more registered Democrats than any other political party.....well, that's interesting.

State meal: fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black eyed peas.......Wait is that all one meal?! Also, don't get me wrong, it all sounds delicious but you could be sound anymore Southern? I mean really. lol

-State Rock Song: Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips....States have official rock songs? Who decides these things? And why is this suddenly really important to me?! haha!

ALRIGHTY so not too scared off yet, let's see Where Exactly in Oklahoma are we talking? 
-Looks like Oklahoma City and Tulsa for the most part.

OK Oklahoma City, the capital, lets check it out.

Nice Looking City, Many Great Museums, Nice Parks, Great Zoo, looks nice so know besides the tornado thing...

-Found this little Wiki tidbit 
Oklahoma City has a severe weather season from March through August, especially during April and May. Tornadoes have occurred in every month of the year. Oklahoma City has become one of the most tornado prone cities in the United States.[9] Since the time weather records have been kept, Oklahoma City has been struck by nine violent tornadoes, eight F4's and one F5.[9] On May 3, 1999 parts of southern Oklahoma City and nearby communities suffered one of the most powerful tornadoes on record, an F-5 on the Fujita Scale, with wind speeds topping 318 mph (510 km/h). This tornado was part of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak.

Sweet Goodness, what is the human fatality rate for these suckers? Gah I don't know...I don't know if I'd wanna live there long term anyway...

Notes On Oklahoma City Crime: 
Active-The Bloods and the Crips as well as the infamous South Locos who opened fire at police in a shopping mall in 2007....OK...good.....Also, there's the still-unsolved serial murder case that dates from at least as early as 1976 and as late as 1986. During that time, at least three women were horribly dismembered and parts of their bodies left throughout an area between downtown and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Oklahoma City Police believe they were being watched by the killer, as they found body parts in areas they had already searched.

Now I'm just freaking myself out...all places, perhaps metropolitan areas in particular, have some fairly serious crime issues if you're looking for them right?...Right?...

OK...Let's move on and see what TFA's partner university there is...(the university I might receive a Masters in Education at). 

Sticking with Oklahoma City at the moment, that would give us University of Oklahoma (OU).
I love college campuses and even though I wouldn't be an 'incoming freshman' and thus not the target audience or recipient of a lot of campus stuff, I feel like I get a good feel for a university when I check out their "Campus Life Sections". 

Came across this fun, feel-good video about great things to be involved in on campus. 
It looks like a beautiful campus.

Bizzell Garden 
East Entrance to Student Union 

Now that has some possibility.
And I think this post is officially long enough. So let us leave it at that for now. If you actually read this whole thing, thanks for that. lol  

To Be Continued (Very Soon) With Another Fun New Place ;-P 


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