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Old 03-12-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
7 posts, read 12,862 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello all. This website has come to be a great tool for me recently because I simply love learning facts about my state, but now it appears I have a more practical use!

I'm a junior at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a native of Conway, so I'm very familiar with the more urban (for Arkansas) areas of LR/NLR and Northwest Arkansas, having my whole life in both.

Upon my graduation in May 2014, I plan to apply for the Arkansas Teachers Corps, an Arkansas-only affiliate of the Teach For America program. For those unfamiliar with the program, the ATC takes recent college grads and places them in areas for the state that have a shortage of teachers (usually high school), and gives them a provisionary teachers license, a 3-year commitment, and a $5,000 stipend per year on top of the salary from the school district. The areas of Arkansas requiring teachers are Little Rock (inner-city) and much of South Arkansas.

Having lived on a small family farm on the edge of Conway's city limits, I've always been an outdoors, do-it-yourself kind of guy. It would be my dream to begin my career by buying a small house in a small town in southern Arkansas, buy a dog, plant a garden, save money, and teach kids history or math at an underfunded school.

So, here's my question: While I'll certainly be restricted to areas that need teachers, there is a bit of choice in the matter of where I'm sent. What towns of southern Arkansas would those knowledgeable recommend for a young, single, fresh-out-of-college guy? The main thing I'm looking for is a quality dating scene for 20-somethings. I doubt I'll see anything quite like Fayetteville, but surely some areas are better than others. Obviously areas such as Magnolia and Monticello with their college campuses would be ideal, but usually college towns don't have teacher shortages.

What can you guys tell me?
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,539,093 times
Reputation: 1887
First, and very important, when you post 'south Arkansas', are you referring to south east, central, or west? Those are three different worlds and you need to be aware of that, and no comparison to where you have been all your life. Dating, in a small town, could be a problem because you would be an 'outsider' competing with the local studs. I don't mean to be negative, just realistic and factual.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
7 posts, read 12,862 times
Reputation: 13
ArkansasSlim,

Thank you for your response. From what I understand talking to the ATC rep, I could potentially end up anywhere in "south" Arkansas...literally the southern half of the state if you draw a line through Fort Smith-Little Rock-Memphis. I'm vaguely aware of the distinctions of the Delta (southeast) area, but not much else. Also two of my best friends and fraternity brothers are from Ashdown; I've visited there with them and heard a bit about it, but I don't know how that compares to places like Malvern, El Dorado, Magnolia, Hope, Monticello, etc or the smaller towns in between with which I am wholly unfamiliar.

If you (or someone else familiar) could outline some of the key cultural differences I would experience that would certainly aid me. I'm currently digging up some old threads on southern Arkansas culture. I would think that a college town (Magnolia or Monticello) would be a little more of an "open" community where someone like me could settle right in easier, but I certainly could be wrong and there may some other places that would be great that I'm not aware of.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Malvern, AR
15 posts, read 33,075 times
Reputation: 51
If I were you, I would shoot for Malvern. It's kind of a crappy little town, but not any worse than you'd see in South Arkansas. At least there, you can be in Hot Springs or Benton/Bryant in 15 minutes, and in downtown Little Rock in 45 minutes.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:44 AM
 
797 posts, read 1,176,822 times
Reputation: 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayettechill14 View Post
Hello all. This website has come to be a great tool for me recently because I simply love learning facts about my state, but now it appears I have a more practical use!

I'm a junior at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a native of Conway, so I'm very familiar with the more urban (for Arkansas) areas of LR/NLR and Northwest Arkansas, having my whole life in both.

Upon my graduation in May 2014, I plan to apply for the Arkansas Teachers Corps, an Arkansas-only affiliate of the Teach For America program. For those unfamiliar with the program, the ATC takes recent college grads and places them in areas for the state that have a shortage of teachers (usually high school), and gives them a provisionary teachers license, a 3-year commitment, and a $5,000 stipend per year on top of the salary from the school district. The areas of Arkansas requiring teachers are Little Rock (inner-city) and much of South Arkansas.

Having lived on a small family farm on the edge of Conway's city limits, I've always been an outdoors, do-it-yourself kind of guy. It would be my dream to begin my career by buying a small house in a small town in southern Arkansas, buy a dog, plant a garden, save money, and teach kids history or math at an underfunded school.

So, here's my question: While I'll certainly be restricted to areas that need teachers, there is a bit of choice in the matter of where I'm sent. What towns of southern Arkansas would those knowledgeable recommend for a young, single, fresh-out-of-college guy? The main thing I'm looking for is a quality dating scene for 20-somethings. I doubt I'll see anything quite like Fayetteville, but surely some areas are better than others. Obviously areas such as Magnolia and Monticello with their college campuses would be ideal, but usually college towns don't have teacher shortages.

What can you guys tell me?
A " tip of the hat " to you !
You sound like a great young man and Arkansas is fortunate to retain you.

I can't coment on the dating scene, but I would think any man in southern AR should be proud if his daughter was dating a college grad who was giving back to his home state via the teaching program.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 3,929,184 times
Reputation: 1373
I have a feeling one of the major towns in "south Arkansas" that you could be placed is Pine Bluff... be aware of that.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:23 AM
 
4,820 posts, read 7,139,188 times
Reputation: 6887
Hopefully you'll get sent somewhere close to the Hot Springs area, or somewhere you can get to Petit Jean or Mt. Magazine or Mt. Nebo in a hurry for an outdoor "beauty fix". Anything else in southern Arkansas is just a dull, bleak bore.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,662 posts, read 13,403,662 times
Reputation: 28460
Pine Bluff? EW. Anyway, Monticello, Crossett, Lake Village, Hamburg. You'll be fine. Some really good people there.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,539,093 times
Reputation: 1887
I lived in Malvern for 40+ years before moving to L.R., and if circumstances permitted, I'd still be there. I don't agree with jtsanda that it's a crappy town, but it is small (10,000 Pop) with not much going on, but as jtsanda mentioned it is in a great location by being near L.R. and Hot Springs and if you are into outdoorsy stuff it is surrounded by lakes, rivers, and other stuff. Dating - it seems the local guys went to H.S. and the H.S. guys came to Malvern. Anyway, good luck in your quest and as posted above, thanks for staying in Arkansas.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
7 posts, read 12,862 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsanda View Post
If I were you, I would shoot for Malvern. It's kind of a crappy little town, but not any worse than you'd see in South Arkansas. At least there, you can be in Hot Springs or Benton/Bryant in 15 minutes, and in downtown Little Rock in 45 minutes.
I have a ton of family in Benton, so that would be very nice. Looking at the citydata facts for education level, income distribution, and occupation distribution leads me to believe that Malvern is less likely of a candidate for teachers, but I'll certainly keep it high on the list if available.
Quote:
A " tip of the hat " to you !
You sound like a great young man and Arkansas is fortunate to retain you.

I can't coment on the dating scene, but I would think any man in southern AR should be proud if his daughter was dating a college grad who was giving back to his home state via the teaching program.
Thank you, Red Wolf! I love this state and would like to serve it in any way possible. I figure if I'm charming and chivalrous enough I can fit in just about wherever I go.

Quote:
I have a feeling one of the major towns in "south Arkansas" that you could be placed is Pine Bluff... be aware of that.
You are probably correct. I've got Little Rock and Pine Bluff at bottom of my list. Based solely off the facts from this website, I'm sensing that plenty of towns around Pine Bluff and on down 65 are some of the areas of greatest need.

Quote:
Hopefully you'll get sent somewhere close to the Hot Springs area, or somewhere you can get to Petit Jean or Mt. Magazine or Mt. Nebo in a hurry for an outdoor "beauty fix". Anything else in southern Arkansas is just a dull, bleak bore.
Anywhere in the Ouachitas would be fantastic. I've looked at places west of Hot Springs like Mount Ida, Glenwood, Bismarck, along with places like Malvern to the south. Like I said to jtsanda who recommended Malvern, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that region is what has availabilities.

Quote:
Pine Bluff? EW. Anyway, Monticello, Crossett, Lake Village, Hamburg. You'll be fine. Some really good people there.
Monticello is high on my list. I'll have to look more into the others. Thanks for your input!

Quote:
I lived in Malvern for 40+ years before moving to L.R., and if circumstances permitted, I'd still be there. I don't agree with jtsanda that it's a crappy town, but it is small (10,000 Pop) with not much going on, but as jtsanda mentioned it is in a great location by being near L.R. and Hot Springs and if you are into outdoorsy stuff it is surrounded by lakes, rivers, and other stuff. Dating - it seems the local guys went to H.S. and the H.S. guys came to Malvern. Anyway, good luck in your quest and as posted above, thanks for staying in Arkansas.
Thanks again ArkansasSlim. I'll need to take a trip down by Hot Springs and the Ouachitas soon, plenty on here seem to recommend that region for its natural beauty and proximity to larger cities.
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