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Old 05-12-2011, 10:12 PM
2 posts, read 2,633 times
Reputation: 10


Hey guys, I did a look at lots of what the site here has to offer and searched for info already posted on the Mesa/Gilbert/Scottsdale area. So here is my own specific story, and I'd hope you guys and gals might be able to answer a few questions I've got

I'm 25 and am ready to move far away from the Scranton area of Pennsylvania with my girlfriend, who is also 25. She has lived here her entire life, while I went Kerouac on the worlds ass for a few years and traveled across the country. She just graduated with her Masters in Elementary Education about a week ago, and we are both very much in need of a change of scenery.

We don't have a lot of money, but enough saved up to rent a cheap apartment for a while until we both start working. We are moving to the area because of the school systems, and because she wants to live somewhere where it is hot and/or warm year round (even though I am a cold weather person, I lived in Zion National Park for a summer and found that I can really dig summer in the desert!). The place looks perfect for my types of adventures (I am a very outdoors oriented person, and I've done loads of research into that side of the equation already).

We are not party people whatsoever, so an active or busy nightlife isn't important at all. Our priorities are safety, the ease of getting around, and her finding a job in her field as quick as possible, even subbing until she gets her foot in the door.

So the questions are;

1. I see that the area is generally considered pretty safe, though that was from a while ago from the posts I was reading. Is it still a safe area? I'm used to bad streets and the like and am more than capable of handling myself, but my girlfriend is a little girl and I'd like to keep ourselves away from violent crime as much as possible.

2. Our basic plan is to get out savings together, work our butts off for a while here and save more money, then just take off to the area and get a cheap apartment. Are there furnished apartments or apartment complexes readily available, or is there typically a waiting list?

3. She has received her Masters in Elementary Education, and had heard from a few people that the Mesa/Gilbert/Etc area was looking for teachers. Does anybody know for sure if this is a definite search on the schools part? We don't have the money for her to travel to AZ for interviews, so she wanted to know for sure that places were looking for qualified teachers (she speaks a little Spanish and is getting her English as a Second Language certification to be safe).

4. I have few marketable skills, outside of having a good history in working outdoors, with plants and trees, and with anything adventure-oriented. Outside of working at a retail store or something of a similar nature, how is the job market for somebody with a lot of experience but no paper backing it up? I had read the unemployment rate is near 9%. Also I am studying for my Personal Trainer certification to bring in a few extra bucks; is the area generally a fitness-minded one?

5. I've been looking at a few sciences to go to school for to study, including geology, botany, and anthropology. Are there community colleges in the Mesa/Gilbert/Etc area that offer a starting ground for these courses?

6. We have one car between us, and I would gladly take the opportunity to ride a bicycle or run to work. Are the roads bicycle or runner friendly, keeping in mind the heat conditions for someone still acclimating to it?

I know that I've been quite loose with my definitions of the towns and areas, but that is because I'm still trying to get the feel for all of it. Her and I know of Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Tempe, and don't really know which is better for what!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and if you are able to help answer any of the questions I would really appreciate it! I'll be back to update and gives thanks again
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:51 PM
16,997 posts, read 31,027,786 times
Reputation: 9169
Gilbert is perfectly safe, the northeastern part of Mesa would certainly be, perhaps other parts as well.

I'm not sure any district is "looking for" teachers in large numbers, with funding cuts, etc. I think jobs in elementary ed are much scarcer than they might have been not that many years ago.

Working in Zion may well not have prepared you for Phoenix heat, but like many others, you may well adapt.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:01 PM
2 posts, read 2,633 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for that bit of info. We are likely going to give it a go anyway, because you never know until you try!

Anybody else have some pearls of wisdom for a guy living in a town celebrating it's mediocrity with the TV show The Office?
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:11 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ
4,218 posts, read 5,175,487 times
Reputation: 4644
Originally Posted by Dr_Zaius View Post
Thanks for that bit of info. We are likely going to give it a go anyway, because you never know until you try!

Anybody else have some pearls of wisdom for a guy living in a town celebrating it's mediocrity with the TV show The Office?
I lived near and worked in Scranton for 18 months before I moved out here. Easily the worst 18 months of my life. I do miss Wegman's, though. You'll love it here. Welcome to the desert!

Look around Tempe too if you're set on the EV. Mesa has some rundown dumpy areas but I think it's okay for the most part. Gilbert is a nice residential place but I hear it can be pricey.
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