Fort Collins-area families I need your help! Please tell me why (or why not) my family wants to move to your area!
Here’s the scoop: my husband is a graduate student
: who will finish in May 2008 with his Ph.D. in English
. That means he is on the job market right now for positions to begin fall 2008, and he has four interviews this Friday and Saturday (12/28 &12/29) for tenure-track assistant professor positions at Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Villanova University (outside Philadelphia), Whitworth University (Spokane, WA), and Mercer University (Macon, GA). From these interviews he could be invited for an on-campus interview at any of those universities and possibly (hopefully!
offered the position. If he’s offered the position we have two weeks to decide whether to decline or accept. It’s very rare to be offered two positions, but, just in case, I’m trying to learn more about each area to help us make the best decision possible.
FYI—none of these options is near family, so we will be at least 8 hours from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
Here are my concerns/interests and I would love to hear about them in your area. Please don’t feel that you have to address every one, but whatever thoughts/comments you have are greatly appreciated!
HOUSING: We currently live in an area where you can get a decent home for under $200,000. We’d love to get 4 bedroom, 2 bath home (preferring space over modern décor, i.e. we don’t mind painting 70s mustard color walls!). Is that affordable on a professor’s salary (hopefully somewhere between $40-50,000—we’re hoping that I can be a SAHM, though I should be able to find a part-time job as a nurse if needed)? Are there particular neighborhoods we should favor/avoid?
EDUCATION: My son has an August birthday and will be 5 in 2008, so we plan to homeschool for at least a year and then evaluate whether we want to continue homeschooling (my hope) or try kindergarten. What is homeschooling like in your area (e.g. regulations, groups)? What school districts should we favor/avoid?
FOOD: We try to eat organically/locally as much as we can afford (though we have lots of room for improvement!). Are there Farmer’s Markets/CSAs available? Natural foods stores and/or natural food sections at grocery stores?
BIRTHING/HEALTH: We hope to have another child after we move. I’d like to use a midwife and/or birthing center if they are available/legal. What are the birthing options and legalities? What about hospital(s) experiences? Other recommendations? (I might consider a home birth, but I’m a nurse and as “crunchy” as I’ve become, the things I’ve seen still make it hard for me to wrap my brain completely around that option.). What about pro-breastfeeding, delayed/selective vaccination-friendly healthcare providers?
PARENTING: We do breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, etc. Are there play groups, babywearing groups, LLL groups, etc. in the area?
: What are the fun things to do in your area? How often do you go to Denver/Cheyenne? What are the best kids museums/zoos, etc.?
If you have any particular comments/thoughts on the universities themselves (or anything else!), those are appreciated too! We’ll be gone for a few days at the conference where my husband’s interviews will take place, but please feel free to post here, PM me, or e-mail me and I’ll respond after we get back.
Thank you all so much for your help!