JET Talks is a brand new speaker series organized by the JET Program Alumni Association of Washington, DC. JET Talks is modeled after the TED Talks concept and will feature dynamic and interesting speakers with the goal of inspiring innovative ideas and conversations on Japan-related themes. Although JET Talks audio files will be accessible via the Let’s Talk Japan podcast subscription feed, the two are separate entities. However, our goals are the same – to get people talking and thinking about Japan.
Shauna Tischler, came up with the idea of JET Talks and currently serves as JETAADC’s Thought Leadership Chair. From 2000-2003, Shauna worked as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Program in Gifu Prefecture. Special recognition is also owed to Leigh Ann Mastrini, the current President of JETAADC, and the Japan Information and Cultural Center of Washington, DC, for hosting the first JET Talks event.
Regular listeners of the Let’s Talk Japan podcast will recall that in Episode 11, host Nick Harling spoke with Regge Life about making the film Live Your Dream, chronicling the lives of JET Program participants Taylor Anderson and Montgomery Dickson, who passed away in the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Regge was recently in Washington, DC, along with Taylor’s father, Andy Anderson, and Montgomery’s sister, Shelly Frederickson, to speak at the first JET Talks event – a screening and panel discussion of the film Live Your Dream. More than 120 guests were in attendance and the event was a huge success.
For anyone who has not seen Live Your Dream, I encourage you to listen to Let’s Talk Japan episode 11, as it provide a good overview of the film.
In this JET Talks, you will first hear introductory remarks from the event organizers and panelists, followed by the panel discussion, which followed the screening.
You can listen to this first installment of JET Talks by subscribing to the Let’s Talk Japan podcast in iTunes or by clicking HERE.
The Department of JET Programme Management has recently created an official JET Programme Facebook page. The Facebook page is mainly used to assist in the dissemination of JET Programme-related information to current JET participants and contracting organisations, but we would also like to encourage JET alumni to view and like the page. The URL for the page is:
Please find below a link to the online version of the JET Streams newsletter. JET Streams is distributed to all JET alumni who request it and have registered an email address with CLAIR.
Every year JETAA Portland invites Pacific Northwest JETAA to join for an Iron Chef Cook-Off. This year, it looks like JETAA Portland was the official winner, though we’re guessing that all the attendees who got to eat the food were the real winners.
Photographic evidence of the event available on the PNW JETAA Facebook group, courtesy of President Cheryl Hou.
Originally posted to the JETAA UK LinkedIn group by Sarah Parsons:
CALLING ALL EX JETS IN THE MIDLANDS AREA to help with Q & A session for JETS about to go out to Japan and to provide advice and networking opportunities for those who will return this year.
We are holding a pre-departure Q & A session in Birmingham on Saturday 20th July from 3-5pm for JETs about to set sail for Japan so they can ask us more experienced and hopefully wiser JETS anything they want to know about living in Japan.
We are also holding a welcome back reception for JETS returning from Japan in September to offer them a networking opportunity and post-JET careers advice (date yet to be confirmed).
We really need ex-JETS who have used their JET experience whether in Japan related companies or doing something completely different to come along and share their experiences as well as continue to promote the links between our two countries.
This just in from JETAA DC:
The Newsletter for May is up on our website. Check it out:
A big thanks to Kat for putting this together!
Three years ago, PNWJETAA made a fine showing and won “Best Overall” for their Soy Sauce Green Tea Ice Cream!
(Try it, and be surprised by how mellow the garlic is!)
This year, on May 18th, we’ll have a chance to defend the title! If you’re interested in heading down to Portland with some of the JETAA folk, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
When: May 18th (Saturday)
Where: Portland, Oregon
Why: Because we’re awesome and we need to show Portland just awesome we are.
The theme this year is Soybeam Jozo Chickpea Miso - excited? OH YES.
Each month, current and former JET participants are featured in the “JET Plaza” section of the CLAIR Forum magazine. The May 2013 edition includes an article by JET alumn Jordan Patrick Lincez. Posted by Celine Castex (Chiba-ken, 2006-11), currently programme coordinator at CLAIR Tokyo.
Jordan Patrick Lincez (Aichi-ken, Toyone-mura, 2009-11) is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been playing various instruments from a young age, first learning the guitar from his father Marc Victor, and eventually making an album with him before joining the JET Programme. Jordan spent two years in one of the smallest villages of Japan and his contributions to the community include recording a collaborative album with local musicians and organizing a charity music festival. He is now studying in Vancouver, BC, to become a French teacher in elementary schools in rural Canada.
After JET – Rural Reflections
Steve Jobs once talked about connecting the dots only after you go through something. Coming to and leaving Toyone was like that. My memories of there are vivid: wet mornings with mists floating above green mountains around Tsugawa Heights; straining to keep my eyes open and my body moving to the drum on Hana Matsuri; watching the evening sun burst in orange and red leaves during the autumn foliage season on my drive to Toyama; listening to my students practice Kendo in the dojo while watching the snow gently falls outside; joining my friends in celebrating our charity festival’s success with the most bountiful yakiniku feast I have ever seen. I have left Japan with a wealth of memories and friendships that I will carry with me forever, and it was only in connecting the dots looking back that am I able to see the impact my experiences there have had on my life and current endeavors.
What brought me to Japan? I wanted a new challenge, and, one day, I met a wonderful teacher in Ottawa who taught me Japanese, but also taught me about Japanese culture—and I was fascinated with it. I had to go experience it. I had to get out of Ottawa, out of Canada, and learn about myself through experiencing life in a different world. JET brought me to Japan and placed me as an ALT in two of the smallest villages in Japan: Toyone and Toyama in Aichi Prefecture. Read More
I noticed on the JETAA New South Wales Facebook group that JETAA chapters in Australia and New Zealand decided to emphasize a more regional collaboration. This sounds a bit like what’s been going on between JETAA USA and Canada chapters, and there’s even been some mention here and there about the possibility of more collaboration between JETAA UK and the North American chapters. Here the info from the JETAA New South Wales email list:
“One of the main outcomes of the 2012 JETAA Regional Conference was a decision to create a combined logo for all JETAA chapters in Australia and New Zealand.”
“All JETAA members are invited to vote for their preferred logo by emailing their name and preferred image (number 1-5) to jetaanzrep [at] gmail.com. Alternatively, you can vote on the JETAA Oceania Facebook page: JETAA Oceania Logo Poll”
“Voting closes on Thursday 11 April, so get in quick!”
Link to JETAA Oceania Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/192391273441/
“Thanks for your votes at AGM/Elections. We are pleased to present the 6 elected members of JETAA SG Board 2013-2014!”
2013 JETAA New York Executive Board
President – Monica Yuki
Vice President – Pamela Kavalam
Secretary – Wendy Ikemoto
Treasurer – Tommy Zhou
Membership – Ann Chow
Via the JETAA DC Google Group:
We would like to thank everyone who voted at elections during our general business meeting last night at the Embassy of Japan. Congratulations to the following individuals who will comprise the 2013-2014 JETAADC Board:
- President – Leigh Ann Mastrini
- Vice-President – Becky Solem
- Treasurer – Ryan Bedford
- Secretary: – Joanna Blatchly
- Social – Sara Haider & Joel Zara
- Volunteer – Paul Schuble
- Outreach – Joy Young
- JET Ambassadors – Sarah Lyons & Sarah Tillotson
- Online – Brandon Wright
- Returnee Handbook – Chrissie Skodon
- Thought Leadership: Shana Tischler
- Newsletter – TBD
Each month, current and former JET participants are featured in the “JET Plaza” section of the CLAIR Forum magazine. The April 2013 edition includes an article by JET alumn Hannah Olivieri. Posted by Celine Castex (Chiba-ken, 2006-11), currently programme coordinator at CLAIR Tokyo.
Hannah Olivieri (Chiba-ken, Minami-Boso, 2008-11) is from Orange County, California and currently works for Otafuku Foods as a translator and administrative assistant. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from UCLA. In her spare time she does salsa dance, volleyball, boxing, poi, and classical piano, which she has been studying for nearly 26 years. She has even learned nihon buyoh, shamisen and koto while in Japan, where she spent 3 years in an ALT in a town of Chiba Prefecture. Currently, Hannah is serving as Co-President of the JET Alumni Association of Southern California where she works to promote cultural relations between Japan and the US on the local community level.
The Heart of Tradition
I remember very clearly the day I first set foot in what was to become my hometown while in Japan. I could hear the voices of the cicadas in the trees and the children playing nearby as I watched the rice in the fields sway gently in the afternoon breeze. Matsuo Basho’s summer haiku about the cry of the cicadas came to mind as I walked to school greeted by the students in the cool of the morning. It was as if coming to Japan was like a dream I had not yet awakened from.
Life in the countryside is something that only those that have experienced it personally can truly understand. I was able to take part in many traditional activities thanks to living far outside the limits of the big cities. As someone who studied anthropology in college, the ability to experience a new culture first hand was truly an exciting prospect. It was as if everything I saw became something tangible and jumped out of the pages of my textbooks to become something real right in front of me. Soon, my schedule began to fill up with activities like Japanese dance, koto and shamisen lessons, Japanese cooking, and flower arrangement, among other things.
JETAA Chicago recently held a White Day Dinner. How cool is that? No write-up to share, but just wanted to share the concept perhaps for other chapters to try out in the future. Maybe it’ll even catch on in the US?
Posted recently to the JETAA New South Wales Facebook group by Sharon Van Etten. Sugoi, NSW!
Check out these interviews with former JETs on JAMS.TV from the recent Shaberanaito event:
Japan For Me 01: The Tohoku Region: http://www.youtube.com/
Japan For Me 02: Sendai to Kagoshima: http://www.youtube.com/
Japan For Me 03: Powder Snow and Onsen: http://www.youtube.com/
Thanks to everyone who participated.