2018-2019: A Year in Review

During the fiscal year of April 2018 ⁠— March 2019, JETAA TEXOMA hosted and participated in the following occasions to promote cross-cultural understanding and connect JET Program Alumni across Texas and Oklahoma (and other chapters in the US!).

2018-2019 Recurring Events:

  • 5 trivia nights in Houston (April ‘18, May ‘18, June ‘18, July ‘18, and January ‘19)

2018 EVENTS

  • Apr 14-15: Alumni provided information about the JET Program at Japan Festival Houston
  • Jun 23: JET Q&A Session for Departing JET’s
  • Jul 15: Book Club in Houston met to discuss The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Jul 30: Departing JET’s Farewell Reception
  • Sep 14-16: President Andy Mack and Vice President Alisa Tobin represented JETAA Texoma at the 2018 JETAA USA National Conference in Denver, Colorado
  • Sep 21: Karaoke Night in Austin
  • Sep 29:  Luncheon in San Antonio
  • Nov 3: Game Night in Houston

2019 EVENTS

  • Jan 13: Shinnenkai in Houston
  • Feb 2: Kakizome Calligraphy Workshop in partnership with Japan-America Society of Houston
  • Mar 23: Texas Japanese Speech Contest, to which JETAA Texoma donated a small gift for winners in the haiku category
  • Mar 25: JET Returnee Reception
April 2018 Japan Festival Houston
May 2018 JETAA Texoma officers meeting with Vice-Consul Kawase from the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston
Jul 2018 Departing JETs (Houston) Reception, hosted by Consul-General Fukushima
Sep 2018 JETAA USA National Conference in Denver, Colorado. Can you spot your Texoma officers?
Sep 2018 Austin area alumni at karaoke
Dec 2018 Reception to celebrate the Japanese emperor’s birthday
Jan 2019 Shinnenkai in Houston

2017-2018: A Year in Review

Despite Hurricane Harvey, JETAA TEXOMA was more active than ever, hosting and participating in the following stellar events to promote cross-cultural understanding and connect JET Program Alumni across Texas and Oklahoma.

2017-2018 Recurring Events

  • 6 trivia nights in Houston: April ‘17, May ‘17, June ‘17, October ‘17, February ‘18, March ‘18.
  • 4 Book Club Meetings: Silence (July ‘17), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (October ‘17), Our Land Was a Forest: An Ainu Memoir (January ‘18), and Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (April ‘18)

2017 Events We Supported or Facilitated

  • May 6-7: Alumni provided information about the JET Program at Japan Festival Houston
  • Jun 24: JET Q&A Session for Departing JET’s, in which alumni advised outgoing JET’s on topics such as health, team teaching, and daily life in Japan
  • Jul 22: 2017 Departing JETs Farewell Reception held at the Consul-General of Japan in Houston’s residence
  • Aug 3-Aug 6: President Tim Roller, Vice President Greg Gaylor, and Treasurer Jessica Holloway represented our chapter at the 2017 JETAA USA National Conference in Washington D.C. and the JET Program’s 30th Anniversary Reunion
  • Aug 19: Austin Alumni gathered for karaoke
  • Aug 31: Hurricane Relief Fund raised $1000 to assist local JET Alumni affected by the storm
  • Sep 16: ‘Houston Strong’ Day of Service for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts
  • Nov 11: Houston Nengajo Party, co-hosted with The Japan-America Society of Houston, educated attendees about the Nengajo custom and helped them create their own
  • Dec 9: Bounenkai 2017 gathered more than 40 Attendees including Alumni members, members of the local Japanese community, and guests from JASH, the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, and CLAIR

2018 Events We Supported or Facilitated

  • Jan 21: Shin-nen-kai 2018 in Austin
  • Feb 11: JET Returnee Reception
  • Feb 17: Austin Alumni Meeting
  • Mar 18: Texas Japanese Speech Contest, to which JETAA Texoma donated a small gift for winners in the haiku category

Houston Book Club Details Finalized

The first JETAA Houston Book Club meeting details have been finalized:

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Time: 10:30 A.M
Place: EQ Heights (1030 Heights Blvd.)
Book: Silence by Shusaku Endo

Please be aware that parking may be limited. For those close enough, car-pooling or ubering may be preferable.

Our Houston Rep, Emily Gurvis, will arrive early to hopefully secure a table, and will also be leading the discussion. If someone else has an interest in leading, please contact her at: houstonrep@jetaatexoma.org

As June is just around the corner, now is a good time to begin sourcing your book. For those of you that prefer borrowing books from the library, consider digital copies, which are also available for loan through various library apps.

Friends (JETA and non) are welcome to join, but please inform Emily in advance so she can anticipate the number of seats needed. And if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, or need to change your RSVP to ‘no’, please reach out in a timely manner. Thank you!

2017-2018 Board

JET Alumni Associate Region 9, Texas and Oklahoma, hosted elections this spring, inviting platforms from interested and eligible candidates starting Feb 22, 2017 (announced via newsletter). On March 13, 2017, candidates and their platforms were announced and voting commenced using Survey Monkey. Voting closed on March 20, 2017.

The following elected board representatives and vacancies were  announced March 21, 2017, over the JETAA Texoma newsletter and the Facebook group and page.

President — Timothy Roller
Vice President — Gregory Gaylor
Treasurer — Jessica Holloway
Secretary — Alisa Tobin
Web Master — Dusty Downing
Press Officer — Rochelle Breen
Houston/South Texas Regional Officer — Emily Gurvis
Austin/Hill Country Regional Officer — Jaymie Udan
San Antonio/West Texas Regional Officer — Ian Cruz
Dallas/North Texas Regional Officer — No applications received, position open. Email PressOfficer@jetaatexoma.org to step up to the plate!
Oklahoma — No applications received, position open. Email PressOfficer@jetaatexoma.org to step up to the plate!

Houston Book Club Announcement

Houston has spoken! The books selected for the first Houston-area book club are, in order of month of suggested reading:

July 2017:  Silence by Shusaku Endo

September 2017:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

November 2017: Our Land was a Forest by Kayano Shigeru

January 2018: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

March 2018:  The Sarashina Diary by Lady Sharashina

April 2018:  Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

The order is subject to change based on member feedback.

If you are interested in reading and meeting about the first book, Silence, RSVP to houstonrep@jetaatexoma.org .

RSVP’s are not binding, but will help us anticipate the number of participants. In your email, please also indicate where you are located in Houston, e.g. Sugarland, the Heights, Katy, EaDo, etc. This will help me to choose a meeting place each month.

At the top of each meeting I will welcome newcomers, give a brief introduction of our book club, and ask you to introduce yourself. We will then segue into the discussion. I would like for members to be active participants! If you are interested in leading the inaugural discussion on Silence, please say so.

After concluding each meeting, another similar announcement will be sent out via the Newsletter and Facebook.

I look forward to meeting everyone.
Emily Gurvis
Houston Rep, JETAA Texoma

2017 Texoma Elections!

TEXOMA JETAA! It’s been a long time coming, and we’re a TAD behind schedule, but too many shinnenkais, technical errors, etc. It’s time for the ACTUAL elections! We’re expanding the scope of roles for the board this time, hopefully to better serve our wide-spread locales and give new JETAA better contacts. Roles with current participants have stars next to them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t available! Some people would love for some new fresh face to take over! Of course every position is open and if you’d like to nominate someone, just poke them into sending us a platform! We’ll have a two week open period for people to submit platforms for the roles they wish to apply for. People can apply for multiple roles, but we’re probably better off if it’s no more than two, since it can get difficult juggling hats (particularly of the cowboy variety). Below is a list of available positions and what that role encompasses:
  • *Kanchoh: El Presidente, the big cheese, or in reality the little pokey stick charged with motivating and growing our community, keeping us involved with the various Japan related groups throughout the district and the world (seriously, whole globe), interact with CLAIR and the Consulate, give speeches, bear the burden of Japanese expectation weighing heavily on you…all the cool stuff! Involves attending quite a few formal events and making small talk.
  • Vice President: Stands in for the president when things get rough or it’s helpful. Takes over direction of specific events as necessary, helps spread the word about JETAA, engages with CLAIR or the Consulate as needed, helps with local activities.
  • *Treasurer: Keeping track of the money, receipts, funds from CLAIR and other sources, informing other officers how to go about this, keeping good records in case we’re ever audited, etc.
  • Secretary: Records and arranges minutes from meetings, reminds people of plans and schedules to keep forward progress going, drafts official communications as necessary, enjoys organized organizations. We really need someone for this!
  • Press Officer: A new role! In charge of the quarterly/bi-monthly newsletter (gathering information on happenings among JETAA and the Japanese communities regionwide), keeping our Twitter, Facebook, and Website feeds active, interfacing with people in similar roles for other chapters, CLAIR and the Consulate. This person loves hitting the share button! We really need someone for this!
  • *Webmaster: In charge of technical updates to the website, changes to thematics, plugins, etc.
  • Regional Officer (multiple positions): Low key role in charge of letting other local JETAA know about local events and telling the wider TEXOMA group about local events, organizing (in the loosest way) enkais, picnics, trivia, and other events that suit your fancy. Taking pictures at events to share with the TEXOMA group and other chapters. Being a contact for newly returning JETAA to welcome them back home!
    Regions Include:

    • OKLAHOMA
    • NORTH TEXAS (DFW area)
    • SOUTH TEXAS (Houston and surrounding areas reaching as far as Brownsville if necessary)
    • SAN ANTONIO/WEST TEXAS (San Antonio/San Marcos and surrounding areas, reaching as far as El Paso if necessary)
    • AUSTIN (AUSTIN Greater Metro and Hill Country)
Please submit a platform of a paragraph or two outlining what you’d like to do in your role and why you’d be a good fit to: texomajetaa (at) gmail dot com by MARCH 8th. No position is high stress, all get better with enthusiasm! Location is NOT important, we conduct officer business on Skype or other online services, so it’s easy to keep people on the same page. Certainly for regional officers it’s better if you’re in that area! If you have any questions, let us know on Facebook or at the address above!
Thanks,
                 Current Kanchoh Tim

Texoma JETAA – Japan Festival – JETAA/Pre-JET Meet-ups – Hadoken!

Hello TEXOMA JETAA Community,

In this Spring Update we have a few items coming up that we thought you would be interested in, but for the most part, we just wanted to remind everyone that the Houston Japan Festival is this weekend. Grab your sunscreen and your friends and come out to enjoy some sunshine and some takoyaki as we talk about JET and Japan!

1) The 20th Annual Japan Festival in Houston’s Hermann Park
This weekend! From 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM Saturday April 13 & 10:00 – 5:00 PM Sunday April 14, JETAA will have a booth to talk about Japan, the JET Program and have some cultural fun and games at this year’s Japan Festival in downtown Houston. If you’re anywhere near Houston, you should bring your friends and family and come out to experience a bit of Japanese culture. If you’re able to volunteer some time, sign up for a time-slot and come out to help us have fun and support Texoma!

Booth Sign Up Sheet

Japan Festival Details: http://japan-fest.info/

2) JETAA/Pre-JET Multi-City Meet-Ups
The 2013-2014 JET Program initial Short-List/Alternate notification went out last week and everyone is excited for their chance to live in Japan. Remember that feeling of excitement? Some of the short-listers up in Dallas are getting proactive and are working to arrange a meet-up in the DFW area (Time – TBD). However, I wanted to take a pulse and see if any other JETAA members in other cities might be interested to meet-up if there was enough interest as well. Austin? San Antonio? Oklahoma City? If you’re interested in sharing your sagely advice with the next class, email jetcoord@ho.mofa.go.jp and I’ll start collaborating with the departing candidates to see what can work.

3) Google Maps after the Great East Japan Earthquake
In honor of the Second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Google has released new Street View Photos of the damaged areas after the March 11 Typhoon damage. Both haunting and intriguing, it will be interesting to watch the progress as the communities of Japan rebuild.

Google Article Link

4) Pub Trivia – First Wednesday of the month (next to be May 1st)
Pub Trivia is still alive and well but we are always looking for new blood. We have a regular group of about 4-6 JETAA members who play on the 1st Wednesday of the month (sometimes more often) but newcomers are more than welcome. Please remember that the team sizes are capped at 7 people so if you are not a member of the Facebook group “Texoma Jetaa” please join and RSVP if you plan to attend so we can reserve enough tables and adjust team sizes accordingly. Side note, the JETAA team, “There’s always money in the Banana Stand” has won 2 out of the last 3 Trivia Nights!

Facebook Group Link

5) For a bit of fun: “Hadoken” Photo Craze in Japan (and now the US)
If you haven’t seen it yet, you will soon enough. Based on the popular Dragon Ball or Street Fighter, the fad begun with Japanese students taking photos of themselves posing as if hit with energy attacks. The craze has jumped the pond and is now among (popular?) memes such as planking and the Harlem Shake.

The Hadoken Meme

Texoma JETAA – Events / Elections / Jobs and more

What’s Happening: Beginning of 2013
Hello TEXOMA JETAA community,

It has been quite a while since our last mass email but we have lots to cover. I was informed by most of the alums in attendance at the returnee reception that, in fact, email is their preferred method of being updated on events, so I would like to depend more on a monthly email update than just on our Facebook group (but please join and check the Facebook page for smaller updates and events).

Here is what is currently in the works:

1) TEXOMA JETAA OFFICER ELECTIONS – CALL FOR PLATFORMS – Any and all Texoma area JETs are encouraged to submit a platform by Thursday February 7th for the the following positions:
*President
*Vice President
*Secretary
*Treasurer
*Webmaster and Site Editor
*Newsletter Editor

—-Further information about the elections can be found later in this email—-

2) PUB TRIVIA – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 @ PORCHSWING PUB – Pub Trivia is still alive and well but we are always looking for new blood. We have a regular group of about 4-6 JETAA members who play on the 1st Wednesday of the month (sometimes more often) but newcomers are more than welcome. Please remember that the team sizes are capped at 7 people so if you are not a member of the facebook group “Texoma Jetaa” please join and RSVP if you plan to attend so we can reserve enough tables and adjust team sizes accordingly.

3) LEO BAR COCKTAIL MIXER EVENT @ THE ASIA SOCIETY – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – The Japan America Society of Houston’s Young Professionals Group is co-hosting the Leo Bar event for February. If you have not yet gotten to explore the new Asia Society building in the museum district this is a great opportunity to see the amazing building and rub elbows with a diverse crowd of youthful movers and shakers of the Houston area. No reservations or admission fees, so feel free to stop by. Leo bar link is below:

http://asiasociety.org/texas/leo-bar-asia-society-texas-center

4) JAPAN FEST – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES – JET PROGRAM BOOTH
-The Japan festival will be held in April. There is a position on the JFEST organization committee open and if any JET is interested please let Ryan or I know ASAP. The position is for Opening Ceremony Coordinator.
-Online sign-ups will be live on the Japan Fest website soon for anyone interesting in helping to help during the actual events of the festival
-WE WILL BE NEEDING JETAA VOLUNTEERS TO HELP RUN THE JET BOOTH AND ADVERTISE TO POTENTIAL APPLICANTS

5) World Affairs Council of Houston’s Japanese Foreign Language
Luncheon

“This program will be held on Monday, April 22^nd from 10:30 to 1:30 p.m. with approximately 85 high school students and their teachers celebrating the students dedication and hard work in learning Japanese in school. The students are carefully selected by their teachers.

The purpose of the program is to honor these students and reward them for their hard work. The program offers guest speakers, table hosts, a beautiful lunch, decorations and finally a certificate at the end of the program. Attached you will find a flyer that I have used for teachers to register their students. It can give you more detailed information. In April, we also celebrate six other languages as well – they are German, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, French and Chinese and this is our 13^th year of doing so. The business community continues to support us in so many ways not only monetarily but with their attendance as table hosts. The table host sits with 9 students at a table, speaks in the language of the day and helps the student to understand the many ways careers can be enhanced by learning a second language. The table host is important and key to the success of that student returning to his training and feeling motivated by its many benefits.”

Any professional JET Alumns with Japanese ability please let me know if you have interest being a table host

6) CONSULATE JOB OPENING – MESSAGE FROM RYAN –
JETAA: I have a new employment prospect that has come up, this time in our own Houston Consulate office. We are looking for a new Consular Service Clerk (Visa). Candidates must have strong written and verbal Japanese ability. Traditionally, this position has been offered only to local Japanese natives, but our office wants to open it up to the JETs. If you want to strengthen your language skills and spend time learning more about Japanese legal culture and researching interesting requests. Candidates who enjoy researching and helping others in addition to language and cultural ability will be considered. For a full summary of the position, please email me at jetcoord@ho.mofa.go.jp (mailto:jetcoord@ho.mofa.go.jp)

7) JAPANESE RELATED JOB FAIR IN NEW YORK –

—New York Career Forum 2013 —
Date: February 22 & 23, 2013 (Fri. & Sat.)
Place: The Altman Building (New York, New York)
http://www.careerforum.net/event/ny/index.asp?ref=201341〈=E (http://www.careerforum.net/event/ny/index.asp?ref=201341〈=E)

8) NON-HOUSTON JET MEET-UP OPPORTUNITIES-
If any groups or alums are starting to gather or want to start in any of the non-Houston cities, let us know and we might be able to provide some planning and financial support.

9) EVENT IDEAS-
We remain eager for any event ideas JET alums in the area might have. Let us know by email or post in the facebook group.

FINAL NOTES: Hopefully everyone is well and the recent returnees are adjusting to being back home. If you are not a member of the facebook group, it is called TEXOMA JETAA, and members often post short notice social events or just Japanese news or articles. Now that the new year is in full swing, we look forward to improving and expanding the offerings of our TEXOMA chapter. Hope to see or hear from more of you in 2013.

——————————
———————————
ELECTION DETAILS:

President
Role: Coordinate all activities. Chair general meetings, monthly socials. Liaise with outside organizations.
Incumbent: Drew Himmelreich

Vice President
Role: Assist in coordination of all activities. Chair special projects as defined by the President or the Executive Committee. Manage membership requests and work with webmaster to update member list as necessary.
Incumbent: Jessica Parker

Secretary
Role: Record information from meetings, distribute minutes, assist Executive Officers in administrative tasks.
Incumbent: No incumbent running.

Treasurer
Role: Develop annual budget. Secure funding from CLAIR and MoFA. Provide guidance to the board members on funds available for activities. Monitor bank account.
Incumbent:
Adam Hammick

Webmaster and Site Editor
Role: Ensure function of website and mass e-mail system. Update member list and ensure website has up to date information.
Incumbent: Dusty Downing

Newsletter Editor
Role: Edit and publish quarterly newsletter.
Incumbent: Ryan Pauley

LOCAL CHAPTER VICE PRESIDENT POSITIONS
If you are interested in helping coordinate events in your area of Texas or Oklahoma, please contact us. We are particularly interested in setting up and supporting local chapters in the Austin/San Antonio area, the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City.

 

Texoma JETAA – Events/Job Openings/Volunteer Opportunities

Hello Texoma JETAA members,

We try to limit our mass emails to everyone but there are few things I wanted to everyone to know about.

1. CAMPING TRIP (Oct. 5-7)
Next weekend is the central Texas camping trip at Garner State Park. We still have spots and would love to see you there. Sign up is below:
http://www.texomajetaa.org/?p=178#more-178

2. JETAA nationwide officers meeting in San Francisco (Late October)
Adam Hammick and I will be attending this conference on behalf of Texoma JETAA and welcome any feedback from our members before we go. Do you have event ideas or questions? Let us know and if we don’t know the answer we can ask the big shots in San Fran.

3. Job openings
a. “The Japan Business Association of Houston, Women’s Committee, is in need of private lesson language teachers that are available during the day. Though no date has been set, they would like to invite any applicants to come to JBAH for interview with potential clients. If you are interested, please e-mail shree@jashouston.org (mailto:shree@jashouston.org) and she will give you further details.”
b. “My name is Joe E. Stephens, III and I am a Human Resource Recruiter at Goodman Global, Inc… I am in search for an Administrative Assistant that is fluent in English and Japanese. If you know anyone who may be interested, please give them my contact information” Mr. Joe E. Stephens, III Human Resources Recruiter Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. 5151 San Felipe – Suite #500 Houston, Texas 77056 Office: (713) 263-5403 (tel:%28713%29%20263-5403) Fax: (713) 861-4991 (tel:%28713%29%20861-4991) Career Site: www.CareersatGoodman.com Email: Joe.Stephens@goodmanmfg.com (mailto:Joe.Stephens@goodmanmfg.com)

4. Volunteer opportunities
The leader of the Japan Festival committee approached me to see if I or any of our JETAA members (2 total) would be interesting in joining their planning committee. “The festival will be on April 13-14, 2013 at Hermann Park, and the committee will meet monthly, bi-monthly and then weekly as the time get closer. As the festival will be the 20th, we would like to put our heads together to make the festival better than ever, and special.” If you have interest please email me at president@texomajetaa.org (mailto:president@texomajetaa.org)

As always any requests or recommendations on how we can improve our chapter are welcome so email us anytime.

Thank you,
Drew Himmelreich
JETAA President