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

Japan Festival Houston 2017

JETAA Texoma hosted a booth at Japan Festival Houston on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, 2017, to boost the JET Program and the Alumni Association.

Eight volunteers assisted our JETAA booth during a busy matsuri environment and made meaningful connections with attendees. Seventy guests stopped by the booth to take brochures about the JET Program, and nine Alumni came by to say hello, some chomping down okonomoyaki, and some taking free cupcakes and pocky off our hands. Alumni enjoyed hearing “Wasshoi, wasshoi!” again and seeing lively booths, dances, and demonstrations by the local Japanese community.

We hope to see you next year at Japan Fest, but in the meantime, we’re all looking forward to Japanese festivals in Dallas and San Antonio this fall!

Newsletter: Pride 2017 Issue

June is Pride month, and in celebration, your Press Officer will take entries for a mid-June Pride issue! To participate, please note the following details:

Word count: 100-200
Deadline for submissions: June 10, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
Theme: Pride-tastic story from your time in JET. This is a pretty free topic, but that’s the point. Brainstorm and we’re sure you’ll find you have a few memories to share relating to this aspect of your identity. The weather’s heating up in most towns, so share a winter memory and everyone will thank you. The Press Officer sincerely hopes she won’t be alone in sharing a story!

To participate, email PressOfficer@jetaatexoma.org by June 10, 11:00 a.m. Please indicate if you want to be kept anonymous, and if so, make sure to give us your cool pen name.

Newsletter Subscription Under Construction

We’ve been updating our website. Unfortunately, this process has meant some technical issues with adding our newsletter subscription to the website. If you aren’t subscribed to the newsletter but would like to catch up, here are the links to the most recent newsletters:

June 19, 2017: Newsletter 2017-2018, Issue 6
Contents: Austin Survey Update, Outgoing JET Q&A Session, Pride, Call for Independence Issue Submissions

June 5, 2017: Newsletter 2017-2018, Issue 5
Contents: Events Digest & Announcement of teamLab Event (Houston)

*May 31, 2017: Newsletter 2017-2018, Issue 4
Contents: Austin Area Alum Survey, Houston Book Club Announcements, JETAA Foodies (2 recipes)

May 13, 2017: Newsletter 2017-2018, Issue 3
Contents: Japan Fest Houston Report, Houston Book Club, Events Digest, Call for Pride Issue Submissions

April 26, 2017: Newsletter 2017-2018, Issue 2
Contents: Japan Fest, Book Club, & Interview w/a small-town JET Alum

April 5, 2017: Newsletter 2017-2018, Issue 1
Contents: Intro to 2017-2018 Newsletters, Officers Intro/Q&A, Houston Book Club Announcement, Events Digest, Request for Foodie Issue Submissions

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*Mistakenly titled “Early June Newsletter” instead of “Late May Newsletter”

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!

Austin Alumni Interests Survey

UPDATE: The deadline for this survey is June 16, 2017

Hi, Austin alumni!  We’re trying to expand our JETAA events in your area, and we want to hear from you.  Please click the link below* to take this short survey (only seven questions) to let us know what you’d like to see happening!

https://goo.gl/forms/cF1mzDSVy3kDNksL2

*Previously, a different, incorrect link was displayed. Our Austin Rep, Jaymie Udan, emailed everyone who had given some kind of response, so if you weren’t able to fill it out before or haven’t received an email, please follow the link to successfully submit your responses as soon as possible.

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!

A Foodie Newsletter Just for JET Alumni

The May mid-month newsletter will be all about food, celebrating a hot hot summer bounty with memories and recipes from our time in JET.

We would love your participation, and there are two ways to contribute.

First, your recipes!

Eligible submissions: A recipe for something you personally made during JET, limited to 250 words. It doesn’t need to be fancy or traditionally Japanese! You can also include a 100 word (or fewer) introduction to your recipe–how you found it or made it, why you still remember it, etc.

Number of submissions: One person may submit multiple entries; however, if you submit a photo, please send one email per recipe & photo to work with email size constraints.

Accompanying photo: aim for roughly 50 kb in size and/or 600-800 pixels wide or tall.

Send to: PressOfficer@jetaatexoma.org (subject “JETAA Foodie”). In the email contents, tells us your name, JET years, position and location. For example, “Rochelle Breen, ALT 2014-2015. Gunma-ken, Maebashi-shi.”

Deadline: SUNDAY*, May 14, 2017 (extended; the previous newsletter advertised an earlier deadline) at 11 a.m.

However, if you didn’t use your tiny Japanese kitchen once, or make anything resembling food during JET but you still think you have an awesome food-related memory you’d like to share along with a photo, you can. We may not include all submissions, but feel free to follow the photo and email instructions above. Same deadline, only your word count limit is 200 words: describe the food or how it was made and why it was an iconic moment in your JET experience.

Whichever way you submit, I can’t wait to hear your fond food memories!

*The newsletter published the correct date (May 14), but not the day of the week, which previously read “Monday”. Apologies!