Category Archives: JETAA News

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:

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 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:
*Vice President
*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:

-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

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

“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

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 (


—New York Career Forum 2013 —
Date: February 22 & 23, 2013 (Fri. & Sat.)
Place: The Altman Building (New York, New York)〈=E (〈=E)

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.

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.


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

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

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

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:

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 ( 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: Email: (

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 (

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

2012 Texoma JETAA Officer Election Results

Hello Texoma JETAA! The polls have closed, and we have a new executive
board for 2012!

President: Drew Himmelreich
Vice President: Jessica Parker
Treasurer: Adam Hammick
Webmaster: Dusty Downing
Newsletter Editor: Ryan Pauley

Thank you to everyone who voted. We will have an update on upcoming
events for 2012 shortly.

Dusty Downing,
Webmaster Elect


#QUAKEBOOK for Japanese Disaster Relief

April 12, 2011


Tokyo, Japan — In just over a week, a group of professional and citizen journalists collaborated via Twitter to create a book to raise money for Japanese Red Cross earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. The book is available for download via Amazon’s Kindle ebook platform at One hundred percent of revenues go to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

The 98-page book, titled 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake and known on Twitter as “#quakebook”, is the brainchild of a Briton who lives in the Tokyo area and blogs under the pseudonym “Our Man in Abiko”.
The day after the earthquake and tsunami, Our Man in Abiko wrote on his blog, ”Is there anything you can do? Right now, I’m not sure. But I’ll think of something.”
A few days later, he did think of something. The former journalist put out a call on his blog and via Twitter for art, essays and photographs that reflected first-person accounts of the disaster. He decided he would edit them into a book and donate all the revenues to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Within 15 hours, he had received 74 eyewitness submissions from all over Japan, as well as reactions from elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America.
In addition to narratives by journalists and people who braved the disaster, 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake contains writing created specifically for the book by authors William Gibson and Barry Eisler, as well as artist and musician Yoko Ono.
“The primary goal,” Our Man in Abiko says, “is to raise awareness, and in doing so raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Society to help the thousands of homeless, hungry and cold survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. The biggest frustration for many of us was being unable to help these victims. I don’t have any medical skills, and I’m not a helicopter pilot, but I can edit. I’m doing what I can do.”
With the book completed, the project team turned again to social media. In one day, they created a website <>, Facebook page <http://www.facebook/quakebook> and Twitter account (@quakebook). The project quickly got attention from Twitter users like Yoko Ono as well as tech, publishing, and Japan-centric blogs.
“Twitter has been an amazing collaboration tool,” says Our Man in Abiko. “A few tweets pulled together nearly everything – all the participants, all the expertise – and in just over a week we had created a book including stories from an 80-year-old grandfather in Sendai, a couple in Canada waiting to hear if their relatives were okay, and a Japanese family who left their home, telling their young son they might never be able to return. Soon we were working with the world’s biggest ebook distributors and fielding calls from newspapers and television stations on five continents. People around the world are responding to the message of #quakebook and I really feel we are on the brink of something amazing.”

# # #

Tsunami Fundraising & Japan Festival Planning

Dear Texoma,

As you have undoubtedly been watching the tragic news unfold in Japan, I hope that you’ve been able to get in touch with friends and loved ones in the affected areas.

JETAA USA Relief Fund

I know that right now we are all wondering what we can do and where we can direct donations securely.  JETAA USA has done a wonderful job of creating a relief fund ( and a regularly updated blog ( with information, links, and resources on how you can help.


JETAA USA Relief Fund Campaign Poll

JETAA USA is currently deciding on a national campaign that can be promoted to JET alumni across the country. They have created an online poll at TwtPoll:, which does not require a login of any type. Please vote on which option you think is best, or write in another option in the “Other” section if you have a good idea.


JETAA Texoma Fundraising & Japan Festival Planning

Our local chapter will be collecting donations to bolster relief efforts as well.  Texoma officers have a Japan Festival planning meeting scheduled on Wednesday, March 23rd at 6:30pm (location TBA) where we will also be talking about Japan earthquake/tsunami fundraising ideas.  If you have ideas you would like to come and discuss, let our secretary David Park know that you’ll be joining:


Thank you,

Texoma JETAA Officers


Texoma JETAA Newsletter

Hello Texoma JETAA,

Hi! I’m Ryan Pauley and I’m excited to be the newsletter editor this year. I am starting on the 2011 Spring Newsletter, and I need your input.

I need articles and photographs, I need stories, recipes, cartoons, advertisements, weblinks to ridiculous things, and anything else you feel would make our newsletter great!

With that in mind, I have two things I want:

First – and maybe this should be mandatory for everyone – I want ideas for articles. Favorite foods that should be researched and written about, cities that have amazing things, people who deserve to be frozen in the carbonite of a newsletter, whatever. Ideas.

Second, I want to reach out to anyone who wants to write, or has already written an article that they’d like to have in the newsletter. Articles can be about any topic. Maybe you have a unique story from your experience in Japan, coming back to America, or about some weird trip to Bali where your friends left you without your wallet and passport? Whatever. 500+ words if you can, 200 words if you can’t.

While the future is uncertain, the Spring Newsletter will be printed and distributed to JETAA membership (any easy clip for those looking to expand into a career in letters) and my goal is to have it published in March.

The deadline for material is February 11th – A month from now. If you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution yet, make your resolution to write for the newsletter!

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you,

Ryan Pauley


The first issue of the revamped newsletter is finished and ready to be consumed!

In this issue:
● Rising Sun: Reintroducing the Texoma JETAA, Newsletter
● Stay in Touch!: Let us know how you are
● New Officers: Meet your 2010 Chapter Officers
● From the Consulate: Greetings from the Consular officers in charge of JET in Texas & Oklahoma
● Japanese Beer: Is it the same in the U.S.A?
● JASDFW Motchitsuki: Society celebrates 40 years with song, dance and mochi
● Dallas Upcoming Events: Two great events from the JASDFW
● 2010 JET Interviews: JET alumni help interview 77 promising applicants
● Life After the B.O.E.
● JET Alumni Represent Japan: JET alumni represent Japan at TMC
● Fly Catcher Boy
● Tofu Chocolate Mousse
● Texoma JETAA Shinnenkai: Recap from the 2010 New Years Party
● JAPAN FESTIVAL 2010: Mark your calendar for JAPAN FEST, Winner of the Houston Press Best Festival of 2009

Get your copy here!