April JETAADC News

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In this edition of JETAADC News:

Message from the Board:

Spring is here! (…I hope!)

April in Washington, DC is like no other place in the world. After months of bitter temperatures, our community comes together for the biggest annual event (and probably the biggest event outside of inauguration) in Washington: The Sakura Matsuri!

Before we get into all-things ‘sakura,’ a brief recap of our March events included a very successful Nihongo Dake event on March 27 with over 30 people coming out to speak a little, ‘nihongo..dake…’ at Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle. This event was made possible through our chapter’s highly active participation in a survey about the JETAA National Initiative that is being studied by US-Japan Bridging Foundation.

JETAADC also participated in the Red Shoe Run & Walk 5K to benefit seriously ill children and their families. Six people joined what I heard was a pretty wet/rainy day, and finished off the morning with well-deserved breakfast (and a beer, I hope!).

I wanted to personally thank all of you who participated in Global Giving’s Tohoku Fundraiser on March 10 and 11 that went towards the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund. In one week, the JET community raised nearly $50,000 – about $25,000 was donated directly by JET Alumni around the country, and Global Giving matched this bringing our total to just under $50,000. The funds will go to support Ishinomaki students and others in Tohoku as a remembrance of Taylor Anderson and Monty Dickson.  Although I don’t know how much was given from the Washington, DC area, it was with immense pride and emotion that I could read the list of donors on the Global Giving website and recognize so many names of JET Alumni across the country. Truly, we are an instrumental bunch, and together, we are helping to support a cause and an organization that is “one of us.”

Now on to business.

Whether you are volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival (and our good friends at the JASW) or just enjoying the view at the Tidal basin with your family and friends, I hope you get to enjoy the beauty of Washington in the spring time. As we shed our winter gear in favor of light coats and sun glasses, JETAADC is gearing up for an exciting “sakura season.” Our hanami this Saturday, April 5 is quickly becoming one of our most popular social events of the year. Understandably so, this is one of the rare event where we can quickly remember what life was like in Japan. Drinking chuhai is encouraged.

As March comes to a close, JETAADC will also mark the end of our official fiscal year. We will hold elections on April 16 and I encourage anyone who is interested in getting more involved in the US-Japan community to get involved through JETAADC. I have learned so much from my four years of involvement on the board, made incredible friends, and continued to have experiences that I never thought possible because of the JET Program. This year, I will be transitioning off the board to prepare for a temporary move to Dubai in the fall. Although bittersweet, I’ve been asked to take on this role because of characteristics picked up while on the JET Program: flexibility, kindness, and respect.

I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone in JETAADC and watch as we continue to grow and flourish. This all starts with our Membership Drive in April. If you haven’t updated your information in our database, please take 5 minutes to make sure that we have your details. This not only ensures that you receive our announcements, but it also has the administrative function of counting JET Alumni for the Japanese government. All that to say, it’s a little more than a tool to share information, this is becoming increasingly more important as we grow and blossom into an independent organization.

Finally, thank you, to everyone that I’ve met through this wonderful experience. From State Department officials and ambassadors to eager JET Program participants asking me how much omiyage they should bring with them to Japan – there is nothing else in the world quite like this one, and the people you meet through it will change you forever. Hontou ni osewa ni narimashita!  m(- _-)m

Leigh Ann Mastrini
JETAADC President
Hyogo-ken, 2006-2008


Membership Refresh:

It’s been a long time since we cleaned up our member information, so please help us out and make your JETAADC membership official — and up-to-date! It will only take a minute to sign up here and will help us better serve you in the future.

To show our appreciation for our members and to thank you for bearing with us as we update our records, we will enter everyone who has signed up into a weekly raffle throughout the month of April. Plus, like us on Facebook and join us at our April events for more chances to win.

Just what will you win? Check out our sponsors to see who has donated prizes and visit the blog and facebook often in April to see what we’re raffling off each week.

Questions? Contact Communications Chair Kat Kovacs (newsletter@jetaadc.org).


March JETAADC Events:

Hanami and Fireworks
Saturday, April 5, 2pm
Tidal Basin

Join us for a picnic under the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin. Then, we’ll all head to the Southwest Waterfront for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks Festival.

(And don’t forget to let everyone know you’ll be joining us on our Facebook event!)


JETAADC Elections:

JETAADC Elections for the 2014-2015 term will be held:

JETAADC Elections
Wednesday, April 16, 6:30pm
Embassy of Japan

Platforms are due by April 14 to Joanna Blatchly (secretary@jetaadc.org) and you must RSVP to the JET Program Office (jetprogram@ws.mofa.go.jp) by April 14 if you plan to attend.

See a full list of positions available and descriptions here.


Other (non-JETAADC) events you may be interested in…

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Saturday, March 12, 10am — noon
Constitution Avenue from 7th — 17th Streets, NW
Tickets start at $20
Learn more and purchase tickets here.

For anyone who has been anxiously wondering what happened to pop star Aaron Carter, you can relax now — you can catch up with him at this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade! If that’s not enough to convince you, check out the other performers here.

54th Annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
Saturday, March 12, 10:30am — 6pm
12th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Tickets are $8 until April 4 / $10 at the gate

Stop by and say hello to the many JET Alumni volunteers manning the Children’s Corner, Beer Garden, Taste of Japan and more — and, while you’re there, reminisce about your favorite Japanese festival from back in the day while you take in the many performances…and more yakisoba than any one person should. Find out more about the festival here.

Tohoku Tomo – Washington, DC Premiere
Sunday, April 13, 3:00 — 4:30pm
Miracle Theater
535 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

Please come and support JET Alum Wesley Julian andTohoku Tomo 東北友. Find out more and get tickets here.

Kiyochika: Master of the Night
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Through July 27

“The prints show a Japan opening up to the world’s influences. An innocuous print of people viewing a show with colored fireworks shows Western influence — before then, all fireworks were white.” Read more here — or go see many of Kiyochika’s 93 woodblock prints on display through July 27 at the Sackler Gallery.


JETAADC Member News:

Big promotion? New baby? Appearing on Jeopardy? Brag about Share your latest accomplishment with the JET community. Fill out our online form here to appear in our next newsletter.

Congratulations, Lauren Stockhausen (Fukui, 2006-2009)! Lauren was accepted into a masters program funded by a US grant so she can get a masters in TESOL while teaching first grade at West Salisbury Elementary School.

Paul Champaloux and Joy Young (Wakayama JETs, 2009-2012) were engaged on February 28, 2014. Their JET love story is currently among the finalists for a Facebook wedding contest and would love the support of the JET alumni community. Please follow http://tiny.cc/ajetlovestory to VOTE for their entry “Serendipity in Japan” by April 10! If voting by computer, “Like” the page first to see their story (then click on the VOTE tab), or if on a mobile, click the top right button “Log-in with Facebook account” to see the story (then VOTE)!

Kat Kovacs (Nara, 2007-2011) accepted the position of Events Manager at the Arlington Free Clinic in Arlington, VA.

Yui Itokawa, JETAADC Member and JET Program Consultant at the Embassy of Japan, ran the Rock’n Roll Marathon on March 15. It was her first full marathon, though she’s done a half marathon twice before. Her time was 4 hours and 3 minutes. Otsukare, Yui!


Best of JET (etc.) Around the Web:

JETs Rally for Tohoku recap — thank you again to all the JETAADC members who participated!

JETAA USA’s Quarter 3 report is up on JETAAUSA.com — catch up on what’s happening with the JETAA USA Capacity Building Initiative and the Regional Conference.

JET job seekers, make your teaching experience work for you! 5 Reasons Why Your Company Should Recruit Teachers

And What can I do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies?

Losing The Midas Touch: Why Japan No Longer Dominates The Video Game Industry

If you brought this Matcha-Black Sesame Layered Cheesecake to Hanami (on Sat., April 5), you’d have lots of help finishing it.


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