The new JET class from Washington, DC departs for Tokyo this Saturday, August 3. Each day this week, we’ll give you a little introduction to some of these new JETs and check back in with them (and other new DC JETs) throughout the year to see how their first year as a JET participant is going.
Name: Cameron Brenke
Nicknames: “Cam” or “キャメロン”
JET Placement: Shintotsukawa, Hokkaido (北海道の新十津川町)
Where I’m from: Woodbridge, Virginia
What I studied and where: Film and Video Studies / Theatre Minor Degree 2011 at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
What I’ve been up to lately: I’ve mostly been doing the same things I’ve been doing: studying Japanese, working on my car, riding my motorcycle, driving the ambulance and volunteering as an EMT for OWL VFD. In addition since placement on the short list, I’ve been packing, gathering omiyage from anywhere I can, and saying some goodbyes to friends and family.
I learned about JET from my friend’s mom actually. I was exploring options on how I can get my foot in the J door, and go to Japan with a purpose since I unfortunately missed the opportunity to study abroad. After learning of a few options like volunteering farming, being a translator (which was at the time completely out of the realm of possibility), and teaching English; I decided that teaching English might be the best way for me. Here I am about 9 months later after first submitted my application, and probably the most excited I’ve ever been in my life. Out of all the advice I’ve been given, making connections and participating in as much activities outside of teaching as possible has been the best. So naturally I’m super excited to be able to dive right into the culture. I really hope I can join a Taiko group, and learn how to use the Yumi. My last meal… I think I’m going to have to eat some Korean barbeque…there is nothing like seeing three pounds of fresh pork belly on a grill. What can I say… I get really hungry sometimes. (Is there Korean barbeque in Japan?) I’m curious to eat a lot of new types of seafood, but I don’t know about live octopus. I know I have to try it, but I’m a little nervous. Same goes for raw chicken…