View this email in your browser

JETAARM Board Openings

Are you interested in getting involved with the JET Alumni Association in the Rocky Mountain Region?

JETAARM is looking for new leaders, organizers, and awesome alumni to help grow the chapter! We are looking for elected positions and non-elected positions, so if you want to lend your talents, we'd love to hear from you.

We will be hosting an Information Session on how to get involved on March 15th at 12:00pm at Stella's Coffee in Denver so you can start getting to know us and brainstorming ways to become involved!

You can also send questions to or; or message us on Facebook, and please check out our home page and Facebook page for more details about us and open board positions!

Upcoming JETAARM Events

JLPT Study Group
The next JLPT study groups will be on March 7th, and 21st at
Stella's Coffee in Denver.
Bring your books, flashcards, and kanji knowledge! 

All-Chapter Breckenridge Trip 2020

Join JETAARM the weekend of April 3rd, 2020 for an all-chapter winter weekend getaway in historic Breckenridge! We'll have some fun in the snow while building stronger JET alumni connections. We've booked a private mountain house, with easy access to both the historic mountain town and the ski resort. Join us on the slopes, or enjoy a plethora of other mountain activities like tubing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. In the evenings we'll explore the quaint town of Breckenridge and it's various restaurants, breweries, and shops! And it wouldn't be a JETAA event without some Japanese flavor, so we'll also have nabe and curry dinners provided by JETAARM.

We have sold out of beds, but if you are still interested in joining us for just the day, please let us know by emailing we would love to have you!
Upcoming Community Events
JASC Kaiwa Club

The Japan America Society of Colorado hosts a bi-weekly gathering for native and non-native Japanese speakers to use their language skills in a relaxed space. If you want to brush up on your Japanese, or just chat with people who love the language as much as you this is the place for you!

Kaiwa club meets from 9:30am to 10:30am at
Broadway Market in Denver. They will be meeting in March on the 7th and the 21st. Keep up-to-date with information on the Kaiwa Club Meetup group:
Expand in Japan - How to Succeed in a Tough Market

Japan is a tough, but important market that's vital for any firm with global growth ambitions.

Attend a fun and informative evening listening to international business executives share their experiences of entering the Japanese market. Enjoy light hors d'oeuvres and drinks and gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing your business.

After the talks by Intralink North America President, Alan Mockridge, Solid Power CEO, Doug Campbell, and Prosci Executive VP, Mark Dorsett, we'll have a 15 minute Q&A with the remainder of the evening being an opportunity for networking, eating, and drinking.



Join Thirsty Samurai at Uncle Joe's Hong Kong Bistro on March 14th between 9:30 PM and 2:00 AM for a fun filled night of:
• Karaoke
• Anime Trivia
• Photo booth
• Cosplay Raffle
• Themed Drinks & Drink Specials
• Appetizers
• Door Prizes
• & More!

Come in cosplay to be entered into the Cosplay Raffle!
This is a free event and parking will be validated when parking at 1520 Stout Street.

<<Facebook Event>>
Event Recap: Emperor's Birthday Celebration
Several board members and alumni were present at the first celebration of Emperor Naruhito's Birthday Celebration. We met with many guests (including Mayor Hancock and Governor Polis!) who are involved in the Japanese community or have businesses in/with Japan, and were excited to mingle and share stories. In the end, we rounded up all the alumni we could find that evening and took a picture with the Consul General Midori Takeuchi. What an honor it was to be there that evening!
Alumni Spotlight: Jodi Dobinsky
(Above: Jodi, pounding mochi for New Years in Hyuga-shi, Miyazaki-ken)


Hi Jodi! Thanks for taking some time to talk a little about your time during and after JET. Could you tell me a little about why you decided to go on the JET program?

Going to Japan was always a dream of mine.  I started teaching myself Japanese in high school and started taking Japanese classes after my first year of college.  I was drawn to the language and the culture and couldn’t wait to visit. I was set to study abroad in the spring to 2011, but I had to change my plans when the tsunami struck.  I’ve always loved working with kids, so JET seemed like the best way to have my Japanese experience and give back.

That’s so cool! Where was your placement when you finally got to go?

I was in Hyuga-shi, Miyazaki-ken. 

(Okay, admittedly I knew that since we were placed in the same prefecture!) What was your favorite part about Hyuga-shi or about Miyazaki in general?

My favorite part about Hyuga was that I lived a 20-minute bike ride from the mountains on one side and the beach on the other.  I know this gets said a lot, but my favorite part of Miyazaki in general were the people.  

I would have to agree - the people are so warm and kind in Kyushu! What was your transition like coming back from Japan?

I won’t lie, the first month was rough.  My parents generously let me move in with them until I figured out my next steps, but they had moved while I was in Japan.  So the first few months I was dealing with reverse culture shock at being in the US again, culture shock from being in a completely different part of the country, jetlag, a bit of altitude sickness, and grieving the loss of my JET life.  But I got out of that the same way I always do: by choosing a new goal. I moved back to the US to spend more time with my family, but I knew that eventually I wanted to go to graduate school somewhere. Having that goal helped everything fall into place.  

And now here you are, almost finished with your Master’s! Congrats! Do you feel like your time on JET influenced your current path?

JET helped me figure out what I want and don’t want in a career and a job.  I loved working in the international environment and being able to explain different cultures to my students.  I don’t ever want to be a high school teacher again, but I still want to be a teacher in some capacity. My role as an ALT helped me realize that I want to be a trainer and a facilitator.  I genuinely enjoyed writing lesson plans and seeing how the students reacted when I put those plans into action.

That’s so great to hear. Outside of your professional/academic life, I know you do a lot of rock climbing and marathon running now - when did you become interested in these activities? Were there any hobbies you took up when you were in Japan?

Rock-climbing is something I’ve done off and on my whole life, but didn’t start consistently doing until I moved to Colorado.  I’ve climbed a few times in Japan, but I broke my ankle while bouldering and that sort of put a stop to it for a while. Funny enough, breaking my ankle was what made me start running more.  Hyuga didn’t have any good gyms at the time, but running was free and something I could do on my own schedule. I had just started getting into running when my injury happened. Physical therapy after my injury and surgery was incredibly frustrating and I felt like giving up a few times.  PT is already rough under the best circumstances, but I was trying to do it in a language I wasn’t fluent in and in a different medical culture than I was used to. I was mentally and physically exhausted and I needed a win. I decided to sign up for a local 5k as a goal to give me something to build toward.  The running community in Japan is great and after my first race, I was hooked. I just finished my first half marathon a few days ago. The only other hobby I picked up in Japan is taiko. I played with a taiko group for three of the four years I was living in Hyuga. I’m not always confident in my Japanese abilities, so trying to keep up with my teammates’ Japanese was pretty difficult sometimes.  That challenge ended up being exactly what I needed, though. Even though I was living in a city with a pretty small foreign community, I had managed to get away with primarily speaking English. Joining the taiko team was the push I needed to immerse myself in the language and really try to improve.  

That is so cool! What a great way to get involved. Is there anything else you want to tell our alumni community?

One reason I went on JET was that I knew I would have a great alumni network to tap into when I returned.  Sometimes the scope of our network still surprises me. I know at least three JET alum who are working at the same university as me and several who are in the same graduate program.  

I couldn’t agree more! I am constantly meeting new alumni in the most surprising places. I hope we’ll both continue to meet many more - through JETAARM or otherwise!

Do you know a standout alumni in our community who deserves recognition? Let us know! We would like to celebrate the successes of our community with a shout out every month! Send nominations to:
Have Something to Share?
Feel free to reach out to us by email or on Facebook! This space is open to all - if you have an idea, an essay, a review, an amazing photo, or anything else you want to put out there send it on to!
Copyright © 2019 JETAARM, All rights reserved.

Our website address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
JETAA Rocky Mountain · 1550 Larimer St. Box # 464 · Denver, Co 80239 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp