With the new JET year quickly upon us, we have recently witnessed the landslide victory of the new GAJET committee for the 2010-2011 year. So, without further ado, let’s enjoy jikko shoukai survey! Maybe you’ll even learn a little something you didn’t know before!
Brian Kennedy, GAJET President
Location in Gunma: Shibukawa
Hometown: Dublin Ireland
University Degree: Chemical Engineering
Hobbies: snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking, white water rafting, beer, food, people
— food: icecream
— sports: surfing
— music: jazz
— tv show: dont really watch TV
Motto to live by: Only regret what you don’t do.
Travels: Oh so many places!
Other jobs I’ve had: manufacturing Viagra
Most unfortunate incident speaking Japanese: Calling my boss terrifying instead of cute.
Total random fact about you: I am really good with my hands (making stuff that is).
Chuck Clenney, GAJET Vice President
Name: Chuck Clenney
Please call me: Chuck
Location in Gunma: nestled in the mountains of Shimonita
Hometown: Covington, Kentucky, USA
University and Degree: University of Kentucky (English, Art Studio, Japanese)
Hobbies: painting, hiking, eating hummus, kickball, finding weird stuff
— food: hummus
— sports: ultimate frisbee, baseball,
— music: electronic, hip hop, music is kind of my bread and butter
— tv show: The Daily Show or Cosmos with Carl Sagan
Unusual Talent: I am a woodblock print maker (word up, the Japanese word for it is hanga – you learned something already!)
Motto to live by: “It is not the form that dictates the color, but the color that brings out the form…” – Hans Hofmann
Travels: All around the US, Vancouver, Thailand, Burma
Other jobs I’ve had: I ran a radio station before coming to Japan, booking concerts and interviewing artists. Before that I made pretzels and sold fruit.
Most unfortunate incident speaking Japanese: One time at lunch I tried to tell my children that I thought American pop music stinks (kusai), but I said it’s shit (kuso). Same difference, Oopsy!
Funniest story involving a student: One time one of my students asked me a question about other students in the class and I didn’t understand but I thought I did and I said, “Sou desu ka”. It turned out the question was different than I thought, but there was a student in the class named “Sou”, so it worked out anyways.
Total random fact about you: I am the pun master.
Jaime Ota, Webmaster
Name: Jaime A. Ota
Please call me: Jaime
Location in Gunma: Kiryu
Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA
University and Degree: California State University Long Beach, Japanese and Journalism (minor)
Hobbies: reading comic books and fiction novels, following social justice blogs, karaoke, mass media analysis, social dance, taking pictures of everything, browsing YouTube.
— food: pasta, salad, and meat. (What can I say? I’m a proud omnivore.)
— sports: social dance and basketball
— music: Good Asian Drivers, Jason Mraz, GReeeeN
— tv show: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Torchwood, Shin Domoto Kyodai
— movie: Saving Face, Sherlock Holmes
Unusual Talent: Whenever I choose a favorite character for a series, the character almost inevitably dies.
Motto to live by: Try to be aware of your actions and words because intent sometimes just doesn’t cut it.
Travels: Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto, Yamagata, Saitama, and Tokyo.
Other jobs I’ve had: English-Japanese interpreter, tape recorder of college textbooks for visually impaired students, English conversation partner for international college students, teacher’s assistant for a college Japanese course, and cashier.
Most unfortunate incident living in Japan: Getting hit by a car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a big deal and my sense of humor is strange enough to make jokes about it now.
Funniest story involving a student: We were playing a game where the students had to make the ALT and JTE say certain sentences or phrases. One student came up to me, and with the biggest smile ever, said, “fuck you! :D” (it was pretty easy to tell that he obviously didn’t mean it, but just wanted to try saying it). I almost busted a gut laughing!
Total random fact about you: I tend to pick up accents and dialects really easily (and often times without intending to), so sometimes I speak in a strange fashion.
Jenn Levin, GAJET Secretary
Name: Jennifer Levin
Please call me: Jeni or Jen
Location in Gunma: Isesaki
Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia, USA
University and Degree: Georgia Southern University, double degree in International Studies and Writing & Linguistics
Hobbies: Reading, video games and volunteering (though not in that order) 🙂
— food: Sushi!!
— sports: Soccer (World Cup time!!)
— music: mostly Euro Pop; if you need a name then Djumbo
— tv show: I’m dating myself, but The Legendary Journey of Hercules was my favorite!
Unusual talent: I can touch my nose with my tongue… does that count? 🙂
Motto to live by: The line from point A to point B may be the quickest… but it is by no means the most interesting.
Travels: I’ve been to Japan (of course!), England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Panama. Do I count the U.S.?
Other jobs: I worked at Waldenbooks, Discovery Channel Store, American Cafe and Toys R Us. Also worked as a Residential Advisor at the University.
Most unfortunate mistake speaking in Japanese: I told a woman, “Anata no kami wa kuma desu” (Your hair is a bear), when I meant to say, “Anata no kaminoke no naka ni kumo ga ismasu.” (There is a spider in your hair).
Funniest story involving a student: A student drew a picture and described the man as wearing black “tits“. After talking with him, I discovered the correct word was “tights“. His face was red when we told him what “tits” were.
Random fact: I have the largest private library in Gunma (over 250 books).
Jessie Zanutig, Gunmania Editor
Name: Jessie Zanutig
Please call me: Jess. Or Zan.
Location in Gunma: Kawaba
Hometown: Calgary, AB Canada
University and Degree: University of Calgary, BA English
Hobbies: snowboarding snowboarding snowboarding
— food: lasagna and nachos.
— sports: snowboarding. And hockey, eh!
— music: I’ve been known to dabble in a little bit of everything.
— tv show: Greys Anatomy.
Motto to live by: Damn it feels good to be a gangster.
Travels: New Zealand, Singapore, Fiji, Hawaii, all over the US.
Other jobs I’ve had: Gardener, LUSHie, Barista, Telephone Operator, Golf Caddie.
Most unfortunate incident living in Japan: The first time I went to fill up my car with gas at the local gas station, I was wearing a button-up blouse with a purple lacy camisole underneath. I was so nervous and had no idea what to do when I pulled up to the station, bumbled out some broken Japanese, and struggled for my change, not noticing that every station worker was hovered around my window panting away at the button which had come undone revealing my mad purple lacy cleavage popping out of my shirt. This is still my local gas station. And the workers still give me a big smile every time I pull up.
Funniest story involving a student: When I asked the students to make a wish and write it on my Christmas wishing tree, one student wrote, “I WISH FOR PORNO!!!!!!”. Thanks …
Total random fact about you: My neighbor back home is Brett the Hitman Hart. No big deal.
Nayalan Moodley, Gunmania Designer
Name: Nayalan Moodley
Please call me: Darc
Location in Gunma: The bellybutton of Japan (Shibukawa)
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
University and Degree: BTech Multimedia Design ~ The University of Johannesburg
Hobbies: Moshpits, Driving
— food: anything with meat in/on it.
— sports: DO: Paintball, Fencing. WATCH: Cricket, Rugby, D1
— music: Melodic Death Metal, Early 90s Punk, Visual Kei, Psy/Dark Trance, Goth/Industrial/EBM… and recently Enka.
— tv show: people still watch TV?
Unusual Talent: I can build a computer ~ therefore ~ I can make you come.
Motto to live by: You could not fathom the fuck I do not give about what you think of me.
Most unfortunate incident speaking Japanese: mixing up 中学校 and 中国.
Funniest story involving a student: I was the subject of a Show and Tell speech.
Total random fact about you: I do it for the lulz.
Thom Schumacher, Seibu Region Rep.
Name: Thom Schumacher
Please call me: Thom
Location in Gunma: Kanra-Machi WEST-SIDE
Hometown: Wellington, New Zealand
University and Degree: Victoria University; BA, BCA
Hobbies: beaching, food, drinking, travel, running
— food: lettuce
— sports: Rugby, Cricket, Swimming
— music: Polysics, Common Rider, Ben Folds and anything in between.
— tv show: F**k TV.
Unusual Talent: Sleeping for unbelievable periods of time.
Motto to live by: ‘You dont need a motto to live by’ – why constrain yourself.
Travels: Asia, Oceania
Other jobs I’ve had: Union Organiser, Banker, Fish & Chip Shop Bitch.
Most unfortunate incident speaking Japanese: Asking a student if she was pregnant when she just had a sore stomach.
Funniest story involving a student: “Mr Thom – Do you play sex?”
Total random fact about you: I have 10 toes.
David Lynch, Chubu Region Rep
Name: David Lynch
Please call me: Dave
Location in Gunma: Takasaki
Hometown: Tipperary, Ireland
University and Degree: I studied in Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology; BA in Theological Studies and Business practice.
Hobbies: Swimming, Taiko, watching movies
— food: steak and chips
— sports: swimming
— music: a little of everyting
— tv show: at the moment, GLEE !!
Motto to live by: You only live once.
Travels: America, Switzerland, France, Spain, Canada, Italy, Britain, Thailand
Other jobs I’ve had: I worked at Disney World. That was fun!
Most unfortunate incident speaking Japanese: There have been many embarrassing moments, but probably my bad pronunciation is embarrassing!
Total random fact about you: I’ve worked in five countries, including Japan.