Monday Motivation #115 (8/15/22)
I’ve spent a lot of time in 1345 Engineering since I came to MSU as an undergrad, long ago. I took my first computer science class in that auditorium, and taught my first computer science course there too. For the last decade, I’ve spent summer Wednesdays there with undergrads during the EnSURE program. I’ve been to more than a few meetings and ceremonies and Design Day presentations in that room. And in a couple of weeks, we’re hosting our first in-person orientation for new graduate students since before the pandemic.
The auditorium really hasn’t changed too much over the last 25 years. There’s an LCD projector instead of an overhead slide machine, and at some point while I was away for graduate school they replaced the furniture to put power outlets and ethernet cable plugs at each seat. There are a couple new portraits on the wall of previous Deans. But the stage with its chalkboard and linoleum tiles is still the same; the HVAC still makes weird noises and blows papers off the front tables if I forget to weigh them down. I still need my “teacher voice” to make sure students in the back can hear (although the addition of a microphone system has helped!).
Even after two decades, I still feel a nervous excitement when I walk down the aisle to the front of 1345 EB and turn to see a room full of students towering above me. I’ve missed that during the pandemic, and it’s exciting to be able to return to this bit of normalcy in our fall routine. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we’ll be able to use the EB Courtyard for the welcome picnic after orientation (you should have gotten an email invite from me earlier today!). But if it rains, we’ll get to celebrate in 1345 EB instead! :)
This week I’m sharing some ideas and resources to help you prepare for success in the new academic year.
Three Things to Try This Week
Read Efficiently — whether you’re collecting background information for your dissertation or working through a journal article assigned in class, knowing how to read technical materials effectively can improve comprehension while saving time. Consider these suggestions as you prepare for another semester of coursework or research.
Cite Right — using a citation management system to organize and save reference materials can be a key to success in graduate school. Even if you’re pursuing a coursework-based MS, you’ll be working with journal articles and conference papers in your classes. The MSU Library offers guidance for getting started with and optimizing use the most popular systems.
Take Note — there are many different approaches for taking notes and engaging with materials, whether you are reading a textbook or listening to a lecture. The “right” approach varies depending on your personal preferences, the context, and the content, but you may find it interesting to explore some of the note taking options described here.
- The Graduate Student Resource Fair on August 27 is just one of many Fall Welcome activities. Check out the list of events for both undergrads and grad students here: https://studentlife.msu.edu/fall-welcome/index.html
- The EB has a great view of Spartan Stadium, which means that parking and access are restricted on home game days. Take a moment to update your calendar now so that you know when to cheer on the Spartan Nation — or when to work from home to avoid the crowds! https://msuspartans.com/sports/football/schedule/2022
- The MSU Graduate Certification in Community Engagement is a three-part professional development program open to masters and Ph.D. students in all of MSU’s colleges. For more information, visit: https://gradcert.engage.msu.edu/. Online application and nomination forms are available here: https://gradcert.engage.msu.edu/application, and are due on Sept 9, 2022.