Monday Motivation #116 (8/22/22)
About 15 years ago, I spent about 15 months living in Arizona. My spouse was doing a post-doc at Arizona State, and I was doing some long-distance consulting for my former employer and hanging out with our baby. One of my brothers was going to school at South Dakota School of Mines, and we discovered that flights from Phoenix to Rapid City were short and cheap. So, the baby and I packed up and flew to spend a couple of weeks hanging out with my parents and cheering on my brother’s debut as a college football player.
We did the same thing the following fall, and by that point my baby had grown into a talkative toddler. This was the first grandkid for my parents, and my dad took his job seriously. Every morning, he’d make waffles in the hotel’s breakfast room and help his grandchild carefully fill each pocket with syrup. Soon, my toddler was finding “waffles” everywhere: the grates of a heating unit, the drainage tray of a soda machine. Grandpa praised each discovery and they spent many hours wandering around together exploring everything the hotel had to offer.
Grandpa was a natural teacher and kept up the explorations as each new grandkid joined the family, leading adventures into the woods; letting the kids “help” make waffles; and teaching them the finer points of how to eat an ice cream cone. While he passed away almost nine years ago, he got to meet 8 of his grandkids and generated a lifetime of stories and lessons that we still share. Just yesterday, one of my kids asked about my students and what graduate studies entailed, and said that they might like to earn a PhD someday. They’re starting 3rd grade tomorrow, so there’s lots of time to make life plans, but it was fun to spend a few minutes chatting about whether they might start a fourth generation of PhDs in our family, after their parents and uncles, Grandpa, and “More Grandpa” (the name our oldest created for their great-grandparents, long ago!).
Next week Monday I’ll be welcoming the newest members of our graduate student community at their orientation and helping them understand the pathway to earn their own MS or PhD. Almost 300 faculty, staff, and graduate students have RSVP’d to help welcome our newcomers at the picnic lunch that day; I hope to see many of you there!
Three Things to Try This Week
Take Time to Plan — as we head into fall, campus is full of new beginnings and new opportunities. This is a great time to consider your personal and professional goals for the semester, and journaling can be a good way to build time for reflection into your day or week. Here are a few ideas to get started.
Take Time to Connect — MSU is a big place, and there are groups and events to match nearly every interest. Browse the Graduate School’s website to find student organizations, check out grad life and wellness resources, and get to know your campus and community.
Take Time for Fun — while we’ve got many sunny days ahead, fall weather will be here before we know it. As you build your schedule for the semester, be sure to carve out time to enjoy the season’s best traditions.
- The Dean of the MSU Graduate School is hosting a welcome lunch on Tuesday, August 30. Seating is limited and registration is required: https://grad.msu.edu/events/graduate-school-welcome-lunch-dean
- Understanding the requirements of your degree program and learning to align expectations with your advisor are key to success in graduate school. Join students from across campus to learn about how to communicate more effectively with your advisor about your goals, timelines, and expectations: https://grad.msu.edu/events/graduate-student-success-setting-expectations-graduate-education
- All first- and second-year domestic graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. A series of workshops this fall will help you prepare a strong application: https://grad.msu.edu/events/graduate-research-fellowship-program-grfp-workshop-series-workshop-1