Classes start tomorrow but I don't have any until Tuesday. Still, I want to make a good impression so I'm going to spend most of tomorrow in my office. There are plenty of miscellaneous things to do like give the place a decent cleaning and figure out how to connect my laptop to the internet. I also need to find the locations of all of my classrooms on campus.
This afternoon I was reading Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or Ph.D. It said that having a good calendar system for keeping track of deadlines, especially long-term ones, is critical to a grad student's success. Then it spends several pages discussing the different merits of computer calendar programs from 10 years ago that I've never even heard of, so I skipped that section and started one on Google Calendar. Then I spent a few hours this evening looking for grants and fellowships and inserting the appropriate deadlines into my Google Calendar.
Applying for grants and fellowships is going to be my main research focus this semester (unless my advisor tells me otherwise). Writing the applications will require extensive literature review and intellectual acuity so it will help me develop and hone my research interests (on paper, at least). I'm definitely planning to apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, EPA STAR fellowship, and maybe Sigma Xi. I've bookmarked several others to apply for later in my graduate career because I'm currently ineligible. People I talked to this summer told me to apply for as many grants as possible to increase my odds of getting something since getting funded requires an element of luck as well as talent.
Meanwhile, Jon is still trying to find a job. So far he's been interviewed for a very low-paying part-time bookstore job and has qualified as a participant in a research study. While I'm planning my own course of research, I think we'll both be supplementing our income as participants in other people's studies.