We usually meet once a week to discuss and critique papers. So far all of the papers we've read have been draft manuscripts for people in the lab. I'm learning that I have to sharpen my critiquing skills. I haven't had nearly as much constructive criticism for the manuscripts as Herb or the other more experienced lab members. Things that I thought were pretty good needed "major work."
Next week is my turn, which is a little bit nerve racking. I'll be the first of Herb's new cohort to have something on the table. We'll be discussing my application for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program which is due in about a month. I was going to take my turn in two weeks but I'll actually be back at Small Friendly College so I got bumped up to next week. I'm glad that I'll be getting feedback but I have a LOT of work to do in the next few days to get ready for this. I applied last year so I'm not starting completely from scratch but I don't have much of a clue right now what this year's research proposal will be about (last year's obviously didn't cut it or I wouldn't be applying again). I'm planning to spend part of tonight and most of tomorrow working on it.
On Monday I need to talk to Herb about my research ideas. So far we've only talked about other things (politics, Jon's job, people we know, Small Friendly College because he went there too...). It's time to talk about my research.