Start with the tutorials that ship with it, and keep going. It's going to take more then 30 days before it stops feeling like someone stole your thumbs, as with most 3D apps.
If you're interested in great modeling tools with a low learning curve, I'd suggest checking out Silo. Don't expect it to much more then model and unwrap but it excels at modeling, is cheap and after the trial runs out it's still pretty functional for learning. You can also get a taste for what sculpting is like, which would be a great segue into Mudbox.
Also if you find yourself wanting to diddle around with 3dsmax more, check out GMax, its basically the same version you where using without the render capability. Not a lot has changed since then with regard to the main interface and what you'll be learning for the first few months. It also comes with some great tutorials very much detailed to learning 3dsmax and the core interface. You might want to dig up just the tutorials and apply those to 3dsmax during your 30days.
Good luck! =)
Last edited by Mark Dygert; 07-30-2008 at 07:23 AM..