…and I’ve hit my first brick wall, courtesy of TMA01 Q1(d). Of course I’m not at liberty to divulge exactly what the question is that has me banging my head against my laptop, but suffice to say that it’s an “explain…” question rather than a programming question, and my problems with it are probably due to me not understanding the nuances of the wording. I’ll give it a week to simmer in the back of my mind, and if I haven’t had a eureka moment by next weekend I’ll email my tutor and see if he can give me a nudge in the right direction.

I’m about three or four weeks ahead of schedule at the moment, which is about average for me, and worryingly it’s becoming normal for Alex as well. When I first started studying with the OU, I found being ahead of schedule very satisfying and comforting; basically, it felt like insurance against the possibility of me getting ill for a few weeks or being otherwise out of action for a bit. However, now that I’ve done a few more courses, I’m finding that I really need to be ahead of schedule to feel at all okay with my progress – and now apparently so does Alex, so my weirdness seems to be rubbing off on him. I find it flattering when he says my studying inspires him, but I’m a bit worried that I’m turning him into a compulsive over-achiever…

I could write something here about intending to take a break before moving on to Unit 4 of M257, so as to set a good example of moderation for Alex, but I actually don’t think I could stand to put it off for that long. Maybe if I went on holiday for a week, but definitely not if I was at home with the course materials and my laptop readily available. Studying in a structured manner is a crucial part of my lifestyle these days, probably only a little less important to my well-being than getting outdoors in the fresh air. I just wish there were some Level 2 short courses that I could use to fill the gap until M366 and MS221 in February!