Wait, no, I mean Christmas break. As of this weekend, I’m caught up on the module planners through to the Christmas break, and I’m trying to decide if I should work up to it and then break, or just take the break now.

What I don’t want is to have zero motivation to start studying again whenever I pick it back up. I’d rather work straight through Christmas and Easter and finish a month early. But doing this causes problems with tutorials, and module teams very often notice errors in their TMAs only closer to the deadline and change them, requiring faster students to redo some questions. (I’ve already been the cause of this multiple times.) Also, there’s a slightly worrying trend in module teams not to make module materials available until very shortly before the module planner gets to that part. This is frustrating for students trying to properly manage their time knowing when their scheduling problems will occur.

I’ve accidentally gotten a week ahead in TM257, anyway. I didn’t notice that it gave a week to complete the first TMA, and I sailed right past it. And that’s a module which, for unfathomable reasons, they’re not opening the second half until the module planner is ready. Other module teams have the excuse of writing/updating curriculum right up until they make it available, but the TM257 team are just making the Cisco materials available. Maybe it’s a licensing issue, and Cisco’s pretty strict about how long the materials may be available to students. It just makes “Get ahead early and stay ahead” difficult, which makes dealing with emergencies difficult, and generally makes time management difficult. Oh! But I just realised that the OU team caches a copy of the Cisco materials. I can jump into that.

Anyway, I’ve already decided to fill the time to the start of the second block with revising using external sources. Unfortunately, I’ve chosen some Udemy courses which, upon opening them and looking, aren’t well written, make pedagogically questionable choices, and have information in them directly contrary to Cisco teachings (and therefore won’t be in line with Cisco exams). It’s like studying at Oxford with a Merriam-Webster on your desk.

But for the other two modules, I’m not really sure yet. Somebody suggested that I try my hand at a Christmas coding challenge, but that type of thing can quickly make me obsessive. That’s no good for anybody. This break is what caused TM254 to really kill the last dregs of motivation last year, so I need to find a good solution, and definitely can’t let myself be idle.