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One of the free MOOC courses that most shaped my understanding was Discreet Optimization on Coursera. It was way way over my head the first time I started it. It was way way over my head the second time. It still is today, but today I understand enough about what the problem is and why it is important to make decisions based on that understanding. The first time I watched the videos was 2014.

So seven years. That's the thing about being an adult. About life-long learning. The world is not divided into semesters. Knowledge isn't divided into subjects and courses.

Nobody cares about my inability to do discreet optimization homework. It doesn't matter that my interest started when I was in my forties and now I am well into my fifties. Nobody cares in a good way.

So you start with something over your head and learn a little and keep at it as long as you are interested. And then maybe stop for a while and come back later. Or never come back.

There's no catch.

There's no test next Wednesday.

No guidance councilor to place you.

Just start and keep going as long as it is worth doing.

Knuth is over everyone's head. Engaging is merely and terribly a matter of the beginner's mindset.

Good luck.

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