Deviancy—Round One
So the letter1 came from Arthur Powell, the Secretary of HGSE’s Committee on Degrees. It actually arrived a bit later than this chronology would suggest, but the anecdote will help explain some oddities in the transcript.

The Secretary asked, in effect,
Mister Anderson, do you really intend to take a degree at this institution? If so, when do you propose to take some classes at this institution?
I was terrified2 and ran to Fletcher Watson, my most convenient parent-surrogate. He read the letter, chuckled, and said, “Well, I think I’ll have some words with the dean: I have more seniority than he does. Y’know, Andy, I don’t expect to understand all of what you’re doing. But as long as you keep me convinced that you know what you’re doing, I’ll make sure those fellows don’t get in your way.”
You see, I had, not altogether knowingly, stretched Harvard’s customary academic limits. But I had stretched them in the company (and with the concurrence, not to say the connivance) of people both kinder and wiser3 than Harvard, if I may be forgiven for saying so. And at least one had the clout to protect me. See why I thank the Lord for Fletcher Watson?

Here’s how half of it happened: After the standard introductory courses in computers, statistics, and research methods, I had questions and curiosities that didn’t match anything in the catalog, nor in anybody’s syllabus. Dick and Mike, for whom also I thank the Lord, showed themselves very supportive, and each agreed to guide me in what the official machinery called “Individual Instruction, Field Work, or Research…” in his area of particular expertise.

Heading up Mass Ave, by bicycle,
toward Widener Library
I’m sure they incurred notably more effort and inconvenience in these free-wheeling interactions than if they had just included me in a class group. But I enjoyed it; I learned what I was looking to learn; and I do truly believe they enjoyed it, too.4
1I’m still looking for it and will insert an image of it, whenever it surfaces; it’s one of those turning-point documents.
2Much as four-year-old I had done when the neighbor threatened me with the cops…
3A couple of friends, contemporaries at HGSE in another discipline, showed a comparable level of divergent initiative, but their faculty advisors had lower status, and they had a much more difficult time.
4Dick was surprised and delighted, for example, that I knew calculus; seems the Ed. School—even Science Ed.— didn’t attract many with an actual scientific background.
Ed.D 1967-68: Independent Study S.A.C.C.H.A.R.I.N.E. Reunion in Paris Thesis AAI Disaster
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