Overall I feel that I received the best undergraduate education possible. It was a great honor to study and then be a TA under Tom Hayes and run the Physics 123 lab — I think it’s entirely possible that Tom is the best introductory circuit design teacher in the world, and I know I am in great company. It was also a great honor to study cyberlaw at the Berkman center of Harvard law — as an undergraduate, I was able to take more IP, patent, copyright and digital law classes than are available at most law schools, including Larry Lessig’s former class “The Technology and Politics of Control”. I also learned Spanish with Professora Zetterstrand, studied the history of Boston under Robert Allison, and of course studied number theory, probability, topology, calculus, linear algebra, group theory, graph theory, etc. under professors Martinez, Boller, Winters, Bamberg, Towne. Astronomy at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Physics in the science center… comparative religious ethics and modern/contemporary American fiction in Harvard Hall. Museum studies with Mary Malloy (and the future directors of a couple dozen museums in the museum studies program), game theory with Neugeboren (who himself studied under Schelling, whose son Robert is also a close personal friend), psychology under Fersch, and the history of electronic music with Marshall all were brilliant courses also. So many of these professors were the best at what they do — leaders in their fields, the ones who wrote the books. And even though this was a "night school" program, Harvard refused to lower the bar and never failed to challenge me; many of the professors talked about how the curriculum in the college vs. night school was exactly the same, and in a number of cases the student projects and work in the night school exceeded that produced by the day students.He's not the only person to note that some Extension School students do better than their Harvard College counterparts; this was one of the findings of a 2006 Crimson article (see Crimson: Some virtual Extension School students outperform Harvard College classmates).
The author of Cyber Oppression also discusses how physically and mentally taxing his ALB studies have been over the last six years. I can really sympathize -- as I have noted repeatedly on my own blog, the research and writing demands associated with the ALM program are punishing, and go far beyond simply attending class. For those of us who have full-time jobs and families, study generally takes place late at night and on the weekends, usually at the expense of personal and family life. The ALM or ALB programs at the Extension School are not casual endeavors -- they require major intellectual, academic, and personal commitments, and take years to complete.