I knew a guy who who was a highly placed person at Harvard College, and had gone to the College for his undergraduate education. I’ll call him “Dean.” Prior to his attending Harvard, he had already become a major fan of Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau, of course, went to Harvard. So when Dean was accepted to Harvard, being a major Thoreau fan, he endeavored to find out what room in the Freshmen Halls (at Harvard, “Hall” = “Dorm” for Freshmen, “House” = “Dorm” for Sophomores and beyond), was Thoreau’s. I am not sure what records or resources he used to try to figure this out, but he managed to do so. And it turned out this was to be the easy part.
After Dean found out what Hall and room Thoreau lived in during his Freshman year, he endeavored to get that room and that Hall. That presumably took some pulling of strings, but he managed to get part way through that process when he discovered to his great horror that the Hall in which Thoreau lived had been totally redone on the interior. None of the rooms were original, and even the hallways had been moved around.
So, Dean found plans for the old building, and he obtained current plans for the new building. He took measurements and compared the plans and figured out which room of all those in the building was most overlapping with Thoreau’s original room.
Once he did this he returned to the task of getting that particular room in that particular Hall. He succeeded.
So in the fall of his first year as a student at Harvard, Dean moved into his “Thoreau’s room.” It turned out that he had a roommate. After moving in, and the usual greetings, and getting something to eat, and putting a couple of things on the walls, and so on and so forth, Dean talked to his new roommate and admitted to him what he had done. He told him he was a Thoreau fan, that he wanted to be in Thoreau’s room, that this room no longer existed, that he figured out which room most overlapped with the original room, and all about his efforts to get to live in this room in this Hall.
When he was done explaining it all, his new roommate beamed at him and said. “Me too.”
(“Dean” is a pseudonym. The original Dean died about five years ago, and a portrait of him hangs today in one of the Yard’s buildings.)